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

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Roses in the Snow

roses in the snow 005I once thought I hated pink. Actually, I thought it for many years. It stemmed from so many things - the Barbie dominant era of my childhood where pink came to mean a tiny waist, boobs bigger than Texas, and feet that were permanently fitted to dazzle all in 4 inch heels. And, as a brunette, pink poses challenges that, taken beyond a pale shade of shell or rose can quickly flood right on into trampish look. But, I suspect it has less to do with childhood icons, color palettes and how they flatter us, and a basic dislike for a color. I mean, I'm not crazy about yellow but, when found liking a shade of yellow, I rarely have moments of inner conflict and slight twinges of violent streaks. Part of the reason I have come to this conclusion is that I find so many other people who react to pink in the strangest ways ranging from utter hatred of anything pink to a tolerance of certain shades of pink to a rabid sort of attraction to all things pink. I have this on my mind, of course, because it's February and the month of love and so I figured it was the safest month of the year to do pink-ish (ducks in case pink haters everywhere are lobbing rotted fruit at her) for the Happy Hooves Batt Club. Meet the 'Roses in the Snow' batts - and a wild card month to boot. Woot!

roses in the snow 022Wild Cards are great fun, I think, and a concept that can quickly turn your stash into a goldmine. In these sets, a wild card means 3 batts - one of each colorway (shown here left to right: rose, roses in the snow, gold dust woman). The idea behind this was for a three ply yarn - perfect for socks that squish and bounce and live long and happy lives under the pressure of feet and shoes. But, that's only one way you can spin them. I toyed for a while with the idea of to plying each batt or 1/2 of each batt and then mix and matching the 2 ply from the other halves for a gradient lace wgt yarn for a shawl but, after frothing at the mouth with fevered confusion at ALL THE OPTIONS before me, I sat right down and made myself carry through with my original intention, and I'm very please with it. You can greatly extend your stash by spinning some 'plain' roving and plying it with a hand-dyed roving or a happy sparkly batt to get more yardage and plenty of color. Generally, my wild cards are about taking wild variations of color and blending them together in a yarn. You know, your basic eye popping contrasting colors sort of party. This time, though, we're playing with irony a little - making a wild card from lighter tones that, when blended, pretty much undulate and shift so subtly that the color becomes one. Only, that one color is chock full of magic because it shifts and changes ever so slightly throughout it's plying that is makes the eyes stand up tall and dance like they don't need the money. That's mostly due to the 'Roses in the Snow' batt - which has gobs of sari silk and glitz in it that sort of makes it come to life...really.
This little 3 ply - a light fingering yarn - is aglow with sparkle and dazzling color. She's a 400 yard skein at 4.2 ozs./120 grms - 16 wpi. I lurve her. Shhhh, don't tell...

roses in the snow 030It seems odd that a color that in color/gemstone therapy is used extensively to promote inner and social peace, healing, reverence and love can make people feel so, so, well, it's hard to explain how certain pinks make me feel. I'm definitely in the 'tolerate certain shades of pink' category and that just freaks me right out when I come to the conclusion that probably a big part of the reason that pink can instill such apathy, frustration, and even aggression in people is exactly because of the way it makes us FEEL - as in feel things that we're not entirely comfortable with feeling. And, you know, there's that prevailing notion that peace is weak. No one likes to be weak and I think the fear of that, alone, has fostered pink hatred for too long. So, a little experiment: look at this pink. I mean it, c'mon....really look at it for a minute. Take a few deep breaths, (exhale too!). Doesn't it make you feel a little, uhmmmm, happy? Then, do you look around to make sure no one's watching? Yep, fear of being caught loving soft rosy pinks is powerful.

roses in the snow 018Women certainly have reason to be troubled with pink (see above reference to Barbie) and to even have an aversion to the stereotypes that go along with something that is perceived as feminine. You know, it raises these very real fears of just how feminine it is good to be. And, what is the definition of feminine? A wisdom that is compassionate and/or a pretty, soft, and breathtaking beauty? It's hard to make the two mix - easier to steer away from something that can associate you with weakness or frailty. If we choose that path, sadly, we can lose sight of the beauty of unconditional love, of healing energy that makes you feel new all over again, of the joy of looking upon, smelling, touching and enjoying something so peaceful as a newly opened rose. I tend to go for overkill in banishing old views that you've outgrown and are ready to put behind you so, I recommend a full on embrace of pink....and go ahead and let yourself sparkle and shine shamelessly if you can. This 140 yds of 5 plied, beaded, petal adorned rosy loveliness sort of says, 'Hey, watch me - I'm not afraid to like pink' in a way that just makes me giggle. A little hint with spinning beads, I like to leave mine sort of dangling as I find that this bit of give is very helpful when knitting - so you can be sure to maneuver your beads to the front of the piece so they can be properly drooled over.

roses in the snow 031Yes, we have our wounds but, in terms of pink, you have to admit that guys are totally screwed. Remember in the late 80's/early 90's when pale pink polo shirts were being thrust on guys by their girlfriends? Poor guys. If they hate pink, they're accused of being totally out of touch with their own feminine aspects. If they like it, they're often accused of being too in touch with them. They really can't win and they certainly can't afford to be found liking pink which is a tragedy not only because I think it is so long since time that we stopped thinking women had to prove they are tough as nails to gain equality and men have to walk a tightrope of ridiculousness to avoid raised eyebrows and silly judgements but also because I don't know many men who don't look drop dead gorgeous in pinks or reds. Truly. A guy in a pale pink shirt? ... fans herself cuz she's either having a hot flash or a very inappropriate moment on the blog..... All together now, "All we are saying...is give pink a chance"...
roses in the snow 009
And it was when I came to that that the inner rebel just screamed loudly for a while. I will not be programmed to despise something simply because it raises so many flags of vulnerability, of tenderness, of nurturing. To do that would mean that the world would continue to grow less forgiving, less playful, less open to the pains that loving brings. roses in the snow 032So, being a reformed pink hater and a proud flyer of my freak flag just whenever I can find the excuse, I went all the way with these rose petals and made a little trim that pretty much says, "so what, I like rose pink...shut up!" I'm working on the accepting vulnerability concept....it's a longer path than I'd thought. Perhaps I'll be reminded by these little curtain tie backs I made for my studio. A little daily vow to think crazy enough to believe peace can prevail and grow my roses in the snow.

Still, let the fact that the hooves have been out for only 11 days and, in that 11 days, I've spun some 200 yards of novelty yarns and some 400 yds of sock yarn and already sampled, swatched, and picked a pattern for the sock yarn and committed the novelty yarns to myself and Thing 1 for room decorations IN ANY WAY try to convince you that I like pink. Seriously.