Paint and Purls

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Finally . . .

I'm excited to finally have a drawing from class that I actually like!

Knitting content soon . . .

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Been a Long Time . . .

What's been going on? Let's see . . .

Finished my first 5k race last weekend! I was so proud of myself. My goal was to finish before the band (in the parade which started 15 minutes after the race). Not only did I accomplish that goal, I finished the race in 33:33! Not great for most people, but not bad for me and my short little legs. I also can't say I'm in love with running races. Not. But, it gives me goals to work toward, so I'll continue running. Yeah, Me!

In knitting news, I've completed the first pair of cuffed baby booties. Well, almost. I hate seaming.
That's why I seem to have so many UFO's around -- love knitting, hate sewing. (It's a mental thing; I know. But, why? I mean, I love the feel of the yarn as I'm knitting. So, why not while sewing the beautiful knit pieces together? I just don't get it.) Well, the first set of booties is waiting to be sewn together. Although I promised myself I wouldn't, I went ahead and cast on for the second set of booties.

Haven't touched the Kimono sweater or the Packers scarf. Haven't even cast on for my first pair of socks yet. I finally got Charlene Schurch's "Sensational Knitted Socks" from the library this week, and will started reading it soon. Won't, however, start the socks until the booties are finished. Less than one month to the babies shower for K! We haven't even started really planning the shower. (Ok, don't panic, don't panic. It'll all work out . . .)

Drawing class was so absolutely frustrating this past week. I just wasn't in the mood. Did it have anything to do with the horrible drawing I attempted of The Man the night before? Maybe. Most likely. But, Frank, the instructor, was pretty encouraging, and I just kept working regardless of how I felt. I hated the drawings the night of class, but when I look at them now, they don't seem so bad. Here are two of my unfinished sketches from last Wednesday.

I guess there has been improvement over the past four weeks. I just need much more practice. I'm also wanting to get the watercolors out again. I've decided on a still life that I want to setup and paint. I know, I know. I keep saying "I'm gonna . . ." but haven't followed through. Maybe now that summer is gone and there's less light to entice me to the outdoors, I'll spend more time inside working on my art. Too many interests; not enough time . . .

Friday, September 29, 2006

Froggin' da Vinci

I’m really enjoying the figure drawing class we started a couple of weeks ago. I was hoping to discover my inner da Vinci, but will have to settle for at least drawing recognizable figures. Drawing from a live model is so different and more difficult than drawing from a photo! Especially with the time constraints of working with 1-minute and 5-minute poses. Here are samples of some of my sketches.

The head shot and standing pose are from the first class, and were done in short time increments. The reclining pose was a 30-minute pose, so I had more time to shade and contour. It was a weird angle, as evidenced by the foreshortening. And, no, the model was not overweight – just my bad drawing. I’ve made her look like she has quite a belly, but that wasn’t the case. She was in great shape. I’m just really struggling with getting the proportions right. On the standing pose, the model’s legs should have been a bit longer. She was not as stocky as my drawing appears. I just hope the models are not insulted by my drawings! I’ve been trying to decide if I prefer working with charcoal pencil or Conte’ crayon. I was doing much better with the charcoal pencil this week, but will continue to experiment.

There are some very talented individuals in the class. Of course, I think The Man (as my boyfriend will now be referred to) is the most talented. His sketches are usually so perfect. There is a wide range of styles in the class, but I tend to gravitate to realism. I can appreciate abstraction to some degree, but find a realistic painting or sketch to be more appealing. Maybe it’s because I’m just too lazy to study a painting/drawing to try and figure out what it’s representing. LOL

In knitting news, the Kimono Sweater was coming along just fine, until I decided to try it on after 37 rows. It was just a bit too tight – especially below the waist! After looking at the pattern photo again, I realize the model is thin without the waist-to-hip ratio that I have. At first, I was trying to figure out a way for shaping, but it was just too complicated with the fishermen basketweave pattern. So, what do I do? I frogged the whole thing! Again! I think this sweater is going to cure my knitting obsession. At least, temporarily. So, for the third time, I cast on, but with an additional 16 stitches. I knew my stitch gauge was slightly off, but I thought it might work out anyway as most small sizes are too big for me. The row gauge was right on, so that should work out fine. I decided to add the stitches as opposed to changing my needle size. I sure hope this works!

I still have not started on my socks or the baby booties. I’ll be buying size 3 needles for the booties tonight, as I’ll be running out of time before I know it. I did pick up some Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino yarn in three soft colors for the three sets of booties. I can’t wait to surprise the Mom-to-Be! Since there are triplets, the babies will most likely be preemies. I hope the booties will fit them fairly soon after birth. It may be a while, though, before they can actually wear the booties. Oh well, it’ll be a cute handmade gift for the baby shower in November.

And speaking of babies, here’s a photo of one of mine as he was snoozing next to me while I frogged the Kimono sweater the other day. (Offering his unwavering moral support, of course.) Can you see the tip of his tongue just hanging out? He’s such a sweet old guy.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


Knitting has been trying my patience lately! I started the Kimono sweater, and it is going sl0-0-0-0-w. This fishernet cable pattern is fairly intense. And I usually love working cables. I got to the end of row eight and realized I had goofed somewhere on the row, so I frogged and started over. Then, on the second attempt, I got to row 14 when I realized I had made a mistake on row 10. (Duh! Why aren't the cables lining up right?) I'm not about to frog again, so I'm now tinking back five rows! Given that it has taken me 30-45 minutes to complete one row, I could just cry. But I keep reminding myself that the reason I'm doing this is for the pleasure of knitting, not to accomplish some speed knitting record. (Of course, this project should be a 'no distractions zone' project. Can't watch Rockstar Supernova or the new season of House while working on this baby!)

I'm going to try my first pair of socks. That's right, after 20+ years of knitting, I've never attempted socks. Bought some yarn and tiny little DPN's. Now, it's just to find a simple sock pattern. Also, bought Debbie Bliss' Simply Baby over the weekend. A friend is having triplets early next year, and I'd love to knit 3 sets of Cuffed Booties for the babies! If I have time, may also design a matching cap for each. Triplets! Wow!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Running . . . In Circles . . .

I don’t seem to be able to get anything accomplished these days. At least not knitting- or art-wise. I have spent some time on the SO’s Packers scarf, but haven’t even swatched for the Kimono sweater. I’ve also been thinking of finding a pattern for a beautiful lace shawl which I could knit up for either my grandmother or mom for Christmas. Will make a run to my LYS and/or bookstore this weekend to see what I can find.

As far as artwork, I keep thinking I should do something very simple like an apple or pear, but yet I find myself drawn to this photo I took at the SE Flower Show earlier this year.
I’ve ‘doodled’ some value study sketches of parts and pieces of the image on sticky notes at my desk, and will probably do a complete value study over the weekend. I just need to carve out a few hours to sit quietly and work on this. (Yeah, right!)

I also saw a painting I rea
lly liked at a gallery last night. The artist is Shu-Wu Lin. I liked the simplicity of the piece, and the subtlety of the figure. I get a sense of gracefulness from the position of the hand, and really like how you get the idea of a nude without being graphic. I’d like to try something along these lines, but will probably wait. I have signed up for a figure drawing class which starts in a few weeks. This should be interesting because I’m so sl-o-o-o-o-w when it comes to drawing. I have to re-do and re-do sections until I get it right (or at least recognizable). The SO is also taking the class. He’s so talented, he doesn’t need a ‘class’, but wants the ‘model time’ the class will give. I’ve asked him to sit across the room from me so I won’t be so intimidated by how great his drawings look next mine!

The gallery opening last night was for an artist by the name of Steven Kenny at
Trinity Gallery. Very cool stuff. I would have loved to have had the opportunity to hear him explain the thought behind some of the pieces. Seems there is a lot of symbolism with the birds and human-tree-oids. Perhaps alluding to the connection we all have with nature? Maybe the birds represent the human spirit? I’ll have to do some research on him to learn more. If you get a chance, go check out the exhibit. This one is definitely worth the effort as the paintings are not only beautiful, but interesting.

Well, this has become a long-winded post! Speaking of winded, I ran for 2 miles this morning! Without walking! No paramedics, either! Okay, so it wasn’t quite 2, but 1.85 according to But 20 consecutive minutes is pretty amazing when I realize that I couldn’t run for 60 consecutive seconds just 7 short weeks ago! This program is actually working. Maybe I’ll be able to run that 5K in October after all. {LOL}