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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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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Random

Monday in Bangkok


 

ON MY NEEDLES

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Ariel Socks

So far, the Ariel socks are playing nice, but they’ve been slow going.  Things are looking up since I purchased a nice, bright headlamp at Decathlon, a store similar to Academy Sports. I actually was at Decathlon to get a new water bottle, which I did, but apparently the placement of impulse items is universal – right next to the cash register.  That bit of extra light has made a big difference, I got through the first pattern repeat last night without problems.

I’m also working on a Leksak sweater, though I find the rows and rows of stockinette boring.  It makes for great plane knitting, I’ll give it that.

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Leksak

ON THE WHEEL

Not a thing.  While I’m in Bangkok, I have to be satisfied with surfing Pinterest and making endless lists in my head of glazes and techniques to try.  That reminds me, I need to order clay.  I’m thinking that if I order now, it will arrive in Little Rock about the same time I do.

FIELD TRIP

Here are a few photos of Iconsiam, a new mall here in Bangkok that has a replica of a floating market on the bottom floor, with traditional Thai food and crafts vendors, most wearing traditional Thai clothing.  Really, the photos don’t do it justice………..

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FYI – This is an escalator!

Action is the foundational key to all success.  Pablo Picasso

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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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Everything Else

This Week’s Sneak Peek


Here’s a look at a couple of projects I’ve been working on this past week………

 

I’ve added some high fire clay and glazes to my supply of low and mid fire glazes and such and am thoroughly enjoying playing around and experimenting with layering glazes. I think this little vase turned out really well, don’t you?

Miss Dixie got a shiny new bowl this past week, thanks to my glaze experiment.  I had marked the new bowl in my head as a new bowl for her, then, when I pulled it out of the kiln, I had second thoughts because of how pretty it was. In the end, though, I stuck to my original plan, and Dixie has a new, pretty bowl.

 

Meals are serious business in Dixieworld!

 

The pretty vase will be added to ClayDreamsPottery by the end of this week, along with some other beauties still in progress that I think will be a hit so keep an eye out for these newbies.

Nothing happens unless first a dream.  Carl Sandburg

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