Like The Queen
Whatever happens to strike my fancy, but surely some sort of fiber content.


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Saturday, April 05, 2003  

When is it a mistake and when is it a design feature and when does it make no difference at all?

No matter how carefully I check for errors, I'm likely to leave some in any posting. Yesterday's whole discussion of spinning technique begins by saying I hold the wool in my right hand and draft with my ?!?right hand?!?

Okay - idiot me - the gist of the posting was that the left hand had to do more than just pull on fibers - it had to feel what it was pulling out of the fiber mass. And the right hand, which is my dominant hand, has to lighten up a bit - quit trying to do it all.

When I am spinning, very frequently depending upon how thick my yarn is, but also depending upon how tidy the fiber mass is, sometimes I can just draw my right hand back and the fibers spin out of the mass at just the right thickness, twisting into exactly the right tightness. At my present skill level, I can’t always do this deliberately - but whenever it happens, even accidentally, it’s a thrill. Usually when my right hand decides to take over, it pulls back and a thick wad of fibers grabs the twist and I can either have a slub in the yarn or I can stop, untwist a bit, see if I can draft out the correct number of fibers, or; if I can’t, pull off the fiber mass, untwist more, and join again.

I don’t mind doing this - but then I begin to wonder “Is it really necessary? Is this anal behavior? Will my yarn look completely amateurish?” The big question is: At what point do you correct your error? Often, single yarn that I’m sure is as slubby and uneven and just plain crappy looking as it can be, will ply up and wash into the most beautiful yarn. People will look at it and cry out at it’s perfection. My own eyes sometimes see the perfection, sometimes see the ... what shall I call it? - the humanity of it? (What is a good opponent to perfection? Imperfection...what a watered down word - eh. interesting puzzle, I will ask Mr.Wordsmith when he wakes up)

I think I notice it depending on my mood more than anything else. If I’m generally pleased with the yarn, I don’t, and if there is something else I don’t like about it, I do. I am a Virgo, though, and I am always assessing my work - putting it on the chart according to my personal scale of perfection. I try not to let others know I am doing this. I’ve learned to just say “thank you very much” when I'm complimented. But inside my little tidy heart is an OPINION that only reason and careful consideration, or going back and correcting errors, will change.

Where I am fortunate is that I have deft hands. In another life, eons ago, I was a professional orchestral violinist. There is quite a lot that these hands can do well. And I had a mother who assumed her children could all do anything, if they wanted to - who never said “you can’t do that” or “that will be too hard”.

What I am striving for is:

· the ability to judge when it is an error’
· the skill to correct it
· the discipline to actually make the correction
· the confidence to leave minor flaws to their own obscurity

My. That sounds so ... so ... so wonderful!

posted by Bess | 6:51 AM