Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Weaving In Ends

I don't know anyone who likes weaving in ends, whether it's on a piece that has been knitted, crocheted, hand stitched, hand sewn, or for that matter, in their lives. I have come to think that weaving in ends and our general displeasure with it, is a metaphor for something bigger.  Sometimes, getting to the end of something is great, like when you finish your last final exam, or take the last pill of a prescription because you have recovered,  but often, ends, are unpleasant.

This all comes to mind because of something rather frivolous.  The YarnCraft podcast ended.  I know, it's just a podcast.  I listened to that podcast from its first episode.  I didn't love them all, but I always listened.  Liz and Zontee were the initial hosts and when Liz left to have Teddy, her adorable baby boy, Michelle, took her place.  Even that, was a bit jarring because Liz and Michelle's styles were different. Be that as it may, the podcast carried on, generally, the same.  Although a podcast is a one-way medium, in the case of YarnCraft, there were plenty of opportunities to cyber interact. Something I posted to the blog was once mentioned on the show, which was cool.  When I heard the heads up that the podcast was going to end, and then listened to the last show, I  was deflated.  It felt like a lost friendship. 

I can well understand the reasons for the termination. I did over 100 episodes of my weekly and then twice-weekly Guitar Technique Tutor podcast.  It was a lot of work to organize the information, record, edit, syndicate, produce show notes, get them  up on the web site (which now reside on the Guitar Technique Tutor blog) and then, do it all again the next week (or every other week.)  I simply burned out.  I loved it. I made a lot of contacts, local and international. But when my life became more complicated, the burden was just too much to face, and I had to re-order my priorities.  I now blog the guitar end of my life, rather than podcasting.  I recall being touched by so many people emailing to say they were going to miss it.  But it was something I had to do. 

I'm going to miss YarnCraft's podcast.  

As I have been mulling all this over, I realize ends aren't something I like.  I don't like when favorite TV shows end their seasons and I really don't like when a great show ends. Most recently, I think of The Closer's unwelcome end after its fabulous 7th season. Sometimes, I wish a book that I'm enjoying would never end.  I don't like closing chapters of life. Putting away childish things and becoming an adult was an adventure, but surely there was a kind of loss.  The ends of friendships, and relationships, even if I have initiated them, have always been painful with accompanying frustration and misplaced feelings of guilt.  Then, the heavies are the ends, and here I mean the deaths, of  loved ones or  pets that have become members of the family. 

All these ends are there, and in our lives (or at least mine) and we need to deal with them.  We can thoughtfully weave them in neatly, we can just tie a knot and move on, or we can, ill-advisedly, make a mess of something that should conclude an era, event or activity with some semblance of grace. 

For me, the hardest part is weaving in ends.

Tea Time Score

Last week, I finally visited ScranBerry Coop, a market of sorts, that I have heard about for years and years.  It's in Andover, NJ and is somewhere bargain hunters, flea market fans, collectors, retro aficionados and  antique lovers need to visit, at least once. 

I'm a sealing wax user and collector of seals, hence my blog name (Sealed 4 Ever), so I hoped that I might find a seal I didn't have.  I didn't find a single one, but  that doesn't necessarily mean there weren't any at ScranBerry Coop. I might have not seen it.  There is so much, you can hardly take it in!

I did find a lovely luncheon set. Between us, I have rarely met a tea pot I didn't like.  I don't "collect" them, but rather, I use them.  I drink coffee out of a mug, but I like my tea out of a delicate, translucent cup that rests on a saucer.   One of the results of moving to a teeny apartment 5 years ago was that I had to part with several.  I kept my grandmother's shower gift Japanese set with tea pot, sugar, creamer, cups and saucers, 2 large Pristine (brand) English tea pots, a couple "tea for one" sets, my mother's tea cups, saucers,  sugar and creamer whose pot has been long gone, a couple of single tea cups and a Mikasa set of 2 tea cups and saucers and their matching sugar and creamer that I got in  the  '90's.   Yes, that's what I kept after disposing of more. 

Did I need the luncheon set?  Of course not.  But the value was there.  Here are the photos.  Granted, one of the  tea cups is missing, but still, this is a sweet set. (I have already used it.) Take a look:

The complete set

Luncheon Plate

Tea Cup

Creamer, that stacks on top of the Sugar Bowl

Sugar Bowl

Tea Pot (about a 4 cupper)

Mark: Phoenix China, Czechoslovakia

Pretty, right?  I'm not a big fan of yellow, but the color glaze is not solid yellow and the iridescence top glaze further dithers the yellow.   So the big question is, how much did it cost?  Surely, less than you're thinking.  How does $8.00 sound?  No, I didn't misplace the decimal.  $8.00.  And, I received a discount for paying in cash.   I have made a few good buy this year, but this was the bargain of  2013 for me.

The kettle is whistling.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

2013 Charity Yarn Crafting

I'm in the throes of holiday gift making.  Last year I pared it way down, and I will stick to the same plan this year - but pared way back still leaves me with a few gifts to make.  One thing I didn't pare back last year and didn't want to neglect this year was making hat and scarf sets for the residents at a shelter with which our church works closely, called Jericho Road.  Last year I made 2 sets and I did the same this year.  I just made a half double crochet set and a ribbed knit set. I eyeballed them. One set is a little larger (the knit set) and the other is  smaller, because not .  

I'm glad this aspect of my gift knitting and crochet is finished. Now that the clock has turned back, it's getting dark earlier and there are only a few weeks until Christmas, finishing has turned from a prime focus, to urgent.

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