I am juggling painting new pieces for a small show to finish a book, with making one shawl a month for the 2014 year for a future project. I am doing this with a part-time day job and other responsibilities of my home studio business. I am not complaining. I know I am a lucky one to have this problem!
It is not so bad to feel free to use things and events around me that I love, to influence my work. I look out my window and I see birds, plants and every so often a deer or fox in our yard. I live in a small town where walking down the road for a fountain drink also means being waved at by locals in trucks and cars. Many wave whether they actually know me or not. The clerk ringing up my purchase will briefly chat about whatever is the current local hot topic, and it would not be unusual to speak with someone that knew my husband since he was a small child.
I come back and settle in with my to-do list and calendar and am thankful for where I am in the world.
One of my goals this year was to create a shawl each month. Well, February got away from me, and I finished it the first week of March.
I decided to create an Orenburg (Russian) Lace Shawl. Yes, the shortest month of the year I decided to do the most difficult one I could for my skill level. What was I thinking? But in my defense I did get it completed!
The pattern I used was by no means the most difficult of Orenburg Shawls. I wanted to be sure to understand the construction first. I hope to conquer a particular one at a later date. The one I did do came from Knitting Traditions – Spring 2012 issue, “Romashka Scarf From Orenburg”. I used Patons Lace, Vintage Antique, (498 yrds) 2 skeins.
Orenburg shawls are created by a sort of jogging around method. Here I made a short border end, created the first corner, picked up the stitches along its straight edge then turn the second corner. The length of the shawl is made by simply following the chart for the borders and panel. Once you get to the other end I then made the third corner, picked up the stitches along the top while making the top border and finished by creating the fourth corner. Then standard finishing techniques were used so I could call it complete.
Below are images of a recently completed Estonian Lace Scarf. The pattern is Lily of the Valley from “Knitted Lace of Estonia” by Nancy Bush. (Note: Not an affiliate link)
I used Paton’s Lace yarn. It is not as crisp as others I have used in the past, it has more of a halo. An acrylic blend, so I am not sure I like it. If it is not used for another lace shawl I can always use it for baby items. It is soft, and washable! And very inexpensive in comparison.
It is freezing outside, but inside I was more than a little pleased to discover my plant blooming. It was a gift last year for Mother’s Day from a son-in-law. Just a few days before I had made the comment that I “…hoped it would survive until Spring”.
That’ll teach me!
The goal for 2014 is to have one significant shawl completed for each month. I am not sure if I want to begin on a idea that has been peculating in my noggin, or jump right into creating an Orenburg shawl next.
Eventually it will all come together for an eBook tutorial with original designs.
Talk to you all soon and have a wonderful rest of January! Stay warm! And please be sure to leave comments and/or suggestions. I always love hearing from you!
2014 is here! It gives us a fresh start, a clean slate, to begin again. There will be changes this year in the blog and website. The biggest one being that I am going to start including knitting projects. This of course will be reflected eventually in a new banner etc…
As some of you may know I work a part-time day job at a local Public Library. One of the perks of working there is I am surrounded by intelligent crafty people every day. At some point, I am not sure when exactly, I decided to get into knitting. We have a very strong knitting group at the Library, and local college. It is a skill of mine I wanted to improve. So I tapped into this amazing resource of people and information.
She. was. never. seen. again.
I am obsessed.
I still paint. It will never go away. I still have a book on painting I need to complete! It is just on hiatus at the moment. It has taken a bit, but I have decided to not fight the urge to create with fibers and just to go with the natural creative flow. So days in the studio are split between writing and knitting.
Over the years I have gotten very deeply into drawing, painting, polymer clay, beading and photography. Each tends to feed off the other. Knitting I am sure will be no exception. The website will reflect this instead of trying to force it into something it just is not.
Just a quick recap of the past week:
This past Saturday was the opening of my show at The Bowlus Fine Arts Center. A collection of oil painted portraits on stretched canvas.
I can not say enough good about the staff at The Bowlus! The day we were to hang the show my back was out, and I was walking like a bent-over-little-old lady. It reminded me of a “Evolution of Man” chart. The more vertical throughout the day, the straighter and more upright I became. But the employees were all extremely helpful, positive and dependable.
We had a decent turnout and other than my social awkwardness things went smooth. Note: I am much more comfortable in front of an easel than I am in front of a crowd.
Tip: I forgot to designate someone to take photos that evening. I wish I had! Hubby and I were so caught up in everything we both overlooked it. So if you can find a trusted friend to take some candid shots during a reception it is a good idea.
For a long while now I have thought, “If I can just get this show together it will be smooth sailing for a bit”. HA! Was that ever a chance for God to laugh at my plans.
The very next morning (Sunday) my Dad was admitted to the hospital, in ICU sixty miles away. By the time I got there, an hour later, he was sitting in bed joking around with nurses. By Tuesday he was released and going for his daily walk at the local Wal-Mart. (SMH) Thankful, but NEVER boring around here for long!
What is next? I want to finish up a couple of pieces that I wish I had had completed for the show. Try to take things up a notch as far as size and skill. The immediate time pressure is off on these two so it will be interesting to see if they come out as I envision.
Still obsessed with knitting, and now that it is getting cooler it is calling me louder. I am sure lace will not add much warmth in a Kansas Winter, but that is what I am hooked on of late. It helps me clear my head. This is particularly true of knitting shawls. They are large enough to hold my interest between painting, but small enough to carry with me.
Also, if there are any writer’s reading this I am sure you are aware that as of today it is National Novel Writing Month! If you are not familiar with NANOWRIMO, it is a non-profit program that encourages people to write fifty-thousand words during the month of November. I have participated in the past, and want to this year. But my want, and hours available are not cooperating. I have not openly committed to participating yet this year. Then again, November isn’t over yet either.
Last but not least, in a little over a week I have vacation time from my day-job in a public library. Nine days in a semi-open time frame to paint, knit and write! Aside from a day trip to Wichita and perhaps KC, I plan on being in full hermit mode the entire time. Ahhhh bliss!
Today was spent boxing up all the work that is ready for a show that will be hung Monday. I also updated inventory lists and made sure marketing materials are up to date. There are still three paintings I could not pack up as they are still drying in some fashion. But they will be ready to go and walk out the door by Monday.
Below are two items that will be included.
So the big question now, what is next?
But for now, I need to get this studio back into shape. Every surface in here is covered with books, photos, notes and painting supplies. Then I want to just sit down and knit for a few days, without interruption. To clear my head and further challenge the analytical part of my brain…..while eating chocolate. Who knows maybe I will design a thing or two while I am at it. :0)
Tutorials will begin again soon, I promise! For now I have deadlines on paintings that need to be completed. Below are a couple oil paintings that are currently in progress.
A scarf recently completed that I am rather proud :0) So soft, so fluffy, so light, such a good head clearing project when painting is not going the way I want!
In a little over two weeks I need to hang a show. So this means right now I am busy putting eye screws and wire on canvases for hanging, considering doing a few last minute pieces and wishing I had more time.
I have known I was doing the show for over a year now. But as is often the case I think of things to do at the last minute!