A Story of a Boy, Two Women, A Man and a Spinning Wheel

(This yarn is spun from actual circumstances and events)

A boy of about 7 years old crouches in a window well, shivering and afraid. He peeks out at the cold gray cobblestone street of a European village in about the mid-1400’s. He is in fear for his life. Suddenly he hears an army of boots running his direction and he curls up even smaller in an effort to hide from what he knows is coming. The boots get louder as they near him. He stays small and quiet, frozen in his fright. Even his breath has stopped. Moments later, yet what seemed an eternity to him, the boots pass by and start to get quieter as they move away in the opposite direction. Relief comes over the little boy as he begins to realize he did not get caught.

Caught? Yes, the army of men in boots were chasing after him. He is so very hungry, and although he knows it is wrong, he stole a loaf of bread. Sadly, he dropped the loaf and lost it in the chase and now he is even more exhausted and hungry. Just as he thinks he might curl up and go to sleep in the window-well shelter he crawled into, he hears a fierce dog. He looks up and out of his hiding spot and sees a vicious barking dog glaring down at him, teeth bared. His scent has betrayed him, he has been discovered.

The boy is dragged out of his hole and taken to the stocks in the center of town. For several days he is the “laughing stock” of the village, locked up within a wooden structure within which his head and hands were captured and immobilized. He is beginning to fade in and out of consciousness as the community taunts him and throws raw and rotten eggs in his face. The stench is sickening but, perhaps licking the small amount of protein from his lips is the only thing that is keeping him alive. He continues to cling to a life that has been so very cruel to him, leaving him orphaned and on the streets, self-sufficient and alone.

The poor boy is no longer able to hold himself up and his head hangs in the stocks, the coarse wood rubbing his skinny neck raw and bleeding. He is not sure he can continue any longer. The thought of being hungry is no longer even a concern. Just as he is ready for it all to end a beautiful horse drawn carriage pulls out through a gate near him, and he wonders if this is heaven. There are whispers in the crowd. Apparently the woman in the carriage is the owner of the estate from which he stole the loaf of bread. They are wondering what punishment she will bestow upon him. She steps down from the carriage and walks toward the boy in the stocks. She demands to know who put him there and why. Within a moment she demands the boy be released and taken to the nurse within her home. The boy collapses in relief, and yet so very close to death the outcome is not certain.

Days later the boy opens his eyes again to see the nurse sponging the wounds on his neck and bandaging them with herbs and tinctures. The nurse runs to get the woman head of the household to come and see that he is alive. The woman holds his hand and thanks him for coming to save her! What? The boy is so confused. She saved him, didn’t she? She explains that he is the answer to her prayer. For many years she has asked for a child, and yet circumstances left her barren and then later without a husband. He is the child she has been waiting for.

The boy grows plump and healthy, he loves to play outdoors in her lovely orchard and help grow vegetables and herbs with the nurse and gardeners. He loves to do all that he can to help his adoptive mother. He is especially captivated by the textile studio and loves to spend time spinning yarns and weaving linen, wool and silken cloths. This is where he truly feels at home. This is where he releases the tension of his past traumas and spins them into health and beauty. He grows old in that home and lives to care for the woman in her old age. He truly did come to save her, as she did him.

….fast forward to around the year 2011…

A woman nearing 50 is suffering from a “pain in the neck”. She has been diagnosed by the doctors of her day with hyperthyroidism from nodules on her thyroid. She works for several years to resolve the health issues and exhaustion by combining the prescribed solutions (irradiation of her thyroid and thyroid meds.) with herbs and essential oils. Progress is made and yet, she still doesn’t feel quite right. There is an energy component that she can’t quite get to the source of. She has always had health issues in the throat area. At 7 years old she had her tonsils out due to a recurring and severe case of tonsillitis. And even though they had been removed, as she neared her adulthood at 18 she again ended up sick for several weeks and in the hospital with a severe sore throat and high fevers. Throughout her life, sore throats and losing her voice would always show up just as she struggled to express her creative talents or her autonomy. She didn’t really realize that pattern until recently as she thumbed through her old journals and started to see how it had re-occurred over time.

One evening as the soft ache in her throat got her attention she again wondered about that pattern. What was that energy pattern in her neck and where did it come from? So, she went out to her hot tub (time machine, as she laughingly calls it) and decided to reflect on that question and request some guidance from the stars. Going deep into meditation she found herself journeying back to a time and place beyond her earthly history. That is when she was shown the story of the little starving orphan boy who stole the loaf of bread, and the life of comfort he grew to live and love with his adoptive mother.

She could relate so much to the boy, the pain caused in his neck in the stockade, as though he lived within her. She could understand how he processed his trauma in the textile studio, She could understand why she was so passionate about learning to knit as a young child at about the same time she suffered from her tonsillitis (and the taunts and teasing of her older brother). She knew why she turned to her passion for fiber arts throughout her life to resolve and deal with challenging issues that arose.

Close to seven more years passed and as the thyroid healed she made some life changes to slow down a bit, find some balance. As a part of that life balance she made an effort to go back to connecting with her art as more of a therapeutic process for herself. Building a business around teaching and selling her art had led to burnout, always striving to produce enough to sell and filling up her teaching calendar to the maximum. It was time to take a step back and reassess her life.

As part of this stepping back and slowing down she felt inspired to buy a used spinning wheel just to learn something new and fun. This was something she had always been curious about, but had never had the time or money to pursue. Her intention was to utilize it for a moving meditation practice. At first it was a struggle. Not at all the meditation and relaxation she had hoped for. But several YouTube videos later and with some of her inborn patience she was soon spinning out of control! A friend of hers who also spins yarn mentioned to her that the “fiber tells you what it wants to be”. She loved that thought. As she spun and meditated the stories that the yarn wanted to tell started coming through loud and clear. She would sit down with an intention to hold a prayer and/or seek an answer to an issue, and soon she would have insight to the solution (a spin-solution!) The fibers represented the past; the traumas, the trials and the triumphs. As she drafted the fibers together she held them in a loose “hug”, they came together through the orifice of the wheel and wound onto the bobbin in beautiful skeins which held her prayers of potential and peaceful resolution.

Her passion for spinning continued to grow over the next year and as she created more and more “yarns” she learned more and gained much knowledge. This led to her exploring wheels that allowed for more of what she was trying to create. Some spinning wheels have larger bobbins, faster ratios, larger orifices, double or single treadles, and on and on. She was able to purchase used wheels at pretty reasonable prices and soon found herself looking to purchase her third wheel! She was able to acquire a “King Bee” by Spinolution (sounds like an abbreviation for spin-solution!) from a male spinner. A gay Social Worker employed with the Department of Children and Families for his State Department, he left a safe and balanced (comfortable with his masculine and feminine selves) impression in the initial phone conversation leading to the coordination and meeting to sell his spinning wheel. She would never purchase an item from a stranger over the internet if she didn’t get that vibe. The agreed upon meeting location was a public coffee shop where they soon struck up conversation about their spinning and love of fiber. He shared that although he had only had this wheel for a bit over a year, purchased new, he was selling it in order to upgrade to a faster wheel that would produce a yarn with less “spring” and “energy” as he also liked to weave and firmer yarn would work better on the loom. She was relieved that there was nothing wrong with this wheel and as she like a bouncy, “energetic” yarn for knitting this would be just right. He also shared that with his job he traveled a lot and this wheel was perfect for folding up and traveling with. She could imagine that with his line of work a lot of tension could be released in the evenings through his spinning. He mentioned too that he had ADHD and spinning allowed him to keep his body moving which helped him to focus his mind. She could also understand and relate to that!

King Bee by SpinolutionAs she spent her first full day of spinning she sensed a much different energy from this wheel than her previous two. (Yes, they all have a different personality!) She sat down with the intention of reflecting upon the 16-hour weekend workshop she had just attended. The workshop with about twenty other women was focused on community building as a path to resolving racial inequalities and violence. She had bought this wheel because of the double treadle, and because of the rocking motion that allowed and the balanced use of both sides of her body she found it very soothing. She began spinning the soft medium brown Shetland wool that the man she had bought the wheel from had included in the sale. The fine single-ply was more even and consistent than she had been able to accomplish before. Was it the wool? Or the wheel? Or the woman?

One of the issues that had been brought to her attention in the weekend workshop was that black and brown boys are being jailed and/or killed to “protect” white communities. This took the veil off an illusion for her. If she truly wanted to be a part of a large and diverse community that appreciated and protected all of the members, like the woman in the story of the starving little boy, she needed to find within herself a voice that would stand up against that, to say loud and clear that she did not want that abuse to continue “in her name”.

As she spun her soft brown wool that day, getting familiar with the energy of this new wheel she realized she was getting yet another piece of the larger answer for her. She had also been reflecting on the “mask” she wears. What does she need to reveal about her true self. What does she keep hidden and why? Her answer was that she hides behind the mask of self-sufficiency. Like the little boy in the story she attempts to do it all alone. Yes, she is married and has family, but to ask even them for assistance or for help opens her up to too much that is out of her control. Asking makes her too vulnerable and open to rejection, ridicule or taunting (laughing stock!) So, she carries the weight of doing everything on her own. If she does reach out and get assistance from others she wonders if she will pass on the accolades and recognition to someone else if the effort is a success. Will she get the credit she deserves for the idea, the work and the creation? She realizes this was the downfall of her previous business. She was not able to allow herself to hire help or ask for assistance when the load was too great. She was destined to fail with that modus operandi. She knows the boy needed the help of others. She knows she must also be open and vulnerable enough to recognize when she needs help and have faith that she will find the safe and trusting community (if she helps to build it) that she can rely and depend upon when it is needed. She also realizes that like the story the woman and the boy save each other, and that her community needs her skills as much as she needs theirs.

She realizes that now is the time to spin a new story that breaks apart the old illusions and allows the chaos and the masks to fall. Now is the time to build a community that will pull together, unite and protect all of the members, aware that this is what will save us all. She knows that now is the time to become aware that what heals the boy’s abuse is also what heals the women’s suffering and relieve the man’s stress and will heal the trauma response of the entire world.

She knows that now is the time to realize that she is an important character in this story.


She is me and this is my beautiful yarn that is holding my prayers of potential and peaceful resolution.

Hand spun merino and silk artyarn by Pamela Penney


July Evening

Backyard Guests

Mosquitos Buzz and Bite

Cicadas Sing

Fireflies Float and Light

  • will Mosquito’s Words buzz in your ear to anger and insight you?
  • will Cicada’s Song invite you to join the rhythm of the dance?
  • will Firefly’s Glow ignite and brighten the dark corners of your soul?

Three Winged-Ones join their forces as darkness starts to fall

They use their gifts in unison to AWAKEN one and ALL








Pin It

A few days ago I got this message in my inbox from my friend Susan:

“Hey Pam –how are you? In circle today an idea came up to play off of the pussy hats and give women something else to create – that was a sign a marker of people in the movement. You came to mind. Is there a way you could design a pin that we could wear like a big safety-pin that had a miniature version of the pussy hat symbol attached to it? So my idea is that could you design something that people could easily make just like the pussy hat went viral? Thoughts?”

So I put my thinking (pussy)-hat on and thought back to my last post about collaboration.  I like the idea that this project could be a way to create a symbol of an alternate collaboration, one where like-minded souls looking build relationships with others who support human rights can easily spot each other. Like-minded souls can create something simple to share and show the way.

Kind Kitty

And I had an epiphany (as usual, in my hot tub time machine).  I want to offer my Kitty Kollaborator in Kindness Pin. She is part pussy, part heart, with the symbol of safety and she is divinely feminine. Yes, I know, my name for her could be (k)controversial. But, I would love to see a day come when the 3 K’s stood for something positive. So, I am ***(k)co-opting them. (in my last post you learned of my intention to co-opt “collaboration” as building a coalition of like-minded supportive relationships) So, instead I would like to refer to this as the K3 pin. Because if you look at that closely and break it apart, it is like I < 3 ❤ (I heart).  And, I am offering her up as an idea to make and share with everyone on your Valentine’s List. You could even take a picture of her and put her on a few postcards. . .(wink, wink).

Snow Storm Pin

And then I went further down this rabbit-hole.  The term “snowflake” has been thrown around as a derogatory term for a (bleeding?) heart liberal who gets easily triggered into melting at the actions of what is seen as “the opposition”. (It’s also been a label put on this generation of young adults viewed as being less resilient and more prone to taking offence than previous generations.) And recently there has been a false rumor that it was used by the Nazi’s. (See SNOPES.com for the facts) But, I also want to co-opt that symbol. Because we who live in the midwest U.S. know what happens when you get a lot of snowflakes together!  I call it the Snow Storm Pin.  I could call it an SS pin (I know where that is co-opted from too) but, that is too uncomfortable.  I would love to see it created in as many different ways as there are snowflakes. So, please take both of these ideas and CREATE!!!   As Princess Leia said, “take your broken heart and make it into art”.

20170130_2222342Need help creating one of these?  Here is are PDF‘s for the K3 Pin and the Snow Storm Pin with pattern shapes and notes.



***kōˈäpt/ (verb)
1.  appoint to membership of a committee or other body by invitation of the existing members.

  • divert to or use in a role different from the usual or original one. “social scientists were co-opted to work with the development agencies”
  • adopt (an idea or policy) for one’s own use. “the green parties have had most of their ideas co-opted by bigger parties”


Hot tub time machine. Tonight. Takes me downstream (no more going upstream to work out old karma, unless I want to paddle against the current). So, I go with the flow. Toward a beautiful waterfall. (I’ve had this lucid dream before. The first time I had enough faith to go over the edge, was quite an adventure. But now it’s easier. No more clinging to the rocks at the top, in fear.) When I land in the gorgeous pool at the bottom of the falls I notice more souls than ever before are there. (It is so lovely you all could join me.) It is peaceful, yet exciting. And the pool has seemed to expand to contain so many of us, without feeling crowded. AHHH. Well, back to the message….

I ask, What have you got for me tonight?  I hear it LOUD. Repeated. “Relax, Enjoy, Create”…”Relax, Enjoy, Create”…”Relax, Enjoy, Create”.  Then, “R.E.-create”… “recreate”…”recreation”…”RE-creation”… “Get it?”  Yeah I get it.

Now let me explain so that you can “get it too”. My thoughts the last few days have been on setting my new moon intentions for November. I scanned through my journal from the last few months and a word jumped out at me. “Productive”.  As in, “I wasn’t very productive today” or “I really accomplished a lot. It felt good to be productive”.  But a month ago I made a major life shift for myself, on purpose. And it is giving me an opportunity to take a new look at what it means for me to be “productive”. So, that is what I am setting as my intention. Re-define what it means to be productive. (Does floating

My new studio

in a hot tub, talking to the stars counts as “productive”. Well, yes I think so. I just need to get used to thinking of it that way!)

I moved my art studio/gallery out of a public location (the last 13 years) into the privacy of my home. I moved from a 800 square foot space to a 7 ft. x 12 ft. space. Yet It feels more expansive as I can look out continuous windows on three sides from a second floor space. I call it my treehouse. I am adjusting. I am settling in and getting ready to get “productive” again, but in a new way.

So, today I also “played” in my new studio space in a way that was relaxing, enjoyable and creative.  I salvaged a pile of old cashmere sweaters that I had washed, and cut apart. By stitching them together, I RE-created a new “up-cycled” cashmere afghan, throw blanket. This is a technique I have used a lot in the past. But, it has been awhile (because of the studio move) since I’ve had time to enjoy creating and have fun. Soon I plan to get several of these cashmere blankets posted to my Etsy Shop. They would make a lovely holiday gift for someone. Something to snuggle up in and Relax, and Enjoy! Something a Stitch In Time Saved!



We Are All The Chosen One

The Moon outside my window~

It didn’t take long for the message to come tonight.  I stepped my toes into the “Hot Tub Time Machine” with my heart filled with love and gratitude for all my family, friends, guides, supporters, students and well any-one who has helped me get to this point in my life.  I feel like I have been running a marathon the last several weeks and I’ve made it to not so much of a finish line, but to a transition line.  Deep exhale~

But, I digress, back to the message:  Well, I said my prayers of thanks to the heavens as my body sunk into the warm waters.  Tonight is the Harvest Full Moon and as suggested by this forecast, I decided I should follow the advise of #6 and channel my “inner mermaid”.  I felt so filled with thanks that I had this thought that “I am the chosen One”.  There can be no other explanation as to why everything has fallen into place so synchronistically the last few weeks.  I’ve experienced things like the rain stopping or holding off until just the second I get the tent up for camping, or the car unloaded.  Time even seemed to stop in order for my daughter and me to get the U-Haul unloaded and back by closing time for her move into a new apartment a couple of weeks ago.  There has been so much to do.  And yet, it has all gotten done.  And with relative ease.  I must be “special” if the clouds are parting and time is stopping for me.  Right?

Ha ha, my Guides laugh.  Yes, and no.  The truth is “you are all the chosen One”.  Some just realize it sooner than others.  Others use their “free will” to delay the awareness of it.  Well, I don’t think I am at the arrowhead on this realization.  But, I am not on the tail end either.  I hope you hear this message too and join me in gratitude for being “chosen”.  There are greater things in store for all of us.  Tonight’s Pisces Full Moon and Lunar Eclipse Hold The Key To Letting Go & Moving On.  Join me in letting go, filled with gratitude for what has brought us to this Now.  Join me in Celebration.  Join me in Moving ON~~~It is Time we all realize that WE are ALL the Chosen ONE!

One additional note:  This full moon completes a cycle that started on March 8, 2016  with a solar eclipse.  This is where I was then:  Clearing my Mesa and Activating Something New.  Yes, the NEW is finally HERE!


Keep the Line Open

Tonight as I ventured out to my Hot Tub Time Machine I caught sight of the sliver of a waxing new moon, just a couple of days old.  It looked like “God’s fingernail”.  My first thought was that it is just enough to scratch “it” off.  What?  Anything left that still needs to go.

As I soak in my tub my Guides tell me to “just relax.  You’ve earned it.  Climbing the mountain was hard work.  There will be days of white water rapids ahead in this river, so enjoy the warm spring fed pool at the top of this ride.”  I then ask my Guides if there is anything I should do.  They tell me, “just be available.  Keep your LINE OPEN.  If we call, PICK UP THE PHONE!”  Ha Ha.  My Guides have such a good sense of humor!

I’m So Excited (and I just can’t hide it)

I’m not sure why it is, but my best ideas and inspiration come to me when I am out in my backyard soaking in the hot tub (time machine) under the moon and stars.  Tonight there was a lovely, bright crescent moon and the brightest “star” is actually Jupiter.  He is my “action” planet and together we say, “by Jove I think we’ve got this!”

So, tonight I have a plan of action.  Looking back in time I realize I am celebrating the 20th anniversary this year of my business, Pamela Penney Textile Arts (where a stitch in time saves!)  I started creating women’s art to wear jackets and children’s special occasion garments in the spare bedroom of my home when my children where babies.  (Crazy, I know!)  I’ve expanded and grown and want to share my joy. Tonight I had a spark of an idea about how I want to go forward this year and share my celebration with the world!

I’m not really ready to share all of the details yet.  They need to be “ironed out“.  Much like things work in the sewing room, creations don’t really look great until they are pressed!  I will be sharing this very soon.  So, stay “tuned“.  You may want to bookmark this page, as I will post a link to the updated information here as it gets solidified.  In the meantime I will leave you with some clues…..

Postcards                                    Photos                  Sharing

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                         Celebration               Party

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              Did I mention Prizes???