awol interrupted

Since I started rock climbing a few months ago I've been too distracted to focus on much else, but I've been sidelined with a shoulder injury for (hopefully only) a couple weeks so now I can catch up on this blog. I recently completed a Citron shawl with the Jojoland Melody I bought at Stitches last year. I highly recommend this fun and quick project. But be forewarned, it is a lot of stockinette...I even added an extra section to make the shawl bigger, so there were 636 stitches by the time I got to the final ruffle!

In less happy knitting news, I had to frog the Eve shawl I had been working on. The beautiful and soft Malabrigo Lace was just the wrong choice of yarn for the pattern. As you can see from the photo, the stitch patterns are obscured, especially in the Indian Cross Stitch section at the top. I couldn't even frog past that point because the yarn had felted together completely. Another lesson learned!


happy friday

photos courtesy of paula mcnamee

My friend, Paula, was kind enough to stop by the knit not war exhibit and send me photos. I just love seeing all the cranes displayed together - such lovely colors. Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!


knit not war

200 cranes in spring
photo courtesy of Seann McKeel

Hey Portland-area friends and visitors, the cranes I knit almost three years ago are finally going on display in an art installation at the Ace Hotel, so check it out if you have the chance (and please send me pictures if you go!) Here are the details:

knitnotwar 1,0o0: a public art installation displaying a thousand knit cranes, celebrating the quiet logic of peace. More than a hundred artists contributed to knitting one thousand origami-style cranes which will be displayed through the weekend of June 3rd, 2010 in the lobby of the Ace Hotel at 1022 SW Stark in Portland, Oregon.
See the installation and join us for green tea and snacks in the lobby of the Ace Hotel on First Thursday, June 3rd from 7-9pm.
The origami crane is an international symbol of peace, due to the hopeful and heroic story of Sadako Sasaki. Sadako died of leukemia after exposure from US atom bombings of Hiroshima in 1945. Believing a Japanese legend that anyone who folds a thousand paper cranes will be granted a wish, Sadako hoped to get well. She completed over 1,000 folded cranes before dying on October 25, 1955 at the age of 12. Thousands of artists, children, religious groups, and other organizations commit to folding strands of a thousand cranes every year to express their commonality in belief of banning nuclear weapons-- their solidarity for peace.


happy tuesday

a rose from our yard

One Perfect Rose
by Dorothy Parker

A single flow'r he sent me, since we met.
All tenderly his messenger he chose;
Deep-hearted, pure, with scented dew still wet -
One perfect rose.

I knew the language of the floweret;
'My fragile leaves,' it said, 'his heart enclose.'
Love long has taken for his amulet
One perfect rose.

Why is it no one ever sent me yet
One perfect limousine, do you suppose?
Ah no, it's always just my luck to get
One perfect rose.


draw your life

Here's a cool free e-book to download by Michael Nobbs called "Start to Draw Your Life" which also includes "75 Ways to Draw More." It's inspirational to read that the author took up drawing as a way to cope with an illness. (via The Pen Addict)


up in the air

Yesterday, I went rock climbing for the first time and had a blast. Unfortunately, I don't have any pics of my first two climbs, since everyone was occupied with a job at the time and had no free hands to play photographer. Here are some of my third up a chimney formation and then rappelling down the other side. I highly recommend this experience - really exhilarating!


my first laceweight project

yarn: Malabrigo Lace - Stonechat colorway
needles: size 3 Knitpicks circular
# of stitches cast on: 363

Oh boy, this is going to take awhile. I've completed 8 rows but it's barely 1/2 inch long...why, you ask? Because it's double knit lace. I guess I should have read the pattern more closely before I purchased it. Luckily there are several stitch pattern changes throughout the wrap to keep me somewhat sane!


reduce, reuse, recycle

more journal pages...

anthro catalog, misc paper scraps

old book pages, vintage label

old book page, ledger paper, misc scraps

vintage sheet music, painted old book page, misc scraps

scrapbook paper, wrapping paper

magazine page, vintage map


sagan all my love

My inner nerd needs to come out for a second to tell you about these hilarious (to me anyway) scientist valentines you can use to share your love of Curie, Newton, Einstein, Sagan, or Darwin while you show how much you care. Have a wonderful weekend, Valentine's Day, and Chinese New Year!

journal pages

I finished three signatures for my Paris travelogue as well as four more to bind into other journals. I made mine on the less embellished side so that I can add things as I go along. I also left out the fabric bits on the pages - might try that technique in the future, but I'm happy with just using paper for now.


instant photo gratification

Taking this Remains of the Day class got me thinking about easier ways to journal photographs. Although digital cameras are very convenient and I no longer have to leave the house to get film developed, there are times when I just don't want to go through all the steps to get a photo printed (wait for computer to boot up, find the right cables to connect the camera, curse at crappy photo editing software, curse at printer for running out of ink halfway through the picture, curse at myself for not taking a better photo in the first place, etc). I recently found out about the Fuji Instax Mini Camera which looks like a fun and simple alternative and would be great for journaling on the go.

And because I would have to embrace the wabi-sabi nature of instant photos, my perfectionist self can just accept what comes out of the camera and not have to fuss with editing, etc. Now if I can just get someone to buy one for me...

Creature Comforts is hosting a giveaway of your choice between a Fuji Instax Mini or SLR Sloop camera bag - go to this post to make your entry.


shabby labby ding dong

In Remains of the Day, Mary Ann demonstrates how to use miscellaneous scraps (paper, fabric, and other odds and ends) to give her journals that wonderful shabby look. This is what initially attracted me to the class. I have a LOT of that kind of stuff, and ever since we moved into a smaller house a few years ago, the boxes of ephemera were becoming an albatross. I was prepared to let it all go last fall but heard about this class before I had a chance. Now I can put all the “remains" I've collected to good use! Here are the journal pages I started yesterday.


remains of the day

Several months ago, I found out about this online journaling class by Mary Ann Moss. Since then, more and more people whose blogs I read have been posting about it and I’ve loved how their journals turned out. Now that holidays and houseguests are well behind me, I decided to sign up and get in on the fun, too. My first foray into this journaling style is actually going to be a travelogue of our Paris trip from last year, so I’m looking forward to revisiting those memories as I work on my pages. Here are some photos of the fabric cover I just finished.

Notes & Materials:

-instead of 6“ x 9“ x .5", I decided to make mine 6“ x 11“ x 1.25"

-I did not have a large enough piece of 80 lb paper so I just recycled pieces of cereal box cardboard and sewed each piece in at a time so the cover would still be easy to fold. The thicker layer made it more difficult to free-motion stitch...I broke a machine needle but then replaced it with a denim needle and that seemed to help.

-I left the flap empty (no cardboard) to allow it to accommodate expansion in the signature pages

-tea-stained trim (on flap spine), decorator fabric samples from SCRAP, velvet ribbon from a Paris flea market, flowers from Studios Blackbird, buckle from La Droguerie


knitters without borders

As most everyone has heard by now, a devastating earthquake has caused terrible damage and taken many lives in Haiti. You may also have heard of a medical relief organization called Doctors Without Borders. I came across some yarn that donates a portion of proceeds to DWB and noticed a Knitters Without Borders badge on the page. After clicking on it, I decided it made more sense for my money to go straight to DWB instead of more yarn. If you would like to learn more, follow the links in this blog post and consider making a donation if you can.


a great start to the new year

Sock designer and author Cookie A came to teach at our LYS Common Threads last week, and I volunteered to put her up for a few nights. She's as cool and fun as you might imagine and I learned a lot from her class - highly recommend it and her book, Sock Innovation: Knitting Techniques & Patterns for One-of-a-Kind Socks. It was really nice to be able to spend an extended period of time getting to know her. The first night, we had a fabulous dinner prepared with some knitting friends: Nancy and her mom Caryl (who both own and run Common Threads), Kelie, Rebecca, and Shelly. The next day was Cookie's top-down sock design class and then dinner at a restaurant - no photos of that because it was too dark. Before she left town to attend TNNA, Cookie was kind enough to invite me to lunch with knitwear designer Anne Hanson, Anne's husband, David, and their friend Kim. Anne took some pictures at lunch but I was too shy to ask her to send me one - luckily, she posted it on her blog!