13 February 2007

lost my mojo

I've been knitting...I really have, however, there have been some serious mishaps. I'm usually pretty lucky with my knitting. I have my bumps, (remember the baby sweater with the pieces made in two different sizes?) but I can usually recover. Now, it has been one project mess up after another. I feel like I've lost my knitting mojo and I don't know how to get it back. Oh, and I don't have any pictures either.

I finished the scarves for the gay boyfriends. You remember them. They were part of the brown collection.

All I needed to do was put them in an envelop or box and mail them off, but I got to thinking about how one edge of the lighter one looked a little dingy (Is that how you spell it?). Anyway, I decided I would wash them both. I soaked them in a bit of Dr. Bronner's and lukewarm water. When I got back to them they smelled horrid. Well, not horrid, but bad. Like wet animal. I decided that I would put a little fabric softener on them to "take care of the smell" and soften them up. I didn't have any in the house and didn't want to walk down to the car so I went to Kasan's for some. He announced that it was high end fabric softener, the best I would ever use. I gave him a yeah whatever, and went back home. I was reluctant to use the Lavender Vanilla stuff, but laziness won out. I used it. I knew it was a bad thing, immediately. I squeezed them out per all the instructions I've read about blocking and knit pieces and they looked stretched. Then my mind said, why not toss them into the dryer? That should fluff them back up. So, I went downstairs, which is what I was avoiding with the Lavender Vanilla fabric softener, and popped the scarves into the dryer.

I decided to do no heat, because I didn't want them felting (although it was superwash yarn). When I went back down to check on them they were twisted around each other, and looking sort of matted. I let them go for another half hour on low heat and when I returned (are you counting? that's two trips down the stairs) they were again wrapped around each other in a large mass. I took the scarves, which now smelled like bug spray, back up to my apartment and laid them out. They looked matted, stretched and were covered with fibers from each other. They had started out at about 6 feet long each, and were now closer to 8 maybe 9 feet. It was almost midnight, and I just couldn't deal. So I laid them out on the living room floor, because how could that hurt them?, and went to bed.

The next day they looked even more horrible. More matted. Sort of like a scarf looks after a season of heavy use. AND they smelled like bug spray. I asked the Burbank SnB ladies who are also spinners how I could "fix" my fuck up and they said, re-soak and stretch them out width wise, and that should help them spring back. I did as they instructed and that didn't help. So, I took them with me to the SnB in Burbank the next week for them to inspect. The ladies were really nice about it. The scarves didn't look that bad they said. Try shaving them, they suggested. I grunted in disgust and stuck them back in my bag. The next night at the Atwater/Silverlake SnB (yes, I go to two of them to see friends I'll miss because of school)and Clare was a bit more honest. She told me they looked bad, and then she and I proceeded to rip them out. She did the dark brown one and I did the sand colored one. We didn't finish, but I got the sand one done the next day...the dark brown one is still holding. I should take a picture of it for you, but since I don't have a good before shot you won't be able to tell.

Heather at Burbank SnB explained to me how to revitalize the yarn. The only issue is the smell. I'm hoping blast of a different fabric softner will help it. Probably not.

So, let's review how Tevana could have avoided this headache:

1) Most obvious: NOT wet the scarves in an attempt to make something that was perfectly fine better.

2) Gone down the effing stairs for her own fabric softener so that they wool didn't end up smelling like bug spray.

3) Not put them in the same dryer, and maybe used a little bit of heat.

I can't think of any others. I just think that if Tevana had never wet the scarves to begin with, this never would have happened.

I'll tell you about the Bump Sweater debacle tomorrow.

02 February 2007

Poetry For You

I hear it's Silent Poetry Reading day for bloggers....well, I read that over at The Yarn Harlot and MimKnits.

Here is a poem that I have loved for years. Hope you enjoy it too:

The Invitation

It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living.
I want to know what you ache for
and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me how old you are.
I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool
for love
for your dream
for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon...
I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow
if you have been opened by life’s betrayals
or have become shrivelled and closed
from fear of further pain.

I want to know if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us
to be careful
to be realistic
to remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me
is true.
I want to know if you can
disappoint another
to be true to yourself.
If you can bear the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
every day.
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand at the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,

It doesn’t interest me
to know where you live or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after the night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the centre of the fire
with me
and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone
with yourself
and if you truly like the company you keep
in the empty moments.

© Mountaindreaming, from the book The Invitation published by HarperSanFrancisco, 1999 All rights reserved