it’s not giving up a dream, it’s shifting a plan

Verb Color Magic by >WonderMike<
Verb Color Magic, a photo by >WonderMike< on Flickr.

^^not my work or image^^
(Natural dye on flickr)

I used to crochet, not a lot, but I could single-crochet and triple and do chains and curliques and basic stuff for scarves and afghans.

I tried to knit, never got past ribbing for sleeves, garter stitch, a basic (if tidy and well-tensioned) knit and purl.

I like making pretty things.

I’m not well-organized, but I’m getting better at that every single day. I’ve got a little place in the side of my brain where organizing is happening, and it’s becoming real life. I’m organizing, slowly, in my house, my room, my son’s room.

So as this past some-odd (more than 12, less than 24) months of serious RA has gone on, I’ve been thinking more about crochet, about using pretty yarn to make pretty scarves and hats and shawls. And I keep thinking, “As soon as my RA flare is down, I can do this again.” But … I don’t think I can. As soon as my hands start feeling okay, if I overuse them at all, they get sore and puffy again. And my “overuse,” I mean “use enough to crochet a useful amount at all.” I think this last flare might have brought some permanent damage. At any rate, they’re still bad enough that I think that even if I think they’re feeling good, they’re really not there yet.

This isn’t giving up a dream, so much, as getting real. I might keep crochet in the back of my brain. But I want to make something beautiful, still. I want to have something to hand-make presents with.

A few months ago, I bought a friend some roving, as a gift, as she was learning to spin. She loved the colors. And as I’m poking around on Pinterest, and see people working with natural dyes, I’m just entranced by the beauty, the pinks of avocado skin, the yellows of mustard.

It’s really caught my imagination.

This is something, that, if I can be organized about it, I can do.

I don’t need to make people fine shawls as gifts, my friends would like lovely roving I’ve given beautiful colors to, or they’d like cloth to make their own skirts with. Maybe eventually I can even use naturally dyed cloth to sew, or naturally dyed yarns to crochet.

This is not something I can do if I’m not organized, especially given our house’s current storage space, or lack thereof. (Most houses in this neighborhood have three bedrooms, ours did, but was remodeled a few years back and the garage turned into a bedroom. So now we have four, but minimal storage, unless we get into the attic and put real work into it. When we buy a house, we’ll look at it in terms of storage as well as enough bedrooms.)

So my current goals:

  • Organize Owen’s room. (I’m doing that tonight, and have a plan.
  • Organize my own room. (I’ll do that over the next week, and am working on a plan.)
  • Start researching natural dyes, and if I really think I can, start playing with them, as invasive plants and vacant lot weeds, our food scraps, coffee grounds, and yard findings inspire me.

If I can’t manage to keep this organized, it will be an attractive nuisance for Owen, a waste of time and money, a big mess. So I want to train myself into some better organization first.

When we eventually buy a house, which shouldn’t be too far in the future, I’d like to give over part of the garden, already intended to be shared among our food needs, Owen’s play and learning needs, and the birds and butterflies, to growing plants that will also make lovely dyes.

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