Saturday, October 21, 2006

The Word "Studio" Scares Me.

In comments below, Bess referred to the Office Soon to be Known as the Craft Room as a Studio. And that made me pause, and I spent 24 hours thinking about why. I think it has to do with messages received as a child, that things like Studios were not for People Like Us. We are serious, dull people, not artsy. This is best evidenced by the fact that my father was deeply disappointed that I started college as an English major (as un-serious as I'd dared to get) and always sighed over how I didn't study something sensible, like Accounting, even though I think balancing a checkbook manually is torture. (I was born for online banking, it is a gift from heaven, but I digress.) I was groomed to be serious, and serious people don't have studios. We are serious people and we lack creativity and it would be pretentious and living way above our station to have a freaking studio. We did have sewing rooms. Which were also full of yarn and other things. But that's just woman stuff, it's not art.

Even if our actual family tree is creaking under the weight of people who take pictures and work as graphic artists and crochet works of art and paint and whatever, usually in their spare time because they all have regular serious jobs too, even if my own father amused himself by drawing a fake window on the chalkboard in his gray, dull 1970s Commerce Dept. office, changing the view regularly, he was NOT artistic! He was just Being Silly! "Studio" was a word that would get mocked cruelly if I'd said it out loud as a kid. Something I read in a magazine. It reeked of wifty silly artsy fartsy all those traits that were held up for mockery if I showed any signs of them. So when I saw it in writing, I had a momentary flash of bad childhood things. I'll stick with Craft Room while I work on getting over that.

The giant computer armoire has gone away on consignment and there is a big empty where it used to tower. I think I'll print and frame some of my favorite Asheville pics, they'd fit nicely in that space. I haven't moved the computer and desk and all that stuff, I may find the energy to do it tomorrow. It's a daunting task, and it involves putting a splitter on the line coming in behind the Bigass Redneck TeeVee, and hoping the signal is strong enough, or I have to call a tech and pay money, and did I mention the AC needs service? Yeah, it does.

I moved, cleaned, and mopped my ass off (would that it were true) today. Maybe I'll wake up all bright and perky as hell and move all my office crap tomorrow, or maybe it'll happen next weekend.

Actual Knitting Content:

Interweave Knits Holiday Gifts is a big winner. I have reached the point where I pick most magazines off the rack, thumb through in 45 seconds without my glasses, and if my speed-thumbing is "eh," back on the rack that sucker goes. This one made me buy. Lots of good stuff in it, an afghan that grabbed me, cute scarves, and an adorable crochet slipper pattern. But that one makes me ask this question: Why, oh WHY, when magazines show crochet, do they pick these garish color combinations for the models? Those slippers would have looked so much nicer in shades of girly pinks or purples, or gender neutral reds, blues, greens - why on earth do them in high contrast that doesn't really add anything to the simple slipper style? Picture it in shades of soft plum, darkest on the bottom, lighter in the middle, maybe if you're daring an even lighter color on the top. Or not. Go back to the dark. Make them a solid color throughout. Adorable. In three random screaming colors, not so much.

Dear Editors: Respect the Crochet. Other countries have crochet patterns that rival the best knit designs, but our magazines, even when the design is GOOD, present it like it is an afterthought. You have to look past the ugly to see the bones of the design way too often, and often there is no reason for the colors chosen. And as the granddaughter and grandneice of crochet goddesses I have seen how lovely it can be, and this disrespect of crochet in this country really PISSES ME OFF! Thank you.

I finished Boy's scarf while it was well above 90 today (hence the immediacy of the AC service need). October 21 and over 90 degrees. Yes, I've had enough.


Paper Tiger said...

So who do you like for crochet designers? I keep looking around for stuff to inspire me to be better at it, but my favorite crochet things have been from Eddie Bauer lately...

Geogrrl said...

All I could think, reading about your parents is how much they--particularly your father--must have been repressed and ridiculed themselves as children if they showed any signs of being "artistic". Sad how these behaviours perpetuate.

I agree about crochet--always shown in yarn weights too heavy for the design and ugly colours/colour combinations. What's up with that?

Bess said...


Studio! Studio! STUDIO!

Yep. Yep. It's a studio. You are worthy. Art matters. Not instead of but along with accounting.

How glad I am that you have a studio er.... Crahft Roooooom, dahling.

ellen said...

It's definitely a studio! I agree on the crochet issue. What I find hard to understand is why there are so many cute crochet garments in nice stores and no similar patterns available at all. Every time I see a new crochet book come out I hurry to check it out, but it always turns out to be the same vile granny square crap. So far, anyway.