Life Long Maker

Knitting Blog Challenge Day 28

Do you do any other crafts besides knitting? What are they, and did learning to knit come before or after learning these other crafts?

These kinds of prompts are fun for me because I get to spend half an hour digging through all the photos on my computer (wishing they were actually organized..) and relive a bunch of memories and shitty hair cuts.

I have been creative from very early on in life. I spent a lot of time playing with Lincoln Logs and Legos and was lucky enough to get piles of art kits as gifts for most of my life. I was also fortunate enough to go to a Montessori school where my creativity was not only encouraged but fed with new skills. We were taught to make crochet chains with our fingers by age three (what an excellent way to build fine motor skills while also keeping a group of preschoolers quiet), we also learned to do basic running stitch embroidery by age 4. From there I hit the ground running. IMG_0061My mom tells this story of me around age 4 that I vaguely remember; she walked into the kitchen to find me sitting at the table where I had traced, cut and was now sewing an entire outfit for my doll by hand without help. I remember not being able to get the shirt over her giant doll head so I cut up the back of the shirt and used yarn to lace it back up for an edgy and decorative and reusable closure. Textile things have always come easy to me, and I’ve always enjoyed them. Lanyard keychains and friendship bracelets were basically my shit in the late 90’s.

10391654_1190185527029_8038564_nI majored in art in high school, mainly paintings and print making but I did crochet myself a full human spine out of plastic bags which was pretty cool. From there I went to art school and fully developed my love (obsession) with all things fibers and textiles. The main philosophy of the school was to teach you from the ground up. So for textiles we learned to dye our own yarn and fabric, we learned to make our own yarn and fabric and from there we basically could do anything we wanted. I really really liked weaving. The meticulous threading process, spending hours hunched over the back of the loom threading hundreds of threads through the reed and heddles. During my weaving course I taught myself how to knit (we didn’t really have a knitting course at that time, and by the time they added one I far surpassed the knowledge range of the teacher on that particular subject). I also learned to quilt at the end of my senior year. This class was only offered once a year and each year I never seemed to have time for it in my schedule. I’m so grateful I was able to fit it in, but I wish I could have learned sooner, if I had my trajectory might have been very different. These are some of my favorite pieces from the end of art school. The top two are from my senior show in which my partner and I studied the duality and dichotomy of silk moths and wool eating moths. One moth is lauded for created fiber and one moth is loathed for consuming it. (Top Image is a silk grid on a silk screen with a projection of silk moths spinning cocoons, middle image is a woven wool screen with handspun wool grid covered in different food stuffs used to encourage different larva to eat the screen – we were NOT ALLOWED to bring wool moths into a fiber department for obvious and disappointing reasons).

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This image is of a very large quilt I made and cherish. It’s a lone star quilt with a hand dyed gradient and hand quilting with hand dyed matching thread. My sister still has the actual ¬†images she took for me but I’ve never seen them.

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Since then space has been a little limited, so its hard to produce large works and life gets in the way of spending 200 hours laboring over one project. IMG_1275I’ve made some smaller wall quilts and other little things, but mostly focused on knitting. My new house has a tiny extra bedroom that I’m using as a sewing/craft room but my loom is definitely not going to get in there. We have a mud room with great light that I might end up using once we get the giant couch out of there. I would love to be able to weave again. I do have some quilting and sewing projects lined up in the mean-time.

Netflix and Knit

Knitting Blog Challenge Day 19

Do you watch movies and/or listen to podcasts while knitting? What are your favorite things to knit to?

I actually really really hate knitting without something else to pay attention to. I end up getting trapped in my own brain and that’s not often a happy or productive place so I pretty much always watch or listen to something while I’m working.

I work a lot faster when I listen to podcasts or audiobooks. It makes sense, there’s nothing for my eyes to be distracted by and I can look at what I’m working on. I am more inclined to do this while I’m quilting or weaving since both of these things require much more visual attention. For a while I was really into audio books; I listened to all of the Outlander Series, Game of Thrones, Anna Karenina, The Stormlight Archives (<- highly recommend Brandon Sanderson), and a bunch of others. Most of these books are between 700 and 1200 pages so I clocked a lot of hours working on stuff.

I “Netflix and knit” so frequently that I actually have a hard time just watching a show or movie without knitting. It makes me antsy and I have a hard time focusing on what I’m watching, I don’t even like going to the theater for movies because it’s usually too dark in there to knit. I tend to watch shows because it saves me from finding something else to watch every two hours. K and I have worked our way through the Marvel shows on Netflix and we’re¬†currently catching up on The Walking Dead. This show is so intense I’ve barely gotten any work done. And I’ve been blowing through the old Will and Grace seasons when he’s busy (I really love 90/early 2000s network tv – ER anyone?).

I don’t really know how to explain this but I’ve noticed basically like flashbacks of what I was knitting to when I’m working on bigger projects. It’s like the memory of what I was listening to or watching is now imbedded in my work – which explains why I can hardly remember what happened on a show within hours of watching it, it’s been trapped into my knitting.

 

Everything in my life is a WIP

Knitting Blog Challenge Day 3

Do you have any other WIPs (works in progress)?

In my last post I mentioned I usually like to stick to one project. But that pretty much only applies to knitting.

I tend to keep a lot of creating things in my brain, in my studio, on the floor, on the coffee table, in my purse. They’re everywhere. I’ll just talk about some of the big things though.

IMG_1006I’m going to include this one as a giant kick in the butt to work on it. I honestly kind of forgot about it until now. My best friend got married in 2015 and I decided to make them a quilt as a wedding gift. I of course never finished it because I’m a garbage human and shitty friend and I never finish anything on time. I mean actually there were some major problems like a lot of white fabric being mislabeled so half of it was a slightly different color white, resulting in tearing out a lot of very meticulous seams. Then I got overwhelmed by a new very stressful job and my mother wanting her dinning room table back. So no it’s in a giant bucket in my studio. Maybe I’ll do something with it.

Earlier this week I started a Bullet Journal. I don’t even know why besides I had a dot paper notebook and a bunch of cool pens. I almost never keep up with a sketchbook or an actual written journal. But I’m kind of obsessed with the stupid thing. It’s basically like data collection porn to me and I can’t stop. I’ve filled like 20 pages in only a few days. There’s something satisfying about feeling more productive than I actually am.

The most exciting (for me) thing I’m working on is a Tech Editing course. I realized that Tech Editing for knitters is like an actual real job a few months ago and something clicked in my brain. It’s literally the perfect job for me. I won’t have to have children screaming at me or kicking me. I won’t have to come home covered in nasty coffee shop syrups. I can make my own hours, which works out great for my newly adopted third shift sleeping schedule, and I can do something I genuinely would be good at and give a shit about. I should be ready to start taking clients by the new year so stay tuned!