Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Free to All

This past weekend, Mister and I visited the St. Louis Art Museum not once but twice! Friday evenings are the perfect time to relax and see the museum. Hours are extended to 9pm and sometimes they even have live musical performances. I needed to do some research for one of my art history classes.

We were back on Sunday to see the Monet exhibit, which was fantastic! After his death, a triptych was found in his studio and broken up to be sold to three different museums. The only other time the work was reunited was in 1980. Picture if you will, forty-two feet of waterlilies, Monet's distinct color and brush work and then times your reaction by a million. It was stunning and not to be missed! I don't want to get on my art soapbox, but I do not think his work should have been separated. By doing so, the original intention of the artist is changed....but that is a can of worms for later.

Speaking of famous artist, today on the Diane Rehm show, the authors of a new biography on Vincient van Gogh were on.  Don't miss it, you can find show notes and listen here.

One of the things that I most love about St. Louis is the many things which are free. The Art Museum is one such treasure, "Dedicated to Art and Free to All."

On the Needles

Knitting colorwork has been on my list for 2011 New Year Intentions. I wondered if I would get to it yet this year. I cast on for some mittens last week which will perfectly fit the bill.

Meta Mittens are lovely colorwork (knitting with more than one color together) knitting which feature a sheep in the design. How perfect is that?

I found color work a bit awkward at first. I'm an English knitter. For you non-yarn folks, I use my right hand to carry my yarn and I "throw." 

Throwing - English
Picking - Continental
Knitting two colors involves carrying yarn in both hands, so I'm English knitting with one hand, and Continental knitting (or picking ) in my left.

It was difficult at first to get the hang of it. I worked it for about an hour then took a break to attend my Crochet Club. When I returned, I found the most amazing thing. I was much more adept at using both hands and I could even get some speed on my needles. Perhaps my brain needed some time to chew it over.

I started this project last week with double pointed needles (DPNs), but this weekend switched to magic loop method (long circular needle). SO MUCH EASIER! I love my DPNs for socks, and I'm happy to finally have a project that I like to use magic loop on. With carrying two strands of yarn having only two needles to worry with is much better.

Also on the needles is a project that I'm slowly making progress on. I've ripped it out many times in tweaking my design. A friend asked me to design a hip dance scarf for belly dancing. I originally was going to do the whole thing in crochet. Due to wrist pain, I've had to modify it a bit. The major portion is now knit and I'll do some accents, drops and coin work in crochet.

Spinning News

A friend recently took a trip to Minnesota and look at what she brought back for me!
Two colors of lovely Icelandic wool! 

Icelandic Sheep Breeders of North America

Icelandic sheep sport a dual coat, meaning has undercoat and course outer hairs. The wool is considered to be more primitive or rustic. It isn't soft like Merino wool, but has a lot of personality and wildness.

I've been working on spinning up some fiber for a hat which will be a bit of holiday knitting. I found this delicious raspberry fiber and it is spinning up beautifully. I'm aiming for a worsted weight yarn to knit a beret (yes, I know, a raspberry beret).

Technology at Its Best

As my computer reminded me this weekend, don't forget to regularly back up your files. My poor computer is almost reached its lifespan. It is common only to remember to back up only after all is looking lost. Thankfully, I had a fair warning and backed up.  

Baaaaaaaaaa-d Jokes

Hope you have been reading the jokes that have been coming in with the giveaway contest. I have been taking special delight on reading them out loud to Mister. He even agreed that some of them where quite good. Keep your entries coming, you have until Halloween to enter.

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