Friday, February 24, 2012

I Made a Bowl!

First off, thank you all for your kind words about my last post. Hearing about Betty's passing was a big blow, but I know she's proud of what she's helped me accomplish. One of the projects I worked on (on Sunday Funday!) while the shawl winged its way across the ocean to me was wetfelting around a resist to create a vase or bowl, a technique I learned at the Teapot Valley felting weekend that Betty brought me to back in February of 2010. It's a class I'm planning on teaching at Medomak, and I wanted to play with different resists to see what shapes I could achieve.

The fiber is carded Polwarth roving from Gnomespun in the colorway "Deciduous" that I bought at Rhinebeck 2010.

I didn't have a washboard at the time, so the sides are less felted than I'd like, but it's definitely a starting place!

Saturday, February 18, 2012


I got some sad news in an email a few weeks ago. Betty, one of the wonderful women who shaped my trip to New Zealand a few years ago, passed away on January 23rd. The friend that emailed told me that she had been out at her family's camp in the backcountry when things took a turn for the worse. Susie said that she had been doing some amazing work with her felting and her fiber, and had been really happy. And for that, I am incredibly grateful and proud. To be able to go surrounded by people you love, and knowing that the work you're doing is fulfilling and right--that makes it all worthwhile.

The friend also asked if I would like the shawl back that I knit for Betty while I was staying with her. It arrived on my doorstep earlier this week, and it was . . . it's hard to describe what that piece of knitting means to me. It was the first lace pattern that I'd ever designed, and I spent many hours on the couch at Fleecewood and in the huge, comfy recliner at Betty's wrestling with the pattern. It's knit in yarn that I spun while at Betty's, from roving made from her own alpacas (and from her llamas and some nondescript wool where I ran out of the original yarn on the last few inches of the border). I spent five minutes when I opened the package searching out the mistake in the lace I knew was there. It even smells like the perfume that Betty loved.

But even more than all of that, it signifies a big step into the unknown for the me of a few years ago. I had been surrounded by strong women who were doing what they loved and making it work. They weren't playing by the rules. They helped me realize that I didn't need to, either, that it wasn't necessary for me to be a good girl, go to grad school, and get a nice, inside-the-lines non-profit desk job, especially since that's not what I wanted. Betty and this shawl helped me see that making my own path was worth a shot. So thank you, Betty, for everything.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Sunday Fundays: yeah, I missed a couple

Even though I haven't blogged about them, Sunday Fundays are still a seriously big deal around these parts.

Last week I caught a gorgeous ray of sunshine hanging out on the now-completed back of Ursa, and you can also peek at the progress I had made on the two fronts, which I'm doing simultaneously. I say "had made", because I have a problem. It occurs when I'm not knitting on something every day, and think I'm smarter than I am. I was knitting along and watching the latest episode of Downton Abbey last Sunday (by the way, OMG Downton Abbey), and noticed that I had somehow forgotten to do the decreases on the inside edge of one of the fronts. And, now that I looked at it, I had missed the corresponding decrease on the other edge! How silly of me. Perhaps I can ladder down and fix it, and shift the extra yarn over to the edge where it'll be hidden in the seam? Well, no, now it looks like the dog's been chewing on it. Sigh. Oh well, nothing for it; I suppose I'll start by ripping out the other front. Off the needles it comes!

. . . Seven ripped rows later, I remembered I wasn't supposed to do any decreases on the inside edges.

At least the back's really pretty. :)