free patterns


Right now I’m just passing the time until all the utility companies open so I can pay bills. I’d much rather stay home and work on this than spend money on “trivial” things like electric and water 😛

knit bead shawl

I’m basing the shawl off the Sunday Market Shawl by Vanessa Carter, but I’ve changed it a bit.  Instead of casting on 30 stitches, I did 60 because I like wider stoles that cover more of my back.  I’m also adding beads randomly through it.  I hope it turns out well…I’ve used beads in knit projects before, but not of varying sizes and since you drop every third stitch to create a decorative ladder I hope that the beads don’t cause issues with dropping them when it comes time.  I think it’ll be fine though!

I’m using a super super soft merino from one of the recycled sweaters.  I’m holding it double since it’s kind of between a fingering and sport weight.  This is such a nice, mindless knit after the Hemlock Ring.  There wasn’t a whole lot of thought involved with that after the center, but it felt like the feather and fan went on forever.  This is just plain old stockinette until right before binding off.  I can read or watch tv while working on it without worrying if I’m screwing up a pattern.  Every couple rows I’ll spread the shawl out and decide where to add a bead by marking it with a safety pin.  Simple!

I didn’t sleep much last night so I’m sure by the time I get finished with my running around today I’ll be exhausted.  Gutter woke me up at 4:00 this morning to let me know that I’m a bad Mommy for not getting up and giving him food.  Then Moxie decided she needed cuddles and threw herself over my hips, pushing Cordova even farther under my ribcage and making Paul wake up with a start saying “HUH?!” LOL, crazy.  So, because my husband and fur children are snots, I’m treating myself to a hazelnut caramel iced latte at Sonic.  So there! 😉

Hope the weekend will be good for everyone…do something fun!

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My guitar is done, and I’m fairly pleased with it despite the problems I ran in to.

db guitar

The first problem I ran in to was with the pink paint. It had a much thicker consistency than the black (maybe due to it being a different brand…I don’t know) and even after a test spray it coated my face plate with a bit of a lumpy texture, so I got some bumps I wasn’t really happy about. It’s a satin finish…not sure if that has anything to do with it either. A few coats took the worst of it away though. You can still see small bumps/imperfections, but in person it looks far less worse than in pictures.

dd logo

I used the Dresden Dolls plane logo for part of the design. They’re my favorite band and I love that logo! If you haven’t heard of them, please visit their site!

This is where I ran in to my second problem. I used some packing labels Paul brought home from work for the stencils I used. They’re sticky, but not too sticky because I wanted to be able to remove the stencils without marring the paint. Apparently they weren’t quite sticky enough for the detailed work I was trying to do because the paint feathered all along the edges 😦 You can really see what I’m talking about in the next picture.

db closeup

Dirty Business is the name of a song by the Dresden Dolls. I love it, so I chose to name my guitar after it 😀 You can see the way the paint feathered out under the stencil. In retrospect I should have used masking tape and many many thin coats of paint instead of four or five thicker coats. I sprayed some paint into a paper cup and hand painted around the plane logo to clean it up, but I decided to leave the feathering on the words because it just seemed fitting. It was an unexpected design element!

I even did detail work on the rest of the guitar:

details

pink gibson

Details were hand painted. They’re a bit shaky, but I liked making it all match. I learned a lot with this project. I learned to test my paint better, do many thinner coats instead of a few thicker ones. I learned to be more fastidious with my stencils and that spray paint is near impossible to wash out of paint brushes. I still love the way it turned out, despite it’s unexpected design elements 😀

I finished the pink cabled strap too.

strap detail

I’m probably going to have to wind up lining the back side because it’s a little stretchier than I expected. It turned out pretty well though!

I also started two more knit projects this weekend.

I pulled the Valpuri top that I was making for my Mom apart, and started a new project with the yarn.

hemlock start

I just kept having this nagging feeling she wouldn’t care for the top, so I started the Hemlock Ring Blanket. I’m actually using the instructions here though, instead of the original instructions from the vintage pattern. I think this will be much more to my Mom’s liking and she can use it for whatever she likes. It’s a pretty nice cotton yarn so she could use it as a tablecloth, a blanket, a shawl, whatever she wants. It’ll probably wind up a giant doily or a tablecloth for her outdoor table. Mom and Dad just bought a new gazebo/pavilion so they’ll be spending a lot of time out there this summer. I have a feeling she’ll probably use it out there. it’s a beautiful pattern and I may queue it up again later to make one for myself!

I also started work on my Burridge Lake Aran Afghan.

burridge 1

I got a pretty good amount of it started for as little as I worked on it this weekend. I’m using the no cable needle method and I’m liking it much more than if I had to knit, move stitches to cable needle, knit, knit stitches from cable needle, repeat. I can move the stitches over into a twist and then knit them all in a row. It’s an interesting technique…maybe I’ll do a video on it one of these days.

So, that’s what I did this weekend! I wanted to update yesterday but I spent a good chunk of the day laying in bed in agony from a friggin’ migraine. They always seem to hit me when I’ve got plans that don’t involve cleaning house.

**And to you WordPress. Shame on you!!! You don’t log someone out halfway through a big assed post where they lose half the damned thing when they try to publish! You suck right now!

After errands (okay, before errands, but don’t tell!) I did some craft shopping. Shopping in general really, but crafty stuff was obtained as well. When getting ready to take Paul to work today I realized I had pretty much nothing to wear. One of my last presentable tops had fallen off the line on Tuesday and dear Moxie dragged it through the mud. Since I hadn’t washed it yet I resorted to wearing a paint stained tank top with my hoodie over it to cover the worst of it. I decided that it was time to find at least a couple of decent tops.

I found one adorable top at Walmart. It’s white with red and coral-ish plaid, poof-ish sleeves and a scoop neck. It buttons down the front. BAAAD description, but it’s really quite cute. I probably look pregnant in it because it dips in under the bust, but I don’t care. I also stopped at a thrift store and was really pleased to find five shirts and a brand new pair of pants. It should have come up to about $13.00, but they were doing half off today so I got everything for $6.50 and they threw in a purse for free. I’m not complaining! I also found several pairs of pants that’ll fit Paul so I’m going to go pick them up later today.

Back to the crafty stuff though…

I picked up the paint to mod my guitar faceplate!

before

I’m kind of scared! I doubt I’ll be able to screw it up completely and even if I do I’ll still be able to play my guitar once it’s dry, but I hate failing and once I start with this I can’t really go back. Wish me luck, seriously! I’m excited, but nervous!

I also found some beads:

jade beads

They were on clearance for $1.50, which is about half of what they cost originally. I wouldn’t have bought them otherwise! I like the different greens in the package and I thought it might be fun to do a shawl or wrap with random beads thrown in. Now I just have to find an appropriate yarn.

I also picked up yarn for a blanket I’ve been wanting to make for awhile now:

teal blanket yarn

It’s just plain old Red Heart SS, but I really loved the color. I always stop and look at it when we go to Walmart and I finally bought some. I just checked the pattern and it looks like I’ll need about twice the amount I bought…whoops! Anyway, the afghan I’ve been itching to make is this one here. It was originally (as far as I know) in MAGknits, but since magknits was pulled down the designer is hosting the pattern on ravelry as well as a pdf on her own blog. Now, I hate making cables, but I absolutely adore the way they look, so I’m going to try to start this project with a positive disposition and hope I find it enjoyable. I WANT to love cables, I really do! I just get irritated with the fiddling of the cable needle slowing down my knitting. I’ve learned how to do cables without a cable needle, so I’ll have to really look at the pattern and see if I can do it that way.

So! I’m going to quit blabbering and go put my first coat of paint on my guitar faceplate. Hope everyone has a great weekend!

I’ve spent pretty much the entire day between reading the best of Craigslist and catching up on cleaning from the weekend. It’s been made slightly less boring by a link that Vegas Jenn sent me. At Chore Wars you can create a character, join/create a horde and get experience points and gold for doing chores. If for nothing else, it prompts me to get my butt in gear and try to get some much needed cleaning done.

My bento for today isn’t very pretty, but it’s functional and tasty:

chicken soup

Homemade chicken and rice soup with carrots and celery, whole wheat saltines and chocolate pudding for dessert.  My tummy has been off for the past few days, more than likely because of the nacho cheese we used on our homemade shredded beef nachos we made on Friday night.  They bothered Paul too and I think it might be due to the spiciness of the cheese.  I’m a total wimp when it comes to hot stuff and Paul doesn’t really care for it either so we almost never eat spicy stuff.  Oh well…that’s what we get for caving to our cravings.

That’s about it.  Nothing exciting happened over the weekend, we stayed home and I slept a good portion of it away.  I started a top for my mom for her birthday.  It’s called Valpuri, from Berroco.  No, I still haven’t learned my lesson about hating cables.  They’re beautiful and I think my mom will like the top (at least I hope she does) so it’ll be worth it.  If I can finish it without throwing it across the room.  We’ll see.

I took Paul to work again today so I could run errands. In the 15 minutes it took me to get from the airport and back she’d murdered Bonnie.

bye bye bonnie

I’d used this bento to house some Strawberry Chex last night for some late night munchage and I guess the smell was too alluring. I’d only used this bento twice 😦

Oh well…moving on.

My yarn arrived in the mail last night but I was too lazy to take a picture. The color is not quite accurate, it’s a little lighter in person. I’m in lust with it and I can’t wait to make something FOR MYSELF with it. I haven’t decided what just yet though.

knitpicks shadow vineyard heather laceweight

I also actually finished something too! Remember that afghan I posted about months ago? The oddball block afghan? Here’s the link, refresh your memory. Remember now? Good.

I started this a long time ago but I was trying to structure it too much. I started with the first block and I got about 3/4 of the way through it and put it down. Someone uploaded the patterns for the blocks on Ravelry and it flicked my interest on again. I picked the 19th square to start on and finished it just this morning.

oddball sampler afghan square 19 little boxes

If you look, you can see where I jacked up the pattern. On the right, the very last repeat of blocks, I didn’t change the colors so it’s the same as the blocks below. Oh well. I seriously doubt it’ll be that noticeable when it’s sewn together with all the other ones. I was just way too pissed at my mistake to fix it and I think I’ll just call it a signature instead of a knitting flaw!

Here’s the back too, so you can see how wickedly neat my stranding is 😛

oddball sampler afghan square 19 little boxes back

That’s about it. I’m going to go vegetate on the couch because I have run my ass all over this town today.

Happy belated Easter/Ostara/Spring Equinox to any who celebrate! Not having kids, we don’t really do baskets or egg hunts or any of that fun stuff, but I decided to dye some eggs last minute yesterday. They’re colorful, cheery and make me happy!

easter eggs

Nothing special, just plain old liquid food dye, but they turned out pretty. I used some neon food dye for the first time and granted, upped the amount of dye/vinegar ratio in the water, but I was very pleased with how vibrant they turned out. They were even prettier before I dumped them back into the carton for storage.

While shopping for egg stuff I came across these adorable monkey containers:

monkeys

They only stand about 3″ tall or so and I thought they’d be perfect for my bentos! I figured I could use them for dips, yogurt, fruit/veggies, etc. They’re so cute and they’re really easy to clean since there’s not too sharp of corners or crevices inside. I love cute stuff 😀

On Friday, I decided that I wanted a new book to read. I’d written a list of a few books I’d heard about recently that I wanted to try to find. Of course, I left the list at home and didn’t remember any of the titles or authors so I fell to my standby–craft books! I decided that I wanted to find a book on miniatures that delved a little more in to information on scale and covered several topics. I was super excited when I stumbled across this book:

miniatures book

It covers a lot of history on miniatures and is full of pictures. They’re black and white, but still impressive! There’s a whole spread on Queen Mary’s “doll house”, and I only put that in quotes because I think it goes so beyond just being a doll house. It’s a true work of art. Besides all of the rooms being hooked up to light and water, every piece was painstakingly made to scale over a three year period by experts who studied the original pieces in the mansion. Absolutely breathtaking.

The book is a little on the old side, (Copyright is 1975) so there are a few supplies that are no longer available, BUT, there are things comparable out there and I’m sure I could hunt some of it down if I decide to make anything from the book. They have a chapter on woodworking, one on textiles and even a chapter on how to make scale pieces from found objects. Awesome! I was even more excited about picking it up when I found out that it was a used book and the price was only $8.50 ($8.99? One of the two) The other miniature book I’d had my eyes on was smaller, had less information (though it was in color) and they wanted $25 for it. Score!

To go along with all that miniature talk, I thought I’d flash a picture of a work in progress:

mini wip

I’m not going to say what it is, just that it’s made out of a ping-pong ball and that it’s really effing hard to divide a half sphere in to even pieces! Hopefully I’ll have the piece that has yet to be revealed finished by the end of the week so people can figure out what the hell it’s supposed to be!

Finally, some knitting content…

I’ve been using a lot of my spare time the past few days knitting. It’s starting to get warmer, so why am I breaking out the wool?! I mean, once it starts getting hot around these parts, that’s it…it’s frickin’ hot and we don’t get much in the way of cool days until usually the end of October. Well…it’s because I got bit by the shawl bug. That’s right…this giant bug made out of lacy wool swooped down and smacked me with a load of stitch markers and told me I must knit a shawl. To please the shawl bug I got out some of my prettiest recycled wool and cast on not one, but TWO new shawls.

cozy wip

This one is called Cozy, from Knitty. I’ve been looking at this pattern for about three years now but there was something that I didn’t really love about it. Then I saw one that a lady on ravelry had made and I fell in love with it. The pictures on Knitty’s site just do not do the pattern justice. This is a rectangular stole. It calls to cast on 85 stitches, but I cast on 115 because I wanted it longer. I think once I finish it and block it out that it’ll be really big and it’ll open up the pattern well.

The second one is called Kiri (Link is to a .pdf file). It’s a triangular shawl with a leaf repeat and I think it’s absolutely gorgeous. I can do lace pieces with charts, but unless I’m completely focused I screw them up every time. This pattern has the option to knit the shawl using a chart or written instructions – I chose to use the written! I’ve decided that all lacy patterns look like caca until you’re finished with them and can block them. Once the piece is spread out you can really see the details.

kiri wip

Okay, I think I’d better go before I post so many pictures it takes a year for my page to load. I didn’t do any bento preparation this weekend so today’s lunch will be thrown together last minute.

Here’s today’s bento:

fruit and yogurt

I’m calling this my “I feel like crap and don’t really want to eat but know I need to” bento. It’s just strawberry yogurt, cantaloupe, grapes, a few dates and a few bland cinnamon cookies.

I also wanted to post a picture of the latest dishcloth I’ve made

garterlac

Over the past year or so I’ve started this cloth around five times. I always got confused or bored with it and tossed it down, but it was this weeks cloth for the dishcloth group on ravelry and I decided to finally bite the bullet and finish one. I used Sugar n’ Cream striping yarn and I really like how it turned out. You can find the pattern here.

I think I’m going to go crawl onto the couch and pretend that my back has been magically replaced with…I don’t know…something that doesn’t hurt.

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