What's Up Wednesday: Suri Alpaca

This is Ariadne. I'm not usually one for naming things- nonliving things, that is- but I've also never had a relationship with an object before. When you spend as much time with something as tactile, useful, and awesome as a spinning wheel, it begs for a name. It's like naming a car, but I've never felt the urge to name a car. 

I know that I had Arachne in mind when Ariadne popped in, but Ariadne sounds prettier. Arachne is the girl who challenged Athena to a weaving contest and got turned into a spider for her hubris, and the obvious fiber art connection is there. But Ariadne is the girl who gave Theseus a ball of yarn so he could find his way out of the Labyrinth, so there is still a connection to fiber. Besides, I don't weave. Yet.

I have been playing around with a sample of Suri alpaca fiber (wool?). These guys have an interesting appearance:
from alpacatrading.com
This stuff is really cool. I'm sure my enthusiasm is in part because it is the first fiber I have experienced other than sheep's wool.



"Wow, I wish I had that life." That was a thought I caught floating through my brain sometime last year after watching an episode of Mad Men. ( I have not seen the latest season, shut up, I only have Netflix.)

What an odd thought, considering how miserable those characters are. When I actually examined the thought, I realized that what I wanted was the outward perfection of their lives. Part of the popularity of the series is, I think, the crisp perfection in the appearances of the workplace, the homes, the clothing. I think I want that type of perfection in my life. "I would be so happy if my house, my makeup, my clothes were that perfect," I think to myself, despite previous experience not validating that claim.

A facade over a dilapidated foundation is not perfection. Life is a little messy. Actually, life is really messy if you spend 90% of your time with a 2-year-old boy. Perhaps, rather than striving for an artificial perfection, we only need to refocus our attention on an organic, messy beauty. Or, at the very least, look past the mess to focus on the beauty. Remind me of that next time the sticky little kid leaves a slime trail on his way to take a bath.


Collection: Stop Motion Animation

I love that Vimeo is the hipster sibling of YouTube. The kid (my kid) likes to scroll through the animation videos with me. Here are three videos that I have watched over and over, and will watch again as soon as I have posted this:

(Guess which one the kid likes best...)

Bottle from Kirsten Lepore on Vimeo.

The Alphabet 2 from n9ve on Vimeo.

Gulp. The world's largest stop-motion animation shot on a Nokia N8. from Nokia HD on Vimeo.


What's up Wednesday!

I'll admit to some trepidation in writing this post. My first attempt at blogging failed. I wanted to say it failed spectacularly because I love a little melodrama, but really, the blog just crawled in the corner and curled up without a whimper, waiting for inspiration and motivation to return. Which is also pretty melodramatic. This time around, my goals are much less lofty than when I began. 

Part of the reason for my first failure was a lack of passion. I had my new passion foisted upon me mid-July of last year. It is a simple story that I love to tell the long way around because of my love of drama, but the basic facts are: my parents have sheep; my aunt gave me a spinning wheel. 

In the months since July, I have learned how to wash, card, comb, dye and spin wool. And knit. I already knew how to crochet, and felt like knitters were a strange club of obsessive snobby yarn weirdos, and wanted nothing to do with knitting. Unfortunately, the first yarn I was able to spin was not suitable for crocheting. So I learned to knit. I was right about knitters - they are weird obsessive crafty people, and I love them for it. 

My favorite current project will take me all year to finish. I read about a really great daily knitting project called the Sky Scarf. The idea is to collect some yarn in different blues, greys, whites, and beiges, and use these colors to knit one row of a scarf every day in the color of the sky that day. I took it one- well, several- obsessive steps further. My project is to knit every sunset of the year. To do this, I prepare a small amount of wool, dye it according to my daily photo, spin the yarn, and then knit it into the scarf. 

I'm a bit behind at the moment, but here is January 1-7: