I am a modern spinner with an interest in the history and folklore of the craft.
Distaff Day was traditionally the first day women returned to their spinning after the twelve days of Christmas, the day after the feast of Epiphany, this year Tuesday 7th January. It is named after the tool used to hold fibres so that both hands can be used for spinning. Distaffs had such a connection with women that the female line of a family is sometimes called the distaff side.
Men had their own day of returning to work known as Plough Monday this year not until the 13th January! But both Distaff Day and Plough Monday were approached with with a sense that work was not to be taken too seriously on the first day.
Though I’ve not put down my spinning over Christmas, Distaff Day seems like a good day to start something new so I am launching The Slow Yarn Spinner and running spinning workshops in Norwich. Have you started a new project this year or have any craft resolutions? Add them to the comments, I would love to hear from you. And if you would like to learn to spin this year, then get in contact to book on one of my workshops.
Happy Distaff Day from The Slow Yarn Spinner!
This woman spins fibre from the distaff in her left arm using a drop spindle.