Wednesday, January 14, 2009

"Half-sick of Shadows"

Lady of Shalott by John William Waterhouse.

With all this movie watching, I have made great progress on my afghan. I'm on row 53 of 66 rows. Then there are two rows of edging that go around the entire thing. Then I have to make fringe, and I can honestly say that is something I have never done before.

Here is its evolution so far.

Here is my inspiration.
When it's finished, I'll post a pic like the one above, in all its glory.

Crocheting is how I justify watching lots of movies. My little afghan is long enough to cover my feet and warm me up while I sit there. This afghan was going to be a gift for someone who has since gone out of my life. So I set the project aside for awhile until I made up my mind to finish it as a gift for my own home.
Lady of Shalott by John William Waterhouse

At times as I work on it, I have felt like Arachne, the weaving goddess who got turned into a spider.
"Arachne or Dialectics" by Paolo Veronese (

Or the Lady of Shalott, from Tennyson's poem, weaving her tapestry as life goes by outside her window.
But in her web she still delights
To weave the mirror's magic sights,
For often through the silent nights
A funeral, with plumes and lights
And music, went to Camelot;
Or when the Moon was overhead,
Came two young lovers lately wed.
"I am half sick of shadows," said
The Lady of Shalott.
--Alfred Lord Tennyson

Lady of Shalott by John William Waterhouse

Or the weaving nornir (norns) of Norse mythology, who spin and weave the fates of all people. But if all that were true, then my family would be whole again.

The nornir weaving the fate of humankind by Arthur Rakham

I just hope I am not like Tita in Like Water for Chocolate, who baked her tears into dishes, and all who ate the food began to cry. She did the same with her anger, desire and passion. I hope that those who take warmth under my blanket experience my determination and not my heartache.
But really, what I weave are words.
Lady of Shalott by William Holman Hunt


Anonymous said...

Hi K! Now I know where the name 'Arachnaphobia' stems from. Freud said people who are afraid of spiders are afraid of sex... However, I don't like them spiders, no matter which size *yuk* As always have you managed to find an interesting theme to entertain us, K! I was gonna say, as much work as you put into this afghan you're not planning on giving it away, are you? Have a nice evening and I can't wait to see a pic of your finished work (are you gonna sew some fluffy blanket or other material on the back?). R.

Indie said...

Note to self: ask Freud what it means to be deathly afraid of crickets? I'm not but two of my closest friends are.

Nope, I'm keeping it. It matches the living room.

Ernie Branscomb said...

You would like to talk to my wife Janis, she makes everything out of fleece that she cleans, dyes, roves, and spins herself.

She has a rather interesting collection of "Spinny-Weavy Crap".

Indie said...

Ernie wrote "she cleans, dyes, roves, and spins herself." That is amazing! Here I am feeling all accomplished with my store-bought yarn. What is beautiful about what Janis does is, I think, is that it puts her into direct contact with the real source of what she makes-- from sheep to blanket.

Kristen said...

Dear Indie,

What a beautiful post, in how you are weaving pain into beautiful comfort: the worthiest transmutation in living our messy experiments here! I've been leaving too wordy comments here, lately, so I will just say these two things: I Love You, and I am holding you close into the warmth of my heart. . . . Be-loved.


Lucy said...

I think fear of crickets means you are vastly intelligent, rational, and creative. Freud would agree.

Indie said...

Lucy, all evidence supports your conclusion.

Kristabel said...

Funny, I thought about Like Water for Chocolate when I was baking beer bread and making marshmallows for holiday gifts. If it makes you feel better, no one I gave them to ended up crying or projectile vomiting!

I love the colors of your afghan, and I also love your cute new avatar.


steviewren said...

I've been crocheting a baby sweater for my daughter's 1st baby who is due Feb 9th. I just finished the right arm yesterday and I think it is too long. The sweater was sort of a secret but I told her about it today because I need to go over and compare the arm to a onesie or something. I don't want the sweater to have sleeves sized for a baby gorilla!

I can't watch movies and crochet at the same time. I don't want to miss anything. Plain TV is a different story. I don't mind crocheting then, nothing exciting to miss.

Indie said...

Kristabel, that's a comfort! Beer bread, yum, my dad used to make that. What do you mean you made marshmallows?

And I'm glad you like these afghan colors. Me too; they match the living room.

Steviewren, that is so great that your first little grandchild will have a sweater made by grandma. I am laughing at the gorilla arms.:) I've never made a sweater, but I once crocheted a teddy bear, and it actually worked out.

I crochet long monotonous things, so that I can justify watching excessive amounts of movies. And I use variegated yarn in order not to get bored! (I'm such a nerd.)

Anyway it was a real challenge last night to watch a Swedish subtitled movie. I only understand about every sixth word, so I can't take my eyes from the screen often enough to really work on anything.

steviewren said...

This will be the 1st sweater I've crocheted for a grandchild and he will be my only daughter's 1st child but this is my 8th grandchild. I have 4 children. Three are married and have or are having babies and my youngest son isn't married and doesn't have any kids.

I'm not as old as that makes me sound. I had my 1st child when I had just turned 20. Anyway, we're prolific over here!

Indie said...

Steviewren, I am still in the thick of raising mine. Grandchildren, I hope, are far, far in the future.

headwrapper said...

Some truly awesome spiderwork hererow

headwrapper said...

forget the "row" typo

Indie said...

Kristin, wow, I just reread this and realized the profound thing you wrote: weaving pain into comfort, a transmutation. Sorry for missing that the first time through...