Monday, January 31, 2011

Hooker me... just for the record

This is my last rug. The hooking was finished just before I started this blog. It is hooked in 100% wool cut to strips 5/32" wide. The design is my own and I call it "Bird Seasons." I may be selling the pattern! :) To compare with my current project...

Hooker me ... recycled shirts

I cleaned out my closet last weekend and in so doing I got the inspiration for my next hooked rug. Several shirts no longer fit me (!? it's inexplicable... it's like they shrank!) so I pulled them out and left them in a pile on the living room floor all week. Yesterday I took the scissors to them and salvaged some wonderful--mostly cotton--fabric. I tore a strip from each and hooked the following palette. I'm going to hook a round rug for the small hall in front of the bathroom and want to do florals. My palette is short on yellows, oranges and greens so I stopped at the thrift store on my way to work today and picked up a few tee shirts. I'm excited and ready to start hooking as soon as I order some more linen backing. This will be very different from my last rug which was all wool, very evenly cut. This rug will be hooked in .5" to .75" widths, inspired by Kaffe Fassett's work.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A handful of novelty yarns (continued)

The weaving is finished and the scarf is off the loom. It feels great, very light. It's holding together, which is a nice thing! It's now out to dry after soaking in Eucalan for 30 minutes. I'm contemplating crocheting along both long edges with a very thin gold yarn and using the same for a crocheted edging at both ends. It would help preserve the woven structure I think and make it less likely to distort if snagged on something. Maybe...


This was exciting to weave because of the multitude of color, so.... I think these lovelies are destined for the same treatment. All wool, silk, cashmere, and a tiny bit of man-made:

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Cello

It started at the beginning of November. I don't think it was an accident that my desire to learn to play cello was made manifest. For a while my left hand had been (and continues to be) gaining in dexterity and strength. (It almost goes without saying that ergo, my left arm, shoulder, torso--dorsal and frontal--all the way down to my pelvis--It's the pelvis, Elvis!--has opened up.) This, I think, made the idea of learning cello a concrete notion.

It's quite a deceleration to pick up an unfretted instrument after years of playing piano. The piano is tuned by someone else and as long as the right key is played, the right tone will sound. On cello, November and December were my sick cow days. This is the most apt description I can think of for the way I sounded. Oh, the bellowing! But I think the bovine is s-l-o-w-l-y on the mend and hopefully--maybe in 5 years or so--she'll be musing over arias. For now I'm content she's on the road to recovery.

One of my big first impressions: the bulk of the instrument. Sitting at the piano is all tidy and neat--more or less. The cello crawls between your legs and it makes me feel pregnant. I'm getting used to it though and can sense a love making potential. I also have to carry it to and fro my lesson, which means carrying it all the way to work after my lesson and back home after work. This I'm also getting used to (think turnstiles!). It was awkward at first. On the subway I'm to the point where I can cradle the cello between my legs and knit at the same time! Yes!

Bowing was harder than I imagined, it looks easy-peasy, it isn't. Although I'm sure it will eventually seem so.

Friday, January 21, 2011

A handful of novelty yarns... what to do?

I’m pretty excited by my current weaving project. I was able to set the loom up again after I took the Christmas tree down and last weekend I took a stroll through my stash. I found a handful of lovely fibers that I bought just because they were so beautiful. A ball of silk ribbon, some multi-colored mohair I found in a bargain bin (at School Products here in the city), a spool of parti-colored cotton chenile (from same), 2 balls of reclaimed sari silk from a crafts fair, 1 ball of variegated green fingering weight wool from a thrift store, 1 skein of variegated blue fingering weight wool I found at the NY Sheep and Wool Festival, and a ball of very thin dark blue mohair.

Here it is in progress, a spring scarf which, in person, looks like stained glass. I warped with all the fibers except the very thin blue mohair and am using that as the weft. 8 dent heddle, warped as follows: both selvedges are 2 threads: a blue and green fingering; Between the selvedges are 1 multi mohair, 1 blue fingering, 1 ribbon, 1 green fingering, 1 chenile, 1 blue fingering, 1 sari, 1 green fingering repeated. I’m weaving it loose because I want that airy, breathing look--almost like net, except that the warp is pretty well filled in. Here it is on the loom. The spaces that look like air are actually the variegated (purple and white) silk ribbon…

A beginning

My first attempt at blogging begins now. I hope to share my thoughts and ideas about music, piano playing, learning cello, and love birds. Spinning, knitting, weaving, rug hooking and all things fiber. Perhaps with a smattering of politics.

I'll start by leaving this wonderful quote of Pablo Casals. I may come back to it later:

"Beautiful playing is beautiful to look at."