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I resolve to dissolve my Inner Pioneer

December 27, 2007


My true calling emerged with piercing clarity today. In fact, it slashed through neuropathic sensations of burning shrapnel searing my scalp, neck, shoulders, and arms. But when one’s true calling calls, one cannot long remain preoccupied with pain. In this case, however, the pain was intense enough that I did.

What I am cut out for, if my emergent calling is correct, is knitting beautifully milled designer yarns in a splendid drawing room, my sleek bamboo needles softly affirming points of discussion with my brilliant husband.

At present, I am in the process of knitting a sweater in a designer yarn on bamboo needles, and I do have a brilliant husband, and I do knit during discussions with him. We do not have a splendid drawing room, but our unassuming living room, sporting Christmas cards attached with magnets to the pellet stove, is sufficient for now.

This revelation followed my “Resolve to Dissolve!” all relations with former pioneer-inspired avocations, including fabrication of handspun yarn.

The burning shrapnel sensation in my scalp, neck, shoulders, and arms is the result of fibromyalgia aggravated by spinning a bit of fiber onto a hand spindle, winding the yarn onto a Lazy Kate bobbin, plying two bobbins of yarn together back onto my hand spindle (I use a hand spindle because my spinning wheel was long since designated an instrument of torture, adding my hips, shins, and ankles to the list of shrapnel targets), and wrapping the plied yarn around a niddy noddy to form a skein.

I was stupid to do all this in one sitting, but I am moderately compulsive, and moderately compulsive people with fibromyalgia routinely live with regret when they do things.

Eliminating spinning will eliminate the pain of spinning, and thus the regret of spinning. It seizes me with no regret to abandon spinning, an odd passion I picked up in college. Louisa Harding yarn is fair consolation.

I knit much more in college than I do now, and I knew how to do more things. I stopped knitting for many years, and parted with my pattern books, something I often find myself regretting now. I began spinning, I think, just because I liked yarn so much I wanted to make it myself.

For a while, I had a Karakul sheep in my back yard in Houston. I bought him from the Hermann Park Zoo. But I returned him to the zoo when my neighbor became testy over some grass Butter ate on his side of the boundary. Karakul, a Persian breed, isn’t very soft wool anyway, but it spins easily. It would have made wonderful rugs.

Late this afternoon, I washed and hung the last skein of handspun yarn I will probably ever make. It is rustic, and it will join its rustic handspun fellows in a rustic vest I will knit, a tribute to the memory of my Inner Pioneer.

I will be much happier patronizing my local yarn shop than the sheep raisers purveying dirty wool to be carded, spun, plied, wrapped, washed, &c. I have banished my Inner Pioneer and the need to “control the process.” Controlling processes is just too much work, and it hurts.

Besides, this way I can complete a project and still have time to read Boettner.

  1. heidi permalink
    December 28, 2007 7:26 am

    Just don’t take up churning your own butter as a replacement hobby.

    The wheel is lovely. I’m amazed that you even know how to spin by hand. I feel once more like I’ve led a very small and sheltered existence.

  2. December 28, 2007 7:34 am

    You don’t need to worry about the possibility that I would start churning butter–more likely I’d take up pressing olives. It’s probably a good thing they don’t grow here.

    Somehow, Heidi, I do not think of your existence as small and sheltered. You have lived in three countries in nine months! I, in the same period of time, have not once been outside of a two-county area! Correction: We did make two road trips this year, to Prosser and to Gray’s River. But I have not ventured outside of the lavishly varied territorial confines of Washington State in more than a year.

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