Day 30

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In the video from Day 6, Renate Hiller talks about the spirals in spinning that are repeated throughout nature, and the empathy with others fostered by creating yarn. I have always felt a connection to the past through my crafting but spinning has also taught me to find myself in the actual process.

I have been using the guided meditation from GetSomeHeadspace.com. In these, the repetition of your breathing is used as a focus. (I am sure this is true for other meditations but I have no experience with those.) Spinning yarn is a very repetitive process. From preparing the fibre through to the actual spinning. Your hands and the texture moving through your fingers becomes your focus, the rhythm of your heart beating to match the beat of your foot working the treadle and the spinning of the wheel in motion becomes hypnotic in your peripheral vision. Rhythm and repetition. I have lost many hours to this activity and come through it feeling slightly hazy and much calmer, just as I do after meditation. It is a time of intense but low pressure focus, and a time when the mind can be free to wander or to turn inward.

Meditation is, at least for me, about looking inward to re-establish my equilibrium. Some people exercise to do this. Some people clean house. I make, which allows me the opportunity of bringing happiness to other through gifts and through sharing my knowledge. I am very grateful for these skills and talents. In a society that places so little value on them, it is not about proving myself but about improving myself and the portion of the world I inhabit.

I have studied music on various instruments throughout my life. Do not think this makes me some sort of virtuoso. I got bored *a lot* but loved music so would eventually return. A few years ago I decided I would sit the music exams for an instrument. I lack the coordination to be a good piano player, and lacked the funds for a flute or something similar (I adore the oboe!) but I could afford a recorder. For 2 years I learned and perfected and enjoyed. The recorder is capable of such beauty and for many many years it was an instrument for which concerto’s were written. It was not a cheap instrument inflicted on children and parents alike but a valued talent.

It was during this time that I discovered the much celebrated recorder player Michala Petri and by extension some beautiful music that is so rarely heard because the recorder is considered such a nuisance as to never be played beyond childhood.

I fell in love with the music of composer Giuseppe Sammartini through Michala Petri’s performances and this is what I am sharing today. It is more than 12 minutes long but well worth listening to.

While listening to this I knitted another rectangle onto the blanket in the beautiful purple Fortissima Shadow Color yarn.

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My goodness! How am I getting worse at taking these photos?!

I’m more than halfway through the layout I shared a couple of weeks ago. I’ll be adding more to it in the next week or so.

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Day 14

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Sweater update for you all : I wasn’t happy with the jogless joins I had done on the sweater stripes yesterday so I frogged 2 stripes (12 rounds) back to where it wasn’t bothering me. I finished redoing them today and added another stripe of colour but now I’m not happy with the way I’ve carried the yarn between stripes of colour. It’s possible I’m just being extra fussy. So I’ve put it down for the moment and got the rainbow shawl out again. When you want to take the scissors to a project in a negative way, it’s time to put it aside for the night and start again on it tomorrow.

To be honest, I want to be working on an older unfinished project but my bag of unfinished projects (yes, i have a bag full) had to be moved into our loft. It’s not conveniently located and the husband has to be sent on an expedition to find it.

Which he will be doing tomorrow 😉

I did my meditation knitting in the early morning quiet today but I do have some music to share with you.

The Ukulele is generally not considered a particularly serious instrument, a bit like the recorder, that anyone can pick it up and make a somewhat tuneful noise, as evidenced by both being readily available cheaply in toy stores. I achieved my Fourth Grade music certificate in the Recorder. It sounds much nicer when it a) isn’t played with your nose, and b) it is used to play more classical music than you were given in school and there is a lot written specifically for the Recorder, including a part in one of the Brandenburg Concerto’s! The Ukulele is the same – give someone with the knowledge of how to play it some good music and you get something nice. Give it to someone creative and you get something awesome.

The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain do that something awesome – many of which are covers of popular music. Not just interesting ukulele playing but some fantastic vocals too. You should look them up. They’re pretty easy to find on the web, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. They’ve covered ‘Teenage Dirtbag’, ‘Pinball Wizard’, the theme from ‘Shaft’, and ‘Ride of the Valkyries’ among many others but my favourite is their version of David Bowie’s ‘Life on Mars’ but it’s more than that. How many of the duet songs can you name? (and don’t just read the comments to find out!)

Today’s square was actually another trapezoid. Tomorrow I shall attempt to square the tops of the two trapezoids off with a triangle.

The yarn is the same as day 8 (Austermann’s Step in ‘Fuchsia’), the pattern is the same as yesterday but instead of picking up the last 16 sts, you cast them on. Continue on as written.

day14Tomorrow I will square the angled sides of the trapezoids with a triangle. At least, that’s my plan.