The first spindle I used felt clunky, I felt awkward, and no matter how many boxes I stood on, I couldn’t get any momentum going before the spindle hit the floor. I gave my spindle to someone else, and that was the end of things.
Flash forward a decade or so, when Anne Merrow, then editor of Spin Off Magazine, asked me to film a video about spinning on a drop spindle. “UGH,” I said, “that sounds horrible.” Anne ranks me though, so I had to do it. And boy, am I glad I did, because I got to meet and work with Maggie Casey.
A spinner since the early 70s, Maggie holds the Handweavers Guild of America Certificate of Excellence in Handspinning. Bona fides aside, she is a gentle, generous soul with a profound knowledge of and passion for fiber traditions. We spent an entire day in her home, filming her teaching the editor of Handwoven how to spin using a drop spindle. The resulting workshop The Spinning Teacher is both an excellent how-to-spin video and a thoughtful meditation on teaching and why we are so hard on ourselves.
Maggie teaches the park-and-draft style of spinning, which breaks things down into easy, separate steps and lets newbie spinners start making yarn more quickly than you would believe. But don’t take my word for it. We’re delighted to offer this workshop.
Maggie was gracious enough to let us not only into her house, but also into her head. Watch a piece where she muses about the power of creating and why craft is as important as eating breakfast. If you or someone you know wants to spin on a drop spindle, please check out Maggie’s workshop.
Never stop learning, Allison