Tag Archives: this blog

October and November Got Away

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My review of October’s posts never got written, so this is for October and November. It’s been an intense couple of months, between bereavement and swine flu and the aftermath of our extension works. (Yes, still ongoing, thank you. Why, only this week I have been doing the familiar round of “Where in the Seven Hairy Hells are the Bloody Builders?” phone calls each morning, for we are going through the arcane and operatic process known as “snagging”.)
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Fashion Statements

Léan's

I’ve never been much of a one for slogans on my clothes.

That’s an understatement. Actually, I pretty consistently avoid wearing anything with words on it. I don’t object to other people doing so, you understand – although I do have a veritable phobia of designs that feature random, vapid phrases (T-shirts with “essential beauty of living” in fancy script peeping through vaguely floral-architectural collage, sort of thing). It’s just not for me.

I make a few exceptions. I wear my “iMachiavellian – Think Dissident” T-shirt, which Niall got me. It’s amusing, it makes geeks smile, and I like the way it’s cut. But with the best will in the world, I don’t wear it very often.

Much more often, I wear my Neighborhoodie, pictured above. (Turns out it’s hard to take an accurate photo of your own torso with your phone.) Why? Well, firstly, because I am pretty damn sesquipedalian, and I don’t care who knows it.
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Not Here

Last Thursday, as my husband’s uncle David was at work, a blood clot travelled to his heart and extinguished his life. He was 55. On Sunday, my mother’s cousin Helen lost her battle with cancer, at the age of 43.

So this week, I will not be blogging much. I will be be going to too many funerals instead.

Remember September?

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Another month gone! I can’t believe it.

In fact, I don’t believe it. Here at String Revolution, I’m pretty sure it’s still Mayish. But since lots of people seem to be under the impression that 2009 is 75% over, I suppose we’ll be polite and row in behind that gentle fiction.

This here blog

I kicked off the month’s posting with an August update, then channelled my 9-year-old self in what turned out to be my most popular post ever – at least, it’s had the most comments. (Yay readers! You are great!) I then wrote a review of that book I’m not obsessed with, Women’s Work: The First 20,000 Years, slipped in a little Sunday Stash post (mmm … alpaca yarn), and revealed some Very Secret Mysteries about making clothes. By special request, I revived an old post about winding wool, and finished up the month with the post I’m possibly proudest of so far, Craft, Compulsion, Privilege, Pay (now with free bonus discussion of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s politics in the comments!).
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Craft, Compulsion, Privilege, Pay

Crafting supplies pictured with cash

If you’ve been reading for a while, you’ll know that one of the reasons why I’m so excited about String Revolution is the prospect of developing some kind of income from it. The idea that I could do these crafts I’m so passionate about as part of my job is wildly appealing.

But this is where I start to second-guess myself (a filthy habit of mine). Because surely, the risk is that once I’m making money from these gorgeous activities, they’ll take on a different quality for me – they’ll become a chore. I’m afraid of that. Afraid enough, perhaps, that I’m unconsciously dragging my feet a little about getting on with this part of the venture.

For tens of thousands of years, women of all social strata have encountered strong pressures – basic necessity, social expectation, plain old coercion – to produce textiles, and have responded in a range of ways, some of them stunningly creative and inspiring. The key, I’m hoping, is choice. I am choosing to do this work, and I feel amazingly lucky to be in a position to do so.

But I’ve been thinking recently about people, now and in the past, who haven’t had that choice, and what a different experience they must have had: the crafts that to me are pure pleasure must take on a rather more complex set of connotations in those circumstances.
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August Update

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At the end of July I posted a quick round-up of what I’d done on the blog so far. It struck me as a nice idea to do one every month, so here’s August’s.

August was … tricky. Listen. If anyone ever says to you, “I know! Why not extend your house while living in it?”, poke them in the eye and run away. Most of the filthy work was complete by the time August rolled around (although sneakily not quite all of it), but that left the unspeakably gargantuan task of getting the place back to some semblance of normality in time for (a) houseguests (yay lovely houseguests!), (b) the Oyster’s fifth birthday festivities (FIVE!), and (c) Niall’s thirty-fifth birthday festivities (yay Niall!).

Cue day after day, night after night, of unpacking, furniture-moving, cleaning, stashing, ditching, stressing. So, not much time for blogging, then, as you’ll have noticed. I’m sorry, little blog. I truly meant to take better care of you, but there simply weren’t even the slivers of time I’d counted on.
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The Story So Far

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It’s 31 July – the end of my first full month of blogging here – so tonight I’m writing a little round-up of what it’s been like. I may institute this as a regular thing. We’ll see.

Baker’s Dozen

I’ve written twelve posts so far; this is number thirteen.

Starting with a personal ad seeking readers, I followed up with a recycled post about a hat, then wrote about some cushion covers I made for my mother-in-law.

Next came the genesis of the purple thing (which is creeping back towards the 49-row point again – rejoice and be glad), a triumphant FO post about the Oyster’s new jumper, and a post revealing where I found the phrase “string revolution”.
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The String Revolution

I want to give credit for this blog’s title to Elizabeth Wayland Barber, who wrote the utterly brilliant Women’s Work: The First 20,000 Years – Women, Cloth, and Society in Early Times.I’m not finished reading the book yet, but it continues to set off fireworks in my mind at the rate of about one every three or four pages.

I’d also like to thank Jane Brocket, who wrote about this book on her blog a couple of years ago (I can’t find the post now, unfortunately) and prompted me to add it to my wishlist.

The book is a history of textiles, from the Palaeolithic to the Iron Age, and if you think that sounds dry and remote, well … read itand see how totally engrossing it is.
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Blog Seeks Readers

Attractive, intelligent young blog would love to meet hordes of enthusiastic readers for entertainment, mutual inspiration and more.

I am all about craft: knitting, crochet, sewing, embroidery, patchwork, quilting, dressmaking. Sometimes I’ll stray in other directions (e.g. gardening, cooking, carpentry), but rarely for long.

You might have been crafting all your life, or you might have picked up a pair of knitting needles last week for the first time since you were six. You know that it’s not the size of your stash that counts, it’s what you do with it.
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