Sunday, November 4, 2012

Slow and Steady on the Craftstead

Blend of merino and alpaca goes into the carder.
Creating slow cloth reminds me most of the story of the Tortoise and the Hare.  I feel a connection to that hard shelled little guy, plugging steadily along the road while the Hare hops around as the consummate multi-tasker--visiting, partying, along with racing and assuming he'll win. The Tortoise stays focused on one task--racing--and wins. Youngsters gain a lesson on patience and perseverance.

The to-be-carded fiber pile goes down slowly.
I suppose this lesson was best learned in the days when patience and perseverance were needed for just about any job--in the days when all our clothes were hand sewn from handspun and handwoven cloth, back before machines took over the work.  In our fast clothes, fast food, fast getting around, multi-tasking, high-speed everything lifestyle, the simple pleasures of slowing down and getting things done are sadly lost.  A new version of the Tortoise and the Hare, could have the Hare following the race on his I-Pad so he could leave the party in time to dash past the Tortoise over the finish line.

Finished spinning that purple alpaca. It still needs to be plied.
Such is the lesson of our hurry up, get everything NOW lifesyle. At times it would be nice just to slow down and be--to get away from the hustle and bustle and enjoy process.

I think that's why I love Slow Cloth so much, the chance to savor each bit of the process and enjoy the finished project.  Of course, it is impossible to keep up with the hopping-hare productivity of the machine.  If I only wore handspun, handwoven, handsewn clothes I would have about three things in my closet.

A hat being knit from handspun.  This wool started as raw fleece, was dyed, carded and blended.
I'm not advocating some year of wearing homemade or other stunt.  But I am advocating slowing down, savoring. Turn off the TV,  computer, cell-phone whatever that allows us to "multi-task" and enjoy moments of quiet contemplative knitting, spinning, carding and weaving. No, we are not "wasting time" by just knitting and not also catching up on the news. We are instead gaining a necessary moment of peace and connectedness with a reality we've forgotten.

Live for the moment in the world of the Tortoise, surrounded by the peace of ambient noise, and let slow and steady win the race.

1 comment:

  1. There is something very rewarding about slowing down and making your own things. I'm enjoying stitching a quilt by hand at the moment. It's going to take me at least 3 years to get it pieced and quilted but hopefully it will be worth it in the end.

    The purple alpaca looks wonderful.