Thursday, March 5, 2015

The Lavender Capelet, Why do such a thing?

child-photographer, the best.
bedroom photo shoot.
And what have I been doing, lately?  Loyal follower, you might ask such a thing, you might also chalk it up to another blogger blown asunder by the realities of life and other distractions.  One of my greatest distractions of 2015 is this delightful doozy.  I've learned how to crochet thread in the fashion called "FILET".  It's fine, it's gorgeous, and I started with a graphed pattern that could teach me how to read the chart, follow the stitches, find my tension and go!
An example of a FILET pattern.
Needless to say, the capelet took days and weeks of fine work.  It requires the smallest of crochet hook (size1.7mm) and the tiniest of thread (lace thread, size ).  I won't bore you with the intricacies of how it's worked up, but let it be known that concentration, eyesight, and repetition are necessary. The link to my Ravelry page can give you a bit more info for the crafty-curious.  The tiny little leaves that were strung with beads around the whole thing was a crowning achievement for this obsessive.
Bead leafs that surround caplet
One might wonder what I'm accomplishing by creating this shrug.   I've always made things. Creation is a form of survival for me, but this particular moment of obsessiveness  highlights a few particular bits of my process.  First, the endeavor to puzzle something out is one of my greatest loves.  I'm a famous puzzler (of any sort) so the mere challenge of figuring out a new pattern is a delight and mental thrill. My mind is awake, my body is in flow, life is good when I'm puzzling.

Second, (and this is only as I've listened to my friend Donna discuss Occupational Therapy) is concerning the very concept and import of occupations--things that we do with our hands, repetitively and carefully.  As our lives are more and more mechanized and digitized, how is it that we fail to perform the very essential hand-eye functions that make us higher beings?  Donna was explaining to me that the origin of Occupational Therapy was from work that was practiced with vets as they returned home from wartime and were suffering from stress. Almost everything I make, I make with renewed vigor, embracing its utilitarian, and spiritual function.  My heart literally hurts for the many people who don't or can't do anything with their hands.  We're losing such a potent part of occupying this planet.  my heart also hurts for those who make things with great detail under strict work codes, with great boredom and awful work setting.

The third thing I consider in my process is message.  Simply writing and thinking about the decline of occupational work makes me frustrated and mad and passionate.  I have a strong opinion on just about everything.  As 2015 washes in, just as chaotic as 2014, I'd rather not tuck into my suburban home and go to sleep, quietly knitting until my kids go to school, then get old and die.  I'm always trying to figure out how to make my mark on the greater world.  I'm not much of a politician, nor even an activist I wish I was, but I believe that my comments, questions, conversation, and collected wit and wisdom offer a tremendous gift to anyone who comes into contact with me (yeah, I know, I like myself that much).
 So the capelet is finished, and I've been thinking quite a lot about what I'd like to do next, in Filet in the way of message, after all, a lavender cape just isn't very risky. When I began FILET it occurred to me that if I mastered the style I could quite easily print designs of my choice into the grid.  Really, anything that fits onto a graph paper.  I've been brainstorming words for the better part of a month and I've finally stumbled upon a simple phrase but I sorta like how it's as rambunctious as it wants to be.

Sexy Jock: iteration #1
I wasn't sure what I wanted to print.  When I finally stumbled upon sexy mama I sort of veered away from it, and there were some other sexys that when I googled, I didn't like what came up.  I was raring for a swear word or two, but then I thought better of that….after all, I will wear it just about anywhere, and the words are going to be on the rear. Kid number two quickly pointed out that the words will be illegible with only one color thread in use, but then we are arguing over the subtleties of art form. May switch that out with another project.
Beginning work on stem green wraparound skirt
Today's progress: we'll nail this thing.
one might, naturally wonder what Sexy Jock means, but here's my permission.  I don't have to get into it, especially since it might not turn out that way. For now, this will do.  I'm working, I'm creating, I'm brainstorming, and I'm laughing about this and just about everything else, so that's a good thing.

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