After retiring I found my mind struggling for something to latch on to. I literally woke up one day and 30 years of worry about clients and analyzing financial charts was just…. over. It wasn’t easy. As I progressed through healing from surgery and then needing something besides just building the farm in my life to give me a creative outlet. I’ve tried wood carving, I do astronomy, of course there is archery if I choose to pick that back up, and writing like this, but days are pretty long and I needed something to help fill the void of the 8 hour day that used to be consumed with work. I am not a life of leisure kind of guy. I like to feel creative and productive; especially since I retired at 54.
Also in the criteria was doing something that my relatives haven’t done. My sister and brother in law are artists, my mother knits, presses flowers, sews and does needlepoint. We were all musicians, and my wife quilts. I needed something unique and interesting both because I like to learn new skills and my genealogy are very critical people and I didn’t need someone looking over my shoulder. It needed to simply be “mine”.
So I thought and I searched and tried to find something “homestead like” and came up with weaving! I found a shop in Boulder, signed up for a class and have been progressing along with all thumbs. But, I love it. One might think that it is simply interlocking threads and making towels, but it is very intricate and it takes a boat load of concentration to do well. It is very meditational and you can produce some incredible fabrics. Ya, I know, for all the stereotyping folks are want to do, it ain’t cars and engines and tools and and and. Its weaving. You sit to do it, you need to design things out and concentrate or you end up with slop. Its right up my alley.
I’ve completed my first real project and while it isn’t going to win any awards, I’m kinda happy with it. The class goes through the end of July and concurrently I have ordered a floor loom and am putting together a studio in one of the rooms in our basement. I am eager to learn and it sure beats shuffle board! The farm work kicks my butt these days. I hate sitting around surfing the internet, so I needed something to do. This is really the first “craft” type thing I’ve ever done and so far I am finding it very de-stressing. Something my life has desperately needed.
Learning the basics
The loom I ordered. Delivery date July 19. Very exciting!
There is soooooo much to learn about yarn
Starting my first real project. “Winding the warp”
Just like playing an instrument, its all about learning the proper touch and technique. I really learned a lot on this one.
The final product. We’ll call it a table runner. It was great fun!
It is excellent that you can do that. I have always lived what is not referred to as a ‘homesteading’ lifestyle, even as I live in the Santa Clara Valley, adjacent to San Jose, the tenth most populous city in America. People can stereotype all they want. It had been healthy for me as well as my neighbors. Homesteading is not so easy in an urban setting where neighbors complain about fruit trees and vegetable gardens . . . and everything else that does not suit their newcomer lifestyles. Consequently, much of the gardening was done on the farm near Scott’s Valley. The modern lifestyle here is so contrary to homesteading, even though some try to make certain aspects of it trendy, such as kombucha, whatever that is. Anyway, when my situation went bad a few years ago, I lost all ability to pursue my preferred lifestyle here, and almost relocated to Newalla. However, I am a Californian, so decided to stay here, and I intend to restore what I had going a few years ago.
I do not meant to rant so regularly, but your articles get me roused.