26 December 2011

Tidings of a Season

My little corner has been a busy one. Had the fun of welcoming my little family of mother, sister, kids for the Christmas weekend. Enjoyed - not kidding - some advance preparation, cooking soups and pfeffernuss, cleaning and decorating over the past weeks.

We had good times, good giggles, good games, good visits, good church, good music, and Oh! Good Foods! I knew there was football in the air, but the kids didn't turn the television on all weekend. (I suppose the Bears lost?)

Some travel this week. I will be tackling a little more knitting and sewing today. (Of course I am, my sister would say!)

I wish my knitter friends joy, in whatever forms please you.

(My dear aunt, much loved and much missed, made the Joy I propped onto the hall mirror. She was a proper maker of Christmas!)

11 December 2011


How'd I go this long without trying entrelac?

Same thing goes for spaghetti squash, which I tackled for the first time this fall. The second half of the one i baked this week made a fine squash & tomato gratin this evening. (Leftovers from that, one more lunch tomorrow.). Yum.

Similarly yummy, this hat. As I followed a recipe and not a pattern, I will have to write down the details right now. I tried on the hat and I love it.

The hat is a Christmas present I will be proud to give. I will have to make another one soon, though. I have made two caps for myself recently that are nice looking, but they are not so spectacular on me. This entrelac hat? A very nice surprise.

08 December 2011

Workshop in Holiday Mode

Hardly ever happens: I am in a holiday making mode. Early December usually finds me worn, frazzled and behind.

Since I am not entirely worn, frazzled, or - well - since I am getting at least some things done ahead, I am making time for me. Perversely, I am enjoying that me-time by doing some holiday gift making. Pulled out the holiday fabric amassed over time (and at sales) and began with some placemats for two of my cousins with young families.

Whee! It's going to be quite a stack. Brought it into the shop, where I factor in a bit of me-time sewing early and late.

05 December 2011

Cooking on a Sunday

I planned to cook.
Then I started this hat, following an in-store pattern, picked up with this yarn.

Turned out the pattern was a recipe.  Several rows of entrelac rectangles, it said.   There were specifics for the left leaning triangles.  There are specifics for right leaning ones shortly, followed by two recipe options for the decreases. Nothing about the rectangles in between except a number of rounds of rectangles done by the author. Now that I know the pattern is a recipe, I am at least prepared for the next surprise, as I suspect the decreases aren't what I remember of the shop sample.

Could be I just don't remember.  Could be the scramble to find guidance for the rectangles placed other hat images in my head.  Did I mention that this is my first entrelac foray?

So I will be considering multiple sources for the top if this hat.  Good thing I was planning on a creative day-off challenge.  

Doubly good there are containers of soup and ratatouille in the freezer.

01 December 2011


Here's to a December which includes some textile fun!

29 November 2011

Finger Puppets

A friend of mine makes adorable little finger puppets and sells them on Etsy. She makes custom orders as well.


Sh! She doesn't know I posted this.

28 November 2011

Rhinos in Process

Among the projects that have kept me busy lately:

These were still in progress, at the time of this impromptu photo romp.

Wire hangers of varying sizes and configurations for the armature.

You can tell they're not done yet, because horn application is in varied states. We made two-horned rhinos. Nine of them.

T-shirt yarn - some overdyed from chain mail knitting some years ago. Some of varying grey and kindred tones from additional cannibalized shirts. When done, we did some fabric overpainting. And we added eyes.

Guess whose tshirt drawer was thinned out a little extra? Win and win.

13 November 2011

Textile Play, scene 2

Sunday night
Fabric paint
Lno block carving
Paint scumbling

Some success
A lot of rustic printing

Geeky Costume Details

12 November 2011

Plata, Plato, Playdough.

I keep wanting to call this colorway Plato. I had a parakeet named Plato. I thought the name was playdough, because I knew more about that lovely colored substance than I did the philosopher.

The yarn here is Malabrigo Gruesa in the colorway Plata - for the metal, not the philosopher.

A 65 yard quick hat, this one was. Only three inches remained!

11 November 2011

Textile Play: Experiments

Cork circles, on the right

Plastic "cedar" fronds

A foam rubber flower die cut, eventually with bits ripped off and out

Cork faced with haphazard netting of crochet cotton (held on the sides with pins, it looks very disturbing)

Urban Rustic

Called for a brick wall, somehow....

10 November 2011

Losing Track, Staying on Course

I have more hand printing play underway. I'm tackling some embroidery for costume. Costumes are on schedule for several projects. Knitting a quick hat. Working on other knits.


I just timed out my efforts into a 12 hour lockdown.

At least the important stuff is on course.

I'm just losing track of the passwords.

04 November 2011

Knitting for Plays

I am a dork. Let it be said.

I'm now knitting another costume piece.

Urban Rustic gloves (pattern from Knitty)

from some very old stash wool

The pair will serve as another costume piece for an upcoming play. Actors are being asked to talk with us about what their characters would wear. We couldn't find gloves that were crude enough for one character without being fingerless. "I'm a survivor," she said. "I'd have the tips of my fingers covered."

FAST knit. Knitting up on 11's, and truthfully would be a lousy pair of gloves for serious warmth. Too loose for real winter. Still, they're a look that seems to work well for the occasion.

The costume shawls of previous posts - both in the same production. And one of the actors decided her character activity is knitting. Because of that, she picked the beige costume shawl made a couple years ago out of the shawl bin samples I pulled for her. As her knitting prop she is currently using a project she started a long time ago. Have to go stash diving quickly for a suitable knitting prop for her, as her current project is pretty pristine.

I am a dork. I am so amused.

I hope to be done tomorrow. What will amuse me then?

03 November 2011


I have given myself permission to play a tiny bit this fall.
Here's one piece - I am taking part in a handpainted fabric swap, sponsored by Leslie Keating of onegirl - now Maze & Vale .

Last week I found a lovely piece of plain linen & cotton yardage in the remnants section of Vogue Fabrics. It could serve for the fat quarters, but I'm feeling indecisive. This past weekend I picked up some 100% cotton canvas yardage. (If I don't use it for this project, it's targeted for some cloth bags.) Will be going through some other on-hand yardage, as well, and have started the prewashing of the fabric I just picked up.

This decision-making sea of choices is part of play. I invited a friend over yesterday to meet me in the shop to play with some fabric paint printing. Tried our hand at using a variety of found objects. Decided that was the focus of the sampling activity for the evening.

It was good to play and think about what I might best do for this project.

26 October 2011

Knitting Photo Finish; Or, Tricking a Smart Phone

Smart Phone photography isn't entirely Smart.

I've been playing games at tricking it into capturing better color. Well, different color.

Sunny day indoor location and truer color:

Same location, same time and day - totally faded out:

Fluorescent light, early evening - not great color:

Moments later, having figured out I can fake out the light meter by pointing it at the light and taking the picture quickly - better color:

Taken earlier before said experiment - crazily disappointing color:

Much better color. Also, THIS COSTUME PIECE is DONE. Done for a different show than the one for which it was started, but hey, done is good.

15 October 2011

Fall Knitting

Football Knitting meet Costume Knitting.

I'll be in the stands.

09 October 2011

More Summer!

The beautiful days of the past week are continuing into the next. I am delighted, especially as I have a day off tomorrow. A DAY OFF. On a nice day. I intend to sleep, walk, and take care of my home environs.

Sleeping and walking may carry the day. The last weeks have been brutally full of work, but that's just because the projects are big. BUT, I am happy to say, I still carried on with the summer resolve. Cooking, a little knitting, still in practice.

Actually knit a hat during tech week. It's not the hat I wanted, but it can at least be a hat to wear while walking in the mornings when the weather turns. The weather will turn, I know. Working on a sweater as well. It's an out of season knit, but since it's miles of stockinette, I'll be able to get it done by spring. It's definitely a warm weather sweater wrap.

But that's enough of that. No pictures of knitting today, and those stories aren't incredibly compelling at the moment. Instead, I had promised myself aloud to share other stories with the picture parade of the last post.

A friend (former colleague and neighbor) bought a century farm with her husband as part of their empty nest transition. Visited them in the summer, and we made plans to have a can-the-harvest weekend. We put it on our calendars. As the date approached, I got a call: apples were done. They'd canned though, which was new for her, and she felt very good about her accomplishments. Long story not much shorter, we didn't cancel after all, I went out, and we planned to tangle with tomatoes and see if we thought we might still be able to pick a few apples.

I actually Left Work Early that Friday. I hear people do that. When I arrived we ate supper and read cookbooks at each other. There was a lot of chuckling. Her husband is a hoot. And, as is customary in my family in massive cooking adventures, we called my mother to check on a particular recipe.

My friend's property holds an incredibly diverse assortment of such old apple trees - not an orchard - so distinct that they defy easy identification. Think heirloom. Never-been sprayed trees. Tart ones, sweet ones, pear-like, perfumy, red, green, blush, and yellow.

My friend is delightfully an in-the-moment person. We drove the truck around to check out the trees, as there had been a pretty hard frost. Armed with bags, containers, a ladder, and an apple picker, four of us picked "just a few."

While I've picked a lot of wild fruit and farmed fruit over the years, somehow I had never been apple picking. I think I caught up.

A few here, a few more, oh, there are some here, and before we knew it, we'd probably picked about 10 bushels.

My friends had just picked up the new book Canning for a New Generation. We slow roasted paste tomatoes while we picked apples. (Fit for freezing. If they last.) We made chili with tons of veg from the garden, four colors of tomatoes, zucchini, peppers.

We cranked out apple sauce on the road to making apple butter, mixing up many types of apples in each pan full of sauce. We made and canned a red pepper and tomato relish from a familiar recipe I'm quite fond of. We made jars of apple butter and canned it as well as the balance of the apple sauce. We ate open face sandwiches of roasted tomato on slices of day old cheese bread bowls, toasted in the oven.

It was an excellent weekend.

I came home with a carload of produce and weeks of good cooking ahead of me. Of course, those are stories for another post. I need to check on the matinee.

28 September 2011

Summer meets September

This summer, I decided I would take better care. You could list just about anything there, and it would fit. Eat better, walk more, cook (I used to) more, separate from work more, connect with friends, write a letter, sew, clean, read...

The last few years I have been particularly unkind to myself, and it doesn't help me care for others particularly well. I got a little lost.

This summer I took a couple road trips. It sounds super ridiculous any way I type it, (and I've backspaced five times now), but I had lost track of my better me.

I'm happy to report that I'm hanging onto a bit of that summer resolution. The fact that I'm hanging onto a bit of it in what is usually a whirlwind month of activity is pretty remarkable.

My alarm just went off. I have to get a cup of tea going so I can get into my next several hours of work with lots of people.

Here's a glimpse of my September report:

I'll come back for story telling. In the meanwhile, I hope you'll make something yummy. I may make another apple crumble tonight!

05 September 2011

So International

The pattern designer is from Germany.

She gave the pattern an Italian name.

Frangiflutti. (Pattern on Ravelry.)

I picked up the yarn on a trip - Happy, by Wendy - at John Lewis in London.

So this is a British Breakfront. (Frangiflutti, translated, as I understand it.)

The yarn is bamboo - a little nylon for stability.
Really, you know, I think it looks kind of wabi-sabi.

Knitting details - used US 7 needles. Used up all but 2-3 yards.

It's now in a gift bag, ready to move on.

Enfin quoi?
(Oh this internet and it's fancy dictionaries....)

25 August 2011

About that Pagona post

My posting skills the other day were pretty sketchy. I lost part of the original post.

About that Pagona. The post title was not carried out in the post. I gave it away. (I also went back into the post to fix that.)

It did not need to be a scarf I should keep. It was the PERFECT prezzie for one of my costume grads. Even when I was knitting it, I kept thinking the color would REALLY suit her. And, as I said in the newly edited post, she's a good match for the spiky drama of a capelet sized Pagona.

Now knitting another giftie scarf out of Happy, a yarn from Wendy, the UK yarn distributer/manufacturer.

The pattern is Frangiflutti, an interesting little assymmetrical kerchief.

Almost done, actually. End of summer knitting push....

19 August 2011

Not a Keeper - and I'm okay with that

Finished the scarf.

Enjoyed the knitting. Both pattern, Stephen West's Pogona, and yarn, Tosh Light Merino, were pleasant to handle.

Love the color - richer than this photo, but I just want to post today and move along.

And I gave it away. It was the PERFECT prezzie for one of my costume grads. Even when I was knitting it, I kept thinking the color would REALLY suit her. And she's a good match for the spiky drama of a capelet sized Pagona.

08 August 2011

Own. Up.

After funny angles and triple chins and odd incognito sunglasses, I give in.

Thanks to mittenfarce for the Habu Moire which inspired the whole deal!

Incognito Finito

07 August 2011

Nearly Done & Nearly Gone

Not sure what would run out soonest, the moire, the shoshenshi, my single crochet mojo, or the day.

Time to sleep. I may use up the yarn pretty nearly, but not this weekend.

Linen Fix

August can seem sometimes a month of Sundays. I love the drama queen "forever" of the phrase "a month of Sundays."

August holds a long deliberate stretch of heat and rest. It wants quiet and a book and a cold glass that tinkles with ice and leaves condensed pools of liquid on the table.

August demands the attention of the last preparatory stretch before the big Monday of school.

August tells me to hustle with all the things I've not yet readied.

August tells me to slow down before the real hustle begins.

This August weekend I paused for a little linen fixation.

Feels like August. Needs a great brim, one that goes forever.

14 July 2011


Can't put a date to the cartoon, but it has been clipped to this page for a long time.

Food on a stick.