Tag Archive | crafts

Today started a little early for me, with Grace starting her barking at 4:45 am. The husband usually gets up with her during the week, but that’s around 5:30ish, close to 6 if we’re lucky. I felt bad this morning, so I got up and let the dogs out while I tried to get more sleep on the couch. The upside is that I had a bit of knitting time before starting my work day, and I got the back of my Ripple Bralette bound off. Of course, first I had to look at the pattern wrong and bind off too many stitches, undo the bind-off and redo it, but I got there in the end.

img_8359Now here’s the funny thing: supposedly that’s going to fit on my body! That’s what the pattern says and all the projects seem to support that, so I’m trusting the pattern, but I am skeptical. Now I just have to knit the cups and straps and it’ll be done!

Yesterday was a weird day. I actually wore real clothes and went out into the world multiple times! I voted, I drove to my local bookstore to pick up Midnight Sun (and it’s a signed copy, YAY!), and took Jack to the vet. (Mysterious gastrointestinal issues that are sporadic but persistent. No answers yet, just bills & expensive dog food.) In the waiting room at the vet, there was a woman across from me wearing a mask below her nose. Intentionally. And I know it was intentional because while she was talking to the vet tech and the vet, she kept reaching up to adjust it and make sure it was barely above her upper lip. Super. You can bet I stayed more than six feet away from her and discouraged conversation. So yeah, it was a long, kind of stressful day, but I ended it by “making” the guys watch Shrek with me. We hadn’t watched it in years so it was good for a few laughs.

61827260952__b4b76fbf-8db7-493d-8c82-5980dc6c895dJack and I wish you a happy Wednesday! (He is just happy he does not have to go to the vet today!)

Hopping around

Not that long ago, I was a monogamous knitter. I mean, I haven’t been for most of my knitting life, but there was something about quarantine that tipped me into it. However, it would appear I have reached the end of that stage. Either that or I haven’t found the right project, because my lace sock and garter stitch/short row shawl have not kept my attention. First I cast on a simple sock last week, and that’s been good, but over the weekend I needed something new.

Originally I wanted to try my hand at sewing a top, so I spent some time on Etsy finding the right beginner pattern, but once I bought it, printed it, and assembled the pattern pieces, I discovered the fabric I wanted to use wasn’t quite wide enough. Heck it all, I’d cast on a new project. I’ve been wanting to make a Ripple Bralette for a while, so I grabbed my last skein of Malabrigo Arroyo in Fucsia and bought the pattern. Well. Guess what? It calls for the old Norwegian cast-on. I don’t know that cast-on. Here’s how that went: Okay, hello youtube, help me please. That doesn’t look too bad. Let me try. Wait, are you kidding me? What? Do that again. Oops. Shit. Pause replay pause replay rewind pause replay. WTF. ARGH.

I did that for about an hour until finally the lightbulb went on and suddenly I was in the rhythm and it was super cool! After that, it’s all ribbing for several inches, so I’ve just been knitting along merrily and crossing my fingers that it will actually fit. Because, you see, to heck with gauge swatches. I wasn’t in the mood. I might come to regret it, but whatever. It’s a small, quick project, and the suggested ease is between 9-15″ of negative ease, so I just need to get close enough, right?

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Oh, and just now I went and looked at Arroyo and it’s actually a sport weight, not DK. Sigh. This could be fine, or it could be bad. Fingers crossed!

Pattern: Ripple Bralette DK. I can only find it on Ravelry at this point.

How do I do this again?

After a three-month furlough, I went back to work this week. Not on-site, still work from home, thank goodness. But, guys, I forgot how to be the job-doing kind of person, and I am tired. Part of it is just catching up from being gone so long and trying to get back in the loop, and part of it is just getting my brain back in shape to add work in with all my other thoughts and worries and anxieties. And of course part of it is because I’m not sleeping well (see first two parts). So, it’s bittersweet but overall I am trying to focus on being grateful I have a job to come back to. And all of that means that this has been the extent of my knitting this week.

img_8323It’s a new sock, because my other sock is lace, and I needed a good, mindless sock. This is for a friend who recently moved away, and it will be her first pair of handknit socks. Maybe I will make her a convert and I can just start mailing her socks, because I am getting overrun with socks in my own sock drawer(s).

Happy Friday, friends! Here’s hoping for a refreshing weekend for all of us!

Friday Progress

Nope, no finished objects for me this week. My monogamous knitting lately has been my Sea Swell Shawl, but it’s annoying me right now. It’s made up of left and right wedges, all done with short rows, and is designed as a fade with either three or five colors. But when you fade in a color on a left wedge (as happens once in the pattern), the new color starts on the wrong side. The other option is to start the new color in the middle of the row, but then when you get back to that part, the working yarn is a few stitches down because of the short row. Argh! This probably makes very little sense, but let me assure you, it bugs me just a little. I got the new color joined and did a few rows and now I’m bored with garter stitch short rows.

805165C5-8FA5-4047-A551-C57EB4F7E3E4_1_201_aSo yesterday I said to heck with monogamy and picked up my newest sock project. This is my Show Me Yarn Bootheel yarn in the Stained Glass Menagerie color, and it was so light and airy that I needed a lace pattern to go with it. I ended up picking the Mercury Socks pattern, which is free on Ravelry.

AD0523AB-4389-4DB8-83BE-D499069710F6_1_201_aIt’s a simple five-row lace pattern, so while I have to keep the pattern handy, it’s not taxing my brain too much. These will be perfect spring socks!

It’s weird, though, because the last two or three weeks, I’ve been doing things other than knitting. I did puzzles for a while, but got burned out on those I think. I’ve been reading a lot, and recently I’ve loved 28 Summers by Elin Hilderbrand, Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid, and Friends and Strangers by J. Courtney Sullivan. My last read was a stinker so hopefully the next one will get me back on track. I’m thinking Odd One Out by Nic Stone. I’ve also gotten back into LEGOs, which I never would have expected. I loved building the boy’s old Harry Potter LEGO sets a couple of months ago. Something about creating order from all the pieces, and the concentration required, was soothing and satisfying. But the sets he has left are Lord of the Rings or Star Wars, and they don’t call to me. So I ordered the Friends LEGO set, and I did one bag a day, which gave me six days of fun. And it hasn’t abated: I’ve already ordered my next set, a lunar landing module. These are crazy times, friends! Have you taken up any unexpected hobbies lately?

 

New Knitting Case

For ages, I’ve been coveting the Namaste Maker’s Train Case from Jimmy Beans, but could never justify buying one. But they recently decided to phase out their Namaste line and put all the Namaste products on sale. I acted quickly so I could get one before the purple was gone, and it arrived Friday.

57927CD4-F699-4A5A-95B6-8571F6CDE11EIt’s gorgeous purple faux leather, with a magnetic lid, and it holds my Sea Swell Shawl quite nicely. I love the little hole on the side for the yarn!

Apparently it was designed to fit nicely underneath airplane seats, but I won’t be testing that any time soon. I’m happy enough to have it sitting on my coffee table. I can’t lie: there’s part of me that wants to order one in dark teal too!

Sea Swell Shawl

My WIPs are down to three, and that’s after I cast on a new sock yesterday. But I’m still mostly going to continue with my monogamous knitting, and I’ve selected the WIP Sea Swell Shawl by Stephen West. (Ravelry link here) This is the mermaid shawl that I’ve been trying to make for over two years, and I just haven’t found the right pattern before now. I started this one at the end of May and set it aside shortly after, though I don’t remember why. It’s a lot of short rows, maybe that’s why, but it’s also garter stitch, which is my fave right now. I’m doing the large size with five colors and I’m just about ready to start fading in Color B.

And I know I said I cast on a sock but it’s a lace sock and I’m pretty sure I’m going to need a self-striping vanilla sock very soon!

emPower People Cowl

With no socks to distract me, I finished my purple emPower People cowl yesterday. And I know we’re supposed to block ALL of our knitting but I’m not blocking this, so there! I absolutely love the squish of unblocked garter stitch and I’m going to wear this one as is until it absolutely needs a wash.

AED422B3-7FE5-4D19-9C7D-AB17134533C3_1_201_aThe pattern was extremely simple and has such a lovely shape and drape. I wasn’t sure how it would be seamed until I got to the end and discovered that yes, I had two short, straight sections that were designed to be sewn together. So clever!

D3E26D06-D62E-4E8A-BE69-AFE5AF0E0058The yarn is Ritual Dyes Priestess DK in the color Belladonna and OMG it is heavenly! I’d never used their yarn before and this one was so soft and squishy. If I didn’t know it was 100% merino, I’d have guessed it had a bit of cashmere in it. I’ll definitely be wanting to get more of their yarns in the future. Look at those subtle color variations!

D6D95A2F-A8F0-46D7-9EDC-4CAED2A40E69As soon as the weather cools off a bit, you know I’ll be wearing the heck out of this … I mean, as soon as we’re all safe to be out and about. And I think I want a pin to go on it too, maybe just “Vote”. Has anybody seen a good pin for this cowl?

FO Friday: Socks

I have two Finished Objects to share today — technically four, actually — because I finished two pairs of socks today!

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One the left are Vanilla Latte socks in Orange Jellyfish Dream yarn, color Intergalactic Planetary. And the right are obviously my Christmas in July socks, also in the Vanilla Latte pattern, with West Yorkshire Spinners’ Fairy Lights. Both pairs are slightly mis-matched in size but not enough to bother me, certainly not right now. But now I’m out of socks to knit and it’s also only July 10 so I cast on the second sock of a pair of Christmas socks I started last December. These are all stockinette so it should be a speedy project.

While knitting, I’ve recently binged Pick of the Litter, Little Voice, and Lenox Hill. And I’ve read and loved The Authenticity Project, Friends & Strangers, and The Two Lives of Lydia Bird. What are you streaming lately that you love?

I almost forgot!

Note: I am trying to use non-Ravelry links whenever possible. All Rav links will be noted.

Last month, I wrote about some Nature Spun Worsted that I reviewed for Brown Sheep Co. and one of the projects I made with it were fingerless gloves for a nephew. I chose the Maize Mitts from TinCanKnits and did the child size, since the nephew is 7, and it came out looking TINY. I didn’t want to knit a second mitt if it wasn’t going to fit, so I took it with me to a little birthday party we had and asked him to try it on. He loved it, said it was perfect, and I said I’d make a second, thinking it could wait until winter and his birthday or Christmas. Well, a couple of weeks later, we had another birthday party, and he asked if I’d brought his gloves. Friends, be glad you didn’t see the look on his face when I said I hadn’t made the second one yet. I felt like a terrible aunt and promised I’d have it done before the next birthday. Yesterday it hit me: we are celebrating a birthday on Saturday. I NEEDED to have two fingerless gloves for him. All other knitting was promptly set aside. Thank goodness he has small hands!

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I can see, and you can probably see too, that these two gloves are not precisely the same size. I don’t know why that is, and honestly I don’t really give a damn, because I’m pretty sure the nephew will NOT see that detail. And as snug as the first glove was, I’m also pretty sure he’ll outgrow these quickly and I’ll be making another pair around Christmastime anyway. There are some people for whom I will knit anything, and this nephew is definitely one of them. (I mean, honestly, pretty much any of my family and close friends fall into this category. I just like knitting for people who appreciate it.)

Now that that’s done, I’m returning to my safety knitting of Christmas socks and the emPower People purple cowl. Today’s not a great day so far: I didn’t sleep well last night, I’ve got anxiety bubbling up inside, and seeing anything on the news just makes things worse today. I was going to exercise but needed a second cup of tea to help wake myself up and now my timing is off, because I actually have something scheduled today: my knitting group has our virtual meeting at noon and I’d really like to have a shower before that happens. I do have something to look forward to: I’m seeing a friend tonight, one I haven’t seen in almost four months. (Wait, four? *counts on fingers* good grief it really has been that long!) There will be masks and distancing and as many precautions as we can take, but I have begun to miss seeing the people I love in person and really need a win. So, happy Thursday, friends. Take care of yourself.

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emPower People

There’s a new initiative I found on Instagram called emPower People. The website describes it as a “craftivism project aimed at uniting crafters of all mediums to engage people across communities to spark conversation, engagement and action in the political process to uphold social justice and human rights.” Right now they are encouraging people to make a purple bandana/cowl that you can wear when you attend gatherings, protest, march, and vote. There are free patterns to knit, crochet, or sew that you can download directly from the website. The project was founded by four crafters, with several others contributing. I chose to participate with the free knit pattern designed by Casapinka. Luckily, I had plenty of purple yarn to choose from, including the perfect Priestess DK weight from Ritual Dyes in a color called Belladonna.

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This is a simple, soothing pattern with lots of garter stitch and I expect it will fly off my needles. So far it’s even better than socks!