Sunday, February 24, 2008

4000 hits

This weekend, the stat counter registered 4,000 hits on my blog. Since I have been posting regularly for about a year now, that means that there are at least 10 visits a day to this blog. Now some of them are from my own visits but most are not. About 20% are from repeat visitors which shows that some of you find me, or my needlework interesting. As you can see from the map on the side, the visitors are from all over the world. I am flattered that you are willing to spend some of your time with me. Please leave a comment when you find something you like.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Finished knitting

I took pictures of my finished sari silk scarf and the mermaid's tail evening bag. I am going to embelish the bag with small brass bells that I took off an old shirt, they are sitting on the bag in the picture but are not attached.

I also finished my farrow rib scarf and made a hat to match. The hat is my own pattern. Both are made out of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino yarn in black but they look very different in the pictures.

My next project is going to be the elfin hat and scarf set from the Fall 2007 issue of Interweave Knits. The yarn is handspun that I bought at the Chicago Botanic Garden during the Fine Art of Fiber show last fall. The hat will be in the brown and the scarf in the boucle. I hope that I have enough of the brown for the whole hat and that the pattern stitch shows up in the boucle yarn. I will have lots of time today to find out since I am going to spend it at a karate tournament.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

February Color Scheme Experiments

I have experimented with the February TIF color scheme and the results are shown here. I can't decide whether I like any of these well enough to stitch them or if I will stick with the colors from the original map. The green in the original ties in with the concept of agriculture more than the blues. I have been carrying the pictures around and thinking about them. Now you can offer your opinions as well.

I finished some knitting projects this week too but I don't have pictures yet. The Sari Silk mermaid's tail evening bag is complete. I also finished a farrow rib scarf that I started several years ago. I used a cashmere and wool yarn in black. I have two more balls of the yarn and am thinking about making a hat -- I need to work out a pattern for it because I want to have farrow rib for at least part of it.

I was able to finish the scarf because I spent 9 hours traveling from Chicago to Cleveland yesterday. Both airports closed last night due to snow and ice on the runways. I spent several hours knitting and watching the primary election commentary with a man from Munich, who was also on his way to Cleveland. He had a copy of Der Spiegel with Obama on the cover and told me that the Democratic candidates are getting a lot of news coverage in Europe. He was amused that I find parts of our primary system difficult to explain and amazed when I told him that Huckabee made Bush look like a moderate.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

February TIF Photoshop Experiments

I spent some time this morning playing with the land use image from 1975 in photoshop. Here is the original photo and here are some of my favorite results:

The yellow in this photograph shows the urban area in Maricopa County in 1975. The green is agricultural and the pink is recreation. I cropped the picture to select the southeastern portion of the county to include South Mountain, the urban areas of Tempe and Mesa and the agricultural areas that I remember from that time. Then I started modifying the image in Photoshop resulting in the three versions below. I used the color scheme form the photo without modification. I could make it bluer to match the color scheme in the challenge.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Random Thoughts

I have been thinking about my February TIF Design Challenge Piece. Even before this topic was suggested I have been looking at aerial photographs that show the changes in land use over time. These changes have accelerated over the last 50 years as urban areas expand and more land is turned over to commercial agriculture. I grew up in Tempe, Arizona, and I remember going to farmstands to buy produce grown in nearby fields and picking fruit in orchards and vineyards in Gilbert and Queen Creek. Now, the areas where I picked, and ate, peaches, plums, apricots, nectarines, and grapes as a child are full of adobe colored houses with desert landscaping. When I say I miss the orchards, my father points out that houses take a lot less water than agriculture and I am reminded that the fresh produce of my childhood was grown by mining water in the desert and crop dusting large areas of land. I found some land use maps on the internet that I want to use as the basis for my February TIF, unfortunately they are in a powerpoint format and I can't figure out how to upload them to my blog but you can see them here.

While thinking about TIF, I have been knitting with Sari Silk. I finished the scarf and have started making another Mermaid's Tail Evening Purse. A sample of the finished fabric is pictured. I don't like knitting with it that much and it doesn't look as cool knitted up as I thought it would when I bought it. I am thinking of donating both pieces to the auction at the Women's Spirit. I am sure that there is someone else that they are perfect for.
I did recieve the perfect gift today. My kit for the Forget-Me-Nots in Stitches Album from Sampler and Antique Needlework Quarterly came today with the gorgeous scrimshaw pieces. I ordered it at the end of last year. It is a great early birthday present. I am a fan of Lauren Sauer's designs. I have five of her floral designs stitched and hanging on my dining room wall and her Secret Garden needlecase is one of my favorite projects.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

The Pink Artist and a Lacrosse Cat

On Thursday, I made a 2 inch square beaded and embroidered piece for the The Pink Artist Community Art Doll Project. The title "Hopeful Heart" came to mind as I finished the piece pictured here using hand dyed fabric scraps, gumnuts silk threads, and beads from my stash of leftovers. I will be mailing it off to Alabama today.
The February challenge for the Take it Further Design Challenge is "What am I old enough to remember?" I have brainstormed a surprisingly long list of things that I am old enough to remember and am playing with some ideas for my challenge piece. There are a lot of things that I remember that we don't have any more -- tv sets with tubes, transistor radios, slide rules, rotary dial phones, library card catalogues with real cards, programming computers using punch cards and printing information off on tractor feed printers, etc. There are some things that we used to have that have come back -- I remember that we had a milk man who delivered milk, now you can have Peapod deliver your groceries and in some parts of this area Oberweiss will still deliver milk to your door. I also remember places when they were different -- when we used to go on vacations each town and city had different restuarants and stores -- now they are all the same and they look the same.
Last night, my son left his Lacrosse Goalie Stick out on the couch and our calico cat took it over. Doesn't she look like she is ready to play?