Lizards in the Leaves

Rustlings in the green....imagination, art, whimsy

Oct 29, 2013

Pro Bono Knitting

"Pro bono"

I always thought it meant something like, 'without charge,' but recently discovered it is a shortened "pro bono publico" which means 'for public good.'  I am sure this is something I should have known years ago, but really I am comfortable with not knowing everything and knowing I don't know everything and being able to be delighted by learning new things, even if they are things that others deem elementary.

Anyway.  Lawyers do pro bono work.  Knitters do, too.

For the third year in a row, I am knitting for my friend Buick Audra's annual project to provide scarves to a homeless shelter in Nashville. Buick is a multi-talented woman with a huge heart - she makes music, charming dresses, juggles a zillion creative projects and still finds time to give back in her community.  And does it so well.  It's a joy to be part of anything she organizes.

Right now,  it is very soothing for me to do a whole project with all choices made at the start after recently doing a lot of intense freeform work which involves decision after decision - at least in the way I work. I suspect others are more comfortable with a greater degree of random in freeform. Maybe for me, I am more form than free. Hmmm, perhaps I should call it meform work...

For this year's scarves, I chose to work with Encore, a mostly acrylic yarn. I want it to be easy care for people who may not be able to fuss over care for such a utilitarian item.  I am definitely in the category of fiber snob, but Encore's acrylic redeems itself with 20-25% wool and a hand that is springy, soft and quite pleasant to work with and feel in the finished item.

The pattern is simple - mistake stitch rib - every row exactly the same. Here's a pattern.

Scarf No. 1 - 19 stitches wide

Scarf No. 2, in progress, 23 stitches wide

Size #13 needles with the yarn doubled.
I am complicating it just a bit by using two colors, changing every two rows. (I wind the yarn into center-pull cakes, using the center-pulled strand along with the strand from the outside of the cake.)


Past Mistakes 

I've used mistake rib before, making scarves from two different colors of Noro.

These evolved into my "As Elfen As Ya Wanna Be" caps, a pattern I would like to revisit and refine, maybe even get it written up.  You, of course, will be the first to know.

Oct 9, 2013

Good Enough

So, all day yesterday I was acting on and contemplating the concept of "good enough." 

One of my demons is perfectionism and what perfectionism does to me does not improve the quality of my work or my life.

 It paralyzes me.

It either keeps me from even starting something, or keeps me in a loop of decision-making trying to find the best, the perfect....yarn, space, time, tool, word, punctuation - you name it.

"Good enough" means I can relax. "Good enough" means I don't have to be perfect or the best. I can be "good enough."

I do want to do quality, meaningful work.

But if I never finish anything because I can't get it to be perfect...what is the point? I've decided I'd rather have a body of good enough work, rather than no body at all.

And, in the lovely, lovely synchronicity that is the voice of the Universe, this sticker arrived today in the mail, tucked in with a "perfect" tool I ordered.

(The picture is from my looks a bit blurry to me. I was so tempted to get out camera, take another picture, upload, etc. But, you know what....yup, it's good enough.)

Oct 4, 2013

Happies from The Whoop-de-doo Future

Ends from my last three projects.
I am glad I now rather enjoy the weaving-in process.
It is meditative. No-mind. Rhythmical, if I let it be.
A welcome break from making all the decisions I make in creating my more intricate pieces.

Ends go in the Treasure Bag - for laying-in to Saori weaving. For the future when I learn to use my little drum carder to make batts for art yarn. When I learn to make art yarn.

Here is a selection of yarns for my latest projects. A series of scarves made with at least 5-7 different yarns in each.  I have begun to think of my overall work in wearable art going under the title:

The Whoop-de-doo Future *

* post-Apocalyptic clothes for if the Apocalypse was a good thing

The Lulu scarves I was making last spring are part of this.
My new scarves are the Happies.
I have been very happy making them - and they seem a happy juxtaposition of fat yarn, fat needles, textured yarn, fraying sari silk ribbons, handspun with curly locks peeking out here and there.

Happies No. 3, No. 2 and No. 1

Ingredients for Happy No. 4