According to the all-knowing Wikipedia, the spindle dates back all the way to the Neolithic Era (10,200 BC -2000 BC). However, since materials from before that era did not survive, it is possible the spindle existed before then. The use of spindles allows today’s spinners to connect with a long history of past spinners.
However, not only does the spindle allow me to connect with ancient folks of the same craft, it allows me to connect with my own past. Several years ago, when I was around 11/12 years old my family took a trip to Colonial Williamsburg. It came at the perfect time in my life. I was enthused with the idea of fighting for freedom from British rule. I painted the colonial way of life with the rosy sheen of nostalgia that only one that has not experienced the era can do. The lovely dresses, the handmade items, the horses, the one room school houses, all of it seemed amazing. I wanted nothing more than to be a colonial woman (and a spy). So when I saw a woman dressed in colonial clothes using a spinning wheel AND my mother promised to buy me a souvenir, I knew I wanted a spinning wheel. Unfortunately spinning wheels are expensive and would not fit in our luggage. Fortunately, the spinning woman kindly explained that I could buy a spindle which was much cheaper, came in a kit, and would fit in my suitcase. And so it was bought, played with for a couple of hours, then forgotten a week after we came home.
This path most was spent moving apartments and I found my old tourist souvenir spindle. I decided, if Neolithic folks could use rocks and sticks to make yarn, why couldn’t I use an old souvenir to do the same. My past has met my future. This is my current obsession. Sorry yellow cardigan. I know I am so close to finishing you, but can you understand? I am making my own yarn. it’s incredible. I promise I will finish you soon!