Thursday, September 30, 2010

Fiber Finish

This time it's the quilt I've finished.

The first fabric that I ever put on Spoonflower in 2010 was from a small watercolor painting that I did in a class in maybe 2000 at the Art League. I thought it would make the most wonderful fabric: bright, geometric and colorful. It does make a great fabric. Later, I combined two other paintings I did after that class into a one-yard "cheater" quilt for a Spoonflower contest, thanks to software help from The Artist. I thought they would make a great front and back to a quilt. They did.

But, I had no binding. For that, I had to paint another watercolor. The watercolor set I use, by the way, is a set of Pelikan paints that I got for an even more ancient Art League class. Since all the watercolors are straight from the pans, and not mixed, they always look bright and vivid, with the usual watercolor gradients.

I finished painting the binding in late summer, then finished the quilt and sewed on the binding. I'm not a watercolorist and I'm not a quilter, but I love this quilt. The sewing has problems, but the design really lends itself to making an easy "cheater" quilt that really shows well and vibrates a little.

I plan to "hang it high" so you can't see the mistakes, but only the beauty.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Tieing up loose ends

It seems I have several loose ends to tie up. Knitting, sewing, life. (LIFE?)

Anyway. Remember all that crochet yarn my friend in NYC sent to me? I mailed some back east to my cousin (along with some pear butter I made) and she seemed to love it. Then, I gave a whole bunch to a friend who does inkle loom weaving. (A real expert in it - has been doing it for 30 years and has a loom for just about every year she's been weaving! Even her grown kids weave!) She really liked it. Said the black was perfect for guitar straps and the teal is a great color for her. (Check out her blog and Etsy Shops> and Blog>

OK. Now, on to my knitting loose ends. I've given up for a while working on my "New York Beret" on size 5 needles in white mohair. I think the needle size is just too small and my eyes just too dim. This is the second time I've put it away. (I know. My eyes don't get any better while it sits in a bag.)

So, I started the sleeveless shell in black cotton and "Splendora", as I call it. (It really has another name, as you can see in the photo.). Much larger needles - 8 and 9 - and since it's sleeveless, should knit up much faster. There's still that Blossom beckoning... Got a new book for it, but that grams to meters to yards thing has me stumped.

Lastly, my quilt. I've finished all the sewing and just need to take care of the thread loose ends and put on a quilt sleeve. Maybe I should design a label on Spoonflower. Although I'm not a quilter, it does look good, especially from afar. (No photos yet.)

Now, my loose ends in life. Finish my books (all 100 of them as yet unread...), make a will, pay off the house. What pie in the sky for today. How about something down to earth? How about go for a walk? Hey, it's 93 degrees! Why not? The knitting store is just the right distance for a nice walk in the sun.

Then, it's back to make avocado mini muffins for the Open Studios reception for The Artist for tomorrow. (Can't post this without a note on Life with The Artist, huh?) By the way, his student is back at "real" school and finished two instruments while at "independent study" school with The Artist. She said that her experience "far exceeded her expectations". That's my artist. What a guy!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Knitting Thrill

Well I'm just thrilled that I was able to get to look at my blog. I just have to keep it up!

The Artist has had an independent study student for the month of September. They've been great for each other. She has brought out an interest in teaching to the artist and shown to him that there is hope for today's youth. (That's age showing.) She has done very well and made two pieces. They will probably appear in a show together.

We're getting ready for Open Studios. This will be The Artist's 10th year as a participating artist and my 10th year as "Artist's Assistant": the beginning of my life in The Arts.

With that lead-in, what am I working on? Knitting, sewing and reading, what else? (But I'm thinking of taking up spinning and weaving!)

I finished a hat last week with some yarn leftover from my purple Noro sweater. And I still have more yarn left, enough for a second hat or even a third. They will all look completely different because the varigated yarns start and end in different places.

Hat Unfinished

I also knitted a teal necklace from some crochet yarn that a friend found at a flea market in NYC. I like this one; I thought it needed a little something, so I added metallic.

Knitted Necklace

I'm waiting rather patiently (for me) for some yarn to start another project. It's been ordered but has yet to arrive.

The big event for the weekend is to finish the one-yard quilt from fabric I designed and had printed on  I finished the watercolor of the border over Labor Day and just received it yesterday. It's all quilted, but the border remains. I'm not a good quilter, and I don't particularly like to quilt, but I like to design. The front and back were actually painted several years ago when I took a watercolor class. The originals hang on the wall in my studio in little frames.

Reading? I just received a box of books in the mail from my dear friend and fellow book devourer, the ex-bookseller. Great authors, and a big thank you. Must go take advantage of them...

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Ode to Labor Day weekend - Why does life get so complicated?

Or - am I getting old?

These silly computer programs keep changing, so that it gets harder to do those simple things in life like updating a blog. Every time I try to do it, the options change. What does all that "Changes to Make It Better!" stuff mean? Who cares? Just keep it so I can understand it. (Remember, guys. I used punch cards, so I was there at almost the beginning.) Somehow, my email address has been removed from my blogs. I can't get to see my blog. Silly things. Who do I call? No one. Waste time to figure it out? Beg a college student for help?

A friend of mine asked me yesterday, "Remember when we were younger and we were told that computers were going to take over everything, and would do everything for us and make our lives simpler and we would have a shorter work week, like 35 hours instead of 40? That hasn't happened." No, it hasn't. Sometimes it seems like things have gotten worse. Maybe it's just that "labor" is not for the aged, or else I'm starting to feel my age.

I'm lost without a knitting project. I need something to start. I certainly have enough yarn. I just have to decide what it will be. A friend sent me some boxes of yarn picked up at a yard sale. Two boxes of crochet yarn. (Crochet yarn! Whatever will I do? Knit it? Learn to crochet? Give it all away?) A box of heathered silk and wool yarn (not my colors). Some black and white angora. (Rather nice and much more "me".) All discontinued, but very nice yarn. The crochet yarn would make great market bags or bikinis.

I still love best the yarn that my cousin sent. Finn. From her own sheep and spun by her.

I'm finishing up my indie-self-designed quilt on my indie-self-designed fabric. I still need to design and print the border. I'll do that this weekend. See if you want to see all of my designs. Search for not-enough-time.

The Artist has had a good week. (Oh, that's right, it's not just about me.) He has an independent study student who is building a couple things with him between semesters going into her senior year at college. He was videoed for a Community Television show on woodworkers.

OK. I'm outta here. Not enough time.

Time is
Too slow for those who Wait,
Too swift for those who Fear,
Too long for those who Grieve,
Too short for those who Rejoice,
But for those who Love
Time is not.

--Henry Vandyke (1852-1933)

I guess I rejoice. Uncomplicatedly, though.