Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Things Someone Else Made Thursday: OMGWTFOHY Knitting Needles

Big.  Huge.  Ginormous.  Gargantuan.  OMG.  WTF.  Oh Heck Yes!!!  Those incredible sticks in that picture?  The ones that totally dwarf babester (even though she's "almost 5 and a big helper girl, not a baby")?  Those are my new, ludicrously large, custom made knitting needles from Christiane Knight and Rob Lescalleet of Threeravens Fiber Studio.  They're 48" long, 2" diameter, handmade pillars of AWESOME!  And they're for ME!!!  SQUEEEEEE!!!!!!

Okay, calming down enough for backstory.  I met Christiane (xiane if you know where to find the good stuff on Etsy) via internet yarnie spaces.  In addition to being an amazing fiber artist, I really like her approach to ideas near and dear to my heart, like community, vulnerability...  Finding Chris was like finding kin, and I'm super happy she's a part of my tribe.

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In the course of our "getting to know yous", I came across the signature Threeravens BA Knitting Needles.  I was smitten.  I thought about all those funky chunky, bulky art yarns I love to spin and all the extra-large projects I'd seen/pinned/bookmarked, and I almost bought a pair on the spot.  I even had one of the Size OMG Crochet Hooks in my cart, though crochet is not my strength.  They're just THAT awesome.  But, me being me, I had to take it further.  I've had some pipe dream projects floating in my brain since I learned to spin, but hadn't found anyone with the tools to make them possible.  So, hoping for luck, I sent Chris a message to ask how deep this giant knitting rabbit hole might go.

Photo Credit:
Turns out Rob and Chris were able to make exactly what I needed for my super-sekrit mystery project(s)!  I believe these are called size 150, but "big ass needles" will suffice!  It was only a blink and a half between asking about possibilities and seeing realities.  Not only that, but since Threeravens is local, I lucked into personal delivery service, as well.  Tell me, am I not the luckiest?!  Not pictured: the cats and kiddos who tried their best to keep Rob and Chris at BabesterArts on a permanent basis.  We eventually let them go, but only because their incredible talent needs to be shared with the rest of the fiber arts community.

Today, we took the needles out to the trees to be properly welcomed into our space.  We were all impressed by both how light they were, and how well they held up to some exuberant play.   While they were designed to be tools, we couldn't help but have a bit of fun with them.  That's how we do things here.

Bitty missed the swordfighting playtime, but she'll get her chance to play with them soon enough.  Then it will be time to start the mind-bogglingly huge projects I have in store for these gorgeous new toys, which are art in their own right, IMO.  Can't tell you what's in store, but you already know one thing: it's gonna be...


Friday, April 5, 2013

The Scarlet N (A Rant)

Or maybe not.  I had a lengthy rant typed up, but I've decided against posting it.  The events that provoked it were ugly enough, and have been too spoon-stealing already, so I'm just going to have to try to put that nonsense behind me and walk on.  But I would like to say something(s) to/for anyone else who needs a reminder that they have, and deserve, a seat at the table.

Noobishness is a feature, not a defect.  It is not a sin.  It is not a violation of The Rules.  It is not a curse.  It is not a state deserving of snark and mockery.  It is an essential step on the path to anywhere worth going.  It was the stomping ground for all who are now "the elite", and will be the same for all who have yet to take their first steps.  It is what it is, and it's awesome, so relax and enjoy it.  No, one shouldn't misrepresent noob-level goods as being expertly made, or use noobishness as an excuse for known defects.  But neither should one feel that simply being new requires self-flagellation, heaps of guilt and self-doubt, and public outing of one's status lest "the experts" start a snarkfest (again).  You are not required to note that this is your first, fifteenth, fiftieth, or five-hundredth yarn/batt/product.  It is not essential information.  If the product has a known issue, that should be disclosed.  "Made By Noob" is NOT an issue that requires a warning label.  In fact, it may be exactly what someone is looking for.

To those who seem to enjoy snarking other artists, criticizing the work of strangers, posting "PSAs" that serve no one but themselves, "stomping hopes and dreams" and otherwise peeing in the community pool:
"Remember: It costs nothing to encourage an artist, and the potential benefits are staggering. A pat on the back to an artist now could one day result in your favorite film, or the cartoon you love to get stoned watching, or the song that saves your life.
Discourage an artist, you get absolutely nothing in return, ever." -Kevin Smith
If you want to be seen as a true professional, act like one.  You will have the community you support.


Passionate Amateur, Professional Noob, and extraordinarily bummed out