women of a certain age are like sunflowers; they know how to turn their faces to the sun.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Calling Home

"Calling is where your great joy meets the world's great need."
-Parker Palmer

What happens when provision turns into profusion? When profusion turns into profession? When profession turns into possession?

There is a subtle shift that occurs in your mindset once you try to turn your passion into fashion. Your love into lucre. Your gifts into graft.

What was once all process, as the pleasure of turning individual stitches into the embodiment of soul encompassed you, turns into progress, as you fret about the fact that you only have one completed pattern under your belt, as you try to knit faster, as you neglect your friends, your family, and yourself, in pursuit of a dream.

I'm afraid I let my dreams gallop away with me. I haven't read another blog in three weeks, have posted sporadically at best, and have generally lost sight of the joy of communion that brought me this far.

My bad.
My hubris.
My loss.

So, I am resolved to hang onto my ideals, my calling, my love for all things fiber, and my undying affection for the knitting community. I will post, rather than ponder. I will enjoy other's ideas, rather than obsess about my own. I will remember what matters.

And in the time that is left to me, I will create. I will share openly, rather than closely guard my designs. I will pass it on.

I will take my time, as well we should. I will ride, not drive, the bus.

Because, if I ride, my hands are free to knit (you didn't think I was giving THAT up, did you?) Do I look foolish to you? (Wait! Don't answer that.)

Now that I have played my "Get out of Jail free" card, I get to pass Go, right? And I'll worry about collecting $200 later...

So, here's what's shakin' at Sunflower Designs:

Remember the Sedona vest?

She's up to ten inches now, which may not seem like a lot, but when you're working a woven stitch, which takes two rows to knit every stitch on the needle, AND you are working in the round with no side seams, it takes a while, let me tell you.

I am thrilled with how she is turning out. Gorgeous texture and color from a four stitch repeat and a pattern so easy a rank beginner could handle it.

I wanted to produce something less intimidating than Cherry for my second design, something any knitter would be able to knit and proud to show off. I hope this fits the bill.

The yarn is Briar Rose (of course!) handpainted Legend in two colors:

the original desert-y blend of amber, orange, teal, green, and brown

and this custom-dyed rose, copper, eggplant blend (Thanks, Chris!)

Then there is my Roots skirt.

Not for the faint at heart, but eminently worth the effort. The yarn is Briar Rose Fourth of July (love this yarn - soft-squishy-great depth of color)in blues, greens, and browns, the pattern of my own design (natch!)

The skirt is knit in the round from the bottom up. She has a lace edging at the hem, then divides into eight panels, alternating moss stitch and cabling.

The cables are done in twist stitches at this point as they are single stitches. As the skirt progresses up the body, the cabled panels decrease in size, shaping the skirt into a flattering A-line silhouette, while the firmness of the moss stitch should keep it from losing its shape. The cables twist, twine, cross, and eventually join up with one another so that the effect is of a complex root structure twisting down the panels. 376 rows of charting! Phew!

So, I have one for the (easy) money, and one for the show (boy, does she ever!)

(Interesting that I cast all my works in the feminine gender. Wonder if I knit something for the guys, would it still seem like a "she"? Or would it grunt like Tim Allen until I called it, "Butch"?)

I don't know about the world's great need. Perhaps that is too strong a word for what is, after all, a hobby for most of us. I mean, when compared to food, shelter, love, knitting pales in comparison. At least I hope it does. If not, I recommend contacting the Betty Ford clinic to inquire about knitting addiction recovery.

But I DO know about my great joy. And the people who have nurtured it.

That's all for now.Time to go catch up on all that YOU'VE been up to...


Margene said...

Today,for lack of hearing from you, I began to wonder where you'd gone. It's so good of you to come out and share your process with us. Things happen in their own time...no need to push. Regardless of work or play it should all be enjoyment. Stick with us and we'll stick with you. ;-)

La Cabeza Grande said...

I like the fiber and love what Margene said: "Things happen in their own time...no need to push...Stick with us and we'll stick with you."

Hugs, twin.

Donna Lee said...

Like glue....

Opal said...

I like what Donna Lee had to say, "like glue..." That pretty much says it all for me. :)

Well, I also am lovin' that skirt! Gorgeous lines.

amy said...

I am very, very protective of my knitting, by which I mean, I don't want to do anything that will take away the pure joy I have in it. When my mother-in-law paid me the wonderful compliment of saying I could sell my knitting, I immediately replied, I don't want to! Emphatically replied. I have already taken much joy out of writing and prefer to do it just for myself (which includes blogging) now.

Which is not to say that what you are doing isn't wonderful and can't be full of joy. Just, for me (and I suspect for all the other obsessive types out there), it's a very fine line that I fear to tread.

tiennie said...

That skirt is gorgeous - those colors, those cables!

Ann said...

You not only write well but you are also very creative in your knitting - the skirt looks great & the colors are gorgeous - as usual work of art.

Rachel said...

So nice to see you again! I've missed your posts! It looks like you are doing some amazing designs and I can't wait to see where you go with them. I've thought of doing a skirt in the future and had a couple patterns I've been thinking about...but just the glimpse of what you've started has me so excited that I'm not sure I remember those other ones now :). I love the look of it so far and while it may be too complicated for me, I dare to dream!