Monday, October 22, 2012

Fall for Rhinebeck

This past weekend, I ventured out to Rhinebeck, NY, with some friends for the annual NYS Sheep and Wool Festival. The weather was gorgeous (68 and sunny) and the woolly creatures all seemed happy to greet us.

It's fun (though a little overwhelming) to shop at Rhinebeck because there's so much beautiful yarn, but my favorite part is seeing so many fiber enthusiasts in one place, all wearing and showing off their handknits, smiling and complimenting one another. It's such a gracious event.

I got some goodies for projects I'm really excited about, like some midnight blue wool to knit a sweater for my husband.

And some variegated silk/wool to knit a Maxfield Cardigan for me!

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Knitting Up a Storm!

Back in August I took part in a yarn storming event -- similar to 'yarn bombing' but with a more peaceful name chosen by the organizers. The event felt more like a public art installation than a storm-the-neighborhood-with-graffiti-in-the-night sort of thing. Not that that's bad :) this was just sort of different. 

The event took place in broad daylight, was approved and supported by the city of Somerville, and even covered by the local community access station. Volunteers from all over the community donated their knit pieces and came together on a Saturday morning to put up the entire work. We covered fences, benches, trees, and lampposts with hand knit panels. It was a lot of fun!

I'd never taken part in yarn storming / bombing before. Although I've been impressed with some installations I'd seen by Magda Sayeg of knitta, please and projects by J. Meredith Warner of, I have preferred to keep my woolly fibers for sweaters, blankets, and wearable accessories. But this time, turning knitting into public art was really cool. I knit a few panels to fit one of the trees in the park (in the first photo) as well as numerous fence tip posts from scrap yarn I had lying around. Many more were made by knitters in the community, young and old. They all had little tags that explained the project in case people wanted to take a bit of the art home with them.

The storming was part of a much bigger effort called the Wrap Around Project. Created through the Nave Gallery as an annual sale of knitted goods to benefit the Somerville Homeless Coalition (SHC), the Wrap Around Project has grown into a yearlong campaign to raise awareness of the issue of homelessness in the area. "Somerville's homeless population is comprised of elders, single working adults, disabled individuals, and many families with children from newborns to teenagers. The typical homeless family that SHC serves is a mother with two children.... In 2011 alone, the Somerville Homeless Coalition prevented 225 individuals from becoming homeless through their case management and housing program services. 86 of these individuals were children. Additionally, through programming like Project SOUP, 1,400 people had access to food." (

Boston area folks: If you have items you would like to donate to the 5th Annual Wrap Around Sale to benefit the Somerville Homeless Coalition (SHC), the Nave Gallery is seeking knitted, crocheted, and sewed donations of scarves, gloves, hats, bags, blankets, decorative pieces, etc. Donations can be dropped off from October 27th-Nov 10th at: Nave Gallery, 155 Powderhouse Blvd., Somerville, MA; Blue Cloud Gallery, 713 Broadway Ave., Somerville, MA; Magpie, 416 Highland Ave., Somerville, MA; Mind’s Eye Yarns, 22 White St., Cambridge, MA. Please include your name so that we can thank you, and a list the materials used (e.g. wool, cotton, acylic, etc.).

Or, come do some shopping! Sale Dates and Hours:
Saturday/Sunday, November 10-11, 1-5 pm 
Saturday/Sunday, November 17-18, 1-5 pm 
Saturday/Sunday, December 1-2, 1-5 pm 
Saturday/Sunday, December 8-9, 1-5 pm 
Saturday/Sunday, December 15-16, 1-5 pm 
Also, a Cupcake Reception will follow: Saturday, November 17th, 1-5 pm 

Thursday, October 04, 2012

summer revisited.

I'm very happy that it's finally Fall, but I can't help indulging in a little summer nostalgia.

All photos taken with iphone/instagram August 2012, Martha's Vineyard, MA

Sunday, August 05, 2012

pots in progress.

I really enjoyed taking my first (ever) pottery class this summer. I made pinch pots, slabs, and worked on a wheel! I think the slabs were my favorite. I ended up making a series of cylindrical pots (vases? vessels?) with imprints of lace and crochet swatches that I found in a bin in the classroom. It was really great to explore a new medium, but apparently I couldn't stray too far from my love of stitches!

The above photo is a pinch pot I made in my first class. I made a bit of a mess with the glaze, but that's ok. I'll probably use this to hold jewelry or safety pins.

Below are some 'in progress' photos of my pieces. A few of them still need to be glazed and none of them have been fired. The piece with the buttons on it was a pot I made on the wheel and had trouble trimming. I made and used the buttons to playfully hide the lumpy, uneven surface. 

The pieces in the last photo have been glazed, but not yet fired. I love how you can still see the texture from the lace imprint, but it's a little faded, like an old dress or foggy day. I can't wait to see what these look like once they come out of the kiln! 

Working in clay, both on the wheel and handbuilding, was really satisfying for me. I can see how it can become addictive and one can roll out an assembly line of dishes, bowls, or pots with subtle variations. It was also really fun to go somewhere and make something, since most of my knitting takes place on my couch at home where I continuously find distractions. Not since my darkroom days have I left the house to pursue a creative project, which is far better than just leaving and going to work ;)

Another thing I realized is that working with in a new medium forced me to slow down! I do everything so fast (which seems shocking because it takes me months to knit something) but learning something new has made me adjust my speed and pay closer attention. With the clay in my hands I had to not only slow down and feel it, but be gentle, consistant, and rhythmic with my motions. Plus I got really messy, which is also something I don't do normally. All in all it's been a great summer activity and I hope to pursue more pottery in the fall. In the meantime, my knitting awaits.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

coffee + crafting

....nothings goes better together!

Saturday, July 07, 2012


Last weekend we visited friends who are getting ready to open their own coffee roastery in Portland, ME. It was my first time there in warm weather (I've always been in fall or winter!) and it was just as lovely as I imagined.

If you are around Portland after August, stop by Tandem Coffee to try their locally roasted beans!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

new england summer

here are a few pretty, quiet moments from the last few days: my towering pile of summer reads, lazy-day knitting, some V's from the Printing Arts Festival at the Museum of Printing, and a little friend who joined me for lunch.

it's supposed to get ridiculously hot this week. i just cast on for a cool, cotton blend shawl for some breezy, lightweight stitches and am mixing up some cold brew coffee. what do you like to knit or make to stay cool?