Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year's Revolution

No.  The title of this post is not a typo or malapropism. In a quandary about which particular goals, both professional and personal, to pursue this new year, I have settled on a resolution—to attempt to keep my spinning wheel revolving at least once a week . . . or maybe once every two weeks.


As a mother of school-aged children who is employed full-time, adding spinning to my already insane schedule doesn’t make much sense. Doing so seems as practical as a modern mother's deciding to can all her own preserves and vegetables and sew her children's clothes in-between racing to soccer practices and zooming through the drive-through in the evenings (after harried days spent at the office). I’ve had to accept the fact that women in my circumstances just don’t have enough hours in the day to study and practice, to learn the technical aspects of spinning—such as worsted vs. woolen, or short draw vs. long. So I don’t want to set any unreasonable goals in this area.


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This is wool mixed with metallic purple stuff
(kind of like Christmas tinsel). 
I worked on this little bit yesterday.


I have been knitting for three years, and spinning for a year and a half.  I’ve always sewn and also loved cooking, gardening, and other areas of creative expression.  In the past, having to put these things aside, along with any aspirations for a home with any kind of decorating theme or firm sense of order,  has sometimes been painful.  But my enthusiasm and desire to knit and spin, and to further my education in these areas and the lack of time that I have to pursue these passions for long chunks of time each day, has been, for me, a heartrending experience. 


But this blog post is about resolutions, not wistful longings or depressing tirades about time management.  So, rather than lament or be impractical and set monumental goals for the New Year, I will optimistically contrive aims for 2012.  Of course, I understand that I am merely a victim of media brainwashing.  After two months of inundation with cover lines and advertisements seducing me with images of obscenely calorie-laden desserts and expensive electronic gear, now the checkout line magazines and TV shows are impelling me to focus on fitness, stress reduction, order, and balance.  For a few days anyway, I believe such utopia is within my reach, but, ultimately, I have to cede that the world presented by the media is a fantasy, one that makes for much figurative self-flagellation on the part of women who fail to live up to its standards, materially, professionally, personally, etc.


Even though I recognize that setting New Year's resolutions testifies to my easily manipulated, sheep-like nature, I have resolved to eat better and exercise this year.  Yesterday, in a burst of naive enthusiasm, I shopped at Earthfare and tormented my horrified children with a colorful vegetarian meal, including a salad made with cranberries and yellow beets, pasta fagioli (the recipe on the bag of Goya great northern beans is wonderful), and homemade apple sauce.  The pleasures of this fare, which I paired with a wonderful Italian rose wine, were a bit dimmed by the fact that it took nearly two hours for my 11-year-old son to be cajoled (more like coerced with language I can't repeat here) to finish his modest-sized bowl of pasta and beans. 


Aside from inflicting my dietary and fitness goals on my family in the coming year, in the areas of knitting and spinning, I will do the following:


 Use my spinning wheel more often (as discussed above) and maybe take some classes this coming summer, so that I can have a more technical understanding of the process of creating yarn.


Learn how to knit entrelac.  I’m a self-taught knitter, but I think that a course is in order for this skill.  At least at a knitting class, if I turn my cell phone off, I can be assured of a few hours of uninterrupted practice.


Finish the flower pattern I actually designed, graphed, and began knitting.
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Here's a preview of my design.  I'll add a link to the PDF pattern, when
I've finished knitting up the pillow I'm creating.

Do something with the alpaca fleece in the garage (purchased with a deluded sense that, yes, I could fine the time to learn how to card and comb and then spin this huge bag). 
Continue to knit using the stash I purchased in Italy last summer. 
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Detail from poncho I finished yesterday, made
with wool/acrylic blend yarn from a trip I took to Italy. 
Cabled poncho pattern is from Chicks with Sticks.  

Continue to explore how to fit my new enriching new hobby into my personal and professional life. 


Understand that saying no is not a personal failing.  (For instance, I had contemplated having a knitting class for some women at my home last week, but, ultimately, after a bit of a struggle, I decided not to, as rest and precious limited family time seemed more outweighed the effort to clean and plan for a get-together.)


Not be concerned if I reach any of my goals for this year.  As long as my family is thriving and I have the luxury of some time to engage in creative activity, each day is enriched and has moments to savor. 




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