Accidental Hiatus…and why I craft

I haven’t knit a stitch in more than a month. Now, this is pretty unusual for me. Knitting is very relaxing and centering for me (and for many people. It used to help rehabilitate prisoners and many people have written about its health benefits. But, I’ve not been feeling it recently. I started a KAL with ravelry group but I’m still on the first clue. I’ve read through all of the pattern now and I look forward to finishing the cowl (I’m making a cowl!) at some point this year but I didn’t finish it in April and I won’t finish it May.

Instead, although this was an unintentional instead, I’ve been spinning. For the last couple of weeks I’ve managed to spin between 15-40 minutes every day. Spinning, like knitting, has a lot to offer. With spinning, you have to manage the project. 15-40 minutes a day can get you pretty far if you have a plan. You are in control of how thick the yarn is (and this affects how much yardage you can get out the roving braid or batt or whatever you’re spinning from.) You have control over what colors you mix (or don’t) and how you mix them. You choose which technique you’re going to use. Do you want self striping yarn? Maybe you’ll chain-ply (this is sometimes called Navajo-plying. I keep meaning to look into why that is. When I know, you’ll know) and you’ll get a 3-ply finished product that will stripe. Or, maybe you want a barber poll. And, then you can intentionally over- or under-ply your threads and that will change the look of the finished product. And, I haven’t even gotten into materials! You can spin animal fiber: sheep’s wool (there are so many types of sheep!) or llama wool or alpaca wool or goat wool or rabbit wool! Who knows what else! And, you can spin plants: cotton and linen, for example. You can even spin Science: I have some roving made out of milk protein! MILK PROTEIN! How cool is that?

Being able to sit down and think through a project and then see that project go from a pile of wool to an eventually knitted product is enormously gratifying. The rhythm of the wheel is relaxing. I can spin while doing other things (like catching up on my favorite TV shows or listening to the next section of In Search of Lost Time or facetiming with friends.) And, I don’t even have to spend a lot of time on it to make progress. I love crafting because of all of these things but that last one sometimes acts as a reminder that small time investments can get you where you’re going. This is especially useful when you’re staring in the face of a big project. Life is little steps. (And, in my house, sometimes those steps are on a spinning wheel treadle.

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