New addition

I’d like to introduce everyone to a new member of the family.

img_09741

This is Helen. She now lives on top of my yarn shelf. Here she is modeling a hat I finished ages ago but never posted about – the Lucky 7 Hat by weezalana. I don’t remember what yarn I used though.

If you’d like your very own Helen, I got her on Amazon (link is an amazon associates link). It’s a glass mannequin head and it is substantial – I don’t see it tipping and the glass is thick enough it doesn’t feel like it will break easily. Expect to see better pictures in the future. I may also have my eyes on some mannequin feet for sock modeling.

I’m very excited about this as it will make documenting hats WAY easier for the blog. There may already be plans in the works to secure a witch hat for Halloween, Santa hat for Christmas and bunny ears for Easter. My husband sneakily put an old pair of glasses on her last night as well. We’re easily amused.

img_09701The rainbow swirl hat is coming along – the plan seems to continue to work – though I am starting to worry about how I’ll keep it up with the decreases…any suggestions welcome!

Posted in Finished Projects | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

SUCCESS

img_09681Going up a needle size seems to have worked…the rainbow is still spiraling!

Posted in On the Needles | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

L-O-V-E

I have the best news! I’m a woman in love.

With some beautiful yarn.

Just LOOK at it!

sparkle

This picture is NOT mine – I took it from The Lemonade Shop’s etsy page – click through to their store!

I’ve been following The Lemonade Shop on instagram for a while, their yarn is SO gorgeous and I finally broke down and bought some at the end of June. However, I didn’t cast on until the other day because I wanted to make sure I did right by this yarn. The rainbow colors are so vibrant and the yarn itself is soft and sparkly and I love it. To make sure it gets a ton of use, I’ve decided to knit a hat with it. And I knew I wanted to wing it rather than pattern it. So I swatched and did the math and cast on 144st and knit about half an inch before realizing it was WAY too big. So I ripped and cast on 104st and that’s working MUCH better.

So I started some 2×2 rib…
img_09661-e1474259991863-768x1024
I

AM

ENCHANTED

That rainbow? Spirals oh so orderly around the hat. Every time it lines up correctly I giggle a little and show my husband how awesome it is (he’s a good sport). I zoomed through the ribbing. I tried it on and it’s enough ribbing to cover my ears. I flipped through the stitch dictionaries I have but have basically decided to just stick with stockinette to preserve the spiral I love so much.

Here’s where I hit a snag though…

img_09671

I don’t know if you can tell but instead of carrying on with the spiral, the rainbow is doubling back and pooling – I think it’ll end up spiraling the opposite direction.

Not ideal.

I figure I have a few options…

1) I can just 2×2 rib through the whole hat. I’d rather not do that though as that kind of ribbing can be annoying after a while. I can never get a good rhythm going and it’s so boring to actually knit.

2) I think if I go up a needle size that will let me knit stockinette and maintain the spiral. Based on what I’m seeing, the stockinette is using less yarn than the 2×2 rib…so going up a needle size SHOULD counteract that. I think.

I plan on tinking back and giving it a shot. Wish me luck!

Posted in On the Needles | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Time found!

Found some time this weekend (before my knee decided to crap out on me) to dye up some more yarn. This time I decided to try some variegated!

IMG_0932[1]It’s super interesting to see how the different colors came out. It’s nowhere near perfect, there were quite a few muddy spots but I learned a ton from this as well!

I also learned that a $5 roasting pan to do this in was not the best choice. I soaked it to clean it and there were all kinds of weird spots and blotches. Not ideal. So I’ll be investing in a better pan soon.

Next up is an attempt at kettle dyeing!

Oh! After my knee went wonky, the husband and I worked on this all weekend:

IMG_0936[1]

I had a blast! I always forget how fun puzzles can be.

Posted in Finished Projects | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

An Experiment

Bubble, bubble

Toil & Trouble

Decided to give yarn dyeing a go. Tried Kool-Aid with some roving (it went…ok…I needed more Kool-Aid in there for sure and the roving felted a bit). I decided that it was fun and bought a Craftsy class on the subject – “Professional Yarn Dyeing at Home” with Sarah Eyre. It’s really good, highly recommend checking it out.

I ordered this kit from Jacquard along with some undyed yarn from Knit Picks.

In the one chance I’ve had to try it out since I received the stuff (it’s been a VERY busy summer) I did the following.

I turned this:

IMG_0917

Into this:

IMG_0919

I may love it you guys. I’m hoping to try variegated as soon as I get some time!

Posted in Finished Projects | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Adding to the Universe

Been working on the cabled scarf – more about that below but I wanted to get a pic in!

IMG_0831[1]

Hoo boy – things have been rough the past few days, haven’t they? Well…this whole year really. I don’t know if I’ve talked about it much here, but I struggle with anxiety and depression. It’s something that I deal with every day and both can be exacerbated by something as simple as reading the news or being on Twitter too much. Unfortunately, my primary means of talking with my friends is Twitter. And with the current…turmoil…going on in the world, it can be tough to find a good balance.

I decided today to post some suggestions of how I’m coping and getting through all this.

  1. Creating – In my case? Knitting. This may come as a huge shock on this knitting blog ;-). I find knitting to be very soothing…the repetition, the feel of the yarn, all of it helps calm my brain down. Lately I’ve been working on the cabled scarf for a friend in a pattern of my own design. It’s easy enough that I’ve memorized the stitch pattern but with the cable it’s challenging enough to keep my focused. So if you’re finding things tough to deal with, I highly suggest turning away from the internet and turning towards creating something – it helps.
  2. Playing – For me, it’s been modded Minecraft. Specifically, Agrarian Skies. I find it to be challenging and fun and very little pressure. This particular mod forces you to start up in the sky, with a small amount of blocks to stand on, a few blocks of dirt and 1 tree. From there you have to create EVERYTHING. It’s a good way to slow down because there isn’t much to actually do until you get stuff set up. Something like Minecraft is great for it, or Animal Crossing or Stardew Valley. Stuff that isn’t too stressful.
  3. Listening – I’ve recently had a few podcasts recommended to me that have turned out to be some of the greatest things to come into my life. First I started listening to The Adventure Zone, a DnD podcast. From there, I started listening to their other podcast “My Brother, My Brother and Me” – an advice show for the Modern area. As you can see from the name, there are 3 brothers and they give advice to people who write in and read Yahoo Answers questions and then go off on comedic tangents. It’s a great show and really funny. The best part? Their comedy isn’t at all stressful. Too many people rely on easy, hurtful jokes. These guys just have a good time and get silly without intentionally hurting people’s feelings. And if they happen to do so? They’re the first ones to apologize for it. Never have I listened to funny people try so hard to also be GOOD people. It’s refreshing and means I don’t have to constantly try to apologize for liking it. All three brothers are a delight and I’m working my way through all of their various projects.
  4. Watching – May I recommend Murder She Wrote? I unironically LOVE this show. I love mystery shows from this time period because everything always works out. I know that by the end of the story the bad guy will have been caught and the mystery solved. Also, it’s about an older woman who’s been widowed who’s just starting her second career as a bestselling mystery writer. It’s friggin’ great. And the fashion is always fun to see!
  5. Reading – Usually when I’m having these kinds of days, I read stuff I’ve read a million times before. I like the familiarity of knowing what’s going to happen and that things will work out. I tend to gravitate towards murder mysteries or romance novels. Just like with Murder She Wrote, I know things are going to work out – that’s the formula. I can highly suggest giving Maggie Sefton’s serious of Knitting Mysteries – they’re great and fiber oriented, so it’s double the fun! I just went to grab a link to the first book and it turns out you can get the first 2 for $1.99 right now! GET ON IT!
  6. Cuddling – When in doubt, find someone or something to cuddle with. For me, it’s either the husband or my cat. A stuffed animal or pillow works too.

The most important thing is to take care of yourself. Do something nice for yourself each day. It’s important to help others but you can’t help anyone if you don’t help yourself sometimes. It’s just like airplane instructions say…secure your own oxygen mask before helping secure a child’s. Be as kind to yourself as you would to everyone else. Despite our differences, we’re all in the same world.

Gratuitous cat & knitting picture!

Gratuitous cat & knitting picture!

Posted in Knitting, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Writing a pattern?

Today I am full of questions!

Celtic Cable Scarf - cropped out the row instructions to keep the mystery ALIVE

Celtic Cable Scarf – originally

Ages ago I started a scarf for my friend Nate. He requested a cable scarf in green. I originally chose the Celtic Cable Scarf by Vanessa Lewis. It’s a beautiful pattern, good yarn but dang it made my hands hurt. So it languished. I’d put one or two rows on every few weeks…or months.

Each time, I’d pull it out, figure out the directions and where I was, find a cable needle and then put a row on then go “nope” due to the pain.

So I had to really consider the piece and I decided to rip it out and start over. I couldn’t find a pattern that I wanted to go with so I decided to try my hand at cobbling together a design of my own. I pulled out my copy of A Treasury of Knitting Patterns and found a cable I liked. From there I did some simple stitches around the panel to make up the scarf and this is what it currently looks like:

IMG_0807[1]

Which brings me to my question – at what point does a pattern become your own? I don’t think this one in particular is different enough to be original. But let’s say I design a different scarf…or a shawl…or whatever but I use a stitch pattern from a stitch dictionary. At what point does that design become original and I can write it into a pattern and put it up on Ravelry? How does that work?

Posted in Knitting, On the Needles | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

What I’m working on

I’ve been in a bit of knitting funk lately. I did finish a hat but haven’t taken any pictures of it…so it’s a bit hard to blog about. Mostly I’ve been thinking about knitting and then slowly working on my Rose City Rollers.

IMG_0768[1]I’m on the second sock and have, finally, passed the gusset decreases. The pattern and yarn are great…I just can’t muster up any enthusiasm for the project. But I also can’t muster up any enthusiasm for any other project.

So what have I been up to? Mostly I’ve been playing old video games and reading books I’ve read before. I’m a creature of habit that way.

I’ve also gotten into Makeup Tutorial videos on youtube. For the last few years I kind of gave up on wearing makeup. Through these videos though, I’ve become super inspired to try and learn to do my own makeup better. I struggle against negative stereotypes about makeup and how that intersects with feminism. But ultimately, if I like it and have fun with it…who cares? It doesn’t mean anything other than I like putting it on.

What have you guys been up to?

Posted in Knitting | 1 Comment