finishing and fluff


Important News:

Dusty has approved my BFL/Silk batts. He says that anything this close to the colour of his own fur is divine.

I know you are all as relieved to hear this as I am.

Bins of Batts

I’ve been drumcarding several batts a day for my Tour de Fleece project.

I decided to just roll them up like big fluffy jelly rolls–as opposed to my standard twist-it-into-a-knot method–because I wanted to handle the batts the least amount possible. These are truly the airiest, poufiest, fluffiest whacks of fibre ever, and after making the first few into knots, I couldn’t bear squooshing the life out of them any more.

I’m not the sort of person to do all of Step One (fibre prep) before doing Step Two (spinning). So here’s the first bobbin of singles, even though I have a bag of fibre left to feed into the drumcarder:

Finishing All The Things

I realized a few weeks back that I had over-committed myself this year. That’s a hard thing to admit in our western, do-it-all, have-it-all, the-more-work-you-have-to-do-the-more-virtuous-you-are, culture. Our little knitting/spinning community has a wide streak of this as well. Designers travel all over to teach, they self-publish ebooks full of new designs, they have trunk shows and books to write and online classes with hundreds of students. Oh, wait. Most of them also have a house and a family.  Doing it all, knitter style; because that’s what it takes to make a living from intentional tangles of yarn.

It’s definitely not OK to admit to taking on too much. Since hard work = virtue, it’s wimpy to say you can’t do it all, sorry, you thought you could, but you just couldn’t. Bad time management. Improper prioritization. Failure to effectively multitask. Your sins are many if you admit to not being able to keep up.

I’m not the sort to actually drop a project or work item, not unless it’s clearly flawed or else simply unnecessary. I like to follow through with my commitments, even if those commitments are only between my spindle and myself. Lately, I’ve been making an effort to Finish Things, and wouldn’t you know it, I have learned something in the process.

In order to Finish Something, you have to focus time and energy on it, right? This means that you take time and energy away from other projects for a while. So, even as you are making great progress on the Something, other things are falling behind schedule. I’m used to the sort of workload where one does not have the luxury of focusing on a single project for hours at a time. I’m used to working on things in short bursts, navigating around interruptions, emergencies, meetings, and deadlines. I jump from one project to another to another in the course of a single day, mostly so that I can say, “Look, I’ve made progress!” no matter who is asking about which project. I’m making progress on all the projects, even though that progress is so miniscule as to actually be a hindrance, given that each time I pick up the project, I have to figure out where I am and what to do next, time after time. The progress is so slow that even I can’t see what I did.

The result, of course, is that I make tiny progress on many things, without getting any closer to finishing any of them.

Thus, I’m trying something different. I commit myself to finishing a certain project, and set aside generous chunks of time in which to work on it. I pick two or three projects to work on in the hopes that I will finish at least one of them and be able to move on to something else.

It’s working. Sort of.

I spun up all the “Abalone” batts I had made last fall, one of my first drumcarding projects. I finished something! Go me!

As I was fist-pumping and doing my victory dance (don’t YOU have a victory dance?), I noticed a tiny scrap of blue peeking out from within a knitting project bag. (Not a spinning project bag, of course.)

Sure enough:

I found more.

With trepidation in my heart, I then went on to (hopefully) finish spinning the rest of the Birthday Shetland from Lynn.

So far, I haven’t found any extra Shetland wandering about the living room.

I’m nearing the end of a tiara project, a custom job. Can’t show it to you, because my policy is to let the owner see it first before anyone else. However, the little crownlette is getting uppity. I’ve run into Tiara Technical Difficulties. (No, really. You try and attach Part A to Part B in a way that looks charming and artsy and professional. Go ahead, I’ll watch.) I’ve got half the issue worked out, but I’m beginning to worry that this tiara might have gotten an extra dose of Attitude somewhere along the way.

I hope the new owner doesn’t mind a cheeky tiara. (Think I ought to warn her? Naahhhh. Let her discover it for herself.)

Chispas

So clever! Next time you need kitchen towels and don’t have the energy to weave them, try this. Now I want to find Grandma’s apple pie recipe in her handwriting.

Kinetic Rain, a fascinating sculpture? artwork? performance piece? in an airport in Singapore.

Jesus struck by lightning. That’s one of those golden, once-in-a-lifetime headlines.

Commentary on green spoons.

BatCat and Robin, ready for action; a pug on patrol. Cute Animal Category.

Finally, don’t click this link if you are in the office or anywhere where people might worry if they hear you giggling uncontrollably.

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About sandi

Knitter. Spinner. UFO wrangler. Sometime bead artist and weaver. 3 cats, 1 dog, 1 spouse, 1 crazy life.
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6 Responses to finishing and fluff

  1. Purlista says:

    Wow!!! That abalone is glorious!!! If you only ever finish one thing this year, that was so worth it right there. I can’t even multitask 2 fiber projects (multitasking knitting + work + home + loved ones is plenty right there) – be sure to take it easy on yourself as you take on too much – it is natural to want to do that and equally natural that it doesn’t all get done right now. You do know the process is the important part, not the finishing, right? right?

  2. molly says:

    and the chispas are superlative this time! (at our house, the cats leave emails…they don’t send texts – heaven forbid they find out about texting!)

  3. astrbear says:

    Just in case, I love the idea of a cheeky tiara. Who wouldn’t? Well, maybe Queen Elizabeth.

    Astrid

  4. Arla says:

    Sandi, I just love all you do!!! I aspire to have your creativity when it comes to yarns and the blending of fibres!!! You have done some beautiful work over the years since I first started following your postings way back in Interweave days… I so appreciate your candidness about all your fibre and knitting adventures.
    Thanks for sharing with us all…
    Blessings to you!!!
    Arla

  5. Jennifer (pnbjam) says:

    Hi Sandi, sounds like you’ve just implemented your own version of this ‘organizing/managing style’ (I really haven’t looked into it enough to know what to call it) that I recently ran across. A link that expains it: http://www.personalkanban.com/pk/personal-kanban-101/ Idea is that we can only properly focus on a few things at a time, but if other things are also considered ‘in progress’ then they weigh on our mind too. Your spinning looks lovely, BTW.

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