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Opal’s camera arrived today. It’s pretty messed up; I can’t change settings and it doesn’t work half the time, but hey, I can show some of my life now anyway. And start saving for a new camera, I guess.

So, projects old and new:

embossed leaves

This is a pattern I would make again and again, the embossed leaves socks from an older IK. Obviously I didn’t make these to be socks, but rather cuffs, and it turns out they fit the ankles better than the wrists. Na ja. The yarn is dreamy, Elsbeth Lavold’s Silky Wool. Needle size 0 or 00, can’t remember (I made these a full season ago…) I want more of this yarn! At first the color didn’t sing to me, but oh! now I want knee socks with clocks in this.

cable/chevron sock

This here sock has a bit of a story behind it. I made a pair of these and sent them to Norway, after losing my needles to the airlines, and then the socks themselves got lost in the post! First ever lost package, I think…
So, that put me needing to knit up a second pair smack dab in the middle of my move, which of course I didn’t do. Here I am finishing up my old commitments, however belated. I am halfway through the second sock of this pair, and should finish soon if I don’t wander off, which I have no right to do.
The pattern is my own, really made up based on a sock I saw in an IK, I think. I needed to accomodate a thicker yarn, and it really is a snap to figure these out. Chevrons in front and back, little cables up either side. Auracania yarn that I swapped BPAL for. Don’t like the shade much, but it is pleasant in this context. Poor swap partner. :( I think I will take a long break from swapping after this debacle. Not that I will have a reputation left…

And one last thing for this fine day. I purchased this rug last week from a representative of the Vida Nueva cooperative in Chiapas Mexico. All the work from spinning to dying to weaving is done by the women of this coop. They even raise their own cochineal! All natural dyes on this. I had to stretch a bit to buy this, but I will not regret it! There is an amazing anomaly in the pattern that made this my first choice of all the rugs I saw.

new rug

that is all for today. Damn it’s good to be back.

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today was one of my days off, and what did I do all day but knit!
The morning brought my friend Sharin for coffee, and she is such a do-er, she couldn’t sit still and had to go into the “studio” and begin folding fabric. We ended folding and sorting a whole bunch of my stash, laughing and inspiring together. It is so nice to have a nearby friend to brainstorm with!
Then it was time to trade sheep duties with Alice, so I got to go knit topless in the sun. No bitiing flies yet to bother me.
I finished another pair of cuff blanks (and I think it will be about the last of this style for awhile), and I started on a project I have been wanting to do for a few days now.
Here it is, not yet done, but mostly so. It has plans to be an actual piece of wall art.
falling down cabin

You know how the quilt block patterns have descriptive names, well this is called “falling down cabin.” We sure have a lot of these around here. This deliberately caddywompus, (not laying on the blanket at angle.) Hence the name.

Knitting this and thinking about a: log cabin quilts and b: the women who made them and c: Sharin and I visiting and sorting fabric, I had to think about how during the early stages of this internet craft community’s formation, one would see such-and-such described as “not your grandma’s craft.” More than once I saw this! And I really have to disagree, at least from my vantage point. I feel SO connected to what the women of previous generations have done, and inspired by them. Granted I can live without acrylic yarn embroidered strawberry baskets, but beyond those, there is such wealth in the crafts of our grandmas! I sleep on pillowcases embroidered by those women and under blankets crocheted by them, I visit homesteads that are still blooming with flowers they planted, I find recipes in church cookbooks that they compiled. They were using everything as many times as they could (if not the grandmas, then the great-grandmas) and so am I. I plant food, I raise animals, I cut buttons off of my old clothes before they go into the rag basket. I would be proud to be the next generation of “my grandma’s craft.”

Okay. That said, when I needed a break from the scritchy black yarn, I started a pair of perdita.
perdita
I know, me using a pattern? I do it occasionally….

And, Soph, have you seen this book? I think you would really like it.
night life of trees

I got it at the library yesterday, and I am so going to purchase a copy for myself. I am absolutely blown away by the illustrations, and I promise to photograph a page or two soon. Just so you all can see the amazivity of it.

I’m back.
what with Alice gone last week to sailing camp at the Center for Wooden Boats, I found myself out in the pasture every day with the sheep. I really have an appreciation for Alice’s contribution to the household, I tell you!
So many thoughts crossed my mind, and I wanted to write about half of them, this being journal as well as public space, but alas, I had absolutely zero time for sitting at the computer.

yarn riot

(there’s a stash shot for ya)

I did manage to get a lot of cuffs knit. I could do about a pair and a half done while watching the sheep.
All this cuff knitting was brought about by a pending swap with Soule, which I completed yesterday. I traded these cuffs made to order for a few pieces of art which I need to photgraph yet.

cuffs for min

cuffs for soule
Not the greatest photos, but as I said, I was under diress!

I look forward to having a bit more time to read all y’all’s blogs. Then I will be able to talk about other folk’s cool happenings.
I did get turned on to the event that is going to be the apex of my summer perhaps. Pickathon! It’s been awhile since I went to a three day camping music event.

Opal has been in horse heaven what with the new alliance I have formed with a local lady. A friend, I think I can say! Yes, my new friend, Sharin, takes care of other people’s horses when needed, and has been facilitating Opal’s passion for the equine. Opal even got to ride a horse yesterday, but honestly, I think at this point the child would be happy mucking out stalls.

Oh, and yesterday I got home from work to find I had sold two cd pockets (here and here) via my etsy shop! I was more than surprised. I forgot I even had a shop. hah hah.

so, that’s all for now. I need to go generate more experience so I can write about it.

auds' flags

Over the last few seasons, I have really come into my own where trades are concerned. I have been swapping for a long time, sometimes in a rather flakey way, but the whole romantic notion of trading that lived in my imagination wasn’t really coming to life. I mean, I had visions of running these trade routes, picking up lemons and pepper at my dad’s in SoCal, and bringing them up north and trading them at Barter Fair for, I don’t know, onions, or something suitably northern. And of course I would have brought my dad some things he needed.
That kind of thing.
So, what has been the hold up? Really. I grew up amongst enough hippie faire vibe to be able to hold my own, it would seem. I certainly can speak the language of non-monetary dealing. I guess I can chock my recalcitrance up to good ol’ Inhibition. If you know me, you’re gonna laugh, but really! I’m shy!
Well, last year I made a commitment to myself to follow through on my desire to attend Last Thursday Street Fair on a regular basis. This event is right up my alley; you don’t need to register, or pay a fee. You just show up and find a spot to pitch your sales table. It is a madhouse at times, but I feel very much at home there.

Somehow, that cracked the ice for me. I’ll be honest. I don’t sell much stuff when I try to. My etsy shop never really yielded me much, and now that I don’t make many things for sale, it obviously is super stalled. Besides, I hate feeling like I need to argue about what a thing is worth. It’s worth a lot, damn it!

I know I go back and forth about the selling thing, but lately I have been back, or forth, or whichever direction feels wishy washy about it. I told the Universe that I was ready to start trading, and all of a sudden it’s going on.

here are some successes, and successes to be:
I swapped this hat to a friend who was admiring it. She is a block printer extraordinaire, and made the lovely prayer flags you see above. For the hat, I’m going to get some more of her cards.
lughnasa flag
my favorite of the bunch. This is for lughnasa.

Soule on flickr (who is actually lives real close to me) was admiring these cuffs, and therefore I am making her two pair in trade for some art, or something. I haven’t decided yet.
the beginnings of a set of cuffs
the beginnings…

The person who received the pink cuffs sent my girls a humungous box of books from the publishing company where she works. It was an amazing bounty! The funny thing is, I thought we were trading cuffs for a skirt, but I like the books better anyway.
The thing about trading is you know the person loves it. And that is what counts.

here’s alice with a groovy outfit she put together. And a bunny smile.
alice