My Ladybug spinning wheel didn’t save my life, but it did help save my sanity. In the fall of 2014, I was about to start my 23rd year of teaching elementary music when I was diagnosed with a rare and serious autoimmune disease. The treatment? Almost two weeks in the hospital and six months of chemotherapy. Teaching? Not that year. The chemotherapy would weaken my immune system and make it too risky to be around my 400 students, ages 5-11. A school year at home it was.
I had no idea how to fill my time without teaching. Sleeping filled many hours. Watching my long dark hair fall out to be replaced with short grey curls took up some time. TV grew tiresome very quickly. That’s when I turned to my hobbies of spinning and knitting.
I purchased my Ladybug spinning wheel in 2008 after attending my first fiber festival in Yellow Springs, Ohio. I laugh now about how much roving I bought that year before I even owned a wheel! I tried several different spinning wheels before falling instantly in love with the Ladybug. I brought the Ladybug home and taught myself to spin with the help of YouTube.
Creating yarn on my Ladybug and knitting gifts for my friends and family filled my long, lonely days during treatment. By spring, I was able to teach a couple of half-days a week, and now I am back full-time with my students. (I am asked at least once a day what happened to my hair − there’s nothing like the brutal honesty of a five year old!) I love being back at school even though it means less time for spinning and knitting. I am very thankful for the “fiber therapy” that my Schacht Ladybug spinning wheel provided during a difficult time.