Monday, July 15, 2013

"Will you ever finish that thing?" My reply? "Who cares? Now I have something to keep me alive!!!!"

It's the Mother-Daughter ensemble crochet kit.  Finished during an ever lovely summer break.  All of my obsessions sufficiently fed, feeling only slightly sated.  Anticipating years to come, a life before me, if I am at all fortunate enough, to yarn-work, exercise, puzzle, and the like.  On our final days at the home away from home, I had an opportunity to spruce the house up, go to the beach with two of my favorite gals, and hunker down for some coming delightful work.  Just polished off Ashby's dress and we're flying in style.  Sun, pink, hobbies, perfection.

And it's time for a break from the sun and hustling around town running errands, tidying the house, and getting ready to shut it down for a while.  We are looking for some around the house objects, and it's definitely time for a visit to Skandia Thrift Store in Sister Bay.  It's where we've literally brought truckloads of the refuse that other folks have left at our house, and thank goodness, it was a years-long epic cleaning saga that won't even make the pages of the Unencumbered Woman.  You never know what's gonna catch your eye in a thrift store, and today was no exception.  I had a cd or two in hand, and Ashby was walking around with some sort of random tchotchke when I spied a few yarn-craft kits from way back in the day.
*something special* NEEDLEPOINT.
First, I laid my eyes on a glorious '70s era picture scenery with printed canvas and a full compliment of matching yarn--ding! ding! ding!  Hours and hours and hours of my younger years were spent crafting these needlepoint and embroidery kits.  Fully intact, I couldn't resist.  I must have at least a hundred hours to spare, right?  The kitschy country scene is perfect-o, and I can work it in the country, at home, at swim meets, perhaps even while on an exercise machine--who knows?  I'm feeling an urge to sink even further into the bliss of solitude, quiet craftdom, and pondering of the glorious summer sky, something that every soul deserves and few attain.

barnyard americana
Note the work available to me!  A large piece, meticulously preserved in somebody's craft room.  All colors intact and waiting to be categorized. Puzzling through the pattern is half the fun.  The finished product?  Again, after a lifetime of work, it could become anything.  Simple wall hanging? Perhaps. Wearable yarn-art? Even more likely.  I'm thrilled with the possibility.

needlepoint on canvas.  It's a meditation, plain and simple. 

But then there's more.  Just moments after I re-ignite the long-dead fire in my chest that is the desire to do needlepoint, my eyes fall upon a only half-finished vintage era bench cover that someone must have been crafting decades and decades ago.  I insist that the piece is vintage because it is of an era when women needlepointed seat-cushions for chairs (my Grandma, born in 1899). I also insist that the materials for this piece are beyond lovely.  The vintage 100% wool yarn, nicely packaged and preserved, the fine work, already complete on the piece, and the soft canvas, yellowed with time.  I'm in heaven.  I have long considered one of my callings to finish old afghans that folks had never finished, with the name "Afghans from the Attic".  So why not "Seat cushions from last century?"  It's all available, with a little rooting around at garage, thrift, and estate sales.  
tapestry wool. Perfection.
It's a mammoth undertaking, in size and in simplicity.  Nonetheless I'm captivated by it's simple beauty and the memory of my own Grandma and other women who taught me needle arts when I was a child.  Already the jokes are flying in my home. "Will you ever finish that thing?"  My reply? "Who cares? Now I have something to keep me alive!!!!"
And finally, a trip to Ellison Bay would not be complete without a puzzle.  Need to get back up north to start and eventually finish this ginormous piece.  2000 pieces, and a Ravensburger, no less!  This German company builds puzzles that are satisfying to the touch, to the eye, and are simple delightful to work with.  A few years back I was completely stumped by a 1000 piece Ravensburger, so who knows how long (the rest of my life) this might take.  I like undertaking an eternal project.

sunrise, cup of coffee, and this?  I'm done.

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