Tuesday, December 15, 2009

First Deadly Sin

Let me first say that I'm still kicking myself for not getting any photos of the season's first snow in the Nation's capital last week.  I grew up in the great Northeast, so I have a profound appreciation for the white stuff.  I always find the first snow to be really exciting - especially here, where we don't get that much of it.  Don't know what it is, but there's just nothing like it.
Okay, enough of that.

I think I'm in danger of heading off to Hell.  If, in fact, my pride will send me there.

When I look at the things I make - knitted, handspun, baked - I beam inside (and out, my friends would probably freely tell you) with pride.  When I first started spinning I would show each tiny "skein" of yarn that I spun to my friend and say, "Look!  Can you believe I made this?"  I would then expect praise that some might consider to be all out of proportion to the accomplishment.  At some point my friend asked me, "Are we going to have to rejoice every time you make a skein of yarn?"  My response, of course, was "Yes."  And why wouldn't we?!  This spinning thing was huge!  I sensed a whole world opening up. 

I have to admit that I'm still really proud of the first thing I knitted from my own handspun yarn.  The yarn was a merino single spun on my first drop spindle.  And the neckwarmer was an improvised knit.

Handspun Neckwarmer

I've been accused more than once of getting too excited about the little things.  I'm too amused by the things my kitties do every day.  I love my own food waaay too much.  The first snow of the season literally makes me want to dance in the street.  A co-worker's joy at having finally, at around the age of 50, decided that it is okay not to chemically straighten her hair nearly brought me to tears.  "I just feel so free!" she told me.  How could I not be moved? 

I may use the phrase "How freakin' cool is that?" a little more often than other people "d'un certain age."  I even appreciate when other people get excited about stuff.  Last week on the season finale of the awesome reality show "The Amazing Race" (which I get excited about each and every Sunday evening), one of the winners described the experience of racing around the world with her boyfriend in the pursuit of adventure, bragging rights, and a million dollars, as "neat."  She might have said "really neat."  I don't recall exactly.  The point is I just loved that she used that word.  It seems a small thing, but I see "neat" as a word whose power lies in it's innocuousness and simplicity.  I mean, really, who uses that word to describe an experience like racing around the world (on television, no less)?  Kids, that's who.  And people who are not afraid to admit that there are still a few new things to see in the world.  "Neat" - It harks back to youth and a simpler time.  Things that are neat are fresh and cool, new and different, fun and wondrous on a simplistic, human scale.

But, please, forgive me for my digressions.  (ahem.)  Pride.

Right now I am so proud that as of yesterday I sold my 16th item in my Etsy shop, I just don't know what to do with myself.  And my friends, knowing me as they do, have been duly complimentary, and rejoiceful (is that even a word?)  Thanks, guys!

I am also ridiculously proud of my first sewing project.  Back in September I bought a really nifty sewing machine as a birthday present to myself.  I was sooo excited!  I was ready to take classes because I was gonna' be makin' quilts, and those simple, flowy, natural, organic, linen-y clothes that they charge way too much for in what I like to call the "erstwhile-hippy-ladies-who-lunch" boutiques.  I was going to make pillows and comforters and skirts, and all kinds of stuff.  As of last week I had not even turned the machine on.  I had, however, watched the dvd that came with it and read the manual pretty much from cover to cover.  I felt that I would certainly be ready to sew, whenever I got ready to sew.

So, finally, I pulled the machine out of the closet, and the box.  I plugged in all the stuff (power, control foot pedal thingy).  I wound a bobbin.  I adjusted my stitch settings.  And I sewed.  On my new machine (that had not been used since I bought it).  And I made something! Something beautiful and tres useful. 

I sewed my first pillow cover.  Yay!!  From a sort of irridescent, lightish-weight, denim-y, cotton fabric (i'm not yet versed in the jargon of this craft, but I carefully hand-selected this fabric).  Without a pattern.  (dang, I'm clever!)  It has an envelope-type opening in the back.  No buttons.  No zippers.  Maybe I will add a strip of velcro to the opening to assist with keeping it shut once the ("20 x "20) pillow is inserted.  But at this point, I'm thinking "no."  The last thing to do with this pillow cover was to hand-stitch a square of handknit fabric - knit from two of my own handspun yarns - to the front. 

Handspun in the Rough
Handspun in the Rough

Oh, I agonized over this. Truth be told, I procrastinated out of fear of messing it up. Sewing - with a machine, or by hand - is new and scary to me.





But I overcame the fear. And now I have a really neat (if I may say so) hand-made pillow cover.


Mesa 4


I am so excited. And proud.


Whitish said...

It's the small stuff that's most enjoyable, in my opinion. Sure, the big stuff may draw more attention but is ultimately less satisfying. A pie in the face may provide a cheap, expected laugh but will never be as funny as a well-placed sarcastic comment, for example. I enjoy digressions, by the way. Congrats on your sales and sewing projects. Neat, indeed.

cici said...

I am also proud of you♥ What a fantastic job you have done and are doing. I love your work and I will be placing an order soon♥ Girl you have natural talent♥

flyngmunky said...

@Whitish: dude, you get me! still can't believe you're into my fiber blog. thanks for the support!

@cici: thanks, sistah! i'm having such a good time. i really owe you for inspiring me to start a blog. hope to see you soon.

Libby said...

That is an amazing picture. Best wishes on your sewing. :-)


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