Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Obsessions

Periodically, I'll become obsessed with something, beyond my constant, 5-year-long, neverending obsession with knitting. Painting and embroidery are two of this year's obsessions. Sometimes I'll become obsessed with a particular facet or technique of knitting, or a particular fiber. My husband recently became obsessed with learning how to play the banjo, and after a little more than 2 months, he's getting really good.

I think these things are encoded in your DNA, like little bombs waiting to go off. You hit a certain age and BAM! OK, you knit now. Now you crochet. Now you paint. Now you play the banjo. It's like when a baby can't do something one day but the next day they can suddenly, like walking, talking or crawling. My husband and I call those "developmental downloads." Recently, he said he thinks those don't stop after you're a baby, that they keep going, hence the banjo-obsession and my sudden, desperate need to learn to knit 5 and a half years ago. I think he's right!

My great-grandmother crocheted, embroidered, tatted and painted on ceramics. I learned this after I developed my fiber arts obsessions and remembered sleeping on some really lovely pillowcases that she embroidered when I was a kid, waking up with a relief of the embroidery imprinted on my face. My dad's side of the family was loaded with artists, something I learned after I started painting last spring. It's encoded in my DNA.

Now I'm suddenly obsessed with Fair Isle knitting after a flash of inspiration came to me while falling asleep the other night (I love those!). I am actually working on a pattern to submit for publication. Since I'm planning to submit it to a magazine, I won't be able to talk much about it here, but let's just say it was inspired by Frida Kahlo and some Blue Sky Alpacas Sport Weight. (An obsession within an obsession! I just can't stop with the Blue Sky Alpacas!)

So now I'm reading all I can about Fair Isle technique from knitty, from the library, everything I can get my hands on. I have to devour it all fast, because the submission deadline is next month. Late next month, thankfully.

I have this (possibly delusional) belief that I can do anything, and so far that nutty confidence has never let me down. Hopefully my luck will continue this time!

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