Monday, February 25, 2008

Sweeping out cobwebs

For some reason, there was a conversation at Steve's office about just how much yarn I had. When details were divulged, his boss said it sounded like it was time for me to knit or get off the pot. After a month of moving all of our furniture around, and doing some I-wish-it-was-spring cleaning, I'd just come to that conclusion myself, albeit not quite so... succinctly.

We've switched workspaces, the artist and I. His drafting table faces the windows in the office now, and I'm curled into the corner by the heating vent. The sewing machine is the short side of the L that is my space, and we can both get to it (he learned to sew last week so he could make puppets). This works out better than we'd anticipated actually, and in a celebration of organization and inspiration, I'm trying to be good to my workspace and not overtax it with a bunch of half-baked projects.

I've assembled what I call the "basket of shame". It sits by my desk, full of things I either have to frog or finish. They stare up at me, little orphaned projects... the guilt alone is some serious incentive.

I'm almost done cutting all of our old denim into quilt blocks, and I've salvaged some of the zippers to sew into felted or fabric bags. Just two pairs of jeans left. The denim will be paired with my favorite bright fat quarters in a simple quilt. My grandmother is a quilter, and while this will not even touch her finished pieces, it should be attractive and will make me proud of my use up/make do abilities.

I have a pile of mending sitting by my machine, so I can do an odd bit or two when I have a free moment. Buttons will once again be reunited with plackets, and Steve may get some of his clothing back once it's patched. Pants will be hemmed, shoulder pads will be torn out. And then I'm going to train myself not to look at something and think "it'll be fine if I just...". And hopefully the mending basket will stay empty... ish.

The stack of magazines I was saving, for who remembers what, is gone. Inspiration clipped out, and the chaff recycled. There's a clipboard on my desk with the tidbits I culled, and I flip through that every once in a while, changing the one on top to fit my mindset (a gorgeous cork tiled floor, a gingham quilt, a color combo of orange and aqua).

Maybe it's the full moon, maybe it's the new space for my brain and eyes and hands to play in... but my sleep the last few days has been full of colors and images and project ideas. It is rare that I remember that kind of thing when I wake up, I'm usually more focused on the people and emotions in my dreams. These pictures lasted well beyond that first waking moment, and so I sat with a glass of wine at my desk last night to sketch them out with coloured pencils. I poked through my stacks of fabric, yarn, and ribbon and found matches, and then bundled up my sketch with the appropriate bits and put them in plastic bags. I now have a small pile of projects, stored so I can see their colors, and can pick one up when I feel like working on something. My notes and all the little bits of detritus I think would help are in there. It's a bit scary actually. Like I have some kind of momentum... that I should respect... and do something with.

Unwilling to fully engage in an analysis of my own behavior (I'm never productive AND organized unless I'm baking), I picked up the mohair wrap from the shame basket (if your mother buys you local handspun mohair, you darn well better do something with it), and started to work on it. The voice in the back of my mind was very quiet, and only said it once, but it was clear as a bell... "knit or get off the pot"!


Heather said...

That sounds fantastic! How nice to have an organized and inspiring workspace...

I've been attacked by the organizational bug too, but so far it hasn't gotten any further than our closets. I can actually find clothes to put on each morning, which is always a plus.

Alex Ball said...

Knit or get off the pot!


Kate said...

ha ha. go blog laughing man.