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The Adventures of two Fibre Artists.



Contributing Artists

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Rowan Projects and, as always, musings.....

I recently started two projects found in Rowan magazines, more specifically, the Azalea from issue #41 and Caroline from issue # 39. I would like to use both as "bed jackets", for a lack of a better term. Something to wear in the house, since I am cold natured, for either reading in bed, working on my laptop, knitting or just relaxing in the house. To say I am cold natured is putting it mildly. I am extremely sensitive to cooler temperatures due, in part, to my physical stature, tall and thin, and as I am reminded by everyone who hears me comment on how cold I am that if I "would put some meat on your bones", or even "if you would eat some meat" as I am vegetarian, that I would not be so cold, but more than that colder temperatures seem to aggravate my fibromyalgia symptoms.

Some may argue that putting so much expense (time, energy as well as financial) into something that will be "worn around the house" is silly, to say the least, but considering the amount of quality time spent wearing these items either knitting, spinning, reading, worshiping (prayer time) all activities conducive to relaxation and essential for good health, it doesn't seem so foolish. And to feel pretty while wearing something comfortable to relax "around the house" is in itself a not so trivial, but rather an all-important element, one I have learned to appreciate more as my time spent in the house has increased, due to the need for down time to heal from fibromyalgia flare-ups. Perhaps it is vanity that plays a part, but I would rather my dh not see me in work out cloths or anything comfortable but not particularly aesthetically pleasing. I feel better knowing under the circumstances I am still feminine and taking an interest in my appearance even if I am not feeling so physically strong.

The Azalea project pictured above calls for cotton, which will be very functional here in the south where temperatures aren't so extreme, at least where winter is concerned. So I am using the Rowan 4 ply cotton the pattern calls for but in a different colour than the pattern suggests. I am also substituting the mohair the pattern calls for on the trim work with some angora handspun yarn I will spin from the gift my Angora buck, Crispin Proudneck offers. I think that will work beautifully.

The Caroline project is certainly very feminine and light weight, which will not only lend itself well to warmer temperatures that call for air-conditioning, one of my bitter enemies, but the weight itself will be less bothersome since one of the symptoms of fibromyalgia, for me at any rate, is the sensation of having a severe sunburn and the weight of clothing rubbing against your skin is very maddening.

How can anyone not feel pretty in something this lacy and soft. I am using mohair, light green for the body and a creamy beige for the border lacework. The length of this jacket is perfect for times spent relaxing in bed when pulling the covers to your chin is not conducive for reading, working on the laptop or knitting. It will offer cover for my upper body without being to cumbersome, twisting or pulling that longer sweaters are apt to do in that position.

Both of these projects are a joy to work on. As with any of our creations we delight in watching our work progress, fantasizing about how it will feel to finally benefit from our fruition, when in point of fact the benefits begin with the casting on, or perhaps before that, the planning of any creative enterprise. This activity, from inception, distracts us from daily stressors/demands, transporting us, almost immediately, to a place of quiet relaxation and peace, with a dash of excitement. That is not to say that there are times, frogging/ripping, or trying to decipher patterns, for example, that can become stressful, but I remind anyone struggling, especially novices or students I have instructed in knitting, crocheting, spinning and other fibre experiences, that these adventures are meant to be calming and not to allow themselves to be pushed anywhere where they can't remain calm. Otherwise we are not accepting the gift as intended. I can honestly say that I have ripped nearly whole finished projects completely out, and enjoyed the experience. Because that is what each stitch, every revolution of the spinning wheel, every passing of the shuttle is, an experience, which is as positive as we make it. And we should take care to turn them all positive and enjoy every blessed moment of this gift.



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