Thursday, November 30, 2006

SAM2 November: Done!

And here they are!

Sorry, the image had to be altered to protect the innocent (actually, these socks were a work project, so I can't really show them to you). I know the whole, "here are my socks for the month but I won't actually show you the socks or even discuss the actual socks" thing is getting old, so here is an artist's rendering of me and my November socks.

Nice, eh? You'll notice I'm winking in the picture, and that I have a celebratory rainbow over my head. Nice symbolism from a 3 1/2 year old, no?

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A Bit Off My Game

Sorry, I seem to have dozed off there for a week or so.

Thank you to everyone who posted a comment on my last entry. It truly wasn't meant as a fishing expedition or a full out depressive rant, but Skippy "encouraged" (read: commanded) me to update lest people worry. I'm fine. And, yes, I think we can all agree that talent is skill that is seemingly effortless. So, I guess I'm a talented knitter. I can surely live with that!

I have been knitting furiously, but as it is the season of gifting and I have also committed my talents to a few work projects (ah, the invisible work projects! Someday I will be able to reveal some of them in all their glory, but until then, they must remain camera-shy) I don't have much to show for it. I made a pair of tiny pink felted clogs for my tiny SIL's birthday and felted them for her over Thanksgiving dinner. She seemed properly amazed by the whole transformation.

I completed this:

for the LYS in town. (Aren't those copper ceilings just beautiful?) It's a Vivian Hoxbro kit. I think it's called Wing Shawl 1. It could just as easily be called "Whole Lotta Garter Stitch and Stripes" It turned out well, it just wasn't the most exciting thing I've ever knit, you know?

I'm a bit off my game lately due to the fact that the school district and the teachers' union are still embroiled in contract negotiations. The current contract expires Nov 30, and if settlement isn't reached it could mean any number of bad things for the Bitter family as well as the students and teachers here in Pueblo. The whole situation just lends an extra layer of stress to this time of year.

Speaking of layers, this is what we woke up to this morning:
Yup, Pueblo has been nestled under a fresh blanket of snow. Almost feels like home, except for the myriad reasons it's not. But while I'm still here, I've been generously invited to teach some classes at the LYS. They have the basics covered, so I was thinking a finishing class would be good, any other ideas? Also, I've never actually taken a knitting class; anyone care to enlighten me as to how they are typically structured?

P.S. Blogger seems to have eaten and altered this post several times, including adding a bunch of stuff about saliva and urine. If anyone out there was subjected to that, I apologize.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

The T-Word

It never fails. Every time someone compliments me on my knitting by saying, "Wow, you're really a talented knitter!" I cringe (I say as if this happens all the time. It doesn't, but it has happened more than once). I cringe not because I can't take a compliment (shoot one my way and try me if you're in doubt), but because in my heart of hearts, I really don't know how to respond when those particular words are uttered.

It all goes back to an internal debate I have had with myself for as long as I can remember: Talent vs. Skill. Back when I was an actor (didn't know that, did ya? I have a BA in theatre performance.) I didn't feel particularly talented at that, either. I was skilled enough to passably act in several quality productions, but I saw infinitely more talent around me than within. When I sewed for a living, again, I felt adequately skilled (perhaps a smidgen of talent in assessing how pattern pieces come together to make the finished garment) but not particularly talented. I have this niggling suspicion that follows me daily that mediocrity is the highest bar I may set for myself, which is horribly depressing for someone who really has a desire to create something great, just once! I will freely admit that I am a fairly skilled knitter. I've honestly not come across a pattern which eluded the grasp of my skill. I think that part of the answer here lies in the wording of that last statement. Patterns. I knit from patterns. Where's the talent in that? I guess that I believe that the real talent lies in the design of a piece. Yes, there are some remnants of the recovering perfectionist in my work, but is that talent, or just attention to detail? Or is this whole debate just a matter of semantics? Am I just afraid of the T-word? Am I afraid of appearing pretensious? Perhaps that's it.

Wow. I just read over this and it all looks like a flashy lure for some Walleye of a compliment, but really, it's not. If anyone can really explain to me what talent is to them, perhaps I can put this worry to rest and just smile and say thanks if it ever comes up again.

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