Thursday, May 31, 2012

Building A Relationship - a blog about the dog

I have a good relationship with my Spinning wheel.  It took me some time to get the feel of the twist, the speed, the tension, the spinner's little quirks.  When I first started spinning with it, it was like a foreign object - separate: It and Me.  I went through many bats of fleece, cursing, before, we both finally came to an agreement that we should work together. 

Relationship - with the DOG....My Jilly, who was born and bred for working sheep. Me who is a klutz but is fairly sheep savvy.  We are working on our sheep herding relationship.  It takes time.  Yesterday, I really felt there was the inkling of a connection between us.  She is good at what she does - I am clumsy.  Right now we are two separate objects, trying to figure the other one out.  At home she trusts me, loves me, respects me.  I want that to happen on the sheep. It will happen. As with my Wheel it just takes time and a trust in the process. 

Spinning is kind of like life.  When it works, it's flows ever so smoothly - like water gently flowing over rocks.  It becomes a muscle memory.  So to with working a dog.  When it's right, it a dance, ever changing, but smooth and flowing.  Sometimes it's a Tango - hard, rough, fiery.  Sometimes it's a Waltz, gently swirling, graceful, flowing.  It's all a dance - move with the rhythm, feel the flow, get a sense of the tempo and work with it, not against it.

I love my Jilly. As my spinning process taught me about life, so to is my Jill.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

HURRY UP AND RELAX! DANG IT! spinning is relaxing, right? Knitting is relaxing, right?  Yes and no.  I have way too many UFOs!  I think I'm just a fiber junkie.  I've found a source for hand dyed fiber to spin and I've gotten several bats.  Trouble is I have 2 wheels and they are both occupied with unfinished spinning projects.  I can't help it.  I love the feel of the fiber - Blueface and silk is my favorite, but I'm fast becoming a fan of BFL and Alpaca and my latest buy is BFL and Camel.  I'm like a kid in a candy shop - way too much to choose from and it all looks good.

I don't have any projects in mind. So I've been getting either 4oz or 6 oz.  That should be enough for a shawlette or a scarf and hat.  I think it's just the process of spinning that I love so much.  The feel of the fiber as it slips through my fingers; the concentration on getting a perfect thickness. Then whether to 2 ply or 3 ply or Navajo ply.

The relaxing part is the process.  My blood pressure drops, my mind goes into Zombie land.  The not part is making the choices - which fiber to start; and the "OMG, I've got so much to finish" mind set.

I finally finished the Galadryal from Wooley Wonka.  It spun up beautifully and it's now in the process of becoming a shawl. 

My other finished project was fiber from a Port Townsend shop, BFL and silk.  I bought 2-4oz bats.  One had some soft lavender mixed in with the grey, the other was just plain.  I spun the two separately, then plied them together for a 2 ply semi worsted yarn. Don't know what I'll knit with it yet, but it's so soft!
At the moment I've got the fleece from Cupcake Fibers on the eSpinner; BlueFace and Silk in gradient greens, 6 oz.  The plan is to spin from light to dark then back to light and Navajo ply the whole thing.  That should give me a nice soft yarn that gradually goes from light green to dark then back to light.  I have  a shawlette pattern that will be perfect for it.

So how does all this translate in my life? First of all I am a child of Process.  I love the process of Anything - coffee making (I have 4 different ways to make coffee); bread baking; steeping teas; organizing anything, then organizing it again.  The product is just a bonus.  The frustrating part, the not so relaxing part,  is the "what to do now" part.  In my dog life, I love to train my dogs. It's the process of the training that enthralls me.  The end result - what do I do now part - is where I get hung up.  Maybe it just doesn't matter.  I have no goals for my dogs, I have no goals for my spun fiber. I just love the process.

Oh maybe my knitting friends - the one's that don't spin - will get some lavish gifts for Christmas this year.  Hand spun Merino/Silk in a heathery yummy deep maroon, or that wonderfuly soft Shetland in heather greens and ochers. I feel better already.  Yes, blood pressure restored to normal; mind at ease and relaxed; no more worries........well, until the next time I look at my stash.