This is where I got the pattern for pocketbook slippers and shown is one of my versions of them. I used stockingette stitch for the straps and moss stitch for the foot. And I find they are stretchy enough so that you can sew the straps together and add a decorative button. They need a non-slip sole added to them and I seem to recall I have a pair in my stash. For the moment they are just sitting perkily and waiting on the person to whom they will be given.
This is a picture of a plumped (soaked in warm water) raisin on the counter top in my kitchen. I am trying to reconstruct the scene of a - well, not a crime, exactly - more of a mystery.
Is it possible that, at 6:15 this morning (time approximate - it was still dark out and I was day dreaming), while making my usual smoothie with milk and pineapple and yogurt and blueberries and plumped raisins, that I picked up what I thought was a fallen raisin on the counter, popped it in my mouth, chewed and swallowed; is it possible that it was not a raisin, that it was a fly?!?! I do have a fly now and then come in and spend the night out of the chill. It would have been soft and warm, sitting on the counter, minding its own business, waiting for me to open the kitchen door to greet the day and check the weather and let it out. It might have been in a drowsy state and failed to react to my unexpected ingestion until it was too late to protest.
That is why I plumped up another raisin, put it on the counter and got ready to seriously consider the situation in the sensible light of day in a re-enactment. I squinted my eyes, let my mind drift, picked up the raisin, put it into my mouth, chewed and swallowed. Thoughtfully.
I am now almost sure it was simply a raisin I ate and no fly was harmed in my bemused morning state. I am sure I would have noticed if a raisin had wings.
The ocean has a - considerate! - sense of humor. I was standing exactly where a huge wave crashed over the cement wall and soaked the sidewalk but had moved several steps backward to better focus on the logs. That's the breakwater in the background and the cheering beacon of the red OPEN sign on the Ogden Point Cafe. I've been told that it is not legal to remove logs from the ocean, that they are numbered and have 'escaped' from log booms. (boons?) The idea of this I find rather charming and was why I was taking a picture of these 'wood errants'. In the hedge lining the lower walkway, where someone has hung seed feeders, the sparrows were having breakfast and I surreptitiously (I thought) dropped the crusts from my toast under the branches. Within seconds gulls appeared from nowhere, screeching and diving, and zeroing in on the scraps. It would be interesting to have an overview of this whole thing, of where the gulls were and was one on watch and was it his or her screech that alerted the bunch or merely one noticing and hoping to get there first. I do know, from previous observation, that the sparrows will retreat hastily and wait on the crumbs the gulls will leave. And that if I had taken the time to break those crusts into small pieces the gulls would not or might not have either noticed or bothered. Size seems to govern the size of the bird attracted.
Making dolls seems a particularly 'guided' adventure. I've had a sketch pinned to the wall for several weeks of an idea for a doll but this one is not that one. This one just suddenly began to happen in that part of the mind that suddenly wonders "what if....." and the "...." was the interfacing material I am using for Christmas wrap - how nicely it drapes, how nicely it knots; and the body doesn't let the "what if...." stay in the mind but goes and gets the material and the doll begins to form. It's about getting out of the way and letting the object emerge. It's about becoming an observer of one's hands.
Solstice! The shortest day of the year. Doors and windows have been opened to let in the light and the air. This, to me, is truly the start of the new year, Nature directed; the days begin to get longer; there is a shift of energy. A sky photo, facing east, trails of a plane flying toward the sun.....seemed appropriate.
As did this one, the 'view' (including sounds and scents and the feel of outdoors) through my office window.
Awhile back I mentioned that I make soap and here it is. The one on the left is a solid shampoo 'cookie', the other a bar of soap. They have three ingredients - water, a fat (either animal or vegetable; if I remember correctly the 'cookie' has coconut oil and the bar has rendered tallow) and lye. Considering how well these simple soaps work, I wonder why most commercial soaps have so many extra ingredients - many which I can't pronounce.
This is the book which got me started making soap many years ago. It isn't hard to do and it is satisfying to make something so basic and use it knowing exactly what went into it.
I've experimented with adding things to scent the soap - like herbs and spices - without much success. The time I added cloves, the boys complained that the soap was "dirty". Tumeric tended to stain things washed with that soap. Caraway seeds made the 'cookies' look too edible. My 'failures' made me respect greatly the 'success' of those soaps with delightful fragrances, like Karma at Lush and Carnation at Roger de Gallet and Gardeners Loofah at Upper Canada Soap (my favorite!).
At the Moss Street Christmas Market a lady had knit long scarves and demonstrated a way of wearing them by wrapping them first around her ears and then around her neck. The same day, at the Fernwood Winter Market, a young woman had made ties into headbands that wrapped fetchingly around the head over the ears. I had been thinking of knitting - what did we call them? - those little lengths of wool (usually fluffy) that went over the top of the head and over the ears and were fastened under the chin with ties (usually with pompoms.)
After those Markets I came home and searched out the long (very!) scarves I had made last year, got out the model Georges, and did a wrap, wrap, wrap..... He isn't one to share his thoughts and gives nothing away in his expression, so I had to try them on myself to see how they felt.
They felt good. The downside is the time it takes to wind them on - and wind them off. And I suspect all that arm flailing - in public - might cause a bit of a commotion.
Maybe a fluffy little - whatever - would be a better idea. I wonder if I remember how to make pompoms.
Last year, in Victoria, it snowed - twice! So this did not happen. But this year it did. Trucks went to Mt. Washington, up Vancouver Island, and brought back snow. Dumped the snow on the green grass in front of the municipal hall in Oak Bay. This back hoe (I think that is what it is) then had to distribute the snow around a bit. Kids waited. Then the kids flocked over the snow. My pictures of the kids on the snow show only the backs of crowds of kids so you have to imagine the fun and the activity. Magic.
This is Purse Stitch. It's being worked here into a scarf using Classic Elite Yarn (Rain: silk, linen, cotton and rayon) on # 10 needles (these I cut down from foot- long needles to make hand-sized ones which are more comfortable to use being of a scale for this width of knitting).
I love Purse Stitch. On an even number of stitches all it takes is to purl two together with the yarn at the back of the work. I love knitting this way and tend to refer to it as slow knitting or knitting playfully or knitting with attention.
Most knitting is done more like lickety-split-lickety-split-lickety-split (which I also enjoy hugely) while slow knitting is more diddly...do...diddly...do...diddly...diddly...diddly....do...
F'r'instance, in the Purse Stitch, you have to keep watch of what you are doing and rather encourage the wool along. The yarn is put at the back of the work as if to knit but the right hand needle goes through the two stitches purl-wise. With such loose work there is that sense of a casual playing rather than a business-like working; the needle lifts both stitches in a bit of a stretch before the yarn is brought forward and around - loosely, paying attention - and then when the needle ducks down and takes the yarn back through the loops - dah dah - two new stitches are formed (because the yarn started out behind the work, not in front of it!) . And again those two new stitches are pulled into a bit of a stretch as they transfer onto the right hand needle.
It feels a bit like sculpting - I pull the work down with the thumb and forefinger of my left hand so that the two stitches waiting to be worked are drawn open and let the right hand needle insert easily. Also - those two stitches are not just two ordinary, straight-up-and-down stitches - no, one of them is on a slant: there is a design on the needle already! Try it, try it....it is very exciting to 'watch' knitting. It's also relaxing, an alternative to times of frenetic knitting.
Here is where I first learned the Purse Stitch -in her second book, Mary Thomas's Book of Knitting Patterns.
Both books are absolutely wonderful! I found them at different book sales many years ago and have a notion to do some research and find out just who Mary Thomas was. The first book was published in 1938 but I believe there have been reprints.