A View from Sierra County

Small town life and politics, lots of knitting, and travels with and without my five burros

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Location: In the Sierra Nevadas, United States

I blog about rural living and social issues, and the creativity that comes from knitting, as well as post random pictures of the Sierras and my burros. "In order to be an artist, one must be deeply rooted in the society" - Simone de Beauvoir


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Sunday, January 15, 2006

Spinning Saturday and Other Passages

Just after Thanksgiving, I joined the Foothill Fiber Guild in Nevada City, which is closest to me geographically. This weekend was my first chance to make it to the monthly Spinning Saturday program, held at the local library. There is a four-hour open period during which guild members and the public can bring their spinning or other fiber crafts and visit with and learn from each other. I brought knitting, and pretty much kept it a secret that I ever used to spin, since I am not particularly proud of my past spinning attempts and don't expect to resurrect my wheel. It was great fun to watch someone else make their first successful attempt on the wheel, and even a bit inspiring to watch people turning out such nice yarn from commercially carded roving, as I had always hand-carded with somewhat lumpy results.

There were also several guild members working on a fledgling inkle project that Sara has put together for a display the guild will be doing at the Conference of Northern California Weavers in May down in Modessto.


Sara, on the right, demonstrates the inkle pattern that the guild members will be displaying at CNCH in May (I can't remember the name of the woman on left - too many new people at once (: You can see a closer detail of Sara's partially completed band on her blog.


A close up of another band.

I had a very pleasant time knitting, talking, and listening, and learned random but useful things, including Jan's experience of using glass gallon jars painted black and placed in her coldframe during summer to dye yarn (she uses a strip of tape down the side to create a window to peer in and see how the dyeing is coming along, but hadn't gotten around to solar cooking yet), and how to make a spindle while recycling those AOL CDs you keep getting in the mail. I developed a cold Friday, and suffered a bit throughout the day, but hung in there till I was too chilly, sitting near the door, and took off to head over to Chico, as Nikki and I had a training to attend today (yes, I know it is Sunday, but there simply is no rest for the wicked, I guess).

My son Cody and I had an early dinner together, while Nikki made a slow drive through the snow from Downieville west, then the rain, which ended at dusk. My DH spent the weekend at our house in Forest City, giving a class and then a tour at the museum, while a foot of snow accumulated; I think we are finally getting a bit of real winter here in the Sierras (although I guess the flooding a few weeks ago should count too). Nikki is sicker than I am, so we both lounged around and turned in early in order to make it through today's child care health and safety training, during which I was able to knit quite a bit on my Ruffled Shawl.

Today also marks the 11th anniversary of the death of my own mother. I pondered this gap in my life while driving back home, and realized that the thing I was most grateful to have acquired from my mother was the strong sense of family I have. My mother was there for us through various crises, and even when I didn't want to admit to needing help as an adult, I always knew if things got really tough, I could go to her and ask for help and it would be there. That was someting important for me to apply in my own mothering, and I am extremely lucky to be so close to my children, and to have been able to give back through them.

My mother didn't like to knit, but made socks during WWII and made sure I got knitting lessons when I expressed an interest at age five. She did love to play the piano, and my fondest memories from early childhood were when she would sit down and play late in the afternoon, to entertain us and "settle us down" during that rambunctious and anxious period just before dinner and my dad coming home from work. She didn't do this daily, but it worked every time, because she was very good and lively, playing jazz piano by reading chords. I also started piano lessons at age five, but the musical training, while useful throughout my life, didn't inspire the same passion, and didn't stick with me. She always admired the things I made, and later the patience I had as a mother when my children were young. It was very hard to go forward without her the first year or two.

Hugs to all of you mothers out there.

4 Comments:

Blogger Carole said...

It will be 8 years in March since my mom died and I still miss her. Thanks for sharing your memories of your mother.

4:22 AM  
Blogger Sara said...

Ack! Stealth camera! I will know to watch out in the future :-). That is Sue with me in the photo, and later weaving her pick up band.

It has been 14 years since my mother died. I think of her often, and *just know* what she would say in a given moment. It is wonderful to fondly keep her alive in my memory.

6:17 AM  
Anonymous margene said...

What a beautiful tribute to your mother. Mine has been gone since 1989 and I still wish I could talk to her.

8:13 AM  
Blogger FaeryCrafty said...

And hugs to you :)

4:29 PM  

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