Friday, October 21, 2011

Beginning Again Freeform

That crochet piece I started at Jinny Avery's last July - or was it August - is not yet finished. I began a second piece with subtle soft grays on the way to New Orleans and worked on it some more during that road trip to Chappell Hill with George. Car travel is a perfect time to crochet - unless I get too far along without draping the work-in-progress over my shoulders for a good hard look in the mirror. I try on each of these crochet pieces dozens of times as I work to be sure the piece is wearable and that it drapes easily around the neck.
I call this new burst of crocheting 'beginning again', because I've not crocheted compulsively since before the very busy year when I produced Second Seating and that was in 2009. Artful Interventions @ the new Houston Permitting Center was first and foremost on my mind in 2010 and 2011. Add in good times spent with ES and writing the memoir piece and making those Rice U Continuing Studies screen script writing class sessions. Add in the trips to Seattle to see family and to host the fourth annual 4-generational Discovery Park Picnic, the two day adventure to New Orleans to take in that special spot that my brother John wanted me to see. That spot would be a compound of 19th houses at the corner of Race & Religion.
Then there is time spent on the screen porch, time for hanging and rehanging ever more ES paintings - what's not to love? And finally getting the gardens in order with the help of Mary Elizabeth @ Semperflorens. I also had the exterior walls on either side of my dining room windows painted violet and shrimp as a first step toward place-making between the house and the screen porch.
Well, read this post and wonder. I'm not really talking about freeform crochet. Sounds more like as calendar of events or a number of excuses for not crocheting as I did several years ago.
However, I am planning a trunk shop for extravagant crochet pieces in early December 2011. Perhaps, I'll throw in some photo collages and painted plates? So let me know if you want your name on the mailing list. I have boxes filled with unique, one-of-a-kind neck adornments. They need be worn. They need to get out in the world.
For a virtual tour of these terrific pieces, click on this link: Freeform Extravagance

Monday, August 22, 2011

Taking Up A Crochet Hook Again

I began work on a new freeform crochet piece last week while I was visiting Virginia Avery in Port Chester, NY. We spent a day together on her screen porch, talking, reading, napping and in my case, crocheting. It's been a long time since I've done this sort of work. A long time since I crocheted obsessively, continuously.
After I left my job as president of the Greater East End Management District four summers ago, I began to slow the pace of creating never-ending crocheted neckwear. And once I got underway with Second Seating, that year long endeavor to transform a metal warehouse into a fantasy space with dining tables and chandeliers made from recycled materials, there was no time to crochet. Creation was taking a different form. And then there were the 15 months that I've spent as project manager for the civic art in the new Houston Permitting Center.
I am just finishing that job and already, I've begun rummaging through the shelves in the guest bedroom that are filled with old negatives and vestiges of earlier bits and pieces of work. I am in the midst of this stage of deciding exactly what to work on next. Will I write that second part of a memoir? Imperative. Will I make more books on line? Likely. Will I sort through all the items on those shelves? Probably. And will that lead to other ideas for books, for montages. Sure.
And if I really like the piece I began on Virginia's screen porch, I may also continue to crochet. I'll use the yarns in all those drawers and boxes and baskets. Crocheting feels good right now and so far, it's not compulsive. That is good news and also bad news. If not compulsive, I probably will not be producing at the same rate as several years ago. Unless, of course, the Tea Party and the upcoming presidential election sends me over the edge.
A political crisis is what did it the first time - I took up freeform crochet when George Bush won reelection. Crocheting helped channel the angst I felt for a long, long time. So keep a watch on my crocheting efforts as a way of monitoring political life in America.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

How Does It Begin?

Simply. With one hook and a skein of yarn that soon becomes a chain and then a double or tripe crochet, a ruffle, a popcorn and on and on with more yarns added and finally, the piece you've created tells you it's finished and it rests on your neck or on the neck of someone you know. And it is beautiful.
The next day, the process repeats itself as new yarns suggest new ways of working. Every single piece is different from every other and can never be replicated. There are no 'directions', just the flow of the yarn over my fingers and the hook moving in and out and over.
My first experiments were awkward, over complicated and flat. But after a month or two I made a neck piece that I enjoyed wearing. People admired the work and asked 'what exactly were these extravagant things circling my neck? Frankly, I haven't found a good name for them yet. I'll take suggestions.

You can see many more at my website. And I'll begin to post the stories behind some of the pieces and describe the making of them. For now, I'm off for a walk while it's still light.