Jason1978 from www.menwhoknit.com has shared with his knitting community his struggles with cancer (testicular, now apparantly other forms) and we are all feeling like we need to do something - so I created a .pdf file that explains the details of how we will go about creating a comfort blanket. Note that we need 72 squares - I hope everyone will save the file to their computers, and print/post as needed - on your blogs, websites, distribute to local yarn shops or stitch and bitches.. have everyone write notes of support for Jason and include them with the squares. We must move swiftly on this - time is of the essence... so let's make it happen! I look forward to spending time assembling the blanket and getting it sent to Jason and his family. I have posted it on www.menwhoknit.com - I hope others (whether you know Jason or not) will take time to make a square or two and write a note of support. This is a difficult time and hopefully our notes of support will be helpful.
The little baby on the left is the newest addition to our family... she's probably about 3 months old and maybe a mix of Jack Russell and chihuahua - we got her from a local pet shop that just changed owners and went from being a puppy mill shop to one that rescues from the high kill shelters and sells only the best of the best that would have otherwise be euthanized. We love her (she comes home Wednesday) and visit her at the shop every day... (she's recovering from her being spayed and getting over a little case of kennel cough) but tomorrow we get to bring her home... she does not have a name yet... so suggestions are welcome (post them in the comments!) The little baby on the right was adopted as well... these two are super close friends (they really love each other!) and I am sure they're going to miss each other... but they're both on their way to loving homes... and our little one gets to share the home with Wink and Willow!!!
The results of this firing - the two knitted forms in the back slumped drastically... (too hot? too heavy?) - but the vase in front fired beautifully! there were a few other pieces in this firing that turned out well, and 3 that completely dissolved... it's all a big experiment for me and while I'm frustrated a bit, I'm learning the limits of the processes as I develop this series... the only thing I wish I could change (I can handle disspointment) is that the semester is almost over and for the summer there will be no access to a kiln... I might have to prep and take home some of the materials so that during the summer I can make some pieces and get them ready for firing right away this coming fall... so that's the news. I'll put up photos of completed pieces as I get them on etsy or gift them ... here's one that is a gift:
I threw this little bowl for my Biology professor (who is also a Post Doctoral Researcher at Cedars Sinai) - as a thank you for the letter of recommendation she wrote for me - she took the time and it is really appreciated - so I wanted to make her something. This bowl has my saying (outside) "One day we will look back and wonder" (inside) "What life was like before the cure" - it's my hommage to diseases in general, but specifically cancer (which took my dad and is in the process of challenging a number of close friends and relatives) -- it's also the saying that will be incorporated in a sweater I'm designing... (soon, you'll see!)
Lastly, here's a closeup of the inside of another student's (Nico) shell - she had glazed it pink and didn't like it... so she put a type of glaze called "luster" on top and it crackled (awesome!) - fired it - then put another iridescent glaze on top of THAT... the shells have been going on for the entire semester - they're about 30" across and gorgeous! I want to use this mixture on something - I love the crazing!!!
I finished and put a new yarn bowl up on my ETSY site - (click HERE to see that page) - which sold today and is now on its way to NY... I also put the cards on the etsy site and added a few other ceramic pieces and one knitting book. I plan on putting more knitting books on there as well as collections of yarn by color (for freeform knitting/crochet) to see if people are interested in buying it... but that'll have to wait for now - so many things are going on it's difficult to schedule much more into my day!
I was also able to get more large knitted pieces into the kiln last night - along with some glazed pieces I should be able to show in a week or two. The class is off to Davis next week for a ceramics conference... I am not going - saving my time away from work for my trip to NY for the Men's Knitting Retreat - and looking forward to it.
It may not look like much, but I knitted about this far (around row 23) of the pattern for the vest before realizing that I was on the wrong gauge... remember, I am working with 240 stitches and two yarns for this pattern - it's complicated for me (ok, not really complicated - but tedius, yes) and after a weekend of serious knitting I am pretty much back where I started! I decided to keep the ribbing and just go up a needle size. My gauge is still way off from what it is supposed to be (remember, this is TEST knitting) but it's looking good and if I can find someone to wear it (I think it'll take a 34-36" chest) I'll be happy.
At the urging of my internet pal Holly (who blogs HERE) I have started a kauni effektgarn vest. (Note the link for the yarn is not where it came from but will show those unfamiliar the color ranges and gives a definate "diving off" point for anyone willing to take the plunge!).
Yes, it's true... I really DO still knit. Although this has been done for a while, I didn't show it to you..Yarn - Mondial Oggi
I just received the first prototype for my metal yarn bowls - this one is aluminum - let me know your thoughts - what would you change? Once we get the design part figured out they will be made in some artistic finishes and offered for sale - online (through my website) as well as through local yarn shops - and with any luck, if there is interest, we'll be selling them to yarn shops across the U.S.A. - but that's later. Right now, we have to find out if anyone is interested in a metal yarn bowl :)