snow or not to snow

Last night is was supposed to snow — it didn’t, but here are some pictures from last week, Feb 24 when the snow was supposed to miss us.

7″ of heavy wet snow the kind that breaks branches

as it weighs them down

it looks beautiful but it is wet and slippery making  driving difficult

everything looks magical and pristine

Meva’s favorite weather – she fights with the shovel as we try to clear  the snow off our drive. she just can’t understand why we want to get rid of it.

then she will give up and stop biting at the snow shovel when she can see she can’t stop us. and sits quite regally in the bank of snow we cleared.

All this means I can sit inside and

play with some snowy goodness that arrived in the mail.  It is wonderful springy, light, wonderful soft goodness. not heavy and wet like the other arrival.

I sit and knit this gentle, airy  light fiber – it grows under my fingers

soon it doesn’t fit into my bag any more. sure when I first got it the 2 skeins fit with a little room left over. but as I knit it seems to expand.

I move it into a basket and it quickly overflows out of that too. here  is one skein is almost completely knit up. I have to dig out a new basket for it to sit in when I am not knitting.

which means Petunia will have to move. Possums are a bit cranky when they are woke up and Petunia seems to think she can nap under my knitting when I am not working on it. However at the rate this thing is growing I don’t think there will be any room for her soon.  Of course this wrap seems to have a mind of its own and at the rate this yarn is expanding maybe I should leave Petunia alone and find a much bigger basket or bag for my project to rest when I am not working.

How does something so small ^ expand into something v so large?

Todays forecast has been changed and we are supposed to get rain……which means I will be stuck inside knitting ; .

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whatzit

 

 

a frozen cactus?

Meva’s tail frozen mid-wag?

furrows in a recently plowed field as seen from space?

no wait  a worm casing blown up a 1000 x

 

 

no its just the frozen eagle that flies over our deck. we bought him at the Okauchee flea market 2 years ago. I really wanted the carved wood duck decoy but by the time I brought my husband over to look at it -it was gone. no matter though I love this guy.

in fact I think I kind of look like him

 

 

I need to start smiling more ;>

 

Pictures from last week frozt on feb22.

Looming Consequences

If you know me you know that I love word play-my blog title today sounds mysterious or like doom is lurking just around the corner. But there are no booby traps today…..this is just a play on words and a heads up to my daughter that this is what I think she should call the social club gathering. So this Monday is going to be a weaving night with a guest fiber artist!!!

Okay now do you get it… looming…weaving. Alright maybe this is too corny but you knew when I posted the painful booby trap*  that I love a good play on words.

So my daughter Alice and her husband Michael host the Monday night Social Club down in Memphis. Five in One – Memphis

Alice and Michael are the artists/owners behind  VINI. There is always something fun going on in their studios and Monday nights they open up an area for everyone to work with different media.

You get to meet lots of people and create with some unusual materials or sometimes common things used in a unique way. There are no prerequisites – you don’t need to be an artist- you just need to be willing to have fun and try your hand at something new. 

Its fun to see an idea change and evolve as it moves around the table.

And remember this isn’t school there isn’t a nun waiting to crack your knuckles if you decide you want to color outside the line. I have a feeling in this group you will be cheered on.

It isn’t even necessary to work on the project for that night maybe you have another idea that has been percolating in your brain for a while and just want to show it and talk about it.

Thats cool!!

Maybe you are even looking for a solution for a dilemma that haunts you and won’t let you finish your project. This is definately the place to find someone you can bounce an idea or two (or even three) off of.

Maybe you are the quiet type.

It isn’t even necessary to talk if you don’t want.

So if you are the type of person who always sees the glass as half full**

…..or what the heck even if you are the type whose glass is half empty

go to VINI Five in One – Memphis for a night of mad cap fun and ideas.***

*{come on Alice where is the boob key chain pattern :>} peeps are asking}

**Michael when I come visit– you have to do another glassblast night (pretty please- I promise to make and bring chocolate chip cookies if you do)

***tell Alice Mom sent you ;>{actually you don’t need an invitation or a password to go I just thought it would be fun if people said ‘hi your mom sent me to play with you’}

darn it all

Remember saying “darn it all” when you were a kid  or maybe “gad darn it” for something really bad. Yeah we were really cute and quaint back in the 50’s and 60’s. And we dressed like old reruns of Mayberry – little boys had haircuts like Opie and little girls wore puffy dresses with smocking across the top. Well no more our kids wear sweat shirts and jeans from walmart. Our little girls don’t wear frilly handmade dresses either. And why do I think that this deserves an entry on my blog. Well I have been thinking about this because of a mystery story I just finished. The book is The Fifth Woman by Henning Mankell. In the book a police detective is having dinner with his adult daughter. She guestioned why it was so difficult to live in Sweden these days. And  Wallander’s reply is “sometimes I think it’s because we have stopped darning our socks”

he continues to explain that we have turned into a throw away society. It started with our clothing and “then it started to spread, until it became a kind of invisible but ever-present moral code.” Reading this startled me-I have never heard it put this way- in such simple terms. But it made me pause and reread the passage. I was born in 1955 and as I grew up there was always a basket next to my mother’s chair in the family room. While she helped us with our homework or we watched Bonaza or World of Disney on TV she would pick up a sock that had a hole in its toe and darn it. Or patch a pair of pants that had a blown out knee. Pants with patches were reserved for playing or for working in the yard with my father. They wouldn’t be worn to school or church.  Clothes were passed down through the family -my older brother and sister had new clothing and we had their hand me downs. In the late 60’s and 70’s patched jeans became fashionable. Wearing a jacket or sweater that had belonged to an older relative was cool. In the 70’s and 80’s I made a lot of my children’s clothes and they even wore hand me downs. But some where along the way it changed- I am not sure when – probable they were teenagers. Clothing was cheaper but not made as well….so you didn’t patch it -after all you could run out and buy a bag of 6 tube socks for practically nothing. And who would want to wear a darned pair of socks any how the patch would rub inside your shoe if it wasn’t done well.

I actually subscribe to a blog where the writer has taken  darning and turned it into an art form. If you don’t believe me click on  A vintage cardigan repaired with vintage wool « tomofholland  Scroll through Tom’s blog and you will find that his visible mending is wonderful. He revives clothing and it is worn as if it is from the finest shop. Also one of my favorite knitting writers Kate Davis, who writes some of the best textile history and designs beautiful knitwear, has written on the lost art of darning in her blog worn | needled

I just reread The Fifth Woman  and marked the passage about darning, it is smack dab in the middle of the book.Kurt Wallander says to his daughter “When I was growing up, Sweden was still a country where people darned their socks. I even learned how to do it in school myself. Then one day it was over. Socks with holes were thrown out. No one bothered to repair them anymore. The whole society changed. ‘wear it and toss it’ was the only  rule that really applied to everybody. I guess there were some people who kept darning their socks. But they were never seen or heard from. As long as it was just a matter of our socks, the change didn’t make much difference. But then it started to spread, until finally it became a kind of invisible but ever present moral code. I think it changed our view of right and wrong, what you were allowed to do to other people and what you weren’t. More and more people, especially young people like you, feel unneeded or even unwelcome in their own country. How do they react? With aggression and contempt. The most frightening thing is that I think we are at the beginning of something that’s going to get a lot worse. A generation is growing up right now, the kids who are younger than you, who are going to react with even greater violence. And they have absolutely no memory of a time when we darned our socks. When we didn’t throw away anything, whether it was our woolen socks or human beings”

Wow, thats a lot to think about. And yes Kurt Wallender the detective in the book is reeling from the death(natural) of his father and  also the case that his squad is working on- but still this does make you think. And I think there is a kernal there. I think in many ways we have become a throw away society and at times we don’t value the person right next to us. (If you watch police shows and movies the violence is overwhelming – if you watch too much you become immune to the impact. Because I live in a rural area I sometimes thing I have become too insulated from ‘real life’. ) This has become a long post -very wordy-there are signs that  the pendulum may be swinging back  there is a resurgence of people who appreciate handmade and are willing to pay for it because quality last longer. And there are a lot of people knitting and sewing again and carefully crafting to wrap their loved ones in stitches they create themselves. I remember telling my children how many stitches were in  sweaters I knit for them and telling them that I thought of them with every stitch I made. I liked to think that as I bundled them into a scarf and mittens that they had an invisible mommy shield around them that would protect them all day. And sometimes when they were sick I would put the special quilt my mother made on the bed. I like to think that as I read in groups like ravelry that there are a lot of men and women just like me that don’t want to live in a disposable society and want more carefully craft their own clothes and they appreciate the time and effort put into that. And perhaps as Henning Mankill suggests we also value other people more, we become a more caring community instead of individuals just out for ourselves.

so my mission this week is to gather up a few things that need mending and to mend them. not everything is hand made…..such as the first picture of the nylon socks. they were kind of a silly purchase. They are extremely long over the knee socks meant for fashionable teens. But they reminded me of the socks we wore in junior high, the ones worn with garter straps cause we weren’t to wear panty hose and knee socks were for little girls in elementary school. Once I worn these I realized these were perfect for that in between weather we are getting this year in the midwest…cold but not cold by our standards. Not cold enough for woolies(lined flannel pants) or legwarmers  but not warm enough for regular socks. These are cheap but I really like them so I will try my hand at darning them. 

and then there is this –bad puppy has worried a little hole in the drapes. These are 4 matching panels. Some time during the night Meva tore a small crescent moon shape. Not the end of the world as only a sliver of light wanders into the room in the morning and the room stays pretty dark for us to sleep in. Or rather one of us to sleep in as bad puppy like to wake up early and go outside- where after a half hour of exploring she lies down and takes a morning nap until the rest of us are ready to go for a walk.

so it seems that I have found a few things to patch ..I hope to update soon to let you know how the whole(hole) darn thing works.

Booby trap–very immature content

So I am at it again. It seems that when ever I make a toy I need to make a mini. I mean minis are so cute. The boob pillow really isn’t a toy it is more of a whimsie. And I know I said that I wrote down the pattern so Alice could make it for  herself. But then I found myself rooting through leftover yarn and thinking about how I could alter the pillow pattern and make the pattern so that I didn’t have to sew it up and a mini was the perfect way to test my ideas. And then my strange sense of humor took over and the booby trap was born.

And of course because I am a little weird I think this is the perfect little present.

I mean who among us doesn’t have a friend that would appreciate this subtle reminder to get her mammogram.Or maybe you just like the metaphor – life is full of mini booby traps just waiting to trip you up. But you will have to make your own and maybe I will even write this up if there seems to be enough interest but not tonight  cause I am too tired.

I’m a boob

So I abandoned my regular knitting for some extreme silliness. Really? Sillier than toys?  Yup –  you bet.

It started as a regular day that quickly went down hill. You know that feeling that something isn’t quite right but you can’t put your finger on what? Don’t you hate when that happens?

Well that’s how my best friend was feeling. So a phone call was made and things were readied and a trip was made to the ER. Upon arriving wires were attached and questions were asked and blood was drawn. By this time, after all this attention, you feel better. Now you keep saying you feel foolish and silly, and maybe you’re just a big baby for making everyone go to this trouble. But you know how it is, once you start these wheels in motion, everything has to be checked. You are tethered to this bed and they aren’t going to untie all the bonds and let you go until they are good and ready.

An afternoon quickly turns into an overnight stay and suddenly what seemed a silly thing takes on more importance that only grows with each passing day. And all through this, the bff is still insisting that they are a baby and an idiot- new roadblocks are being set up every day preventing escape from this bed.

On day 3 of the saga I awake from a dream in which I knit a silly, giant boob! On the back I stitched a message: YOU ARE NOT A BOOB -THIS IS ! The silliness had to be made! Luckily for my friend, everyone was home before the knitting was completed and the booby pillow was given later. (Unlucky for the nurses who would have gotten a chuckle out of it!)

So all silliness aside–listen to your body and never feel like a silly boob — just get checked out. Febuary is women’s heart month and whether you are a woman or a man, you owe it to yourself and your family to listen to your body and take care of yourself and remember –you are only a boob if you don’t check it out !!!!

So after I catch up on my chores I am going to make some tea and get out my needles and cast on again because boobs usually come in pairs and this silly pillow is making me laugh a lot!

It is a simple pattern – basically it is a very large hat for the front and then a large flat circle for the back.  I used 2 skeins of a chunky light pink yarn from Cascade Yarns so it knit up very fast.

After my daughter told me her husband would really like a pillow like this I thought I would write the pattern so she could knit it herself. You can find it on my ravelry page as a free download here:

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/youre-not-a-boob-pillow

curses

The curse of the boyfriend sweater is replaced here by the curse of the uber warm mitten curse. The mittens are done and  overnight the thermometer has risen to a unseasonable warm 40*. And this is early yet I am sure it will get even warmer during the day. The snow is melting and the lake is puddling again. Curses!! Will my husband even be able to wear his mittens or has spring arrived early.Marty likes the idea that I have chased away the cold weather with my knitting so I am working on the first mitten I knit- the brown and green one. So that I don’t get bored with the second one I decided to knit it in the same pattern but from the top down. It felt a little clumsy last night as I knit it and I had to restart a couple of times – it still isn’t quite right. I am not happy with my increases in the color work but over all it looks good. You might have noticed I like to take pictures with my quilts in the background. These are quilts I rescued from St Vinnie’s. Unfinished tops that were tossed aside and never finished for some reason. This one is pretty old. Most of the material is  feed sacks. It is all stitched by hand. Whoever made it was very thrifty because in a few areas there wasn’t enough fabric to make those small squares so she sewed material together to make it big enough and then cut out the square.  The stitches are small and even. I imagined someone carefully sewing these together until it was big enough to make a quilt but for some reason interruped before they could finish. They had hoped that it would be on a special person’s bed to warm them at night and make them feel safe in a world where they knew they were loved and cared for. I used a cotton batt for this quilt because I felt cotton was apropreate for the age of the quilt and something a farmer’s wife might have. In my head I pictured an old fashioned woman sewing this in her spare time at night- an Auntie Em because the whole time I worked on this the line from Wizard of Oz kept running through my head-‘Toto I don’t think we are in Kansas anymore’. I was sad that some one abandoned this top but thrilled I found it And I hope Auntie Em would be happy that I am using it.

Its funny that a quilt evokes these images for me.

I think we have certain images associated with our crafts. And images of the people who create them. I don’t classify my knitting or sewing as art but there are those whose work I admire and consider art. I love them for their sense of color and the beauty of the stitchwork. This is why I read completely cauchy. Not only beautiful quilts, crochet and knitting but thought provoking reading and last week this blog managed to create quite a stir. And not for her current project -a quilt with squares contributed by many quilters. A sort of quilting bee you might say. And the quilts theme is F**k. Thats right – each square has that curse word in it. Some proclaim it loudly and bluntly. Some are quieter and it is almost hidden in the piecework. And others are embroidery cute and funny. Seeing it over and over in different context makes you think about the impact of the word and the different ways it is used.

But that wasn’t the quilt that shocked and angered some people. The quilt in question has a WORD quilted in white on a black background. A WORD not a swear word but a WORD that none the less makes me cringe when I hear it. I don’t use this WORD and hate when I hear it used even in a friendly manner because it is hurtful. People used to tell us when we were kids that sticks and stones may break your bones but names will never hurt you but we all know that isn’t true. I can’t imagine having this label attached to me or said about me. And although I hate this WORD worse than a curse word it doesn’t mean I should get angry or refuse to look at  Guest Post | Give a F*ck — whip up  because it featured this quilter. It means that as people we should look at words and the effect they have on us. And if it bothers us to view than maybe we should think about why and have that discussion. I can’t profess to know everything that Chawne felt when she worked on this piece but I don’t want to look away and ignore it. When I look at the photo I can feel the raw pain wrapped up in the very thing that so many of us sew to wrap our loved ones in. Imagine being wrapped and labeled and even though it might not be said out loud THIS WORD is how you are perceived. Now I will be the first to admit I am not a critic or some wonderfully smart person who knows it all but I think as a quilt this is a great piece and as art it has done its job well– it has made me question what I am uncomfortable about and think about society and maybe ways that I can make a difference and change.  I think it takes courage to share what is obviously a personal quilt made to ease the hurt of words and labels.

Now all of a sudden a quilt with the f**k word in it just seems silly doesn’t it. Actually reading my dribble seems kind of silly too.