Lizards in the Leaves

Rustlings in the green....imagination, art, whimsy

Dec 17, 2014

Shadow side

Why do I find the "b side" of things so compelling?
Here, in this particular stitchery, and often even in knit or crochet.

 It seems more eventful, wilder, on the shadow side.

Unashamed of itself.

A smile - a radiant, beaming smile despite crooked, tea-stained teeth.

Dec 15, 2014

New project ingredients

Dec 8, 2014

Playing with light and woven cloth

While working on a poem cloth, I draped an old faded scarf over the too-small lampshade because the unshaded light from the bottom was too harsh. And then of course became fascinated with how the cloth looked illuminated.  The last picture is of my piece-in-progress.

Dec 1, 2014

Felted Pouches for Wee Treasures

Was quite taken by this pattern, Teardrop Felt Pouch by Claire Fairall, and just had to order it.
You can see the results in these pictures.

Knitting in progress.

 Knitting finished, just before felting.

Felted, buttonhole cut and button sewn on. Done!

For this one, I followed the pattern exactly, using Cascade worsted weight yarn and size 10.5 needles.

The original pattern is knitted flat and sewn up, but I didn't see why it couldn't,  be switched to knitting-in-the -round on doublepoints.

I knitted the first increase rows flat and then joined, so I only had a little opening to seam. The whole thing could be done in the round, but I find it too fiddley when there are only a few stitches to start (5, in this case.) When I make other felted vessels, top-down hats, etc. I also usually knit the first few rows flat and then join.

I've made four of these now and have a fifth on the needles. They are fun, fast and rather charming, I think. I also love it anytime I can burrow through my vintage button stash.  I didn't get too adventurous with the buttons here, but I am imagining using some of my treasures.
I am also contemplating adding some needlefelted decoration.

 I wanted to see how these worked up in different wool yarns. Counterclockwise from front left:  Ella Rae worsted, Cascade 220 worsted, Noro Kureyon and Malabrigo.

I went down in needle size, too.  Wish I'd written it down - I think I used 9s for the Ella Rae (which is probably my favorite.) and 10s for the other two.

I am pretty pleased with the way all the yarns felted, except for the Kureyon. I should have remembered that it's difficult to felt it by hand at the sink - stitch definition still shows and it's fairly thin.

Now to ponder what or who will live in these pouches...

Nov 28, 2014

Needlefelting an Advent Spiral

I have long been enchanted with Waldorf-inspired handcrafts and have made my share of gnomes, gnome huts, fairies and other assorted fiber goodness.

Our homeschooling and household journey was definitely charged with a great deal of Rudolf Steiner's thinking and the approach to the spiritual through celebrating and observing nature, as well as  the Christian festivals of the year.   I don't find this incompatible with my Pagan observances of the Wheel of the Year.  It all  brings me closer to peace and light and Spirit.

When we brought the traditions of Advent into our lives, this whole season came alive for me and filled with meaning.  From my perspective, it's all about Light. And warmth. I remember thinking that I could continue to observe Advent in these ways even after my children were grown and living far away. And that turned out to be true.

But now my granddaughter shares these rituals with me - the building up of the nativity scene, adding elements week by week; the lighting of a new candle each week; the songs, verses & stories shared.

It fills my heart with joy and my granddaughter loves the familiar rituals - unwrapping the same stones & crystals that her father did, singing carols & ringing our special Advent bell.

She doesn't like change much, but I hope she will like this addition to our celebration: a needlefelted Advent spiral with twenty-four stars to travel to its center.  I found the inspiration for it here.

I was very excited that I am such a craft packrat that I already had a lovely piece of thick blue wool felt, and roving in the perfect colors, so I could just start it right away and have it ready for the first week of Advent. 

In the blog to which I linked, she uses a little felted apple to move along the stars.  I think I am going to try to make one of Anna Branford's sweet pregnant Marys for our guide.   (When you click on that link, browse around her blog - if you love this kind of handwork as much as I do, you will feel like you just found a treasure chest!)


Editing to add: I did make a Mary Great with Child!  A smaller, simpler one than on Anna Branford's site. Just perfect to take us on the journey through the stars to Christmas Day!

Nov 27, 2014

Surf the Change - Thanksgiving 2014

For the last 10 years, except for once at my friend Martha's, we have not had any sort of traditional Thanksgiving meal.

On this holiday in 2004, we sat for our 5th day in an Indianapolis hospital cafeteria, sad and exhausted, after Patrick's awful car accident, grateful so grateful he was alive, but fearful in the foreshadowing of what was to happen to him 16 months later.

I have not been able to plan festivities for this day ever since.

Oh, I have other, lovely Thanksgiving memories. It's rarely the food I remember (though the sweet potato pies from our friend Myobi in Miami will not be forgotten), it's the company, the camaraderie of family and friends, that I hold dear.

 And the best of those were the Miami years more than two decades ago. Years when we had so many people over we had to move the long table from our study into the living room. Years when my mother and brother were alive. Mama would cook the turkey and I, a vegetarian,  did the rest and my husband washed all the dishes. 

Our move to Indiana changed our traditions. Deaths changed them, too.

But rather than be sad about this, I think I want to celebrate all those joyful days and also celebrate how traditions can evolve with our shifting circumstances.

Everything changes. Everything. One of the wise things we can learn as we age is how to ride those changes like great waves. If we're lucky we might be able to do it with the same exuberance and exhilaration as a sunkissed  surfer.

I feel on top of this wave.

I have lentil soup simmering on the stove this morning. I have made lentil soup as our Thanksgiving meal for years now. Last night I made my chunky gingered applesauce. My husband made cranberry sauce and a boxed stuffing. 

He just got back from playing saxophone at our friend's bakery, where they are hosting a free meal for anyone who wants to come. He's going to band practice later. I'll be writing and knitting and planning Advent crafts for my granddaughter.

We'll eat when we're hungry. We are grateful for many things.

We're hanging ten and we're good.

Nov 26, 2014

Off the Needles Little Noro Sweater

This is important. I so rarely finish things like this. So....yay me!
It was an easy knit.
I didn't do the waist shaping as I wanted a more swing-y shape.
I also made the sleeves slightly shorter and wider.

Unfortunately, I am not so thrilled with how it looks on me...maybe it's the horizontal stripes, maybe I should have done the waist shaping.  Maybe it's just that I don't like pullovers that much.

Aw heck, the bottom line is I feel fat in it.  I think I look fat in it. I am a bit fat, in the middle of what I hope is my last weight loss journey. I've lost 20 pounds and have 20 to go. And I don't feel like I've lost 20 pounds when I put this on.

 It will probably look better with a skirt, rather than pants and it may look better when I've lost more weight, so I am not ready to give it away just yet!

On the positive side, I was really pleased with how soft it is - and how nice it feels next-to-skin. And just the fact that I finished it!

I think I will probably knit this pattern again - in a different yarn.  One thing that is very nice about the pattern is that it is digital and includes full, separate instructions written for each size.
Pattern available on Craftsy, $1.99, from Juliet Romeo Juliet designs: Simplest Sweater