Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Winter Knitting

Here is mysecond take on Alice Starmore's St Brigid sweater, this time done as a top-down raglan. I really enjoyed how this one came together, although I wished I had a bit more yarn, as it is a "cropped" length, which sometimes I like and sometimes I don't like. But I'm too lazy to order another skein or rip out the prevvious sweater which is a bit too long! I have already cast on for another one...

Here is a pullover version of my Top Down Diamond Alpaca sweater, this time with V neck.Reynolds Regal Alpaca, size 9 needles, 8 skeins exactly. I have been wearing this one every day since I made it, as it has been really cold for New York springtime...I'm finally warm enough with this sweater on! ( and two cats who adore alpaca also).

Beguiling Beads

My dear friend Elizabeth Rosenberg ( ) invited me to a bead show last month, and I had a divine ,delirious time! I bought a lot of gorgeous beads, including some amazing lampwork by Grace Quinyi Ma ( ) . These beads came home and sat in my stash, dreaming of necklaces and bracelets, but alas, inspiration was not yet free. Then this past weekend, I dragged my friend Debbie to a local bead show and had another amazing time looking at beads, playing with colors and finally buying more beads. I came home and spent the last few days creating ! I had the best time, and so far am pleased with my initial attempts. I figure, like knitting, beading can always be redone, so any mistakes can be reworked and the materials re-used. Which is a freeing thought; one can't really make a mistake! There are only new opportunities...
This necklace, with black and white lampwork and a special bead from Venice, will be the perfect gift for my mother, whose birthday is coming up in June.This necklace I have been wanting to make for 4 years, ever since I bought the fabulous focus bead in Houston at Quilt Festival. I found the perfect beads for the necklace portion at the show last weekend, and strung this in time for Paula Nadelstern's fantastic opening yesterday at the Folk Art Museum ( ). Her quilts are breathtaking, inspiring and just plain magnificent. Her exhibit is the first solo show of work by a living artist, and as such is a joyous tour de force. I was privleged to go to the opening reception last night, and wanted to wear my special beads.

This piece is another marriage of a focal Thai silver bead which I bought in Lowell many years ago, and Tibetan silver and gemstone beads purchased last month.

I love the Grace lampwork beads in this necklace and earring set, with Swarovsky crystal and Czech glass beads. I'm having a lot of fun playing with these instant gratification bits of color and light.