Sunday, March 9, 2008


Three generations learn to spin.
Tik, Tik, Tik. The spinning wheel turns steadily where it sits before the flickering kitchen fire. It is sheeting down rain outside; a cool wet winter afternoon. Here in the house is warmth, light and companionable industry. I`ve come in from the studio and my own absorbing canoe rebuilding project for afternoon tea and it is lovely to see Heather so involved in her own creative work.
She has recently picked up an old skill again after many years and is deeply involved in washing fleeces, dying, spinning and knitting. Her sweaters are spectacular, but the significance is not completely contained in the end product. Heather is a writer, with two published books, and many poems, short stories and magazine articles. While away sailing she completed two children`s novels, but now we are home again at last, she has stopped writing. Her drive to write has shifted back to work in textiles. She has been very busy in the last few years providing wedding dresses and beautifully designed and crafted wedding quilts for all three of our daughters and is totally involved in the development of two new grandchildren: a return to another level of parenting and the textile creativity of earlier motherhood years.
There is a kind of a relationship though, between writing and the process of making knitted clothing: we spin tales, after all. We take the raw materials of life and knit them together in interesting patterns that must also fit a specific form. We piece the elements together carefully so the threads of our story will not unravel. Heather`s work in wool is beautifully crafted, rich in the subtlety of tones, textures and colours: like her personality and her writing.
The wheel turns, the raw fluffy wool is fed into the spinner and formed into thread. A new creative life is growing on this cold winter afternoon.

1 comment:

Mary Z said...

Can't wait to forward this entry on to our daughter who is a spinner. Thanks.