Monday, December 31, 2007

The Last Knit Project of 2007

A pair of fingerless mitts. They are a bit roomy. This only inspires me to try making a pair with a set of those #4 dpn's and the hopes of a better fit. In the meantime, I'll just need to find someone with pregnant paws to fit these mitts.

Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

The Gray Lazy Day

Here's my bit of Sunday knitting. This and catching Le Show on WAMC was about all I cared to do today. Much talk about Bhutto and the Year in Review with a weird pseudo-phone conversation between 41 and 43. The Fair Isle bag is something I finished a couple of years ago (I think ~ need to research my own blog on that), but I wasn't happy with the strap as per instructions. The pattern originally called for a twisted bunch of yarns which proved difficult to feed through the top of the bag. Instead, I spent time mindlessly knitting I-cords. These were knit too long so I made knots which created a sort of added decoration. As you can see here:

Piwaqit is glaring at a quick knit: the beginnings of fingerless mitts. (I lied. I said I wouldn't get bogged down with another project so I could focus on painting and spend my fiber nights spinning, but the single-ply alpaca was having words with me and then this bit of mohair blend piped up . . . and it just got complicated.) This pattern can be found on the Knitting at KNoon site. The pattern calls for #7 US dp needles, but I only had #8's (all mixed in with a bunch of #4's ~ it's as if my grandmother forgot she had #4 dpn's at least five times). So the gloves will be a bit larger than intended. Well, I'll see how it goes. I fear not the mistakes ~ hmmm . . . that was a bit Yoda-like.

Friday, December 28, 2007

baby steps

After much puttering 'round the house, in and out, feeding animals, filling bird feeders, making neat, I cleared out my studio and set things up to paint. This process actually started mid-morning, segue'd into early afternoon with many interruptions. Furnace repair guy, people needing to eat, phone calls, arranging time for a movie out tonight. I also moved my paper supply and some artwork that was stored with it into my studio. That took time because I forgot the artwork I had. Stuff like this:

And this:

And so, finally, at about 1:30 pm, I was painting.
As usual, I'm not sure where this is going yet. It seemed important to get the bottom done with white before calling it a day on any kind of painting so I persevered. These squiggles came out to play and then I spent time painting the negative space around them. I let the white paint do what it needed to do, even if that meant going completely over something I'd done. Now, intellectually, one would think: Paint something over, that makes it gone. However, as an artist, thinking intellectually needs to leave the building. Sometimes painting something over makes it something else other than gone. Maybe the original image will show through. Maybe some interesting effect will occur. Maybe what appears to be gone has to be a new way of creating a vision. I met my personal goal for the day. A fair accomplishment.

Although, Obiwan is always ready to point out where more work could have been done . . .

Thursday, December 27, 2007

The Hat w/ the Little Heart On

Voila! C'est finis! The last xmas gift knitted for Dirk. Despite what one might think, it is actually the side of the hat that is being viewed. The grey is my 4-ply Icelandic, still a bit greasy which should make it a little weather-proof. The orange heart is some fat, juicy Lopi bought when Patternworks was just a tick north of me on Route 9 ~ they've been in another state for quite a few years. I've missed them terribly. While the Knittingsmith is a fine, very local, substitution, when one is belaboured with holiday money and a strong yearning to add to the Stash, the place needs to be open. Inventory, schminventory! I want sock yarn now, dammit! AC Moore's did little to mollify that need. I settled for beads and two pounds of bees wax, which I minded to the best of my ability.

I'm feeling a little lost as to what to do next. Really (and again) I ought to be working on the Tarot thingy, but I'm peering far into another Artistic Desert inspiration-wise. Which is why I think I just need to play with some tempera and paper just to limber up again. And so that I'm not focusing on any particular fiber project, spinning would perhaps keep my hand in the wool at night when thoughts are fuzzy and the TV reigns.

Speaking of TV ~ between xmas gifts and what I've purchased for myself I have a great many movies to catch up on. My Harry Potter series is, for the present, complete; First Year to the Fifth. Having received the third Pirates of the Carribean movie and already owning the second, it was necessary to ensure I had the first. Done deal, purchased cheap today. From my mother, we received Pan's Labyrinth (this is a subtitled aka NO Knitting/Spinning movie) and Sicko. And just to round out my hours for complete time displacement, I bought The Queen. At this rate, I might not need to leave the house until Imbolc . . . if I'm lucky.

This evening, I leave you with a photo that perfectly captures the level of respect our cats have for the human inhabitants.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

xmas Stuff

First, we purchased a tree of insane proportions. In this respect, Dirk isn't very Tao in his approach to life ~ Big is better than the Power of the Small. And yet, I will find a way to get this tree down on my own by Twelfth Night.

After tree raising and a few days later, we all trundled down to the local VFW hall to see Tom in his acting debut. A very convincing elf indeed. In an effort to maintain some of his dignity, I've opted not to include the full costume which, naturally, included the magical elf tights of bright conflicting (NOT contrasting) colors. It was of a Ketchup and Eggs theme.

Then xmas dawned early for us ~ an excruciating 5:00 am. I'm still peeling my eyes from the back of my head.

But I got stuff . . .

Tom got stuff . . .

Bennie got stuff . . .

Even Ian got stuff, he just neglected to hold up the entire set of drums . . .

I'm waiting for the regret to set in on that last purchase. I was already fully aware of the acoustics in our Cathedral-ceilinged home; now that awareness will merely wax painful with incessant drumming and cymbal clashing. More cowbell!

And I forgot to take photos of the knitted things I'd given out. There was a Tudora neckcuff, pattern found on Knitty . And there was a Daisy Chain scarf that I modified greatly from this to suit my own funkiness. Lastly, there was Lee Raven's Hands On Spinning easy ribbed hat in mohair/wool combo. My last gift is for Dirk, albeit late. Another easy ribbed hat with my 4-ply Icelandic wool. The goal is a sturdy, warm hat that won't flop in the face of continued winter weather. He still wears the hats I made seven (?), eight (?) years ago from my first handspun Romney ~ they've seen better days and may simply have to be retired. Future cat beds, maybe.

But the main point is: xmas is done for another year along with all the angst that went with it. Believe me, there was much angst ~ sweating UPS deliveries slated for xmas eve, a dead rooster, meal planning on a ham shank, daggers over the Yule Log mousse cake. It just doesn't get any better than that. Is it worth being resolute that next year will be different or better? Not really. It is what it is. Better to go with the flow. Read some more of the Tao Te Ching and smack your head like in the V-8 commercials ~ "Wow! I could have connected with my te!"

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Coming Undone

With the Big Snow Storm heading in this morning, I set myself up in my Little Corner to begin unraveling. I'm generally unraveled anyway, but what I speak of is the Moirae Pullover from The Knitting Goddess. It just wasn't working ~ hadn't been working for three years. I've gone through two different styles of sleeves (one set became instant leg warmers) and it's been moved and then sat around in baskets and on the Project Table for far too long. It was an uncomfortable existence at best.

So these are the bits I have to un-work with. Of course, I knotted every end on every stripe which made it easy to find the ends, but the fuzzy stripes were the worst! Fuzzy, eyelash yarn is a bear to rip out ~ probably worse than mohair.

In the meantime, as folks were snowed in we made it a Chazz Michael Michaels and Ricky Bobby day with Blades of Glory and Taladega Nights.

Tom IM'd people he thought he'd get to see in town today. Much to his chagrin, that's not happening. We live on a mountain ~ no car, no ride. Alas! Life is now Boring. Funny how Boredom occurs more than one would like to admit.

And after two Will Ferrell movies and some DaVinci Code busting on the History Channel, this represents the front of the Pullover Formerly Known As Moirae. I feel like I've just gone yarn shopping. The only problem is that I've knotted it all back together. I'd been toying w/ making tea cozy's or simple Yule tree ornaments ~ at least then the knots won't matter much or irritate any Princess and the Pea types if made into garments.

Now, time for some kind of dinner and disassembling the back . . .

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Proof of Life

These four photos are merely proof that Ian was indeed on stage at the Middle School Winter Chorus and Band Concert. The camera was less than cooperative giving me the fuzzy blurs and the pianist's head was bobbing along with the music. But I feel I've captured some essence. An essence that says: "Look, I'm here against my will. I may or may not lip sync along just to make it seem as though I care, but DO NOT expect the drummer of the Apocalypse Demons to sing Hakuna Matata!"

Needful Things & Lazy Lie-Abouts

But first, miscellaneous crap:

Bennie at her first Elementary Winter Concert jammin' the flute. Is flautist really a dirty word?

Bodhi gearing up for Yule . . .

And now, for the Needful Things:
Bennie needed a hat hand spun and knit in one night ~ she got it. Regrettably, she was not available for the photo shoot as it was still early morning. Waking her before the boys leave for school is generally a good way to start the day off badly. We leave sleeping daughters lie.

I needed sleeves for this sweater that had been lying about for 3 years. Now I need to rip it all out and return it to the yarn stash as I'm greatly disappointed with the results. Can't feel bad about it; just close my eyes, turn away and RIP!

Some dear person all the way in Kentucky sensed my need for a hand-made purple jacket with magenta serged edges and designs (asymmetrical, thank you!). It is my house cozy. (And don't laugh at the deer-in-the-headlights look. Ian was taking the picture with random Russian Roulette precision and I hadn't any coffee yet ~ it's 6:30 am, for gods' sake!)

This same dear friend (Ruth) also knew I needed a lovely yogini in Child's Pose created by Mary Harmon (hope to have her link one day soon) as a gentle reminder to practice my asanas and curb seasonal homicidal tendencies. And along with that I got a fair amount of Moonkissed Mugwort to get me through the more exasperating moments in the year.

It is now time for the cast of Lazy Lie-Abouts . . .
This is Piwaqit, a new addition to our Feline Family.

On another portion of the counter, Darth Vader . . .

On the car seat left in the house, Obiwan Kenobi; he is our only hope . . .

Why this is sideways is an enigma I'm not bothering to correct, but here's Crystal.

And Bodhi in the swivel lounger. Also sideways . . . I didn't shoot the photo this way.

Flower is the only one remaining vigilant. It's likely she's waiting for me to catch a cat nap so she can catch a snap of me napping. Pity she doesn't have thumbs to operate the camera. She might have a chance with the mouse though.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Thanksgiving Past

The computer's hard drive crashed and burned. Hence no computer for awhile. Hence, late photo-bio of Truckey Day events . . . unlabeled. Guess what's going on. It's fun.