October 28th, 2013
My version of heaven may just involve a crisp chilly night, curled up in my favorite chair with a good mystery and a glass of wine. My dogs scattered comfortably around me (and not trying to regain my favorite chair). The alternative, however, might be a crisp autumn morning with everything the same except for coffee replacing the wine. Either way, my head is daydreaming of lush knits and–um, yes…. Soup.
I confess, if I could create a world that was singularly Fall, I’d be in heaven. Soup is my soul food that carries me through 9 mos of the year, and Autumn heralds the return of the Soup Days. As you may or may not know, I Cook. My kitchen gets a much better workout than I ever do. That said, I don’t agonize over my cooking like I do my stitching. I may re-knit the same 3 inches a dozen times to achieve perfection, but I have never made the same sauce twice—merely close approximations of favorite flavor combinations. I refuse to measure. My cooking style is decidedly rustic. I will only peel a vegetable if I’m seriously doubtful of the outcome otherwise. My potatoes, carrots, and apples hit the pot as clothed as the day they sprouted.
Designs progress eagerly, but slowly while the soup simmers.
I frequently wish myself able to tackle my knitting with the same reckless abandon as my cooking. But knitwear design is more about undoing than doing most days, and swatching only tells half the tale. Each stitch needs to be carefully plotted and counted, deeming each soft undulating cable a math equation rather than a recipe for comfort. All that said, the thick luxury of the woolens beneath my fingers inspire me to keep knitting and tinking and knitting and tinking. Much like soup, it feeds my soul. And I always have the joyful wild freedom to add to my stash carefree to balance out the duties of design, whether my wallet appreciates that or not.
The buttons remain to be chosen, and I think I'm going to ask Dave to make something special for this.
October 16th, 2013
It just doesn’t get better than this…
October 10th, 2013
The joy of working in natural light has been limited with the shortening of September days. The chill in the studio has required the ministrations of the furnace. Autmun seems to have settled in. It is a season that always brings out my nesting instincts and the need to seek out quiet moments of creative domesticity. This time of year I’m more desirous of hooking quietly while listening to a book on tape or knitting while minding a pot of simmering stew rather than being driven in my junking and flea market pursuits.
Not too long ago my husband and I took a few days out in the Berkshires, a beautiful area with numerous delights to tickle the fiber fancier. It is a place that draws me regularly. Lazy mornings at the coffee shop sipping cappuccinos and nibbling on cinnamon buns with a patient eye on the yarn store just across the way could not be a better way to start any day. When the door finally unlocks and the sign flips from Closed to Open, I leave Dave contented with his nibbles and stroll on over to check out the luxurious wares. Time really, is the luxury here. I poke through the bins and fondle each yarn. I adore it all, but what I am really looking for is inspiration. And it’s there. It always is. I always leave with a tote full of the next season’s inspirations.
September 25th, 2013
Well, we’re exhausted around here, and our dogs are feeling ignored, but , oh, what a fantastic weekend we had. The September Vintage Bazaar was spectacular. The weather miraculously cooperated, there were good people, good food, and of course, good finds! We’re ignoring all the unpacking we need to do, nonetheless, we are already dreaming up new ideas for the June Bazaar.
A favorite: Primitive Saw Bowl
Loading in, we were packed. Fortunately, not near as much stuff came home with us as went!
September 18th, 2013
Lots of tagging going on around these here parts. The Vintage Bazaar at Pettengill Farm in Salisbury is this weekend, the 21st and 22nd.
September 12th, 2013
I’ve been mulling over this one for a bit: making my patterns into knitting kits. It took me a bit, but I finally came up with a presentation I’m happy with. This first release is the Newborn Knit Kit for the Cabled Earflap Cap. The kit includes the printed full color pattern with numerous photos along with a skein of the luxury yarn, Terra by the Fibre Company. It is all packaged in a sweet eco-friendly gift box that is perfect for giving or receiving.
The Newborn Knit Kit for the Cabled Earflap Cap
Choose your Color
September 11th, 2013
It’s a busy time around here. The studio is turned upside down as we prepare for the coming show and holiday season, and the house isn’t much better. As summer is winding down, warm humid days with chilly nights are pushing the last of the garden goods into the kitchen to process. My day today will start by bagging the peaches I prepped and froze on giant cookie sheets last night, dogs will be walked, ricotta cheese will be made for dinner while I answer emails, a bunting needs finishing, starfish will be sewn, marketing, pillows, custom orders will be attended to. I’m already tired still tucked in bed writing this knowing the day will end by walking dogs again, checking off the to do list for my volunteer work, making sauce with the bounty of summer tomatoes and baking a cake for an anniversary celebration.
The color of peaches.
Despite the early morning and late night toils, the kitchen is my second studio, and I love being there. I aspire to prepare our meals with as much beauty as as any hooked rug or new knitted design. The labor of summer harvest chores is rewarded by a spectacle of color that in turn inspire and affect my fiber work. It is all cyclical. No one part of my day exists in isolation. Everything I do is part of the creation of what happens next.
The juice of 2 lemons
1/4 cup of sugar
In a large mixing bowl, dissolve the sugar in the lemon juice. Slices peaches into 8 slices each. Toss in the lemon juice mixture and lay out on a cookie sheet, side by side to freeze. I work with four peaches at a time to avoid bruising.
After frozen, let the tray thaw for just a minute so you can remove the peaches to bag and store in the freezer.
September 3rd, 2013
Little House Cashmere Tooth Pillows
My husband and I recently fulfilled a nearly life long dream of mine: we biked through the tulip fields of Holland. It was an amazing and influential trip. I found the Dutch bikes so much kinder to my knitter’s shoulder and neck and promptly snatched up a cruiser bike upon our return. Of course, too, creatively my head just started tumbling over numerous new Dutch influenced textile pursuits.
Amsterdam served as the base of our trip, and what a feast for the eyes it is. There are so many wonderful things I could tell you about, but right now I am going to focus on the architecture and the quaint inviting neighborhoods. Each street bustles with bicyclists and pedestrians surrounded by the most storybook looking buildings you could imagine. Row house in brick and colorful wooden siding overlooking the narrow street and broader canals. It is an image that has lasted with me.
A neighborhood of charming little pillows.
Not so very long ago my new cutter lot of cashmere sweaters arrived. It included many brighter tones than I usually use, so they got pushed aside for a bit as I pondered what to do with them, and why on earth I had purchased them. And then it hit me. Neat little row houses, all hand sewn. I’ve started small; petite pillows with a door that serves as a pocket for each. It’s a perfect destination for a tooth fairy, or love note, or any little secret you need a small hiding place for. But the collection will grow into a sprawling neighborhood of cheery abodes. Watch and see.