That was quite the blog breather, wasn’t it?
So much water between then and now; so many metres of yarn and pages of notebooks filled. Some things remain the same. For one thing, I still embody the phrase, “More ideas than time” (which leadeth me down Pinterest/IG/blog rabbit holes- more of those anon!- and further eats away at my valuable crafting time)..
The end of a month always gets me thinking of where I am, particularly craft-wise, and autumn seems to bring with it a sense of renewal. Some hangover from school and college days, I suppose. No harm in it. Time to refresh the aul’ taephota, raise a cup to good taste and forward planning (in having a stash at all to work from), and knit my way through shorter evenings and this glorious, welcome chill.
I’ve started to amass quite a collection of old craft books; the more obscure the subject matter and the more worn the dustjacket, the better. I know full well that much of the content is in the bowels of t’Internets already and is always accessible, but there is a magic about these books.
Most of them have come to me second and third and fourth hand; there is marginalia to bate Banagher, and some pages are dogeared. Some methods and patterns seem to be particularly beloved. Every so often, I come across more tantalising hints of the books’ previous owners; a receipt tucked out of sight, a hand written dedication for a birthday long ago.
I hope they gave great inspiration to their former owners; I hope for the same for whoever has them after me.
Any excuse for a clean slate, me. September has a great sense of a new start about it, too, but there is something about the turn of the year, eh? Not for me the grim resolutions, the promises to oneself hissed through gritted teeth. For me, it’s an excuse to give thanks for the year gone by, and make shiny plans for the forthcoming one.
2015, the beautiful blank page. I hope you contain travel and friendship, a few knitted garments I adore and new things to learn. I hope you give ease and lightness to dear ones in need of it, after a challenging 2014. Oh, and I promise this is the year I’ll get a hold of a really good blood orange to try.
Thoughts for the year ahead..
– make more things and have fun
– don’t sweat the disasters
– give tatting, art clay, sewing and crochet a good aul’ go
– use up my beautiful stash and give myself the gift of time instead
can’t. shouldn’t. mustn’t.
If you made a wordcloud of the contents of my head, they’d be the top three (rounding out the top five would be ‘tea’ and ‘making’). Those three words dullthudding around my brain like marbles on a concrete floor, every single day. Not much of a soundtrack, is it?
There is more than the tired refrain of can’t. shouldn’t. mustn’t. There is more than ruling myself out, turning down chance after chance because I can’t, because someone like me shouldn’t, because I mustn’t.
Now, to see what that is.
I cannot say enough good things about the sadly defunct Academichic in general, but I really like their take on colour theory, which you can see here.
Courtesy of a lovely Twitter Knitter comes a vote for the Vivienne Files. Gosh, couldn’t you just lose yourself?
Last but not least, Putting Me Together. Audrey has a lovely eye, and I’ve great time for her (just beginning) Wardrobe from Scratch series and her take on remixable items. More items does not necessarily mean a better wardrobe.
I had barely hit ‘post’ on the previous entry, and I run across this lovely, wise piece from Tuppence Ha’penny Vintage:
I had something of an epiphany and realised that no “courage” was required. I could wear vintage, I could wear twirly dresses and frothy petticoats and satin pencil skirts and dress like a pin-up if I wanted, there was actually nothing stopping me. And, well, as you know I’ve never looked back since! That’s why I so want to encourage anyone who feels drawn to vintage not to be held back by a lack of confidence – because it doesn’t require confidence, all it takes is the decision to wear the clothes you love.
If you love it, wear it, and it will bring you happiness.
Silk to chiffon to ponte, cotton to jersey; swirling botanical patterns and block colour. Deep reds and blues and greens, a surprisingly lovely and gentle navy, teals and purples, a great amount of black. These are my beautiful dresses that never get an airing. They are a silent reproach to my inertia, the somnolent grab for the clothes that I am used to, the ones that politely apologise for the visual space I might take up.
In the course of a great wardrobe clearout yesterday (read: one bag for the charity shop, an emptied wardrobe and three large mugs of tea later), it occurred to me; I have stopped dressing like myself. I can easily tell you how, but the why of it is rather tangled.
This does not seem like a particularly great way to go through life. I am no longer satisfied with leaving all the colour and playfulness for my sketchbooks and my finished work.
Yesterday I told myself, take a deep breath, and wear that dress. The earth will continue working away on its axis, the sky will not fall, people will not stare in horror and cover the eyes of small children. The likelihood is nobody will notice, or someone on the street will remark to themselves on what a lovely colour or pattern it is in between coffee-coffee-coffeethoughts and oh-god-the-email-is-mounting-upthoughts and go on their way.
Aunt C learned crochet from a Presentation nun, which was to stand to her all her life. To my eight-year-old mind, she made spiderwebs and flowers and grasses come to life out of boring old mercerised cotton. Out of her hands came christening robes and tops and tablecloths, a wedding dress, a Communion dress four of us wore and loved. I didn’t think of what she made as fusty then, and I appreciate it on a whole other level now.
I look at the work of my friends who crochet- N, who made a Spiderman blanket and another N whose first crochet project was a triangular shawl in shades of berry and spice- and I see them in the same way. I cannot believe what they’ve done with that magical equation of yarn + time + hook. Crochet is not fusty. Crochet has beauty, timelessness, energy, elegance and even a sense of humour about it. And just like knitting or any other art form of the like, some use it to amazing ends (Aoibhe Ni, are your ears burning? They should be!) and others forget the helpful maxim, “just because I can, doesn’t mean I necessarily should”.
Recently, two people (one on crochet and the other on knitting) have misrepresented both, when a few minutes research would have uncovered the incredible resource that is Ravelry. Ravelry would’ve answered any questions they had, put a few myths to rest and everyone would’ve been happy. Oh well..
So, to review: plenty of people knit in Ireland, and crochet is about many things beyond doilies. I could go into much more detail- line by line refutation- but it strikes me that neither party is willing to listen, considering that one of them talked of being “misinterpreted” when offered her own direct quotes.
What do you get when you cross..
Just wait & see…
2012 here started with flat 7-Up and a new knitting project (oh I do live righteously, don’t I dears?), which is not the worst way to begin. (Trust me, I’ve started it with stomach flu, so almost anything bar trepanning with a rusty chisel would beat that.)
Many people have tweeted & blogged & emailed & posted their resolutions, but I don’t have much to add. All that I hope to do in 2012 is craft, play music, work hard & possibly eat more pineapple, and all that I wish is for happiness all round, and for those of you reading, all that you’d wish yourselves. Have a good one, dears; you truly deserve it.