knitting

One day or day one

I came across a quote that I like. “One day or day one. You decide.” It pretty much sums up where I am at this year. I have goals in life and to reach those goals, I have to stop wanting and wishing and start doing. Like starting a bullet journal, which is where I got the idea of the quote. I won’t be posting much about it, though. I will be posting more about knitting and other various crafts that I enjoy or want to learn to do.

I came across this post yesterday and I loved it. Pinterest is my life, or at last fills the moments that I can’t craft or read (I love to hang out on Pinterest while watching movies because I can see it in the dark). I have been pinning a lot lately about homesteading because I hope to eventually have a little bit of land that I can be at least a little more self sufficient. This came up in my feed and it really struck a chord with me because this is how I feel about things. I want to learn to do things for myself, even if I don’t need to use them. I don’t have to sew my own clothes, and I don’t know if I will ever have a wardrobe full of clothing made by me, but to be able to is something that is important to me. I love to knit. It is a valuable skill to me.

Speaking of knitting, I am knitting/casting on for the third or fourth time a pair of socks for my other half. Of course I should knit them for me since he ends up warming my cold feet so often, but I want to keep his feet warm too and I have hand knit socks. I have changed my mind several times on what sock pattern to knit for him, but I finally decided on the Paired for Life by Elke Alexius. I had a false start because I decided to knit a different size after finishing a couple of rows of the foot. Had I been smart about it, I would have just gone back to the toe, but I like to be difficult and ripped the whole thing out. Tomorrow is a new day and I hope to finish (again) the toe and some of the foot. I had hoped to be finished with at least one sock by this point this week, but life happens sometimes. I have high hopes that I can get them done relatively soon so that I can get back to knitting on the shawl that I started over a year ago. I have been knitting so many socks that I need a break so I can work on something different. I am also itching to knit a sweater.

Hopefully I will have a better update in my next blog post and maybe even some pictures. I want to start posting regularly, hopefully once a week, but at least every two weeks. I want to be able to show how much work I am putting into my favorite crafts and talk more about new skills that I am learning. Till next time!

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Happy New Year!

Our long New Year weekend turned out to be full of surprises! The first surprise was that our new to us piano fit in the back of the Jeep with the back seats folded down. The second was that pianos are much lighter than I had imagined. Don’t get me wrong, this sucker isn’t light, but I was able to pick up one end by myself when we were finally positioning it. We ended up moving almost every last piece of furniture in our living room and bedroom so that we could make a new home for this piano. It was a ton of work but we got it done.

While moving things, we discovered the need to pick up a few small items at Lowe’s and I decided it was finally time to take the plunge and make myself a PVC niddy noddy. I went on Pinterest and used this website for a pattern. I have never cut PVC before so that was an experience. We have a tube cutter and it worked nicely. I do not have very strong hands, so it took a while but I got all the pieces cut and put together. It didn’t help much that I was sitting in the floor cutting so the dogs felt that they needed to be loved on, but I got it done! My next project will be a yarn swift. I will likely make a matching PVC swift but I would love to make a wooden one. That would require purchasing tools to make it so I feel like making a PVC one first may be a good idea. After that I will probably be purchasing a ball winder.

I used my new niddy noddy to split a hank of yarn in two so I can do a pair of socks for Dustin two at a time. It worked nicely. I will cast them on tonight probably. 

New Year. New piano. New house arrangement. New yarn accessories. Not a bad start for 2018. Let’s keep the new coming! 

knitting · Uncategorized

Christmas Knitting

I feel like people assume that handmade items are cheap and ugly. The popular thing in the last few years is the ugly Christmas sweater. Many of them are not very attractive for anyone who doesn’t still get gifts from Santa and some are truly hideous. Most are not the handknit pullovers of the past, but store bought sweatshirts and sweaters that adorn yuletide party goers, but it still hurts my heart a bit to see my craft of choice portrayed in such a light. 

I do not knit ugly Christmas sweaters, and I am very particular who I will knit a gift for. If I feel that an item will not be used or appreciated, I will not spend the time choosing a project, picking the yarn, and the hours upon hours knitting every single stitch. This year I did decide to knit a gift. My boyfriend’s dad has asked a few times for a pair of handknit socks. Normally I don’t knit socks as a gift because they are small and I don’t feel like most people get excited over a pair of socks, but since he spends a significant amount of time outdoors, I thought warm feet would be nice. Working full time and having a busy schedule, time to knit can be scarce. Let me tell you I got down to the wire on this gift. I managed to finish them at 4AM Christmas morning. Just hours to spare until his parents came to visit, but I completed them! I haven’t stayed up that late in ages and don’t plan on it again for a long time. 

Christmas even I received a text with a picture that they fit. I hope he truly enjoys them. If I decide to knit anything for Christmas next year, if it isn’t complete before Thanksgiving, it won’t be given. Maybe. 

Books · Finished Projects · knitting · WIP

It has been a very long time…

Yarn Bowl
My beautiful yarn bowl

It has been a while since I have posted. A lot has happened in life. Unfortunately not much of that time has been spent doing anything crafty. Some, but not much. It is funny how life is sometimes. The good news is life has evened out quite a bit and I am making more time for things that I enjoy.

My ex-husband asked me a while back asking me for some new hand knit socks for work. I accepted the assignment and have (slowly) been knitting him socks. I don’t normally take this long to knit socks, but he wanted black socks. I mistakenly started out with a pattern that I know that he likes, but in black yarn it is extremely difficult to see the patterning as I am knitting. Add the splitty nature of the yarn and it means that I have to actually pay attention to what I am doing and no knitting in low light situations.

He wanted black socks so I went on the hunt for inexpensive but decent black yarn. This was a surprisingly difficult task. Not a lot of yarn brands have a black yarn in a sock weight, but I finally found some. I don’t hate the yarn but I am not in love with it either. Like I said, it is on the splitty side, but it has a nice feel to it, sturdy but soft. We will see how it actually holds up to wear. For the next set of socks I am probably going to use the same yarn but a different pattern and see if that helps any. I also was planning on knitting two at a time, but somehow forgot. Next time I will definitely knit them two at a time. Next time I may do a plain ribbed sock instead of the Gentleman’s Sock. It would cut down the time and frustrations with the black yarn. But since they aren’t for me, I will have to consult with him. At least they are finally completed.

I currently have the Renewal Shawl on the needles. Because I am a (mostly) monogamous knitter, I have painfully put it aside while I worked on the socks. It is currently sitting in my lovely yarn bowl. Y’all this yarn bowl is the most beautiful gift I have ever received. Not just because it is gorgeous, but because of the thought that went into it. It is probably the most meaningful gift I have ever received.

My wheel is in need of repair so I haven’t been spinning at all the last *ahem* year or so. I need a new drive band. So I am going to make one out of cotton yarn and we will see how that goes. Hopefully I will have a new blog post before too long with some new spinning.

I haven’t done much else crafty. I have some plans to get some sewing done eventually but it has not been a priority. Since my last blog post I have done a little but not much. I am planning on sewing a couple of weighted blankets. I would also like to sew a couple more project bags and maybe an apron. My mom and I did reupholster a chair and I have helped a small amount with some home improvement projects at my boyfriend’s house. Mostly I sit there and look pretty and keep him company, but I help where I can.

I have been reading a lot lately, but understand that this is a relative term. In the last several months, I have read a few very good books. Books that I have enjoyed:

  • Raven Black by Ann Cleeves
  • Doctor Who: Shada: The Lost Adventure by Douglas Adams by Gareth Roberts
  • In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

I have read a few others and enjoyed them as well, but not to the same extent so I am not even going to mention them. I am currently reading Outlander and am loving it. I highly recommend it. I am finding that I am too sleepy to read much, but again life happens sometimes.

All over the page · Finished Projects · move · WIP

Working Spinning Wheel!

At some point in the last two years, my monster sweet darling, adorable, tiny, innocent little boy decided to take my wheel for a spin. He stood on it and bent the rod that holds the treadles in place. I have always had issues with the rod walking its way out of place but after my son decided to ride on it, it has been near impossible to use. I decided then that I needed to just wait until I could come up with a good fix for it or buy a new wheel entirely. Yesterday we made a family trip to Lowe’s. My hubby needed to pick up some pvc to make fishing rod holders for his kayak and I decided that we would search for the right thing to replace the rod. I should mention that I tried cotter pins, but they walked themselves out just about as fast as the rod did. I finally found the fix. I purchased a 3 foot length of threaded metal rod. Basically it is like a screw without a head on it. I just cut a foot off of it and it works perfect!

I realize that it has been a little over 6 months since I last posted. I have had a lot of things happen in that time. Quick update. My dad passed away December 16, which was just a few days after my last blog post. I miss him very much. Some day I am going to make a big long post of memories with him, happy thoughts, and all that, but I am not there yet.

We also decided to purchase a house here in Hot Springs Village! I love our house. We have a neighbor right next door and beyond that, we are surrounded by woods. We are really settling in the area. I am starting to meet more people and making new friends. I still miss all my NWA people, but I do love it here. We are talking about converting a good chunk of our garage into an art studio/wood shop plus we have an office as well. We have also added to our family. We knew someone who had a kitty that needed a home so we brought home Lily the day before we moved into our new house. A week later we found out she was pregnant. We are now outnumbered by animals. She had two babies, a boy that I named Sebastian and a girl I named Daphne. We are keeping both.

In all the craziness of things going on lately, I haven’t made much time for knitting or anything. I have finished a shawl, save for blocking. I also have a cat toy to bind off and stuff. I have completed an entire pair of socks plus another sock that I will be casting on the second sock very soon. Since this is a lot of updates, I am going take some time over the next week or so to go into more details on things. For now I will leave you with a picture of a pair of completed socks for my husband and a sock that I started for my son. I have not finished the kiddo socks yet.

Sock family
Sock family
Finished Projects · knitting · sewing · WIP

Knitting therapy

Although I have decided that I will do no gift knitting this year, I have decided to immerse myself in knitting, spinning, sewing, and writing. My hubby and I were talking earlier and I think we agreed that while this year has been wonderful, there have been quite a few extremely rough moments as well. Our move here was very difficult on me. I love it here, but my heavy school load and spending so much time actually packing and moving all the while being so far away from my husband and I did not make it a habit of allowing myself the time to do anything to help relieve my stress. That doesn’t work well for me so now that I have a little more time on my hands and am even more in need of stress relief, I am making stress relief a priority in my life. What does that mean? Finished projects and lots of plans for hand-made items in the near future!

I drove up to Northwest Arkansas last weekend to spend a little time with my dad and I got a lot of knitting done. I finished one of the vanilla socks I am knitting for me and knit about a half-inch of the ribbing for the second sock. I also finished the Darkside Cowl, and worked a good bit on the second Gentleman’s sock for hubby.

The Darkside Cowl was different to knit. I am in love with the finished product, however the actual knitting was not exactly as loved. It wasn’t overly difficult, it was just not autopilot knitting for me because it isn’t exactly linear. I used some yarn that I spun and dyed a long time ago. I believe that it is BFL and bamboo, but I honestly can’t remember right now. I am very disappointed to see that I didn’t blog the dying of the yarn, but I did do a couple of little posts here and here, about the spinning. The squish of the yarn with this pattern is heavenly. The pattern is done in repeats of 16 rows. I omitted the first row (accidentally) which was a purl row and therefore left out the final row as well. I don’t know how different it would have made it look, but I am perfectly happy without it. I didn’t notice that I had messed up until I was a couple rows in and wasn’t willing to rip back.

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I had purchased some sock yarn with the intentions of knitting socks for my hubby for his birthday in *ahem* May. I have had a lot going on so we are going to leave it at that. I decided on Gentleman Socks by Kristi Schueler. This is a free pattern with multiple sizing. It is done in a 4 row pattern repeat and then a separate pattern on the instep. I used the Fish Lips Kiss Heel as that is my current favorite. I like the ease of the knitting and I feel they fit well. I am using this heel for my Knitmore Girls Vanilla socks for me as well. I can’t remember what the yarn is that I am using for the KG Vanilla sock, but I used Patons Kroy for the Gentleman socks. I am pleased with both.

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My hubby tried to fix my wheel last week and while he made a very good effort, it just isn’t cutting the mustard. Basically there is a rod that connects the treadles to the base and as I spin, the rod tends to walk out. I am going to look into some different options. I think that I am going to save up and buy a new wheel in the next year or two. I love my Babe, but I want something sturdier. Let’s face it I want several wheels. I have definitely gotten my money’s worth out of my Babe and I will probably never get rid of it. It isn’t a great wheel but it is a good wheel and it is my first.

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I purchased some Wizard of Oz fabric a few weeks back that will be turned into a new project back sometime soon. This makes me so happy. I may try to get that done tonight, or at least the cutting done, but I think I am going to go back up to see my dad again tomorrow so I may not have time to get much done. Just in case you were wondering, cancer sucks.

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SUP boarding and knitting

I have a new goal in life. I want to go to Tahiti and find a nice spot with a good view and sit down on a sup board and knit. Until I can make it to Tahiti, I will take Lake Desoto since it is a mile from my house. I am itching to knit. Time has been so limited lately with this crazy move, being in school full time, and having my hubby so far away, that every last second has been devoted to either moving and all that entails, school work, or my kid. Now that we are moved, I need to check out the LYS. I also need to plan a home for my yarn. I haven’t decided yet where it will live. It is a hard decision since I have so much room!