in awe of my new ability
I've had a whetstone in my cupboard for months now and never had the courage to put my knives to it, becasue I did not think it could be as easy as Dawn makes it look, and I was afraid that I'd completely ruin my knives.
It took a while to get a feal for keeping the angle steady, and to recignize what a burr feels like. Actually, my daughter saw me and asked "how can you tell when you're done?" so I tried to have her feel the burr. When I noticed that there was more of it in certain spots on the blade I adjusted how I put pressure on the whetstone, and slowly I started 'getting it'. Also, I remember my old drumming instructor, who told me to slow down when figuring something out. So after a while, getting into a much slower rhythm, it started to make sense.
I use the Shun 300/1000 whetstone. Using the 300 side to sharpen (start with 50 times, then 40 then 30, 20, 15, 10, 5), then flip over to the 1000 side to finish the edge (start with 20, then 15, 10, 8, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1).
The result was awesome! It slides right through the paper, and chopping an onion was amazing. Not sharp enough to shave the hairs off of my arm (maybe next time I'll work a little longer on it), but I am amazed how much sharper it is.
This is great, I am in awe of my new ability, I can't believe I did that myself :D