Friday, June 9, 2017

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Saturday, December 31, 2016

Color Love

I'm dyeing yarn these days. Teaching music and mothering mostly, but also making time for color and the quiet of the studio kitchen. I've turned it into a yarn dyeing paradise and I'm having so much fun turning yarn into works of art. I steal a few minutes in between students and classes or wander over to the studio on a Saturday morning for time with the dye pots. The color feeds my soul and gives back a bit of what I dole out to kids, housework, meal prep, teaching, etc.  It feels like color therapy.





Saturday, December 31, 2011

First Color Work

I have always loved Scandinavian art, furnishings, and textiles. Not the really fancy end of things. I mostly love the peasant style. I really enjoy the patterns and simple colors, especially the heavy focus on neutrals with pops of color, swirly white curtains, and almost always...geraniums. Red geraniums in terracotta pots.
I have a book that I purchased many years ago (before I ever had a house) to use as inspiration for creating my someday home. (Creating the Look Swedish Style by Katrin Cargill). In fact it was in this book that I first spied and fell in love with Swedish Clocks. All this to say that as soon as I started knitting I decided I wanted to knit fair aisle sweaters and beautiful things like they knit in countries where winters are brutally cold. And Long.
But all that detail?
Meh.
Pretty sure I don't have that kind if patience, I thought.
Then one night I came across a pattern for a vest that I really loved. It included a simple patterned yoke, and I was pretty sure I could swing that level of intensity. Armed with some seriously beautiful yarn(Mirasol Miski 100% Baby Lama) and a very sparse pattern I started in.
First Color Work
And two weeks later it had all worked out just the way I had hoped.
Color Work Vest
I did have to rip out the neck line about 3 times because of my forgetfulness, but I was so happy when I tried it on and it actually fit. Perfectly. I wore it the next day with a nice white button up shirt and some navy trousers.
Did I ever feel proud. Do I ever feel proud.
I really love wearing this vest and I'm pretty pleased that I'll be able to wear it well into Spring because of the lack of sleeves. Next I'll take on a fully yoked cardigan, which I plan to knit in the round and steek (eek). For next winter. I know I need to take this kind of work slow and steady, but I'm no longer afraid of slow knitting. I now understand the concept of projects that take a season or two.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Produce

We had a very late frost here in Southwest Idaho this year. I believe the first really hard frost waited until the very beginning of November, but I could be mistaken, my memory is a bit blurred. Regardless of that frost date, I went out and harvested every single green tomato and bell pepper in my garden when I knew it was coming. I filled two huge bowls with each and they sat on my kitchen bar top all fall and even into winter. I'm still kicking myself for not photographing their transition. It was really fun watching them ripen a little at a time and the bowls just kept getting less and less full as the seasons transitioned.
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In fact, this was a bowl of peppers we ate on New Year's Day. The very last of the peppers from my garden brought me all the way to 2011.
Still fresh and crunchy(they had to be moved to the fridge in the last few weeks). Considering the fact that most of my peppers waited until about the end of September to start ripening, I was really thankful that things worked out this way. I will start them outside much earlier and protect them from the frost if it continues, as it did last year, until June (!!!).
Peppers take a long time to grow and ripen.
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There were also tomatoes.
This bowl of tomatoes was the very last of what I picked and watched turn and dwindle. They were not as yummy as sun ripened tomatoes, but they were a far cry from the store bought variety. Now I think we can just wait for tomatoes until July again. I see no point in eating plastic. Our salads can live without them and my pantry shelves are full to brimming with tomatoes in jars. Whole tomatoes, tomato sauce, and pasta sauce (dwindling much too quickly for my liking.)
In the past I've tried storing the tomatoes in the basement all wrapped in paper and tucked away safe. Mostly they rotted, and I did end up chucking some of these as they softened before they were fully ripe, but overall they ripened slowly and we ate them as they were ready. Plus there was no tricky storage involved. Win-win.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A New Year

It is still January, and as such, I still feel it's safe to share some hopes and wishes for 2011. I've set only one goal for this year, which is to enjoy a candle light dinner every night this winter.
With the whole family.
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So far this has been such a pleasant part of our day. It's pretty amazing what light can do for our emotions, right?
Sitting down in this way together, both of my girls now old enough to contribute meaningful insight to the dinner conversation, well, it gives such a sense of well being.
Which is, in the end, my ultimate hope.
So, for this year, I hope to feel well, live slow, and keep moving forward.
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I have to say that I am feeling my best these days. There are stressors to be sure. Days where plans fall to pieces and tears and frustrations rise. But these days I suddenly feel like me. I look at the middle school children I teach and see their awkward struggle, thankful that I have reached a place where my insecurities are largely a thing of the past.
I kind of love this age I'm wearing.
It's comfortable and feels awfully right. My family is strong and healthy. My work is busy and satisfying. My creative needs are met within each of my days. It's a fine balance. One I know is delicate and based on many things I cannot control, but within these days of mid thirty I feel like me is showing up in real color.
Here's to a year of more beauty in the color of the sky, the contour of their faces, his jovial ways, the words of books, the weave of yarn, the palate of fabric, hard work, and the order and rhythm of home.
(Photos taken at Winter Garden a Glow, New Years Day 2011)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Giving

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I mailed them with a bit of anxiety because I wanted them to
be loved.
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When I heard her voice I could tell that they really were.
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There's nothing like that feeling, and it doesn't always work out that way.

Project: Holli's Duffers
Yarn: Brown Sheep Bulky in Ink Blue
Needles: size 10.5
Raveled Here.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Bookish

I'm headed back to work today. This break kept it's anticipated pace of...well....normal, which is way too fast. I'm happy to report that there was reading while making thanks to my new found love of audio books. (Thank you, Holli.) Though listening to books when the kids are home is not really possible, so that mostly happened early this month while I was still driving to and fro or locked in my studio sans little people.

My faves of 2010
1. The Help by Kathryn Stockett
2. We Were The Mulvaneys by Joyce Carol Oates

Both life affirming. Both beautifully written with excellent character development and good life lessons learned.

Not necessarily in that order because if pressed, I could not actually choose. I also read The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo series, which was riveting and a pretty fun adventure, but possibly too many hours required for what I ended up with. I also enjoyed a few more Ladies No. 1 Detective Agency books (love), a lot of knitting books, and some really great children's books, which deserve their own post.