The Other Caroline: Learning All The Things

Knitting is a long time love of mine. I love the process, the yarn, the colour. I love touching and ogling yarns. I love the process of making things.

I’m a maker. I obsessively hobby. I’m one of THOSE people. I like to learn how to do everything myself, I wish to be beholden to no one! Part of it is the innate feminist in me. It gives me a thrill to know I don’t have to ask for help if I need to do some minor plumbing or mechanical repairs on my car. Part of it is that it gives me a sense of purpose that I might otherwise lack in our modern society.

Lately I’ve been really getting into pinstriping (My pinstripe persona is Von Pickles). My spouse Kelly Norwood, is a professional pinstriper and sign painter. We met when I took one of his learn to pinstripe classes. I’ve always enjoyed “arting” and have dabbled in many mediums. Throughout highschool I dabbled with the idea of becoming a comic book artist and drew many a well muscled man. Pinstriping is a real challenge. Beyond the actual technique, learning the shapes and layout is a task in of itself. The tools are highly specialized, the brushes we use are squirrel hair (collected completely humanely! I imagine a squirrely with a shaved tail looks like some kind of morbid tree rat!). I’ve been learning to do freehand pinstriping. That means no predrawing, grids, or tape. Sometime you give yourself a centre line or an edge, but that’s all. I’ve recently started pinstriping for others at apprentice rates and have had some really cool opportunities come my way! I’ve now pinstriped a motorcycle, some cars, an RV, and a guitar. I think that pinstriping may appeal to me because it rather looks like string or yarn…

I’m really into mechanic work. I recently purchased a 1974 Mercury Comet that I have named “Mothra”. I love this car. Honestly, I love almost all classic cars. I spend a lot of time at car shows, knitting, while Kelly paints. I’m pretty good with identifying cars, years, engine sizes, and all that jazz. That’s the feminist in me again, I really enjoy being at a car show and saying “Nice! 1938! Did you put a 302 in that?!” I’m completely determined to do all the work on Mothra myself, which occasionally involves me getting all shouty and saying things like “Kelly! MY CAR! MINE!” I plan on knitting a nice lap blanket to go in the back seat to match Mothra’s paint scheme.

I obsessively cook things from scratch. I like trying to get to the earliest stage I can in scratch cooking and baking. If I didn’t live in town, I’d probably grow my own grain and mill it, so I could make bread from scratch and say “I made this. No, you don’t understand. I MADE THIS.” Recently I got into cheese making and discovered that fresh home made mozzarella is one crazy easy to make. Now I’m ruined for pizza for life after making homemade pizza dough (I went on an obsessive perfect pizza dough quest a while back) with fresh homemade mozzarella.

There are so many things that I love to do and make. But I always stick with knitting. Other hobbies and interests ebb and flow, but knitting stays consistent. So much of it is muscle memory and second nature. It’s the perfect hobby for a person like me, because I will NEVER be able to learn everything about knitting. I will never be able to learn every single technique, every single yarn, every single needle, ad on infinitum. I thirst for learning, and knitting is my favourite beverage!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s