I just bought my first spinning wheel and have been learning and trying to spin smoothly for the last 4 hours. Oh my, not so easy... The drop spindle worked well for me, but it goes very slowly, and I wanted to learn how to use a wheel in case I want to spin a bigger quantity of Yarn. After 4 hours of trial and error, I have a bit of beautifully colored yarn to show for.
According to Ghandi, spinning was the ultimate spiritual experience. He spun every day and spun all the threat that he needed to weave his own garments. Here a wonderful picture of Ghandi spinning.
"I find spinning to be immediately centering and calming. I use wheels to produce quantity, but vastly prefer handspindles, and often carry one with me to spin in odd moments. The spindle shaft is the center pole, the world tree. The whorl endlessly revolves--time, earth, generations--constantly moving, but never going anywhere. Individual fibers appear, become one in the thread, and disappear into the cop. Constantly appearing and going on, yet there is seemingly no change, the point of draft is changeless--a continual coming and going. My hands move as hands have moved for tens of thousands of years, as they do now, as hands will. And so it is." Mahatma Gandhi~
It's not quite a centering, meditative experience for me yet. but hopefully soon.