Saturday, February 23, 2008

Living On The Edge

by Caroline

depart for vacation: 5am Sunday, 2/24

passport in hand: 6pm Friday, 2/22

shop for clothes: 8pm Saturday, 2/23

write blog: 11pm Saturday, 2/23

pack for trip: 12am Sunday, 2/24

I am a little insane at times.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Mi Job iz Eated my Brane

By Kathleen C...

First... thanks for the kind comments on DH's Valentine's bouquet. He earned major props from me for that gesture. The more so because, although he didn't realize it, the flowers are some of exactly the same kind as we had in the centerpieces at our wedding... exactly one and a half years ago that day.
He's got good instincts, that man has.

Now... about that post title...

I work as a Costume Designer/Shop Manager at a mid-sized university. Have worked in costumes since I graduated with my MFA in 1986 (1987 by the time my thesis was done). I love it. It's creative and exciting and rewarding. It uses both the analytical engineer part of my brain and the creative artist part of my brain. I love the designing and the teaching and the patterning and sewing and the color, texture and feel of costumes. I just love it.

And I usually get quite a reaction from people when I tell them my job. Much of it along the "You can make a living doing/They pay you for that?" vein.
I'm not criticizing that reaction... sometimes I ask myself that same question, amazed at my opportunity to do the work I love.

But it comes with it's downside. The big one being... the hours required as you get into tech and dress, before opening. You're at rehearsal until late and you come in early and you do this for almost a week and by the end of it... you're beat.
We opened our musical last night.
And I'm beat.

And I don't get a break because I'm designing costumes for our next production, the Spring dance concert. One piece of which is going to a competition early... so I'm trying to get the costumes done by this weekend.

So I'm going to be knitting simple things and sewing nothing for myself and writing very little intelligable stuff. With minimal grammar. And, apparently, no spell check.

I will leave you with a picture of my most recent FO... the last one you'll see for a couple of weeks. Maybe the last one *I'll* see for a couple of weeks?

Phiaro Scarf from Knitscene:
Closeup of dropped stitches...

Thursday, February 14, 2008

And the award goes to...

DH for the best husband in the world!

So, the guy walks in the door with the bouquet and all the students in my class go "Ooh, someone's got something pretty" and I say "Ha ha. He's probably got the wrong office". I figure they're not mine. I'm apparently not the kind of person who gets flowers. And I've never had Valentine's flowers before. Never. Ever.

I get teary. The students get teary. They said I made their Valentine's Day.

Well, I know who made mine...
Oh, now I'm crying again.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Random Eye Candy

By Kathleen

First off... I never win things anymore (I had an amazing lucky streak as a preteen, but not for years now).
But see what I won in a blog contest by Summerset ...

This fiber art postcard is made using fabrics and embellishments from one of her amazing art garment outfits (Midnight in the Garden). She embossed the velvet on the bottom and quilted the silk on top half, appliqued the silk flower at top, embroidered the cricket, and beaded the embossed flowers. Wow! It's so lovely! My photo definitely doesn't do it justice.

Thank you so much Summerset!

I'm a rock star, baby! Well, at least I feel a bit like one. I have a yarn colorway named after me!

A few years ago I was taught to knit socks by Christine, a local spinner/dyer/knitter. She also helped me pick out some yarns to make a sweater (I'll get to it someday) in my favorite colors... purple and green.
(oh, Purple and Green! How I love thee!)
Well I just happened to bump into her again on Ravelry and not only did she remember me, she runs a dyed yarn business online and... she named a colorway after me!

This is a photo of two skeins of yarn died in the "Connery" colorway (well, all right it's not how I spell it, but it's still named after me! Ahhhh, purple and green...)
Oh, and Mom and Caroline... don't bother rushing to get yourself some of the Connery lusciousness, but you might want to check your mailboxes in another week or so...
Do you think Maureen would like some? It's sock yarn...

And finally...
Last Saturday the dyeing study group of my Fiber Guild had a work date at the studio of a local dyer... Claudia's Handpainted yarns. Yes, Claudia lives and dyes (heehee, I slay me!) right here in my hometown. And she's a member of our guild. And she's great! And she let a rambling group of dyer wanna-bees invade her shop and use her facilities and dye up a whack of cool yarn! (we supplied the yarn, she supplied everything else including brownies).

Lace and fingering weights in a medley of pinks and reds; fingering weight in a variation of "Ingrid's Blues";
worsted weight in a subtle group of geens,blues and olive; worsted in lilac, plum and pink;
a very heavy felted single ply in a variation of "Walk in the Woods".

(And I just thought I would point out that the above dyed yarn was already in my stash. Just in white and natural. So I didn't have to buy any new to add to the total. Which I know I haven't updated yet with the new supply bought at Rocktown's closing sales. And I will... as soon as I get a few things finished so as to help balance the numbers...
Arghhh... Who'm I kidding... it's like a few hundred out, but a thousand in!)

And one final eye candy photo...

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

I Will Not Be A Guppy!

When it comes to knit & crochet, I can found, mostly, at the shallow end of the pool. You know, where the basic scarves, baby blankets, & even simple socks are swimming. Oh, I've dogpaddled out to the deeper end once or twice. I made a pair of "patterned" socks (Elongated Corded Rib from Sensational Knitted Socks) and a lace scarf, and I really enjoyed making them both. But, when done, I paddled right back to the shallow end with a bit of relief. When looking at other people's projects I'm likely to say, "Oh, I'm not at that level yet." What? Like I'm going to wake up one morning with the ability to do Fair Isle implanted in my brain? I am a hands-on learner; I know this about myself. Why am I waiting for some sort of notification: You may now proceed to Level 2?

This came clear to me the other day while talking about my upcoming vacation, a cruise. I was telling a friend about the activities I wanted to try. I like to do new things on vacation; things that I would not normally do. In St. Martin's, despite a fear of drowning, I took a hotel training course and went scuba diving. In England, I tried my hand at steering the long boat I was staying on. I was at the rudder when we went through the narrowest, twisty-est section of canal on our route, with boats moored on both sides. With sweaty palms, I got through without hitting anyone. Now, despite a fear of heights, I am planning on trying parasailing. So why do I save this "devil may care" attitude for vacations only? Why, if I am willing to hang by a scrap of fabric and lengths of rope, am I unwilling to challenge myself in my crafting? So I have to frog a piece; what am I afraid of?

A year ago, I bought the yarn and pattern for a sweater. One of Elsebeth Lavold's designs, Aud. It isn't a scary sweater, but OMG, I will have to learn seaming. I began and stopped the doctor's bag from Knit2Together because it needs a lining and I've never done that before. NO MORE FEAR! I have restarted the doctor's bag. I have chosen my cruise knitting: a lace project kit from Just Our Yarn for the Maple Tree Shawl by Karen Joan Raz. And I will start that sweater this year. I can do this. I may make mistakes, but that is how you learn and move to the next level. Or the deep end of the pool.