Wednesday, July 22, 2009
On Being a Student in Boulder
I found after returning from Boulder, refreshed, rested, smarter and wiser, how I would go about my next blog entry. Over the last days, I have spent reminiscing about the class on Spinning for Weaving with Judith MacKenzie McCuin at wonderful Shuttles Spindles and Skeins; spending time with my sister/friend Connie, and finding Peet's Coffee Shop, (sob, none in Provo!) and all the fun with the Boulder fiber folks. Not surprisingly, I learned another books worth about spinning and weaving. I found to my great chagrin that I had spun myself into a boring yarn corner. I can spin impeccable sock yarn, lovely hard wearing sweater yarn, lace yarn for anything light and lacy, durable yarn of all gauges for mitts, hats, stoles and shawls. I was happy that my finished yarn was perfect for the project in mind. It would be soft and long wearing and it would end up as a heirloom gift.
Then, as I listened at Judith's knee, (do you think she would mind if I rested my head on her knee while she spoke? Or would she pat this addled woman on the head and keep teaching?) I managed to keep to my chair or drift with the assorted students as she helped with spinning here or warping there, I learned a great truth about my own spinning. The magic of Judith is she is able to put everyone at ease and soon you think you are with a talented teacher and not the living legend that she truly is. One of the new ideas I took away was my spinning was in a rut. Oh I like my rut, it's comfy and I'm pretty capable but there is a whole world of new fibers to explore. My long repressed desire to spin and weave bast fibers stretched it's arms and clapped that I had recognized it's lure at last. In fact Judith called Connie and I the "bast" girls. Faint.
I have an antique maple loom and I am now thinking a great new loom purchase sometime soon would be a good thing. It is time to listen to my inner weaver, a quiet voice that I have ignored over 30 years. Life is short, and I have found to my surprise that hitting 50 does not mean the end of the road, but means instead that "my" life has just begun. I have done: the barefoot and pregnant, Homemaker, Mommy, Caretaker, and finally Craftsman and now ME. Weaving is going to be part of the best time in my span.
Judith mentioned in her quiet way to be adventurous, and think about what we leave behind. What do you want to be your legacy? I whispered to Connie "5 thousand spindles!" We both laughed but then I thought about 5 thousand spindles. I have easily made far more than that, and each one I am satisfied and pleased to send on its balanced way. While Judith finished her three day class, I held in tears of pride and sat a little straighter. I am leaving a legacy.