Wednesday, July 29, 2009

I was a little bored this weekend... I made some hats.
Photos by the awesome Shannon Okey in her backyard. She was taking pictures of some new sock designs, and the wildlife kept joining us - in one shot there is a fly sitting on my foot (while I was holding my foot in midair!) and in another, her dachshund Anezka decided to run quality control. Don't mind the face on the second one, I'm staring into the sun and trying not to squint. These are the ones that I finished; there is one that I started out of scraps but ran out of yarn 2/3 of the way through, and a fair-isle one that I charted and started but am only a few inches into. And a bunch of swatches. And probably some other stuff that I'm forgetting. Both hat patterns are my own. Hat #1 is made out of Artful Yarns Reality, a wool/acrylic blend (discontinued and therefore cheap!) that was very nice to work with; hat #2 is made out of hand-spun wool and silk.

This coming weekend should be more interesting, though... tomorrow Jo is coming to town (with a U-Haul trailer on her Mazda Protege!) to get the couch she bought from an awesome local vintage store. It's a kelly-green velvet tufted sofa that I'd guess is from the 60's. She is then heading back to Michigan, to take both the couch and a bunch of her other stuff back home from Pittsburgh. On Friday, The Boy shows up for the weekend - we haven't seen each other since the end of May! We're going to hit the West Side Market so we can make some yummy food, go see the orchestra, and all kinds of other fun stuff. I can't wait!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Believe it or not, I have actually been doing some knitting, when I haven't been doing internship stuff... yeah, who am I kidding, my life here isn't terribly exciting.

I'm working on a pair of socks for my sister: the yarn is Arucania Ranco, color 101, a really pretty variegated light purple; the pattern is my own. I got up to the heel turn on these this past Tuesday at the Cleveland SNB, but haven't touched them since.

I've bound off the hem of a sweater I'm making; I've been putting this off for ages since I cast on at the neck using the tubular cast on, and needed to have the hem match. I ended up using this tutorial. I also tried using this method for the kitchener stitch at the end; in theory, it works really well, and makes more sense in my brain since I'm not doing all of the motions in reverse the way you do for normal (with a needle) kitchener. However. This method does not work well for anything with a larger circumference than a sock. The long yarn tail kept getting snarled and knotted, and it completely untwisted itself. The yarn is a bulky cotton blend, and the sweater is a top-down raglan with different cables on the front and back.

Also, in the Murphy's Law category, we decided yesterday that today would be a work-at-home day, so of course it would also be the day my roommate started working from home. He works on a customer service line, so he is basically on the phone ALL DAY LONG. I changed out of my pajamas and went in to the studio to work. Is it bad that the sounds of construction right outside the door bother me less than nonstop (loud) one-sided conversations?

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Belated Happy Birthday to Me

Since my birthday was last week, my sister drove out from Pittsburgh this weekend so that we could hang out. We actually didn't do anything crazy, for once, but it was still great to see her and we did have a good time. The weather was gorgeous - a little cool, but sunny. Saturday we wandered around Lakewood, the little town just outside of Cleveland where I'm living until the end of August. We hit every thrift shop we could find; I scored a pile of vintage German laceweight yarn. The pink is cotton and the rest is all wool. After that, we headed to the beach nearest to my apartment and laid out for a while. Between the cool weather and the less-than-perfect reputation of the beach, it was nearly deserted. (My first full day here, I walked around the park for a little while, and when I got to the beach area, the first 3 people that I saw were all men sunning themselves. In their underwear. I didn't need to see that.)

Sunday we went to a different nearby state park and walked around a bit. There isn't a beach there, but we could walk down along the breakfront and look over to the city. After that, we wandered over to Aladdin's, where we had an extremely tasty Mediterranean meal, and I finally got to have some birthday cake!

We also got Oliver to pose for a picture - Oliver is one of the cats that lives in my apartment, and he's a polydactyl kitty. He is also extremely friendly and helpful; he supervises my tooth-brushing from the sink counter, and would climb up and sit on my shoulder if I'd let him. Cute kitty. And yes, mom and dad, that really is Jo holding a cat.

On tap this week at the internship... lots of fun stuff. I'm working on some crochet swatches in handspun overtwist singles. I'm also working on an article on the Ohio Knitting Mills and its reincarnation for modern times. Steven very kindly showed us some really cool stuff...he has swatches and samples of raschel knitting from as far back as the 40's. The colors on the older stuff were just amazing - since most of the photography from that time was in black and white, we don't really think about how much color they actually used in their clothing, and how bold they were with their color combinations. These are some actual swatches of fabrics made at the factory...

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Here are a few more pictures of the paper wedding dress. Here's the full length glamour shot...

(Note the hay bales in the background... I wonder what the farmer thought when he was loading them on to the truck later that day!)

A close-up of some of the flowers on the bodice...
These were made of all different kinds of paper; wax paper, crepe paper, thermal receipt paper, paper towels, tissue paper, as well as a roll of mystery paper we found in the textile studio. I used watercolors to color the pink flowers, and several flowers have beading in them.

And a picture of everyone else setting up their dresses as I headed in to wash breakfast dishes...

Ariel is on the left, with two dresses pieced together crazy-quilt style, connected in the middle by a shared train. Nicole is on the middle right, with her metal screen corset, bird-netting tutu, and wire cage around the entire top. Elizabeth's dress was already set up; it's the ballgown made out of hay on the far right that almost blends in with the landscape.

This knoll is right outside the dining hall, and made a beautiful setting for the dresses. The weather even cooperated for the entire day. The only downside was that my dress had to be set up facing into the wind, so only the pictures of the back have the beautiful blue sky as the backdrop. The response was great; people kept walking out to look at them and take pictures of them all day.

Friday, July 10, 2009

And so it begins...

This week I started my internship with the awesome Shannon Okey at Knitgrrl Studio! I started just in time to help with the studio launch party and open house tomorrow from 7-9pm. (Really, they're just so overjoyed to have me there working for them that they are throwing a giant party!) And apparently, there are a few infamous locals that manage to make an appearance at every local opening. We'll see if I get to meet The Juggler, Dr. Peepee, or any other interesting characters.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

So, Penland was awesome. Some things were a little strange, some things were amazing, and overall, it was a great experience. To start with, when this is the view from the studio windows, it's hard to have a really bad day. I also lucked out on the dorm room space - I managed to snag a semi-private cubby with great natural light that had almost this exact same view. Just a little more to the left. The textiles studio we were in was on the third floor of the aptly named Loom House, and my dorm was on the third floor of the building right next door. I climbed a lot of stairs during those two weeks. One of the things Penland is known for is keeping everyone well fed - the food is fresh, amazing, and extremely abundant. There was always a gigantic bowl of fresh berries at breakfast every morning, and there was a lot of bacon. The bacon is infamous - apparently it has caused vegetarians to fail. And it was fed to us nearly once a day, if not at breakfast, then in sandwiches at lunch or on meatloaf at dinner. Between the near-constant eating and all of the walking outdoors (each discipline has its own building, none of which are connected), I left tan, fat, and mosquito-bitten. (Relatively speaking, of course; I am rather pale and skinny to begin with.)

Since the 4th of July fell over the weekend when no classes were happening, they held their annual celebration on the 1st instead. Again, they are apparently known for this - other artists, their families, and people from the nearby towns all came over to sit on the hill and enjoy the spectacle. It starts with a parade, for which most of the classes had made floats. Imagine what happens when you give tacit permission for art and craft students to be crazy and creative with a parade display...yeah. This was the 80th anniversary of the school's opening, so there were several tributes to Lucy Morgan, the founder. (The gentleman in the black is Edward Worst, the first visiting weaving expert she brought in to teach.)

Here is another Miss Lucy, created by one of the clay classes, waving to her fans.

On the left is Ariel, one of my classmates; she won the prize for "most random" with this hat she made in class. Among other things, the hat is covered in industrial earplugs, which, randomly, happen to glow in the dark! The trophy she won was a gigantic decorated glass goblet filled with gumballs.

This next group is the flameworking (as opposed to blown) glass class with instruments (etc?!?) that they made in class. The glass trumpet in front? Plays real music. And it sounded good!

And here is the other clay class; they made gigantic Thai clay pots. So,
of course, (?!?) they did a tribute to Michael Jackson, with a choreographed dance routine and everything.

Finally, the printmaking class created shirts and a banner for their own ragtag drum corps; the shirts were such a hit that they gave in to public demand and made some to sell on the
final day. Their tag line was "the Wonder of Penland", and the backdrop of the shirt is a slice of wonder bread. Instead of throwing candy to the crowd, they threw bread...they had run slices of Wonder bread through the press and printed various designs on the flattened slices. Each slice had written on the back, "Do not eat this bread!"

After the parade, ice cream and fireworks were enjoyed by all. Our class? We sat on our blanket, drank champagne out of plastic flutes, and laughed through the entire evening.

Friday, July 03, 2009


Finished and installed this morning before breakfast. I'm really tired now.