Janet's thread

A weblog, mostly about knitting but other topics appear

More Postcards September 11, 2017

2017_09_11_09_01_11.pdf000  a postcard from the book The Art of Urban Sketching      This sketch is titled London Concert

Rather intriguing

I wander into our local bookstore (The Secret Garden) and end up buying all sorts of things!



From Glastonbury September 30, 2016

IMG_0463   This is a photo from 3 months ago, late June, when Ian and I and the other grandparents visited our son David and family in Glastonbury  Connecticut.  The picture was actually taken in Mystic Connecticut after a festive lunch.  Coincidentally we are about to gather again, minus one – Ian will have to participate via Skype or some such device.

I am here visiting before attending my 62nd high school reunion up in the Boston area and the other grandparents are winging their way to Hartford on the Aer Lingus inaugural direct flight from Dublin.

So here I am enjoying a quick few days doing my usual round of our favorite places and some new ones as well.  The weather has been on the cool side and the famous Fall foliage is just beginning.  We had a nice trip down to Mystic and this time we had lunch in a new (to me) restaurant called Red 39 – the number is that of a navigation buoy.  Nice setting right on the river and delicious fish of course.

After a quick stop in the yarn store, lunch, a purchase in Mystic Knotworks, we went to Old Mystic Seaport which was the real objective of the trip that day.  Fascinating.  I just love it. We just ambled around absorbing the atmosphere of that recreated village of yesteryear.  My favorites I think were the big scaled model of the former village and the timeline in the whaling museum building.  (Pictures to show when I get back to Seattle and can sync my camera with my computer – current technology! – the equivalent I suppose of waiting to get a film developed.)

The Museum Store has a large bookshop section – was I in Heaven?  One of my purchases was of course a history cum genealogy book very pertinent to my ongoing reading and research.

…….to be continued


Searching for an Idea January 4, 2010

Filed under: Art works,Knitting,Sketching,Tank Tops — Janet @ 1:05 pm

This morning one of my sketches came up on the screen saver.  So that sketch appears somewhere in my photo albums – and it is also in the container rapidly making its way to Seattle.  In my search for the sketch I have now found the photographs I used.     The photographs were taken in February 2008 and were of the so-called Fashion Parade leading to the Dundrum Town Centre.  This never materialized as a Fashion Parade, instead on the right are a number of eating establishments, the trees are no longer there, and Poppies is gone although the cottages are still there.  Beyond the cottages, a big hole was filled in and it was to be an ice skating rink.  No sign of ice or skaters yet.   

I’ve searched and searched but I can’t find my sketch – so I procrastinate a bit longer about getting down to painting.  That’s the trouble with having your photographs appear on the screen saver – you see the photo but it’s soon gone and then you can’t find it.

Now for some knitting to show you.

The photo to the right is of a tank top I knit a couple of years ago and am now wearing, along with a few more layers in this cold weather.  And here is the tank top I finished this morning.    


Artistic Recollections March 10, 2009

Filed under: Art works,Family history,Memories,Painting,Postcards,Sketching — Janet @ 2:03 pm

miscellaneous-ian-079 Work in progress Traditional Musicians, my latest oil painting

Thanks to joining the Art Group at the bowling club, I have renewed my enthusiasm for oil painting.  This morning my mind was wandering back to some early sketching that I did one summer when I worked in Ogunquit Maine.  Ogunquit has been a popular spot for artists for many years.  Stretching back to the late 19th century, there was an artist’s colony located in Perkins Cove in this small costal fishing village in southern Maine.   I think that my uncle’s mother, known to me as Mimi, was a part of this artist colony in the early 1900’s.  In any event she was a recognized artist and she and her sister, auntie Alma, had a shop called the Brush and Needle Studio.  The “needle” was Auntie Alma’s part of the business and the “brush” was Mimi’s.  Some of Mimi’s work now resides in the Ogunquit Museum of American Art.   I remember her hand tinted postcards in particular.  And ever since, I have had a fondness for postcards of this type. 


In the course of time Mimi and Auntie Alma retired and the Brush and Needle Studio was sold to become what is now Barnacle Billy’s.  Looking on the web, I find that 2009 will be Barnacle Billy’s 48th season so the Brush and Needle was probably sold in 1960 or 1961.  In the summer of 1957 I worked in the Brush and Needle.  I lived upstairs over the shop in a small room, under which the fishermen kept their dories.  My job was not only to serve in the shop in the afternoons but also to cook for Mimi and Auntie Alma.  They were so busy during the summer months that they needed someone to cook for them.  My meals were very rudimentary for these 2 gentle elderly vegetarian ladies.  After breakfast I had a couple of hours of free time and I used to walk the Marginal Way to Little Beach where I sunned myself and had a good swim in freezing water.


For pictures of Ogunquit and the Marginal Way and other scenic spots along the Maine Coast try http://www.tripadvisor.com/LocationPhotos-g40790-w10-Ogunquit_Maine.html  Ogunquit is a beautiful much loved summer location.   Our family’s introduction to this area came in the late 1940’s when my aunt and uncle purchased a hotel there.  Subsequently they expanded to own 2 other hotels, 2 of which continue today, long after my aunt and uncle sold them.  My aunt continued to have a beach view apartment in the Sparhawk but she at age 94 has now relinquished it and resides year-round in Florida.


I have a great fondness for Ogunquit.  Back in 1957, the summer I worked there, I wish I had taken more than a passing interest in the artistic aspects of my surroundings.  How I would love to go back and immerse myself in a summer of painting those marvelous views.


Artwork for today February 9, 2009

Filed under: Art works,Sketching — Janet @ 6:07 pm

photo-of-ashley-and-tigger  Photo of Ashley and Tigger




liz-walkers-sketch-of-ashley  Art teacher’s (Liz Walker) sketch


I had a good time today working on an oil painting.  Since my painting doesn’t really resemble the child I was trying to show, I’m just going to call it “Child with Toy” (or something like that).  I made 3 unsuccessful tries at doing a good sketch of Ashley from the photograph.    Finally I asked my art teacher to do a sketch, and she did a very good one.  In my oil painting I still can’t get the face/head to look right.  The head is too square and the proportions of the body are not right either.  I’ll be eager to get back to my art class and have Liz show me how and where I went wrong.  I’m really enjoying my attempts at sketching and now my first attempt at turning a sketch into an oil painting.oil-painting-1

Oil painting and knitting will be put on hold as of tomorrow when we fly to Hong Kong.  I have a very thick copy of War and Peace so that should keep me well occupied for the trip.


Bass Recorder February 5, 2009

Filed under: Music,Recorders,Sketching — Janet @ 9:10 pm

sketch-of-recorder-playing  This is my art teacher’s sketch of me playing the bass recorder.  Now that the recorder/viol concert is over, I want to spend some time learning the bass clef and practising playing my bass recorder.  In our recorder consort I have concentrated on playing tenor.  But now we have a break and it’s a chance to try something different.  I can recognize the bass clef when I play the piano but I have a hard time recognizing the notes when I play the bass recorder.  Hence, I did the sketch below to try to help myself remember the notes.



Artwork for today January 23, 2009

Filed under: Local history,Photography,Scotland,Sketching,Social history — Janet @ 3:43 pm



This is the photo from which I was working today in my art class.  It’s an old photo, possibly from Scotland or northern England.  I can’t remember where I found it, but it is a nice line-up of girls who worked in the herring fisheries – the herring girls.

herring-girlsThis was fun to sketch – the result is nothing to brag about but I had a good time.


Artwork, Knitting Projects, and Reading January 9, 2009

Filed under: Art works,Books,Knitting,Postcards,Sketching,Tank Tops — Janet @ 3:42 pm

My sketching class resumed today and I did this sketch from a postcard.  The picture was from a mural in San Francisco, dated 1934.  The title of the mural is California Agriculture and this section of the mural depicts men packing oranges.   I really enjoyed doing the sketch and then adding a bit of colour with watercolour pencils. 









When we were in Seattle at Christmas time I was pleased, despite the snow,  to be able to get to that very good yarn store, Weaving Works.  I found a very nice yellow yarn in the Norwegian Heilo wool that I like so much.  It’s like the Sirdar double knitting wool that I used many times in the past.  I embarked on a sleeveless vest for myself.  For the back I cast on 90 stitches on size 3 3/4  mm needles.


 This picture showing the completed back and the start of the front was taken recently.  I have now progressed about half way up the front.  I am eager to finish this project and move on to some baby knitting in the bright blue Heilo yarn.     This picture hardly does justice to the bright colour of the yarn.   









I recently completed the book for our next book group meeting, With My Lazy Eye by Julia Kelly.  I was slow in getting into the book but once I got going I just read it straight through.  I found the book rather disjointed.  It purports to be a novel but the reader feels that much of the book is exaggerated auto-biography.  I wonder if Julia Kelly will write any more novels with a different theme.     

One of the books I especially enjoyed rereading over the Christmas holidays was East of Eden by John Steinbeck.  It was so good that I decided to reread The Grapes of Wrath.  However, I have now been sidetracked to read Letters from Yellowstone by Diane Smith.


Another missing photo April 9, 2008

Filed under: Art works,Photography,Postcards,Sketching — Janet @ 12:18 pm

  and here is the other missing photograph I was trying to upload.  These are the Gossips and Satan, referred to earlier.  I don’t really like the Satan view – I bought it for the Gossips as I thought they would make an interesting sketching exercise.  I didn’t see Satan at all.  Just goes to show what can happen when you have one of those black and white pictures that can be viewed in more than one way.


Knitting Stash Assessment March 21, 2008

Filed under: Art works,Knitting,Sketching,Stash projects — Janet @ 10:14 am

Like most enthusiastic knitters, I have too much stash – yarn left-over from completed projects, yarn left-over from projects that were never started, yarn which I have acquired just because I liked it but didn’t necessarily have any particular project in mind, and finally yarn which has been given to me. 

stash-assessment-4-resized.jpg  So I set out most of my stash and then I practised my sketching skills

sketch-of-knitting-stash-resized.jpg  In this sketch you can’t see the numbers I have put on each ball or hank of yarn but on my working copy I have numbered each bit and I have a separate list giving the key to the numbering. 

This is proving to be an entertaining exercise.  I have the photo, the numbered sketch, the guidelist of the yarns, a few ideas, and the needles.  Progress should be made.

I no longer feel so overwhelmed by this stash.  I am whittling it down, slowly but surely.  And assessing it systematically in this way is giving me more and more incentive to use it up.  I’m really looking forward to having an “after” photograph.  In the course of all this, I feel compelled to keep knitting bits and pieces for another blanket.  And I have also been thinking of specific projects for some of the larger quantities of specific yarns in the stash.  I still have quite a bit of the self-striping sock yarn – surely enough to make 2 more pairs of socks.  And I have started a Print o’ the Wave lace scarf with some lovely handspun yarn sent to me by Bettina. 

shapes-from-the-stash-early-days-for-hodge-podge-6.jpg here are a few shapes knitted from the stash for the next blanket (hodge podge) number 6

The stash weighs approximately 5 lbs. – let’s see what it weighs in a month’s time – an arbitrary time length but why not.