When I spin I dream of my ancestor. She is sitting on a rich green hill in Ireland, the cool, wet wind blowing through her long hair, spinning. It is ridiculous to think of spinning outside in the mizzle, but this is what comes when I spin. Learning to spin came so naturally to me, I felt that there was "memory in my fingers" as Elizabeth Zimmerman calls it.
I was recently reading Elizabeth Zimmerman's book the Knitter's Almanac, and found that she had a similar experience when she was knitting an aran sweater from a genuine Irish pattern. She had a "strong feeling that my fingers knew quite well what they were about, and welcomed the chance to be about it again after a long lapse of time. I knew then that I had been through this before, with younger fingers in a ruder boat, rocked on the salty summer waves on the Atlantic off the Irish coast. Silly? No."
About handspinning, which she taught herself, she writes, "When the fed fibers threaten to become suddenly too thin, my left thumb and forefinger give them a quick extra twist to keep them together until they are safely on the spindle. Why is this? I certainly never cogitated on the matter; my fingers doped it out for themselves. I can only think that centuries of genes have given fingers inherited skills of which we wot not."