Friday, January 10, 2014

Painting Birds on Silk

This just finished, framed and placed in a dining area window today, suspended between two panels of glass in a record frame.  Joining in Paint Party Friday

 14" x 14"

Matthew 6:26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much better than they? 

Silk painting originated in China, going back to 2600 BC. Long before paper was invented/made, silk was a medium on which to paint. Silk is durable, portable, and readily rolled for travel.

Several prior references on the how to paint on silk are described in this blog. Go here or here or here for more information and other displayed paintings.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

A Honey of a Cowl

This fiber I'm working with now is ornery as a toddler overdue for a nap.  It is colorful, a pretty variegation of mixed colors, but stiff as a board.  Well maybe not quite as stiff as a board, but it definitely could stand up to a fist fight without a bruising.

My hands are getting a bit cramped from putting size 9 circular needles through it, making purl stitches and then slipped stitches, then going back to a row of knitting around on alternating rows.

But it is worth fussing with this 100 percent and slightly tamed wool from Scotland for several reasons of personal intrinsic value, the major one being that it was a souvenir from that glorious summer day last July when we Joyce James tourers visited the Woolshed on Orkney.  Women crofters from that southern Scottish island raise their own sheep for the fiber, then go through all the laborious processes of refining the wool until they can eventually dye it to their own specifications or individual liking. Only then are the skeins wound and marked, delivered to the Woolshed, and made ready for purchase.  In this case we tourists were the ones eager to snatch up wool rugs, jumpers, and those beautifully dyed skeins that were so artfully decorating straw baskets and stuffed into worn wooden shelving in that remote marketplace, a two room working craft producers' cooperative studio.

The one wool skein I brought home from the Woolshed has patiently waited for the perfect small project to make use of its properties (it contains 100 grams).  And so the Honey Cowl seemed fitting.  Honey Cowl, when completed, looks somewhat like a honeycomb with rows of purled stitches and slipped stitches simulating a honeycomb.

See its ridges?  Wye, they practically stand up to salute the eye of the beholder.  Perhaps it can be folded under a collar or over a turtleneck and secured with a scarf clip to tame its less than cuddly fiber characteristic.  Only seven more inches of honey comb stitching to go until it can be bound off.  Am going through lots of hand moisturizers on this cowl.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Mouse, Mice, Meece

How can you not think mice are cute?

Not the destructive type of mouse, that varmint type, that eat grain, sneak into your pantry and eat a hole in your Cheerios box ... but the type of mice as portrayed by Beatrix Potter and other whimsical artists.

Let your mind wander to sweet mice, funny mice, darling mice, like these

And even knitted mice!
This is a family of mice I knit from the book Knitted Cats and Kittens by Stratford.  An odd choice for knit?  Maybe.  But I think that one or two peeking out from the brim of a hat might give a chuckle.

 I do think mice are very nice.