I’ve written before about how handy-work can be quite an effective form of meditation for those of us with minds that sometimes fight meditation.
The repetition of movement, the precision needed, and the concentration used helps clear my head. It’s not that I don’t think while doing this, I do, but it’s a quieter thinking. I don’t have the time to chase strong emotions or berate myself. With my hands busy a strong emotion may easily be noted and pass and I won’t be tempted to chase down its cause right then and there.
Let us now sing praise for 100¥ acrylic yarn…here for me at my time of need.
Without too many details, it’s been an unwelcome revisiting of the end of May 2019.
Vague story vague: within days two distinct circles of friends in different locations were revealed to contain two different types of horrible predators…and a lot of nasty information poured out of each. This week one of those two cases came to a settlement that involves only probation, no jail time, for a person who has torn through lives.
Cue the unwelcome few days of time travel none of us asked for.
And this brings me to the acrylic yarn. It’s not ALL the self-care but it is some of it.
I’m not the first woman in my family to find comfort in acrylic yarn.
My paternal Grandma Leah used to use the cheapest, squeekiest, most eye-hurtingest colors of acrylic yarn to knit and crochet hand scrubbers, sturdy foot “booties” and hard to explain dolls and toys…for cash or family.
Preferably craft-stall cash.
She lived with my father and step-family for years. We, family, all had these booties in inexplicable colors. Well, semi-explicable; they were the cheapest yarns for the best return on her investment of supplies. I also used to have a yellow and blue clown down with two distinctly different length legs where she’d just run out of yarn and ended.
Grandma Leah had a huge stash of different sources of patterns but it seems like the booties came from a hand-written letter from a neighbor. I have some of the letter but no more of the booties.
Once before I had to show someone how to make the slippers. It takes a long time to do it. I can’t read a pattern. I’ve never had one for the slipper. Thelma showed me how. I only know one way to show you.
I start with each step. I just hope your friend can follow the directions. They go fast. 1 3 1/2 oz of yarn will make a pair. They sell real fast at x-mas time. You can make a pair in an evening and more if you’re fast. They get $5.00$ a pair….
What I do to cheap acrylic yarn is a transformation in the opposite direction. Knitting builds up form. I take acrylic yarn and attack until it is broken down into thin synthetic fibers. This is time consuming.
What am I looking at?
- Upper left hand corner: Acrylic yarn.
- Upper right hand corner: Acrylic yarn that has been tethered to something and then brushed with a wire pet brush until it gives up hope. After this step comes using a flat-iron for hair set at 140.
- Lower left hand corner: the yarn fuzz after ironing, being cut free, lined up, and attached at one end with glue to create hair wefts.
- Lower right hand corner: building a wig from this insanity.
What doll is that and when did you make it?
Oh, yeah, I’ve been away from the blog. This is where I show you some of what I’ve been working on.
Googling tells me this Monster High doll is Twyla. She is a freshman student at Monster High and is a boogeyman, daughter of the Boogey Man, she lives in the Boogey Mansion. This specific Twyla is the “Coffin Bean” coffee shop release.
But to me, she’s one of the many used dolls I bought off a girl in America using a charity shop go-between.
Let’s check out what I did with her.
She’s loosely inspired by the aesthetics of Disney’s Haunted mansion.
I used the Rococo Hime Lolita dress pattern to create this outfit. If you’re thinking of using easy fraying fabric like I did….don’t. headaches.
I sanded off the “spirit swirls” or whatnot on her legs and used chalk pastels and acrylic to create a bat motif.
I created this wig with exhausted acrylic fiber, a syrofoam egg, a homemade wigcap, and a handful of things from the 100¥ shop.
Then it was time to repaint her face.
I repainted her shoes and added accents. Again, solid nod to 100¥ shops.
And finally, some earrings:
As for me, tonight I’ll be brushing, brushing, and brushing yarn and slowly creating wefts…allowing the feelings to come and they must…and focusing on what is really a low-stakes unessential and beautifully absurd addition to the strange world of things I make.
Because…this world has EVERYTHING.