Wednesday, August 27, 2008

This Weeks Board

There's a lot of buzz going around these days in the knitting community about "inspiration boards" thanks to my neighbor, the talented Michelle Rose Orne. In her cozy book, Inspired to Knit, she explains her working method and details how to create your own board.

I've always worked this way, hoarding scraps and tear-sheets and bits of fabrics, string and canned food labels. In my earliest days I decoupaged collage on my doll-house walls, changing the look to suit my mood or the dolls latest story-lines. Later in college the board once occupied whole a wall in my apartment, in fact my son's room now looks like a giant inspiration board.

These days, I've got a couple of boards. One in my hidy-hole studio and another where I hone things down, every couple of weeks and the bulletin board travels around the house with me as I swatch at opportune moments, outside in the sun, in front of a Japanese Movie ( a little hard to follow color charts and read subtitles but never mind) or beside the bed to greet me in the morning.

The board pictured above is a little more fashion heavy than usual, no worries, the content constantly changes. You can see that I'm back on a geometric argyle-ish mood that popped up again when The Nederland Vest was published. Stay tuned for what's come of it!

By the way, my hand is healing nicely, though it took much longer than I imagined. Now I have to massage it to break up the scar tissue, hurts but it's necessary.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Ah, the Lovely Oyster

"small and rich, looking like little ears enfolded in shells, and melting between the palate and the tongue like salted sweets."
Guy de Maupassant

Ah yes...however the knife can be a brutal thing, if it slips. Behold:

Slows down the knitting a bit. Fooey.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Tollipop Love


A dangerous thing that pay-pal button, usually. Not in this case because I am so inordinatly happy! Kirsten Cram the artist of Tollipop Shop is the happy-maker. Above you see Big Sister Little Sister. See what a quick learner Little Sister is? She's almost knit as much as Big Sister.

It reminds me of my own experience learning to knit from my next-door-neighbor's older sister, Mary, who gave me some thin red aluminum needles, fine pearly pale green yarn, cast on and showed me what to do. I must have been a natural because I knit, and knit and knit, delighted with the lovely dolly blankie that took shape beneath my needles. When I got to the end of the yarn I was stumped...How to take it off ? My dollies couldn't sleep very well with that big spear at the end of their coverlet. No one in my family had a clue. I had to wait and wait and wait, a whole night and part of the next day, until Mary got home from school. I was eager for Mary to show me the secret. She took my knitting, and carefully slid it off the needle and dramatically unraveled the whole thing. Yes, she did, she was a meany.

Little Sister 's knitting furiously and is quickly catching up with her sister. I feel sure Big Sister will show her the proper way to cast off which will not prohibit, but rather enhance sisterly competition.

You can find these girls at the Tollipop Shop on etsy. Be sure and visit the Tollipop the blog, which is endlessly entertaining, with stories and stories and stories, my favorite being The Whispering Nautilus featuring Petula... Darling, who's namesake introduced me to Ms. Tollipop to begin with from her own Darling blog.

Best thing yet, if you visit Tollipop before noon tomorrow, you can enter a special drawing to win a...drawing!

You'll be happy you did!

Monday, August 04, 2008

gee's bend

gee's bend, originally uploaded by maryjanemidgemink.

Ok, I can't wait any longer, I've got a couple of sweaters in the up coming Color Style book by Pam Allen and Ann Budd. Take a Look at the preview which has me smiling like a happy-face. Just turn the first page and there you'll find a big double page spread of my Gee's Bend sweater. Some of my readers may remember how it all started...with a cup of tea and some favorite books and those amazing women from Gee's Bend who inspired my "lazy gal" style sweater, made of striped strips sewn together (good for take-along knitting)...And...clearly I for one, use all my leftover bits of yarn...The Charlie brown Nederland (below) is made with some of Gee's Bend scraps.

Oh I almost forgot! keep turning the pages of the preview and you'll see another sweater, Retro Andean, the sweater I once longed for and finally made! Not to mention the other amazing work by a fantastic group of designers, I'm pinching myself, that I'm included.