Thursday, November 15, 2007

The learning curve

Like everything in life that we learn, there are some things that you get right off the bat, and some things that take a while to get. Take spinning and knitting. I know people who have just taken off from the first lesson and some who have struggled with everything from holding the needles to wrapping the yarn in the right direction. But if the goal is worth the work then we do it. I learned to spin on a drop spindle, then on a wheel. It took me 2 years or so to spin thin yarns worthy of competition and my own judgment. Now I strive to learn to spin thick and soft yarns. It will probably take a while to train my hands and mind to stop drafting so much.
My life has also taken a wild curve. I am forced to look at my habits, strengths and weaknesses and reassess them. I have been learning to look at the black pit of dissatisfaction and instead of drawing the curtain, to face it, identify its causes and work on them. The root question right now is “What does it mean to be a woman?”
I get the feeling this question will be answered sooner than I expected. I’ve been reading the book Captivated, and it reminded me of many of the female tendencies I had as a child that were squashed by the Feminist message in the household. I noticed that encouraging that feeling in my daughter has really brought her to life.
Back on the fiber front, I finished spinning up the sock weight yarn out of the Brown Sheep hand paint. It has some black fibers and kemp in it. The hand is rough like some Columbia I bought. The sequences of colors were a little harder to follow but I think that might have come from how I split it. In the end my Sock weight became close to a worsted weight after washing and hanging to dry. The second skein wasn’t as tightly plied as the first but the difference is so slight, it’s only something I would notice. (I was tired by then!)
To give myself a break I have begun spinning the dark brown CVM. Greasy stuff. I love how it washes up, but I have to wash my hands after a bought of spinning it. This one will be a heavy worsted if not a bulky weight yarn. This yarn is defiantly teaching me about spinning thicker, and treadling slower. The shortness of the fibers and the lumpiness of the roving defies all attempts to spin a thin smooth yarn. By the time I get done I will have 7 oz of good experience, not to mention good cap and scarf yarn.
I will probably be washing fleece this winter, (something I never do) because now I control the heat and I can actually get it dry in about 24 hours or less.

Well, I’ll see if I can get some photo’s up. The new camera is still so cool! But we have limitations on computer access.
So until next time…



Blogger Miss Violet said...

Oh, girl...I totally hear you on the "what's it mean to be a woman" front. I'm *still* fighting with the external pressure to be some kind of a worldly success while trying to balance that with the whole wife-and-hopefully-mom-soon thing.

I hate that the feminine aspects of life have been so devalued that they need to be justified at all. ARGH.

Just popped by your blog to see if you were doing the bellevue fiber festival again this year and to see if there was anything we could do over here to help. Got sidetracked by this post, though, and had to say something. :)

Let me know. :)

1/01/2008 6:41 PM  

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