Tag Archives: style

String Theory

I handle the wool for this sweater project like it’s string theory, like somehow it will explain everything.  Like why the trees are bare for months on end and I accept that as normal.  They will leaf out but until they actually come out, it’s all theory and calculations, statistics, science.  It’s a wonder.

The pattern is marked out on graph paper and I have my measurements and stitch gauges.  I watch it from the corner of my eye, as I watch the trees outside my window, buds growing but it’s still months before they will leaf out.  Little seems to be happening, but I’m full of wonder–though of a different kind for the sweater.

I will confess that I lied, and you know I did, on February 22 when I said the fit of this sweater doesn’t matter.  Of course I want it to fit on the first try.  I want homemade to look unique and good. Not unique, nice try.  I want the sweater to be to warm and flattering.  I want to wear it outside the house.

If I’m honest, the project is beyond my experience in knitting.  There’s lots to wonder about.  I just don’t know how it will turn out.  I’ve researched and theorized.  I have fit clothing before.  I can knit.  I can play with string.

There’s nothing left to do but try.  If it works out, I’ll be a step closer to knowing the theory of everything.


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Potentially Stellar

I’m wondering about potential, about energy explosions and implosions, big bangs and black holes.  I’m looking about my studio space and at the number of projects that remain visible, that swirl in space.  There is a sense of organization into two camps — painting and sewing.   The easel and the sewing machine are both accessible.  Horizontal surfaces are covered in piles of stuff.

Shall we start by naming the planets?  I mean, the piles.

There are two stacks on the work table.   Pushed to back are large quilt squares, protected from dust by a square of old flannel.  A block of soapstone sits on top.  This pile is not going anywhere even though it’s planned and the materials are gathered.  The cutting has started.  Why, I ask you, has it sunk into a black hole?

The answer lies under the second pile, a twin-star system.  It is really two piles covered by one piece of linen sheer drapery fabric.  I like the white, semi-transparency of the sheer.  It allows the piles to breathe.  One doesn’t need a telescope to remember the contents. One star is fabric.  More  material for the quilt, two pieces of jersey for dresses, and some lovely green wool that I bought fifteen years ago along with the black wool.  This pile, I believe has the potential for greatness.  It’s waiting for the big bang.  Its twin-star also has potential.  It’s a pile of sketches, files, art-related books, patterns and brown paper pattern blocks.  The raw materials of genesis.

On the seat of a chair that’s pushed under the table is a rogue planet.  More fabric and old clothing (kept, because I like them and wore them to death, for their patterns).  It’s hidden potential.  A possible colony of retro style.

On the floor is a stack of primed canvases that I bought on sale, on speculation.  I like to think, that I’ll get out and paint, that I’ll wander the universe and record the wonders.  They are prepped with fresh gesso and ready to go.  Beneath them is the anti-matter to this painting potential, a box of vintage clothing patterns.

A pile of ephemera lies on the small table beside the easel.  Paints, a box of drawing tools, brushes, envelopes of past monthly financial receipts, lots of rags, researched information, a how-to guide from a portrait painting class, a jar of solvent, some Christmas toys, a pen and ink drawing from 1982.  That’s all I see without moving anything.  A virtual asteroid belt, distracting and unstable.

I’m not a collector, I swear.  I’m an optimist with raw potential piled about the studio. The canvases and fabric, the tools and patterns are ready for the Big Bang.  The question is, which universe?  And how to chose?


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