Huzzah! I finished the bulk of my annual job: I sent 520 pages off to the printer yesterday! There's the usual correction of bluelines and preparation of web files to follow, but that's nothing in comparison to the final push to finalize the book itself ("the book" is a collection of medical articles, in case you were wondering). Some free time again...
And to celebrate, I'm heading down to Portland, Oregon, tomorrow to give a talk at the Tigard Knitting Guild and then to teach for 2 days at their annual retreat. The guild has a yearly theme: this year it is Color, so my color class will fit right in. I've also developed a techniques class covering the jogless jog, changing colors without losing your mind, and crocheted steeks. I'm so looking forward to this weekend with other enthusiasts in the lovely state of Oregon!
Many years ago a young friend of mine showed an amazing facility with fiber when I led our Girl Scout Troop through one of their badges. Emily used my clunky old spindle easily, so I gave it to her. Fast forward 6 years to find her finishing her first knitted sweater--a beauty--and still spinning away.
Back in 1976 I was learning to spin, and my father helped me assemble an Ashford wheel kit. I kept the wheel in my dorm room and washed fleece in the dorm bathroom! (In this photo, I've brought the wheel to my parents' house for an evening--note the Fair Isle sweater.) Only two years later my father had died, and my life moved in directions that took me away from the spinning.
When we moved to Berkeley in 2004, I took up spinning again. This trusty wheel worked just fine after being trundled from here to there to there to there, stored in basements and attics. A trooper. But then I had the chance to buy a Lendrum from a friend; and another chance to buy a Schacht at a price I could afford. The Ashford wasn't lonely, though. First, Rachael learned to spin on her, and then she spent time with Jewel--an ambassador of spinning joy is what that Ashford was. She wanted more action than I could give her, though, and more space than our modest house could offer.
I was stuck. Because this wheel was so closely tied to memories of my father, I didn't want to sell it. But I was finally ready to let it go. Then I remembered Emily! I knew that she would understand what this wheel means to me and that she would love and care for and use the wheel.
It felt good to say goodbye.