stone cold knitter

i miss my cat.

I’m an on-again, off-again knitter. I’m in on-mode right now, having been inspired by a friend who has been crocheting those cute amigurumi figures. I’m of Japanese descent, and it has taken me forever to learn and remember that word. Amygummy? Agroommy? Ergimummy? Argh!!

I love yarn, especially when the fiber is spun from alpacas. I love wooden needles and the fact that you can’t bring them to jury duty because it is a known fact that knitters are stone. Cold. KILLERS.

I’ve been trying to knit the perfect hat. This has been going on for years. The only hat I’ve ever kept was the one I subsequently lost in Scotland. Every time I travel I somehow manage to leave behind some article of clothing. (I am choosing to let that last sentence sound sexy and daring, even though it involves beanies and stretched-out sweatshirts.) In fact, I’ve hardly kept anything I’ve ever made, save a few coffee cup cozies and some crocheted roses my armygrummi friend taught me how to make.

Why is this?

a) I’m a perfectionist unwilling to compromise the highest apex of my expectations
b) I give everything away as part of my plan to clothe the heads of the entire population, one hat at a time
c) I look terrible in hats

See? I look like Michael Nesmith. I’m very upset because the hat is too small for my head. And it’s making me look like I have sideburns.

All are sort of true. But the thing that dawned on me this morning is that I actually enjoy the process. Screw the outcome. My task, my lesson, is to appreciate what is happening in the moment. Sometimes I feel disappointed that I didn’t capture a moment with my camera or that a better camera would be able to perfectly capture a scene…and then I remember that I am here, seeing this perfect thing at the most perfect of moments. That I can choose how I want to see what I see. Moments like this shift my perspective and depth of gratitude. Knitting, you are a surprising teacher.

Yes, we’re stone-cold killers. But we can also be found staring lovingly at our inordinate amounts of yarn and our beautifully crafted weapons of choice.

It’s the alpaca heart in us.

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Art, Thy Name is Phil

art.

I find the word kind of frightening. It’s only three little letters, but I might as well be spelling p-m-s or w-a-r. Okay, I’m being a little dramatic.  About war.

I used to make stained glass and mosaics using glass. I say “used to” because after I moved out of my house, I didn’t have the space (or the will) for it. When I packed all of my glass and equipment, I ended up with over a dozen banker’s boxes, and this was after I had donated about two boxes of glass to a local stained glass store.

Scoring, cutting, and soldering needs a certain kind of space, not to mention using a glass grinder and grouting. But I vowed to get back into it. Someday. At some point. In the future.

The journaling course, “Journal Your Life” run by Susannah Conway reactivated the creative side of my brain and I started to dabble in a bit of watercolor, drawing, poetry, and collage. Mentally, I find that painting and drawing are the most difficult to do – my hands and the paper act as two magnets: attracted, yet repelled. However, this year I’ve been trying to muffle the “YOU SUCK!” voice and have been experimenting with a neutral, objective frame of mind.

One step leads to another. It can lead to discovery – about yourself and the process. It’s very exciting. Cool. Neat. What are the kids saying these days? Are they still saying “da bomb”? How about “fo’ shizzle”? Um, I don’t think I’m using that correctly.

Here is how my one step led to the next:

This is Phil. I wasn't that pleased with how he turned out, but I was just experimenting. I set him aside; I figured he could useful for something later on.

This is Phil. I wasn’t that pleased with how he turned out, but I was simply experimenting. Oh well. I set him aside; I figured he could be useful for something later on.

Here's Phil after some scissoring. He's looking more handsome to me now...

Here’s Phil after some scissoring. He’s looking more handsome to me now…

The new Phil.

The new Phil.

I completed the newly reimagined Phil at 2am this morning. I couldn’t bear to stop and leave him unfinished. I was so happy when I was done; I’m surprised I was able to fall asleep. I’m supposed to go running today, but all I want to do is gaze at Phil. Maybe I’ll make him a sibling…

Phil, experimentation…whatever you want to call it – is so good for the soul. Be it baking/cooking, teaching, writing, exercising, and basically anything you put your heart into, you are expressing your inner self. It’s so satisfying, enlightening, interesting, da bomb. And another fantastic part about it – if you allow it – is that it seats you in the center of the moment, yet you’re moving at the same time. There’s so much beauty right there, right now.

Now that’s what I call ART.