Tuesday, April 18, 2017

52 Lists: things that motivate you

For me, the best place for a fresh start or to begin a new project is on my birthday - the beginning of my year. So the year I was 21, I did a photo a day project (that ended up including an internship in Cleveland, meeting/dating my now-husband Adam, and going to New York to work for Vogue Knitting - so I'm retrospectively glad that I committed to documenting that particular year!), and the year I was 24, I knitted the sky (one row on a scarf each day in the color of the sky). So for 27, I'm doing lists. I'm going to roughly follow along with the book The 52 Lists Project.


A list of the things that motivate me


1. Color
   (my two favorite yarn stores ever, one local, thankfully, arrange their wares by color, and it brings me so much joy and so many ideas)
2. and texture
   (again, yarn. Ooh, I love this lumpy linen blend! I want to make something that reminds people of trees bark out of it...)
3. Time in which to do the thing I may be motivated to do
   (let's face it - this is the biggest one. What's the point of being motivated if I'm bound in such a way that I can't actually do anything about it?)
4. Music
   (a capella covers of traditional drinking songs really make the dinner making process more fun. Something about belting out The Parting Glass along with Peter Hollens just... helps)
5. Beauty
   (even more so than the lack thereof. I mean, I want to add beauty where there is none, but beauty with preexisting beauty doesn't detract, it multiplies)

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Identity


Even for an introvert, I have a really long runway. I'm beginning to think that I might have benefitted from spending more time between living at home and getting married, precious solitude in which to do some inner excavation. I did spend 4 months alone, working in NYC, and that time profoundly impacted me - but I didn't have enough space to process most of it, so there have been a lot of ideas just sitting around in storage waiting for me to have time to unpack them.

One of them was a sermon on work and creativity, and the pastor speculated about the application of those two things in Heaven. He invited us to imagine having infinite time and a perfect body - to create, for example, a sand mandala using tiny flecks of crushed gems, carefully placing each grain exactly where we wanted it in the circular tray, then taking it to God - to envision His response, the proud parent who sees Himself reflected in His child - and then to pour it out at His feet, an offering, because nothing could ever be as beautiful as Him.

That has captivated me ever since - when I think about it, I start to cry, because it's just so beautiful, and so appealing. But recently it occurred to me that I don't have to wait. I was given the opportunity to speak (twice) on identity, specifically finding ones identity in ones work. So to illustrate my point - and to make it more than just high words, because I'm good at that, in a bad way - I designed a top, made from a continuous thread, wore it, then took it off and unraveled it partway through the talk.


It was a sacrifice. The best of the ability I've been given, and finite and precious time, reverted back to a ball of yarn in a matter of moments. Twice. It hurt, but that was kind of the point. I love knitting, but I can't rely too much on other's responses to my knitting (ironically, some of my favorite designs have also been my least popular, thereby forcing me to reexamine whether I actually loved it or thought other people would). It's a gift - and gifts are meant to be given.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

52 Lists: moments that have shaped you

For me, the best place for a fresh start or to begin a new project is on my birthday - the beginning of my year. So the year I was 21, I did a photo a day project (that ended up including an internship in Cleveland, meeting/dating my now-husband Adam, and going to New York to work for Vogue Knitting - so I'm retrospectively glad that I committed to documenting that particular year!), and the year I was 24, I knitted the sky (one row on a scarf each day in the color of the sky). So for 27, I'm doing lists. I'm going to roughly follow along with the book The 52 Lists Project.


A list of difficult moments in my past that have shaped me for the better


Once upon a time there was a little girl who loved stories. She loved to read stories, and to make them up herself. Sometimes she wrote them down, but most of the time she just told them to herself. There were two that she especially liked; one about time traveling, and one about a spy.

The stories became her friends. She told them to herself so often that she would skip over the boring sections to get to her favorite parts. Sometimes she would be drawn to a certain chapter for weeks, telling it over and over and fine tuning it until it felt like it was what it was meant to be.

Even as she got older, she still told herself the stories, usually as she was falling asleep at night. Sometimes she told herself that it was silly and she should stop, but she never did.

Then one day one of the stories came true. And she realized that they weren't stories about time traveling or spies, but they were a way of keeping her dreams and ideals safe. That she had been taking little pieces of herself and tucking them away into the stories so they could keep living, unable to throw them away.

So she became the girl in her stories - and after awhile she realized that she didn't need the stories any more, because she was living them, instead.
__________

Yet another unlistable list. I can't exactly quantify the moments that have shaped me, although I can reference specific chapters in my stories that mark those moments. But one long moment that I can point to is this deployment - it's given me the space to unpack all my mental boxes and really examine them. Without it, I might have kept telling the stories, instead of becoming them.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Word {v1 i2}


Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Matthew 5:4

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Marching Along


It's my second favorite time of year - that fleeting season where I can walk to the mailbox "as is," without having to put on a coat and scarf, but also without breaking a sweat. We've been relishing it while we can, with walks (to the library and on trails) and just general time outside.


Not that Winter didn't make a solid last-minute effort, but it's really hard to get too worked up (positively or negatively) over snow that melts the next day. That's just a good chance to spend a farewell day with my favorite knits, and enjoy a hot coffee before switching over to iced.


March was mostly just a surviving month. Waiting for it to warm up, trying to get out of a meal planning rut (I would enjoy cooking a lot more if it wasn't for three people with totally different tastes, two of whom actively oppose the dinner making process), and lots of knitting.


Two "art" projects, one Perun cowl (in the photo), and now I'm working on a linen tunic (Liesl) - the last two are for a trip at the end of this month to see Adam (squee). I really love having the ability to hand make specific garments as I need them - a cowl-y shirt-y thing that I think will work well for the fluctuating temperatures of airplane travel, and a tunic that can be a swimsuit coverup or add interest (without adding unwanted warmth) to street clothes.


So this will be a month of travel prep and knitting, trying new schedules and adjusting to a new season - and trying to figure out how to keep a house clean with two small persons following behind and messing it up as I go.