Saturday, March 26, 2016

Let's talk about LOVE

I don’t have a finished garment to show you yet (it is drying outside now), so I decided to talk about craft and crafts-men and women in general.
Look at the amazing creations that I clumsily photographed with my phone (sorry, I am still learning!!!! Promise, next time I’ll do better!!!!!).
This complex and colorful quilt was stitched by hand, one stitch at a time.
You can see the happy face of its creator on this photo.
This intricate shawl with beads (yes, I know, you cannot see them, blame the photographer, not the maker, they definitely are there and they add elegance and splendor to the wrap) made from superfine hand-dyed yarn … I was speechless when I saw it.
Things like this we usually admire in museums, made by the craftsmen and artisans of bygone times. The artists put not only their skills into the work but also their emotions, their state of mind, their love. Yes, I do believe that to create something beautiful (or at least something pleasing and useful) one absolutely has to put a piece of him/herself in it. Creation is a process of giving. That is what we, admirers, feel, being on the receiving end, don’t you think? This spark of inspiration, the quick thought “Oh! I would love to make something like this, something beautiful!” is usually aroused by contemplating somebody’s gorgeous work.
For example, let’s take a simple dinner preparation (not in general, just my dinner preparation). If I read the recipe closely, trying to visualize mentally the future meal, and start salivating imagining it, then go to a store and carefully select the best ingredients, and, after getting back home, totally concentrate on the process of preparation: peeling carrots, onions, and garlic, washing and cutting potatoes, mushrooms, or herbs, boiling, grilling, tasting, adding spices and tasting again… It doesn’t matter what I cook, the end result will smell, taste, and look delicious.
If, on the other hand, I am in a hurry or tired, and need to whip up something hastily just to satisfy hunger, I will never come up with a mouthwatering dish.  Some professional cooks, chefs, probably, would, they can do it in their sleep, but I won’t. If I want good food I need to “make love” to it first.
Same is true for knitting. Again, I am talking about myself. I need to be in love with my project. Only then I finish it sooner rather than later and have a decent result. Sometimes, I lose my enthusiasm in the middle of working on a garment. The reasons could be different – made a mistake, picked a wrong size, yarn doesn’t work with a pattern, don’t like the look on me – but the result it always the same. I end up with something that I don’t really like.
This is what happened to me with my last project. I started one pattern, lost interest in it, and unraveled the whole thing.

Then I started another pattern that I still like, but the yarn didn’t want to become this pattern. My husband, walking by, asked me: “What is this ugly thing that you are working on?” Needless to say that I unraveled my “ugly thing” immediately.
My third try had to be my last one. You cannot torture your yarn indefinitely. It is cruel and barbarous! I believe that yarns must be loved and cherished like pets.
This is why at the end I got a “meh” garment: I don’t REALLY dislike it but I am not in love with it.
My perception might change (it does sometimes) when I am back in Florida later this year. And I might suddenly fall in love with it and wear it a lot. We’ll see.
I'll leave you with the wonderful project handwoven by Mary from my knitting group on Key Largo (again, it looks much-much-much better in real life!).

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