Learning the spindle, trying to find a balance

New Toys

Originally uploaded by fireflowerknits

I love my new spindle. It came from Black Sheep Gathering, it’s a Spinner’s Choice purpleheart top whorl spindle and it weighs 1.9 ounces. It is great fun to play with. I feel like I did as a child spinning a top. I love the idea of being able to make yarn from fiber myself. I am nervous about the details at this point, although Priscilla Gibson-Roberts’ book is very helpful. My initial efforts are amazingly kinky and overspun, but I have faith that I will get the hang of it with time.

Right now I am really struggling with the amount of time and attention required by my amazingly energetic eight-month-old son. He is beautiful, charming, and sweet, but he is slow to settle down for naps and wakes easily. He doesn’t always let me get as much sleep at night as I would like, and he makes it hard to have time for the handwork I love during the daytime. The laundry and dishes would be neglected to an appalling degree if not for my husband’s diligence.

I was raised in a very traditional family, with very traditional standards for what women should do, and what made a woman valuable. This article from Abby about her childhood in Peru really resonated with me in a way that surprised me. I am often very torn between feeling lazy for not being focused or consistent about housekeeping, and needing to be free of the constraints of traditional homemaking in order to be creative, and in order to stay sane. The same perfectionism comes through when I approach something new in the fiber world. It’s hard for me to allow myself time to make mistakes while learning a new skill. My yen for perfection pushes me to learn better ways of doing things, but it can also stop me in my tracks. Sometimes if I can’t do something perfectly, I’d rather not do it at all. I’m still learning when to let go, and when to push myself to work harder, learn better, and at least approach my ideal.

Honestly I like the feeling of a more relaxed household, of a place where the children are more important than keeping everything spotless, where creativity is held in higher regard than constant perfection. When I’m feeling relaxed about things I finish a lot more knitting than when I want everything to be just so. Sometimes finished but imperfect is ok with me. Sometimes I go back weeks or months later, rip it all out, and start all over rather than keep something around our tiny apartment that I’m not happy enough with to wear or use or give away. Maybe eventually I will come to find a balance. I hope so.

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One Response to “Learning the spindle, trying to find a balance”

  1. FireFlower Knits Oregon-grape « Says:

    […] other news, I have finished spinning the roving from before and now I need to set the twist before I find out how I am doing as far as making knitable yarn. […]


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