Knit Night

I’ve been lucky enough here in Charlottesville to become friends with a lovely woman who makes beautiful color changing cotton yarn. Over the last few years I’ve knit a half dozen things with this yarn and have plans for a half dozen more.
All my pretty shawls

Patterns L to R: Bubbles and Baubles, Butterfly Garden, Rose Annie, Reversible circles of Lace (all patterns can be found on Ravelry, of course)

Today seemed like a good day to take a group portrait of my shawls. I’ve made two others as well, but they are for my mom and my sister, so they don’t live with me. All those gradients look so pretty hanging in a row.

I’ve been joining “Wolle” at the local yarn and wool festivals to help out at her booth. It’s great fun to show off the yarn and to help people choose just the right colors. The Elfe sweater in the last Knit Night post is also knit from Wolle’s yarn. I hope to have it finished in time to wear to the Powatan Fiber Fest at the end of this month. So far, so good — it should be next week’s post!

1000 Quilt Inspirations

Have you seen this book yet?

1000 Quilt Blocks book

It is chock full of quilt blocks and details for one to peruse. It’s by no means definitive (the quilt world is just too too huge for that), but there’s plenty to catch the eye. The book is divided into sections: Traditional, Modern, Pictorial Art Quilt, and Abstract Art Quilt. The traditional section sometimes leans towards the arty, and I doubt any hard core Modern quilter would see themselves in the Modern section. Really, the sections are there to add a little structure, and that’s OK. Given that author Sandra Sider is an art quilter, I’m not at all surprised at the leanings of the book. That’s also OK. It’s a book of inspiration, and it provides plenty.

 

100 quilt blocks inside

I have three pieces in the book — all from the Twelve by Twelve Colorplay series. Fellow Twelves Brenda Gael Smith and Deborah Boschert have work in the book too!

It’s a nice resource when you want to browse for inspiration. The book can be found on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or through the publisher themselves.

Figure Friday

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We drew a guy! Haven’t done that in a while. That is all.

Mementos

The latest addition to my Army Wife series. This is a collection of seven vintage hankies representing the seven deployments my husband had during his nearly 20 year military career. These were not the only times he was away from home, just the ones categorized as deployments. And I’m not presenting seven as an outrageous number to be pitied — it’s just a fact. In fact, it’s probably about average these days, especially since these deployments lasted anywhere from four to twelve months.

Hankie WIP 1

 

 

I was inspired by photographs of eyes I saw mounted in jewelry settings as pendants or pins, meant to be mementos of absent loved ones. The pieces I saw were from the early days of photography, but my understanding is that the practice of wearing images of the eyes of loved ones dates even further back. The idea seemed appropriate for my series.

Hankie WIP 2

 

I chose to put my eyes on hankies because I work in textiles, not jewelry, and because the retro look of these vintage hankies is already present in my other aprons and quilts. I’ve already appropriated WWII era aesthetics into my visual language. I chose to use a different eye photo for each hankie to emphasize that each deployment was a separate event. It was not so easy to find photos from circa 1996 and 1998 to scan and enlarge for the eyes!Hankie WIP 3

 

The collection will debut at the Homefront and Downrange show at the Arts Council of Moore County in June. They will be displayed in a table vitrine to emulate the look of opening a dresser drawer to access the collection.

Hankie WIP 4

Figure Friday

Figure Drawing 3.15

I decided to draw our tall thin model on tall thin paper last Thursday. It was great for the standing poses and the right amount of challenging for the seated ones. I finally captured her face in the far right drawing but had to completely start over on the body so as not to drag down my small success. It’s definitely unfinished, but I like it. The Drawing Session was bittersweet. It looks like this model, who has brought so much great energy to my efforts of late, is moving to greener pastures. I wish her well — even though a part of me hopes she comes back so I can draw more kitchen superheroes!

 

Knit Night

Apparently selfies of your feet on airport carpet (Portland, OR in particular) are a thing. My Facebook friends got to chart the progress of my knitting as well, while I traveled to Portland and back. Here’s the round up:

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A Roxborough Dolman Tee started at home. I’m looking forward to seeing how my two similar but different Color changing yarns will interact in the striping.

 

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Colors are starting to change at the Charlottesville airport!

 

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More stripes in Atlanta, though I’m beginning to suspect that my gauge is different enough that this will be too small.

 

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In Portland on our return trip, I’ve made lots of progress in the last five days, but I can also see that the stripes aren’t dancing the way I had hoped, the sweater seems too small, and the construction will mess with my gradients.

 

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On our first flight I realize it’s a losing battle — I’m just not loving it.

 

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Frogged before the drink cart made it to our aisle.

 

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In Minneapolis I download a new pattern. Now it’s an Elfe and I’ve swapped out the black/grey yarn for another blue/grey.

 

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By New York I have a neckline. BTW, La Guardia has the most boring of the airport carpets.

House Hunting

My newly established blogging rhythm has faltered a bit of late. It’s because hubby and I went to Portland, OR for a week to find a house. He is now officially retired from the Army and we have chosen Portland as our permanent home.

We’ve been visiting the area for years and really like it. This last visit felt very comfortable (in no small part to my “Quilt Aunt” Terry and the many more friends we have made like Gerrie too!). This is our very first time buying a house, and we appreciated the wisdom of friends and family to guide us.

House hunt

We discovered a lot during this hunt. We went into it with the parameters of a budget, a size (three bedrooms and a space for a studio), and several school districts. We soon found out that it can be hard to know when you’ve found your dream house when you really have no idea what your dream house consists of — and when you know you can make pretty much anything work. 20 years of assigned housing will do that to a person.

So, as much as we really would love to live in a cute Craftsman style cottage, a view to the floor below between the risers and treads on the stairwell was just too much project for us (not to mention all the other structural renovations needed would have blown our budget by half before we could even move in). That pink sink surround looks adorable, but let me tell you the rest of the room was a mess. Also, photos make things look better. The rooms that looked decrepit in person, actually don’t look half bad in photos — like that yellow kitchen and beautifully staged living room. But they came with evidence of a leaky roof, rotted siding and a few holes in walls. That scary bathroom with the press board and red tape in the corner was part of the same cottage with the stairwell view, though it was adorable from the outside. Many homes were just too small for us, and one was on a busy street with no parking. I couldn’t abide the move in ready house in the planned community way out in the suburbs, even though it was walkable to the MAX train. In the end, we discovered that our parameters landed us pretty solidly in one particular school district and 70s ranch house neighborhoods. The giant white tile kitchen that screamed jello molds and canapés was tempting, but the house had rooms in odd places, and backed up to a freeway. We almost made an offer on the house with the vaulted ceiling, super 70s entryway, and basement wet bar (partaay!), but the bedrooms and baths seemed tight to me. In the end, we chose a place that has a central location, more space than we expected, and a great view (not to mention a price tag that allowed for immediate renovation of the bathroom held together with masking tape and toilet paper). Our fingers are crossed that the dream house we are imagining lies under the masses of furniture, wallpaper, and debris of slovenly tenants really is there.

We’ll be moving this summer when the kids get out of school. If this house deal goes through, brace yourselves for lots of before and after photos on the blog.

Knit Night

It’s an ensemble!

 

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I dyed this yarn myself at a workshop through our local fiber arts guild. I blogged about it here a few years go. I did indeed make fingerless mitts out of it using the pattern that Sherri Lynn suggested in her comment on my blog post. My Ravelry post is here. I like these a lot and get a ton of wear out of them. I still had lots of yarn left over, so I decided to make a hat. The Sockhead hat fit the bill. Turns out I’m not a big hat wearer, but we were Downtown a few weeks ago in crappy weather, and it sure was nice to have a simple toasty hat.