About Me

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Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Life and the creative process are about the journey, not the destination. I love working with colour and texture and can get totally 'lost' in the creative process. Variety keeps my creative juices flowing. We are currently traveling full time in a 40' motorhome and bouncing between visits with a son in Albuquerque NM and a son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter in Calgary AB. In between we are busy exploring this great continent on which we live. It's a challenge working from my mobile studio but I am using our travel time to learn new skills and refine existing ones.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Still Knotting!

Putting the bookmark to use!
Life in Osoyoos is proving to be busy but I'm burning the midnight oil to complete my self challenge - to produce a sample of each of the 75 knots in the book '75 Chinese, Celtic, & Ornamental Knots' by Laura Williams and Elise Mann.  I'm hoping that when I get to the projects I can pick up some of the finishing techniques as well.  Nancy, a friend in Arizona, offered to teach me some of the basics when I get to Congress but since our arrival is not until late in the winter I couldn't wait and had the book in my traveling stash.  I'm sure there will be lots of new stuff to learn when I get there but at least I will have completed the basics and feel more comfortable working with knots.  She linked me to a FB page for the Mateloteurs - an international knotting group - and after a few hours of browsing the pictures and posts I was hooked!

Almost half way there
Today I will reach the half way mark in my self-challenge of completing the 75 knots.  A few have been unravelled and re-attempted a couple of times and one, the Plafond knot, almost beat me.  The problem was to understand which loops to 'fold' and it took me three different approaches, two on U-tube and another two web posts in addition to the book to finally figure it out!  In the end it was simple!

I am currently working with lengths of drapery cord that I had in my cording bin.  They come from 'shortening' some mini-blinds purchased for a house addition many years ago and I can't think of a better use for them!  I like working with this cord but when I priced it in a shop yesterday I discovered it was $1.40 a yard!  Too expensive!

First project - a bookmark
I also deviated last night and produced a 'book mark' using #18 Mason's line, a nylon cord I found in the hardware store.  It is much softer and may have uses in making jewelry but doesn't hold the knots as well as it is somewhat springy.  The florescent colors also limit how I will use it!  I am experimenting with cord that is readily available as I am waiting until we head south to the US to find/order satin cord etc.  We are in a very rural wine grape growing area and the small towns through the valley don't offer a lot of resources and I haven't identified a Canadian on-line source yet. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

To Knot or Not!

A friend from our Arizona travels tweaked my interest in the craft of tying knots.  I managed at the time to stay focused on other activities but something caught that day.  A little later I spotted a book in a clearance bin in Michaels and picked it up - 75 Chinese, Celtic, & Ornamental Knots by Laura Williams and Elise Mann.  The book got tucked away but resurfaced this fall when we were repacking for our winter travels.  Just about the same time I received a FB invite to join a group on FB - Mateloteurs - an international knotting community.  Looking through the fantastic work shared on that site I really became interested and opened the book.....

Knotting is certainly one way to pass the time.....  To test the waters I decided to try out some of the knots illustrated in the book.  I'm now on my eleventh sample and can't put it down.  I am now onto knots that would make great chains to combine with beads for jewelry.......

Will I or won't I?  I haven't invested in any equipment yet.....

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Journals and Socks

I've been struggling to get some art routine re-established and hope that by taking advantage of the inspiration provided by Dawn DeVries Sokol's web challenge Na(tional)No(nstop) Jou(rnaling) Mo(nth), I might just succeed in November.  I'm new to art journaling but have been following some journaling sites and videos for a while so decided it might fit with my November schedule.  I didn't get a lot done this morning - had to break for the 9:30 walk into town - but may get back to it later.

We are currently tucked in for the months of November and December at the N'Kmip RV Park at Osoyoos BC so should be able to 'do art' for a bit.  I'm finding that when we are traveling a lot, handwork is better than 'art' work so have been rediscovering some skills learned in the past and neglected for a while.  In the past I have knit a number of sweaters both for myself and for my family but had not tackled socks until I started to travel.

My 4th pair of socks
Since 2009 I have completed four pair, the first two pair, traditional style with a ribbed cuff, are much loved and worn in the cooler months.  The third pair of socks was knit using a pattern with a short row heel which I liked but which didn't fit me as well as other heel styles - (Nutkin sock pattern found on Knitzi.com). I followed the pattern and found them to be a very tight fit - designed for a more feminine foot than mine.  They were a Christmas gift to my daughter-in-law who has a much smaller foot.  However I loved the mock cable design in the pattern and the yarn I used (sorry, forgot to take a picture) and searched for more yarn this fall but couldn't find the same color mix.

This fall I purchased a book "Personal Footprints for Insouciant Sock Knitters" by Cat Bordhi and just loved her toe-up approach to custom fitting a sock.  The socks above are my newest pair and were knit using her instructions on 3mm needles with Kroy sock yarn that I picked up for 97¢ a ball in a clearance at Michaels.  Figured I couldn't lose at that price!  $2 plus change with tax for a pair of socks!  For the cuff I did my variation of the inlaid pennants pattern (pg.45) - I add six rows of plain between the pattern repeats and as a result the cuff scrunches down into a series of rings when worn.  Because I used a larger needle than usual I had this pair finished in a week.  Hope it doesn't affect the wearability but I didn't want to spend a lot of time on them as they were a 'learning' project and I wasn't sure about the colorway - which I now love!

My current project is another pair of  '$2 plus change' socks in a different colorway, this time knit on 2.5 mm needles and based on the Nutkin sock pattern but with a different heel design from "Sock Knitting Master Class" by Ann Budd.  I also substituted a narrow ribbed top rather than the fold-over in the pattern but more on that to come when I get to the photography stage.