Friday, April 30, 2010


Does it ever happen to you that prior to an event or occasion you have an idea of how it will all go and then it actually unfolds quite differently? Well that was the Stitches weekend for me.

I had checked my patterns and made notes of yarn requirements, a list of things I wanted to look for, and special yarns I hoped to find. I thought this was a Smart Thing to do. Try to Be Prepared. Hah! Preparation is futile in the face of Yarn Overload.

In a giant room full of yarny goodies, many of which are seldom if ever seen, one is quickly reduced to IMPULSE buying. I bought nothing that was on my list, but I am very happy with my choices and eager to knit with my new yarn and patterns.

I had planned to check Galina's booth and buy the yarn for this shawl from last summer's "Piecework" (which BTW is on sale). I didn't find just what I wanted but the highlight of the show, for me, was a serendipitous encounter with another knitter wearing her beautiful creation from this pattern. Seeing it In Person after corresponding with Roberta about yarn was a real treat. [Rav link to Roberta's shawl]

I had a great time hanging out with Kay as usual. We both succumbed to beautiful yarn at the Brooks Farm booth.

And just before leaving, we stopped at the front XRX booth and Sandi Rosner gave us a personal demonstration of how to knit the amazing Hex Sox shown on the cover of the new book, "Think Outside the Sox". All the extremely clever designs were on display there.

Again this year, I stopped by Neal Howard's booth, chatted a bit, and looked at her luminous yarns and beautiful woven garments. Neal is an artist, and so nice to boot.

I wish I could have had a whole day at Marianne Isager's booth. A wall of subtly shaded fine wool surrounded by the most imaginative garments. Sharing the booth were designs from another Danish designer, Christel Seyfarth. A LOT of color and lots of things that I could never pull off, but certainly eye-catching and inspiring.

In the meantime, I'm experiencing a poorly-timed bout of tendonitis so I may post less frequently for a bit.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

H is for

Happiness! The construction around the square is complete and traffic is moving as usual again. The crews worked extra hard to get it ready for this past weekend's Taste of Marietta.

Last week on a lovely, lovely spring day, I hopped up from my desk and hurried out of the office to see what I could find for H.

First up is Hemingways a restaurant with a nice outdoor area that bills itself as an island in Marietta and a Parrothead Paradise. This was mid-morning, so it doesn't look too busy yet, however, around the corner there were a few early birds sitting and relaxing at tables under the umbrellas.

Two doors south and two doors UP is a hair salon - Heads Up! You can sit there in the bay window and people watch while you get your hair done.

I love the yellow on the Health Studio. It just looks like sunshine.

And then I stepped just across the railroad tracks to get a shot of the Herb Shop.

What a beautiful day it was!

It was hard to go back to the office.

Friday, April 23, 2010

I'm Ready!

Stitches South is here this weekend.

I am SO ready.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Bag Stall

A Borders card that I received at Christmas was burning a hole in my pocket. I finally took time to go in and browse and the timing was perfect.

Veronik Avery's new book "Knitting 24/7" had just been released.

The subtitle is "30 Projects to Knit, Wear, and Enjoy, On the Go and Around the Clock"

Well that says it all. There are quite a few in here that I want to eventually try. It is probably no surprise that I went straight for a bag.
Love bags.
Oh, sorry. Have I said that before?

This one is called Leafy Knot Clutch and is the same overall shape as this sewn one, often called a Japanese Knot Bag. Bonus for me is that it is knitted in a lovely leaf design.

The pattern calls for 2 balls of DK weight cotton. I had this one lovely lonely skein of Louet MerLin (a 70% merino/30% linen) that Mary sent from a Knitters Review retreat.

I love, love, love how the yarn is working for this even though it is worsted weight and I'm using bigger needles. Even though I do not have enough yarn. Sob.

I'm going to try to find another skein. If not I'll get other yarn because I Must Make This Bag.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Lilac Leaf again

Pattern: Lilac Leaf Shawl
by Nancy Bush in "Knitted Lace of Estonia"
18" x 60"

Yarn: Jade Sapphire Lacey Lamb
100% Extrafine Lambswool - Color 225 / Blood Red
825 yds/60 gr - leftovers

Needles: Size 4 circulars

Color is a bit dulled in this picture. I think it was overcast when I took it. We've been having some cooler spring days around here. That is really welcome. So often we head directly into summer with weather just immediately hitting the 80s and only going up from there.

I knit this same pattern once before and it was such an easy, enjoyable knit that I decided to use the leftovers from the two balls of yarn to make it again. I didn't quite get all the repeats called for by the pattern, but I used as much of the yarn as I could.

I've said before, I love, love, love this Lacey Lamb yarn. It is such a pleasure to knit. So wonderful in fact that I think I should buy another ball or two....but maybe in a different color.

Monday, April 19, 2010

A True and Perfect Inventory

If you are a regular reader of "Piecework" (and if you aren't, WHY not??), then you are probably already familiar with fiber artist and poet Stephen Beal. [pdf of Piecework interview here]

Past issues have had some of the poetry from his book, "The Very Stuff: Poems on Color, Thread, and the Habits of Women" a collection based on the shades of embroidery floss he uses in needlepoint.

Leafing through the latest Fiber Arts at the library the other day, I learned of one of his latest pieces, Fontleroy Plantation an embroidery of the text of his great-great grandfather's estate inventory.

If you get the chance, read the article in Fiber Arts (Apr/May 2010 issue) to learn more about this amazing piece.

What you don't learn at Mr. Beal's website above, is that the garland draped around the piece is composed of cross stitched prayer flags in red, white, yellow and blue for each of the slaves named in the inventory. Slaves and livestock are included with their monetary value in the inventory, including Old Millie, at 76 valued at zero, i.e. less than a table or a chair, let alone a hog.

Embroidery. It can be a very moving medium.

Speaking of "Piecework", the May/June LACE issue will be on newstands May 4.
SOON.......... Swoon.
Here's the preview. It looks fantastic!! I can hardly wait.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Miss Read

I enjoy Writer's Almanac. Sometimes I'm lucky enough to catch it on the radio and get to hear it in Garrison Keillor's own voice, but most times I just check the website, read the day's poem, and see which writers are featured.

I thought today I'd do my own since I don't expect to see one of my favorite writers featured.

Miss Read is the pen name of Dora Saint who was born this day in 1913. A teacher by profession who began writing several journals after World War II. She later worked for the BBC as a scriptwriter.

These novels of English rural life are set in the fictional villages of Fairacre and Thrush Green, and the first she wrote, "Village School", was published in 1955. She continued to write until 1996. In 1998 she was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire for her services to literature. She lives in Berkshire.

I read and re-read Miss Read all the time. Of the two villages, I like Fairacre the best, perhaps because it is told in the first person voice of Miss Read the village schoolmistress. Several of the novels take place over the course of a year and the author obviously enjoys and is a keen observer of nature.

All would be described, I'm sure, as gentle reads. I don't think this diminishes their literary worth at all.

Happy Birthday Mrs. Saint and thank you for your hospitality.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Value of Labor

I suspect that if you visit and read my blog posts that you probably are involved in some type of handwork or needlework yourself and you already spend hours of your leisure time on some similar pursuits and know the value of that time spent.

I am driven to create something. Not always a useful something and quite often an UNnecessary something. (Who needs lots of lace shawls?) But I spend part of every day either making something, thinking about something to make, or reading about making something and I have pretty much my whole life.

Today I visited the library where I usually sit and read the latest Fiber Arts. This is another wonderful Interweave publication. I love the cover of this issue especially!

The Profile section of this issue introduced me to two compelling artists.

Mary Smull uses white (and sometimes black) wool only to complete unfinished needlepoint canvases in order to stimulate conversations about the relationship between labor and leisure and the value of labor-intensive processes for the maker. [second from left thumbnail in the link above]

You can read more about her work here as well as watch her explain more about it in a short video.

Whitney Stansell has a sculptural work entitled "Garments". It will be on exhibit in Atlanta at Whitespace from April 9-May 15. Hopefully I can get down there to see it.

Friday, April 9, 2010

A Twisted Tote

In need of a little pick-me-up (and with no yarn shop handy), I dashed in to the Red Hen, a quilt shop very near work. They have lots of folded fat quarters so it is easy to pick one or two and walk around looking for another to coordinate, or just to ponder for projects. I am big on pondering.

I'm not even sure how long I stayed, but long enough apparently as I was more relaxed when I left with three fat quarters, two for me and one for Kay.

I've been seeing some zippered triangular bags around blogs and etsy and thought it was time I made myself one, only large enough to hold a small project. I also added a loop for a clip so I can hang it from a belt loop or attach to a bag or purse.

I didn't use these directions, but if you want to make one, here is a pdf from 4-H. [Remember 4-H?] They are quick and fun to make and the size can easily be changed to suit your need - or the length of your zipper.

It would be very simple to make a knitted version of this. In fact the SoH0 Sling from the book, Bags: A Knitter's Dozen is one example. I'm just not sure I'm ready to put a zipper in knitted fabric.

Monday, April 5, 2010

G is for

Add ImageGlover Park - the square within the Square and named after the town's first mayor, John Glover who donated the land . This picture, taken a few days ago, shows how things are beginning to green up now that spring has arrived.

The gazebo is on the south side under the shade of a large oak tree. That's where Kay and I sat last June for Worldwide Knit In Public Day. Great times!

To the west is the 1916 Glover Machine Works locomotive.

Glover Machine Works played a significant role in industrializing the South after the Civil War.

Speaking of the Civil War (which never seems to be too far away), just behind the locomotive is the Gone With the Wind Musuem.

I've never been inside, but it houses the original Bengaline gown from the movie worn by Vivien Leigh as Scarlett on her honeymoon in New Orleans.

We even have a gym. Hum.....never been in there either!
It was a great day to get out on the Square and take a few pictures.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Blessed Easter

Another of my vintage postcards that I love so well.

This one postmarked Apr 12 10-30 P 1911
signed "Happy Easter, Grandmother"
and addressed to a Miss Mabel Marlow
in Brandywine Summit, PA (up Jeannie's way)

Friday, April 2, 2010

Peep Keep

Here's what the wee bit of stitching became... a needlebook - and all made from scraps!

Yes, that means this little project cost nothing to make.

The design was a freebie from Prairie Schooler.

The linen was a scrap from my stash and was almost exactly the right size. I only trimmed a bit off in the making.

The lining, too, was just a scrap from a long ago baby quilt and the wool felt for the needle pages came from the ever-resourceful and creative Pat.

It's a crying shame that Pat does not have a blog so you could see some of the clever things she makes - using all kinds of techniques, too. She noticed while working in the guidance office of a high school that colleges sent wool felt pennants so she called the pennant manufacturer to see if they had any scraps and they sent her a box of goodies. And she shared with me!!

And lastly the little button with the rhinestone came from a tin of old buttons passed along to me. Perhaps a bit flashy for this purpose but the pink color was too nice to pass up. (And when else am I going to need a pink rhinestone button??)

Want to make a needlebook? As usual Flickr has photos of some wonderful ones.