On Saturday I went to my first ever ‘Spin-In’. We were looking to buy some fleece to felt with. But you would’ve thought we’d stumbled upon some grey-haired gangster gathering when we were accosted at the door by what could not be described as anything other than a chain-smoking, 70 year-old bouncer in a cotton sweater and green polyester slacks. ‘How long you going in for’ she demanded from us as we sidled up to the entrance. To be fair, she was trying to assess whether or not to charge us the full $5 entrance fee or a reduced rate. She let us off with $2 each and gave us the glare for free.
Inside the hall, in the centre of the room was a circle of older women all clicking and hooking various needles. Some women were juggling three tiny needles, others crocheted hats, while the majority were just plain-old knitting. Around the edge was a jumble of stores all selling vibrantly dyed wool of diverse descriptions.
It was an odd feeling entering a community that I don’t usually associate with. I felt out of place, almost like an intruder, in an alien land of older people and wool. But I reassured myself that if I took the time to sit down and pull out my needles, like anywhere, people would chat to me and connections would click into place. It was a glimpse at an intriguing community – just one of the many that makes up our society. I left wondering what experiences all those women had lived in their lives, and what they thought about the world as it is now. What peices of wisdom could they share about the things they have learned? Not to mention the absolute wealth of knowledge about how to create useful things with wool! I wish I had paid my $5 now and made a bit more time to have a cup of tea and chat. Who knows what I would have learnt.