Friday, August 29, 2014

It is Hard to Believe ...

See the Cascade 220 Aran, all lined up in a row ...
... that it is already the Labor Day weekend here in the U.S.! The unofficial (but somehow very official) end of summer. School starts next week (if it hasn't already started); the evening light doesn't last nearly as long, and soon the leaves will be turning.

Did you get everything you wanted to accomplish done this summer? Did you even think about things you wanted to accomplish before summer started? I did get things done this summer, although most of them I can't discuss just yet

For me, a confirmed autumn-loving gal, September is somehow the true beginning of my year. The next two months (September and October) are truly my favorites in terms of weather. And don't get me started on those great fall leaves we'll start to see very soon. The bounty in the fields and on our tables is something to which we'll definitely give thanks - in October in Canada; November in the U.S.

Yet, I want to take this moment to thank all those unseen persons who have made my summer of making (and making, and making and making) truly memorable: all the yarn dyers (both indie and corporate, assuming they're actual people and not machines), fiber farmers, yarn spinners, yarn shippers, yarn marketing and social media people, and all those yarny solopreneurs who get up every day and give it their very best so we can craft with such wonderfully beautiful yarn. What a treat you've all given me this summer. I hope every other yarnista feels the same way.

Now don't forget to head on over to Wisdom Begins in Wonder and check out just how Andrea is marking the end of her summer on the farm. And for those of you who want a sneak peek at some brand-spanking new crochet designs,'s October issue will go live on Monday. I've got a few things in this edition, which I'll be able to speak more about next week.

Do have a great holiday weekend if you're here in the U.S. - don't labor too much, alright? 

Unless it involves the barbeque - then labor away.

Friday, August 22, 2014

What A Life this Fee-Fi(ber)-F.O. Friday

Isn't this Cascade Venezia Sport just gorgeous?

"If you lay off the 'parallel lines on the canvas,' the 'balance of light and dark,' and other art history shibboleths, if you really look at the painting or sculpture or photography or installation work or video and pay close attention to the ways the images resonate with your own life, then the world of your experience and the world of the artist's experience have a chance to connect." (p. 161)

"My job was becoming increasingly difficult. The challenge was to maintain a very clear vision for the museum in terms of inquiry and scholarship while also attending to the real necessity of balancing the budget and raising money - and to create an organizational climate that was highly productive and efficient but was also fair, compassionate, and human." (p.148, emphasis in original)

As I wrote in this post, I'm reading (and have just completed) Marcia Tucker's memoir A Short Life of Trouble: 40 Years in the New York Art World. What an inspiration! Feminist (although she wouldn't use the moniker until later in her life), artist, curator, museum founder, mother, wife (twice), Marcia Tucker challenged conventional wisdom pretty much from the opening bell. Tucker's experiences are a perfect mirror of the social changes we've seen since the early 60s: she eschewed law school and became the first female curator at a major New York museum - The Whitney (she was in her mid-20s) even though her father wanted her to join him in his law practice; she dealt with ageism and sexism inside (as well as outside of) the workplace; she was the first woman to be fired from a curatorial position at a major New York museum, first woman to found her own major New York museum (The New Museum of Contemporary Art); Tucker faced head-on her own museum's institutional racism (much to the chagrin of her Board of Directors); her second marriage was to a man 17 years her junior, she didn't give birth to her daughter Ruby until after 40, and died of cancer in 2004. Phew! There may have been trouble, but it was surely a jam-packed life. 

As someone who, more times than not, finds myself going against the grain, Tucker was not only a breath of fresh air, but someone in whom I saw a kindred spirit (except for the marriages and kid parts). In every instance of egalitarian or inclusive thinking she exhibited, I kept saying yes! out loud to the page. It is no small feat to be in conflict with the social norms of one's day and still live a principled life. Tucker did it in fantastic fashion and left a legacy of artistic mentorship and vision that continues to meaningfully impact long after her death. 

We should all be lucky to have so much trouble.

As I continue to work on crochet designs (and some knitting ones as well!) set for future publication, I take heart in knowing that even though there are times when it feels like relevant crochet design gets undercut (for myriad reasons), persistence and a healthy dose of laughter can win the day. 

Since my persistence and laugh are still present and accounted for, I'm feeling pretty darn good.

Now head on over to Andrea's blog - the Wonder Why Gal and see what's present and accounted for on the farm this week.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Knitting vs. Crochet Speed

Fiber for a quick and pretty upcoming design
Hello everyone on this Fee-Fi(ber)-F.O. Friday - how are you? I hope you've had a good week filled with fibery fun.

I have - with both knit and crochet designs. I do love to knit, but I am not as quick with the sticks as I am with my hooks. Assuming you are poly-craftual (and actually work up projects in both disciplines with some regularity), in which does your fiber fly the most? Do you whip up crochet projects like dry lightening, or do your needles produce completed finished objects in record speeds? 

I'm not certain why crochet projects hum along faster than their knitting counterparts; I do know that I enjoy the quicker gratification ... or perhaps not? Maybe the slow project burn will yield equally enjoyable results. 

Just a shot of lovely summer color
I'll let you know ... once I'm done.

In the meantime, do head on over to Andrea's at Wisdom Begins in Wonder and check out photos of her awesome booth at the Michigan Fiber Festival, being held this weekend. If you're anywhere near the Allegan County Fairgrounds in Allegan, Michigan, do head on over to the fiber festival and check out our gal Andrea's booth, as well as the rest of the yarny fun this weekend. And stay cool out there.