Sunday, December 30, 2012

New Year's Resolution Gone Awry

  For years now the sea shanty group I sing with has performed at Rockport's New Years Eve celebration. It was a particularly frigid night and as I headed out I remembered  my resolution to take better care of my skin. I am not fond of comercial preparations so there was no long standing go to product available. In the refrigerator was a bottle of some kind of oil to put on my cats' food which promised better fur in return for remembering to use it. I put several drops in my hands and applied it to my face. A few more drops for my hair and I was good to go.
    I am standing next to Alexander during our performance when he leans over between songs and whispers, "I wish I knew who brought the fish". It took a bit of thinking to realize it was me.
  Fish oil, good for the insides but not a good  choice for the outsides.
Blog On!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Spinning for Peace

 Long before I learned to spin I was mesmerized at fiber festivals when I saw someone at a spinning wheel. Perhaps it was the hypnotic combination of smooth repetitive movements, shifting color and the fact that right before my eyes fluff become yarn. Once I learned to spin I remembered the same feeling from my pottery class with John Semple in the mid 1960's at Thayer Academy. There are so few times when you experience the feeling of a material being transformed right in your fingers through movment: lump of clay on a potters wheel  becomes a bowl, wispy wool on a spinning wheel in now yarn. I found it so calming that I wanted to share the experience. So I started spinning publicly.
 A few days ago I realized a goal of spinning at the Kaplan House, a twenty bed hospice facility in Danvers, MA. I took the volunteer course this past Fall which helped me understand the fullness of where I was. I set up in a beautiful sitting area and spun for about two hours. I brought a basket filled with soft colored roving for a pleasing visual rest stop. I talked to staff and visitors who were curious and will be back next week.
Blog On!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Jean and I Make a Scarf

   I now understand how someone can spin wool just for the sake of spinning. You don't need a project in mind to motivate a session of sitting at your wheel. So I found myself with a fair amount of yarn when I met Jean, a weaver for five years,  at a dance at the Lanesville Community Center. Here is the scarf, brought to me today by Jean. Now I am psyched to spin more and pass it on to Jean for more projects!
We hope to donate it to the center for a fundraiser. 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

A Soap Hammock

  This is the time in my life where I have made room to identify and delete the little things that bug me.
 You are washing your hands and drip water when picking the soap up from the dish and again when replacing it. In twenty minutes of crocheting I made this soap hammock that holds the soap out of the way INSIDE the sink where it can drip to it's heart 's content. Made out of jute, (If memory serves what that unmarked cone was.) it can be machine washed when necessary.
Blog On!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Now That's What I Want!"

 My "fieneighbor" (friend + neighbor, not that you didn't figure it out), Sue, always gives me a heads up when the Gloucester Temple has their musical shabbat services. She alluded to this week's Friday  night service as being special. The guest was running late due to traffic. The service was going along as usual: wonderful music and community spirit. Enter Joshua Nelson.
   He bills himself as the "Prince of Kosher Gospel" and if you can picture yourself going to central casting to fulfill that character you are right on target. There were  a few moments spent setting up his keyboard and getting him and his singing partner set up. And then he opens his mouth and out comes a voice that truly almost knocked me out of my seat! It was not just the greatness of the sound but also the complete release of what he had within him backed with the power of knowing who he is and his surity behind that knowledge. I want that.
   It has taken me to now to fully understand the cost of growing up in a critical environment. Since my main goal for this time of my life is to rewire my emotional responses I am taking time to feel when discomfort arises and follow it back to it's origins. So often I come to understand how that  life long response was built on the insecurity of adults around me.
 With that understanding comes the responsibility to update to a healthier attitude.
Blog On!

Monday, July 30, 2012

A Totally New Cable Needle Necklace

   I was standing in the shower thinking what I could make to send to Linda at Sunset Fibers for prizes for her Spin-a-long. My best ideas come to me at such moments. I think that if I had the time and enough hot water I could figure out a way to realize world peace. This new idea allows the two different sized needles to hang until needed when they can then slip through the tubing and are easy to use. These needles are size 0 and 2 and are in two different metals (sterling and bronze) and shapes to be easily differentiated. Also, only the straight on can pass through the tube making it secure.  I am already thinking of variations on this idea.
Blog On!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Summer List

  One minute it is Memorial Day and the Summer stretches beyond the horizons of the mind. Blink and, poof, it is Labor Day. What happened?! More importantly, what didn't happen? Determined to make the outcome for this year a new trend, I enlisted my "friebor" (friend + neighbor) Sue to make a list of all the things we wished to do together this Summer.  I loved the idea of sharing my favorite Summer rituals with Sue who along with her family is a recent transplant from DC.  We started emailing a list back and forth adding to it as we went. here is the list so far: 
1. Send this email
2. Picnic at Good harbor after 5:00 PM
3. Walk in Dogtown
4. Crafts
a. card making
b. crochet (trust me)
5. Meet downtown Gloucester at the sandwich shop on your way back from work.
6. Run a marathon
7. photo on Bearskin Neck
8. watching the sun rise at Good Harbor Beach
9. eating lasagna Robyn's lasagna with Robyn
10. Watching for falling stars
I threw #6 in just to see if she really read the list.
  Last night we decided to  drive the turn-a-round at the end of Bearskin Neck. At the end was a member of The Gloucester Area Astronomy Club with an impressive telescope who generously offered us a view of Saturn. I can not explain the feeling of seeing that live image so familiarized from a lifetime of pictures of it in books. And so begins another list,  Unplanned High Points of the Summer.
 Blog On!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Finally a Valid Reason for an Exercise Bicycle

  At the recent New Hampshire Sheep and Wool Show I was across from the great folks of woolambia who had this genius idea for taking an old exercise bike and rigging it to spin fiber while you pedal.
Blog and pedal on!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Marlborow Man Explains Cattle 101

 I love Ree's Frontier Woman blog. She is the best example of "bloom where you are planted". You could get lost in her blog in the best possible meaning of that term. But on this posting her husband, "The Marlboro  Man" explains the business of cattle. It is a powerful, honest and informative explanation of cattle ranching. Please stop reading me and go read him.
Blog On!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Another Good Harbor Low Tide View

This was taken in the morning but I prefer real early or real late day lighting.
                                                       Blog On!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Low Tide Silhouette

For her first walk on Good Harbor beach, Sue was treated to the endlessness of a low tide beach with a unblemished sky (if one can call a cloud a blemish) and more than a hint of warmth.  Did I mention that this was mid March?  Being a faux summer day we had to have ice cream so we went to the drive through  at McDonalds for the 49 cent ice cream cone. We went through three times.
 Blog On!

Monday, March 12, 2012

North Shore Yarn Crawl March 15th-18th

 Shown are "Stitch Chasers" for taming that dropped stitch. They may also be used as orifice  hooks
by spinners. I will be making a wide assortment of things during The North Shore Yarn Crawl at Coveted Yarns in Gloucester. I am pleased to be sharing space with Heather Spellman who produces yarns and fiber in riotous color combinations.
 A special thank you to Courtney from the Seed Stitch for making this happen again!
Blog On!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Jon Wind, December 20, 1956- March 4, 2008

 Four years today.  You steel yourself for the expected loss of a mother or father but not for a younger sibling.  It was a huge disconnect between what I had envisioned/hoped for and what came to be. It made me know at a ground zero level the difference of the power of now and the piss poor  power of someday. Even if someday is tomorrow.
  So much of the betterment of my life today is due to my rethinking my life juxtaposed to the loss of Jon. Gone was the option of those years of building a healthier relationship. But my own options were viable and supercharged with my new perspective. I began making change after change like someone who discovers they have a superpower, at first with extreme caution and then with a growing boldness as I saw the happier results and learned to trust myself.  Doing things perfectly mattered less than the fact that I did it. And "did" always wins over "might do".
 Miss your Jon.
Blog On!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Cable Needle Rings?

Sterling Cable Needle Rings

 OK, NOT for wear for cocktail parties.  You probably just want to save them to wear while knitting socks or other small projects. These adjustable ring/tools are about a needle size 2.
 As I am still mulling over the final design they are not on my website yet.
Blog On!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Makin' the Fiber Scene at Slater Mill

Tomorrow I get to spend the day at Slater Mill where they host the kind of fiber events that can only be enjoyed at an historic textile mill. This photo, from a similar knitting event there shows my friend and fellow teacher, RoseAnn Hunter, teaching a rugs from fabric workshop. I will be showing my work and teaching mini one-on-one shawl pin workshops, my favorite MO.
Blog On!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Wow, Did You See The Knits On That Girl

   I have always loved Broadway shows. I am also a huge fan of the TV show Glee. So when I heard about the upcoming new TV show, "Smash", I was determined to watch it and positive I would love it. Just like Indian food on Cape Ann, there is so little of it around that I enjoy with gusto even mediocre fare. But what I did not expect was the knitting fashions which  were special in their design and color choice. Within the first few minutes of the show(easily watched online),  Debra Messing's character,  Julia Houston wears a fabulous froth of a scarf that makes me wonder if she will ignite a whole new flurry of knitters. So Monday night at 10.00 on NBC tune in to see the knits and hear the music. After only one episode it is too early to judge the plot.
Blog On!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

I Can Spin!

It is a guess on my part that I do not need to clarify that I am speaking of wool and not exercise. I have had a wheel for a few years but never made the time to really focus on learning how. My staccato efforts proved more frustrating than fruitful. So it was that I found myself at the MA Sheep and Wool Show with my wheel and a promise to myself to spin. Saturday evening I brought down my wheel to the screened in porch of the bed and breakfast. The sun was setting and chipmunks were shuttling about the yard. i had finished up the last of the fiber I had brought with me and took out a baggie passed to me that morning by Carole from Foster Farm. Not having much experience with different fibers I pulled out some fiber and tentatively started spinning. For whatever reason I felt like I could enroll in the spinning Olympics and win! I wanted to call her and make sure I had more than the baggie's contents to keep the magic going. Judiciously I waited until next morning. I can't explain how the texture of the crimp when drafted  felt so fulfilling. Add to that the shift of the color as it stretched and twisted in the process. Once home I quickly found online sources for all things spinning. I found The Knitters, Spinners, Weavers House Cleaning pages to be a good source for used spinning wheels. Going to the fiber festivals I was able to bring home my weight in roving.
 This is the first creative pursuit where I allowed myself a learning curve without castigation. Just the doing which I found calming in itself was enough. That the resulting yarn was imperfect was of little matter. No joke, I carried balls of my new yarn and showed it to cashiers in the supermarket or anyone who stood still long enough.
 Since then my spinner's trance continues with no slacking in sight.
Blog On!