Spinzilla spinner registration opens on September 1, that is less than two weeks! Constance Hall, Spinzilla’s team captain coordinator, asked each registered team five simple questions. Five teams are featured on the blog each week in the order that we received the answers. You can see the seven previous posts here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.
Team Cross Wind Spinners
Cross Wind Farm is located in Weberville, Michigan. For eight years, I have been raising longwool sheep and before that we raised alpacas. The breeding program includes registered purebred Bluefaced Leicesters, Lincoln Longwools, Border Leicesters, and a marvelous Merino, as well as crossbred sheep that produce a wide variety of interesting wool for the fiber community. My focus is on growing a fiber flock, and I shear all of our thirty-five plus sheep myself.
This is my first Spinzilla and I have big plans! My team will welcome both local and virtual spinners. Our home base is a local yarn shop where we’ll have a few spin-ins to get the whorls turning! I’ll also run a few online hang-outs during the week. All team spinners will receive a complimentary goodie bag, we’ll have random daily drawings, and prizes for some friendly competition. We’ll stay connected through Ravelry, Twitter, and Instagram.
I want to host a team this year because I whole-heartedly support Spinzilla’s mission—to spread the joy of handspinning and support a mentoring program that aims to keep young people involved. Spinzilla also gives me another opportunity to encourage our growing base of local spinners to keep turning those whorls and make beautiful yarn.
I spin for many reasons. First and foremost is to take a renewal resource, such as wool, and follow it through the “hoof-to-handmade” process. Nothing excites me more than seeing a pile of wool on the barn floor and imagining it as a finished piece of knitwear or a woven item while I’m shearing one of my sheep. I also spin as a way of connecting back to the history of textiles, so that I can continue to learn how fabric and the craft of hand spinning played a crucial role in cultures around the world. Spinning for me is very Zen-like, tactile, and relaxing. I love the concept of keeping an old world craft alive! And, to me, nothing is better than handspun.
Team Sue’s Stupendous Spinners
Sue’s Soft Stuff has been in business for almost three years and this is my first opportunity to sponsor a team. My yarn and fiber shop is in the Amish community of Jamesport, Missouri.
I decided to sponsor a team because it will give me an opportunity to further spinning and weaving education. Our local community group received support via the NeedleArts Mentoring Program and I want to help this organization spread the fun of spinning.
Team Sue’s Stupendous Spinners will have master spinners, longtime spinners, electric wheel spinners, spindle spinners, and novice spinners. At Sue’s yarn store, all are encouraged! I will spin at the shop and welcome anyone who wants to join me. Many spinner will be spinning at their home or in their workshops.
In 1970, I received an Ashford Traditional wheel as a high school graduation present. I spun a little, but not a lot. In 2003, I discovered the wonder of spinning with Alpaca fiber. A small herd needed someone to “care for” their cuttings, and I stepped up.
Since then, I have befriended owners of a few other small herds. I help out on shearing day, process the fiber locally, and sell it at my store. When I show visitors yarn that has been made from animals that live within sixty miles of the store, they are impressed. When I tell them I know the names of each of the animals, they are AMAZED!
Team Knitty Stash
CommuKnitty Stash has been in business since 2009 and this is my third Spinzilla—my second as team sponsor. I love to spin and want more folks to love it too!
The shop is located in Homer, Alaska, and we will most definitely be a combination of local and virtual. We had lots of fun having friends join us from our laptops at our spin ins!
We are a very chatty team made up old friends, new friends, Alaskans, and other folks from all over the country. We had lots of prizes donated, some inter-team challenges, and at the end of Spinzilla a fingerless glove swap.
I spin because I love all things fibery. I love the hypnotic rhythm, the surprises when the yarn is finished and I love keeping alive an old skill that I think is very important in our “virtual” world. Also, I love sheep!
Team Purlescence Yarns Spinning Purls
Purlescence Yarns is located in Sunnyvale, California, and we have been in business for nine years. This is our first Spinzilla. It sounds like fun and we got talked into joining the Spinning and Weaving Group of TNNA this year, so we thought we go all in and sponsor a team.
Our team will be mostly in-shop but we will also have a few team members joining us digitally. We are booking a few spinning intensive workshops to lead up to Spinzilla. There will be a big opening bash and a great closing party, and team prizes for most yarns spun, most interesting yarn, finest yarn, and chunkiest yarn. We will be available to measure and skein any team members yarn here in the shop after the event.
Our shop is run by spinners!
Sandi (owner): I spin as part of my meditation practice. The creative process of spinning is very enriching. I love the way that color and texture play together, fusing to create something new and unique as I apply twist. The magic of knitting, crochet, and weaving with my own handspun yarns is truly marvelous!
Kaye (owner): I spin because it is a meditation, I enjoy the feel of the fiber in my fingers, it’s ever so cool to spin and then knit or weave with handspun, and because I like to rebuild vintage and antique spinning wheels.
Kathy (team co-captain): I spin because I lucked into an antique wheel and was intrigued about how it worked and what it could make. I now spin because it’s a way of creating yarn that is unlike commercial offerings, and because I love the satisfaction that goes with learning different techniques on my wheels and spindles.
Sarah, (team co-captain): I spin to meditate. It’s a huge part of my creative process, and keeps my loved ones alive. Because if I didn’t spin, I would kill them.
—Kaye & Sandi Luck, owners, Sarah & Kathy, co-captains
Tempe Yarn & Fiber is located, as the name implies, in Tempe, Arizona. Two years ago we expanded to Gilbert and South Chandler opening Arizona Yarn & Fiber. This will be or very first Spinzilla and we are so excited about hosting the Arizona Yarn & Fiber Wheel Warriors Team!
Robin, my co-captain, participated last year and came to me saying, “You have to do this, it’s SOOOOO much fun!” She has provided me with the perfect excuse to spin for an entire week. As a shop owner, I need to be spinning all week with my team. Everyone knows a good Captain leads by example. (Shhhh! don’t tell the rest of them it’s my dream to just sit and spin, making wonderful yarn that I am under no obligation to use. After all it’s for the team, not projects!)
We will host activities in both shops and on Ravelry for those that can’t make it to the store. Robin and I have been meeting and plotting activities for each spin-in. We are all about community and love any excuse to create gatherings. We are scheduling Spinzilla events at both stores. We have an activity planned for every day. For our non-spinners, we are inviting them to join in our official cheerleader squad.
I could probably spend a day telling you why and how I came to spinning. I’ll keep it short and say because in a complicated world spinning is so simple. I take fiber, FEEL it flow through my fingers, watch it twist and wind on to my spindle or bobbin and become a finished product. Sometimes it is about color and at others it’s about texture. No matter what I spin, I always find it absolutely amazing that when I put soft luxurious fibers in my hand and add a bit of twist it changes it into an amazing thing called yarn. I guess I could of just said, I spin for the absolute sheer pleasure and simplicity of it!