Thursday, November 17, 2005

Knitting and Spinning Disphoria: Surely a Temporary Condition!

Somehow, my spinning process has been "stuck" the last few months. My current batch of wool was heavy-laden with vegetable material--in this case, burdock seed pods. Even though I spun the singles quite coarsely, it was very slow spinning, and the results, while nicely dyed, were not appealing until I washed the spun and plyed skeins. Most of the crud fell out, and the yarn fluffed up pretty well. Since I washed it with some cheap lavender-scented shampoo, it smells really nice now. I took it down to Morningstar Folk Arts where it's selling for just $2.00 per ounce--a bargain, if I do say so myself.

I've moved on to some teal fleece from the same wool sack. Fortunately, this dye lot was much cleaner, and it's much more pleasant to work with. I hope that the prospect of spinning by the crackling wood stove each evening will get me spinning along once again.

I am also experiencing some knitting disphoria. This is very unusual for me. The only explanation I can think of is my brief foray into retail sales at the Greenbrier Resort's Artist's Colony shop, Appalachian by Design. In between waiting on customers and tidying up the shop, I was meant to knit where customers could see me. The company's chairwoman assigned me several knitting tasks, including knitting up a store model from a kit. These tasks were not much fun, and when it was all over, I didn't get paid promptly. My intention here is not to complain, because I learned a lot of non-knitting lessons about retail, machine knitting, and West Virginia history. It was a worthwhile experience. I do suspect that it took some fun out of knitting, at least temporarily. Of course, I've had knitter's block before. It will pass.

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