Paint and Purls

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!