Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Make Do and Mend

I'm been feeling inspired by Brenda Dayne's Make Do and Mend series on her Cast On podcast. How to find creativity, beauty, practicality in the materials that already exist. How to make do, instead of acquiring more, or overspending, or discarding what can be used again. We needed blankets for our daughters' beds for their visits this week. So I headed off to one of my favorite places, the Goodwill store. The plan was to buy several wool, sweaters, cut them up and resew them into instant patchwork, and felt the blanket in the washing machine. But it's November, and all that was left were some sad acrylic pullovers.

Instead, I ended up with two wonderful crocheted, granny-square blankets - the kind of thing that I will never make, and looking for a good home. The Goodwill is like visiting a handicraft version of the Island of Misfit Toys. The most poignant thing was a half-finished piece of cross stitch bagged up with instructions and leftover embroidery floss: it was a novel in miniature. Who did this belong to? Why didn't she finish it? How did it make its way to the Goodwill?

I resisted this sad story and focused on the blankets, where there were lots of electric blankets without controls (remember those?) and some acrylic, granny-square afghans. Not being a crocheter, I scored a small blanket in blacks and whites for one room for $6. And a large lampshade, in perfect shape, for $2 (these go for at least $45 or $50 brand-new). On the way home, I stopped at one more resale shop about to close for the day. Score! Another blanket for $5, and this one larger and a happier color palette.


My goal this week is to get a warp onto the loom. I have always loved Randall Darwall's work and am trying to focus on something with lots of color, but using the material already in the house - several small cones of 10/2 cotton in blues, a clay color, and a gold-yellow. Today I discovered Unravelling and MegWeaves and am feeling inspired by her Desire/Euphoria scarves.


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