Friday, March 29, 2013

new cardigan

I finished one of my knitting projects. It is a cardigan designed by carrie bostick hoge from quince. The yarn is an undyed organic wool that I bought in Sweden a few summers ago. I have truly enjoyed delving into the wonderful world of knitting again - this is only the second piece I have finished in recent times (you may remember this) and I had forgotten how meditative it is to knit and how easy it is to do it on the go.

I love this yarn—very earthy and real—and I the design feels both rustic and elegant at the same time. And the extra long sleeves are wonderful. Technically I am not so happy with the band along the front edge. Picking up the stitches was difficult and there are some stray mistakes here and there. But I think this cardigan will be both loved and worn despite some flaws.

So far I am doing quite well with my goals from the original what to wear post. I have bought some undies and I splurged on another hand sewn tshirt from Alabama Chanin, but otherwise I am sticking to wearing, using, and improving on what I already have. I also joined the yarn CSA at Juniper Moon Farm, located just a few miles from where I live. I will get a share of their wool harvest sometime this fall - most exciting. Right now it is lambing season at the farm, the photos below are of the most recent arrivals. I invite you to skip over to their blog where they are posting new lamb photos daily. What a great way to celebrate new beginnings. Best wishes for a happy easter weekend.

©Juniper Moon Farm. All rights reserved.

©Juniper Moon Farm. All rights reserved.

©Juniper Moon Farm. All rights reserved.

Friday, March 15, 2013

a creative life

For almost six months now, I have worked part time as a graphic designer with my friend Laura at Roseberries. The decision to return to design work was in part financial, but also based on a need for order and structure in my life. The experience has been wonderful. It feels good to actually get dressed in the morning, to have colleagues, to bounce ideas, and to get projects done (although still slowly...).

The flip side is that the time I have left for my art has diminished. It is hard to accomplish something or, maybe more accurate, to complete something with only a few days a week available. I am also struggling to dedicate those days entirely to work (there are still things like dishes, laundry, vet visits, and car pooling looming).

But overall it works. Rather than living an artist's life, I am now leading a creative life. My design job is creative in its own way, but it has also made me realize that creativity goes into everything I do – even in tasks like house keeping, gardening, and cooking. And it has enabled me to explore and rediscover things like knitting and sewing. I am no longer obsessing over my art, whether it is likable (or sellable) enough, or whether I produce enough. Instead I am just enjoying the process. It has been quite liberating.

And I am accomplishing things! I just finished Margaret's magnolia, a piece commissioned by a friend as a wedding gift for friends of hers. The magnolia eco prints where made with leaves from a tree growing by the bride's childhood home. I completed a functional quilt (although small...). It is made from indigo dye samples, and backed with soft flannel. And yesterday I finally started on my first tree series quilt. So life here is good, in so many creative ways.

Monday, March 4, 2013

shadow play

Making images using sunshine as a catalyst is just fascinating. True to form I am stumbling along learning as I go, after ordering some inks from Lumi. None of my first attempts were stellar, but I am slowly grasping the idea. I am already thinking about how this could be tweaked and improved to fit in with my esthetics and color preferences. I am not one to go the straight and narrow route.

One of my concerns about the inkodye is the chemical make up of the dye. Lumi is straight forward on its website, claiming that these inks are not free of toxins but still rather benign in the big scope of things. Anyhow, playing with these dyes will most likely be just play, and not something I would do seriously for extensive production.

While working on the correct ink coverage and exposure times I also discovered some true light and shadow play in my back yard. Almost as intriguing, I think.

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