Tag Archives: creative process

Florida Knitting

Truthfully, it was more airplane knitting than Florida knitting. And when you’re using size 0 needles it doesn’t look like much, but the socks and an audio book on my iPhone were enough to while away some time on a completely full airplane populated mostly by families with young children. The kids were mostly (and thankfully) quite well-behaved and some even managed to nap while clutching various Disney plush toys. Too bad their exhausted looking parents couldn’t do the same.

The knitting is a pair of slip stitch heel basic socks from Wendy D. Johnson’s  book Socks From the Toe Up with a few minor alterations. I have somewhat narrow feet and, despite switching to size 0 needles, the socks I’ve made so far tend to be just a hair looser than I’d like. So I thought I’d experiment with these and reduce the total number of stitches from 66 to 58 stitches. Hopefully, I’ve reworked all the stitch counts everywhere in the correct proportions, especially the gusset, heel and heel flap. I’m not a fan of wrap and turns and was tempted to go with the Fish Lips Kiss Heel. Short rows are useful things, though, and there’s a part of me that would really like to master the beasts.

Easy Socks

The yarn is Regia Design Line in the Garden Effects color way. It’s 75% super wash wool and 25% polyamide. I purchased the yarn online and thought I was buying self-striping yarn. The site showed the yarn but no swatch. It’s definitely not self-striping in the way I was thinking it ought to be, but it’s still very pretty and I like the feel of the yarn.

The trip to Florida was a too-short getaway to visit friends in New Smyrna Beach, which is about an hour and a half drive from the Orlando airport. The visitors bureau there claims that they are “consistently voted one of the ‘Best Beaches.’” I can believe it. It was beautiful. The site also says that New Smyrna Beach is the second oldest city in Florida. Who knew? One thing that surprised me though was the number of surfers. I had no idea that the area is also a popular spot for surfing.

The surfers were farther out than the kit lens on my Canon could capture, but you get some sense of what the waves were like that day.

New Smyrna Surfers
The natives were not at all interested in the surfers.

New Smyrna Natives
shore birdsI didn’t spend much time among the shops on the recently renovated Flagler Avenue and Canal Street areas. But I did spend a few delightful hours on the water. My friends Pat and Jeannine are the captain and crew of the Schooner Ondine. Ondine is a Thomas Colvin gazelle design. Nope, I don’t know exactly what that means but I enjoyed the heck out of it. Pat and Jeannine charter both day and night cruises on Ondine and are absolutely worth a lookup if you’re planning to be down that way. I’m already looking forward to going back.

Sailing Ondine
Parting shot: Sunrise on the beach.

New Smyrna Sunrise

Disappearing Hourglass—Take Two

A few months ago I watched one of the Missouri Star Quilt Company  tutorials by Jenny Doan. I found myself fascinated by the technique Jenny demonstrated and decided I needed to give it a try. A week or two later I dug out a bundle of ½ yard cuts I’d picked up at Quilt Odyssey the year before and started cutting.

Of course, before cutting I pulled up the video and watched it again—just to make sure I remembered the way things were supposed to work. Here, have a look . . .

Pretty cool, huh?

I cut 10-inch squares from the ½ yard pieces, stacked, sewed the perimeters, and cut again.

Quilt block

So far, so good. Then I did the magic cuts and turns.

quilt block

Looks pretty good, I thought. Here’s a closer view of another set.

quilt block

quilt block

I made several more.

quilt block

Notice anything yet?

Did you watch the video?

I didn’t turn the middle 4 patch. I liked the blocks as they were and since I’d already made, I dunno, about half a dozen finished blocks AND had about that many partially completed I had a decision to make. It wasn’t difficult. As awesome as Jenny’s original blocks were I was not unsewing the ones I’d made.

So, there you have it. Disappearing Hourglass Blocks—Take Two.

(Do check out all of Jenny Doan’s tutorials as well as the shop’s website. Nope, no affiliation, but I have ordered from them and been pleased with their service.)


August Break: Days 21, 22, and 23

Yes, three at once.

And I’m pleased to say that the infamous week before the semester starts is over. Next week will be the equally infamous first week of classes.

Since these three photos are actually a series it works out. The photo prompt for the 21st was “Treasures.” Mostly I’ve been doing my own thing for the August Break but this one caught my fancy. I considered the myriad directions that the interpretation of “Treasures” could take. Loved ones are treasures. Grace moments are treasures. Discovering a sphinx moth in the garden is a treasure. On and on went my internal dialog.

Then I remembered my bowl. I hadn’t paid attention to it in a very long time. Suddenly I had a need to take it off its shelf and dust off the contents. The bowl itself is lovely—a piece of pottery I picked up years ago at some local event. Even more important, though, was how I put it to use. I’d read a book by Sue Bender called Everyday Sacred that retells a story of a Begging Bowl, presumably something that might be carried out into the world by a monk. Whatever was put into the bowl would suffice for the monk’s needs that day.

For whatever reason at the time, this idea lodged in my brain and I fancied (do you see a trend?) that the needs of a day could mean all manner of things from physical to spiritual. I decided then that it could be a good exercise in mindfulness (although I don’t think I called it that) and told myself I would pay more attention to things around me. More specifically, I would be more observant and appreciative of the natural world. What was I seeing when I went for walks along the field or in the woods? Occasionally, as I rambled about, I’d find some small thing to pick up and carry home. Once home I placed these treasures in the bowl. This was my begging bowl, of a sort, but I was the one filling it.

And, now, many years later, I’ve rediscovered the bowl and its contents, duly dusted, sorted, and catalogued.

Favorite grains
Favorite grains
Tree stuff
Things from trees
Earthy things
Earthy things

The fabric propping up the bowl in the first two images is actually a collection of quilt tops patiently waiting to be quilted. (Doesn’t that sound nicer that UFOs?)