Thursday, November 6, 2014

a room of one's own

I am tapped out, in case that isn't obvious. The recovery from October isn't yet complete though I am getting caught up, somewhat.

The only knitting I am getting done is trying to keep one step ahead of the knitting class demand. As soon as the beginner knitters finish that class, they clamor for more... but as I am not teaching in a yarn store, it requires significant planning to make sure that I have a suitable project and supplies. So far I have a hat class that teaches how to work in the round, and I am hoping to roll out a fingerless mitts class (worked flat, then seamed) in the next two weeks.

This past Tuesday was the first that I haven't had classes since September, by my choice. I needed a day to sit by myself, where most of my world didn't know where to find me, to work on a hat pattern that uses Robin's art yarn. I went to a women's college, and I am well aware that Virginia Woolf's book dealt more with the lack of education and opportunity for women, but the title suits the situation in the store. Traffic is very light on Tuesdays, and I can get a lot of creative work done with minimal interruption. So I sat quietly, and just worked away on a huge project that I wouldn't have had a prayer of even getting around to at home, where work, clutter, e-mail, laundry and other demands derail me.

The irony, of course, is that Ms. Woolf would pooh-pooh my need for such a space to do traditional women's work. The fact that such work has come full circle, to be reclaimed and even celebrated by women, would baffle her, I think.

I talked to the shop owner today, and I need to make a decision: stay working there on Tuesdays, or give it up? If I don't teach those days, I don't earn anything for being there. But the space and set-aside time seems valuable, and maybe even necessary, for carving out a place devoted to just my creative work. Lately, it tends to get pushed to the bottom of the pile, and if I don't value it, then no one else will.

Should I keep the room of my own?


  1. VW never knew what it was to be without servants, live in included! so though she did cook when she felt like it, and was pretty good, there was never any question of her doing the cleanup! for her, creative work was her life in the arts, so I think she'd be amazed at the whole question of living and managing very well, without servants.

  2. Yes, I think you should keep the Tuesday creative/teaching time. Creativity is squeezed out of our lives, whether working at home or in another setting. And intentionally taking advantage of that time is like practicing the piano, or honing any other skill. Inspiration doesn't strike if you aren't prepared to recognize it. (That advice is worth just what you paid for it!)