Tuesday, May 06, 2008


I changed my background color to match the blush roses climbing on my fence. I'm sure I showed them last year. Yes, here they are. This year I have even more, despite my lack of knowledge in the rose training area. Despite my lack of tender loving care, these heirloom roses that I started from cuttings are growing prolifically. A few buds were burned in the last frost, but most are near perfect?

Weeding the fence behind the roses is no walk in the park. Let me tell you. But having a wall of roses will be something to behold.

Do you think climbing roses are ugly in the off season? I've thought about this more than once, because I was thinking of growing them on all the fences, but they do look a bit unruly.

I'm knitting a sweater for my self with a silk, cotton yarn of this color (If you're a Ravelry person, you can see the details there. I'm tbwisteria). The yarn is expensive, not the most expensive by any means, but every 3 inches of sweater costs around $13 (I'm knitting in the round). Y'all needn't remind me that when I'm through knitting I will have spent a pile of money. You also don't need to remind me that I could have gone to a nice store and bought a similar sweater for less. I know. I know. The same goes for all the clothes I make for myself and princess, and for most home decorating projects.

What I do want to know . .

How is it that our raw materials prices have gotten so high, while our finished goods prices are lower? Much of the fabric and yarn are made with the same cheap labor used to make the finished goods. When I was young, many people sewed so they could have nice clothes cheaply. Wearing handmade clothes to school was not necessarily a positive. Now the only clothes that are more expensive than handmade are couture, which of course are handmade by the popular crowd.


Which leads us to the question of the day? Why do I do it? Why does anyone do it?

Does watching fabric grow beneath your needles from wonderful yarn have a price? Does creating a perfectly fitting garment have a price? Do I knit and sew for process? If I did, couldn't I just use some cheap stuff?

I noticed in the magazine, Interweave Knits (Winter 2007, because, yes, I am that far behind) which contains the pattern for my sweater, that Jove was quoted in the web watch section:
Since I have started knitting lace, I have found a use for the product. I now wear shawls. And have given shawls to people as gifts. . . . So while I knit lace primarily for the process, there is still some part of me that needs to see a use for the product.

Yep, at $13 plus dollars every three inches, finding a use for the product would be all important.

1 comment:

ZILLA said...

I love your definition of couture: handmade by the popular crowd.

Actually, as I understood the industry in the the 1980's, a more accurate definition might be "handmade by the poorly compensated employees of the popular crowd, who hoped to break into the popular crowd."

It's why I clung to Lee jeans when my girlfriends were all gaga for BB and CK -- that and the price tag.

Commodities are up, but manufacturing labor in other countries is still way down?

Myrt has a dress fitting today. She's described the dressmaker as "old country," and says if I take her a photo of a dress I like she can interpret the design to flatter me, specifically, and sew it herself. Sounds like my kind of artisan, but, you know ... I'm so content with prêt-à-porter it would be hard for me to shell out that kind of dough...even for a wedding. I'll have a look-see this afternoon when we visit the shop.

I think that all creative tasks have an inherent meditative quality to them, and the meditative quality is enhanced by beauty and quality of materials.

It's going to be a beautiful sweater.

The unruliness of climbing roses out of bloom is just another type of beauty. I miss my single climber from Zillahenge -- I miss the flowers, the thorns, the hips, and the leaves that turned from green to purple.

I say, plant the whole fenceline and embrace your inner wild-child!