Now that I live in Portland, OR, I usually actually need to wear a hat when I step outside. (or inside, as the case may be, when our house had no heat for a week.) This is new to me; although it’s not eternal sunshine and balmy weather in the SF Bay Area, it never gets cold enough to need hat and scarf and gloves and multiple layers. Compared to other parts of the country, I know we’re pretty well off here temp wise, but we did have a snowstorm last week.
As a knitter, that makes me pretty happy. Although also annoyed that I’m not a faster knitter. I can’t find my purple Kami hat, which is was I’ve been wearing whenever I needed a hat since I made it. I knit another one, in my favorite yarn, Lang Yak. I wish it was easier to get in this country. I haven’t taken a photo of it yet though.
I also started another Kami hat in some deep stash yarn: Baby Alpaca Naturbelassen, shown above. It’s a great yarn to knit with; apparently it’s been discontinued but they’ve replaced it with Alpaca Queen….which is pretty much the same yarn. Just easier to pronounce.
However, I usually have 2 problems with hats :
1. They are too big. I have a small head. I’ve learned this the hard way.
2. The brim starts to ride down my forehead as I’m wearing it, driving me crazy. But I need it to cover my ears. Underneath a hooded jacket is even worse.
I think this one will be fine size wise, and hopefully a snug fit will help with the second problem. Several lovely people on Instagram, however, gave me good recommendations for hat patterns/styles that might do the trick. What almost everyone seems to agree on though, is a turn-up brim.
I might become a hat factory. They’re such satisfying and quick (depending on gauge and complexity) knits.
The pasta machine printing set up. I think I’d read something about printing with a pasta machine ages ago, but it was while browsing the internet that I came across this link about Julian Cox and his pasta machine printing techniques. I haven’t tried any etchings yet, but it works wonderfully for paper lithography. You can see the paper “plate” and the resulting print next to the pasta machine.
Sahara Desert continues to be my favorite color way out of all the gradient mini skein sets I’ve done. An unlikely combination of dyes results in amazing depth and intrigue I couldn’t have deliberately set out to make. It’s reminiscent of an old color way, Juniper, which was so amazing but when Dharma recalibrated their Twilight Grey color (so that it was more even and true to color), it no longer broke into the different colors that were so necessary for Juniper. A favorite of everyone, it was painful to not be able to produce it anymore.
Sahara Desert is available in both 240 and 480 yard sets in High Twist Sock in the shop. The High Twist Sock gives the least bit of sheen which works so well with this color.
Like everyone in the last couple years, (or so it seems) I was bit by the eco-printing bug. No mention of eco-printing would be complete without naming the master and inventer: India Flint. Botanical matter plus paper (or fabric) plus heat and moisture: magic prints result. It’s amazingly addictive; I’ve found myself picking up countless more leaves than I can use.
Although I have dyed some fabric, paper is always my true love and comfort. I loved that this technique worked so beautifully on paper– for me, even better. Soon I found myself with stacks and stacks of eco-printed paper. Although some would argue they’re works of art in themselves, they never seemed fully completed to me. I’ve also noticed that a lot of eco printing starts to look all the same, or at least so to me.
So I’m using them as a matrix to print on. Not having a printing press, I used a pasta machine to get the amount of pressure needed for paper lithography. I have a bunch of old typewritten and handwritten letters in Polish, which I picked up at an antique fair almost 15 years ago now. Photocopied and enlarged, they make beautiful and intriguing images.
It all seems fitting. The eco prints are the traces of what were once leaves; the imagery is the traces of a long ago correspondence.
These little ones are 3″ by 5″ and are in a 5″ by 7″ mat, and come packaged in a transparent cellophane sleeve. At only $20, with free u.s. shipping, they make perfect little pieces of art to give as gifts or add to your collection. Although I do plan on opening a separate shop, for the time being you can purchase them here.
Once I moved to Portland I found I actually had time again to do things that I wanted. Things like making art. I also finally had space to do it in. Although I don’t have a press, I managed to set up a pasta machine to use as one for paper lithography. I’ve been slowly putting together collages, and I just put a few up in the shop. I’m sure I’ll open up a separate shop for them soon, but for now they’re mingling with the yarn.