While I think it is human nature to underestimate one’s contributions during the day I also believe that by discounting these accomplishments we undervalue our own work. I had a colleague talk to me about how it wasn’t anyone’s business how many hours she put in since she was under a salary and put in however many hours it took to accomplish the work to her professional satisfaction. What she didn’t see, or refused to see, is that by putting in extra hours but not letting anyone know that you needed that time to get your work done, you are actually undervaluing your time and contributions. Yes you have to get your work done to your satisfaction, but if no one knows that it takes you 60 hours to do your current workload then they don’t value your work.
I have found myself doing the same thing. Yes, creating a breed journal is fun, but I wouldn’t be sticking with it if it were not for my students. I hope to provide them with an idea of the rabbit hole they are jumping down, as well as getting them on the path of tracking their spinning early. The problem with this is that I spend at least 2-3 hours per night working on spinning, documenting, learning to quilt (something else my students requested), and reading a bit. This is 10-15 hours per week that I am working on crafts that I intend to use to teach. Yes, I would be doing some spinning anyway. Yes, I am embarking on something that I lot of spinners dream of doing. I also did get into this craft for sheer love of spinning and fiber. What I didn’t realize is that my supervisor didn’t know that it took me that long to work on spinning, learning techniques (buying classes and videos) or the hours it takes me to plan the classes and write up lectures for those that go beyond the basics.
The purpose of this is to remind you, if you are doing your crafting to teach then value your time and what it costs you to learn. In any profession take the time to realize how much of yourself you put into your job that you are not getting paid for, or credit for. Find ways to put these accomplishments into conversation. If someone praises you on something then let them know, “Thank you, I spent time learning how to do … in the evenings/on the bus/during the weekends but it was well worth it in the end.” Or, “Thank you, I took a class on that a couple of months ago in the evenings/etc.”
Okay, done with the service announcement.
I’ve been neglecting this blog a little bit. While I’m working on different crafts and working on..well work, I don’t have as much time to blog as I would like. Fortunately for me much of my work involves my passions so I’m able to read a wide variety of articles, technology, crafts, library science, speech therapies, makerspaces, etc. while I am at work because my work involves everything under the sun. Very rarely does something that I read not come up in a work situation later, it is a ton of fun and never boring. Enough about work though, I wanted to let you know I’m going to be posting a series of articles about crafting topics I’ve read recently. There will be links to the articles as well as a brief synopsis and any comments I care to make.
The first few will be about weaving, and we will see where these lead me from there!
To catch you up on my crafting, I’ve been slightly obsessed with making Hexipuffs. To the extent that I have deluded myself into thinking that I can make socks. Cross your fingers and hope for the best…it’s going to be a bumpy ride!
I cannot, for the life of me, believe that summer is OVER! It seems like summer just began and here I am looking at my last Wooly Wednesday Class Tomorrow! We are starting up “Fall Crafting” next Monday during the afternoon but this still seems like the end of an era.
Wooly Wednesday’s could not have gone better if I had tried. I do have some plans for how to modify these classes for the spring and summer in 2018 so that they are more comprehensive, don’t rush my students as much, and cover more students and class time for the same amount of supplies (my boss will like that one).
LOOK AT ALL OF THE COOL STUFF MY LADIES CREATED THIS SUMMER!!!!!
This summer of Crafting ROCKED, so did my Wooly Wednesday Ladies. I hope to see you this fall, I miss you already!
So spinning every day was a great idea. Unfortunately it did not take into account my being sick enough that dragging myself to work was about all I could do. Therefore my spinning has fallen off track a bit, not irreparable though. While I will not actually get 365 days of spinning this year, my goal was to take each month as it comes and deal with it that way. January is sort of shot, I missed about 3 days, but I will finish strong and start up with February.
Speaking of starting up, Mom is almost fully recovered from her previous illness. She has decided to see how many crafts she can finish with the supplies we already have laid in. Essentially she has declared this her year of Stash Busting Crafts! So far this month she has crocheted up 2 cowls from yarn she had on hand, I will put up pictures of those in my next post.
I have decided to accompany her on this quest, though for my major tapestry project I will need to purchase more wool in periwinkle, though I will admit to a desire to see how much of that project I can get done with the supplies I had already laid in. (Warp threads, white weft, and some singles spun in periwinkle, with an addition of gold silk I hope to use to accent a particular portion).
I must freely confess I fear I am already making excuses for not following through, since my next thought is that I wanted to purchase some white wool to test dying techniques. I suppose the best way of doing that would be to dig out what white wool I already have (alpaca, sheep, etc) and plan on using that to dye with until I have figured out which, if any, of the natural dyes get me the colors I want. If the natural dyes don’t work the way I want then I will have just used some of my wool-stash anyway. My next experiment is probably going to be centered around washing the batts that I carded containing ‘sticky wool’. I am hoping that there is some lanolin or other processing oils contained in the batts that is making them sticky. If that is the case then a good hot soak should loosen up the oils enough for me to wind up with a fluffy batt. If not then washing with Dawn, if they start to felt then I might try to spread it thin and experiment with felting.
I am sort of excited to let the wool speak for itself and decide what it will become. I am still spinning thin with the blues, now that I am feeling better. So many exciting things going on!
I managed to download this pattern from Thingiverse and it was created by kg6gfq. One of the libraries that I work at obtained a 3d printer about a year ago but I have not heard of it being utilized too much. Being the very curious person I am I decided to poke that particular rattlesnake and print something out. I checked out Thingiverse and found Drop spindles, bobbins, even the plans for an Espinner out of printed materials. I was over the moon, so I downloaded the ones I liked, came into work a couple of hours early, and started to mess around figuring things out. The first thing I found out was that none of the files were in a format I could use. Some checking around led me to believe that I needed them in Makerbot Formula. None of the libraries computers had that format so I would have to bring my laptop next time (my home computer is a Mac but my Laptop runs Windows 10) install Makerbot and see what I could do.
The next week I brought my laptop in (I only work at that library once a week) downloaded the software and began to convert the files, it was actually pretty simple once the program was installed. I was very happy thinking that I would now be able to print out, at least, my 3d spindle. I went home pleased with how next week was going to go.
The third week into my venture I went to work an hour early to see about getting my printout started. I plugged my usb drive in and went through the materials I wanted printed. Everything worked perfectly, time estimates, printing sizes, etc. Except that nothing would print out. There was no filament waiting to be used to print. Darn. I looked around a bit and finally had to admit, I was going to have to ask someone.
After a couple of e-mails and a further couple of weeks I now have my 3d printed turkish spindle. While it would have been a lot less aggravation to just order the thing from Turtlemade or another company that prints them, I am pleased that I now know how to convert a file to be usable on a Makerbot printer. My next steps are to see about creating an original pattern to print out, finding out what they are going to charge in the future for printing jobs, and testing out my spindle. I knew I should have brought fiber to work with me, lol.
The singles that I spun on Monday and part of Tuesday were waiting for me on bobbins. I decided to let them rest, as much as I could stand to, but when I woke up at 1am Wednesday morning it seemed like fate. I had to ply them and find out how much yardage I had!
So 3-4 hours later I wound off the last of my three skeins and I have to say 474 yards of 2 ply yarn is not bad for just messing around for a couple of hours before work, after work, and when I wake up in the middle of the night. Since each ply counts, and the time I spent plying counts each of the skeins counts for X3 credit. This means that 474X3=1,422 yards spun!
This is fantastic! 1,760 yards is a mile spun, also known as the Monster Mile so I am 338 yards or a 113 yard skein of 2 ply away from making this goal! If I spin up the 2 bobbins I hope to tonight, and spend some time plying it tomorrow, or spinning up more bobbins, then I should be able to make a couple of miles by Friday! Tomorrow is the first day that I can spend devoted to spinning instead of worrying about work, so I am beyond thrilled!
Okay, sorry it has been a couple of weeks since I have posted on this site. Recently I have volunteered to teach a few crafting classes at the Public Library that I work for. March 9 I will be teaching Crochet, March 23rd I will be teaching a Creative Journal Binding class for teens and up, then on March 30th I will be teaching a Knitting class using the combined continental knitting method that I am familiar with.
Of the three I am most concerned about the knitting class. Apparently there are two methods of knitting, three if you count the combined version, but essentially there is the eastern method and the western method. Most people in America and Europe use the western method. I use a combination of the two, and it works well for me. I enjoy it, though I find Crochet faster, I can do this craft quite well and easily.
Oh well, so I had to work on getting the powerpoint presentations together for them as well as supplies lists and a press release (it only needed minor modifications when I handed it off so that’s great!). For the knit and crochet classes we will be working on creating a washcloth. Not too exciting, but not too complicated either.
The public library will also be offering beginners computer lessons this upcoming week and a week in March in addition to possibly offering other classes (it depends on what the library system decides). In another job I might be teaching a class on Library Research Skills, though I doubt it, but I will have a high-school class to teach the second week in March.
So, even though I have managed to almost spin 1/2 of a Quarter Ounce batt I received in my Phat Fiber box, I don’t have any crafting to post or to speak of. Let me see how March goes, and if I have a few craft posts at once I’ll try to spread them out more!