Didn't Even See It Coming…

Yesterday was a loooooooong day. It ended with a Shiner.

Excellent Texas Vintage
The folks in my classes have been among the best I’ve taught! Engaged, funny, lively and VERY quick with the knitting. They pick up concepts as fast as I can throw them down, and their passion for knitting – and for life – is so strong it has a taste.

Today I drive down to San Antonio for a gig at Yarnivore. Woo & Hoo! I’m really looking forward to seeing this town – I’ve heard SO much about it!

But – as I said to my class last night – if they could arrage for the temperature to drop 40 degrees I’d move to Austin in a heartbeat! Oh, wait – that would make this St. Paul…

Being at Hill Country Weavers has been pretty amazing – it’s rare that I am in a shop and mention a yarn and, voila, there it is! They have a wonderful, very complete collection and an entire ROOM of knitting, weaving, spinning and crochet books. Yehaw!

Bluebonnet was also a delight – such a lovely shop! It’s up in Cedar Lake, and I drove past it a few times before I realized I was RIGHT IN FRONT OF IT (dur…) but it was worth the extra driving!

The shop is very balanced; a wonderful blend of different yarns, good color selections, and good knit accessories. My personal favorite area was the section of Mission Falls 1824 yarn – such lovely stuff!

Fine Texas Whine
Having said that, this has been an incredibly draining trip. I’m sure it’s my mental state right now, along with the feeling that I just can’t entirely rest, but I’m feeling fragile. The heat isn’t helping – I don’t do well with heat. See what a delicate plant I am?

My resources; mental, emotional and stamina, were tapped so far that I was running on fumes. This routine of teaching in the morning, then taking a 5-hour break, then teaching until 9 pm is just too physically wrenching to do again.

It was entirely my responsibility – I didn’t set the schedule, but when I saw it I should have mentioned something and had it changed. I didn’t – so I take full responsibility for the timing of my classes.

It’s hard to unwind after a class – I expend so much of ME that I need a few hours to come down from the energy level I adopt for teaching. By the time I read and fall asleep it’s 1 or maybe even 2 am, then I’ve had to be up to teach in the morning again.

Once I’m geared up to teach in the morning, I can’t really entirely RELAX until my last class is taught for the day, so having 5 hours to hang around (go to movies) sounds like fun, but it’s hard for me. I’ll be glad to get back to the world of 6-hours of classes within an 8-hour block.

Change in the Air?
As I left the class last night the air seemed lighter and cooler – not so thick and hot – and I felt like a new woman. Amazing how a breeze will lift my spirits.

Could it be there will be a little bit of coolness for the rest of my trip? Oh, great weather spirit of the Hill Country, hear my plea!

Off the Ledge
So I hate to write about this, but I feel I should. It’s my blog – warts and all – and something that had so much effect on my teaching for the day should be noted.

Teaching – as in falling in love, picking an author you like, finding a favorite TV show – is chemistry. My own unique blend of instruction may not work well for every student, and once or twice a year someone just doesn’t ‘get me’ (or my style of teaching.)

I can’t really change the basics of who I am – I try to be as authentic as I can when I teach, for better or for worse… Usually it works pretty well, but this was an instance of failure.

I had a student yesterday who was NOT enjoying the fine subtleties and delicate bouquet that is my teaching style. She left early in the class, and it affected me more strongly than it should have.

The rest of the class was amazing – they did the best ‘circle of trust’ imitation I’ve ever seen, and I felt entirely surrounded by human-sized conestoga wagons.

Eventually I calmed down. It took me longer than I’d expected, and I felt quite silly and terribly emotional. Boo and Hoo.

I’d love to thank everyone in the class who was so kind, so exceptionally understanding. I’d especially like to thank Lisa from the second class yesterday who brought me a beer. (I’m not sure if the rest of the class thanks you quite as much, but I’m very grateful!)

And while I’m at it- THANK YOU to the Austin Guild for the lovely, lovely basket of goodies which I’ve been snarfing late at night. I wouldn’t be here if you hadn’t asked me last year – so thank you! I haven’t hit the wine yet – I’m holding off on that… This week it’s beer.

My own personal situation is rough now, and although I shouldn’t let it invade my teaching, it’s hard to keep everything compartmentalized.

And – in all honesty – that’s kind of against my personal philosophy. You’ll never find a balance in life if you don’t put everything on the scale…

But sleep, a decent schedule (when I can actually EAT a nice dinner – I don’t like to eat before I te
ach, so I’ve been eating late at night this week, stuff from the basket of goodies…)
and some time home with Gerry & the kids will work miracles for me.

Oh, and that massage I’m going to have.

Guest Blog Entry by Donna Druchunas, author of Ethnic Knitting: Discovery – The Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, and The Andes

I think I’m going to buy her a beer.

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