January

My college had a unique program in our area (though I believe other colleges have it, too), called a Jan Term.  It's a one-month term meant to allow students to travel, explore new fields or skills, conduct independent studies, or take a new class in an intensive but short-term setting.  Every year since 1993, I've participated in a Jan Term- first a course on Winston Churchill, then an internship with my town's Human Relations Council, which really began to open my eyes to the reality of race relations in the South and the gap between the haves and have-nots.  I followed that with an internship with the collections department of a historical museum, and ended my college Jan Term with an independent study in oil painting in which I painted a dozen canvases in a month, large and small.

After college, I kept up with this habit- reading new books, starting seeds and planning gardens, learning how to knit socks (this year I taught a sock class!), mothering a newborn, beginning a daily quick sketch habit, and last year, exploring the form of pitchers (several of which are still waiting to be fired).  This year, I worked on "perfecting" my yarn bowl, of which I'd made several a few years ago at the request of knitting friends.  I was never happy with the first batches because they warped so badly at the rim because of the notch cut for feeding the yarn.  They either warped, or seemed to need to be thicker-walled than I preferred, and looked either clunky or inexpertly done.  This January, I think I've solved the problem.

 

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I'm so pleased with how this first batch has turned out and I have a kiln-full ready to unload in the morning.  I'm taking them all to the 4th Annual Oxford Fiber Festival at the end of the month.  They range in size from 50 gr fingering/sock weight (5" in diameter, my preferred knitting size) to a 11" bulky bowl. 

I've also been working on teapots again for the first time in several years and may have developed a spout that I actually like.  I have never liked my thrown spouts (again, too clunky), but I have a hand-built version that might work.  We'll see.  I'll show you those soon, and finish up my pitcher recap.

What have you been doing this month?  I