Feb 19, 2014

Catching Up

Winter in the NE is getting really really really old. This is not news to anyone, and pretty boring to those people who have no weather at all, but thought I'd mention the frost feathers I noticed whilst walking on the frigid subzero beach a few days ago ~ very fragile, very subtle.

There has been some interest in natural dyeing with lichens, and I refer to Rachel Bingham Kessler's excellent blog, 44 Clovers http://44clovers.blogspot.com/ She has posted several tutorials on natural dyeing with all sorts of substances from bark, beetles and beets to lichen. Very useful!
I have three jars of dye almost ready to go:

It's going to dye a lovely plummy color, I think. These are from the lichen commonly referred to as "black potato chip" type, I think it's Umbilicaria  ~ I know where it grows in abundance but am keeping that under my hat and harvesting sustainably.

I've been knitting like mad this winter, have finished lots and lots of wooly things since the last post. I also discovered plus a post I created months ago that seemingly never published, so that one shows more of the things I've worked on in the past year. 

Pictures, I'll try my best to get a few of them to show up here. One of my pet peeves about this platform is how difficult it is for me to get pictures up here. I guess I need to work on better methods for keeping and linking picture files. 

At the Knitting Pipeline retreat last Fall, many of us knit "FELFS", Knitted elven footwear from Cat Bordhi's book, The Art of Felfs. http://catbordhi.com/ These are awesome, I've made 3 pairs.

Here is my Antrim sweater by Mercedes Tarosovich-Clark (sp?) -- it should have been knit in Harrisville Designs WaterShed yarn, and I had some, but used it for a different sweater. In retrospect, I should have used it on this one too, but that's a lesson learned. Here's the Antrim knit in Berocco Vintage~


It's big, and the wool acrylic blend sags... it's not a success, though it's growing on me...

The WaterShed sweater is an amalgamation of Vera Sanon's top-down raglan pullover for Cascade, with my additions of garter bands down the arms, under the arms and along the raglans. The woolen spun yarn is very heathery. Below is a picture of one of the cuff bindoffs, done in Jeny's very stretchy bindoff in rib pattern. I'm liking this sweater a whole lot! It's keeping me warm right now!

So... a bit after Valentine's Day 2014, hope I'll get to doing this more often!

Nov 25, 2013

Nearly a Year Later...

Time does fly.
The rising sun on the plane an hour from Reykjavik... What a lovely time I had! Susan Bolles' wedding, exploring the city and environs, taking a few tours, horseback riding... I so want to go back.
In preparation, I knitted several sweaters (3), took them all along, and wore all of them. Some shirtsleeve weather too, cafe-sitting, knitting in the parks, walking. 

The lovely Susan...

Hallgrimskirkja interior

IDA bookstore cafe

So many pictures, so little time and patience for linking each and every picture, much less writing about it... 

Other 2013 highlights... 
lots of knitting and spinning, 

buying a lovely old Norwood cherry 4 shaft floor loom, 
weaving retreat at Nezinscot Farm, 
Knitting Pipeline retreat in Alfred... 
Paula and Ann's wedding...

Ugh, if you don't keep up, all is lost to the mists of the past few months...

Mar 22, 2013

Spring Ahead, Sure!

March 22
OK, it's not exactly Spring though the calendar may indicate it, we got another SNOWSTORM. To say this is getting old is... well, I'm ready, more than ready, for Spring. Real Spring.
Since I'm such a sloth about keeping this current, I'll just surrender and post as much as I can remember about the last several months. 

Susie's getting married!! In Iceland! And I get to go. Hence a flurry of Iceland knitting. The first was Ragga Eiriksdottir's pattern, here's a link to my Ravelry project My Odinn

The second was inspired by Ragga's Craftsy  class, Top Down Icelandic Sweater. The original is called Maren, but this is much modified. I wanted a short sleeve vest-type sweater to wear over a t shirt. Maren T The real Maren is a lovely open long sleeved cardigan.

I can't wait to go to Iceland. Susan and Fridgeir are getting married on the summer  Solstice in Reykjavik and her mother Jackie and are going. Jackie and I are adding 3-4 days before and 3 days after the wedding to play. I'm taking an empty suitcase for wool! I want to hike, see the geology (I am a geologist!!), swim in hot springs, ride their wonderful horses. Meet knitters. Drink coffee. Visit with Susie, Fridgeir and Jackie, who is my oldest friend. Have adventures, shop, eat fresh fish and thick, creamy yogurt. I can't wait!

Not sure what precipitated the urge I now have to knit sweaters again, but it's there. Confidence, I guess, and time. I still have the urge to change everything, and I'm firmly in the Frankensweater stage, but someday my sweaters will be better. these two Icelandic sweaters fit well, are warm, and my first two-handed stranded sweater efforts.

To practice the two handed thing I made a cowl before starting Odinn. Inspira-inspired. Homespun Inspira from bits of homespun I had lying around. I love this huge cowl!!

Weaving... Paula's cowl came out well, and has now been to Paris, Venice and Florence!! I wish I had been able to accompany it on its travels, but alas, someone has to stay here to Maine to SHOVEL the SNOW. 

We have had the most awesome winter, really amazing. Lots of cold, wind, beach erosion...
Such fun, despite the cold, I've spent many happy hours outside with Jackson walking and taking photos with my phone. Skating in the woods, so peaceful!!

On my needles... a new shawl from Paula Fuessle-Emmons, Gill's Rock 

and a sweater, Move , from Ankestrick at Fallmasche.  It uses the Contiguous Sleeve method developed by Susie Myers (SusieM on Ravelry: here
This is a fascinating method for doing a top down sleeve where the sleeve cap actually fits and cups the sleeve the way a set in sleeve does. 

I love this, and learning something new!! This was going to be simple, a Breton style pullover, but I've already deviated a bit. Endlessly amusing though.

Dec 17, 2012

First Snowy Day

Do more of what makes you feel good and less of what doesn't. Keeping this as mind as I navigate my life and times.

Still, I cry for a world abounding in damaged souls from Syria to CT and for the lives lost, esp the little children and the brave ones who try to protect them. I wish with all my heart it weren't so.

Walked with Marj and Bailer in the Smith Preserve on Saturday afternoon, good to get in a long walk before the snow, give the dogs a chance to re-establish their bond and the adults a chance to catch up.

Went to the Southern Maine Spinners and Weavers Guild Christmas meeting Saturday morning. We tossed around ideas for expanding interest in the group, programs we might have, etc. Shared potluck and projects. It was a nice, warm time.

I warped the loom for Paula's long cowl... 
The weft will be soft beats, long (2 ft) color blocks using the white, peach, and brown-black. and perhaps a thread or two of the multicolored silk ribbon you can just see here and there in the warp. My peculiar brand of whimsy!! She can"t tolerate wool, so this is nubby cotton and a bit of silk and will be long enough to wrap twice and still be loose and drapey.

I finished knitting my Wingspan scarf--it's posted in Ravelry here
It's quite attractive worn offset over a t-neck with a stickpin... I'm liking the slit in the band.

My new favorite thing is my m-wave egg cooker from t. b Pots

The handle on the cover, and the steam hole in it, make it heavy enough that the cover doesn't blow off in the microwave. The stoneware satisfies my need for handmade stuff, and it's an awesome thing for a foolproof soft-cooked egg.  I bought it locally at the Christmas Prelude Craft Fair at Consolidated School in the port, but he has an Etsy shop (see link above).

A tip. if you like a fast way to make an egg salad sandwich, hard-cook the egg in this (1.5 minutes in my microwave, which is old and slow) and mix with mayo, etc., spread on a pita, english muffin or crispbread. 

Four Days til the Light begins to return!!!!!

Dec 14, 2012

The intent is always evident in the results...

Because nearly everything we do has an effect, it's important to do things mindfully.
Firsts this week - used dried fish to make chowder, made a hammered copper pin, spun a bit of 60 dollar an ounce fiber.

1st  try, some less than perfect spots, but fun!

The chowder; the brown tone is from roasted vegetables; this tastes awesome!

I don't have a picture of the quiviut as I sat at Jenny's wheel to spin it but soooo soft!

I finished my ornament for the swap at the Christmas guild meeting tomorrow; felted and Border Leicester locks from a lamb fleece. It's stuffed slightly... adorable, no?

Eggs from Jenny's special chickens... lovely shades of green!

Speaking of green... we walked in the Smith Preserve today and I took multiple pictures of things that are still green!

The range of greens is really amazing, esp in the ubiquitous moss. 

The brook was also beautiful as usual with just a skim of ice forming little geometric shapes.

I still didn't warp the loom for Paula's cowl, but I will do that soon, maybe tomorrow afternoon after the guild meeting.

Dec 12, 2012

Awesome Day Blessings

Sun, sun, sun. How I love spinning, knitting or weaving with bright sun on my hands, esp when it's cold outside and I'm warm inside!

Jackson, my dear heart and best bud
Some of the pile of finished woven pieces--

Afternoon coffee and cookie in Lower Village--

Early fog--winter morning at Gooch's Beach

Some homespun, calling out to the loom/needles, "I'm here!"

Cascade Brook, so unexpected--

Evening light doesn't quite hide the wrinkles does it?

Here it comes, the season.

I admit it, I'll be happy when the 'season' is past and the days begin to lengthen. 
Who could resist such a face?
Today we walked in the woods for 2 and half hours, way in toward the Trolley museum. The day was cold, in the 20's but I peeled down to just my aran sweater, tied my jacket, mittens and hat, took some videos and emailed them hither and thither. Such pure joy!