Some may say it's the fiber you use. Some will tell you it's your choice of wheel or spindle. Yet even others will tell you it's all in technique or maintaining your equipment with regular cleanings, maintenance, etc. Well, the last one is kind of on the right track.
The absolute MOST important thing about spinning is you. Your hands, fingers, feet, legs, arms, YOUR BODY is the most important thing about spinning. Think of your body like equipment, your wheel for example. If your wheel was squeaky or the wheel was off balance would you continue to use it as is? Or what if your beautiful wooden spindle had some cracks in some places and was in danger of breaking. Would you continue to use it like nothing was wrong?
I'm not meaning to sound like I'm judging. Even I get "in the zone" and spin for longer periods than I should without stretching. However, I've noticed a lot of spinners doing so on a regular basis and some sadly have been hurt bad enough that they cannot spin for a couple weeks. I don't want that for anyone.
I know how much peace and serenity I get out of spinning. There's just something about the feel of fiber gliding through your fingers and seeing that full bobbin with a sense of accomplishment, knowing and saying "I did that". I want to help those that are enjoying it and have done it for years and those that are learning to spin for a way to enjoy fiber and relax. I want all of you to be able to continue spinning for several years to come.
I found a wonderful resource from SpinOff magazine. Which if you don't already subscribe it's a fantastic magazine for all things spinning. If you don't want magazines just hanging around your house you can get the subscription on Kindle too.
Anyways, it's almost like icing on the cake that Mary Egbert of Camaj Fiber Arts wrote this. If you don't know who Mary is definitely familiarize yourself with her work! I wasted so many raw fleeces beyond repair before using her book. It DOES make a difference and I highly recommend if you're ever looking to scour your own fleeces.
Just in case anyone is wondering I DO NOT get paid for these endorsements. They are fully my own opinion based on my use of the Spinoff Magazine and Camaj Fiber Arts book on scouring. Without further ado here's the link to some hand exercises you can do to help avoid hand pain and strengthen your hand spinning muscles.
Mary mentions the use of putty for these exercises. If you're like me I haven't seen silly putty in ages and I immediately started to almost panic. WHERE am I going to get putty?! Well, I recently saw some at the Dollar Store. That's right. The silly putty that we used to warm up in our hands to put on the newspaper comics is at Dollar Tree. If you don't have a Dollar Tree in your area or the dollar stores near you don't carry it you can always check out online where you can get some. A quick Google search gave THOUSANDS of results so you'll have plenty to choose from.
Now that we have hand exercises covered, what about the rest of your body? Well, standing up and walking around is the best way to stretch. Like I said earlier, I get in "the zone" too and forget to stop or didn't realize it was that long. What do I do to remember? Set a timer. Most cell phones have a timer in the clock app that comes preinstalled on the phone.
Already started spinning and forgot to set a timer? Yep. I've done that too. Since I just started and obviously don't want to stop to just set a timer I use my assistant on my phone. It's great for hands free. If you have Alexa ask Alexa to set a timer. I usually just go "Hey Google, set a timer for 1 hour." and boom, done. You can do it with Siri too! Don't want to leave out my iPhone users!
I hope you all have a wonderful week and please remember to stretch!