Monday, April 23, 2007
It all starts with a mild mannered bag. I wonder what could be in it.
But surely that's all, right? Well, I mean, other than my unmated socks.
Oh, and the Somewhat Cowl I've been somewhat working on.
Oh, yes, and my first floor sock.
Er, and my second floor socks (currently living on a futon on the third floor of all places). It's also apparently reading some Anais Nin. Goodness; it seemed like such a well-behaved sock.
Um, and those simple socks I started for Shoryl, that turned out to be not so simple, abandoned the instant the yarn for the rainbow socks got here.
And the rainbow socks themselves, posing with a kindred spirit.
Whew! Who needs to start something new; all I need to do is finish something once in awhile!
Saturday, April 21, 2007
Cory!! had some excellent thoughts on tradition last time. I’ll address his comments more fully in another post (since they’ve generated a thought for a new post all on their own). But particularly, I’m fond of his assignment of all those “tradtions” that aren’t really traditions but are more important than habits, as being rituals. Now, being a member of a highly ritualized religion, I’m a bit embarrassed that it didn’t occur to me. Ritual has connotations of repetition, purpose, and forethought. Perfect for what I was looking for.
This week, we’re going to talk about family. I’ve been thinking a lot about family lately. It’s my 30th birthday next week, and as a present to myself, I’m bringing my father up to see me. I’ve also managed to somewhat reconnect with my matrilineal family. And, I’ve been learning to live with Shoryl’s family. It makes me wonder how I define “family” (independent of the dictionary this time), and what creates that sense of family, as opposed to friendship or love.
First Circle: by Blood
There’s an easy and logical place to start. My father is family, because he’s directly related to me. Likewise with my aunts, cousin, and grandmother from my mother’s side. They’re related family, easily traceable, easily recognizable.
Now, there are people who I am directly related to by blood, that are not on that list. And I would not consider them family. My father has three brothers, each of whom I’ve met a handful of times, if that. They have spouses, and children. I don’t consider them family, either. Likewise, there’s a scattering of second cousins, great aunts, and assorted other members of the family tree on my mother’s side. Frankly, it seems silly to consider someone “family” if I can’t recognize them on the street.
I have a feeling this is different from many of you; I’ve heard of things like family reunions, but they’ve never been a part of my world. Perhaps when my dad is here in town, I’ll ask him why ours was never a close-knit family.
Second Circle: by Marriage
Once we settle the issue of family by those we are related to, marriages come into play. This naturally falls into two categories: yours, and everyone else’s.
In my family, my father has been married three times. The first was my mother, who qualified (of course!) as family-by-blood. The second woman, mercifully, I was only required to call family until she and my father divorced. And there is no way I consider that woman family any longer. Much like a tourist, she was part of our lives for a brief time, and then gone. The third woman, his current wife, married my father after I left home. Yet, she is definitely family. Other members of my family have married and divorced over the years, but they don’t have spouses now. And, in my family, and ex-spouse is not family. (Frequently also never talked about again.)
My own marriage made me family-by-marriage in Whitefox’s family. And, of course, made him a part of my family. Whitefox’s family did an admirable job trying to accept me and make me feel welcome. Yet, I never really felt like I belonged to them. They were trying to make me a part of their family, but I never considered myself part of theirs. Likewise, Whitefox was never really a part of my extended family. Part of this was due to the distance we lived from my family, and the infrequent contact. Part of it was that my family had a rather … unfavorable view of the marriage.
Dan’s family seemed to be setting themselves up to be my family, when the (in their minds) eventual marriage took place. They also tried to welcome me, but I knew that there was sort of a hidden agenda there. They wanted to see him married. So I was given status as somewhat less than a wife, until such time as that could be remedied. Since it obviously was not, his family and I really no longer have any contact. Indeed, we never had any real contact with one another excluding Dan. We were never family to one another.
Third Circle: by Adoption
Oh, I know what the dictionary means when it says “adoption” – adoption of children by parents. And if anyone in my family were adopted, it would be as if they were blood family.
But I chose my own methods of adoption, and here’s where it really gets tricky considering what is and what isn’t family (or familial obligations). Because Shoryl’s family, for instance, has accepted me with open arms, despite the fact that a marriage would take several acts of legislation. And I’m not just part of Shoryl, either. They have, apparently, accepted me as part of the family proper. Whether or not this would remain true if Shoryl and I stopped seeing each other is debatable, but for the moment, I am family to them. And they are family to me.
Here’s a telling difference, in my world: Whitefox and I lived with his parents for almost a year, and I was miserable every moment. Whenever we went to go see them after that, I was always slightly uncomfortable. I also had the opportunity to meet much of Dan’s family. And, despite how welcoming they seemed to be, I was never comfortable there, always standing on ceremony or retreating shyly into a corner. But here I am, happily living with Shoryl and her sister and her father. The house is a peaceful one. Not only has Shoryl’s family adopted me, but I’ve also adopted them.
Maybe that’s really at the heart of it. Family is a two-way street. Whitefox’s parents would have said I was family. Would I have said they were mine? No, probably not. Would my extended relatives claim kinship with me? It’s questionable, but some might, where I would not. Everyone in a family needs to think the same thing: we are family. Because you can claim someone is part of your family, and even treat them like they are, but if they don’t feel that same connection with you, it’s not family.
**This has been an opinion courtesy of SilverRose. If you’re still here, I’m grateful. Comments, thoughts, and arguments fervently requested.
Thursday, April 19, 2007
The sock has accompanied me everywhere. Here, you see it enjoying a pleasant night of gaming last night:
There are few bumps in the road ... weaving in ends, tensioning stripes, making socks to fit Shoryl, hoping I don't run out of yarn... but so far?
I am completely infatuated.
Monday, April 16, 2007
I was going to tell you all about my weekend, and what's going on in my life, but this completely trumps that recitation:
This is the genesis of what could end up being a SilverRose original. (I know, I keep taunting you with the idea that maybe someday I'll design.)
Shoryl mentioned, off-hand, on Easter that maybe she would like rainbow socks. Now, I've never had a partner that is willing, nay, wants me to knit for them before, so I certainly wasn't going to pass that up. After doing some desultory searching for rainbow varigated yarn, Shoryl then mentioned that she might like stripes. Oh, and maybe some triangles?
Enter Ray. Ray is the wonderful, words-can-not-describe man behind Knitivity. (Go now, buy some.) He graciously offered to help me put together a special package of the "crayon box" colors I was looking for, in 100% fingering weight wool. The package arrived today, and the colors are amazing, and the hand of the yarn is wonderful. See that extra light green in there? That's the green I had chosen with the help of my crappy work monitor. Ray included both greens. Use the one you like best, he says, and use the other in another project. Ray? Should have trusted you. So go take a look (psst! He's got hand painted yarns....). This is me enabling you.
Me? I'm going to sit here and wind yarn into cakes, then cast on for Shoryl's socks.
Edited to add: And they're center pull skeins! That really work!
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
It was my first Easter with Shoryl and her family. And while Shoryl and I are not Christian, we still celebrate. Quite possibly this is because it would take a miracle to keep StemmedRose out of the kitchen.
The dishes were similar to what I'm used to from my childhood, but then again different. I sense a post about holiday observations and regional food somewhere in my mind; we'll see what comes of it.
But StemmedRose sets a lovely spread, fit to feed, as Shoryl says, "a small but hungry platoon). Shoryl, StemmedRose, and Pops are obviously thrilled to be sitting for one insane blogger:
If you look closely, you can see a partial image of your favorite SilverRose in the curio mirrors.
Today is April 11th, and while it doesn't really hold any special meaning for me any more, it does serve to illustrate what bizarre things hang on in our memories, even when we could use the room for something else. I happen to know that my very first "boyfriend" (I was 15, the quotes are necessary) is turning 30 today. Now, there were several in between then and now that I can't remember, but for some reason, I remember his. Slainte, Dennis, wherever you are.
And, hello? April 11? Past Easter? When we're all supposed to be wearing white shoes? Look what happened today:
Those of you who know me know that I'm all but dancing in the streets for joy. All those little six-and-eight-legged critters that I detest so much were lured into a false sense of safety, tricked out of their warm hideyholes, and then brutally murdered, suffering to the end. Just brings a warm glow to your heart, doesn't it? Er. Moving on...
I have been knitting lately, if not very much. (And not very faithfully - I've been skipping from project to project.) I'm roughly more than half the way through the short row heel for RPM and I gotta say ... I'm pretty impressed with this heel. It's looking a lot prettier than the first short row heel I ever did.
If I am diligent (but when am I ever), I could finish up this sock in time to start a new project I have planned. (HA! I say, to second sock syndrome. I laugh in your direction. I will use my sock needles for something else, and come back to RPM later.) Ahem. It is not wise to taunt the knitting goddess when I have 4 unmated socks patiently awaiting my attention.
But the yarn has to get here before I can start my next project. Want a hint?
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
The part of my bedroom I've completed:
My desk. Look, that's my entire To Be Read pile. I dunno, it looks so nice up there that I might need to make sure I always have, um, 54 books I need to read. (It was so much less daunting before I counted them.) The red arrow is directing your attention to the computer knitting sock, RPM, in it's own basket.
The part that's not done:
Uh, yeah. That would be everything that goes in my bedroom that doesn't go on the desk, since the desk is the only piece of furniture in the room so far. But the furniture is coming on Thursday, I'm looking at paint swatches, and I bought a bedspread. Soon, it will be an actual bedroom, and not just a rather sparsely furnished echo chamber.