I've got a palette of cotton and a one of wool and hooks of all sizes for the potholder swap crafting. At SnB on Tuesday I knocked out a sample, discovering along the way that I need to go down in hook size quite a bit. I liked the pattern I tried, but I'm still looking around.
I'm enjoying the experimental nature of this swap...it's nice to play with color and texture in a different way, and fun to pick up a hook as a change from the ol' sticks.
What are you working on that has you trying new things?
Now that my partner has opened her package, I can post my most recent project. I used transfers and an apron blank from Sublime Stitching (and, hey, now I'm in the gallery over there) to make a bad ass apron for Roller Derby Rae. Such a blast to play with color this way.
This morning I attended the Nutmeg Spinning Guild's meeting and had the pleasure of hearing Abby Franquemont speak about spinning and her time in Peru. Maybe some fiber jumped into my tote bag, too. I'm not going to linger on that.
I brought my wheel with me, and I confess, it felt really good to spin. I haven't in quite a long time; a fiber that I had intended to use for my dissertation shawl has been languishing on the wheel (probably a really bad thing. I'm a bad spinner). Today, though, I got the spinning mojo back and had a lot of fun getting the fiber on the wheel. When I saw this, I decided to order one to hang off my wheel. Lendrums are just made to be tricked out.
Before I hit save, I want to ask you to send healing thoughts to Peru, where my oldest niece just had her appendix removed. Her partner is from there, and they were visiting his family when she took ill. His cousin is a surgeon, which I hope made it easier for her to go through so far from home. She won't be home until next week, and I know she must want the comfort of her mom and dad so much. What a terrible twist to her big adventure, poor lovey.
Tonight: grading and UCONN Huskies. Hope you're Saturday is going swimmingly!
Earlier in the year, I joined Bley's Cozy Domesticity swap, and my package--from none other than the hostess herself--arrived yesterday. I oohed and ahhed in delight as I unwrapped one wonderful treat after the next.
She made me a pair of her Fingerless mitts in perfect PoMo Golightly spring colors and also sent one of her gorgeous handmade books, a Lamy pen in the coolest packaging evah, and a kit so I can try my hand at book binding, too. Thank you, Bley, for an amazing and thoughtful package!
I'm off to meet a new baby and then have lunch with Neal. I can't believe this is it for spring break--I have so much to do still! The good news? Only six weeks left of the semester. Summer break is almost here!
Have you tried the Fall 2008 IK's Dumpling bag yet? Fastest knit around with a load of embellishment options. Want to make one? Want to get one? I've been cranking them out for Christmas 2009 gifts and for me to call a pattern "fast" , well, it really must be!
Join my IK Dumpling swap on Swap-bot. The secret code for joining is "dumpling". Sign ups are until March 8th and will be limited to readers of this blog and Ravelry members.
My photo doesn't do this adorable package justice. Heather filled a box with delightful goodies for me and the girls. I'm enamored of the little book houses...and the cookies, though they are long gone! The Scrabble ornaments are going to look great on my silver tinsel tree. If you click for bigger maybe you can get a better look at how sweet the two pair of earrings are, too.
See her (better) pictures (as well as what I sent) here.
The Girl Purls (rav link) sent me this adorable birdie pincushion in her own bag with some candy to boot. I finally finished the bird I'm sending to her and packaged it up before I managed to take a picture. I have to say, the Handmade Pincushion group is my very favorite on Ravelry. Roaming around the boards there is a happy experience, which is a rarity on most forums, I guess.
I rarely remember my dreams, but last night I dreamed of floor looms. I've been e-mailing a variety of helpful people in my quest to understand what I should look for in a loom. I'll get a used loom;it's what I can afford right now. But, the question to any weavers reading this is: what loom do you use. I like my rhl, but I want to move on. Any thoughts on the LeClerc Artisat for a beginner?
Time to walk my dogs. Poor little Maddie hurt her leg--the same leg she hurt just before she moved from NM to CT. She's putting more weight on it, but Neal had to carry her out of the woods yesterday. Cross your fingers that I don't have to tote my 55 pound baby over my shoulder while connected via leash to my 50 pound big girl as I walk the girls by myself today. Please.
(click for bigness). Well. There was chocolate, too, but that disappeared. What remains from one of my favorite Ravelry groups is an adorable German tote bag, a notions case, bibs and bobs for pincushion making, and one of the coolest "to go" pincushions I've seen. I love that I can take this to SnB those nights when I want to embroider. Thanks (1,000,000), Hollie! Ibby Bee created a second swap (remember the fabu coasters from Junie Moon?), this time for bookmarks
and a thrifted book. I'm so excited about the package that Sarah sent me (thank you so much, Sarah!). There were three fabulous bookmarks made out of ribbon and fabric held by some adorable embroidery, Djinn in the Nightingale's Eye (a great read!), O Pioneers! (haven't read since high school but excited to revisit), some crafty booklets, a Holly Hobby pattern (I know a little girl who would adore her!), and beautiful earrings (not pictured because I'm wearing them!). Sarah is opening an etsy shop, so be sure to swing by. My favorite thing about these bookmarks? They're perfect for the book I've dipped into over and over since it came in the mail last week. I'm smitten, people. Smitten.
I joined a pincushion swap on Ravelry last month, and yesterday a delightful Breakfast at Tiffany's themed package arrived from Lori (Ravlink). She numbered the smaller packages for me to open in order, which included a Starbucks gift card (for a cruller to munch on while I window shop), an amazing red lipstick/pencil from Julie Hewett (coco noir in case you're curious), The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, which Neal promptly claimed, a tiara (for wearing while window shopping and eating crullers), and the most fantastic pin cushion of all time--a perfectly duplicated Tiffany's box.
I've been teased at my SnB for my swapping habit. What I love about swaps, though, is that I get a chance to expand my craft skills by making something different. I'm not likely to make myself a pin cushion, but I'll do it for a swap. And sometimes? When I get an amazing package like this, I delight in feeling spoiled.
I'm participating in Teresa's 100 Ideas Swap on Swap-bot. The swap asks each participant to select five items from Keri Smith's list of 100 ideas and share the results of doing them with a partner. The rest of my five will be photographed and shared via Flickr. Number 25 (read a book in one day), though, is more easily shared here.
Last Saturday, on the train home from NYC, I read Joyce Carol Oates's I Lock My Door Upon Myself. I'm in process of re-reading a number of novellas I reference in the critical section of my dissertation, and this was the first I selected.
Under 100 pp., Oates's novella centers on a young woman, Calla, with a will that was determined to follow its true path. She is married off at a young age since no one knows what else to do with her. She bears three children, and is as indifferent to them as she has been to most other people in her life. The plot heats up when she meets and immediately falls for the water dowser. Bad enough she's looking outside the marriage for love, but the real scandal was in the fact that Tyrell is black.
The story is told by her granddaughter. The point of view choice is interesting because the story is pieced together. The narrator can't quite be sure about certain facts, so she conjectures. As I read, I wondered about the narrator; does she see parts of her grandmother in herself?
As always, Oates's prose is pure delight to read. She has such utter control, even when her story is out of control.
About reading this in one day. It is short enough to be an easy task, but as I study novellas, and having just finished crafting one, I think the benefit of reading it all at once is that the design--the construct--of the novella can be held in my head in its entirety. I'm fairly certain that matters for this book.
I've got four more novellas to read in the next two weeks. Would you like me to tell you about them? What are you reading right now?