I belong to three spinning "communities" online, and there are several other people who reside virtually in all three. One of whom I admire tremendously is Abby Franquemont. She carries a prodigious heritage with that name but she is a smart as a tack and has the ability to cut thru the crap and explain her viewpoint in superbly written prose. She and I have shared a few off-list comments and I have just discovered she has added my blog as a favoured link to her site. One of the groups (I can't keep them all straight) is having an ongoing discussion on "art yarns", i.e. what do you/I think is an "art yarn" and does it have any purpose or is it just there to look pretty. Distinguishing art yarn from novelty yarn can sometimes be difficult and some folks seem to find art yarns as super cool whereas I find the end of the spectrum as self indulgent at worst as whimsy at best. The end of the spectrum for me is something along the lines of 50 yards of something in multiple colours and materials so loosely spun (to allow it to be fluffy) that it is unusable for anything except to look at and fondle because it would probably fall apart if knitted, if not immediately soon thereafter. I could name names but I won't. I have been reading a big back run of Fiberarts and have seen a lot of "conceptual" craft work and while some of it really intrigues me and inspires me, some I find silly and/or self-indulgent. I am a crafts person who is 1) somewhat traditional in viewpoint, 2) practical in that I expect my products to be useful, 3) have been involved in textiles since I was old enough to hold a needle. I've done just about every craft except tatting and bobbin lace (my eyes aren't up to it) and weaving (soon to be addressed) and I just don't see the point of the fluffy colourful art yarns especially when somebody is trying to sell them fro $US50 for 50 yards. When I buy hand-dyed anything it's mostly because I'm too lazy to do it myself, not that I couldn't. I suppose the prices for such are aimed at those who can't, rather than at people like me who could but choose to spend my time doing something else. And there's so much something else to do!
I crashed and burned on Monday as the chutney production knocked me out. The prep work was very time consuming (peeling and chopping and so on) and I got 8 jars out of it. I still have plums but not the energy to do anything with them. The pears are about ready to fall off the tree but at least they are big enough to be edible. This morning my legs were simply on fire and still are not happy. I briefly thought about tackling the berry bushes and got stung by a wasp at the first cut and retreated after spraying the wasps' nest in the berry bushes. The painters are supposed to come today and then we can get carpet. We have backtracked to the original high-and-low berber wool carpet we saw earlier when we went back for a second look, having looked at a lot of carpet in between.
The cardigan is almost finished. The body has been blocked and shoulders joined but the instructions want me to sew the sleeves in before I do the button band which is knitted onto the garment in one piece. That's better than the add-on later kind but only just. Am on the toe of the second sock for the bear and can now knit something for ME!!