Fort Point Open Studios

We drove in to Boston (really, Southie) to the Fort Point Open Studios with Carolyn, Bill, and their across-the-street neighbor Mikki. Leslie, who had worked with Carolyn and Arlene on the national art teachers conference hospitality table last spring and had given Carolyn, Arlene, and me a private paste paper workshop later in the spring, unless it was early summer, is in that studio complex now and Carolyn and Arlene wanted to go see her. We bought a few packages of notecards from her, and I found a little glass jar — the picture is almost life size:

— from someone on the floor below, Brett Raab Kroos.

I have no idea what, if anything, I’ll ever put in that jar. But that’s the trouble with taking me to a crafts sale or open studios, I might like something.

Leslie had soup, wine, and cheese for us and a half-dozen other studio denizens after the open studio hours were over. It was a most congenial group, with a couple of painters, a couple of lawyers, and a cellist with a broken arm. Not that the broken arm made her congenial, but for someone who can’t do her normal work she was pretty cheerful.

Great Meadows

It was a nice day! That’s news, because it had been rainy for the last week. We went out to Great Meadows in Concord, expecting not to be able to walk all the way around because of high water. We ran into my former co-worker Bill Claff, who had been out with his camera and long lens. He said he had seen a mink halfway down the causeway — we didn’t see it — and that water was pouring over the path to the left of the main causeway. We walked that way to see it, then continued on the usual route to the right of the main causeway. The river (Concord River) was up to within an inch of the path level in some places, I mean where the path was lowest, and a park bench just off the path was almost seat-deep in the river:

We saw a moorhen, four blue-winged teal in the distance, a kestrel, osprey, red-tail, lots of mallards and Canada geese, white-throat, swamp, and song sparrows; a pretty satisfactory bird trip. Mostly, it was good to be out in the windy, brisk fall weather.

Rainy Saturday

It’s been raining for a week here, not constantly, but a lot of the time. When it hasn’t been raining there’s been a heavy overcast. So we haven’t been doing anything outdoors. I did a little knitting today, went over to Creative Warehouse to ask what’s happening with the Addi I ordered a month ago (they don’t know, but say they’ll check on it); stopped at Knits and Pieces, and this time wasn’t intimidated by all the people sitting around the table knitting, but looked around at the small but gorgeous selection of yarns they had (I think more or less nothing but luxury yarns). If I want Filatura di Crosa that’s where I’ll head.

Yesterday I stopped in at the library to pick up Knitting For Anarchists, which I had put in a request for. Janine had recommended it to me back in March after I posted a comment to her blog. She’s right! It’s a wonderful book.

We made kreplach, that’s yiddish for won tons (ours had a filling of ground-up chicken from a previous chicken soup), for supper. And I just took two loaves of whole wheat bread out of the oven.

Branching Out pattern repeat

I’ve been worried that the Branching Out scarf I started a couple of months ago might have reached UFO status by now. I did a pattern repeat on it, probably the first I’ve done in six weeks. The yarn felt familiar, and after just a couple of peeks at the chart key I remembered what the various decreases were. I had to tink out half a row, but I caught the error before I had quite finished the row. So I think I haven’t forgotten everything I was learning about lace knitting. And the sleeves of Charley’s lopi sweater are just about up to the elbows by now.

Eric Carle Museum

Have I said that I like the shorter posts you get with a blog, just because I can think of titles for paragraphs more easily than for whole daily entries? No, I know perfectly well that I haven’t said that, but now I have.

We stopped at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, on the Hampshire College campus in Amherst, yesterday on our way back from the birthday party. We got there at just about 4:30, half an hour before closing, and got in for half price because it was so late. It was wonderful. There were only three (but big) galleries; one with Eric Carle’s stuff, including a detailed display of how he made illustrations like The Very Hungry Caterpiller; one with paintings and drawings Beatrix Potter did in the US — just about as small as the pictures in her books, and as sharp and detailed (as they would have to be, after all, to be reproduced); the third with work by Ashley Bryan, and African-American (or West Indian, maybe, by birth) artist who does gorgeous black-and-white tempera paintings that look as sharp and graphically complex as linocuts, as well as brightly colored watercolors. I could be inspired to do more eraser carving after looking at his linocut of a crocodile and hen.

I picked up a copy of Will Eisner’s book Comics and Sequential Art in the gift shop, thinking that it looked like something I could learn from. When I paid for it, the clerk opened the front cover and pointed out to me that it was signed by the author! I think the proper reaction is WOOT!

Tinkertoy Spindle

In the continuing saga of Dean vs. the Drop Spindle, and that’s not a particular drop spindle, more the concept of the drop spindle, the Platonic ideal of the drop spindle,…

Inspired by trying a Turkish spindle last weekend on Boston Common, and following the discussion with its owner about the value of weighting the edge of a spindle, and thinking about angular momentum and moment of inertia, I made a spindle out of a scrap stamp mount, a pencil-long dowel, four two-and-three-quarters inch lengths of dowel, and four wooden candle cups, I think they were called, that I had lying around. When I brought it up from the cellar to show Arlene, she said, “It looks like it’s made from tinkertoys.”

That was precisely what I had been thinking.

It has yet to be introduced to any fiber.