Friday, February 01, 2008

Fiber Friday 2/1/08

In honor of Gigi Silva (Monkey Toes, Momma Monkey) I am revisiting some fibery things I've dyed and spun in the color orange. I understand it to have been one of her favorite colors.

I'm not even sure anymore how the concept of Fiber Friday came to be, but I have been playing along for a few years now. I know a lot of other knitters and spinners do too.

It's a small treat on the day we most look forward to, but Fiber Friday also connects us to our traditions and to each other.

I consider the other fiber people I know through the internet, blogs and Ravelry to be my friends. We share our own language and culture, despite our vast diversity. (niddy noddy anyone?)

You, reading this right now, may be different from me in every way, except that you also like to look at pictures of pretty yarn. You know what it's like to stay up too late do "just one more row."

I know there were people 100 years ago who stayed up late knitting. I imagine there will be some in 100 years from now doing the same.

I am part of the cycle and so are you.

I learned to knit from my grandmother, when I was around nine years old. I learned to crochet about five years ago from my mom. I learned to spin, at a fiber festival in 2005. I plan on doing these until I go. If we are lucky, we get to teach these things to the next wave.

Last summer I taught kids at summer school how to knit, weave, kool-aid dye, spin, and braid. All summer I spotted kids reading Harry Potter with bookmarks they weaved on a cardboard loom, girls walking to class with handmade purses slung on their shoulders, kids collecting leaves and twigs in their bright felted bowls.

At lunch break I would see a cluster of girls I had just taught to make braids sitting in a circle, braiding each other's hair. After school, I saw a girl sprinting all over the yard, showing off the crazy wild hat she made. Before class one morning, I saw a boy teach another boy how to use a drop spindle, slowly, thoughtfully, and with focus.

It was just a job, but it felt really important.

I've been thinking a lot about the knitting community the last couple of days, since hearing about Gigi's passing. I didn't know her personally, but I feel like she was a friend. She was one of our own.

I encourage everyone to pass on what you know about knitting, spinning, weaving, crochet, felting, etc. as freely as possible. Yes, your time is valuable, but so is your legacy. This is a good year to get that book/vacation/fair isle sweater/business/your dream here/ off the ground!


Anonymous said...

Such a great post! I have been passing on the love of all things fibery to my son and sister. This weekend I will be teaching them how to drop spindle. One more link in the chain

Kari said...

I didn't know Mamma Monkey, but I feel sad, too... that our community has lost an amazing member. I also feel blessed by her, because her passing reminds us just how special we each all are, and how we should cherish every moment we have with each other.

Jennifer said...

Beautiful post. I couldn't agree more about sharing our love of fiber and the craft.

AR said...

Yes. I agree! Teach every kid you can, and adults, too. Beautiful oranges. I love orange. What a great post!

dragon knitter said...

i was taught to knit by my maternal grandmother, and to crochet, sew & quilt by my paternal grandmother (she lived a lot closer). i learned to spin froma woman who became a friend.

i, too, intend on doing all i can until i go (i'm planning on another 60 years!).

i go to my son's knitting club every wednesday, and it's amazing to watch someone "get" it. i've even taught my son (although he'd rather play video games!). it becomes magic all over again.