Oh Joy! Oh Ecstacy! Oh Rapture! - The Thrill of Monotony

In my 56 years on this planet, I have physically moved my residence, at this count, over 49 times. I suppose that says something - not sure yet if denial will fade on the self-examination process. Perhaps I am one of those curious creatures that must be constantly stimulated with new signals...because the background noise quickly becomes "the thrill of monotony". Yet I love to make fabric...such contradiction, as anyone knows finishing the last five incredibly boring inches on the body of the latest sweater or blanket.

Through this last move, however, I have been a busy knitter. Not productive, but as a student, as in the Latin "studere" the present active infinitive of "studeo", or "eager to learn". My lessons? I am exhausting the subject of linen, as a material I knew little about, but now find fascinating.

Rather than bore the reader with the technical details, I will wax on about the pleasures I have been discovering working with this marvelous material. I used linen thread quite a bit as a young man, when I had a leather business teaching and making custom items in NYC.

Waxed linen thread was THE material to hand stitch leather together...and I never bothered to learn why it was so good for that purpose. Nor what made it behave in a way that made the difference between something being merely ok and waxed linen, the magical gift of the artisan gods. I also know it from my weaving days, as a warp yarn and as a fabric. Again, I ignored it's siren call then...but not now.

But I digress. My goal this summer is to learn as much as possible how this stuff behaves, how it works as a knitting material, what makes it fail, where it succeeds, and the intersection of creativity and technical knowledge to make art.

As a child, I was referred to as a "tow head". Never knew what that really meant. Shaved bald, I really now am a tow head!

Been a busy guy. I'll hope to have something to show for it later. Right now, I am surrounded by lace samples, color swatches, pattern samples, books, tools to spin the stuff, and what the world has to offer about it on the web.

I am in flax heaven. I always liked those blue flowers, too!


Thor's picture

I have a friend who says that each Spring, if he has to clean everything... why not move it! "Gypsy Blood" is his excuse. Sometimes it was a move in the same street, sometimes to a wholly different state. Never write his address using ink in the address book!

MMario's picture

And then, when you have exhausted the possibilites of the fiber are you going to research the seed and oil? *grin*

MMario - I'm not divorced from reality - we're having a trial separation

New York Built's picture

I know more about the oil and seed as a consumable part of my diet than the fiber. I dropped 75 lbs of fat over two years and gained 35 lbs of muscle in it's stead. I am convinced CLA and flax seed was a major contributor to my becoming lighter in my shoes.

"Champagne for my real friends, real pain for my sham friends."
– Francis Bacon

Every person I encounter teaches me more about myself. Without whom not.

Joe-in Wyoming's picture

My dad used flax seed meal, in an emulsion, to cure his stomach ulcers. Nothing the doctors prescribed ever did more than alleviate the symptoms. Of course, that was in the early 1970's before more physicians became aware of the benefits of "home remedies". -- Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

Joe-in Wyoming's picture

Having worked with linen for weaving, knotwork in jewelry, etc. I can appreciate its beauty. I look forward to seeing how some of the projects, swatches, ideas and so forth turn out. Here's hoping you are keeping your fingers damp as you spin it...otherwise, it's like a rasp on your skin. "Painful" barely touches it. "SIGH" The things we endure for our art. -- Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.