Summer Q&A

I realize it’s technically not summer, since it starts in earnest on the Solstice, but let’s face it: once school is out, it’s summer. Therefore, it’s been summer for several weeks now. Summer, it turns out, is just not my favourite season.

The reason why will perhaps be evident if I tell you it’s now 10:30 AM, and I started this post at 7 AM. The reason why will perhaps be evident if I tell you it’s now Monday at 7:41 AM, and I started this post on Friday at about 7. A huge part of the problem I have with summer is scheduling. I seem to get up somewhere around 6 AM and have an hour to 90 minutes before the rest of the house has to be up. This should be a fabulous get-things-done time, but in practice, I’m either slow starting or ruling out slews of things I might do then on the grounds that they’ll wake people up, at which point the morning starts and that time would be lost.

Once everyone’s up, I scurry around doing a few tasks here and there (empty dishwasher, straighten counters, that sort of thing) and, like the real mom I am, nag the manchild to eat his breakfast and pack his lunch for day camp. Does he have a towel? Must I find one? What about sunblock? Sometimes I manage to step away from micromanaging him (like now, when I’m upstairs in my office drinking coffee, and presumably he’s eating breakfast or packing his lunch. I wonder if he has a towel.) and I usually try to not just be the nagging mom, but of course it was a day I didn’t nag when he forgot his sunblock and got a horrible sunburn. Rationally of course I know it’s not my fault; the visceral parent-brain however continues to assert that I should have controlled that.

Driving him to camp takes 30-40 minutes. I always try to think of other errands that need doing out of the house, and have them lined up. I get home sometime between 9:15 and 10:30 and sit down, getting the feeling of having been up for 3-4 hours and, it always seems, accomplished nothing at all. From that point on, my day is a rush of trying to make sure Something Gets Done, right up until about 3:30 PM when it’s time to go collect the boy (and do any other errands that may have shown themselves to be necessary). By 4:15 when that’s all done, there’s a weird chunk of 45 minutes before the dinner prep starts. After dinner is family time.

The start-and-stop and run-around schedule makes it hard to get into a groove doing anything. I feel scattered all summer long, and totally unproductive, even when I’m getting things done, because it never seems like I tackle big, all-day jobs or anything. Being so interruptible, there are scads of things that get started and not finished, and I’m always afraid I’m totally forgetting something huge. I can never figure out where I put down my sunglasses. The boy can’t seem to remember to turn off his radio, ever, and it means I have to wade through the mess of his room to get to it because its constant on-ness fills me with rage. I never feel like I’ve had enough coffee, yet I know I’m draining the entire pot most days because I end up with iced coffee at some point. I look back at last year, same time, on the blog, and ask myself, “Am I measuring up to what I was getting done then?”

Well, realistically, I probably am; but I’m doing a few different things now. There is less production, and more writing, and more of the writing is not for the blog, but for other projects; but those projects pay me money. Since I’m selling more articles, that also seems to mean I’m putting fewer articles on the blog, and it’s grown less focused. So, I’ve been trying to think what I can do about all of that, to reduce my feelings of constantly posting cop-out things with little real substance to them. So this week I want to try something new: Summer Q&A.

Here’s how it works (this week, at least). On Monday, I’m going to name a topic or pose a question or something of that ilk. That’s where you come in. You leave a comment, asking a question relating to the topic of the week, or heck, any question at all, really. Throughout the week, in fits and starts, with bursts here and there, I’ll answer these questions. Sometimes it may be multiple answer posts throughout the week; other times, a big cohesive one on Friday. We’ll see how this goes and how it evolves, and perhaps it’ll be the answer to the fractured summer schedule.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, what’s this week’s topic? Hrmmm. Well, how about “spinning from the fold?” Who’s got a question about this technique?

Free-for-all questions are also always welcome. I mean, if a bunch of you say “No, totally not spinning from the fold, what I’m dying to ask questions about is tying drive bands,” I still want to know what you’re wondering, and I love to be able to answer.

With that, it’s now time to commence the early morning home stretch, making sure lunch is packed and towel is ready and we’ll be out the door to camp soon. So let’s hear your questions about spinning from the fold!

57 thoughts on “Summer Q&A

  1. Golly, I’m really out of my depth here…I’m a brand new wet-behind-the-ears drop spindler (as in, just learned in two wee lessons from nice people, have spindle and small amount of fiber, messing up same fiber but still game) and watched your video on YouTube. You’re a very fine teacher (as I expect you know) and it was really helpful, I’m sure I’ll be watching it again. Glad I found you in the Fibernet.

  2. all my questions were already asked by others, so i’ll just say that i’m looking forward to reading your answers. thank you for your generosity in sharing your knowledge!

  3. My first comment to your blog but I’ve been a long time reader. Like you I work at home/farm and have found that even tho feeling like nothing is accomplished, others comment all the time I get so much done – so perception/perspective is important, don’t be discouraged. Secondly, although it’s hard to always implement, I try to make certain days for certain types of work – Monday is a Fiber day to rest from Sunday which is often a more physical day, a day to do website work, a day to weave, a day to spin -etc. House work is done in between and sometimes assigned it’s own day. Our great grandmother’s washed on Monday, ironed on Tuesday … I take solace that they needed that structure as much as I do. All the very best, Liese

  4. Here’s a question–not related to spinning from the fold, but about storage of prepared fibers.

    I buy beautiful, spins like buttah prepared fiber, but by the time I get around to spinning it, it’s no longer easy to spin, it’s compacted, slightly felted, full of neps.

    I’ve tried storing in fabric or paper bags, not plastic, but this keeps happening. Also when I’m carrying fiber around with me to spin. Any suggestions? I don’t think I’m the only person who has this problem.

  5. Two topics that would be extremely useful for me:
    1) yes drivebands both plastic and cord and how do you select, what to look for and how to join the cord type to avoid the thump whump bump as you tradle
    2) silk …what happens to the fiber when you beat the skein. My teacher told me to beat the wet skein but I forgot to ask what is going that brings out the sheen when you do this.

    Thanks Abby!

  6. Since you said it was okay to ask about anything, how about hand cards for wool. What are your favorites and why?

  7. I looked at this again! Your blogs are so wonderful! Thanks so very much for the sharing all your wisdom!

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