Archive for July, 2008

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Sense of Sisterhood

July 31, 2008

I have a very dear friend with whom I correspond regularly by letter and a while ago we were writing to each other about the sense of sisterhood we felt whilst working together to get some pieces finished for an art and crafts fair we were doing a stall at together.

We were sat up late the night before, by this point mainly powered by pots of tea, frantically finishing some pieces, and both of us felt a nice sense of connection, of solidarity through our handcrafts and through our love of textiles.

Now, this feeling of a sisterly union I’ve felt before, both in my reenactment days as there was often several of us, the night before the event huddled together doing last minute repairs and finishing our clothing (not the best thing to do by the light of a campfire, but needs must!)

I felt it today, whilst sitting in a nearby cafe chatting to a new friend about anything and everything,and I feel it when I go to my local knitting group.

It seems to be that this sense of coming together and having a stitch and bitch (or knit and bitch) or something similar is sadly missing from society today. The feeling of women coming together to be creative and just be women together seems to be something we cling to with the pressures of modern life. (And I’m not saying men should be excluded, I’m just saying its nice to spend time with other women)

There’s a really interesting article over at the Fword called Whatever happened to sisterhood, that’s really interesting.

Having moved to a town where I literally only knew a couple of people, making friends wasn’t easy as there were few places I could go to meet them, other than pubs and I don’t like getting to know people around alcohol.

Its taken doing something seen as traditionally feminine – knitting – to meet independent like minded women who have a wide range of interests and are interested in learning new skills like spinning (again, I’m not saying men don’t want to learn, I just haven’t met any yet).

There seems to be a paradoxical situation where women who have ‘feminine’ hobbies or careers feel they have to apologise for them and that I don’t agree with. I love to knit, sew, embroider, embellish and have pretty things. It doesn’t stop me believing in equality for the sexes. I can be a feminine feminist, dammit!

I applaud the current move in ‘subversive’ crafts, such as subversive needlework, The Anticraft, Sublime Stitching (God I wish I could afford to import some of her patterns!) etc, as well as Knitta Graffiti and similar activities but am just astounded by the resurgence of the mend and make (do) ethos that’s happening these days and it makes me proud to feel a sense of sisterhood with all this amazing creative women.

(I think that makes sense……)

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Mad Englishwomen and Yarn

July 28, 2008

Only I, in this ridiculously warm and muggy weather, would be thinking about knitting socks for winter.

I started knitting around 4 months ago to give me something to do and as something to calm me down (I have an anxiety disorder and it helps me cope with it, its relaxing and requires just enough concentration that I can’t worry about things.)

I’ve been learning at a pace but the need for balls of wool I could pull from the centre has become more evident and so after investigating ball winders and discovering nostepinnes , I did a sketch and took it to my partners farther who happens to be a wood turner.

I received my special order nostepinne on Saturday and spent much of yesterday winding wool into balls on it, partly because its was fun to watch them grow and partly in preparation for my next project Sox on 2 Stix from the Knitty website. The weather is incredibly hot and sticky so I was alternating winding yarn with fanning myself with my pretty fan.

The nostepinne is turned from purple heartwood and its satiny smooth to the touch and such a lovely colour. If I oil it it will stay purple or it will go a deep rich brown colour.

With my fan is my first attempt at using my nostepinne…I was doing it completely wrong and it soon got unravelled and I started again and voila!

Here’s what I’ve wound so far:

The two marled balls are from 50g skeins of Sirdar Country Life and the large pink one is a 100g skein of Sirdar Snuggly. The one I am currently winding is also a  100g skein of Sirdar Snuggly. Its harder work winding the 100g balls odviously, but am getting used to it now.

I also have a hand turned spinning drop spindle on its way as well, as I am going to take part in a workshop next weekend. I am all for self sufficiency and am working towards self suffieient knitting!
More on my Soxs and my spinning soon!

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A Room of One’s Own.

July 7, 2008

Oh dear…Virginia Woolf has been influencing my brain again.

I picked up my copy of A Room of One’s Own (second copy, as first fell apart at Uni) yesterday, and although I don’t have a Room of my own in which to just be me, it has made me muse on my need for creativity and how that affects the space around me.

I don’t think I could live without working creatively, without being surrounded by books and trinkets, and without meeting up with other creative people to discuss and dream our ideas with people who understand.

This little corner of the Internet is my virtual Room of One’s Own.