Thank you socks

Marian's Hedera socks
Originally uploaded by Dancing Crow.

Paul's simple socks
Originally uploaded by Dancing Crow.

Socks for Alice's teachers, to thank them for a great year.

It feels odd to have finished all these socks. I think I started the purple lace ones in January or February, and finished the toes of the blue and green ones Thursday evening, weaving in all the ends because, well, you can't give away socks with strings hanging off them even if I wear them that way myself.

I got organized to go out to something I thought I might be boring enough to knit, and I didn't have anything to bring. I had to settle for a book. That felt weird

I'm knitting entirely from stash this year. I have all the Socks That Rock yarns from last year that I didn't touch, and the patterns with them that just do not speak to me. I have some random things I found at Webs on sale, all good for socks. I think the next is some orangeade/limeade/grapejuice socks for me. I have the yarn right here. It has been talking to me for a month, telling me to finish these things and get to work.

weaving in the ends

At the end of every knitting pattern I have ignored to date, there is the instruction at the end. It says "Weave in loose ends."  There is generally some nonsense about blocking as well, but for socks, well, I have block shaped feet so I figure that works fine for me. I wear all my handmade socks with the strings sticking out like this:

It is a personal failing that I have acknowledged, and care about insufficiently to modify. But now the ends of my art are sticking out and it feels untidy and unfinished.

I am not sure how to describe what I want to do next.

It occurred to me in the middle of last year that I am creating for myself a giant, self directed art curriculum. I spent the first year making simple things over and over again, varying the constraints and trying to find a style and voice that is authentically mine.

I think this year I want to explore different media. My shelves and drawers are full of paints and inks and markers and more of all of these that I purchased thinking they would be good to use. Now is the time to use them. What I want to do is spend time every day noodling with a particular medium. The aim is to explore what I can do with it when I come at it again and again and again. How far can I push one particular idea? How flexible is it? How much control do I get, and how much serendipity do I have to accept? It should take at least a month of daily effort to begin to get a grip on these things, and I am actually thinking about six weeks each. Or until I run out of stuff. At the end of each media  exploration, I need to be able to do a final project using that stuff. It may be some kind of piece using the samples I have made, or it may be a final report kind of thing. I will probably write a brief review of what I liked and hated, and what I might use it for in the future, if I ever want to touch it again….

I am starting with transfer paints, but also allowed to use the transfer crayons and transfer pencil that I have squirreled away.

This is going to be a more boring blog for a while. I will document the process as much as I can, but I am not sure how useful it will be once posted.

giant clothes

Sept 13
Originally uploaded by Dancing Crow.

I’m experimenting with my own face, mostly because I don’t think I should subject anyone else’s mug shot to the things I’ve been thinking about.

I also made two shirts for Alice.


I have been making dolls and doll clothes for long enough that working on actual people clothes, even for kids, feels like making giant’s clothes. In a fit of brilliance I insisted she give me a shirt she wasn’t wearing any more in return for the nice new shirt. I got two for the second shirt. I am feeling extremely crafty, both like a grandma and like a fox.

dizzy social whirl

Sept 9
Originally uploaded by Dancing Crow.

Still working on faces; I figured I’d get more local in time and space. These last three are my family. I was thinking about saving mine for later, or saving all the others til I could post all four together, but the deal is a-Postcard-a-Day.

We had two parties today, both local. The first was the 2nd annual Ward Three Picnic, with Politics and Neighbors. We had a nice time schmoozing with neighbors, talking about real estate prices and local views and the proposed off-ramp.

But we had to leave early to make it out to my neighbor’s Pirate Birthday at their lake house. We made it in time for beer and pizza and cake and the pinata. And the giving of the presents. Alice wanted to give Yelena a pony with a cart. She made the cart, and I  finished a pony. Alice found three legs on my desk. I made a fourth leg and a body, and finished it up this morning. Here he cavorts with his brothers before going into the box with ribbon. The new one is purple.