Spinning, Knitting, Crocheting, Organic Gardening, Living off-grid, and chasing sheep - because- I'm, like, NOT SANE!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Woot! Woot!

011To recover my sanity (which is a must and real darned quick because I'm not even half way through my insane gift knitting list) and fight off the urge to fling myself from a mountain top that pretty much summed up the latter part of November, there has been some knitting. Socks for thing 2 have been completed and that leaves only the Birch Leaf Socks for thing three left to have all my things paws covered. Well, the back paws, anyway. These were knit in a simple 2x2 rib with a front panel that is framed in sailor's rib since this little guy is absolutely wild about ships. He would rather put together a model ship than play on the computer or even eat ice cream. Hmmm...go figure. The yarn is a batch of my Wood Elves sock yarn that I felt didn't get enough color so, alas (sarcastic sigh), I had to give them to myself. It is hard to be me, remember that. And, thing 1 has snapped herself back into action (it is amazing how pumpkin custard can motivate a person!) and has finished her mitts for thing 2 as well. I hope to finish his sweater by the end of the weekend (stop laughing, it just isn't very nice).

088To distract myself from the maniacal feat I've attempted to tackle (how do I become LESS realistic with my holiday knitting every year? where is the reason that comes with previous experience? where is the self-restraint?), I decided I needed to break out of sweater, sock, mitts, and hats mode and do something a little more exciting. Woot Woot! I finished the Errol from Alison's Charmed Knits book. If you didn't know, there's a little giveaway (oh please, oh please, oh please let me win!) of an autographed book on the Charmed Knits blog. Go on over there and join. Even if you don't have a person in your life who'd want an Errol (for real, you don't?) this would be an excellent charity knit as well. I combined some alpaca novelty yarn with a standard grey and made the 'great grey' owl - only I can only knit so fast so let us pretend he's great and big. Thing 3 is both fascinated with and terrified by the owls that inhabit our woods. We've been reading on owls in general and the Great Grey really struck him as one to watch for when our bird book said they can stand four feet tall and eat a small child. I tried to comfort him and assure him that there are no greys in the woods at our house but he still scanned the trees and sky a bit before going out to play for a few days.

I made an owl, myself, before I knew about Alison's Errol. After we read the last HP book, no one could mention owl without all of us either tearing up or just biting our lip real hard. It was hard to take. So, to remember and to make us all feel better, I made a family Hedwig. She's a puppet so when your fingers are in her wings she looks like she's flying. It was great fun to make. Alison, I have to say, had the better ideas as far as the base and how her owl's head is structured. But, then again, I think you don't have to be a brain surgeon to see that the woman has oodles of knitting talent and skill beyond my crazy tying of knots. I still got a chuckle out of the fact that we made the talons and beak exactly the same. So, even though I freely admit that there is a better pattern to use, I'll be putting mine on the sidebar in the next few days. Gimme time because I'm not naturally intelligent. I'm the kind of intelligent that needs to 'brew' a while.

It got me thinking. Well, first I must confess I just kept thinking how nice it would be to own the book and how special it would be if it were autographed and please, oh please, oh please let me win. After I stopped acting like a 12 yr. old, I started thinking about how much I misjudged the benefit of knitting books. Our frugal lifestyle is often my excuse for not getting deeply entrenched in 'purchase mania' so I originally decided that knitting books were frivolous. I'm not saying all knit books are not but I have come to realize that a pattern is just a pattern that tells you how to make one thing. A book written by someone who knows a great deal about a subject will have patterns but will also tell you how to progress in your knitting so that, eventually, you will be able to translate your OWN ideas into knitted madness magic. Yes, I've been drooling over my copy of Gathering of Lace again.

This is good as I have become rather disenchanted with patterns, these days. I'm not sure when it became an ugly thing for someone to make something and sell it at a craft fair or through a handmade venue. But, for a while now I've notice that there is a lurking attitude that making something and selling it is view as a sort of 'sub-standard' - as if it implies that said maker is either a money-grubber or a simpleton. As a woman, as a feminist, as an artist, as a crafter, as a human....I still don't get it. Yet, nearly every 'free' pattern I find these days has a copyright that directly states you cannot make that item and sell it. Legally, I understand how ropes can be tangled and possession is the hot, steaming dinner plate of the hungry beast of litigation. I still don't get how I could make my own yarn, knit all the tiny stitches to make something, but someone else gets ownership of it because they told me how. If you follow a recipe, can you not let your kid take your cookies to a bake sale? Whuh?

At first, I thought this must be the hook of the 'free' pattern. So, I decided to buy patterns. Have I mentioned that I have an over-active conscience and often worry that I've failed to be pure and honest at all times? Judge-away, it won't deter me a bit. I don't lie for one simple reason....I'm not quick enough to remember anything but the truth. Then, I bought patterns but they had the same copyright. How is this so? I can buy a sweater pattern for under 10 bucks. How many sweaters will I (reasonably speaking) make from that pattern in my lifetime if they are all for personal use? Furthermore, I buy the stinking pattern. I buy the stinking yarn. I knit the darned thing....but I can't put it in my booth at a fair? URgh! I mean, it's not like I set out to make everything I can and then sell it for a billionty dollars. I'm trying to live in a 'walk the walk' way instead of a 'talk the talk' way. Why should I be ashamed that I make my living selling the wool, yarn, etc. that I make from the sheep I raise? And how is it that the same person who looks upon me in disgust for being a 'crafter' and not a real knitter will gladly rip out a plastic card to charge a boatload of yarn at a store that has come from a great big industrial yarn maker and that is somehow more respectable than what I do? You see how bitchy the holidays are making me?