I scored a second-hand spinning wheel a couple of years ago in trade for soap. (I know. Right? How could I pass it up?)
I sat down that first day, ever confident, with a lap-full of roving from my local yarn shop. And I proceeded to make - not yarn - but a colossal mess. I had no idea what I was doing. Even YouTube could not save me.
So I took a spinning class and made something rope-like that one could call yarn or one could mistake for the small intestines of a sheep. It depends on your perspective.
Since then I have not done a lot of spinning. With my limiting crafting hours I often choose to knit rather than spin. Because it is easier for me. And while I want my children to push their limits, I wasn't wanting to push my own.
Sure, I've spun a bit and completed a few projects with my own yarn (including this homespun hat which Lupine still loves), but not many.
Lately however as I've moved toward getting rid of all the treasures in my house that aren't being used, I paused at my spinning wheel. Technically I am not a spinner and it should go. But, but... No. I'm keeping it. I am not a spinner, but I so want to be.
And still it sat. Gathering dust.
Last week when I realized that the yarn on my wheel was spun in February (my own blog archives provide too much information about the projects I have left undone, but that's a conversation for another day.), I knew it was now or never.
So I've carved out some time before bed to spin. Sometimes five minutes, sometimes an hour. And what do you know? It's working. I'm learning.
Here is the latest yarn, hot off the wheel. Wabi-sabi to be sure, but good enough for my needs. It's satisfying to see myself making progress. My latest yarn is a single-ply (my first) and the colors are amazing. I'm contemplating some fingerless gloves for a friend who has (while pining away over knits on my kids) politely requested that I could (ahem) knit something for her someday too.
And then there is the unicycle.
Sage and I have been loving this new challenge we've taken on.
As the main photographer in the family I don't have any pictures yet. (I'm not ready to ride and shoot photos simultaneously, lest I die.) Yet.
But who knows. Maybe my next trick is photography via unicycle.
It could happen.
Since we started last week on borrowed unicycles we've laughed ourselves silly, made countless "don't-talk-to-me-know-I'm-concentrating" faces, and yes, gotten a few bruises. It's hard, and ridiculously fun. I'm learning another new trick, and that feels so good.
Viroqua, forever the most happenin' small town on Earth has a unicycle club that we're attending. So we even have a coach and some 8-11 year old mentors who can ride circles around us. Quite literally.
At first I was just going to take Sage and hang out but, come on. Pass up on learning to unicycle at 39? No way.
But here's the kicker: Lupine is learning too, and she's not even on a unicycle.
Lupine has known how to pedal a bike for over a year. But she wouldn't. She would only scooter bike even after we put on her pedals, nervous to rest her feet and go for it.
But on the first night of Unicycle Club as she watched her brother and mama get up and fall off, get up and fall off of the unicycles, she went for it. She mustered her courage, started pedaling, and hasn't stopped.
What a beautiful lesson: to allow our children to see us fall and get up and try agian.
My friend who's been on a unicycle longer than me had the same experience with her son. His big eyes as he watched her fall, and asking, "Are you still learning?"
Oh, yes. We are all still learning.
And demonstrating that gives our children permission to fall down too.