What am I reading?

July 27, 2015

manly art of knittingThe stereotypical knitter is a granny with a cat at her feet who sits by the fire knitting mittens for her grandchildren.  Throughout history, however, men dominated the craft and it is only recently that knitting has been thought of as the province of women.

Here is a (totally factual) story from Huffington Post that talks about the history of men and knitting:

“About 200 A.D., Arabian men were fishing for food but they had no way to catch several fish at once. They caught one fish. Then a second fish. And it was like, Geeze, this is slow as a camel. Then one day, perhaps down by the dock, one of the guys was messing with yarn, forming loops in it, and bam! Fishing net. (Other cultures likely invented knitting elsewhere around the world.)

They stuck the net it in the water and caught a boatload of fish. And someone said, “We just invented the fishing net.” And someone else said, “Let’s invent sweaters.”

Then the Middle Ages came and knitting spread like the plague. There were knitting guilds, which were labor unions–and again this is men we’re talking about. The guild’s head honcho would say, “Join us. We’ll protect your income. We’ll give you insurance. We’ll give you benefits. If your wife dies, we’ll help you with the funeral ceremony.” Nice stuff like that.”

CLICK HERE for more of the story.

Fast forward to 1972 when Dave Fougner thought it was time to bring men back to knitting and The Manly Art of Knitting was published.  This book has been revived by Ginko Press.  You too can follow along with the book’s directions for knitting saddle blankets and dog beds. Good stuff.

saddle blanket


What am I sappy polar bear blogging?

July 24, 2015
polar bears


Kaktovik, Alaska

These adorable Polar Bear cubs were staying close to their mother, and stood up to monitor another pair of cubs.

Photograph and caption by Laura Keene



Where am I living?

July 23, 2015


Tree house architect, Takashi Kobayashi, created this marvelous tree house for Risonare resort in Atami, Japan.

The rambling structure is built around a 300 year-old camphor tree.  It was  . . .

Completed in March of 2014, Kusukusu (it borrows its name from kusu-no-ki, Japanese for camphor tree) is a marvelous feat of architecture, engineering and technology. Working with Hiroshi Nakamura of NAP Architects, the team came in and 3D-scanned hundreds of points on the tree. Based on that 3D data they then created a steel trellis that threaded through the tree, interlocking perfectly and acting as an architecturally weight-bearing yet visually stunning support system. What’s amazing is that the treehouse in its entirety, never touches the tree. It’s completely self-standing so as to not harm the tree.

READ MORE at Spoon and Tomago by clicking here.






What am I knitting?

July 20, 2015


In a different interpretation of Cristo’s wrapped landscapes, Portuguese artist Joanna Vasconcelos covers animal sculptures in fine, crocheted lace.  The pictures below show her recent work in which she covers the sculptures of Rafael Bordalo Pinheiro.


The artist states:

Each of the pieces “are ambiguously imprisoned/protected by a second-skin in crochet-work,” says Vasconcelos. At once both beautiful and strange, the work stands as a testament to the extraordinary craftsmanship of the artist but also as a one-upmanship of maternal femininity and domesticity. The use of crochet to mummify the ceramic animals “opens up a vast and rich field of interpretation” that challenges our preconceptions of femininity, as well as our notions of tradition and modernity.


Yeah, well . . . I’m not a fan of the whole wrapping movement, but I like the little crab – and the frog – and maybe the snake.

From Colossal


What am I sappy cat blogging?

July 17, 2015


A 2,000-year-old burial mound discovered in the area that’s now Illinois contained the remains of a young bobcat, new research reveals.

The ancient bobcat was wearing a special collar and was found in a ritual burial mound normally reserved for humans.

“It really looked like it had been buried not because it was a feral accessory for a human, but because it was, in some way, kind of respected on its own,” said study co-author Angela Perri, a zooarchaeologist at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Germany.

There is more to the story here at Live Science.

Thanks to HMS Defiant for the tip.



What do I find super cool?

July 15, 2015


Shamelessly stolen from HMS Defiant

I am looking forward to the images to come.


Why am I wishing for a blank wall?

July 15, 2015


I really can’t help myself.  Give me a blank wall, piece of paper, surface, and I must draw something on it.  Mona Caron, the artist in the video above, seems to feel the same way.





The story is a Colossal.com


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