Saturday, August 22, 2020

Calendars: Coronavirus and Retirement

 Although I didn’t officially retire until the end of the academic year in May, the quarantine which started the week after Spring Break in March was the last time I saw my students and most of my colleagues in person. I missed them and the chance to say farewell in person. In July I received an email that my retirement chair (I selected a rocking chair instead of a working straight chair) was ready for me to pick up. Once I managed to get it into the back of my car on the reclined seats, I drove it home and assembled the rocker legs (not that easy with a tight fit). I finally cleared out the last of 40+ years of academic books and papers from my office just before picking up my chair, and I’ll have a lot of work to go through bookcases to add the ones I want to keep.

Not surprisingly, the five textile workshops I had scheduled from May through October gradually were canceled. So much for celebrating retirement time! 

I have always loved calendars of any size, and have far too many of them, mainly of cats and Estonian lace knitting. As days have gone by, I’ve scratched out or erased one workshop or guild meeting after another. Zoom “meetings” have helped but who isn’t tired of them? Some small groups are gradually resuming, but I’m having a hip replacement this fall and don’t want to risk exposure. It doesn’t even seem like an effective vaccine will be widely available until next spring. Here I am, looking at beautiful calendars without dates for joyous activities.  When trying to imagine retirement time, this was not part of it.

Ah, back to textiles! This is part of a small PEACE panel. I hope you are finding helpful transitions from before to during now!

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Oo! Projects

Although it's been a year since my last blog, I've been very busy teaching my last year as a faculty member before retirement in mid-May. Now I have three weeks to clear out 40+ years of academic books and papers!!

To cheer me up, my first garden surprise of the year was this clump of several yellow columbines left from last year.

I bought a few pansy plants in March, and they've grown really well.

On St. Patrick's Day, I planted various radishes and also sugar snaps. The French breakfast radishes were the first to be advanced enough to pick. I love radishes before they turn hot!

Violets have always been among my favorite flowers, and this year they have grown in the grass, in flower beds, and between rocks--all without my planting them.

The Fine Shetland Lace group on Facebook has started a KAL (knit-a-long) with the Little Secret pattern.

One of the local knitting stores has a KAL of mini-skeins in a rolled design, which should be very warm when the cold weather returns.

And then I ordered an Estonian mitten kit and a new Estonian mitten book (not in English, but it's the charts which matter). No, I haven't yet started them!

And two of three colors destined for another shawl: my local knitting guild's Goldfish Memory shawl. (The third color is tan.)

And an LYS (local yarn store) KAL , but the pattern is done around the country: Breathe and Hope shawl). Not yet wound.

And I have an online tapestry class to work on, and another small cut pile "carpet," so I'm dealing with the stresses of these times by undertaking too many projects, all linked by Oo! Another lovely project and soft yarn: everything from very fine laceweight yarn to fingering wool to weaving wools.

Summer arrives in about two weeks!

Friday, April 5, 2019

Oh, my!

I have knotted 2-3 hours most days, leading to a lot of progress.

And more

And finally, the completely knotted piece: 7,225 knots!

The next stage will be to cut off both stars and finish the ends.

Amazing: started on February 24 and finished on April 21!

And I have most of the next star designed!

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Spring Break

Oh, my! I really do like how the Blue Star is developing. Knotting a lot more during spring break makes a big difference.

This was from last weekend:

and this one from yesterday:

This morning I started the other two diamond segments. By Sunday, I hope to reach the halfway stage.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Blue Holbein-style Star

This will be a variation of the red star, but with deep ocean blue as the background color, and the star with alternating diamonds. In addition, I’ll be using the tools from a class with Noreen Roberts many years ago.

First, the early rows:

The blue is Harrisville Highland and the white is Harrisville Shetland (the same as the warp. Two rows are beaten down firmly.

I’ve added the border and beaten it with the smaller beater.

Ready to trim.

Note that both hands must be used: one to hold the handles and one be be sure the scissors are flat against the knots.

And the next step is to whack the work with the heavier beater.

It’s being held up for display with the smaller beater.

And in a few rows I’ll start using thee red and yellow of the stars and additional motifs.

I’m really looking forward to seeing the design emerge!

Thursday, August 16, 2018


I've been delighted at the progress of the panel: currently 2,465 knots!

 This was at the 1/4th stage.

 And here at the 1/3rd stage.

And here is the wrong side of the 1/3rd stage.

To my relief, the knotting has not caused hand or shoulder problems--at least as long as my chair is high enough for the table.

Calendars: Coronavirus and Retirement

 Although I didn’t officially retire until the end of the academic year in May, the quarantine which started the week after Spring Break in ...