I didn’t notice anything remarkable about these packages until I was on the way out the door to mail them this afternoon.
Galen, man of the house, addressed this one:
And this is the product of my womanly touch:
You can watch the progress towards this moment in both our family trees. Grandmothers with business diplomas, fathers who stayed home with babies, and so on. In a couple of generations, the clan will surely have morphed into swashbuckling androgynes of some sort. Hot! (… for my own fictional great-grandchildren! Um, I stand by it!)
This is the first knitted sweater I’ve actually finished and worn. (I made one up on trains in Europe, but, well, you know how sometimes, when people make sweaters and they don’t know what they’re doing…) Everytime I hit a section of ribbing I stalled out for a few months, so this sweater was in the works for about a year.
Those two facts, taken together, add up to a very proud little lady (formerly a bit of a whiny knitting martyr— when I wear this now, at least one of my friends is likely to blurt out some congratulation/consolation about my hard-won sweater with its miles of double-ribbing. It’s kind of embarrassing that my “hardship” is so memorable.)
It turned out about one size too small but now that it has stretched out a little, I wear it almost every day. It looks babe-a-licious with a dress, in a wholesome, scratchy wool way. All in all: success!
Stash items liberated!
- Two thirds of a bag of wool yarn from my mum. This came, I think, from the project she was planning when she finally abandoned knitting for good, in favour of sewing.
- A thrift store knitting magazine from the 1970s. It feels good to actually use one of my vintage patterns, instead of just admiring them with a wistful look on my face.
- Six wooden buttons, had for about six dollars at Gala Fabrics aka The Den of Temptation.
Learning opportunities (ahem)
- What am I going to do with the leftover yarn? There’s enough to make half a small sweater. I could have just made a bigger sweater in the first place.
- There are no better buttonholes than E.Z.‘s one-row buttonholes. There is no need to try the technique recommended in pattern books. Next time, I’ll substitute the master buttonholes. What is up with these straggly excuses for buttonholes?
- No really, change yarn at the seam edges. I have saved so many extra inches of yarn that I don’t know what to do with the remainder, and as a bonus there are minor lumps across my tight little sweater.
I think I will have to work on the stash manifesto for a long time before I can see any change by looking at my stash closet. But the treasure I’m extracting from the craft clutter is very tangible. This makes my closet seem like a magical, bottomless cornucopia that breeds wardrobe staples. That’s ok with me.
I’d like to collect stories and descriptions of people’s epiphanies. How they snapped out of depression, or figured out their life’s work, or fixed their relationships, understood parenthood or life or sex or death or generally how to deal with reality. People’s answers to “What’s the secret?”
I’ve been thinking about this for awhile, occasionally stoked by articles like this one, but I had assumed it would be hard to find enough stories to make a worthwhile collection. Talking to Andrea at our small-business breakfast yesterday, we both had potential contributions to this topic. More than realizing I could find enough contributions, I remembered how totally compelled I am by people solving problems and figuring things out, and dealing with basic tragedies like the fact we’re all going to die. I want to go hunting.
*I can’t believe I don’t post daydream projects more often. It’s my most common conversational topic and constant preoccupation.
I just realized Google has found this website. That’s a laugh. Ha ha! Welcome to Half-Baked Code Zone, population: only me, I thought.
A really long time ago, Justin Hall told a story on links.net about watching his girlfriend Amy collect underwear to pack for a trip. “I have enough underwear here to make a salad,” she said.
Panty salad. Lodged in my brain forever, alongside all the names Rebecca and I have come up with for our fictional lingerie store over the years. Pantymonium, All Tomorrow’s Panties, the usual. I get more excited about the scope of our inventory than the name. We would fit everybody! We would cover a huge footprint on the matrix of fashion and comfort! We would host events. Etc etc.
But on laundry days I make panty salad, not pantymonium, out of all my “lay flat to dry” items.
One more fashion photo.
What is it about women with antlers? Lily Fawn ‘s stage get-up inspired a lot of knitted hat sketches in my notebook. I think I could make some stubby felted prongs that would stand up, if I got around to it.
Many months ago, I borrowed a video about jellyfish from the library. Lucky me, it was one of those upper echelon nature documentaries produced by a specialized research centre with a high budget and a celebrity narrator, in this case Leonard Nemoy.
Dr. Spock narrated in a mesmerizing hypno-voice throughout, and at the exact point in the film where the photography jumped from average jellyfish to mind-bending footage of rare aliens of the deep, our hypnotist narrator compared one especially ruffly, colour-changing, pulsating specimen to an elegant woman, trailing her veils and skirts across the room.
Since then I’ve been percolating on how, exactly, I am going to dress like an elegant jellyfish. Many-layered underskirts? Ruffly legwarmers? Tutus trailing ribbons? Could I knit something? Around Christmas I settled on a ball-shaped skirt, such as you’d see made out of feathers and sequins in the 1920s. Skirts that puff out, then cinch back in. Dresses made from piles of ruffles.
Imagine, then, my delight at finding these diverse, jelly-like creations in the recent catwalk photos at Style.com. (Imagine my delight at finding catwalk photo galleries in general: endless, silly desktop wallpaper.)
Pearl of Civilization, private collection
I’ve just finished sewing my own jellyfish dress— out of materials from the Closet of Stash no less. The dress is my surprise contribution to Rock Club tonight (the theme is complicated this time, and involves bringing some kind of art to go with our song). Once it has been officially unveiled I’ll post photos here.
I am very excited. Jellyfish dress!
Yesterday was a steady stream of culture-clash encounters with, I don’t know, The Patriarchy. The Lookist, Erotophobic Mainstream. It embarrasses me to feel like a radical, because I’m not a proper, educated, active radical. I’m not in the habit of thinking about politics or explaining my point of view; I stay home and work on projects of my own devising so much that it is easy to think I am average and mainstream. But apparently life gets a lot more mainstream than me.
- First email of the day was a band newsletter that referred to a fictional “big dude in a pseudo-latex french maid outfit” as “Ewww.” All the dudes I’ve seen in french maid outfits have been pretty hot.
- Later email from a friend declared “there is nothing more horrifying than the image of thousands of miniature Lily Tomllins running amok.” I think Lily Tomlin is awesome. I shouldn’t refer to Quinn as The Patriarchy, but I don’t see why else Lily Tomlin could be so horrifying.
- Vicar’s boss wouldn’t let him play Deerhoof in the retail store. Not even The Runner’s Four, which I consider a mainstream rock album. Except, oh right, Deerhoof.
- As a perfect bookend, I spent half of Chet’s set at Logan’s sitting on a couch comparing worldviews with JR. This involved lengthy shouted statements about the possibility of excellent pornography, my eagerness to find new and scarier boundaries, and a whole lot of talk about the beauty of polyamory done well and the genius of The Ethical Slut. (And lots of shouts from JR about oppression breeding art, freedom from animal instincts, and his disappearing sex drive. It was fun! We did agree on the freeing power of intentional celibacy, but I don’t know if I made that clear.)
This was a lot of clashes in one day, for me. I wonder if I just had more contact with the world outside my multipurpose room, or if I was primed to dismantle Unjust Privilege after spending Thursday reading radical and activist blogs. It is not possible to know.
Instantly I am excited to write here in the mornings. I’m not finished the template design yet, but I think the two stripes are the key players. Having my new favourite colour scheme in the house makes me want to represent.
David: What are your feelings and thoughts about why there’s such a connection between sex and death, in music and art?
Annie: I think it has to do with surrendering and letting go – losing control. I think of death in a positive way, because to me death is almost like another sexual thrill. I’m actually looking forward to it. Another part of it is because sex is about the body and death is about the body, it’s not something you can control. We’re supposed to be sophisticated, intellectual, in control people, and sex is about losing control, it’s about surrender, it’s about dying in a way so….I’m all for it. (laughter)
from interview on Mavericks of the Mind