Spinning, Knitting, Crocheting, Organic Gardening, Living off-grid, and chasing sheep - because- I'm, like, NOT SANE!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Things I've learned....

Usually, when I find that life is unusually rough and tumbly, I step back to take a longer look from a different angle. Not really. Let me start that over and be more honest. Usually, when I find that life is unusually sucky - I freak right out and try to run and hide. Then, when that doesn't work, I generally take a step back and look at the bigger picture from as many different angles as I can to try to find a bright spot, or just to learn what the Universe is trying to teach me and move forward. The last few months have been real eye openers, to be sure.

bf; 017Firstly, I have learned what I already knew. I've learned that spinning can change your life. It can make you a better person, it can help you find refuge in a long storm, it can be done while grieving, crying, laughing, eating chocolate, or even after a few hard apple ciders on a cold night. You can wear hats. Different hats. You can change your name. You can be completely somber or silly as a bouncing clown. And still, you can spin. I've been doing a bit of that. Only, the fiber on the left, from my dear loving friend the Spindling Scot hasn't been spun yet. And, the lovely pumpkin juice at the top is a gift from David, who, if you don't already know - I adore. So, I have named the skein 'pumpkin' and continue to creep out my people by carrying pumpkin around and talking to him. The dark skein at the bottom is from our merino/corrie X sheep - a natural dark chocolate with excellent crimp and luscious spin love. The middle three skeins are a mix and match spin of the lovely and talented Amy of Spunky Eclectic. The colorway is 'estuary' and, trust me, the colors and the bfl combined are definitely on the euphoric side of spinning bliss. I plied it with the 'galaxy' series of dark bfl and will use the three of them, the other yarns, and the roving yet to be spun, in this lovely sweater for me (should the holiday knitting ever cease, that is).

While spinning these lovelies (with noted exceptions of someone else's lovely spinning and the obviously unspun roving), I've been learning. I've learned that I'm much stronger than I knew I was. I figured that out when I had to cut about 1/2 ounce off the bobbin because I was spinning with my mind on too many far away things and knotted up the bobbin in a manner that I cannot explain but was horrific and called to me to muster the most of my courage to not cry and hide under the covers. I learned about strength of other sorts, as well. And that strength, as it would be, came in handy. Isn't it tidy how life works out that way?

I learned that denial is a river and I vacation and picnic on it as frequently as possible (that's why I can fantasize about spinning sweaters and actually knitting them for myself when I am currently over my eyeballs trying to make a pair of Christmas/Yule socks and a sweater for each of the Things). It didn't help that November seemed to evaporate in an afternoon and December looms like a troll over me. What? You don't think I can do it? Shakes head at your obvious lack of belief in the power of the river of denial.

I learned that hope springs eternal until it suddenly doesn't - and, then, you have to learn how to go on without hope. Only after I trudged through the ugly muck of trying that for a while did I learn an easier and much better way. You can actually share your yearning for hope with others and, get this, they will GIVE you some of theirs. Ya'll are a veritable bank of hope and good feeling stuffs and the road has been much easier since I learned the hope sharing thing. Thanks with big hugs and nearly creepy slathering kisses....and please, do let me return the favor!

fern battsI learned that I am, and I know this is quite shocking to ya'll - a fartist (sadly, dictionary.com refuses to honor my creation and so the ACTUAL meaning of the term 'fartist' is a farmer-artist thingummie). Seriously, I had started to wonder for a while. I'd even started to think beyond the day when I'd be a fartist and tried to forget I was, even. And, I'm not the only one. There was a sufficient lack of hope for fartism abound here. Fortunately, I learned that, if you get lost, and you cannot find the way - sometimes you can just wander aimlessly around, learning and taking it all in and, all of the sudden, you'll find you're at home, again. Of course, that sort of journey generally changes you. As does spinning a shawl's worth of laceweight of this lovely 'fern' color -or, in this case, part of a shawl's worth - there are two additional skeins but, as they all look just like this one and have yet to be photographed, I beg you to trust me on the matter. 450 yds. for 3 ozs. of batts with greeny stuff and sparkles to boot......not such a bad journey after all, eh? The three will total over 1500 yds. I found, after wandering aimlessly for a bit and pretty near giving up hope, packing a little hobo bag on my back, and disappearing into the mists of a fartist-less life, that that part of me is forever, now - permanent, and something that, no matter how trying it gets, I cannot bear to change. I learned that about a few things, actually.

So, we picked ourselves up (which, by the way, ourselves has been expanded to include that cute kitty and a few others who had wandered away for a spell), dusted ourselves off, and proceeded to fart to our heart's content. Thanks for bearing with me during what I jokingly refer to as the 'recluse' months. Me thinks I'm back, now......though still subject to bouts of long swims in that denial river until the impending reality of my knitting limitations is impossible to escape. What did you expect? I changed a little- but only a little! LOL....


Oh, on the salve. The 'parts' are by weight. So, 5 parts infused oil to 1 part beeswax would go like this: 5 ozs. oil to 1 oz. beeswax. You could most certainly use a pure beeswax candle in a pinch - ask me how I know! The beeswax makes the salve solid so, if you want a sturdier, less 'oozy' salve, add a little more beeswax. For a more spreadable, softy oozy batch, less beeswax. Play, have fun. You can't mess it up. IF you add too little beeswax, melt a bit more in a couple of tbsps. of oil Don't re-heat your whole batch too much or you'll destroy the properties of the essential oils. If you need to reheat it to add more beeswax, or, if it is too stiff and you want to add more oil to make is smoother, just add more essential oils because, you know, heat destroys their healing properties.