What a wonderful year I am having! For me, the school year starts around August-September. That's just how it is with teachers. (When I taught college English years ago, everything was defined by semesters.) I find myself reshaping my life after almost a decade of teaching full-time at a Waldorf school. Don't get me wrong; I loved teaching there. It was one of the most profound and fulfilling experiences I have had in my life. Now I am having a new kind of life and a new adventure. I've spent the year so far learning some really healthy habits about my time and my family. Working from home and being with a toddler forces that to happen. Rhythm, routine, and form have been key. I have to remember to put my family first, hence the long break since my last blog posting. I've also taken time to feed my creative self. I have done more spinning on my beloved, hand-me-down Louet S-10 in the past 6 months than I have in the past 6 years.
I want to thank Tjitske Lehman (hope I spelled it right!), Master Handwork Teacher from the Kimberton Waldorf School, for giving me this wonderful wheel full of love. Oh Tjitske! I am learning so many new things--plying, core spinning and coil spinning, how to plant dye roving, milk fiber, alpaca--yearling mohair loves plant dyes! I even bought a drum carder! Since I've become more involved with spinning and Ravelry (an online knit and crochet community--also full of spinners), I'm hoping to carry plant dyed batts for spinning and maybe even some roving.
At the center of all, though, is my home life and especially my daughter. A year ago, I didn't expect to be home with her. I thought I was going back to college to work on a degree in the Textile Arts. Frankly, I think I was afraid to be home with her. Would I be good at it? Would I be able to meet her needs? How do you be at home with a toddler and teach homeschoolers and run an on-line dye business? It has been surprising how fun and fulfilling it has all been. I love being at home with my daughter! We have created our routines, and our form makes for a sense of security. We even go to Morning Garden--a Parent-Toddler group at the Waldorf School of Atlanta.
Teaching homeschoolers fits wonderfully into our lives as does plant-dying. In some ways, I feel like a pioneer woman living long ago. Daughters learned at their mother's side how to bake, cook, clean, even dye. Of course I am grateful for my dishwasher and my washing machine, I must admit.
Something that my daughter and I have been able to experience more fully are the seasonal changes that occur. They permeate our lives in a deeper way. We have also started a compost heap!
Oh, and by the way--Spring is here in full force in Atlanta as evidenced by the lovely yellow-green coating of pollen on everything! I spent the early part of last week dying up some yarns and helping a fellow dyer dye up some large pieces of fabric. I had some of the Peach Cobbler Home School students help out with the dying. They seem to have excellent "color-luck"!
They created some lovely colorways and were very inspirational for me as well. I explained how my method of plant dying is similar to the way they use watercolor paints--three basic colors: yellow, red, and blue. Everything builds off of this. They all understood right away.
Well, back to work! I've loaded some new yarns and felt packs on my site. They were photographed this past week while I was visiting coastal South Carolina, so there might be some salt marsh in the background. There ae also new yarns for my Phatfiber contributions for April--All Creatures Great and Small. I chose the Luna Moth and the Painted Bunting. Thanks for lettin' me share! I might try to write once a month or perhaps more often now that I feel more settled in our daily/weekly rhythms. Happy Handwork! Happy Spring!