Thursday, September 13, 2007

What's so funny about peace, yarn and pottery

My apologies to Nick Lowe.

I've finished the baby blanket for a friend and am still feeling the crochet vibe. So I've swatched these, using the "Big Round" pattern from Jan Eaton's 200 Crochet Blocks:
The cluster stitches in the middle make me think of cupped flower petals.

One of the things in my Knitpicks order is a yarn guide that you wear on your finger. It's supposed to help stranded color knitters keep the different yarns separate. However, I'm going to use it to keep the yarn off my skin. When I crochet for a long time, the yarn sliding across the top of my tensioning finger gets to be quite uncomfortable and eventually a little groove gets indented into the top of the finger.

In other news, I've made progress on Husband's afghan, finished one more blue stripe and have wound the yarn for the next blue stripe. Then I will sew the stripes together, pick up stitches on the left and right and knit the side stripes.
In the past, the sewing together was not fun for me, but now I rather like it.
And I've cut off ridge row at the bottom of the Honorine sweater and have begun knitting down. It's just stockingnette in the round, which some people hate, but I love because it's just mindless knitting. I wonder if I could get away with knitting at the board meeting this weekend.... Maybe I'll work on it during lunch and they'll see that I can talk while eating and knitting, and then it won't be so bad during the rest of the day. I did knit during a Georgia Progressive Summit meeting while one of my board members was there...
Anyway, next Wed, Sept 19, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, the Yarn Harlot, will be in town to speak. Honorine will the be perfect project to take along.
Wednesdays are my pottery class. I have been loving it. We are learning to make very large wheelthrown objects. Usually my pieces are about 8 inches tall, and use 5 pounds of clay. In the first class, I threw a jar at least a foot tall, using 8 pounds of clay, and yesterday I threw a huge bowl (that's me, the bowl lady) using 10 pounds. And all 10 pounds put up a fight, but I got it done. The bowl's at least a foot tall and 15 inches wide. I wanted to make my mother-in-law a huge salad serving bowl and I think I got it.
I really like Mariella, the instructor. She's got a lot of energy and not very rigid. I've had instructors who say there's only one way to do this or that, but Mariella's not that way. She thinks imperfections show that these pieces were made by an individual artisan, and not stamped out by some machine. I like that attitude.
I'll miss the next class because of the Yarn Harlot, but I'll go to Mariella's Monday afternoon class instead. Because this weekend will the weekend of work so I'm taking Monday off. I'm going to sleep in, have a cup of coffee, and then go do pottery for as long as they'll let me. I have some pieces from the spring quarter that have yet to be glazed. And I'll have to buy another bag of clay, since I've used up the entire 25 pound bag in just 2 sessions.
It will be bliss. There is nothing better than throwing pottery. You have to focus just on centering the clay on the wheel, and that centers you. Then in pulling up the clay and working on it, you have to pay attention to what the clay tells you. All your motions have to be smooth, deliberate, and slow. You have to feel the clay and make sure you don't push it too far that it weakens and collapses. One instructor said "the enemy of good is better."
In the end, if you do it right, which isn't hard, you get a piece that's beautiful and useful, and peace in your day.

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