Sunday, May 19, 2019

Hooked on Hitchhiker

It's been a dreary weekend: cold, windy, rainy, gray skies. I'm not complaining because I needed to rest and this weather definitely helps with that. I went to Torah study yesterday and then had a nice long lunch with my mom. Last night, Keith and I started the third season of The Man in the High Castle (Amazon), and it is as good as the first two.

Today I started cleaning up my studio and then went out to lunch and Urban Sketching. I ended up drawing one of our sketchers:
The blue sky is just wishful thinking. It was quite gray.
I'm pretty happy with this sketch. The woman sort of looks like Jean, the sketcher, which is a rare accomplishment for me! I need to find some time to just play with my watercolors. It's a challenging medium and I don't put enough time into it.

This is good knitting weather. I finished my first Hitchhiker, and I love it. It only has about 39 teeth (it's supposed to have 41), but it is long enough right off the needles. After blocking, it should be a decent length.
I like the way the gradient works out when it's around my neck. I think it came out well enough to be a gift.

It was such a fun and relaxing knit, that I just had to do a stash dive and start a second one.
I have no recollection of where I got this skein of yarn. It's going to be an adventure. It's a magic ball with 15 colors of sock yarn tied together with square knots and wound into a cake. I haven't come to a knot yet, but I'm hoping that I can just leave the knots in place and have a rustic sort of shawl. Strangely, there is no company name or brand. All I know is that there are 525 yarns of Merino superwash sock yarn. 

For dinner tonight I made a delicious red lentil dish from the Oh She Glows Every Day Cookbook. The dish called for homemade mango chutney, but I cheated and bought some. I'm not vegan, but I do make a lot of Oh She Glows recipes. They are healthy and reliably good.

I noticed that the photo of my most recent quilt in my last post was fuzzy, so I just had to go on record with a better photo:
How was your weekend?

Monday, May 13, 2019

Trying to Focus

I hope that everyone had a lovely Mother's Day. Keith and I made brunch for our mothers.

I've been trying to be more focused on fewer projects so that I can actually finish a few things. After brunch on Sunday, I finished this quilt, which Keith calls "the ugly one."
 It's not my favorite, either. I was trying to use colors that aren't in my usual palette. I learned how much color inspires me. I think that part of the problem with this quilt is that it didn't emerge out of joy -- and I think that shows. This was a useful experiment, but I don't think I'll do it again.

On the other hand, I am thoroughly enjoying my Hitchhiker. I have come to the place in the skein where the dark teal is beginning to occur more frequently.
I spent quite a bit of time working on it this weekend and listening to a fascinating podcast from Slate about Randy Weaver and Ruby Ridge.

And I'll leave you with a photo of my grandkitty telling Rachel that it's time to turn off the computer:

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Spring Is Everywhere At Last

Even Wisconsin has finally welcomed spring! Kola and I are very happy to be able to hang out on the screened porch. 
 Last Sunday I noted that there were 31 days of school left, which means we are now down to 26 days -- 25 for me. I'll be eating Jello for dinner and undergoing everyone's favorite intestinal screening procedure tomorrow.  Yesterday a teacher went public on the state of the profession in the Miami Herald. I love my school, my colleagues, my students -- but no one is exempt from the budget cuts, testing culture, lack of respect. Those have become national problems. 

But, getting back to spring, I have started another set of mitts in Zauberball Crazy, and this ball is very cheerful and seasonal:
My quilting project also features flowers:
I like this project, but again, I feel like I'm following the commercial fabric's direction. I fell in love with the flowered fabric and then chose others to contrast with it. 

The projects I really love are more original. I've started working seriously on a piece for an exhibit that my fiber group is having in the fall, and I like this one so far. The show is at the Arboretum so all the artwork has to include Wisconsin wildlife.
I have four Wisconsin birds and a handful of native wildflowers. When I finish the design, I'll transfer it onto cotton twill and embroider it with perl cotton. I think it will be a fun one to embroider.

I've been taking it easy this weekend. I am exhausted following a week of student crises at school and an injury. A student came flying out of a bathroom and banged into my wrist, leaving me with a sprained arm. I spent the whole day dealing with Urgent Care and Occupational Medicine. Still, I did go out for Gallery Night on Friday. There's a new store that focuses on arts and crafts from Tibet, India, etc., and it is furnished with this completely beaded chair:
Really. That is all beads, see:
Five more weeks. I can do it, right?