Friday, May 08, 2020

Yard (Again!), Yarn (Again!) and New Art!

It's a blustery day in this neck of the woods, so I thought I'd share with you my progress in the few days since my last post.

I begin each day with this routine: journal pages (in the manner of Julia Cameron, but usually 2 instead of 3); coffee; knitting; news and breakfast, and more knitting.

I mentioned in that last post that I'd decided I had to do something about my shabby collection of old dish cloths.  It was 2009 since I'd replenished the lot -- and that's far too long! 😆

I'd set aside one that was on the needles and discovered last week -- thanks to my Ravelry records! -- that I'd started it in September 2016, with left-overs from a series of 'spa sets' I'd made for Christmas 2015.  The pattern is even older -- originating as one of a series of "mystery" patterns, two per month, created for a Knit-Along for a long-forgotten Yahoo/Ravelry group.  You can tell...if you look closely...just how old this first pattern is...

The second pattern is from the same era, but it's more generic.  That said, it turned out to be reversible, which made it rather fun to knit up:

Side 1

Side 2
(or vice versa!)

I've decided to knit up one more -- a plain cloth in a purple variegated cotton -- and call it "done" for now.

Next in my routine -- around 9 a.m. or so, if it's temperate enough and sunny (as in 8 C to 10 C; that is, about 50 F) I go outside and get to work.

I knew this cycling combo of rain-wind-sun-swirling-clouds was in the forecast, so I've spent most of each morning this week moving bark chips and leaves around!  The stack of bark chips left by Mike the Tree Guy is now reduced by a bit more than half, as I've spread it thickly around what I'm loosely calling "the copse" or "the haven":

Pussy willow, honeysuckle and lilacs surrounded by bark chips.

Having finished this Wednesday, yesterday I spent my time raking the leaf mulch off some of my flower beds and transporting it to the area around my very-trimmed willow.  While I was at it, I harvested some willow rods to dry out -- with the hopes of learning to make a simple basket or two -- and pulled out marauding grass and dandelions from the flower beds.  Everything is perking up -- and these ladies greeted me in the south bed:

Tulip surprise!

I'm thrilled to see them, as I've not planted new bulbs for several years.  I'd begun to despair of ever seeing more than one lone yellow one; this year, it would seem the conditions were right -- and I have half-dozen up, and several blossoms.  I smile just thinking about it!

On the quilting front, this week I finished assembling the "Strip to Shore" top, and located enough fabric for a pieced back.  It's about 48" x 60":

Once that fabric is washed, I'll sandwich and quilt it -- probably with free-hand straight lines.  😉  First off, however, I'm going to quilt "Elvira Wears a Red Hat" for my friend E., a Red Hatter.  I got it sandwiched and pinned this afternoon:

And yes...there's been some art making going on.  I had the idea for a while, based on the view out my front window, where an old ornamental cherry grows.  I've used this tree as inspiration for other pieces.  This year, it was laden with berries that have been enjoyed by the deer and the birds throughout the fall and winter.  On one bleak morning in late March, when it seemed the snow would never stop, and we'd fallen under the new protocols demanded by COVID-19, I spied a flash of red in the tree -- and found to my delight that there was a newly-returned robin there, looking for dinner.

It inspired me to create this little piece, which went off in today's mail for the 2020 SAQA Benefit Auction:

The Thing with Wings (C) 2020
Commercial cotton, machine quilting,
thread painting, hand beading

The title refers to Emily Dickinson's poem about hope:

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I've heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet never in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.

Spring, the sunshine, the welcome rain, the gardening, my morning routines, the work of my hands...all of these have been nourishing "the thing with feathers that perches in [my] soul".  What's giving you hope these days?

I'm linking this to Nina Marie's Off the Wall Friday -- where this week, she seems to be feeding her soul by sprucing up her studio!

Here's to all those out there who are mothers or who have mothers and grandmothers and surrogate mothers whose love gives us hope.  Have a wonderful weekend!  😊


elle said...

Lovely poem. HOPE is my hope, if you know what I mean. And I hope warm weather comes as we are coolest ever for April and May looks iffy. Wind is blowing the wood chips I did try to corral. I do see shoots from the smallest bulbs I planted. The others must be frozen in the depths. I luv your thread sketched trees. Trees nourish my soul!

Kate said...

A cardinal in your tree, what a great picture! I am sure it will be popular.
Have a good week and send some spring weather this way.

Kathie Briggs said...

I've always loved that poem and it matches your new piece so perfectly. You are doing such a great job with your new yard. Glad your weather has cooperated. I look forward to seeing it green up. Sending you some warm & sunny days. Need to photograph my shawl which turned out longer than I wished, then will send an overdue email.