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

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

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Ribbons Unraveled

Monday, May 29, 2006

To cure shingles: P5tog dropping all extra loops

The shingles have me down for the count and it looked like they were winning when I found that I couldn't even follow a very basic stitch pattern.

But AH HA! If this is a game, I just scored a point. I took on a much harder lace stitch and am making it into a tank top (same shape as the unnamed pink one below), which meant that I had to do increases in the lace stitch as well.....this is one of those drop extra loops and purl 5 together jobbers. I'm gettin' her done! The focus helps distract me from the pain and itch. I don't want to take the darvaset more than once a day.

Now I know the thing looks like a puking of color, but in person, its not so bad. It would be worn with a solid color (like bright blue or bright pink) tank underneath, and the lower bodice will be done in something much more airy so you'll see more of that color. I'm pleased so far.

The coffee is wonderful this morning. I can taste it!

Sunday, May 28, 2006

The Amazing Lace

The Team
Rough Sketch
The full team is available. Jeanette is the one in the middle trying to sleep despite having a rather severe case of shingles. In her hand is the vallium she'll need to get through this. And then all the consultants, Barbara Walker, Quinacridonemagenta (the purple bear), Shingles (the fuzzy bear), pooh bear, pink bear who is the fashion expert, Mona bear (the black cocker, she's really Mona Lisa), and Gidget. Gidget is clueless about what is going on, but that's okay. Malteses have very tiny brains, like Pooh Bears, but they give lots of love and encouragement. Oh, can't forget the cashmere....that's a cone of dk weight from Colourmart. It has a name, but I can't remember it right now.

The title of the blog should give you some clue as to who or what I am. I am a highly dysfunctional phscho fiber artist who happens to paint....and who happens to have a bad case of the shingles right now. (The shingles will be voted off the team as soon as possible, no one is liking him right now and he keeps causing horrific muscle spasms across my ribcage. He's definitely on my last nerve.). BTW: Even though I am an artist and I COULD draw all the little holes and stitches, I'm going to be one of those minimalist arteests right now and let you imagine leaf shadows and rosebuds.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

No Ideas

I've just finished this little mesh tank out of Blue Sky cotton - very soft cotton - and I am so uncreative this morning as far as names. Please give suggestions if you got one.

I got something. You know all these surgeries and broken bones I've been enduring over the last six weeks with my family? I'm now the recipient of a stress related outbreak of shingles. It is painful. Cry.

The exhibit reception I had to go to last night was almost as painful. I hate these things because I'm so shy - I am mentally unable to mingle. They made me put on a name tag so people would be able to identify me (but what if I prefer obscurity and anonominity, or however its spelled?). It was a reception for a professional group of Plein Aire artists - so I wasn't the only artist there. There were like 8 of us. Anyway, about 45 minutes after I got there, I snuck out the side door and never returned. I went to a coffee shop, got a chai, and knit (the little mesh tank above).

Life. Ain't it fun? I don't like the shingles.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

By George, the girl can knit!

I finished the other linen top and love it. This one fits a bit (a way bit) looser than the white one I did last week and is primarily knit, yet with a crocheted decorative seam treatment. I'm calling it "Bias Linen Top" . very original. its knit on the bias, its linen, and its a top.

Hey, how you liking that tan....its real, earned the old fashioned way - working out in the sun.....except today, I'm 3/4 of the way done with a painting being done at a PUBLIC park, the Chamber of Commerce had just come and taken my photo (because they thought it would be a good promotional photo), then this security guy shows up from nowhere on this two wheeled upright motorized wheeled thing and tells me, "Artists aren't allowed to paint here. Only at the rest stops and the swimming holes." (and anywhere else we try to hide away the lowly scum of the earth). So I didn't get to finish my painting.

Freaky Offspring Photo
When one can't paint, then one must knit. I found a half skein of some blue sky cotton (yummy yummy) in pale pink and started on another lacey tank. I swear I'm going to write a book of all these designs and call it, "How Many lacey tanks does a Florida girl need?" Its being knit from the top down and is so far following Barbara Walker's Roman Stripe from Book II. BTW: The Walker treasuries are must have books for every knitter. I only have vol. 2 & 3. I want 1 next.

Monday, May 22, 2006

start of another linen top

Readying for the Performance
This is a rarity for me - I don't like doing commissions anymore in art, but I'm enjoying seeing this one come out. The little redhead is so cute!

Linen Bodice
so what am I doing for me? Knitting up another summer linen bodice! I am over half done with this design and I'm still on my first skein. I can see that it will break into the second skein, but not by much. I'm just showing you it pinned on the dressform, she's not seamed yet, and I still have part of the back to do and one more section in the front, but you can see the what's going on.

Trees at Mullet Festival SiteAnd here's one for all the super-shy-but-its-that-time of the year again - I hate the church Picnic - types! I get so uncomfortable at large going ons. I'm just innately shy. Innate - is that the right word??? But my husband, mister social butterfly, loves these things, and really likes to go. So this is where I was yesterday: in my own little world. I brought my paints and easel and set up on the outskirts of the group. This canopy of trees looked so sheltering and cool on a warm afternoon. It was fun to paint. My husband came by and was like, "you moved some of the trees." Artists can do that.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

A Forest of Trees
We're posting pics today because I'm not very talkative. (Us menatlly ill get this Billie Joel says, "Don't worry, I'll be fine while I'm gone."
I went from 6:00 am to 7:30 pm yesterday driving husband to eye specialist (hour drive away....we're doing that again today), getting home to pick up son to take him to orthopedics (got a new cast yesterday, What's beneath the caste...the better side
so I took photos of what was underneath....I know, I'm sick.), daughter to band practice, son to karate, painted under the trees for an hour while waiting on him, then finally home late last night. Knitting up two storms
The red cashmere is what I knit yesterday; it was going to be the Mimosa Sweater from Interweave, but I already have a different vision....right now its just in back shaping. The Coral linen is the right shoulder start of a bias top. And then there's the painting. I poured. Butterfly Pouring...wet paint
It felt good....that WILL BE a butterfly and third in the series on the Pilgrimage Journey. The other is one I've been playing around with all week. Today, more doctor appts. I should get paid for driving as much as I do.

and to boot it cd player fried in a lightning storm we had here Sunday night. I can't listen to my new cd: KT Tunstell (or something like that....the one with the song about the black horse and cherry tree).

Sunday, May 14, 2006

A Quiet Place on Mother's Day

Gazebo at Destiny Lake on an early Summer evening
After babysitting the husband all day who, following his retina attachment surgery over the weekend, must lay flat on his stomach with his face down at all times for 1 full week, I decided late this afternoon that I could leave him and go paint for an hour with my daughter. It was a wonderful ending to a very quiet yet odd mother's day.

I pulled out the red cashmere last night to get a feel for it. I thought I wanted to design something out of it, but I think instead that I am either going to do the Pink Mimosa sweater from Interweave or this Garnstudio sweater.

I've also cast on for a self-designed top out of the apricot colored linen I got yesterday. Its not going to be as form fitting, more flowly, and working on a bias cut design. Something again for layering over tank tops. This time I'm knitting, and while I don't hate the linen - I can see what people mean about it being hard on the hands a bit. Its actually only where I have to grasp the garment as I'm knitting that the tips of my fingers seem to not like. The actual yarn going through my fingers is not bothersome.

That's it for tonight. I'm taking an ambien and going to bed. Tell me if you like the painting - because I'm seeing things that need tweaked, and I don't want to ruin the feeling I have captured in it already by over tweaking. How does it make you feel when you look at it?

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Not Your Grandma's Crochet!

Matilda, all dolled up!
Would you believe that I've been at the hospital AGAIN....this is just too weird. In the last 6 months, I've spent more time in the OR waiting room than I have in my entire life combined.
Cataracts for husband October last year, twice, two weeks apart.
4 1/2 hours of surgery time to rebuild my sons shattered arm 4 weeks ago.
Heart catharization a week and a half ago for husband (no angio needed, thank You, God!)
and then last night late, my husband's eyeball went AWOL! The retina detached in his left eye. We had to drive out of town to a specialist to do an emergency surgery, finding out that if Dave had waited until Monday, he would be blind in that eye. I don't know what happened to make his eye suddenly do that. Just strange.

...but the good news!!! I finished the Linen Bodice. Name is still being debated on. A new friend, Cheryl, suggested Summerbreaze. But after I got home this afternoon and put her on "Matilda" (the dress form - and yes, I stuffed her bra with socks, she needed cleavage for this, and she also wanted to wear the red skimpy tank top.) What do you think??? Crochet goes sexy! Them aren't granny squares!

Euroflax Linen
And then after his surgery, I asked if he would mind if I just "very quickly" (parenthesis) run into this awesome yarn store (King's in Pensacola). They are the only yarn store I know of that carries the Euroflax Linen - which I am extremely impressed with - in tons of colors, and still at the 14.75 price (until she gets in her next shipment). I bought 5 hanks and I finally picked up the new Interweave.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Linen Bodice Progress
This is getting exciting! I love this part - putting it on the dress form and doing the upper body shaping. I can't wait to wear this thing! Can you see the faux-boning in the lower bodice ?????

...but one can not hook all day (that's illegal...t.i.c.).( I definitely don't make my living designing garments. Its still raining here in NW Florida (we need it), so I'm going to have to be stuck in the studio painting all day.

I started a small plein aire Tuesday while waiting in my daughter's school parking lot on her(the oaks on the grounds are beautiful). So there I was, sitting in the back of my Sante Fe with the hatch open...painting in all the shapes and shadows, when along comes a cloud....that's okay, we can still change the shadows, no biggie....then more clouds....then strong breeze....still not deterred...I'll just take the easel down (the wind kept blowing it over) and pull the canvas in with me here under the shelter of the hatch...its cramped, but I'm working....okay, paint more comes the rain, but, we're inside the car now....then the wind, and the heavy rain....God? Are you laughing at me or with me? So I close the hatch and continue painting in the dry inside - nothing can stop a true artist at work.

Then it stops raining....and its beautiful outside. The sun is filtering through the sparkling trees heavy with droplets of rain. This I will paint! Except..........did you know that one cannot open the hatch of a Santa Fe from the inside of the car? And to make matters worse, I can't climb over the seats to the door because there is a large painting in the backseat sitting up and I will damage it if I try to get past it. So I sit there. Still painting....but its getting kinda warm..and humid and its quite difficult to paint.

THEN I SEE MY DAUGHTER - Darling daughter - emerge from the school! I'm saved! She strolls toward the car, rifle in hand (she's on colorguard). Looks at the car and doesn't see me in my usual front seat knitting position, so she walks away....far away....far far away....twirling her rifle as she goes to practice on the other side of the parking lot.

and there I the back of the car.

She did come back; still didn't see me. I yelled her name. The look of bewilderment on her face made me realize that my daughter might be minus a few brain cells....of course, this assessment comes by the woman who locked herself in the back of the car. After the Rain

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Bugs and bodices

YEAH!!! Yesterday I snail mailed "the" very important item with its instructions to Vickie Howell - for "The" book of 2007, "Catwalk Crochet." Relief is the word....that was a long project to write out. I had my mom proofread the pattern for me since she is an award winning crochet artist (she wins the state fair every year with her delicately crocheted Christening gowns.). She said the pattern looked no complaints when the book comes out. There IS NO errata. If you find some, then go to rule no. one in life, "Mom is never wrong."

I've made tons of progress this weekend on my linen tunic. Crocheted Linen (the yellow in the center is the handle on the top of the toolbox I have the white linen sittin on....cuz I think that I can bring white linen into my studio without getting paint on it.....and my husband thinks I'm a pessimist....Pleaze!). (please dear God, don't let me get paint on it. I admit I'm a fool.). Its gone through a couple of design changes. I decided that the back is not going to be open. I don't think that the linen would support itself, especially once its washed. So instead, it will have a laced tie up the front starting from either the top, or just under the breast pieces. Haven't decided yet. I'm nearly done with the skirt part and have only used one hand of the Euroflax linen and just started into my second. I'm predicting this will be a two hank project.

Also went a-paintin' last night in the woods of Niceville, Fl. The bugs were not fun. I normally paint in the morning, but yesterday am it was raining. I brought it home and for once my husband says, "I like it." (he doesn't like my more abstract funkier pieces - but lately I've been feeling the need for landscapes....must be something pyschological.). Problem is, its not done. I think I need to define the front trees some more (that means "tweak" and usually entails ruining the entire piece.)

Oaks in Niceville, Fl

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Art students and sunburns.

Its been a whirlwind week. While at the hospital with my husband, I got very little done - I was just too unsettled to focus. However, I am still making progress on my linen sweater design. I'll show photos soon.

Tonight, I just had to show the photos of my students. The older group did interpretations of one of my most recent landscapes (like 6:00 this morning I was doing it.) They are really doing well! You can see in the middle of the photo (if you click on it, it will come larger) my Sunflower Field painting (its the large painting.
Sunflower Field Studies

The younger group has requested to do some animal we did a rabbit last night in pastel. Little Rabbits

and now its my turn to be sick (first Dominic breaks his arm, then my husband and his heart, and I get sunburned). Sunburned - no big deal, right? Well my ears blisted and now they feel inside like I have ear infections. I keep losing my balance....and last night as the 5 year old class was getting ready to start....I went out like a light. It was scary. But about 20 minutes later, my strength started returning, and we still had a good class. I'm wondering if maybe I'm not handling stress well and this is my body's way of trying to tell me something. I'll see my doc on monday and hopefully get some answers about all this weakness and dizziness. I didn't think a sunburn could cause this.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

I'm going to the hospital...

and this is what I'm taking. I still need to wind another hank of the Euroflax (I like working with linen, I like working with linen,....keep repeating that to yourself. NOTE: I have a tendecy to keep gripping the linen which is making the work tighter, then I remind myself to soften up, which takes it back, so there are some inconsistencies in width. /does anyone know if it will even out when I wash it? Or am I working way too tightly and need desperately to switch up a hook size - using a c. ?

Dave (husband) is having heart cathorization and angioplasty so I will be there all day it seems. His doctor thinks he will be fine and that this is being done as a positive proactive procedure (all the men in his family have had their first heart attacks in their 40's and died by 60's. Dave is 49. He hasn't had a heart attack, yet, but part of me is afraid that what if he has one on the table (his dad died during an operation to fix something going wrong in his heart....but he had also had heart disease for over 10 years and had had many major heart attacks).

All will be well. I'll be crocheting with my linen (rope/twine) which I DO love the lace its producing. And possibly starting a design for a lacy wrap sweater with the cashmere.

(I know I'm suppossed to be on a yarn diet....but you know how diets go. Don't you scold me!)

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Have no fear, Flubber is here!

Flubber with my new project
Finishing up that Grecian Tank for Cricket and the garment for Vickie Howell yesterday left me with nothing to do - and that feeling persisted all day. I wanted to start a new project, but then I couldn't decide on which yarn (you don't want to see my stash - its bad.) or what I wanted to make. Its like a black hole in knitting - that place right after you finish long projects (i had done 2 Grecian tanks back to back, and two of the garments for Vickie Howell)(today I'm working on writing out the instructions for the Howell project....and its not fun. I much prefer working. Even though I meticulously write out what I'm doing as I'm doing it, it still looks like garble when it comes to typing it out so others can understand it.......
which is why I'm offering the Grecian Tank pattern. I need feedback on readability. ASAP. (just email me or leave me a note with a way I can email you the pattern).

So after floundering in the black hole, late last night I FINALLY made a choice to just start sketching, and next thing I knew, I had a hank of Euroflax linen on my swift. So if you can see in the picture with flubber what I'm doing], its going to be pretty.

This is my first experience with the linen, and after reading all the reports about it, I'm not having the difficulty everyone described (maybe because I was mentally prepared for the absolutely worst knitting experience ever).

btw: yes, you're right, that's not knitting needles flubber is holding (and that's not a dress for him, either) - its the world's best crochet hook (along with the beginnings of the lace insert stitch for the tank) - and I have NO IDEA what this hook is or how to get more. Please if you know the manufacturer, let me know. I remember that it is European, that's it (because even at my age, the dementia is getting quite out of hand.)
Gates At Destiny
And I did go paint yesterday....and finished it.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Grecian Tank w/o overlay
It felt so good to finally finish this tank - this morning at 5:00am! And guess what? My daughter likes it (a 15 yr old!) and wore it to school today (with a camisole underneath). I used an entirely different yarn to do this one (the first was Kasula). It only used 2 1/4 skeins of dream baby (the color is actually much more intense deep blue - like Van Gogh's Oh Starry Night). So the size large is done for the pattern. For now, I will continue to make it available for free - just write me and I'll send it to you.

This is a painting I started last week and am hoping to have a chance to go work on this morning.

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