Taking a Break by Taking a Class

My handspun paper yarn.
My handspun paper yarn.

I just got back from teaching at PLY Away. It’s one of my favorite events of the year, and I feel lucky to teach there. Right now it’s the biggest and longest spinning event in North America (and maybe the world).

The downside for this introverted teacher is a 12 hour drive on each side of teaching and 4 1/2 days of teaching and festivities. That leaves me pooped and hilariously inarticulate.

This year I tried something new. I took a class in the middle of my teaching schedule. I had a half day off and I signed up for Judith MacKenzie’s paper spinning class.

I spun about 50 yards of paper yarn, mostly from old sewing patterns, and listened to Judith talk about spinning, history, and paper yarns. I relaxed completely. It was the perfect counterpoint to my teaching, to spin, relax, and fill myself up with Judith’s words.

Spinning paper is so cool. The yarn is pliable and sturdier than I would have thought. Handspun paper yarns are very different than the Habu paper yarns I’ve tried. I’ll write more about it, and give you some ideas to try after I do a little research, and, yes, make some more samples.


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Jillian is the​ author of the best-selling spinning book Yarnitecture. She is the editor​ of Knittyspin and Developmental Editor for PLY and PLY Books. She kinda loves this spinning thing and wants everyone who spins to love it too, so she teaches and writes a lot. She knits, weaves, and stitches and tries to do as much of it as she can with handspun yarn. She's always cooking up all kinds of exciting and creative things combining fiber arts. She likes her mysteries British, her walks woodsy, and to spend as much time as she can laughing. Spy on her on her website jillianmoreno.com

One thought on “Taking a Break by Taking a Class

  1. Accacia Mullen

    I opened a fabric & sewing studio about 18 months ago, and one of my strategies to avoid getting burned out from doing it all is to take a class. It hasn’t happened yet but I greatly look forward to it.

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