Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Shapeshifter Mountain

Every year Tennessee’s winter palette amazes me. Recently I’ve been out and about a lot, up and down the mountain. From the valley, the blue violet plateau provides a dichroic backdrop for the glowing straw and green pear colored fields. Red ochre earth radiates through black plum cotton stalks, mint and sage lichens illuminate bare taupe and mauve groves. Here on the mountain the landscape changes with the weather. A wet Sewanee is completely different from a dry Sewanee. Lifting fog magically sweeps it’s lavender brush over peach, mint and mauve luminescences before the sun returns to paint the very same objects russet and blue. Under a leaden sky awaiting the pink promise of snow, tan leaves dim to deep raisin surrounding almost black oak trunks, dark and brooding. They aren’t this color any other time. When the sun hides behind a passing cloud, taupe trunks pale to confederate grey, silver fleeces spun by hand, the yarns knit in richly textured cable stitches. Greens are everpresent, in moss, laurels, hemlocks and stream soaked algae.

Hope you enjoy these "color tiles" of this magnificent mountain.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Time for a Face Lift

It's time for a face lift on the old blog. Tired of same old, same old. Please pardon the construction. 

Thursday, January 22, 2009

I just posted three pairs of my handknitted cuffs for sale on Etsy. Many of you may know that this is a very rare occurrence. I almost never sell my handknits, but I'm making an exception right now because I've had such a great time knitting these cuffs that I want to knit more. The Moonflower cuffs are definitely art to wear. I won't be writing a pattern for this design. It's my own. The Star Flower Cuffs are also available in pattern form for those who want to knit them, but I thought I'd make them available for those who don't knit, since I've had requests for my gloves and wristers in the past. One pair is in cushy chunkyweight two ply handspun, the other in chic and lively active twist (see how the petals curl back like real flower petals?). These are all spun and knit by my own hand, with an enclosed card including handwritten description and signed by the artist. All the fiber comes from my own line. I'm really stoked about these beautiful cuffs, their beauty, each with their unique hand, all of them soft, all of them made with my noteworthy attention to finishing detail.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

More Alice

More Alice

posted 1 day ago (Monday, January 12) by Sheepishgranny

"You are old, Father William, the young man said 

and your hair has become very white 
And yet you incessantly knit in your bed. 

In fact you are knitting all night.

In my youth, Father William replied to his son, 

I had nothing to keep my hands busy. 
But now that I knit, I create and have fun. 

Without it, I’d surely feel dizzy."

posted less than a minute ago, edited less than a minute ago by Lizzydoone

more Father William……

“You are old,” said the youth, “one would hardly suppose

that your body was as steady as ever.

Yet you balance a needle on the end of your nose.

What made you so awfully clever?”

“I have knit since my childhood and crocheted as well

my hands have held wool in all weather.

What’s more I write patterns and edit to sell

And it’s kept my mind glued to it’s tether.”

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Call Alice


The following is a thread from our Twisted Friends Group on Ravelry. It’s too good not to share, so here goes.

 All of this started when Jane was overjoyed at having procured a reservation for lodging at Harrisville for my annual workshop this August. She expressed her joy at solving the problem of too many stairs by quoting (with a twist) from Jabberwocky, out of  Alice’s Adventures Through the Looking Glass:


“And, has thou slain the Jabberwock?

Come to my arms, my beamish boy!

O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!

She chortled in her joy”.


As a long time fan of Lewis Carroll, I took the bait:

posted 3 days ago (Wednesday, January 7) reply to Sheepishgranny's post #21


“Oh, frabjous day indeed!!! Callooh, callay!

Gonna see you again,

Come an August day!

We’ll meet, we’ll greet on level ground,

A whole new experience to be found.”


Ah! A fish on the line! Jane replied:

 posted 2 days ago (Thursday, January 8) reply to lizzydoone's post #22

“Twas brillig, and the slithy toves

Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;

All mimsy were the spinners wheels,

And the knitting raths outgrabe.


Guess what I did?

 reply to Sheepishgranny's post #23


“How doth the little crocodile

Improve his shining tail?

He knits the waters of the Nile

Into each golden scale.


How cheerfully he seems to grin

With needles in his claws

And pulls each length of yarn along

With gently smiling jaws.


Now thoroughly warmed up and well oiled, Jane replied:

 posted 1 day ago (Friday, January 9) reply to lizzydoone's post #24


Awesome, Lynne… This is fun


“The Walrus and the Carpenter

Were stepping out a piece;

They wept like anything to see

Such quantities of fleece.

‘If this were ours, we wouldn’t care,

We’d spin it in the grease.’


‘If seven maids with seven wheels

Spun it for half a year,

Do you suppose,’ the Walrus said,

‘That they could get it clear?’

‘I doubt it,’ said the Carpenter,

And shed a bitter tear.


Wow! Hard act to follow. And yet…

 posted 1 day ago (Friday, January 9) reply to Sheepishgranny's post #25


“Twinkle, twinkle, mystery batt,

I won you from a door prize hat.


I wonder what with you to ply.

Will you felt? Will I cry?


If so above the world you’ll fly,

Like a tea tray in the sky.”


Volley received and returned:

posted about 9 hours ago, edited about 9 hours ago, reply to lizzydoone's post #26


“Tweedledum and Tweedledee

Were knitting up a storm.

The snows were mounting ‘gainst the house

And they wanted to be warm.


Tweedledum said Tweedledee

Had swiped his nice new needles…

So furiously did they battle then;

T’was the end of the two Tweedles…”


And probably of their needles………..


 With this last volley I take the playing field to my blog where more can enjoy this wordy feast, and maybe even join the game.

 posted less than a minute ago,  reply to Sheepishgranny's post #27


“Speak roughly to your allergies

and beat them when they sneezes

They only does it to annoy

Because they knows it teases.


Alpaca, cashmere, goats ahoy!

They all gives me the wheezes.

But I can thoroughly enjoy

the silk worm when it pleases.


And even so I love to toy

With Blue-Faced Leicester fleeces.”

The Dragon Wins Again

Every year I tack on an addendum to my list of New Year's resolutions. "Try not to accumulate more stuff." It should really be at the top of the list but it always takes second, third, tenth place to other worthy self made promises. Notice the wording.  "Try." Only a woos would chose this term. More forceful terms are necessary, such as: "Do Not Accumulate More Stuff." or better yet: "Accumulate more stuff on pain of death." And I don't mean just yarn. Or fiber. If our entire collection of coffee mugs is clean it doesn't fit in the narrow cupboard reserved for java jugs. And that's a narrow space for a reason. Give me room and I'll fill it.

So last Monday, armed with the addendum resolution which is teetering on top of a tall stack of other well-intentioned goals, I toddled off to Huntsville, Al for a monthly Cost Co buying frenzy. Know that the small University town where I live lies miles from urban civilization. It takes an hour in every direction to break out of the prison of Walmart and Mackos. The closest Cost Co is in Huntsville, 49 miles on winding rural Tennessee and Alabama backroads. The nearest Starbucks is in Manchester, a 20 minute drive in the opposite direction towards Nashville on the Interstate. I rarely go there, as in "how rarely do you buy salt" rarely. So when I found myself wandering into a Starbucks in Huntsville to fortify my brain cells for the Cost Co adventure, the sleeping dragon in charge of amassing and safeguarding my stash suddenly awakened. As anyone who has ever read the Hobbit knows, dragons are serious about their stuff and being born in the Chinese year of the Dragon, I'm doomed to allied with the great lizard. Add the fact that I have five planets in Taurus, including the Sun and Venus, ruling planet of the MOST acquisitive zodiac sign and you can see that the deck is massively stacked against this puny addendum resolution, which trembles precariously towards a precipitous fall like Yertle the Turtle balancing on a stack of 100 of his closest friends. 

But I'm stubborn and I say to myself, "NO MORE MUGS." Ha! I gather myself into my psychic girdle. I feel invincible. I stride to the counter to order my latte. But wait! What's that on the shelf? A tasteful grouping of white mugs. Pah! White mugs have to be more than good to catch my eye. But, no. This mug is embossed with cables and ribs. 


How often do all the stash monsters conspire to provide the complete compendium of stash worthy items in a single object? The stack of resolutions crumples like an outmoded Las Vegas hotel upon detonation. The clerk looked at me strangely. How could he know that the reason I looked so blown away wasn't from a serious need for caffiene, but because I had just lost a battle with a dragon and that there was a horrible mess to clean up in my inner landscape?

BTW, notice that the knitting on this lovely mug is worked from the top down. I wonder if the mug designer noticed.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Star Flower Cuffs

I am totally in love with these easy to knit cuffs, inspired by my Starry Nite Scarf. You can find the pattern for sale at my Etsy Store.  I'm wearing them when I spin, knit, write at the computer. They never get in the way, never restrict my movement. And they are so quick to knit. Using less than 100 yards of yarn, you can find many yarns ready and waiting in your stash. This pattern has instructions for both versions shown here, one in heavy worsted weight and one in sport weight handspun. I used two colorways of LV ltd for Three Waters Farm Blue-faced Leicester fiber to spin the worsted weight yarn; "Lounge Lizard" and "African Sunset", one ply each plied together into a two ply handspun. For the sport weight cuffs I used the same fiber in the "Delphiniums" colorway.