Monday, January 15, 2018

A Lovely Long Weekend

Finally...snow! We didn't get a lot, but it was enough for Keith and I to hit the golf course to cross country ski. The tracks were skied-in -- as opposed to beautiful machine-made tracks -- but I'm not complaining. It felt so good to be out and moving across the snow.

I do love knitting on a long winter weekend, so I was able to make some progress on my Vintage Fairy Light socks:
And I'm slowing knitting rounds on the super-bulky Clara's Cape. In real life, the pink is more subdued than it looks here.
I made it to Madison Urban Sketchers for the first time in a while, and we had a record turn-out: 20 sketchers! We were at the Chocolatarian -- and, yes, this cafe is as delicious as it sounds -- on the West Side.
As we often do, my friend Tsela and I sat together, so we drew the same thing. You can see her drawing on the left and mine on the right.

However, it hasn't been all fun. I have been working on modifying a 100-question biology semester exam. Finals start Wednesday, so it will be a crazy week.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Bad Photos; Great Event

To celebrate our show at Madison's Overture Center, the Madison Contemporary Fiber Artists held a workshop today, and it was a huge success. We invited the public to make leaves for our "tree," a branch that is part of the exhibit. We had five stations for leaf-making: embroidery, embellishment, felting, weaving, and coloring. 
We were told to expect 100 people. We got about 350, half children. People of all ages loved the projects and made beautiful leaves.

I am exhausted. We set up at 9 a.m. today and closed down at 1 p.m. Thank goodness we have a three-day break from school so I'll have time to recover. And excuse the photos; we were in an interior room with no natural light.

The opening reception was last night. We had a great turnout -- even though the temps were well below freezing. I want to share a few of the quilts with you. This first one is a huge landscape by Susan Jackan. Sue was one of my team teachers my first year of teaching. She retired a while ago, but it has been fun to meet up with her again. She has won all kinds of national awards for her work.
This one is by Laura Gottleib. I love her colors and the composition.
This next one is a small work of dense embroidery accented by beads done by Dvorah Kaufman.
And last is my entry:

I really wanted to have a third panel, but I ran out of time. It was fun to make, especially the fringe at the bottom. I titled it "Perishable." It's supposed to be a play on words: perishable in the sense of food going bad but also a reference to our fragile Earth.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

A Mid-Week Hello

 I'm often surprised by how quickly the week goes. Is it really Wednesday night already? I got through my two IEP meetings and now I'm frantically trying to get my students ready for final exams next week. 
I started two projects on Sunday. I cast on for my Clara's Cape. I have never knit with super-bulky yarn before, and it's hurting my hands a bit. The issue could be the yarn: Spud & Chloe Outer. It is a cotton-wool blend, so it is super non-scratchy. But that cotton content might be the reason I can only knit a few rows a day.

And I've started a new embroidered doll. This one has a knitting theme:
I have yet to pick out colors and start embroidering, but that's the fun part!

Thank you all for your compliments about my mug rugs. I am blushing now!

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Quiet Weekend

 It's been a quiet weekend in Madison. (Do you hear echoes of Garrison Keiler? I miss that guy!) Other than a few outings with friends, I've been working on various projects at home, including my embroidery club at school and a community project for my fiber group.
I made these "mug rugs" as a way of playing around with free-form embroidery. I am most comfortable following lines, but I want to venture into more spontaneous embroidery. These small circles provided the perfect experiment. And, I didn't have to buy anything for them! Pure stash-busting.
I cut the biggest circles out of felt, and the rest came from my fabric scraps. I basted the circles into place and just started embroidering with 6 strands of floss. I can't decide if they are going to be a gift or stay here at the house. They were fun, but somewhat time-consuming.
I repaired this necklace for my daughter. (I made it a few years ago and was horrified that it broke.) Now I have to get it into the mail. She's very happy to be back in the Miami warmth -- even though it's been unusually cold there. It hasn't gotten anywhere near the sub-zero temps we've had here.
This came in the mail. But I ordered it before January 1, so I haven't broken my vow not to buy yarn outside of a few major yarn events in 2018. It's going to be a Clara's Cape, one of Helen Stewart's Knitvent projects.

Today I went to an amazing LYS and walked out with nothing other than the 5 skeins of embroidery floss I needed. Go me! This LYS has truly beautiful yarn, I might add.

It was nice to have a three-day week for our first week back to school. This next one is a five-day week, which is going to seem very long! I have IEP meetings on Monday and Tuesday, and it will be nice getting them accomplished early in on.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

All Good Things Come to an End

I'll be heading back to school today. While I do enjoy my students, I'll miss those long lazy mornings for coffee and crafting. My daughter flew back to Miami yesterday, and I'm going through a bit of withdrawal. We had such a great visit!

I won't have as much time now for knitting... 
Fairy Lights Socks
...or making jewelry...

...or hanging out with this girl:
But I'm sure I'll adjust to work. And Spring Break is only 3 months away!

Friday, December 29, 2017

A Helen Stewart Obsession

I have two Helen Stewart FOs to share and two others on the needles. Here I am modeling my Land of Sweets cowl. I can't tell you how much I love this project. It is as much fun to wear as it was to knit.
I had such a good time with Knitvent, that I decided I had to join in Helen's Christmas-Eve cast-on of her new Vintage Fairy Lights sock pattern:
This pair of socks is going to take me a while as there is a lot of purling. I know some people hate purling. I don't hate it, but it is slower going for me than than the knit stitch.

And another Helen Stewart FO: The Tchaikovsky Hat. 
This is a fast and fun knit, and I'm sure I'll make more of these. I knit this one in a green in a soft Sun Valley DK yarn.

While I was photographing the hat and sock, I remembered that I have another lovely Helen Stewart project languishing in the basket: the Spindrift Shawl. I dug it out so I could add a photo of it.
I am tempted to jump right back into it, but I don't want too much distraction from Rachel's sweater so I'm going to hold off.

At this point, I should add that this a real post and not an advertisement. Helen Stewart has no idea who I am and certainly has not paid me for all these endorsements!

I am nearing the end of my winter break and enjoying the lazy days so much. We are continuing to have super-cold temps here, so Rachel, Keith and I have been watching Netflix, doing a jigsaw puzzle, and reading. Pretty perfect break!

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

In for the Long Haul

 I seem to be picking up long-term projects both in knitting and reading. Maybe it's the frigid temperatures that have settled over the Upper Midwest. We are looking at high's in the single digits this week.
Both the biography of Virginia Woolf by Hermoine Lee and the Modern Jewish History by Howard Sachar are incredibly well-written. I've been skipping around the biography and reading out of order. However, when it comes to history I'm a huge believer in chronological order. There are history books that go by topic, not timeline, and they drive me insane.
I try to knit a few rows each day on the ZickZack scarf, but I am more focused on the Windchill Cardigan, which I'm knitting for my daughter. I got quite a bit of the body knit yesterday while we watched the movie Woman in Gold. Cardigans don't look like much at this point!

And I'll leave you with a photo that shows how obsessed Kola is with food. We are worried we'll accidentally trap her in the refrigerator.

Joining up with Kat for Unraveled Wednesday.