The Knotty Sheep Shop

Friday, December 29, 2006

The New Year is upon us ... time to bid au revoir to the old and bienvenue the new. Times of change are so refreshing.

I typically do not make 'resolutions'. My past history dictates that I always lack the follow thru required to keep them. It is all good though, I know this is going to be one totally Kreative Year for me!

So - I will venture forth into 2007 with knitting needles, wool, paint brushes, sketch books and spinning wheels tucked under my arm. My goal is to Kreate and make my small corner of the planet just a wee bit better for all!

HaPpY New Year!
*** Remember .... Inspire Art! Create Art! Buy Art! Be ART!!*** Comments, please!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Christmas 2006 is now behind me. I am sad that it is now a good, no - scratch that - I am sad that is now a GREAT memory. It seems that the build up goes on for 6 long weeks - only to implode in a matter of hours.

C'est la vie. Weddings are the same way.

At least I have figured out that Christmas 2007 is in 362 days! Ah .... something to soothe my Elfin Soul! My friend Denise says I have "OCED" ... Obsessive Complusive Elf Disorder. I must agree. Truthfully - I have made notes for the coming Christmas Holiday. I do better if I am prepared.

Santa was good to me and there was absolutely NO stress. Remember how I love the small moments? Well, this past weekend was filled to the brim with them! I hope you were able to savor yours.

As I look ahead to 2007 - I look forward to a year filled with microscopic memories and pixels of Kreativity! I hope you will join me. As I say on my side bar ... the Playground is FUN when there are more kids playing!!

Today, I dyEd and carded up a storm! I have totally "Gone Batty"! How about YOU?

Remember .... Inspire Art! Create Art! Buy Art! Be ART!! Comments, please!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Santa is coming! Santa is coming!
A HUGE part of me still can not believe it is Christmas. I mean, wasn't I just typing not so long ago - that it was something like 200 degrees under a broiling summer sun?

Time flies - but I am enjoying the small moments. If one lives by small moments you can actually remember things like what you did, what you ate, and what you wore. In times which are frantic - these small, special moments are the one to savor.

As we head into 2007 - I am looking forward to an incredibly Kreative Year. One with twists and turns, curves and loop-D-loops, swirls and spirals. Embarking on a journey with straight lines seems a wee bit boring, yes?

One of the first things on being Kreative, is surrounding yourself with those who inspire. Take a look at paintings by Paris Breakfasts - AKA: Carol Gillot. Her work is inspirational and it truly makes you want to run to a local patisserie for a quick sugar buzz. Tres Beau!

My Dear friend, Stasia is very much the Muse. She made these wonderful things for me a while ago, and this past week, I wore them to DH's work Christmas Party. How can one not feel special when displaying such fine art pieces? The scarf was woven out of my "Mermaids Singing to Starfish" colorway and the jewels? WOW - so bling bling sparkly! Each charm has a special connection to my life.

Thanks again, Stas! You are such an inspiration!

Start the New Year Kreatively!! I will keep you posted on my journey!
Remember .... Inspire Art! Create Art! Buy Art! Be ART!! Comments, please!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Have I mentioned how much I am enjoying Christmas this year?

Yep ... I am feelin' the love and goodwill towards all! In the past, the intensity of the season has been overwhelming. Gifts! Bows! Cookies! Cleaning! Cards! .... you name it! I have tried to do it all in the hopes that I do not disappoint. Well, the only one who has been disappointed is me.

No more .... I love Christmas. Love the lights, love the music, love the surprises, and the closeness of family and friends. If you ask me - it is over way to soon.

This coming year - I have high hopes for a totally Kreative year! I also have high hopes to do more for those less fortunate.

So, sit, relax and enjoy all that you can. Instead of buying more gifts - BE a gift!! Remember .... Inspire Art! Create Art! Buy Art! Be ART!! Comments, please!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Christmas will be here in 9 days. WOW!

That is pretty much all I can say. I still have packages that need to be placed in the post ... a few cards that need to be signed ... and a few things that need to be bought and placed under the tree. There is only one thing left to knit (Dubblemossa) .... and I am thinking that will become an "Epiphany" gift in January. Such is life outside of Whoville.

Two gifts are completed and await their turn at the wrap table ... nephew's St. Anton mittens and niece's lace scarf knit from alpaca. Got to love the fact that they are blocked too .... suffice to say, I have given damp woolies - fresh off the blocking pad in the past and the recipients, well .... they just didn't know what to say ....

In the spirit of the "9 Days left and counting down" - if you still need a quick gift for a fiber fanatic - I do know a place where you can get some Blueberry Moonshine .... Wink! Wink!
Remember .... Inspire Art! Create Art! Buy Art! Be ART!! Comments, please!

Friday, December 08, 2006

I can remember making a promise to myself last year at this time - "Next Christmas - I will be ready!"

So much for promises. It isn't that I am totally befuddled in my gift making & purchasing. It is more like I have forgotten how to enjoy the Christmas Magic. More importantly - I am dismissing the notion of Christmas magic altogether.

Don't get me wrong - I am not "BAA-hum-bugging" it. I am quite taken with the sounds of Christmas music and the sparkle of Christmas lights. It is the notion of commercialism that beats negatively in my heart.

This week, I went to a "mall". It might as well have been another 4 letter word ending in "double L's". Most of the stores offered inferior merchandise with hefty price tags. UGH - no wonder I have lost the magic ... could I have bought into the media's feeding frenzy that Christmas is nothing more than inappropriate gifts inside non-recycable boxes & bags - tied with landfill choking ribbons and bows? I mean - should I really concern myself with what Britney Spears is purchasing this Christmas??


Dove Knits has blogged in the past about knitting toys! Look at these fun booklets I bought ... just because Miss Dove inspired me so! (Suffice to say - you are only seeing the 'Christmas editions' .....gggg!) These toys will be fun to make and even more fun to give!

In the next few weeks - do support your small shopkeeper, local baker, and fellow artist! Shop at a local winery, artisan cheese shop and butcher!! These people BASK in the glory of happy customers!
Christmas is magic ... It is all about discovering it by candlelight not under the BAAzillion fluorescents at the mall.

Remember .... Inspire Art! Create Art! Buy Art! Be ART!! Comments, please!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Never let it be said that I always wait for the last minute to do things! Dear nephew wanted Dale of Norway/St. Anton mittens for Christmas ... well, that is what dear nephew will get!

I started these babies on Monday ... and one is almost complete. (Just sans thumb!) YiPpEE!

I love doing fair isle and even though I was using my Norwegian thimble - my tension is tight. (I know you are screaming "gauge" ... I *do* hear you!)
While snug - it fits my hand ... thankfully - the boy is 10.

If I don't get this tension thing under control - I most likely will have to increase needle size when doing fair isle. Not the worse thing in the world - but it is a situation that I must address before attempting a FI sweater. Suffice to say - my next attempt will be swatched!

Guess I must practice more! O DARN!
Remember .... Inspire Art! Create Art! Buy Art! Be ART!! Comments, please!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Thanksgiving was good for me. Time shared with family & friends is a gift - and who doesn't like gifts? I *know* I do! But, for now, the KRAZYness has ended - time to concentrate on the 'everyday'.

Brother-In-Law has decided on a Dubblemossa! Dear nephew has decided on a pair of Dale of Norway/St. Anton mittens! Think I will be a wee busy over the next couple of weeks, but it is all good ....

There is still plenty of time to knit - and with that in mind - I have a shameless plug for my sock yarn! Spraypaint the Moon is a beauty, don't you think? Remember .... Inspire Art! Create Art! Buy Art! Be ART!! Comments, please!

Friday, November 17, 2006

Usually while working on a project - I am already thinking about 'what I want to do next!"
I mean, part of the knitting fun is planning ahead - thinking about new patterns & drooling over new yarns. It is the anticipation of a new journey that gets my juices flowing.
But, here I sit ... the Beaded Mitts are finis and I have no idea what to do next. So - suffice to say, my next posting will be a suprise ... to both of us!
A little info on the Beaded Mitts: the pattern is from Cabin Fever and the yarn used, Dale of Norway Hauk. (I used about a skein & a half). The beads were size 6/0.
Remember .... Inspire Art! Create Art! Buy Art! Be ART!! Comments, please!

Monday, November 13, 2006

How is your Christmas Shopping going?

While I am a wee bit behind this year, I *did* manage to order my postage stamps for those ever important Christmas cards. I know - some shutter at the mere thought of writing & addressing ... but - Christmas is such a special time of year that I feel it deserves all the attention we can give it! True Celebrations are few & far between. Personally, I like to celebrate small stuff ... but CHRISTMAS? Geez Louise ... It comes but once a year ... It is the only time of year *I* can act like a kid and look normal!

But back to the stamps ... special times deserve special touches. I ordered my stamps from Zazzle! What a great way to support the Humane Society, spread the word about homeless animals - and these stamps are "cheek pinchin'" cute too!

I have been asked about the fair isle mittens I completed last week - I ordered them as a kit from Nordic Fiber Arts. They are the Frostrosen kit in coloways #4686, fuchsia & #424, tomato red. Thanks for asking!

This past weekend - I completed a beaded mitten out of Dale of Norway "Hauk". Love the yarn ... it is really neat as it is made with 'teflon'. Should have some interesting water repellancy!

Remember .... Inspire Art! Create Art! Buy Art! Be ART!! Comments, please!

Friday, November 10, 2006

As knitters, spinners, artists - we all know how beneficial dabbling in our chosen art form heals our tender souls. The greyness of daily living can leave one 'blah'.

I have been 'blah' of late. But, boy ... have I been knitting!

I have finished 2 hats for charity ... they will be sent to those in need in South Dakota. I will complete a few more items first ... 2 just isn't enough.

I did complete my second fair isle mitten. While as I was knitting - I purchased a Norwegian thimble. I love the way this baby holds 2 different yarns and keeps the tension nice and even. It worked so well, that mitten #2 was smaller than mitten #1. (It was completed in record time too .... all I can say is "thank goodness for blocking!")

You should get one too .... cheap $$ for a terrific invention!

Remember .... Inspire Art! Create Art! Buy Art! Be ART!! Comments, please!

Friday, November 03, 2006

One of the first frosts of the season happened last night. I am thrilled. There is something to be said about seeing tiny, diamond-like sparkles covering the still - green grass. Pure magic! Cooler temps just scream wool!

Spinning and knitting this time of year brings me true JOY! Not only am I creating for the Winter Holidays ... I am also working on warm woolies for those who need them. I think it is wonderful that sheep can keep us warm, don't you?

Since it is now November ...The Knotty Sheep has chosen it's new charity for 2007. (Each year, I choose a charity and donate 5% of my sales - the running total can be found on the left side bar of this BloG.) If you need yarn, fiber and may be a wee bit of art work - I am your woman! Heck, who doesn't need more stash?? This year, my charity of choice is GREYhound Friends! Shop! Shop! Retail therapy is a good thing!

This weekend I hope to finish my second fair isle mitten .... and - Behold! - the beaded scarf is just waiting to become a gift - just waiting to be worn! Remember .... Inspire Art! Create Art! Buy Art! Be ART!! Comments, please!

Saturday, October 28, 2006

I can't remember the last time I posted on a Saturday. Rain will do that ... I not just talking about wee drops - I am talking something just shy of a monsoon. I am talking windswept leaves - complete with branches attached.

It is one of those days to stay in snuggled next to a loved one, sipping coffee, hot cocoa or some libation watching college ball on the tube. That is of course, unless said windswept branches pull down your power lines.

I like days like this. It forces me to slow down and to catch up. To organize and get familar with the things that I have. Sometimes, 'Life' infiltrates to the point of madness and it becomes a challenge just to climb over the clutter. Some seek to tame Everest ... I seek to implode the clutter pile.

The studio is getting an over haul ... it is long over due. I am feeling like the FlyLady on steriods. Wool, yarn, patterns, pastels, acrylics, canvas and various papers - all are in a flux. Things will get better - the sun will come out tomorrow!

Days like today also afford me the opportunity to catch up on some serious BloG reading. Alicia has written a great piece for 10/27! I urge you to read it - it is very eloquent and thought provoking.

But, back to the over haul ... here are the few tidbits of knittedness that were finally completed. The beaded scarf is soaking - so that will be posted later in the week. It is the Dubblemossa & one fair isle mitten. (Not to worry - I casted on for its mate last night!) Remember .... Inspire Art! Create Art! Buy Art! Be ART!! Comments, please!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

I am hopeful by this week's end you will see some knitting photos!

The beaded scarf needs blocking, the Dubblemossa still needs pom-poming and a fair isle mitten needs 12 more rows and a thumb.

Today, I want to inventory my Dale of Norway patterns and do a little fiber carding. Of course, I also need to catch up on my BloG reading .... did you know that Donna Druchunas is starting a blog book tour to talk about
Artic Lace

It starts Here!. WhEEEE!
Remember .... Inspire Art! Create Art! Buy Art! Be ART!! Comments, please!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

No knitting /spinning content today. ( I will admit to finishing the beaded scarf and starting a pair of nordic mittens. Photos of the scarf as soon as I block it. )

Today - I feel the need to voice a few opinions.

As we approach winter, here in New England - I ask these questions for your kind considerations: "Are you doing everything you can to conserve heat/energy"? "Are you concerning yourself with the environment and taking steps to reduce global warming"? "Are you helping to reduce your need for petroleum based products"? (To which, it seems, everthing is petro based!)

There are so many things that are out of our control on a day to day basis. We do forget, in the calamity of life, that we can make a difference. Be a voice. Be an example.

Our knitting/spinning can take us far to turn down our thermostats! Don't turn the heat up - turn it down and pull out a sweater! Make some funky colored wool sox for your family. Send a pair to a local shelter, VA hospital or nursing home! (Of course, there is Dulaan & CIC too!)

One of the issues I am concerned about is an LNG facility that *just might* be built ON SHORE in Fall River MA. They would need to dredge a bay, and the ships carrying the LNG would only have a 5ft clearance under the Mt. Hope Bridge, during a 'proper' low tide. Seems strange that those who we have placed in power would even begin to think that this is Ok. Terror aside - this is just plain stupid.

Thank you Congressman Barney Frank for being a strong voice. But, then again, even collective whispers can be heard.

Be an activist! Life is to short NOT to care. Comments, please!

Friday, October 13, 2006

Have you climbed aboard The Dulaan, 10k or Bust Knitting Train yet??

If not - you must! The requirement? ... Knit 5 items and send them along to their proper destination by July 1, 2007. (Info may be found HERE. EZ PZ, right??

Personally, I just love to knit! But, I can only keep so much and the DH is just not interested. (Hey, can mittens & sweaters really compete with power tools?) Most items for my Christmas basket will be small as there is just enough distance between family members that proper sizing is a challenge.

So ... knit a bit for Dulaan!

I *just* received some additonal colorways of Peace Fleece! (Shameless Plug! Shameless Plug!) Wouldn't these colors (Volgasippi Blue, Latvian Lavender & Mir-Atlantis Periwinkle) make a wonderful fair isle project??

Remember .... Inspire Art! Create Art! Buy Art! Be ART!! Comments, please!

Monday, October 09, 2006

It finally happened! I am learning to appreciate the small stuff. A life made of simple things and simple times is a life that has moments that one can remember.

This weekend, my DH gave me flowers! Not a bazillion roses nor a fancy FTD delivery. Just a fist full of hand picked mums slouching effortlessly in a Nortel coffee mug on my knitting table.

Beautiful? ... totally. Unexpected? ... delightfully so! It was a very sparkly and twinkly moment.

Suffice to say, Diesel wasn't motivated by the sparkles & twinkles! But, simplicity is about moments ... especially if that moment is reflected in a dream.

Remember .... Inspire Art! Create Art! Buy Art! Be ART!! Comments, please!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Is it really October?? Is Columbus Day this coming Monday? Holey Moley!!

The problem with taking a vacation the last week of any month - is that it totally distorts time. You leave your house one month - return the next. While I am just tickled that it is now FALL - I can not believe how quickly the month of September passed.

Can Christmas really be just around the corner?? YiKes!!

The Dubblemossa is finis. It is sans tassle so I will post a photo when I tie that baby on. I found it any interesting process and will probably make another in the future. I doubt that I would use the unspun Icelandic though ... methinks my tension is just to tight for fiber which is 'unspun'.

I did manage to complete another Bea Ellis hat for my Christmas Basket. I just love knitting these - and if you are looking to try fair isle - Bea's Originals are very well written for the beginner. This hat came out larger than the first one I did. Why?? Well, I didn't carry one of the colors in my left hand. I just used my right and while more time consuming - the finished product is more relaxed. Note to self: knit fair isle right handed only.

Also - you have got to love a good knitting "score"! Dale of Norway "Nagano" anyone?? YiPpEE!!!

Remember .... Inspire Art! Create Art! Buy Art! Be ART!! Comments, please!

Friday, September 15, 2006

My sabbatical has ended - and I am back at work. Getting back into the 'groove' is proving to be a challenge. On my first day, one of my dogs ended up in the ER. She is doing really, really well - but her recovery will be slow.

Motu is my eldest and she has had her own challenges for a couple of years. While I may feel my difficulties are unbearable - my Motu teaches me that life is good. It is all about good naps, dog bones and family. She goes on without a complaint and a tail wag. And while she may need help "getting up" - I realize that sometimes, I do too. But, when surrounded by love - "staying up" proves to be easy. I learn a lot from my pups.

Knitting, as always, is a great stress release. I am working on a SchoolHouse Press "Dubblemossa" hat. It is being knit from unspun icelandic ... I totally love the sheepie qualities: the smell, the lanolin and the long staple length. It does separate easily and it is pretty unforgiving if you need to frog, but, I am already perusing the site for more colors! I am using US size 5 as I will 'full' the finished piece to give it a wee bit of durability.

These are the two wheels I am using:

And if you can't wait to see my finished Dubblemossa - peek under kits and you will see Meg wearing hers!

Remember .... Inspire Art! Create Art! Buy Art! Be ART!! And maybe- just for the day, be has happy as a dog!... Comments, please!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Can you believe it is *after* Labor Day??

All I can say is "Wow" and "how very cool" .... bring on the cooler temps too - I really want to wear sweaters and wool sox!

If there is a 'down side' to all of this - it is the fact that the holidays quickly follow the falling leaves. But, the 'up side' is - I have started my Christmas Basket!

A few posts ago, I mentioned that I wanted to bring a basket of completed items to my family celebration and let the recipients choose their own gifts. The basket will (hopefully) contain scarves, mittens, hats, who knows what else ... and bracelets!

I bought these 2 kits from Earth Faire and I must say - I LOVE THEM! They are pretty, fun to do and it is so interesting to watch the finished piece develop.

Maybe they should go on your gift lists too?

Remember .... Inspire Art! Create Art! Buy Art! Be ART!! ... Comments, please!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

As summer begins to vanish - I am finding that I have more energy to do 'stuff'. I have been busy spinning, dyeing, knitting and today, I tackle the carder.

Inspiration can be found anywhere ... especially along cooler breezes. Those same breezes might even bring a SALE on some primo fibers too! :)

I am not a big collector, although DH will argue that point. I do seem to have a fine collection of fleeces and yarns, pattern books and needles, spindles and wheels - but, yesterday I imagined what it would be like to collect Dale of Norway Sweaters!

Yes, my bank account would be depleted - but they are *so* beautiful (and functional!) Always the realist - the chances of me knitting ONE Dale sweater to completion is tantamount to climbing Everest!

So, I leave you today with some choice tidbits involving some international mailing. Christmas *is* coming! HO! HO! HO! and you just might find what you are looking for at The Oslo Sweater Shop and The Norway Shop. If you have ever ordered from either ... do let me know! Remember .... Inspire Art! Create Art! Buy Art! Be ART!! ... Comments, please!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Don't you just love it when a plan comes together? (She says - giddy with excitement!)

My Diamond Fantasy Shawl is finis! My problem yesterday was the fact that I have this complusive need to interpret patterns so their difficulty level increases by 10. If I slow down, BREATHE, and realize most designers/pattern writers are not out to put me in the looney-bin - the pattern works!

I thought this pattern to be fun, not difficult, and well written. It took me less than 2 weeks to complete ... got to love that! (Now, I just need to find a huge blocking board as 'the bed thing' is getting old ... suggestions?)

I am already off & knitting on the lacey Maple Leaves Scarf with some lace weight yarn I dyEd. Christmas will be here before we know it! Remember .... Inspire Art! Create Art! Buy Art! Be ART!! ... Comments, please!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Don't you love it when a plan comes together?? This bodes true, especially in knitting!

It is such a tremendous sense of accomplishment when one starts a pattern - and completes it post haste. I love that feeling! A coveted finished object is something to be admired and shared.

Alas ... the completion of the Diamond Fantasy Shawl will have to wait at least one more day. I chugged and chugged until 11 pm last night in the hopes of completion. It was not meant to be.

The left point has me a wee bit baffled ... if anyone can throw a 'tip' my way - it would be most appreciated. I mean, we are talking 11 stitches here!

This week has also given way to the fact that while most are thinking in terms of 'Back to School' ... I am thinking in terms of "Christmas is 4 months away." Time for some serious knitting!!

In the photo is one of my project boxes. Patterns with assigned yarns all ready to be knit! I am thinking this year, I might just do some knitting without the recipients in mind. (Selfish?... maybe!) Into a (nice) basket they will go - and the recipients can choose what they desire. (One per person, please.) Sound good? Of course, the twist here is ... I must complete the objects first! Remember .... Inspire Art! Create Art! Buy Art! Be ART!! ... Comments, please!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Typically - I don't belabor a point. I mean, what is the sense? People either stop listening or stop reading.

But today, dear readers - I must - please bear with me.

Over the years I have been suffering from 2 diseases: selfishness & procrastination. Will power is something *I* wasn't born with. After all ... mottos such as "Life is short" and "Live for today" are etched upon my DNA. Truthfully, how can one live like the Dalai Lama & Ghandi when one desires to be 'more thin, more rich' and 'die with the most toys'? How can we be happy with ourselves or each other when our wedding dresses need to be Vera Wang, our jewelry by Harry Winston and our motor vehicles must cost more than tuition at Harvard? Life isn't easy when you have no will power.

Thankfully my 2 diseases are transforming. They are morphing into 'charity and serving.' Remember my DNA?? ... Well, it has been discovered that a "How can I help?" chromosome is present!! How cool is that?? Living 'disease free' is work - hard work - kind of like exercise - and it is always a work in progress.

There are 'things' that I still want - but more importantly there are things 'I want to do to help.' I tell you this not to brag, not to belittle - but to let you know , baby steps are ok.

If you have been thinking of donating to a favorite charity - please do so today / no procrastinating! Why the urgency??? Well, your favorite charity just might fold due to lack of funds.

Susan, at Farmgirl Fare, has inspired me in ways that you can't even imagine. Her 'pluck', her energy and her zest are just "WOW"!! Now, I ask you to visit her BloG. Her entry will make you cry ... hopefully, your wallet *will* make you thinner - but I guarantee - you *will* be richer! Please HELP today!!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Is anyone else excited about the upcoming season change?

Am I wasting my life away wanting the briskness of chilly nights and invigorating mornings? While I yearn to see the endless array of colorful fall folliage - I think to myself: "Why do I hibernate MORE in summer than I do in winter??"

I have come to terms with the fact that my creativity, my energy and my personality virtually melt in the heat. I am looking forward to reconnecting with myself - with each earlier sunrise and cooler sunset - I feel the old *me* coming back.

I have been contemplating that working with fiber just isn't the same in 'high heat'. My heart breaks for those who live in warm climates year round - those areas where the warmth of wool, alpaca and quivit is just 'to hot to handle'.

But, I digress ... if one doesn't have clothes, food or a home - do temperatures really matter?

While the click of knitting needles and the 'whor' of the spinning wheel can be heard across the globe - I ask you to remember to set some time aside to knit or spin for your favorite charity. Warm woolies for the homeless! Preemie caps for your favorite hospital! Chemo hats for those who have lost or are losing their hair! There is also the possibility of knitting a delicate, LACE shawl or fair isle sweater for a favorite charity to "RAFFLE/AUCTION off"! How cool is that??

But, I digress (once again) ... how does one help when there is so much "ICK" going on in the world?? Does one sweater, one cap, one pair of socks truly make for a more peaceFULL world?? The answer is YES! ... and if you are into trying new recipies ... do try " the recipie for PEACE!

Yes - dear friends, the possibility to serve is endless and invigorating - just like the upcoming season in New England.
Remember .... Inspire Art! Create Art! Buy Art! Be ART!! ... Comments, please!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

There is life after the Victorian Lace Shawl!

A Baltic Bootie made from
Peace Fleece
. Isn't it cute??

I made it from the left overs of the Snowstar sweater. I see a couple of pair in my future to be donated to charity.

With gas prices/heating oil rising daily - and chillier temps right around the corner - methinks I need some of these booties for me! Remember .... Inspire Art! Create Art! Buy Art! Be ART!! ... Comments, please!

Monday, August 07, 2006

Life has a way of tripping you up on a daily basis. For the most part, the unplanned interruptions make for exciting adventures. Spontaneity is a JOYous blip on the old radar screen of life!

The recent 2 week heat wave threw me for a loop. I don't like heat and I certainly do not like humidity. Inspiration was lacking / creativity - nil! The Victorian Lace Shawl progress? Suffice to say it will be unique. After frogging a total of 10 times - it will be a piece that is totally individual. Try as I might, I could not get the pattern to work - and with no computer access, I could not throw my questions into cyber-space. Sigh .... it does look interesting on the needles!

But, with temperatures hovering in the 70's this morning ... I am looking forward to cooler weather. Dare I say, I am even looking forward to FALL? Well, my new additions to my wardrobe arrived! Knotty Sheep shirts!!

I am *so* looking forward to donning my long sleeved T!! The beige shirt is organic - and the white is for my MoM! YiPpEE .... now that I am not melting - I can return to being KNOTTY .... join me! Remember .... Inspire Art! Create Art! Buy Art! Be ART!! ... Comments, please!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Well, vacation has come and gone and now it is time to get back to reality!

I did miss my computer time - and over the course of the next few days - I will be off line once again. Why you may ask?? My studio is UPstairs ... and suffice to say - it gets hot, really hot. The tempertures are to soar, with a heat index in the 115 range ... nope, I am not going upstairs! Not only will *I* feel like melting - the computer actually might.

Anywhoo ... I attempted to start the Victorian Lace Shawl 4 times. My needles are empty at the moment, but that will change due to the wonderful help received from the Victorian Lace Shawl KAL. YiPpEE ... I actually can't wait to start this baby again, today!

And, just for the record, my friend Pamela not only finished her Jack Frost Jacket - but also put an amazing Christmas Pudding Recipie on her BloG. It is never to early to think Christmas & winter.

Remember .... Inspire Art! Create Art! Buy Art! Be ART!! ... Comments, please!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Well, next week is my OFFline time. It will feel weird ... in a kind of " no smoking/no drinking/no eating carbs" sorta of way. While I don't smoke - I do possess the other vices and suffice to say ... the internet, for me, is one powerful addiction.

No BloGs ... no eBay ... no YahOO ... no email!

Hopefully, I will recharge the Muse and return to the keyboard with fresh ideas, a clear mind ... and a liver still in good shape. :)

While I have the "Jack Frost" still on the needles; committed myself to the Mystery Stole #2 KAL; and signed up for the "Bitchin' Mittens Challenge" ... those projects will have to wait for another day. My intent is the Victorian Lace Shawl. Don't ask why ... I mean seriously, why would you ask a knitter why there was more than one project going at any given time?? (BTW ... 3 projects is my usual limit.)

So on this note, I depart from Cyber-space for a bit - I mean, at least I *hope to*. As with any addiction, I will hear the silent call of my nemesis luring me into it's web. I will feel my fingers gliding over imaginary keys with the subtle sounds of a quick - yet inaccurate typist. And I will dream of pings and bings - all in the hopes of "I've got mail"! Sigh ...

Part of the extra-pooey part of NOT being ONline, is the fact that I can not click daily to help animals! Could you please help me out?? The click is free & fast and it sure does Help! ... Thanks and remember .... Inspire Art! Create Art! Buy Art! Be ART!! ... Comments, please!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Two words of the day ... hot & humid .

Don't really care for either - although the later is worse than the former. I admit - I like to be cold. I like thick sweaters and warm woolen sox. I like 4 blankets on my bed. I like mittens too.

No, I am not wishing my summer away. There are many, many attributes to the season that make me smile.

I saw my very first hummingbird this weekend. What a pure joy that was. I love the warm morning sunshine and the way the sun slips into sleep at the end of the day. I love the happy waves at the shore and the call of the seagull playing tag with it's friends.

I love the warmth of the day ... and the way friends gather on a spur of the moment. I love eating light and playing hard. Yes ... summer is wonderful!

Each season brings a different set of smiles ... I just prefer to wear a smile featuring a hand knit sweater as opposed to a bathing suit. :)

I still haven't been doing any knitting ... but, I am managing to keep my spinning wheels happy! Of course, those rogue snippets of bobbin singles end up on a spindle - which keeps them happy too!! This weekend, I spun up some "Merlin", a black suffolk x on my JOY. This JOY was painted by Margrett at Running Moon Farm . Isn't she a beauty??
Do remember .... Inspire Art! Create Art! Buy Art! Be ART!! ... Comments, please!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Yesterday, for the first time in a long time - I picked up a spindle. It isn't that I don't love my spindle children anymore ... I just like the production of the wheel much better.

But, there is something to be said about the quiet stillness a spindle brings. It is no fuss - low maintenance and really, really portable. You just have to love that.

Most of the time, while using the wheel, I end up with snippets of singles on the bobbins. I collect them, then create wee skeins for future use or sale. They have such personalities and are *so* perfect for stripes, but they are even more perfect for spindles!

Needless to say - I enjoyed using my Greensleeves, E. Marie low whorl. Elizabeth doesn't make these spindles anymore - and mine is in pink Ivorywood. It is so very girlie.

"Priscilla", a blue faced leicester/shetland x was the remnant left on the bobbin. I quickly Andean plyed the singles and started in on the fun. WhEEEE! Picking up something that you haven't done in a while is a great way to refresh the Muse.

I have included a photo of Miss E. Marie. It is against a backdrop of blended "Priscilla" & "Merlin" a suffolk x. Try something a wee bit different today and remember .... Inspire Art! Create Art! Buy Art! Be ART!! ... Comments, please!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Per the recommendation of artist/illustrator Monica Lee - I decided to purchase "Success" which is edited by J. Pincott.

It is a remarkable text in which snippets of wisdom are recited by those to which *we* have deemed successful: Oprah; Steve Jobs; Bill Clinton; George Lucas; et al. Not all those contained within the confines of the covers are billionaires ... some are philosophers & poets. Some are activists who have changed the world for the better. Some are just regular people who found their true love.

While I have only begun to embark upon my journey into the pages of this book - I found a quote by Jon Bon Jovi to ring true to my soul. ".... No matter what you want to do with your life, be passionate. The world doesn't need any more gray. On the other hand, we can't get enough color ...." WOW! My thoughts exactly!

Being an artist isn't the most easiest of professions - but it is a profession that must contain passion! I like the idea that when someone purchases a tidbit of fiber from me ... they also get some of my exuberance, my vibrance - my zest! I try to interpret what *I* see into colors!

One of my latest fiber creations is Bridgette.
I hope these colors tingle & inspire you to create something wonderful!

Comments ... please!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Is it summer where you are??

I find that while summertime has an overabundance of goodness ... it becomes a vast creative wasteland for me.

Weird, I know - but the preoccupation with gardens; beaches; cook outs; sight seeing and just good old fashioned FUNNESS - keeps my mind in over drive and my body tired.
One might think that these venues would spark the Muse ... instead - they hit her over her head with a 2 by 4.

I hop around in cyber-space hoping for a JOLT of creativity from somewhere ... a passing BloG or an rogue YahOO group - but, alas ... I swirl in the vortex of lack lusterness.

What *do* creative types *do* when the creative vibes are stagnant and the bills need to be paid? I ponder this question - a lot. I, mean, I ponder it daily. How do they pick themselves up off their hand painted floor cloths to start another painting or write that new song or sculpt that new piece??

If you know the answer ... please comment. This creative type is spending way to much time pondering what *being* creative actually means. Comments, please!

Thursday, June 29, 2006

You know what is really cool about being ALIVE??

Each day brings a new chance to help others and the world around us. I have started to think in terms of things I do daily that might help someone on the other side of the world and the Earth.

Highlights of the week include: drying my laundry in the sunshine; when I change my dog's water, I empty the water dish on my plants; I composted my kitchen waste and yarn/wool ends; I ate organic strawberries and an organic pepper from my own garden; I brought my canvas bags to the grocery so I didn't have to use those awful plastic things; and I signed a petition to save the polar bears from extinction! It is my wish that you would sign it too ... providing a voice for the voiceless is truly an amazing gift that we all have! Please click HERE and tell the people WE ELECTED that it isn't about drilling for oil in the Artic - it is about reducing our codependancy on oil, period.

You see, the changes we make do not have to start off with giant leaps ... just wee baby steps! If we all take a few baby steps every day ... walking towards a better environment and a better world becomes EZ PZ!

Oh ... each one of these babies was dried in the sunshine ... creating art and saving the world ... yes!! It is ** all** in a days work! WhEEEEEE..... comments, please!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Art comes in all forms. Items that seem silly or mudane - maybe even a tad nondescript - can be created into ART. Don't you just LOVE that?

Case in point - dryer lint. While I know some people actually try to spin it - I have a tendancy to toss it ever so gracefully into the compost bin. Ah ... but this is where I should tie my 'creative hat' on a little tighter!

You have to love what one's imagination can envision!
(The reduce, reuse, recycling thing always gets extra credit points too.)

Now, onto the over-dyed, lace weight, Mystery Stole yarn! I think this came out pretty wonderful if I do say so myself! It is a keeper. Buy ART - comments, please!

Monday, June 26, 2006

Over the weekend - I read the most incredible book!! I laughed til I cried. It was *that* good.

First, let me state I am not a big reader. For me to finish a book within the ample time frame set forth by the local library - it is torture. I get distracted - after all, why read when I could be spinning or knitting??

Well, suffice to say, I love dogs and I just had to read Marley & Me by John Grogan. I guarantee, you will love it too.

I also had a brain storm over the weekend ... for those of you who know what "Filene's Basement" was to retail ... my latest addition to The Knotty Sheep,
FIBERleen's Basement
will be to the Fiber world! Ok ... maybe that is a wee bit of an overstatement - but, "FIBERleen's Basement" is where I plan to offer fibers & yarns at at least a 25% discount off the original retail! They are first quality fibers that are just sitting unloved and just want to go to a good home!!
Who doesn't love a sale??

Also this weekend - I indulged in my most favorite lunch. Delicious artsian cheeses, a fresh baguette and a glass (or 2) of a mellow pinot noir.

YuMMy!! I spoiled myself rotten these last few days ... a wonderful dog book and a decadent lunch. Any wonder why I had the new business revelation?? My creative juices are flowing now - hope yours are too!!
Buy ART - comments, please!

Friday, June 23, 2006

Isn't it funny how things sometimes don't work out as we had planned??

My sabbatical isn't freeing me creatively. I am shocked. There is no other way to describe it. Frustration is trying to grab my very soul ... but I am determined to keep it at bay!! It is difficult though when the "Jack Frost" front you are working on has decreases on one side ... a straight edge on the other - and you look down one morning (today!) and realize that you are knitting a triangle. C'est la vie ... into the frog pond it went!

My yarn for the Mystery Stole will be overdyed. I just don't like the varigation that took place. I am all for color and even for the dye 'breaking', but I was hoping for a muted tone. I will overdye in a very weak solution - just to take some of the 'edge' off. Hey Melanie - I aim to do you proud!

One thing that I am becoming increasing interested in is food. Not so much to eat, although that is the final result, but where it originates. Thought I would share these 2 informational links ... maybe you are interested too. Enjoy!:
Slow Food and the Meatrix. Buy ART ... comments, please!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Finally ... I dyed my yarn for Melanie's Mystery Stole #2!

The yarn started like this: Naked!

And before it hit the heat - it looked like this:

Now - it sits waiting for a final rinse.

I know that I will alternate skeins during the actual knitting of the stole. I am sure slight variations have occured - which will add some depth to the project. While I understand that variagated yarns do not show lace patterns well, this is yarn was dyed using the same color (Mulberry) just 3 different solution strengths.

I am really looking forward to seeing what these babies turn into! Comments, please!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

I have been actively looking for vintage knitting items and sewing notions of late. I find it interesting the way things of the past are still connected to the present.

Maybe that is why so many of us still surround ourselves with antiques and childhood memories. They remind us more of innocence and simplicity rather than high tech and mechanical gadgets.

Recently, I found these Grace Ennis beauties on eBay. I don't know who actually knit the sock - but I wonder - did the knitter knit her loved one an article of clothing out of necessity or out of her passion for knitting? I will never know.

This vintage piece has been washed, needles and all and will find itself in a shadow box on the studio wall. I like the idea of immortalizing this knitter - more of us should think of our fiber art as art! Let's decorate our walls - furniture - and each other!! Comments, please!

Friday, June 16, 2006

Sparks of creativity abound!

First of all - I spun chickens!! Aren't they cute??

Lace knitting??? Melanie's Mystery Stole #2 is going to be a hoot! It is almost like knitting in the dark as you don't know where the pattern is going to lead. Probably best not to be over caffinated or over imbibed while working on it.

If you are looking for a total "Kreative BlitzKrieg" ... there is Dave's challenge! It is called " Bitchin' Mittens and it's purpose is to design ARTsy mitts! They can be wearable or not ... Sounds fun, don't you think??

Have have climbed aboard both Kreative Trains .... my goal is to complete each journey ... Toot! Toot!

Of course, then there are these patterns that my MoM gave me! "The Sweaters Around the World" is dated 1963. What fun!! And the "Great Circle Shawls" is from 1973. The interesting thing about both booklets is the designs translate well into today's
fashion. You *have* to love that!! I am curious ... the shawl booklet dictates size 13 or 15 needles - hmmmm, very interesting!

I am going to be one busy girl this summer!! Comments, please!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

I received some wonderful comments/emails re: my last post. Thank you! I was a tad fearFULL to put my rant into a public forum - but, why not?? Lucky for me - the messages I received were filled with positive thoughts and reflections!

One person, who wrote me privately, (wave!!) stated: " You have challenged us to look at how we live this wonderful life we are given. " I love this!! Thank you and ALL of those who took the time to make my day. THIS is the kind of stuff that makes life grand!

On a creative note ... I have been thinking crewel work of late. Don't ask - I am just going with the flow of things. I stumbled upon Kristen's BloG a little while ago. I was mezmerized by her artwork - I had to run out and get her book!!

The colors and whimsy of her designs are fantastic! Hmmm .... it got me so excited that I had to run out and buy 6 yards of muslin. It is all washed and dried in the sunshine - just waiting for me to play with it! What will I do?? Well - do stay tuned!

Remember ... today is a GREAT day to support an artist!
Comments, please!

Friday, June 09, 2006

The last few days on Spindler's List, there has been a 'thread' re: the amount artists charge for their work.

Being an artist who dabbles in a few different mediums as well as one who tries to earn a living using my creative talents - I found it interesting. I know that there is a happy balance between living "off" creativity & creatively living. It is a balance I hope to obtain.

I will not be bashing any corporation here today. Don't get me wrong - there are a good many who do need a public flogging. It is my humble opinion that each of us needs to look in the mirror before we start slinging mud onto the corporate logos of world. We *really* need to educate the consumer as to why our goods merit top billing on an over zealous, commercialized planet.

We need to set the example ... Do we buy others art? Do we complain about the prices others charge? Do we promote a colleague when able?? Do we shop BIG stores instead of smaller MoMs & PoPs in order to save a buck?

I think we all need to work together to make an artistic difference while walking less harshly upon the Earth. Maybe we should all challenge ourselves to Eat LocaL ... Maybe we should start carrying canvas, crocheted or knitted totes to the grocery instead of using those USELESS plastic bags that hold nothing ... Maybe we should compost as much as we can & grow our own vegetables ... even if it is one lonely tomato plant in a big ol' bucket ... Maybe we should seek out vendors who give back to the earth & humanity ... Maybe instead of spending our hard earned dollars on FAST food, we should spend it on ORGANIC food ... Maybe we should support all artists: community theaters, local musicians, ballet troupes, fiber artists, painters & potterers instead of the "Celebrity D'Jour" ... Maybe instead of worshipping "Celebrity Chefs" - we should start being thankful for the farmers who provide the bounty - they are artists too.

Sigh ... I digress - I didn't mean to get on the proverbial soap box.... Lord knows I could go on and on. My message: Inspire Art! Create Art! Buy Art! Be ART!! ... I leave you with one of my pastels - I hope it inspires you.

Comments, please!

Thursday, June 08, 2006

This week, I have been busy 'spinning'. My wheels have been neglected - so I am compelled to lavish love upon them. They got the proper feeding of Wood Beams. Here is a little factoid to which I am proud: did you know that I am the one who 'named' the product for Aubrey?? Yes-indeedy!

Of course, I also found this little Penquin which I would love to adopt. Hmmm - on that note, I must point you to the cyber shop. :) (Shameless, shameless plug ... sorry - but, please continue reading!)

While on sabbatical I am attempting Total Kreativity .... Here is a giggle: When was the last time YOU had a 3 Day Hangover??? Comments, please!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

I have finished the back of the Jack Frost! YiPpEE!

It is a pleasing piece, one that gives practice to intarsia (or is it fair isle?) with just enough stuff in the pattern to keep you on your toes. Don't know if I will cast on the the front today - we will see.

Well, what do you think?? Comments, please!

Friday, June 02, 2006

In these first few days of sabbatical - I am amazed at how much I have relaxed. There is a strange calmness about me. My muse is *tickled* - I can hear her giggling with anticipation!

One of my first steps into being more creative is to actually enjoy some of the things that inspire me. I love vintage embroidered tea towels/kitchen linens & vintage hankies. I have a modest collection tucked away. Tucked away?? Yes - you read that right. Why would inspirations be relegated to back closets & deep drawers?

Fear! It is that simple ... I am afraid to ruin them. But, this week - my muse has asked "What am I saving them for?" Most are in 'vintage' condition. Do I actually think my nieces & nephews would want used towels & hankies in this age of game boys & Ipods??


One set as made it's appearance on my kitchen counter!

They will be used with the same love & tenderness that went into their creation decades ago. Suffice to say, I won't be wiping up red wine spills with them AND I will hyperventilate a wee bit at first - but creatvity is a process.

Of course, since inspiration is vital ... these little churros arrived on my door step at a most opportune time! "Rinnie (left) & "Katherine" (right) are beautiful!! Thanks Barbara for some wonderful fleeces!

Comments, please!

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

It is official: I am on sabbatical!
It feels a wee bit strange knowing that I do not have to go work for a bit. It also feels lazy, decadent and SO inspiring.

I want to savor this time. I want to cultivate creativity and to spend more time on me. Sounds rich, doesn't it??

Tomorrow, I will mail out my 44 hats, 2 pair of mittens & 2 scarves for The Dulaan Project. I am delighted that this 8 pounds plus of stash has been transformed into items for those who truly need them. Wanna see the goodies?

I also will focus my knitting time on the Jack Frost! Pamela is way ahead of me. My 3" look like this:

Hmmm ... maybe if I knit ALL night ......?

But, I still am working diligently on dyEing & carding wool . I mean, who would want to take a sabbatical from fiber?
Comments, please!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Animals have became an incredible JOY for me. They brighten my heart and lift my soul.
They inspire me to work hard when I don't feel like it. They encourage me to 'do more' for both their kind and mine.

I can't ask any more from them - *with* them, I achieve bliss!

I will admit to being totally consumed, distressed and despondent over Barbaro. I offer daily prayers and good energies to better his 50/50 percent chance of survival. While I don't agree with the premise of racing animals for human enjoyment .... it isn't his fault that it was his destiny to run. Get well soon!

As for fibery content - the "Jack Frost" was started and frogged. I will attempt it again VERY soon. But, in the mean time .... I was feeling a little Batty!!
Comments, please!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

My friend, NANnette is bringing home her new shelter pup today!! I am just THRILLED that "Gump" has found a wonderful forever home. Stop by her BloG to send "HaPpY PuPpY" wishes ... and for all of those pups who wait for their forever homes, please CLICK HERE - it is FREE & each click helps to provide these pups the essentials!

Now, given the fact it has been raining for a week - I haven't done as much fiber play as I had hoped. C'est la vie .... the first photo is a new sock I have started. It is made from "Opal" and I missed the boat on this one ... this sock is crying for texture! I refuse to frog it!

The second photo is one of the new KAL my friend Pamela and I are doing. It is Lucinda Guy's "Jack Frost" jacket. Since I am the Queen of Peace Fleece - mine will be created with: "Georgia Pink, Firebird Orange and Antarctica White".

Feel free to join us! I am looking forward to the challenge! Comments, please!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Certain events of the last few days bring to mind how much I value my dogs. I simply love them. There is no other word for it.

They are my family, my children and my friends. Do not think for a moment, that I don't know that they are dogs. But, given the fact that I have asked them to live in my world, I take that responsibility seriously. They are well cared for - they are fed well - they have ample toys, room, and medical care.

Even though they have been a part of my life for the last 11 and 8 years, respectively - training is still an on going thing. To be well mannered in life, is to live well!

If you are thinking of adding a pet friend to your life - it is my hope that you will consider your life style. Since I always am on the side of 'shelter-dogs',Petfinder is a great way to find a good dog (or other pets!) that need a loving home.

On the fiber front ... my sox are finis!! I am thinking I need to make more ... Comments, please!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

One sock done .... one to go!
I hope to finish the second this coming weekend. Just like you, my next project is already planned. My friend, Pamela and I will be doing a fun little something .... stay tuned!

As incentive to complete them, I thought I would show you the sox. While this pattern had various textured stitches running thru it, I decided to just do a plain stockinette stitch. I think it shows the yarn off nicely. Comments, please!