Friday, August 3, 2007

A funny thing happened on my way... straighten up my stash.

I’ve been reading a book called, “Stephanie Pearl-McPhee Casts Off”. There was a lot of talk about yarn and stash and stash maintenance/control (or lack thereof). Every once in a while I feel a need to gather all the projects in process and all the yarn that’s found its way around the house in one place to organize it and take stock (not to mention find long-lost needles). The book certainly stirred that desire such that I had, not only every intention, but actually moved to begin. I have a small rattan chest next to my ottoman that contains yarn. On top of it was a project bag with the Fair Isle U-neck Pullover from the Fall 2006 Vogue Knitting magazine with most of the back done. I started it with one of my favorite yarn, KnitPicks Merino Style yarn. (I first used this for this Turkish shawl – Fall 2005 VK – Mari Lynn Patrick – and some fair isle thick and warmy socks). I had been hearing the faint siren song of this project for a couple of weeks, catching the hint of the tune from time to time. It was even in a bag that was tied up. My miscalculation was in thinking I could touch it with impunity.

When I came to, it was bed time and I realized that my stash was safe for another day. But I did finish the back (although for some reason I found that I had shaped the back neck when the pattern called for it to go straight up – don’t know why but I’m sure I had a good reason so I just went with it) and got the front started. Oh, well. As my old friend Andy used to say, there’s always room for one more (project, that is).

Here's what it looks like so far:

Wednesday, August 1, 2007


I’ve had a wonderful new experience this year. I’ve always loved watercolor and even dabbed a bit in the past but this year I found a local class that has inspired me to take it up again. I wanted this post to be a way of saying thank you to our teacher, Joan Beeman, and to highlight the work of some of the other students. Below you’ll see a couple of Joan’s paintings and some incredible paintings from one of the other students, Elaine Winans. One of the best things of being part of a group like this is that, not only do you get the instruction part of things, but you also get the inspiration of seeing what other people in the class are doing. It doesn’t matter if they’ve been painting for years or if they are just starting out, you can learn from anyone else that shares your joy and passion for the art.

Just click on the picture and it will open in a larger view.

Here are a couple of Joan’s paintings:

And here are some of Elaine’s.

Beautiful, aren’t they?

Thanks, ladies, for sharing these for me to post.

Monday, July 30, 2007

The Thumb - Green or ...

Usually plants are not my friends. I like them but they don’t usually like me. My mother used to have to rescue plants from room and bring them back to life. She, of course, has the greenest of thumbs.

So now I have to show you my plants hardy enough to withstand my presence. I wanted to get some plants last year but never really got around to it for a number of reasons. This year, I decided just to go for it and went slightly wild. Of course, I don’t know any of the names of most of them but I have a couple of different types of mint, two different types of lavender, some ivy and some herbs and they’re all still growing. Only 2 of the plants didn’t make it, one because it got caught in the drain from the roof when we were having some heavy rains and one got thirsty when I went on my trip. But I’m just thrilled. My Mom sent me a cartoon called “Get Fuzzy” by Darby Conley. In the first frame, the main character was writing that he couldn’t do anything right. In the second frame, his friend comes in and says, “Hey Poochy, your seeds are actually growing.” “They are?” he replies. The third frame has his friend congratulating him, saying, “You’re officially a mommy.” “It’s so much more wonderful than I could have imagined!” That made me laugh because we are always talking about new plants being new babies.

To projects:

I finished the latest clue for the mystery stole but I don’t have a picture yet. I need to pin it out and block it.

Here is a painting I just finished. The landscape is Seamill, near West Kilbride, in Scotland where I used to live. I love the west coast of Scotland. It’s so wild and so beautiful. (Yikes - I'll have to post the picture tomorrow. Forgot to bring it with me.)

I’ve started a pair of socks with the green Trekking yarn. Love it, LOVE IT! It’s 75% wool/25% bamboo. Just lovely.

I need to do my homework for my Stitches class. Oooooooohhhhh....I can't wait, I can't wait. I'm doing a 2-day class on a Danish pattern called Skrå-trøjer. It's only 2 weeks away.