I often think of something the Yarn Harlot once said, to the effect of, "Oh knitting, you know I am crazy and you love me anyway."
I know my knitting is inanimate, and yet, sometimes, I wish I could think of it in the same respect as a human friend:
It will sit and wait for me when I am busy.
It does not make demands on me.
It will stay with me even through difficult times (waiting for news from a hospital, waiting for someone to call telling me someone has died)
It does not gossip about my other friends, nor pout when I choose to spend time with them instead.
It's there, waiting, at the end of the day when I need companionship.
It doesn't judge me. It doesn't laugh at me for when I natter about how I wish I could design, and yet, am afraid to even try because someone will doubtless judge my early efforts as too simplistic or too derivative.
It doesn't care that "all" I ever do is work from other people's patterns.
I finished the pony-pelt last night. Didn't have the energy to sew it up but here it is:
Yeah, here, it looks maybe more like a dog, but it's supposed to look like a pony when it's done. The head is oversized - I decided to make the anime-style "big head version" of the pattern to give myself more room for appliqueing a proper face. If I make another one of these out of worsted weight, I'll probably do a normal sized head for that one. (Another idea for a made-up pony character: red with a white mane and tail, Swedish flag "cutie mark" and a name of Tack sa mycket (Thanks much, and there should be a small circular diacritical mark over the a of "sa" - literally the ONLY Swedish I know) - a riff off the folkloric Dala horses from Sweden.)
(Alas, that's about the extent of my creativity these days: making up "original" ponies. I used to be SO creative! Where did it go? Did being an adult for so long beat it out of me? Am I just too busy/tired/worn down by life? Do I have too many other concerns occupying my brain? Did one of the medications I've taken down through the years steal it from me? Am I too afraid of criticism, whether it's deserved or not? (It seems a feature of life now is that there are plenty people willing to deliver destructive criticism, especially on the Internet, and I am genuinely not strong enough to avoid being negatively affected by it.) What? I tried writing a story last night to prove to myself that I still could, and when I started doing some background research on what was on the Voyager "golden records," I realized that what I was writing was probably too close to the plot of "Starman" (which I've never seen but the synopsis sounded uncomfortably like the same idea.) I think part of it is I've just started censoring myself so heavily - I start thinking, "Other people more talented than I am have already had that idea and acted on it. Years ago I was thinking of doing a hat with the old Scandinavian "dancing grannies" stitch pattern...and before I could work one up, by golly, someone else did one and had it published in Knitty. I think I get really discouraged by seeing the creativity of others because I believe my efforts just can't measure up. Or that all the ideas I have are stupid and derivative. Or that I don't want to spend hours starting something just to find someone else already did it. There's nothing new under the sun, and everything is vanity...)
I made tomato soup last night. I had got fresh tomatoes from the Farmer's Market here for the hamburger/hot dog cookout we had at church Sunday - I'm glad I made the slightly greater effort to go there, the tomatoes were slightly cheaper and looked a whole lot better than what the grocery had. I wound up with four and a half left over (the half being the cut up slices left that no one used...I figured not to let them go to waste). I wanted to use a recipe like the one my mom used to make; it took considerable searching to find one. (I knew it had cloves as a flavoring, and DID NOT have garlic.). I finally found it in the Settlement Cook Book:
four to six large fresh tomatoes, or a quart jar of home canned, or a 28 ounce commercial can (I am sure the San Marzano type would be good for this).
a "slice" of onion (I used a whole chopped up shallot. I had one left and wanted to use it. Shallots tend to be milder than onions)
2 cups water, or broth. (I used chicken stock
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
4 cloves (I used a pinch of ground cloves, not having any whole ones.
You simmer those things together for 20 minutes (for canned tomatoes) or 30-40 minutes (for fresh tomatoes) and then mash them up and either put them through a sieve, or a food mill, or run them through a blender. (However - I think a food mill or sieve is better as it gets out the seeds, and they can sometimes make the soup bitter)
Then you return the soup to the pot, and in another pan, melt 2 T butter and combine with 2 T flour. You then add this to the warm soup and stir until it's thickened.
It says it serves four but I found I had a big bowl of it, plus four pint sized jars leftover. (I did wind up adding a bit of tomato paste because the soup looked a little anaemic. If you had more tomatoes, or Romas, or used canned, you might not need to).