Winter Nesting

In February when it is cold and dark I turn myself inward and revel in winter nesting. This particular winter has been a challenge to stay positive that Spring will come. With many snow storms arriving on our coast often and with fury, you can expect everyone to hunker down and settle into routines within the home.

Knitting with purple, pink and gray yarn.
With a skein of lovely variegated purple yarn a new scarf is born.

My mother was a knitter and when I was young she tried desperately to teach me to knit. She almost succeeded when in high school I knit one mitten. It has been 38 years since I took up the needles. In this day and age you can learn (or in my case relearn) any task from the Internet. With a variety of different YouTube videos and help from knitting friends, I jogged my memory of how to cast on, knit and purl. Like anything else, knitting is something you have to practice to feel any degree of confidence.

I’m particularly pleased to say this beautiful purple, pink and grey variegated yarn in my picture was found at the local thrift store. For 50 cents a skein one has to be inspired to create something worth wearing. I’d like to think someone’s mother picked out this yarn and for some reason unknown to me, she donated this yarn for someone to carry on a tradition.

I still have the sweaters my mother had knit me. I fondly remember as a child my hands out, palms facing each other and thumbs up. She wound yarn around each of my hands creating loops of loose skeins, her hands and body rocking with a calming back and forth motion.

These are the stories I tell my children who vaguely remember my mother. Being teenagers I can’t really tell if they are listening with interest or just being polite. I understand the feeling my mother probably felt when trying to teach me to knit.

Two Quick EZ Cuts

At some point I ended up with a 4″ by 6″  pink Speedball Speedy-carve block. No doubt I purchased it for my young daughter to play with. I decided to give it a go and here are my results. The first design I decided to try was simple. Never having to cut this material before I wanted to see how it worked with my current carving tools. Using the chunky circular tree design I had in my sketch book I thought this would work well. Because I had a 4″ by 6″ block I thought I would create a square design (cut round) from 4″ by 4″ of the original size.

Round pink stamp designed with tree, leaf and acorn.
Simple circular tree design includes a leaf and acorn too.

This first design worked well. True as advertised the lines can be easily cut as thick or thin as you’d like. The only different is while printing with the block, I found a little ink goes a long way and there is no need to press very hard to print the relief.
The second 2″ by 4″ of the remainder of the block was designed for a water fairy sketch I created. This experiment would use thinner lines to see how the pink rubber block would hold up.

The Water Fairy stand in a lotus flower and is printed in blue ink.
The Water Fairy stand in a lotus flower and is printed in blue ink.

I actually like this water fairy and may try to use a larger block with more detail. But for now I’ve had fun using this pink rubber speedy-carve block.