Spinzilla spinner registration opens September 1. Constance Hall, Spinzilla’s team captain coordinator, asked each registered team five simple questions. We are sharing their answers with you during the weeks leading up to the opening of spinner registration. Five teams will be featured each week in the order that we received the answers. You can see the five previous posts here, here, here, here, and here. Team registration closes August 17. There is only ten days left to get your team registered!
Team Vegan Yarn
Vegan Yarn opened in March 2013, and this will be our second Spinzilla.
We’re located in New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada, not far from Vancouver. Our teammates live as far away as Australia, and as close as our own neighborhood.
Team Vegan Yarn is a very friendly and open group. We encourage newbies to join as well as long-time spinners. We’ll host a few spin-ins, virtually and at a local shop, as well as a spin-in-public days, which were really popular last year. Local kids got to see us spinning up close. The wine and snacks night was pretty fun last year, too, so we’ll definitely be doing that again!
I decided to try out team captaining because I love knit-nights, but spinning has often been a solo activity due to the size of wheel. It’s fun to have an event where we can all get together.
I spin because I love being able to see the process of making something from start to finish. My favorite fiber to spin with is naturally colored cotton; specifically, Gossypium Barbadense from Peru. It’s so much fun to see the colors and textures change under my hands, and to end up with a soft and squishy skein of knitting possibility at the end.
SweetGeorgia Yarns is located in Vancouver, Canada, and we have been in business for ten years. This will be our third Spinzilla and our second year as a sponsor.
Spinzilla, for us, is about encouraging each other to spin, no matter what skill level or how much each spinner spin. It’s just about creating more enthusiasm and interest in this beautiful hand craft.
Our team will be a combination of our local spinners as well as our online spinning friends. We host a few spin-ins at the studio in Vancouver during Spinzilla as well as our own “closing ceremonies” spin-in where we award team prizes to our own spinners. These will be hosted at our newly expanded studio space this year, so we’re looking forward to having people come out and join us.
I personally spin because there’s nothing like working with your own handspun yarn. It feels like it has a life of its own. The colour, the mixing of colours, the grist, the hand—everything about it feels unique and special. Plus, the act of spinning is so relaxing!
Team Edgewood Garden Studio
Edgewood Garden Studio has been in business for just a bit over four years. We are located near Tacoma, Washington. Edgewood has been part of Spinzilla for the past two years, and both years, the team came in 10th place for yarn spun. This year’s challenge is to do just a wee bit better than that and break our own record! Spinzilla is a great way to extend spinning to young people via the educational programs of TNNA while having the fun of challenging ourselves, too.
Our team will be virtual with a day or two of garden spinning for any local members of our team. Spinners on our team can spin in any way that suits them, from spindles to conventional wheels to e-spinners. We’ll have a team-member drawing for fiber prizes daily.
I’ve personally been spinning for weaving and knitting since 1967, when I learned as a college student. I have been spinning all my adult life—it’s just part of who I am.
Team ClothRoads/Warmis Phuskadoras
ClothRoads has been in business for four years, and we are based in Loveland, Colorado. We go directly to the source to bring textile stories and the work of skilled artisans, who are dyeing, weaving, spinning, printing, and embroidering some of world’s most beautiful objects to our customers. We continually build and develop new markets that allow artisans and communities, and especially women and girls, to flourish.
This is the second year we are sponsoring the Bolivian handspinners group Warmis Phuskadoras. (Warmis is Quechua for women, Phuska is Quechua for drop spindle, and the doras part is Spanish for women who spin.)
Five years ago, we met Doña Màxima Cortez, the Spinzilla Team Captain of Warmis Phuskadoras, at Tinkuy, the Peruvian weaving gathering. It was during the spinning competition there, that her usual timid persona changed into a competitive one. So when Dorinda Dutcher, founder of PAZA in Bolivia, contacted ClothRoads and said Doña Màxima was interested in forming a Spinzilla team for the second year running, we jumped on board. These spinners want to participate again because they can´t believe there is a competition for a skill they learned as children and have practiced almost every day of their lives.
Team Warmis Phuskadoras will be spinning in Andean Bolivia. The participants who live in the farm communities of Huancarani and Sanipaya spin while they pasture their sheep during the day. Most do not have electricity, so they can’t spin at night. The spinners in the town of Independencia will have more interruptions while trying to spin during the day, but have electricity in their homes so will be able to spin in the evenings.
A few of the women have tried spinning on a spinning wheel, but the mobility of the hand spindle is preferred. Spinning and weaving is an integral part of the farmer subsistence lifestyle and important as to how a woman identifies herself and relates to her peers.
Last year, the 23 member of the Bolivian team spun 66,071 yards of wool on hand spindles for a total weight of 28 lbs. 13-1/8 oz. They learned a lot and are ready to take on the world!
Team Ply Magazine
PLY Magazine is just rounding the corner on our tenth issue, which makes us two and a half years old. PLY is located in my living room, over my garage, in the basement of my ex-husband’s house, and in the dining room of my best friend. Yep, there’s just the 4 of us (my current husband is in that list, as well) running this big, crazy spinning machine!
We were lucky (and crazy) enough to have a PLY Team last year (#5, baby!). While the team is welcome to trek its way to Missouri (right outside of Kansas City), and hang out in my living room, the team mostly functions online.
I can’t imagine not participating in Spinzilla! (It’s not optional, right?) It’s great (and crazy) fun but it’s also really great for this wonderful craft we all love. Our team should expect the unexpected! The PLY team is serious! Competitive! And silly! We have lots of fun and daily challenges (singles, naturals, plied, arty, colorful)—and we have pretty great prizes too!
I can’t imagine not spinning. Fiber is the first thing that made sense to me, that I couldn’t stop doing. Spinning satisfies the loudest parts of me—the part that needs to create, the part that needs to understand and organize, the part that needs to be calmed—it’s pretty perfect, one million spinners can’t be wrong.
—Jacey Boggs Faulkner