Saturday, September 29, 2007


On Wednesday night, Renata and I went to the studio of Joanne Baxter (in Wexford) for the Fiberarts Guild of Pgh studio/critique night. It was so inspiring! Joanne makes art dolls. She showed examples of her own designs as well as various things she has made at workshops. I particularly liked the industrial necklaces. I came home totally inspired, full of ideas to apply a few techniques to some ideas I have brewing; not for dolls, but other art. But I was also depressed because I had to work on Thurs and Fri and couldn't jump right into my ideas. I did make lists while at work to file in a binder. Yes, my mind is much more organized than my house! I'm determined to organize my studio/craft room so all supplies are readily at hand and I can walk in, sit down and start making instead of wasting time hunting for my stuff. I managed to do some organizing last night, and it's coming together nicely. I've moved all the yarn out of the chiffarobe down the hall to the cedar closet (where it belongs), and filled this open space with paints, beads, paper, etc.

Annie Lawrence was there on Weds as well. She's teaching a felting workshop this weekend at Touchstone Center for Crafts near Uniontown. She has spent her summer at workshops all over the country, and brought some of her pieces along with a really gorgeous purse done by her hungarian teacher (I can't remember the name!). I saw that the Society for Contemporary Craft has some felting classes in November. I just might have to investigate!

Today Renata and I are galavanting around Pittsburgh. She moved here from Brazil 3 months ago, and hasn't learned where all the good stuff is yet. We're going thrifting, hitting Utrecht and checking out the Society for Contemporary Craft. The weather's going to be GORGEOUS! I want to find more wool sweaters to felt for my recycling idea.

Then K and I will be going out for dinner to Gypsy Cafe to celebrate our 7th anniversary! Yay for us! Then we'll hang out with our pals at the drum circle in the grotto at Flagstaff Hill.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

La dolce far niente

My, what a blissful afternoon yesterday was, full of sweet nothingness. First, I went down to Knit One to partake of their sale and use a big gift card that had been waiting for such an event. Well, despite the fact that there was seemingly only novelty yarn (yuck) majorly discounted, I didn't really get anything on sale. Some other knit pals saw me with a list and laughed. I explained that I have to arrive armed with a list or I get so overwhelmed I end up walking out with nothing.

As it was, I procured some Mauch Chunky (New Zealand/Domestic wool) in a toothache butterscotch to make Brooklyn Tweed's Hemlock Ring Blanket. I cast on in the afternoon, abandoning my long list of chores, and revelled in the quiet meditation of the stitches...a much needed Om, I must say.
This little lap blankie is cruising along. I'm now into the feather and fan "ad nauseum" which is relatively mindless knitting. I knit so much yesterday that this morning, when I did a few rounds, my left fingers were a bit numb! Ah this yarn is by no means the softest. It's rather scratchy and has that very wooly smell that a rough military blanket may have. But it was only around 6 bucks per skein, and who needs luxury for a blanket? Not me. Save that for next to my skin, which brings me to this yummyness.
Rowan Felted Tweed (merino, alpaca, viscose) in a color on a par with black rasperry coulis. With that, I shall make the Cinnabar Pullover from Interweave Fall 2007.

Today, we got down to all those chores that were blown off yesterday. It was an action packed day of cleaning, priming, etc. The pale yellow front hall is not done, as I need to put another coat of primer in the corners of the walls where the previously attempted dark mustard is still showing through. But here's the red wall that was finished last week! Yes, I know the wing chair covers seem a bit bedraggled and ill-fitting. What do you want for seven years! I'm on the lookout for something new.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Wow...has it really been that long?

I've either been busy or lazy. Maybe a little of both. Ok, so I'll post 1 day shy of 2 months since my last rambling. Zoinks. It's going to be LONG.

First, you have NO idea how glad I am that September is here! I'm counting the days till the autumnal equinox! Sweatshirt and jeans weather. Hoo Ahh!

So what exactly HAVE I been doing? Not really that much knitting. Lots of yoga, though. I LOVE Steve Ross's "Inhale" on the Oxygen channel, Mon-Fri, 6am-7am. I tape a week's worth and I'm good to go. So usually I get up around 5:15, do yoga for an hour and get on with the rest of my morning ritual. Yoga gives me a totally positive feeling, a sense of invincibility and euphoria. It's very much like the feeling you get when you kiss someone for the first time.

Uh...I DID finish that baby sleeper thingy, in time for the shower! K watched as it ended and said, "That looks like it could fit you!" He was almost right. The neck opening was huge due to the fact that I decided not to do the hood, so I had to do a couple rounds of single crochet to cinch it in. The recipient would never have known the difference. Definitely not some of my best work, it shows that my heart wasn't really in it. Also, the grafting of the shoulder seams didn't work right.

I have several other projects currently in the works. The main one is Annie Modesitt's "Corded Yoke Pullover" from Interweave Winter 2006. Several people have told me they can't see me wearing such a thing. Little do they know. Heh heh. I've hit a standstill on the sleeves. The flaw in the pattern is that they don't say to use dpn's to knit the sleeves in a tube. Well, sorry, but there's no way 45 (or however many) stitches are going to be doable on a 24 inch circular, or even a 16 inch for that matter. Indeed. The troubling part though, is doing increases in 2 x 2 rib. Looks kind of shoddy. Perhaps I'm doing something wrong. Will bring it to B&N Waterworks on knit night for some advisement.

So this weekend the master plan was to paint the living room fireplace wall a dark cranberry red. Mission accomplished. Have decided to leave the other walls ivory. Here is a before pic.

Stay tuned for the after pics. By the way, those yellow and green wing chairs were free...from a family friend. Have had them for 7 years. I'm sure they are circa 1964 or so. Aren't they purty? They're very comfy and are usually wearing slipcovers which are being washed. I have yet to put the drapes back up. Definitely not one of my favorite activities. Almost all of the pottery on the mantel was made by yours truly, by the way. Walked in the woods at Hartwood Acres 90 minutes Sat, 60 minutes Sun and 60 minutes today. Sheer bliss. The weeks of yoga are turning my legs into steel. I would have never been able to charge up the hills like that a year ago. I may soon be able to join my friend N on one of her Wonder Hikes!

This afternoon I continued unravelling some Takhi Donegal Tweed. I had accidentally made a gigantic sweater a couple years ago, and I need to recycle the wool into something wearable. Perhaps I'll join Jenn and SJ in the Central Park Hoodie escapade.

The last knit night was fun. We were really boisterous! The girls gave me a hard time when I said I was non-traditional and artsy. They said, “No! Really! We would never have guessed that!” They were stunned when I said we’ve lived in the house for a year and still don’t have curtains in the bedroom…well, we do have those roller blinds, but I’ve had higher priorities to take care of both financially and in terms of time. Originally I thought I’d sew curtains, but considering there are 5 windows and by the time I pay for fabric and spend the time, I’m better off buying. Target has exactly what we need for way less than what it would cost to make, and they match (in color, anyway) the comforter, a faded cobalt blue. The girls can rest assured that I HAVE purchased the curtains, but they're not yet installed. I procrastinate heavily when drilling is involved. Not because I can't, but because it requires careful measuring and makes a mess. I’m thinking a pale chartreuse will look great with the blue curtains and dark woodwork. My mom recommends I do some research on colors that are conducive to sleep.

On that note, it's almost time to hit the hay.