At the Still Point of the Turning World
Residency is over, NOW what? (While I'm waiting for the answer, I'll get some spinning done....)

Monday, October 27, 2003

SOAR 2003: DAY ONE


Sorry for these long gaps between posts. Even though I packed my laptop for this trip, it's harder to get logged on while on the road. First, the dial-up connections are half the speed they are at home. Second, without a Designated Work Area--namely a desk--I find myself scrunching up into all sorts of odd positions in order to get near a phone jack. Third, there's no time! Since starting this Away Elective, I've gone hither, I've gone yon, and I've knit a ton on the Chief's Jacket (now just short the left sleeve)--all of which has been the nicest break from the medical center and, to a lesser extent, from my needy, Internet-surfing ways.

Yet here I am at SOAR! I'm not staying at the conference center at Shanty Creek, because I'm here in Michigan with my mother, her Peke, and my father who drove all the way from Canada to hang out with me here. You see, the only way I get to travel with my family is if they agree to accompany me on my fiber junkets. I don't get enough days off to separate family time from fiber time, and--like the fibers themselves, which have mingled and merged with every surface of my life--the separation seems entirely artificial, anyway.

I'm lucky to be taking a workshop co-taught by Judith MacKenzie and Nancy Bush on spinning and knitting for Estonian lace. Nancy Bush is an enthusiastic teacher, but Judith is truly a wonder. In the most ordinary and conversational way, she speaks expertly on everything from predicting a sheep's fleece quality from the shape of its face, to the perils of spinning from a center-pull ball, to the art of tying a leader onto your bobbin so that it doesn't spin around and around as you try to get a new yarn started. And, of courrse, she has shared a number of priceless secrets to spinning a fine yarn for lace.

About more, anon. I have to do some spinning for my workshop homework, or else I might end up in the corner with the Dunce's cap on.

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