Monday, September 29, 2014

(Just Another) Melange Monday

Yes, folks - it's time for another edition of melange - it is Monday, after all.


I can't say I'm a huge fan of classical music, but I do love Mozart. Genius notwithstanding, he was also a prolific letter writer. I read many of his published letters (in translation - he wrote in three languages) for an undergraduate humanities course. That was also my first introduction to his older sister, Maria Anna, an accomplished musician in her own right. Over the weekend I watched the movie Mozart's Sister (or, in the original French, "Nannerl, la soeur de Mozart") which re-imagines, to a great extent, Maria Anna's story. While the re-imagining comes from a very feminist perspective (which was an intriguing counterpoint, given how Maria Anna completely obeyed her father, who held conventional views of the day concerning the role of women), it's also highly entertaining, not to mention lush and a real feast for the ears as well as eyes. From a fiber arts perspective, I'd highly recommend watching this - Maria Anna wears some wonderful shawls and neckware, one of which looked hand crocheted. Lots to inspire a fiber artist here (not to mention the music lover).


As you can see from the photograph above (taken over this past weekend), the leaves are just starting to turn color. Like a hand and glove, I instantly think all things pumpkin when I see leaves turning, so I thought I'd share a little visual stroll down pumpkin/squash memory lane.

As you can see, I eat pumpkin. I decorate with pumpkin. I even seek it out in foreign countries (the middle shot is from France).

What can I say? Behold the power of autumn orange. :)

Friday, September 26, 2014

Well You Knew It Had To Come To An End ...

... the new published patterns. But only momentarily, my fiber friends. Only momentarily. 

I hope everyone is having a great Fiber Arts Friday. Thought I'd share what just recently arrived in my postal box - it's quite lovely!

There's a wonderful story about the history of this UK-based yarn which is worth reading. The color card on the page also more accurately reflects the colorway; my crappy cell phone camera has made it slightly brighter than it should be. However, I do like the colorway name, the Aquarian that I am.

I'm looking forward to working with it. Yes, yes I am.

Now don't forget to head on over to Andrea's at Wisdom Begins in Wonder to see what the elements are serving up to everyone else this Friday. 

Friday, September 19, 2014

More Published Designs This Fee-Fi(ber)-F.O. Friday

Hello all of you out there in fiber-lovin' land - it's Friday once again. And, I'm happy to report, I've got some new designs to tell you about.

These are all in back issues of The e-zine officially launched with their August 2014 issue; when they published the October issue, they also published back issues for April and June. Those of you who may have subscriptions to the publication have definitely received quite a pattern boon. In no particular order, here are my contributions:

These Classic Beaded Hanger Cozies (the yarn for which I blogged about here are easy to whip up and just super for either a quick gift or to use as wall art. Slim padded purchased hangers are wrapped up all snug-like in Tahki Yarns Cotton Classic in either linen, lemon or teal, then edged with beads and topped with a bow. This would be perfect as a gift with a little cami or sleep wear. I really loved how these came out - they are actually one of my favorite designs this year.

I just love this stitch pattern - so squoishy and
yet linear at the same time.

Finally, (and in continuation of my coffee themed projects from my last post), I used the luscious Rowan combination to the right (Kidsilk Haze + Fine Art - initially blogged about here) to produce this totally inviting little cardi:

My Frosted Espresso Cardigan, which shows up in the June back issue, is a perfect season spanning piece. It actually starts with a shrug, then the back is worked down from the bottom edge of the shrug; finally, the front is picked up along the back side edges and top front of the shrug. There are only two seams (the shrug arms) and while one can use a pin in the front, it's meant to be worn open. I love the subtle lines created by the stitch patterns (shown on one of the lower arms). This great color combination was the inspiration for the cardi's name. I really want to make one for myself!

Now don't forget to head on over to Wisdom Begins in Wonder and see what Andrea has done with all of her amazingly dyed fiber from last week.

And do enjoy the changing of the season.

Friday, September 5, 2014

New Designs This Fee-Fi(ber)-F.O. Friday

A wee process photo. See my
straight pins? Markers for
the side buttons.
Hello everyone! Happy first Friday in September. As we enjoy the final throws of great summer weather, here are a few new designs published just this past Monday in the October issue of

I do love how this colorway mimics the
tree's leaves in the bottom of the photo.
So not planned.
Everyone who reads this blog or knows anything about me knows that I lurves my morning coffee. And yes, I drink decaf - I actually love, love, love the taste and smell of coffee - it's definitely a Proustian thing with me. So even though I've designed one French press cozy already, why not another one? The Cafe au Lait French Press Cozy (found in the "Autumn Around the House" section of the e-zine) is a one-skein fun project that most crocheters, including adventurous beginners, should be able to whip up in no time at all. I especially love these granny square motifs in Lion Brand's Amazing in the strawberry fields colorway. And once closed at the top, your coffee will stay warmer much longer. Really.

The next new design in this edition has been dubbed a "hot pattern" - it's the Floral Embellished Tablet Cozy. I do think it's rather genius, not to mention a great use of color. Just two skeins (one each of Berroco Comfort and Noro Kureyon) makes this great cover for your tablet; you choose from three different dimensions in order to get the best fit for your tablet size.

Here's a peek at the inside:

The pocket at the top of the photo holds a piece of lightweight foam board so your tablet has a great stabilizer. Pretty neat, huh?

And finally, to cap the cozy warmth theme of these designs, please check out my Autumn Leaf Shawl:

Done in Dream in Color Wisp in the Anguished Rose colorway, this light-as-a-feather shawl carries a big shoulder-warming stick. As a rather fun fact, this is my first triangular shawl design, and I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. The stitch pattern creates "veins" from the center spine outward, not unlike a leaf. The edging is simple, yet seems to grow organically from the main body of the shawl. It can be customized to pretty much any dimension - the stitch pattern allows for as many repeats as the wearer chooses.

Now don't forget to head on over to Andrea's at Wisdom Begins in Wonder to see everyone else's finished projects this week.

Have a great weekend; get out there and enjoy all that final summer weather!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Monday Melange ... on Tuesday

Aren't these colors gorgeous?
See, that's what happens when there's a Monday holiday: the mélange just gets pushed to the next day.


As I wrote on Friday, the latest issue of is out, and I have some projects in it. As I also wrote, I'll have more to say about them later in the week.

However, I had also created additional content for this issue (including some original artwork) that made it to the editorial cutting floor. While I'm naturally disappointed (and can't publish the content myself for six months), I can show all of you the photographs I took in connection with the article. See, all is never lost when one takes a multidisciplinary approach. Clever gal I am. Talented too, if I do say so myself. 

So here's a photo montage, complete with captions, highlighting a fibery outing I took this past May. Part of the reason for the trip was to spotlight how one can use mass transportation instead of private vehicles to get around the greater Puget Sound. All of these photos were taken on a day when I traveled exclusively by bus and ferry. You'll see in a minute why I was very happy I did.

There is nothing like weathered wood
to evoke a great ferry ride feeling
prior to departure. Can't you just
smell the salty air?

This is downtown Langley, WA
(on Whidbey Island). I purchased
some yarn at a great local yarn store
here. It's early morning, so things
are relatively quiet.

The rain clouds eventually burned off to reveal
blue sky. It turned into a perfect afternoon.

Ok, and what would a ferry ride back to the
mainland be without these guys?

And this is why I was so happy to leave
the driving to others. This was the traffic scene
once I debarked from the bus I took south from
the ferry. This is also late Saturday afternoon -
not even rush hour.

And while George Bailey got in on the yarny
act, I was fairly pleased with my purchases.

Let me tell you, that Harrisville
Shetland is fantabulous.

It is extremely ironic and disappointing that the bus transportation system on Whidbey Island announced it would be cutting service on the island over this past summer in phases, the last of which occurred this past Saturday. As someone who relies on public transportation by choice, I was sad to hear this. I hope they will find a way to eventually reinstate the service they've cut.