Saturday, March 31, 2007

Sock Crazy x 3!

Lets talk about spoiled. My exchange pal, Sock Crazy, has been just the best. Over the course of the time period I have received packages from her. ::Hugs!!::

Today I received a Symphony candy bar!! yum. And two skeins of yarn from Mango Moon. The black is an acrylic/nylon/spandex mix and the other is Viscose, hand spun in Indonesia. I already have an idea for the viscose, it is so colorful!

This exchange has been great fun and thank you so very much Sock Crazy!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Sock Crazy Strikes Again!!

A surprise in the mail today from my secret spoiler. My FIRST Lorna's Laces!!!! And how colorful. I just love it. Also came a spiral bound notebook perfect for my purse and this will be my "official" knitting notebook. And yum!! A Heath bar. My daughter was already eyeing that but I draw the line at Heath!

Thank you!! Thank you, Sock Crazy!! I feel so spoiled.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Passing of the Ice Dragon

So I went to Ice Dragon on Saturday. It is a SCA event that was held at a nearby Barony (Buffalo) of delightful and enthusiastic people. The day started off with this "nor'easter" and for the sake of description, lets just call it a BLIZZARD!! By the time I made it from my apartment to my car, my wool clogs were filled with snow and my salvars (16th century Turkish pants) which are thin and cottony were wet and I was cold. What a horrible drive into Rochester (I live about 20 miles east of) to the carpool meeting place of my friends house but it is amazing how we will travel for our hobbies! :)

Part of this event is an Arts & Sciences competition and it is really quite amazing to see pieces of art and objects of the middle ages recreated (as close as possible) from the research of a topic. There was mead there, wood working, clothing construction, scribal work, food and of course the fiber arts.

For about a year now I have been talking about getting good enough at the scribal arts to be able to do scrolls for the Kingdom and enter such contests but it amazes me how I have overlooked one huge thing. I am good at fiber arts. I have to learn scribal arts. Why am I not researching period dying, spinning and goodness ... Turkish Embroidery!!??? How blind we can be sometimes. For being such a fiber enthusiast I have missed the proverbial boat. Thank goodness I had a life preserver ::smirk::

So now I turn to what I have been good at for years and instead of marveling at the beauty and my love for the craft.. it is time to incorporate my love of history and blend the two together. I know there is history, I have not studied it much so it is time. :)

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Beee uuuu ttt iiii fullllllllll

That is all I can say about the baby alpaca yarn I got from my secret swap buddy!!

I wanted something open and bouncy and have no idea how to look at a skein of yarn and figure out what to do with it. So I spent hours Saturday morning looking at scarf patterns. I had in my mind the desired effect I wanted with this yarn but had no idea how to make that happen.

Bravely I tried a pattern on and used a scarf pattern called Choo-choo + Mikado Ribbon Scarf. Nice and open like I wanted and it is soooo bouncy and soft. It ended up being very easy, I wasn't sure I understood the yarn wraps at first but once I was through the second row of dropping the wraps I did that... "Ohhh!!!! I get it!".

The scarf is exactly what I had in mind. Now if only my toe up sock were that, "Ohhh!!!! I get it!" I am stuck on how to start the heel and all that and reading the book is like reading a foreign language for me. :( !!! So... I am starting a pair of Jaywalkers! CUFF down!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Brand New Spring on the Longest Winter Ever

I have lived an entire life not feeling like I quite belonged anywhere. I suppose I could blame my life on a not so nice man that was my biological father. We all have painful memories and I chose not to dwell on them and let him just be part of a forgotten past. However, born within this period of time is someone not quite comfortable in her own skin except during certain times in my life. I would tell any psychic that would sit and listen that I am sure that my traveling soul was not supposed to be here this go round. Once one of these sort of people told my mother and I that I had an old soul and my purpose in this life was to guide my Mother's soul through this lifetime. Well, when I look into the beautiful eyes of my daughter, that is exactly what I see. She is here to take care of me, there is a wisdom, and old wisdom that speaks in her eyes.

Now do not get me wrong. I am independent and while I can't seem to make a relationship last, nothing stops me (except funds) to do the things I really want to do, even if it has to be alone. I wanted to go to South Carolina, I drove there alone leaving my parents to wonder on my sanity and to worry about me. I wanted to weave, I wove. I wanted to spin, I did so. I wanted to get some college under my belt, I did that too. I have not sat back and not done things that interest me. I adore history... there is centuries of knowledge at my finger tips and daily I dabble in it.

As I have mentioned on and off, I left the world of fiber seven years ago or so. It was the wrong thing to do. It was depression of too much change and change that I wanted throwing me for a loop. During that time my love of fiber should have been my crutch and what got me through but it ended up shoved out of sight and in dark corners to be easily forgotten as I stepped into life to "find myself". Finding myself took facing that all of the thoughts and inner turmoil of wrongness (in my mind) was really a rightness that needed to be embraced. And so I did. Embracing it left behind what grounded me most, my own doing but I didn't want to take the time to look back, I wanted to look forward and live what I called an alternative lifestyle. I am not sure where I thought I had to give up something I love to move into something else I loved but well.. hindsight and all that.

During this time I changed so much that I am not sure who I am any more. The base is still there. I am still a talented woman with a taste for a different lifestyle but I have changed so much for so many people trying to fit in, be part of and wanted that I have lost track of who is really... me. The quest for embracing what I am has gone in severe peaks and valleys of feeling incredibly good to incredibly bad and the last two years has been a steady decline in my self confidence as a loss in faith in someone dear to me seemed to eat a rather large hole deep inside. It is harder when the heart is involved but this too shall pass. It has affected other people I relate to or don't relate to anymore and I don't quite have the blind faith in people that I did once upon a time.

The light goes on ... but I say that tongue in cheek because it seems my light goes on at an average of 6 or 7 times every 10 years!

A mere month ago I picked up my pointy sticks. The spinning wheel came out of the dark corner.. she was dusted and tenderly gone over as I apologized for overlooking the greatest of therapy and something I truly love. How many times did I tell people during these years.... "when I spin I am so grounded. The whirl of the wheel finds my mind drifting onward to good thoughts and a calm comes over me, I am in tune with mother earth... I feel so good". I am such a hypocrite. I talked the talk but did not walk the walk for SEVEN YEARS!

And so I start again. I want to knit and I want to do it well. I always wanted to knit but loved spinning and weaving more. I seem to need to knit now and so I will (I am sure this is my Grandmother taking care of me). My spinning wheel will not be neglected because of it but delving back into this world I know even if I am a bit rusty I realize I know things, I am good at something and I can be fantastic at it all. I was very good at all of this before and now I will be better. Already my confidence in a simple scarf project today has soared. I am a creature of consistency and this scarf, as simple as it is, has reminded me row after row that I have something to offer because I am giving life to this object that I will cherish. The last years has been so inconsistent that I feel at a loss and had stopped caring about much.

Picking up my pointy sticks has revived my caring and outward giving. I may not have a lot but there are so many without so much more than I. I am taking on the Dulaan project with year round commitment of knitting. If I can get one child to school or one adult to work simply by keeping them warm then I have done something good for the world. There will be other charity's as well as I get better (and faster) at knitting. I have sent care to a woman I don't know because it felt like the thing to do. Yes, pushing outward is the best therapy of all.

And so here I am at a brand new spring. My long seven year winter is finally coming to a close and inside of me is a wealth of good things brimming at the surface to overflow into creation, beauty and sense of self. Perhaps I do not belong in this life, perhaps I missed the bus to my correct place of travel for this soul I carry this life but it will pass through having the knowledge I can feed it for the next.

It is good to be home.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Sock Crazy strikes!!!

Looooky! My secret pal sent an envelope to me and inside is this delicious baby alpaca yarn and I am telling you it is so soft!!! I just may have to sleep with it tonight, hehe. Tootie rolls included, yum!

Thank you secret buddy!

This shows the colors best.........

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Toe up madness!

Well, my fear to start up a toe up sock with very limited knitting experience has turned out to be not so bad. If I don't look at the entire picture and just do the toes, then the pattern to the ankle, and so on, I should be fine. This is the first pattern I have done. The sock pattern I have done was a 2/2 rib. I know know how to do M1, YO and kf&b! Kf&b was a bit messy at first! Hehe.


I spin and weave MUCH better than I knit but I find I don't miss the weaving and I am just loving this exploration of knitting. Perhaps I am a born knitter after all. While my resume is a couple pair of socks, I am now ready to embark and learn to make everything!

I remember my Grandmother. I was her girl, she and I had this connection that never needed words much as my Mother and sister have their connection. She was from Scotland, had come over to the US when she was 16. She was separated and lived alone for a great many years, divorce was unheard of in those days so she worked a full time job taking the bus to and from work in Akron, Ohio. When we would visit I would just cling to her; not that she would let me get two feet away from her!

She would sit in her chair in the evenings drinking her "wee ticky" of scotch and with me in her lap, arms around me, she would knit like there was no tomorrow. She was a smoker too I remember and one cigarette after the next would burn away in the ashtray as she forgot about it while trying to teach me to knit. I don't know how she did it to be honest. A wiggling grade schooler in her lap, watching her shows on tv and paying attention to everyone else in the room and still knitting with an amazing speed and accuracy. At one point she gave me a pair of big pink metal needles (which I have today, when she died I was given all of her knitting needles and crochet hooks) and some gaudy yarn of the old days. It was acrylic, she did use wool for particular projects and I can't clearly remember what she made beyond the winter garb my sister and I got from her. I also remember her sewing us top and pant sets for school. But this knitting she taught me was intended to be a scarf and while it started at about 20 stitches when I left Ohio.. it was about 60 stitches once in New York! So discouraged it had to wait until our next visit and once back in her chair with her while she professionally critiqued my work she would be encouraging while telling me it was beautiful and the trick with this project would be... it was then she would list things I could do with my fabric what were not the intended scarf. That scarf ended up being a dress for a doll and I was thrilled at having become a designer! Back to New York I would go with another scarf on my needles.

My knitting never got much past that point. She was patient but I was a kid and soon into horse back riding and friends and running about the countryside as an active farm kid. Today I wish I could sit with her and knit. I would love to hear her talk of Scotland and her childhood while learning everything she knew about knitting. Knitting was like breathing for her. I remember she crocheted too but that is something I never took up.

I wonder now at this need to knit. The last 7 years I have been a very restless soul and perhaps she is guiding me to a place of peace and balance. I know she has been with me for all these years and it was here in this craft that we had a strong connection.

How I miss her. How I miss the roll of the r off her tongue with her brogue as she spoke my name and always she would call me "Sharon darling".

Monday, March 5, 2007

My Secret Pal

It seemed like only a day before I got a post card in the mail from my Secret Pal for the L&V Pron Exchange. How exciting this is as it is my first! exchange. *holds up the card for all to see*

Already I feel spoiled, see how easy I am? Hehe.

Thank you Secret Pal!