Saturday, January 9, 2016

The First New Moon of 2016

Today is a new moon day, the cycle begins again.  Having sheep makes me more aware of what the moon is doing.

On the new and full moon the sheep get Garlic Barrier (circle T trade mark).  It seems to be quite good at keeping the parasite levels down.  I give it to them at the new and full moons because that is suppose to be when the parasites lay their eggs.    

I was spinning with 13 others today, to celebrate Distaff Day. To remind some, Distaff Day, historically was the day the women went back to their spinning after the 12 days of Christmas.  There were two other Distaff celebrations in our part of the state, one an hour and a half south and one an hour west.  There was probably one in Charlottesville, an hour and a half east and maybe, the group that first introduced me to Distaff Day, in Harrisonburg, an hour north.  An interesting note (at least for me).

  In our group the youngest was 3 and the oldest seventy something.  The 3 year old was drop spindle spinning as a partner with her mom and sometimes with her 7 year old brother, who is one of my students.  H, my student, is amazing.  He hadn't spun since July and he just took off with the drop spindle after I got him set up.  He figured things out on his own, required little assistance, and showed me how he had figured out how to let the weight of the spindle work for him to draw the yarn through his fingers, an advanced concept.

Later,  He told me he wanted to spin on a spinning wheel.  We always start by just treadling for awhile to get that part set before we bring in the hand motion.  I love it when a student listens to why we have to learn to treadle slowly and when we might want to go faster.  He was really looking over the wheel and asking me what things are and what they do.  It is always fun to witness the young boys noticing the mechanics of the wheel.  H also observed that 4 of the wheels in the room, had double treadles and reasoned that they would be easier.

I hope H will continue coming to fiber camp and be the next boy to master spinning.  Maybe he is at the new moon of learning but I bet it won't be many moons until he is really good.

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