Wednesday, 7 March 2012

I made stuff

A few years ago, I was in a job which was not a good situation. When I say it was not a good situation, I mean it was not a good situation in the same way that Hitler had a few unfortunate personality traits. Only, I am understating it considerably. Considerably. Anyway, one day I remembered that I had used to quite like knitting, and I thought I would have a go at making something, which might distract me, rather than my other plan, which was, banging my head repeatedly against a wall (although, that would have been better for me and would have achieved more, objectively, than my going in to work). I sourced yarn on ebay, I laboured mightily, I focused my last waning powers of creativity and concentration and I produced this.

Stress did not affect my love of tasteful subtle colours
And very useful it has been. We use it as a trivet. We used it this week to go under the macaroni cheese dish. I remembered how much effort it had cost me. I remembered the huge cognitive shift I had had to make before I had remembered that I was a person who could make things. I remembered the cotton yarn feeling stiff and unfamiliar in my fingers. I remember I made more dishcloths after this one, and I put them in a bag, thoughtfully.
It is a bit smaller than a kingsize bed. Can you see the skulls? And I had to grapple with double yarnovers. Double!
This too took a bit of concentration but, I have to say, it was less of an effort overall than the trivet/ dishcloth and that just tells me I’m in a different place now. So I thought I would show you as I now have a graphic representation of my states of mind, four years apart, and if that concept isn’t art, then I don’t know what is. (Remember, though, that knitting shouldn't be mentioned in polite company and in the proximity of proper art materials.)
I knitted the centre in the break room at work on double pointed needles, but they don't think I'm too odd to talk to (or, they pretend they don't)
I'm going to wear it, too
This was a joy to knit (I know it’s irritating when people say ‘quick easy pattern!!!’ when clearly it isn’t, but, if you like lace and you’re looking for a first circle shawl project, as I was, this is an excellent one to start with). I didn’t do a single stitch wrong until the cast off, when I discovered that the normal cast off is WAY TOO TIGHT for a circle shawl and I would have ended up with a bowl with skulls on, so I did something with a crochet hook instead, which worked great. But while I was undoing the original cast off, I am afraid to say we had a bit of swearing and muttering, and, Partner lost his nerve. No, honestly. He panicked. Oh no! He said. What if you can’t undo it! This is terrible! Now it is done he has looked at it carefully and pronounced it ‘very intricate work’. Who knew Partner was emotionally invested in knitting? This is a worrying development.
I shall say to Partner next time, look, not only could you not paint a candlestick, you could not have googled cleverly and found art classes in a random church hall to start with
And just showing you quickly my latest painting. This is a study in reflections. Partner said, sympathetically, that it was quite hard to draw things straight, and readers once again he has damned me with faint praise. The very nice art teacher asked me three times if I was quite sure I wanted a yellow background, eventually I had to look at him very seriously and say, yes. Because that is my vision, and that worked. Anyway I am doing more lace now, as I am taking part in Chrissy from Stitched Together’s KAL for her lovely lace shawl, and I have become horribly corrupted as I am doing it in silk. Yes. Silk. Gold silk. Like something from a fairy tale. A certain very bad person who I shall not name has suggested that gold is very close to beige and, frankly, that I am deluding myself, but me, I know that I am channeling Seventies Halston with my metallic neutrals and that I do not have to start buying Marks and Spencer Classic Collection yet. That’s right. I’m still young and cool (although, let’s not talk about that subscription to Gardener’s World. Let's not talk about it ever).

12 comments:

Stitched Together said...

That shawl is amazing! You've done an incredible job on it. You will feel proud when you wear it in the street knowing that very few people in the world have lace skulls adorning their backs!

Sarah said...

Knitting - it's therapy, it's art and it's so much fun! Love the post and the shawl.

Sarah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Gingerbread Lady said...

Hoh. Lee. Cow! That shawl is most definitely a piece of art. And I agree with the vision of a yellow background - the reason why there's no candle in the candlestick is because the room is flooded with ambient light (= yellow). It totally makes sense, like.

Nana Go-Go said...

YOWZAR!!!That shawl is indeed a work of art!Sheer joy to behold.Lots of ladies on the Shetland Isles would be very envious of your work. I love your candlestick too and the background colour complements it so well.
The company isn't polite who remark on knitting as an inferior pastime.
I have a problem equating 'Gardeners' World' with old age. I think if you were reading 'Amateur Gardener' or 'The Reader's Digest of Good Gardening', you would perhaps have a problem!
Nothing wrong with a bit of Classic Collection - those elasticated waistbands have got me out of many a tight spot.(kidding!)
Have a good weekend.

Grateful4Crochet said...

That shawl is stunningly amazingly beautiful. It blows my mind that someone could create it!!
Also, i really like the yellow background. It's interesting when you can see the visual distance between places you have been at. It would be interesting to see a graphic representation of that, like a graph made up of things that were made in good times, I think if I did a graph of my life, the barren space where nothing was made would equate to the really crxppy times in my life

Ness said...

It is BEAUTIFUL! You wear that shawl to your next art class and wow those dumb ladies!

Vivianne said...

Susie you are so funny - they will all see The Truth when you post photos of your Lily's Pi ....in beige yarn :-D
That shawl is AMAZING - beautiful work. Well done ! :-)

Chants Cottage said...

Just popped over from the Selfsufficientish forum. I am very impressed. I started knitting about 18 months ago (or took it up from the last time I'd done it, knitting a very ropey looking dolly aged nine) and have tried a bit of lace. Got about two inches into a really pretty scarf and gave up, about ready to gnaw my eyes off. So I am in awe of your patience. And skill.

kristieinbc said...

Beautiful work on that shawl! Interesting to compare it to your first project. I wonder if you had any idea when you made that trivet that you were going to be so taken with knitting? :-)

Lynne said...

Oh my goodness, your shawl is fantastic!! It's amazing to compare it to your first project. Did you ever think then you could make something like your shawl. :)

Marie/Underground Crafter said...

Awesome shawl! And we will let you talk about high art even if the artists won't let you talk about knitting ;).