This Friday, Ed and I took off from our respective jobs and drove ourselves up to ATL for Stitches South. It's a knitting convention. Sort of. There's also crocheting and spinning and dyeing and whatever else you feel like doing with fiber.
I didn't sign up for any classes -- no, I was single-minded in my purpose, totally focused on the yarn market. OK, I was also going up to hang out with xoJane's own Sarah Eyre, from Cephalopod Yarns. We had a pretty awesome time and, yes, I bought yarn.
Beyond touching All The Yarns, I also got that awesome feeling I sometimes experience at nerd cons -- that sense of being surrounded by people who are all into at least one or two of the things that I totally love. People were knitting or crocheting or spinning on drop spindles everywhere!
I'm a big believer in online community, of course, but I love conventions for the way they offer a weird temporary reality where I can turn to the stranger on my left and know that they probably aren't going to think I'm a bizarre person.
Well, they might. But for other than reasons than the way I usually have a mix of cat hair and wool fiber on my clothing.
Hobbies are meant to be those things we do in our spare time, but they are often the things we love doing the most. I read and write and do all sorts of crafts. I am increasingly into yoga. Obviously, I have lots of interests.
But what I don't have anymore is lots of time. Because I'm always doing something. And when I'm doing one thing, I'm thinking about another. The slight rocking that comes from the action of powering my double-treadle spinning wheel should be calming and meditative, right? But instead of relaxing into the yarn, I'm already planning what my next knitting project is going to be. Which is quite a list, by the way.
How do you manage your hobbies? Do you make things or bake or live-tweet the latest Real Housewives? Yes, I think that's a hobby for some folks.
In fact, how do you even define a hobby? Because Ed says I don't have hobbies so much as I have more work. And he might be on to something there. I'm just not very good at sitting still.
I've got to get a handle on my hobbies. Which is why I have not yet called the glass studio over in Tampa that teaches lampwork. I really want to learn lampwork, but I also really want to have five minutes to sit to myself every now and then.
In six months, I might totally cave and be into glasswork after all, because I seem to go in cycles. This time last year, I was sewing like the stores had all run out of clothes. But I'm not beating myself up about it. Instead, I'm trying to knit through my small stash of yarn and spin through the fiber I've accumulated and stored in my studio.
I'm cranking out little lace shawls, mostly from MaidenBrooklyn patterns, and watching Craft Stash podcasts. I'm spinning fingering weight singles and experimenting with plying even though the dog is terrified of the spinning bobbins.
What are you doing, xoJaners? Are you learning something new or practicing something old? Teaching things to your kids/friends/cats? I'm pretty sure I'm going to walk away from this with a list of new things to learn how to do, and then I'll have even less time to comb through our Netflix queue. I might already have too many hobbies, but I gotta be honest: I think that sounds great.
Marianne talks about making stuff on the Twitter: @TheRotund. And then she posts pictures on Instagram (also as TheRotund)!