By Lisa Huddleston

I finally found a spinning wheel in good shape and for a good price! It is a treasure I have been looking for since fall and suddenly here it is.

Chuck and I rushed out of church Sunday morning to meet the lady who was selling it for the Nashville Handweavers Guild (thus the name, “Guilda”). She had plans to join some friends for lunch so we were pressed to make it to her house on time, but I was thrilled once I saw what great shape the wheel was in and couldn’t wait to get it home.

As it so happened, I was already scheduled to go to a fiber group meeting on Monday where the topic for the day was (you won’t believe it) spinning! I took my new friend, Guilda, and my old friend, Lisa Kent, along with me, and we headed way out in the country to Auburntown where the meeting was being held in a lovely studio full of looms and wheels. The ladies in the group assured me I had gotten a great deal, and they did some maintenance on my wheel, but no matter how hard I tried that day, I simply could not get Guilda to spin any yarn. I left after hours of failed attempts feeling frustrated and full of despair.

Again, it just so happened that I began the first of my two classes for this semester that very evening–almost as soon as I made it back to Lebanon. So out with the self-pity and on with the learning. Yes, I was tense. Yes, I felt close to tears. But … onward. I mean, what choice did I really have?

The next day was one of my twice-a-week mornings at the Adult Learning Center where I volunteer (and the reason I am working to renew my teaching license). No time to relax or unwind. I just kept pushing on. Lunch with my daughter and son-in-law then home to figure out the online system for Cumberland University.  A few moments of hair-pulling hysteria over all the assignments I saw listed for the next few months and then some homework. Finally, I cooked dinner, and Chuck and I made our way to the den to relax.

Almost yarn.

Almost yarn.

In Chuck’s lingo relax means “work on something and be productive” so he asked me if I’d like him to take a look at my wheel. “Sure,” said I in what I’m certain was a surly and skeptical voice so he carried Guilda up from the basement where I had banished her after her bad behavior on Monday, and he patiently watched and listened as I began the frustrating process of showing him what wasn’t working properly–how the roving wasn’t spinning into yarn. We both could hear a “drag” somewhere and finally found that the tension on the bobbin was way too tight. Once we loosened it, I was able to make a tiny bit of very loose and wobbly “yarn.” Then I put Guilda, and soon myself, to bed. Both of us felt a little less tense, but I didn’t want to push my luck and put too much strain on our newly restored relationship. She and I will bond another day when my schedule eases a little.

And isn’t that the way it is. There are times when you simply cannot control your surroundings. Relationships strain. Activities back up. Assignments arrive. Even “treasures” appear when you least expect them causing readjustments on your adjustments that cause even more stress. It doesn’t take many days like that before life gets out of rhythm, and you come unstrung. Well, at least that’s what happens to me.

If only I were as easy to adjust as Guilda is. A twist on a knob and her tension is eased. I take a little more work than that, but the intentionality of the event is really very much the same. Look at what’s happening around me. Listen to where the strain is coming from. Loosen up and let go of what isn’t absolutely necessary, and let the rhythm return. Up, down, up, down, smooth easy treadling will get things back on track.

And it doesn’t hurt to have a calm, mechanically-minded husband around either–just to ease some of the tension.

Peace out, and keep spinning, my friends.

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