For your compliments. Honestly. You’ve all got remarkably good timing, too… it’s been a difficult week so far. First, we’ve had an outbreak of electricians which, with unerring lack of intelligence (see? My fairy godmother gave me a bust. When there are so many other more useful things I could have.) I’d arranged for the beginning of February because that’s the time of year when having no power/heat in the house all day is so, what’s the word, refreshing. That’s it. Refreshing. It’s cold here, winter is fighting back. There’s a lovely clear glass marble with an iridescent surface looking even more beautiful obscured by frost. It might be hidden by snow soon if the forecasts are accurate. A weather emergency, seven inches of snow and Complete Travel Chaos is on the cards for tomorrow. Anyway. The electricians finished Phase One yesterday (nice lads, seemed far too young to be playing with powerdrills and electricity. I wonder if their parents know where they are?), but the house had not yet warmed up when I discovered that one particular client has decided to dispense with my services on a project I’ve been hassling with since September. I’m not grief-stricken, just frustrated and embarrassed with an thin overlay of relieved. It’s the first time in 18 years I’ve been unable to find a satisfactory compromise solution to a problem, which (I tell myself) means this one’s probably not my fault. But still. It’s a failure.
I was truly intrigued by your wishes. Most of them* seem in some way to be about wanting confidence. I wonder if that’s got something to do with how much we expect of ourselves these days? So many skills are needed, and every new thing we try leaves us open to criticism as we learn. Criticism from others hurts (me) more, but I think self-criticism is far more dangerous. I set myself unreasonably high goals (based on what I see others have achieved, not thinking that they actually know how to do [whatever] perfectly). Failure is almost inevitable, and there’s another blow to my battered confidence. Or yours, if you do the same. So… I wish us all self-confidence. More than that, I wish us a firm belief in our ability to do anything at all if it’s within our capability, provided we take time to learn how to do it well. Oh, and the ability to remember to think of the things we CAN do well, not just the things we can’t. Anyone else who wakes up at 3am to find their ‘Life List of Failures’ scrolling endlessly before their eyes? I hate that. I feel so small, so stupid. We can’t change the past, I can’t undo those mistakes, only try not to repeat them.
Anyway, have some knitting AND some spinning. My alpaca/silk handspun is not wiry! From bottom to top: my little Bosworth spindle and the alpaca/silk roving; 45-ish metres (a spindle-full) of light fingering weight singles (weighs c. 10gms); a sample knitted from a 2-ply made from similar singles. It’s wonderful. I love it. Soft, warm, and I’m particularly taken by the way that plying followed by knitting evens out all the unevennesses in my handspun :-) He looked at it and said “You could knit me socks out of that”. Which is true, but extremely unlikely.
I feel better already. There’s something I couldn’t do, wouldn’t have dreamt of trying six months ago, and the end product is really not too bad. If we grant ourselves confidence, we can move mountains. Believe it.
* Alice, stop worrying! The world needs people with intermittently red hair and mildly evil thoughts who look fabulous in their handknits :-)