Sunday, January 16, 2011

Scottish Sundays, and shamelessly inserting some holiday pictures

The past week wasn't one to write home about. That would be silly. I spent quite a bit of it at home, so it would at least be a waste of a stamp. No I'm not in the business of keeping TNT Post alive, as long as they pay me my pension if and when I reach 67. In the last WIPW post, I've mentioned that my diary seems to be clearing, and that trend has only kept going.

Quite understandably, my students have put their NT2 lessons in the fridge, while he travels around the world for work for the next few months. While it does make very little sense for them, it does blow a hole in my finances. At times like these, I have to keep hold of my mantra.

Something Will Come Up

It hasn't helped with being more productive but I'm getting there. I ingested some alcohol on Friday, which didn't help either, but it was good for the soul. (not for the head. or the liver). Since then, I'm trying to pick things up, while not forgetting the Big Project of getting me Across At Least One Sea by this Summer.

Oh no, I've done some thinking. Tonight, my thoughts seem to have re-enforced themselves while I watched Lark Rise to Candleford. It's a period drama set at the end of the 19th century. Many of today's issues get incorporated into the series. Last week, for instance, a honorable man lost his business and his possessions because he took out a loan he couldn't pay back. Sound familiar?

Anyway, this week, it was about industrialisation and old crafts being replaced by factories. One of the characters, Queenie, the old wise woman of the village, can no longer sell her bobbin lace to the Pratt sisters who run the local boutique. They've gone over to factory-made lace, which leaves Queenie in a sorry state of loss. In true Lark Rise tradition, her setback returns her to the true nature of her craft, the art of making instead of the lost goal of selling. In a truly heart-wrenching scene (or stomach-turning, whichever your sentiment) the younger sister Pratt turns around and learns the art from old Queenie, who never had a daughter to teach.

In a side-line, Laura learns that winning is not the object either, but the wish to create great writing, and recently bankrupted Gabriel learns about his wife's true motives for marrying him. All in a day's work, dear writers of Lark Rise. If you don't already know it, the entire series has a hue of rich honey mead, but I like it. The costumes are quite stunning, and the story lines are really not all that bad as I'm making out here ;)

The point I'm trying to make, is that they actually chose this subject, the loss of great crafts. It's just one signal of the interest for the handmade that is growing on an international basis. Not long ago, Ravelry, a forum for anyone interested in fiber, knitting and crochet, reached 1.000.000 members. Yes, One (1) Million (6 zeros) members. And not all of them are over 50!

In the UK, there is special interest for the wool industry, with sheep running around Savile Row and over here, a very successful YA writer is starting up some super knitting club for teenagers.

Just a few examples here, but there seems to be a genuine interest in getting back to the basic of things. We've all seen it with food, Jamie Oliver grows his own veg, the slow-food movement gaining momentum (slowly, ha!) and we all want to know where our food comes from, as long as we're able to pay for it. Search Amazon for a few minutes and you'll be flooded with titles on how to grow your herbs in a city dwelling to starting your own dairy business from scratch.

And now, knitting is hot! Museums all around the world get Yarn Bombed, bridges get wrapped on every continent and new designers turn into Bright Young Things at the snip of a fiber-wrapped finger.

Which leads me back to, well, Me. I'm not a designer (much, yet), but what is keeping me? Time, too many WIPs and the bad excuse of not having the correct software installed. I don't see myself as the next Ysolda, Gudrun or Kate, but they're great examples and inspirations. Talking of which, wouldn't you be inspired by this?

I know I need to be more organised with my time. It should help with going forward instead of stalling in the faux-safety of a job that only gets me to the other side of the city-canal. And that's Not A Sea.

Road of Deathy Deaths

It's a windy road, but I'm sure it will take me somewhere. Plans are starting to hatch, but uncertainty about the how and the 'will people be interested' bits still find their way into my head. That's okay, these questions need answering.

For now, all I'm happy to say, is that it might involve demonstrations, or 'doing things fiber-y' with kids. Or tourists. If you like someone to spin in your business, your castle or on a lonely beach, I'm sure it'll attract some people. I'll be needing a spot to put up my tent ;)

I might be going potty, but at least I'm going somewhere!

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