The Knotty Sheep Shop

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!