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November 18, 2006


Janice in GA

I have a single-treadle Lendrum, and I can put both feet on its treadle to spin. Also, for someone who has problems treadling, there are electric spinning machines. Babe's Fiber Garden makes one that's more utilitarian than beautiful, but it's the most reasonably priced one out there I've seen.
I also spindle spin sitting down. It's easy to roll the spindle on your thigh that way, actually!
Best wishes with the SAD. I'm another person who really rejoices after the Longest Night is over.


I get SAD. Every sunny day in November, I've spent my lunch hours sitting on a park bench facing the sun. I like to say I'm solar powered.

One winter, which was an especially bad one, I tried St. John's Wort and it did help. For one thing, I started sleeping through the night.

I keep some lace knitting around just for when I wake up in the middle of the night and can't get back to sleep right away. Last winter I worked my way through Frost Flowers and Leaves. :-)


>>..but I don’t know much about spinning<<

Ha! and HA! again. You know more about spinning, than some so called spinning experts. You may not denigrate yourself on your own blog. I'll blame it on the SAD.

I love a cloud covered sky. It's not mutual. :( So I can empathize with you, a bit. Have you tried switching over to those lightbulbs that mimic sunlight? 'Reveal' is one brand. I forget who makes it. They seem to help me. And I can knit under those lights, too. :)

Hang in there. There's a whole bunch of people who care about you, and want nothing but the best for you. Sing out if you feel yourself slipping into a SAD induced darkness. We'll hear you. We'll help.


Those who offer their thoughts and experience with reluctance and caveats about their lack of expertise are almost always the people worth learning from. Their experience has taught them how much more there is to know.

Thank you. I will remind myself to demonstrate my gratitude by doing what you've advised :-) I've already been surprised to discover how much my handspun changes when it's washed, the twist is set and it dries again. I think I'll have no trouble sampling regularly while I can sustain that sense of wonder.

As for the SAD, I'd repeat what D2 wrote: there are a lot of people who care about you. We've not met and probably never will, but I'll send memories of sunlight to you through all the dark days.


You may remember my experience with SAD a couple years ago. Being in a bad relationship and a not so good job situation (in addition to living somewhere really cloudy) certainly did not help. Now that I'm back to working nights it's actually better, as I have an hour drive home in the morning and often have bright sunlight to pick me up. I have been noticing the clouds lately, however, and seem to be getting a bit of it back.

On the exercise front, I've not been very good about it given my schedule and my weight loss seems to be leveling off, so I just ordered one of these:


I'm hoping that I can get in the habit of using it while knitting late at night, and the size is appropriate for our tiny house.


I have a lesser degree of S.A.D. too. Don't make any major decisions under its influence. The blog can be intermittent or even sporadic, but please do continue it; one of your thoughtful, intelligent, and helpful posts is worth a dozen "what I listened to on the iPod" effusions. Ditto on getting some of the bulbs that mimic daylight - I find them helpful.

I have some handspun I was given by a friend; I had no idea I should wash it before using it. I'm not sure she knew either. Thanks. Maybe that will get me moving on a design and I'll actuall use it.

Barb Brown

Ted, when I lived up in Fort McMurray, SAD was a pretty big deal for a lot of people.(only 7 hours from sunrise to sunset) Many of them went to the tanning booth for a short period...5 min. 3 times a week. It really really helped me through Nov-Feb (I drove to work in the dark, worked in a windowless office, drove home in the dark) It helped me a ton when the "daylight" bulbs and all the rest just didn't cut it. I know the arguments against tanning booths, but to me the reduction in depression was well worth it.
Hang in there buddy, not long till the days begin to lengthen.
Barb B.


Hi Ted,
As always, excellent insights on spinning. Thank you! I just want to add a thought on sampling: if anyone is thinking about socks, I suggest you go beyond the "regular" sampling and actually get some test fabric in your shoe, or else be prepared. The number of times I've heard about people--even really experienced spinners/knitters--wearing home spun socks one time and ending up with holes is, well, depressing. You generally need to blend in some nylon and/or some mohair. Or at least accept that they are "fireside" socks, not hiking socks.

As for SAD, I'm sorry to hear it and I can relate. This year seems particularly bad for a lot of people. Cheers to some sunshine in your life.


Ted, a very wise person once commented to me that you never know what you can learn from someone, that you should see opportunity where it exists and take it for what it's worth, or if you don't see the opportunity, pay attention anyway, because you just never know what might present itself to you.

Or something like that -- I'm paraphrasing you badly, I suspect. But I know I learn a lot reading your thoughts and insights, no matter how informed (or not) you think they are. You give me things to think about, and I'm sure I'm not alone in that.

As for the SAD -- one needs a lightbox. Had one in France, best investment I made. Thought I would have a hard time selling it when we left, and nope, it was snapped right up.


I'm sorry you have seasonal affective disorder. I have it, too, and am turning all the lights on all the time. I shudder when I think of the electric bill coming... My mom has this disorder, also, and has bought the special lamps that have the UV rays, and finds them very helpful. Thank you for the spinning tips. I've been looking for some. Knit on, and take care!


I'll keep in touch outside the blog, hon, and help in what way I can. You're a very special person to us lace knitters and novice spinners. It's not often we get an email with a recipe for beef stew out of the blue!

Many cyberhugs.


I also have SAD, along with other wonderfully annoying mental disorders. So you know I commiserate.

And I don't want to hear this "I don't know much about spinning" garbage, ever! Just watching you at Rhinebeck spindling helped me tremendously.

Glad you listened to my threats. Because if you ever, ever shut this blog down, I'll have to scuttle up to Canada and throttle you. Cuz you know I love you. Mwah. I'll write ya off-blog this weekend. And throttle you some more. Heh heh.


Hi Ted,
Thanks so much for the nice words and plugs to my blog. I've enjoyed reading your thoughtful, well-written answers to commenters' questions on this post.
Not to mention having fun going back into your archives about pies! Made my mouth water as I read...

Hey, what's this about indigo urine vats and weak stomachs?!! It's only really bad on a 90+F degree day...

Sending you bright, sunny-good vibes!


Um, I have a spinning post on my blog today.

Good luck managing the SAD. Light first thing in the morning and care with caffeine make a big difference for me.


Sylvia at beadlizard doesn't always talk about spinning, but when she does, I always learn something.


Hi, Ted. I just wanted to say thanks again for your posts on spinning. I don't spin (yet) but I'm getting closer to understanding it because of your writing. Hang in there, the sunlight really does come back.

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