Thursday, October 04, 2007

The world in its infinite variety

Two hours one-on-one teaching is exhausting! Rewarding, but exhausting. This particualr "student" is a real pleasure to work with, very pleasant and bright and likely to end up an amazingly good spinner. But by the time we have covered what she wanted from me today - longdraw and navajo plying - plus answering all the questions she has lined up, I am approaching brain-dead.

So I chose to recover with a soap opera and some knitting.

red mitten

Bright red spiral rib mittens from Homespun, Handknit. Chunky yarn, so gratifyingly quick to knit. Not completely mindless, and a different thumb technique from the previous pair I made. (All the fingerless ones I have done, I have made up the thumb treatment as I went along.)

Longdraw. Sylvia asked why I had doubts about doing this on my new wheel, which rather gave me pause, as she is a fine and knowledgeable spinner.

I have previously spun on a Pipy Poly, which had a large hook instead of an orifice, and a Majacraft Tiny Tim with a delta. This is what the Little Gem has, too, as do, I believe, all of their wheels. Hooks and deltas behave rather like the spindle on a great wheel or charka: if you don't have the thread coming off the point at just the right alignment, then you get a lot of bumping and bouncing, which I find tiring and unpleasant. You will get yarn spinning ok, but you may not enjoy the process. Both longdraw and point of contact need, in my opinion, to come off in a dead straight line with the "point" of the delta; that is what I meant.

As I love little better than discussing the finer points of spinning technique in a thoroughly geek-like way, feel free to agree/disagree/otherwise comment!

Actually, that brings me back to my teaching session. This morning's visitor has previously had sessions with a very well known and well-respected spinning tutor. I have several areas where I disagree with her pretty fundamentally; this happens, it is quite normal, and I am not (necessarily) casting nasturtiums. But it can be a ittle tricky to handle in a tactful manner, other than saying the above. I do hope that works!

And now for something completely different.

A few years ago, we had a magical evening in San Francisco just prior to SOAR. A bunch of people met for a social gathering, great food, great wine, great and joyous laughter. Few of us had ever met face to face before; we were - are- all on the same email list. I don't think I will ever forget driving back out of the city on a warm,calm evening, the lights in the buildings turning the world to fairyland, having spent precious time with strangers who were in an instant firm friends. Whenever people curse the internet, I think of that.

However - we met at the home of Joy, Nyondo and Lena, and although I have never met them face to face since, I am in contact and follow their adventures - which are magical in themselves - via Joy's blog. Today, this pricked my conscience.


I don't know that there is much that we as individuals can do about Burma. Of course, there are countries where such suppression of democracy (whatever that is) have lead to very different words and actions....But the very least I can do is raise my hand and join the chorus that says "This is wrong".

And at the same time, I commend Joy's blog to you, with particular reference to the Tsao Pema Medical Emergency Fund. The back story to this is in the archives. I was told a very long time agao that the bes way to get aid anywhere was to channel it via a personal contact. Here you can see how a very little sent this way can achieve so much.

And them's my thoughts for today.


beadlizard said...

Of course your answer makes perfect sense and rings a rusty bell in my brain. However, I'm the type to crank up the stereo and pretend there is no conflict at the orifice/vee and simply spin long draw because it's my favorite. Haven't spun on a Majacraft in ten years -- thus the brain fart.

Yes, that particular gathering at Joy's was the best of all things. Would that we could pop in on them in India for a moment -- see if your DSM has any ideas about successful teleporting?

On their last visit here I saw the piles of photos and letters from people needing sponsors and care. The Graces are working wonders over there. Very proud of them!

Janet said...

Thanks for the reference to Joy's blog - I can see I have a lot of reading to catch up on.