Author Archives: Sharon Ivy

Two Things I Learned Today

Today was Labor Day and a holiday for me. Danny (hubby) was in Mississippi getting the dirt work started for the house we will build there when we move back home. He said he made good progress. We’re excited about being back amongst family and friends in about 5 months.

SO many things I wanted to do on my day off, one of which was to practice my pointed pen calligraphy.  I’m practicing based on copperplate, but I’m not abiding by all the rules.  I got in several sessions of practice, totaling about 3 hours. The writing is coming more easily, but I have so far to go.

First thing learned – getting good at this will take hours and hours and hours of practice.

I then switched over to practicing a more contemporary style of lettering and filled several pages with a looser style.  I was very proud of this rendering of my own name and address and set it aside to dry before filling the rest of the page.  After taking a break, I picked up my paper and, before taping it down, smoothed it with my hand.  Arrrrgh!  The ink wasn’t fully dry!

Second thing learned – Calligraphy ink takes a looooong time to dry.  Perfecting your execution is only a part of learning the craft.  You must also know your materials.

All in all, a good day at home, though.  I’m enjoying the lettering and thinking maybe I can hand letter some designs to make into stamps for my pottery once the new studio is up and running.  I think hand lettered stamps would be awesome on handmade mugs.  Yep.




Beginning Lettering

In preparation for moving after I retire from the day job in a few months, the pottery studio is packed away and in storage, which means I have more time for knitting and art.  I’ve always loved words and drawing, so lettering seems a natural choice for exploration.  My research has lead me to both hand lettering and calligraphy.

I had never heard of hand lettering.  Calligraphy, yes, but not hand lettering.  Seeing hand lettered work like this piece by Sean McCabe from got me really excited about checking it out.  It’s much like drawing because you’re drawing the letters instead of forming them using prescribed techniques, as in calligraphy.  This type of lettering makes my heart happy.  I will be watching lots of tutorial videos so I can begin practicing hand lettering.

I spent some time checking out calligraphy styles on Pinterest and actually tried out a few of them.

Beginning lettering

I’m not much on hard and fast rules when it comes to my art, so I don’t want to strictly follow the rules of a particular calligraphy style.  My thinking is to loosely follow a style that I like, using bits and bobs of it to create my own lettering style or two (or three).  I’d better get to the studio and start practicing!


Basic Norwegian Star Hat

I decided to try out this Basic Norwegian Star Hat‬ pattern by Cara Jo Miller using some big-box-store yarn I had in my stash and I actually am loving it. The name of the yarn is‪ “I Love This Wool‬”. The colors are Umber, Biscuit and Grapevine.

This 100% wool yarn has a surprisingly rustic, earthy feel that appeals to me. I have enough for a couple more hats. Getting ready now to try out another pattern!


Knitting New Socks

We’ve spent the last 3 weekends packing and hauling non-essential items to storage in Mississippi, in preparation for moving home when I retire next February.  While I’m still working full-time, we decided it would be an easier to pack and haul a little along.  We’ve made great progress and now have the Alabama house on the market.  Yep, getting an early start.

Had a few hours this afternoon to just sit and relax, so in my quest to fill my sock drawer with new handknit socks by this fall, I started a new pair of socks.

Tickle Me Emo Socks


How much fun is this yarn???  It’s from SeeJaneKnitYarns on Etsy.  I can already tell these will wear great.  Anxious to see the finished socks on my feet!


Spring Has Arrived

Handknit socks all washed, dried and ready to put away until next fall BECAUSE…

3 Pairs of Socks

Spring has finally come to Alabama!  The blooming trees and bulbs in the business park where I work have really been putting on a show and they smell delightful as I walk from the parking lot into the building.  I was really sad that rain was pouring down when I left work yesterday because it already had knocked many of the tree blossoms to the ground.  I’m thinking things will look very different when I go to work on Monday, but it’s been delightful while it lasted.



Socks Are A-Soakin’

Finished 3 pairs of socks since Christmas!  Yay!  Granted, one pair was a “found” WIP (Work In Progress, for you non-knitters) I came across while cleaning out my yarn stash.  Both socks for that pair had been almost completed when I realized the foot portions were too short and I abandoned them instead of frogging (ripping out) the toe stitches and adding some rows.

Thankfully, they were cuff down socks, which I rarely make, so the fix was easy once I picked them back up and finished them.  I love them!  So glad I found them and spent the time to fix them.

Opal 2150 Socks Finished


Now, all 3 pairs are having a soak in warm water and wool wash so they can be clean and ready to wear.  I love the smell of wet wool and wool wash.

Soaking Socks


Now, to decide whether to start another pair of socks or some other project…

Knitting Along on Socks

Making progress on the socks I had started in this blog post.  Just another inch or so on the cuff of this one, then to finish the cuff on the other one.  I knit on both socks as I go along, on separate needles.  That way, when the first one is finished, the second one is nearly done, too.  No second sock syndrome!

Socks - Wonder Sock Yarn


This yarn is a pleasure to work with.  It’s fun to see how the colors interact with those in the row below as you knit.  Best of all, these socks feel scrumptious!