Monday, February 27, 2012

In which we speak of the Pumpkin Spice Stole

Hello my friends! Lately we have had quite a few grey, leaden days. For awhile it felt as if spring was in the air. We have certainly had an odd February! Lots of rain, very little snow, temperatures varying greatly...Last week we had another snow fall. It was a thick, heavy sort of snow that covered every little branch and twig.
Very pretty, indeed. I didn't take any pictures of the snow until the next morning. By that time the thick cover was gone, though it was still snowing and quite pretty. See what I mean by grey??

Snow covered field.

This was around 4:30 in the afternoon. I went outside to feed the alpacas and took my camera along in case there were any good photo opportunities. It was quite chilly so after feeding the boys I quickly snapped a couple of photos then hurried back inside. We get a good deal of wind on our hill and sometimes I feel like I'm about to blow away! It certainly makes cleaning up after the alpacas an adventure. 

Heading back indoors I'm greated by the heavenly smell of hyacinths in bloom. These gorgeous flowers just keep growing and growing. Their wonderful smell permeates the surrounding area. It is a nice touch of spring amid all the grey.

Last week I pulled out my watercolor supplies and did a small 5x7" painting as a birthday gift for a friend. The original is one I painted a few years ago when I was just learning to paint by studying various books. I painted my new "Clothes on the Line" with a hint of storminess to the clouds. It looks like a cool, autumn day with the wind picking up and a storm rolling in.

I was quite pleased with the way the painting turned out considering the fact that I painted it in the evening, when the lighting was not very good. I picked the brightest corner of the living room and set up station. Normally I do not paint in the living room, but it was necessary at the time. I am actually quite pleased that my set-up worked out. Now I know for future reference that it Is possible to get enough lighting to make a decent painting on a dark winter's eve.
Pumpkin Spice Stole
Speaking of winter evenings, this is what I am often working on by the stove late in the evening. A cup of tea and I am all set to go for a while. This is the "Tibetan Clouds Beaded Stole" by Sivia Harding. I started my stole shortly after Christmas. The yarn was gifted to me by my sweet sister. I was so excited to have this large lace project to work on. I've been taking my own sweet time knitting it up, savouring the process so to speak. There were about 3 weeks total where I did not pick it up and work on it. For awhile there I just needed a change of pace, and then at one point this month I was so sick that I did not want to knit. But other then those few delays the Pumpkin Spice Stole (so named because of its lovely, rich pumpkin-y color) is growing steadily. I do find that the beading is sometimes rather tedious. But this is my first big beading project and its taken me awhile to get good at it. I was so slow in the beginning, but now I feel like I can fly along at a fairly good pace. If it were not for all those little beads I'm sure the stole would be done by now. But the beads really make the project, and despite the slow process of individually placing each bead, it is fun to do and the finished results will be well worth it!

Only last week I finished the first "wing" of my stole. Chart E is repeated eight and a half times so by the time I got near the end I felt like I had it memorized. It should make knitting the second wing a breeze. Chart E does scrunch up a good deal, and the ending charts are all puckery. But I am sure it will all block it beautifully in the end. That is the beauty of lace, taking a scrunched up piece of knitting, blocking it and then seeing it transform into a delicate  and gorgeous work of art.

That is all I have to share for this evening. I have a busy week ahead, what with my sister-in-law hosting a gals get-together for the ladies of the family, traveling I need to do later on this week....whew it is making me tired just thinking of what needs to be accomplished in the next day or two. However I am looking forward to the times of fellowship ahead, as well as the opportunity to be a blessing. 
In the last month and a half we have been able to get together with many friends, as well as make some new friends, we have had some wonderful times of fellowship and have been blessed, refreshed and encouraged. Family and friends are truly a precious gift from God!

May you have a wonderful and cheerful  week, wherever you are!  

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