Friday, July 27, 2012

Travelogue: Florence

This is the last of the pictures of my May trip.  Florence is a truly remarkable city: a love letter to the visual arts. Every place you turn you see something beautiful.

I saw this very touching painting of women taking Jesus down from the cross in a small church away from the city center.  

 We stayed at a hotel very close to the Pitti Palace, home to several museums.  We stayed there until our feet were screaming for mercy, taking in as much as we could.

From the Pitti, you access the Boboli Gardens, an extensive formal garden with fountains, a porcelain museum,  and a large collection of statuary.

 It was one of our favorite places.

We did go inside the Duomo, but to see all the artifacts that have been removed from the interior over the years, you must go across the street to the Museum of the Opera del Duomo, which has a wonderful collection of art.

This recumbent Madonna was of particular interest to me.  A number of artists portrayed her lying down after giving birth, something I had not seen before.

The Santa Maria Novella church near the train station has beautiful statuary and frescoes, is not nearly as crowded as the Duomo, and is not to be missed.  We saw so much in the days we were in Florence and I'm anxious to go back and see more.

Plus they have yarn!  I'll be doing a post on the great yarn store I visited, and the purchases I crammed into my suitcase brought back home.

Monday, July 09, 2012

Sunday Afternoon Walk in Fern Canyon

This is one of our favorite local places to get outdoors.

Alex reverts to a 12 year old when you get him outside.

Allie took lots of pictures, the place is very photogenic.

You hike through the canyon, then the trail takes you above it through the forest.

We ran across a few elk grazing in a meadow.

Big ones.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Rag Weaving with a Rigid Heddle Loom

No embroidery this week, I had a craving to start something I could actually finish, something that wouldn't turn into my life's work.  I warped my rigid heddle loom with kitchen cotton (worsted weight 100% cotton yarn) using the 7.5 epi heddle.  If I had a 5 epi I would have used that. 

I have plenty of strips to work with, including this is a ball I strung together with knots some time ago.  For the next rag project, I'll eliminate the knots by overlapping my strips with a bit of glue stick.  This and other tips on weaving with rags are outlined in Jane Patrick's project page "Recessionista Rag Mats," included in this pdf newsletter from the Schacht company.

Bunny thought she was helping.

This is what I got at the end of the afternoon: a runner for my kitchen table. The nitty gritty: finished size 14.5 x 38"  I used both 3/4 inch folded strips and irregularly cut strips under 1" and beat them with a wide toothed comb.  Warp: about 130 yards, 62 warp ends on 7.5 epi heddle.  Warp length: 74".

So the cats don't try to claim it as their own personal magic carpet, the violets are anchoring it down.

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Palestrina Stitch and Project Half-Way Point

I'm starting my July CQJP block with two versions of the palestrina stitch, the short-armed version in blue, and the longer version in yellow.  I'm considering the crocheted motif on the block, which I got in the treasure box some of the Tuesday Stitchers have been passing around.  I also took the little pot button out of my stash as the basis for a vine or maybe a tree.

I felt brave cutting the embroidered rose from a vintage but stained doily.

The six blocks I've made so far are roughly positioned around the central St. Francis image.  Again, I may re-print the central image onto another fabric, even though I like the blue flowers, because the image resolution isn't as sharp as I want it to be.  In the next six blocks I have to integrate more left-facing birds so that they're not all looking in the same direction.  I like the way the colors repeat across the blocks, and I'm going to try to maintain this balance.  Six blocks down, six to go.

Sweater Genesis

  A few years ago I learned to harvest yarn from old wool sweaters.  I don't do it so much anymore, with the exception of if I find...