My first sewing machine used to be named "the Bitch." I got her for $10 from Goodwill back in college and she was lovingly named this because we listened to a lot of Ani Difranco and Tori Amos and we thought that being angry and creative was cool. I was one of four women in a rental house that had a spare tiny bedroom turned craft room that we called the Sweatshop because we were constantly refashioning our clothes and we were so ironic.
My machine cover is still labeled.
(picture singing this to Guns 'n Roses' "Welcome to the Jungle")
(Sidenote: the toaster oven in the apartment was labeled "Toastmaster General")
So, my sewing machine is now called "the Beast" or, affectionately, "Mrs. B" and she has done me very good service. She had one tune up early on and the kind people at the sewing and vacuum store there taught me how to clean and oil her. She has muscled her way through quilts made from old jeans and corduroys--2 of them. In fact, I've made at least 6 quilts with her. She only does straight and a simple zigzag stitch but she did them well and without complaint. Recently, though, she's retired to a nice resting place in the basement. I still visit and check up on her, but she needs her rest these days. (I also need a rest from carrying a thirty-five pound sewing machine around.)
It just so happens that my mom bought a new sewing machine and her old machine needed a new home. This new girl (new to me) can do a 3 step zigzag, overcast stitch, a couple of embroidery stitches and doesn't pull my shoulder out of the socket whenever I move it. My two most recent projects on her are a baby sling (tutorial from Karma Baby).
and a ribbon and rattle plushie (tutorial from Chez Beeper Babe).
The new girl also helped me with a number of projects from late last year.
She deserves a good name to go with her new home. I think she's a little jealous of Trixie the Mixie.
Can you help?
So, I now present scooting with and without socks. Who knew that they'd make all of the difference.
During the Winter Olympics, you might have heard about this other little knitter things going on called the Ravelympics 2010. (Sidenote: I say "little" knitter thing because most people don't know anything about it, but nine thousand, five hundred and thirty-eight knitters, crocheters and weavers and 440 teams from 65 countries participated. That is a lot of fiber lovin'.) (Sidenote two: I totally didn't get any respect from my occupational therapist when I told her I *had* to knit because I was a knitting athlete. I realize that I'm no moguls racer, but come on. I take it seriously.)
As a participant, I set a big goal for myself, start my project/s when the opening ceremonies begin and finish my project/s when the flame goes out.
My challenge to myself was, first, to do a colorwork project with correct tension.
This one took two tries (thus the tiny purple sweater pic), but check. Note: these sweaters are holiday ornament size, not people size. They still took me 4 days each.
and, second challenge, to set up and use my loom,
(note: I've woven 30", not just the 3.5" in this photo)
also check, but I might redo the project, so let's call it a half-check.
And, to show my Ravthletic spirit, I ordered this lovely pin featuring the Ravelry mascot, Bob, wearing a knit cap.
Pretty fab, huh?
The Summer Olympics are in only two years, so now is the time to learn to knit so you can join in the mass cast on. Call your mom, your aunt, your grandma, your hipster friend or get a book from the library or just show up at a knitting guild or snb meeting or make an appointment at my house during Henry's nap time.
The patio was put in last spring (a home renovation I never documented because I was too busy posting belly shots) to make the entry into our home more safe. Now that the weather is in the 60's, it is our favorite place to hang out and play. Henry is 9 months and still doesn't crawl yet, but those little fingers always manage to find some delicious dirt-like thing to tuck in his mouth. Now the neighbors get to hear me digging it out :)
It is worth it. The sunshine and breezes make a big difference in our days.
sidenote: I love reading the crafting blogs from Australia. They talk about lemonade and fainting from the heat at the same time that we have a foot of snow on the ground. I love the garden posts and canning photos at times that I actually miss pulling a couple of weeds and I've got a bunch of empty jars waiting to be filled. And the Christmas posts while talking about hot weather, that just floors me.
So, anyway, I signed up for 10 swap partners and 9 of my partners are in Australia. I sent a package this week to Tasmania--really, I did. When staying at home with a baby makes your life feel a little small, you should send mail to Tasmania.
I've received 3 towels in return so far, but I'll save those photos for another day. For now you get to see my screen for printing, and a towel wrapped and ready for the envelope. I'm really proud of the results since this was my first experience with screen printing. New ideas for using this screen keep tumbling through my head now.
My dining room table may never be the same.
*if you check the swap link (here it is again), I have to add that I adore the bicycle towels, but that Mr. Darcy towel makes me swoon.
Speaking of sunshine, here is a picture of Henry on our back patio. I let him play there in the sun for a half hour last week and he babbled and basked while the birds sang. Baby chirping and bird chirping are the two greatest sounds. (Sidenote: did you know that sunshine makes babies sneeze? Every time the sun hits him in the face, he sneezes. Other babies do this, too. I wonder why.)
While he played, I got some time to explore the bulbs and perennials popping up in the yard. Things look much like the first day of spring from last year. I know, that's not profound, but spring does feel like a little miracle every year. Bulbs and perennials are little miracles, too. I look forward to them all winter long, and then they pop out of the ground before I'm ready to put away my winter coat. They look so green and vulnerable, but they are also so brave to come up before all of the snow is gone. Truly amazing.
I'm definitely feeling better because I want to quote my favorite words from e. e. cummings, "spring when the world is mudluscious" and "puddlewonderful".
That's me right now.
I want to write on here about how adorable Henry is (and you betcha, it's true), and how much I'm enjoying the spring bulbs popping up (i really am), and how inspired I am by the projects I'm working on (knitting, weaving, drawing, designing *and* screen printing), but I just can't get my heart behind writing about those things. I'd like to wait to blog until things are feeling sunny again, but it has already been so long since I wrote in here, and these feelings right now are very real, too.
So, I'm just going to sit with this, right here and right now.
Here is a favorite quote from the Tao Te Ching *
Do you have the patience to wait
till your mud settles and the water is clear?
Can you remain unmoving
till right action arises by itself?
I'm waiting and breathing.
What do you do?
*Stephen Mitchell's translation