The Fiber Side of Village Books

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Unnecessary Struggles

My mind is buzzing with new projects - from paintings to public sculptures.  All of these include knitting or other needlework, of course.  This morning I sat in Village Books awaiting the "Sunday morning rush" & trying to jam a gesso'd canvas into a large (but flimsy) embroidery hoop. (Don't ask...)

And it set me thinking.

As an artist and as a woman, I'm constantly trying to do things that require more than two hands.  Stretching canvasses, walking two goats, knitting my Shetland shawl together, frying 14 cheeseburgers for the crew at get the picture.  How is it that we have all arrived at this place in time where we mostly are on our own?  I think of the people I know who farm alone.  We run businesses alone.  Alone, my husband cuts down large trees in the forest.  We drive long distances alone. Build sheds alone. Sometimes we raise children alone.

Long ago, when farming thrived and clothes were made by weaving or knitting and paints were hand-ground, humans were surrounded by EACH OTHER.  And helping was part of what one did.  Nowadays, we have to force ourselves outside of our little spheres and contact each other - by mail (snail or e), by phone, by Facebook, by blog, by walking up the street, by driving across town.

It's harder.  But not impossible.  So I tell myself: don't forget to ask for help.  Don't forget your neighbors.  Don't be afraid to grab a surly teenager & request assistance. Don't go into the forest alone. There is no need.

Think I'll call Kathy.


  1. Once, years ago when a friend was visiting we went to the laundromat and I discovered it was FUN to do laundry with a friend!

    Karen dear, thank you for your delightful company on all my trips. Much much more fun to be on the road with you! In fact things that wouldn't be fun at all, like losing electricity in the motel in February, were fun.

    Looking forward to Fiber Frolic!

  2. What an excellent point you made here. So much work done all alone and it's ridiculous, because my husband is here 24/7. Maybe he's not crazy about holding this or that still for a sec, guiding yarn while I wind up a ball, or shining light from a extra lamp for a photo, but he doesn't mind. So I should more often ASK already!

  3. You are so right. Having just needed to ask our farming neighbour for help (again!) in our race to get the hay finished before the weather broke, and having apologised to him for asking for help for the third year in a row, his attitude was "I'm your neighbour. Of course you must ask for help. I'm always here to help you." We forget sometimes, I think, how inherently GOOD most people are, adn also that asking for help is not a sign of weakness!