Tuesday, August 01, 2006

crafts & knitting

This collection of bold-coloured knits is my long overdue donation to the Red Cross.

Last March I responded to a post for volunteer knitters. The Red Cross provided the wool, which I was to turn into things that could be used in shelters and hospitals.

With such colours as I was given, it was hard to be inspired. But it was fun trying different patterns of mittens and toques, even though some were utter failures - like a toque the size of tea cozy!

I still have some wool left - and a few thumb-less mittens lying around. (Attaching the thumb is my least favourite part). But as we are cleaning house and getting ready to move, I have finally bundled this all up and will drop it off at the Red Cross today. Will they remember who I am? Will they be disappointed with my sad offering?

I have admittedly become a bit of a knitting junkie. One of the reasons I decided to volunteer knit was that I could get all this free wool and have someone to knit for. My own scarf basket is already overflowing.

But in our recent heat wave, it has been hard to pick up the heavy mohair poncho I am currently working on. Still, on Sunday evening I convinced a friend of mine to go with me to a craft and bingo night. It wasn't an easy sell... "Um, we'll do crafts and play bingo. And there will be d.j.... and it's in a gallery".

She is sweet and said she'd give it a try. She brought a craft she has had lying around for a few years - a picture frame and seashells she collected in Peru. I brought my mohair poncho. We didn't know what to expect and were prepared to leave early.

The event was a blast! Held in a funky downtown gallery - whose current exhibit is titled 'The Museum of Bad Art' - it was cool and hip and all the things you wouldn't expect crafting to be. It was bad art indeed that hung on the wall - reminiscent of pictures found in elementary school hallways or amateur art schools. But this was freeing and humourous. Art felt accessible and fun.

The crafts we had brought were quickly abandoned as we were invited to make our own bad art. Canvases were provided, as were heaps of craft supplies. It was like being at summer camp. We rummaged through buttons, crayons, paint, play-dough, glitter! and sequins. There was fabric, lots of glue, old photos, magazines... And with our only objective being to create bad art, we let our imaginations wild.

While we made bad art - and mine truly is bad - (The lady beside me said it reminded her of scrambled eggs and hash browns) a man named the Chinadoll, wearing denim drag and a hat like a pineapple perched on his head, called out bingo numbers and a d.j. put out funky disco beats. Chinadoll would interrupt his calls every so often to do some impromptu karaoke.

Who knew the craft crowd could be so hip? As a knitting junkie, I have new hope.

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