Waiting for Another Weekend
Walk with Moxie this Wednesday

Zen Think - Think Zen


Zen is being aware, being in the moment, being mindful of the process.

During the hectic days of last week I could only think about spinning, as there was little time to sit, let alone spin.  Thoughts of Emmylou and of how best to learn the process of spinning (as in, more quickly) danced around in my mind.  As the week came to a close, I had an awakening of sorts...I realized how unZen-like my approach to spinning had been.  Learning to spin, or learn anything new, with the mindset of conquering, controlling. or speeding up the process, will only prolong, or even abate, said process.  Friday, when a bit free time opened up, I opened myself up to Emmylou.  "Sensei, I sit before you with a humble heart.  Please teach me."   

Setting ego aside, allowing Emmylou to take over, led to a fulfilling time at the wheel.  Spinning became a quiet practice, a purely Zen time, and there were several 'ah ha' moments. Emmylou, the wool and I worked as one, producing yarn along with the best Zen moments of my learning process.   Awareness of teadling, the drafting process and the creation of yarn brought a deeper understanding of Emmylou and what we could accomplish together. A second bobbin was quickly filled and it was time to ply.

Redpoppyyarnfromspunky_1 Comments from my last post (after a rather disasterous try at plying) suggested several things, including "don't use the Lizzy Kate" and "don't use the plying head".  They were rejected out right because of curiosity (why does the wheel come with these items if I shouldn't use them?), stubbornness (I CAN do this) and determination (I WILL figure out how to use this wheel).   All are traits that may be seen as unZen, but there you have it, it is what it is. When I did manage to set the ego aside, Emmylou became a good teacher.  Overall, plying was much easier than the first time around, but there was room for improvement and still, a bit too much 'struggle' in my approach.  In any case, the second skein of wheel spun yarn came off the plying bobbin and it was a lovely sight. 

Basketfullofcitrusinthesun Because the process had been fairly successful, I immediately set up to spin the roving I dyed last September.  This glorious color has been named 'Citrus in the Sun' and it is one of the happiest colors ever.  As long as I stayed mindful of the process the singles looked better, but mindfulness is a discipline that needs to be learned, and there were lapses when the process came undone. CitrusinthesunskeinofyarnBy Saturday morning the second bobbin was filled and it was time to try plying again. A few adjustments were made as we started out; where did the Lazy Kate work best, what settings on the plying head helped or hindered?  Within a short period of time, plying was nearly as easy as spinning and this time around there was not a moment of struggle, the process was heaven.  The yarn that resulted was the best yet. What a feeling to see that the knowledge of spinning has begun to sink in and the connection between what I know and what I can accomplish is becoming clearer. Staying in the moment and being aware of all aspects of this process has taught me much about myself and spinning on Emmylou.

Perfection isn't the goal.  The need for perfection may stop one from even trying (how can I begin at all if I can't do it perfectly?). Perfection IS unattainable.  Life is perfect as it is, spinning is perfect as it is.  Behold...three perfect skeins.



I enjoy seeing your process in action. It's the beneficial part of monkey mind.

At one end is perfection. At the other end is dissatisfaction. The middle ground, which is neither perfection or dissatisfaction seems to be the golden goal.

Beautiful skeins! Gorgeous colors! Don't you love those "ah ha" moments? You are on a role grrl.

Thank you for the lovely post today! Not only are the skeins beautiful, but the reminder to strive toward peacefulness during this crazy week is just what I needed this morning!! Keep up the good work!

Dude. I hate to say it, but I told you so. ;-)

Perfectly beautiful !

Everything you said is so true when learning to spin. When you stop focusing on making a perfect yarn and just relax into the process that's when everything comes together. Your yarns are gorgeous and I love that citrus in the sun! Happy spinning!

Your opening picture is breathtaking!!!

You're doing great! Each skein looks a little more balanced than the last. Before you know it, you will be spinning like a pro :-)

This is a beautiful post about beautiful, perfect yarn.

I often struggle with the threat of not being perfect. Thank you for reminding me about the importance of the process.

Those are really beautiful M!

Lovely work. Thank you for your wise words, too. I'll keep them in mind not only as I spin, but as I do my writing practice, too.

Beautiful perfection.
I did a lot of spinning over the weekend, and I was working on perfecting the process with variations of drafting.

That last skein looks very familiar. I think I have one of those at my house. ;)

That sky.... Wow. And your yarn is lovely! Go, Zen! ;)

Better and better and better. And perfection is not the goal. If it were about perfection we would only use machine-spun skeins. You want your handspun to have your personality.

Beautiful sky over the mountains. Beautiful handspun.

The yarn, like the thoughts behind the post, is beautiful.

Wonderful. I'll have to come back and read this before I sit down at my wheel again.

Your Citrus in the Sun is a beautiful color. I love your yarns.

Your yarns look great! I love that first picture.

Fabulous skeins, dear grrl. Spinning is so very theraputic, isn't it? I'm so glad that you and Emmylou have found your Zen-ness.

Looks good to me but I do understand the frustration with wanting things to be perfect. Pefect as is. :)

I had a dream you were spinning last night--really!!!! :)

Great job at opening up to it.
Spinning is all about Zen.
It is one of my favoite times to practice my path.

The the non-knitter/non-spinner, the fact that we can even *make* yarn is pretty darn amazing. We need to celebrate that more!

"To" the . . .

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