Posted in Arizona, art, inspiration, Nature

Sedona Mood

Sedona, Arizona is such a beautiful place.  Its beauty is in stark contrast to that of our Oregon home, which is influenced by the maritime climate of the Pacific Coast.  I’m basking in the heat and sunshine, shoring up my reserves for our long, dark PNW winter.

It’s been a wonderful and relaxing few days, spent hanging out with family and taking in the scenery.  The red rocks are stunning and awe-inspiring.  I’d love to share some of my favorite images with you.

Right before sunset
Interesting flora
After sunset – I love the retro look these colors created
At sunrise
Giant black bees
Oak Creek, Sedona

Art abounds in Sedona:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

My favorite! Family is everything!

On the knitting front, I have been working away at the next pumpkin pattern.  I completely redesigned the shaping last night and hope to have a completed pumpkin this week.  Pattern soon!

Enjoy the rest of your week and I’ll catch you again soon!!!



Posted in art, Carol E. Herman Designs, knitting, knitting swaps, Sketch

Creative People, Beautiful Creations

So, we are having a summer swap in my Ravelry group, and Paula drew this on the envelope for her swap partner. Maybe it was a simple act for her, but it brought joy to her swap partner and, later, to the rest of us. I hope it brings a bit of light and beauty to your day as well.


Thank you, Paula!

Posted in art, design, knitting, knitting patterns, The Creative Process, The Design Process, Wordless Wednesday

Wordless Wednesday: Sketches

Sketches.  Used to capture and make more concrete the wispy impressions of design ideas.  Or used to convey them to others in a third-party submission.  Some of these morphed into something else, perhaps recognizable to you.  Others, well, they were just thoughts.  A look into a sketchbook.Colorwork Cowl Sketch (2)


A sweater sketch


Route 66 Mitts (3)

Route 66 Mitts Blue (3)


Hat prototype

Timberline Scarf - p

Posted in art, colorwork, craft, design, knitting, The Creative Process, The Design Process, yarn

What I Learned from the Swatch

A Design Idea and the Right Yarn

I’ve been dreaming of designing a top-down colorwork short-sleeved sweater, filling my Pinterest boards with images and colors that inspire me.  In the spring, I found all the colors I was looking for in a certain yarn line, only to discover that the yarn was spun too tightly for colorwork and that I didn’t like how it looked or felt for this design.

Finally I was introduced to the perfect yarn, Sunday Knits yarn by Carol Sunday.   I’m using her 3-ply yarn, with colors from three different fiber blends, Eden (100% Merino), Angelic (75% Merino, 25% Angora) and Nirvana (92% Merino, 8% Cashmere).  The yarn has a lovely hand, is available in over 60 colors, and is reasonably priced.  All of the fiber blends work well together.

Sand, Espresso, Pickle, Black, Lagoon, Melon, Earth, Carrot, Moss, Bronze, Rose, Mist
Sand, Espresso, Pickle, Black, Lagoon, Melon, Earth, Carrot, Moss, Bronze, Rose, Mist

A Swatch and What it Taught Me

I wanted to work a swatch to find out how the yarn behaves and to see how the colors would look together.

The first thing that I learned is that Sunday Knits yarn is my new favorite for colorwork!  Look how nicely the fabric lies, even before the fabric was soaked and blocked.


Next I learned that if I initially don’t like a color, such as the Rose colorway in the swatch above, knitting lots of it will never make me miraculously like it.  Why did I think that knitting more of that pale pinky-red would make me like it more?  (Just to clarify, there’s nothing wrong with the color, I just wasn’t happy with the way it looked with the other colors.)

Conversely, if I do like a color, such as Bronze, which is the cast-on and is immediately below the blue in the swatch above, even in little bits it makes me happy!

I also was reminded that I really don’t like white in a piece like this with lots of different colors – the contrast is too jarring.  I will be using Sand as the light background color in this pattern.

And finally, basic algebra is still useful!


I can’t wait to work more on this sweater!  I will keep you posted!

Two Special Surprises This Week

My friend Meg sent me custom-made knit equals joy ribbon.  How special was that?!?  I have some fantastic friends!


A friend at work had two extra yarn bowls (!) and she gave one to me!  It’s so pretty!

yarn bowl

I’m so thankful for the kindness of others!  I wish you all a wonderful week, and may you find or share those special moments of kindness!

Posted in art

The Salem Art Fair & Festival

Today I decided to make my way to the 66th annual Salem Art Fair and Festival.


Held the third weekend in July, this juried art fair features over 200 regional, national, and international artists.  Twenty-five years ago we moved to Salem in July, and I think the Salem Art Fair is one of the first best things we discovered about our new home.  The artwork is always of high quality, and there are items at all price points.  It’s always a lot of fun to see if you can find that special piece that speaks to you.

This year I was surprised to see more fiber artists.  Perhaps that’s because I am now more aware of the fiber arts.  Check out this fascinating embroidered work: Yan’s Design – Handmade Embroidery Art (link leads to video of the work being done).  She paints on silk and then hand embroiders the detail.  Amazing!  Also lovely was the weaving by Bautista Weaving:


I loved the canopy of old oak trees that provided much-needed shade at Bush’s Pasture Park, on this day when it was nearly 100 degrees by 1:00.


The heat did me in.  I headed home, slightly burnt and somewhat disappointed that I was done for the day.  The festival continues tomorrow; I can always go back if it calls to me.

I found just two treasures to bring home, but I was very pleased with them.

The first is the bar of handmade soap I was looking for to send to my swap partner in the Summer Spa Swap we’re having in my Ravelry group.  If you missed this swap, keep an eye out for the next one!  (But I digress!)  I found ArtSoap, which is made by creatively arranging pieces of glycerine soap and then slicing them – think millefiori.  The ArtSoap is definitely a unique look, but it smells divine!  I am hopeful that my swap partner will like it.  Their website is


I also found this sweet coneflower mug made by Fishbowl Pottery.  I just love it and think the design is perfect!  I love the colors and the sculptural texture of the flowers.  Love!



I hope you have enjoyed checking out the Salem Art Fair & Festival with me.  I didn’t even mention the food, the live music at the two bandstands, and the performances by the Children’s Educational Theatre!  If you ever have the chance to visit, it is well worth the trip.