Thursday, March 31, 2005

Spring Palette and Fiber Update

Lunch at Priscilla's house this afternoon. I brought the fruit which made me think of the spring wardrobe colors this year, so here's a photo. Sorry the honedew isn't as green as what we've been seeing on people's backs this year, but you get the idea.

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I've been continuing to play with the remaining warp from the Big Twill workshop:

curve rotation threading; M & W treadling
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I really like the suggestion of little pine trees in this pattern, but they appear to be lying on their side. So I turned the draft on the weaving software and oriented the trees vertically:

rotated draft of the sample
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Can you see them? Wouldn't that make an interesting scarf in silk, tencel, or rayon?

On the knitting front: I've been working on these during tv watching. I only watch two shows: West Wing and the Las Vegas CSI. So perhaps the second heel will get turned tonight during CSI.

salsa socks
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Okay, I lied, there is one additional tv show we've been watching on Sunday nights. CBC TV in Windsor has been running a new Miss Marple series with Geraldine McEwan. If you are an Agatha Christie fan, these are okay. But if you are a knitter, these shows are a treasure trove. Each episode in the series has been a visual treat of beautifully designed and knit sweaters that harken back to the mid to late 1940's. It turns out that they will be shown on PBS in the US starting this Sunday, April 3 with Malice Aforethought.

I haven't been able to figure out who did the design work for these sweaters. It's a BBC production, so more than likely a Brit did the designing. If anyone who reads this blog knows, please let us know in the comments. Thanks!

And finally, the wardrobe sewing has continued. I just haven't felt like doing photos of garments. I'll get around to it one of these days.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Happy Easter!..

Some of you may enjoy reading Nothing beats a sheep in an overcoat in yesterday's issue of the San Francisco Chronicle, courtesy of Sue Reuser. She does have nice cormo. I know this from experience. (There's a link to her in the article.)

We are just home from church and brunch for the senior high youth, raising funds to go to workcamp this summer. For the past several years I was one of the mom's making sure that the kids had brunch-like casseroles to serve and plenty of coffee brewed. Today dh and I were able to take a plate and just visit with old friends.

I didn't get the Easter outfit finished, but it's close. Hope to have pictures up later this week...Monday or Tuesday, maybe.

Since it's gray and gloomy here and I'm trying to stay out of the marshmallow peeps and the dark chocolate Dove eggs (the Easter hubby knows my weaknesses)....I'll post a couple more pictures from the trip:

Iguana's after breakfast
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Every morning after breakfast, there was a herd (not an exaggeration!) of iguanas that would meet us outside the dining room to see if we had snitched any fruit for them. Once I caught on to this, they did indeed get a little fruit every morning. Those are grapes you see on the sidewalk. They reminded me of my mother-in-law's cats at the back door each morning. I sent her the picture...she didn't think so.

me kayaking
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This is the 'real' me kayaking among the mangroves. What a beautiful afternoon that was!! We had a guide (woman) from the Netherlands who spoke fluent English, with a Brooklyn accent. There were also two other young men along from the Netherlands, Jan and Eric. Although we saw some aquatic life, the birds were the main attraction on this outing. Alas, no bird photo' not coordinated enough to paddle, focus, and snap the shutter.

swimming with the angel fish
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Wendy asked if we were scuba diving or snorkeling. I don't scuba dive...asthma. Dh and ds are avid scuba divers. Dh has taught scuba classes since 1974. They dove in the mornings. I snorkeled right off the beach from our room every morning which is where these angel fish would hang out. Later in the day we all snorkeled and also on the sailing cruise we took on Friday.

walking in town
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We were close enough to walk into town a couple of afternoons. This is my husband and son walking along the city harbor.

sunset from balcony
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And this was the sunset from our balcony on our last evening there. sigh...

(btw: all of these photo's were taken with a Fujifilm disposable waterproof camera. I was pleasantly surprised at the quality.)

Thursday, March 24, 2005

So Where the Heck Have I Been?

Well, after Bonnie Inouye's workshop and a whirlwind of preparation, including picking up the "kid" (adult?) at college, we packed up and went here:

Plaza Resort Bonaire
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If you want to believe that's me in the picture...go ahead. Everyone's entitled to at least one illusion. (Ha!)

Bonaire is a scuba diving/snorkeling mecca with one of the best living reefs in the Western Hemisphere. The last we were there was 9 years ago and it's still wonderful divng and snorkeling but hurricanes Lenny and Ivan have taken their toll on the coral. However there's still plenty of these guys:

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The terminal life phase of the Stoplight Parrotfish continues to be one of my very favorite fish to swim with in the Carribean. Their coloration just takes my breath away. I wish to weave something that would communicate the colors and patterning they display.

We are home and recovering from the shock of leaving 87 degrees and sunny to return to 32 degrees and snowy (sigh). Need I say that there hasn't been much fiber activity these past couple weeks?

I have printed out some of the different treadling sequences to sample with my warp from Bonnie's workshop. Plans for today include cutting out some fabric for an Easter outfit. It turns out that the pale gold suede colth won't be too warm for Easter after all. Then I will spend some time at the loom weaving some more samples.

Uhm...the comments are almost nonexistent. Anyone out there want to encourage me a little?

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Big Twill Workshop

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These are the swatches from Bonnie Inouye's Big Twill Workshop that we just finished this afternoon. (Try to ignore the busy carpet in the background!)

It's been 3 days of driving back and forth to Lansing, weaving, taking lecture notes, and attempting to digest it all. This is a very dense workshop. It's not a retreat, that's for sure. But I wasn't looking for a weaving retreat, so that's good.

There were 19 with looms in the class. Am not sure you can see all of the swatches even with both photo's combined. I was able to get to 11 of the looms and weave samples and there's still plenty of warp to experiment with at home.

I learned much, both from the didactic material and in thinking about the design instruction from Ann Schumacher's workshop last spring.

Will post more later, including photo's of my swatches with some thoughts. Must go make dinner and make sure that there's clean underwear in the dressers to start the new week tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Speed knitting...

Is it really that important? WSJ Online: Stitches in Time I give credit to the journalist. He's written a piece that: holds your interest, doesn't blatantly patronize knitters, and has a bit of humor to it. An improvement over the Boston Globe Sock Knitting Article. I still can't figure out why that journalist felt it necessary to put each person's age by their name in that article. Now if only we could get them to omit including facts like "celebrity knitters Julia Roberts and Cameraon Diaz". I'm sure both of these ladies use toilet paper what.

Ahh..perhaps I'm just cranky. My hands are numb from spending the past two hours pushing the snow blower up and down our driveway after having about 8" of snow dumped on us last night. The whole time I was thinking that one month from today is April 1st and I sure hope we don't have another of these snow storms as an April Fool's prank. What irony to hear a robin singing when the blasted snow blower ran out of gas and fell silent!

I've been busy preparing the loom for this weekend's workshop. Perhaps a photo of the first treadling option will be coming to this blog soon. Meanwhile, I'm praying that Mother Nature gets this snow out of her system before I have to drive back and forth to Lansing 3 days in a row.

PS: The books mentioned in the post below arrived yesterday....on the day Amazon said they would be shipped.