Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Why did I stop running?

Yes, it is true even if amazing to those of you who only know adult me. As a child I ran back and forth across the playing fields at school, around the block, and through the neighbourhood. Later I ran through the woods, across fields of knee high grass, and up and down mountains. I ran for the speed. I ran for the feeling of wind in my face. I ran for the feeling in my calves when I went up mountains and the strength in my thighs when I went down. I didn't sprint, I ran. I bounded down gullied logging roads and never worried about my knees or ankles.

Sometime after high school I became a jogger. Jogging with bare speed but still passing the shufflers - old people and gossiping students making their obligatory mile around the track. Sometimes, in college, I still stretched and then ran through the night. It was good to be alone in the cold air. Then I met people who walked at night; fellow insomniacs who wandered through the countryside and along the railroad tracks at 2 or 3 in the morning. People who talked and listened at a pace that denied running.

And it seems that without decision, without plan, without major incident I have become a non-runner. I walk faster and faster until the treadmill forces me into that dreaded shuffle jog and then my disgust at the shuffle drives me to lift my knees and stetch my stride but there is no joy in this run. No joy but a little pride and the unmasking of an empty place where my running was.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Recycled Blue as a sweater. Einstein sweater in child size 10-12. This still needs buttons. Posted by Hello

Monday, March 21, 2005

I'm a new knitter. I just learned how to knit in mid-January. My first knitting was done on yarn I bought for less than a dollar at the thrift store; it came in a big bag of mismatched balls. I used needles that had been left in our house by the previous owner (my previous use of the needles had been to fish lint out of the dryer trap).

When I felt confidant, I ventured to Michael's and bought some chenille, some eyelash, some suede, and some ribbon yarn; no skein was above $6. Then someone told me about the moebius design so I bought the book and circular needles through the mail. Several knitting friends sent me links to their favorite knitting websites and I bought wool ($8 a skein) and a pattern from PeaceFleece.

I was searching for a particular colour of wool (our Michael's does not sell wool) and so I visited a local yarn store StitchDC. Oh my goodness! There were so many beautiful yarns. The colours! The textures! Gasp The prices! I smiled and willingly paid from $6 to $17.50 per skein. Then my dh chose the yarn for his moebius (posted below as Luxurious Moebius on needles) at $23 per 50 yard skein. I was in price shock. It's not that I don't think the yarns are worth it, I do. They are beautiful and labour intensive to produce but I feel guilty spending an amount that I know will feed a family of five a filling meat based meal for one skein of yarn.

I was very happy to stumble on the idea of recycling knitting. Following instructions found online (when I find the website again, I'll post a link) I went to the local thrift store and bought several wool sweaters in good condition, unwashed and yet clean smelling, with the proper seams, and nice colours. I took them apart (the family likes to help) and am now using the yarn to make new projects. The blue is making two child sized sweaters.

I allay my yarn spending guilt with several projects to help others: CiC which sends warm knitted items to former Soviet Union orphanages, TheDulaan Project, and The Red Scarf Project. I do not know any of these people but I do believe that people should have warm clothes and if I can help, then I should help.

I read Femiknitmafia's piece on the elitist bent of modern knitting with a honest mind. It is true that I have the option of paying the big bucks for yarn for non-necesities but I think I am too practical to pay high prices for everything. After all, I buy groceries at both the organic CSA farm and COSTCO, I buy some of my clothes from little boutiques but most of it comes from thrift stores. There is a balance. OTOH, I know my weaknesses and am determined not to buy more yarn that I need for current projects and not to have more than 2 projects on needles at the same time. I will not buy and hoard beautiful textures and colours just because I want to look at and touch them...they are not jewels in which to invest for my future.
Blue wool sweater during recycling. I forgot to take a "before" picture. Posted by Hello
Cream sweater during recycling Posted by Hello
Recycling thrift store sweaters. Cream wool sweater before recycling Posted by Hello
Luxurious moebius on needles Posted by Hello
Mittens, notice the bulbous thumb for hitchhiking Posted by Hello
Red chenille moebius unwrapped Posted by Hello
Chenille Moebius wrapped twice Posted by Hello