/* Post photos ----------------------------------------------- */ img.post-photo { border:1px solid #A2907D; padding:4px; }


The Adventures of two Fibre Artists.



Contributing Artists

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Quick and easy dishcloth

I was taking note, recently, of the sad state my dishcloths were in, and wondered which would be quicker, knit one up or run to Wal-mart to purchase one. Since we live"in the sticks" there is no such thing as a quick run to anywhere. I also took into consideration time to shower, dress, walk through the vast superstore, wait in line to check out and return home. I might have been able to manage it in about 2 hours, which, as it turns out, was about how long it took to knit this up.

I used a very simple pattern that can be found on the "How Stuff Works" website. Using about a third of a small skein of "sugar and cream" cotton, I plan to use the rest of the skein to knit a matching dish towel, and size 8 Brittany needles. I always look forward to using one of the few sizes of walnut needles I purchased from Brittany before they stopped making them from black walnut wood. The birch ones are nice but the walnut needles were noticeably softer, which is a big deal when you suffer with painful hands. Fibromyalgia is the biggest culprit, for me....there is no way anyone is going to convince me that years of fibre arts contributed in any way to my painful hands.

I had to add this picture, despite my windblown hair that obviously did not receive any attention after taking Onida for a walk, but it is a wonderful example of why I enjoy knitting. There is nothing more healing than comfortable "frumpy" clothing, enjoying quiet time with a couple of knitting buddies. What better way to unwind at the end of the day.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

DH's scarf Finished

I finished DH's scarf and am fairly satisfied with the end result. As with any project I contemplate the calamities of the adventure that will ultimately become part of the end product, whether annulled, assimilated or embraced, I always hope to learn something from each attempted undertaking. As we all know, when we stop learning, we stop growing and once we think we no longer have anything to learn. life becomes tiresome.

The obvious lesson in this adventure was that variegated yarn does not lend well when trying to achieve a Fibonacci effect. Though my intended goal was not met, in that respect, it certainly is a one of a kind, and that makes it unique. Unique is rarely a bad thing.....

Since Onida is no longer allowed to assist with my knitting I wanted her to participate in some way and think she does a much better job at modeling than knitting.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

A Wonderful Gift

A couple of years ago my dh commissioned an iconographer to write an icon of St. Melangell for my birthday. Due to circumstances beyond her control it took longer to complete than anticipated, but time was really not an issue for me, and as I understand after talking with others who had icons written by other iconographers, 2 years is generally about right.

After viewing Denise's work on her website I knew right away she would be able to capture what I perceive, from what little is offered on her life, the spirit of St. Melangell. Upon receiving the icon in July, I see that I was right.

When Denise posted a picture of this, her latest work on her website, soliciting feedback from members of a mutual discussion list I was a bit surprised at the controversy it generated. There was a comment made about the concern over following "traditional guidelines/rules". In this person's defense I understand where he was coming from. I am all for tradition, it keeps us faithful. true to those things that should remained unchanged. Still every now and again trueness is captured in an untraditional style that can not be denied, nor dismissed. I feel this is very much such a case.

Saint Melangell spoke to me, when I became Orthodox, officially, through her love for all God's creatures, great and small, and the importance that she taught by example, of protecting these gifts from God and being a good steward of the environment. One of the criticism of this icon was that she looked a little too wild, and was likened to "Xena warriour princess" or something similar. I imagine that Saint Melangell was probably pretty close to this characterization, in that she did fight for the safety of the little rabbit that found shelter in the folds of her garment while she prayed in a field. Living as a hermit for 15 years in the wilderness one can imagine her hair unbound, moved freely in any breeze....thank you Denise for this wonderful representation.

Labels: , ,

Saturday, November 14, 2009

DH's Fibonacci scarf

Last winter, nearing the end of the season, dh asked me, after returning from a cold camping trip to Tenn., to knit a scarf to match the Red Cross watch cap I knitted him earlier that year. Being that it was so late in the season, with spring so close, I knew I had plenty of time before scarf weather would come back around. So I put planning that particular project so far back in my mind, that I nearly lost it...until a couple of weeks ago... and now here I am, with November offering a hint of what little winter we get here in the south, scrambling to get it finished before Christmas. It's funny how the more time I have to prepare for a project, knitting or any other activity, the longer I let it go because I just know I have plenty of time.

So I picked out the few remaining skeins of Alpaca purchased at SAFF some years back, that I had left after knitting the hat and decided to liven it up a bit by, not only choosing a rather unique pattern, but also a technique (Fibonacci) to simulate nature, since dh loves being out in it so. After all he will be wearing it while camping amoungst some of God's most beautiful creation (in West Va. and Tenn.) on caving trips. I just hope that between the ladder pattern and the variegated yarn it won't stray so far from the plain knit cap it is meant to be worn with. Well we will soon see.....

Labels: , ,

Monday, November 09, 2009

Knitting in Tandem, conclusion

I can't believe I finally finished this lace headcovering. After having to put the work down for a few months to concentrate on helping Onida understand the difference between her toybox and my knitting basket (see "Knitting in Tandem February post below), along with other basic puppy lessons. As much and I enjoyed working on this project with Onida I was relieved when I could finally focus on finishing this gift for a friend, by myself, in some sort of timely manner.

I do love knitting lace and knew it would take some time, given the needle size, but did not realize that knitting 880 (lace weight) yards of a rather complicated pattern could take so long. One of the more significant time bandits was that with this pattern when a mistake was discovered some rows down, I couldn't just rip those rows out and put the work back on the needles easily, so, instead, I had to tink the rows, which can be very time consuming. It would have been more relaxing if it had not been for a friend, but rather something I was making for myself I would have been less concerned about the time it took. Still it was a real adventure and I always appreciate adventures, not to mention the joy working with alpaca.

Yes, I am still using my bed as a blocking tool. There are just too many other uses for my fibre allowance when I can make do with pinning it to an old quilt, open a window and turn the ceiling fan on high...takes no long time at all. The trick is to keep Onida and KiKi occupied until blocking is complete.

Labels: , , ,

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Weekend Knitting Retreat

This weekend I was truly blessed to spend a couple of days at our second annual knitting retreat, held at Saints Mary and Martha Orthodox Monastery. While initially designated a "knitting" retreat, spinning, weaving, crochet and other fibre activities emerge as well.

The nuns of Saints Mary and Martha are wonderful hosts, not to mention, cooks, who worked very hard to make us comfortable. I am sure I was not the only one there that appreciated having my needs met instead of busying myself meeting my family's needs.
What better way to really relax than sharing knitting tips, spinning and weaving demonstrations and more importantly, prayer.

While I have quite a few years experience in knitting there is always something to learn. This weekend I was shown a different knitting technique. Our Orthodox Christian parish includes a wonderful Eastern European community and I discovered, even though I am a continental knitter that they seemed to be knitting a little different, what I would consider backwards. That is they were working on the backside of their needles and stitches rather than in the front. I found it a little more difficult, having to look behind the needle to get to the stitch, but the result is the same. I guess it is a case of what you are used to rather than one being better than the other. It is always pretty cool discovering pieces of different cultures through fibre arts.

Sharing time, knowledge and experience in anything is a wonderful gift for all concerned. I bet if more people would gather together to share creativity, like fibre arts, they too would benefit from the peace and relaxation that surrounds these activities. We should all "give fleece a chance"!!!

Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Projects Lost, Another Started

As I mentioned in the previous post our new furbaby, Onida, had tried her hand/teeth at knitting awhile back, resulting in me loosing more than one knitting project, including the Azalea bed jacket as well as a knitted cross sample that I had intended to display on the front of a card, both of which I ended up having to rip out. I am not sure when or if I will re-attempt these projects but in the meantime I have decided to start, in their stead, an afghan (the Tree of Life ) that I found on the Mary Maxim site that they were offering as one of their free patterns.

Recently, while inventorying my stash I found about 10 skeins of Superwash Bamboo (the light green on the right shown with merino lace also available at Elann) I purchased some time back from Elann. At the time they were running a sale and I was able to pay next to nothing for this number of skeins, but even when not on sale they are priced very reasonable.

I am not real sure what I had in mind when I purchased this many skeins originally but it will be perfect for this project and while I am a little apprehensive, starting a project this size with all the others I currently have in progress I feel confident that with spring on it's way, it is in the 70's today, I should have plenty of time to finish this afghan before I have any real need for it next winter.

Labels: , , ,