Today was plying and finishing class. Plying is when you take multiple single yarns that you've spun, and spin them together to create yarn you can make stuff with. Sounds easy enough. Hah! There are twists and turns and treadle speeds and ratios...and a sad mess. Today I was the remedial student. It was embarrassing. There I was surrounded by creative people...there was the womon who infused wool with the color of late summer sunshine--using marigolds no less, the guy who had no questions but great--and clearly achievable--plans for the roving he was smoothly and flawlessly spinning, and another womon quietly sitting in a corner plying three singles together to create a fine, lovely yarn of wool and angora; when she talked about the sweater she'd make from it, I knew I'd be seeing that sweater, and lusting after it! But my wheel and I produced a tangled mess, that even my absolutely untrained eyes knew didn't vaguely resemble something usable.
I never expected to sit down at the wheel and 'get it' all at once. But to be so infatuated with wool, to love the feel and energy of it, to want to linger long and have a meaningful relationship with it, only to still be knitting squares and spinning slubby singles that bceome painfully plied pairings is discouraging. All that mess up there, and here's the little segment that is what it should have been:
Do you ever feel like you came into your own life too late? I didn't meet Linda until I was 43. Didn't meet wool until I was 48. Didn't figure out that a homespun life with critters (besides cats) and gardens might be what my soul longed for. And now that I know all this, sometimes it just seems too late for all of it. Not too late in years; I'm only 50 1/2. No...too late to learn new tricks. Too late to be a student all over again, to face failure and be the remedial student, that 'one' who needs all the extra help. Too late to get up and feed chickens before going to work. Too late to relish digging and sweating on a hot summer day even for the profound joy of biting into the sweet flesh of a sunbathed tomato. That's how I'm feeling today. Tomorrow I'll sit at the wheel and spin my singles and count the treadling in an effort to create something consistent and worth plying. Tomorrow I'll read Backyard Poultry and talk with Linda about how we'll address all those things that made me quit on chickens (like Winter housing and fencing) so we can try again and be successful. Tomorrow--or some snowy day (if we EVER get one this Winter)--we'll pull out the seed catalogs and garden bed drawings, and plan again. But today, I'm just tired and discouraged. Today I feel like the little match girl peering in the windows at the wondrous creations of people who speak the language of wool, and feeling like I'm never gonna get there. Deep sigh.