Saturday, February 28, 2009

a new art hero and old friends

On my trip down to New York recently I spent an afternoon at the Metropolitan Museum. With only one day to see shows it's a pretty safe bet that I'll see something that I like there. There was a staggeringly beautiful exhibit of Calder's jewelry. I would describe his wonderful abstract forms more as body scuplture than jewelry really. Has the man ever made anything that I didn't like? He had one neck piece that was named "The Jealous Husband". What's that about? Perhaps it's a contemporary chastity collar.

Also at the Met, tucked into the African section was a regretfully small exhibit of African Textiles called "The Essential Art of African Textiles". I love African textiles and would have liked this to have been a much larger exhibit, but what was there were some gems. There were examples of Kente and Adire cloths but also works by contemporary artists. A work by El Anatsui blossommed art love in me, it was so cool. The piece was called "Heaven and Earth" and was made out of bits of salvaged metal and bottle caps all pieced together with bits of wire. It was simultaneously sculpture, painting, Kente cloth, quilt, you name it, there were many layers to it but mostly it was beautiful. I took some pictures which I've posted below but the light was very poor. You can see a better image on the Met's website: here. And the day after I was at the museum the New York Times Fashion Magazine had a wonderful profile on El Anatsui, my new art hero, with some great photos: here.

DSCF1934DSCF1936

Of course my trip also involved seeing lots of friends. The first ones that I saw were Kim and Deborah right after getting off the Fung Wah (which was as usual too hot, noisy, and I felt like spewing). Deborah wasn't expecting me and was so shocked to see me that I think she was speechless for good while. And what do bloggers do when they see each other? Immediately photograph one another.

DSCF1908DSCF1907

DSCF1912

It was great to see you both! Kim and I then visited Seaport Yarn's new location. Seaport Yarn continues to be the most incognito yarn shop ever, it's just shy of having the presence of a speakeasy where you might have to give a password through a tiny slot in the door. The yarn selection though, is lovely and I had a hard time narrowing down my choices. Below is the picture Kim took of me in front of Seaport Yarn's street level entrance.

DSCF1916

Back at home there hasn't been too much crafting going on. I've been logging a lot of hours on my final project for the html/css class that I've been taking. It's been a huge learning curve, but I think I'm finally catching on.

Monday, February 23, 2009

neck thing-y and a quick hat

I went down to New York last weekend and dropped off a couple of FOs as gifts. The next post will be all about trip which was a blast, but here are the details of the FOs.

Neck Thing-y
Pattern: Knitted Neck Scarf from Martha Stewart Living mag
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran, 2 skeins, colorway: 300208
Needles: size 9


DSCF1852


This was easy to make with an interesting construction. It actually makes it's own loops to hold it all together in a neat way by separating the stitches into front and back ribbed sections and then rejoining them. I got the pattern out of MS Living where no designer is credited. It looks remarkably like the pattern that appears in 101 Designer One Skein Wonders.

Quickie Hat
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk (80% Alpaca, 20% silk)
1.5 skeins, color: 25011
Needles: size 8

DSCF1919


This was a quickie hat for a cute little girl. I used Ann Budd's The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns for reference on sizing and cast on 72 and then sewed on a little felt and a vintage mother of pearl button as decoration. I got this yarn 2 or 3 years ago with Kim at Seaport Yarn
and it wasn't inspiring me as a little cow pie on my self, but it was so nice to knit with I wondered why I hadn't knit with it before. It's wonderfully soft and she won't complain about it being itchy.


mte0082


My mother just sent me this photo. This is me with my much loved Loving Blankie, made by my grandmother. My mom claims that it was a sweater, but I remember it as a blanket, or maybe that's because it was reduced to shreds with the amount of love that it endured.

Thank you everyone for all your helpful comments about my rash, it continues. I've ruled out a reaction to a product and today's self-diagnosis is that it's diet related. I'm working on figuring out what might be the cause, I keep thinking it's getting somewhat better. I haven't been to the dermo because when you're self-employed and buying your own insurance, you pretty much have to be desperate before you make an appointment. Enough whining, I bet it clears up with the weather.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

february february lady

DSCF1889


February Lady is done! I had it done last week, but life has been getting in the way of blogging. There is everything to love about the construction of this sweater, it's a top down raglan, a beauteous thing. I'm hesitant to make a sweater any other way. Seaming, ick, what's that? Here are the vital stats:

Pattern: February Lady
from Flintknits by way of Elizabeth Zimmerman
Size: medium (41 inch chest)
Yarn: Berocco Peruvia, colorway 7112
Needles: size 9 circulars
Gauge: 4.5 stitches/inch


DSCF1869


There really is nothing quite as nice as a hand knit sweater is there? I think I need to be making more. I chose to make the medium size, which gives me almost 4 inches of ease in the chest. The boxy style of this sweater is better suited to be a bit roomy, I think. On Ravelry I noticed that people who chose to make more fitted sizes tended to have the front gaping open below the button. Mine doesn't gape open and that makes me happy. The length of the sleeves and body becomes key with the boxy fit and I tried to make sure they didn't get too long to retain that shrunken look. The body could have been a tad shorter I think, I tend to forget how much sweaters grow when you wear them.

DSCF1902


My only teeny teeny beef with the design is the eyelet increases in the yoke. They almost look accidental, I think I would have been just as happy with a less visible increase. I had a little trouble with the lace pattern when I started but got into a good groove with it once it was established. Boy Thing calls it Spider Mustaches, I doubt that's what EZ had in mind when she named it Gull Lace.

The yarn has a great blend of brown, ochre, and purple and is surprisingly not itchy for such raw looking wool. It was nice to knit with and feels like a furnace when I put it on.


DSCF1836


This was meant to be a close-up of the yoke, but you also get a little shot of the facial rash that I've been battling for the last month. This rash on my face has been going on for awhile and makes the skin around my right eye look puffy and blotchy and sometimes it itches, I cannot figure out what the hell is going on. Maybe it's a reaction to a product, or maybe it's windburn, eczema, a bad diet, peri-menopause, you name it. It makes me feel old and ugly. It seems to be gradually getting better, maybe I just need some sunshine.

Friday, February 6, 2009

one armed lady

Look ma, one arm! I can smell the finish line on February Lady and I'm liking it.

DSCF1748


The kids school is right on the water. It's a lovely little inlet with a bit of wilderness on the other side. The school building itself seems like it's turned its back on the nice view. I bet that when they were building it (I think in the 60s), someone had an extra school plan lying around on their desk and they said this will do, and plunked it down without much thought to its location. There are almost no views of the water from inside the building, maybe they were afraid that the children might be influenced by nature. The playground does have a water view though, and when there aren't arctic blasts blowing off the water it's a nice place to be. Animals come across the inlet and the playground, and I've seen fox and deer a number of times.

A few days ago we could see a very large bird hopping around of the beach. We walked up to the chain link fence at the edge of the playground that fences the kids in, and could see that it was a bald eagle eating something. Wow, was it a big bird, and it was pecking at something large. I've never seen a bald eagle that close before.

My phone camera wasn't able to get a good picture of the bald eagle which flapped off after awhile. We were dying to know what the bird was eating and in the evening the Huz and Boy Thing tromped through the snow to see what it was, and this is what they found.

DSCF1730


Sorry about the gross photo, that's why I saved it till the end of the post. As soon as I saw the photo I knew that I wanted to report the dead seal. A couple of years ago there was somebody poaching seals in the area. Apparently seal genitals and organs are worth money on the black market, you can read about that here. Sickos, right? I think the way the lower half of this seal has been cleanly sliced off seems suspicious. I left a message on the local NOAA special agent's answering machine with the location of the dead seal and the next day the seal body was gone. I don't know if the Coast Guard came and picked it up, or an animal or the tide dragged it off. I would have liked it if the special agent had at least called back.

And now for something completely different. I'm heading up to the Spa at then end of the month, only for Saturday. Are any of you going?