For some crazy reason I've had music from En Vogue stuck in my head lately, I was never a particularly huge fan of them but I did have their CD and I really liked their song Free your mind. Part of the lyrics are "free your mind and the rest will follow" and well frankly this past weeks crafting projects definitely needed a mind that was free (not to mention my brain has been working a bit on overload since my diagnosis with MS last week so I could use a little break).
So I've made some crafting progress in the past week. I made a Tunisian crochet poncho out of my variegated green hand-spun yarn and it turned out warm and cozy. I've also developed a new obsession- free form knitting & crochet. No rules, just yarn, different needles and go! Freedom!!! Now that's my type of project. I took a free form crochet class last Friday at Debra's shop and it was a blast. Keep in mind, I'm a knitter, not a crocheter. I know how to chain and apparently how to do a single crochet but beyond that I have no idea what I'm doing. Crochet freaks me out, between the double, half double, treble stitches- well frankly its just too many stitches. Knitting is easy, everything is knit or purl and combinations of those two stitches. Now the crocheters may beg to differ but I like only having to deal with two stitches, however in free-form you can do whatever you want and it doesn't matter. So with yarn at the ready and a few of my favorite crochet hooks (yes I'm not a crocheter but I can't help it I like pretty crochet hooks) I was ready to go.
We started out forming a circle (I though I was doomed) luckily the infamous sock knitter the fabulous Martha was on hand to give me some encouragement and make sure I wasn't messing up too bad. Martha is a fabulous crocheter and a pretty awesome knitter too. She was one of the students in my sock knitting class and she is a total delight. I was so happy that we were both students together for this class. The divine Miss. Patsy was also in the free form class and as usual had some beautiful colors and textures picked out for her purse. I just love seeing how every ones projects were coming together. I learned early on that my "circle" was really more of a ruffly representation of a circle but it was free-form anyway so it didn't bother me one bit. By the end of class I looked like I had crocheted this but I was quite pleased with my psychedelic toxic jellyfish. The initial shape also reminded me of the heads on the figures pictured in some of the Coso Petroglyphs.
Well ever since Friday I've been "hooked" literally. Since I don't have to stress about following a pattern I love the freedom of just changing hooks, adding new yarns and textures and just following the existing form. I think the simplicity of just following the existing form is what soothes me the most since the past few weeks have been pretty stressful and I'm still coming to terms with the reality of having to live with this.
I also recently read this by Crazy Aunt Purl and it made me laugh so hard my stomach hurt. It was great to read about the misadventures that led to her discovery of knitting and I could relate to a lot of what she said about knitting being a calming force. Not to mention its something great to do when it feels like all of your troubles are going to consume you.
So by "freeing" my mind if you will for the free form crochet I've also had to free up some brain space to deal with some of the stress I've been facing. Needless to say manipulating yarn with hooks is a lot easier. I've also come to the realization this week that as scared as I am about having MS and all that entails I know that I've got a great group of people in my life that care about me. My family who knows me, loves me and is there for me. My group of friends who pretty much rock the house and are made up of some of the most talented, intelligent, creative, compassionate, silly women and men I know. My fur-family of my two cats and dogs who faithfully keep me covered in pet hair and are ready to assist with any new project I'm going to tackle. Best of all, my best friend, my hubby who, well, frankly, is pretty freaking cool. Where I'm irrational he's calm, when I'm up tight, he's silly. He can do the best John Black face ever and it makes me laugh (you have to be a Days of our Lives fan to understand the funny faces that the character makes when he is trying to be series, lets just say he does this funky eyebrow raise that makes him look anything but serious). I have a great group of people in my life and I'm so blessed.
So today I'm off for lunch with one of my bestest friends Matt and hopefully tonight I'll be back in force at the Tuesday night craft night.