when i decided to start this virtual diary of some of my attempts at distracting myself into (some degree of) sanity, i did so with a few basic understandings:
- i don't talk about anything (even marginally) personal. i value my privacy, as well of that of my friends and family, so this blog is mostly focused on the absurd and (often) pointless things i do to kill time.
- i don't discuss politics, religion, or anything of that nature. seriously... i do not make a habit of walking up to total strangers on the street and opening a conversation with comments on either subject, so i don't make (even passing) comments about such in this forum.
and, most importantly...
- i don't express my negative opinions (of which there are many... trust me) about stuff. sure, i may gripe about the inhumane winters or the absence of caramel corn on this side of the border (seriously, Canada... get it together), but i am always excited to share the general silly things we do around here in the name of craftiness.
i started knitting and spinning when i was back in grad school, incredibly stressed out, and contemplating if it was worth the torture of seeing it through to the end of my doctorate (it was not... trust me, but i stuck it out anyway). for that reason, i really try to maintain said activities as a happy escape from the rest of life. as ridiculous as it may sound, pulling out the old dye pot and a few bundles of wool is my idea of meditation.
which is why it pains me to depart from that last self-imposed "rule" just long enough to express two of my (many) pet-peeves... but it's somewhat relevant, as it relates to the stuff i generally talk about.
1. the overuse of terms like organic and free-range in recipes. just stop it! if i'm reading a recipe for what appears to be a really tasty cake, and i come across "3 free-range, organic eggs" (or something similar) in the recipe list... i automatically close the tab and move on. no kidding. i have nothing against either organic or free-range (or eggs, for that matter), but i trust that the reader is capable of making food choices that fit their lifestyle... and budget.
which brings me to the second peeve...
2. yarn snobbery. i love wool. no... seriously... i LOVEEE wool. i daydream about someday owning a few sheep and maybe an alpaca (if she/he promises not to spit at me), so i totally get why people gush over the prospect of working with natural, animal fibers. however, there is an implication of both practicality and affordability in the world of do-it-yourself crafting that seems to get overlooked when discussing fiber content of knitwear. i am not a fan of high-content acrylic yarns, because i really don't like the look and texture of most of the ones i've encountered, to date. however, there are a lot of really interesting blends out there that take advantage of the best qualities of both worlds, resulting in attractive and... yes... affordable yarns for general consumption. if the look and feel of the fiber suit your needs, that's all that matters in the end. life is too short to waste time looking down your nose at other people because they did not buy a dozen balls of high-end yarn (at like $20 USD, or more, per ball). seriously... spending a couple hundred dollars on enough yarn to make one sweater. then talking about the "savings" over buying a sweater in the store is ridiculous. what most professional knitwear designers don't tell you is that they either work for/with the yarn company whose products they use... or... they receive freebies from companies in the hopes that they'll use said items in their designs (which amounts to free advertising for the manufacturer). either way... they're not paying for the 18 balls of luxury fiber they just recommended to you, so there is zero need for you to feel any less proud of your finished object.
i strongly encourage everyone with whom i engage in any contact beyond mindless small talk (i hate small talk, but that's a whole different topic) to find some activity they're passionate about, and just go for it. some people find a whole new career path, and others (like me) find some small measure of happiness that makes all the stupid stuff in life a little bit more tolerable.
now, pardon me while i wedge my foot out from under a cat and get the dye pot going for what will (eventually.... hopefully) become a warm, fuzzy sweater for self. i've taken at least a couple hundred photos today, so maybe i'll talk myself into posting a few of them once the yarn is dyed and dried... maybe.