Sunday, June 04, 2006

My Progress Overwhelms Me...

but not in a good way. I feel very stuck and slow. I need to amp up the pace a bit to have the rest of my planned stuff done for the end of June.
I did have a great day yesterday at Webs. This was the final meeting of my Knit 2 class, and Meet Jo Sharp Day. The day began typically for a Saturday of late - it rained! Girl had a minor oral surgery Friday but was up for work - I shall not bore you with the details of Girl's surgery or surgical recovery, except to say that it is possible she has some bizarre immunity to Valium, but tumbles rapidly into a virtual coma after receiving a sniff of general anesthetic. She spent the day looking dead. And me with a nursing degree, standing over her watching for breath. Sad!
My 'working day' began with this - this is Jennifer M, a Women's History professor who was in town for a conference. She brought with her two friends, both of whom I hope Jennifer has knitting up a storm by the end of the weekend (and I'd LOVE an update...). She also brought with her a luscious future shrug, made from two strands of laceweight mohair. But she had a problem - and her problem carries with it a warning for all knitters. She arrived here in the fair city of Northampton with her project in tow intending to knit upon it. But there was one small problem. She'd forgotten what she believed to be a simple pattern. A brioche rib (it was awful, Katy, panic ran over me, "Dear God" I thought, "no, anything but...BRIOCHE!!!" Melissa fears the brioche. This is silly and really I just need to sit down and do it, but I don't have time, so I continue in ignorance. However, I have found a lot of brioche resources and support materials as a result of the Brioche Incident. I was able to pull together some resources that just were not quite right, and then finally Interweave Spring 2005 which contains a good bit about Brioche and using that as a starting point Jennifer was able to recreate and remember her pattern. (YEAAA Jennifer!!!) The moral of the story is this: no matter how simple you think it was to knit, write it down. Pin it to the garment, stick it in the bag, stab it through with the needles, anything. But, like your Amex during the tent sale, Don't Leave Home Without It. She says we're probably not related, but somehow I think we are...
Jo Sharp was in the house. This is a down to earth, comfortable woman; attractive, intelligent, and a pleasure to listen to. It was refreshing and inspiring for me. As a designer I am always curious about the processes of others. How do they move from idea to design? What inspires them? How do their minds work? It helps me to streamline my own process. Her reluctance to follow trends, to design what she likes versus what's hot today was inspirational for me. I prefer to think in terms of wearability versus fashion trends. "Would I wear it?" is a frequent question. To hear that this is a question asked by Jo Sharp...well, it gives one support and hope - must be on the right track if I am thinking at all like Jo Sharp, right? Then, being enamoured, I had to buy a book of course...and have Pixie get it signed for me, as I had by then punched in and needed to be in/near the classroom for my Knit 2's. MUCHOS Gracias Pixie!! I think we should have her back.
Theresa brought in this pair of very cool white cotton socks. That is my finger. I have small fingers. Think about that for a minute...the gauge on these things is wild. Made me want to grab needles and some cotton from the wall and start knitting at, what, 16 sts per inch?? I did not get to analyze them as much as I'd like as Jo Sharp was speaking and I had a class immediately following...no time for chatting and hanging out and sock analysis. But I think you get the point. The finger shown is about a half inch across. I have the greatest respect for women who did this. My grandmother did this, as did my great aunts. I have examples in the house, in my hope chest of everything from some incredible lace to unfinished cotton bandages from WWI, handwoven linens, tons of embroidery. The works of their hands.And not like we do, for giggles. This was the real deal - mittens and socks staved off frost bite. Yet through everything runs a thread of artisanship, craftsmenship, of the highest caliber. It wasn't just a pait of socks - it was lace at 18 sts per inch. It wasn't just mittens, it was intarsia mittens. Expressing themselves through the only creative outlet readily available - utilitarian objects - quilts, clothing, all by hand and from the heart in one fell swoop. It is possible that I spent too much time surfing women's history sites today...
I finished the two sample hats for the new Knitting 2 hat pattern. These are child's sized and whipped up in a jif. Size 7 needles, Malabrigo. First Malabrigo experience, and I loved it.
In fact, I loved it so much that I decided to use the scraps for Mel. It's a surprise, so don't tell him - they need to be felted first. The last one I made he murdered in twenty minutes. I think if I can felt this, it will be safer for the mouse. These are actually drunken mice, made on Saturday night. I cast on halfway through a glass of wine, and it was done before the wine was. I love the little faces they seem to have. The pattern is from here, and I was directed to it by KatyWhoNeedsABlog.
OH!! We had a visitor yesterday, who came to my classroom at the end of Knitting 2, and apparently has a math phobia, and was obsessed with removing the math from the board. He was also obsessed with Girl's MP3 player, on which she had Sammy Davis and the kid was SO cute, standing in the chair and dancing...kids and music just go together. My progress is slow on colorful tracks. Very slow, in fact.I hope to be inspired by tomorrow, which is a day with Typhoid. Generally such days result in me needing a day off to recover and knit. He's been such a toddler lately...into everything, on everything, all over everything. Girl just got the COOLEST grad gift! Our friend Mary Alice just gave her half of a shetland fleece. Girl is now over the moon, wants to drive to Mary Alice immediately and bury herself in the thing. I defy you to find a similar kid near you. "Hey, kid for graduation we're going to give you half of the fluff off the back of a sheep, OK??" No normal teen is Girl. Cavorting around the house, trying to decide what to do with it, more thirlling than the money her great aunt gave her...you can't spin money, now, can you?? Ok, before you contradict me, I know you can, because I have spun recycled dollar bills. It was easier then when I spun my husband's hair, believe you me!

4 comments:

Persnickety Knitter said...

Maybe I don't want to learn to spin if it means I will start doing things like spinning my husband's hair... Scary.

Wish I could have been there for Jo Sharp. Darn.

Melissa said...

Pix said I could call you and add you, but I got dis-trac-ted.

I'm takin' Komi Mitten class with Schurch this weekend! (and two others...or was it three? Another full weekend anyway)

Mary Alice said...

Previously mentioned fleece is drawing flies on the sun porch! Let's get it to girl to see! I got the furnace serviced- 3 days with no hot water; got the washer to drain- several days with PLENTY of cold water backed up on basement floor; got an appraisal for dead bolts; Oh, all right he didn't actually come out to give me an appraisal, but while he was there letting me back into the house... meanwhile I had the coldcuts and salad for a graduation party 40 minutes away. Sooo, things have calmed down and yes, I have a carding party in planning with Delia, so let's get this fleece seen! Thur before drop-in?

Melissa said...

I forwarded your email to Girl - but she's been kind of distracted, and has said I should add an appology for not responding, so I shall. She was off with a bunch of drunken girls. That's the real reason why she didn't answer...

Thursday is PERFECT - we get there about 3, and both punch in about 5.