Friday, March 07, 2014

Out of focus

We have not talked for a long time and I have missed you. I don't know how many times I have written the opening sentence, but then haven't had a glue how to carry on because there has been nothing to show to you. I'm fine and the family is as well - thank you for thinking of me. The winter here has been mild, to say the least. We had couple of weeks of very cold temperatures in January, but since then it has been exceptionally warm. I am not complaining... Although I am little worried, I am afraid that at some point cold front will wrap us in a tight grip and keep us there for several weeks... the rational side of me is saying that since it is March, the sun will have more power by the day and every single warm day is carving away one day of winter.
(Last month's Fairy Tale assignment) 
I have been all over in my creative life. With all over I mean that I don't seem to be able to concentrate on anything long enough to show any kind of progress or development. While I realize this might be good, because I am trying out many different new things and while nothing seems to work, I am gathering information and inspiration and hopefully someday all this will make sense, but at the same time this is most frustrating. As you know, I am taking the year long online class "The year of the Fairy Tale" taught by Carla Sonheim. I am learning (mostly about what I cannot do yet or maybe never) and the pile in the recycling bin gets higher but I am determined to keep at it. I need to tell me all over again, that I will get better (there are days when I don't sound that convincing) and that I cannot give up. Days go by when I freeze and stare at the blank paper but then there are days when all of a sudden something works out. 
This month's assignment is very, very interesting (we are working with yupo paper) but something I have never ever tried and it is like with everything new - hard. It is very difficult to be in a spot where you really don't have any experience but at the same time, it is most wonderful as discovering new things is... is refreshing.
I keep picking up my crochet hook. Since the granny square blanket, I have tried to make several things: a cardigan (did not work out), a basket (did not work out), a shawl (could not get the hang of combining lace yarn and big hook), another granny square blanket (have a pile of squares, but at the same time have doubts because I would really love to learn something new). After many false starts I made myself a small cowl, most simple stitch, almost like granny square, and the finished project made me happy. Finally!! (The yarn: Rustik Naturgarn 58% bourette silk and 42% cotton, 100g in total, hook size 3mm, which was a little bit too small, maybe.)
I have one successful and happy knitting project to show you. 
A sweater.
The inspiration... 
I have been on a cleaning assignment (I gave it to me) (a deep cleaning one where you dig out very old stuff and get rid of it, either goodwill or garbage depending on the condition) and I came across a big box of cotton yarn. There were three sweater projects on the needles, all three of them had to go, but I decided to knit something out of that box. I ripped out the old project with this yarn and cast on for a new one. More than anything else, this yarn (Rowan Revive 36% recycled silk, 36% recycled cotton, 28% recycled viscose) required some true determination: it was hard on the hands, the rough surface was almost like knitting with rope, there was absolutely no give, and it did not feel squishy and soft and lovely. I am sure I would have given it up if I had not knitted a swatch and blocked it first.
The swatch saved me because after a rough night with the sweater, I squeezed the swatch and again knitting made sense.
So no shaping! Shamelessly boxy! Raglan in the round! Plain stockinette! But I love it!! It is just the kind I love these days! Easy! The sleeves are short just the way I like them! Almost like a cocoon to live in (the color specially makes me think of a cocoon) or a shelter. Totally, absolutely no stress garment to make and wear. I love it! 
This is all I can think of today. 
I hope all is well with you, and yes, take wool, cotton is so hard on the hands,


Thursday, January 09, 2014

Little Red and the Wicked Wolf

Thank you for your input on Little Red's nose. She still has it, I have not done anything to it so far and I am beginning to think that I will leave it as it is, if nothing else than a reminder. I am not sure if I need to play further with that kind of nose, if any of the following wooly people will get similar one in the future or if this was just one time experiment. Currently I am making the grandmother, I don't know yet where she is going or what she will look like when done. I am trusting that at some point of the process I will know.
"Good day, Little Red."
It surprises me how much easier (only easier, not easy, almost every single creative endeavor is some kind of a battle) it is for me to work with fiber and in three dimension than trying to capture stuff on paper. I have been trying to draw and paint the forest but every single drawing has ended up in the waste basket. Frustrating! Last night, I decided to let the papers rest for a bit and returned to felting and began making the grandmother and right away felt at home.
"Where to so early, Little Red?"
I am very pleased with the wicked wolf. While I was making it, my daughter pointed out to me that in the end the wolf dies and I could not let this one die... I am not much of an illustrator! I was going to make the creatures for the original fairy tale and now I need to change the plot because I cannot let my wolf die. How do you feel? I am sure the wolf is only after the piece of cake and the bottle of wine in the picnic basket.
"Where does your grandmother live, Little Red?"
 It seems to me we are going to get buried in the snow. It snowed almost all the yesterday and it is supposed to begin again soon and keep going for a good while. The wind is picking up and bringing cold air. I guess, normal winter will resume and January will begin to look and feel like January.
 "What have you got in your basket?"
Wool with you,

PS. Carla Sonheim's courses are very friendly and easy approach and you certainly need no art training to participate.