Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Did a Muppet Cough Up a Hairball, or Am I Spinning My Own Yarn?

Well, a little bit of both, I guess:

I'm revealing this gruesome objet in the interests of full disclosure.  I'm not too proud to show you the very unlovely thing I made, because I sort of treasure its unloveliness.  It's been a long time since I've been a greenhorn, and in a way, it's sort of fun to suck at something.  It's relaxing to begin at the beginning.  I haven't done that since...well, since I gave birth to E.  I had no idea how to be a parent...okay, I still don't...but I have faith that I will know how to spin yarn, eventually.  At least at this I can show tangible improvement...and, Lord knows, I have nowhere to go but up...

I suppose I had a romantic idea about spinning from reading "Farmer Boy" by Laura Ingalls Wilder, about her husband Almanzo's 19th century boyhood:

"Mother always flew.  Her feet went pattering, her hands moved so fast you could hardly watch them.  She never sat down in the daytime, except at her spinning wheel or loom, and then her hands flew, her feet tapped, the spinning-wheel was a blur or the loom was clattering, thump! thud! clickety-clack!"

I have some housewifely envy of Mother Wilder's abilities, and her skill at managing the complexities of a farmhouse before washing machines and frozen food...and I love to connect with the past in this way, even though it's just a taste of it.

What's the last thing you learned to do from scratch?


Beverly said...

Yay for spinning!

I made my first book recently, but I didn't make the paper myself. I think I'll try to this summer, though.

Anonymous said...

WOW....I had forgotten about those books....over the last 25 years, I have taught myself munerous crafts, but they have all taken a back seat to knitting....perhaps some need to see the light of day lap quilting.

CynicalGal said...

Thanks so much for your comment on my post today! I thought of my dad when I commented on your loss too. It is nice that in sad times we so often find kindred spirits if we are open to them.

CSI Seattle said...

I am not entirely sure what I am looking at in these two pictures, although the second one looks like a hamster on a stick...oopps, did i say that?

I did give some thought to the "making something from scratch". I think of this in two ways: The first I can apply to drawing. For years I would draw, having no training at all. I just had a sketch book and some #2 pencils. My work was marginal, but this was "creating" from scratch if you will, since I taught myself.

Later I attended the Art Institute of Seattle for a while and received instruction on drawing, which really improved my skills. And I bought a really expensive box of pencils, which didn't make me a better artist but I felt really smart because they came in a cool metal case.

My second thought was having no knowledge of how to proceed with something, but doing the research and then going forward.

I recently built a oval shaped poker table, 4' x 8' from scratch. I had no idea what I was doing, so I found some plans and pictures on the internet. I went off to the store for lumber, and a fabric store for the vinyl and such. The project took about 50 hours, but I built a really nice table having no experience with that sort of thing before.

At some level, any new attempt at something might be described as starting from scratch. I could even say that creating a Blog was a project from scratch since I didn't know then and still don't know what I am doing.

Leah said...

Yes, LOL, hamster on a stick--and not a particularly well-groomed hamster at that. Rest assured, however, it's not Dr. Frizzle...

I agree that any new attempt at something never before attempted is pretty exciting--it's previously undiscovered territory, and you can really learn something about yourself when you test your limits in some way.

And may I add--I've always wanted to learn both book-making and quilting! My brother-in-law taught himself book-making and created some lovely, lovely works of art. I even own one of them myself! Yay for other people's talents!