Tuesday, June 24, 2008

the generosity of knitters

I recently read Things I Learned from Knitting (Whether I wanted to or Not) by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee (AKA the YarnHarlot). My supervisor got it for me as a parting gift when I completed my internship which made total sense since she begins the book by comparing knitting to Cognitive Behavioral therapy, and since I would knit during many a meeting in which we were discussing the clients we would do CBT therapy with. The book was a good, fast, and light hearted read- perfect for easing my way back into the shock of being able to do actual leisure reading after completing my masters.

Anyway, the book has a tidbit in it about the generosity of knitters and I've been thinking more about that and examples of it in my life (of which there are many). From sharing skills to sharing supplies (ahem, thanks for those needles meg!)- ask and you shall receive in the knitting world. And sometimes, you don't even have to ask, as is evidenced by the following examples...

A dear friend of mine recently traveled to Turkey and shared my humble blog with his hostess who was an incredibly crafty knitter and crocheter herself. She sent him back home with some beautiful hand knit slippers to pass on to me, just because.
Unfortunately, they do not stretch enough to accommodate the skis I like to call "my feet." Regardless, I was very touched by the gesture and the thought that there was this woman across an ocean who I could relate to in this way. I'll be going to Costa Rica and Honduras this summer, and I plan to take them with me and pass them on to someone who can fit into them, and hopefully who can appreciate how far this gift has traveled.

Two months ago, I also received this in the mail...
An umbrella swift! My very own umbrella swift! Now I know there are some fancy pants knitters out there who might gawk at the very idea that I didn't already own one of the contraptions- but I am a humble-recent-graduate-student of limited means. It was just a purchase that I couldn't justify (although I was considering trying to justify spending some of my stimulus check on one anyway). I've wanted one for a very long time, and was kind of kicking myself for not investing in one this past October at Rhinebeck. So you can imagine how excited I was to receive one in the mail by complete surprise! It turns out my fantastic roommate knew how badly I wanted one and mentioned it casually to his extremely generous knitterly & crafty mom, who mailed me one that she just happened to have laying around the house. She's also sent me knitting shows from the DIY channel and some awesome Ravelry swag. Rasca is less than impressed by the umbrella swift. She knows not of these human toys nor of the generosity of knitters. She just wants to eat the yarn.

Monday, June 16, 2008

little bits

I have more new little things to post about! As I mentioned in my last post, life has been very busy lately. As school culminated, I had the urge to knit something little, quick and gratifying & I've been dying to use this yarn...
So I knit a hat. At the beginning of the summer. Not the most practical of knits (even if it is cotton yarn), but it quenched my thirst at the time.
Pattern: Button Tab Hat
Yarn: Cotton Patiné in "Color 10." It's really a mustardy yellow color that I've been obsessed with lately.
Button: given to me by Alan who found it amongst a bunch of other fantastic buttons that some fool was getting rid of.

And speaking of other little things...remember those ruby red booties I knit a while back? I distinctly remember as I was completing them thinking to myself, "These are so teeny tiny! Do humans even come this small?" I shrugged it off, reminding myself that knitting stretches anyway. Well...apparently they DO come that small. And even smaller! This weekend I met the littlest Jacobs ever-Ms. Hailey Grace. But hey, maybe those booties will fit by Christmas.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

An actual update.

A lot of life has happened in the the two months since my last post. I turned 28; finished my masters in social work; went to a prom; had a mini road trip to Boston; and became an aunt again. Impressively, art has still been happening through all of that. I have a few knits in progress and a piece for the earth portion of project spectrum that is actually on display.

I have actually been meaning to write a post dedicated specifically to the Grand Street Community Arts, where my piece is on display. For now, suffice it to say-it's right around the corner from me and I'm really excited about the potential it has to offer. I was given the opportunity to participate in the June showing of their "Boarded Up" project, and the painting I had in mind happens to go beautifully with the project spectrum theme of earth. Oh, synchronicity, how you awe me.

Here are some photos of my piece...
Title: Sacrificio
Medium: Acrylic Paint and Pastel on ply wood

If you are in the Albany area for the month of June, you should really come check it out. For one, the pictures don't do it justice. Two, you can see the other pieces up as well. The pieces will be auctioned off in August, with the proceeds going to support the community center. Here's a photo of one of the other ones up this month that I really liked..In terms of my own personal evolution embracing my art, I feel like I've grown tremendously these past few months. I also contributed to an art auction to raise money for students to go on the Africa trip that I had the privilege of going on last year. Both of the things I donated sold and one of my photos went for $75, which was cool to see. I also did some networking there and made some future contacts for showing more art. It's a big deal for me still to be putting my stuff out there and I was really happy with how this recent painting came out.

I keep telling folks to go see it which feels a little weird for me, but I make myself get over it by remembering how much I appreciate it when my friends share their talents with me whether it's through their music, writing, painting, cooking, whatever. I feel less odd talking about what I'm showing when I think of it as just contributing and giving back some of the inspiration that others share with me.

Now that school is over and done with, there's so much promise of art and inspiration. I will begin a figure drawing class of sorts tomorrow. I've been really itching to do some sewing again. And this summer I have trips planned for both Costa Rica & Honduras, which I'm sure will yield a lot more photos. So hopefully, this blog will be full of a lot more updates.