Friday, April 27, 2012

Triple Giveaway

It's Friday!  Friday is always good, but to make it even better, I'm having a little giveaway. To celebrate my new Blue Peninsula logo and Ravelry Blue Peninsula group, I'm giving away three prizes of yarn, books, patterns, and other goodies.

To have a chance to win one of them just leave a comment on this post OR join the new Blue Peninsula group on Ravelry. Or, do both and double your chances of winning! The giveaway ends midnight EST, Saturday, May 5.

Prize #1:
Yarns, Sweater Stone, Briza
  • A copy of my Briza pattern and a skein of the yarn I knit it with, Classic Elite Classic Silk
  • Two tawny skeins of Classic Elite Summer Sox
  • A sweater stone for removing pills from your hand knits
  • Three skeins of Berroco's Inca Gold
  • A skein of Quince and Co.'s Osprey in robin's egg blue

Prize #2:
Lace Yarns and Book

Prize #3:
Yarns, Bag, Dyeing Book
  • a Chic-a notions bag
  • six skeins of tweedy Valley Yarns Williamstown in a rich burgundy
  • Gail Callahan's book on hand dyeing yarn and fleece
  • a skein of Sanguine Gryphon's Skinny Bugga in Boxelder Beetle (minus a tiny bit I used for swatching)

I'll use a random number generator to pick the winners and will announce the names here on the blog and in the Blue Peninsula Ravelry group sometime after May 5. Feel free to say if you prefer a particular prize.

Goodnough Dike Dawn_3
I was up at the crack of dawn this morning taking preliminary photos at the spot where I plan to shoot the next Blue Peninsula design. The forecast for our shoot is looking perfect; sure hope it stays that way.

Goodnough Dike Dawn_2

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Sneak Peek

The new cardi pattern has gone to the tech editor ...


Here's hoping the weather cooperates for the photo shoot!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Progress

New cardigan design blocking ... model lined up ... photo shoot location chosen ... pattern almost ready to send to tech editor ...

Today is a well-earned day of rest. Hope your Sunday is beautiful!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Cloud Spotting

Cirrocumulus, Cirrostratus 042012

This morning's sky was bright blue and dotted with cirrocumulus mixed with cirrostratus. I can say that with some confidence thanks to The Cloud Collector's Handbook, which offers plenty of photos and descriptions to help you identify the white stuff above your head. It turns identifying clouds into a kind of sport—you get points for each type of cloud you spot, with bonus points for the rarer formations.

Sometimes I snap pictures, but mostly I prefer drawing clouds—like these cirrostratus that I saw over the Pelham Hills across the road from my home yesterday morning:

Cirrostratus over Pelham Hills 041912

More cirrostratus—mixed with altocumulus—drawn last month:

Cloud Collector's Handbook and Sketch

And a dramatic cumulus formation from last Fourth of July:

Summer Cumulus

My interest in clouds lay dormant over the winter but now that spring is here once again I'm watching the skies with interest. I really like the challenge of drawing clouds. You have to loosen up and sketch fast as well as hold as much information in your mind as possible. And you have to relinquish all desire to "get it just right." You draw and you move on.

Recently I found the perfect pouch for my little red sketchbook and pens at Tierney's Silver Trumpet Style Etsy shop. Tierney was one of my cabinmates at Squam Art Workshops last June. Be sure to go over to her shop and take a look—she's got some really nice bags and pouches on offer right now.

Sketchbook and Bag

I hope you have time to look up and spot some clouds today!

Friday, April 13, 2012

All My Knits Belong to Snicks

I worked all morning knitting and finalizing the numbers and pattern instructions for the sleeves on a new spring cardi design ... took a break to have lunch, left the sweater on the couch ... came back to see Snickers had decided to "claim" it:

All Knits Belong to Snicks

The green bit under her is the Shetland Triangle shawl I knit four years ago, which has become a cat blanket. I've never worn it much, because it doesn't have great drape. (Which is my fault—I used too small a needle for the yarn—Berroco Ultra Alpaca Light—and probably should have used a fingering weight yarn.)

Anyway, a new cardigan pattern in a lovely silvery grey will be coming soon, as well as a new Blue Peninsula logo, and a new contest/giveaway.

Back to work now. Have a good weekend!

Sunday, April 08, 2012

A Ceremonial of Yellow

"Easter Day is my day for the collection of the beauty of all transitory things. This is the Season of the Relinquishment of Things, and it is, therefore, the time for an intensified appreciation of them." —from Abbie Graham's Ceremonials of Common Days

Easter Forsythia Blossoms

Number of blooming forsythias seen on my Easter morning walk: 28

Link: last year's Easter drawing

Friday, April 06, 2012

Last Day of 31

Last Day of 31 Days_1

Today is my last day of work on 31 Days. I've been stitching wrinkles on linen with cotton embroidery thread for 31 days—although they weren't 31 consecutive days, because I decided not to take the piece with me when I went to visit my mother in Florida.

Last Day of 31 Days_2

The idea was to get myself into my studio for 30 days in a row by devising a piece that I would be able to work on every day no matter how little time I had available for art. I "marked" the days by alternating between white and black thread. The number of days expanded to 31 because I wanted to begin and end with white, which necessitated working an odd number of days.

Last Day of 31 Days_3

I'm really starting to love stitching wrinkles. They're something we usually don't want, whether on clothing, or on our bodies, or in our plans (an exception being Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time, of course). But the more you look at wrinkles, the more interesting and beautiful they are. As I worked on 31 Days, I found myself thinking often about fragility and ephemerality and the passing of time.

It's 16 inches wide and 31 inches long and will be hung very simply, on a dowel rod. In keeping with the idea of fragility, I'm leaving the edges of the linen raw. I hope to have final photos soon, but not this weekend—too many other things to do.

I hope you have a joyful weekend!

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Vagabond Rites

A recent post on the Alabama Chanin blog introduced me to Abbie Graham's delightful book Ceremonials of Common Days. This small treasure is out of print, but I was able to borrow a copy through the Five College library system. (Do go read that post, and then have fun drawing up your own Celestial Shopping List.)

The book describes rituals, ceremonials, and rites for the ordinary miracles of life, such as The Ceremonial of Roads, The Day of the First Fruits of My Garden, and Vagabond Rites. "Vagabond rites are not intended for habitual wanderers," Graham says, "but for the people who must needs live behind the conventional walls and regularly pursue official duties. The time for vagabond rites to be observed is whenever life gets too minutely blue-printed and too inescapable." Reminded me of Ringo's "parading" in A Hard Day's Night.

I felt the need for a Vagabond Rite today and chose a road off Route 47 in Sunderland, where I could park near the Connecticut River.

Grey River

I set out on a Pilgrimage of Grey—grey skies, grey river, grey walls of ancient stone.

Abandoned Mattress Road

Along an unnamed dirt road, I found an abandoned mattress, a warning nailed to a tree, a root that looked like a snake, ferns, moss, streams, and waterfalls.

Squarish Outcroppings

Root Mistaken for a Snake

Where a Rock Had Been

Moss and Ferns

Abandoned Mattress

Warning

Back on the main road, my ramble almost over, I heard a car slow down behind me. I looked back and saw an SUV creeping along. I couldn't see who was in the car. Why were they following me? Although I had passed bicyclists and people walking dogs earlier, now there was no one around. The SUV continued to creep along slowly. Then it pulled up next to me. I looked over, my heart beating fast, wondering what would happen next.

Two grey-haired ladies smiled at me. The driver rolled down her window and called out in a friendly voice, "We're looking for wildflowers."

Wildflowers!  I almost laughed. They were just fellow vagabonds out on a ceremonial of their own, The Rite of the First Wildflowers.