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and also some knitting.

I had a rich day, spent lots of time with nature. Things I did: saw a harrier hunting not 10 feet from me; lay in Mark’s little boat just to let the current rock me; spyed the moon through maple leaves; stretched out on the warm rocks in the driveway next to a snake, each of us checking out the other; sat for half an hour under a larch tree, blending with it, and willing the seeds I gathered and planted from that tree to hatch and grow; and shucked oysters brought to me by Sharin, and sucked the salty water and slippery beasts out of the shells.
Now at the end of the day I feel so good!

As promised, here is a page from The Night Life of Trees. This is a book “of art and folklore from the Gond tribe in central India. In Gond belief, trees stand in the middle of life, and the spirit of many things lie in them. They are busy all day, giving shade and support and shelter and food to all. Only when night falls can they find rest for themselves, and then, under quiet dark skies, that spirits that live in them are revealed.”

the creation of trees
The Creation of Trees.

more to come.

Okay, here are the thoughts. I tend to be fairly spacey, forgetting about commitments and general maintainence, and that’s not good.
I became aware of something developing in my life today, an internal organization, ooo, that sounds dry, let’s say I am learning how to feel the threads that connect me to the things I need to keep track of. For example, I have to make a pair of socks for a swap, and while there isn’t a set deadline, I am determined to not procrastinate this time! My heart is set on making a pair of pomatomus, which puts me on a bit of a learning curve. First step has been to mull over the choice of yarn. I decided on this yarn, which I have been ravelling from an abandoned project I got at a thrift store years ago:
blue yarn
it is very thin, and I needed smaller needles than I had, so I went and bought some 0 dpns. (The pattern calls for 2s and I know I am loose knitter, so I start two sizes down.) Then I made my first gauge swatch. Which turns out to be too big!
All this taking place along a stretch of time, mind you, and in the meantime, I am getting a bit restless, so I turn the gauge swatch into something possibly useful:
redbird patch
which didn’t turn out good at all, but hey maybe somebody will like it. I am really poor at figures, and this is supposed to be a Firebird, but didn’t it turn out too cute!

I quickly figured out I was going to have to learn the lace pattern for the socks on a bigger yarn than I will ultimately be using. So:
pomatomus swatch
I nailed it.
Now, I am waiting for my smaller needles to arrive in the mail (I went ahead and ordered 00s, 000s, and 0000s, it’s been too damn long since I spent money on myself if you don’t count this, tight last couple of months), and while I wait, I am working on a Sunrise Circle jacket for Alice, which is itself a preparation for making myself one!
the beginnings of the back of the sunrise circle jacket
All this is relatively mundane, but it serves to illustrate how I have been able to carry the thread of an idea through several stages without losing it, and of course, I simultaneously have many other threads running between my fingers that I am keeping track of with similar processes.
After years of forgetfulness, I am excited about this ability! and, best of all, this “method” is enhanced by, not dependent on, written lists.

so yeah.

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today was one of my days off, and what did I do all day but knit!
The morning brought my friend Sharin for coffee, and she is such a do-er, she couldn’t sit still and had to go into the “studio” and begin folding fabric. We ended folding and sorting a whole bunch of my stash, laughing and inspiring together. It is so nice to have a nearby friend to brainstorm with!
Then it was time to trade sheep duties with Alice, so I got to go knit topless in the sun. No bitiing flies yet to bother me.
I finished another pair of cuff blanks (and I think it will be about the last of this style for awhile), and I started on a project I have been wanting to do for a few days now.
Here it is, not yet done, but mostly so. It has plans to be an actual piece of wall art.
falling down cabin

You know how the quilt block patterns have descriptive names, well this is called “falling down cabin.” We sure have a lot of these around here. This deliberately caddywompus, (not laying on the blanket at angle.) Hence the name.

Knitting this and thinking about a: log cabin quilts and b: the women who made them and c: Sharin and I visiting and sorting fabric, I had to think about how during the early stages of this internet craft community’s formation, one would see such-and-such described as “not your grandma’s craft.” More than once I saw this! And I really have to disagree, at least from my vantage point. I feel SO connected to what the women of previous generations have done, and inspired by them. Granted I can live without acrylic yarn embroidered strawberry baskets, but beyond those, there is such wealth in the crafts of our grandmas! I sleep on pillowcases embroidered by those women and under blankets crocheted by them, I visit homesteads that are still blooming with flowers they planted, I find recipes in church cookbooks that they compiled. They were using everything as many times as they could (if not the grandmas, then the great-grandmas) and so am I. I plant food, I raise animals, I cut buttons off of my old clothes before they go into the rag basket. I would be proud to be the next generation of “my grandma’s craft.”

Okay. That said, when I needed a break from the scritchy black yarn, I started a pair of perdita.
perdita
I know, me using a pattern? I do it occasionally….

And, Soph, have you seen this book? I think you would really like it.
night life of trees

I got it at the library yesterday, and I am so going to purchase a copy for myself. I am absolutely blown away by the illustrations, and I promise to photograph a page or two soon. Just so you all can see the amazivity of it.

Warning: If you are my Beautiful Use swap partner reading this blog, don’t scroll down! I’m going to show off the stuff I made for you.

Here’s a pic of Opal to divert you…
a glam shot while exploring

So, now, I have been working on working on items for a Glitter version of the Beautiful Use swap, and I wrapped all the last bits up and sent it yesterday.

beautiful use swap, wrapped

In these little packages are the following:
tote made for a swap
made from thrifted and gifted fabrics entirely. I am not happy with the way the bottom sags, I boxed those corners but still. It’s a nice bag.

after reading this post on soph’s blog, I decided to improve the way I go about lining bags.
lining of the tote
and because I like taking those macro shots like the big girls:
fabric from finland
fabric from Suomi.

also in there was the finished product, the results of the first of my french knot studies, on knit and fulled fabric (yarn from Grand View Farm).
fulled cozy
I decided to go with the natural shape of the fulled piece rather than cut it. It’s a cozy, I guess. (It’s really a vehicle for the knotting practice…)
and:
notecards
notecards with fashion illustrations by Opal.
Pluis some buttons for good measure.
buttons

It was a good swap for me; very instructive, and I am getting better about working through projects, trying to train myself out of procrastination. I was still late on the send-out, though.

so there’s some craft content for ya.