Monday, 27 February 2017

Serious Knitting

There was knitting.  Serious knitting.  Knitting to the point of hands hurting knitting.

I had the best time.

My sweater is moving along quite nicely. 

I'm already planning the next one!

I am with my wee kiddies today, so much more tomorrow.

Friday, 24 February 2017

Storage Wars? Not Quite.

I have played around with storing my wool and my wool things so much these last few months.  From that lovely wool room whose only flaw was that I wish it had been larger, to the very very tight fit and overflow at my house to this lovely home with two closets.  In each case, I had to come up with a slight adjustment to the way I store my wool things.

The large containers are still the mainstay of my storage, but only for yarn.  It still is a pretty awesome pile of yarn, which I am really glad I assembled.  It would be tough to knit much if I could only on what I could afford now. 

Looks like every other closet out there stuffed with yarn.

My sweaters are all kept in what was once my pantry.

It's one of the nicest, most difficult to construct Ikea pieces ever. (They really skimped on tools with this one.  I hope it is better now) It's nice and deep and has 3 good shelves to hold stuff.  A truly lovely sweater chest.

And then scarves and shawls.  They are such a difficult thing to store.  The sweater cabinet is full, and I don't really have anywhere for the hanging shelves that I had at my wee house and at my big house.  I did have room under my bed, so that is where they are going.

There is a small underbed chest with a few seldom worn clothes and this much larger one which holds all of the shawls and scarves that I kept.  I did go through things before I moved last time to weed out the ones I never wore.  Others could use them more than I.

This is actually what I am doing this morning.  Nothing ever fits into one place when you move.  There is always a box or two of things that straggle along and become a mish mash of weird stuff lumped together.  I found a bag of scarves and shawls with some bars of soap, a half bottle of shampoo and my scale yesterday.  It had been tucked behind my quilt frame!  Putting them away properly was a nice quick bit of work.

As much as there was a quick morning task before I head out for the day, I did come across something that is going to get knit again sometime.

The Oscilloscope shawl by Kate Gagnon Osborne.  I love the little details of this shawl.  I adore the yarn I knit is with, Manos Silk Blend.  It's a lovely puffy blend that just calls you to snuggle into it.  The only problem is, it is a little small.  I had only 3 skeins, and I used every bit.  I would dearly love a much larger version to swirl around me.  

Storage battles appear to be done for now.  Now is time for coffee and nice hot bowl of bracing oatmeal porridge and a few minutes to knit before I am off.

Thursday, 23 February 2017


Inspiration is a funny thing.  It doesn't always come when you are expecting it or hoping for it.  It doesn't always come from things you expect to inspire you.  Sometimes it just comes.

One of the blogs and crafters I have long followed is Karen Ruane, a UK based artist whose chosen field is embroidery. Her blog has been on my sidebar since the beginning of time.  This is the perfect example of why she inspires me.  Colour studies and details and, oh my, just looking at her pages of stunning work makes me feel so alive.  

Another is Dances with Wool.   Her writing is deeply felt, so carefully composed and thought out, so very well written.  And still has knitting and embroidery and crafting of all sorts and kinds.  I am so blessed to be invited in to read her work.

I have a couple of treats for me that I picked up recently.  They make me believe that there are many possibilities out there to explore.

I love the delicacy of this. It feels like such a quiet rich thing is captured in these stitches, such depth.   Depth and complexity enough I think, to take you where ever you want to go.   I give you The Embroidered Garden  

Delicate and yet, in a lot of ways, I think very doable and accessible. I am pretty sure I can accomplish this.  I seriously doubt that I have true artistry, but this book makes me feel that I might get close.    

And then this.  This source of incredible uplifting inspiration. I feel completely exhilarated by this book.  

 It is just filled with things, views and techniques that make me want this so badly.

The backgrounds are all done by layering organza.  It is such a lovely, soft effect that produces a hazy sense of distance, 
 overlaid with embroidery to bring close details into crisp definitive textures.

It takes my breath away really.  She takes a very complex thing and makes it feel so simple.  

I know that I will never get there.  It takes a real artist to make this sort of beauty.  An artist with much better vision (sight rather than insight) than I have.  An artist with a much better sense of proportion and far more skill than I dream of having.  That really isn't what this is about for me.  

This book excites me and stimulates my heart of hearts.  It makes me feel alive to know that such things are possible.  It makes me feel just as I do when looking at El Greco or Van Gogh.  It touches that same place that Bach and Mozart do.

All of these people noted here, who approach to their particular artistry with such passion, each so unique, each with a distinct vision. That inspires me.

I must go knit now.  Almost finished projects beckon.  Stripes call.  And that inspires me too.