Aloha, Shalom, Salaam Aleikum, Bienvenue, Wilcommen, and Hello! What the Flock is my first attempt at blogging, and thank you for taking a moment to check it out. It represents how bemused I am at the rate at which knitting is taking over my life. You’ve heard the one about what the sheep herder did when things got heavy – he got the flock out of town…
I’m a semi-accomplished knitter who took up the craft about 5 years ago; it seems I’m a very slow starter but am getting up to speed and enjoy finding ways to challenge myself to develop my range of techniques and build my confidence, as you’ll see by some of my projects and how they grow.
Depending on the circumstances, knitting is an obsession,a learning curve, a tonic, and a depressant. But Obsessive seems to be the dominant mode.The fact that my car seems to have developed a yarn compass, or that yarn seems to be hiding in an inordinate number of places in my house, could be an indicator that I’m well into the compulsive stage. If I find myself in a new town, is it a problem that the first thing I do after putting down my suitcase is to look in the Yellow Pages for a yarn store – that is, if I haven’t already Googled that information, located my hotel, and mapped a course to everything that’s conceivably in reach and ascertained their hours of operation?
Knitting connects me to something I need – to make useful things rather than buy them. I freely admit to being less than admiring of consumer culture (fiber purchases notwithstanding), and patronize local business rather than corporate chains, so the possibility that, when the world implodes from an overload of stupidium, I will still have socks and sweaters and bags and lots of other necessities. It’s rather like my friend who plants a variety of fruit trees in her yard, secure in the knowledge that she will have berries and apples and citrus. Now I need to meet a friend who feels the same way about grapevines to ensure an ongoing supply of wine as well.
It also connects me to a sense of craftsmanship, of taking pride in the product of one’s hands and mind, of taking time to understand and lavish one’s attention on something tangible, something warm and unique. I think it’s entirely possible that what the world sees as Art is often, in the eyes and mind of the maker, an exercise in Craft that has transcended its humble roots.
I’m also a firm believer in making the world a better place; I feel incredibly well-off just knowing I have a (rented) roof over my head and food and coffee and yarn, and even a modicum of technology. Anything above those basic Maslovian needs is pure gravy and should be shared so that everyone’s plate will have some sauce. From time to time, I’ll mention some of those places where excesses – of goods or services or plain old cash – can be put to good use; maybe something will invite you to do so.
Another item on the list of passions in my life is language – reading it, listening to it (I highly recommend Selected Shorts, available on a radio computer near you through the auspices of PRI; it’s like bedtime stories for grownups!) and attempting to use it to communicate. As an enthusiast of crossword puzzles, I find the evolution of language fascinating as well.
Almost anything to do with the arts is appealing to me; dance and music were early loves of mine and I have spent most of my adult life doing one or the other as a source of income. My screen name includes my stage name, but my dance life began at the age of 4 and continued for nearly 50 years. Integral to dance is music, and it has been a constant in my life, not only as a canvas for movement, but a craft in and of itself. Symphonic and chamber music, vocal and instrumental, Western and World – I’ll try listening to anything at least once, but the ones I go back to are the ones that transport me. The only thing is, I’m pretty much ignorant of any popular music later than the 70s – but ask me about something odd and I’ve probably enjoyed it!
I also am an inveterate catlover (that’s my beloved Zinah you see as my avatar), so there will undoubtedly be cat posts on occasions. The fact that Zinah is 18 now and sleeps 20 hours a day means they won’t be filled with lively posts of puss chasing laser light into improbable places, but it will save on bandwidth for you!
If you’d like to follow whatever I ruminate on, do sign up for the feed! And of course your comments will be devoured with great interest; thanks for stopping by!