Finished Object: A hat was made

There are very few models in the house. So unless I catch Mr. Nake-id in the mood to pose in a girly beret, I'm left with the other men in the house.

The beret is Hannah Fettig's Simple Beret in multiple gauges. Because of the bulky nature of the handspun I was using (and my pin head and limited yardage), I adjusted the pattern beyond the gauges the designer offered. Cast on 52, multiply and divide accordingly. (The yarn: Herie7 Natural Fiber Treasures black-white Norwegian handspun wool purchased at Wild Yarns.)

Knitting with handspun is a joy, like knitting with yarn someone breathed life into. An absolute joy. (For me, if not Antone.)


In praise of thoughtful editors

Those of us who write for and love print indulge in a fair amount of gallows' humor these days. We chuckle about being dinosaurs, about how we'll soon be out of work (my Plan B--the Chanel counter at Nordstrom, save me a place, ladies!), about how every job today requires not just excellent writing skills, but also the ability to work with the Adobe CreativeSuite, handle social media, understand content management systems, and gee, wouldn't it be nice if you could take great photos and shoot video.

Makes the ability to write a good feature story seem almost quaint. Like knitting.

It's not like I'm one of the dusty ones who's clinging to her OED like it's a life raft in a turbulet sea. I'm hep. I stole Mr. Nake-id's iPad and made it my own. I read ebooks (expanding type for aging eyes!). I have a personal brand (that and $4 will get me an almond-milk latte).

It's like we're on the Titanic, and we've already seen the movie. Say "hello" to the music industry, people, that iceberg has our name on it, too.

I guess in the meantime, we should ask the orchestra to play faster, and give thanks to editors who see us not just as a means to an end, but also as people who respond to thank yous, fun assignments and the occasional goody or two. We're all in this boat together. And, for all your hard work and consideration, I thank you back.






Nake-id Admiration: A list of good things

Excited about.

Dying to knit this.

Crushing on Alan. The videography, too.


Inspired by.



Happy to see this.


And it's Friday!

Slow progress

So many things conspire to keep us away from the needles and knitty noddies and these pages.

Deadlines, fresh interests, the occasional detour into a good read (where is there another one just like it?), household chores and the pursuit of new boots have intervened. 

There's been knitting, a new design, which has me bursting--and miraculously spinning (thanks to the Sunday Spinners!)--but it's all so slow going.

The above is yarn spun from a Fleece Artist roving purchased eons ago that's been languishing on a bobbin these many months. But it's progress.

Blocked and beautiful

The blocking wires proved to be an epic fail with this curvilinear beauty. Mine just aren't bendy enough to accommodate the curved lines of this piece. So after showing my Color Affection class how to put them in, I promptly took them out again and free blocked the thing.

It's lovely. If I were to do it all again--and I won't--I'd use larger needles, 7s at least, with this sport-weight yarn. And, maybe, color? All-in-all, though, very pleased.

The photos, however, have a way to go...


So now it's gluten-free

One day she's vegan then poof she's gluten-free. What will that Nake-id girl do next?

(And how 'bout the photo of the brown treacle pictured above. A lovely gluten-free roux made from teff flour, ghee and some leftover bacon-flavored grapeseed oil I bought from a multi-level marketing company.)

So here's the deal: In an ongoing attempt to address some minor but persistent health issues--high cholesterol and some mood challenges--the Ayurvedic Doc asked whether I'd be willing to try going GF for a month.

Oh, sure. So off I trot to the Internets where it appears gluten causes everything from, um, gas and bloating to full-on cancer. This protein, this component of the staff of life, ritualized in the Abrahamic traditions, can not only wreak havoc in your upper and lower plumbing it can foul your brain.

All we can say over here is: OMG. And pass the lettuce.

Teaching blocking

Most of the time when teaching, the blocking conversation goes like this: Euclan. Washer. Soak. Spin out. Dry flat. Done.

If we get to blocking in a project class--and often we don't--it's given short shrift in the rush to teach mattress stitch, weave in ends or kitchener. For the Color Affection class, because of the timing on my shawl, I'm going to haul the blocking wires, pins, towels and wool wash to class and demonstrate that in spite of the dreary process that is pinning out a shawl, you get amply rewarded with a beautiful finished project.

Oh, yes. And for your viewing pleasure another amateur photo of shawl and cat feet.

Color Affection Shawl: The photo montage

Look at that fancy blurred background. And how the light sets off that natural white yarn to perfect advantage. Just like Jared Flood. (Snort!)

Clever shooter to incorporate cat paws to set off the shawl's neutral palette of the shawl. Bet that's never been done before!

Or consider this immortal image:

Surely you're just dying to knit one yourself. If that's the case, I'll be teaching this little beauty at Wild Yarns beginning Tuesday, Jan. 8, 6-8 p.m.

Have a great weekend, fellow shutterbugs!

Learning to see

I had a yoga teacher once who said that people who are good with words have poor spatial awareness. It's a phrase that continues to comfort whenever a yoga teacher gives an instruction like, "Place your right elbow on your left knee," and I'm in a knot trying to figure out which knee to adress.

Photography feels that way, and so for years, impatient with the-exposure-depth-of-field-light-source physicality of it all, I've mostly pointed and clicked and hoped for good images, leaving the science and expensive hardware to those with more concrete minds.

I haven't bought a camera since 1994, a 35mm automatic Olympus that used film. Parsimonious by nature unless we're talking yarn, digital photographic equipment has always been down on the priority list with cell phones and cable television. These pages have been populated with photos taken with hand-me-downs, cast-offs and a lucky freebie. Until today.

Last week, I bought an entry-level DSLR, a little Canon EOS Rebel T3i--a good deal at Costco with two lenses, bag, cords, memory card and instructional DVD, which I have to stop every two minutes for 15 minutes of camera fiddling. There's a lot to learn--the viewfinder itself displays 18 bits of information, a hieroglypic of flash and exposure icons, highlight tone priority, red-eye reduction and on and on. Dazzling, really.

And, the medium itself, so rich, so complex, you can see why it's an art.

It's going to take awhile, but I can already tell by looking in the viewfinder of this nice tool that there's a lot to see.

Comfort and Joy

A peaceful season to you