Using a bit of imagination

April 10, 2008 at 2:57 pm | Posted in art, baby, blogging, charity knitting, country life, dogs, faith, family, flowers, free knitting patterns, gifts, Holidays, knitting, knitting for babies, love, marriage, pets, photography, relationships, romance, snow, socks, stockings, travel, yarn | 15 Comments

Firefly starts a baby sweater for a friendA couple of weekends ago my husband and I drove down south of our place, and down a ways south of Buffalo to a little town called Brocton, near the shore of Lake Erie. A couple of days before our drive there had been a nice snow fall in Western New York, and with below freezing temperatures for a few days afterwards the snow was still on the ground all across the lovely countryside. In fact, there had been no wind to speak of so the snow still clung to the branches of trees which created quite a winter wonderland effect.

Isn’t it so strange for me to be writing of a pretty snow fall that was only a couple of weeks back when here it is warm and sunny, spring time weather with birds chirping and singing, flowers blooming in the front yard and buds showing on all of the trees.

That day, the spring time winter wonderland day, the skies were a beautiful soft bright blue with big fluffy white clouds slowly meandering by. The shadows cast on ground, field, and wood by the large clouds combined with the elegant white snow covered brances and boughs of trees created an almost mystical lighting effect.

Silk Stocking by FireflyMy husband commented ruefully that the scene we were seeing should have come back at Christmas time, or between Christmas and New Year’s. The interesting thing to me was that the scene we were feeling conjured the exact same feelings as if it were the holidays. Afterall, we were on a nice long drive as if to see relatives and we were seeing a magical display of nature, Blu was with us and we all felt quite cozy in the car together.

I suggested to my husband that we should both pretend that particular drive and the snowy scenes we enjoyed had indeed happened this past Christmas; that we should both file the memories in that folder in our minds rather than the “Spring 2008” folder.

He agreed, and so that is what we did.

All it took was a bit of imagination and the two of us agreeing. Very cool, I think, that my husband was willing to disagree with the laws of the physical universe with me and reorganize time a bit to suit our mutual fancy.

Blu begins to notice the geeseSomething I never could understand is people who have a problem with children telling “stories”. Equating the imaginative rearrangement of reality to suit their own private fancy with the telling of a harmful lie is something I cannot for the life of me think with. There is a distinct differentiation, and it is completely healthy for children to use their imaginations and to share the things they are imagining openly other children and with adults rather than feeling they are being naughty and being taught to withhold and hide their thoughts.

Please. Have you ever heard of a guy named Mark Twain? What was he all about?

Where would the world be if it were not for the ability of grown up people to also wildly use their imaginations of think up outlandish new thoughts and ideas. Those imaginings develop sometimes into great inventions, innovations, and accomplishments as well as masterful pieces of art, literature, and entertainment.

I shudder to think where I would be if it were not for my imagination … probably baking in the dry heat of Southern California rather than living on the banks of a rushing river on a farm in Western New York.

So, for us that day was the day after Christmas 2007 and we were enjoying a perfectly wonderful winter holiday drive.

Our destination, by the way, was Woolgathering Yarn, a charming yarn shop in Brocton, NY. The owner, Barb Albert, had graciously agreed to take a look at some of my patterns to see about carrying them in her shop. I loved her shop, it was large and well stocked but also cozy and inviting. She had a couple of racks with some recently dyed yarns hanging and they looked quite scrumptious. Her customers were warm and friendly, and I definitely got a great feeling of community there.

I overheard Barb speaking with one customer about a friend in their knitting group who had received some bad medical news recently, and they were coming up with a plan to put together some kind of blanket for her. I have some extra squares for the Gracious Parcels blankets on hand, so I offered to contribute some to their effort to give them a head start. It was good to know that some of the Gracious Parcels squares would go to give healing comfort and support to a woman who these kind and warm hearted ladies obviously cared so much for.

Woolgathering Yarn is now carrying some of my patterns, and I look forward to getting to know Barb and her customers more.

Our next stop was back up toward Buffalo to East Aurora, home of The Woolly Lamb (sorry, they don’t have a website). Owner Sharon Kabel had also agreed to meet with me and take a look at my patterns.

Oh, it was nice to be in The Woolly Lamb, I must say. The store is huge and just filled from counter to ceiling with yarns, yarns, and more yarns. I have not been in such a large yarn store for a quite a long time. I wanted to linger there, squeezing and stroking the luscious fibers for hours … but that would have been awkward. It was a piece of heaven, and I know I will be going back not just to drop off more patterns (she ordered some and wants more) but also to shop for yarns not carried in my LYS.

Beautiful BluIt was a beautiful day, and encouraging for business purposes. My husband and I are doing this business together and turning it into another way for us to enjoy time together doing things we would enjoy doing even if it weren’t for business. We love taking long drives together and exploring new territory, so it will be a great adventure to weave the pattern publishing business into that aspect of our lives.

Speaking of publishing, I completed another Christmas Stocking for the book. I have the next one designed in my mind, and only need to pick up one more color of yarn to bring it off. Meanwhile, however, I have had to briefly pause while I make a baby sweater for the pastor of our church. She has a new baby girl and I want to make a sweater and matching hat for her. I am using bright white 100% cotton yarn, and am working the “Ears of Corn” stitch pattern which seems very appropriate for a baby born in this farming community where corn is one of the major crops.

Meanwhile, Blu is beginning to recognize the existence of geese. This is new for him in spite of the fact that he is a bird dog. He won’t ever be used for hunting birds, but it would be nice to see what should be his inherited instincts coming into play. This past Saturday we had him out in the yard and tried to get him to take notice of the large gathering of geese out in the wheat field and under the willow tree.

The first time he caught sight of them he stood very still, alert with ears pricked and a strong stance. A couple of minutes later he turned around and ran to the back door to come back inside. We chuckled mildly to each other at that sight.

Two Bosc Pears oil painting underwayLater in the morning he got another shot at it. That time he tried as hard as he could to act casual and pretend there were not a million geese in his yard. Finally, however, he did stand still again and look toward them in an alert stance. That second time he didn’t run away. He didn’t run toward them or make a peep, but he didn’t run away. We will take that as progress.

I have three oil paintings going now, in addition to everything else on the burners. These will be for the restaurant. What you see in the photograph is the beginnings of a painting of two lovely Bosc pears … still at a very crude stage of development (the painting, not the pears).

I don’t usually like to show incomplete paintings, it is almost like standing out in the street in underpants. However, I decided to let you into my studio for a little glimpse today so you could see another place where my imagination leads me.

With that, I wish you and yours a fine spring day.



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  1. Imagination is vital for survival, in my opinion.
    Thank you for sharing your journeys with us.
    Your pictures of Blu are breathtaking. If you have any funny ones of him you should post and caption them on
    I know everyone there would love to see him.

  2. Thank you letting ride in the backseat with Blu. It was a wonderful trip for someone who doesn’t travel much any more. By the way can I go again next time? Please Please Please!

  3. I love your imagination! Your road trip was very colorful and full of adventure. Thanks for it all. And Blu is a treasure. Keep up the great work!

  4. What a lovely post. I too like the late snows here. It makes us appreciate spring.

    Funny I have driven on that stretch on I-90 for years and never realized there was a yarn shop there.

    Thanks for sharing.

  5. Lovely post, your blog gives me some gentle, wholesome thoughts to ponder every time I visit! Good luck with your pattern business.

  6. Wow, beautiful thoughts and photos both! Thanks for sharing them. It is NICE to have a man you can share with in this way!! Hope your business will do very well!!

  7. I saved your post for a time when I had a relaxing stretch of time to take it all in. Glad I did – felt like I was in the car and those nice yarn shops with you.

    Yes, Mother Nature is having fun with all of us this year – she giveth the Spring, and taketh away! ha ha

  8. Hi again

    Wow! Snow! Our predicted 90 for Saturday was reduced to the mid 80’s…. such is life in the South portion of Arizona.

    I so hear you about the killing of imgaination. This was one of the reasons why I love everything that Madeliene L’Engle ever wrote (still can’t believe she’s gone) While very very young (5 or so) she was doubted and punished by an adult at school who said it was not possible for someone her age to write the story that she wrote. This “anti-imagination” became a common theme in many of her books. Most obviously in “A Wrinkle In Time”.

    Her strong faith showed in her writings. Her faith was simply a part of her being and it shown through instead of making a point to always have a message.

    How did I get so off track?

    (don’t tell my cat’s but) I’m so in love with Blue. His loving eager personality simply shines off the screen! I have a feeling that his skin is very soft, supple, warm and velvety. Same as a grayhound’s. I discovered that by falling in love with a friend’s grayhound. They are so gentle, strokeable and loving.

    Thanks for allowing me to visit. It’s long past bedtime and I have to be at work at 7am tomorrow (saturday!)


  9. We had snow yesterday, just when I was ocmplaining about the “lake” in the backyard. That’ll teach me! I love your storytelling philosophy. Life is a story, isn’t it? Imagination keeps things lively.

  10. Sigh, I envy you your long drive and leisurly drive to the yarn shops. That sounds like such a wonderful day. Your comments about imagination is quite true. Life is to short to get stuck in the ruts we sometimes dig ourselve in to. Winter is lothe to leave the northern states, but it;s hold is broken and spring is suddenly there. Have fun, enjoy your self. Good luck with the book and your patterns. They are beautiful!

  11. as always an enjoyable blog read, love your dog, almost makes me wish……..but not in a 4 room apt with a no pet policy!

  12. firefly~
    i always encouraged my children to use their imagination, how else can we explore ideas and posibilities. some times the things we imagine can actually become realities.
    beautiful blog as always. thanks for sharing! ann

  13. Blu is such a good dog! There is so much intelligence in that face!

    I love the stocking and I’m looking forward to the book. The pears look beautiful just as they are (to me), but I’m sure in your mind’s eye there is much to be done yet. The creative process continues to amaze me!

  14. The stocking is simply GORGEOUS!! Love the one of Blu too…he is such a handsome fellow. You are so talented, painting is not in my gifts so I am jealous (in a good way) of your talent.

  15. Wonderflu post! Great photos of Blu. What a gift to have him on the farm. I love the stocking!

    Have good days always!

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