Lizards in the Leaves

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

Nov 30, 2011

Wordless Wednesday / Dancing Tomato Stars

Picture by me, from the Playing With My Food series.



Nov 29, 2011

Fixed + Finished

Florabelle 2 is finished.

But I've lost 2 other hats. Most peculiar. I'd blame Lily, but  (unless my husband someone is covering for her) she's terrible at hiding evidence of her chewy misdeeds.

 Shelf in kitchen. She seems to get excited about what goes on in the kitchen and just has to sink her teeth into  something. 

 Yes, that's what you think it is. If you're a spinner.

It's one of these
At least she didn't gnaw on the sheave end (I had no idea what that end was called until I looked at that page) where the band has three different grooves in which to sit - which, non-spinners, is to give different turning ratios so the wheel turns the bobbin more times or less times in one go-round.  That won't mean much to you if you are like me and must actually SEE things of a mechanical nature in action, rather than try to visualize from words. Odd that, I'm a very good visualizer in most other ways.

Oops, digression. So, I have a chewed up bobbin that I may still be able to use, but I have a feeling that even if I sand it a bit, there will still be gouged areas that will be catching the fiber.

Now. Where are those hats???


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Nov 27, 2011

Poetry Ahead: Joy Harjo, then me

Joy Harjo - A Poem to Get Rid of Fear

So now I'm not afraid to follow Harjo with one of my own poems...haven't posted one here in a long time. Mostly because of that 'previously published' issue in case I want to submit somewhere. But I'm tired of not sharing my work here. Tired. 

This one is new, read it at the last Poetry at the Grounds, started out to be an Occupy poem and then shapeshifted a bit....

No Lipstick

I hear there will be no lipstick
come the revolution.
So we will stain our lips
with pomegranate juice

and know forgetting

forgetting how afraid we are of change
forgetting how afraid we are of loss

forgetting  our capacity for violence

We will high five ourselves and let everything go,
there’’ll be a river for all that stuff.

We will be wearing all that we own.

Come the revolution

cooking will be a communal rite,
eating together a sacrament.

No one will talk about what they let go

we will all be poised on the edge of each moment
reveling in what is

deeply understanding the nature of forgiveness

that the spiritual world
permeates everything in the physical

that every bird’s wing
has a shadow
that shifts through us

as they fly by

that all our beloved dead drift
through us like white smoke
on the deep sky of our souls

We will hear them with us always.
They will draw nearer.
We will co-create the universe with them.

We will know love at last.

Come the revolution

we will see there is something pure after all
at the beginning of everything

at the beginning of our truest selves.

                                      ---Zann Carter (2011)




Nov 26, 2011

Kite Weaving

Imagine...getting the wind to help you weave....

Video first discovered here.


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Nov 25, 2011

On The Needles: some ripping to do

I was so happily coming to the finishing of another Florabelle cap, when I noticed something wonky.
I discovered that I had somehow picked up an extra stitch.

Well, I know exactly how. When you are working on double points, and have a lot of stitches on them, it's easy for that left needle to slide under the yarn between stitches at the end of that needle.  If you're not careful (i.e. knitting while talking to visiting granddaughter then watching a jazz piano video your husband has invited you into his study to watch in near dark) you might find that for four rounds you had knitted into that accidentally picked up stitch.

I had a flare of hope that I might be able to drop that stitch back to where I picked it up and do some adjusting of that extra yarn, but seeing just how much was extra extinguished the hope flare pretty quickly.

Any rage irritation I might feel upon having to rip back four rounds is tempered by remembering the way Stephanie the Yarn Harlot patiently (if gnashing her teeth) manages to go back and fix much more egregious mistakes*, mistakes that in a less patient, less skilled knitter's life (mine) would be fatal to the whole project.

So I'm off to patiently rip back and redo those rounds.

* for a real repair saga, read these Yarn Harlot posts about a sweater she dealt with while on her recent book tour (scroll down in the entries, she writes about the tour first, the knitting calamity at the end):

In Which There is a Little Trouble  (begins with scorching her almost-finished sweater)
In Which Baltimore Brings It  (and she tempts fate by proudly posting the fix of the scorching)
When in Chicago (posts a picture of a miscrossed cable astute readers have pointed out & promises to fix it)
In the Pews in St. Louis   (she CUTS her knitting & performs mysterious magic to fix the cable - I don't do cables, I have no idea what she did, but there's lots of pictures of the process)
On Leaving Texas (Apparently another astute reader suggests she fix the cable on the back, too. She does)
A Little on the Side  (here she reports she has kicked Gwendolyn's [the sweater] arse & it's DONE.]

If the Gwendolyn saga isn't something by which to measure most knitting tribulations and persevere in dealing with one's own bagatelle of a calamity, I don't know what is.



Nov 24, 2011

I'm Thankful for Poetry

by Carl Sandburg

I cried over beautiful things knowing no beautiful thing lasts.

The field of cornflower yellow is a scarf at the neck of the copper sunburned woman, the mother of the year, the taker of seeds.

The northwest wind comes and the yellow is torn full of holes, new beautiful things come in the first spit of snow on the northwest wind, and the old things go, not one lasts.


more autumn poetry here.
picture by me.

Thanksgiving for me is pretty much like this still.
Only this year I'm making chunky ginger applesauce, too.

May there be much to be thankful for in your life!
Blessed be.



Nov 23, 2011

Wordless Wednesday / Kandinsky, Color Studies



Nov 21, 2011

Words, Knitting, Play

I’m getting psyched about this upcoming creative writing event here in Terre Haute.

I’ve been on the planning committee and I will also be facilitating one of the Saturday workshops. We hope this will become an annual event and I think it’s off to a good start, with the incoming poet laureate of Indiana doing a Friday night reading to inaugurate.

The picture I submitted for the workshop flyer was this one of me holding one of the three big letters I knitted for the for the UK Poetry Society and the Much Wenlock Poetry Festival.

It’s emblematic of my longing to combine my fiber art with word art, to remain open to possibilities. 

Ah, possibilities. Giant knitted poems created by hundreds of knitters from around the world…what playful minds dreamed that up!  And what playful hands brought it all together!

Wenlock Poetry Festival, the knitted Carol Ann Duffy poem still a work-in-progress

UK Poetry Society, completed Dylan Thomas poem

My writing workshop is dedicated to possibilities and is called WordPlay. I think of it as  ‘a playdate with words.’  I want it to be, above all, fun and playful, with the underlying message that play can be a very serious creative laboratory.

So lately I’m thinking more deeply about play and creativity and I’ve found quotations like the one below to ponder here.

Ritual grew up in sacred play; poetry was born in play and nourished on play; music and dancing were pure play.... We have to conclude, therefore, that civilization is, in its earliest phases, played. It does not come from arises in and as play, and never leaves it.-
-Johan Huizing
Dutch historian

 There is also this book, which I have been reading on and off for ages:


Here's an entrance to the play laboratory I use often. Finish this question, then try to answer it:

What if I _______________________? *

So how do you play and improvise in your creative work?


*I was inspired to do this by Jude Hill and her Spirit Cloth blog, where she regularly documents the results of her textile and stitch what if’s.

PS. Here’s another nifty little bit of play - write a poem & print it out in knitted letters here.


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Nov 20, 2011

Makin' Hats

I'm on a hat-making binge.
Some for Occupy winter. Some for sale at RiverWools in December.

My own pattern, Florabelle. Top-down. 1/1 rib.
(Yup, it's on my list of Patterns To Write Up)
These caps are made with Noro Kureyon and (the one on the right) Noro Hitsuji.
Hitsuji is fat Kureyon.
Normally I don't love working with fat yarn, but Mr. Noro does it so well, I'm finding it fun.

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Nov 16, 2011

Wordless Wednesday / My Studio Window


Nov 14, 2011

Mini Mitts

One of the things I started making last summer for my booth at the end-of-August Block Party was  fingerless mitts. Ones that just cover the hands.

My own pattern, in Noro Kureyon and Dream in Color Classy.

I keep a pair tucked into the pocket of my hoodie, others in my beloved Polartec300 jacket, and my coat. There may even be a pair in the….glove (!) compartment of my car.

Since the ribbing is done in DIC, 2 skeins of Kureyon will yield 3 sets of these fraternal twins.

On colder days, I can slip on a pair of those ultra-thin, extra-cheap gloves underneath. I then have layered warmth and still have the dextrous use of my fingers.  On the really, really cold days…oh, I don’t want to be out on those anyway.

Since it was 80+ the day of the block party, I sold no mitts.
I have higher expectations for them at the December downtown Terre Haute  event, Miracle on 7th Street, where I’ll have some things for sale at RiverWools.

Another thing about these mitts. I’m going to say this very softly: I harbor a secret desire to design and write knitting patterns. And this might be the first one I try to write up.


Nov 9, 2011

Wordless Wednesday / Saori Love

Picture found here.

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Nov 7, 2011

Pigeon Suits or, When Meaning is Lost on the Internet

I received a link on Facebook the other day which had a picture of a pigeon in colorful crochet. I started to pass it on quickly by sharing it on my Wall. Instead, I decided to go further.  And I’m so glad I did.

I  traveled that link to other links and finally arrived at the site for the artist (Laurel Roth).

It was interesting to see the commentary & presentation of her work along the way. At the first link, the author is confused about why pigeons would need “knitted (sic) outfits,” but they're “adorable.“  She calls the project “Pigeons in Costume’ and describes it as ‘hilarious.’

The next site, linked to from the first, is entitled “Pigeons in Costume”, and there is more information, the proper title for the series - "Biodiversity Reclamation Suits for Urban Pigeons.” This author describes the work thusly:

“…Roth takes pigeons (hand carved mannequins), sets them on stands, and crochets yarn coats for them to look totally and wholly fancy in. Everyone loves a little fancification, right?
Even dirty birds like to feel loved and to look super sassy….”

And includes one reader comment: “These people has etirely too much free time! Lol” 

When I finally arrived at the artist's site, I discovered that she dresses wooden pigeon mannequins in suits "that disguise them as extinct birds, thereby (visually) re-creating biodiversity and soothing environmental fears. "

I don’t know about soothing my environmental fears, but in finally getting to the artist’s site and statement, seeing the pictures in the web setting she chose for it,  I felt immensely enriched by knowing the deeper meaning of her project.

And was given a key to open my own door of  meaning and associations upon viewing this as the art work it is meant to be. I felt awash in a sense of loss, and then began to think about how we try to recreate stellar moments or experiences or capture them in photographs and how sometimes it just seems sad….

In addition, I  got to see the Laurel Roth's other work, which gave even more context to this series,  and realized she probably also carved the wooden pigeon mannequins.

The lesson here for me is twofold.
1. On the internet as in real life, it’s wise to go to the source of things.
2. When I present something here or am tempted to do a quick repost to social media, I should take a moment and be sure I’m not just sending a pale iteration - a pigeon in an adorable outfit- when I could be sending something far more meaningful.


Here are the links in the order I followed them:

top picture found here
bottom picture found here


Nov 5, 2011

Occupyin' the Needles - Hat One

My first hat to donate to an Occupy group for winter warmth.

Ingredients: #8 & #6 dpn, MC: Araucania Quillay (color 14), CC: Cascade 220 Superwash

Just a simple top down knit, an improvised pattern I’ve been doing for years.
I believe its basis is the top-down hat directions in Knitting from the Top, by Barbara Walker.

I started with 8 stitches on 4 needles, increased 8 every other round and then checked for gauge to know when to stop increasing. Knitted around and around and around ’til it measured about 7”, then changed to the smaller needles and the CC, began 2/2 rib.

If I make another like this, I’ll probably make the body a wee bit shorter, start the ribbing earlier and make it longer.

Quillay is 57% superwash wool, 43% acrylic - I think an easy-care hat is most appropriate for the purpose.
It’s a new yarn to me and I liked working with it. 

I’d have liked it even better if the lighting in my living room was better.

This happens to me all the time: I see a yarn in RiverWools which thrills me colorwise, take it home, begin to knit and find the color not so thrilling. (Sometimes even unpleasant - some colorways just irritate my very soul. )

Then I take my knitting or finished object back into the shop and am totally surprised at how much I like the color again.

So either Martha has some sort of magical lighting that makes yarn colors look extra yummy or I need to find better lighting.

Next I think I’m going to try either MK Carroll’s Top Down Beanie Recipe  (that link will take you to a page with yet another link to the free pattern at Ravelry) or the one by Charisa Martin Cairn , which is another free pattern. (Look around there, she’s got some other cool top-down hat patterns.)

Next post I'll talk about fingerless mitts, another item Occupiers might really appreciate.

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Nov 2, 2011

Wordless Wednesday / 21 Year Old Film Developed

Patrick and sister Molly, 1990, Miami

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