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Archive for September 30th, 2006

Textile Art Show This Friday

Saturday, September 30th, 2006

Barbara Abbott wrote with information on The Old Art Building in Leland, northern lower Michigan. They will be having a “Fiber Festival” textile art exhibit and the opening is this coming Friday, October 6, from 5-8pm. Details are on the website (click photo bottom right on main page).

Here’s an excerpt of what they say:

Artists with original fiber art will exhibit and sell their work in mediums of paper, wearable art (clothing), tapestry & woven handbags, weaving, quilts, knits, fiber sculpture, painted silk, and fiber critters. Admission is free and open to the public.

This year’s featured artist is Lynn Spitz-Nagle of Omena, with “Animals Unlimited”. For more than 33 years she has been working magic creating animals and folk art people in fibers. Lynn hand weaves the fabrics used in her original-designed patterns. She often uses fibers she has handspun of wool and dog hair. At our festival, Lynn will demonstrate all stages of creating people’s faces; showing how these delightful creatures come to life and take on a personality of their own. She will also give weaving lessons on a floor loom.

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

Saturday, September 30th, 2006

I’ve been knitting lately. With guests, I could not really dye yarn or do polymer clay because they take up so much living space in my house when I do those things. However, I can knit with little elbow room.

Parade in Williamston MichiganI finished one sock and started another, in the heavy weight Socks that Rock. The first one is lovely. I made fast progress on the 2nd one but could not figure out why the colors were patterning so differently from the first. Whoops! I figured it out. That is, after knitting the whole second foot and nearly ready to start the cuff.

I knit the foot on the first sock on size 4 needles. Then, since I was doing a slip stitch pattern on the cuff, I switched to size 6 needles to complete those. No surprise, then, that when I started the second sock I started it with the needles I’d just used to finish the first sock. I’ll be ripping out that whole foot and starting over. Good thing that only took me a day (between knitting other things).

My Equilateral Vest is beautiful. I finished all the full sized triangles and started sewing the strips together (the front pieces are already done seaming). It appears, though, that my gauge tightened up considerably from the back which was the gauge swatch, to the front panels.

It does fit around me properly, and it is beautiful so I will not rip out. However, I’m considering another strip of triangles on the bottom edge of what I’ve already done, to lengthen the vest a bit. I like sweaters tunic length and though I rarely wear vests I think I’d like this one if it went past my waistband a bit. So that will need some planning, though the knitting and sewing parts won’t take long at all.

Parade, Williamston, MII’m almost out of one of the ribbon yarns for a wrap I started a year and a half ago. I will have to figure out how I want to end this piece, very soon. I’ve been contemplating that for a year and a half, so we’ll see how I end up working that out soon.

Tonight I needed to finish something and I was cold so I looked for something to put on my lap. I pulled out what was intended to be a rug that I started maybe in 2002. It is made of Peace Fleece which is a very earthy, “rustic” yarn made from wool and mohair. It makes my eyes itch if I work with it too long, though once I wash it I have no trouble. There must be a little of the sheep still in that yarn, as I’m allergic to the animal (not its fur).

I could only work on that rug about 3-10 rows at a time and then put it away. I think I finished the knitting last winter but put it away again. Tonight I just worked in all my yarn ends. Now I just have to wash it and I can use it. It would be a fine rug if felted/fulled just a little (I knit it too loose, really, for a good rug). But I think it is the perfect size for a lap blanket for this winter. It is two strands of worsted (?) weight yarn held together as one, and knit in seed stitch at the edges and checkerboard in the center. It was my first attempt at a rug (the next attempt became my Basketweave Rug pattern).

So at least that is done. I did need to finish something.

My first houseI also am working on the last 25% of a bulky weight yarn footie/slipper in wool/alpaca. I need at least one pair of these each winter to get my feet through the season (I wear them out and that is how I plan it). I don’t like slippers, they make my feet perspire, so footies are more comfy. They knit so quickly and take so little yarn that it’s OK if they are one-season items.

I’m letting the sock-to-be-ripped rest overnight before I do the ripping. I usually need to let things like that “age” before I dive in. But as ripping goes, this is a relatively low stress version.

Oh, I also took photos of my Cushy ColorSport half-pound skeins of yarn today. I finally was home during sunshine hours with time to photo. I have been doing a tug of war with the new shopping cart software… the minute I think I understand then I find a new screen with things to fill out that I did not even know was there. Ugh.

I may just have to give up this time and sell it the old way (where people sent me emails rather than placing orders in a web page shopping cart) or I may never get my work out there where you can get it. At least on October 14 I will be participating in the in-store booth sales event at Threadbear, so I will be able to sell some yarn there. I just had intended to give you guys a shot at buying it by now!

I took more photos today. When will I ever find time to edit them? It seems I just never get home alone anymore. Brian’s other band, the Scarlet Runner Stringband played at Sweetie Pie Pie Shop in Dewitt this morning, and they plus our friend Paul played at Altu’s tonight. So I took photos and have not even downloaded them to my computer yet.

Progress, not perfection, as they say…

Photos: Homecoming parade just over a week ago, Williamston, Michigan. I was there for the Sally Melville Creativity talk and got there just as the parade started. I lived in Williamston for 12 years starting in 1979. At that time it was a town of only 4000 and was a quiet place. Now it is getting to be a cool place to live (and growing fast), 25 miles east of Lansing.

The first two photos are the parade. The third photo is the house in Williamston where I lived for 11 years. It’s a two-flat duplex. I lived in the smaller upstairs apartment for 10 years, during my first marriage. It was a solid home with wood floors and wood trim (unpainted), built by the owners after the 2nd World War. They lived in the garage while they built the house from whatever used lumber they could find (this made it more sturdy as all the wood was already seasoned well).

In 1982 we planted white pine trees in the back/side yard which were not knee high, and they are now about 4 stories tall. Time passes while we are not looking, my friends!

I once thought I would retire in this home. However, I sold the house and moved to Lansing in around 1991. It took me years before I could look at the house again, but now I’m so happy in my new life that looking at it is more of a history lesson than a regret. I could not move out of the city, now that I’ve been here so long. I’ve been a citygrrl in Lansing for longer than I lived in Williamston, and I would not trade it for anything.

What Do I Do Now?

Saturday, September 30th, 2006

I went to the farmer’s market. I bought cabbage, kale and “red grilling onions.”

I know how to cook cabbage and have a recipe for kale. But what are red grilling onions and how do I cook them? They are 2.5″/6.3cm in diameter.