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Archive for December 1st, 2007

Kristin Nicholas: a Fiberartist Who Lives ColorJoy

Saturday, December 1st, 2007

This is sort of an extra post wedged in between the comment-contest posts. If you reply to this extra one, you get credit for an extra comment. One comment per post was the rule… and we all know I sometimes post more than once a day.

I’ve mentioned my high regard for Kristin Nicholas here before. She does all sorts of art media, not only fiberart (she illustrated the incredible “Kids Knitting: Projects for Kids of all Ages” by Melanie Falick, which is a favorite book of mine… for new knitters who are adults as well as kids). She does a good bit of embroidery, often on her knitted items.

She has been in the knit industry for a very long time and her works show the finesse and creativity of one who knows her style and her artform. If you have knit long at all, you will have seen her work. Very recently I’m recalling that her work has been in Interweave Knits magazine, and I just read an interview with her this week as well, but I am not remembering which publication that was. (Remember the multicolored boot toppers? Or the knee socks which were knit like legwarmers with an optional foot, and embellished with embroidery?)

Kristin uses color in such fresh and exciting ways! She will use many, many colors in one piece, and the more color, the more exciting it looks. Kristin recently developed a yarn product called Julia in conjunction with Nashua Handknits/Westminster Fibers. It is 25% Alpaca, 25% Mohair, and 50% wool, 97 yards in 50gm. It has a structure like a standard sweater yarn, with 4 plies. But what’s great about the yarn is the color. Or shall I say the colors! Kristin’s colors are rich, and each color works work well with all the others.

Kristin put out a book that I am slowly savoring one paragraph at a time, called “Colorful Stitchery” which is about embroidery. I love embroidering though I do not do it nearly enough. I believe it was my first fiber art (my mother taught me how to do it before I learned to sew clothing on a machine, which I believe I started in 3rd grade).

Kristin also just released a knitting book, called Kristin Knits. I have not seen this one yet, I need to order it (you can order from Kristin directly and get it autographed by going here). I just barely missed getting a copy when I was at Stitches East in Baltimore. Kristin was there the day before I was there. So close!

Now for the excitement! A contest!

Go to this blog post which is dated December 10… and get there before December 10 is over. There is a book launch win-some-yarn contest. Um, a nice big portion of yarn…20 assorted skeins so that you can do a ColorJoyful project or two. No, her company name is not ColorJoy but her attitude and style fit perfectly.

If you knit, crochet, embroider, dabble or obsess, in any fiberart… go check it out. And once you follow the instructions for the contest, go back and read some of her previous posts. She is an engaging writer, and she takes great photos. She lives on a farm (thus the blog name Getting Stitches on the Farm) and shares about animals, weather, changing seasons, gardens, and life. I love reading her and I expect many of you will, too. Don’t delay… check it out now.

Cold Weather, Warm Feet!

Saturday, December 1st, 2007

I admit it, I’m a wimp when it comes to physical discomfort. I don’t require down pillows and velvet, but I really do not do well with out-of-comfort experiences. In particular? I do not tolerate a chill at all.

My favorite temperature is 85F/29.4C. Warm! Even hot, for someone else. But the delight of letting my skin touch the air around me without needing to be protected, is something that never grows old for me.

So now it is winter. In fact, we are having January weather in November. Tomorrow is December 1 and we are being warned to not travel far, that next afternoon will bring a mean ice storm which will last overnight and then some. I guess tonight Chicago is scheduled to get it, which would be typical for our weather. Often we get Chicago’s weather the next day.

So this week the wind has been awful. It has pushed so hard through the cracks in my windows that it makes sounds that make me jump. And my feet have been cold for a solid week. I have been wearing 2 pair of socks along with legwarmers, even putting down a double-thickness throw rug under my desk hoping that would help protect me from floor drafts. Still no reprieve!

Today I went ahead and tried something else. I’m in love! I bought an old-fashioned hot water bottle. I filled it with normal hot water from the tap. And it is the most wonderful thing I’ve done for myself in a long time! It cost about $15USD and all I can say is “why didn’t I do that sooner?” In previous years I’ve run a small heater under the desk, but this is far more effective and safer as well.

So what do you do to create comfort in your own life? When my feet are warm, I can spend more effort focusing on things like work and creativity. A little comfort lets me sit still and be open to the rest of my life.

I love my new hot water bottle! I also feel nurtured by a cup of hot tea. What is your favorite comfort?