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

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Encyclopedia of Knitterly Ailments

mohair loop shawlsI had this 'great idea' a few weeks ago. How is it that I always walk away with that cookie, biting into it like a gullible soul and not ever have a drop of skepticism seep through? (stitcher's delusion?) It all began with my shawls. I love shawls. I love the way they flow, the way they look, the way they feel. Well....maybe not so much with the way they feel. Truth be told, I've been getting frustrated with my shawls. I'm a busy, active woman. I'm often around animals which, if you don't know, means you could make an arse of yourself and/or end up on your arse in the blink of an eye. I work bent over a pot of boiling dye, cooking meals, canning of homegrown produce, or weeding rows MUCH of my day. So, those little tails that hang down on the front of the shawl have started to irk me. (Cranky shawl-itis?) They've been dripped in a pot of stew, they've been chewed on by a silly lamb, they've been coated in garden dirt (well, on different shawls - not all on the same one). So, one chilly morning I sat with my shawl wrapped around me trying to do my normal tasks and frustration mounted. It was then that I decided a shawl needed to be tied. I got out my longest shawl and tried to tie it around the back of my waist. It didn't fit so good. I got out some paper, and graph paper, and pencils, and some hand-dyed loop mohair yarn, and started to design the shawl for a woman without eight arms to hold up the ends. Then, three days later, my copy of Spin-Off arrived. I made my afternoon cuppa and sat down to devour it and the magazine and......this is what I found.

I don't know what my obsession with being original is. I blame it on being a middle child. As a middle child (especially a 2nd daughter in the South) it is like death to be 'like' the elder sibling in any way. You spend most of your life trying to be your own person and still dodge the 'like'ness of the older sibling or younger. I think, really, everyone wants to feel like they are original and unique. And, we are, of course. But, still, it is sometimes deflating to find that your strokes of genius are merely revisiting of older, wiser ways. I snapped out of my inner 3 year old and stopped stomping my feet and stuttering, 'bbb but!'. I just got back to work on my design - incorporating the wisdom that I gleaned from the pages with the ideas I had in my own mind and the shawl is progressing nicely. The end product is very different from the pattern in Spin-Off and that's enough for me. I don't seek to 'own' any knitting way. It still baffles me that some people do. A few months ago, it baffled me enough that I wondered (unarmed and weary to boot) into an on-line forum discussion about copyrighting patterns. Whew! I slunk back into the recesses and tried to disappear! People get worked into a right froth trying to 'own' creations. That is so weird to me, as I only want to dream them and then give them away.
hooves,lace 023
Oh, and there was the ritualistic 'release' spin after the 385 yds. of fingering wgt. yarn that I got out of my 4 ozs. of 'Wood Elves' batts from the Happy Hooves batt club we just started this month. wood elves coils 013 There's 6 ozs. in the set and I included about 1 oz. of silk roving dyed in 'wood elves' as a free gift so I took those and plied them together for heels and toes (about 50 yds.). The leftovers, I plied with some sporadic coiling as I'm designing a pattern that screams, "get your freak flag, ya'll" for some Happy Hooves socks and they will call for a trim that expresses what can happen when one spins under the influence of beer. I hope I get to do that again, soon!

vardo socksNow, sit down and breath - it has happened AGAIN! I have finished a knitting project. I know, shocking! The vardo socks sat in my basket with about 1 inch left on the second one for eons. Why am I so stubborn? I get SO CLOSE to the end and then all the excitement just drains out of me. Instead of buckling down and getting on with it, I prolong the suffering by leaving that last little bit undone for days. It's a sickness, I think. What would we call that one? Finishanoia?

vardo colorwayI think I love this colorway with a passion I had not anticipated. I love red but rarely wear it. So, the deep red was a great seduction. But, the peacock shades of green, blue, black, and dark brown popping up here and there are like feathers on your feet - tickles.