Delicious nibbles by Sharon & David, thigh-spinning nettle with me, and fishing stories with Rosemary & Woody in the Mezzanine at Britannia Rink.
Some of us were experienced with rope and spindle, so already understood the mechanics of making twine; for others it was completely new. We reviewed ‘twist to the left, cross to the right’; the buildup of potential energy in the hardness of the twist of the singles, and its partial release and balance in the ply. Then it was all about getting the trick of getting the two singles to twist evenly under the palm of the hand, which was brand new for everyone. Tension, how to pinch the finished twine, making sure the ball of it spins freely, how long the unspun tails should be — so many subtle variables go into spinning.
Later, the talk flowed from stories of growing up fishing, to glossaries of terms, to gender issues (and lack thereof — Woody says there are no gender pronouns in Haida); to rifts in families caused by discriminatory policies, and to the wisdom of the elders, who always seem to see things coming, and ways of saying thanks when the people we want to thank have passed.