Knitting · pottery

Score!


After a try out of Kollage Square Circular Knitting Needles I’ve fallen deeply in love with these babies and want one of every size and length.  The rub? Kollage has quit making them.😢 My LYS does carry them, but with very limited choices.  I spent way too much time last night trying to track some down – a rollercoaster of emotion, let me tell you. I was ultimately successful, finding a nice selection of needle sizes and cord lengths at Paradise Fibers and bought three new circs, sizes 1,1.5 and 2 with 60” cables, my favorite! I’ll start stalking our mailman in the next day or so.

ON MY NEEDLES

I’m back on track  with my Gray Day Gansey and am about an inch away from separating for the sleeves.

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Gray Day Gansey

Knitpicks Wool of the Andes

Haze

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Petty Harbour

First Light Handicrafts

Manos del Uruguay Fino

Turkish Delight

JUST OUT OF THE KILN

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ClayDreamsPottery

Buncombe White Clay

Glazed w/ Blue Rutile on exterior and Arctic Blue interior

Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly. Robert Kennedy

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Knitting · pottery

Monday


Hi ya’ll!  Here it’s come around Monday again and I have a couple of things to show you. I hope everyone’s weekend was a good one, mine was super busy which is a good thing in my case.  When I’m bored, I tend to get into trouble – think shopping, think junk food, think hours of Pinterest or Facebook. Does this sound familiar?  OK, enough of that.  Here are a few things I played around with over the weekend.

My Gray Day Gansey is STILL on my needles, due to a mistake (dropped stitch) that I was unable to make peace with.  So, I put in a lifeline and ripped  back a good six inches of cabling and fixed it. Much happier!E16E9B0A-C169-4D92-A5C4-7D9900950992

I also managed to finally get ClayDreamsPottery, my Etsy shop, updated.  Hit the link and see what’s new. I also got a bisque kiln fired, which unfortunately did not go as smoothly as I’d hoped. One of the pots exploded early on but luckily, nothing else in the kiln was damaged. 😨

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Monday’s child is fair of face.  Anonymous Nursery Rhymes

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Knitting · pottery

Picking It Up Again


 

That’s right,  the Insomniac Potter is back. It’s been a busy month, both craftwise and familywise.  My gray sweater is growing, but slowly, as expected.  I’ve started and and abandoned several pairs of socks and a scarf or two, but I think I’ve found THE sock pattern – at least for now. Have a look-

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This is the book-

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My Gray Day Gansey

Like I said, this sweater is slow going, but is totally worth it, I really love cables. It’s definitely not portable or what I call cruise control knitting, though. It requires my full attention sort of like a toddler — take your eyes off it for one second and you’re in the weeds, at least I am! 😋

Then there’s the pottery. Here’s one of my newest pots –

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This one’s a do over. The original glazing turned out to be so ugly, I immediately reglazed it.  I’m much much happier this time around!  It’ll be going up on ClayDreamsPottery on Etsy in the next few days.  If it floats your boat, let me know!

I have several pieces that are in that limbo between just thrown and dry enough to  trim and bisque. I learned the hard way not to fire anything I’m not totally sure is bone dry.  Nothing more discouraging than opening a kiln full of busted pots, but I’m also waiting for a couple of new glazes to come in before getting started on finishing them.

I always pass on good advice.  It is the only thing to do with it.  It is never of any use to oneself.  Oscar Wilde

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Knitting · pottery

The Insomniac Potter Rides Again


Good morning everyone! As you can see, my sleep pattern seems to have reverted into the good old 2 a.m. internal alarm setting.  (heavy sigh)  One good thing about starting my day in the wee hours is that it’s a great time to run the kiln, long before the sun comes up, and the heat and humidity start to build.

Here’s a look at a few things I’ve been working on:

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The start of a series of small bottles, all different

Glazes L to R

Blue Rutile, Textured Turquoise and Blue Rutile, Blueberry Spice, Textured Turquoise, Ancient Jasper

A pot I started yesterday waiting to dry enough to trim.

A bean pot that has been washed and reglazed several times. (I’m not usually this indecisive.) Final glaze is Textured Turquoise. (Probably)🤔

ON MY NEEDLES

The first five inches of the Gray Days sweater. Six more inches of stockinette to go then on to the best part – CABLES!  I absolutely LOVE cables!

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My Gray Days

Knitpicks Wool of the Andes

Haze Heather

Project notes can be found here.

There is no great genius without some touch of madness. Seneca

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PS I’ve added some new pots to my Etsy shop, ClayDreamsPottery.  I’d love to have you pay a visit!

Knitting · pottery

Woo-Hoo! I Have a FO!


 

Off My Needles

It’s official!  My Leksak Lady is finished, with ends woven, a nice Eucalan soak and ending with a good blocking and drying.  My project notes can be found here.

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My Leksak Lady

Knitpicks Wool of the Andes Tweed Barn Door Heather

I’m ready for fall and cooler temps, could someone please get in touch with Mother Nature and pass that on?

In the hope that yes, fall is coming, I started a new sweater yesterday, Gray Days, a Knitpicks pattern.  I wish I could show you a photo, but nothing larger than a postage stamp will load. You can get a better look at it on the cover of the latest Knitpicks catalog.

Out of the Kiln

I’ve been working on a small bottle series and got the first bunch bisqued yesterday. Now comes the hard part – what glazes should I use?  Decisions, decisions. Here’s a photo –

 The universe is full of magical things, patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper. Eden Phillpotts

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Knitting · pottery

Almost Back to Normal


After being laid low last week from my shingles vaccine booster – think worst hangover ever accompanied by a temp of 102, I finally feel like I’m on the downside of this ugliness.  Jeez louise, I hate to be sick!

I’ve made what I consider great progress on Leksak Lady, with only one and one half sleeves and the crochet edging to be done.  I admit, I’m particularly proud of my edging as I rarely crochet (though I really do enjoy doing it) and am usually pleasantly surprised at how good it looks.

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Leksak Lady

I’m going to try my hardest to remember to add project notes when a project is completed.  I find other knitter’s project notes really helpful and, well, turnabout is fair play my mama always said.

OK, that’s my string side.  Now, on to the mud…..

My new clay finally arrived and new clay is always cause for a celebration.  I threw a couple of chucks, which I sorely needed.  It seems like just about everything that comes off my wheel lately has some sort of neck and I find it impossible to trim without using one.  Granted, a chuck isn’t the most  exciting thing to come off my wheel, but it sure is nice to have one when I need it!

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Someday I’m going to learn how to level my shots. 🙂

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I threw this vessel and stamped it as an experiment.  I like the way it turned out – what do you think?  Maybe my new glazes will have arrived  by the time it’s ready for glazing and it’s final firing.

FYI – Tomorrow is the first day of the fall session of pottery class.  It’s doubly exciting  because we’re in a new (to us) building as the Arkansas Art Center and Museum School is undergoing a facelift/remodel slated to take three years.  Exciting stuff!

One more thing – If you haven’t visited ClayDreamsPottery lately, go on over and take a look.  You never know what you might find!

All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree. Albert Einstein

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Family · Knitting · Random

Where’d Summer Go?


I’m definitely stuck in summer mode.  I keep saying to myself “this summer, I’m going to ____________________”, as if it weren’t already September, the grands weren’t all back in school and the fall activities weren’t gearing up and the summer activities weren’t winding down.  Admittedly, it seemed that this particular summer was more hectic than usual with family togetherness, minor injuries (mostly mine) with my back reminding me off and on that I’m not as young as I used to be (really??). Ahhh, no real complaints here, just the impossibility of trying to fit a year’s worth of being together and a year’s worth of activities into a six to eight week time frame.  FYI – Half our grandkids and their corresponding parents live in Thailand — Bangkok to be exact and can make a trip back to the U.S. once a year, hence the compressed time frame.  The rest of the grands live locally – a good thing for a grandma who needs a grandkid fix every now and then.

Now, aren’t you just dying to see a photo of our little darlings???

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Five granddaughters and one grandson!

l-r: Harper, Emma, Shepherd, Charlee, Annabelle and Susannah, the one who started it all!

  IN MY STUDIO

I’m working on a series of small bottles that I’m enjoying a lot.  I have no plan when I sit down to throw, I just let my hands do their own thing.

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These are ready for their first firing in the next few days,

ON THE FIBER FRONT

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These are some singles I spun up.  I don’t feel like they are  crying out to be plied so aftere a nice wash and wind, I think they’ll make nice socks for someone!

The best way to pay for a lovely moment is to enjoy it. Richard Bach

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Family · Knitting

Departure Countdown


I leave for home the day after tomorrow, always a bittersweet anticipation.  A bit sad to be leaving, knowing that I won’t see my Bangkok babies until December, leaving part of my heart in Thailand but at the same time, looking forward to being home and reconnecting with the other part of my heart that I left at home when I left for Bangkok.  I pray that someday we’ll all at least be on the same continent, if not the same state or town.  Until that happens, I’ll use all that airplane time (16+ hours!) to get in some serious knitting time on whatever project I have going at that time.

This extra knitting time is a good thing this trip, a really good thing…….

I finally took a look at the Leksak Lady pattern, rows and rows of stockinette as a general rule don’t require much in the way of pattern watching.  Talk about a Debbie Downer moment!  I’d had it in my head that the pattern read “continue working in stockinette until the garment from the shoulder measures approximately 20 inches”. instead,  it reads “continue working……………………….measures approximately 28.5 inches”.  My Leksak Lady measures about 18 inches from the shoulder at the moment.  I don’t think I can fudge 10 inches of stockinette.  😫😫😫

Instead of a project photo, something to make you smile –

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People seldom notice old clothes if you wear a big smile. Lee Mildon

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Knitting

It’s A New Start


Ever have a skein of yarn that you fell hard for, but got over it in a hurry when it just couldn’t seem to decide what it wanted to be? Yes, I tend to assign human characteristics to inanimate objects, even putting projects into time out for not cooperating. Well, this particular yarn has been in and out of time out several times. I’ve even toyed with the idea of relegating it to the back of what I call the Not In My Lifetime UFO box. I decided to give it one more chance, sticking it into my carry-on bag for my trip to Bangkok. So far, it’s playing nice and I’m beginning to feel optimistic. 🤞🤞🤞

At some point, the ball band became history, but I think it came from Knitpicks.

                                                  Last go at this yarn

I’m hoping that the Ariel Socks from Ravelry will suit us both. 😋

I’ve been missing my pottery wheel a lot the last few days. This is the longest I’ve gone without throwing anything. I’m glad I worked as hard as I did, mopping and scrubbing my workspace. It will be so nice to come back to clean tools and a clean wheel!

A QUICK WORD REGARDING BLOG CHANGES

Wondering about all the blog flipping and flopping?  Yeah, me too. 😳  Here’s the deal…..

I let my long time knitting blog slide after getting my very own pottery wheel and spending the time I usually set aside for blogging playing in the mud and getting a feel for my new equipment. I fully intended to get back to my knitting blog, but it was always going to be “tomorrow”.

I missed blogging much more than I thought I would and so decided to add another blog to the mix.  What was I thinking??  I’m having issues with keeping iknead2knit going and I convinced myself that adding another blog was the perfect solution?? All I can say is this – DON’Y TRY THIS AT HOME!

Long story short – Condensed the two blogs into one and renamed the whole nine yards, starting fresh.  So….,Welcome to new blog, Mud&String.  I hope you like it!

A good decision is based on knowledge and not on numbers.

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Knitting

More On Our DFW Adventure


Recap – The five us – Big Mommy, the Papoose, the Sprout, the Peach and I – are stranded at the Dallas-Ft.Worth airport after missing our connecting flight to Hong Kong.  I might add that we range in age from 62 to 2 years.

Now, on with the story…..

The first hitch in our getalong was due to weather – storms in the DFW area – putting us an hour late    on an already tight layover.  Tight, but doable, so no panic. As Big Mommy had brought along an umbrella stroller for the Peach, she had it tagged and handed it off to the people who handle such things, i.e. wheelchairs, strollers, and miscellaneous assistive devices, to be handed over to their owners at the end of the jetway, right outside the airplane door.  Got to DFW, deplaned and, you guessed it, no stroller. Asked attendants and were reassured that it was coming, no worries, it was coming.  After five minutes or so, a tiny bit of panic starts to tickle. Explained to agent (again) about our tight and getting tighter layover time schedule.

Five more minutes and the baggage attendants leave the jetway, with no sign of the stroller.  Now true panic sets in.  If you are thinking “c’mon, it’s just a stroller” you’ve never had to negotiate a mega airport with an already cranky two year old, with two more kids and Grandma in tow.  Did I mention that between the five of us we had eight carry-on bags? At least we didn’t have to mess with a stroller, right?? 🤨😡🤯

Stay tuned……….

Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine. Anthony J. D’Angelo

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Family · Knitting · pottery

Betcha Thought I Forgot About This Old Blog….


OK, at 63 (!) I’ve been been trying on a few different personas, just one more sign of my decision to never grow up, but here I am once more, an amalgamation of several whos and whats, as reflected in my new title, Mud and String.

As I type this, I’m en route to Bangkok, Thailand again, accompanying Big Mommy and the three grands, the Papoose, the Sprout and the Peach. All growing up so so fast and leaving me in the dust regarding what’s cool and what’s not. Anyhow……..

This trip has been very crazy, beginning with the first leg of the 30 hour trip being delayed an hour in Little Rock due to weather in Dallas, setting off a chain of situations like dominos falling. First, we missed our connecting flight to Hong Kong and so were stranded in Dallas for 24 hours, waiting for the next plane to Hong Kong. An adventure unto itself…More on that later.

So here we are, 32000 feet in the air, five hours into a 16 hour flight, with the outside time showing as -43.6F, wearing clothes that were fresh yesterday – Wednesday morning around 5 a.m. –  closing in on 48 hours. The time is 4:49 pm on Thursday, according to my ipad. I pity our seatmates! 🤭🤭🤭🤢🤢🤢

We made it to Hong Kong! Here’s the view from our gate waiting area-

Before I close this out, a few pics of recent projects

Ninilchik Swoncho

The art of progress is to preserve order amid change, and to preserve change amid order.

 

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Knitting

I Think It’s Time to Fish or Cut Bait


 

Yep, I think it’s time.  First of all, I’m not breaking up.  I just need to get it together and hop back on   my post schedule starting now.🕰🕰🕰

ON MY NEEDLES

Alas…..many starts, no finishes.  Have a look:

Droplet Shawl

Knitpicks

Airy

Unique Chic Studio

80% Tussah silk/20% Merino

 

Ninilchik Swoncho by Caitlin Hunter

Knitpicks Wool of the Andes Tweed

Good thing this is for next fall/winter, I’m as slow as molasses on colorwork!

 

Color Affection

Some random sock yarn I found on a deep stash dive.

These are just three of I don’t know how many wips that live in a bag by my chair.  Next time, I’ll include a few sock UFOs.

ONE MORE THING

I’ve started a new blog, The Insomniac Potter, along with an etsy store as my house was reaching critical mass potterywise.  I’d be honored if  you would take a few minutes to pay us a visit.

You teach best what you most need to learn. Richard  Bach

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