Tuesday, November 28, 2006

I started this jacket (in mystery acrylic-based deplyed yarn from value village) trying to copy a marc jacobs sweater I bought on clearance. Buttoned at the neck and then at the waist it had an S-curve blouson shilloette which I thought I could duplicate using short rows. Maybe I could have, had I not run out of the irreplaceable mystery yarn. I think I’ll have to start it over in cascade 220 and I should have known better all along. I’ve only got the sleeves left to do so it’s all a little heartbreaking.

Is it a surprise though, that the self-cinching waist (couched in a slip-stitch pattern from Barbara Walker’s II) looks more than a bit like a bargello pommegranate pattern? As scattered as I think I probably appear (tottering and teetering around town dropping things and getting driven into at spring garden and barrington -which left me swearing like a north of 7er right outside my beloved st. mary’s basillica*) all of my projects are pretty streamlined and everything I pick out to work on and to work with seems to go together. (even my groceries-mmm I wait all year for pommegranate season.)
I wonder why more people arent combining various fibre and fine art techniques. The trend towards ‘embellishment’ -which I think has really been pushed along by scrapbooking, but had it’s start in artisan books- has only poked into textiles a little bit, and rarely through handhewn craft. It’s been explored in some of the mainstream knitting magazines but not by any noteable designers which I think is a shame. It’s only natural that after this resergance of craft and knitting in particular that the craft should evolve (like quilting did, and embroidery is trying to do) and it seems obvious to me that the interdiciplinary trend is what fibre arts needs to avoid going back out of style in a few years. Sigh, if only macrame had pushed past plant holders. (felted bags, funfur scarves and illshaped ponchos I’m talking to you)

*I’m fine btw. It just left me wondering if the universe (in the form of a minivan) was trying to give me a nudge in the right direction. Surely I’m not missing something staring me in the face? Same goes for my recent hobby of burning myself on the stove. Maybe I just need supervision. Maybe all this Florentine needlework is getting to me and I need a patron-like Lindsey Buckingham. Did you see him on the late show? No. Of course you didn’t.
ps I have a soft spot for macrame plant holders as you may well imagine.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

A pair of canvases before I go hop on a train this afternoon.

Last weekend I got to take the Dress Form Workshop that I couldn't take last fall (see here). There are some great photos and I will post them as soon as I get everyone in the photos' permission to do so (even though I'm the one having their body wrapped in duct tape).
In the mean time I have an exact replica of my torso standing in my hallway which is very strange indeed. I've already dressed her up and she looks smashing in all my clothes. I will use her for blocking lace sweaters a lot.
Sitting here typing though, I'm thinking I might extend one of her cutoff arms a little longer a la:
Oops-looks like someone else has thought along the same lines:link
Soundtrack: Murder She Wrote on the tv

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The weather here in Halifax has been very unchristmassy. My crocheted snowflakes (dk weight donated acrylic, 3.5mm hook) made their way to The Loop's window in time for both the Festival of Lights and record breaking warm weather. They look great with Cathy's toasty felted log fire, and the crazy 'no snow-snowman'. His bum is constructed of the former Guinness record holder for World's Longest Scarf. Let's hope me manages to see next year.

I'm working on several projects right now -embroidery, dolls and canvas-and taking a snowflake break really helps. I've decided to include one in all my christmas cards. I'm saying that now, in November.
We will see.

Meanwhile some of my handpainted mohair from class is quickly and a little thoughtlessly becoming a scarf. The stitch pattern is something or other from Barbara Walker, but I'm finishing the rest of it in garter having decreased by half. Like a tie, I guess.

Some visitors to the blog are having trouble reading posts. Please let me know if you're one of them and what problems you're having. Thanks. More photos of Festival of Lights at The Loop.

Soundtrack: coffee perking.

PS. Update: Will be teaching workshops at LeMarchant St Thomas next semester

Wont be showing at the Khyber Midwinter Fair (I was going to, but I will be out of town)That is all.

Friday, November 17, 2006


Well, today is my day for the library but I've already taken out more than I can chew. That's because I've taken on more than I can chew. At least having too many projects keeps me from chewing UG oatcakes and Mud Room sandwiches quite so much.

Right now I'm caught up in Russian Nesting Dolls, or Matryoshki and the Nested Doll Principle as it applies to Marketing,, Matroska Files, Chemistry, and TRIZ thinking. Learn about TRIZ: here. I've been looking at TRIZ and the IChing a lot lately (the latter probably through having to give 3cents change a lot at the store) and wondered how that kind of thinking could be applied to arts and crafts-specifically to some problems I've been having with my crocheted dolls. Then I thought why not create something based on Nesting Dolls, their Russian craft heritage (2D & 3D) and the principle named after them.
Soooo. I'm embroidering a series of nesting canvases-the folk embroidery echoing the painted embroidery on the Matryoshka's clothing. Quilting theory is helping quite a bit too, so I've taken out a huge book on Tessellations which should keep me going for a while. It should also help with my Brideshead Vest. (see previous entry)

But beyond all that, Russian art is fun. I love the "World of Art" (Mir Iskusstva)painters and illustrators, revolutionary era textiles and patterns, and anyone visiting the apartment can see that iconography is a bit of a passion-even if my icons aren't orthodox.
In knitting news, I'm working a Fiddlesticks shawl pattern into a top down raglan (just substituting the lace patterns in order) using Inca Gold BSC in a blue-greyish colour. Keep your pants on, it might be a while.

Monday, November 13, 2006

A pretty Collar in miniature for no good reason at all. I'm still exploring wearables based on doily techniques. This is based on a pattern c.1958, crocheted in dk weight.

I make no promises, but for now I seem to have traded in a little of my oft ridiculed "Bordello" Tastes for "Bargello". Oooh baby, I can't get enough of it and canvas work doesn't sound as dirty as it did before. As you may have noticed, I will always back the underdog when it comes to crafts, and really,to all things Women's Work and I'm sure this is indicative of some disorder or another but I'm not much bothered.
I haven't started a bargello project yet, but I've quite decided I'm going to find it really satisfying from a mathematical standpoint. I'm also really taken by freeform bargello as discussed on favorite blog haunt Seamsters. I think I will start with Flame, Pomegranate and Ribbon patterns. I will save "Four Way" til I'm feeling more adventurous.


Soundtrack: "Cathouse Blues", Stevie Nicks

Thursday, November 09, 2006

++ errata +errata=

Annie Modesitt's "Sideways Spencer" from IK fall 2004, in Manos "Oilslick"(!) Yes, yes, yes. Smashing, smashing, smashing. Quite. I feel like Lizzie Bennett already.
The sweater is knit cuff to cuff which was exciting and confusing until I reached the neck shaping, and the piece stopped looking so much like a cabled loincloth (thank you loop group boys for pointing this out).
The other finished versions I've seen have all been rather long (which I can't help thinking misses the point) so I think I'll skimp on the rib cuff. I may do this in a different colour-maybe matte (or manos-matte) grey? Lately I've been buying a lot of muted, in between type colours and colourways (sorry Phantom Hacker). If there is a common link between them all I guess they all remind me of heather, rocks, and the Highlands. I'm ancestral home-sick if there's such a thing. Alison will know what I mean. Last night in Dyeing Class Mimi and I kept choosing colours that are inherently muddy in the same way. Our handpainting techniques are coming along but we may have to concede to bright colours once in a while. My biggest problem is that I want to mix solutions as I go and treat the dyes as watercolours. Not a good idea if you ever want to reproduce a colour scheme. And then there's that whole 'dangerous chemicals' issue. Ho hum. I had to promise I would not try this stuff at home. Maybe I will take a photo of myself in my coolio Darth Vader respirator mask. Sexy! No, no, all things in moderation. Especially Spencer jackets and Regency fashion.

Soundtrack: "Every Little Thing She Does is Magic", The Police
Sorry I really rambled today-will post photos of muddy yarns later...

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

It must be time to start Holiday Knitting if my christmas cactus is blooming. It must be a cactus if it is the only happy plant in my house...and it pretty much is.

Take a look at my pitiful no name mystery plant. It used to be lush and full and beautiful. I put it in a window-right in a window and now it is slipping away into a mess of brown crinkly leaves of death. It is so sad and I don't know what to do for it. I have moved it to a *slightly* sunnier window but they are few and far between at my house. My house is more of a lair really. Any tips on bringing it back to life?? Please? It looks even worse now:(

It is so gloomy here now that the days are shorter that a rain cloud has taken up permanent residence in my jade plant.

Don't worry-it's rain drops are just picot ribbon.

Soundrack: "Fidelity", Regina Spector

PS: I ended up being Little Bo Peep and was interviewed for the illustrious Live at 5
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