It's 2012 already!!!! Wow! I totally can't believe how fast time flies and with the year of the dragon upon us, let us hope that everything will turn out great for everyone! I haven't been updating anything around here in a while, primarily because I spent the last month and a half just hanging out with my little one, and enjoying the time off from teaching.
Here he is in his favorite toy of all - the box from a jogging stroller I purchased (see why below) - from which I cut out a square for him and padded it inside to make him his very own space ship/race car/hideaway.
Here he is hiding inside his box with his iPad, which I purchased from a fellow Raveller (it was an excellent, can't-say-no price, too)
Speaking about vacations, I totally get the summer vacations for teachers, and though I'm a year round kind of teacher working as an independent contractor for the community education area of a community college, it feels like a full time job - just without any benefits. Boo. And some students can make you batty. And since I have adult students, it's a different vibe, too. Some are there because they really want to be there (second career, life change, bucket list, etc) and some, well, just want to kill time or mom or dad are paying for the education so no loss there if they don't put in any effort. So this year, I finally failed my first student in Pathology and how I wish I could have failed a few more last year.
Anyway, I hardly had any time to do any spinning during my time off. The little one demanded most of my free time and he is growing up so fast! He is now 27 pounds and is climbing over everything. As one of my friends said, "The water level has risen" - pertaining to the height which we have to move everything we don't want him to get higher each time.
When I did get time to spin, it was mostly simple vanilla type yarns - navajo plied or andean plied worsted to bulky hands puns that will probably be destined for small projects like cowls or hand warmers. But even knitting has been difficult to do as the little one again seems to have a radar set for knitting needles and promptly demands I let go of them and play with him instead.
Oh well...spinning and knitting can be set aside anytime. I want to watch my little one grow and be there for him as much as possible.
My hobbies have been also left in the wayside because it turns out that I'm really really unhealthy - like, really. My cholesterol is up, triglycerides are up, and I'm pre-diabetic as well. And my liver enzymes were also elevated. My doctor wrote on her note, "Cut down on alcoholic drinks," and I thought to myself, "gee, I haven't drank anything since 2006 - not even wine." I looked it up and saw that one of the causes, if not alcohol, is obesity, and I'm definitely on the obese side now.
The days of telling myself that I can lose the weight quickly are gone. Age makes all that a bit more difficult. I guess it's true when people say that everything seems to slow down as we age, and most everything that lasts a minute on the lips, ends up on the hips :)
So I made the decision to stop the hobbies for a while and concentrate on my health. Instead of spinning or knitting, I now place Lucas in the stroller and we take a long brisk walk. When I drop him off at the in-laws before class time, I try to make it to the gym and do 30 minutes of circuit training and cardio (yup, Curves, here I am!) instead of using that time to spin, knit or process fiber. Which means that I'm also in destashing mode right now - destashing fleece that I don't see myself processing this year, especially since I didn't have the time to do it last year.
It does feel good to make new priorities for the year, especially when it comes to putting my health first. Without my health, I wouldn't be able to do much of anything, much less spinning, knitting, and most of all, being there for my little prince.
I still find the time to do the hobbies, of course, after all the working out and caring for the little prince are done. Sometimes you may find me spinning or knitting or crocheting in semi darkness though. Spinning still does make me feel so calm and collected, and I get to meditate a bit as well.
The first handspun for 2012 is pretty vibrant. Here's how it looked on a Louet Victoria bobbin, all 4 ounces of it. The Victoria is such a sweet wheel, by the way, and I am renting it from Nancy of Nancy's Custom Handweaving.
Here is it all navajo-plied:
Here's another one from the same fiber dyer but the colors are so muted and terrible that even spinning it became such a drag and I had a hard time plying it. I ended up having to re-ply it on the wheel but it didn't change how awful the colors were to begin with.
I still have 4 more rovings, I think, in the box that it all came in but I'm not so thrilled to spin them as the dye job is splotchy. I'm keeping my fingers crossed though that maybe if I let it sit awhile, I might forget all that and like the end result of the rovings.
And here's a crocheted hat I made from one of my handspun yarns spun from a Loop self-striping roving:
And as if I didn't have enough fiber and have been destashing some of them (only the ones that require more processing than long locks!), here's a few "Kitchen Sink Bags" from Natalie of Namaste Farms. The bags are filled with an assortment of dyed mohair, wensleydale and other wool - and even a feather!