Monday, August 18, 2014

Project 365 #18 - Balaclava Progress

Slow and steady progress - hope I get this done before it gets really cold.

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Changing Interests

Anybody who has known me for a long time knows that I'm crafty - not like the Beastie Boys song, though Marcus does sing that whenever I say I'm crafty wink . The lame thing about me is that I'm extremely fickle with my crafting. It leaves a lot of UFOs (Unfinished Objects) and a huge craft room full of supplies.

When I was little, Mom taught my sister and I how to crochet. I made god-awful granny square (everything you could image - scarves, vests, doll clothes). We also used to sew a lot, too. Those desire waned and were replaced by cross-stitching. I'm not even sure exactly when I started, but I remember that even in college, I had a cross-stitch project every where I went. I even used to stitch during orchestra rehearsals (contrabassoon players had a lot of resting). That gave way to decorative painting (plaster, wood plaques, clay pots). I remember doing a lot of that the year that Marcus and I lived out in Deer Trail. When we moved back to Aurora, I was huge into digital art. I was pursuing my graphic design degree, so I drew, I made digital art, I coded web sites. Not crafty, per se, but it was my method of creation at that time. I started collecting all of my scrapbook supplies at this time, too. It's funny, I've yet to actually finish a whole scrapbook page, yet alone make an album. I think I was more in love with the supplies than the act of producing anything with them (though they do come in incredibly handy for things every now and again).

I've always wanted to learn to knit, but mom absolutely hated doing it, so she wasn't the best teacher. I tried to teach myself over the years (Marcus' mom even sent me a "Teach Yourself to Knit" kit for Christmas) and it never took. Finally, for my birthday present to myself in 2007, I splurged and took a class. The bug had been caught and every spare minute was spent knitting. I spent lots of time perusing yarn stores, I met up with knitting friends every Sunday, I surfed Ravelry a lot. Last summer, though, I was at a quilting store in Rapid City, SD and I found the cutest wool embroidery kit. I was really enjoying hand sewing again, and I put down the knitting. Last November, the Counted Cross Stitcher group on Ravelry started a Christmas swap and, on a whim, I signed up. I hadn't done any cross-stitching since before Mom passed and I figured it was time to give it another go.

The weird thing is now I have absolutely no interest in yarn whatsoever. I drove up to Estes Park today to go to the annual Wool Market. I stopped at the yarn store up there (The Stitching Den) and found absolutely nothing I wanted. It was surreal. I did actually make a purchase there, but it was clip-on magnifiers for my glasses so that I could see my stitching better. I made my way to the local cross stitch shop (a collaborative shop of other area shops that I frequent) and picked up a couple of charts. Wasn't terribly exciting as I've seen all of it before. Then I went over to the Market and thought for sure I was going to be in danger of draining my meager checking account. Except for a print from Sheep Incognito (I buy one crafting-related one each year for my craft room), I only found one skein of yarn I wanted. Unfortunately, it was alpaca/bison and I refuse to pay $60 for 200 yards of yarn. I walked around the vendor barn 3 separate times hoping something would catch my eye. Nothing ever did. Oh, well. Even strolling through the alpaca tent (which was very empty exhibit-wise this year) did not get me excited. I found myself at one point wishing I had just stayed home.

So, I guess I'm going with embroidery, cross-stitching and quilting at the moment. Let's see if I can actually get anything finished before I'm bitten by another crafting bug.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Cross-Stichers Night Before Christmas

Can't remember where I originally found this, but I had to share:

'Twas the night before Christmas, and oh, I was weary.
My stitching unfinished, my eyes getting bleary.
The stockings weren't finished, the chimney was bare
And I knew that morning soon would be here.

My children and husband were tucked in their beds,
But visions of backstitches ran through my head.
I'd stitched ornaments and presents and gifts by the ton,
And now, I was finally, almost, almost done.

As I poised my needle for one more stitch,
I heard something outside that made my hand twitch.
I jumped up from my stitching and flew to the door
Pressed my eye to the peephole, tiptoe off the floor.

My stitching forgotten, I peered into the night
When suddenly I got a terrible fright.
On my porch appeared Santa, holding his sack
He knocked softly, and I took a giant step back.

I unlocked the deadbolt, and let Santa in
He entered and gave a mischievous grin.
"Hope you don't mind if I come in the door?
Coming down the chimney can be quite a chore."

He said, "You're up late. Still working, I see.
Do you know how tired you're going to be?"
I know, Santa, I said with a sigh
But I'm still backstitching the stars in the sky

And the fields on that stocking look blobby you know,
I need to backstitch the drifts in the snow.
I've been stitching and stitching and stitching, no rest.
I just tried to finish stitching too much, I guess.

"I know what you mean," he said with a smile.
"This is my busiest time of the year, by a mile."
He stooped down by the tree and he opened his sack
And began to pull presents out of his pack.

"I've got some things here I think you might like.
An oak stitching frame and a brand new Ott-Light.
A bundle of floss and a great big mat cutter."
I smiled and felt my heart go a- flutter.

He put down gifts for us all, then waved his right hand
"Go to bed," he said, glancing at my floor stand.
He gave me a wink and stepped out the door.
I just stood there a moment, glued to the floor.

After he'd left, I turned back to my chair
Picked up the stockings and started to stare.
The backstitching was done! The stars lit the sky!
And on my son's stocking, angels sung on high!

I ran to thank Santa for this final gift,
And watched as his sleigh started to lift.
I heard him exclaim as he pulled out of sight,
"Merry Stitching to All, and to all a good night!"

~Author Unknown

Monday, November 14, 2011

Productive Weekend

Despite being sick, I managed to get quite a bit done this weekend.

On the crafty front, I finally got around to sewing the watch band for the iPod Nano that Dad and I got for Marcus last Christmas. I swore I'd get off my duff and get it made before this Christmas and I did it with a more than a month to spare.

I've been getting into making amigurumi lately. The first one I ever made was a Yoda for my desk at work. My most recent one is this cute little pumpkin pie:

I also finished knitting a dish cloth that was a test knit for a friend of mine. No picture yet as she has not yet released the pattern.

I made a really yummy dinner on Sunday night. Beer can chicken (free range) with sage, thyme & rosemary stuffed inside, baby red potatoes & broccoli with oregano, olive oil & sea salt and corn muffins. All organic, of course.

We had to board up the skirting where a raccoon tore into it to get under the house. I hate raccoons.

I got all the bedding washed, got the dishes caught up, bathed the rabbit and cleaned her cage, made a sketch for this week's Team Housewares golf poster...whew. Too bad the work week started again and is cutting into my productivity.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Ow…My Head Hurts

We had a really cool spring storm start up the night before last. Marcus and I both really love it when it is raining or snowing, so when we heard the rain start up again, we headed for the front door.

Now, I think I've written here before about our trials with raccoons around here. When Marcus opened the front door, one of those damned critters was on our front porch. It took off, so Marcus opened the screen door and I poked my head around him so I could see out. Suddenly, I was in terrible pain. The raccoon had come charging back and Marcus had quickly slammed the door closed; unfortunately, my head and the door could not take up the same physical space. I think I'm OK, I just have had a doozy of a headache the last couple of days. Part of that is probably the weather change and it being spring, too. If I wasn't already taking time off later this month, I'd would have called in sick yesterday . I was so not in the mood to deal with THE STUPID at work (and the people at work didn't disappoint).

On a brighter note, the watermelon self-striping sock yarn I pre-ordered from knitpurlgurl on etsy arrived! I've been wanting watermelon sock yarn forever. I've been stalking one seller, but I always miss when she puts stuff up for sale. My friend, Ruth, told me about knitpurlgurl and that she also sells a watermelon yarn from time to time. I was clicking through my etsy favorites one day and saw that she was taking pre-orders for it, so I finally purchased one. Yay!

Watermelon sock yarn from knitpurlgurl on etsy

I didn't realize when I ordered it that knitpurlgurl was from Colorado Springs (saw the return address on the package when Marcus got it out of the mail box). Also, I love the little touches added: the watermelon jolly rancher and the little watermelon wedge stitch marker. Very clever!

Now, if only I didn't have to work so I could stay home and start knitting it up.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Embroidered Thread Scraps Canister

I thought I had posted about this, but it turns out I just tweeted it. That's one of the major downfalls of sites like Facebook and Twitter, I'm not documenting stuff here. Anyway, back on June 26th, I got my rear in gear and finally took a lesson to learn to use the embroidery machine that Marcus got me for Christmas in 2007. I had stopped into the Aurora location of Rocky Mountain Sewing & Vacuum the week prior to inquire and met a wonderful lady named Barbara who said she's be more than happy to help me get started. I'm determined to find a way to make a living with that thing. One thing that is a side effect of any kind of sewing, but especially embroidery as I'm finding out, is the large amount of thread scraps all over. I've always meant to get a little basket or something to keep by the sewing machine to toss scraps into, but have never quite found something I liked. I started to make myself something out of plastic canvas years ago, but somehow managed to misplace part of it before I finished it.

Embroidered Thread Scrap CannisterA couple of weeks ago, Marcus used up the last of the oatmeal and tossed the container. Inspiration hit!

I've had that fabric with the cutting mats scattered over it for a couple of years now. I meant to cover magazine boxes with it, but have never gotten around to it. (<sarcasm>Big surprise!</sarcasm>) I picked up some bias tape for a couple of bucks at Joann's. I wish I had taken pictures during the process, but alas, I'm a slacker that way. I wrapped the oatmeal container with some batting and glued the fabric and bias tape on. I was happy with it at that point, but something seemed to be missing. While I was perusing designs of many of the embroidery sites I frequent, I came across a lovely embroidery machine on Designs by Sick. I added type to it in PE Design, put a border around it with one of the frame designs built into the machine and voila, Scrap Container. I used the lid as a base to keep the bottom from getting worn and messed up. I think it came out rather cute!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

I’m Getting Old

I've got to face the body is getting old.

I'm trying to work on a pair of crocheted earrings from the July/August issue of Crochet Today while I watch Lost streaming from Netflix on my PlayStation 3. I'm using a tiny steel size 12 (1mm) hook with crochet thread and I can NOT see the stitches. *sigh* I had to bust out my Ott light with the magnifier on it so I can work on these.

I knew my eyes were getting worse and it was time to go in for an exam and get some new glasses. This reinforced that thought. Oh, to be able to afford laser surgery.

Speaking of Crochet Today, that was the first and only issue I will ever buy. That magazine sucks. The earrings are the only thing in there that I will make. Most of the patterns are stereotypical of what people hate about crochet. Most of this stuff is FUGLY!

OK, gripe over for now. Off to crochet.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Knitting Check-Off List Meme

OK, I saw this on a Ravelry forum thread (link only works if you're a Rav member). While the thread was started over a year ago, I never saw it and I've never done this particular meme, so why not?


Bold for stuff you??ve done, italics for stuff you plan to do one day, and normal for stuff you??re not planning on doing.

Garter stitch
Knitting with metal wire
Stockinette stitch
Socks: top-down
Socks: toe-up
Knitting with camel yarn
Mittens: Cuff-up
Mittens: Tip-down
Knitting with silk
Moebius band knitting
Participating in a KAL
Drop stitch patterns
Knitting with recycled/secondhand yarn
Slip stitch patterns
Knitting with bananafiber yarn
Domino knitting (=modular knitting)
Twisted stitch patterns
Knitting with bamboo yarn
Two end knitting
Charity knitting
Knitting with soy yarn
Toy/doll clothing
Knitting with circular needles
Baby items
Knitting with your own handspun yarn
Graffitti knitting: knitting items on, or to be left on the street
Continental knitting
Designing knitted garments
Cable stitch patterns
Lace patterns
Publishing a knitting book
Teaching a child to knit
Knitting to make money
Button holes
Knitting with alpaca
Fair Isle knitting
Norwegian knitting
Household items: dishcloths, washcloths, tea cosies?K
knitting socks- or other small tubular items- on two circulars
Dying with plant colours
Knitting items for a wedding
Olympic knitting
Knitting with someone else??s handspun yarn
Knitting with dpns
Holiday related knitting
Teaching a male how to knit
Knitting for a living
Knitting with cotton
Knitting smocking
Dying yarn
Knitting art
Knitting with wool
Textured knitting
Kitchener BO
Knitting with beads
Long Tail CO
Entrelac Knitting and purling backwards
Machine knitting
Knitting with selfpatterning/selfstriping/variegating yarn
Stuffed toys
Knitting with cashmere
JewelryKnitting with synthetic yarn
Writing a pattern
Knitting with linen
Knitting for preemies
Tubular CO
Freeform knitting
Short rows
Cuffs/fingerless mitts/armwarmers
Knitting a pattern from an online knitting magazine
Knitting on a loom
Thrummed knitting
Knitting a gift
Knitting for pets
Knitting with dog/cat hair
Hair accessories
Knitting in public