Sunday, August 30, 2015


Who would Bury Fiber?

Really. Who in their right mind would bury fiber? Sure, it IS exactly my type of buried treasure, but why would they put an orange stick in the ground to advertise it to all of the knitters? What about moisture damage and bugs? As I stood in the hot North Carolina sun last June I pondered these questions. I even liked the little picture of a fiber knot on the pole. Imagine my disappointment when I was told by Jonesy that the "fiber" that was buried was a fiber-optic cable. It's not nice to fool knitters.

Jonesy mentioned to me today that he read an article about the fashion statement some are making with Eyebrow Slits. Wow - who would have thought that we would be so in style? What? Oh, while we were slowly cruising along the Intracoastal Waterway I noticed that Jonesy had some wild eyebrow hairs that needed trimming. (When you spend many hours every day outside in the bright light with not much to look at you do tend to notice stuff like this). Anyway, I thought it was a good time for me to give his brows a little loving trim.

Nothing much else to do anyway. Of course I was too lazy relaxed to climb down the 5 steps to the boat's interior to fetch the scissors so I simply picked up the fingernail trimmers that were next to me and started the attack.

And yes, it was an attack. Just a few snips in and the boat rocked with an unexpected wake, my hands got a little closer than I planned, and I took off a big slice of brow all the way down to the nub. OOPS! Jonesy said my eyes went as big as saucers!

No worries though. I managed to do a Donald Trump-style comb-over with the remaining long brow hairs and nobody would ever notice (except if the wind caught it). Another cruising lesson learned. Do not use sharp objects on facial hairs while afloat. See? We spent some time trying to figure out how to take a "selfie" with our new I-Pad so you get to see how what a cruiser looks like on the ICW (wind-blown and sunburned). We're smiling because we  are laughing at ourselves and how hard it was to figure out how to do this! There is a learning curve with this I-Pad device. We were out drifting about the seas while all this new fangled technology became available so we struggle as we learn how to use it. No, Apple Corp. it is NOT intuitive.

As part of my recovery exercises for my shoulder injury I attended an all-day class to weave an egg basket. Sure, I had to lie down on the floor a couple of times to stretch so I could continue, but I made great progress! This is my first attempt at weaving with reeds and I absolutely love the process. The beginning was a little tough, but once you get going with the up and down weaving part it's quite relaxing. Where? At the Glynn Visual Arts Center on St. Simons Island.

This is the same place that I took my Glass Fusing classes and where I work on my ceramics. I'm so very lucky to have such a friendly resource close to me.

I'm still hand-building while my shoulder/neck heals and am really enjoying it. I've been making my own bisque stamps to decorate greenware (soft unfired clay) as in this photo of bracelet and pine needle basket pieces.

Several trays have come out of the glaze firing recently. This one shown is one of my favorites. I really don't have a lot of serving dishes on the boat and they are fun to make and decorate.

So, we're still in the marina here in Brunswick Georgia waiting for the cooler weather so we can begin the cosmetic projects for the boat. Of course all of the mechanical devices are working as Jonesy keeps up with those and always has. But the interior woodwork could use some polishing and the small amount of wood trim on the outside of the boat needs sanding and a coat of varnish. We DO MISS our $4 per hour help we had while in the Rio Dulce of Guatemala. But, life is good here in the USA too.


Sunday, August 09, 2015



The quarterly journal of creativity, UPPERCASE Magazine, included this photo and the following blurb from me in Issue #24. Whoo hoooo!

"POTLUCK SOCKS" As a habitual hand-knitted sock designer and knitter, I knit over 50 pairs of warm wool socks each year. Because I knit so many socks, I end up with a plethora of small balls of hand-dyed beauties, solid colours, and self-patterning wool yarns. Other sock knitters know that I also knit for the orphanages in Kazakhstan so they will also donate their own leftover balls to me. What a bonanza for a sock knitter! What do I do with these small balls? Knit Potluck Socks (aka "Monster") socks of
course! I choose colours to contrast with each other or to blend depending on my mood. Then I'll knit a pair of socks (usually matching the two socks, but sometimes totally mixing it up) using stripes, blocks of colour and lots of Fair Isle-type stranded colour work. What fun! In fact, my favourite way to knit socks is using these leftover balls to create unique pairs of socks. Not only are these socks using every bit of the yarn and are thus a frugal endeavour, they also keep a pair of feet warm during the bitter cold winters of Kazakhstan. What could be better?"

If you haven't yet seen an UPPERCASE Magazine and you are interested in the graphic arts, textile design, etc. I highly recommend a subscription. I savor every issue and they earn a spot in my permanent library onboard this boat where space is at a premium.
It's been a long time since I last posted a blog entry. Why? Well, we were enjoying our trip up to Washington D.C. when I suffered a knitting injury. It seems that the elderly human body isn't made to withstand 12 hours of knitting a day and not doing much else.

Unfortunately, I pushed it to the limit - knitting all day as we motored up the Intracoastal Waterway and into the evenings, day after day with no break. We often spent several days on the boat without setting foot on land or swimming (alligators). When I started to get a little stiff, I simply added another pillow behind my neck and kept going. Bad girl.

Then when we stopped in Swansboro, North Carolina, I carried an over-stuffed backpack of groceries the mile back to the boat even though my shoulder and neck got a "zing" and went numb. I trucked on. Bad girl again. Now I had the repetitive strain injury from knitting compounded with a pinched nerve under my collarbone.

So, the last couple of months have been painful. There have been good days and bad days, doctor
visits, drugs, X-rays, and melt-downs and NO KNITTING. Imagine that. But I'm optimistic that I'll get past this - there's just so much knitting, traveling, exploring, basket making, ceramics and other pleasures that need to happen!

Luckily I found that working with clay actually was possible if I didn't work in too many tiny details. I've become a "Studio Member" at the Glynn Visual Arts Center on St. Simons Island which allows me full 24x7 access to the studio. So naturally I spend several days a week playing with mud now. Fun, fun fun!

I've been making more bottoms for weaving/coiling pine needle baskets both for me and my friends, some textured trays, and other do-dads. I tried to throw on the potter's wheel and had some success until my little vase went flying across the room. Oops. I'll try again when my neck is better.

In the meantime....The new KNITTING 2016 Calendar has been released and includes 4 of my designs! This publishing stuff is a long process and by the time a book is released I've totally forgotten about it. So it was a fun surprise to get the big box with my contributor copies (the grand reward is a free copy for each design published). It was also fun to be able to gift my knitting friends here with their own boxes of 100 patterns too!

So, although I've hit a temporary bump, life is still good.

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