Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Work in Progress Wednesday - #16

As I say every Wednesday, this is part of a ring sponsored by Tami, and she has lots of talented people taking part in this weekly check-in of crafty progress.

I want to start off by responding to a very interesting comment I got last week from Urban Exile (and if you haven't discovered her non-crafty blog, please be sure to read it; she has a lot of other interesting things to say).

No, Liz, I could not see you had started on the back. The abstract form I see before my eyes does not say jacket to me at all, and that only increases my admiration of your ability to hold the abstract concept of the jacket in your mind as you slowly construct it, knot-by-knot. Amazing.
After I read this comment, I dashed upstairs, held up the jacket-in-progress, and recited the comment to my non-crafting husband, who said, "She's right. I see you sitting there with a ball of yarn, two sticks, and a set of directions. As you work, I know that you can see a little boy wearing a jacket. I'm also amazed." When I took two steps back from these remarks, I could see the very odd enterprise in which we are engaged. We are challenging the manufactured, mass-produced world around us and going about the business of individualized, customized creation. We are taking pictures in our heads, simple materials, and many hours of our time, and bringing forth items that would not otherwise exist.
Folks, we need to keep crafting not just to produce objects (heck, I could walk into a random big-box store and pick up and pay for a cute jacket for my great-nephew in the time it's taking me to write this blog entry), but to keep these crafts alive. We need to keep this knowledge fresh in the culture in which we live. Those of us who have the need to make things and to learn how to make things perform a valuable service to the culture. We remind the culture of its roots and its possibilities.

I LOVE this commercial. The craft matters.

Here is the current progress on the jacket:
I haven't made a tremendous amount of progress, partly because I have just started reading Ken Follett's The Pillars of the Earth. I have a dear friend who shares my taste in literature, and she thrust the book into my hands a few weeks ago and said, "READ this." So, I'm reading it. I haven't gotten very far in, but I'm hoping to make good progress this weekend. (No, I do not intend to see the mini-series.) Anyway, it's hard to read a big thick book and knit and cuddle kitties (I'm getting good at two out of three at a time).

I spent all of Sunday afternoon (really my only available extended sewing time) working on the Cone Nebula quilt. First up, here is the sewn-together first section!
Next is the long view of the laid-out second section. This seemed to take a very long time because even though I have a lot of fabric cut up, I kept running into the situation of not having the RIGHT piece of fabric. Arrgghh!!
Those bright dark blues in the picture do not look anywhere near that bright in person. Very interesting what the camera does. The little white stickers are the tracking numbers for the blocks. I am easily confused and learned a long time ago to mark as I go. The stickers have letters and numbers indicating placement, and the stickers show which patch is at the top of the block and the orientation of the block.

Have a good week everyone. Those of you in the U.S., I hope you have a nice Thanksgiving.


Sara said...

"We remind the culture of its roots and its possibilities."

I love this!

Pillars of the Earth is an amazing book! I actually played hooky from work one day to stay home and read it.

autumngeisha said...

I think you hit it right on target with this post. I love the whole process of creating something with my own hands. I feel a connection to the past whenever I am knitting. I think of how it used to be ingrained in our culture to create. Now, unfortunately, it is easier to buy mass produced goods. It is our collective responsibility to teach young children these arts and crafts so that they are not lost to history. Thanks for the thoughtful words. Your quilt is looking fabulous. The notes are a good idea, I was wondering how you kept all the pieces organized.

Denise said...

What I have always loved about most of my needlework is that I'm creating an original item that can't be bought in a department store. No worries of someone else showing up wearing the exact same thing.

Ever since the industrial revolution the generations have worried about the next generation keeping crafts alive. It continues by those of us who have a need to create. I'm not worried.

I love both your jacket and the quilt and look forward to watching your progress.

Tami Klockau said...

AMAZING post, Liz. I'm only a year into making crochet or knitted items, but it's a great feeling. I love creating, whether through the fiber arts, drawing, painting or writing.

I was at Panera Bread yesterday with my crochet friend and was working on my market bag. I had my dog from last week's FO Friday on the table (I brought it to show my friend in person), and a little girl and her mom sat next to us. They asked if we were knitting or crocheting (though like everyone, assumed that we were knitting), and I told them crochet, and showed them the difference. I had the start of my knitted washcloth with me as well. The mom said that the daughter would love to learn, as she has started to make little felties. I told her that I learned from watching videos on the internet. Normally I don't take the time away from my group to go so in depth with people, but this little girl's eyes sparkled when she saw what we were doing. I thought, if I could convince this little girl to pick it up, it's one more crocheter/knitter added to the group from a young generation. Those are the people that will keep the craft alive.

Marushka C. said...

Your projects are gorgeous. I absolutely love what you say at the beginning of this post about why we make things and why we should continue to do so. Thanks for stating this so beautifully.

pentalia said...

Is that a sideways-knit jacket?? Love those! It just makes so much sense to me.

Couldn't agree more with the idea that we as knitters, crocheters, seamstresses, etc. are making something up out of our heads. I hope that this brain work will help stave off the mental slowdown as we age.

; )

WorstedKnitt said...

What a beautiful posting! I really love your friend's and your husband's comments - it's high time that knitting and crafting be seen not as old-fashioned or homely, but as a creative, useful, sometimes even radical act of using your own hands and head.