Thursday, June 30, 2016


Le Lauragais, in the Midi, in France. Walking across vast meadows, cut once in late May and now covered with a short gruffy aftermath, again offering visual protection for field mice darting through the new growth of grass and weeds, I think of the seasons passing year after year, eternally changing, coming and going, surviving us all.

A deer feasting on fresh green grass
I see the deer stepping out of nowhere, feeding on the new grass in the coolness of the evening. A summer meadow flower smell fills the air. I feel acutely homesick for the landscape although I have not even departed yet. I miss the feeling of belonging to this place we will have called home for so long - while I am still there and departure is but a remote day away. Ambivalence might come close to our state of mind.
There are not enough words to describe the feeling of loss and how I dread the time when for inevitable reasons that loss of our paradise becomes real and inevitable. I wish....     Cut.

Salix integra ""Hakuro Nishiki"; Harlekinweide / Zierweide, Saule
Relocating, again. Physically and mentally. This time it is different, circumstances dictated the move. We are heading for a life - a different life - in a city, in Berlin, one of the largest capitals in the world, a sprawling city of more than 3.5 million people, one third of its territory covered by forests, parks, gardens, and rivers. I am discovering private and public  gardens and consider them mine for the viewing.
Bridges: scarf with drop stitch ladders connecting cables
Garden flowers, so different from the wealth and unbridled abundance of wild flowers, so colorwheel-composed and arranged and yet not conveying the same impression of nature's harmony. Tamed for a purpose. Different. Bits of nature parcelled out to alleviate concrete monotony. Showcases in most places, gardeners tending designed gardens, meadows turned weedless lawns, wild flowers replaced by suitable soil and climate-adapted flower arrangements. But still - flowers and 440.000 trees, lovely boulevards and a surprising number of smaller parks contributing to the "green lung" of Berlin.

Bridges: scarf with drop stitch ladders connecting cables
Reapproaching textile work  - it is difficult these days. The now omnipresent conflicts in the world, the wars, and flight and plight of the refugees streaming into Europe, the rising of nationalistic parties in many countries, the presently apparent political chaos caused by the nation-splitting referendum in England - all of this makes it difficult to settle down to something seemingly inanely normal such as textile crafts, I almost feel guilty sitting down with my needles and yarn and concentrate on lacy pattern with a more or less intricate repeat...

Above: An off-white scarf made of ivory-colored mohair and the finest Chinese natural silk and Moroccan embroidery silk, three cables connected by drop-stitch bridges. Just right for days in spring with a northern breeze.

Moroccan Embroidery Silk - adding hues of color to other yarns
Below: Dipping into my huge stash, the approaching summer called for an intensely colorful scarf. It is knit lengthwise. CO on a multiple of 18. Roughly following a Feather and Fan pattern. Meanderings in bright colors and crazy lacy stitch patterns, alternating needle sizes and yarn gauge. If you are uncertain about gauges, this is a good site to get acquainted with yarn calculations. Color mix: of course nature is way ahead of me, could have added a million more colors! Just follow your mood...

Glitzy freeform wrap / scarf for Hélène
Britzer Garten (Berlin)
I thought it might be interesting to introduce a number of famous Berliner personalities:
1) Journalist, writer, author, satirist: Kurt Tucholsky "The New York Times hailed him as "one of the most brilliant writers of republican Germany. He was a poet as well as a critic and was so versatile that he used five or six pen names. As Peter Panter he was an outstanding essayist who at one time wrote topical sketches in the Vossische Zeitung, which ceased to appear under the Nazi regime; as Theobald Tiger he wrote satirical poems that were frequently interpreted by popular actors in vaudeville and cabarets, and as Ignatz Wrobel he contributed regularly to the Weltbühne, an independent weekly that was one of the first publications prohibited by the Hitler government."
This is from a poem (1924) on travelling through places and times: 

Die Kinder lärmen auf den bunten Steinen. 
Die Sonne scheint und glitzert auf ein Haus. 
Ich sitze still und lasse mich bescheinen 
und ruh von meinem Vaterlande aus.

Children play noisily on the colorful rocks.
The sun is shining, rays glistening on a roof.
I am sitting quietly, basking in the sun
and take a rest from my fatherland


Lynn Ross said...

This is beautiful in every way - nostalgia, acceptance and the resulting creativity. We are fortunate who can respond to change in textiles and express ourselves with form and colour and 'speak' to friends and other artists who understand the flow. Love you xxx

Sarah said...

So eloquently described my inner frame of mind dealing with my recent changes. Unsettled. But, you are amazing and strong--my true inspiration. I love seeing the world through your unbiased lens.

Mardi said...

That's a beautiful new scarf and it'll look wonderful on whoever you're making it for. And they'll love it! Keep your spirits up, we all need to be strong. The world we know is changing rapidly and loving friends and family are more important than ever. Hugs and love!