Sunday, February 21, 2010

At The Museum

Stephanie wrote:

Our departure for Stitches West is right around the corner. After we finished our fall shows the end of February seemed so far away - plenty of time to get everything ready. Even with all that time I know I'll be working up until the last minute.

Some of the last minute details I'm working on are actually quite fun. I've made time to sit and work on Cité. The body is done.

I'm making my way along the hem edge, knitting it to the body as I go.

Lovely little stitches that add a soft, feminine touch.

Be warned - photo tour ahead. I recently made a trip to the American Textile History Museum. The Museum had been renovated, and I was eager to see it. During the Industrial Revolution New England was home to many textile factories. The American Textile History Museum strives to preserve that history through exhibits and educational programs.

This open space contains some of the big, bulky equipment that was used to make textiles. I was intrigued by the engineering and scale of the equipment. The noise and fiber dust in the factories must have been incredible.

And of course this exhibit caught my eye.

The Charm of Color - what a clever title.

One display case housed these gloves.

I would have loved to examine them more closely to see how the beads were attached.

And then I spied this pair of gloves.

I like the colorful details, and they look so warm and cozy.

I couldn't pass up this exhibit.

Aprons: Fifties Functional Fashion

This exhibit brought back a flood of memories. My mother and her sisters wearing aprons. My apron-clad grandma cooking Sunday dinner.

The walls were covered with aprons - aprons in different colors and styles, aprons with themes, aprons for various holidays.

I admit I have a thing for aprons, and I wear one every day. I'm messy in the kitchen so aprons serve a very practical function. They save me from wearing my cooking and are a pleasant reminder of days gone by.

Being a baseball fan I had to investigate this exhibit.

Do you know the answer? Wool. The baseball core is wrapped in wool yarn, a blend of 85% wool and 15% synthetic fiber to be exact. The wool helps the ball keep its shape after being hit.

And who could resist this scarecrow?

Meet Purl. Purl's scarf was made with the help of a computer program. The scarf contains 90 squares. The computer generated design made sure that no squares of the same color touched. It also made sure that the color sequences of each row were never repeated.

And it wouldn't be a textile museum without sheep.

From a distance these almost look like the real thing.

We had a bit of wintry weather this past week.

The snow was wet and heavy. The branches on my neighbor's tree were almost touching the ground.

It made for a beautiful winter wonderland.

Snow and ice.

And a visitor.

I was out and about early, but someone else was first to walk in the new snow.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Packing Up

Stephanie wrote:

The blog has been quiet which means we have been extra busy. Last week was spent packing, counting and re-packing our inventory for Stitches West. How much should we take? Is this enough? Or is it too much? When all was said and done we made our best guess, packed it up and shipped it out.

A glimpse at the mountain of boxes. It was an exhausting process to pull it all together and a huge relief when it was all done.

There are still lots of loose ends to tie up. Over the weekend I cast on this booth sample.

It's not very often that my knitting project coordinates so well with my coffee mug - I had to capture the moment. This neck warmer is Anne Hanson's Cité in Classy Sox Smoke. The cashmere in this yarn makes a soft, cozy fabric which is perfect for next-to-skin wear. The pattern is easy to memorize and a quick knit.

The Valentine's Day holiday was a good excuse to do some baking. I made the dough, and the elves here did all the rest.

These little hearts were decorated with frosting and sugar before heading out to a party.

And it wouldn't be Valentine's Day without chocolate.

These fruit and chocolate combinations make for delicious colors.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Marking Time

Stephanie wrote:

I've always been interested in the concept of time - how we measure time, the effects of more or less daylight, why time seems to go faster as we get older. And then there are my daily efforts to maximize time.

Just this week I heard an interesting story on NPR about time. Why does time seem to fly by as we get older? It seems that people all over the world experience this same feeling. This isn't a cultural concept. Some scientists theorize that our first experiences are dense because they are new and fresh. They seem to take up more time. As we experience these same events over and over they are no longer new and seem to go by faster.

Food for thought - when you reach your 60s and 70s and realize that your time is limited, you try to savor your memories and remember all the details. I find it all very fascinating.

Well, for Dye Dreams these are busy times. We are packing up our yarn and shipping it to California for Stitches West. We have never done this event before, and I'm sure it will be quite an adventure. It will be a relief to have these boxes on their way.

I've been busy with last minute dyeing, labeling yarn, counting and re-counting. Sometimes the simplest math can be the most challenging. With all this packing and counting I don't have many pictures to show. I did finish the booth sample of the Fishbone Gansey Sock.

Here it is drying after a quick bath. I'm anxious to start a pair for myself. Maybe that will be my reward if I finish all my work for the day.

A few days ago we marked time with a birthday celebration.

These candles are supposed to be tall and straight. Perhaps the heat of summer got to them, but that didn't stop us from enjoying them. Warm light glowing at crazy, funky angles. And the cake? Homemade German chocolate.