Tuesday, March 05, 2013

An Ode to the Hinterland

I've been flooding the blog as of late with book reviews (very fun to write!) and the weekly Indie Designer profiles, but not so much about what I'm actually working on.

This is the first in an ongoing series where I'll be documenting details about an upcoming independently published ebook.

In this post, I thought I'd give you a bit of a hint to the collection's focus and inspiration.

I grew up very rural. My grandfather had a parcel of land in the countryside, with gloriously ramshackle buildings and outdated, even self-fashioned farm machinery. Being in that place, a place so far away from other people, is like comfort food to me. Being out and away from excessive artificial light, somewhere the stars pop out of the sky in piercing brightness, with the freedom of a nightly summertime bonfire at your whim. Surrounded by hand-fashioned creativity, tall grass, wild animals, woodland and trees, close to the river, with shorebirds and those from the forest edge crying loudly or chirping softly as you realize you, as a human, are definitely the minority.

This backdrop has been used for some of my patterns' photoshoots before, in particular the September's YearLong YarnSong. This idyll is, I'd like to think, more than just a foolish and flimsy romanticization of childhood memories. The expanse of open space metaphorically feels like so much room to breathe, and exist in a place where your relationship with the real is less cluttered with the visual trappings of what people want and what people think.

To be brought into a more direct connection to life outside of humanity, and force outward any excessive introspection1 is part of what makes experiencing time in a remote place so enticing. Seeing the relationship with why and how we live, which is always and inevitably tied to the geological, and the biological realities of this world; being prepared to experience a quiet walk in the woods, or a cacophonous stumbling upon the flock's whereabouts, that impromptu picnic and starlit bonfire, and even the precise moment when the summer ends and the crispness begins.

I don't want the animals to be strangers, and their existence to be an intrusion. I want to be warm and free and viscerally joyful.

And of course, I want to be wrapped in hand knits that complement, or even enable, this experience.

In the abstract, these are the the ideas surrounding my upcoming collection.

1 Posited by some modern scholars as the source of our contemporary malaise and continually oppressive desire for more.


Unknown said...

That sounds wonderful. Looking forward to the book.

Hilary said...

Beautifully written, Teresa, and BRILLIANT idea! I truly cannot wait to see the designs you've come up with around this theme. Having grown up in semi-rural conditions (ok, so I grew up right in the middle of town...but it's a small town, and my family are farmers), this really struck a chord with me. "So much room to breathe" -- yes! (I've found the city to be stifling of late.) Needless to say, I'm extremely excited. :)

juicyknits said...

I'm looking forward to this collection.

Anonymous said...

I grew up in the country as well, and I can completely sympathize with these sentiments. I can't wait to see what you've been working on!

Ruth said...

Sounds glorious! I'm a city girl, but I miss the days when tweets were birdsong . . .