Saturday, December 20, 2008
I finished an angora blend lace hat and scarf, both patterns from the Luxury Yarn One-Skein Wonders book. If you get a chance, there are some great patterns to go with that pricey skein that you couldn't live without. But please, go to the website to double check for pattern corrections. I learned the hard way, and there are many corrections posted. They must have been in a hurry to get this out for the holiday knitting crowd!
If you are reading this, wow. I have been having a hard enough time checking up on my email let alone write on the blog. It is not that there are not things happening, quite the contrary. So much is happening that I can't get around to sitting at the computer.
Just the other morning, I remembered to send my registration for the Black Sheep Knitting Guild retreat. As I drove into work, I realized that I never put the check in the envelope! Lucky for a cell phone and wonderful husband, it was remedied before I even began my work day. The retreat is a big deal. I have been weeding things out of my busy schedule this year, but the retreat is NOT one of them. A chance to bond with my friends and immerse myself in fiber for the whole weekend is just too wonderful to pass up.
I hope that you all have terrific holiday celebrations and enjoy friends and family and even a bit of rest and relaxation. Even if it takes a blizzard to force the issue, a little down time and the holiday spirit surely are the best way to end the old year and ring in the new.
Friday, December 12, 2008
Clay work, Jewelry, Fibers & Photography
Studio Open House Saturday December 13, 2008
The Art Annex @ Marygrove College (313) 927-1337
Cash and Checks only please….
Not sure where the art annex is? Ask security at the gate when you arrive at Marygrove.
*For directions to Marygrove College LOOK HERE! (Paste into your browser if it does not connect)
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Next, general holiday craziness, you know. I got through the turkey and am onto the shopping, cleaning and massive knitting and jewelry making. Each year I have requests from co-workers for items and do a holiday sale with my artist husband at his studio at Marygrove College on December 13. In order to be ready for this, he is making pottery like crazy, and I am framing up some of my photos from my travels along with my sculptural pieces. Email me if you would like more info, come by and say "Hi"!
So when I say crazy holidays, I mean it. As you know, I love the adventure and excitement and general busy atmosphere. I am, however, planning for some down time between the holidays to recover and rejuvenate. That is when I spin for my pleasure and knit for myself (and write report cards and organize the after holiday mess.....).
Enjoy your own chaos this holiday season, it is part of the deal and makes it feel just a little different than the usual routine. Ho Ho Ho
Friday, November 14, 2008
I am working on the thrummed mittens from the Yarn Harlot's site, quite enjoyable and I think that they will be appreciated by the recipients when the cold Michigan winter comes blowing in. I might even make myself some. I have so much hand spun yarn that I "sampled" and this will be a great way to use it (not to mention the roving that had not gotten spun and looked better as roving anyway...perfect thrums).
It is Friday and I am in a great mood. I had my massage yesterday that took the painful kinks out of my neck and back (just in time to kink them up with major knitting this weekend, oh well). Tomorrow is the Shop Hop and I am excited to be rambling around in the fiber shops for the day and lunching with friends. And the great news for Sunday is that I mistakenly wrote a birthday party date on this week when it is actually next week. This gives me, dare I even write it, a day with NO specific plans!!!!!! This could be a first. I have to resist the temptation to call people and check local events. My husband knows not to plan anything either. We are going to have a relaxing cottage day minus the drive. Maybe I won't answer the phone, maybe I will stay in my pajamas all day (Please don't come over to check). Maybe we will go to the movie theater. Oh the possibilities!
My glee at the thought of the plan-less day has taught me something. Maybe a little down time and a bit of saying, "No, sorry I can't" can be a good thing. I am sure that I am a better helper, listener and participant when I am in this zen kind of mood, that is truly a good thing. For everyone.
Saturday, November 8, 2008
Friday, October 31, 2008
I think that I can understand her manic bursts of energy at times when I feel the pull from all directions. I go into overdrive, creating, organizing, making plans and filling each day. Until... I drop. She does the same. The mania ceases and I find her laying as if she had been sleeping for hours.
It is not always the best way to accomplish things, in a manic rush, but the energy does breed more energy. I have been told that pacing oneself is the key to productivity. For me, chasing my tail is not as fruitless as it might sound. It paces me (a fast pace) and creates ideas and energy. I finished the Grasshopper Scarf, a domino scarf and prepared (and delivered) work for a sale at a local art center. This weekend I can crash (I only planned to bring a few projects to the cottage). For me, the fits and starts are a way of life and my tail seems to direct me to chase it into plenty of new directions.
Friday, October 24, 2008
Thursday, October 23, 2008
You all know what this means. No knitting. It hurts even to say it. I could not look down, not that I need to look to knit. I could not hold my arms at the right height, but managed some props.
The good news, physical therapy started today and I can knit again. A little. I did not ask how little was a little. I feel that it is relative. If I normally knit 4 hours in a day, maybe a little is 2? If it is a weekend and I can knit for 6-8 hours intermittently, does that mean 4 or so? I will let my back tell me.
So onto some holiday knitting with lovely yarns in simple stitches. This one is two colors of Silk Mountain by Noro. It takes less looking down, but offers plenty of tactile enjoyment. The simple scarf is a great way to swatch color, guage and combinations without commiting to a sweater. Plus, it will keep me from dying of boredom or eating until it is time to go to bed!
I made up a little scarf pattern to go with two orphan balls of Noro that had little in common. I like it! I am thinking of a name for this one, and will add it to Tractor Tracks soon. I am thinking in terms of "2 Good 2B True" since 2 is the key number in this piece. Let me know how you like that name. Here is the picture:
The idea has been brewing a bit for this scarf and color concept. I like the idea of the yarn's color changes, but want to play with it. Seeing the new combinations of colors side by side and in different stitches is an exciting way to get new ideas. The simple pattern is coming together and will be up here or on Ravelry soon....
Friday, October 17, 2008
this is a true story.
I was teaching class and my cell phone began to ring. I don't usually keep it on, it was purely by accident that it was on at all. Luckily, my class had just left, so I answered it. It was a friend of mine calling from Ashville, NC to say that she was in a handcrafted store that sold local yarn and she wanted to know what she should buy for me. Does this mean that I have a problem, or really great friends. I choose the latter.
The scarf is a free pattern on the Smoking Hot Needles blog, called Grasshopper. What a great use of pattern! I started it that night of the meeting in an alpaca blend that I dyed a year or so ago. The pattern repeats in a sensible way that is visually easy to catch up on if you end mid repeat. I love that.
The sweaters will have to wait, since the holidays are approaching and I always take a break from my personal luxury knitting in exchange for gift knitting.
Another friend is keeping me posted on the beautiful ways to display yarn, particularly one of our favorite sock yarns, Woolmeise. It is a clear shoe holder that hangs on a door. Two skeins fit in each pocket and are so inspiring that I would be knitting it fast enough to feel justified in replacing the skeins with new yarn on a pretty regular basis.
This inspired me to work on the "wall of yarn" and other methods of stash that I have going. Something that I need to do very badly, since the stash far exceeds the space available in my fiber room.
UFO's. You bet. I am not usually one to stop mid project, but I confess that I have a couple of things that need finishing. One is the wrap sweater that I started and realized that a new version of the pattern exsists that makes much more sense. Unfortunately, I am 3/4 of the way done with the current version. Basically this will be a reknit.
The shawl that I pictured a posting or so ago is nearly done. It is only shelved because it is an easy knit that I can do traveling in the car. We are going to the cottage soon, so that will be my companion project. Excuses, excuses. But I really mean it. I WILL finish these things, soon.
Did I say that the inspiration has been a good thing? It has! There is nothing better than knowing that the next project is right around the bend, and at the same time enjoying the journey that the current project provides.
Friday, October 10, 2008
It all came about when I met Jennie on my trip to Korea. She is an art teacher and does printmaking. So it was natural that the conversations turned to our own personal work and how we are progressing. I was excited to see that the class was not full when we returned from the trip, so I registered immediately.
The packing, well, as always, not so much fun. However, I am keeping an open mind and only bringing the essentials for my class. I am hoping that this workshop is the shot in the arm that I need to move forward in this media.
Always in the back of my mind, I wonder, "how can I use these techniques, colors, textures or images to enhance my other fiber work?" This is no exception. Hopefully, some of the concepts will be useful in my classroom, too. It does seem strange to be packing rulers, squares, exactos and glue sticks. The gloves are pretty normal, since I do a bit of dyeing. The rest are like old friends and I am hoping that they have not forgotten me! Mixing the right and left brain in a new project is exciting even though it takes a little warming up.
The weather is cooperating, my Suess-like scarf is nearly done and I am off to my next adventure!
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
It is nice to belong. The actual meeting is next week and I am looking forward to the annoucements and will have my calendar ready for all that is in store. These casual meetings bring in quite a crowd, and provide for much more talking and knitting time than the formal meeting could allow.
One problem. I am working really hard at cleaning my fiber room and organizing stash. This is the "neatening the nest" time when I find places and projects for existing fiber and try really hard not to accumulate more. I am already failing at that. Last week I bought yarn to make the Noro sweater that I wore tonight (pictured just before finishing in the previous entry). I also bought some Knit One Crochet Too Ty-dye yarn to make the Suess-like curly scarf that I worked on at the Bean. I also was fortunate to have won 8 skeins of Jo Sharp wool/silk in a lovely Bamboo Shoot color of green...enough for a sweater at the Knitting Room in Birmingham during their yarn tasting. This was the lucky day that I had won a gift certificate at Loopy Ewe for my travel pic from Turkey featuring the darling sheep postcard and the Blue Mosque.
This sounds all so lucky, and it is. Maybe I should play the lottery?! Maybe not, for all that I would do with all of that money would be invest in yet more yarn and a larger home in which I could store it. If only I could buy a few extra hands and hours in the day to use the incredible stash that I possess, let alone the dream stash that the lottery would provide!
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Monday, September 22, 2008
As it turned out, I got a cold, maybe I am feeling a little run down. It was cool and damp with wild waves all Saturday, so, no kayaking. But I did work on a little bit of the pounds and pounds of fiber that I brought in case I had some crazy knitting nirvana and used it all. I did not use it all, but I knit some fingerless gloves and a hat to match with yarn from my stash. I also knit a scarf that a friend has been bugging me about and worked toward the completion of the silk shawl that I started last week. This was from a pattern that I bought at Stitches Midwest and am using silk Noro that I got and stashed. It was a natural silk tan, but I dyed it last year and wanted to see how it would turn out. So far, so good. Pictures are on their way.
No pictures this time, since I have the unbearable job of editing and re-saving all of my hundreds of thousands of photos onto my new external drive. I am in a sorting and cleaning mode and elimination of excess is my therapy. Don't ask.
Never-the-less, pictures are coming, more work is being done, I bought my first Christmas present, yes Christmas and it is not even October. The fall bug has bit. Maybe it will send me in the direction of the wall of fiber that has now become the hall of fiber, floor of fiber, counters of fiber and closets of fiber. This will take a while.
Friday, September 12, 2008
peaceful and enormous sculpture of Buddha.
This cotton was dyed using clay up in the mountains of South Korea.
Sunday, September 7, 2008
Bennie, (or Grandpa Pinky as I named him as a child for the puppy that he had), lived to a good age, almost 94 years old. I was his first grandchild, and took his passage a bit hard. As the week moves on and I get around to sorting through the enormous mess in my house from a summer of neglect, I will hopefully get around to posting some pictures and pick up the needles that have been calling my name.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
First, Korea. Amazing, interesting, wonderous and another set of thousands of pictures that need sorting. These are on their way. I even found the yarn shop, accidentally, and made a small purchase. Details to follow, soon.
Next, literally a day and a half after my return to the States, I was off to Schaumburg to the Stitches Midwest convention with my pals. A bit jet-lagged, but still up for fiber, I thankfully signed up for only one class on Sunday, leaving me a bit of free time to shop, eat and lounge in the mineral pool and spa. Tough life, huh?
I returned home to find that, yes, indeed, I was PRESENTING a speech about my Turkish adventure to the entire Cranbrook faculty...on TUESDAY MORNING! I had an inkling about this, but it subsided when I got the email that asked for a statement about the trip and some pics. This said to me, "we will be sharing your trip" rather than, "YOU will be sharing your trip!"
So, another day without blogging, since I was speech writing and nerving out about the prospect. Did I tell you that I am a visual artist.....not a performing artist? Big difference.
Well, I did it. I presented the trip this morning with a prepared speech and some added comments to accompany a few pictures. It went well, very well. Whew! Another hurdle without broken legs.
So, right now I am letting a bit of travel dust settle and hoping to remove the accumulated household dust that has already taken hold in what used to be a living space and is now a storage facility. I miss my friends at the Beanery....Black Sheep, I will see you soon! Everyone else, I am glad to be back and glad that you haven't forgotten me!
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Back to fiber life:
Friday, July 11, 2008
In a nutshell, Turkey is the place to go for history, culture, art, beaches, sunshine, water and of course, wonderful food!
I started knitting a pair of socks on the plane ride out, but the usual happened. I started reading about the destination and talking to my counterparts for the trip and the socks were returned to the luggage. My idea was to sit by the pool and knit in the evenings, until I saw our itinerary! We were getting early morning wake-up calls, repacking luggage most every night and getting on the bus for new destinations by 7-8 am each morning. Not to mention the late night dinners, sights and shows.
As the weeks progress, I will be posting the inspiring colors and textures that I encountered in this land of wonder. Heading this entry is a photo of my prize Turkish socks that I was able to purchase. They were hidden beyond the many larger needle varieties that filled the bazaars. These were an original hand knit design from a local knitter done on small needles. I feared that they would not sell them to me, since they were hung in the displays of folk clothing. But my desperate look must have told them that I would cherish the knitted treasures, and the next thing I knew, I was swapping Turkish Lira for the goods!
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Salina Shawl is finished! Yippee! It will be a nice addition to a sundress in the ever cold air-conditioning or a little protection from the Mediterranean sun. It was going really well until my monkey mind became too overloaded. That was the period of knitting that found me reversing the pattern row, skipping stitches, losing yarn overs, you name it. A little swearing went into this sweet and innocent looking accessory. I hope that I don't lose it on the trip!
I am planning the knitting project that will come with me on the journey. Anyone had recent experience with British Air and knitting? I was planning a small project with cheap needles in case of confiscation and a spare pair in my checked baggage for the hotel. What will I knit????? Probably socks since I have at least 40 pair in yarn waiting for the effort. I have books, but they don't keep my hands busy and long flights require knitting. I would even settle for crochet, just to have the comfort of yarn and repetition of stitches to occupy me.
I will do my best to post my where abouts, but if it doesn't work out, I will be back in about 10 days with plenty to show and tell. Wish me luck, the yarn shop in the bazaar is on my map and I have been looking at some awesome Turkish socks/slippers.
Friday, June 20, 2008
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Friday, June 13, 2008
So, stop in! The Black Sheep Knitting Guild will have two booths and some chairs so we can knit, spin, or just chat in a beautiful atmosphere.
We even have some great coupons to give-away from Ewe-nique Knits in Royal Oak, I know you need more stash....this is just a little nudge in the right direction!
Come knit with us, would you?
Sunday, June 8, 2008
I work this way. Go wide and slowly focus in on the most important aspect of what I am doing.
This month has found me working yet a 3rd version of my market bag in a different yarn altogether. The trial and tweaking of these versions are to the benefit of those who may use my pattern, so no problem here. I don't need 3 market bags, but the experience has been good and the end products varied in size and shape.
I am also picking along at the Hanami, but have decided to shelve the project momentarily while the other more pressing issues of my life are screaming in my ears.
After the Black Sheep Swap, I found that my newly acquired stash would be suitable for some summer knitting. I was not actively looking for a pattern, but will need something to cover my shoulders in Turkey (later this month). Have you any Wool? in Berkley has a terrific little shawl on display, and guess what???? I just happen to have the pattern in my collection. (what a surprise, not.) It is the Salina Shawl from Lana Grossa. I tried working it out in my new stash cotton blend (Monte Carlo from Queensland Collection). Too varied a texture, it did not show any of the pattern. I am a visual person, so not being able to see the pattern to read where I am in the lace was not too great, either. But I can still do it with stash or a few balls from the shop.
I saw that the Detroit News posted Laurie Hanna's vest pattern in the paper. It takes under 600 yards and I have that. This project is currently on the needles and I hope to have it done in a couple of days.
The idea of knitting summer items is new for me. I am not a fan of summer knits, nor the yarns, usually. But the more I read about the Mosques and Temples that I will be visiting during the tours in Turkey, the more I felt that it would be a good thing to have. Why not make it? I will report back on the success (hopefully) of the summer knitting endeavors.
Only a few weeks until I leave. I met the other grant recipients and was treated to a historic and cultural information day at Wayne State University just yesterday. The trip is seeming much more real now that I have met my counterparts and have gotten more specific information. I am so excited and am probably making everyone so sick of Turkey that we will be having meatloaf in November for fear of saying the word!
Along with all of the knitting, I have been doing my travel research, and reading recommended Turkish authors for a better sense of the journey. If you are interested in a rich cultural area with a history that beats the best novels, try Orhan Pamuk (I am reading his non-fiction book, "Istanbul", and his novel "Snow" that gives a great sense of the area and the people). He is a Nobel prize winner for literature, and the smooth, visual sense that he imparts with his words would clearly explain why. That and the historic and local background are fascinating. The man has lived in Turkey his whole life, even in the same childhood home, and his books are translated from Turkish. I love it!
I must be really excited about the trip, since the books are not on tape or cd. You all know what this means, competition for knitting time. I feel like I am "cheating" on my knitting, or maybe just indulging in my KAD(D?).
As I always say, "We only live once, as far as we know."
Saturday, May 31, 2008
Back to knitting...and the pattern that I am working on. I packed for last week's trip to the cottage and made sure that I brought some cotton from my stash. The idea was to make a market bag. I even brought (or thought I had) a pattern or two so that I could sit on the deck, watch the waves and knit away without a care.
Things rarely go as I plan, and this was no exception. We got there and it was cold, no deck knitting. Fine, I could sit inside and look out at the lake, no cares. I opened the fiber "suitcase" and got out the cotton. No patterns. While searching the incredible stash at home, I must have laid all forms of patterns somewhere and left them there.
I am not easily discouraged, only manically obsessive about working on what I set out to do. How hard could it be to make a simple bag, with a stable bottom, an openwork pattern, easy in and out top and comfy handles? Knowing that there are patterns out there, it was probably better that I did not make one before trying to design my own. This opened the doors to more possibilities and probably more errors than I would have made if I started with something rather than just an idea.
Garter bottom. Fine, how big? Got it. Openwork pattern, looked great, easy to do. How tall? Hmmm tricky, since it stretches in all directions. I am not very tall, so I did not want it to drag, but I planned on two short handles, so I could go a bit longer on the bag.
I like it, I wrote notes all the way through and decided it is too long for the general user. Great for baguettes and really long spaghetti! Plus the knit netting caused some calculation concern when placing the handles in accordance with the "twist."
I had more cotton, in orange, and it has a mild boucle texture. I wonder how that would work? I used the original pattern that I had just jotted down, but made some adjustments. So far, this one is looking good. I had thought about different handles and the appropriate sizing, so the suggestions from my friends have been incorporated. I will be finishing this one up tonight!
Talk about energy use! A simple bag, from simple materials, used from my pre-existing stash, and as much brain power and knitter's input that I could include has taken much of this week's energy. Thankfully, I do not run on diesel.
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
If you have been wondering, “what is up with LindaLuFiber,” here is a partial list of my goings ons:
1) Getting ready for the Cranbrook Art Museum opening of the Craft in American exhibition on June 14. The Black Sheep Knitting Guild will be demonstrating knitting and spinning for the public and hosting a knit in for those who are interested, plus it is a family fun day so the museums have free entry that Saturday. This is World Wide Knitting in Public Day, and we are a registered site! (join us would you?) We are listed under Bloomfield Hills, MI and there is a map and everything you need to know posted! Look us up!
2) Working on the Hanami, not enough, but a bit…
3) Working on a triangular shawl in my own dyed wool…storm in the springtime, which reflected reason #4,
4) Visiting the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. The sky was stormy grey and the trees bright spring green! This is where I like to take a knitting vacation while I bond with my patient husband and our adorable cat.
5) Applying for a cultural travel grant to visit Turkey….guess what? I got it! So the entries may get a bit skimpy during the summer, but I will try to get some good pictures and have already found a yarn market in Istanbul…hope it works out!
6) Visiting our cottage that has been neglected for the past 3 months! So a trip to Tobermory, Ontario gave me some good knitting time. I planned to make a market bag, grabbed the yarn and forgot a pattern! So I am making one up. I did the first trial version and used it to bring all of the barbecue picnic food and condiments and plates to the picnic table. This helped me decide to make the next one shorter. Thanks to my friends from the Black Sheep at the Beanery tonight, I have some good input on version #2 that is on its way to becoming my next posted pattern. It takes about 6 hours to get to the cottage, so I had plenty of time to work it out.
7) Spending countless hours securing flights for my husband and myself to visit Korea in August. We were invited to participate in a ceramic tour (we both do ceramic art) and two international exhibitions in Seoul. (Another skimpy month for blogging, but I am checking into Korean fiber.) Ravelry has been a good source for my travel fiber fix, I highly recommend finding locals before you travel and check out the fiber scene!
8) I am a teacher, meaning that the school year is ending and report cards are next on the big agenda.
9) I am taking an art doll class at Hollander’s in Ann Arbor. Another opportunity to make art and use fiber and found objects to their full potential. Here is the beginning of one of the pieces...more to come after tomorrow!
10) There just are not enough hours in the day, week or month. Gosh it is great to have such a full fiber life!