31 July 2013

Maine report, July 2013

Photo highlights from our first two weeks in Maine. 
Crossing the bridge from NH to Maine. 
My first lobster roll of the season from Gilmore's in Bath
First visit to the beach
Girls at the lobster dock
Beach grass at Reid
Rosa rugosa at Reid
Seadogs game
Flotsam at Popham
Lobster-shell injured thumb and a Selbuvotter in some Wisconsin yarn
Visiting the construction of the Virginia
Model of a pinnace
My unblocked Selbuvotter 
Sunset over the Kennebec 
Climbing the Pemaquid Point lighthouse
Sailors valentines in the Fishermen's museum
Nice design
Some rope work in the museum
Isobel the lobster at Shaw's
Penelope the clam
Visiting the boot at the store that never closes (LL Bean never closes)
Real alligator bag
Another perfect beach day
Wooden whale at the flea market

Guess that's a good selection of highlights from the first half of our time in Maine. Not much knitting has happened, since I started rereading a series of Dorothy Dunnett books (House of Niccolo -sooo good). Guess I'm taking a knitting vacation, too. But I have visited Halcyon Yarn as well as the wonderful Purl Diva. Perhaps there will be more knitting in the second half of our time in Maine

02 July 2013

New layout

What do you think of this layout? I was having issues blogging from my phone, where all my great photos come from (well, the best camera is the one you have with you, right?). So, I thought I'd see what could be done, and this more interactive "magazine" layout seemed interesting. It is a work in progress, so please be sure to let me know if it doesn't work (or work for you).

The pattern list in the sidebar has been moved to its own page, which you can reach from the top bar or here. Other pages will find their way up there, too, as I get to them (there is nothing that inspires procrastination like the need for an "about" page).

I'm in a sort of fallow period, knitting-wise. I had been working on a lacy cardigan, but had to ... frog. the. whole. thing. ugh! Sometimes, unfortunately, my ideas aren't spot-on, and I couldn't tell with this one until I tried it on. So, that lovely pile of tosh pashmina is in timeout for a while. And the weather has, um, gotten disgusting! Which means all my sweater ideas have to go take a nap until I can bear the thought of being near them. I have some designs in the testing stage, as I mentioned not too long ago, so there is stuff in train. Then there is the stuff for Jane Austen Knits, but that's not until November. And there is one that is all ready but for purty photos, and there is no way I am putting on a long-sleeved Shetland wool sweater at the moment. I really don't want a heat stroke.

So, I'm trying to figure out what to knit next. There are some laceweight ideas rolling around in my head, and I had been planning to start a shawl, since we were supposed to head to the Midwest tomorrow to spend some time with my family, but we have canceled the trip. My mom suffers from clinical depression, and right now she is really suffering. It's hard to be far away and feel like I should be able to help in some way, but it seems like right now I wouldn't be able to do much if I were there (and I have responsibilities here). So, I'm spending a lot of time on the phone trying to be as empathetic (and sympathetic) as I can. And now I need to find some knitting, which has been balm for my soul for many years. Hug your loved ones and knit something :)

01 July 2013

Visiting The Cloisters

Last week I visited The Cloisters with a friend of mine to see a unicorn exhibit in honor of the Museum's 75th anniversary. It was lovely! If you haven't been up there, you should go (let me know, and I'll join you!). In addition to the exhibit, which had a lovely variety of unicorn items, including a narwhal horn and the transplendent Unicorn in Captivity, we got to spend some time in the lush Bonnefont Cloister. 

View of the Bonnefont Cloister from the far corner

A quince ripens on one of four trees at the center of the garden

How fabulous is it that they have a section with flowers that are depicted in the Unicorn Tapestries? I love the little wild pansies. 

One of two potted dwarf pomegranate trees. People often think the red marks on The Unicorn in Captivity are bleeding cuts from his capture, but they really are pomegranate juice dripping from the tree he is tied to. 

The garden is segmented into beds for different categories: medicinal, magical, culinary, and the one that interested me most - crafts. Here is some indigo. There was also madder, flax, and quite a few other plants used in fiber production. One of the amazing things to realize about the tapestries is that all those colors are from natural dyes. 

Here is a snap of The Unicorn in Captivity from when Isobel and I visited in March.  

It is more vibrant IRL, of course. My creativity is whirring away, so maybe you'll see some unicorn-inspired designs down the line.