Thursday, June 09, 2005

Full Circle

the awful two days of mind-numbing questions are over, and I've been in my own sort of "brain mush" recovery period. (that means that I have no idea what I actually did today aside from taking a nap, munching, catching up on knitting blogs and napping some more) I tried knitting but without having a true "mind numbing" project on the needles, I wound up stopping and starting on the striped sweater sleeve, instead of actually increasing the length.

(the test was awful; we all left each session wondering where the questions came from; and why certain concepts were repeating (some showed up in each of the 4 test books) and others, especially the ones that we'd all been told were classically seen, weren't. I found myself picking the one option I had heard of before, even though it was a pretty good chance that it wasn't the answer. ("who knew E. coli could cause so much?" was often how I justitifed my answer...) It was also exhausting; I didn't use the full four hours for the test blocks, but instead was done after three hours. That was more then enough time for me to get through it and feel like I'd been running a marathon. The loooong mornings had my stomach growling and the afternoons left me drained of just about everything. Two long days like that isn't natural.))

The best part of the time at school was that I finally got around to picking up the grades that had been in for awhile. I made it through all of my classes and won't need to spend my summer working on anything; it shouldn't be as surprising as it was, but I was worried about one that was cumulative and included some too low then I am willing to admit grades from January. I did well enough on the last test to pull it off, and feel good about ending the year on a good note.

There have been a lot of references to "the other side" or the "dark side" when people mention spinning on top of having a history of knitting. Though I understand the words chosen, especially now that I have an interest in spinning, I prefer to think of it as coming full circle, rather then taking or switching a side.

I, like most people (I assume), learned how to knit first. I saw the colors of the 100% acrylic yarn and thought of what I might be able to make with them. My progression moved to using 75% acrylic yarn with 25% wool, and eventually 100% wool because it's what I liked knitting with. I still use 100% acrylic from time to time, but it's not what I'd take with me to a deserted island. As I discovered the world of 100% wool the types of yarn out there - bulky, aran, worsted and such - meant something, and the colors that were possible (Noro Keuyron is and was one of my first wool loves) blew me away.

Eventually I shifted into wanting to try making those colors myself, and with the help of some artificially colored drink mix I was able to handpaint yarn that I felt I had "created." That kept me busy for several months, and what I loved was how I never knew how it was going to turn out. Some would say that I enjoyed the "control" aspect that comes with choosing the colors and where they went; most would agree that this is part of my personality because I'm in a field that has an obsession with control. I might agree with them some days, but otherwise I think I'd actively disagree; I like creating, not controlling, when it comes to my yarn. It's a fine distinction but I think those who have tried it know what I mean. (I'm failing to point out that trying to control the dye may result in more problems then simply creating will....)

My interest in spinning was for a few reasons; people speak of it with an understated (or simply stated) passion, and in my mind it takes the creative process back a few steps. The weekend at Cate's house was a cincher because watching Sara, Risa and Cate spin was mesmorizing. I wanted my hands to be able to do that. (add Claudia and Rosemary to that list, then if you're in doubt that spinning is for you? meet up with any of those women and be forever inspired.....)

Now that I understand the jist of how spindling works (that does not mean that I'm turning out lace weight singles yet, trust me - but I like my thick and thinness and know that it's a process!) I want more of it. I know some try spinning and don't like it, and some try it and find that it's not
what they thought it would be, and I can see how that's possible.

I see it as a points on a circle, and instead of having sides, there's a continuim. It starts with a sheep (for the wool circles) and ends with a finished product (or can finish with wool, depending on how fast I'm knitting). This makes more sense to me then sides.

If you're coming up to the frolic and want to know how to avoid the toll for getting onto 295, let me know and I'll let you in on the local's secret. (it isn't a big deal, but isn't marked on the highway and I think knitters/spinners deserve to save the 60 cents.) I am headed to my parents house tomorrow and will be at the frolic on Saturday; I'm quiet, but would love to see you if you'll be there too!

right now there's a major spring thunderstorm on its way in....time for me to turn off the lights and watch nature's show.......


Anonymous Nikki said...

Congratulations on being finished! You survived!!! Enjoy your well-deserved rest. :)

6:08 AM  
Anonymous Bridget said...

Well done! Now RELAX! I'm sorry I won't be going to the Frolic, but maybe we'll meet at the Sea Dog group in July. Enjoy your time off!

6:51 AM  
Blogger Katy said...

So glad the worst is over. Hope you can enjoy the frolic now that the weight is off your shoulders!

12:08 PM  
Blogger Liz said...

I guess I'm one of the odd ones who came to it backwards. I had been dabbling in knitting for years, never feeling confident or really knowing what I was doing. Once I learned how to spin, I couldn't wait to actually knit something out of yarn I made myself, which forced me to figure out how to knit, really.

Glad you are through with the boards, and I'm sure you did fine. Fill me in on this "local's secret" tomorrow for future reference (I'll be coming on Rt 3).

12:15 PM  
Blogger CrazyFiberLady said...

Glad the tests are done. I've been keeping happy thoughts for you. I felt the same exhaustion after each session of the bar exam, another horrid two day brain exercise.

Beautifully put. I love the circle analogy. Enjoy the Frolic! Wish I could be there too, but I'll be there in spirit.

1:18 PM  
Anonymous Danielle said...

I'm so glad you are done and can relax and enjoy some fibery goodness. Congratulations on your good grades, as I'm sure that will make the relaxation all that much sweeter.

2:34 PM  
Blogger Rosemary said...

Congrats on finishing the big exam.

I'll be around the Frolic on Saturday--please send the toll avoidance instructions. Look for me (with spindles). If you've got enough stuff spun, I'll give you a plying lesson.

5:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glad to hear that the exam is over.

Your circle analogy is beautiful. I think all the jokes about the dark side have as much to do with how hypnotic/addictive spinning is as anything else.

For myself, its something that invariably makes me calm and happy.

7:01 PM  
Anonymous Cassie said...

Brilliant, eh? That was me, Anonymous.

7:02 PM  
Anonymous Laurie said...

Congratulations on the acquisition of more leisure time. And on finishing the major PITA that is the boards. Have fun at the FF.

6:48 AM  

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