how sometimes the simplest shift in technique
can change my whole feeling about a process.
Weaving in the ends in tapestry was like that.
Also, using a plying stick.
And one of the coolest things I learned in August
was a new way to wind the cop
on a cross-armed spindle.
(a 9 gram Jenkins kuchulu)
I learned what seems to be the canonical
over two under one, around and around
method of winding on (see photo above).
It worked beautifully (once I got the hang of it),
and with it I have filled uncountable spindles.
The idea of (or need for), a different approach
never crossed my mind.
I glimpsed something rather different.
A woman was winding her cop
as though winding a ball by hand:
a few times around one pair of arms,
then on to the next pair, around a few times,
and on again to the next.
No biggie, really,
and yet, for me, huge.
as it builds up around the shaft:
more of a square with the sides pushed in
than the neat little muffin I was used to.
It's not, however, the look of the thing
that matters to me,
but rather that this way of winding
somehow adds a layer of comfortable ease
to the whole business of spinning flax
and I now find myself picking up
my willow distaff,
almost as readily as wrist distaffs
loaded with wool.
since a truckload of milkweed stems
(potential compost from a native seed farm)
showed up at my house last week.
Once I get a better handle
on how to release the silky white fibers
hiding in that pile of stalks,
there is a good chance
that even more bast fiber spinning practice
is in my future.
by saying thank you
for the lovely comments last week.
Your kind words and good wishes
mean more than I can say.