pointy bits

Nov 23
Originally uploaded by Dancing Crow.

I have been re-reading my old Threads magazines. I have issues 1 – 60. I saved them. I am reading them before I send them away to their new home. I am surprised at how much weaving there is in the first couple years, as well as knitting, and tatting, and some crochet. A lot of the articles are very technical, and a lot of the letters are strongly worded responses to those articles agreeing or disagreeing.

I am struck by the extent that these arts were dying in the late 1980s. Fewer and fewer people were sewing, knitting, weaving, etc.-ing, and those that did were feeling a bewildered nostalgia for things that were not gone quite yet. Clearly I am pleased these various arts have not died (not dead yet!) but it does make me wonder how close they were.

The other thing that struck me about the old issues is how many had requests to help the writer find other practitioners of their particular vanishing art. It was a slow and cumbersome way of finding other people interested in what you do, but important as the people geographically close to you stopped doing similar things. Now, these people would probably have blogs, and Flickr accounts, and other ways of getting their work out there and finding others in their spheres. It makes me glad for the internets, and lucky to be doing this now.

In the next generation department, Alice requested help learning how to use my sewing machine, and havng mastered sewing along lines on paper constructed pants and shirt for the bunny. In a fit of brilliance I gave her stretch fabric to use, so that one’s first inclination (trace the body and sew the lines) worked nicely thank you.  We’ll explore sleeves and pant legs another time.


And then, I managed to get hair on her

after cough*12years*cough of baldness. Alice used to drag her about naked and bald, when she (Alice) was between 1 and 3 years old. I have always been happy to make things for Alice because she plays with them. Aerin told me, at age 4, "I have enough dolls mom, you can stop making them now" which was just odd. Alice has always begged for one more friend. And then played with the new friend like crazy as soon as it was handed over. Pretty gratifying.


I was choosing a knife from the rack yesterday and I realized I have a pattern for adopting new tools and using old ones.

It takes me a long time to adjust to a new tool. Al gave me a stand mixer for a birthday; an extravagance, a lovely and durable object, a classic – and I couldn’t figure out how to use it for a year. I already had a mixer, a little hand held object that worked fine. I could make bread using older technology, wooden spoons and big bowls rather than dough hooks and whatever. I would try it for a project, and feel cross threaded and grumpy because my instincts were not correct. Yet I got used to it, and when the little mixer flamed out (cold butter in a double batch of cookies) I could integrate the bigger mixer into my cooking life. And now I love it and can’t imagine life without it.

I realized I tend to have a few tools that do a lot. My knife rack has 3 identical knives at each size, rather than graduated sizes with specific purposes. I prefer a flexible tool that works well for me in a range of situations, and then get a lot of them. Because I need to have the single useful tool available all the time.

So when jude says she hasn’t decided how she feels about using a sewing machine, I have a lot of sympathy for her. This is all written on the new computer, which I am working on adopting. It will be great in a while, but right now I am still barking my knuckles on the differences.