My sweetie is the best really, and game for going to a fiber festival. We wander up and down the tents, he stopping to talk about bison fiber, how do you use it, how do you spin it. I am a novice I say, not so much apologetically as uncertain. The woman who seems most knowledgeable, feet resting comfortably on her spinning wheel as she talks to us, says what I thought, the long hairs too coarse and no twist, the short hairs too short. My assessment was correct, just never spoken. Perhaps my pirate can use the long hairs to make a cord for his knife making enterprise. My goal here is to get a new drive belt for my spinning wheel, and two starter kits, one for a student, and one for my friend’s daughter. I find two inexpensive ones, one which is a phenomenal spin, solid, stable, balanced, not pretty but quite impressive. I stop at a booth and try some unusual spindles. The proprietor is not pretty, he makes me think of my daughter’s father in his gnarled hippy state. He talks the talk, speaks of physics, of centripetal force, and spins per minute. I try both a low spin and a high spin, they are strange bulbous spindles. After several tries, I am perplexed. Hm, it wants to spin in the wrong direction. Too much twist in your roving, she says. It wobbles, I say. It is not the spindle, he tells me, it is the spinner. You must let it fall perfectly straight or it will wobble. Ok, I say. Thank you. Meanwhile I wander up and down the rows, I buy roving from a man whom I like, something in his eyes. I buy roving from a woman I met at one of these years ago. I touch bags of soft wool, and silk, and bamboo. I think he was trying to bamboozle me. I think. I think. I say as I spin the dark and blond spindle, first this one, then that one which drops a lot, then a third. Which is the one. The pirate now rejoins me. He watches as the spindle falls, no wobble and spins like it will never stop. He laughs, its not the spindle he says. I nod as I wrap my yarn round. It is a beautiful spin, isn’t it, and balanced beautifully. The sales woman talks of their efforts to balance to perfection. She tells me, I see you are not so much a novice, you started that spindle with no draft, and you are spinning a nice yarn.
I am nodding. It is not the spinner then.