Finished Projects · sewing · WIP

Project bags

Memorial Day weekend was very nice for us this year. We took the top off the Jeep and drove to Eureka Springs on Saturday and stayed home the rest of the weekend. Sunday I worked quite a bit on my Bigger on the Inside shawl. I am hoping to be done with the first section completely by this coming weekend. It would be really nice to be able to cast on the next part. I tried to knit on the way to Eureka but forgot my sea bands at home so I only got one row finished before I called it quits.

I had many plans for what all I was going to accomplish over the long weekend, most of which did not happen. I did make myself sit down and sew. I had a heck of a time with my sewing machine most of the day so it took a very long time and was extremely frustrating. It was worth the headache and I am glad that my perseverance paid off. I sewed a project bag for me and one for Emma using this pattern from In Color Order. I was going to make about 2 more but I ran out of time and steam. The octopus bag is mine and the Hufflepuff bag belongs to Emma. I am very pleased with how hers turned out. Mine is ok. I see lots of things that I could have done better but I am still using it with a smile on my face. I can’t wait to sew some more.

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I had purchased the Hufflepuff fabric a while back. Emma has been learning how to knit and I felt that she needed a project bag for her knitting. I used a black fat quarter for the exterior contrast and some yellow and white fabric for the interior and another for the ties. I did use some fusible interfacing for hers. I am happy with the results.

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The octopus fabric I instantly fell in love with when I saw it. I was lacking another fabric that I liked with it so I used a solid gray for the exterior and a gray with white anchors for the interior. I used some leftover sock yarn doubled for the ties. I didn’t have any other fabric that would have matched and I kind of like the yarn. If nothing else it is super soft.

Overall I enjoyed this pattern. It was cutting it a bit close for me on the size of the squares. I am glad that a good bit gets cut off with the subcuts because otherwise I wouldn’t have had enough fabric in the fat quarters.

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We stopped at the dam on the way into Eureka Springs and on the way home. The sunset was beautiful over the water. I am ready for some time spent at the lake!

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The boys look thrilled. For the record I don’t think any of the kids knew I was taking a picture. I couldn’t get Emma in the frame. She is directly behind me. I was trying to beat the stoplight while taking it or else I would have made everyone at least look at the camera.

knitting · WIP

Knitting and stress

I think my favorite thing about knitting is turning a simple piece of yarn into something that looks so beautiful and different from its original state. My second favorite thing is the stress relief aspect. That is where I have been at this past few weeks. We have worked mandatory overtime since April and I am tired. I have less time to spend with my family, mostly my little guy since he goes to bed early and I have been struggling with keeping in a good mood. This week in particular has been rough because my boyfriend has had to work even more over time than I have. I have been forcing myself to knit. I know that sounds silly because I love to knit, but when I am tired and grumpy, I don’t really want to do anything. I have accomplished a lot in the last few weeks though.

A lot has happened since my last blog post. We took a trip to Colorado for spring break. I fell in love! I will be making another blog post later in the week with some pictures and highlights. Before we left I cast on Tiye so that I would have something with lots of stockinette for the car trip. I got quite a bit done on it during that time but more so in the last two weeks or so. It has been my knitting that I take to events to work on because I can knit on it without looking for the most part. Last Friday, I took it with me to a baseball game. My boyfriend’s company did a family night so we had one of the suites to watch the game. It was a blast. It has gone to two concerts with me as well. I am about a third of the way through the body now. I have mixed feelings about the colors and yarn choice but I am hoping for the best.IMG_20180511_210854_547.jpg

I ended up messing up somewhere on my Bigger on the Inside shawl so it got frogged. I finally restarted it last week and have made quite a bit of progress on it. I have to think about it quite a bit so it isn’t the best knitting when I have other things going on. It is currently my “outdoor” knitting because I need more light to see it. I can also sit on the bed and knit because the bedroom has brighter lighting. I will be to the middle section by next weekend, I hope.IMG_20180510_211459_506.jpg

I also cast on for a brioche cowl. Since I have never knit brioche before I was more just trying out to see how to do it. I have figured out what I am doing but since I wasn’t real sure what I was doing, I didn’t do a very good job on it so I frogged it. I have a couple of other projects that I want to work on before I start over on it, but I can already tell that I am going to love this cowl. It is going to be soft and squishy. I will probably start working on it in the fall so it will be done before it gets cold and is needed.

I have started on a weighted blanket for my son, but I haven’t spent much time working on it. I don’t have a dedicated space to put my sewing machine and it is very awkward and fiddly with the little beads. With working overtime and having family stuff, I just haven’t had it in me to drag everything out and work on it. I would rather knit than get my sewing machine out until work settles down a bit. I really want to sew another project bag for myself very soon too. I already have the fabric picked out. I have a handful of other things I want to sew too, but I want to get the project bags and blanket done first.

Hank is getting big! He is a good pup.

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Also a thing happened. We traded the Jeep for a new one.

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knitting · WIP

Bigger on the Inside

The last few weeks have been a bit on the rough side as far as migraines are concerned, so crafting has not been as often as I would like, but it has not been a total dry spell. I have set aside my shawl for now because I keep messing up. After much debate, I ripped back to the lifeline. I got another row or two done and realized I was off a stitch again, so its in time out until it can learn to behave itself. My yarn order came in, but I had to wait until I could purchase a set of needles. I went through every single needle in my house and not one was a size 4. Every single project that I have lined up uses a size 4 except for socks. This called for a trip to my LYS. It ended up being a girls day because I have created a monster. The best kind of monster. I have been teaching my boyfriend’s daughter to knit. She is doing very well and has pretty much mastered casting on. She got a ball of pretty yarn and I got some yarn and needles.

After our shopping trip, I cast on my Bigger on the Inside. I realized that I have a problem. Naturally I turned on Doctor Who to watch while I was knitting, but then I looked down and noticed that I was also wearing a Doctor Who shirt. Like my monster, it is a good problem to have so I am not complaining. I am enjoying this knit so far. I read ahead and realized that there will be a ton of stitches picked up. I am not a fan of picking up stitches but it isn’t enough to deter me from knitting this. I probably should cast on a “mindless” knitting project as well for days like today when my head hurts pretty bad. I just can’t thing real well like this. Charts and migraines or extreme ice pick headaches (like today) are not friends.

Besides knitting, I decided to finally sew a weighted blanket for my son. My boyfriend was watching tv in bed the other night and his pillows were on my legs. The weight made me fall asleep almost instantly so I think it would help my kiddo. The front will be Star Wars and the back will be Batman. His choice. I purchased the beads and got started on it. I was so excited. I had it all planned out but when I started sewing, my machine wouldn’t quit breaking the thread. I made adjustments but it still wasn’t right. It was either too loose or it was so tight that it would snap after about a quarter inch. I got frustrated and put it away. I am not strong enough at sewing to be able to fix it without doing a lot of brushing up on skills but its not a good time to mess with it when I am already mad and cussing my machine. I have about 4 project bags that I want to make as well. I found some Hufflepuff fabric for my newest knitter and I need to make it.

One other bit of news, we got a new family member! His name is Hank. He is a golden retriever Saint Bernard mix. Hank is the sweetest, fluffiest, snuggly pup ever. He is an excellent addition to our family. He is so soft, sweet, and cute. I have my work cut out for me as far as socializing and walking on a leash are concerned. He is a timid pup, but since he may end up outweighing me someday, he has to learn to do well and be able to be controlled. We all love Hank. Except Rosie. She tolerates him.

WIP

Renewed love for the Renewal Shawl

2017 was a year of socks for me. While I did not knit a year’s worth, that is pretty much all that I knit. 2018 will be a different story. I have several projects lined up. I am currently knitting on my Renewal that has been hanging out in my yarn bag while I have been knitting socks. There was a bar of soap in my knitting bag too, so it smells like soap. I can’t be the only person who has put strange things in their knitting bags, right?

Naturally the last row that I knit was off a stitch. I counted several times in a sleep deprived state and finally went back the next day and found where I was off and only had to tink back a handful of stitches! I have knit a few rows since and will be knitting on it again after I am done with this blog post.

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I made a yarn purchase this weekend. I may have gone a bit crazy. It literally took me more than 24 hours to finalize the order, but it is done. I have quite a few items on my knitting agenda. There is the Morvarch by Lucy Hague, then Seashore by Isabell Kraemer, and Bigger on the inside by Kate Atherley. I have a few other things planned, but I haven’t made all my decisions yet. I purchased a few skeins of sock yarn as well so I am sure that there will be more sock knitting in my future. I am incredibly sad though. I had my heart set on a top and purchased the yarn for it. When I went to buy the pattern, I found out that it is not sold separately and I should have purchased the book at the same time. I just can’t justify spending more money and shipping for a book when I only want one pattern so I changed to Morvarch. I found another sweater that I am completely in love with, Nested by Alicia Plummer, but I just can’t justify spending more money on yarn right now. Lesson learned. Double check pattern availability before purchasing yarn for a project. It took me a whole other day to decide if I was going to spend another $20+ for a book that I only really want one pattern out of. I love knitting books so it wouldn’t have been a terrible thing, but I have other things I need to spend money on.

A happy thing happened. I was looking to see if I have any purple yarn to knit a friend at work a pair of fingerless mitts and while I don’t have anything purple, I did find two cones of lace weight that I forgot I had! So I will be planning something out of it very soon. I like little surprises like finding yarn I forgot that I had. I have to figure out yardage and then I will look to see what I can make out of it so I will update on it later and will hopefully have some pretty new yarn pictures as well.

knitting · Ravellenics · WIP

Back to reality

I have almost made it to the heel! I have probably 3 more rows until I get there. I may try to get them in tonight. Work is definitely getting in the way of my knitting, but I suppose the bills have to get paid and I don’t hate my job so it will just have to be in the way a bit. I have high hopes that I will be done with a heel or two tomorrow.

I have been watching Broadchurch again while knitting and listening to all sorts of podcasts while at work, mostly homesteading, but some knitting as well. I am ready to plant my garden. I hope that my pups don’t eat everything. Fingers crossed.

knitting · Ravellenics · WIP

Paired for life update

I have been knitting quite a bit the last two days and have made a good amount of progress. There was some tinking that had to happen yesterday thanks to a dropped stitch, but we are back on track now! I have discovered that the lighting in our living room is just not enough for me to see to knit with dark, thin yarn so I have stayed in the bedroom all day, hanging out in bed with Netflix on my iPad. Today I managed to finish watching the last several episodes of Fuller House and 2.5 episodes of Broadchurch season 3. I feel like I have been very antisocial with my family today, but I am trying very hard to get these socks finished as soon as possible. I am about an inch away from starting the heels so I am getting there. The thing that I really enjoy about doing socks two at a time is that progress happens slowly, but they will both be finished when I get done. No worries about second sock syndrome! This pattern is working up very beautifully. I love knitting cables. Since tomorrow is Monday, I will be back at work and not making near as much progress. I am going to try to get as much as I can done though.

I got sidetracked with looking at different projects that I would like to do in the future. I have a bunch of sock yarn leftovers that I want to make into something. I haven’t decided exactly what that will be yet, but I am keeping my eyes open. My next project will probably be a brioche scarf or cowl. I have never tried brioche before so I am excited about trying something new. I may cast on another pair of socks, too. I have two more colors of sock yarn waiting to be socks in the closet. One may end up being another pair of Hermione’s Everyday Socks by Erica Lueder. I am wearing the pair that I knit back in 2011 today and they fit my feet so nicely. I may just have to knit one of the many other socks that I have in my Ravelry queue. I need more hours in the day to knit all the things that I would like to knit. Decisions are hard sometimes. 

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.