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A glimpse of sunshine: Studio Notes #52

Does it feel like spring yet?* Here in Zurich we've been teased with some truly gorgeous days, before
Studio Miranda
A glimpse of sunshine: Studio Notes #52
By Studio Miranda  • Issue #52 • View online
Does it feel like spring yet?* Here in Zurich we’ve been teased with some truly gorgeous days, before the sun retreated behind a wall of cloud for a few more weeks. My new design, Simmer Blink, is a promise that sunlight and fresh green leaves will return. It’s a mindless, meditative knit that offers endless colour fun without having to count stitches or really pay much attention at all. If you’re lucky enough to be in Edinburgh this weekend, you can see the sample at the Knitting Goddess stand, and choose your colour combo from Joy’s glorious mini-skeins; stay tuned also for an Instagram giveaway next week.
You can get Simmer Blink at a 30% discount until Monday night, using the code SIMMER30. Oh, and just by the way, Zivatar will also be on display at Edinburgh – and is now available auf Deutsch!
* Apologies to my southern hemisphere friends – it’s sooo hard for me not to focus on the weather at this time of year, when we’ve had endless grey!

Simmer Blink – a shawl for mini-skeins plus a solid
Simmer Blink – a shawl for mini-skeins plus a solid
But more importantly...
Following on the discussion of racism in my last newsletter, and the promise that I was working on a concrete contribution – here are the details of that effort. Briefly, partner in crime Emily and I are offering a kind of mentorship to would-be designers who haven’t enjoyed the same access and ready support that we have, and we’ll have resources for people beyond our programme too. Applications close on Sunday (though we may well repeat the exercise in future).
On making
The first quarter of the year is almost over, and I’ve spent most of it wishing it were over. I know one isn’t supposed to wish one’s life away, but sometimes life is just a bit rubbish, and all you can do is grit your teeth and wait till it gets better, right? Well, that, and keep making. This year has been all about the really simple satisfactions. Simmer Blink, and Claudia Eisenkolb’s very satisfying Elle shrug – I couldn’t stand to tackle much more than knit and purl stitches, but I certainly couldn’t stand to face my stresses without knitting. Making is magic; as very eloquently set out in these three posts, all from the Craft Sessions blog – why craft is not trivial, how “craftefacts” (fabulous word!) embed meaning in our made environment, and the challenge of how not to turn making into just more consuming. (See also this nuanced article on fashion lovers who’ve stopped buying new clothes.)
And then there’s this moving essay on surviving grief through sewing. And this on sewing and self-compassion (aka, learning that it’s okay not to be perfect).
Yup. Making is magic.
On freelancing
Follow that reading on the joy of making with the various traps of making for money. Wise words: “It’s okay to love a hobby the same way you’d love a pet; for its ability to enrich your life without any expectation that it will help you pay the rent.” Truth.
On art
Textile arts are incredibly moving media; largely, I think, because they are such slow media. You can’t look at Ashley’s Sack and not think about the time taken to sew those words. It could have been written in a minute, but how long did it take Ruth to stitch it? How must she have felt as she did so? Did she stab the fabric angrily, or gently, lovingly? Did she cry as she stitched?
On top of that there is the association of textiles with comfort, warmth, love, fashion; they exude softness and domesticity, sometimes frivolity. Which can complicate the subject matter in very interesting ways. It can add softening emotion, or render it extra creepy, or simply make it funny. Basically, textile art is the best art. It just is.
Conflict Textiles and Brooklyn portraits
Caitlin McCormack's macabre crochet
And finally
Sheep zodiac. SHEEP ZODIAC! I am, ahem, the King of Sheep.
🌻Elle 🐈 Gato🌻
My husband said if I don't do a sheep zodiac he won't bring me home the cake slices he saved from some work thing and like....I love cake. SO HERE IS SHEEP ZODIAC https://t.co/cKZ4cNsago
8:54 PM - 30 Jan 2019
Now, spring is more or less here, work stress is more or less behind me, and I am hoping for a much gentler few months ahead. Wishing you the same – or more of whatever it is that you need. With soft yarn always at hand, and something beautiful to dream of.
Happy making!
Robynn
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Studio Miranda

Inspiration and food for thought for crafters, from yarn twiddler Robynn Weldon.

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