Lizards in the Leaves

Rustlings in the green....imagination, art, whimsy

Sep 27, 2005

Bloom Shawl

Now that the Artsfest is over, I am turning my attention to A Little Something for Me and my outrageous number of UFOs. This is my Something for Me - the Bloom shawl from Knitty, done in the most wonderful color of Noro Blossom (#5). I am absolutely in love with the colors, and will probably always think of it as my Magical Shawl. It is a circular shawl done in short row wedges, a type of pattern I enjoy (I have made two of the Lorna's Laces pattern from the ball band on LL Helen's Laces merino/silk.)

I have been a little concerned about how small it seems, so it might be magical in more ways than one, if I can actually block it to the size noted in the pattern. According to the designer, she blocked it stretched " far as it safely could be stretched..." so it's got an open, lacy look.

In any event, I've decided it would make a very interestingly shaped scarf if it doesn't wind up big enough for me to think of as a shawl. It is a fast knit-up on #15 needles and I believe I shall make more than one!

I've been on-the-go for two days and carrying this shawl-in-progress everywhere. The beautiful colors elicit spontaneous comments from all who see it, and I've had numerous opportunities to have knitting conversations because of it.

Last night, when I was finally on my way home from a long day's worth of errands and appointments, I was railroaded. Here in Terre Haute I suspect that, "I was railroaded" is probably the No.1 Tardiness Excuse, true or not!

Usually I pick up a book or magazine and read as the train passes, but last night I picked up the knitting. It was the best time I have ever had while being railroaded! My favorite part of my favorite symphony (Beethoven's 7th) was on the radio, cool air was blowing from the a/c, and I was knitting this lovely shawl. I was very much "in the now" and I felt a sense of great contentment and well-being. I didn't want the moment to end, but when it did I thought "Ah, how splendid to have that contented, happy energy poured out over this shawl."

I've made a lot of shawls in the last few years, most of them just simple garter stitch triangles with a yo increase after the first 3 stitches of each row. I love to wear them and once in a while I give one away to someone special. All those shawls carry memories for me, memories of things I was thinking or experiencing, or music I was hearing when I was knitting. Then more memories are added when the shawl is worn. Sometimes the memories are of sad, difficult times but there is something about the way the shawl holds the memory that softens it, that wraps it into the grander context of my whole biography. It's interesting to me that it is mostly shawl knitting that seem to hold and evoke memories....I'm not sure why.

Sep 26, 2005


I did not do a good job of documenting the Street Fair/Crossroads ArtsFest 2005. It was my very first time doing such a festival booth and I went into my usual sensory overload with the heat, the details and the people. It's amazing I even remembered the camera the one time I did!
The pictures below are from the first day. (And I hope this post even comes out, this site is not letting me upload pictures as usual, so I bravely hit the "Edit Html" button and edited away.)

Margaret and I set up our booth with her things on one side and mine on the other. We both thought that our booth looked great and our work complemented each other's. I think we created a lively, colorful and fun space and that people enjoyed seeing our work. And a few people enjoyed it enough to want to leave us some money and take it home. We saw lots of friends and had conversations about techniques. What more could we ask? Well, perhaps we could have asked that Rita would not have shimmied on up here and rained out the second day of the festival!

The following two pictures show my side of the booth and Margaret's. That is Margaret sitting in the background. Margaret brought lots of lovely and interesting caps, some felted bags and her elegant silk beaded cuffs and necklaces (which, of course, I neglected to get a picture of.)

Here are most of the small things I designed and made, Granny Square Hair Ornaments, Flower Pins, Scarf/Shawl Pins, Linked Loop Wristbands and Leafy Wristbands, a wallet and two bags.

Here are my Garden Scarves and felted vessels:
and finally, a basket of handspun and my hats. My favorite hat sold, the Starbrim Hat with Leafy Band that is there on the right bottom. It was the weirdest combination of emotions - I was happy someone else loved it enough to buy it and sad to see it go.

Here is a picture of Margaret's hats and two small felted bags:

So...Saturday was a pretty good day all around, though so hot I'm sure that people just didn't want to contemplate wool hats and scarves! Sunday it was raining from early morning through the late night. Margaret and I had no tent and thought we wouldn't be able to set up at all. Our very nice neighbors (doing lapidary work) loaned us an extra tent, but rain and wet misty stuff still came in. Then the fair organizers said we could use part of an empty tent on the other side of the artists' market. So, Margaret and I gamely shlepped everything over and set up in a cozy thick canvas-enclosed space. As the rain relentlessly continued we realized that no one would be coming to the fair and vendors and artists began packing up. We did stay until 4 before we gave up as well.

I'm sure we learned a lot about how to better prepare for doing outdoor fairs and I'm very happy we did this one!

Sep 22, 2005

Pots and Pins

Show with a little bit of tell today. More felted vessels emerging.....little pots, crocheted of handspun, hand-dyed roving, with lids. The handles are open, like hollow tubes. They are 5-7" tall.

Pot for All the Details
(I wanted the handle to dry sort of crumpled/crooked - this piece makes me think of Dr. Seuss. Originally my idea was to create something that expressed my current/perennial dilemma: being responsible for the details of many lives, including several lives of my own! Some days it seems like little sproingy corkscrew details must be popping out of my head....)

Two views of Pot for Keeping Secrets.
(As I looked at this picture, I thought I perhaps should put a little felted ball in the top of the handle, like a stopper, so the secrets won't escape...)

Purple Pumpkin Pot with Ruffle

I made a few more scarf pins for our booth at the Artsfest - it's This Weekend! I also changed the fastener from a wooden stick to twisted copper wire, made little swatches for displaying them.

And there we go.... now I must get back to the details of preparing for the weekend. I can hardly wait to get to that point when I realize that there is no more time left to prepare, that whatever got done is what got done, and that the only sensible thing left to do is to have fun!

Sep 18, 2005

Aurora Angels

I have long been fascinated with the Northern Lights - viewing photographs of them just fills me with a sense of magic and wonder and mystery and hope and longing and awe. Lines come to me from the Wordsworth poem "Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood"
"There was a time when meadow, grove, and stream,
The earth, and every common sight,
To me did seem
Apparelled in celestial light,
The glory and the freshness of a dream..."

"...Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:
The Soul that rises with us, our life's Start,
Hath had elsewhere its setting,
And cometh from afar:
Not in entire forgetfulness,
And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come
From God, who is our home:
Heaven lies about us in our infancy!"

Right now, there are major solar flares and the Aurora is very active. You can see some glorious pictures in the September 2005 Aurora Gallery
at Look around on that site for previous years' galleries.

I had the profound pleasure of actually seeing Northern Lights here one year! Right in my backyard in the middle of light-saturated skies of Terre Haute. It was extraordinary - one of the reddish auroras, and, to bring this back to fiber, I thought it looked like a teased out roving set across the northern sky.

Which brings me to my Aurora Angels....for years, I've made angels of white roving, hung them in my car, around the house, given them for gifts. I've always thought that angelic beings were rendered well in the medium of unspunwool - ethereal, airy, spirit wisps....
Recently I decided to make some of dyed roving (again Deb Brandt's Dudleyspinner creation), and oh my, the outcome was Aurora Angels:

Sep 15, 2005

Genie Bottles

Between working on things for the Arts Fest and getting my books from the shop into my storage unit, I haven't had a bit of time to sit and write. But now I'm relaxing with a cup of tea and it seemed like a good time to blog a bit.

I've been feeling that I've gotten too much into thinking about what might sell at the festival, rather than just freely creating, making things that please me immensely, that give me that satisfied feeling - shape and form and colors that come together in a way that resonates with my soul....THAT feeling.

So I was very happy when I started another little shawl pin and the wool (loosely spun from a Dudleyspinner roving ) seemed to have a desire to be something else entirely:

Quite odd looking, it demanded to be felted and became the first in a new series of felted vessels:

Bottle for Lively Genie
5.25", Wool, hand-dyed, handspun, crocheted, wet-felted.

Two more soon followed:

Bottle for Meditating Genie

Bottle for Shy Genie

And yes, these pieces gave me THAT feeling. They are small, only about 5" and I am quite happy about being drawn back into creating felted vessels.

Sep 8, 2005

Flower Wristbands, LusciousGracious, MacJournal

Flower Wristbands
Wool, hand-dyed,handspun, knitted, needlefelted

I started these a couple of weeks ago. A tad flamboyant, especially the one with the larger flower - it looks like one of those wrist corsages. These are prototypes, I still have some design issues to work out with size and with the closure. I was hoping to figure this out and make a few for the arts fair booth, but time is definitely getting short, so these will be for future tweaking.

Shawl Pins
Wooden hair sticks, wool- hand-dyed, crocheted, wet-felted

Over the weekend, I made these simple felted circles to use for scarf or shawl pins. They could also be used for hair. I'd like to find a shorter wooden stick for the scarf pins, but these will do for now.

Last Saturday, I received my order from the LusciousGracious Studios in Arizona: their notebook filled with nice printouts of the patterns and fiber how-tos on their site, as well as some extra goodies. Their blog chronicles the creative endeavors, primarily knitting and photography and writing, of their entire family and it's the blog I check first thing. There is a joyful and inspirational spirit that comes right through the screen. I found them because dad Steve made a pattern for a felted bag that was the Knitty Surprise a few weeks ago. I'll put a link to their blog on the right

For those of you who are are Macintosh users running OS X, if you've been looking for a good journal/organizer, you might want to check out MacJournal at (No connection to the company, I'm just a happy user.) I believe there is a version that is offered as free- or share-ware, but I went ahead and sprung for the latest version in a $25 download. I am very pleased with this software! You can create nested journals, import photos into your entries and even export and publish to a blog, choosing to publish right away or save as a draft to go online and edit. I'm writing this in MacJournal right now. This feature allows me to have a copy of my blog posts. Adding pictures to your blog entry from MacJournal requires extra steps, but if I can manage it....

Sep 4, 2005

R.I.P Wabash River Books (1996-2005)

Yesterday was the last day for Terre Haute's only comprehensive full-service used bookshop. Started in March of 1996 with a very informal co-operative arrangement between Todd Nation, Tim and Harriett Kelley and me, it has been a labor of love and hope for the last nine years.

From 1996-1998 we were in a tiny space downtown (former home of Campbell's Books and then Book Nation.) Then the Swope Art Museum (our landlord) needed the space for their new office and Tim bought the new building and became the sole proprietor of Wabash River Books. I continued to sell my books with Tim's and to help staff the store along with Tim's family. Poor business and illness in both our families made keeping the shop open impossible - though we actually kept it open for a year after that realization!

Tim behind the desk yesterday, Harriett hiding from my camera to the left. There's a framed copy of the Desiderata on the wall, which was written by Terre Haute poet Max Ehrmann.

American History - This is a set of shelves in the center of the biggest room, what you can't see is the Biography section which lines the walls all around.

Peeking into the Fiction section, which made up only about 15 -20% of our books.

Aisle lined with Classics and Literature, World History. Not shown are 3 other small rooms and the back section of the store. These areas had too many people in them for me to take photos.
They were drawn in by this:

"Last Day - All Books $1 Each"

So long, Wabash River Books.....