15 July, 2007

Guest-Blogging?

Posted in Uncategorized at 11:03 pm by rynserenity

Indeed, it is. For this was the title of the email I recently received from my Knerdy Kniece, proprietress of this here blog — she was leaving for the airport in 15 mins. and said oh by the way, can you guest-blog while I’m away? Eeek. Well, I have been contemplating the blogging life — it is of course the money that draws me — but have no actual experience. Until this very moment! So yay for new experiences.

I am (as you may have guessed) the auntie of the Knerdy Knitter, and have appeared once or twice in the comments as AntChris. (Haven’t yet found a little ant image to use as an icon, but I assure you I will.) Her lucky mother is my sister (I’m lucky to be related as I am to both of them, and I’m not just saying that!). Although I was a participant in the lesson KK recently wrote up for you on learning to spin using a drop spindle, I am not a Real Knitter (though that opens the way for a series of Real Knitter jokes — “Real Knitters don’t ****, they ****!”). My starter stuff is still in the bag.

I plead the 40-hour week, and some other interests, including:

plant5.jpg

…waaayyyyyyy too much of this!!! Yes, sitting around watching plants grow is my consuming hobby.

No, as you guessed, it is the photography thing. For the last year, since the summer solstice of ’06 in fact, I have had a terrible vulnerability to seeing the photos that are everywhere around us almost all the time. Actually TAKING those photos is another story, but I see them and am seized by the need to try to get the shot, even if it’s impossible. At least, with this camera (a reasonably good point-and-shoot digital). I grew up in the Pentax single-lens-reflex world and cannot afford the digital version (yet).

I had not really done photography in years and then for some reason — yes, suddenly last summer!! — I was walking around going: Oh my god, the light! Look what the light is doing now! The light!!! I felt like I was going crazy. But since the little digital is nothing if not portable, I made a solemn pact with myself to carry it around and force myself to take those shots when I see them. There is a poignant quality to it as I quickly came to realize that whatever incredible thing the light is doing, it will no longer be doing it in about two minutes. You have to catch these moments right away, before they fade. In fact I sometimes think there is a confrontation with mortality in what drives all this, but no matter — this is a cheery blog and I’m not going to go against that!

So — much of my personal obsessiveness is going to the photons these days. It’s like being a cattle rancher, only I have to rustle up and herd, well, photons. Gee yup!! (Actually they don’t need much help moving along, they’re pretty speedy.) Or am I fishing in the photon stream? I’ll get back to you when I decide.

But I have been thinking of what to bring to the knitting table, as it were, and I do have a couple of things. First, reweaving: When the evil little moths chew a hole in your favorite (especially heathered) sweater, what is the procedure? I have heard that those with skill can take a yarn that is close in color and gauge and somehow work it in, but I am dubious. And if the yarn is a distinctive heathered one, I become even more dubious. Now that I have had a taste of spinning, I realize that it might be possible to actually spin some stuff that resembles the stuff in the sweater — but maybe that’s going too far, unnecessary.

So I throw it open to you, dear knitters. Have you “rewoven” a hole in a favorite piece? How? Did you use a plain colored yarn on a heathered piece, and if so did it matter? Did it blend in anyway? Do you think it would be too obsessive to try to heather something up on the drop spindle if the wounded sweater or whatever seemed to demand it, or would you say that nothing is too obsessive for knitters? AntChris awaits your answers with fingers drumming absently on her keyboard.

Secondly: I have always (okay, for years) wanted to attend one of those events where they basically take you from the sheep to the sweater. You know, you start out by shearing the barnyard animal, and go through carding and some other things before you spin, knit and whatever other perverse thing you’re going to do to the poor fiber. I know that the Heifer Project (which is an indescribably worthy charity, by the way) does a lambing-season thing in the spring — women fly in to their HQ, in Tennessee I think, and stay for a few days and do the lambing thing as well as the sequence I’m thinking of. But, that’s a bit far away from the Bay! And once at the Little Farm in our own Tilden Park, there was a similar event — but I saw the posting for it after it had happened. (Snaps fingers.)

So, question two is: Has anyone done — or does anyone know of — something like this? Anything to recommend? I could skip the actual shearing, I guess, and start with the sheared wool. But I am curious to know more about all these processes. And hands-on is good. Especially with stuff that people, and particularly women, have been doing for thousands and thousands of years.

Speaking of which: I was recently rereading a book with Navajo cultural elements in it (Zelazny’s Eye of Cat actually) and really thought about the fact that all those great Native rugs and blankets are made of wool, too, but it’s woven. On looms. So while I’m throwing things out there, I’ll also ask: Anyone ever do that? Any weaving? What was that like? Do you know the difference between a backstrap loom and a, er, non-backstrap one? (Maybe that would be a frame one?) Anything about that would also be of interest. And you get bonus points if you know anything about using organic/vegetable dyes on the wool!

So that’s three, um, four questions for you all (no one expects the Knitting Inquisition!!). Please answer in the comments — any responses will be greatly appreciated. AntChris thanks you all for your readership and consideration by waving her antennae around in a vaguely meaningful sort of way! In your general direction, of course. (She also promises to post more diligently in future.)

Ciao for now!

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3 Comments »

  1. Heeey, AuntChris! Thanks so much for guest-blogging for me! You wrote some very interesting stuff. The plant picture is really gorgeous, too! If you’re interested in organic dyes and the like, Interweave Press has a few good books on the subject (www.interweave.com, by the way).

    Thanks again for guest-blogging!

  2. […] I’m lazing around on Sunday when who should call? AntChris, of guest-blogging fame. She says she found some free yarn, and would I be interested in the stuff she didn’t […]

  3. Tzptfhem said,

    Thanks!,


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