Sunday, December 31, 2006

Finished Object

I finally finished my son's red sweater! I'm very pleased that he likes it. It is his signature color, and knit exactly to his specifications. I knit it top down and a little roomy so I can add length as he grows. He wants to add a zipper front, but that will have to wait until after the holiday so I can get one. For now, he is thrilled to have is own sweater--the first one I've knit for him. I got the yarn at Rhinebeck in October, and knit on 10.5 (american) needles, which was really hard on my hands, especially with the 6 hour marathon I pulled yesterday to finish it for the new year. Now on to other UFOs! I wish you all a Happy , healthy,and creative New Year.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Christmas Lace

I think my favorite Christmas gift to myself is this sweater! When it dried, it became a lovely teal with green stripes, and the sheen and softness of the silk shone through. I wore it for Christmas at Mom's, and it was deliciously warm and gorgeously comfortable to wear. I'm so pleased with how the color came out! I wish I'd thought to take a "before" photo, but in my haste to transform it, I forgot. As I love to knit lace, but am not a shawl person, I can see more variations on this pattern...and for Christmas my Mom got me more silk yarn in royal blue , so I have my summer project all ready. Now I just have to finish 3 UFOs, oops, make that 4 since I had to immediately cast on with the Paintbox Merino my brother got me , as I really need a warm vest before the snow begins...there will be some snow this year, right? 'Cause I've got boots, a hat, sweaters at the ready!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

More knitting projects!

The hat obsession continues. Here is one for my brother, who I'll be seeing tomorrow at Christmas at my Mom's house. I hope he likes it...

And this is a lace sweater I knit over the summer in bright yellow green and blue silk yarn. I never could bring myself to wear it because the color was overwhelming. Last night I overdyed it with blue, and now it is drying. I think this one will definitely be wearable.
Happy Holidays to all!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Goddess of Knitting With Cats

My friend Elizabeth Rosenberg ( ( and ) initiated "The Goddess Project" and encouraged her friends to create quilts reflecting their own favorite Goddesses.

Because my two cats are always rearranging things in my studio, lying on my latest quilt, helping me wind yarn, sitting on my lap and otherwise being a big part of my life, I decided to play with that theme, so I pulled out all the cat fabric I had and went to work. The shape of the Goddess was given by Elizabeth, but I wanted mine to be wearing a furry dress, surrounded by her minions, lost in the fiber frenzy
that sometimes is my life.

The ball of yarn appeared and the cats were delighted to play with it. I knitted her a vest on tiny needles and added some quilting for foliage in the background. Her name is Perdita: Lost Goddess of Knitting With Cats. Here is a detail so you can see the stitching. The background fabric is hand dyed by me.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Fantastic Felting

It amazes me what washing will do to knitted fabric. This hat went through three hot/cold wash cycles, and the result is exactly what I'd hoped. I love this hat! And so does my cat.
The purse had only 2 wash cycles, and you can still see the knit stitches, but the size is just what I was looking for. .. It is amazing how the stuff shrinks and compacts. And just in time; we're supposed to have rain today and then a cold snap for the rest of the week.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Felt up

So, why am I wearing a bucket over my head? Actually, this is the pre-felted version of a hat. I decided I needed a warm hat that I could wear in the rain and I thought felting might make a thick, warm, water resistant fabric that might be perfect for my needs. Besides, I had a stash of Cascade 220 on hand. I used my Brother Home Knitter to cast on 120 stitches at a loose tension(9), and knit 45 rows, changing colors to include some black and some handdyed Cascade. I then put it onto size 10 needles, and knit in the round with a decrease every 15 sts X8, then knit plain, then decrease every 14 X8, then plain, etc until I had decreased to 8 stitches, whereupon I ran the yarn thru and pulled tight. Then I put the other side on circular needles and increased every 15 sts X8, knit one row plain, increase every 16 X8, etc. until I had about 10 rows of brim, then cast off. In retrospect I should have distributed the brim increases more randomly, as the result wasn't a circle but an octagon ( duh!), although a man on a runaway horse would never notice, as my mom says.
Now to throw it into the washing machine for a few cycles of hot/cold and keep my fingers crossed!
I also made a purse, as I had the knitting machine out, so here is the photo of that one ( pre felting)..

Keeping warm

True to the magical thinking philosphy, since I'm busy knitting warm stuff, it will be mild and balmy weather. I'm not complaining, but it figures!It has been in the 40s and 50s in New York,which is odd for this time of year. I do think Global Warming is real, and this chaotic and bizarre weather is one indicator that I can see. We're keeping the heat down to 68 degrees anyway, so the house feels cold.
Meanwhile, I've made 2 sets of fingerless knits, spurred on by wondering what to do with one skein of yarn. Perhaps I'll have to knit warm stuff every autumn? LOL.
This pair was done by Magic Loop with two leftover balls of yarn, and it was lots of fun to arrange the stitches and figure out casting on. I enjoyed it so much I made a second pair, but used one ball working inside and outside the ball. It was great to be able to work until I ran out of yarn on both simultaneously!

Sorry for the dark photo. Same pattern;celtic cable and ribbing; hand dyed alpaca yarn. These are appreciably warmer than the purple Merino ones. Lots of fun. This was my first try at doing two things on Magic Loop; I can see how easy it was to keep in the pattern, and to get both done at the same time was fabulous!

Thursday, November 23, 2006


There is a lot to be thankful for in my world. Today I finished my blue alpaca sweater, and wore it to a Thanksgiving feast at my Mother-in-Law's house, where the Chicago branch of the family flies in every year for food and celebration of Hanukkah. It is a bit of a dash to get food and gifts ready, but we managed it all. I made some rattatouie, which turned out to be incredibly hot, thanks to the addition of one little pepper...and some sweet potato casserole which I loved, but didn't get eaten much. I'll be having that for a few weeks, I think! It was fun to see how all the kids have grown and to try out my new sweater. Alpaca is incredibly warm, but it was a rainy dreary cold night, so I was glad to have it. Hope your day was good, too.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Sushi Man

I've gotten off easy for Halloween over the last 7 years. Each of my kids wore the same costume for 7 years: one was a Beanie Baby Squirrel, and the other was a grey squirrel. This year, B. decided to surprise the other kids and wanted to be a sushi roll. This took a bit of engineering; my husband created an armature out of fiberglass, tiewraps and plastic sheets; covered with black plastic bags this looked a lot like nori.
The top was constructed with white felt and sewn onto the fiberglass ring. When we glued on styrofoam packing peanuts to look like rice, we had a Bobby Roll. Cute enough to eat! Won "Best Costume" at a party already!

Monday, September 18, 2006

Luminosity Blues Detail

Here's a detail for you, Emily! The quilting is functional, but not so beautiful. I'm lazy! LOL.
Thanks for the comments! I love working with Paula Nadelstern's fabric. The colors and textures are marvelous.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Here is the back of the blue quilt; I used a very busy stripe, so you can't really see the quilting, but I like the whole color scheme, so it works for me!

Luminosity Blues

My collection of blue fabrics begged to become another Luminosity quilt. I used as many of the Luminosity by Paula Nadelstern ( ) fabrics as I could find, plus a few from my stash that seemed to work in the design. I quilted it basically the same as the original one; arcs in the "plain" diamonds, and outlining motifs in the star sections. A fun quilt to make! I enjoyed teaching a workshop on this design at Clamshell Quilters Guild in Waterford, Connecticut last month, and was thrilled to see how each person brought her own ideas to personalize her quilt.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Pamela Ties

This marvelous tie was given to me by Pamela Allen at the IQA show in Houston in 2003: can see more of them here:

Fiberart For A Cause Postcards

I I decided to spend this week making some postcard sized quilts for the upcoming show and sale of fiberart postcards in Houston this year. Fiberart For A Cause: Supporting the American Cancer Society See: for more information and the story behind this amazing project. Mine used hand dyed velvets, dupioni silk fused to Timtex and stitched with various threads. The fortunes are from fortune cookies I've gotten over the last few years, which I've saved for just this kind of project. I made a bunch of them , and am getting ready to send them in!

Monday, August 21, 2006

Global Warning

Global Warning". 30x30in. After seeing thedevastation of a tornado on the Saw Mill Parkway, watching Al Gore's movie. "An InconvenientTruth" and freaking out about the hurricanes and Katrina, plus the energy crisis, this quilt jumped into mystudio.I used a piece of fabric which I'dsoy wax-batiked and dyed in a weekend retreat with Melanie Testa andElizabeth Poole, and some spiral quilt blocks to represent tornados andhurricanes, but it needed something.My friend Jill's husband gifted me with a human skull he had acquired in medschool, which he decided he didn't want any more. As it is illegal to sellskulls ( apparently), I was thrilled to take it home. I wrapped it inclothes and carefull packed it into my carry-on luggage ( this was Aug 1st,well before the current restrictions, luckily). The face of the cute guybehind the xray scanner was hilarious to watch--his eyes widened as heasked, in hushed tones: "Is that a real human skull!?!" I looked him in theeye and said "Yes; it's ok: I'm a doctor, it is for teaching ".He let methrough without protest.The image of Mr. Skull was exactly what I needed for this piece, so I photographed him and projected the image onto the quilt top.He is quilted in black thread..

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Purple Peacock Sweater

The Purple lace sweater is done, and I'm kind of sorry! I adore this yarn; it is very wonderful to knit with and perfect for summer knitting because it isn't too warm. But I enjoy wearing this even more. It feels incredibly sensuous on. I had a great time playing with lace, and creating the pattern for the hemline increases which result in a peplum effect. Putting crystal beads on the ends of the points complements the yarn and gives a finished heft to the sweater, The only thing I'm not totally done with is the front. I'm debating about putting button holes on it and can't decide how many and what kind of buttons, because if I use glass ones it will weigh down the side they are on, and I like the smooth finish of the rows of single crochet. I haven't cut the yarn yet! Waiting for the right moment, I guess it postpones the inevitable let-down of finishing a project and having to start something else! But I don't have any more of this lovely stuff. And dangerously, Flying Fingers ( ) is having a 50% off sale to prepare for their move. I wonder...

Friday, June 23, 2006

Purple Peacock lace

Here is the start of the next raglan lace cardigan, in Purple silk. I played around with some lace patterns I liked, and came up with this design, which works nicely at 10 stitch repeat with 24 row repeat. I think I'll end it with points also. Now to find the perfect beads for it. I might have to go shopping.
I use a lot of markers, finding it more relaxing to have a marker for every pattern repeat, even though by now I can read the knitting. Much easier to keep track of the increase sections this way also, and less counting if I make a mistake.
After the first repeat, I changed the pattern to make the feathers more defined. I love how the raglan "seam" shows as a solid bar where I incorporated the pattern stitches as I went along.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Cropped Cardigan

I finally finished my Cropped Cardigan, in Great Adirondak Silk, 2 skeins, from the pattern by Ann Cannon-Brown and Michelle Ciccariello here:

I modified the pattern some, doing the raglan increases a bit differently to incorporate more of the lace pattern, and not switching lace on the sleeves. I loved doing the points on the hems, adding 3 triangle beads at each point, and crocheting along the edge so I didn't have to break the yarn at each point.

I plan to add some buttons to the front, but haven't found the right ones yet.

This yarn is so luxurious to knit with, I had to rush out and get more. I cast on for another sweater, which I plan to make longer, and used a different lace motif for the sweater. More later!

Monday, May 01, 2006

Not to be left out, Sha made himself comfortable atop my quilt "Fall From Grace"

My cat Cinnamon enjoyed showing off my finished diamond sweater at the Studio Tour!

Studio Tour Results

Well, the tour is over, and I'm really tired, but it was a huge amount of fun. Over 55 people came to my studio this weekend, in conjunction with a studio tour of 50 artists in my local area, and I sold a couple of hand-dyed scarves and some beaded jewelry. Many people were interested in the quilts, and enjoyed looking at the book of the journal quilts that I laid out, and the large quilts that I put on stands in my living room. One or two people were interested in maybe purchasing one of the journal quilts, and they took my card,so you never know. I did find that smaller works or things that could be impulse- purchased seem to sell better, and according to the artists I spoke with at the wrap-up pot luck dinner they had the same experience. One thing I really enjoyed was giving a mini tutorial of techniques to several people who were quilters and interested in how I create my works, and that was a good chance to practice some teaching techniques. I took the opportunity to clean my studio and found a lot of paperwork and old ideas that had become buried in the layers of junk on my desk, so now I have a nice clean studio and lots of new ideas to get started in my next phase of creativity. It's nice to be able to share my work with the community, and to open people's eyes to the possibilities of the fiber format. I would recommend participating in or even spearheading something like this in your community. You never know what will come of it and it is a lovely opportunity to network and to meet people you wouldn't ordinarily get to know. Someone even left her glasses as a testimony of the impact the work made on her. I hope she took my card--not everyone left contact info on my sign-in roster...

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Studio Tour-after

I cleaned and sorted, made a hanger for my jewelery, made a book for my bio and some information about me, dug out some publications, put journal quilts in a notebook, and hung up some quilts. It looks better than it has in years. Now I'm itching to sew!

Studio Tour-before

I've spent the last week cleaning my studio in preparation for Rivertown Arts Council Studio Tour , which starts today. This is the 13th year of the tour, and now there are 50 artists on it, in 3 towns. We open our studios to the community, and then have a big party afterwards. It is kicked off by an exhibition in the Municipal building, and advertized in all the local papers. There is a website with directions, and maps are distributed in the towns.
Cleaning my studio was a momentous job. The before photos don't reveal the depths of my shame ( or maybe they do!). I use the archeological dig method of filing, so it is like a trip through time to uncover all of the layers of stuff. Interestingly, I find the bottom layer on my desk corresponds to the last time I was on the tour ( 3 years ago!). Maybe I should do this more often?

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Diamond Sweater

After a really long time it seems, I 've finished the Diamond Sweater that I started after the Olympics ended. Was it only a month ago? Seems like longer, since now the garden is blooming and deer are eating my pansies. This mitered diamond sweater was so much fun, module by module, choosing colors and trying for a random but not too random distribution of colors. I had a few colors of tweeds to begin with, but got bored and felt limited early on, so I used some Noro Kureyon and dyed some white tweed to get a broader selectionof tones, keeping with the same side of the colorwheel. I love the result, and was so eager to finish it, I wore it to a meeting last night with the right sleeve cuff still on the needles! ha ha, we were stuck in traffic for 2 hours on the Henry Hudson Parkway, so I managed to finish the cuff and bind off, too! This was on the way to drop off the doll at the Folk Art Museum, and meet with the Manhattan Quilters Guild. We got to the meeting, late, but glad to be there and it was lovely to enjoy such exciting quilts by some of our members. Today I sewed on buttons, and now, naturally, it is 72 degrees, so I might be able to wear this in the evenings only for a short time. And now--I've come to the reason why folks often have several things in progress simultaneously--what to make now?! I find myself looking still at tweed, thinking new colors would go great with this jacket--but now it is done, so I've got to start something new. There is that blue alpaca coat, but it is really too warm to work on that, and there are lots of ideas going on, but i'm starting to think about socks. Oh, horrors! Socks? Why knit socks?? They are worn on stinky feet, wear out, need washing, tiny needles...but still, a challenge I haven't mastered. I'll give it some thought.
t mastered is always a good one. And of course I have sock yarn, in blues and greens...well, I'll have to give it some thought.
Meanwhile, what can I do with all of that leftover tweed?

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Even the borders were kaleidoscopes. Lovely stuff.

Gorgeous carpeting! I couldn't wait to find Paula and congratulate her on the carpet designs!

These designs reminded me so much of Paula's book, Kaleidoscopes and Quilts that I had to snap a bunch of photos!

Kaleidoscopes? The first thing that came to my mind was Paula Nadelstern's wonderful quilts. Check her out at

Here are a few of us at the Houston Hilton in 2004. Jamie and Julie admired the carpeting.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Doll Face

Definitely Not human here--she's an alien. Probably a Zyborg. An undersea mercreature who blushes from too much booze. Midori Mermaid...any other names you think would fit her?
She definitely needs her wig sewn on, and some jewelery. Tomorrow is another day...

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Hair of the doll

This first attemptat hair is crocheted and knit in the round on DPNs, with Fluff. I think it looks like a toupee. And shouldn't she have blue hair anyway? What self-respecting mercreature has brown hair anyway, even if it has green highlights? Back to the drawing board I think.

Art Doll

So, the mermaid is starting to take shape! I extended the neckline with more knitting and a bit of crochet to tighten up the neck. I left the room for a moment, and my cat Sha kept the poor creature warm. I guess he knows something fishy is going on...

Now, she's gonna need some hair.

Art Doll 3

Art Doll 2

Well, the crazy quilt was a lot of fun to make, but when I finished it, I found it was too stiff to curve nicely ( I'd used dupioni silk, velvet, fusing, a base fabric and metallic embroidery). And I just couldn't bear to cut it up to fit. As I've been lately obsessed with knitting, that seemed a logical choice, as I could certainly create a fabric that would curve and form fit. I got out my favorite ocean themed colors: blues, greens, a bit of flash and sparkle and thought about fish scales and began knitting a 60 stitch panel on #10.5 needles. This was really fun choosing colors and textures and mixing chenilles, rayon , ribbon yarns, etc. Halfway through my arm muscles screamed bloody murder so I had to stop . Today I finished it and three needle bound it off into a tube, sewed up the tail and tried it on. Photos later when blogger decides to work!

Art Doll Explorations

As part of the American Folk Art Museum( )s fundraising efforts, artists were invited to create an Art Doll for auction. We were given an unadorned 18 inch doll, and free reign. As I haven't made dolls before this is a challenge!
Here I've taken a few tucks on the side to make a more curvaceous figure. I tried on a few things, but finally settled on a mermaid idea, so I sewed her legs together, and started making a crazy quilt surface to cover her body.