wip


With the weather getting warmer and my mind wandering towards non-fiber crafts, I haven’t been updating as much. I have been pretty busy though. I thought I’d do a big photo post today.

Please forgive the quality of the pictures – I took them in the back room and the light in here is really terrible. I’ve learned my lesson with these lol; I’ll continue to take them in the dining room where there’s a lot more natural light.

central park hoodie body

I didn’t have enough room to spread it all out, but the back, both fronts and what I’ve started on one sleeve are all there. I haven’t been working on it as much as I was (I’d probably be done with it by now!) but I haven’t thrown it in a drawer and forgotten about it yet. This is good!

I’ve mainly been journaling the past week or so and have a whole bunch of pictures of different pages.

why not anyways

The first page. I’ve had this large sketchbook for a few years now and because it was pricey and I never think my work is good enough, I’ve held off on using it for anything. This was pretty much just a page to get the ball rolling and to tell myself firmly that it didn’t matter what it looked like, as long as I was stretching my creativity and enjoying it.

I was browsing craftster awhile back and came across a large thread on journaling. I snagged a LOT of the ideas from the thread and added a few of my own to start this journal. It’s interesting enough (ie: NOT just writing about my day) that I may keep with it. Adding some artistic elements to it will help as well I’m sure.

media happenstance 1

media happenstance 2

Media/happenstance pages. These pages are where I log what I’ve read, played, watched and listened to each day. I love this because I’m able to go back and see how my music tastes change from day to day and movies and books that I’ve watched/read that I enjoyed.

word of the day 1

word of the day 2

Word of the day pages to brush up on my language skills. Yes, I really did use the word bird-dog in a sentence yesterday!

a directory of beautiful things

A directory of everyday beautiful things.

today i feel

A quick blurb about how I’m feeling each day.

dreams

A dreams page that I’ve yet to fill out. I actually remember one I had last night so I’ll have to write it down.

weather

A weather page to record the temperature and wind activity.

i am

A page on who I consider myself to be.

quotes

Random quotes I like and find inspirational.

what i learned today

I learn something new every day, now I can write them down so I can appreciate the small things I take for granted.

Here’s a few of the artsy pages I’ve done. Nothing terribly great yet, but I’m expanding.

unsent letters

An unsent letter page. Good therapy and maybe one day I can re-read the letter in the little pocket and see if anything’s changed.

briar rose

I have this old children’s book of Sleeping Beauty that I absolutely love. The pictures are beautiful so I used one of them and a small passage from the book for a page. You can’t see it in the picture, but I embellished the picture with silver and gold, and some deeper colors for her make up and the Prince’s eyes.

tea and sympathy

I named this one Tea & Sympathy. It’s mixed media with acrylic paints, gesso, vellum stickers, paper doilies, artists chalk and an old print from a book. A little bit of everything really.

When the weather gets hotter I tend to leave my blogs to collect dust. I might not update regularly, but I will definitely still be around! I need to remember that just because I’m not updating as frequently I still need to visit my friends though. So if you haven’t seen me for awhile, I’ll be by soon!

Oh! I almost forgot! The new Knitty is out – go check it out! You can click the link on my sidebar.

After several days of feeling like utter crap, today is a good day. Right now the neighbors dog is in the back yard playing with Moxie, I’ve got a big cup of coffee, and I’m writing this post from my new laptop!

laptop

Most of my electronic devices have names, and my laptop is no different.  I thought that since I’d named my mp3 player Euterpe (after the muse of music and lyric poetry) that I’d stay with the theme and name my laptop Clio after the muse of history.  It may seem odd since technology is so “now” and all, but finding my very first online diary after eight years would say different!

Clio is an Acer Aspire 4720Z.  She’s got 2 gig of RAM, 120 gig hard drive, she runs on Vista.  So far I have no complaints about Vista.  I’ve heard awful stuff about it, but haven’t seen it myself (again, yet.)  There was one other laptop in my price range that had 160 gig space and a built in webcam (which mine doesn’t have) but it didn’t have the dvd burner, which I really wanted.

I’ve spent most of the weekend playing with it and setting it up how I want it.  It’s weird having a computer all to yourself that you know nobody else is going to use.  I wonder if I can keep it virus/problem free?

Of course, because we spent a big chunk of money this weekend, something had to go wrong.  On Saturday afternoon Paul and I were lounging in the front room – he was playing his DS and I was messing around with Clio.  He got cold being directly under the a/c so he turned it down to fan and went back to playing his game.  Only problem is that when the house started warming up and he switched it back to cool, it wouldn’t blow any cool air!  We tried everything, including pulling the entire unit out yesterday afternoon when the house reached 94 degrees and cleaning it from top to bottom.  We’re pretty sure the coolant is gone.  SO, that means that we’ve got to brave the heat until Friday when we can go buy a new unit.  We’d just have it serviced, but it’s a small window unit and I seriously doubt it’d be worth the time or money involved.  Getting a new one is probably our best bet.  Luckily, our back room has a small window a/c and now that I’ve got wireless internet and a laptop I can spend the hottest part of the day back there.

No new portable electronic is complete in my house until it has a cover/cozy.  I’m crocheting a cover for Clio right now to keep her protected from dirt and scratches.  I’m about 3/4 through it, I still need to finish the edging, line it and then sew it up.  I’ve taken a small hiatus on my hoodie until the cover is finished and I can stop being lazy long enough to wind some hanks of yarn in to balls.

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.

I don’t yet feel that the week has started, despite it already being Tuesday. We spent Saturday at my in-laws house learning how to use her GT Xpress 101.   I went and bought all the ingredients for omelets and it convinced me that if I ever have about $180 to throw away I’d like one of those machines. They’re pretty handy.

My mil has a cat. Her name is Seven Toed Pete.

I took a break from cooking to get some shots of Pete because she’s got seven toes

seven toed pete

Isn’t she beautiful? I decided to get artsy like Hammie and take some black and white and some sepia photos. Aaaand, proof that Pete is a seven toed cat in case no one believed me…

petes toes sepia

Fascinating, no?

Yesterday I spent most of the day winding yarn. I was wading through my craft room and found a bag with three sweaters I’d bought last spring. (Yes, it’s so messy in there you can lose entire bagfuls of sweaters.) I bought them at a place here that has clothes for $5.00 a pop (now $5.99, thank you inflation) and they tend to sell out of season stuff for .99 or $2.00. I found three sweaters of the same size, in the same yarn for .99 apiece and scooped them up, only to forget about them after taking the pieces apart. This is what I wound up with:

tweed yarn

That’s the top of my freezer. There is SO much yarn there! I still need to wash it, but I’ve got most of the work done. I like the yarn but it definitely needs a bath because it’s kind of squished from being knit up for so long. I could probably get a blanket out of the amount of yarn that’s here, but I think I’ll make myself something.

I also made myself a pair of flannel pajama pants last night. They’re so soft and warm! I needed a new pair so bad because my yoga pants were annihilated from Moxie grabbing the cuffs. These aren’t quite so long so maybe she won’t grab them as much. No pictures of those unfortunately because I’m wearing them at the moment and no one is seeing my fat butt right now.

On the knitting front; I’ve mainly just been playing around with this little baby sweater that caught my fancy. It’s on size 2 needles and involves lace, so I’m not working on it every day. I’ve mainly been vegetating and trying to decide what I want to do. I’ve been thinking about my art journal for awhile now and making new books. I don’t really know what I want to do…I’m just kind of floundering with a head full of ideas right now. I may pull out my watercolor pencils later today.

Thursday is mine and Paul’s 11th anniversary. I’ll probably just make a nice dinner at home and we’ll celebrate during the weekend in Laughlin or something.

Now, I’m going to get a cup of coffee and try to re-read this to make sure it makes sense…I need to remind myself not to ramble when I’m not fully awake!

This weekend was a whirlwind of crafting.  Toss in a little grocery shopping, some cleaning and I’m ready to go back to bed lol!

I was going to write a post about how I had to wait to take pictures because my husband stole my camera batteries for his remote control car and decided that in the time it would take me to write and complain I could get pictures.  Turns out though that I didn’t even have to do that, because my batteries were a little more juiced than I thought!

Picture 196

I made these last week, but never posted them.  Our dishcloth weekly knitalong on ravelry was the Feather & Fan dishcloth.  I decided to take it one step further and make a dishtowel to go with it.  I’d never done a dishtowel before with the little hanger on top so I just sort of winged it.  I cast on 60 stitches for the towel (54 pattern stitches and 3 border stitches on each side) and just worked the pattern until it was about 12 inches.  For the towel topper:

Row 1: K2tog across.

Row 2: Knit.

Row 3: K2tog across.

Row 4: Knit.

Row 5: K2tog three times, K 3, K2tog three times.

Row 6 – 36: Knit.

Row 37: K 3, BO 3, K 2

Row 38: K 3, CO 3, K 3

Knit five rows, BO.

Ugh.  Sorry if those simple instructions take up so much room.  I hate the way wordpress does that.

Anyway.  I was supposed to meet up with my bestest friend on Thursday afternoon, but the cold that Paul’s had was once again trying to thwart me.  I called Shan and bailed and slept most of the day.  That night, around midnight or so I caught her on messenger and we decided to go to our old haunt and have some coffee and crochet.  I’m a smoker, and when our town implemented the smoking ban on restaurants I stopped going to our local truck stop.  We used to be found there at least once a week (like clockwork!) to visit and drink copious amounts of coffee.  It was sucky not being able to smoke there, but it was worth getting some visiting time in with my best friend and starting the afghan we’re working on together!

We picked an absolutely gorgeous project if I say so myself!  It’s called Prairie Star and you can get the pattern here.  You crochet the motifs together as you go and it’s a fairly quick afghan so far!  I suspect that it’ll take longer to see progress as I go lol.

Picture 197

Shan’s doing hers in blues and purples and I’m going a little earthier on mine.  I’m starting to re-think the dark burgundy in the center, but I think it’ll turn out okay.  It needs a little “pop” anyway.  It’s really easy to memorize the motifs after a few, you just need to keep track of where the different colors go.  It’s starting to get big enough now that I need a lot more room to work on it and I’m not even halfway finished!  I can’t wait to see the end result though.

Here’s the Orno Abaci scarf I’ve been working on:

Picture 199

I don’t think it looks like much right now, but it’s quite impressive looking in person.  It’s knit on the bias and I really like the way it’s a straight scarf but it’s stitches are diagonal.  I’m just starting to get in to the color changes that are closer together so I’m feeling good about it now that I’m seeing some progress.  It’s SO soft and squooshy.  I think it’s a scarf I’ll actually keep and wear!

This weeks dishcloth knitalong is the Tribble

Picture 198

It’s a fairly quick little scrubby and it’s fun to see it come together.  It’s exactly like the Tawashi, (which I think I posted a picture of previously) except it’s knit instead of crocheted.  Someone on ravelry posted that she’d put nylon scrubby fabric in the center of hers to keep it puffed out and I think I may do the same with some of the ones I’m making.  It’s a great little pattern for using up extra scraps of cotton, which I have a lot of laying around!

I also did some sewing this weekend!

Picture 200

My mother in law and I keep missing each other for various reasons, so I decided to just start working on my sewing.  Yes, it’s really that pink (which brings to mind Princess Peach, Barbie and bubble gum) but I’m planning on doing some stencilling on it when it’s all finished.  I’m not really using a pattern, but a tutorial I got off of Craftster.  It’s dead easy and coming out very nicely.  It’s the first project I’ve ever put a zipper in (eek!  It was kinda scary).  The t-shirt I used to cut out my pattern was the largest I had and so it’s big even on me.  It’ll be nice and comfy though and I’m looking forward to wearing it when I can’t get warm in this damned house.  I’m taking my time on it and sewing it together slowly.  The body is completely together and now I’ve just got one pocket, the hemming and the actual hood to put on.  I should be finished with it in the next couple of days.

I even took time to mess with my altered book this weekend.  Nope, I didn’t sleep much.

Picture 201

I started working on this page awhile ago, intending it to be for journalling, but I didn’t get very far.  I pulled out my ephemera and rifled through it to find this classic beauty.  The little tag is from Home Depot, I stole obtained a bunch few of the countertop samples awhile ago and they’re great for all sorts of crafts.

I didn’t work on my sweater this weekend at all.  Or my dad’s hat.  I’ve been trying to give all my crafts equal opportunity, but some win out over others.  They’ll all get done eventually though!  I’ve been thinking a lot about tags for my wearables and I’m still stuck.  I don’t really plan on selling my finished objects (most of which I couldn’t even if I wanted to because they’re other peoples patterns) but I’d like a more finished look when I’m giving gifts.  I need a name and Chaotic Crafts just doesn’t seem to ring to me.  Still pondering, I’ll figure it out eventually.

I’m hoping to get the motivation to go through my dining room and kitchen cabinets today and clean them out.  We’ve got so much crap that we don’t use that I want to get rid of.  Maybe then I’d have room for the stuff I want to keep! 

It’s been quiet around here.

A lot of times when I finish a large project I can’t seem to get back in the flow right away.  There’s a flurry of pattern searches and ideas and a lot of times I start little things just to leave them abandoned.  I’m not sure why that is except that maybe I’m still in WORK mode and it takes a while to power down.  Great.  My mind is like an old Tandy computer.  Ha…remember those?  We have one sitting in our garage.

Over the weekend we got a new freezer.  It’s not a huge one, I think it’s 15.5 cubic feet.  It’s perfect for the two of us.  Now I can finally start buying things on sale and stocking up.  We’ve only had our little above fridge freezer for the past several years and there’s just so much it will hold.  I’m looking forward to being a little more frugal now and times when I want to bake bread I won’t feel it’s a waste to do just one loaf, I can make several and freeze them.

I also used a pressure cooker for the first time.  I won’t lie…I was scared!  My mom bought herself a new one and gave me the one she’s had since I was little.  It’s in perfect working order but I kept expecting it to explode!  I went online to edumacate myself and read about all these pressure cookers blowing up.  My curiosity won though and I made Roast Chicken Genovese.  I pretty much hovered over the stove the entire time it was cooking but everything was fine.  I’m so glad I tried it though because it was wonderful!  Half and hour and I had a chicken that was falling off the bone; you can’t go wrong!  I’m looking forward to using it often.

I did start and finish a few projects over the weekend.  I belong to a dishcloth a week group on ravelry and was able to make a dishcloth just in time for last week and one that just started yesterday.

    

The one on the left is a palm tree cloth, the one on the right is called “DW”.  You can get the patterns by clicking on the pictures.  The palm tree one is a .doc though, so unless you have Microsoft Office it won’t open.

I never used to get the appeal of knit or crocheted dishcloths but I love them now.  They wash up wonderfully, the textures help scrub and they’re pretty to look at and fun to make.  My friend Jen in Nebraska loved the ones I sent her a couple of years ago so I thought I would make up several and send them to her for a Christmas/birthday gift in December.  With the dishcloth a week group it keeps me motivated and I get others handing me patterns to try!  Win/Win 😀

I started a pair of Corazon mittens for my mother in law.  I don’t know that she’ll use them to be honest, but I couldn’t think of anything else to make her!  She doesn’t wear sweaters, I gave her a throw blanket last year, so if anything, at least she’ll ooh and ahh about the fair isle.

I’m almost finished with the first mitten, but this is the most recent picture I’ve taken.  They’re just beautiful and I’ve learned to love doing strand work by making these.  I started a pair for myself last year but only finished the first glove…these have re-interested me in the pattern and I hope to finish a pair for myself as well.

It kind of feels like all I’ve been talking about lately and working on is the Hedgerow Coat.  Now that I’m really down to the wire with only eight days to go before Shannon’s birthday, I’m really eating, sleeping and breathing that thing!

Over the weekend I knit a sleeve, finished it and started the second one.  Normally I would do both at the same time so I could make sure they matched up perfectly but I needed to really pay attention to my increases because of the pattern.  I figured doing one at a time would be the best way to go.  I took a few notes though so I think I’ll be able to do the second one identically.

After casting off on the first sleeve I decided to take a break from the cabling and do a quick, couple hour project.  One of my friends from Ravelry designed a really cool dishcloth and I was itching to try it.

You can get the pattern on her livejournal page.  I loved making this!  It’s a little fiddly to work with all those dpns flopping around in the beginning, but it’s construction is so unique and fun!  You work from the small square in the center out.  I’m not really happy with my color choices, because I think there’s too much of a contrast between the varigated and solid yarns, but now that I’ve tried it I can make more in different color combinations.  It was a GREAT way to give myself a break without wasting too much time on “THE COAT” lol.

I think I’ll be a lot calmer after this project is done.  I feel a little bad because I feel like I’m bitching about working on it, but that’s really not it.  I mainly feel like I took on way too large a project with way too little time to really enjoy the process.  What can I say though?  I wanted to do something truly fantastic for my best friend for her birthday.  You only get one a year.

I’m currently on the ribbing for the cuff of the second sleeve.  When this sleeve is finished I have to sew the pieces together and then add the front bands and collar.  I think I can do that in eight days, don’t you? 

Ugh.  Please say yes!

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