Friday, July 27, 2007

Forgive me bloggers, for I continue to sin.

You see, I just got this email from Jessie announcing that her infamously impossible-to-obtain Yarntini yarns were now going to be available on her own online store.

I sat and waited and refreshed and took notes of my prey and waited, waited, waited until the second it was marked as available and then SNATCHED IT. Three skeins each of two fantastic semi-solid colorways.

I couldn't help myself. This yarn needed to be mine. I have enough Yarntini to put socks on all the school children in my town, but this is different. This will be shawl yarn. Very different.

Meanwhile I've also been doing some therapeutic spinning. The fibers are blue-faced leicester and alpaca, which I got at the New Hampshire Sheep and Wool Festival. I've been working so crazily that I haven't had much time for fiber pleasure, so when I finally did come back to this, it was absolute bliss. There's something about giving yourself a break that helps you see what you love about things even more clearly. Just touching it, smelling it, rubbing it against my face, and dreaming endlessly of what it could become makes me very happy. The spinning is hardly perfect, but to me, it's wonderful.

I love these moments.

Mary had asked about the delphiniums, which you may have noticed were absent from the last picture. That's because this year's delphiniums and hollyhocks have a serious case of short-flower syndrome. Anyone know what causes this? The delphiniums were only about three feet tall this year. The hollyholcks, three feet or shorter (although there's still time for them to magically grow more before they really bloom). I can't figure it out.

So this year, the front flower garden looks like this.

I miss that enclosed, protected sense you get from having a background of tall delphiniums and hollyhocks, but...whatever. I still love these flowers and marvel at how all this grows up from NOTHING every spring.

Nature is amazing.

I've also been expanding my book horizon beyond knitting. (NO, not Harry Potter - still crafty things but ones that don't necessarily entail yarn and needles.) And in those pursuits I came across this incredible little book.

You just wouldn't believe what you can do with a simple pair of socks or gloves from Target. It's called Sock and Glove, and the author, Miyako Kanamori, is a genius. At first I tried to figure out how you could use knitted leftovers for these projects, but I realized that no self-respecting knitter would cut apart her old handknit socks. I know I wouldn't. Just go to Target and get a bag of white cotton gym socks and have at it.

Nothing is lost in translation in this book because it is based on incredibly, insanely, unbelievably clear illustrations. Tiny snippets are transformed into soft ears, funny noses, even ruffly hair. I could get in serious trouble with this book.

The other book I'm loving is called the Crafter's Companion. There isn't an ounce of knitting in here, it's about those "other" folks who call themselves crafters. Creative, curious, inspired folks who work miracles with fabric, felt, colors, and textures.

What I love is that the book isn't just a collection of ideas, it's a collection of people. Each featured "crafter" talks about her background, what inspires her, and—this one I really love—her workspace. With pictures, and then each person also contributes a project. It's well done and doesn't delve into that "look at us, we're super hip 'n' crafty!" thing, which I personally find a bit tiresome. This is another book that may cause me serious trouble, especially considering that rapidly growing fabric stash I mentioned earlier. (And thanks for letting me know I'm not alone with that one!)


Jane said...

I love Crafter's Companion -- have you seen the magazine called Craft? It's filled with the same kinds of other-than-knitting inspiration.

How well I know that Shop Update Lurking Syndrome -- and what beautiful yarn you got!

Bess said...

Oooo. I can't wait. I ordered both those books for the library just this week!!

Hugs on the flower photos. We have only dead stuff around here. Evidently the rainless line stops around Deleware.

Mary said...

Hey, at least you've GOT delphiniums blooming! Like Bess, everything in my garden is a brown crisp. Sigh....

Marg said...

Oooh, Clara, that yarn looks delicious! I'm not surprised you succumbed! And your garden looks fabulous, even w/o the hollyhocks. Mine aren't as tall this year either, but have more buds than last year!

Mrs. Lear said...

Clara, I love the look of that sock and glove book - I'm just such a sucker for beautiful directions! I hope you post some projects!

"Lily Pettigrew" said...

Clara, those flowers are beautiful! My garden is pathetic this year, partly because I didn't work on it much, partly because some toddler with a dump truck has a habbit of running it down!