Tag Archives: Burning Man

I want your socks!

No, really. I have an idea for a very stupid Burning Man project that involves large-scale knitting: giant socks. Big enough to crawl into, like sleeping bags.

I need materials, and instead of buying a bunch of new crap, I’d rather use materials that aren’t being used anyway. And, in a really perfect solution, I hit on the idea of using old socks.

So … got any mismatched socks? Socks with holes? Get in touch with me (my e-mail is arletterocks [at] gmail [dot] com) and I’ll take ’em off your hands.

Well, howdy!

At Burning Man, the Temple — a different structure every year burned at the end of the weeklong festival — becomes a focus for people’s prayers, hopes, wishes, mourning and goodbyes. People draw on it, stud it with photographs and handmade posters, write on it with Sharpies and pens and markers in little notes and long, winding missives that sprawl like vines. It’s way out in the playa, far enough out that the noise of the temporary city becomes just a dull roar. It’s quiet enough there that you can hear murmuring, sobbing and praying, and the crunching footsteps of the people around you.

I make a point of visiting it alone each year. A lot of people do that. This year, a whiteout blew up when I came to the Temple, filling the sky with beige dust that blocked out the sun and drowned out anything more than a few feet away, making everyone nearby almost anonymous. As I crouched in the shelter of the structure with dozens of other people hiding from the stinging dust, I found a purple marker that wasn’t too dried out. I had a few minutes to think about what message I would want to send into the sky, and wrote on the underside of a small projecting shelf, all my dreams are coming true and it’s making me nervous.

Since I was last writing regularly in this blog, a lot of things have changed. The whole summer was a mad dash that involved moving an hour north to Oakland, sorting out the smoking ruins of a two-year live-in relationship, driving all over the state, finding a job, finding a new and totally unexpected relationship, and leaving my work for first serious job of my life. (401K, folks! Benefits!) Right now I’m standing on the tail of the grown-up life I’d imagined for myself, and yeah, it’s making me nervous. But I can see that my feet are planted pretty firmly and that the long path I followed to get here makes some sense after all.

Most of my yarn is still packed up in moving boxes, and I haven’t finished a damn thing since spring when the carpal tunnel started to get out of control. But the weather’s cooling, my life is settling, my commute to work gives me almost an hour a day to knit — and best of all, I have someone to knit for.

Call for Burning Man leaves!

burnertree.jpg OK, this one I dig. Someone from my stitch ‘n’ bitch pointed us toward this one: a project, “A Tree Undone,” planned for the Burning Man festival this summer that needs knit and crochet leaves — lots of them — for people to unravel during the event. And the leaves are supposed to be made of acrylic, so I don’t have to buy anything!

This would be perfect: short-attention-span-friendly, eminently portable and fun. If I can’t make it to Burning Man this year because of school, at least I’ll have a way to connect this thing I love (knitting) with the event.

I’m not really a part of the whole cultlike burner fanaticism. I tune out when people start saying “Oh I love Burning Man, it changed my life, it changed everything, it is so real and I think my (mom / dad / best friend / spouse / coworkers / mailman) would love it even thought they’ve told me twelve times in the last week that they can’t stand dust, loud noise, bad techno or hippies. I mean, it’s not about the drugs, it’s about the community.

Don’t even get me started on playa names.

Aaaaanyway. I still love the event, because dude, I get to spend a week hanging with my buddies in a brain-breakingly gorgeous desert at what is basically weirdness theme park with a free bar on every corner.

I know how much fun it is ripping out knitting (example: the first three inches of the Stitch Diva bodice, now on attempt #4 thanks to some less-than-diligent increasing). I want to pass that joy on to others. A little effort on my part might mean that next Labor Day weekend, some tripping faux-hippie with faux dreadlocks made from Lion Brand Homespun or Rowan Big Wool (both yarns I have spotted out there) gets three minutes of joy out of unraveling something made with care.

When you’re tired and cracked out, you’ve been dancing for hours, you’re out of water, you’ve lost your goggles and your dust mask and you can’t find your favorite hat or your other sock or (worryingly) your drugs because you have too many pockets and can’t keep track of what went in which and when, the smallest things can make you unbelievably happy. I think unzipping row after row of knitting without having Mom yell at you for it would be pretty amazing.

And I like making people happy, as long as they’re not smelly, preachy or way, way too drunk.

If you’re interested, check it out!