Sunday, April 24, 2016

North Carolina and knitting

I spent last week traveling to North Carolina and partaking in my passion of knitting. First up was a stop in Asheville staying at the Indigo hotel. It was a 1/2 mile walk into town which was perfect once we got our bearings.

We stopped into a gallery and chatted with a participating artist. He recommended the white duck taco for lunch and we were so glad he did. The flavors were incredible. We had a shrimp taco with tempura'd bay shrimp in a lovely curry sauce and topped with bread and butter pickles, so unique and wonderful.



On Saturday night we had an early dinner at rhubarbs and an early bedtime. I forgot how I no longer have the stamina for a red eye flight.

Sunday we had a wander in Biltmore village and then headed to Andrews and the Hawksdene venue where we caught up with friends from last years retreat.


I am a huge fan of unique sheep yarns and it was wonderful to touch the various fibers and visualize the colors, oh and purchase them.


One of the things that happens is show and tell which with so many accomplished knitters is a grand thing. You get to see up close and in person shawls you might want to make. This was Mary Scott's Serendipity and it's the shawl I just cast on. I'm going to use crystals in mine.

Carolyn who I met a few years back at bead and button is an amazing knitter and very gracious in sharing her many skills. She helped me out with using the knit companion which is a really useful tool for knitting with charts. Her lessons also made me realize that the real estate of the 12.9 inch iPad Pro would be arrives tomorrow.

It was a fabulous trip!


Friday, April 15, 2016

A knitting kind of weekend!

I'm off tonight to meet up with a good friend and enjoy a leisurely few days meandering through the Blue Ridge Mountains, knitting with friends, and soaking up the beautiful atmosphere at Hawksdene.

The venue is full of art to be experienced at every turn.  Big comfortable sofas in the great room are a gathering place for knitters.

The Unique Sheep team of Kelly and Laura host a wonderful event with lots of fun filled activities.  There will be silk scarf dyeing, knitting of course, at least one food related class, a beading class and lot's of good food.

There will also be yarn shopping with lots of gradient yarns.  There may be some lace weight in my future.

I will land tomorrow morning and spend the day in Asheville having a wander through the streets and undoubtedly into some of the eclectic shops there.  Dinner is at Rhubarbs which we discovered on last years trip.  Being a creature of habit it's nice to be able to return to a place that we enjoyed.  The warm spiced nuts are calling me.

It's also really nice to attend a retreat in a medium I love as much as knitting and being a participant rather than organizer or teacher gives me a lot of time to relax.  I'm looking forward to that.  Soon enough we'll be off on another great adventure.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Inspiration morphed

There are times I don't bead or I don't bead anything productive and then all of a sudden a beading streak will come along and designs and color ways seem to show up naturally.  Oddly these often coincide with being exceptionally busy and thinking no way you have time to design and then in the middle of that, it happens, you bead something you love.

The photo is of costume jewelry from a calendar, sadly I don't have the image and a Google reverse image search did not provide the answer (more on that in a minute)  I started out with this photo and had the idea to have fringe.  I had initially thought this was round, but I think it was actually a 2 dimensional piece.

I knew I wanted to use pearls in increasing sizes on the edge to create the curve and I had a stash of the new iridescent white ones which I love!

So I sat down and I beaded some craw elements with pearls on the edges and I connected them on the top and on the bottom and contemplated the fringe.....but as these things so often go, I decided on continuing the spines down coming gradually to a point.  The larger pearls were not part of the original plan, to the degree I ever have a plan, but when I added them in they were magic to me.

Now back to google image use and upload a photo to find similar.  I didn't find the original photo in my search but I did find this.  Now if I had posted both inspiration photos and asked you to guess which one inspired my finished piece....well I'm betting this image would be the hands down winner.  And since I can attribute this one, I will, it came from here and is titled as men's jewelry.

I am also knitting....and kitting and packing to go on a 5 day knitting retreat with a dear friend, in fact my friend who goes back the furthest in my life, from my Massachusetts, and pre children days, which is a pretty long time ago!  We try to meet up once a year and last year it was this retreat.  It's with Unique Sheep who do magical gradient dyed yarns.  The retreat is in the blue ridge mountains of North Carolina at beautiful venue called Hawksdene.  We enjoyed it so much last year we decided to do it again!  Last year at the show and tell I vowed to have something show and tell worthy for this year, something using their yarns, and I have two!  Of course I am dwarfed by many who are much more prolific knitters than I am, but I'm happy that I have the two I managed to complete this year.