Thursday, April 15, 2010

Callinectus snowzuponus...

...also known as The Rare Maine Snow Crab. The inspiration for this bad boy was an embroidery challenge presented at the annual crewel retreat I attend in Chincoteague, Virginia. We were given a line drawing of a blue crab and told to go at it. Naturally, most of us waited until four days before the next retreat to start the thing. My older, more dignified colleagues were referring to the beast as That f-ing Crab. We all thought he would be a quickie, but we underestimated the little crusty. I attacked him with three types of buttonhole stitches - elongated, eyelets and the household variety - and a billion french knots, but something was missing. I was drinking port one evening and throwing baleful glances at the now hated bugger when it came to me. Mittens! Icy froth! The Maine Snow Crab was born! If you've never sat tipsy in your favorite chair on a cold night and calculated the gauge for crab mittens, well, Honey, you've never lived! I was so dang tickled with myself! Our crabby adventure will be featured in the next issue of Needle Arts magazine, so stay tuned. Bad Boy is headed for the Big Time!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

For Larry

I will spend today embroidering handkerchiefs for my cousin. Her husband, Larry, was killed Tuesday while riding his bicycle. He was 43, father to two daughters, ages 3 & 7, the youngest of seven sons. I made up my mind yesterday, while I was driving home from Baltimore, to embroider hankies for his widow. Larry was not a jewelry kind of guy, but he designed a charm for himself that incorporated the letter "L" and the number "7" and wore it on a chain around his neck. I will stitch that and my prayers for her and the children into each hankie. What else can I do?

Wake up!

Why do we knit what we knit? I suspect knitters are split between those who want to make a specific thing and those who like the rhythm of stitches moving on needles. May I rudely suggest that while both of these "reasons" are okey doke both are LACKING INSPIRATION. Oh, I hear many of you heaving a sigh - she wants me to WORK and all I want is to RELAX. Well, open your brain flaps for a moment and THINK about this. You can be an ARTIST. You can DESIGN. And that means you can put something of yourself into what you do. Here's how it works. Look about you and really notice what your favorite things look like. Do you love a gravy boat your grandmother gave you? If so, why? Does it have a spray of roses in a pretty shade of pink? What if your next pair of socks were the exact pink of those gravy boat roses? If you were to make a pair of pink socks that match grandma's gravy boat roses I PROMISE you will NEVER put them on without remembering your grandma. And that one small difference will ELEVATE the mundane. And that is ART.