Tag Archives: peace

Just A Few More Thoughts on Peace and Spinning

Today my spinning sister Lori, who has her own inspiring blog at walkingwool.blogspot.com,  sent information about Ghandi and spinning in a comment to my blog about creating our own peace. I knew that Ghandi spun cotton on a charkha. A charkha is a unique type of wheel that spins very fast which is what is required to spin the short cotton fibers. I knew he said everyone should spin at least a half hour a day because of the inner peace it provides and he advocated that people in India spin as a form of rebellion against England. If they could create their own cloth they would not be dependent upon England for these goods. Women did this in America before and during the Revolution to reduce dependence on England. (I am not picking on England 🙂  I have been there twice and remember the first time I arrived feeling that I had come home. I love it.) It is just history.

Ghandi spinning cotton on a charkha

Here is the information Lori sent:

Regarding peace and spinning, remember how Gandhi felt about that combination . . . “Charkha is the symbol of the nation’s prosperity and therefore freedom. It is a symbol not of commercial war but of commercial peace. It bears not a message of ill-will towards the nations of the earth but of goodwill and self-help. It will not need the protection of a navy threatening a world’s peace and exploiting its resources, but it needs the religious determination of millions to spin their yarn in their own homes as today they cook their food in their own homes. I may deserve the curse of posterity for many mistakes of omission and commission, but I am confident of earning its blessings for suggesting a revival of the Charkha. I stake my all on it. For every revolution of the wheel spins peace, goodwill and love. And with all that, inasmuch as the loss of it brought about India’s slavery, its voluntary revival with all its implications must mean India’s freedom.” (Young India,8-12-1921)

His ideas are so beautiful and powerful. I felt emotional when I read the line “For every revolution of the wheel spins peace, goodwill and love.” As I have said before, I think every spinner feels this each time he/she spins. It may be inner peace, or greater, but we feel it.

This particularly resonates with me as I sit here watching the Boston Marathon on tv. I  don’t need to comment specifically about the horror of the bombing two years ago, or the recent trial, but instead am thinking about two images that brought me some peace in the wake of it. First was seeing on tv that very soon after the Marathon there was a baseball game played by the Yankees, the arch enemy of the Boston Red Sox. I truly don’t understand the extent to which some fans on both sides take their dislike of each other. At this game, and it still chokes me up a bit, the Yankee fans started singing Sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond. For some other reason I don’t understand, that song has  become the song of the Red Sox and is sung at every game. For Yankees fans to show that form of unique support when Boston was reeling was a surprise and felt wonderful.

Secondly was the end of the Marathon last year. TV coverage went off at 4:00 and I was watching because a friend, who was stopped the year before one mile before the finish line, was running to complete it for his first time. I didn’t think I would pick him out but had to watch. What we saw was wave after wave after wave of runners approaching the finish line in the sunlight. Again I feel choked up as I remember thinking  “This is the way it is supposed to be.” It is supposed to be a fun, traditional event. It is supposed to be an event that parents can take children and feel safe to cheer on runners and watch for their family members and friends cross the line after 6 hours (!) of running.  Last year it was again and I believe will be the same this year.

Tahkli Spindle for Spinning Cotto

Tahkli Spindle for Spinning Cotton


Coincidentally, although I know people who don’t think anything is a coincidence and maybe this isn’t, a few days ago purchase I made from The Woolery http://www.woolery.com,  a wonderful spinning and weaving store, arrived. I have been thinking about spinning cotton, and have dyed some that I threw in when dyeing lace for the ring bearer’s pillow for a friend’s daughter’s wedding over a year ago. When I read up on spinning cotton I realized that my wheel would not spin quickly enough which is why Ghandi used a charka which can . Cotton can also be spun on a drop spindle that twirls quickly so I decided to get one. My tahkli spindle arrived with a little bowl in which it will sit as I spin. It weighs half an ounce and is 7″ long.

Cotton to spin

Cotton to spin

I want to spin and then weave the cotton into dishcloths.

Of course first I have to learn to card and spin cotton and how to use this spindle, but I guess the signs point to my learning it now.  I will start today. My challenge will be to feel peaceful as I practice with it and fail and fail at first until I get it down.  I guess this is part of persistence towards peace on any level even this teeny.

I didn’t plan to be quite so somber for this week’s post but it felt right as I wrote so I will leave with some pictures of lambs frolicking. Who can’t smile and feel good when they see crazy lamb behavior.

Frolicking sheep

Frolicking lambs - if only!

Or even just lambs sitting and looking darling.

I’ll go card cotton but cotton bolls just aren’t as cute as lambs no matter what the bolls are doing.


Making Our Own Peace

At Christmas when I received books I realized I already had several that I hadn’t read, or had only read partially. I put those books in a basket and decided I would not take a new book out of the library until I had read those. I do keep a list of books I hear about that I would like to read when I have earned it.

One Man's Meat

One Man’s Meat

One of those books was One Man’s Meat by E. B. White. It has a series of columns that he wrote while living on his small farm in Maine in the 1930s and 40s. I didn’t understand the title until a few weeks ago in an old movie someone said “One man’s poison is another man’s meat.” Now the title made sense. For him and me.  He knew that leaving the city and close proximity to his publishers was seen by many to be a foolish thing to do. I could relate to that as sometimes people tell me that they can’t believe  anyone would spin and raise chickens.  🙂

He didn’t seem to  care and certainly neither do I. We all need to do what feels right inside of us and it is different things for different people.

His columns show a slice of life from that time period. The war in Europe and then our country’s entry into war were occasionally subjects of his columns.  He made this statement in his forward that resonated with me to the extent that I still feel a little emotional when I write it here.   “It is a collection of essays which I wrote from a salt water farm in Maine while engaged in trivial, peaceable pursuits, knowing all the time that the world hasn’t arranged any true peace or granted anyone the privilege of indulging himself for long in trivialities.”

I feel privileged that I am able to take time each week to indulge myself in trivial pursuits that give me peace in an uncertain world.  I think that when we pursue peaceful goings on in whatever form they take there is some good being given out to counter the unpeaceful things in this world.

Certainly his book, published in 1944, continues to radiate peace. Thanks E.B.!


Josie’s Bluefaced Leicester lamb fleece

This month I want to talk about the also peaceful  Bluefaced Leicester sheep. They have the sweetest little curls in their fleece which has great sheen (shine).

A friend and I “disagree” about the outward appearance of these sheep. I dearly love them but I think their faces are, well, kind of unattractive. The babies look like little aliens to me. She doesn’t think they are ugly at all.

Bluefaced Leicester yearling females in wool . stock photo

Bluefaced Leicester Sheep thanks to Farm-Images.CO.UK






BFL Gray Sheep Named Silver Dyed with Blue and Yellow

BFL Grey Sheep Named Silver Dyed with Blue and Yellow

Bluefaced Leicester Lamb Locks











Millie mittens

Millie mitten





Here are mittens I spun several years ago and wear a great deal each winter. Still in excellent shape, This fiber was from a BFL lamb named Millie.

More on the wonderful Bluefaced Leicester next time! Until then, find a trivial pursuit that gives you peace and go do it, even if you only have a few minutes. E.B. would approve.