romney fleece and a scritchy future

romney cross fleece

a friend gave me this romney cross fleece a while back, and I finally washed it.  I have been dyeing and spinning BFL roving almost exclusively, which is awesome for immediacy (and for user friendly capitalist pursuits), but my lowdown mission statement is really more about creating spirit rich garments from raw materials, sourced as directly from the producer as possible.  Wool like this falls under that category.  It is, however, coarse, primitive if you will, time-consuming to work (each lock needs to be flicked open individually), and ultimately brings me closer to a lifestyle of “voluntary simplicity,” i.e., using less and connecting intimately with the things that I do use.  The goal for this is a very hairy sweater for my husband, which, in the end, I am not sure if he will wear.  Or I could make a bomber rain-proof capelet and line it velvet.  hee hee…

thinking about culture

Extreme costume building: this guy designed and made a tauntaun costume.

Someone told me recently that they were interested in the death of Culture. I did not know what they meant. I still don’t actually. But today I ran across this while reading an essay in the book, Camp Grounds, Style and Homosexuality:
“The Frankfurt School argued that all cultural forms in an era of bourgeois dominance are inauthentic, artifacts of false consciousness, the anithesis of genuine expressions of individuality and freedom. In his examination of popular music, Theodor Adorno claimed that its repetitious phrases and rhythms are essentially the same as the rhythms of the modern factory, so that pleasure in the former secures one’s complicity in the latter. The only way to resist such social control is by introducing the negative through forms of critical thought (and critical expressions of art) that oppose the ideologically dominant forms of popular thought and cultural experience. These negations must deny the essentially affirmative nature of culture and must critique the form and structure of bourgeois culture as well as its content.” —Matias Viegener

process

sunset sky roving

I have been aware of an upcoming transition for a couple of months now. In light of A’s inevitable departure (she must go out to seek her Fortune!) there is an incredibly exciting opportunity to make some carefully considered changes in the way my life is structured.
It’s starting to take shape. Pieces falling into place and all that…
I do not want to commit details to writing, not quite yet, although my commitment is very real. I just need to communicate directly with my landlord first, and there is still time.
I can say that this new year has seen an increases in my self-advocacy, and that I am allowing myself to choose what kind of work I really want to focus on, and let go of that which doesn’t make me soar inside.
Sunday market booth this year! Yay!

ratsmagic

Hey freaky folk!
from Ratsmagic

I haven’t spent much time looking through tumblr sites, not til last night anyway. Then Mark sent me a link to OneStonedCrow.
Now, you know that if’n I was going to be a collector of anything (excepting yarn and fabric) it would be richly illustrated children’s books. I had a small collection, but I think much of it perished in the fire. I don’t know; I have never been big on keeping inventories.
There is one book that I have been straining to remember for several years now; a book that was given to my brother sometime in the 70’s, one that really got into my head. Only visually I guess, ’cause I never could recall the name of the book or who the illustrator was.
It was there on that site, buried in the archives.
The book is called ‘Ratsmagic’ illustrated by Wayne Anderson.

from Ratsmagic

Here is a link to all the pictures from the book.

I guess maybe I will work on knitting that fairy house today.

a dye day

one dyebath, many shades

dyeing slips

One jar of RIT dark green dye can produce so many different effects.
Alice and I had a lovely time finding things to toss in the dye pot. I used the last of my white Targhee roving to exhaust the bath (dove gray!), then I sprinkled lemonade Kool Aid powder directly onto the roving in spots (chartreuse!) I had a hard time getting the green to come through in the photos.

roving

For dinner I made my own dashi for the gyudon. Bonito flakes, some dulse, and dried shiitake and bolete mushrooms. Yum!

Not a bad day for one that started extremely late and mildly hungover.

Hi!

I have the internet at my home again. I have a lot to share; this life is even more of an adventure then ever.

Alice and I visited B’ not too long ago and played some hurdy gurdy.

I went back yesterday with my new friend Moss and I got to try my hand at one of the instruments again. They are tuned to one key (at any given time) so there are no “wrong” notes. These boxes that B’ is building are small and yet so resonant.
Yesterday was a pretty magical day all around. It is not often that I meet someone with whom I effortlessly share a vocabulary. It makes it possible to have a deep conversation without a lot of the introductory footwork. This is relatively exhausting and so best done in small doses.

Winter afternoons in this town are quite beautiful.

downtown astoria winter afternoon

When the gray of the water and of the water-in-the-sky match each other in such a way it can be quite breathtaking.

I am on the air tonight, and every other Thursday from 11pm-1am PST. You can stream it live so please tune me in sometime.

Merry meet!

I live in Fire Town

Thursday was a wild night. It was Heather’s birthday, which led to a lot of drinking with the work posse. I didn’t make it home before my radio show, which I did completely plastered. I pulled it off, but still, it’s a really bad idea, and against the rules besides.
At about 12:30, half an hour before my show was over, I got a call that the Cannery Cafe was on fire. I could see an immense conflagration from the windows of the station, a mile away maybe…
It hit me in my fire spot. I started playing the same song over and over again, pacing and irrationally needing to leave the building. I couldn’t get out of there til 1 am, but then I hopped on my bike and rode down to see the buildings burn.
Terrible.

A lot of people are out of work right now.

fire in astoria

I really have to travel to blog.

I have been to several locations looking for somewhere with functional internet. I am looking forward to have a connection in my home again. grrr.

Today, red-violet is my favorite color, in as much as I have a favorite color.
Leg warmer in Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock colorway Prove It All Night (and yes the name of that colorway did influence my decision to buy this yarn.)
I have two skeins, so these legwarmers will be long and take a long to knit.
The bag is a patchwork bag that I made recently. I have been sewing with intent to sell. Once the internet is back I will give etsy a spin once more, with Mark as my “business partner.”

Yesterday I sat down and taught myself to graft shut holes in knit fabric.

I have done kitchner of course but grafting has never felt intuitive. I am going to graft and graft and graft until I can do it with my eyes shut. I always make promises like that but sometimes I really do keep them.

For example, two nights ago I found myself standing on a street corner in a storm, drunk on cheap red wine, with water blowing sideways into every pocket and pore (wearing cotton no less), heading to Safeway for cigarettes. I did not complete that mission. I turned around and headed back up the hill to my house. Sometimes I do what I say I am going to do!

miscellany

I quit smoking.
It has been 5+ weeks since I made the decision to do so and quit (although I had a 7-cigarette relapse), and much of my energy since then has gone into finding new habits to fill the neural pathways that Tobacco built.
Exercise has been key.
And I decided to start blogging again! I liked blogging, you know? But I convinced myself that I had no time, no time for the writing, for the photo processing, for reading other blogs. No time for maintaining those relationships that I had spent several years developing.

I even turned off the internet at my house!

And so, after a while, I felt like I had been away from the web world so long that I couldn’t come back. But that just ain’t true!

I am still not in the habit of writing again; I am just making my back home by sniffing the path for the long-ago-devoured bread crumbs, but you gotta start somewhere, so before I head home to watch the commentary on the Runaways movie with Opal (she has seen it twice already, but Joan Jett is alive in that girl’s heart…) I am going to post a few photos that were taken since I posted here last.

(It’ll give me some practice using the new flickr set-up too.)

One from Alice:
cirque du soleil tents

One from Opal:

and me signing off!