focus is good

i love when i can immerse myself in one thing. it seemed ridiculous to do it for 3 months, but now that the thesis is coming to the end it seems just right to knit and knit and knit and barely stop. no house cleaning here and another project finished this week. i think i’m feeling very much like suzen at the end of her most recent blog entry. the ‘freedom to just focus’ i think is how she puts it.

oh! and in appallingly late news, the opening for my thesis show may be on the 18th of april. i’m showing with a potter and a painter (both whom i know and like and who do great work). the gallery at my college is under construction so it’ll be in the new huge, beautiful library. i call it new and beautiful etc. but frankly, i signed up for a gallery show of at least ten days (this library thing may be less by half!). paid for it with 3 years and a lot of money and they should have the respect to rent a gallery space somewhere. i seem to be leaving my school with a bad taste in my mouth, but i ranted about that to the appropriate friends yesterday and now i’m moving on. the catch twenty-two is that when you find out shady dealings are happening you’re so looking forward to being done and moving on that you don’t care enough to do anything about it. besides, i’ve heard no good reviews for people who do try to complain or question my school. it’s so interesting to me when christian institutions/churches are unethical and don’t really know it. oh oh oh… but right now, i’m thinking of displaying things on clotheslines for the show. i’m still trying to figure how to make it educational… booklets i think. i just don’t know how that will work in the library.

so the finished object, now that i’m done ranting/subduing my rant, is from the second pattern on this page – WWI wristers. i didn’t think i’d be a fan… i’ve always disliked fingerless mitts without thumb gussets. this particular pattern is boring and a pain to knit, ribbing all the way. that said, i am now a fan. in fact, i am wearing them right now while i type. ben and i have decided that we are going to share them.

i used some thrifted bluebell crepe in navy blue (all wwi and wwii patterns call for plain yarns so greys, blacks, blues are perfect). the thumb hole is the perfect size so it doesn’t gape like so many i see. i think this is possible because it is reinforced with some crochet. brilliant! psychologically, these are merely an extension of my sweater (and another fun color addition to my outfit). they are close fitting and can go under even my tight sweaters and barely be seen. they keep out drafts and keep all of those wrist blood vessels toasty. if i think of them as wristers, i love them. as fingerless mitts, they leave something to be desired. they seriously bring up my body temperature to a snuggly warm.

anyhow, i think that these are the last historical project for the thesis! i might squish in another pair of socks… but we’re pulling into the home stretch. we’ll see how much i can knit in the next three weeks. i’ve two pairs of socks and one scarf in progress right now.

on a historical note, knitting and wartime have always seemed to go hand in hand. with the rise of mass production, wwi and wwii seem to have had different reasons for knitting. during wwi (according to Anne L. Macdonald) “The issue was not whether hand knitting was most efficient; what mattered was providing women on the home front a means for sustaining their men. Knitting answered that need and nothing would deter them.” there’s also a fun chapter about men and children knitting for ‘sammy’ too. Macdonald also quotes people who knit for the wars saying that handknit socks were better than machine knit socks, and their soldiers deserve the best. i can’t help but think that we’ve come full circle with all of the people who knit socks now – we once again believe that a handknit sock is better than a machine knit sock. i’m glad we don’t need to bust out tons of socks for troops (note that historical knitters eventually didn’t need to either, and still did) but there’s something very unsettling about the fact that our country can be at war and we aren’t affected at all.  maybe it would be better if we were needed to bust out socks for troops…

8 thoughts on “focus is good

  1. I’m disappointed to learn that you won’t get gallery space for your showing, Cosy. Especially when it seems like such a Regent-y thing to take the artwork out into the greater Vancouver area or even somewhere else on the UBC campus. Engaging the culture and all that. I do anticipate that your showing will be fabulous, though, despite the less-than-optimal locale. Wish I could be there to see it myself!

  2. As a librarian please allow me to encourage you to contact the library and talk to whoever the point person is for the show. :) They are probably just as unsure as how it’s all going to work as you are, so if you talk to them early you can all feel a bit better about it. Almost all of the librarians I know and have encountered are friendly and helpful folks.

    As a bonus, my experience is that a large number of librarians knit and/or crochet, so they will probably be doubly-enthusiastic about your pieces in particular!

  3. while boring to knit, those type of warmers are truly invaluable! Just wait til your friends start asking you to make them…

    on a thrifty note, cut off socks work well for this, too.

  4. Pingback: WIP-ing into shape. « on gauge

  5. Cosy, I fume with you. It’s a shame that so many of us kind of give up on being heard by the school by the time we leave–there’s something systemic going on there that hasn’t been addressed, yet. Alas.

  6. Pingback: joe’s organ playin’ mitts « cosymakes

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