May 31, 2007
watch me go from performance art to knitting to project spectrum to shameless commerce all in one long-winded post. also, I will attempt to distract from the fact that I've been silent for weeks on end with lots of pictures.
I helped out my old chum Kelly last weekend with a knitting performance she was doing in conjunction with Artcite's 25th anniversary bash. It was great fun, both to have a long overdue visit with Kelly and to spend some (again, long overdue) time at Artcite, hanging out with Windsor people and soaking up some local art scene. Check out Kelly's post on the event for the full scoop. She was making a big Round Thing which many people could knit on at the same time; by the time we bound the Thing off on Saturday afternoon it was this big (bike for scale):
I promised some real knitting, friends, and I am not here to disappoint. My arse has been practically glued to the porch chair for two weeks, hands flying, and I've got plenty to show for it. I've even been working on some green things for Project Spectrum (in typical fashion, these are getting trotted out on the last day before a colour change. Because I'm a lazy slag that way).
That green bit on top of the pile is Carrie Bostick Hoge's lace nightie (pdf link) from Interweave Knits. I worked on it a lot in the car on the way home from Athens, but pooped out when I got to the part where I had to do math in order to make the back higher than the pattern calls for. It's currently resting quietly in the project bag. The rust-and-Noro sweater is also resting, as it's too hot to think about a sweater like this, never mind knit on it. The blue is Zephyr Style's Wicked, cardiganized and minus the pocket: this has been two unwoven ends, some buttons and a good blocking away from finished for MONTHS, sitting unnoticed in a pile somewhere. It's currently blocking on a mattress upstairs, which under our current weather conditions should take a mere month or two. I might add the pockets later if, when I get back to Athens, I find the Calorimetry headband I also made from this yarn and wore all winter, but I have a feeling I might have already unraveled it for the sleeves.
More Project Spectrum knitty goodness:
Stefanie Japel's Orangina. Again and still. I pooped out on this last year because I thought the ribbing was too tight and ooky-looking on my belly flab. I ripped it and was doing the bottom in stockinette instead until I realized that looked stupid, so now I'm reknitting the ribbing (on the same size needle as I did the lace, can't remember if I went down a size last time or not; guess that's why one should take notes). And if it makes me look a little frumpy, well then I'm frumpy. Gotta embrace it, I guess. (a small aside, private to Ancient Stainless Steel Circular Needles: hate you. Loathe you, in fact. Loathe you even more than Shitty Splitty Recycled Cotton, but especially hate the two of you together)
And because apparently it's all Stefanie all the time around here of late, here are two more projects currently in heavy rotation in the front porch knitting pile:
The cropped cardigan with leaf ties from Fitted Knits. I acquired Stefanie's book a while ago and have been meaning to tell y'all how much I love it: I'm currently making two sweaters from this book and am just waiting to buy dye to get my yarn ready for a third, and I won't be stopping there. I love these designs, love the myriad of beautiful, flattering sweater shapes that can come out of one basic construction technique; love love love the no-sew try-it-on top down raglan construction and the fact that all of the designs are wearable and I can easily picture them blending into my wardrobe (yes, pretty much all of them). The incredible intense blue yarn is from Rabbitch, who apparently is trying to kill me with colour; the eerie blue glow could be seen right through the package, and the mailman didn't even want to touch the thing. I'd hoped to use this yarn to make this sweater, and when it arrived it turned out to be perfect (I love it when that happens). And a sweater with minimal coverage on the front is definitely needed to keep this colour from coming up and strangling me. I plan to wear this with my favourite and most awesome dress, and it is going to kick some serious ass.
This lovely, sproingy red merino wool started as an ill-fitting Goodwill sweater, and first became this, then this, and then this. The Forecast sweater was finished by the time I realized that all that garter stitch made me look lumpy (are you detecting a theme here?). This will be its final incarnation, I'm sure of it.
Project Spectrum turns to red and black tomorrow, and I plan to start designing and swatching for a project using these yarns I spun this spring. It's for a piece that may (or may not) be part of my final thesis show next year, and will be a lace sweater with super long sleeves that hit the floor and then pool out wide, with text knitted into the lace. In UGA colours. Of course I don't have nearly enough yarn spun yet but I've got enough to get started with the pattern drafting.
And finally, because I'm really just a capitalist pig at heart, here's a new drawing (worked on top of a print that didn't quite make the cut for the edition) that I just listed in my etsy shop, along with some more of my older prints at super-duper cheap prices. I'm about halfway to getting that Lendrum I need to finish the above project, and this project.
Also, I'm doing a little outdoor show in beautiful Londonontario on June 9th, with a whole bunch of other artists down in Wortley Village. If you're in the area I'd love it if you'd come down and knit with me for a while and shoot the breeze. London has never really supported me all that well art-buying-wise, but it's been a long time since I did an outdoor show, so I think it'll be a lot of fun. There's nothing I love better than roasting in the sun with needles in my hands while watching the wind send all of my art flying.
May 22, 2007
the things i do for money
New shirts up in my etsy shop:
There will be a real entry soon, about a new hobby I've discovered: knitting! Soon, but I've been photographing and uploading shirts all afternoon and now it's time for supper.
May 18, 2007
friday never hesitates
Here's a print I never showed you before, made in fall 2006. This morning I listed this and a bunch of other new-ish prints in my etsy shop; there are some new t-shirts and other things to come after the weekend, just need to get my photographs all sorted out. So tell all of your filthy rich art-loving friends to go over there and help me buy a spinning wheel, eh?
I got tagged for one of those chain-letter things, the one you've seen going around with the seven random things, and while I usually don't like these things I welcome a little direction to help me compose an entry right now. I gather the rules are you write seven random things about yourself and then tag seven people to do the same; as I can't bear to pass on chain letters I won't tag anyone, but consider yourself tagged if you want to do it, and let me know in the comments if you do (if seven people do that then I'm totally off the hook here). I was paralyzed with fear at first thinking I'd have to come up with seven interesting quirky things that were both unique to me and wildly entertaining to y'all, but then I saw Alison's entry where she just talked about her day and stuff, and relief washed over me. So, here are my seven random things, off the top of my head:
1: Since coming home from Athens last week I've been contacted out of the blue by two childhood chums, one a classmate I haven't seen since grade eight and the other the boy I used to share a crib and all my birthday parties with. Both are people whose names I've Googled (yes, I'm using it as a verb, bite me) in the past and come up empty. All that hard work making myself the number one Jodi Green on the internet pays off! Now if I can just keep up with my resolution to answer e-mails more promptly I might just be able to keep in touch with both of them. Although, now that I know Christian's mom is reading my blog I'm all scared of saying FUCKSAKE as often as I normally do.
2: for my fellow Naruto addicts (you know who you are): last Saturday, on the way from visiting friends in Milwaukee to visiting friends in Chicago, Peter and I missed our exit off the highway. We got off at the next exit thinking we'd circle around and get back on in the opposite direction and get to our exit from the other side, but this was Chicago where such things are not possible and just because there is a way off the highway does not mean there is a way back on. Somewhere in the resulting forty minutes of circling, trying to find our way back to the damned exit from which we had about a five minute drive left to our friends' house, we found ourselves in some street or other and there, walking down the sidewalk, were two Konoha Jounin. No, I didn't get a picture, we were too busy being lost and pissy (nothing a whole lot of Chinese take-out and a hot tub couldn't fix later on, though).
3: I hate grass. This afternoon I filled yet another paper yard waste bag with pulled-up grass that keeps creeping back in amongst our plants and giant weeds. One half of our front yard is covered in a tarp (actually the pool cover from the above-ground pool that came with the house and got dismantled and dragged out of here pretty much the second the sale closed) right now, the half we couldn't get filled with garden plants before I left to go back to school last fall. We're hoping to get that all planted this summer so that next winter our yard can be tarp-free for pretty much the first time since the first year we owned the house. The backyard has had tarps, wood, pieces of metal and various pool parts and garbage (all left behind by the previous owner of our house) strategically places around to kill off areas of grass. The neighbours only think we are the junky people; in reality we have a beautiful and elaborate plan in place. And I'm already eyeing that strip of city-owned grass out front between the sidewalk and the road, and mentally calculating whether the scraps of leftover tarp will cover it all.
4: We live on a very busy school bus corner, and I love sitting on the porch and watching the kids come and go. I could set my clock by the hoarse-throated young mom who walks by twice a day barking like a trained seal at her two kids. In fact, if I can get done writing this fast enough I'm going to take my tea and my sock knitting out there and watch the kids come home.
5: I don't have much of a yarn stash but I do have a considerable amount of sock yarn, or at least it's quite a lot considering how infrequently I actually finish a pair of socks. For some reason, almost all of my sock yarn stash is (or contains) orange. I don't even wear that much orange otherwise, but it's what I gravitate towards every time I indulge in sock yarn buying. In fact, I was in the yarn shop today, wearing orange and brown striped handknit socks, holding a beautiful ball of tweedy orange self-striping superwash wool in my hand and saying to the yarn store lady, "every ball of sock yarn I own is orange". She said, "then get the green!". So I did.
6: I am allergic to milk, ice cream and cheese, but I absolutely love strong, old cheddar. It's the only cheese I can eat without getting a sore stomach. Today after the yarn store I went to Far Flung Foods and got a chunk of my favourite four year old, a treat I indulge in about as often as non-orange sock yarn.
7: I never say in three words what I could say in ten or twelve (y'all might have noticed that about me already). And now I have rambled on so long I've missed the first school bus.
May 15, 2007
the monkey house
Our visit to Milwaukee and Chicago was relaxing and uneventful, just what I needed, and I miss my friends already now that we've left them and come back home. I spent much of the trip in a cold-addled fog, but that too is passing. It's going to storm this afternoon but for now the breeze is warm and I'm barefoot on my porch, spying on the people doing yard work across the street while the little neighbour children dance up and down my porch steps and make up silly songs. I can so easily get sucked into just sitting out here and experiencing the summer days and let all my work slip away, but I'm trying hard to remain motivated and set tasks. I've done some yard work of my own today, cutting down a few weedy trees and digging up all the giant thistles. I'll have some work to show soon, but for now there's an empty teapot needs filling and these children require attention.
May 09, 2007
middle of nowhere, usa
We've been on the road since Monday, taking our time getting to Wisconsin to visit our friends on our convoluted trip home. All week I have been overtired and fighting an oncoming cold, falling asleep in the car during the hottest part of the afternoons and feeling sluggish in the evenings. Go over to Peter's if you want to hear anything interesting about our trip; I haven't got the energy for words right now. He's sitting next to me typing up a storm while I have nothing to say (not quite the normal state of affairs in this household).
Don't ask me where this place was; all I remember is the two for one margaritas were thick enough to eat with a fork and the decor was not entirely to my liking.
We spent a few hours in Nashville on Tuesday, marveling at the falseness of it all and taking pictures of tourists:
Yesterday and today we drove down a little highway through the middle of nowhere, hoping to find a thrift store or a Waffle House or something, instead passing dozens of wide-open, rotting trailers with people's belongings still in them, entirely boarded up downtowns, a vast expanse of flatness and bleak tracts of land given up to hellish gray subdivisions. And relentless sun. In Donovan Indiana (pop. 300) we found a building named after our friend Bob:
Tomorrow: Chicago, which we decided at the very last minute not to avoid after all, and then the rest of our trip will be spent in the company of good friends.
May 06, 2007
do not cross
There is police tape all around the empty housing complex on Chase Street, but apparently somebody snuck in recently to have a maypole dance on the lawn. Nothing like the threat of asbestos poisoning to spice up your May day festivities.
May 02, 2007
"Blog more, blog more!" they keep saying (I hate that word as a verb, but I'm quoting here, y'all). It's the last week of the semester and I've been sliding obligations into free hours like a giant sleep-deprived game of tetris. I've got a print to finish up this morning for a collaborative project of the thorn-in-my-side variety, then an art history exam tomorrow morning (last exam EVER!), assembling said collaborative project, final critique with my drawing students and one more studio visit with a professor. Then I'm breaking out of my body and flying away like a bat out of hell.
(on a not-really related note, here's something Peter said to me a while back that's somehow still on my mind, because that's the kind of geek I am. We were in the car, both lunging to switch the radio dial on hearing the opening strains of some dreadful Elton John song or other, and Peter said, what would the world be like if Bernie Taupin and Jim Steinman had switched lives? And mashed up versions of their songs have been entering my brain unbidden ever since).
Some events of these last few weeks have left me feeling frustrated and hurt, and quite honestly wondering why I ever came here or whether certain people would care if I just quit grad school altogether. I can really use a few months away from this place to concentrate on rebuilding my life with Peter and making my work without all of the extra bullshit that grad school brings. And when I come back here I hope to be in a different mindset, ready to let it all roll off my back like water off a litho stone.
Peter is on his way to pick me up and should be here within a few short hours now (with luck, just enough hours for me to get this damned print done before he arrives). There's light at the end of this tunnel and I can almost reach it now.
Here's a picture. Because words are always better when they come with pictures, and free coffee makes everything okay.