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

Sunday, August 24, 2008

As if on the very edge of doom....

Do you smell that smell? That sweet aroma of rose oil and mint and a clear, cool breeze? That, my friends, is the smell of freedom. But, just as with many other advantages gained, it did not come without some cost - like angst, fury, and accepting the dork within. The freedom of which I speak is the freedom from the 'rules' and 'projects' that was Ravelympics 2008. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with ravelympics. It was quite a fun ride but, just like you get tired of the same ole roller coaster (I mean, how many times can you go down that drop-off and still have a flutter in your stomach before you just think, why am I doing this to myself?) what begins in great fun and excitement can just as easily end in near panic. So, after I practice setting goals, achieving goals, missing the holes in my path by just a hair, and generally going at it like failing at it would be life threatening, I really kinda need to go with the flow for a while. To spin whatever looks good to me. To knit whatever my crazed mind can imagine, it is a time to consider knitting something totally funky if there ever were.
ravelympics 015
It's not like I didn't know my goal was hefty and possibly totally naive. I did spin over a lb. of these gray skeins. Yeah, I said it - four big ole skeins of gray. I like gray. But, uhm, alot of gray kind of ends up looking to the eyes and hands like alot of gray. Where's the sparkle, the luster, the shine? One can begin to get desperate. I admit that more than once (or ten times, even) I resorted to taking batts out of my basket and petting them, cooing to them even - thanking them for being so beautiful and NOT GRAY.2 ply cotswold wool 190 yds. each Then, there was 8 ounces of white. Okay, it was here that I sort of puppy shook myself and thought, wtf? Are you mad at yourself? Why all white and grey when you KNOW you need a lotta color? There was more petting of pretty, sparkley batts, and a good deal of hunger to throw all my commitments out the window and spin like a rebel.

esmaraldaSomehow, I got through it. It is, after all, a beautiful, white, lustrous Cotswold X fleece but, still, I just nearly got through it and mostly on account of my 'bribe' I made with myself at the very last minute, wherein I added some Esmaralda roving to 'sweeten the pot' and get me through the gray and white. I must say, she did her job splendidly but was quickly and flippantly tossed aside for a little evening with Black Magic Woman batts. Looooook at that dazzle - can you blame me?

black magic womanSo, all around, my spinning goals were fairly painless to achieve. Knitting, on the other hand, turns out (again!) to be my nemesis. Firstly, the socks I made were just sort of 'not me' so finishing them held none of the lusty joy that usually ensues when I kitchener the toe, tuck in the ends, slip the new sock immediately onto my foot, and wiggle it around in delight.

ravelympics 003Then, there were the puppets. The puppets were meant to be the highlight of my journey but, by the time I got to them, Thing 1 had been away for four days and I was missing her terribly. Things 2 and 3 were just the medicine I needed so we ended up playing alot of games and generally trying to amuse ourselves without 'sister' to tell us what to do and when to do it. Time, shall we say, sort of evaporated? In addition, I think I can safely say this month has been the sort of epitome of depths to which this partnership between the penis wearer in my house and myself has been void of any semblance of partnership, meaning I've just about ready to dig a hole, run a trip wire across it, and put a freshly opened beer and steaming rare steak on the other side of it, savvy? So, making a puppet at that point kinda seems like one of those scary clown dolls in Poltergeist or something. Note to self: put a scary clown doll in the hole for added effect! We did the best we could. First year sheep puppet was joined by this Fairy Godmother Ewe made out of our 'galadriel' batts and sporting a handspun 'peacock' shawl. Here's a back view.ravelympics 009

Last but not least was the Pumpkin Juice Scawl. I've long since learned to love spinning peach, orange, and red (all thing 1's faves) but it is really no secret that they are not my first choice. I had one WIP Wrestling project in the whole bunch and this was it. I mean, come on! How hard could it be to finish a scarf in progress? Yeah, you guessed it. It was this arrogance that drove me to place this project LAST in my queue. Easy peasy, right? Not. Firstly, the other needle to my pair went missing. I don't know how it happened, but it was under the mattress. My mattresses are still on the floor because SOMEONE wouldn't let me buy a bed frame years ago because he really wanted to make one out of twig. I like twig and I though it a special sentiment. 16 years later, I wonder why my mattresses are still on the floor. Anyway, you see where this is going. Found the needle. Ahhh! Ready to jump in and get this puppy finished with 4 days left to go and plenty of desire to fulfill my promises and get on to spinning some buckets of color. That might have happened if the last remaining ball of pumpkin juice singles hadn't gone missing. I looked everywhere! For days! I went through totes, baskets, the underwear drawer, my bookshelves, under my pillow. Everywhere. Trust me on this. Then, I had an apostrophe on the morning that Thing 1 was to come home. I suddenly remembered taking the pic of First Year Sheep and thinking his skinny little body was too flat so I shoved something INTO it to plump it up for his photo shoot. ravelympics 012 Oh, never mind, I found it! Thing 1 was home, all was chaotic, and it took another day or so for me to get it together and start to work on it. That would have been Saturday. I would have gotten up before 6 am. on a Sunday morning to finish the darned thing.....and I did. Just shy of the closing ceremonies by 1.5 hrs.

This ordeal says alot about me, non? Like, firstly, that I am a total dork. That, when I promise to do something, I take that promise as sort of a do or die declaration. That, while some other confident persons might sensibly see that setting limitations on one's ability is necessary for both sanity and survival and would not shiver a bit over not finishing their goal, another total dork would be getting up early on a weekend feeling compelled to do nothing but knit as fast as they can even if it means missing breakfast and lunch. So, well established is that I am a total dork.

At least I am free, free, free now and I have most likely delved into that luscious and tempting fiber and/or started knitting something totally wild and crazy. Not really. I guess I'm just a little worn by the weeks a bit because, even when faced with my limitless possibilities for cheap thrills and fun stuffs, I started working on a lace shawl that's been in my knitting basket for an eternity. That's me, beaten and worn so by WIP trauma that that's all I seem to be able to imagine doing. Told you, total dork!