Stacy Mann Presents to the Guild on Spinning
Stacy presented an informative and entertaining talk on spinning: its history, tools, materials, and political impact.
Spinning has been around for millennia, as evidenced by Stacy’s pictures of unearthed ancient tools and art depictions. We saw pictures of different styles of spinning wheels and tools from around the world. Of particular interest were the many tools Stacy brought such as designer spindles, a spinning wheel, whorls, and a wool carder.
I was fascinated by her demonstration of spinning which she called “putting twist in a fiber.” It was beautiful and mesmerizing.
In addition to her tools, she also brought in a variety of fiber materials. She had a box of raw yarn (it is smelly and dirty) and roving yarn (which is softer and cleaner). She showed us how to prep roving yarn by evening out the fibers with a carder and then spinning it. Amazing.
Stacy went on to discuss woolen vs. worsted yarn (which I never understood before.); plied vs. non plied yarn; S or Z twist; attaching fiber to a leader cord.
We were entertained by a short video demonstration of hand spinning done by a plucky English lass.
Oh, and why is spinning political? Mahatma Ghandhi learned to spin during his six years in prison for protesting the British colonial government in India. He reasoned that if his country could spin their own silk fabric instead of sending it to England and then having to buy it back, they would be rich enough to overturn the Raj. Makes sense.
— Mary Barranger