ah crap

Why do I always feel like I should be doing something else? If I’m painting I should be sewing, if I’m sewing I should be carding wool, if I’m spinning I should be blogging (spinning is when I think of all kinds of stuff I want to tell you guys, most of which I promptly forget about as soon as I get near a computer) if I’m dyeing I should be cleaning the house or washing wool, and if I’m knitting I should be doing just about anything else. The only time I can really get away with guilt-free knitting is if Raven has the TV on.

What the heck is this about? I have been trying to figure it out for ages, and while I have formulated some theories I don’t know if any are correct. Or maybe they all are. I know that my finished object to WIP ratio is bizarrely low, because I am the poster child for process orientation and I have the attention span of a small rodent when it comes to repeating any action or process that I thouroughly understand. I do have a boatload of guilt about the number of UFOs I have – but why? I don’t need these things, I only needed to figure them out. Which I have done.

It’s not as if I spend a lot of money on my crafts either. I build a lot of my own tools, I make do with salvaged or broken items. I work with found objects, and an exhaustive study of my crafting history would demonstrate that since I learned to sew at the age of five I have been moving further and ever further backward, always pursuing and fascinated by the step that comes before the thing I already know how to do.  At this point, the natural conclusion of my life should be that when I die I will be placed in an elaborate coffin of my own construction, hand carved by me and painted in hand ground pigments (egg based, naturally) and lined with hand spun, hand woven and naturally dyed wool.  In a perfect world said coffin would be burned on a pyre of wood cut from a tree I planted, while my friends danced around drinking beer and mead that I brewed.  It will be fun; you should come.  If I have enough warning, I will make paper and print invitations.  There will be door prizes.

Now, in the course of posting this, WordPress has managed to lose the latter half of it, and I have really no idea what I said.  I know the point was, that I would like to stop feeling bad about the things that make me feel good.  This is, after all, my life.  I know that I am never going to make any “significant” mark on the world, but that is ok because nothing I have ever done or ever wanted to do is particularly “significant” so that is not a problem for me.

Does anyone else experience this?  What, if anything, do you do about it if so?  Please, discuss.  In the meantime, I’ll get started on those invitations, as soon as I make Raven a frock coat, which I am going to start as soon as this collage is out of the way, and I will be finishing that right after I dye the yarn that I am currently carding wool for the spinning of.  Unless I just throw in the towel and go knit something.


Lookit me, mom, I’m typing!  Well ok actually, everybody except Stalkermom and any of you out there with extremely mom-like tendencies lookit me.  Otherwise avert your eyes, I haven’t figured out yet whether I’m going to regret this later or not.

I have a vitally important reason for attempting this though… I have received new information regarding my broken arm.  I’ve been saying all along that the responsible sheep (who I am pretty sure was Chloe, but what do I know, I was lying on the ground waiting for the pieces of the world to re-assemble) was innocent; that it was an accident rather than a malicious attack.  Now, however, the truth has been revealed – my sheep was under the malevolent mind-control of my (thus) brand-new arch-nemesis Dani, crafty podcaster and villain extraordinaire.

Yes, in traditional arch-villainous fashion, Dani has admitted to her nefarious scheme.  Unfortunately the whole thing was retroactive, so I was unable to take advantage of her speechifying to dodge the sheep and save my own arse.  Or in this case, arm.  We may still need a little work perfecting this nemesis thing.  However!  Now I know to be on the lookout.  It is clearly my duty, as well as my new means of procrastinating getting anything real done, to keep my eye on this girl.  Society must be warned about her underhanded attempts to take over (or at least over-analyse) the crafting world, not to mention future attempts on my own well-being.  Or possibly I could just remember to take my pills and damp down this paranoia – but where’s the fun in that?

If you’re wondering what the hell I’m talking about right now – well, I’m not going to try and explain it here, you’ll just have to go listen to the Craft Culture podcast and try to figure it out.  But be warned!  She will try to charm you with her approachable personality, her so-familiar to so many of us artsy instability, her multiple projects on the go, her many talents… Don’t be deceived!  She is a charming, talented, crazy Monster! Beware!

Speaking of monsters, last monday was the final day of Workin’ Mom In The Sweatshop, and it all went very well.  See, I was working on this show.  Moliere.  Two one-acts, in fact.  Planning to be done on March 31.  (Which I totally would have been, by the way, even CK admits it, and she always mocks my sewing-in-the-car-on-the-way-to-the-event tendencies).  And then, the arm.  Ever tried to costume a show single-handedly, as it were?  I mean, I do it all the time in the euphemistic sense, but literally?  Not happening.  Even if I hadn’t been ricocheting between Horrible Pain and Stoned on Percoset, it was not going to happen.  So to my very great relief (because I was going to have to ask her and hated to do so) CK offered to step in and finish the sewing.  Followed a week of crazy back-breaking (unfortunately a little too actually back-hurting in CK’s case) work, but we did it.  And we didn’t even fight.  Yes, we had some lively debates about the horrors that pass for embellishment in the 17th century, but that’s just because they’re ugly.

So here’s a quick taste – I have a lot of photos but haven’t actually looked at all of them yet, so only a couple today.  And I’m going to just post them and cut this off abruptly, because it has just come to my attention that I cannot actually type this much yet.  So enjoy the pretty pictures – I’m going to go crack a Guinness and mutter at Dani under my breath.

One last note, and then I am seriously diving for that Guinness – that last gingham dress was 100% Clare Kilpatrick.  I had a notional idea of where I wanted to go with it, but had done nothing at all about it, and when I showed up the following day (and by “showed up” I mean called and said “mommy can I have a ride now” because nobody will let me drive yet), there it was.  In case there was anybody left anywhere who doubted that I come by my crazy fibre tendencies honestly.

It is still That Month.  I was just thinking yesterday that I’d got away with it and really [Prosperpine] has been going fairly well.

So this morning I tripped and fell  (there was a sheep involved, but I am not sure who, or what exactly happened).  I was just rather suddenly on the ground with a broken arm.  I have broken “two or three” chips off my Radial Long String Of Medical Terms, and they are floating and twisting around and it HURTS and tomorrow I have surgery because apparently I can’t even break an arm like a normal person.

And I will tell you more after surgery, but how the heck do all you hunt-and-peck types do this?  It’s taken forever to write this little bit, and it turns out the letters have worn off some of my keys.

Here’s day two of the egg:

Photo by Diana Martin, Chatham Daily News

Hera and I actually made the front page with this yesterday… presumably it was a slow week. We were at least below the fold, under Haiti!

And as an example of how things have been going this year – Blackie passed away yesterday afternoon. That’s what it’s been like. Kinda good thing, really really sucky thing. My karma is totally tipsy.

Blackie wasn’t a surprise, though. She’s been failing, and when I went out yesterday morning I was pretty sure we’d come to the end. So we had some cuddles, and I told her again what a beautiful perfect sheep she was. She died peacefully. And I dealt with the things that had to be done and then ran and hid in a shop window and knitted another four inches of egg. It is up above knee level now, and I am feeling pretty good about how it is going.

Also, I finished a sweater. Local artist Hank Bos is responsible for this, or at least that is what I am claiming.  See, there is this piece I’ve got in my head about wind farms, and Hank was encouraging me to get working on it.  I am not ready though, because wind farms make me angry (an immense oversimplification) and I don’t want the piece to be angry.  Or at least, not aggressively so.  So I had kind of pushed it to the back burner and stopped thinking about it.  Hank is a very encouraging sort of person though, and talking to him got me thinking about it again and trying to figure out how to tone down the anger or anyway channel it usefully.  And I decided that if I could work through some of my hostility on another project, maybe I could kind of get it out of my system and look at the idea with a clearer head.

So I made a sweater:

I think it worked.  I feel better now.  Also, I have a new warm sweater.

Here’s one final picture for the puppy fans:

See?  Bigger.  Eleven weeks.  Don’t they look sweet?  That’s because they are sleeping, unlike this very moment when they are thrashing around on the floor wrestling.  Actually they’re cute then too, just more dangerous.  And last night, Hera had her first big St Bernard drool!  Raven tried to take a picture, but it didn’t show up very well.  Baby’s first slobber, we’ll have to put it in the scrapbook.

That’s it.  As of now, I am banishing March.  Who needs a month named afther a none-too-stable god of war anyway?  Next year I’m skipping it entirely.  Or maybe, because my brother and his daughter both have birthdays in this otherwise stupid and vindictive month, I shall re-name it.  Perhaps I could call the empty space between February and April after Persephone, that would be nice.  Either that, or after one of those Medieval Saints who were out hunting and found a stag with a glowing cross and became lifelong vegetarians, someone like that.

Honestly, I thought the Vanishing Cow Episode was an attempt on the part of the Universe to lighten the mood a little.  (It was funny – I’ll tell you later.  I don’t feel funny right now.)  Sadly, all it was was setting us up for the one-two punch.  And like suckers, we fell for it.

Thank you, by the way, for all your comments and emails, they were really really sweet and I appreciate your thoughts and support.  I have been trying to respond to everybody, but if you haven’t had an email from me please forgive, I’m kind of losing it right now.

Galahad is dead.  Tuesday morning he was fine, by Tuesday evening he just seemed a bit funny, and by Wednesday afternoon he was dead.  That is the short version.  The long version involves a whole lot more frantically attempting to save him, plus a vet who never has shown up.  Or called.  (Not Bryan’s vet.  He is wonderful.) And a couple of nervous breakdowns, and you know.  Crap.

What we think (are increasingly sure the longer everyone else stays healthy) is that he was poisoned.  Not intentionally poisoned by some asshole, I hasten to add.  If that was the case I would be hiding in the bushes with a beartrap and some arrows, or something.  Poisoned ones.  No, I mean that the only thing that changed from Tuesday morning to Wednesday afternoon is that Tuesday I opened a new package of his milk replacer stuff, prior to which we’d been using stock left over from lambing last winter.  I do not know whether he was maybe allergic to something in the new stuff, if it was different somehow, or if there is actually something wrong with the milk.  I can probably call the government and arrange to get it tested, and I think I’d better, just in case.

He had no symptoms of illness.  He was eating until late Wednesday morning, his pooper was working fine, his urine was clear (TMI, sorry) there was no fever, no congestion, his pulse was ok.  He was alert, his eyes and skin were clear.  Unfortunately, his body seemed to be shutting down, bit by bit.

You know how bad this month is being?  Here’s how bad this month is being: The GOOD news right now is that Blackie had a miscarriage.  That is good news because we didn’t actually think she was pregnant and she really oughtn’t to have been, and she’s ok and will be much healthier for not being pregnant.  Still, for that to be the good news I feel that I am not in my happy place.

I’m going back under my rock for a bit now.  Or maybe I’ll just go hide out in the barn and cry.  I can hug sheep that way, and the hens will come and visit.  They love to climb in the hay.  When I come out again, I will tell you the Vanishing Cow story.  Also there has been intense knitting happening, because that is a good thing to do when you’re stressed and under a rock.