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

Monday, July 21, 2008

Over my fear of the finger!.

I've been afraid of the finger for too long. Seriously. Back when I was still wetting my feet at the whole knitting gig, one of the things I dreamed of making in vast quantities - every color imaginable, and comfortable as all get out was gloves. I despise having cold hands. Also, living on a farm AND having children has greatly increased the number of times I've had to touch something icky with a bare hand that made me long for many pairs of washable gloves. So, you know I tried it, doncha? Unfortunately, I had yet to be tamed by the rash gauge master. Sadly, I used some coveted handspun that was oober soft and luscious but not exactly an enduring grade of fiber for being worn on some busy and earthy farmer hands. They wore out in no time and I was so scarred by the experience of trying to understand the whole 'knitting fingers' concept, that I just wiped that old desire from my mind and adopted a fingerless mitt under big-arsed mittens approach. Still, that's alot of fumbling between mitt and mitten to have fingers to twist fencing back together before your knuckles freeze, or some other crazy thing like that. But, at this point and for years after that - I'd do just about anything to avoid the dreaded finger.

After my camping sock knitting bonanza, I needed to move back to something more home grown. Something about pulling weeds in the garden, getting back into the groove of the farm, and whimpering when I walked for two days after sleeping on the ground (I've resisted the air mattress camping leisure for so long it has really just come down to stubbornness at this point - I see it as a mark that, once crossed, will make me a sort of weakened camper. I see the logic is warped but have no intention of changing so just humor me and I won't whine about it again, honest) made me long for handspun. So, I pulled out the 'pumpkin juice' yarn that I'd made. You remember that, don't you? I sort of added two stripes to the mix, one in a spring green and one in a brown - though I plied that with a full bobbin of just pumpkin juice to produce a tweedy sort of color shift. I find that works well when you're not aiming to be exact in your striping but more 'eyeing' it.

pumpkin juice 008I was all set to knit the mittens I'd intended but changed my mind, literally, at the last moment. No pattern to guide me and just a stroke of 'aha - that must be how the fingers are made' and, before I knew it, I was making so many fingers I had to stop myself because, after all, these gloves are for my darling child, not for the six-fingered man. Since the striping would be a little 'off' with finger knitting as opposed to mittens, I decided to just let the pool effect that would result stay wild and 'organic' - so the hands don't exactly match but that is all the better because, as you may know, there is no humiliation like having serious or matching accessories when you are 15, that time of life being intentionally themed around finding out just how unique one can manage to be and remain in the confines of what your mother will allow you to be seen in public wearing.

ARTE-Y-PICO-GRWith that finger fear behind me, I looked forward to the week ahead with a sort of confidence that makes me so grateful to be a spinner and knitter. It's like having a little blast of feel-good energy in your pocket that you can take out when you need to be reminded of your ability to actually accomplish something. Then, to my big, goofy wide smile surprise (that would be my goofy smiling), Michelle at Greenwoman honored me by giving me the "Arte y Pico” award. I'll just steal her quote about it as I don't think I could say it any better: The “Arte y Pico” award was created to be given to bloggers who inspire others with their creative energy and their talents, whether it be writing or artwork in all medias. When you receive this award it is considered a “special honor”. Those who receive it are then supposed to choose at least 5 other blogs to honor with the award.

Like, WOW! Thanks so much, Greenwoman! I, too, feel squeezed to come up with only five blogs for my award giving but here I go:

Loribird is not only a super spinner and knitter but quite the fiber and culinary artist. In fact, this dear woman just exudes the beauty of things made with gifted hands. Which makes me kinda nervous, as she's the winner of this month's Great Giveaway so I have to create a magic ball worthy of such talent (see me sweating?).

Judy (aka the Spindling Scot) is beyond awesome, combining a true gift for spotting beauty in nature and it's gifts be they wood, stone, gems, fiber, and plants, as well as practically enchanting everything she makes with such a good, positive feeling that one can't be blamed if they become so attached to a diz that she made that anyone in her home found touching it is hissed at and scratched (uht, oh! must remember to work on being more human and less feline). I love many things about Judy so it is hard to stick just to the art award theme but in that regard, one of my favorite things about knowing and being loved by such a friend is that just when I'm ready to dig in my roots and stay in the same place (which doesn't leave much room to grow), Judy will do something that shakes me awake and reminds me to branch out as well to become a strong, old oak. Thanks, Judy!

Lorraine is a knitter/mum/woman that I wish to some day emulate. Firstly, the fact that this woman is living amongst teenagers and still has the mental fortitude to knit such beautiful lace (which requires counting and thinking and other brain functions that I am finding tend to be practically evaporated after refereeing one or two bouts of "mom, (insert the complaint of the day about fellow sibling who is also struggling through the teen years)". How she manages to create these beauties is mind-boggling to me....note to self - must.have.Guinevere!

Aija is such a fun spinner to follow! It seems we're always interested in similar things. In addition to being an oober talented fiber artist and making such gorgeous gemstone markers and accessories, she is a sort of singing voice of all things indie and artfully exciting with her 'etsy Friday' posts.

There's a new issue of Anticraft up - doncha know? I absolutely love this online magazine. It makes me laugh, sometimes it makes me blush (yes, I am still the blushing sort) and sometimes it makes me raise an eyebrow wide and look like a crusty ole dork.

brownie skirtIn other news, I've been cussing at my sewing machine sewing some as well. You might recognize this fabric from the dress I made for Thing 1 - I had some extra left over and threw this skirt together because I needed to exercise some aggression. Why do I think I sew? I mean, I've watched sewing shows on PBS and have been around relatives that sew most of my life. None of them, save my grandma and she'd probably smack me with a spoon for divulging this here, screams or threatens their machine. My sewing days are exhausting, generally ending with the last seam being finished and something totally vulgar escaping my mouth. I love the hand-sewn item, and I desire to make them because I want to make what is in my head a reality - but the process is, uhm, kind of like warming up for a boxing match.