Sunday, June 17, 2018

The Right Color At Last

This is the "before" wall color that we have been dealing with in our living room for several years. I had wanted a warm orange but this shade was just not right. It screamed at me every time I entered the room. It was not quite the tame color you see in this photo. 

But the room had been really hard for me to paint five years ago and involved a lot of ladder work and tiny brushes taped to long handles to reach over the belly of the kiva fireplace. Time and arthritis have marched along since then and I wasn't sure I was up to all that climbing up and down. But that formerly lovely-sounding Tangerine color kept on shrieking at me, day after day. 

What you are seeing here:
A kiva (an adobe fireplace), surrounded by bancos (built in benches, also made from adobe),
with a little nicho (niche) for displaying santos (carvings of saints) or other artwork.

Then I watched The Durrells in Corfu on PBS Masterpiece Theater. I had to keep pausing the show to take photos of the screen. The colors of the water! The colors of the upstairs bedrooms! When I began to dream in teal I knew it was time to get out my old nemesis, the ladder.

This is the book [with a slightly different title] about the TV series.
 The cover shows the very colors that were enchanting me

It's the hottest time of the year here in the desert. I figured that I could put on an ankle brace and some scanty painting clothes (never to be seen by anyone else) and manage two or three hours early each morning before I tired out and/or it got too hot. And that is what I did. 

I am in love with the results. The velvety deep color seemingly changes from hour to hour as the light hits it differently. It's hard to explain the feeling of comfort I get from stepping into this room. It is cooling on a hot day and I feel like I'm floating in the Aegean Sea.

A little Oaxacan creature roots around in the nicho

Another Oaxacan carving stands in a newly-refurbished little cabinet.

I think this little bird is looking at the other side of the room, which is still that Tangerine color. Have patience, little bird. 

By the way, I am watching The Durrells in Corfu for a second time now because it makes me so happy. It is loosely based on Gerald Durrell's delightful Corfu Trilogy, which I read many years ago.  From the PBS website for the show:
"Keeley Hawes (Upstairs Downstairs) stars as an intrepid widow who decamps from dreary England to a sun-dappled Greek island with her four recalcitrant children, ages 11 to 21, on this adaptation of Gerald Durrell’s My Family and Other Animals and its two sequels.
Alongside Hawes’ matriarch Louisa Durrell are eldest son, Larry (Josh O’Connor), a budding writer on his way to becoming the famous novelist Lawrence Durrell; son number two, Leslie (Callum Woodhouse), an impulsive firearms enthusiast; daughter Margo (Daisy Waterstone), sixteen and man-crazy; and eleven-year-old Gerry (Milo Parker), who only has eyes for wildlife and grew up to be a world-renowned naturalist."

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

The Rest of the Sweaters for Syrian Babies

These are the latest three sweater/hat combinations that I have finished for my knitting group's Syrian refugee project. Please take a look at all the sweaters made by the group here:

Monday, March 12, 2018

Sweaters for Syrian Refugee Babies

It's harder every day to watch the news about Syria  from my safe and warm living room, so I jumped at a chance to do some little thing to help.

A friend in my knitting group has offered to deliver baby sweaters and hats to the Salaam Cultural Museum in Seattle for shipping to a Syrian refugee camp in Jordan. The folks at the museum will add the baby garments to boxes made up for new mothers. The boxes also include blankets, diapers, and other baby necessities; then the boxes themselves serve as baby beds. 

Here are the sweaters and hats I have made so far. If you want to help out, just Google "knitting for Syrian refugees." I've listed a few general links at the bottom of the page, but you might want to find some place in your own area that is collecting for the refugees. 

I've also listed some free patterns below, and would like to thank those who made them available online. This helps to keep the cost down for volunteer knitters. Another note: Most of these sweaters were made of leftover yarn from other projects. The first one in the photos below owes a lot to the "sunrise" yarn in my vest, Rabbits at Dawn with Snow Falling

Check out these links for more information.

Knitting for Syrian refugees:

Free baby sweater knitting patterns:

Last two photos above

Flax Light Pullover from Tin Can Knits:
See photos 1, 2, and 4 above

Top Down Baby Raglan Sweater by Carole Barenys on AllFreeKnitting:
I haven't tried this one yet

A Simple Baby Pullover by Erica Kempf Broughton:
Photo 3 above

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Rabbit Vest

Rabbits at Dawn With Snow Falling

When you have a cat like Henry, all knitting projects are a challenge. When he was little, he wanted to climb into my knitting bag and play with partly knit sweaters, yarn, and needles. Now that he is more grown up, he wants attention and affection when I want to be knitting. He's so big now, he makes a lot of lap-cat to be knitting around.

And that is how the needles came to be pulled out of the row when I was knitting the rabbit faces on this vest. I waited until the next morning when I was calm and patiently reconstructed the rows, stitch by stitch, carefully getting the right colors in the right places (I thought). At the time, I was quite proud of the results. (Cue the foreboding music here). 

Ha! We all know that pride goes before a fall. It was many, many rows later when I realized that something wasn't quite right with some of the rabbits. There are two rabbit poses on this sweater, and only two. Well, according to the pattern that's what should have happened. However, in a world overflowing with Henry love, things just turned out differently. 

My rabbits all have individual faces and expressions. And names. Of course they have names. That one on the far left is called Mumpy because, well, what else would you call a bunny with such oversized cheeks?

Thursday, January 25, 2018

He's Henry the Plumbing Cat

Henry "the kitten" is almost 9 months old. He keeps growing and growing, as you can see in this photo, taken when he was stretched out on the end of the sofa and as close to the fireplace as he could get. 

He's a long boy now

You might remember that Henry was quite a wild boy when we first brought him home from the "kitty condo" where he lived for the first part of his life. See Hello, Henry for a look at his size on arrival here, and Catastrophe Averted, for his adventures in knitting. 

My theory is that, having spent several months in a large cage before we adopted him, he just couldn't get enough of running and jumping and exploring every bit of our house. He has settled down somewhat since his fateful appointment with the vet, but he still likes to gallop from one end of the house to the other.

For some reason, perhaps because his new living space is so much larger than the old one, he has no desire to go outside. He will trot along with the dogs when they are headed out the door, but he stops there and sits inside looking through the window, calling to them until they return. 

He is the cat-who-runs-with-the-dogs, though. He hides and jumps out and chases them, then they chase him. There's usually some kind of entertaining ruckus going on here. 

And have I mentioned plumbing? Since giving up knitting, Henry has taken to dismantling parts of the bathrooms. He stole the hinge off the lid of the new toilet, takes out parts of the whirlpool tub jets and carries them around, and removes the sink strainers and plays hockey with them. Last night I saw a Sailor Cat out of the corner of my eye--Henry was strolling by with what looked like a pipe sticking jauntily out of his mouth. It turned out to be a Bic shaver. I wish that I had gotten a photo!

Henry thinks about a plumbing apprenticeship while lounging by the fire

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Rabbits at Dawn With Snow Falling

A winter themed sweater is the perfect project for these chilly days. I found this motif on Pinterest and I see it comes from Shutterstock. I'm afraid I can't tell you more than that, except that it was called "Wayuu Mochila pattern."

I added part of this motif, also from unknown origins via Pinterest. 

Here is how it looked partway through. The sweater is off the needles now and in the finishing stage. When everything is done, I will share a photo here. 

In other news from the Zees, the former kitten Henry is getting huge. At 8 months, he weighs almost ten pounds now. His behavior is quite different from the way it was when he first arrived. I'll tell you more about him in the next post.