So I've been knitting a blanket while watching tv this winter.
Actually, the pattern says it's a "throw cover."
Perhaps I have been watching too much tv?
Methinks this has gotten a little out of hand. True, I am nearly at the end of the final skein, but I mean...who is this supposed to cover, Godzilla?
I should not complain. It most certainly will cover me, and then some. If only I had made this last winter, with all the intense cold and the ten feet of snow. This winter has been so mild. But since--thanks to global warming--we no longer know what we are going to get, I will definitely be well prepared for anything that next winter brings.
The yarn is, alas, very cheap acrylic. I'm kind of horrified by it; it's not stuff I would normally ever use, but the organic alternatives would have required a billionaire to buy.
I am also having to admit that I am coming to the end of my all-time favorite Rainbow Lead Pencil. I've used it so much that it's just a stub of its former self. Here's a tangle I did with it today:
The above was my first-ever try at Whirlee, and it was quite a challenge. I modified it to fill the page a bit more. Enjoyed doing this. I will be playing with it again, for sure.
And here is one mirrored version.
Below is the tiny Rainbow Lead pencil stub, which will soon be too small to sharpen and which will have to be retired. Sad. I have really had fun with this pencil.
I've mostly been tangling only in my Carole Ohl "Tangle A Day" calendar recently and have been tending towards covering one entire page, rather than using one of the three boxes on each page. Probably a good idea since I'm already over a month behind.
Heading out for a walk in the lovely sunshine; the next few days promise to be stormy. Good weather for making art!
Ahhhhhhhhhhhh...I love it when I discover something scientific that justifies one of my so-called bad habits, and this video is less than 2 minutes long:
AND ABOUT THOSE KNITTED KNOCKERS:
Ok, so here is what I have been doing in the off-moments when I haven't been dyeing yarn for my new rug: making Knitted Knockers.
Yes, they are what they sound like and look like. They are ingenious prostheses for mastectomy patients to wear instead of the (usually) nasty implants or other heavy, unwieldy prostheses. You can find out all about them on this amazing website.
You see here a pair I have nicknamed the Blue Boobies...isn't there a bird called the Blue-Footed Boobie? Well anyway, I couldn't resist doing a pair in blue.
I was really moved by this project, and--given the trauma a good friend of mine is going through this very week--really wanted to be a part of it. So I am knitting knockers and I hope someone finds them useful.
Now that I've got the hang of it, they are easy to make and require no thought. But the first one! Oy vey. Let's just say I haven't worked with double-pointed needles in years (I prefer Magic Loop for socks) and it took me more than a dozen tries to get the first one going. But that was it--once I got that one started, the rest have been a snap. I just love this project.
I'm snowed in here so haven't been able to get to the studio to work on my rug, but I've been continuing the yarn-dyeing orgy and should have more skeins to show very shortly. I may--just may--have finished dyeing all the yarn for the rug. Just about 50 pounds of yarn. Phew. And each 4 oz skein has been dyed individually, by hand.
Still working on this zendala. Here on the right is what I did today. I xeroxed the original tile and shaded the xerox. I made two copies of the original, so next I'll try coloring it rather than shading. The unshaded original is on the left (for the story of this, see yesterday's blog entry).
I am still mulling this over. Do I like it the same, better, or less? Not sure. Feel free to register your opinion if you wish.
On another front, I'm knitting this scarf:
...and really enjoying it. It's a metallic rayon yarn in a color called Flax, from Blue Heron Yarns. Unfortunately the color is so light that you cannot see the metallic glints, which are very obvious in person.
On the lower left of the photo you can just make out a portion of a hooked pillow that I have on my couch. And the striped brown-and-cream textile in the upper part of the photo is part of my knitting bag.
I was completely focused on shading the zendala this afternoon, and quite "in the zone." I love art for its meditative qualities as well as the results.
FIRST THE SELF-CONGRATULATIONS:
Done! I am freaking done with these hellish socks! I am thrilled beyond belief. I have blogged about them before; at that point, I thought I had been working on them for about a year. Which is ridiculously long...so as you can guess, I was mostly NOT working on them at all. But I pulled them out a while back, dug in my heels (appropriate for working on socks), started in again, stuck it out, and now I am done...congratulations to me! Normally, if I'm working slowly and taking breaks on a pair of socks, they might take me about 6 weeks. But not these.
NOW THE GLUTTON FOR PUNISHMENT BIT:
As it turns out, I was wrong about having worked on them for a year. I went back and thought more carefully about when I would have begun...and reached the conclusion that it has been closer to 3 YEARS. Seriously! I have never, ever spent that amount of time on any project, and this is a testament to how much I hated working with this yarn.
Please understand that I have made dozens of socks with no problem at all. But for some reason, the yarn for this pair made the work very tricky and was big-time drudgery all the way. I cannot count the number of times I ripped out several inches and re-knit them. Many people told me to just throw them out, but dammit, I am stubborn and very persistent and was determined not to let the yarn get the best of me. And so they are done. Done!!!!!
I only wish I knew what the yarn was, so that I could avoid ever buying it again. It looks like regular sock yarn, but isn't. Long ago I made a pair of red socks that had yarn that acted the same way; I also slogged my way through those and it took at least 3 times as long as it should have.
I am done with nasty weird sock yarn. The next time I run across yarn that acts this way, I will indeed throw it out, having proved I could complete 2 projects with it. Nasty stuff.
NOW THE PART ABOUT OBSESSIONS:
And speaking of yarn, how does this look? Everything you see here is yarn. Yarn in a bag. Yarn in the boxes.
My studio-mate K and I did a major yarn buy at an unheard-of cheap price for over 100 pounds of highest-quality rug yarn. I do not imagine I will ever have to buy rug yarn again. I do imagine I will spend quite a bit of time dyeing my share of this yarn. Good thing K just got back from her 4-day dye workshop (see the previous post). Cannot wait to begin playing with color and then punch-hooking my next rug.
I'm a textile artist (traditional rug hooking, punch needle rug hooking, and other textile arts), long-time meditator and coach, focused on learning about the interplay of art, creativity, and mindfulness every day.
NEXT INTRO TO ZENTANGLE CLASS:
No immediate group classes scheduled (I'm always open to hearing about a good venue in Western Massachusetts. I am always happy to teach 1-1 and/or in a small group in your home.
Come and amaze yourself!
SITES TO WATCH:
Insight Meditation Society
Oxford Rug Hooking School
Zentangle: The Official Site
Green Mountain Rug Hooking
Massachusetts Tarot Society
Skillful Meditation Project