Letting Go

This guy was one of the bobbins I left intact in the New Year’s Eve purge. I set it aside a while back because this was a bobbin of leftovers from a previous project. I knew I plied the bright, multi-colored single with a dark gray to tone it down. I knew I bought more of the gray to spin up and ply with the leftovers. And that was all I knew. But I liked it so I thought I might finish it. To the stash cave I went to find the yarn and see what the label could tell me about the original spin.

Only it turned out I set the bobbin aside not just a while, but almost FIVE years ago. Man time flies. The true significance wasn’t in how much time has passed but in how much habit has been built in that five years. Because five years ago was a lot of classes ago and it turns out it was also a lot of bad habits ago. Because I had NOTHING. And no Ravelry stash page. And a mystery of construction with no notes to remind me what I did. I established that the yarn is actually 3 ply, not 2 like I’d thought, and a 2×1 cable at that. I knew it was a project for a group I used to participate in, so I managed to trace it back to a post but the only details I was able to confirm were the ones I’d already figured out and not overly helpful. Faced with the choice between trying to recreate a mystery or call it a day, I made a big choice. I let it go. And it felt good.

Also I have a pretty skein of singles that may just make an interesting Hitchhiker some day… So far I like how this intention idea is working out!

Looking Back To Look Forward

Huh. Nearly a year. My poor ignored blog has sat untouched for nearly a year. Given how The Year That Shall Not Be Named went, I suppose this shouldn’t surprise me. There were a lot of things that went neglected, either intentionally or because the world just felt so damned overwhelming. I’d say this was definitely a bit of both. So now I’ll try again to dust it off and see what happens.

A few years ago I started using bullet journals to keep track of stuff. The various calendars I use to manage home and work life, packing lists for trips and festivals, the mundane daily tasks, the silly things that are just fun to track. Some of my favorite lists are the things I’ve read, the things I’ve spun and the thinks I’ve knit. These are the things I do to keep me sane, to keep me grounded and just generally to relax. Its fun to see what gets accomplished. In 2018, I read 29 books. Not bad. Half were a new series I discovered and plowed through everything that was available. Most of the rest were re-visiting old friends. In 2019 my reading game stepped up a bit- 36 books. A couple of new series were discovered and thoroughly enjoyed. Slightly less than half were re-reads. Still very satisfying. Books are like old friends. The good ones are worth catching up with on the regular! Last year, last year was only 24 reads. Four were previously unread. Twenty times I realized I didn’t have the head space to learn new characters or storylines. 2020 was the year of comfort reads and I’m both surprised and not surprised at the decline in finishes. It was just that kind of a year.

Spinning and knitting followed a similar course. For much of 2020 I didn’t knit much at all and I only finished 14 projects over the year. By comparison it was 27 in 2019 and 28 in 2018. Interestingly my 2020 yardage knit (9283 yards) did outpace my 2019 yardage (8767) which fascinates me just a bit, but I did get on a sweater kick late in the year thanks to a couple of surgeries and sedentary recovery periods, so the fun of looking back might be realizing that less is still sometimes more!

Spinning, though, is really where this exercise in reflection began. Spinning is something I love. The fiber passing through my fingers becoming plies, plies becoming yarn is comfort. It is healing, It is relaxing at its finest level. But it is also something that has been sorely neglected. In 2018 and 2019 much of my spinning time was dedicated to my Master Spinners Levels I and II coursework. There was a good deal of it done, but in 10 yard bits and pieces I didn’t much track. Larger spins weren’t something I much had time to do. Seven spins were tracked in 2018. 6 in 2019. This is sad. But worse was 2020 when only four made it from wheel to finished yarn. This, I have decided, is unacceptable. I have too many fantastic tools and too much fiber that needs love to only manage 4 yarns in a year. Sure, those were all big yardage projects, but I need to spin more in 2021.

I’ve decided to set an intention to spend time with fiber every day. US dietary recommendations are for 25g of fiber a day. I could care less about the US dietary recommendations, but it sounded like a fun place to start. So my intention for 2021 is to spend at least 25 minutes a day spinning. Can be on a wheel or with a drop spindle, whatever feels right or fits in best, but I’m curious what will happen to my yearly production if I come even close to 25 minutes a day! So far so good.

January 2 I started plying. I forget how long it takes to chain ply 4 ounces of finely spun singles… So long that 3 hours at the wheel didn’t get it done. So January 3 I finished it. And even that was another hour or so! But hey! Not bad. 3 days in and I have a finished yarn! Or it will be as soon as it’s out of the bath. But something to add to the annual tracker makes me happy. And lord knows the new year needed to start out with some happy!

Kicked the knitting off with a quick finish, too, since I needed some potato chip knitting while watching a movie so I cast on a quick hat for my hubby last night and finished that off after the yarn