Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Knitting: Smart and Vintage

Ignore the weird expression.
The Red Thermal was finished last week.  I don't know if it was my math, or if the yarn requirements are way off, but I thought I calculated it would need six skeins of yarn, but only needed three.  This may be because of my switch mid-pattern from KP Gloss yarn, to KP Stroll yarn.  The skein sizes are different, although somewhere I was thinking Stroll was 400+ yards per skein, and the pattern calls for 1700+, but the yardage counts on Ravelry say the three skeins were up to the count.  I no longer have the labels, so I'm not sure where my error in thinking is, but hey.  I had enough, and still have enough left over for a pair of gloves and a pair of socks.

So I immediately started in on a pair of Smart Gloves by the Rainey Sisters.  They will have "pop-top" index fingers and thumbs so you can use your  smart phone.  Genius idea.  If they don't come out looking like franken-gloves (as so many of my glove attempts do) I may make a pair for my friend Teresa, who was complaining about mittens and phones on Facebook the other day.  These are the cuffs, but they get folded up over the hand so that those buttonholes fit over your thumb for an extra layer of warmth.  I like this seed stitch rib, although it is slow going.  The hand portion will be done in red... leftover from the thermal?  You betcha.

And the reason I have not finished the gloves yet is A) the whole family was sick last week, and I spent two days in a TV-fueled vegetative state.  I know I'm sick when I can watch TV and NOT want to knit.  B) I caught the crocheted doilies bug (totally different sickness) and got started on the booklet "A Year In Doilies: Vol. 1" by Leisure Arts.  What you see above is one partial day's crocheting.  I'd do a motif, go back to knitting, do another motif or round, go back to knitting.  It was nice to have something this complex to work on to take a break from the monotony of the ribbed cuffs.

Monday, January 23, 2012

AoA: Self Expression

This week's post under the Anecdotes of Asperger's heading is less an anecdote and more an observational essay about how my mind works and coming to terms with it.

In many ways, I am a frustrated artist.  It seems like for my entire 43 years of living, I've been seeing these beautiful images in my head, but have been struggling to find a way to make them external... to share them with others.  If I try to draw, my hands can't seem to re-create what's in my head accurately enough.  Asperger's people tend to have problems with coordination.  That strikes dance off the list as well.  If I try to write, I get bogged down in details... in doing it the "right" way.  Or I get overly technical, dry, and descriptive.  My knitting patterns are a disaster in over-explanation.  My novels never get off the ground, because I'm too busy drawing up floor plans for locations that we spend only five pages in, because how can I describe them to others in a way they can understand if I can't see them myself?  And I can't see the location unless I've created the whole thing right down to the wallpaper.

Basically, my whole life has been like this...  I see this in my head:

But my hands draw this: 

So what do I do?  I keep trying new mediums, new methods of expression, until something works.  I haven't found it yet.  I also have the impossible combination of perfectionism, and impatience.  I want the expression to be accurate, but I also want it to do it in a hurry.  So while creating a giant bead tapestry one dot of color at a time may please my perfectionist side, placing color pixel by pixel, it is extremely slow and time-consuming.  Wire sculpture I get bogged down in how the color of solder doesn't match the base metal, and the expense of the materials. I tried Computer Aided graphics, but the software either changed a lot as I was working with it, or the controls were so counter-intuitive that I would get frustrated and quit.

The latest obsession in my head is an image of a woman... glacially beautiful, with a mane of hair flying in all directions, viewed in profile.  I have actually been wondering if I could create this image by crocheting a doily.  Yes really.  In my head I have been plotting lines of stitching, hook placement, and various design elements.  It will probably amount to nothing.  I will hit a portion that simply cannot be done because of the laws of physics, and I will dump the idea.  And then continue my search.