Sunday, January 19, 2014

Winter, Dormancy, and Stocking up

After several years of constant deadlines and pushing on, keeping up and just-keep-going-ness, I find myself resting.

I have not been inactive, per se, and not purposeless, but slower, without the sense of urgency and lists. This is a familiar phase: like winter dormancy; the inactivity after the storms, so to speak. It has always been easy to fill this time with spinning.


These are small skeins of silk, done on spindles while traveling or waiting or even on purpose at a demo or festival. Spindles are so easy to take along, but they do cause a bit of commentary, unlike, say, knitting, which only seems to pigeonhole one as some old grandma (that would be me!).

The other evening I was waiting for a meeting to begin, and the woman next to me asked what I was doing. Spinning silk, I told her. What for, she asked. For weaving, I replied. I happened to be wearing a handspun silk jacket, so I showed her: "like this". Looks awfully slow, she replied. Yes, I said, it will take about a year to spin enough for a garment. But one a year is plenty, for me.

As I spin, I think of what to weave. I usually start out with "scarf" then "shawl" then maybe kimono, or shirt. We are to the "shirt" phase of imagining now, and I just might maybe perhaps perchance have a good place to wear a handspun silk shirt this summer. So now we have a deadline, of sorts. Or at least a time frame. No urgency, because if this does not get done, I have other clothing. Even other handspun silk clothing.

But yesterday, this thought process involved pulling out some silk fiber that would, when spun up, pull all these skeins together:


I like the wine color (this is a Tussah, for those following along at home). I also liked the brown:


Today I will weigh and measure, calculate and figure out how much yardage I will need, and how much I have on hand. And I will keep spinning.

The good news:


More travel is on the horizon. Have spindles, will travel. Although this week I will be traveling by car, so I could actually toss in the wheel....or both! Think of the production level! Whoa. Just the thought makes me dizzy.


Blogger Lynn said...

Sometimes I look at my handknit sweaters or my scarves and shawls and think, there are a lot of them there. A sweater and two or three shawls a year does add up to many over a decade! (So why are there still days with nothing to wear?)

5:07 AM  
Anonymous Sue said...

I am in the dreaming/designing phase of what will be my first handwoven cloth for clothing. The lamb is still growing the fleece, so there is time. You are one of my sources of inspiration, so thank you for that!

6:51 PM  

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