National Craft Month: Spinning Freedom on a Deserted Island

If you were stranded on a deserted island, what spinning tool would you need?

Kate Larson 9 months ago

National Craft Month: Spinning Freedom on a Deserted Island Primary Image

Image by Anastasia Kolchedantseva via Pixabay

March is National Craft Month, and we were all asked the question, “If I were stranded on a deserted island, I’d bring…” As a handspinner, I know there is only one thing I really need—twist!

Spinners often travel with more gear than any other makers I know. We roll into workshops loaded with a spinning wheel, handcards, combs, and more. If there is any free space in our collapsible, wheeled cart complete with side table and drink holder, we will stuff the extra space with more fiber than we can spin in a month. This is a true story.

national craft month

With choices like these, how’s a spinner to choose?! Essential Fiber at SpryWhimsy Fiber Arts. Photo by Kate Larson

However, when it comes down to it, all we spinners need is fiber and twist. Spindles can be made out of a variety of materials in the environment, and there is always thigh spinning!

national craft month

A simple wooden spindle referred to as an Ahka. The Ahka hill tribe lives in the mountains of Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, and Yunnan Province in China. Photo by Kate Larson

I don’t need to take fiber to my deserted island—spinning materials abound! Humans have long used all sorts of flora and fauna to create thread, yarn, and rope. Spin Off authors have explored spinning Curly horse, Spanish moss, lemongrass, and even—gasp—asbestos! (Ben Franklin gave it a go.)

While I don’t need my 7 spinning wheels, e-spinner, and plentiful boxes of beautifully dyed silk, wool, and cashmere... I dearly love every tool and every lock of wool in my stash.

“What do you want to take to your deserted island?” This spinner responds, “How big is my suitcase?”