The string bag that I was working on here had aspects of 'mud pie' from its inception, due to the liveliness of the hemp and the loose veil stitch and the handle in Tunisian crochet which was leaving one edge quite jaunty.
So it was a natural to pick up and work upon on my birthday, recently, the perfect day in the year that invites and encourages celebration of self (and of mother!).
A 'mud pie' project; a 'mud pie' attitude; a 'mud pie' result : incredibly satisfying.
Anything goes. There is no right or wrong way. The body is allowed freedom to feel more than think. Fostered by the "it's my birthday - I can do what I wish" comfort.
The handles got attached almost with eyes averted - actually, with eyes mostly averted - because with the loose stitch on the body of the bag it would have been very picky to try to line everything up. The fingers did it. One side attached longer. Since I was joining with a single crochet stitch I pulled it back out (if it was a sewn stitch that needed to be unsewn I likely would have left the varied length) and bunched it up a bit to fit.
When it was done I did not weave in the ends. They may get tucked into the bag but maybe with knots here and there.
When it was done I had the feeling one gets after making mud pies in the garden from the earth and water and a few stones or twigs for texture and flavour, then formed into shapes and put on a piece of board or a flat rock and left until dry in the sun and the wind. As I did many times as a child and a summer or two ago.
The added element was that, while the mud pies could not be eaten, the bag could certainly be used. And it has been. Contentedly.
This apron, which was old (somebody's grandma's) when I got it at a garage sale, has served me well for many years both in the kitchen and in the garden.
I got to wondering how it would translate into an article of clothing like a vest or tabard.
A cotton canvas material - a shower curtain, actually - (thank you, Tracey) - had the drape and the substance to suit the purpose.
The original apron was used as a template and tweaked here and there; the edges left free; one-up-one-down pockets added.
The issue of getting it on and then having to adjust the straps 'behind your back', so to speak, was solved by stitching the straps in the optimum position.
I am finding - once again - that an item of clothing, when it has undergone a re-purposing, retains part of its original use, more so, perhaps, in the original form (as in if I had worn the apron as a vest or jumper) but also when mimicked in other fabric.
This intrigues me. I suspect it has to do with energy (what doesn't!).
An 'apron memory' is in this piece of clothing. A sense of the garden, of the kitchen, of household pleasantries.
One of those step-back-and-watch-what-you-are-doing kind of things that gives rather a delightful different perspective on life: another string bag is in the making.
The majority of the bag is that mass to the right of the orange chunky needles - it's hemp yarn knit in the ubiquitous (at least to me) purse or veil or lattice stitch (Yrn fwd, k2tog on an even # of stitches) to give a rectangle about 12" by 18". The plan is to now make a handle in Tunisian crochet which will allow the rectangle to become the front and back of the string bag with the handle looped down on both the front and back and becoming the sides but not doubling across the bottom.
The first trial with the large'ish wooden crochet hook and Tun. crochet looked too big and not enough of a contrast to the front and back. Without ending the yarn the next was to knit in purse stitch but on smaller knitting needles. This gave more of a contrast in size but not enough in texture. Then came the idea to do Tun. crochet with a much smaller hook. Yes.
The process - and here is the part where I know because I was 'watching' - was sequential but with pauses to ponder; a wander outdoors to see what was going on without barriers (I could be feeling a breeze from Japan or seeing a butterfly from Mexico and for sure experiencing the sun unfiltered); hotten up the tea; check the calendar to confirm the time of an afternoon appointment and then write it on my hand in case I forgot again while out on errands; stuff like that. During all this there was the ongoing evolution of the solution to the handle issue. The next three stages. The focus. I like that.
Sort of like being pregnant. You get on with life but you know you are 'under construction'. Last time I was pregnant was thirty years ago but I recall that sensation. The process.
Anyway, the string bag handle is now about 2/3 done. Attaching it to the bag may be a bit of a challenge.
Nature, human and otherwise, is endlessly interesting in all aspects from appearance to behaviour and tends to keep my eyebrows raised in observation. Today the wonder has to do with a wasp.
That damp spot on the piece of wood is where the wasp in question was sitting but flew away when I raised my camera to takes its photo.
It was covered in nectar from the hummingbird feeder. It had begun cleaning the sugary coating from its antennae. Having wings that a cake decorator would understand did not seem to hamper its flight.
That is intriguing enough.
But when I explain that this is the hummingbird feeder and that wasp was inside it, in the nectar, for two days - well, I hope your eyebrows have lifted as well.
I saw the wasp in the feeder and peered in at - it wasn't moving - so I assumed it was dead and did not rush to rescue it. I noticed it the next day a few times but was too busy to remove it.
This morning, when I took the feeder down intending to change the nectar and give the wasp a 'sweet' burial, I found the wasp very much alive, splashing away, very eager and quick to climb up onto the stick I immediately offered it. It then sat on that stick for perhaps twenty seconds while I went for the camera. Then it flew away. !!!!!! ?????
It's here and there in the garden and fascinates me with its texture and structure and colour and - beauty! I had wondered if I could spin with it....
A google search (and how tangenty that can be!) seemed to bring more questions than answers.
Still have no idea if I can spin with it or how to prepare the plant to produce fibre for spinning.
Many medicinal uses are given but no actual method of doing so is given and caution is muchly given. The dinosaurs are said to have eaten it.
It is said to grow "as far north as Canada." Uh- huh.
It is said to be good for scrubbing pots.
In my garden (Canadian - a hop across ocean in a northerly direction from the "as far north....") it is considered a weed to be pulled before it takes over. In California it is used in minimalist gardens and in dry gardens and in rock stream bed gardens with its features appreciated.
So, for the moment, the horsetail that trotted indoors with me this morning is now in a vase and making a statement of bouquet.