05 July 2013

yes...another year gone by -- really??? (no, a year and 6mo.!)

Yes...another big chunk of time passes...and I've coasted along on top of the crest of this last wave to reach yet another beach party I did not really expect.
I am still fully immersed in the world of youth soccer (and adult for that matter) because of the nature of my job.  But I'm yet again moving along into worlds I would have NEVER thought I'd venture into -- try CO-ED indoor soccer with people at least half my age...WHAT am I thinking???  Well, maybe I am not, but I do know this...It is a great deal of FUN and I would not miss a Monday night game for hardly anything (excepting a polka stomped toe...).
I set this blog up to be something of a documentation of my venture into knitting design -- and it seems to be far from...although it touches on it every so often.  It looks like I have a good case of ADHD really...I am all over the place with no apparent vision, goal, mission...nothing -- just riding the wave...
The wave of orthodontics has played out...not doing it any more, dont really miss it like I thought I might.  I am full on soccer now -- in capacities I would have never imagined.  Try this for size...
I have recently, with the help of some great co-workers, laid out four FIFA regulation size soccer pitches on virgin grass...then learning the fine art of walking a straight line whilst laying down that 4 inch wide touch line, end line and all the other necessary lines that make up a beautifully painted pitch.
  That picture posted above -- it really expresses the way my mind feels right now...kind of a jumble, yet in a place of peace -- anyone who knows this spot on the lakefront might get where I'm coming from.  The title of the blog itself "du spinnst" is telling as well (its "you're crazy" in German -- something I DO hear often from the people who remember where I'd started my journey...)
  This year has brought interesting events...yeah...that's Adam Ant there in the next photo...going back in time and pulling to the present.  This was a concert I went to with friends and it ended up being so much more than just a visit with "an old friend".  Back in the day, I was a HUGE fan of Adam Ant, so when he made an appearance back in Milwaukee almost 30 years later, I just had to see...it was as good a show as 30 years ago -- just different.  Made me realize that you can still have the same passions, but bring them to the more mature place we all are now.  We WILL all be going back to the show in August again when he returns with the young pups playing the shows with him.
  So where does that leave me now?  Still looking for the next path, really.  Kids making the transition to adult-hood... Dave, gone mexican :)...and me, well...I guess I'll just keep riding those waves as they come along for now.  I just dont seem to have the presence of mind to do much else...

30 December 2011

...focus, back on track...?

Just finished reading a friend's blog with comments about the upcoming new year and the resolutions people make when they sense its looming presence.  To paraphrase her post, "I'm not really a resolution maker"...but I'll admit it is difficult to pass yet another small milestone without at least thinking about how I can better myself in the coming year.
I look back just a short while ago, well a few years anyhow, and I am a bit amazed at what I have accomplished.  Its big things, personal things that I never thought I could achieve.  I am more organized.  I keep a cleaner house.  I am working two jobs outside the house -- both very rewarding and enjoyable.  I am transitioning from teen mum to mum of young adults.  There are little things, designing three original knitting patterns, coaching kids practices on my own, cooking from scratch more often.
Oh, but there are the improvements...more exercise, better eating, letting go of stuff, better use of time, more time with husband, more time with good friends, more organized, less procrastination, cleaner house, oh the list goes on...
It is always amazing to me how much more there is to do on this side of life.  Frustrating to be sure.  I will never be perfect, I will never achieve all that in my mind needs to be done.  But I am going to be resolute in this alone:  I WILL not worry about it.  I will not get down on myself for back-steps, or fear of moving forward.  I WILL be positive and go with ease....yeah right.

21 September 2011

...my first "official" designs

Moose Toque

St. Pauli Fan Mütze

Baby Jacket
 While I have actually been designing knit and crochet pieces since I can remember, I have not -- until now -- written them in a form where they could be shared and duplicated by other interested fiber folk.  These are the first three pieces I have worked up and notated in a form that can be understood by most people with even basic knitting skills.  I am still working on wording them in a more standard form (i.e.; the proper language of knitting -- sort of like the King's English or High German of the knitting world!) so that I might actually have a form that could be published "for real".  Perhaps I will even submit them to who knows and see what happens...


  Ok.  So the reason for starting this blog long ago was to somehow chronical the jouney from mere knitter to designer...(mind you, I am not stating here "published" designer...wink!)
Its time to post my first three "official" designs.  The patterns are in written form (HANDwritten) and ready enough for anyone else who would care to work them up...although I must admit they are very personal designs and I am not sure just WHO would really be interested in the first place.
But I am going on the advise of a very good friend and taking the leap to put these out there for people to see.
  My first step to "going public" was to set up a Facebook page...yeah, really.  I was pretty sure my friends would be there to sort of stroke my ego enough to prod me on.  I may consider Etsy or some similar site in the future, but first things first.  I have to make these patterns look like something people would actually like to purchase. 
  That is the part that makes me procrastinate (well, along with a few other reasons...but that's another blog post) My computer skills are limited.  I'm sort of kicking myself, as I had actually had a chance to learn the publishing and set up skills I would need to produce professional looking documents.  Way back when I had gone to art school, digital was the "new way", now it is the norm.  I left graphic design because I did not WANT to do computers, I wanted to draw with pencils and pens, and conte crayons and crayola crayons...Now I could use some of those computer skills I would have learned -- oh well, maybe someday...
  I've given the concept a name -- Hübsch Handknits.  It combines my love for the german language and knitting.  It translates "lovely" Handknits.  I am striving to make sure that each finished piece is just that, a lovely handknit. 

14 August 2011

...obsessed with Ellchen

I'm not sure just when it started.  But I do know it has grown into an obsession just barely in control.  Recently fueled to a full flame again by reading the book Loving Frank.  I am not a huge fan of historical fiction, but someone recommended the book so I gave it a go.  It was a pretty well written story following closely the details of Frank Lloyd Wright and his mistress  for who he had build the glorious Taliesin.  Now, I must note here as well, that I am not a huge fan of FLW either.  I do admire and appreciate his work, but I think because of the proximity to so much FLW that one sort of grows to a "eh, what's the big deal".  But he really was a big deal. 
  Anyways, this book put me to thinking.  It did a fine job in my mind putting personality and real humanness to a very grandiose figure.  I don't know how other people are, but I want to know what these artists were thinking, feeling, dealing with when they set some of their ideas to paper and more.  What was THEIR obsession and drive to create?  Now the Frank book was fiction based on facts.  I know it is just one woman's idea of how it all was.  But it prompted me to track down a book about a couple of artists in a "similar situation"...Gabrielle Münter and Wassily Kandinsky.  The book transcribed letters they wrote to each other around 1905-1911 (dates approx.) giving some insight into what they were feeling at the time they were literally changing the world of art.  They were real people, making good and bad choices, getting angry, depressed, elated, anxious, jealous...all the human emotions. 
  I've been to Murnau and Seehäusen am Stafflesee where they were based during this time.  I've seen a most beautiful collection of their art in a lovely museum in Murnau.  And thanks to Mrs. Harry L. Bradley, we have a MOST fabulous collection of Münter's work (the largest outside of Germany, I am told) only 15 minutes away from my very own home!  We had, a number of years ago, a very thorough exhibit of her work as well, of which I am the proud owner of the book representing it.  I refer to it often.  I visit the Bradley gallery.  I knit there, read there, and sometimes just stare and take it all in.  Mrs. Bradley and I seem to have a very similar taste in art -- and I am so glad for it!
  The paintings I have included here are two of my many favorites.  The first is "In Schwabing" by Münter.  The second, "Fragment I for Composition VII" by Kandinsky.  The Kandinsky painting was one I visited often with my kids and we played a sort of art "where is Waldo" thing, where the kids would pick an element of the painting, draw it in a sketchbook, and I would have to find it in the painting.  Oh, the good times in that gallery!
  But back to the original subject of this post...I'm just continually thinking about the German Expressionist period these days; in particular der Blaue Reiter group; even more specifically Kandinsky & Münter.  I am reading everything I can get my hands on (with in reason -- I DO have other responsibilities...) about this period of art history and these artists.  I am feeling so inspired by their work (yet lacking enough focus to actually DO something...but that will come)  I have been touched by "Ellchen's" way of working, and sometimes not working as it seemed to match my ups and downs in such a familiar way.  I am hoping that her successes will motivate me to create and find success in my arts as well.

27 July 2011

...my kind of town -- but not today

So with the house empty, only a dog to tend to, I thought I would make a little jaunt down to Chicago for the day.  I had it all worked out with the pup for feeding and such.  My day bag was packed.  I was ready to go...save for the uncooperative weather.  We are getting the soaking rain the green things soooo needed.  It has made for a change of plans.  I had planned to have an inspiration day at the Art Institute, instead I've turned it into a "lets get this knitting pattern project going full steam".  Yes, after two years of talk, I'm finally producing something. 
Not that I've been at a complete standstill.  I know I've blogged many times about the "dear in the headlights" syndrome, probably to the point of causing anyone following this to just shake their head.  But that is my weakness.  Fear of success, fear of failure -- both ends of that scale affect how I attack a project.
I've designed an "identity" for my project.  Its to be called hübsch, the german word for pretty.  I thought I needed to combine my two of my loves -- the german culture/language and knitting.  They are the two things I think about to the point of obsession.  I have been messing about with a logo, setting up a FB page to introduce it and generate interest among peers, then attack the ravelry site (a step up from my own IT knowledge -- so that could take a bit more time, I'll be staring into those head lamps again...) and possibly etsy (...by that time, I'm thinking roadkill...).  I think though, that by blogging about it, it gives me some accountability, right? 
I have to get a grip on why I am doing this as well.  It will help me to keep things in perspective.  It is not capitalism or making a name for myself (although its always been a silly little dream)...its this innate drive to create stuff and then share it.  So many times I hear, "oh I wish I could knit..." "where did you get that pattern?" "can you make me one of those?"  I will be covering all those questions, comments and more with this project.  Plus it sort of feels good just to show it off. 

20 July 2011

...if only it were 100 degrees today

Yup, remember that dreamy wish you made way back in January?  Well, its taken a few months to come true, but today is your day! 
Holy smokes, is it ever warm out in Wisconsin!  Its forced me to stay in and finish that culling job I started with the files and paperwork I've accumulated all around my house.  But you know what, I think I've finally gotten through all the boxes and cabinets.  I'm probably far from done, but I am more at peace knowing that I have whittled it down to what appear to be the necessities at this time.  Now I can start going through each section one by one and organize it into something usable.  Like my ideas books and project boxes.  I really feel like I'm getting somewhere, and that if it doesn't get done before I leave this world, the people who are still here wont be embarrassed by what's here.
I'm more in a position to start working on notating patterns now.  I've found all my scratchings and musings about patterns I've designed and finished, hell I've even found the details like number of stitches to cast on and how many rows to knit, and where to decrease!  Magical...