Transformation

Growing up I always thought that eventually I would reach some magical place where I’d arrive. You know, a place where I’d be done, all set, where I’d reached my full potential. I think that’s largely because I was terrible at envisioning what being an adult in middle-age would really & actually be like. Of course, especially over the last 10 years, I’ve learned that the arrival I thought was out there in my future existed only in my imagination. The truth is we are all constantly changing, less like someone driving from point A to point B and more like a river that flows along, constantly and naturally adjusting course. We meander. We make new discoveries that change us. We grow. We transform. And it is on-going, forever and ever. Writing it, I feel like this is something I should have grasped much earlier in life. I do think it was always in me, in how I’ve lived, but I definitely had never really articulated it.

In my crafting life, once again it took me a long while to make this same realization. I was so focused on learning the ins and outs of knitting and spinning that I never really pondered the long-term. Sure, the goal is and always has been to be able to create any project I want. I started steadfastly as a knitter. And then I became a knitter who spins, with simple goals like making consistent yarn, yarn that turns out as I envision it. I wanted to perfect my skills as best as I was able. Of course that’s where I saw myself going with this craft. Of course it was. This past month, though, as I started to feel a real intrinsic click in my spinning, instead of settling into it I decided to dive just a little deeper, to meander on a slightly less direct route. And somewhere along the way I transformed from a knitter who spins to a knitter and a spinner.

I pushed myself a little outside of my comfort zone and did some studying so I could better help a friend with a new wheel this month and as I did something was changing inside of me.

img_2667Then one day I found this highly recommended and out-of-print book in the web shop of a spindle maker and ordered it straight away knowing how hard it is to find these days.Β  While I was there, I ordered a spindle as well. I’ve been rekindling an interest in my spindling skills as an easy-to-pack, day-trip tag-along and Golding Fiber Tools happen to come highly recommend. I managed to pass on the incredibly gorgeous and intricate options as well as the one made from 5000+ year old Russian Bog Oak (that one slays me) and instead opted for one of their more basic spindles. When it arrived, I simply could stop myself from spinning up the little sample of green fiber that came with the spindle. I had made some inroads with spindles during last summer’s Tour de Fleece, but this spindle was something different. This little spindle — at 0.85oz it’s the lightest I’ve attempted — flew. And for the first time in my life, I flew with it.

When I’d burned through the sample, I remembered I had a little sample braid of fiber that I’d gotten from Cloudlover Yarn & Fiber a while back that I thought would be of similar weight and would look cute plied with the green I’d just spun. And I got spinning.

img_2675-1I left it in the kitchen and spun here & there in between other tasks.img_2681-1And before I knew it I’d spun through that braid, too.

Just as with spinning with my wheel, I’ve found a real peace in this little spindle. Equipped with more confidence and more understanding of the mechanics of what I’m doing, I was able to make this little 75yard skein in only a few hours.

whole skeinSure, it’s far from perfect, but considering I was using a new and unfamiliar spindle as well as new-to-me fibers, I think it turned out pretty darn well.

detailI plan to throw it in with my on-going knitted patchwork blanket tidbits. What a fun addition it’ll be!

And just like that, as I turned this tiny skein over in my hands, I knew for a fact that I’d never arrive. There will always be a whole new world just around the next bend. I’ll discover a new tool or a new technique or be introduced to a new perspective that will forever alter my course. I’ll change constantly; from knitter, to knitter who spins, to knitter and spinner, to who knows what’s next. I’ll change. I’ll grow. I’ll transform. It will go on forever and ever. And it will be a beautiful trip.

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12 responses to “Transformation

  1. I love that you take time to appreciate the changes along the way, stopping to take stock and recognize. It’s what keeps your blog fresh and fun to read for me. And the yarn eye candy is a plus, too. That little skein IS perfect, you know. It will be a wonderful addition to the blanket.

    • Thank so much for this comment. I’m a believer that this craft is more than just something to do, for me it’s provides me the time and means to explore who I am and what I’m capable of. Kind of like art history was a way for me to more easily grasp world history, knitting and spinning often provide a way for me to better understand myself and my place in the world. There’s a lot of ‘noise’ in this world and I appreciate the focus and direction craft provides for me.

      Oh, and I can’t wait to knit the little skein. I’m so proud of it!

  2. Thanks for this. The drop and I have never gotten along (at all), but I’m wondering if now that I’m a wheel person, the drop and I might become good friends. Do you top or bottom whorl? How big of a spindle did you get?

    • In my experience, understanding how the yarn making works with the wheel helped me greatly with the spindle. If you go back to it, I would not expect to make yarn like you do with your wheel right away, but it’ll come.

      At this point, I much prefer top whorl spindles. And I will say I’ve tried a few — not a ton — but a few different spindle makers now and I would strongly recommend paying a little extra for a good one as they are not all created equal. I’m very happy with my Golding and *everyone* is telling me I need to try a Bosworth, so I’m working on that. As for weight, it really depends on what type of yarn you like to spin. The smaller the spindle the faster it’ll spin. I’ve got a great 2+oz spindle, but I’ve been spinning lighter singles lately so I got a 0.85oz from Golding and I’m spinning probably a light fingering weight single with it very happily. There will be some trial and error, I think, in getting a good fit for you, so be patient!

  3. This was good. I, too, thought that at some magical age, I might “arrive”. It’s a relief to realize that in fact, we don’t stop progressing. How boring that might be!

  4. I’ve arrived (Lol)…at the age of not working out, so I’m hoping to find more time for some of the ever-growing list of things I want to learn to do. (Oh and a heads up, as your spinning increases you will then want to start dyeing your own roving/top) πŸ™‚ Enjoy the journey.

    • Congratulations!!! What fun to have more time to learn the things you want to learn!

      I’m already thinking a bit about blending boards, but I’m hoping to hold off on dyeing for a good long while…

    • That is indeed on the agenda and I’ve talked at length about it with my hubby. We’re thinking I might hold on that until the kiddos are older just because of time & space considerations. It’s probably a good 5-10years out, but I’m pretty sure it’s going to happen. πŸ™‚

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