I decided to risk revealing a bit more about myself,and am going to answer some questions asked by Kathleen.
Here's how this works,in case you want to be interviewed by me ! :
1. Leave a comment saying "Interview Me". I will list your questions on THIS blog.
2. You will give answers on YOUR blog.
3. You will include this explanation and offer to interview someone else in the same post.
4. You should ask 5 questions.
1. How did you and Allan meet?
I was in my second year at art college and had given up men ! The end of a doomed relationship left me feeling somewhat bitter.
Allan was a friend of my housemate's boyfriend,and a fanatical Middlesbrough FC supporter[he only goes to the occasional match now].He,and a small group of friends,had travelled down to the midlands to watch a match in a nearby city.
Cute smile,great sense of humour and a smooth line in chat...baboom ! We both knew by the next day that we were going to be together 'forever'.Really ! It's our 23rd wedding anniversary this July.
I was - still am - an independant thinking,strong willed feminist.Had no intention of falling in love.At all.Whatsoever.
There you go.
2. You have mentioned an impact (not necessarily the word you used) that Elizabeth Zimmerman and Meg Swansen had on you and your knitting. Could you explain further?
I always was a somewhat arrogant,free thinking knitter.Started knitting at college.Never followed a pattern,just bought yarn at a market stall and cast on,winging it all the way.The arrogance of youth.Then I started adapting patterns to fit or suit me.An American pen-pal [knitting,of course.She also got me spinning,but that's another story.] mentioned Elizabeth Zimmerman.I investigated.Devoured her books,subscribed to Woolgathering.She spoke my language.Introduced me to knitting in the round.Revolutionised the way I thought about knitting.Suddenly everything,knitting wise,seemed possible.Total knitting freedom : to invent,change,fudge and just be a free thinker.Not to be tied to patterns.To explore.It doesn't always work out,but that's no great loss.It's only wool / yarn,and you learn something from every mistake.For me it's usually to trust my instincts !
Knitting has got me through some really tough times,one way or another.A raft in a sea of depression,a comfort at times of uncertainty.
3. Prior to being a mom, what kind of work did you do?
To be completely honest my 'work',the thing that consumed my time,strength and emotional strength was trying to get pregnant and then stay pregnant.I didn't really have anything left for much else.
I taught art part-time.To adults.Evening classes,and afternoon classes to bored,middle class housewives.I lit a spark in one or two.
I also had a studio in an artist's co-op.Had a few commissions,including murals at a tug company's new offices.I also spent sometime as a knitter for Artwork,but gave that up as being too close to slave labour.I then spent some time knitting and designing to commission.It sucks the joy out of knitting for me.So I gave that up as far too stressful.Not worth the pittance you earn.I'm not ambitious enough.I'm not ambitious at all,really.
4. Being a parent to a child with special needs, do you make time to do things for yourself? If yes--and I hope so--like what and how often?
Knitting and spinning.That's it really.Haven't been out in the evening without our chick since he was born.So,I suppose I don't really.I don't feel the need.We waited,and struggled,for seventeen years to have a child.It's enough,with my fibre passions and friends,for me right now.
5. And since I really liked Margene's question...I am stealing it. What is one thing you would love to do that you haven't done as of yet?
This is an incredibly hard question to answer.There are a few silly things,but I am,somewhat pathetically,unable to answer this question.
I devoted so much of myself to having our longed for child it feels like my dreams have been fullfilled.I really am not as pathetic as that makes me sound.Or am I ? ...
Making fluffy nests and
carressing my other baby ! I bought my Schact wheel over ten years ago.The most money I've ever spent on one thing just for me ! The last five years have been lonely for her,sitting in her spinning wheel bag [FoxFibre 'fox' cotton],being waxed,oiled and polished very occasionally.I've spun on spindles,but it's not the same.
I've spun 50 gms of Blue Faced Leicester roving,dyed by The Fleece Artist.
I used a modified long-draw,using the front hand to tweak,thinning out slubs,adding twist to too thin bits.I say modified because although what I do is as in the long draw video here I feel that a true long draw is slightly different.It uses very well prepared,thin,rolags,spun using a swooping movement.Swing arm out as far back as you can comfortably reach to draft and let the twist into the yarn,swoop in to allow yarn to wind on.I've seen Ruth Gough spin like this,never touching the yarn with her front hand.That produces a true woollen yarn.I was spinning a semi-worsted,trying to add air and bounce.Loads quicker than the inch-worm technique most spinners stick at.You know how I feel about pushing the boundries ! Can I add that I split the roving into thin sections,which I then carefully pre-draft.Preparing your fibre well makes spinning a joy.
Here are my samples,which I tie to my wheel to remind myself of what I'm aiming for.I've wound the singles into a centre pull ball and shall ply one end from inside and one from outside.Slowly.To avoid tangles.
I freed up a couple of other bobbins whilst I was at it.
I didn't realise how much I missed my hour of spinning before bed.I'm ecstatically happy to be spinning on my wheel again !
I have been knitting ! The never ending mohair scarf is,finally reaching the end of it's final ball.A picture will probably appear next week.
I've started a little bit of lace.
It's the Leaf Lace Shawl,which I'm knitting in Kaalund Expressions.This yarn is a lace knitters delight ! Divine,smooth kid mohair.So soft and drapey.A total pain to wind ! Really !
It comes in very long hanks.The first hank I wound,using swift and ball-winder,lost maybe 6 or 7 metres at the end.This one I wound using my patented [not],hand winding method.I put the hank over my forearms,up to just in front of my elbows,then wind the ball in the middle.I can stretch or relax the hank according to what the yarn is doing.I lost 3 metres ! I think the yarn is worth the effort,but you need some quiet time to wind it.Don't go and buy it all,at 25% off [!] as I want to get more when my yarn account is solvent again.