finding beauty

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I won’t lie…this past year has been a rough, ugly one in so many ways. The past few weeks, I’ve let the ugliness get the better of me, sinking into a really low place while I frustratedly tried to finish up leftover work from last semester before this one started (which was today, and no, I’m still not done, though I did just finish one of the bigger things still hanging over my head, so I’m feeling a temporary sense of accomplishment), despite not really feeling any better than I felt when I took the extensions in the first place. The fact that our weather has been about as dreary as is possible has only intensified the feeling of ugliness. But there have been a few moments where I’ve looked out the window and caught a glimpse of a little bit of beauty in the wet, grey environment.

dreary/beautiful

The flicker of droplets strung along the branches of the red bush in our backyard, like strands of holiday lights, or the haunting appearance of backlit clouds…beauty really does lie in some pretty unexpected places.

Speaking of beauty, since I was playing with the mosaic-maker anyway in order to make that picture, I decided to finally make a “flickr-favorites” mosaic of my own, since I’ve been admiring them every time I see someone post one. So, here’s my most recent favorites from flickr:

Recent Favorites

1. SSAV Swatch- Final, 2. 277, 3. Crafting 365:1 – Autumn Leaves, 4. Smokin’ Jacket, 5. Matt’s The Fog Sweater, 6. tailored jacket, 7. New sweater – Fín í nýju peysunni, 8. anais, 9. Bridie, 10. kainuun lapaset 2, 11. Doublemassa, 12. allan’s mittens, 13. Poetry in Stitches – Peony Cardigan finished, 14. 10.29.07 I find out I have a NEW JOB… and I’m wearing a sweater I just designed!, 15. I used to knit a lot…, 16. Öld, 17. Blocked & ready to rock, 18. Formerly known as Martha, 19. anise front, 20. Finullvottene ferdige, 21. Latvian Mittens #4, 22. Joy – Rowan Vintage Knits, 23. Viking Forecast Cardigan, 24. Little Rivers, 25. Very Terhi

I am slightly amused by the fact that everything in this mosaic is knitting related, with the exception of a lizard (if you like the lizard, though, you should go check out Stacey’s Galapagos photos). I recently took a little “stroll” through the Knitting Art group on flickr, which is where the majority of these pictures come from. I highly recommend it, if you’re looking for inspiration.

I’ve been thinking a lot about what my tastes are in terms of knitting patterns, colors, yarns, and so forth. Basically, just trying to figure out who I am as a knitter. And I think this little mosaic is pretty representative. I tend to favor earthy colors (browns, greys, greens, blues, golds, with some deep purples and burgundy thrown in for good measure), and in recent months, have been finding myself more drawn to the darker, richer versions of these colors over the brights which have been my obsession at times. I also am drawn to traditional knitting, whether it be in the form of stranded colorwork or cables and twisted-stitch patterns. In fact, I can probably count on one hand the number of “modern” designers I am consistently drawn towards: Norah Gaughan (for her ingenious use of mathematical inspirations and unusual constructions), Veroník Avery, Solveig Hisdal and Eunny Jang (for their interesting updates on traditional and classic styles). That’s not to say that there aren’t any other designers I like…far from it, in fact, if you look at some of the patterns up above, but overall, my greatest inspiration comes from traditional knitwear. I’m getting better and better at knowing what sorts of silhouettes and colors suit my style (which is a sort of practical, outdoorsy, somewhat sporty style, I’d say), and knowing when a certain pattern, no matter how lovely it looks when knit up and worn by others, is simply not for me. And conveniently for me, most of the things that appeal to me, in terms of the end product, I also really enjoy the process of knitting. The ideal combination of process and product. Beautiful.

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7 thoughts on “finding beauty

  1. Beautiful, indeed! I’ve been thinking a lot about my personal style as a knitter, as well. Not that I’ve come to any grand conclusions, but it’s been fun and fruitful to think about.

    Best wishes for your health, and for continuing to find beauty even in the glum winter. Your photos are really lovely.

  2. here’s hoping 2008 is a better year for the both of us. 2007 was pretty sucky for me as well. i’m guessing that the worst is now behind us! may i ask when your birthday is?

  3. My iguana made the cut! :) I’m honored to be teh only non-knitting photo!

    Some of those fair isles are beautiful. They are just my colors too – I tend to gravitate (for garments anyway!) to more autumn colors like you. I’ll have to check that Knitting Art group out. Amazing.

  4. Good for you for seeking out beauty amid the glum and grey. I think you did a spectacular job of it. The droplets on the red bush pictures are truly striking.

  5. I’m so sorry it’s been rough on you lately. It’s wonderful that you can find the beauty in things. Thanks for including Matt’s picture in your favorites!

  6. 2007 has been such a weird year for so many people I know (including myself), for all our sakes I hope 2008 is much better.

    I just stopped by to say thanks for including my mittens in the mosaic.

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