Friday, July 29, 2011

Seeds

Heard on Radio New Zealand's "Nights" program: a brief opener on the arts/craft discussion. It's inoffensive, whichever side of the fence you sit/stand/sleep on. Scroll down to Arts/Visual Arts, at 20:40.  Here and here are a couple of the exhibitions they referred to. (And yes, in a country where the two main islands are called "North" and "South", our public broadcaster has programs such as "Nine to Noon", "Afternoons" and "Nights".  I love the simplicity.)

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I have a friend in Japan who blogs about the hardship her family is having with her mother's mind deteriorating.  She writes a lot about what she reads on the matter, and yesterday she discussed doing physical things people used to do, that even if dementia (for want of a better term) is advanced, having them do physical activities they are used to improve their conditions or prevent further deterioration, albeit briefly. I knew about this, but I was surprised to read a calligraphy teacher, an occupation I hardly thought physical, being handed a brush, ink well, and paper, became lucid and instantly started acting professionally.

Kath calls it "muscle memory".  I notice I do a lot of things around my looms without thinking because my body knows, and more so on my two foot looms which I use more often than my table looms.  I definitely need to weave more so my muscles remember the motion; Kath promised if she finds me vacant and lost, she will sit me at my loom and hand me a shuttle.

When Kath came over for a cuppa yesterday, I had been working downstairs and so the basement was warmer and we sat in the basement together for the first time. I discovered my tiny "Big Loom Threading" chair had a pocket and a cup holder.  The pocket is under the seat, so not that accessible, but I can so use the cup holder.  I think I bought this chair about... 2008?

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I've also been unravelling. No, really. Some years ago I read on Bonnie's blog that she and her Mom took apart cashmere sweaters, and I can't remember if she wove or knitted with them.  Anyway, I never had the heart to throw away two cashmere sweaters which were beyond the end of their lives; the gray one I really really liked, and the navy has such sentimental values.  I started trying to pick at the gray one a week ago without much success; had I more knowledge of the construction of commercial machine-knit garments, it might have been easier, but I stayed with it.
I see mending is big in quilt/stitching/sewing right now.  I don't see a connection between my recycling and that current conceptual trends, but I love the color and the texture of these sweaters, so it/they will be nice when I finally get around to making something for myself.  

6 comments:

  1. So, Meg, you've fallen into the rabbit hole, hmmm? Enjoy!

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  2. Which one, Margery? Which hole?

    I must say, though, I was thinking about your recent blog post in response to "your friends" saying nice things about your piece on FB. We do need objectivity and distance to see our own work, but sometimes, objectivity means not knowing the whole story/history/HERstory.

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  3. Start at the top of the sweater -- neck or sleeves. Unpick a few of the sewing stitches and gently pulled on the two threads -- separately. If you are lucky one of the threads will act as a "zipper" and let you take that section apart easily. For the actual yarn, start again from the top and attach the yarn to a skeiner or a ball winder and off you go.

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  4. Hi, Holly. I don't know much about knitting but I'm grateful I watched my mother knit all my life until she started weaving, so I kinda guessed that would be the process. But 1) I can't see the sewing stitches and I've had to pull the pieces a bit to find it, and the extra light in the living room died last night and 2) some parts, especially under the arms, were felted from wear, and at first I was trying to save every inch of the yarn, which didn't work. After I decided I can do without the felted part, it was easier - just cutting and tying. I thought I should have a zipper effect, but so far, removing two sleeves, I only had about 5cm of it. And this is a far dustier job than I had hoped. But easy does it. I'm in no rush, right?

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  5. Bonnie weaves with the recycled cashmere. I dyed some for her once. Another time I dyed an entire cashmere sweater for her!

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  6. I'm in great company, then, to say the least.

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