Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Quiet Time

I always used to think of myself as an extrovert. I like people, am pretty tolerant of differences, enjoy conversation and don’t mind crowds. However, I discovered that I can’t do creative work in a group setting and after a lot of busy family or friend time I crave time to be by myself. It feels selfish but I want to move with my own rhythms rather than be subject to the whims of others. And I need to be able to hear my own thoughts without a cacophony around me. Or a bunch of interruptions.

Not to worry, T-Man fits in there just fine. He’s a fairly quiet person and, when he’s home from work, likes to go off and do stuff in another room or outside. We enjoy the time we spend together (because we are each other’s best friend) but we can also be together and doing completely different things at the same time. He’s not an extrovert either.

So I guess I’m pegged as an introvert. And getting more so as I age. That could explain why I gave up teaching (an extrovert activity) and am not as satisfied with classes or workshops that I’ve taken recently. I still enjoy guild meetings, hanging out with my Ravelry knitters and family get-togethers. But I’m happiest alone in my own little world of fibres and plants. Go figure.

Hmmm…could also explain why I’m more and more reluctant to travel away from home too. Though T and I have to go on vacation at least once a year because he doesn’t get a holiday if he stays home. He enjoys not looking at all the home repairs and such that are calling him. That leaves him free to see new vistas, read, walk, sleep in and generally recharge the old batteries. Even though a big part of our usual vacationing includes a lot of driving, he doesn’t mind. I’m very ok with our camping holidays and enjoy them as much as he does. Our old VW van is “mini-home” to me. But I’m always happy to return to my truly familiar space. And proper bathroom facilities, hot showers, laundry and an oven. We’ll be heading back to Utah’s red rocks in September this year. It’ll be fun.

Meanwhile, I spent a good 4 hours again yesterday in the garden. I harvested all the potatoes which began as a small bag of sprouted yellow fingerlings in the drawer. No idea of the variety. I got a half a bucket full from a single 6-foot row so I’m pretty happy with the increase. I’ve planted some mixed greens in part of the freed-up space which hopefully will give me some baby lettuce, mizuna and arugula before we go away. I also harvested the carrots even though they’re still quite small. I was reminded why I haven’t grown carrots much because most of them (even the Flyaway variety) have rust fly damage right in the middle of the root. The early ones I picked weren’t too bad but it got worse as time went on so I should have picked them all the the first time. The recommended coffee grounds didn’t seem to work that well but maybe it kept them away from the top section. Next time I’ll try mixing some in deeper in the soil. I’ve tried floating row covers in the past and they only managed to hold in the flies! Talk about unintended consequences. There was a reason that I went for years not growing carrots at all. I may go back to that if my efforts to thwart the evil flies and their even more evil offspring doesn’t pan out.

If you notice the lack of photos today it’s because it’s quite dark and cloudy out again. It’s supposed to clear up later with the same “sunny with cloudy periods” as the forecast for the rest of the week. I’ve started two new knitting projects (even though I still have two I haven’t finished yet) including a sweater for me and a sundress or pinafore (Ravelry link) for Princess Pink’s upcoming birthday. Hope I have enough yarn because I had to buy a contrast ball after I denuded the shelf of pink (#206 Peony, Mission Falls 1824 Cotton)! I guess I could always get another contrast ball (#208 Merlot) if necessary. It feels a little odd to knit with this nubby cotton and it took me 3 tries with different needles to get close to gauge. It didn’t slide at all well on the plastic Denise needles. I ended up with my usual Addi Lace circs in 2 sizes smaller than the pattern called for! Photos are coming soon.

The other item I cast on is a modified Stardust (Ravelry link) from one of those monster skeins of sock yarn I got in Spokane from Newton’s Country Yarns. It’s a lovely variegated green and at nearly a pound should be plenty. I couldn’t get gauge so I’m going with a larger size and will fudge the neckline decreases to hopefully compensate. I’m also attaching the “tie” sections down to the hem because I’m so not a bow person. I was inspired by my Ravelry knitting buddy nellum’s version (pardon the photo – I took it for her under the rare influence of a homemade beer!) Otherwise I never would have considered this from the pattern as written.

Off to pick the coreopsis! Again. I can’t seem to make a dent in them and picking the flowers off just encourages them to more production. Goody! Lots o’yellows for my yarn. Or oranges. It’s mutable.


Susan said...

I find that as time progresses, I want to spend more time by myself exploring.... and I actually crave the time! Guilds are okay but I could take them or leave them right now. Friends nearby would be great too but it takes so much time and energy to make new bonds...which at this age and stage of my life it is hard to break into someone's busy life and schedule. I think it's just a phase and I'll rejoin the social aspects of weaving soon. What I really would like is to find a newbie and spend one on one time teaching what I know... all in good time I guess.

Any weaving in your life? It seems to be knitting that has you in its grips now!

Louisa said...

Too bad you live a ferry ride away, Susan! Otherwise I'm sure we would spend more time together and you would totally influence me to get to weaving! I still have my fave tea towel threading saved on the big loom but I need to tie on a new warp. In the summer it's hot up there so it's not calling me like it ought to. I guess knitting is more in my face right now because I can do it on the deck where it's cooler. I will weave soon. Heat or no. Promise.

magnusmog said...

That's interesting, I'm always seen as a people person but as time goes on I yearn for a little space to fill with my own thoughts and creative urges. Lots of yarn, fibre, books and a kettle. Perfect!

Louisa said...

Maybe it's just a balance we're craving? Then again - with the Internet we're never really alone!

Susan said...

"We're never alone with the internet"... yup that's true and it got me thinking...

I actually seem to prefer 'talking' with weavers on line as they are looking for information and happy to find a like minded person. I could visit most major areas of the US and the UK and visit new 'friends'

Whereas at a local guild meeting...there is the inevitable row of grumblers, those who don't weave at all anymore ... I think you get the picture!

While I crave 'quiet time', I also want to have a meaningful exchange with someone interested and interesting!

Yes, it's too bad there's a hunk of water between us as I think we'd be fun together.

Cheerio, Susan