Tuesday, October 13, 2015

And now for something completely different.

©Geneve Hoffman Photography
I recently had my first knitting pattern published! Here is Fat Kitty. Isn’t he cute?

When the editors at Storey Publishing asked if I was interested in contributing a knitted-toy pattern to their newest One-Skein Wonders book, I was thrilled. I let the idea percolate for a few days, but it was pretty quickly apparent that the project was going to be a cat. (No surprise there if you know me or my family.)

It took a few tries to get the right kitty. The first yarn I tried was a super-soft baby alpaca. It was nice and fuzzy, but that kitty was a little too squishy. Then there was the face. The first couple permutations had wide-open green eyes—nice, but not the feeling I was after. Also, just as one tiny brush stroke on a painted portrait can completely change the facial expression, one single embroidery stitch can make a kitty’s face change from sweet to crazy. (Yes, I know that’s what real kitties do, but it’s not what I wanted here.) Sleepy eyes were a nice solution, and a lot easier to embroider.

And then I found the perfect yarn. Well, I had discovered it a few years ago at the farmers’ market in Union Square. I’ve been trying to buy only wool that is grown in the U.S., and Catskill Merino Worsted is one of my favorites. Soft, squishy, but still sturdy and a bit rustic—it’s one of those yarns you just have to keep touching. Plus it’s hand-dyed right on the farm in the Hudson River Valley, and the colors are wonderful. My Fat Kitty is made with Warm Gray, but I can see him in Dusty Plum or New York Twilight #10. (Plus I just like to say the color names.)

Fat Kitty appears in One-Skein Wonders for Babies, published by Storey Publishing.

And you can learn more about the book here:

Monday, October 12, 2015

Late Summer Evening, Michigan

Click Here to Purchase
As the crow flies, this spot is just a couple miles west of home, on the way to Hilhof Dairy, the organic farm where we buy our milk. I love their milk; I love this land. I also love Brutus, the 150-pound Great Dane who lives at the farm. He’s young and a little playful; I try not to get him too worked up.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Half-Hour Portrait

Click Here to Order a Portrait

Wow, I’ve been lame about posting paintings. I’ve been busy, but I do have a little backlog of paintings to get up on the blog. Here’s one of my all-time favorite subjects. I believe I’ve painted this lovely girl four times, and I certainly hope we’re not done. It’s so much fun to see her grow and mature from one portrait to the next. Hopefully some day soon we’ll put together a collection of portraits of her and her brother; I’d love to see them all together in one place.