Sewing, knitting, spinning, dyeing. I am never bored.
Monday, November 19, 2012
Is this thing still on?
The last 12 months have been an experience analogous to being lured away by the offer of gainful employment only to realize the condition of enslavement. A job that Just. Would. Not. End; nor steer around every gaping pot hole, glitch or mishap. In that time, my “home entertainments” dwindled down to the level required to keep me off a line-up for manslaughter and I certainly had no time to blog about it. Even today I have to start figuring out our vegetable offering for Thanksgiving Day. I can’t wait to get back with my Brooklyn Family__ now that the waters have receded!
There have been bright spots, I got to go to New York State Sheep and Wool Festival this year. It was wonderful, visual overload. I went with one mission: to replace a wood crochet hook for my sister and get some wool fiber to dye and spin. But before that happened, I found myself in the fiber/ fabric closet looking at yarn goods I had completely forgotten while wandering in the desert of my late misfortune. With Yom Kippur approaching (no kidding, I thought of Yom Kippur!) I decided to atone for the unused yarn by actually knitting a sweater. This is it:
The pattern is straight from “Knitting Without Tears” by Elizabeth Zimmerman, I clearly remember visiting the book at the Brown University bookstore when I was a student at RISD. I’d probably read most of it, agonizing before finally plunking down… wait for it… $3.95 for the paperback published by Charles Scribner’s Sons and it took me a long time to actually use her method unalloyed (my faith was small back then). I was captured by top down construction for a long time (still am), Barbara Walker’s “Knitting From the Top” was available in our public library at home.
I was able to observe with this project that one stumbling block to using up what’s already here is getting tangled in design decisions. I can be snared by a false sense that there is a perfect manifestation for the material and only that absolutely right design will do. I forget that once anyTHING is gone (yarn, buildings), I forget my sense of it’s former state, which for yarn is all about potential. Perhaps a better way to think about some beautiful wool, what’s referred to as yarn porn, is to remember the dialogue can be expanded on. The quality that is so heart melting can be extracted, reproduced and refined in the next project. That’s what working in series is all about and the way a body of work develops.Have to say though,I would have a hard time doing anything with this gorgeous stuff. Could it be it’s just for staring at?
With this sweater, all I really wanted was to be able to wear it to Sheep & Wool. My memory of past Sheep&Wools was my inspiration:
I didn’t want it to have a collar that would add extra bulk around the neck if it had to go under a jacket and I liked this style that’s mostly unbuttoned but not allowed to flap or fall off. Both yarns are my own hand spun, the yellow was an off white wool that I dyed for the project. There wasn't enough of either for a whole sweater from each, besides I get more fun by adding more color. The buttons are from the stash vintage, found by my dear Madeline who has the patience to stop at garage sales sometimes and a last minute choice. The sleeves are long enough to not get wet when I wash my hands.