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Minnesota, United States

23.8.11

The pencil is mightier than the sword

 I usually post my knitting  here, but today I would like to post some art work.  I had a commission from a dear friend and today I finished it.  Sadly, the dog passed away, but I hope that her husband likes the surprise.  I used different pencils from H to 9B and I love the result.  Drawing is still one of my favorite forms of artistic expression.  The simplicity of the materials is ideal!  It was also nice to do a larger work.  This piece is on 18" x 24" drawing paper.  Storage of art can be a challenge, so commissions are a great way to work.

The process began at the drawing table after picking a pose. 
I adjusted the contrast of the bandanna, and then made a grid on tracing paper, sketched the portrait, and then using my window as a light table, finished the portrait on the drawing paper (moving to the large easel after getting the subject blocked in.
The finished portrait.

18.8.11

Class descriptions

I have my September classes on the schedule at Shepherd's Choice.  Of course, Color and Cables (renamed Color and Texture) is coming back.  Color and Texture is for students wanting to take their knitting skills beyond the basics (cast-on, knit, purl, increase, decrease, and bind-off).  The class is four, two-hour sessions and students can choose their preferred projects and yarn.  Color techniques include stripes, stranding/Fair Isle, intarsia, and embellishing.  Texture techniques include knit and purl surface designs, cables, and lace.  Projects can be as simple as a washcloth or as complex as a sweater.  One of my favorite books is Folk Vests, by Cheryl Oberle.  The projects feature many knitting and construction techniques.  I have two more projects in progress, which will bring my FOs (finished objects) from this book to five!  Vests are wonderful garments.  They add punch to any outfit and are a staple for in my wardrobe.
Vintage knitting gnomes--I love the web site
Next on the schedule is Drop-Spindling.  This is a one, two-hour session introduction to spinning wool into yarn.  It is amazing what one can create with a spindle and some wool.  Spindles are wonderful tools, they are portable and the investment is small compared to a spinning wheel.  My new class offering is Finishing School, a three-session class for finishing those pesky UFOs--picking up stitches, Kitchener stitch, seaming, blocking...etc.  Check out class offerings at Shepherd's Choice.  Stop in the shop to sign up--hope to see you in class!

17.8.11

Thoughts of Autumn

Yes, I know...most Minnesotans do not want to think about cooler weather right now, but I am in a knitting mood after a long summer break.  I dug through my bags, emptied out all the loose needles, organized them, and rounded up my notions.  It amazes me how many gauges I have, but they make nice bookmarks and I keep yards-meters and meters-yards on them.  It is handy to have along when buying yarn, which I am working hard NOT to do right now.  It is all about using up stash for awhile. 
My next project is Kasuri Chanchanko by Cheryl Oberle (Folk Vests).   I bought Spud and ChloĆ« Fine, a superwash blend of wool and silk.  The dark blue and creamy white will be really nice together for this project.  Today I will wind yarn and then swatch.  
Before I do anything else, Eevee needs walkies.  The gym is closed, so no yoga or walk club :( .  At least the humidity is down a bit after all the storms.
04.07.11 I provisionally cast on the 252 stitches for the vest.  After the near-disasterous yarn winding session yesterday, I do like the feel of the yarn.  The only size 3,5 mm circular I have is an Addi Turbo, so the knitting goes quickly.
16.08.11  The Addi Turbo was not a good choice for my project.  I have done more frogging than knitting.  Bamboo is better.  I believe after a few tries, I am on the right track.
I called this Tangled--not because of the pattern--because of the yarn!
The time for Ben to be home is fast approaching and I couldn't be happier!  He has had a wonderful summer of adventure in New Mexico.  Last week he was on bear patrol and chased a bear away from the area he was patrolling.  Mind you,  we are talking about a black bear and not a grizzly.
We had our first Round Table of the year.  I made Monkey Brains (the boys like brains better than bread).  I found a chef's hat at the craft store and had pieces off Jim's old uniform for decoration.  It was fun to embellish and it's a nice touch for my Dutch oven presentations.
And now for something completely different...
My chef's hat for Round Table.

1.8.11

It was a dark and stormy...

Day!  Not a leaf is moving outside and it is very still and dark outside right now.  Of course, today I have to run errands.  ...Could be worse, could be raining.  The weather--ugh--is going to be steamy at 93 with a heart index of 108!  I will be happy when a cold front blows through and brings down our temperatures to normal.
I am working on a pair of socks and I happen to be on the second sock, thank you very much!  I started this "Americana" pair while at summer camp.  Since I have so much yarn, the second sock will be longer, and then I can frog the first sock to the heel flap and add to the length.  They will be nice to wear with my hiking boots.  I love this sock yarn.  I have a skein of German flag colors, too.
Now that it is August, my calendar will fill up with classes and events.  I will be switching my cable/color class so I can help Jim with Round Table.  There will be an expanded version of the Dutch Oven cookbook this year.
Knitting by the campfire at summer camp.
Americana socks
I confess, I am not sure I like the red for the vest project...I may have to think about this one before I knit more.  It is the OX Vest from Folk Vests.
SWAK and hugs