Saturday, April 19, 2008

Angst, Art, and Cool Stuff

My world this morning seems a very bleak place. It is the last half of April, well into spring, and I am looking out my window at several centimeters of snow and a windchill of -20C. And grey, grey clouds. To go with my grey, grey mood.

This past week has been fraught with drama and I am pretty battered by all that has happened. Someone that we took in as a member of our household and treated as a member of our family betrayed us all last weekend. (Well, the betrayal had been going on for weeks, we just found out about it last weekend.) Through an act of selfishness on the part of one person, dozens of people were impacted, and the heart of someone I love dearly was broken. And guess who was left to pick up all the pieces and stick them together with Scotch tape?

The stress of everything that has been going on in my family and my world for the last several months has taken its toll on me. I have spent the last three days sleeping and knitting. When all else is chaos, there is great comfort in counting stitches and chanting "knit 1, yarn over, slip slip knit, knit 2, knit 2 together, knit 1". Aum has nothing on the regenerative powers of lace knitting.

I have stepped down from my role in Angels in America and am hermitting up to heal. And I'm already feeling better. In some ways, a great burden has been lifted for all of us and life is fresh and new and full of possibilities.

So, aside from my knitting, the thing that has kept my mind from sliding into a truly grey and ugly place has been the ongoing debate over "Art". First, I found this on the AntiCraft blog.
(I am not great at links, so if that doesn't work, go to and scroll down til you find April 9,2008) The post is really about copyright and craft, but her concluding Elvis analogy sort of goes along with the theme of my last post.

On top of that, I happened to catch a show on CBC this morning that actually addressed the question "Is It Art?" The program featured Chas Lawther in search of something to fill the blank wall above his sofa and took him all the way to Florence in search of "real art" so he wouldn't look like a fool by hanging something he simply liked. In the end, he spoke to an art expert, whose name I unfortunately didn't write down, who said words to the effect that: "As soon as you are discussing whether or not a thing is artistic, it is Art." He credits this concept to Dadaism and the 1917 exhibit where Marcel DuChamp hung a urinal on the wall to challenge the idea of "Art" being separate from our every day lives. Verrry intellectual, but once again in keeping with my theme. Art is every day of our lives. Live it. Make stuff.

And while you're making stuff, indulge in cool tools. I have to mention the fabulous thing I found while browsing in River City Yarns in Edmonton two weeks ago. Consider this my first official Product Review:

The Andicraft Designs DP Knitting Needle Cozy is my new best friend. There are all kinds of products out there to cap the ends of your dpns, from basic cones to cutsie sock and teddy bear shapes, but I always had trouble with one or both falling off the needles and getting lost. I know you can use corks, your ball of yarn, soft erasers, and any number of other found objects. But this thing has a bungee that holds your tip cover on! No more having one cover pop off and drop all your stitches off that end! Hallelujah!

The needle cozies come in a 3-pack with cozies to fit 2-3.25mm, 3.25-3.75 mm, and 3.75-5.5mm dpns snugly, and come in lengths to work for 13cm, 15cm, and 20 cm-long needles. I bought the 13 cm length and it works just fine on 15 cms as well. The covers are flexible and soft, but strong enough to take the wear and tear of being popped on and off the needles and thrown around in my purse. The elastic is durable and firmly joined, so it won't come undone if you tug too hard. And the cozy is lightweight and fits nicely into a pocket, and has yet to roll away off a table-top. In fact, I even thought to loop it around the strap of my purse to keep track of it yesterday. Fabulous!

The down-side of these little treasures is the price. I paid $17.95 for the three of them, which makes them more of an indulgence than a practical purchase for most knitters. But well worth the indulgence if you can swing it!

There is a URL on the package, but the website for Andicraft Designs is not yet operational, so all I know is what I have in my hands. I'm loving the DP Cozy, so I'm looking forward to seeing what else they come up with!

I'm off to meet up with my fellow Fort Mac knitters at the local non-green-logoed coffee joint to show off my fabulous new find and to revel in the warmth of fibre folk.

Yes, I will conclude yet again with Life is Good.

No comments:

Post a Comment