Tuesday, February 28, 2012

hat success!

I know that hats aren't generally considered to be a big deal, but I seem to have difficulty with them. I haven't had very many success stories, so I am happy to boast of my recent hat accomplishment:

I think the success has a lot to do with the fact that this has absolutely no shaping involved. But that's okay! It fits! Hooray!


PS. Apparently you cannot vote for the republican primaries in Arizona if you are an independent. That makes sense, but I am confused, because for the last primary, I thought they just asked me whether I wanted the republican or democrat ballot. Oh well.

PPS. Babies have enormous heads.

Friday, February 24, 2012


Sometimes when you're performing in a play, you get so close to the script that you forget what parts of it are funny. Then opening night comes along, the audience laughs at something, and you have the chance to see the play anew, in the eyes of the audience. I always found this to be immensely gratifying.

Sometimes with knitting, too, you get to be so close to it that you forget the inherent magic. It's sometimes too easy to forget that a piece of yarn plus a million tiny stitches can be put together to make something beautiful. It can be simple, but it is still a fascinating journey.

A few months ago, I was working on making a snake. It was a pretty easy project for me, and I wasn't giving it much thought, attention, or love. And then a five-year-old girl reminded me that even this simple project can hold a lot of magic. She was enamored; with the snake, with the knitting, with it all. It was a good reminder to appreciate even those simple knitting projects and to remember that things don't have to be over-the-top to be appreciated.

On the flip side, it's sometimes surprising what doesn't get appreciated. When I was rehearsing for The Marriage of Bette and Boo, there was one scene that we could never get through without laughing. The guy who played Bette's dad resorted to putting on an ipod so that he could drown out the dialogue and keep himself from laughing.

But then opening night came and no one laughed at the scene. That dead silence was sobering and dried up any urge we had to laugh over our lines.

On the knitting side of things, I was once making mittens. And these were (in my opinion) amazing mittens. I think they were my favorite project. They were cabley and complicated and required charts. I was knitting them in the airport, when a man started talking to me about them. Then he asked me if I had just learned how to knit. And he asked it in such a way as to imply that this must be a simple, nonchalant, throw-away project. And I wanted to say, no! Look at these! These are cabley and complicated and require charts! These are beautiful and there is no way that I just learned how to knit. Why don't you see this knitting in the same way that I do?

It's interesting to me that people can have such different perspectives; on theatre, knitting, and life in general. I like to think that knitting can tell a different story to each person who sees it, and I think I will try to focus on those stories that bring the most joy and magic back into my life.

Sometimes we forget that the simplest of things are the most beautiful.


PS. I think you should make some natural nativity. Those patterns do look amazing, but so far, I have found them to be pretty simple in design.

PPS. I look forward to seeing your bird creations.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Branching out

Hey K, Medieval Mice! Oh goodness. So cute. Alan Dart's knitting, for the most part, seems almost unattainable to me because it always looks so amazing. I started looking through all his patterns and I now have a deep desire to make Natural Nativity. I've been on a bit of a spinning jag recently. Yesterday when Kris was out to game night, which I don't go to, I was sorting through a box of extra "stuff" we had sitting in our mini-hallway when all of a sudden I found a piece of white cotton cloth. I have no idea where it was or what I had been planning to do with it. However, I know what I did do last night.

Oh yeah, look at those colors!   There were, I estimate 3-4 yards of fabric, so I ripped it into shorter quarter-half yards and looked up how to dye cotton.  Strangely enough, I own Procion dyes for cotton, even though I have never dyed cotton before.  Yes.  I own probably about 20 colors.

Don't they look pretty drying next the window?  I should make a tutorial on how I did this for people like me who are scared to dye cotton, because it was even easier than dying wool.  I dyed it in ziplock baggies.

 I'm pretty much in love.  Do you need some fabric dyed for a quilt?

I actually do have a project in mind for these.  I borrowed my mom's sewing machine.  Abagail Glassenberg is a true fiber artist who makes gorgeous softies.  I adore her birds, which may be about the ultimate for me in sewn creations. She somewhat recently published a book called "the Artful Bird," from which I have yet to create anything since I have had a lack of time and sewing machine.  Oh little birds, here we come!

In addition, I started a secret project today that combined chemistry with art.  Better living, here we come!

I'll let you know how it goes.  

Oh, also! About a week ago I tried weaving again.  I remembered I don't like weaving, so you don't get pictures of that.  It's sitting in a pile in a corner.  I wove about an inch before I stopped.


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

be prepared

Thrummed mittens are being sent to the other side of the world.

And now I am working on projects for future future needs.

First, there is a secret Christmas project for one of our blog readers. I started eleven months early! There is no way I won't finish this in time.

And if you thought that was working ahead of time, my second project is even more forward-thinking. This project won't be ready to give for at least a couple of years. Mainly because of the small pieces that might pose a choking hazard for little M.

I am making a small army of medieval mice for Myra. Clothes-wearing, anthropomorphized, miniature mice with lots of itsy bitsy pieces. And baby mice heads the size of peas.

The good news is that because these won't be suitable to gift for quite a while, I have a long time before I even have to think about weaving in all those ends, assembling limbs, or stuffing bodies. Now all I have to do is knit.

I'd like to say that I'm picking projects this far ahead of time because I am incredibly on top of life and am always prepared. The truth is that I just like to pick out the projects that look fun and then find a reason to knit them. Adorable toy mice look like fun projects to knit, and if I have to hold onto them for a while before M gets to them, that just means I get to play with them first.