Well' they've had their summer rest after Fibre-East and now they're back in action again: my thumbs that is. Must admit I really could have treated them better through life: shutting both of them in different car doors at busy or stressful times hasn't made them particularly user friendly in their middle years, but we stillget along, after a fashion.
Thumbs were back in action today helping me demo-spin my extreme knitting yarn on the All Craft Media stand at the Knitting & Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace. Kerrie and her team very kindly hosted me and also Sue Blacker of the Natural Fibre Company, who manned a Stuffing Station for Olympic British Wool Cushions as part of the Woolsack Project, along with volunteers Kat and Sarah. The stand was packed virtually all day with a forest of folk and it was great to talk spinning with so many visitors, especially little people, who were just as fascinated at the size of my Country Spinner as their mums and grans!
Technically, I shouldn't be using my thumbs like that of course when spinning: I should be doing long-draw, which would save their integrity for other things. I have had one go at very long-draw - namely on the Guild of Longdraw Spinners' replica medieval Great Wheel which they brought to Fibre-East in July. But I really must get with it more usefully as I'm sure it will make twinge-reminders of painful car-door-shutting incidents fizzle away into the ether.
A very fine pair of working thumbs is possessed by friend and fellow spinner Eleanor, who makes baskets occasionally in between looking after her family. I was watching her admiringly at the Ashdon Craft Fair last weekend, making willow bend to her will with ease! My baskets always turn out wonky because of - you've guessed it - the 'thumbs' issue. I can't control willow or dogwood as I'd like to, so my baskets go a little 'off piste' in terms of direction.
So if you possess a good, sound pair of working thumbs, give them some praise when you go to sleep tonight. Thank them for their continual hard work - and promise, as much as you can, never to shut them in car doors!