Saturday, June 10, 2006

The heatwave continues

It is still hot. By supreme effort of will, I survived the dyeing day at AH. Well, and with a lot of help from my stalwart regular class attenders, bless them. I had an unannounced beginner to deal with as well as my continuing "problem" student.

Another younger woman, again very pleasant and extremely well motivated. She had been looking around for something new to challenge her, and spinning had been in the back of her mind for ages. She works fulltime, of course, and won't be able to come to Friday classes often, but is oh so keen! She did pretty well - had spun a length of yarn on the wheel by the end of the day. Not brilliant yarn, but there it was. And more importantly, she was understanding what she should be doing. I may or may not see her again - she took my card, might come to me as a private student. We shall see. Nice to see someone having so much fun, anyway.

The continuing student - well, I moved things on a bit, took my spare wheel in for her to try, let her use the Lendrum and the class Ashford. At least she was managing something that way. But I simply can't put my finger on what the problem is, and there is one, even getting her away from the faulty wheel. I watched like a hawk, made what seemed like the appropriate suggestions. But I don't like riding students too hard, makes them feel threatened and insecure, which only makes matters worse.

Lack of confidence may be an issue here. I've lent her the Majacraft to play at home, see if that helps. It occurs to me, writing this that yesterday's beginner was able to talk almost immediately about feeling what was going on (something I do emphasise when teaching) and the other person doesn't. If she hasn't made that vital connection between brain, hand and sensation yet, that could be the problem. This is interesting - stream of consciousness, here - I identify the need for understanding of the spinning process, but also feeling. (By which I mean the nature of the fibre, but also and more importantly, the live yarn forming in that fibre.) Whilst a person can make yarn with an extreme of one or the other, a mixture of both makes the spinner.

Does that make any sense at all, or has the weather fried my brain??

It certainly did with my own dyeing - total failure. I realised driving home yesterday that I had used the wrong amount of mordant, something I am prone to do when using it in solution. I have resolved to return to mixing the alum crystals afresh each time, thereby removing one mathematical step from the process. We may only be dealing in 10%s here, but that can still fox my poor challenged brain. The solution has a tendency to rapidly recrystallise, anyway, so this makes sense to me.

Can't stand lurking in front of the computer any longer. We are going in to Manchester to the theatre this afternoon (are we quite mad??) I need some coolth, caffeine and calm before then. The DSM is being stalwart too today, as I have been struggling a bit, and he is running the Saturday morning errands. A couple of times this week he has let me run off at the mouth about stuff, If I can manage not to moan too freely about how I don't do cities in the heat usually, that will repay the kindness somewhat!

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