As mentioned in the previous post, a bit has changed. I'm not sure if anyone read this blog back when it was about art and I'm not sure if anyone will read it now that things have gotten a little softer and fuzzier, but just in case, I supposed I should give a little explanation on the transition.
I'm afraid I have to admit it's because of a boy.
Somewhere between my last art posts, I took on a rather time-consuming temp writing gig. While it wasn't a longterm solution to my little unemployment issue, it was quite lucrative. A big reason for that was the very long hours. It didn't leave me with much time to paint or draw, nor was it terribly motivating in any creative or entrepreneurial sense. I however did manage to resume my dating process, which was a process I also wan't terribly motivated to maintain-- as I've alluded to in previous posts.
That's when the aforementioned boy, or rather man in his early thirties, entered the picture. A first date led to a second, led to a third, and so and so forth and now I'm writing this from my little cave inside his house, where I now live. To aid his futile pursuit of internet anonymity, I'm going to refer to him as "Puffits". That's what he called me while leaving for work the other day. It's a sleepy brained garbling of "pie", "muffins", and who knows whatever other baked goods that he tends to use in place of my name. As I write this now, the art days me would gag at the prospect. Part of me still does, but I love Puffits. I love Puffits enough to have uprooted much of what my life was back then. It was a gradual uprooting and it's where the knitting shift comes in.
Being in a relationship with a fellow homebody who's also inclined toward compulsive productivity--as I was/am with Puffits--we had/have this tendency to work on individual projects adjacently. This led me to focus on my more portable hobbies. I still painted, but when traveling from my cottage to Puffit's house and vice-versa, my watercolors just didn't travel as well as a crochet hook and yarn. So that's where most of my creative energies went, prompting Puffits to buy me this book.
Oh, this looks right up my alley! Look at that little bird in the lower right there.
I think…Yes, I MUST HAVE YOU!
But there was a problem. Lesley Stanfield's "Blue Tit" pattern was a knitting pattern! At the time, I thought perhaps I could adapt it and create a crochet version. It's all just stitches after all, and I had improvised shapes with crochet plenty of times in the past. How hard could it be to make something just like it?
As I studied the pattern, learned what the knitting abbreviations and techniques meant (something I've barely done with any sort of fiber art pattern as someone who crochets "by eye" and "by feel) it soon occurred to me that in order to get the results I needed, I would just have to learn to knit.
I cluelessly picked up some supplies and turned to text, image and video tutorials--not in that order. I quickly gave up when it seemed I couldn't stop my hands from trying to used a needle like a crochet hook when attempting to cast-on. As Puffits watched me grumble and growl at YouTube's vast community of knitting teachers, I told him that knitting simply wasn't for me.
There's just too much going on with knitting. How could two needles not be terribly complicated compared to just one hook? And to make a round object you need even more needles?! With points on each end?! That's just crazy. Knitters are knitters, and crocheters are crocheters. Some may dabble back and forth like ambidextrous freaks, but not me. I'm a crochet girl and that's all there is too it! Surely there's no shame in giving up, not when I can already do so much with crochet. Best to just focus on that.
Ugh! Damn your cuteness! I STILL MUST HAVE YOU!
It took me weeks. This helped quite a bit, just as the crochet version did back when I wanted to build on the skills not yet learned by the time grandmother died. I will never run out of reasons to miss that woman. As I learned how to cast on, knit, then garter, the purl, then stockinette, then bind off, I didn't bother with anything other than little practice swatches. No scarves, no dish cloths, no blanket squares. There was only pattern I focused on--just one project that would be my first. I would learn only what I needed to make that damn bird, nothing more, nothing less!
The process was nerve-wracking then and the results make me cringe when I look at them now.
That sorry-looking bird ended up in a very special place--I'm not referring Puffit's side of the bookshelf, which is where it is because I don't want it on my side--it's that place between okay and awful. That first bird was okay enough to show me I could do it, essentially. It was okay enough to teach me what I needed to do the next time. It was also awful enough to make me want to do better, to prove that I could do better. So that's what I kept trying to do, again…
obviously, with a few modifications along the way.
And I haven't really stopped since. I still do paint on occasion. I also made a brief shift into sketch portraits, which became a serious learning experience unto itself, just as knitting continues to be.
That experience is what I plan covering from this point forward, using the term "plan" loosely. As I said way up at the beginning of this post, I'm not sure if anyone read this then, and I'm not sure if they'll read it now, but I'm going to try not to think about that either way… but, if they did and if they do, I hope they--and you--will stay with me for whatever happens next.