knitting, that's it. and "Hi Mom"

knit and art. knit and art. knit and art.

Friday, March 31, 2006

I'm loving what's coming from the Kasula - the colors are extraordinary and it has a lot of spring. The design is going to start getting exciting pretty soon. Click on the photo for a larger shot.

....and did I not tell you she was orchids!!! This one is a very different technique from what I usually do. Normally I pour paint onto the canvas (laying on the ground) and create my images from the resulting colors/mess. This time, I did pour....but I've done alot of work atop the pour with a cake spatula (what should we call this technique....actually, its already done by many artists, but most of them use art spatulas). Its a neat effect to see in person....I'm curious about opinions. What do you think - good or bad (its okay to not like abstract work btw; I'm married to a man that much prefers my realism, but I'm having too much fun with abstracts right now).

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Knitting Betrayal: I'm crocheting

Yep, I've been hooking it!

I figured its about time I put a picture of me up! This is me - sitting atop two dehumidifiers (I live in Florida). I think that for one of my next projects, I'm going to try to add here in this blog a video teaching knitters how to crochet. Its not hard! Its just different. If you are a left-hand carry, you'll find crochet exceptionally easy to pick up.

I'm also still doing work on my Kasula design. There's nothing much to show you all because I had to frog what I had done before because I felt like it was going to be too small. I'm just now back to the point where I was. A couple more inches and I will begin the arm shaping. KASULA ROCKS! I LOVE the smell of it (call me insane - its okay, you won't hurt my feelings!). When I pick up my knitting needles (size 4.5 holtz & stein rosewoods...deep sensual breath), it feels so like home. I miss knitting.

BUT: crochet has its wonderful blessings as well: I can lay it down whenever (there's no problems with getting to an end of a row because only 1 stitch is live at a time). And there's no bind off row (for some reason, I detest binding off.). And its going to be big in the next few years....REALLY big. I thing Happy Hooker is just the beginning of what you are going to see as a resurgence of crochet but in modern designs (not your grandma's granny squares).

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Man, what have I been up to???? Its been a week since I've been here. I've been working in a coal mine it seems like.
- I had to write an essay on the Magna Carta. (3000 words for this world civ class I'm in....normally I've enjoyed it, but last week killed me. I'm not finding the middle ages too interesting.).
- Aunt Flo. she visited my 15 year old daughter, me, and my dog. all in the same week. (I'm sure you all wanted to know that lol!). it I have no idea who was the crankiest.
- I've been (name-dropping) corresponding with Vickie Howell.....ooh! Like getting emails from her in my email box....I about died on the first one! But the one that came Monday morning sent me into the Happy Dance (my daughter said it was more a "spasdic dance"....thank you darling daughter who's had the priveledge of studying dance her entire life. I am rhythmically challenged.).

Okay - here's the scope...or at least all I can tell you....anymore and I'd have to hunt you down and kill you (remember: I'm mentally "rearranged", I tend to do things spontaneously......which is what I did last week. I haven't crocheted in years, but this cashmere that I've been working with just crochets beautifully. Then I heard that Vickie Howell New Knits on The Block/DIY network host was in plans for a book on crochet. I sketched out what I was doing....and hit "send". SHE"S GOING TO USE MY CROCHET DESIGN IN HER BOOK!!! (more happy dance). I can't show you the design.....but lets just say "Prada HOT" ....and I'm hoping there are stilleheto's involved.

one of my favorite little students
The art classes are going well. Next month I'm starting a group for the 8 and under - they really need to be in there own class and not in with the older kids (middle school agers).
I opened with a new gallery - this one is in Northern Alabama (that's a whole different country.).
and this is what I'm working on. Bet'cha can't tell at all what it is.
(hint: its orchids)

And ....I'm back in the freaking cast for another 6 weeks (this from a motorcycle accident last October....and what did I do this past weekend....I went out and looked at motorcycles. I WILL RIDE AGAIN!....just as soon as I mend from the last accident.)

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Cashmere Medallions and Sunflowers

Smack my hands I'm being such a lazy blogger this week. I've gone ga-ga over the Colourmart cashmere I received and have been crocheting (!) with it. I used to crochet and hated it because it hurt my hands so much, but I'm really enjoying it this time with the softness of this yarn. The color is called Peony and it is a laceweight 100% cashmere. Its amazing!

I started a new class of kids and this one has a lot of 5 and 6 year olds in it. Its a tough class and I breathe one big sigh when we're done. They try hard...but I think that I am teaching too far above their levels. Last week we did a Matisse study and let's just say that my art professor in college was WRONG - I am NOT the MESSIEST painter ever.

Mary had posted a comment asking about whether it is paint by number these kids do. NO! Absolutely not. Last month we were working with proportions and precision in our works. I teach a method (we call it "heads tall") where they have to look at what they are drawing and determine the percentage of a determined measurement and then judge its angles and shapes and then place it correctly on their surface. Its a lot easier than I just made it sound - but the students I take on are pretty profiecient in art and are there to learn artist's methods. The particular painting you commented on was their study on one of Monet's Sailboats in the Regatta series. Their goal that day was to replicate what he had done. I think they did a great job!

And this is that Italian Sunflowers painting that I "threw" together the other day. Its a big painting and the colors are intense - I love it, and so did the store where it is consigned at.
And one last art painting: Butterflies and Gerberas is done also (this is one I started a few weeks ago.)

And for those who leave comments - once again, I apologize that I have not written everyone. I"m still quite computer illiterate and when blogger sends the message to me, I can't always figure out the email address to send a message back, well, remember last week when I said I was expecting "That" relative (Aunt Flo)....she's such a pain in the butt when she's around. (I'm sure you all wanted to know that).

Thursday, March 09, 2006

The Great Kasula Race...I think I'm losing

Kasula designing

How many hours does it take to knit 2 rows in lace for an accomplished lace knitter? 5 hours. hahahahaha....i'm not laughing at myself. I was so frustrated with my knitting last night that my daughter took it away from me and told me I didn't NEED to be knitting. I think I fell asleep about five minutes later. 5 freaking hours to do 76 stitches per row. If it was 1,076, then maybe I could see 5 hours....but this was just horridly humbling. I still don't know what I was doing wrong other than I was quite agitated with myself the entire day (it must be coming close to time for Aunt Flo to visit).

Regardless this morning, I tinked back about 4 rows (kasula does NOT like to be messed with) and started over and did about over 10 rows in about 1/2 an hour. deep breathe. lesson learned: don't take on designing a new lace blouse while stressed. especially with kasula.

outside of that, I love the kasula. It is a joy to see the colors coming out as they are....I wish you could see this in person. I have drawn out what I am designing, but I'm not going to let you peak at it just yet.

Italian Sunflowers
This is how you paint when you are frustrated. you take the canvas outside. saturate it with a garden house. then throw paint at it. and walk away.
...and while you're walking, you suddenly notice that sometime in the midst of your hectic weak the azaleas bloomed for you. Kinda puts life and priorities back in harmony again.

Spring Azaleas

Monday, March 06, 2006

Wildflowers Wrap

I'm very very very sorry! I did not know that I was not allowed to post a photo of the finished sweater that is going in the book because I may be infringing on the publisher's rights at this moment. This is apparently a standard procedure and I don't want to do anything wrong. The book will be out in September. It will be wonderful! I will let everyone know more about it as soon as I find out whether it is okay. It will mainly feature Heather Dixon and then will have certain upcoming new designers featured. I feel blessed with this opportunity! Very blessed.

Today I started working on my yoga wrap again and am anxiously awaiting cashmere yarn to come in from ColourMart.(click here)..(most awesome place to order cashmere from....and normally ships very fast over here to the states).

I've also started to work with my kasula......that's called a teaser for tomorrow.

Friday, March 03, 2006

12" Addi circular for swap

Stupid Defunct stitch holder....doesn't hold stitches, its too dang slippery; its too long to be a cable needle; too cumbersome to be a dpn; no place to thread yarn through so I can't sew with it......and it is most definitely WORTHLESS to me as a knitting needle....I DON"T CARE WHAT ADDI SAYS IT IS! I paid retail for this thing at my LYS (not cheap) and I can't figure out how to use it. Its essentially an unused needle, 12" size 7 (on the long cable part it reads: addi Made in Germany 30cm 4.5 mm) (I know this is a really bad picture of it, but it was holding down the band on my new on the photo if you want to see it better).

I kept hearing all these praises about addi and this little 12" circular, but I can't figure out how to use it, and don't want to. If you know how to use this thing, or have desire for it, make me a swap offer. I like oddball yarn (a skein or two of whatever is in your stash), buttons, dpn's, chai, starbucks, shawl patterns, stuff. and chai (tea bags or loose).

Do you want to see what real needles look like? I got these babies in the mail yesterday. They are Holtz and Steins. I love them in both ebony and rosewood. The cord is nice and fluid, never stiff or in the way. The join never catches the yarn. The needles are warm and glide like silk. I do most of my knitting on these needles.
I emailed this lady: Rosemarie (never fear, she speaks English quite well) who sells them at the cheapest rate I've found (including shipping,it was about $32.00 to have two needles sent to me from Germany....most places its about $20 to $25 including shipping to have 1 sent). Shipping was fast - 8 days. I've gotten them also from Catherine's Knits in NewYork before, excellent service, but she is nearly out of them and it is rare for a US store to have them. (they're handmade in Germany) If you are truly interested in learning more about these needles, read Knitter's Review thread on them.

And OH how I love to be on yarn diets! I'm on a yarn diet....really....REALLY. But these came in the mail yesterday, so they don't count as cheating. They're from a yarn coop I joined earlier this year. The first is two different shades of a manos like (ebay, 100purewool ). I think that the grayer colorway is going to become a lady eleanor. Not sure about the other color yet. The second photo is the autumn colorway from fleece artist, both in angel curls and kasula. not sure what i'm doing with those yet. what could you dream of?

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

All those loose ends!

I'm starting to like my sweater now that one of the arms is attached (its just hanging there, not seamed). Today I'm working on that other arm (if I was really insane I would probably consider doing something novel like only having one arm on this sweater....but that's been done already by 1000's of knitters before....we normally call them UFO's....and isn't that last arm a "b".)

Now yesterday I asked about how many yarn ends you all might think I'll have to weave in. I want to show you a secret:
I weave those ends into the next row by twisting them into the yarn as I knit. They lay nice and flat - and hidden - in the back. It doesn't work to only twist in one direction...I twist clockwise the first stitch, counterclockwise the second stitch, for about 5 to 7 stitches. Then when I'm done, most of the time, all I have to do is clip rather than weave. I like that. If it wasn't for that, there is no way I would ever try knitting an entire sweater with this many different yarns. It would take a week to do all that weaving. I think that weaving them in as you go also makes a nicer finish. The ends that I'm not able to weave in in process, will later be woven in by following the stitch (hides them pretty well and they stay in better). Really, If I showedyou the inside of this sweater, you would be pleasantly surprised at how few yarns are hanging (most of the time I don't snip them until after I've finished the entire garment, so it DOES look like a mess inside right now).

The painting is resting. I'm not so sure that anyone can really see the gerberas or butterfly, so it might be back on the easel again soon.

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