Spinning a good yarn


Local News

September 28, 2018 - 11:00 PM

Martha Fitzmaurice's nimble hands work the wool.

YATES CENTER — Martha Fitzmaurice lifted a narrow bundle of soft, white wool with her right hand, pulling sections toward her left hand whose nimble fingers grabbed small amounts, adding tiny portions to a thin, twisting thread in a process called “drafting.” The spinning wheel pulled the new thread through an orifice and wrapped it around a bobbin.

Fitzmaurice, wearing blue socks, alternately pressed the pedals on the floor to treadle the spinning wheel at a comfortable speed. She doesn’t like to wear shoes when she spins, she explained.

Fitzmaurice bobbed as each of her limbs moved in a different direction: her feet up and down, her hands back and forth. After more than 26 years of spinning, the movements come automatically. She can even carry on a conversation at the same time.

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