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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pottery

The Insomniac Potter Rides Again!


OK, so it’s not exactly insomnia that rolled me out of bed this morning  but a commitment to play bells this morning with my Trinity Episcopal group.  And, of course, me being me, always sure that I’ll oversleep or forget that I’m supposed to ring, I calculate when I need to be up and out of bed getting ready, then set the alarm back at least 30 minutes to have a bit of a cushion and hang my vestments next to the coffee pot as a reminder.🛌⏰💤🎶

I’ve a couple of pots to show you all this morning, I apologize if these are a rerun.

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Rim Experiment

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Not the same pot, but similar.  The first of the rim experiments.

Glazed outside with Amaco Arctic Blue, outer portion of inside glazed with Deep Firebrick, middle portion with Rutile Blue, bottom with Arctic Blue, all Amaco Potter’s Choice glazes.  I’m on the fence regarding my glaze choices, I may need to fire a hair lower, like cone 5 instead of 6.  It’s growing on me.

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My current fave.  Glazed with Amaco Firebrick to cone 6.

These are currently in the damp box, slowly becoming ready for the bisque kiln.  Our weather has finally cooled, slowing the process, but making it much more pleasant in my garage studio.🙂

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Someday, I’m going to have a studio with running water.  The heat I can deal with — turn on a fan and work after the sun goes down.  I can handle the winter cold as well with a space heater and a sweater but carrying buckets of water back and forth is tiresome. Someday.

This has been a jam packed few weeks but I plan to take a breather after tomorrow and get caught up on listing pots on Etsy.  My shop is ClayDreamsPottery and I’d love to have you stop by!

Never put off till to tomorrow what you can do today.  Thomas Jefferson

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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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pottery

Fired Up


FIRED

I had a great kiln firing this weekend – for a change.  I usually have a couple of successful pots out of each firing, but all of them turning out well feels like, well, a miracle.  One of the things I love about working with clay is that I’m constantly stretching myself creatively, either by learning new techniques or experimenting with different glazes and clays. I plan to list these new pots in my Etsy shop, ClayDreamsPottery, but wanted to flash a sneak peek beforehand.

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That dark stripe there on the front isn’t really there, it’s a reflection.  The glaze, Amaco seaweed, just comes out super smooth and shiny – perfect except for the occasional pesky persistent reflection.

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Working on my lid making skills

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Not sister pots but maybe cousins

We must not say every mistake is a foolish one.  Cicero

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pottery

Go Big or Go Home


Anyone else ever have kiln envy?  Not me…..at least not until about 30 minutes ago or so.

So.  Here I am, at home, minding my own business (sort of) and remembering that another potter friend told me about her new kiln that she bought off Craigslist.  I go to Craigslist – just to scope out if there are any kilns listed, mind you and find this:

 


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No, I’m not Memphis bound with a wad of cash, but someday I’ll want need a bigger, fancier, shinier kiln and you can just bet I’ll be looking at Craigslist more often from now on! 🙂

He who talks more is sooner exhausted. Lao Tzu

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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 · 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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