Saturday, November 24, 2007

Green Monte Cristo - a worsted weight softer than anything cotton boucle, and some tiny baby shirtsRed Tiara Silk - a boucle. And Red Montana, a worsted weight wool. Really Red, not the pink you see here.
Purple, Turquoise and Blue Roving. It has some white in it. It isn't glaring. My lighting needs work.
Thanksgiving is hard on this here foodie. I love to cook. But, yarnshop takes up much of my creative energy, and the rest goes to knittingcrochetingweavingspinningdyeingfelting...
So, it is with pleasure that I celebrate a day devoted to FOOD. Oh I am very thankful for that. But, the menu for Thanksgiving dinner is pretty much set. There is not a lot of room for experimentation. I am lucky to have an audience that is a little bit flexible, but Turkey on the grill is required, mashed potatoes:required, stuffing:required. I usually mess around with one or two elements. This year we didn't have any pumpkin pie. I was nervous about that, and even called the one daughter who could join us to make sure that it would still be Thanksgiving without it. Instead I made a chocolate walnut caramel torte. It took four hours to construct. I loved that. I made the caramel from white sugar. The walnut crust - very fragile- from scratch. And it turned out to be soo rich that you physically can't eat more that a half inch wide slice. At least not post turkey and stuffing. So I have this huge rich chocolate and caramel torte in my refrigerator.

Maybe I'll bring it to the shop tomorrow.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Bright Copper Kettles, and...

Warm woolen mittens.
Brad, who comes into my shop singing off the return addresses of the brown paper packages he is carrying.
22 pre-schoolers, curious about wool (they were just here - what a hoot!)
knitting dilemmas, easily solved
chilly days and warm fireplaces
baking chocolate chip cookies, and collecting accolades.

Most of all, sharing my favorite things with my favorite people. Therefore I am planning a first ever after Thanksgiving day Sale, on the best stuff. I am still working out the details, and will announce them in my e-news next Monday. This much I know: Jacquie Vaughan's handspun yarns, Qiviuk, hand dyed cashmere, Buffalo Gold, and Habu yarns will be 20% off regular price. And to help with what to make: all loose patterns will be 50% off. Three days only, November 23, 24, 25. At Woven Art.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Artist Co-op

I have been working on a project. Not really a secret project, but one I haven't talked about too much until now. There is space next to my shop that would be ideal for artist studios, with a small gallery in the front, and a big window out to the sidewalk. I mentioned this to the City of East Lansing, and to my landlord. All agree, it would be great to have artists working there, and selling their work. so, we are all working together to make it happen. My landlord even is going one step better, and will be providing outdoor work and sculpture garden space.

There will be room in the building for 6 artist studios. The rent will be very affordable, with subsidies available for artists that meet income requirements. There will also be a second tier membership available for those who are actively waiting for studio space, or who want to be involved, but don't need working space. This number will also be limited to about 6 additional artists.

My role is to get artists, and to provide some management for the co-op, until it gets off the ground. The goal is for the co-op to be self governing and self sufficient as soon as possible. If you are an artist and would like to see the space, please call Woven Art to set an appointment. 517-203-4467. If you know of any artists that might be interested, please pass this on!

Monday, November 12, 2007

A few more travel pics

First , one for Ragnar:A cathedral relic. I wonder who it is? One bad thing about tours, is that while they are full of information, they often leave out answers to questions like "Who is this?" Trying to figure out the owner of this carefully and reverently preserved skull and crossbones, I nearly lost the group, so I had to hurry on. A little later in the same tour, I did lose the group entirely, because of this owl:

He is in the contemporary section of the tile museum, located inside the cathedral, in Lisbon. Lisbon is widely known for it's hand made, handpainted tiles, and still has at least one factory operating today.
Can't you just see this knit as intarsia, or inspiration for entrelac? I really want to weave this into a tapestry. It is chaos, gridded out. Madness organized.

And here is some inspiration for lace. I can imagine how to crochet this. Solid, colorful medallions connected by long chains, but how to knit this? I know there are lace knitting geniuses out there ( and I know who you are!). How about it?
Just for context, and further inspiration:

I love travel, for all the obvious and common reasons. Just as satisfying to me is returning to routine. This past Sunday, fighting off a travel cold, I stayed home from the shop.
I roasted a chicken, baked chocolate chip cookies, did some knitting homework,
and also some gift knitting. I hate being sick, and I hate staying home from the shop. But, returning to routine is healing in a significant way. I guess my kitchen is my "center of normal".

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Patterns and color and texture, oh my!

This is the ruana I made to take to Barcelona with me. I wore it most evenings. It was just the right amount of warmth. It feels great on too! Just the right amount of drapey, and so soft. I can't really say that I felt like a native Barcelonian in it-as I didn't see anyone else with anything like it. Lots of shawls, and scarves. But no other ruanas. Sigh, ahead of the fashion curve again.
And this is a sidewalk in Lisbon. Most of the sidewalks I saw there were cobblestone mosaic. There were different patterns, lots of them floral. I loved them. Gary said running on them was a *^%$&, and pulled his hammy again.

I saw so much pattern and color that inspired me in both Portugal and Spain, I am going to have to dribble it out a little at a time, lest you feel you are being forced to see someones travel slides. (well, you are, sort of). But really I found much inspiration that could be translated into knitting, weaving or crochet, and it wasn't limited to items of clothing. After all, pattern and color are prevalent in most fine crafts, so why should there be cross over? For instance, wouldn't the above pattern be adorable as an intarsia pillow? Or a mosaic pattern for a handbag?

Monday, November 5, 2007

Neuva Entrada

Blogger is talking to me in Spanish! All the instructions, headings, etc are in Spanish. This must be because I blogged from an internet cafe in Barcelona. But does that make sense? Aren't I the same blogger the world over? And, at this moment I am in my own house, back in good old EL. Ha! Well it's a nice reminder of the time spent in the magical city of Barcelona. We might not ever have considered going there if our daughter hadn't found herself the opportunity of a life time in a study abroad program. She's been in Barcelona for the last three months, and has about three weeks left before she gets on a boat to Italy. We got to see the city in much more depth because of her. She aptly describes her experience there as like living in an advent calendar. The streets are filled with doors, many like garage doors that open and close depending on the time of day, day of week, and whim of owner. Everytime you walk down the very same street - it looks completely different depending in which doors are open. The part of the city we were staying in was built on the foundations of the Roman ruins. The streets are very narrow, with high stone walls. What might look like a tiny cafe or shop, often turns out to be cavernous, with many levels and rooms, one after another. Enchanting! And full of inspiration for fiber artists!

This picture was taken from a shop window on Passeig Gracia - in the high fashion neighborhood. Look very closely at the neckwear. It is three or four finger knit strands plus, a knitted swatch! Yes! Now you know what to do with all your samples!

I will try to post more pictures later this week, after blogger starts speaking English to me again.