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This RingSurf Site is owned by The Patchwork Butterfly

I wasn't born with wings, so I'm trying to make my own
Thursday, May 31, 2007  

I didn't want to let May go by with only one post, so I figured I'd drop in and say "hi." So... hi. That's all I got.

Just kidding. Kind of.

I haven't been writing for a lot of reasons. The main reason is that I don't know what I want to write about. I have a lot of thoughts on this, but tonight I'm too tired to eloquently express them all, so I'm going to just sum it up. Maybe I'll go into it more soon, when I know better how to express it all. So, here's why I'm struggling with blogging in a (somewhat large) nutshell: First, my fiber work is very slow. I am a slow spinner and a slow knitter. On top of that, I work full time, and on top of THAT, I don't devote all of my time outside of work to fibery pursuits. So, if this were to be a fiber blog only, I'd probably post once a month. Once I get my new spinning project started, there just won't be much to write about. I'll have a long-term(ish) knitting project going and a very long-term spinning project going. How exciting is it to show a scarf every week that is about five inches longer than the last time you saw it? Or a bobbin that holds a few more grams of fiber? To me, that seems pretty boring. I could (and probably should) write about some of my tried-and-true tricks and tips that work for me in spinning and lace knitting, but I work on craft books all day at work, and while I love crafts there's only so much reading and writing I can do on the topic in any given day. So, since my fibery pursuits aren't enough to fill up a blog, there has to be more. And I don't know how much more I want to (or should) give away to the whole wide innernets.

First, there are my personal concerns. The blogs I love most just let the crazy all hang out. And boy, do I have more than my fair share of crazy. I'm all broken and messed up and crazy, just like everyone else. And just like most people, I don't want anyone to know it. I want to seem happy and put together and Very Grown Up. For pride reasons, you see. But I'm also scared that if I unleash the Real Me on you, you won't like me. I really wish I could say "Who cares, like me or don't" but that is not where I'm at right now. Plus, I'm not so big on criticism or meanness. And I'm sure if I let all the crazy out, I'll get plenty of both. And I would totally deserve it. If I put it all out there for people to observe, I'd better be ready for the observations. And I'm not.

Second, there are professional concerns. I work in the craft industry now, for a publisher of craft books. I'd like to work my way up to doing acquisitions, which means I'll have a somewhat public face in the craft world. And my credibility might be hurt by all of the crazy. I don't just come out and say who I am and where I work on this blog, but the astute could probably come up with some good guesses as to my employer. Also, my editorial director wants me to write a book of my own for our imprint and I might want to talk about that here if/when that happens. And then I won't be (somewhat) anonymous anymore. You'd know my full name, where I worked, and again all the crazy would ruin my cred.

So, that's where I'm at right now. I wish I could just put on my big girl pants and put it all out there and accept the consequences, but I don't feel ready for that at this point in my life or career. And since (interesting) fiber discussion is pretty thin around here, I just haven't been writing much.

And yes, that was actually the short version of what I've been thinking/feeling. Hard to believe, huh?

Anyway, since you made it through all of that, I'll now reward you with a pretty picture:

I really wanted to spin bombyx silk for my next big shawl project, so I looked through the stash and picked a likely suspect (the cursed silk I wrote about in my last post). Well, after all the struggle and strain, I finally got a half-decent swatch knit and decided that I didn't like the way spinning and knitting had reconfigured the colors. It's pretty in its own right, but not what I wanted to work with right now. Plus, I was kind of mad at that silk after all the trouble it caused me and I didn't feel like working with it for a while anyway. So, I dove back into the stash, spread out all of my bombyx and... couldn't decide. (I also found out that I have an EMBARASSING amount of bombyx silk in the stash, but that's a different story for a different day.) So, since I just couldn't pick one, I entered them all into a spreadsheet, found a random number generator and let the spinning goddess decide for me. I ended up with this one, Treetops bombyx in the color way English Gardens. This is the chain plied sample all knit up. I like it quite a bit this way, but I'm working on a 2 ply sample right now for comparison. Once the plying issue is decided, I can start spinning in earnest. No more samples for awhile! Yea!

My fleurette scarf is doing quite well, also. I've more than doubled the length since I last posted, so I'm happy with my progress. It's a few inches past two feet now, and growing. And since I've alternated it with sample spinning and knitting, I'm not even bored of it yet. It's a very simple lace and I have the pattern memorized, so it's an enjoyable "sit down and relax" knitting project. Hopefully, this means it will be finished in a timely (for me) manner. Only time will tell...

But Jennie, discretion is a very "big girl" concept and you have just utilized it exceptionally well - cudos to you! You have grasped exactly what I was just trying to explain to my 16 yo neice the other day when I was trying to get her to understand why putting all of her adolescent rebellion on her facebook might not be such a good idea in 10 years. What you put out in the public domain is never really gone and may come back to haunt you.

Meanwhile, I will continue to check your blog and enjoy when you do post. Between the day job, kids, dog, husband, house, etc. it can take me a year (or more) to complete one of my lace shawls from fleece washing through spinning, designing and knitting. That may explain one of the reasons I don't have a blog. :)
How much to share is an onging concern of mine, too. I absolutely get where you're coming from. Good luck figuring it out. ;-)

That sample swatch is gorgeous--I don't know how you do it, but the lace pattern is clear as a bell despite all the colors in the yarn.
I know exactly how you feel. I sometimes feel like I have nothing to write about either. I work a lot, I leave my house at 6 am at get back after 6 pm and I just don't have time to crank out projects. And I don't put a lot of personal stuff out there either.
So don't feel bad if your posts are infrequent, I love reading them whenever they come around!
I hear you. I let a fair amount of crazy out, but you'd be surprised. It's a balancing act, and I think the trick is to make the surface aspects of the crazy seem amusing or entertaining or whatever. After a few years, that gets harder and harder to do, I find.

Anyway, I'll be here for whatever kinds of posts you're up for. I personally find writing didactic posts tiring (I've been promising to post my "bulk fleece washing process" for over a year now), but if it's something you'd enjoy, I'd certainly love to read it, plus it could be a good test run for your book, just saying.

Anyway, I'll be lining up for your book when it does come out, and I don't think there's anything wrong with keeping your life compartmentalized, especially if you see yourself in a public role in the near future.
Do what you think is best - for you now and for you in the future. If that means infrequent postings, so be it! My mom reads my 'blog and sends me a strongly worded email if she thinks that I've said something that might come back to haunt me. While I think she overreacts 99.9% of the time, I also admit that it's useful to have another pair of critical eyes reviewing my public face (and I do usually rephrase or delete the parts that she finds objectionable).

And speaking of professional image - you bet your butt that a google search is now a standard part of a background check whenever someone applies for a job, etc. If your name, photo, and personal life are online, you really should only write about stuff that you could comfortably discuss with your boss and customers.
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