Tuesday, March 31, 2009

spalted maple

It really feels like spring now. Levi and I have finally emerged from the house to take walks in the woods. I tried to show him birch bark and pine cones, and seeing as he is only 4 months old, these things were met with little enthusiasm. It seems I need to do better at enjoying each stage in his life instead of being so excited for when I can show him all the amazing things in this world.

I haven't had time to photograph the last knitting projects I finished, but I do have some pictures of two more turning projects that Adam finished. These two bowls were made from spalted figured maple that he salvaged from an old fallen maple tree in the woods behind our house. I'm told that spalting (the black lines in the wood you can see below) is actually caused by fungus. The type of spalting in these bowls is from where two different types of fungi have interacted and left little barriers to protect their own resources. Fungi fences.

The figuring in the wood makes almost iridescent stripes of light and dark. It was much less evident when the bowl was first turned, but then Adam finished the bowl with some butcher block oil and the figuring just popped out. Apparently figuring is pretty common in old large maple trees because the weight of the tree pushes down on the wood at the bottom of the trunk and causes disruptions in the normal even tree ring pattern.

I think this (the bowl above and below) is my favorite bowl Adam has made so far. The spalting is striking and maple is pretty amazing in general. It is so smooth and hard, it is almost glasslike.

This picture below is the second spalted maple bowl, turned from the same hunk of maple. I love the slightly fluted shape of this one. It was given to Adam's brother for his birthday. The first of these maple bowls is staying with us for a while - I can't stop looking at it.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

felt food

I am obsessed. I got this Japanese craft book, Felt Food, for Christmas, and I can't stop sewing felt fruits and vegetables! So far, I have made a half-pear, lemon, and two strawberries...

And an egg sandwich...though it still needs cheese!

The book has patterns for tons of veggies and fruits, and some other really cute things like pancakes with a little pat of butter on top. Somehow I don't think I'll be done making felt food until I've made nearly everything in the book. I figure someday Levi will have a seriously well-stocked play kitchen!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

first bowl


...is the first hand-turned bowl that Adam has finished. It is ash, from a tree that our neighbors took down last year. I love the different swirls of color in the wood, and the flared shape of the bowl. I am amazed that his first bowl is so gorgeous...and judging by the few other bowls that he has almost finished, this was not beginner's luck...he's a natural!

Monday, March 2, 2009

february baby sweater

I knit this sweater for a friend who is having a baby girl in June. I love this pattern - especially the fact that it is knit all in one piece. The pattern is Elizabeth Zimmerman's "February Baby Sweater," which is in A Knitter's Almanac. I used Lily Chin Gramercy, which is superwash merino. The yarn isn't very interesting or nice, and I probably wouldn't choose it again, but I'm so thrilled with how the sweater turned out that, surprisingly, the yarn doesn't bother me very much.