Monday, October 11, 2010

Scarfing down some fresh apple pie...

I found myself in an all-to-familiar predicament this week. Back in the early summer it seemed like a great idea to commit myself to supplying scarves for both local venues and regional shows. You want twelve scarves for the Holly Market fall festival show? I’d love to! How about a nice scarf-as-art display at the Bloomington Bagel location on Morton? Sure thing! And you want them when? Plus a few more scarves for the holiday season art shows I applied to? Yikes! I’ve got a report on the Fourth Street patron survey to assemble and a grant to write to support our requests for advertising money, both due this week! I planned to devote October to scarf making, and I have. It’s just that a lot of other bits of my life have intruded into the process. On the bright side, over the summer and early fall I stocked up on a ton of scarf making supplies. I stopped in at Sheep Street in Morgantown and Yarns Unlimited here in Bloomington and picked up a lovely collection of fleeces across the color range I intended to explore this season. I also pulled together a beautiful set of non-wool yarns to incorporate into the scarves. I’ve been mentally working through some new designs and ideas I’m excited to try. When October came I was ready to hit the ground felting. That means taking over the dining room table, raising it up about six inches to spare my back as I lay out the scarf design and felt the fleece into submission. One of my ideas was to lay out a bunch of single ply merino wool yarn and try to bring it together with a minimal amount of fleece. It worked! Or at least it held together—the color combination isn’t ideal, but it’s a proof-of-concept piece. It kind of reminds me of a cocoon. It’ll probably end up in the collection of some local avant garde diva. Another idea I had was to incorporate many small holes into the body of the scarf. I realized that I could laminate material to create holes in one layer of the scarf on top of a solid layer. When the scarf dried I thought the concept was pretty interesting. My next attempt will be to laminate two layers, both with holes, into different levels of the scarf. Last year I also created a big ruffled edge look on some scarves that were well received, so I’m working on creating some new pieces on that theme. In all these new designs I’m trying to broaden my color palette. I want to incorporate some more oranges and earthy tones into my scarves. That takes me out of my comfort zone of jewel tones and reds, but I think a lot of people are drawn to scarves with an earthier feel. No matter what, I’m having fun creating new things. Now I just need to step up production!

Too much scarf work, with lots of rolling back and forth in the wet felting process, was pretty hard on my back and neck last week. I went through a bit of acetaminophen to try to get my body back on track. On top of my new morning Zumba workouts I’m getting all the exercise I ever wanted. You’d think that would earn me some kind of reward, and it did! It turned into a pie week. We got a batch of giant Mutsu apples at the farmer’s market last Saturday. There’s a lot less peeling if you buy big apples, I’ve learned. I helped peel the apples and Jim mixed them with a few secret spices and sugar and popped them into a delightful crust. On Wednesday evening, a wonderful fall apple pie emerged from the oven! My breakfasts this week have often been a slice of pie, a cup of coffee and a little whipping cream, all in a quiet spot with the morning paper. Who could ask for anything more?

Until next week…

Martina Celerin

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