Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Christmas Knitting

Above is the cloche I knit for my friend Maria. This is my first go at felting and I will definitely do more.
I designed this shawl for my mother to take along on her trip to Hawaii. This shetland lace shawl is based on the flowers which populate her garden. I used Malabrigo lace to make this piece.
This final project is for me. The pattern, Easy Seas by Knit/lab,  and was intended to be knit with a sport weight yarn. I, however, used a lace weight by Sweet Georgia Yarns, and altered the number of repeats to maintain width and length. A quick and easy project made with a cashmere and silk blend in a deep, rich turquoise.

It's Been Too Long

Life has made it difficult to sit down and write for the past few months. Things have been busy here is Etobicoke. Jim and I were exceedingly busy in out lead-up to Christmas. I devoted numerous hours to costuming for my school musical, The Scarlet Pimpernel. While I was not thrilled with this show, the kids did reveal some extraordinary voices and the costumes stole the show.

In addition, Jim and I had a busy season with our side business, Earthcandy. We did numerous craft sales and enjoyed our busiest season to date. We sold a lot of Jim's jewellery and a number of my uniquely designed shawls and toques.

I also managed to complete 3 paintings to give Jim for his birthday. He had been dying to have portraits of the pets so I managed to pull off an oil painting of each.

We decided to spend the holiday at home and avoid the usual trip to the east coast to visit Jim's family; his mother and sister spent a week with us in November. It was great to find time to do some Christmas decorating and baking.

We had a delightfully quiet break and even found time to get a few jobs done around the house. We finally finished the bedroom we started working on this summer. We installed the Church rail as a headboard as well as the repainted mexican tin sconces. We love it!

We also found time to hang all of the artwork we purchased that had not yet found a home on our walls.

Monday, October 4, 2010

No need to look beyond my own backyard

Well those of us in the north know that winter is nipping at our heals. The leaves are turning and the flowers in the garden have past their prime. I felt the need to slip out the backdoor and snap shots of the last gasps of summery breath. In the coming gray months, I can retreat into these images for inspiration. The garden's last hurrah will undoubtedly inspire colour combinations that will surface in my knitting projects as chilling winds whip down my street and try to numb my spirit.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

A week of mitts and cosmetics

My students, I'm a high school art teacher, have been busy finishing their first knitted assignment, a pair of mittens. They were given a very basis 2-needle mitten pattern, taught the necessary skills, and asked to create a unique pair of mittens using at least two colours. These are a few of their projects.

Jim, my partner, and I also did our first video shoot for defineyourself an on-line program which addresses the aging concerns of 40+ individuals. In exchange for participating, we have been granted some free services if we wish to enhance our appearances and look more youthful. How far would you go if given access to botox, restylane, lazer treatments, etc?

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Hat's All Folks!!

I recall a Bugs Bunny cartoon from my youth in which a hat-laden truck spills its cargo, dumping a plethora of hats into the wind. As Elmer Fudd chases the waskily wabbit, hats land on their noggins and they assume the roles dictated by the headgear. Wearing a bridal veil and top hot, the two eventually marry and head off into the sunset. I wish the hats I create could be as magical. While my hats are not task specific, I would be thrilled if the wearers could adopt the spirit of joy imbued in the textures and colours of these playful brain cosies. 

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Apparently I am still adjusting to my new sleep schedule, I am back in the classroom and could barely keep my eyes open all week. This means that I didn't get much knitting or pattern writing accomplished. On Friday I finally knit a small Turn-A-Square hat. I used Noro Kureyon, an aran weight yarn, instead of the recommended worsted, so I cast on 80 st using a 3.5mm needle and switched to a 4.5mm needle when I finished the ribbing. I just need to attach a pompom to it, and it's a done deal. I made a second hat on Saturday for my friend Joan.

On Friday our new cabinets arrived, a mere 8 weeks overdue. While Jim and I are annoyed at the quality of service, we love these cabinets made from repurposed materials: doors, tin ceiling tiles, church pews, etc. The look is very rustic and they look good in our bedroom. The units are made by a small Toronto company called Forever Interiors.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

It' s been a good week. I'm back to teaching and I think I'm gonna enjoy my classes; I'm teaching grade 12 art and grade 10 media arts.  Forty-five grade 12s are already knitting and will start their mitten projects this week.  Jim and I had a great day at the Georgetown Farmer's Market. I sold three of my original shawls (two are heading to Arizona  and one is off to Minnesota as a Xmas gifts) and Jim had exceptional jewellery sales too. Jim and I have also been approached about participating in the fourth season of an on-line video magazine called Define Yourself. It focuses on the responses to aging by those who are forty plus. If we are selected, we will the first men to take part in this venture. A videographer was taping us as we went about our business on Saturday. It was both interesting and unnerving 'cause while Jim is extremely gregarious, I definitely on the shy side. It also offers us an interesting question to consider: Will we take them up on an offer to undergo a variety of "enhancing" treatments which may include botox and restylane injections? Hmmmmm.

I also managed to complete the re-worked Sea to Sea Shawl. It looks much better than the original version; it's lacier due to a few thousand added yarnovers. I need to complete the written pattern and post it this week.

The next design is sloshing around in my noggin; I want to create a shawl inspired by one of my favourite old movies, Arsenic and Old Lace. I already have the perfect lace weight from NoTwoSnowflakes. Its a silk with a sweet silver sheen.