A Journal and Ink

Nov 03

journalRarely do I regret a purchase I don’t make, but after visiting the Long Ridge Farm booth at Rhinebeck, I was sorry I didn’t pick up one of Nancy’s hand made journals. I remedied that, adding a jar of her black walnut ink to the mix today when Sara and I visited The Fiber Festival of New England. Nancy creates beautiful yarns and fabrics, and she also carries elegant wrap bracelets made in Kenya and gorgeous leather bags. From the first time I met Nancy, I was smitten by her lovely smile, curious nature, and deep, kind soul.

I have loved the missives that she sends back while she travels in Rwanda where she works with local women to teach them natural dyeing. In 2015, she’ll return to Rwanda for a dye plant residency at INES. Her compassion and genuine desire to make change in ways she is able inspire me. If you’re on FaceBook, you can ‘like’ her page to learn more about her work…and maybe you’ll be inspired to purchase something from her to help her continue that work.

As for my precious ink and journal, I plan to use them as a repository for my 2015 intentions and dreams. Can you believe it’s only a matter of weeks before that particular fresh start is here?

You still have time to leave a comment for a chance at winning more inspiration!

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Book Review and Give Away

Oct 31

One of my favorite spaces online is Crystal Moody’s Year of Creative Habits. Crystal’s posts are thoughtful, educational, inspiring. Her FaceBook group is one of only a few in which I find myself actively participating–she’s created an encouraging space for fellow creative folks.

A few months back, Crystal sent me an extra copy of Chris Guillebeau’s The Happiness of Pursuit: Finding the Quest that will Bring Purpose to Your Life. I read it as I ate breakfast each morning–it’s easy enough to pick up and put down when you want something to read for a short while. I found myself inspired by the variety of quests he shares, his own included. The book is less of a blueprint (because your quest won’t be the same as the quests in the book), and more of an encouragement to live the damn life you crave, even if that means doing something a bit off the map.

I’m a woman who loves a project. I enjoy testing my ability to do something for a sustained period, to challenge what I think I can do and push through to what I can actually do. Guillebeau’s book reminded me: do that more.

To build on the creative spirit and generosity that prompted Crystal to send me the book, I’d like to pass it along to one of you, my dear readers, with the condition that after you read it, you do the same.

If you’re interested, leave a comment telling me about a quest you’ve undertaken or long to undertake. Next Wednesday I’ll randomly pick a name and mail the book to you next Friday.

ETA: Kym is the book winner! Thanks to all who left comments–your quests are terrific!

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Ethical Elegance: Make It

Oct 30

Abbi

As soon as my Rhinebeck sweater settled into her bath*, I wound up five skeins of Dragonfly Fibers Super Traveller in Peach Melba. I worked Shannon and Kate’s 2012 Stitches East booth, and the yarn was my reward (among others). I’d been modeling the sample Abbi (and lusting after it), and she is almost mine to wear! Super Traveller is, well, super. The yarn is pleasurable to knit, and Kate has a great eye for color.

I used three skeins on the body, which knit up soooo fast on 15s. Maybe 13s would have been better, but I like the fabric of the 15s–all drapey and cozy when I try it on. I plan to make the shawl collar as deep as I can tolerate knitting and worried my two remaining skeins would leave me short. Since variegated yarn does not whisper “elegance” to me, I hope to raise the swank factor of the sweater by using a solid for the ribbing and collar. Enter Malabrigo in Burgundy.

I anticipate the Burgundy will temper the sweetness of the Peach Melba (wouldn’t that be the case if we were sipping and eating these flavors?). We’ll find out!

How have you upped the elegance factor when knitting?

 

*No FO pictures of the Rhinebeck sweater just yet; I realized after wearing it once that I knit the second sleeve’s cuff in the wrong size needles. Rip, rib goes the ribbing! 

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Rhinebeck

Oct 27

After skipping the New York Sheep and Wool festival (aka Rhinebeck, as if you didn’t know) last year, I anticipated this year’s festival extra hard. I even finished a sweater, though it was too warm to wear it.

Not much shopping happened. I picked up a few botanic-dyed scarves from my favorite vendor, but I was otherwise quite restrained.

What did happen?

cute

Cooing over sheep

yarnfondling yarn

lunch
eating the traditional made-by-Neal lunch

parade
critter parades

And most important of all: visiting with chums. Be sure to check out Gale’s Rhinebeck post for the most delightful pictures of all!

I’m already dreaming of next year.

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FO Friday: Pumpkin Hat

Oct 17

hat Typically, knitting for babies is not my thing. Sure, there are zillions of cute patterns, and babies are pretty small, and the knitting goes quickly. But I am a slow knitter, and babies grow fast. Rarely does it work out for me that I finish a baby project while it will still fit the baby.

I recently became a great aunt, though, and when I learned I’d be meeting the new baby, I figured I could manage a hat. And since it is autumn, a pumpkin hat seemed in order. No picture to prove it, but the hat and the baby looked pretty cute together.

There may be more baby knitting in my future.

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