I like to make socks as a wedding gift for my nieces and nephews. It's an intimate gift, but not too intimate, and hand knit socks have that lovely combination of everyday utility and specialness, and to therefore symbolize what early marriages should have. I also like to knit them with my Great-great grandmother Adeline's knitting needles. My great-grandmother (her daughter) gave them to me and they are about 11 inches long, steel, and of slightly varying diameters but roughly a size 2 - 2.5. These are very experienced needles; over 100 years old and owned by women with large, northern Maine farming families.
I like to think of Adeline while I work, and to think about the children, her great-great-great grandchildren, who will be wearing the socks. It's a way of linking up the generations going backward and forward in time and, at least in my own mind, introducing them to each other. And it is also a way of knitting the new marriage partner, in this case my nephew Scott's winsome bride Elizabeth, into the family. The pattern for these particular socks can be found on Ravelry or Etsy, or by going to the Pattern Page on my website.
This is the Spring Green Roving. It was sitting innocently enough in the Big Tub of Fuzzy Delicious Roving with its compatriots. And I was sitting in the studio looking out the window at YET ANOTHER SNOWSTORM. And I was overcome, overcome I tell you, by the intense longing to handle something green.... So I dipped into the tub, grabbed the aptly titled Spring Green Roving, and spun it up. I didn't need Spring Green handspun for any project in particular so once I finished it up I posted it once again onto my Etsy site in its new manifestation as Spring Green Handspun Yarn. You can see a photo of the finished yarn below along with an apple to help you judge the color accuracy. And you can see it on Etsy by clicking here.
And here is a glamour shot of some of my latest studio finished objects. The socks will be appearing in a pattern soon, along with a male version that is not quite so lacy and much, much bigger. And the toe of the sock is pointing to a braided rug that I just finished up for a friend. She needed a small braided rug for her kitchen in front of her sink. This one is made from recycled T-shirts and laced with nylon cord which makes it not only reversible but also machine washable -- both of these things are excellent qualities in a kitchen rug. I tend to prefer wool braided rugs myself because the wool takes the dye more intensely and so the colors tend to be richer. But the colors on this one are not at all bad. I'll be posting more on both the socks and the rug -- this is a bit of a teaser for my regular readers.
As the Maine winter goes on, and on, and on I find myself longing for spring. The fact that I have been working up Hawaiian Applique designs for my upcoming OLLI class has intensified the longing. These images are not, strictly speaking, Hawaiian Applique but rather a use of some of the techniques to work up a Maine crocus. The title of this screen is Merrymeeting Spring and was co-created with my father 12 years ago. He designed and built the frame in Maine while I made the panels in Arizona. They came together for a show at Scott Potter's gallery in Portland Maine.
These crocus flowers are the first green things to poke their heads up through the snow at this time of year and I lived, for several years, in a house that my father built on Merrymeeting Bay in Topsham. I was thinking about those years when I made the panels. And now, when I look at the screen in my studio I think of my father. Having a piece like this that we created together is almost like having him in my studio. I remember his hands and how they looked working with his tools. The work that his hands did, that my hands do, the work that any of us create contains a whisper of who we are and can hold and pass on that whisper indefinitely.