Sunday, February 13, 2011

Free from my burdens.

First the bad news.

I didn't manage to get permits for collecting in Argentina and so had to cancel my trip. No permits, no butterflies and because I'm using federal money, I have to do things properly. On the one hand, I'm much displeased because I was really looking forward to seeing the other side of the Andes, but on the other hand, I'm a bit relieved. Don't get me wrong, I love traveling and the things that I learn and see, but it's stressful, too. I'm away from my family and when doing field work, I have very little contact with them. I worry about whether they're eating right and if the bills are going to get done properly and most of all, I just miss them.

The awesome news is that I finished all of my knitting. February is for finishing and I pretty much rocked it.

Yeah, I'm bad.

Photo credit goes to Iris. Though the top of my head is cut off, she chose to focus on the scarf instead of the awesomely good-looking and badass model wearing it. I approve. Also note the NaNoWriMo winners' shirt. The pattern is the drop-stitch scarf by Christine Vogel, yarn is sari silk that I spun up into a fingering-ish weight, done on size...6? maybe size 7 circulars. It's got a fantastic drape to it and though the pattern was simple to knit, it looks like sheer genius. I named it Lakshmi for the Hindu goddess because she seems like the sort who wants people to feel beautiful and be happy. The fiber was given to me as a gift and not only did receiving, spinning, and knitting it make me happy, but maybe it helped out the person who was employed in preparing the fiber as well. Can you believe this would otherwise be waste?! I hate waste.

But I love these colors:

I call it "Vegetable Curry" and, in fact, there are patches that dyed even more yellow than can be seen in this picture. I used leftover vegetable bits like onion skins and so on and tossed it into the pot with... curry. I used a cheapo curry that is described as "mild." While the flavor didn't really excite me, the color turned out great. I have it on good authority that I should make my own curry anyway and maybe one of these days she'll show me how.

I even had enough dye for the dish towels. These have seen better days and are now patched. The one on the right was dyed with india ink and over-dyed with the vegetable curry, so it's grey with just hints and bits of yellow. The one on the right is just the straight-up curry. I may over-dye that one with coffee or something to hide some of the darker stains, but it will do for now.

It is my nature to leave off some of the stuff I do because it's just patching that I do on a fairly regular basis. This work is valuable nonetheless and while it gives a certain... quaintness to things that we own, at least that's better than a hole. I'll buy or make a new tablecloth one of these days, but a patched one will cover the table just fine.

See? This is a pretty nice looking table, patches and all. It's not my best tablecloth, but it's alright.

Finishing my knitting gave me the opportunity today to do some patching and dyeing and last Friday, when the actual finishing occurred, I started on a butterfly hanky depicting Inachis io, the European Peacock Butterfly. I caught a couple of these in Poland and there's no greater fun you can have than chasing butterflies, riding motorcycles, drinking wodka, and then making Southern biscuits from memory while mildly hungover the next morning with your friends. I'll be thinking of last summer while I'm stitching this beauty.

Aaah, yes. My life is awesome. Though I am not now on a plane to Argentina, all is otherwise very well. There's as much awesome here at home as abroad and I can proceed with a feeling of being freed from my burdens.
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