Striped History

stripey socks

I’m embarrassed to say how long this pair of socks took me. Long enough that I don’t dye this base yarn anymore and I honestly have no clue what a few of the colorways are! It’s definitely been over five years, maybe 7? 8? I don’t even remember why I had these scraps to begin with.

Up until I excavated these, I was sure I had abandoned them because there were so many ends to weave in. But, it was cold here in Portland, and I needed more wool socks. So I dug them out only to find…there were 4 ends to weave in. facepalm

Needless to say, I wove in those last four ends and put them on. Unfortunately I need to darn them, as I caught one of them on the corner of a grate in the floor at work and tore it.

What tickles me about this is that it’s like looking at layers of sediment or archeological sites. It’s a little album of PRS history. It’s interesting, though to look at these and realize how much has changed for me since then. I went from doing this full time, thinking I wanted to grow the business, to becoming a Pilates teacher and realizing I wanted to stay small. I’m very happy with both of those choices.

What has been taking the most of my attention lately is my trying to launch my art career. I’m making solid work after over ten years of basically a hiatus, and it feels good. But I’m in my mid thirties now, and I want to make money. So I’m doing my research, figuring out my branding, and really trying to approach it seriously like a business. I’ve started a blog specifically for my art; there’s only one post at the moment, but I have lots more planned. If you’re interested, it’s www.kristamccurdy.com. I’m also over on Instagram as @kristamccurdy , Facebook @kristamccurdyartist, Pinterest as Krista McCurdy (notice a theme here?) and on Etsy as PigeonsOnTheRoof. 

Ravelry project page here.

 

Daily Collages

One of the things that I decided to do this year was to start a practice of a daily collage. I must admit that I’ve used the word “daily” to really mean “daily-ish”. I don’t always have time, especially on days like Wednesdays, where I leave my house at 9:30 in the morning and don’t get home from work until 8:30 in the evening. I’m pretty fried by the time I get home.

I’ve been doing them in a sketchbook– one of the first times I’ve really used a sketchbook for art in a long time–and they’re starting to quite satisfactorily make the sketchbook bulge a little. The sketchbook I have actually has perforated pages, which is handy as I’m learning I need to remove a page or two in between collaged pages so that the book doesn’t get too unwieldy.

It’s good practice in attempting to work a little more loosely. I’m not a haphazard free-wheeling artist; I put down elements with precise decision. It’s funny; I’m not organized or obsessively detail-oriented and OCD about things in every other area of my life except in two areas: teaching Pilates and collage. Then I am all about it.

Trying to work a little more loosely is difficult, though, so it’s a good exercise. It also is fun to use the tiny scraps that build up around the tiny work area on my table that develops. (the rest of the table ends up being piled high with papers.) Some of them surprise me, too, where either I’m working with a color palette I don’t normally, or comes together lightning fast.

I’m not the first, by any means, to attempt a daily art practice– the inspiring originator is, of course, Randel Plowman of the blog…A Collage A Day. Lotta Helleberg, Sarah Milne Creative, and Melinda Tidwell are all doing something in a similar vein.

Do you do anything similar? I’d love to hear about it!

On another note, I’ve set up a Facebook page for my art: Krista McCurdy. Yarn and fiber is still at Pigeonroof Studios.

Other links:

Instagram: @pigeons_on_the_roof and @pigeonroofstudios

Did you know I’m on Pinterest? Krista McCurdy and Pigeonroof Studios.

I’ve also opened an Etsy shop for my art: Pigeons On the Roof and of course, yarn and fiber is still at www.pigeonroofstudios.com.

Happy Friday! I’m off to go teach.

FO: Maine Mitts

A short while back I bought a skein of Artisan HERON by Zealand, a rare impulse by for me. I was doing last minute Xmas shopping when I stumbled upon Close Knit, a beautiful semi local yarn store. (I still haven’t visited all the yarn stores Portland has to offer.) I’m not really a yellow person, but that mustard color was hard to resist. And the yarn is so soft and warm!

I had the vague idea of mitts when I bought it, and while looking through my patterns I came across the Maine Mitts by Carrie Bostick Hoge, part of the collection Swoon Maine.  It was the perfect pattern. Easy to knit, I cast them on during one of the (apparently) rare snowstorms we’ve been having. Only change was accidental, and that was on the ribbing; I did knit, purl two every round instead of the garter rib specified. I like the result, though.

They’re incredibly warm, although they’re starting to get a bit stretched out (I may have to dampen them and toss them in the dryer for a minute), and have been perfect for the literally freezing weather we’ve had.

About the yarn– I love it, but it got so twisty while knitting it; I kept having to stop to try to untwist it. It’s 2 plies going the same way, so acts as a single.

Ravelry Project Page

 

Workspaces

Every week I will post images from my worktable as it goes through various states

We all see them, on Instagram, on Pinterest…beautiful artists’ studios, looking so tidy and elegantly productive. I’ve got multiple ones pinned onto my board to live/work/surroundmyself. The reality? Maybe there are some artists who actually keep their studio looking like that…and have beautiful houses and such that house their studio. You know, with white painted floors and loads of wall space and endless light. But for the rest? Yeah, no.

Granted, I’m not really making any money off my artwork right now, so dedicating as much space to it as I do Pigeonroof Studios isn’t practical…or possible. Also, I’m not a painter, or at least I’m not currently painting.

The main medium I work with is collage. Which requires a LOT of small pieces of paper, and I save almost every scrap of the remainder if I only use part of something. Although I use some ephemera in my work, the majority of what I work with are images and text I make, or, rather, print.

I don’t have a fancy studio. I have an IKEA wooden table that I use as a desk and a small surface in my garage that I print at. I tend to work fairly small, so it works. I’ve become fascinated, though, by how my worktable looks on different days, depending on what I’ve been making, and I’ve been documenting that on Instagram. (This week probably not though, since my phone fell in the toilet last night and I’m waiting on a new one to come. Always buy insurance for your phones, folks!) I will put them here on the blog, too. It’s reality.

FO: Kami Hat

brown-kamiMy second Kami hat knit in Lang Yak. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, Lang Yak is my all time favorite yarn. While it’s not cheap ($14.50), the yardage is pretty good, 142 yards. I can knit a Kami out of one ball and still have yarn leftover. This yarn is SO warm, and it wears amazingly. I wish I could find my purple Kami, because it’s a great example of how well the yarn has worn over the last few years. No pilling. Ravelry project page here.

Lesley

 

Home & Away, by Hannah Fettig, is one of my favorite pattern collections of recent years. Although I love every garment in there, my favorite is Lesley, the one pullover. I don’t really wear cardigans often. Boothbay and Georgetown  are pretty alluring though, especially Georgetown.

I used deep stash for this sweater, Cascade Eco Wool which was a nice yarn to work with. I always find that with Cascade yarns– I’ll start knitting and be reminded of what great every day yarns they make. For the life of me I can’t remember how long ago I bought this yarn– I think on a destash. Definitely over five years ago.

If I ever knit this again, I’ll probably do more short rows to increase the back of the neck and lower it in the front– it tends to want to do a bit of weird gathering. I knit it with practically no ease, though; probably with more ease that issue would go away.

Ravelry project page here.

Photography by Daniel LaHaie