Knitters, quilters, hookers, and other hand-workers of all sorts and skill levels–come gather in the bucolic setting of Dandelion Spring and Straw Farm in Newcastle, Maine. Join us for an afternoon of companionship, laughter, and progress on all your UFO’s surrounded by the fields, animals, busy farmers, and an abundant farm stand. While this is not a class, I’m happy to answer questions to the best of my ability—dabbler as I am in many things… And truly the best thing about a bee is the community and shared creativity. It is a time to be inspired by and to both learn from and teach each other.
I’m not sure what it says about me that I seem to need to plan what I’ll be eating next while enjoying a meal, but there is nothing I like better than browsing through cookbooks while dining. It is simply the best reading material for the moment.
I’m not working today, even though I really really should be. Perhaps too content from the feasting of an outrageously beautiful Rockwellian turkey complete with clam and pecan studded stuffing (cooked in the bird), mincemeat pie, and Indian pudding. In proper American style, there were alternatives available for every imaginable food preference and allergy. And I wonder what Julia Child would think of gluten free? I think dairy free–and hence butter free–would have killed her.
Perhaps my culinary senses were reawakened yesterday, but I got a bee in my bonnet to make crepes today. I delighted in them as I scarfed them down for lunch. It was Julia Child’s recipe. Simple and straightforward. A nice little treat. And it occurred to me that the crepe recipe and my popover recipe are near identical. They are simply cooked in different ways. Hmm. This has me wondering now about my work. What patterns will be equally striking if I change the materials, the size, the color, yet still stay true to the fundamentals of the design?
We are hunkered down here with Hurricane Sandy bearing down on us. But really, it is a rather normal day. A meeting was canceled and water bottles were filled, but other than that, things continue much as they always do in the studio. Pillows were made, patterns cut out, a bunting is on the knitting needles, and starfish are being hand sewn. The work is meditative. It is a quiet but busy day. Just the way I like it.
I love trying new things, so this weekend should be exciting. I’ll be joining a bevy of talented artists and other creatives at The Art of Craft at the Fayerweather Street School in Cambridge, Ma tomorrow for my first show. Everything (and I mean everything) is packed and ready to go. From my popular Oriental Rug Pillows made from reclaimed and salvaged antique oriental rugs to organic baby knitwear; eco-friendly soft toys to elegant wedding accessories incorporating antique textiles. It is all there.
Looking forward to a beautiful sunny day when I get to participate in my favorite part of handmade: meeting the people who appreciate it.
Admittedly, I’m no adrenalin junkie. I get my highs from rather low-key pursuits. A perfectly baked loaf of bread. A chapter successfully read before falling asleep at night. Excitement around here is limited to keeping the dogs and my boy (the husband) out of trouble. And most decidedly, knitting has always been meant to be a means of self-expression and an exploration of color and texture. It never should have had me tied in knots of apprehension. But it did. And then it started un-didding. — That is a very technical knitting term, by the way.
So, my knitting in the round with the intention of cutting a steek to turn this baby into a cardigan was well intended, but the organic merino blend yarn had a bit too much silk for this steek’s liking. Disaster was staring me down. Of course, being a purist in these matters, I had done a crochet steek. Sewing machine doesn’t computate with hand knitting in my book.
I’ll start again.
However, faced with calamity, I asked Bernina for a helping hand. She owed me. Besides, if sewn steeks are good enough for EZ (Elizabeth Zimmerman), they are (temporarily) good enough for me.
So. Catastrophe ends in success.
Victory is mine.
And there is one darn (would you have been offended if I swore here??) good sweater ready to warm some unbearably adorable child somewhere.
What makes something an heirloom? This is a question I typically ask myself when I start any new design, but especially when it is for a newborn. When a child enters this fast paced, do it yesterday, mechanized, computerized, factoried, harried world, it seems to be all the more important to have one little piece of quietude to wrap them in. Something that was made slowly, meticulously, and with great care.
I’m not sure if I should knit with these yarns or just eat them up, they are so yummy. Talk about eye candy. Spring arrived in a package from UPS yesterday.
When in doubt, count on chocolate. My homemade chocolates needed some packaging, and my dreams of repurposed ecofriendly gift treats were realized.
What could be a better way to support small business, handmade, and needy children all at the same time?