(Bronx Park "Creek" after the final frost; all pics enlarge)
"From January to April, I don't expect much from myself."
This testament became my emotional blankie, spoken by a wise sister at the Spin City Meetup, a hand-spinning group I belong to. And as if her words needed reinforcement, the NY Times published an expedient article on self-compassion –– a virtue undervalued in pop society's obsession with criticism.
OK, what's the connection to this post? Well baby! At times a series of events can have you criticizing your existence.
I had a heck of a fall with 2 more knitted rug commissions, the last one 19' long. Just in time too, because my knitting machine broke 2 weeks later around Thanksgiving. Stressed but undaunted, I managed to produce my knitted accessories for a holiday trunk show –– the store closed 3 days later. More bad news I won't list here, then nature took a major dump of snow, snow and snow. Frozen with perdition, my brain felt enervated. What new year? It looks the same outside! Now I gotta' seek work, figure out what to do, I need, I want, the house, my studio, Mr. K, my machine, parts, money, clients, the future…ARRGH!
Put A Filter On It!
The Wise One's remark revealed I was spinning on the expectation/self-critic whorl. Why? It's not about me; we're all dealing with nonsense. Hey, the moment you awake back on earth? You're engaged. My sanity at stake, I decided the only thing to do during this period is heal, with verbs that start with the prefix re: replenish, recharge, revive, etc.––you get the picture.
So now that we've caught up, let's catch on.
Knitting And Spinning Solace
(Mr. K tug-of-warring with our foster dog, Nádine. His hand-spun, hand-knit gloves kept a grip. He won. Boiled wool coat, John Bartlett).
The internalization of a new skill always gives me a boost of self-esteem; currently, it's knitting gloves.
Given the reality that spinning yarn from fiber is yet another craft I've chosen that demands a huge expectation of oneself in regards to time, I concluded the working of a small item could show off my yarn for a quick bit of gratification. It worked! The fiber is Colonial Blue merino from Ashland Bay Fibers, candy caned in the singles with Aqua, then plied*. For glove instructions I turned to Mary Thomas; her book is a good entrance. Upon mastering the basic pattern, Nanette Blanchard's book Glove Knitting, helped me fine tune them for fit. You know, gloves aren't difficult to make and unike socks, won't wear out as fast. And no one bothers you knitting them in public because using double-pointed size 1 needles, you look like either an expert or a crackpot; so go for it––it's gonna become the next big thing.
Some Quick Blog Notes
Whooooeeee! There's a lot going on, people. With the shards of ice left from winter's grip just about melted and our brains beginning to bud and sprout, look in the right sidebar for current listings of mental fertilizer. And I've added a Spinner-A-Large column, sharing my explorations in yarn formation for fashion.
My mental blocks are seeping into the ground. I feel good now. As we head toward the real New Year, you can actually observe the inauguration of newness around you. Spring is the compassion the Divine has blessed us with––the chance to be re-born!