Tag Archives: trees

Feeling peckish…

I hate most fabric marketed to babies, or rather their keepers, since perhaps babies would really just like giant boob prints, but most of it is just pathetic and timid, too cartoonish, sometimes oddly and vaguely religious, too pale and sickly pastel, and just plain ugly (however I do like some vintage baby prints).

But this one caught my eye a bit ago, and I knew about an upcoming wee one that needed a sewn item.

woodpecker-fabric.com

(Michael Miller fabric, pic from fabric.com)

I don’t make many things for babies now – at first I made many things because I only knew one.  Then more people started having them, and then the first one got a sibling, and I couldn’t keep up, or the charm wore off, or they started to blur together in a drooling blob and I couldn’t remember what I’d made and for whom.

(My apologies to all of those second children out there.)

So I whipped up a little quilt for the wall, but it could still be used as a quilt.  I had a grand idea of massive three dimensional applique with crazy depth and perspective, but in the end I kept it simple – a bit of applique birds and leaves and machine quilting.

woodpecker quilt

I had to buy thread again too – you’d think I would have learned from the last time I moved and couldn’t find it…

But the paint is drying in my new studio room at the moment, and next will be a freshly sealed floor (and then it has to become the bedroom for a while while I work on that room) and then I’ll be able to unpack allllllll of my sewing things!  So I see that day not so far off in the distance now.

But back to woodpeckers – I’m a fan of them.

I like their almost jungle-sounding call.

And their rat-tat-tat drilling (as long as it isn’t the house).

And though I don’t like that they damaged our lovely Magnolia, I’m fascinated by the pattern that they made – almost as if the tree had ripped out stitches…

woodpecker damage

…or machine gun fire.

woodpecker damage with moss

Maybe the yard is run by Woodi Peccaroni, the ancient don of the fermented tree sap bootlegging era…

 

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Filed under home, quilts, sewing

Knight of the Deep

The Noble Hero balaclava pattern by Annie Watts of Wattsolak has just been released!

Last year I test knit this fun to knit, and to wear pattern.

Noble Hero-Close Up

I finished it while on a bizarre early summer week-long vacation in the White Mountains that started off with a snowstorm and ended with temperatures in the high 90Fs, so it was too icy and cold to hike in the beginning, and too hot and humid by the end.

But it gave me more knitting time.

Though it would compliment and complete your awesome new space suit, I thought it also looked like a knight’s chainmail coif:

Noble Hero-Knight

Or a deep-sea diver’s helmet:

Noble Hero-Deep Sea Diver

Either way, I really enjoyed knitting the piece, learned a new technique, and N has taken it and enjoys wearing it, so I’ll have to make another for myself!

The pattern is well-written and was very clear even in the testing stage.  I had gauge and made no modifications.  The only thing I’ll keep in mind for next time is to loosen up on the applied icord, or go up a needle size for it – I learned how to do it on this project and I started out a little too tight.

This was also my first time knitting with Quince & Co., and I liked it – I chose these muted colors because I’d love to have a larger garment made from one of them at some point, and wanted to see the colors in person.

Now to think of colors for a Noble Hero for myself – perhaps handspun…?

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Filed under knitting, travel

Of veggie weenies and small epiphanies

The growing season has ended for my mutant anthropomorphic vegetable friends.

carrotman

I think a mandrake got a bit randy in the carrot patch…

I’ve been struggling with that large quilt since the summer.

But no longer. 

Though I thankfully received some helpful suggestions on how to finish it in my limited workspace, I still didn’t want to deal with it.  But then I had a head-smacking moment when I realized it didn’t have to be a quilt.  I wanted it to be a functional bed covering to fully realize its concept, but it made no difference whether it was a quilt, or a coverlet, or a comforter, or a duvet cover.  I am loudly sighing with relief.  Though I also went to 13 stores (even thrifts) trying to find a cheap comforter that I could use as filler instead of spending an ungodly amount on 4 or 5 layers of high-loft batting and failed to find one in my budget.  So duvet cover it became out of thrift, necessity, and for the sake of my sanity.

Most of the other things I’ve been working on are finally coming together as well – it will be a welcome relief to stop thinking about the things I’ve been thinking about for the last few months.  So now I’m allowing myself to fall backwards into a bottomless [happy] pit of multiple projects.

My vacation knitting socks are further along, and might even conclude by the end of the year.

nostalgiasockmonster

I’ve gathered some acorns to use as dye (still no luck finding a tree infested with galls).

acorns

While I was in the woods, I saw several really cool vine yarns.

woods-vines

And I’ve started a couple of gifts for upcoming birthdays and holidays.

strelka-start

But thankfully I do not fully participate in most holidays apart from cooking and eating (mostly just the eating) so I have none of the pressure that others do to complete x projects in x time for people who might not want/like that hat, pair of socks, scarf, pillow, toy anyway.

As some may say, woot!

Or yippee!

Or hell yeah!

Or yee hah!

Or the excitement is so short-lived it will be over by the time I finish shouting.

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Filed under dyeing, hiking, knitting, quilts, sewing, thrifting

My eggplant…

well-hung eggplant

is ____.   or has a ____.

(Fill in the blank with your favorite sexual innuendo or phallic euphemism, or else think of a proboscis monkey instead if you’re blushing).

And according to the latest science, this eggplant would make a terrible father.

I’m a little concerned that our organic CSA is within spitting distance of a large campus of a “global BioPharma company.”  That’s a big-assed evil major pharmaceutical mega-corporation to you and me.  When you drive past it on the way to the seemingly bucolic farm, a high-pitched hum slithers into your brain and vibrates your fillings.  I can only imagine what its doing to our vegetables.  I think it’s possible I’m growing another ovary.

I do know my thoughts and actions are becoming increasingly random.

Working x-stitch

I’ve nearly completed several portfolio pieces, but I either need to come up with several more, or be able to make the case that these few are enough to stand on their own and carry the whole thing.

I’ve been doing a lot of writing lately in the hopes that an artist statement and clear language about what and why I’m doing it will just tumble forth from my fingers without any effort and to my surprise.  Instead, I’m increasingly realizing that my hold on grammar is quite slippery, my comma usage is most certainly often wrong, and I really need a refresher on the basics in order to feel more like an intelligent and concise human being.  I am not a millennial, I don’t text, and I had to use typewriters and rely on knowledge of spelling for much of my early education so I don’t have an excuse – not that anyone should have an excuse.

It’s bumming me out a bit at the moment.

No limb sweetgum

You know what else is?  At home in our rental in the vinyl village, a tree company came in and sawed off half of our trees.  They didn’t take the three dead pines that will smash through our windows and walls with decapitating fury during the next superstorm, but instead took away 25 feet of branches (leafy shades) from the lovely Sweetgum right outside my window.

The bastards.

And now I’ll have to use my depressing vinyl blinds.

And lately WordPress keeps telling me that advertisements might appear from time to time at the bottom of my posts.  I do not endorse anything that might be down there (unless of course I do, but I doubt they advertise wool).  And I don’t think I have any control over what is there.  For $30 a year, I can take away these ads which I’d love to do, but then another year will go by and another $30, then another $30, and so on (boldly assuming I keep this up).  So my $30 will be going to things like health insurance and oats and toilet paper (and sexy mutant vegetables) instead.

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Filed under art school, sewing, unemployment

Back to the woods…

We were in the Adirondacks last weekend for a couple of days of soggy hiking and down time away from our frustrating and increasingly desperate home (and my job) search.

ADK-Phelps

I know that I said earlier that I needed another bout of cabin time to finish designing that shawl but I have to focus on other projects at the moment now.  I took all of the letters I need to cut out and baste for my newest quilt (I think there are 26 total) but I only managed to finish a whopping four.  Pretty lousy progress.  And I’m not entirely sure I’m doing them right or how to handle some of the narrow slices that I really can’t fold down.

ADK-letters

So I easily got distracted since basting is tiresome to me and doesn’t seem to amount to much since I still have to sew the damn things on.  In my current overwhelmed and distracted state I forgot to pack socks for the weekend. It was a good excuse to buy a new woolen pair, though I could only justify the one and had to wash them after every hike and hoped they’d dry enough for the next time.  Our cabin was infested with carpenter ants and chasing after one to photograph it was a perfect basting procrastination activity.  Do you realize how hard it is to get a clear shot of a very busy (and harassed) little ant?

ADK-ant

Bugs were definitely showing off their strengths over the weekend.   Inexplicably, black flies were suddenly crazy about my eyebrows  and one little f*cker bit me so successfully that blood was shed on my favorite wool t-shirt.

ADK-bite

But the weekend also held one of those magical and rare summer afternoons when all that mattered was swimming in a mountain pond and feeling the sun.

ADK-pond

(Thanks to N’s family for their hospitality and the afternoon at their awesome lakeside cottage on Sunday!)

And since we were away, I had a late start in the Tour de Fleece, and promptly suffered a wipe out when I sliced open my thumb on a yogurt container of all things.

TdF-Wipeout

I need my thumb to spin dammit!  I should probably lower my yardage expectations now but I’m willing myself to heal quickly.

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Filed under hiking, knitting, quilts, sewing, spinning, travel, unemployment