In the Freezer!
My second practice for spinning Yarn in Antarctic Summer conditions took
place on September 30th 2010 at AK Coolrooms in Keilor. They very kindly supported the cause by charging no hire fee
and preparing the freezer for a temperature of -18°C. Thankfully the shelving was also removed.
Kept company by Richard Wheatland, who also kept vigil by the phone and who checked on me every 20
minutes, I began spinning yarn using some brown wooltop, working this time on how I would use my hands. This was
intriguing me, because, as a rule, spinning yarn needs the feel of the fibres through the fingers – this is how the
spinner assesses the thickness of fibre to put through the machine -- and bare skin at -18°C would NOT be
For the two and a half hours I was in the freezer spinning yarn, I trained my
fingers to feel the fibre THROUGH the gloves that I wore as a liner under the fingerless gloves. It took concentration, but it seemed to work.
The phone rang for interviews, so the papers were interested. It is a big thing to go to
Antarctica, but even bigger be spinning yarn in the local freezer!
When Simon came to take pictures for The AGE, we had an interesting time setting up how it would be done,,, and we were very
pleased with the results.
The newspaper interviews followed, and then ABC Radio the next morning. Ever sisnce, the print
media have been following the story of spinning yarn in the freezer.