Hopefully most of you know that I run workshops to teach others the wonderful art of hand spinning but just why is that? It is often said that one should never make a hobby one’s business or the enjoyment will be lost.
That could be very true given the general pressures of running a business but I have come to understand that it is all a matter of pace even if that pace often seems unmanageable. That’s when I really have to take a step back and reflect on what I have been doing and what I want to achieve. I often have so many ideas and what feels like not enough time to put them into practice. That’s probably why I have been up since 4.30am today, unable to sleep so decided I may as well get up, make a list of things to do and work my way through them. This blog is job number 7 so far this morning! No doubt I shall need a nap this afternoon!
So why teaching? I can honestly say that I loved school. I loved new exercise books at the start of term and new pens and pencils. Even at junior school I just loved being able to hide in a book, to block out other troubles. And for me there was always friendship at school where I felt I belonged. I was determined that I was going to be a teacher from such a young age however life sort of took over until I finally qualified as a trainer for adults in Health & Social Care which I loved and continued for many moons. That industry disillusioned me eventually although it is still one of my jobs that I cannot quite relinquish - yet.
And now my hobby is my job and it makes me so happy. I am so enthralled by the whole process that I just have to share the experience with anybody who wants to learn. And I think that is the key, that people actually want to learn. Students book a course, usually travel a long way and allow me to immerse them in my world for a few hours. I have vivid memories of those I have taught whose absolute delight has literally had me in tears and there is no better feeling knowing that those people have achieved what for many has been a life-long ambition. I remember how I felt after my first spinning lesson; I couldn’t stop smiling for days and probably bored my unsuspecting family and friends to tears!
I also hold a monthly social spinning group where we get together by the log burner, chat, laugh a lot, eat cake and possibly spin too! It is a day that I always look forward to so much. The friendship in the room is palpable and all brought about by our love of spinning – or knitting or crochet or weaving etc etc. However this week was, for me particularly special. A friend initially joined the group to try to get back to spinning after a not so successful start (her words not mine!) and the change has been amazing. This week she proudly presented her first knitting form her own hand spun yarn and I could not have been happier. That was definitely a tearful moment for me and really defined why I teach. To just share the skills needed to learn a new craft and be part of somebody’s excitement and achievement is just so wonderful. In fact I am finding it difficult to find the words to convey the feeling to you now but I hope you get the drift!!
So here’s to a hobby that I am totally passionate about that facilitates my business, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Business pressures will never dampen the love of hand spinning!!