28 December 2011

Opinionated Opinions

It is - and has been so far - a very quiet week between Christmas and New Years, which means, that I have time to sit and stitch ... and to think.
And I've decided that I will - occasionally - use this blog to state an opinion.
Don't worry, I'll call them 'Opinionated Opinions' (because they are), and you can just ignore'em when you see'em :-D

ANYway: Ever since the debacle back in August, where we who stitch, knit, bake, sew and blog about it were mightily put out, the whole feminist issue has been (occasionally) tumbling around in my little head.
And frankly, I don't get it.
No. Really. I do not get it.
What is it about traditional female pursuits (and the women who pursue them) that makes ... let's call them neo-feminists so angry?

Back in the hoary dark ages of my youth (we're talking the 1970es and 80es here), I remember women taking up the traditional crafts of womanhood, and turning them into feminist weapons, precisely because they were traditional crafts of womanhood.

We knit, certainly, but we knit what we want, not what 'the (male) world' wants us to.
We sew, certainly, but not the clothes 'the (male) world' would like us to.

So, here's the conundrum :
How come it is suspect, self-repressive and downright despicable that I knit, quilt and embroider, whereas a male textile artist like Kaffe Fassett is admirable when he does the same? And don't get me wrong, I think Kaffe Fasset is quite the bee's knees, it just ticks me off mightily, that when he does it, it's laudable, when I do, it's ... despicable and/or ridiculous.

How come, that my attempts at making tasty, well-balanced and cheap meals for myself and my family is a suspect, self-repressive pursuit, whereas the experiments of Rene Redzepi are laudable?

If we're talking feminine self-repression, denying me the right, the joy and the ownership of traditional female pursuits, while lauding the male take-over is anti-feminist in the extreme.

So, please, tell me again : Why are (traditionally) female pursuits not part of feminism any longer? Why is it, that the crafts/wo/manship of the (usually) textile kind is not appreciated? To a degree where it is ridiculed and dismissed?


25 December 2011

Evenstar !!!

Well, I have been busy, haven't I :-)
It isn't blocked, so it looks a tad weird, and all the lovely holey pattern in the border isn't really visible, BUT Evenstar is finished.
So : Happy b'day and a blessed Christmas to you, Martha! I hope you enjoy your shawl once it arrives on Long Island.

17 December 2011

Sunflower # 20

I like this one. Really like it. The blue innermost triangles work well here (me thinks) and the general brightness of the block ... what can I say. Love it :-)

14 December 2011

Never underestimate the border: Evenstar shawl - 5

Never underestimate the border.
Famous (not quite last) words.
Goes for quilting, patchwork, applique, and most definitely for knitting as well.

About one third of the border on the Evenstar shawl is now knitted. It is looking good, and I am looking forward to getting it out of the way, and move on to something else.
Give me another couple of weeks and it will all be done.
... hopefully ...

10 December 2011

Blue or Green

And now it's time to get a wee bit back to the Sunflowers. They are so much easier to tow along than a complicated lace-shawl, or indeed a full quilt which is in the process of being bound :-)
This weeks offering, which is Sunflower # 19, looks like this :

Colours are a strange thing. Consider the centre-fabric on this. When seen on its own, it looks green ... well ... mostly green, with some teal thrown in too. When seeing the circle (without the rest of the Sunflower around it), it still seems mostly green-and-teal.
Here, with the bright 'other colurs', it looks mostly blue.
The influence one colour has on another, never ceases to amaze me.

07 December 2011

Evenstar shawl - 4

Chart 3 is now finished, and 'all' that is left to do is the border.
BUT, to quote Ann from Oz : "Never underestimate the border".
56 repeats of a pattern that runs over 20 rows each, with 16-24 stitches in each row ... that's a lot of stitching still to do. BUT, I am ready to start it now.

... and even if I say so myself, the shawl is looking good. Real good. Good thing I have yarn to make one for myself as well (yes, this one is a gift).

And in case you have been directed to this post via a Google search : I am not doing the beading. I do not do beads in knitting of this size. No way. Adding close to 3000 beads to the yarn before starting the border, or doing Susan Pandorph's trick with a(n extremely thin) crochet-needle ... not gonna happen. But the border will. Stay tuned, but don't hold your breath :-)

03 December 2011

The giving of gifts

I have a DFreind who has been diagnosed with Lung Cancer. She has had the operation (half a lung removed and just about every lymph-node on the same side). Had the biopsies (all looking good).
She has now started the chemo.

Now, chemo is hard on every part of you and there are times where you desperately need the hug, but cannot tolerate the touching or even having people too close. Naturally, a quilt is an obvious thing to give in this situation: it is a long-distance hug that the recipient can take as often as she needs it ... but I don't have time to make her one! And I'm not giving away any of the ones that reside with me right now.

At this point, it is actually very, very good to have a bag of 'white elephants', to wit : One circular shawl, diameter 60" +, pattern from 'A Gathering of Lace' (Feather and Fan shawl, designed by Eugen Beugler), yarn is 'Geisha' from Blue Moon Fiber Arts (currently my favouritest yarn in the world, 70 % mohair, 20 % silk, 10 % nylon, soft as anything and a joy to knit), and all that needed be done was the tying up of the first and last thread and then the washing and blocking of the thing.
I thoroughly enjoyed knitting it, and love the way it looks, but since finishing the knitting, I have had serious doubts as to whether I would ever get around to actually using it, hence the 'almost there' status of the thing.

BUT now the last ends have been tucked in, it has been washed and blocked, and before it is gift-wrapped, I just wanted to show it off. It is not a quilt, but still something she can wrap around her, something which is both soft and warm, and which can hug and hold her when arms and people are too much to have close by.
I hope she uses it to threads.

But why am I blogging about it?
Do I want to brag about how generous I am?
No, not really.
I do want to brag about the beauty of the piece, because I am very well satisfied with how it turned out.
I also want to encourage you, dear reader, to give while you can.
I have - fortunately - not given many gifts like these, but each and every one of them has been given with much love and many good thoughts, and each and every one of them has been used - with equal joy - by the recipient, bringing her or him the knowledge of love and care with every use.

Give while you can.
Don't wait or think you need to have made the gift 'especially for NN', because you don't have to. If you have the time and energy to whip up a quilt in a week, more power to you; I have neither that time nor that energy. I do, however, have 'white elephants' that are both beautiful and well made, and I am not holding on to them in case a 'better recipient' comes along.
With each gift of this kind, I hope it is the last I feel the need to give, but I know that will probably not be the case, so I work happily along, finishing quilts and shawls and afghans, using the best materials and making them as well and as beautifully as I know how.