Friday, April 22, 2011

Happy Easter

These eggs are not necessarily Easter Eggs, but they are definitely dyed eggs, and appropriate for display during these Holy days.

I'm not sure where the art of Pysanky originated, but I believe it is a Ukranian art, or at least, that's its home.

The process is complicated, and several years ago, I dove head first into the art of Pysanky.  They are dyed in a batik style.  Eggs are decorated with lines and designs with a tool called a kitska, then, they are dipped into dye, and more layers of wax, dye, repeat, until the colors and drawing are completed.  After this, the wax is melted off the egg using a candle flame.  The result is an egg with the design and colors of your choice. 

The designs can be as simple or complicated as you choose. 

I was getting a little better at operating the kitska, but when we moved, I had to dismantle my Pysanky station, and I haven't returned to it yet.  There are excellent videos on YouTube about this form of art, if you're interested in seeing more examples, and absolutely more professional artists.

Happy Easter everyone, and I hope your holiday is glorious.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Murder is Announced!

Here's what happened:  I was about three-quarters the way through Agatha Christie's "Murder is Announced", and one of the suspects was telling Miss Marple what she'd been doing during the time of the murder.  Well....what do you know, she was in the process of turning the heel while knitting socks.  I thought it was funny, since that's exactly what I'd done before going to bed, ready to cuddle up with my Kindle and continue with Miss Marple's latest murder mystery.

Coincidences like this one, gave me the name of my newest sock pattern.  Perhaps it might seem a bit gruesome, but I love murder mysteries, and Agatha Christie always fits like a glove, or should I say, sock?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Frogging...oh yeah

In case you thought I'd given up knitting, entirely, here's proof that I was hard at work, trying desperately to make a little knit bag for my granddaughter.

The pattern I chose came from Knitting Little Luxuries, by Louisa Harding.  The book is great, but the yarn I chose was not so great.  The knit was becoming far too 'holey'...not like the picture in the book.

This is cotton yarn by Tahki.  The color is pretty, but I just found out, I'm not crazy about cotton yarn. 

About halfway through the knit bag, I made up my mind....this was NOT going to work out.  I just wanted a little draw-string bag, that's all.  This cotton yarn is stiff and does not suit the pattern.  Not only that, but the bag was becoming quite large, even though my gauge was spot on.  I'll still make the little draw-string bag, but use a softer yarn, and see what develops.

As for 3 hanks of Tahki?  I'll be looking for some kind of market bag to knit for myself, so all is not lost.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

More Origami

In response to Regula (thank you so much, for your comments), there are several books on the art of Origami on Amazon.  Tomoko Fuse has written a couple of my favorites, which show step by step instructions. 

All shapes and all sizes are fun to try, but I must admit, I prefer square boxes.  First of all, they're more sturdy.  Remember, these are made with thin paper, and I'm a purist who doesn't use scissors or glue...not one smidgen.  Don't let that stop you from using a bit of glue here and there, if you're having trouble at the beginning.  Patience is definitely a plus, if you're going to attempt these.  Some boxes take an average of more than 100 folds to complete. 

The lid of this box is only about 2 inches in diameter!  Isn't the paper gorgeous?  You can also find paper cut to size on the Internet...every color you can imagine, from plain colors to beautiful prints and florals.

Another thing to keep in mind is this:  The larger the box is, the more fragile it is, so bear that in mind.  Start small. 

The types of boxes and the color combinations are endless.  In Origami, the inside of the box is as important as the outside, so take your time, and practice neat and accurate folds.  Good Luck!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Boxes with Topses

Origami boxes....I can't resist them.

Several years ago, I fell into the Origami Box rabbit hole, and I never fully recovered.  I still love them, in all shapes and sizes.  One doesn't live by knitting alone, right?   

More about this beautiful art form, later in the week.