I am nestled in bed at the end of the first (half) day of the January Spin-In in Destin. This is apparently the 29th or so year of the Spin-In--a four day hand-spinning retreat that is by invitation only, and attended by women from all over the southeast. The Peachtree Handspinners Guild group is one of the larger ones there and is represented by about 23 people this year. I attended last year and had a less-than-stellar time, but a couple of friends from Atlanta pressured me to come again this year, and I'm so glad I did. It was non-stop catching up this afternoon with all of us acting like a bunch of sugared-up four year-olds at a birthday party. I feel sorry for anyone else staying at the hosting facility as this many giddy women (and a few men) are LOUD. I'd like to say it's all about the focused spinning, but one of the women near me summed it up perfectly today when someone asked her if she brought her cashmere fiber to spin and she replied, "Oh no! I only brought fiber for mindless spinning!" If you can't talk a mile a minute while spinning it, you should just turn away from your wheel and face your conversation partner. I, of course AM STILL SPINNING THREAD. I didn't mean to spin thread, but this alpaca-silk blend I am working is just perfect for a nice, fine, lace weight yarn--and I've always wanted to try to spin something this fine.
In the evenings after spinning, we go out to eat, talk some more--everything from politics to reproductive history--drink, and we knit. I forgot my knitting on the couch in Austin so I did what any red-blooded American knitter would do and bought more yarn and needles today from the vendors at the SI. I am doing the same cardigan pattern I have at home, just a different yarn.
Tomorrow will start early, another merry-go-round of color and chatter and fiber and enthusiasm. I will immerse myself in it with the knowledge that right now there is nothing I can do about the horrific things that are happening in my country, in my government. It is okay to put aside fear, anxiety, and anger until after this event is done. There are many women around me, sisters in the wool, who are on the other side of fence about all/most/many/some of the issues that bother me, but while I am here, I am focusing on the fact that they are my sisters--not the enemy--and for the next four days, there is no fence.