It’s hard to photograph black, but the mink scarf is growing rapidly. I’m most of the way through the second ball (of three).

At first, I didn’t really see how the mink yarn was any different than a very fine wool, but as I’ve been carrying it around in my bag it has begun to form quite a lovely halo. I’m glad that I decided to go with a stockinette-based fabric rather than a lace. The staple is quite short (I’d guess about 3/4 of an inch), and the yarn is slightly fragile as a result. (Now I’m hoping that the halo isn’t a sign of it disintegrating completely; I did notice fibers all over my light-colored shirt one night after knitting. The knitting should give it some extra stability, though, and it does make a beautifully soft fabric.) Definitely a sensitive luxury yarn, but overall nice to work with.

Not much else has been happening on the knitting front. Now that finals are over we’re deep into end-of-year evaluations, day-long “retreats,” and course prep for the fall. It’s a different pace of work, but there is still a lot of it to be done! It is nice to switch to a different kind of project for a while, though.

We had an all-day curriculum development meeting on Friday, which got out a little earlier than I generally leave. I didn’t have a brain cell left that was ready to think, so I took myself to the Museum of Fine Arts to check out their current quilt exhibition. I only had my phone camera on me, but it’s enough to give some idea of what was there. I really liked the motion in this one:

And the diagonal border really makes this one pop out:

The light and dark squares-on-squares pattern is interesting in this quilt:

Actually, there were several in the collection where a very simple pattern had been worked in highly contrasting fabrics to make a complicated-looking or visually interesting piece.

(I think that last one is one of my favorites…there are endless patterns within patterns to look at.)

And then there were the quilts with an intentionally less-regular appearance:

I don’t think I’d be inclined to put any of these on my bed, but it was fun to see how simple colors and pieces can be used to make very bold graphic designs. It was also interesting to see how different designers had played with light and dark to compose a more dynamic quilt. In all, it was a nice way to spend an hour at the end of a long day.

Tomorrow, I’ll be flying out to Minneapolis a day or two early for a conference. Ellen lives out there, and we’re going to spend a couple of days playing before I have to get back to work. It just happens that this weekend is their Shepherd’s Harvest festival, too. It was on my list of festivals to attend while I was in Madison, but never quite worked out. I really like the smaller festivals, especially the ones that are equally split between the knitting/crafting  and the farming communities. I hear that there are sheep dog trials at the festival this year, too…those should be fun!