I think I’ve mentioned previously, but I’ve been doing a lot of this lately.
It’s relaxing. I can sell or give the output to my friends. It gets my body moving (even though it doesn’t particularly count as exercise). But mostly, I have an embarrassing pile of fiber stash. At this point I have (I think) finally used up all the fiber I got at Rhinebeck in 2007.
But way, way back when I started spinning, and there wasn’t any place in Gainesville to get fiber, I joined the Spunky Eclectic Fiber Club. I did that for about two or three years, getting four ounces of fiber a month. Then we opened Hanks, and I started selling my handspun, and I upped it to a double-down, or eight ounces of fiber a month. I did that for the duration of Hanks being open – spinning it pretty much as it came in, and selling it or giving it to friends for holidays – ….. and then we closed Hanks. And I started HaldeCraft. And all of a sudden, the majority of my work day was not spent sitting and spinning or knitting while entertaining guests. And I fell behind. And farther behind. But I didn’t want to stop getting the fiber, because what if I let up on myself and gave myself time to spin? And it’s not like I couldn’t still put my handspun up for sale, or gift it. So I kept getting it.
Then all of a sudden a few months ago (when I was on one of those “what the fuck my office is way overcrowded how can I cut down on the crap in this room” jaunts)… I realized, I really kind of do have a shit ton of fiber. Some of my club fiber dates back to the summer of 2011, and most of my non-club fiber predates that. Other than the club fiber I haven’t really been letting myself buy a lot, because, limited space. Hey. Maybe I could free up some of that limited space by SPINNING THE FIBER INTO YARN AND GETTING RID OF IT. Der. (What, just get rid of the fiber, as-is? ARE YOU MAD? SHUT UP!)
About six weeks ago I set myself a goal of spinning an ounce a day. I want to spin more than that (and usually do) but I thought one ounce was reasonable. And more forgivable to myself if one day I spin three ounces and the next day, nothing. I haven’t counted plying as part of that ounce-per-day, but perhaps I should, because the more I spin, the better I spin, the thinner I spin, and the longer it takes to both spin and ply. In the last six weeks I’ve spun and plied about…. I think five eight-ounce bags of fiber, and two four-ounce braids that I bought specifically to spin at Fiber-In (I bought them from Jane and Ginger, who were going to be vending there, and as people usually ask you where you got what you’re spinning, I wanted to be able to point out their booth). So in roughly 42 days I’ve spun 48 ounces of fiber, plus plying about 40 ounces of that, which is why at this point I feel pretty good about announcing my six-weeks-ago-intention (you know I’d never be bringing this up if I’d tried it and petered out, right? It would just be one of those things that Never Gets Mentioned?).
Out of that, I’ve only spun one thing I really wanted to keep (the one in the top middle) but Tiny Kitten did cause me to keep two others. THANKS, CHEWY. Which brings up that I am much more of a process spinner than a product spinner. A lot of people will ask, when you’re spinning, “what are you making” and I’m never really sure how to answer that because (1) I’m very literal and (2) I just spin to spin, most times. I enjoy the process of spinning. I enjoy the meditativness of it (even though Spell-Check insists that’s not a word), I enjoy the repetition, the sound, and I do enjoy the finished product but I’m not usually married to it. Probably why I give away a lot of my knitting, too, and sell my ceramics. I don’t need to keep everything I make, for me, the joy is in the making.