Saturday, January 10, 2015

Spinning with Friends

Today was the quarterly  Saturday meeting of the Carolina Handspinners.  The group meets monthly at the community center in Lowell on the second Tuesday of the month.  Quarterly however we meet on  Saturday at a member's home.  This allows us poor working stiffs to attend.
Nora was a wonderful host.
Beth, Will and Christina settling into to spin.  Nora showed us the stack of quilts her mother made during her lifetime.  They now have pride of place in Nora's home.

Pam, Ann, Chris and Will.  Will and Ann used their drop spindles.  You can see we spin some, chat some and of
course eat some.

Shirley "vogueing" for the camera.

Nora, Shirley and Burgl discuss our food options.  Nora made a really delicious ham and bean soup and homemade bread.
Everyone else brought additional treats.  We never lack for food.

Nora got some spinning in with her hosting duties.

See there was actually some spinning accomplished, the two Pams and Ann.

Jan and Shirley spinning and knitting.
I always forget how much I enjoy spinning and knitting in the company of friends.  It is relaxing but also reignites the desire to spin more and better.

This my tapestry sampler.  The yarn is some random scraps of needlepoint yarn that I scrounged up.  The color combo leaves a lot to be desired but I am focusing on becoming familiar  with the process.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Showing Up

photo by Gentyl and Hyers

Submit to a daily practice. Your loyalty to that
is a ring on the door.
Keep knocking and the joy inside
will eventually open a window
and look out to see who’s there.
 I have been interested in the idea of daily craft practice for a long time.  It is really hard to describe exactly what the allure of fiber work is for me.  What is easy to see is that the days that I make time to do some knitting, spinning or weaving are the better for it.  Sometimes though, I spin my wheels (pun intended) and do not have the oomph to push through to completion.  I look down at the work in my hands and see every imperfection and wonder...
Why does this matter?

It isn't any good anyway. 

You are just making more stuff that nobody will care about.

The project gets set aside and another idea is pursued.  The net result is not only a lack of tangible results but also a failure to achieve any sense of mastery.  For 2015, I desire a different result, so I am determined to show up everyday and put in the work.

This is going to require me to let go of my expectations and embrace the imperfections in the crafts I pursue and push through doubt to completion.

The bowls pictured above were valued by Zen masters because they were handmade and irregularly shaped, with uneven glaze, cracks, and a perverse beauty in their deliberate imperfection.  Their beauty enhancing the ritual of the daily tea ceremony.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Welcome 2015

Happy. New Year!  Reflecting back on 2014, I was not terribly productive knitting wise.  I continue to be distracted by other craft enticements, sewing, dyeing etc...  There is nothing wrong with that but I really would like to focus on knitting and spinning in 2015.  To that end, I spent much of today preparing 12 sock kits.  It was tedious to divide the yarn and wind each skein into two cakes but now I am ready. 

I am challenging myself to:
  1.  knit twelve pairs of socks this year, one out of handspun
  2.  knit three projects from Victorian Lace Today
  3. design and knit one lace scarf or shawl 
  4. spin and knit a project from my Jacob fleece
  5. spin and or knit everyday
This blog will be where I document my projects and successes!  My family gifted me some awesome Christmas gifts.
A full set of Signature circular needles.

An Offhand Designs knitting bag and Namaste notions box.
This shawl kit from Infinite Twist is so complete it has knitting needles, markers and a colored pencil for tracking your rows.
In addition, there were three sample skeins of the Helix yarn.

In an effort to get organized, I made this frame to contain all my shawl pins.