Monday, July 4, 2011

Anachronistic holiday

I love long weekends. Even though I do a little bit of something creative every day, be it knitting, spinning, crocheting, dyeing, painting or sewing, I get a hell of a lot more done on the weekend when I have no reason to get up early and my husband is home and can help with the kids.

I've been knitting my ass off on a self-designed top-down raglan sweater, a design that was born 6 months ago but is just now coming to fruition. There will be beautiful stranded colorwork bands around the bottom of the body and sleeves, but right now, you can at least see the raglan seams. Raglan seams are so lovely. I love the way the stitches branch and branch and branch off of each increase:


The yarn is actually a deep, true black. It's Knit Picks Capra, 85% merino, 15% cashmere and to.die.for. It's soft in the skein, softer when knitted and still softer after being washed. The perfect choice for a luxurious sweater, which is what this will be.

Here's last weekend's spinning, some lovely merino which I got the feeling just wanted to be purple.


So here it is becoming purple!


Apparently I really like purple. Before my first daughter was born, I loaded up on spinning fiber, believing (correctly!) that I would not have money for such things for a while. So in my Happy Cabinet in our spare bedroom, 14 oz. of lovely, lovely, purple/blue/gray/gold/white 80% merino/20% silk spinning fiber has been sitting and waiting for me to spin it. The last two nights, I've spun some. The singles are about fingering weight, which is what I wanted. I want about a worsted weight when I ply it.


So, so pretty. Back when I started spinning 4 years ago, I had some of the same fiber and five other colors of 80/20 merino and silk roving that I spun and knitted into a shawl, which is now my favorite shawl. I bought the roving with the plan to spin it and make this shawl with it. Here it is, on my knitwear model bench:


And a detail view:


After I spun it and knitted it, I promptly took it to work, to my gray, bleak cubicle, where it was freezing in the winter and overly air-conditioned in the summer, both to keep myself warm and to serve as a reminder to myself of who I really was and what I really cared about while I toiled at my pointless, soul-sucking corporate job. It worked. It made me happy every time I put it on.

That's sort of why I started knitting and spinning in the first place. It was a creative outlet and also a cry from deep within me for a simpler, quieter life. I couldn't stand the corporate world. I was not at all cut out for it and in hindsight, I have no idea why I, a very square peg, ever tried to cram myself into the round hole that is corporate America. In college I double-majored in Spanish and German and focused on Latin American and German literature. I dreamed of becoming a writer. And then I graduated in the dot-com boom and went into the software industry. Um... WTF?

The frustration and utter lack of fulfillment I experienced during that post-college decade were ultimately valuable because they served to teach me who I really am and what I really care about, so I'm glad I spent that time in that miserable cubicle surrounded by (with the exception of my friends) the living dead.

Now I'm surrounded by inspiration and determined to do what I'm really meant to do, which is care for my family and CREATE! Here's some inspiration that I found outside my bedroom window today. These are some very, very ambitious roses! We cut them way down last fall and after a brutal winter and an equally brutal spring, just look at them. They're flirting with the roof, reaching as high as they can! I'm going to do the same.

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