Sunday, October 19, 2014

Blogging in Autumn

Sounds like an expensive landscape painting...mebbe. Ok, maybe not.

So it's been a WHILE since I last blogged. Not too much has really happened. Went perm at my job, knit a whole lotta stuff...y'know, the usual.

I'm super stoked that I'm doing things in my life though. I've become a little more adventurous as I'm getting older and I've really given myself the opportunity to say "fuck it" and proceed with a spontaneous evening. I still need a schedule in my head...somewhere. But I've been trying to let go a lot more and participate in things.

I think this is recently apparent in some of the outings I've gone on. In the past three weeks, I've tried sushi for the first time, seen a show in Boston, seen a local band in Leominster, apple picking in Nashoba Valley, finished a special project and taken on a commission. Some of these things required a level of planning and scheduling, but for the most part, it was more 'devil may care'. I'm happy about that! I've not really ever been so free in my thinking and this is both exhilarating and exhausting...but in a good way. I end up enjoying myself more and really remembering the experience for what it was not things like how much it cost or the gas to get there or the time involved. Hopefully I can stay on this path and take fuller advantage of life!

And then there's knitting!! Holy crap. Xmas is right around the corner. On one hand, I'm super fast at picking out and making presents....on the other hand, I haven't even started yet. LOL. I have some stuff picked out but haven't actually cast on. I have that commission to finish (likely this week) and get out to the recipient, and I have the Stephen West MKAL which starts on the 31st. Plus birthday stuff in there somewhere. Whew...gonna be a busy fall!! Ha.

Speaking of fall, I'm stoked that October is really here. It's about 50 degrees outside, a light breeze, a bit overcast and leaves are falling. The past few weeks around New England have been....wonky. Hot and humid days, stuffy nights. No bueno. The weather now, though, is perfect for sipping a nice heavy beer and knitting into the night. Cold? Yes. But not winter. It's been a long time since I've appreciated autumn in the way that it should be. Being a New Englander since birth, I'm not into 'leaf peeping'. That's so not a thing. Well, it is, but not for me. The leaves turn, they fall off, and as a kid, I had to rake. Now, however, no raking. So I get to watch the colours come and go and just enjoy the overall feel of fall.

I'll end with this: I'm happy. Happy that I'm living the life I have. Happy I'm overcoming life's little challenges. Happy that I'm making changes in my life that positively effect not just my life but the life of my friends and family. Vic and I are happy after eight years and are looking to the future. I'm also really happy that I'm exploring. Exploring my way of thinking, my body (I workout now), my attitude, driving, knitting, crafting, dreams, money.... there are so many things that people get stressed over and I'm taking them on as challenges to overcome. So, yeah, I'm just happy. Of course, if you feel like dropping me a cool million, I'll be even happier, but hey, who knows what the future will bring?

Sunday, June 15, 2014

#StartItUpSunday , A thing?

So I just got this idea for #StartItUpSunday. I mean, why not? We have #GingerThursday for no apparent reason, #WIPWednesday for obvious ones, and other random "days" in between. So I'm going to make this a thing. Even if it's something small, or just chores, I think #StartItUpSunday could catch on...mebbe.

Ok, well, I officially started this giant blanket of doom. I need to craft the needles, make all the yarn, and buy more. But this is going to be epic! Here's a link to the pattern: Twisted Sister

According to the designer, you have to knit this on size US 120 needles! Well, those are not mass-produced. So, you can buy them from the designer for $91. Yeah, no. Sorry. That's a bit pricey for a couple of wooden dowels that have been lathed into points. I've already purchased everything I'll need to make them and it's less than $30. Besides, spending that much on them would mean I'd have to actually use them a lot....and realistically, I'll probably only make one of these blankets. Maybe two. But not enough to warrant $91 for just the needles.

Enough ranting, time for needles! Here are the first tests of both whittling and waxing.

Nice and smooth!!
Man, I really know how to polish wood, huh?
Not TOO shabby if I do say so myself! Considering that I'm not a carpenter or woodworker, and I don't have a lathe, this isn't bad! I'm just hoping that I can recreate these results on the other points! Though, there's a possibility I won't have to as my good friend +Hugh Tauerner has friends that have a lathe... I might just be able to save my arms/hands!

Also, the yarn. Three strands of Caron 1lb held together and chained with a Q hook. BORING but important. I'll be getting more colours eventually since this will completely burn my stash of acrylic. I have some other acrylics that I plan on turning into yarn this way as well. This will be one hell of a blanket!

Here's the yarn so far...I have a long way to go, both for the needles and the yarn.

Like I said, long way to go. I only just started last night and started the needles this morning. After completely burning off all the energy I had, I'm thinking that I'll stop for today...

Thursday, May 22, 2014


I have FO's!!!!

First things first, I have a job. A real job. An 8 hour, 8-5, sit in a cubicle job. Does it make me happy? Not really. But it's a step to making my life better and it's a paycheck. 

What's really great is that I have the opportunity to learn a whole facet of an industry that I had really only put my toe in; a much larger ocean of knowledge is waiting for me to just drink up!

Given that I have a full-time job, working on projects is limited to time before and after work, the weekends and my lunch breaks. Even with those limitations, I have been able to tackle my long list of projects to finish and start. 

So, enough of that. Here's project number one: Tripartite.

Not the best photo in the world but I'll get a better shot later. Started last August, this is 100% linen yarn, lace weight, by Shu Bui. I really hope this yarn gets softer as I wear it but no matter, I really like this thing. Makes me look like I have bat wings. Also, there are mistakes... Many, actually. I totally lost track of what I was doing when I was working on the second half. Oh well.. non-crafters will have no idea and there are other ways to wear this thing with which I will experiment tomorrow. It's so damn cold in my office!!

Ok, so project number two was just started yesterday. At Granite, where I work, there's a knitting group!! YES A KNITTING GROUP WHERE I WORK!!! ZOMG!! They are donating hats and things to the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and they have an open and free stash of cotton yarn that is available to anyone that wants some. I grabbed a small ball of teal cotton yarn for another hat but my first hat used up a hank of cotton I already had. This is in Aracunia cotton (I can't remember the name) but it's lovely:

So this worked up REALLY quick. Plus the yarn was thick/thin so it seemed to grow a lot. But I was happy to be able to donate a hat during the first time meeting these ladies. They were very nice and accepting. I'm looking forward to going to the meetings in the future.

Lastly, a little more than a week ago, I finished one of my two Find Your Arrow Mystery KAL's that I started! This thing is HUGE at 8 feet long. All worsted weight yarn (over 1000 yards of it!) and made on size 10 needles. After blocking it out, I'm quite in love with it. I definitely see myself wearing it at some point....maybe on the beach after sunset? Anyway:

Well that's it for now!! With each project finished, I'm clearing out my project list. On to the next one!!!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Finish or Frog It?!

Well, after asking, the consensus (all of the two replies) was to make a blog post. So here are the "question mark" projects that I can't decide on..

1. Olan.
Olan is a wonderful pattern. The details are subtle and I like the slip stitches. However, I bought this yarn at the WEBS Tent Sale last year. I cast on right away and made some quick progress...but there are some issues. Some mistakes. I know precisely where they are and that kind of bugs me.

On the other hand, I've cut into that tan yarn and I really like this colour combo. If I frog it, that yarn will likely not be used right away and probably irritate me. It's a wonderfully soft fiber and I'd love to wrap this thing around my neck some day... You can see my dilemma, but I'll take popular opinion at this point:

2. Chadwick.
Ok, so the story goes like this. Chadwick is a Stephen West pattern. I adore nearly all his designs and this is no exception. This one uses slip stitches too and was re-started around the same time as Olan. This was also the second attempt on this pattern as the first one's colour combination was...less than brilliant. Again, I bought the yarn for this specifically at the last Tent Sale and the two colours together work well. The thing is, I don't know if I "feel" this project anymore. The feeling I get when I look at it is one of disappointment.

To further said disappointment, I even got it as a KAL in a community on Google+. While there were a couple that finished it ( +Cailin MacKay ) , I never did. I didn't get much farther than I had already...and that made/makes me sad. To that end, I'd almost like to keep it "hanging around" for when I feel like overcoming that bit of sadness... but then, there are other things I'd REALLY like to be working on, too. Halp?!:

3. Old Forge.
Another Stephen West pattern (gee, really?). This was started on a whim after I got all that lace from KP. I don't think I'd feel too bad about frogging this one and I know I could use those yarns in something else (way down the line)...

I do want to make this pattern though and lace would look all sorts of amazing...:

4. Two at a Time Socks.
These were supposed to be a Christmas present TWO YEARS ago... but I only got to this point and put them down/away. I've already thought of how I could finish these into matching wristers (my word) but I don't know. There's a VERY obvious mistake on one of them but the yarn is discontinued Moda Dea and it's really lovely. I have a couple more balls of it so maybe frogging this completely and making something else isn't such a bad thing? I'll take your thoughts.:

So that's it! Just four. I have a couple obvious frogs so I'll be ripping those out today. And I have a couple obvious finishers that I'll be holding onto (Viajante, Tripartite, Cushy Tushy, and my two FYAMKAL's).

Thoughts/comments very much welcome!!

After contemplation, staring, thinking, etc... I decided to just FROG EVERYTHING!! I have all of this yarn now to put away but I feel a LOT better about what needs to be done. I even frogged my Cushy Tushy pants but I'm casting them back on right now. Just a matter of my not being happy with the short rows. That and I wanted to change up the colours.


Sunday, March 2, 2014

Woot a post!

It's been a while since I last wrote a blog entry. Lots, not actually happened. I think the most important thing that's happened is that I've been give contracts to craft! Two, so far, and both for crochet. After the first one I thought I could put away my hooks for a while...but that only last a couple of days. Then I got the second one. Well, I had to get a new hook for that one but that's ok. I'm thrilled to be doing it.

Actually, I've learned some things about myself while doing these contracts. I've analyzed my work more carefully, studied my techniques and tension and really made sure to fit in with the specifications and requirements. I'm feeling much more confident about my crochet abilities and the concept of my craft being something that I claim to be good.

In other news, I totally did the Ravellenics!!! I even got badges!!

That's for doing my Brioche hat!! I so love brioche now, I just need to get some other projects done before starting another one of those..

Oh kay, well, now the beer is kicking in so I think I'll get off the keyboard. LOL.

Take care!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

New Year, More Blog

Yay 2014! Of course, we're nearly half-way through January already...but whatever. Things are moving along. Life is always interesting and challenges have their way of popping up when you least expect it. First major challenge is finding a job. Slim pickin's out there for now and the DUA hasn't issued me a check yet. Yeah, TEN WEEKS without a paycheck from a service that I've been paying into for 2.5 decades...

In other news, I've got commissions and a couple of contract knits to worry about. I found out yesterday that my skills will be used for an upcoming book (!!) so I'm just waiting on confirmation, the terms, and eventually yarn. Both of these opportunities will become my primary focus once the supplies are in hand.

As for "Project: Make My Queue 2013", I can state that it was a resounding success! I started with 47 projects in my queue to make. Even with adding, switching, and frogging, it came out to 65 projects!! There are some still in progress too but I can't call them 2013 anymore and are not included in that number. I'm giving myself a big pat on the back for that one! AND that included two sweaters!

Knitting goal for 2014 is to basically knit what I feel but stay organized and, indeed, get more organized. I have a few different queues going this time and I'm using tags appropriately to stay on track. I don't think I'll be making multiples of anything either but my limit of only two pages for my entire queue is still in effect. This will keep me from adding things at random that I know I'll never make. I also plan on doing more designing and colourwork. I think there's an opportunity there that I haven't yet explored.

Completed project count for 2014 so far is 3. Yes, 11 days into the year and I've completed three projects. They were small but still, that's three less things on my queue! This just means I can get back to incomplete projects from the "project wall" and clear out that inventory. I also need to get started on the Master's class since they aren't going to wait yeah, 2014 is off to an ok start. Better than 2013 when I was near death from the Flu. Ha!

A short blog post for now but there'll be more. I've been pretty good about updating regularly so I'm hoping to stay on that as much as possible. Anyone wanting me to knit something for them, please submit your information and request through the link at the top "Request for Quote". I'll get them in an email and get back to you immediately!


Monday, December 30, 2013

Farewell 2013, You Won't be Missed

December 30th, 2013... I'm rather glad this year is over. I'm looking forward to what 2014 will bring. I'm hoping that a new job and a new outlook is just around the corner.

Originally I had planned on a long, drawn out end of year recap. Now, however, that doesn't really suit me right this moment. I'd rather be knitting anyway.

I will say this, I'm hoping to blog more. I'm hoping to knit more for my store and, indeed, get more store up and running for real. Etsy is a great stepping stone but I would rather be a knitter for hire than just making supplies for my inventory. I do have a couple ideas for making that happen though so we'll see.

As for life? Well, it's been less than fabulous since getting laid off. Recent law changes in MA have made all the various processes take exponentially longer and thus I haven't gotten a single check yet. Certainly not a very good way to start a new year.

Goals for 2014:

- Get better at sweaters
- Complete the Master Knitter's evaluation
- Clear out all my current WIP's
- Get my store and KFH site up and running
- Design more!

I guess you can call those "resolutions" if you want but I don't particularly subscribe to that whole thing. These are goals and are attainable with focus and diligence. Resolutions always seem to be more lofty and out of reach. I'll stick to this list and add to it as necessary.

That about does it, then! Kind of a pitiful last post of the year but it serves the purpose. I'm glad of what I've accomplished so far and look forward to the new challenges that await!