Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Stalled Sock Saga

I am no longer 60 years old. I turned 61 about a month ago. Perhaps you have noticed that I did not complete my self-imposed project of designing 12 sock patterns based on a cast-on number of 60 stitches. I have finished – and presented here in my blog – 10 of the 12. Only 2 more to go. I do plan to complete this project, albeit belatedly, but those 2 patterns will have to wait.

I am also a bit changed, and I have found it difficult to decide how to blog about it. Last November held 3 events that have been major life stressors. First, the election of POTUS45, an event which has kept my blood pressure elevated ever since. I do try to calm down. I do try to be civil. I do try to be active in expressing my concerns for the soul of this country. I do try to still find beauty in the glorious environment around me and in the heart satisfying fiber arts. It used to be that my near daily posts on Facebook were largely dedicated to fiber arts, all arts, and the special beauty of northern Michigan. I still share posts about those topics, but now I also make a healthy dose of posts about social and environmental justice. I try to stick to facts and calmly expressed opinion.

Second, I moved shortly after the election into the house that Dick and Jill built for me. It’s a beautiful house that I love. I’ve been heating with a wood stove this winter, and that has been so much more satisfying – and warm – than I expected. As wonderful as this all is, moving is a giant hassle. I am still trying to straighten out all my fiber stuff in the second bedroom.

Third, I started working part-time at a chain department store in Traverse City – on the very same day that I moved! My fiber arts schedule was unusually sparse this winter and I really needed some supplemental income, especially with a new house (and new expenses). This job has the advantage of being relatively low stress, but it has required more energy and time than I expected. At least I’ve been able to still buy groceries and pay some bills. The job has also helped me clarify my thoughts on the value of kindness, and the problems with conspicuous consumption and throw-away purchases. My last day at that job is April 5.

So, that’s why I’ve been on the silent side since fall. I am sorry for that. I will do better.

I’d like to mention two recent fiber-related events in which I participated. In February, I was one of three local fiber folks participating in a panel discussion at a potluck (I took some home made bread) sponsored by Grow Benzie, an organization whose mission is to enrich “.. our region by fostering positive action to increase access to healthful foods, jobs, life skills, and each other and by providing a community place that supports and nurtures these activities.” After the panel discussion and dinner, we got to watch the compelling movie, The True Cost about the social, economic, and environmental problems with current “fast fashion”. I was able to share my thoughts on the value of making, using natural fibers, and attending fiber festivals. It was a special evening that will stick with me and has prompted me to flesh out my thoughts on slow fashion.

Last week, I was the presenter at the March meeting of the Northland Weavers and Fiber Arts Guild in Traverse City   . The topic of my presentation: Drop Spindles. Now, I am much more skilled spinning on a wheel than with a drop spindle. But as I presented some history, showed various types of drop spindles, then demonstrated a couple of spinning techniques, I kept thinking that I really enjoy spinning with drop spindles and I really should do more of it!

I will soon write about my spring and summer fiber events as well as ongoing fiber projects. Soon. Really.