Lizards in the Leaves

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

Oct 29, 2006

Freeform Crochet Necklaces

I promised some pictures, didn't I?
Can't decide what to call these -- necklaces, collars or neckpieces.
All made with Noro Kureyon and a 3.5 or 4 mm crochet hook.
No pattern, just a general idea of the shape. Stitches used are mostly sc and hdc with bullions thrown in willy-nilly.
I've posted these in the order that I made them.

There is a design evolution here which you probably can't make out, but I think it might be interesting to relate. The top one was originally made in one piece starting with the left motif in oranges and yellows. I worked my way to the skinnier around-the-neck part and down on the other side, widening out, intending to have it fasten together at the front. I didn't like any of the ways I thought of to connect the two sides. So I very boldly cut into the work and unraveled just enough to make a loop on one end and finish off the other cut end where I sewed a button. This was good for me to do for a lot of reasons, not just to finish this piece.

The middle piece was created in two pieces, again starting at the big motif you see on the left side and traveling up to where it would fasten. I started the second piece at that point and worked to the ending motif on the right and joined the two halves together there by stitching them together. Then I made the fastening loop and sewed on the button. I wasn't particularly pleased with sewing the pieces together.

So....the blue/green piece on the bottom was made all in one piece, starting with the center back, coming down the left side, creating a large freeform area and going back up to meet the beginning part.

I had a lot of fun making these - they seemed to go quickly. I'd like to do more and perhaps incorporate some beads.

Oct 24, 2006

Difficult Days

Just thought I'd check in here.
It's been 10 days since I last posted. I am feeling overwhelmed right now, and overwhelmed becomes inertia. I am overwhelmed by my grief, by missing Patrick and by missing who I used to be. I feel like I am trying valiantly to come through this, and these sorts of days just must be experienced. I need to stay present and feel...just what I feel.

I could write a million things, but I am just going to write the thought that led me to sit at the computer just now. Although Patrick moved out in July of last year, 9 months before his death, I am acutely aware of how he used to inhabit this house, the space. On days like these, I cannot do anything without those thoughts coming into my head.

I stand over the washing machine, pulling out my laundry to put in the dryer and I think of the hundreds of times he did the same over the years. I turn on the light in his room and imagine his hand on that switch hundreds of times. I stand at the kitchen sink, open the refrigerator, sit on the far end of the sofa scratching Clover's ears....and visions of my son in the same space doing the same things, dance in my head.

And here is what goes through my head when that happens...that the space still holds energy from Patrick's being, that if I hold my hand over that switch, or stand over the washing machine or scratch Clover's ears in just the right way....I can somehow...match my energy to the residue of his and...feel him.

And I think about space and time and quantum physics and what we know and what we don't know. And all that I know is that I know very little and miss my son very much.

I am trying today to get myself moving, to not let the day leak away like so many do. I have done quite a bit of small freeform crochet pieces in the last few days, gotten 2/3 of the way through my RoundTrip Jacket. Hopefully, next post will have pictures!
Keeping on,

Oct 13, 2006

Rigid Heddle Weaving

I am so behind in taking pictures and posting public thank yous and going on and on about the fiber madness in my life! I'm afraid to say that I'm planning to play catch-up this weekend, because, alas, for me grand plans and noble resolutions and lovely new leaves always seem to go awry, dissolve, decay. And then what am I left with? Nothing done and a big, nasty effluvient pool of guilt. I so hate swimming in that pool...

So, I won't promise a thing. I will just say that this week I was busy at Riverwools,taking a KnitALong workshop (RoundTrip Jacket!) and another all-day workshop in rigid heddle loom weaving.

At the first weaving workshop, I used my 32" Kromski Harp loom -- it's a beauty, but I think it's just way too big for what I want to weave. I know for sure if I decide to keep it, I will have to buy a stand to use. Meanwhile, I went ahead and got the Ashford Weaving For Knitters loom. I thought long and hard about getting the smaller Harp, but in the end decided I would go with the Ashford.

Awful of me, but I can't quite remember exactly why I decided this, so I don't think I can be of any help to any of you who might be trying to make a similar loom purchase decision. I suspect that it might be a small superiority in the portability, and also the 7.5 dent heddle. The smallest heddle available for the Harp is 10 dent I think. I did go ahead and purchase the 10 and 12 dent heddles for the Ashford, so I have lots of possibility with this, and I've heard rumors that Ashford will be offering a 5 in the future.

So for my first project on the Ashford (yes, a scarf), I chose to use Colinette Giotto -- lovely, but so horribly expensive it begs to be woven rather than knitted with. One of the pluses of weaving is that a little expensive (or handspun) goes a much further way than knitting with it --
Giotto and a two-ply I handspun with a hand-dyed roving from Winderwood Farm. It's got a lot of variations of dark pinks and reds.
The pictures, of course, do not show the shimmery rainbow lurking in the irridescent blues of the Giotto. Nor do they show the myriad subtle combinations of all the rosy reds and pinks in the handspun. You will have to imagine them, and how they work together to create an interesting effect of texture, of undulation.

And here is the project-in-process, perhaps about 2/3 completed. I'm hoping I won't run out of the handspun:

I actually have other things in mind for rigid heddle weaving besides scarves. Please feast your eyes on this selection of artful hangings posted at Paradise Fibers. You will have to scroll down a bit as it is on the sale page for the Kromski Harp loom.

Errands whine at me, so I must bundle up and get out into the first real blustery cold of the season.

Oct 7, 2006

The Back Porch Table

"The incredible gift of the ordinary! Glory comes streaming from the table of daily life. Will I be there to catch the rays or will I remain blind to the holy because I'm too busy to see?"
--Macrina Wiederkehr in A Tree Full of Angels / Seeing the Holy in the Ordinary

A public thank you to Heather and Linda - two wonderful women with whom I've had the pleasure of having Tuesday Tea on my back porch this week and last. Good company, good conversation, lovely times!


Oct 6, 2006

Isis Shawl No. 6 - Kujaku

Isis Shawl No. 6 - Kujaku

Pattern: As You Like It Shoulder Wrap (designed by Jane Campbell)

Yarn: (4, maybe 5 balls) Noro Kujaku #22, (2 balls)Rowan Kidsilk Haze Color Blush

Needles: Denise Circular #11

Comments: As anyone reading this blog knows, this is the pattern I chose for something to work on right after Patrick’s death. I’ve made six now, all in different yarns. I call it the Isis Shawl. When it is spread out, it reminds me of the wings of Isis as she is depicted in various drawings, statues.

This one took me forever, for some reason. It was knit with one strand of Kujaku and one strand of Kidsilk Haze. Kujaku, like a lot of the Noro yarns, is just not very soft, but this shawl feels pretty nice. I think because of the Kidsilk, but also because it’s knit on the larger needles. Pictures do not reflect colors as accurately as I’d like. The shawl is a bit more orange-y.

The little bits of Kujaku that are wrapped with a polyester thread pop out from the fabric here and there. All in all, quite festive and eye-catchingly cheery.