Is it just me...

G'day all!

Be warned, I am a bit crabby tonight. Something to do with waking up in the middle of the night with a sore throat and not being able to get back to sleep for an hour or two.... And waking up with a sore throat and the shivers and a nose that drips for a while then stops. After four or five days of fighting it off, it seems Nathan has passed on his cold to me. Grrr. Stupid colds. Plus it is cooler here than it has been recently - winter has returned to some degree, and there is snow that we could cross country ski on up in the mountains, if only we had money and I was not spending half my day shivering in front of the heater.

Oh, big news - dunno if I passed this on. I am now giving a talk at the conference in September. I have to do a great job of the talk too, see if it helps my job prospects any. However, the talks are due by the 18th of this month, and we are going to be in Merredin then. I didn't really want to give a talk cos it puts a lot of pressure on me but it is good for me to do it. Thinking about the talk was one thing that contributed to not being able to get back to sleep at 3am. That and the cat getting twitchy. And the increase in interest rates here which means I have to get back to work earlier than I wanted to.

So to make up for not doing much at all today so far, I rang up the guild to find out what I should be pricing my handspun yarn at. 12-15c per gram. OK. Plus 40% commission if I don't volunteer or 25% if I do volunteer to help out at the guild.

Grr. I understand that running the guild is difficult, especially since there is no money to pay staff with. I understand that getting people to volunteer is hard. However, the guild's activities are almost all set up for weekdays. They are open 10-3 Tuesday to Friday. Spin-ins tend to be on Mondays. At present that is fine for me, but normally it is not. Even if I got a day off each month, I would not, repeat NOT, be spending that precious day volunteering at the guild. The guild seems to want to encourage only retirees (no offence, Lyn!), those who have never worked (eg women in their 60s and 70s who were full time mothers), or younger people who don't have full time home or paid work commitments. It admittedly does have its general monthly meeting on a Saturday and the craft supply, gallery and library are open then, but the doors open at 10am and the meeting stuff starts at 1pm and goes until it ends. There is also an experimental spinning group on a Satuday once a month which is run by a woman of about my age. Plus there are classes run occasionally on a weekend but mroe often during the week. Weekends for me are sacred, or were whilst I was at work. They were the only two days I got to get everything done (no wonder it didn't get done cos it doesn't get done now that I have lots of time).

So I hear you cry "Get off your butt and get yourself on the committee and start making changes!"

The committee meets on a weekday at around 11am and the meeting goes as long as it lasts.

"So? Get them to change the time of the meeting!"

Yep, and let me change the course of the Murray River as well. The guild seems to me very set in its ways. It is not nimble or flexible and has no idea about Gen X. (I never realised that I was so different from the baby boomers, people 20 years older than me, but I am. I expect organisations to keep up to date and to embrace new ways of communicating and doing things. I am different to the boomers just as Gen Y is different from me. So many Gen Yers just seem to think a good time is either drinking and clubbing or playing on their playstations and xboxes. Where are the hobbies? I think DH said that hobbies come later - well they didn't for me. I always had at least one hobby on the go, but then again I am odd. Now where was I in my rant? Ah....) To me it seems that the guild allows very nicely for older people who like to get together and chat during the day whilst doing something they enjoy doing (spinning or knitting). It doesn't cater for people who have different time commitments.

Comments? Am I just being ageist? I have nothing against anyone in the guild - the people I've talked to so far have all been lovely, but with the exception of a handful, many of them are considerably older in their attitudes than I am. What can be done to drag the guild into the late 20th century? (I would say 21st century but some jumps are just too great.) Should I start a group that spins in the evenings in an area convenient to me? (The guild is 45min-an hour drive away.) I have time now, but soon I won't. Really I don't have time right now - there is so much to get done in the garden, and I have to start writing up my talk, and I must fix up my resume and start applying for jobs with the idea that I'll have one by the end of September. I don't want to work, but it will be good for me. I should spread my resume around the temping agencies too. Working (I just typed whoring!! possibly appropriately!) in short term jobs is more likely what I should be aiming at.

Sock knitting continues but I am lacking energy. The burgundy Widdershins is going ok - I am nearly on the gusset of the toe up sock, but the purple Hedera has bitten the dust for the time being, mainly cos it doesn't show up the pattern very well. I have started again with some white handspun that I thought would be good for socks. I spun it a bit thick and thin, all within reason for a sock yarn, but it is annoying that it does vary as much as it does. Once the sock is knitted, I can then dye it and the remaining yarn pink or something sucky like that. Couldn't dye it first - had to see if it would work first and also I need to have two different projects on the go at a time to keep my fickle mind interested.

This amused me last week.

I've been collecting onion skins for a couple of months. Last week I took a heap of skins out to the dyeing crockpot and simmered them for a while. Then I chucked in some cleaning vinegar as the mordant and some white pencil rovings, some brown tops, some white mohair and some white tops. The pencil rovings grabbed almost as much dye as the brown tops did, whilst the white mohair and merino tops both took less of the colour. Admittedly browns are not my favourite colours, but it was a fun experiment.

Plus this view out of the "strip" building (as in a strip of material, not as in strip naked) that Nathan works in at present - reminds you of where you live. Gums grow in California and the middle east - we see them on the telly - but it is such an Australian plant.

Hopefully tomorrow I'll be back on song and will be over the crankies, if not the cold. More sock pics then, maybe.



  1. I sympathise with you as I've been down with a cold lately as well.

    I've had it for about 3 weeks and can't seem to shake it off.

    The bit of dyed fleece looks good.

    A job will turn up when you least expect it and good luck with the talk.


  2. hmm, maybe the guild would be open to having meetings at two different times? obviously the ladies who go in the morning want to go then, but would they be willing to schedule something for others who can't make that time? say, one meeting in the morning and another in the evening? i mean, there are people in this world who work, or have a miriad of other obligations that they can't drop at 11 am!

  3. Anonymous7:29 am

    Guild - same in other states as well. In mine, we have a weeknight gathering where the "younger" members gather...otherwise all are either during a weekday or on a Saturday. May I suggest that you suggest a weeknight gathering...see how many respond to it.

  4. Guilds must be the same everywhere - the local guild here is much the same, although they do have a monthly meeting in the evening. But everything else is geared toward those who must be retired or something to attend.

    Hope you feel better right quick.

  5. Well, it's the old retiree here. Re the guild - I agree with all of your points (except maybe the bit about the 60-70 yr-olds being full-time mothers - most of the ones I talk to were in professional positions before retiring). I guess it makes sense that if most of the workers/volunteers are of an older age, then daytime is the logical time to do stuff, and it's certainly the logical time to have the guild open to the public for sales, etc. The idea others have had of having an alternate night meeting is a good one, and worth suggesting.
    I'm not sure of the logic of upping their commission percentage for non-volunteers to 40% - they surely must realise that many members 'can't' give the time for volunteering, not 'won't' - unless they've forgotten the definition of volunteering.
    Your idea of having a spinning group in your area is not new and does exist now. Maybe you could check with the guild for any near you. I go to a spinning group each Monday night at Eltham, and I'm sure there's others about.
    I don't think you're being ageist either - it just seems to be a matter of what suits most.
    You see, we're really on the same side, even though I am a boomer.

  6. I've encountered the same problem with art class times excluding working people. My art teacher ran a night class which I attended for six or seven years. When first started there was a waiting list to get in. Last year she cancelled the class due to lack of interest. She said it wasn't a decline in working people interested in painting, but that people are too busy or tired from working long hours to pay off the mortgage or buy their kids x-boxes and wide-screen tvs to go to classes. (Okay, I added that last bit about the kids!)

    Yet at the same time, there are social craft meets happening outside of work hours. There are s'n'b gatherings. One of my former fellow art class attendees has joined a group of contemporary painters who get together one night of the week. the interest is there.

    All those meetings are lacking is an official teacher. But, if I dare say it aloud, in both cases I've found the notion of the older person knowing more than the younger is often wrong.

    Go look for an alternative spinning group than the Guild. I'm sure I've read about the Box Hill spinners group of something like it somewhere.


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