Sunday, April 26, 2015

A World Adorned in Flowers




This little branch fell of the pear tree at work and I brought it in to sit with me for a bit.  The blossoms smell so sweet and these little white blooms fill me with such joy.

Everywhere Spring is bursting forth.  The grass is becoming green again and my yard is dotted with purple little flowers.  Tulips are reaching up towards the warming sun in hues of yellow and red and daffodils gently wave in the breeze.

The air is saturated with new life, hope and promise.  The hard winter is almost forgotten as the landscape changes her gown in hues of color and delight.

*****



I started these flowers when it was still cold and the landscape was covered in snow and ice.  At the time I was craving color and using up my bright sock yarn seemed to be the cure for the winter blahs. As my garland grew, the sunny days came and now our little corner of the world is awash in new life.




Now that I am finished I am stunned by how much I like this design.  It isn't necessarily meant to be made up all at once but rather maybe to have a flower added each time you have a little left over after making a sock or other project.  And slowly, like a garden bursting forth with new life, you will have colors and stories that you can one day join to adorn yourself with.




These sock yarns are special to me because I bought them to make a traveling socks with. These yarns were added to my sister knitters socks as part of a knitted collage we created together in the form of socks.  Two of these sisters have passed on to the world beyond since then.  So, in a way these flowers are a tribute to those that weave in and out of our lives and create beautiful blooms that stay within our hearts forever.

*****

Finishing the Ostra Garland means that I can go back to knitting the secret thing.  After that I need to start on another Ostra Garland that has been commissioned.  I think this one will go much quicker since I worked out the kinks on the first one.

*****

I hope you all have a beautiful week full of new growth and experiences,
Happy crafting,

Ruinwen
:)

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Senses


We binge-watched Daredevil this week.  And it was awesome if you like the rather dark Marvel character.

The thing that makes him special is that when he lost his eyes to the chemical spill after saving that person's life; he gained super sensitive senses.  He can taste the air and tell you what you had for lunch and tell if you are lying by the sound of your heartbeat.  Everything is heightened for him and more then three-dimensional.

That is how I feel about yarn.  I wanted that yarn above, the masala Knitpicks Gloss because I loved the warm spicy feel to it.  It looked like something you would find in a vat overflowing in Morocco. You would see the color long before the aroma of the spice hit you and by the time you reached it you would be awash in color and taste.  You would be thinking about the dishes you could make with this spice and how alive they would be when they hit your tongue.

This yarn is merino wool and silk.  Your eyes delight in the color and then your fingers feel caressed by the silk as you knit.  There is such joy in pairing a yarn with a sensory experience like silk.  Silk stitches feel delicious when you knit them.  They dance over the needles.  



Most times I am drawn by the color to a yarn.  Sometimes it is that it sparkles or that it is a certain type but usually it is the color.  Yarn colors call to them as you need them.  I believe sometimes we go for a long haul of buying the same color until the need for that color passes.

I love pink.  I just do.  And this pink is bright and cheery.  One day it will be a shawl.  But now I can look at the pink and smile.  That has not changed in all these years.  Pink remains for me a memory of home and cherry blossoms in the spring, of valentines and love that lasts forever and of the sun kissing the sky in the morning.  To me the memories that are woven as I knit with the pink are as beautiful as the color itself.




This is a look into one of my drawers of many types of yarn.  They are sorted more or less by color so you can see how much I love reds, purples and pinks.  I adore sparkles...they are just magical.  All of these yarns are waiting to become something bigger then themselves.  I love to just look at them and open up their bags and feel them.

That is really all I have time for right now.  But the knitting waits like a flower bed that sits outside one's window in anticipation of someone looking out and noticing how beautiful it is.

I have been working on connecting my flowers all week between taxes and other stuff.  I hope to have them all joined for next week.

I hope you have been enjoying the beautiful weather.

Hugs!
Ruinwen
:)


Sunday, April 12, 2015

Caitlin





There is a moment in Skyrim where this plays and you know that there is a dragon approaching and your your adrenaline starts pumping as you ready your weapons and look to the skies.  The score is so powerful you can feel the energy emanating around you and filling you up with purpose and conviction.  I still get the chills when I hear it.

That is how I felt when I saw the photo shoot of Caitlin.  OMG!  These photos are fantastic.  The photographer and model have left me breathless.  The model is the beautiful Caitlin herself that the pattern was named after.  I love the playful way she got into the shoot.  Her Mom is the talented photographer and I love all the shots she took.  It is hard to choose which ones to use on the pattern.

I am so blessed to have these two talented individuals in my life.

This is the second professional type shoot that we've ever done.  The first was the Nana Cowl shoot and I love those pictures so much!  I've been going back and forth and trying to figure out how to do things.  I am part of a group of designers who talk about photos and what makes a pattern come alive for people and there are a bunch of really good ideas on there.

I am just awed by the difference I feel from the previous photo in the snow and these photos with Caitlin are.  Adding a human element allows you to see how the pattern flows and drapes.  You can see it on and maybe envision it on yourself...you can see how it would fit into your wardrobe as a cold weather staple.

There is life in these photos, movement and whimsy.  I feel energy emanating from these photos and I am empowered to create more things so that this photographer can breathe life into them.

*****

I made these.  I love kale chips.  I love the way they crunch and how healthy they are.  So I decided to try my hand at making my own.

I washed and dried the kale and then ran some olive oil over it.  Not more then a tbsp which I blended into the kale with my fingers.  I then placed the kale on a metal tray that has tiny holes in it.  I set the oven to convection at 300 degrees and used some of our special spice blend (garlic powder, onion powder, Hungarian paprika, chili powder, cumin and a little celery salt) to season the leaves.

Then, in they went for 15 minutes turning once.  Anything over 15 minutes tastes burnt.  I sprinkled them with some nutritional yeast which tastes like a kind of cheese if you haven't had any for a while. To me, it is like a smokey Parmesan mixed with something I can't quite place...but the crux here is it is really yummy.  If you haven't tried it before then just try a little on one of the leaves but put it on while they are hot and there is a bit of oil to hold it on.

The result is just pure yummyness!  So this will be another healthy staple that I'm adding to my weekly diet.  Kale is full of beta carotene, vitamins K and C, calcium, lutein and zeaxanthin (both are good for the eyes).  Kale boosts DNA repair and is an antioxidant that appears to block the growth of cancer cells.  It has also been shown to decrease LDL, the bad cholesterol levels in the blood and decreases the absorption of dietary fat (like green tea does).

*****

I hope you are enjoying the slow returning of spring to the land after our hard winter.

Happy crafting,
Ruinwen
:)

P.S.  I hope to have Caitlin proofed and published in a few weeks.  I'll let you know when it is available.  Thanks for reading.


Sunday, April 05, 2015

Happiness


April Fool's Day in Minecraft was blessed with hearts.  Here you see it raining hearts on a couple of happy bunnies.  In fact the effect I was getting was happiness and it was a really nice little surprise. Along with light the torches gave little hearts.  You never died, you only gained more hearts.  In the end of my little romp in this fun world I had four stacks of them.  Creepers exploded into flowers...skeletons gave off bone meal like crazy and I was never able to be harmed or harm another living soul.  Very beautiful actually.



This makes me happy.  Little purple flowers waking up from their deep slumber are dotted all over my lawn.  It must really be spring.  *insert happy face*


My knitted flowers look almost as nice as the real thing.  I've got 14 of them now...2 to go before I can join them into a bright and colorful garland.  I can't wait!

So, funny story.  I always have to make two of whatever I am designing.  One goes to the shop so it can be shown off for the class and then one stays with me so that we can do a photo shoot and have a reference in hand for any questions that arise.  Usually the shop gets the first incarnation of and then the second has all the kinks worked out after teaching the class.

I always knit with the class so I can be present in the pattern with them.  So, Knitpicks was having a sock yarn sale and I thought, "Hey I will buy enough bright yarn to make another of these for the photo shoot that is really bright and cheery."



Here is my bright and cheery yarn!  I love the colors!  I love the sparkle yarn for the contrast in between.  I can't wait to make this garland.  BTW it is Knitpicks Stroll, in Brights and Glimmer.

But...when I got my hair cut I was talking about my flowers and the wonderful lady who cuts my hair...that has been cutting my hair for 16 or so years...loved my flower and wants a garland of her own in earth tones.

So...back to Knitpicks I went and got more sale yarn in earth tones and beautiful hues of a different sort.  I am so blessed to have people interested in my designs; I am so thankful to be able to make beautiful things that make people smile.







She wants a Nana Cowl too, so I have to find a yarn that I really adore the drape of to take the place of the sugar yarn I loved so much.  But...that is what MD S & W is for!

Happy Spring and Blessed Easter to those that are celebrating this weekend.

Hugs!
Ruinwen
:)