A BIG shout out all our Spinzilla spinners, team hosts, and sponsors! We are so very grateful that you have risen to the collective challenge to see just how much yarn you, your team, and we as a handspinning community can spin in a week. Here are a few opening bell thoughts from Team Spinzilla. You can follow along all week with us on Twitter @spinzillaspins, on our Teams of 2014 Pinterest board, on Facebook, and on Ravelry. Check out our new video filmed at the Wool Festival at Taos asking spinners why they spin. Tell the world why you spin at #whywespin #spinzilla.
This is for the beginner, the Newbie, the fresh spinner who signed up eager to meet more spinners, learn more about spinning, and make beautiful yarn. Maybe you’ve been spinning a few months, maybe you’ve just bought your first wheel. Maybe you are back to spinning after a long absence. We have a few words for you. First of all, THANK YOU. Second of all, WELCOME. I just want you to know that you belong here. You belong HERE, amidst the herd.
Maybe you will spin a little, maybe you will spin a lot. Know that your handspun, however long, is as valuable to Spinzilla as every other spinner’s yarn. Forge ahead fearlessly. Spin, spin, spin. Reach out if you have questions, be bold. How many times in your life do you get to participate in something that will likely produce one million of anything? At the end of Spinzilla week, we will most likely have well over one million yards of yarn spun, possibly a lot more. Each yard you spin gets us collectively closer to the end goal of the Monster amount of yarn. So settle in, spin a lot, learn a lot, make friends and be welcome!!!
Rita Petteys, Yarn Hollow
Chair and Logistics Coordinator
This is for the mentors. I was a lucky little girl. My grandmother was a great crocheter. My mother could knit. She was not great at it and couldn’t explain how to unknit or fix a stitch but as long as everything went well, she could do it. She also sewed and we always had a sewing machine open and in use. I saw early on that working with your hands was valuable and fun. Not all children have that chance.
Spinzilla was a good idea, but when it turned into a great idea was when we adopted the NeedleArts Mentoring Program (NAMP) as our “cause”. One hundred percent of your registration fee is donated to NAMP. For years, NAMP has provided knitting supplies that enables mentors to help children’s groups learn to knit, crochet, and stitch. Because of Spinzilla they added spinning to their list of programs.
Spinzilla will donate over $13,000 this year to help lots of new little spinners understand fiber and twist and how it ties us all together. Getting that spindle and fiber in a child’s hands early starts those wheels turning— mentally and physically. All because of Spinzilla and spinners across the world following their passion for fiber and community.
Constance Hall, Dyeology
Team Captain Coordinator and Rogue Leader
This is for the team hosts. I truly can’t remember when I learned to spin exactly, but I do remember the first spinning class I took. It was at Shuttles, Spindles, and Skeins and the teacher was Maggie Casey. I knew a lot about sheep and fiber and weaving and yarn. I’d taught myself to spin from a book, but somehow I’d never found an actual spinning shop or class. Shops that teach spinning are special places. From the moment I took that class I considered myself a spinner.
Spinzilla started in the Summer of 2011 as a conversation between me and Constance Hall on her back porch the day before the The National NeedleArts show . “Wouldn’t it be great if. . . ” One of those conversations. We wanted to do something big and bold, BUT it had to support shops and the toolmakers, suppliers, and publisher that support them. That was a given. So to you hardworking hosts and in particular the shops, I give a heartfelt thank you of for all you do to create spinners one class at a time.
Liz Gipson, Yarnworker
Marketing and Communications Coordinator
This is for the handspinning community. As a Rogue spinner, I will be trying to spin at least a Monster Mile. If I can do it, it will be a great improvement over my results from my first (and the first) Spinzilla. Even though I’m spinning “alone,” I know there will be many more spinners spinning along with me. They, like me, are going to challenge themselves to do something they thought they couldn’t do.
Being part of Team Spinzilla allows me to connect with the handspinning community in new ways and take on new challanges. I received a really cute email from a woman who heard me on my first ever podcast. “I just wanted you to know that I heard you on Fiber Hooligans this week and that you inspired me to sign up as a rogue spinner for Spinzilla. The twist to this is that I just purchased a new-to-me Schacht wheel last week and I’ve never actually spun anything before. I start lessons on October 4 and figured this would be a good way for me to learn quickly how to spin. I probably would not have signed up had I not heard you talk about what Spinzilla is. I can’t wait to get started! Thanks for the encouragement!”
I am not a super spinner or a famous fiberista. If I can encourage a brand new spinner to spin, anyone can! Whatever else is going on in the background, we will all be spinning up some good energy for each other and for NAMP, the spinners of tomorrow. That is one long continuous thread we are making to deepen our connections to each other, even if we never meet. It is like sharing a moment of silence together. Whether you will be spinning at a local event with your team, video chatting with other spinners from home, comparing notes on social media, or just enjoying the meditative space that solitary spinning can give you, keep it in the back or your mind that we are all doing it together.
Andrea Marquis, Yarn SuperHero
Prize and Sponsorship Coordinator
Spinzilla 2014 would not have been possible without you and support from our sponsors. Fun takes funding. We are very, very grateful that these fine folks stepped up to support Spinzilla in its second year and we hope you will support them as well.
Title Yak sponsors Schacht Spindle Company and The Woolery
Major Media sponsor Spin-Off Magazine
Supporting Bison sponsors, Louet and Mielke’s FiberArts
To see a complete list of all our Angora sponsors and prize donors, click here.
Spinzilla is presented by The National Needlearts Association’s Spinning & Weaving Group