Thursday, April 16, 2015

Yarn Porn

I know it's not classy to say, but like the Supreme Court, I know it when I see it, and what follows is nothing but yarn porn. I can't sugarcoat it. 

This roving is from Maggie's Farm. I recently purchased five pounds in shades from gray to charcoal in prep for Spring Fest at N's school. Maggie's Farm is a local certified organic farm with a soft spot for retired sheep. Barbara Clark, her husband, and their sweet, old dog Maggie run about the luckiest place in the world to live if you're a sheep. Truly. Enjoy indulging with me. 

So beautiful. Thank you Barbara! Come see the wool and more at Spring Fest! #pmspringfest

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Spring Fest!

Where oh where have I been? I'm gearing up for Spring Fest at my son's Waldorf school where my retail shop, The Mulberry Tree, will once again be selling Waldorf-themed, handmade items and books. Here's a peek at some of the goodies you can expect to see. 

Hand-dipped beeswax birthday candles. 

Hand-knitted snails in a rainbow of colors!

Hand-knit gauntlet bracelet with beautiful beads. 

Hand-crafted, sturdy wooden stool. 

We also have Waldorf-themed books, including classic Grimm's fairy tales and hand crafting books. 

We will have hand-crafted wooden artisan items and items from other Waldorf-themed local crafters. We'll also have wool items from Maggie's Farm - one of our favorite local sheep farmers!

Come see The Mulberry Tree at Prairie Moon Waldorf School on Saturday, April 25 from 12-4!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Celebrating Spring

Getting ready for spring. 


We are celebrating with Springfest at Prairie Moon by sharing wares and dreams with our community. 

About a year and a half ago a friend and I started a business. It's called The Mulberry Tree. It is a store that specializes in Waldorf-themed toys, craft supplies and clothing. 

For some time, we were working really hard on moving forward with a storefront. But, like so many things in life, we had to pause those plans until we are both in a more flexible financial place. So, in the meantime, we are doing what we can to get our name out there, including building a website and appearing places that have an audience that would appreciate our wares. 

Right now I'm working on a few things that are a bit outside my scope of expertise. In a spring swap I participated in a few years ago, I made wood-carved ovals with a Root Children theme. I'm making them again for the SpringFest. 

I'm no expert, but here's what I have so far. They're not the fanciest photos, but I think they get the point across. 
There's still a lot to do. They have to be sanded, painted, and waxed. There are two of each, and they'll be a memory set of 12. I'm hoping they turn out well!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Hat knitting

Have you ever made up a pattern? Well I hadn't either. Ok. I had, but then I made up this fair isle hat pattern, and I'm smitten. I made one for N then one for A using the same basic pattern. If you don't recall, they're here. 
The rainbow one incorporated the pattern of the rainbow sweater. 

Now I'm working on one of these warm puppies for me. I purchased the perfect tweed yarn with my holiday/birthday gift certificates I beg for every year. A charcoal grey and an avocado green. They are great colors! See?

I've knit the body of the hat. If you notice, all of these hats have an icord edging. N's worked perfectly. A's worked pretty well, but I'm having a heck of a time making it work on mine without looking terrible. Bah! Because it's soooo pretty!

So, in the meantime, this project sits patiently for me on my knitting shelf. Ok. Who am I kidding? Shelves. 

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Experimentation

I love art knitting. There are so many amazing knitters out there making beautiful art. There are also non-knitters who picked up a ball of yarn and knitted a square and called it art. But that's not what I'm taking about, and frankly if you can convince another grown up to buy something my 5 year old could knit for $400, more power to you. 

I picked up a copy of Knit in New Directions by Myra Wood because I want to expand my experience with knitting for art's sake rather than aesthetically pleasing practicality. I have a hard time with any kind of creative activity that doesn't make something useful. It can be beautiful and ornate, but it seems to me to be a waste of time if you can't use the beautiful thing you made. I acknowledge that this is probably a personality quirk and not a superior mental condition. I have been compared to Spock (RIP!) before. 

So, I'm experimenting with short rows with a piece out of that book. Here's where it stands now. 
Yes. There is a flaw. Not one significant enough to make me go back and make a change. I appreciate the author's take on what it takes to make something useful out of such seemingly unplanned projects. I am not generally a swatch maker (hanging head in shame and waiting patiently while real knitters sigh and go find a legit knitting blog), so I really admire the commitment to knowing your yarn and guage and size needed before embarking on a project like this. 

Basically, I've found that my exception to the practical use rule is yarn bombing. It has been such a fascination for me since I first heard of it. This piece will adorn one of my trees in the spring, along with some other pieces I hope to finish before the tulips start showing their heads. 

Here is some yarn bombing I've done in the past, which you can find in my July 2013 post. 

After some time, it got a little less cool looking and a little more icky looking. So, this fall I took it down. Fortunately our local public library provided me with a temporary solution to my tree decorating desires.

Please don't tell me you don't know who Margaret Atwood is. Really. If you don't know, then go read one of her books and then come back and tell me thank you for introducing you to your new favorite author. I'll wait.



Ready? Ok. Well, she visited our fair city recently. Our library was ready for the challenge. The Handmaid's Tale was our city's read along, and we yarn bombed more than 20 trees on the library campus. I, of course, signed up. 

If you haven't read A Handmaid's Tale, then instead of judging you, I will merely say that my piece might not make sense to you. Anyway, here it is in all its glory!

I stand on the corner pretending to be a tree. 

It was a cold day for installation, and I'd flown in from Albuquerque that day. I literally went from the airport after 8 hours of traveling to the library. It was totally worth it. 

It was a little disappointing once hung. I spent hours and hours on this project. But once it was on the tree, next to so many wee little saplings dripping in yarn, it just didn't look like so many hours. Regardless, I was pleased. I hope Margaret was, too. 

Christmas knitting

It feels like I have a hundred years of projects to catch up on! I'm going to share my most recent Christmas knitting. I've definitely lowered my ambitions quite a bit from previous holidays. I certainly didn't knit something for everyone on my list. Partially because it was nice to be able to buy my family a thing to two. 

So for Little A and Little N, I've become somewhat of a Mrs. Weasley. They love their annual Christmas sweaters! Seriously, N wears his to school at least once a week. Dang it he's such a sweet kid! He knows exactly how to win my heart!

On top of the sweaters this year, A scored a matching hat, designed by me to match his sweater. 
This was a Dream In Color kit at The Yarn Barn. So beautiful! I love it from the colors to the elephant buttons. This hat is actually based on one I designed for N. Here it is. 
A also lucked out and got some slippers this year, because I'd already knit some for N. They are so snuggly!
So, while holiday knitting is long gone, and a few of us might even be starting to look forward to this year's holiday rush, I just wanted to share what I gifted two of the sweetest bebes I know. 

Catching up

As I mentioned in my last post, these last few years have been undeniably full of verbs and nouns and emotions. So many things go to the wayside when you're fighting your way out of a wet paper sack. One of them was the respite I found in knitting and crafting. I still did a little here and there, but I didn't find the peace and solace there when I needed it. And when I needed it, I couldn't afford it. So, there I was.

Several years ago, I participated in a swap. I traded for a Waldorf-style doll from an individual who was using our swap group as practice. It was a beautiful doll we got for N. We thought he would benefit from having a male doll. He was about to become a big brother, and it seemed to serve several purposes I'm certain you can divine. 

This doll has short, brown hair. It is extremely cute. N named her Thomas. Yes. I wrote that correctly. He named her Thomas, but since I was basically the only short-haired brunette he associated with on any kind of regular basis, Thomas was clearly a girl. Fine. We don't get hung up on stuff like that, and it makes for a cute story. 

N never played with her, but A loves dolls and playing house. N decided to give Thomas to A. And soon after, Thomas's wee arms came right off she got so much love. 

Thomas was put into the basket of things for mama to fix. That was about 3 years ago... 

I took it as a promising sign that today was the day that Thomas was fixed. A was overjoyed. So overjoyed in fact that he immediately dresses her up and snuggled her up with her sister, Gordon. 

That's Thomas on the left. I think you can tell they missed each other.