To Sweep My Stoop

On my first trip to Europe I took an overnight train from Paris to Zurich and when I stepped off the train in the wee hours of the morning in a foreign land, I wandered in search of a cafe where I could find a good coffee. Down an old street that I didn’t know the name of, I came upon a little blue & white shop front with a woman sweeping off the front stoop. I indulged in coffee and croissants with fresh jam that were delicious, but after all these years what I remember the clearest about that morning was the woman sweeping her step. Her movements were efficient & brisk, yet clear in their investment in perfection. It was a quiet moment, to most an afterthought, but it has long stayed with me as a testament to the importance of the little details.

I’m the first to admit that I am not a great housekeeper. I don’t dust nearly enough and too often I choose knitting or spinning or reading or — let’s be real — anything over cleaning. I will take short cuts about putting things where they belong. I put off chores when I should just get them done. In short there’s a lot of room for improvement.

When I get on a roll, though, I find it very hard to stop before I reach some level of self-perceived organizational perfection. I think of that woman sweeping her stoop and I just want my little corner of this world to be nice & tidy, the place you are able to stroll into, get a coffee, sit, and be at peace. And that was my goal the past couple of weeks in a nutshell for me. Granted, the blinds still need to be dusted and I need to sweep the floors again, but I organized and re-organized. I culled through all the random bits and bobs laying about and got them all tucked away where ever they needed to be tucked. I organized my calendar and set some goals. I planned for more school prep. One might say I took the time to sweep my stoop.

You are probably wondering where I’m going with this, though, right? Well, there are two things I’m working up to. First, I’ve moved my Lendrum next to my desk and have plans to start using it again rather than let it collect dust in the kitchen.

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I’ve got fiber prepped and it’s all set to get spinning again. It’s about time, I’d say.

My second point is that an interesting side effect of this tidying up is that when things are in order, when the clutter is eliminated and my own “stoop” is tidy, I am set free. The noise is gone and my hands & my mind are able to focus, to plan, to work — uninhibited. I’ll leave the more boring bits out, but I thought I’d share a look at all the spinning and knitting of the week as I feel wholly revived on that front lately.

First, I’ve made modest progress on my Honey Trail shawl

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This one is destined to be a slow & steady wins the race kind of project. A few rows here, a few there.

I started a few spins in preparation for a big sweater spin for the Three Waters Farm Handspun Sweater-along going on in the TWF Ravelry group. I’m working myself up to spinning to that elusive DK weight yarn, but in the mean time I’m working myself back into spinning consistently as I’ve felt a bit off on it lately. First was Vein of Turquoise from Three Waters Farm

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And when I finished it, I started up on Hickory & Maple…

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But, as you can see, only just starting on that.

I’ve been working on my latest Top of the Month Club from Three Waters Farm, too, but it was slow going. Something was not quite feeling right with my Schacht Reeves and after sitting at the Jensen Tina 2 I was fairly certainly the S-R needed a new drive band…

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So out with the old and in with the new. I wish I could say I had an efficient, graceful method for changing my drive band, but alas I do not. I just get the job done…

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I’m happy to report it’s spinning like a million bucks now and I’m almost through this one. Maybe that sweater spin will be next. Maybe.

I’ve also put a few stitches here and there on my sock blank socks…

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I’m around the heel, but still working on the gusset decreases. I pick them up now and then when I need something that I can do mostly on autopilot — in the car or when I’m particularly tired or just worn out.

And lastly, a spindle spin…

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I haven’t been using spindles since I finished my Tour de Fleece spindle spin at the end of July and I had just a few moments while the pan was warming to make a stir-fry last night for dinner. It seemed like the perfect time to get this spin started.

And that, my friends, is the magic made from taking broom to stoop and cleaning up my little corner of the world. Let’s hope I can keep it all up — the tidying and the creating!