Spinzilla Guest Blog – Deb Brandon

Long Distance Relationship

Schacht and I have a long distance relationship. We see each other no more than two or three times a year, yet, our ties are still close, even after these long seven plus years. When I visit, Lupe welcomes me with a hug, as do Kate and Denise. Jane and Barry greet me with a smile. And they all ask me when I’m planning to move to Boulder. Last year we took our relationship one step farther, when I participated in the first Spinzilla as a Schacht team-member. And here I am, once again, spinning away with my Schacht community for Spinzilla 2014. This year, we have taken another step. Though I am spinning here in my home in Pittsburgh, Pennsylavania, and my team-members are close to fifteen hundred miles away, in Boulder, my sense of being a part of the Schacht community is even stronger—this year. We even have team T-shirts.

I sit here wearing my T-shirt, treadling away, clouds of fiber flowing between my fingers, entering the twist, winding onto the bobbin as a lofty yarn that will become a scarf, or a hat. Perhaps a shawl, or a vest.

As I treadle, images flow through my mind—a chocolate alpaca being sheared, work-worn fingers picking vegetable matter out of a fleece, suntanned hands carding fiber into fluffy clouds. I envision knitting needles in my hands, clicking against each other, a scarf growing row by row. I see a shuttle, shooting from selvedge to selvedge, trailing creamy yarn. I recall past projects, a hand knit tomten hat for my father made of handspun Romney, a lace scarf that now resides in India that I knitted with yarn I’d spun from an angora/wool blend.

I picture other spinners, from near and far, creating yarn during Spinzilla week. Bolivian women walking to market, packs on their backs, hands busy spinning, their spindles swinging to and fro with every step. I imagine Irene Schmoller of Cotton Clouds, sitting at her wheel, a colorful scarf around her neck. Her legs, encased in matching leggings, are a blur of color as she treadles. I visualize a group of women sitting in a circle at Natural Stitches, a local yarn shop, treadling away as they chat and laugh.

And in my minds eye, I see the Schacht spinners, my teammates, Denise, Jane, Kate, Paul, Cindy. They’re sitting outside under the trees during break, with Ladybugs, Sidekicks, Reeves, or Matchless spinning wheels, spinning away, just like me, on my own Ladybug.

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Deb Brandon