Saturday, January 31, 2009

25 Random Things About Me

I got this meme from Divine Bird blog. She didn't tag anyone specific, so I took it upon myself to be tagged, if you would like to be tagged, consider yourself so.

Onto the 25 Random Things About Me

1. I was picked on in school, not your average joking around, but picked on a lot, it led to a lot of depression/weight issues, etc.

2. I loved books a lot when I was younger, because I would disappear into their worlds. It didn't matter the story, fantasy, horror, etc. I got so good at this, that I still have difficulty sometimes distinguishing between memories and things I read in books.

3. I had a really bad dream when I was a teenager which convinced me that in a past life I was an abusive husband and that some of the things I experienced in this life were atonement for the bad things I did in my past life.

4. I have never had a specific desire to have children, but I have always loved the thought of being pregnant and for a long time (maybe even still) I thought that it would be the most fulfilling thing to be a surrogate for someone else.

5. My fiance and myself met in a chatroom on the internet, back in January of 1995, and not on an online dating service, just in a chatroom. I was only a freshman in high school.

6. I always thought I would marry someone just like my Uncle Brit, he is still one of the best men I have ever known.

7. When I was younger, I wanted to be a writer, I even carried around a notebook with me all the time, writing my ideas and stories down.

8. I only started spinning because my mother sent me a kit to do so, I never really thought it was something I would really like because you were just making yarn.

9. I love animals, so much so that if I had to choose between the ability to have children and the ability to own animals, I would pick the animals.

10. Guinea Pigs and Angora Rabbits can kill me within about 40 or so minutes, I am that allergic to them.

11. I still can not believe New Kids on the Block are putting out new music.

12. I highly believe in the power of the mind, you can convince yourself of almost anything . . . which can be good or bad.

13. The only horror movie that ever scared me was the Chucky series, I never looked at my dolls the same way. Still don't, really.

14. I really love to sing, even if I don't sing well, it just makes me feel so much better. I will even sing as I walk to school sometimes, yes a get a few odd stares, but oh well.

15. Some day I really want to have a garage set up as a wood shop, I love to make things in general and think that kind of precision and math work is fun.

16. When I was a teenager I got in trouble from my mother because during an earthquake instead of running to a doorway, I ran to my bookshelf and tried to keep all my books from being harmed. *Yes, I am fully aware now of how stupid that is, but I can't guarantee that I wouldn't do it again.*

17. The most clarifying point in my life was my attempted suicide approximately 10 years ago, when I realized just how much I didn't actually want to die.

18. I had a reoccurring dream of my Uncle Joey for many years after he died, where he was trying to tell me something . . . I could never hear him very well in the dream and know I think I know what he might have been telling me and wonder if I could have prevented something from happening.

19. As you can see, I am very oddly spiritual, but don't have a direct path.

20. Working in retail made me a kinder person. I think it's easier to have empathy for other people when you see how similar you all are.

21. I want to teach in an inner city type school.

22. I truly believe that my future in-laws don't care for me, as I believe they think my fiance deserved something "better", maybe a trophy wife. Which only somewhat annoys me because my family seems to adore him.

23. I would love to visit Hawaii, I love their language and I would love to try to hula dance.

24. I have taken belly dancing classes before and would do so again if I knew of any around here.

25. I have only been to one casket view in my life and will never go to one again, I would prefer to remember them as I last saw them . . . that is an image I will never be able to get rid of now.


I know, weird and odd arrangement of things, but still things about me. I will post more later tonight about the yarn dyeing stuff.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Loom Issues

Okie, dokie . . . my loom problems. See, when I learned to weave at the college, both the back beam and the front beam look like my front beam. Smooth with no pegs, and the metal part to tie down the warp to.


Front Beam


Back Beam





However, you see my back beam has pegs in it, across and around. . . and no metal piece to tie down to. I do not understand how to do this and keep accurate tension. In class we were taught to wrap a piece of paper between each layer of yarn so they did not sink into each other and make the tension uneven, but how can I do that with these pegs all over the back beam? So, if anyone knows how I am suppose to wind on the back beam and keep even tension, it would help greatly!

*Sorry, not blog review today. Thought I was getting better, but my stomach says differently and I just don't feel good.*

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Donate Life

That is what the little green band that they gave me after I donated blood yesterday says. I have donated blood off and on since I was in high school, I never really had problems with it until I moved to Buffalo. There are two different places that come to the school for blood donations, the Red Cross and then one of the blood banks around here. I have had iffy treatment, unfortunately from both of these places, and in all honesty, this was the first time I actually thought "If this goes badly again, I'm not going to do this anymore". Horrible, huh? But it is true.

Customer Service, bed side manner, whatever you want to call it, it's all really the same thing . . . being nice to those you are serving/helping, it's highly lacking in general. Sometimes it is nice when I go, the people are pleasant, they don't bruise my arm up like I am a battered wife. Other times they talk to me as little as possible, as if I am some inconvenience to them and instead of pulling out the needle to try again to get the vein they just wiggle it around until they hit a vein which causes the whole inside of my elbow to bruise up. Why is it so hard for people to just be nice? When you work with the public in any way, shape, or form, they should never just be treated like cattle. I know this, I have worked with the public since I was a teenager.

All in all, I had a wonderful lady who was very nice and did her job very well. So, I will give blood when the blood bank comes again.

I find it humorous and even sad that they felt they needed to reassure me as to the "type" of people who would be receiving my blood. I am O+, which is universal and they love that blood. Twice I was "reassured" by workers that O+ blood goes to babies, so they don't have to be concerned with not having the right type of blood on hand. Which is nice, I will admit, but as I told them . . . I don't care who my blood goes to as I would assume if someone is receiving a blood transplant, then it is someone who needs it, period.

So, anyways, I know I promised pictures of my loom issues, but I forgot to charge my camera battery again . . . I know, I know . . . so I will take some pictures tomorrow after I get out of work. I am also having further "issues" with the yarn I dyed, but we shall discuss that tomorrow when they are dry so I can take some pictures. See you all then.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

"There's your plan and then there is the god's plan . . ."

To quote one of my favorite cartoons, The Road to El Dorado (Which I need to buy the Dvd soon since my VHS is getting old, but anyways . . .) So, the yarn that I planned to dye for a color-work sweater/vest is not going to be happening. The Yarn Gods had their own idea of how the yarn would accept the dye. So far, the purple separated and is not a solid; the green turned out perfectly, if a little light; the blue has separated and is a variety of teal/blue/purple . . . I still have to dye the black. I think they dyed up nice colors so far, just not what I had wanted for that project. So, they will end up being something different, what I have no idea yet. Maybe some thick and warm winter socks . . . who knows. Oh well, I guess it wasn't meant to be.

I finished Rhoni's scarf:

Action shot, almost didn't post it though, I kind of look like crap. Blame being sick the last couple days and giving blood today(more on that tomorrow). You can't really see the pink stripe when it's on.


Folded picture.




It took a while, because I am still figuring out the loom and it is tolerating me some of the time. I like how the scarf turned out though and hope Rhoni will too. I will post pictures tomorrow with the issue I am having with the loom and see if anyone can help me.

More tomorrow, see you then!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Sick

Well, this post is going to be short and pathetic, but technically it is still a post. I still feel sick. I do have things to show you all though, so hopefully I am feeling better tomorrow. I will see you then.

Monday, January 26, 2009

When is Summer?

Well, today was the first day of classes for the Spring Semester and I feel like crap. I was fine this morning, but my body is no longer use to going out into the freezing cold, going into overheated classrooms/buildings, going back out into the cold, going back into overheated classrooms/buildings, etc. So, I feel sick and have quite the head ache. So this is a short post. I convinced the boy to make food tonight . . . sloppy joes and some baked beans with lays potato chips. Then, I am sleeping, hopefully until my alarm goes off tomorrow for the next first day of classes.

In case you haven't fully realized this . . . I am so not a winter person. Give me fall or spring any day . . . even a hot humid summer.

A few days ago I received some yarn in the mail that I had purchased from Fuzzy Noodle Knits, when she destashed some stuff a week or so ago.

This wool I intend to dye and knit up a sweater or vest. I figured I could dye maybe each skein a different color and do some color-work or fair-isle work. Trying to think of a good color combination. I definitely want some greens in there, probably a darker green. Not sure yet. Any ideas? If I can figure it out, I might dye them up this weekend.



I want to dye these up too, but not sure why or for what for. We'll figure that out, when it comes time for that.


Sunday, January 25, 2009

N is for . . .

I received the letter "N" from Chan at Chanknits, so I will attempt to list ten things that start with the letter "N" that I like. If you'd like to play along and haven't already, leave a message and I'll give you a letter.

1.Nighttime - - I have really always been a night owl as long as I can remember. This is possible and often too easy to do, since I can sleep easily in daylight hours.

2.Nap-time - - I am a firm believer that if they are going go train you to take naps as a child and in kindergarten, then, life in general should be allowed naps.

3.Nerds - - My fiance is a huge nerd and in general I tend to find nerds attractive.

4.Nature - - I have always love nature since I was little. I think it comes from my Grandma Eve, she would go on walks almost every day, they lived out in the middle of nowhere.

5.Nieces - - I do like my niece, Justice and my niece to be, Vera.

6.Nylon - - When it's added to other fiber, such as wool to make socks stronger or cotton to make lovely wash cloths. (Definitely not the kind you wear on your legs though!)

7.Nice People - - As with most people, I am sure, I like nice people over rude people.

8.Newton, of the fig variety - - As in Fig Newtons, of course, still love them even though I learn that statistically you are probably eating a fair amount of wasps with them, yeah I learned that in my high school horticulture class, yummy.

9.Nests - - I love bird nest because of all of the diverse things they will collect to make a home for their babies. A work of art.

10.New - - in more ways than one. To learn NEW things, to buy NEW craft supplies, to meet NEW people . . . etc.

Holy Moly, the letter N was a lot more difficult than I expected. :)

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Thinking and Learning




Your Word is "Think"



You see life as an amazing mix of possibilities, ideas, and fascinations.

And sometimes you feel like you don't have enough time to take it all in.



You love learning. Whether you're in school or not, you're probably immersed in several subjects right now.

When you're not learning, you're busy reflecting. You think a lot about the people you know and the things you've experienced.



Not so much a shock, really, as you really feed the test exactly what you think life means anyways.

Along this line though, I went to the bookstore on Friday night and saw the new KnitScene, Winter 2008/Spring 2009, and was rather disappointed. I didn't even purchase it. The only things I really thought looked interesting, were things that I could probably figure out how to make it or something very similar myself. I enjoy buying magazines to learn things. If a pattern can't teach me something, what is the point of it? It's not that I didn't find some of them appealing, because I did, but I doubt I need a pattern to do it.

Sixteen-Point Tee - - It looks like a potentially cute top, but it doesn't even fit the model well and makes her chest look small to non-existent because it bunches around her chest like she can't even fill out the top. (middle pictures especially shows this)

Pink Tie Tunic - - Kind of cute, but a very simple pattern that anyone could do on their own.

Carnation Tee - - Cute, but really just a raglan top with two colors used and some texture.

Ribby-Yo Vest - - Very 80's appearance, looks somewhat like a maternity top in my opinion.

Rainbow Yoke Sweater - - nice colorwork, but basically a shapeless sweater, no real pattern there.

Forever Tweed Sweater - - Nice looking sweater, but again, typical 80's baggy look with no shaping. Nothing special.

Broad Street Hoodie - - again, a cute top, but doesn't look like there would be any difficulty in knitting it up without the pattern as it doesn't seem to include waist shaping or anything special. Even the hood doesn't seem to fit the model, seems too small.

Nimbus Vest - - I will admit I find the color combo and design very appealing. Again though, nothing special to learn that anyone couldn't probably do themselves, not shaping really to speak of and if there is, then it doesn't fit the model well.

Patchwork Hat - - nice hat, with many different textures that seem to work well together and probably worth the pattern, but not a real hat person myself.

Stacked Rib Cardigan - - Can't say much about the patterns shape since it really seems WAY too big for the model, there seems to be a nice shape to the garment through different stitches, but the huge arms of the top on the model make her look a lot larger than she obviously is.

Orchid Wrap - - just some entrelac, nothing special.

Heather Overlap - - huh? Find me one person that can wear that and it looks like a real garment on and not just like a blanket with some arm holes cut into it. I just don't understand that piece at all.

Audra Crewneck - - I actually really like this and probably would have bought the magazine just for this pattern, if I hadn't been so annoyed with most of the rest of the magazine. Too bad.

Street Smart Hat and Mittens - - Cute set, crochet and knit mix.

Blue Filigree Hat - - Cute hat, but not nothing particular that sparks my interest.

Mumzy Scarf - - another WTF, personally I don't see the appeal in it, though I know that there are probably plenty who think it's adorable.

Cinch Headband - - Cute, but just a simple headband.

Winsome Cardigan - - I can kind of understand where this top was headed, but I think it missed it's mark. Without the live-preserving sleeves and put over something far more realistic, I think it might be able to work, but how can an item knit is such thick yarn on large needles look "winsome" or delicate at all?

Hermia Blouse - - Another one that I think has potential, but why in the world is she wearing over that other top? She looks like a kid playing dress-up in her mom's closet.

Ariadne Scarf - - Interesting scarf and probably worth a look for those who like to knit scarves.

Nymph Tee - - Another potentially cute top, but it's WAY too big on the model and why is she wearing it over that other top? Maybe in an effort to make it look like it actually fits her?

Artemis Tunic - - Another top with potential, but why in the heck is that huge belt around her? Why didn't they just put waist shaping? Or is it simply that, yet again, Interweave can't find models that will actually fit the designs in their magazines?

Tempest Beret - - Cute, but nothing special.

Pluie Pullover - - Interesting top, but why is it only shown from the front at a slight angle? Model seems to be standing awkwardly, like she is sticking her chest out . . . just seems like it's probably another garment that didn't fit well.

Triple-Slip Vest - - Cute vest, but nothing special.

Hedgerow Tee - - Cute-ish, but looks simple enough to make.

Caddy Tam - - Just really a simple Tam.

Saguaro Mittens - - Don't find appealing, look quickly put together and don't seem to fit the model. The thumb looks too long for the hand part of the mitten.

Feels Like Love Scarf - - Cute, but nothing special and seemingly simple stitch.

Pinwheel Pillows - - Cute, but not worth buying the magazine for and probably really aren't too hard to figure out myself.

As always, these are just my opinions and encourage you to look at the magazine for yourself. I had intended to talk about my disappointment in this issue tomorrow, after I had gotten some sleep, but in all honesty my disappointment with Interweave just seems too continue. Only Interweave Crochet has seem truly good to me lately and it worries me that when they replace the editor that it all may end and look just like the rest of Interweave.


**When I say something is "nothing special" to me that just means there is nothing so striking about the item as to make me want to buy the magazine, not that it isn't a good design**

Friday, January 23, 2009

Friday's Featured Blog

Today's featured blog is The Keyboard Biologist Knits!

I am aware that many of you may already read her blog, as she has been blogging since the end of 2002. If you have, maybe you would enjoy reacquainting yourself with the archives and if you haven't, maybe it's time you look around her blog a little. :)


Things I enjoy about this blog:
~I like the fact that she met her husband over the internet and has a good experience with it, as I met my fiance over the internet quite some time ago.

~I really like all the information she gives about each project, the ups and downs and all that jazz.

~She post lots of pictures and the archive pictures still show up.

~She has adorable pictures of her cats!

~She shares pictures and details of crafty things her mom or dad have made.

~Wonderful baby pictures! (As I have said before, I tend to live vicariously through other people's children)

~She seems very honest.


Arts & Crafts found at this blog:
~Felt Bag
~Knitted Top
~Another Knitted Top
~Felted Hat
~Knitted Pants
~Needle Point
~Knitted Lace Top
~Spindle Spinning
~Spinning Wheel Spinning
~Dyeing Roving
~Indigo Dyeing
~Needle Tatting
~Sock Knitting
~Knitted Rug
~Home-made Beer, and Part 2, and there's more if you look for it.
~Knitted Toe-up Knee High Socks
~Book Making
~Sewing
~Knitted Toy
~Knitted Fairy Wings
~Knitted Baby Socks and a cute baby too!
~Knitted Blanket
~Crochet
~Cooking

Interesting Links found at this blog:
Directions on how to make your own Knitted Toe-up Knee-high Socks:Part One and Part Two

As always, these are just my opinions, pop over to her blog and have a look for yourself. Hope you enjoy!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Vera

As a mentioned in my previous post, I am probably going to make my unborn niece a blanket to welcome her into this world. After all, I would feel far worse knowing I had not made something for her birth, than breaking a crummy resolution. So, I made a test square last night/this morning and here it is:






I chose different colors in my Red Heart Soft stash. I think the colors work well together for a design that is suppose to be reminiscent of the 70's. I chose to work on a much smaller hook(2.75mm) than the practice square I was doing yesterday for better wear and smaller holes for little hands not to get stuck in.

Edited: no more hesitation, I will make the blanket.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Back to basics . . .

I was inspired by this post over at Live Journal to do a little crocheting. The pattern that she used doesn't have the best pictures on their site and I really like the ones that the user on Live Journal had used. So, my own little crocheting from today:






Yarn: Caron Simply Soft in Pink and Red Heart Soft in Iced Violet(I think that is the correct color name)
Hook: 4mm

I think I might bend a little and kind of sort of create a gift . . . it's not really a gift if it's for someone who isn't born yet, right? I was thinking of using this granny square to make a blanket for my new niece who will be here in a few months. Her name is going to be Vera, after my great-grandma, so my mom thinks I should do it in 60's/70's colors . . . you know those colors. We shall see. I really love this square and am itching to make a blanket out of it . . . it's not so good to be breaking my resolutions in only January for Pete's sake! Hmm . . .

Congrats to my sister who is getting married tomorrow and I cannot be on the other side of the US to be there with her!

Fitness:
Wednesday: 42 minutes of Billy's Boot Camp Elite - Mission One. Yes, I really did buy this a few years ago when I was getting in shape, around when I sprained my ankle. It was a good work out, did it kick my butt like the Jillian Micheal's DVD? No, but it was longer and more consistent, also, only one exercise that is in the push-up type position, yeah for the wrists!

Was going to do some Wii today, but I'll blame that on my mom and sister, as they needed help with some downloading pictures and Photobucket stuff.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Birth and Reincarnation

First the birth . . . well, not quite a birth, but a beginning, the Falling Leaves yarn that I created is knitting up into a glove, but first, according to the WPI, it is dead center for DK weight. So a smidge thicker than I thought, but not quite a worsted weight. The only annoyance I have with the yarn is that since it was plied twice, the last twist goes clockwise (Z twist) so it somewhat unwinds while I am knitting. Here it is rolled in a ball:






And here is the beginning of the first glove. Now, don't get me wrong, I understand that it looks a little like something that came flying out of the 60's/70's, with all their wonderful color combinations, but in all honesty . . . I really love how it is turning out. I will most likely wear these gloves until they fall apart. The cuff is done in black wool, as I fear there is not enough of the spun yarn for two fingerless gloves, but I think it goes well and actually tones down the color some.






Lastly, reincarnation . . . the Cascade 220 is being reincarnated from a cowl, into an Elefante by Susan B. Anderson. He is an adorable little guy, but mine will be solid and is still in progress:






Fitness Update:
Tuesday: Jillian Micheal's 30 Day Shred - 20 minutes at Level 2 and boy did it kick my butt and I am sore. I did not exercise yesterday because I felt like blah and kept telling myself I just needed to rest, to sleep, to whatever (sometimes more than not we can be our own worst enemies) and this morning I woke up and knew that if nothing else, I definitely should have exercised yesterday. So I not only exercised today, but pushed myself by doing level two. It is hard, but not too hard . . . only I probably won't be doing it again, it has a great deal of exercising that has you in a push up type position and with my bad wrists, that is a big no no and my wrists will hurt for days (yes, they are sore now and not in a good way), so I will be looking for another to do tomorrow.

Confusion

Does anyone know why and is it possible to fix the fact that most of my comments come to me with a no-reply return address? I tried to look around blogger and didn't seem to find anywhere to fix this.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Beginnings . . .

Once upon a time, in a far, far away cornfield lived a young family. For Christmas that year the mother had decided she would make each of her three daughters their own cloth doll, complete with dress and bonnet.

On Christmas day, however, the eldest daughter opened her gift to find not a doll, but a kit to make a doll. The mother had grown tired of making the dolls or had run out of time and had only completed two of them. She decided if the eldest daughter wanted a doll , she could make her own. At first this daughter was annoyed, was she not good enough to receive a completed doll? Why hadn't her mother just gotten her something else? The daughter was young, around 9 or so and couldn't understand why she hadn't received a doll like her sisters. Part of her thought that making her own doll would be fun and interesting, but part of her did it just to show her mom that she deserved a doll too. So she worked on the doll and it wasn't the nicest looking doll, but it wasn't the last doll she made either.


The first doll I ever made, she's old, worn, and somehow lost her clothing in all these years, but she's still around.




Unintentionally, the mother had set the girl down a path of crafting that would be a part of her life to vary degrees for a long time. In the end, the girl's stubbornness to show her mother, led her to find something she truly enjoyed doing.

My crafting started with making dolls. I haven't made a cloth doll in a couple of years and in all honesty, I miss it. So, pulled out my fabric today and cut up some pattern pieces for a doll:





I made some home-made spring rolls today:


Stuffed full of onions, peppers, chives, mushrooms, cabbage, cauliflower, and pork. Yummy!




Tomorrow - - Falling Leaves Yarn and I believe the blue/green Cascade 220 yarn has found its final reincarnation . . . but more on those tomorrow.


Sunday, January 18, 2009

How thin is too THIN?

Ah, yes, I am cutting it very short tonight. We went out to dinner tonight in the snowy weather and had to drive slower than expected, therefor, we got home later than expected.

So, Spinning, lovely, lovely spinning. The picture I showed yesterday of this:



This is the lovely Falling Leaves yarn that I was making. I decided I didn't want the barber pole effect so I ended up Navajo Plying it by itself. This will of course mean that there isn't enough of this alone to knit the gloves, so it will probably be paired with a yarn of similar size, maybe a black. The only problem then was, it was still thinner than I wanted, about lace-weight, so I Navajo Plied it again. Yes, you read that right, this yarn was Navajo Plied twice, making it a 9-ply yarn and it is still only around a sport weight. I will know for sure when I take it off the bottle tomorrow and see what the WPI is.

Yes, I spin this thin. I tried when I first started spinning to spin thin and even singles. Now, it comes too naturally to spin this thin. So, onto the next spinning project:




This is some spinning that I am attempting to spin at a thicker single . . . unfortunately it's still a little thin, but I am trying . . . after all, learning is a constant, right?





This is the roving that the above spinning comes from. This is a small amount that I painted back in Washington State when I was there this summer. My mom and I painted some roving together. I have to admit, I wasn't sure how it was going to end up looking, but I think the spinning above is turning out pretty nice.

Down here at the bottom is a quick bit a spun up of it and test knitted to see how it would look. I like the look of the colors and that there is a distinction between each color.







Fitness Update:
Friday: Jillian Micheal's 30 Day Shred - - - 20 minutes at Level 1
Saturday: 30 minutes of the Wii Fit
Sunday: None, didn't do anything earlier and now don't feel too well, think I ate some bad nachos at Applebees.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Friday's Featured Blog

Our Featured Blog for this Friday is: Curious Weaver



Things I like about this blog:
~Brings up neat ideas like . . . Square Spindles
~Along with the above, is the fact that she always provides lots of links to interesting places and new knowledge. (She's an enabler) :)
~She is constantly learning new things and trying new things out.
~Very beautiful pictures.
~She has a very positive attitude.


Arts & Crafts found at this blog:
Clasped Weft Weaving
Stamping
Sewing with her own woven fabric
Warp Dyeing
Pencil Drawing
Knitting
Kumihimo
Mandalas
Finger Weaving on an airplane
Spinning
Photography
Weaving
Drawing of knitting
Woven Shibori Result and Before
Tapestry Weaving
Dyeing Bamboo
Tunisian Crochet
Glass Mosaic
Triaxial Weaving


Interesting links at this blog:
~PDF downloads for Curious Weaver 1994-1996
Lacemaking
Board Weaving PDF
Cardboard Weaving
Stick/Straw Weaving
Frame Weaving and another Frame Weaving


In the end, her blog may not be full of posts that list FOs and how she got there, but it is full of ideas and creativity and seemingly non-stop learning. A great place to go and be inspired . . . trust me, if this doesn't make you want to weave, nothing will.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

It's not you, It's me . . . Really

I completed my cowl today.

In action shot, ignore the stupid reflection on the glasses.


I really ended up liking the cable pattern and may use it for something else in the future.


I like this darker one because it really shows off the cables.




Yarn: Cascade 220 Superwash
Color: 859 (Blue-Green)
Content: superwash wool
Needles: 3.5mm
Pattern: My own.

My feelings about the pattern are pretty good. I really loved the way the cables looked and think this yarn and color do very well with cables and moss stitch. My feelings about cowls in general though? Not so good. I wear scarves and figured a cowl would be a lot more convenient, less bulky, and maybe prettier. In reality, to fit over my enormous head it is too loose around my neck, the pattern means nada when it's actually on so it might as well just be stockinette, and pulling anything on over your head while having glasses on just sucks. So in the end, after all of that, the cowl has been frogged. The yarn awaits, rolled in a ball, for what life may have in store for it in its next reincarnation.


Wii Fit Update:
Wednesday: 39 minutes. I made two improvements yesterday, I finally made it to the end of the advanced version of the bubble game (ugh, not a fan of it) and I unlocked the free step. Which is why I have so many minutes because I had to try it out and the smallest amount of time you can do it for is 10 minutes. So, my body is sore today, but that's a good thing, right? :)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Change

Today has been a weird day. A lot of thinking back on loved ones who have passed away. Not sure what it means right now or why I am thinking of it, but I have an odd feeling that some things are going to change soon. Not sure what, why, or how. Not sure it it's a good thing or a bad thing, little or big, it just feels like change. Maybe I am just hoping for change . . . who knows.

The cowl is coming along nicely and might get done tonight, definitely tomorrow. I am excited. As much of a process knitter that I am, it's always nice to see a finished item. This picture shows off pretty nicely the greens and blues of this yarn, although you might have to click on this link and view a larger size of it to understand what I mean.







Might try to do some spinning either tonight or tomorrow too.


Wii Fit Update:
Tuesday: no Wii minutes (this is due to the fact that I guess I as a lot more tired than I thought I was yesterday and I actually fell asleep at the computer!)

Wednesday: Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred - - I did the level one workout, essentially 20 minutes of her kicking your butt. Will be stepping on the Wii as soon as I publish this.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Cold, Freezing, Winter, etc

These are all bad words as far as I am concerned. I have never really been a fan of winter. It does have a few highlight moments, but mostly . . . it's just too cold, too wet, and way too slippery. (there is a very important note to make here that winter wet is far different than just rain wet, I come from the Pacific Northwest . . . I'd take rain wet any day over winter wet, ANY DAY) Blah, isn't summer here yet? or at least spring?

I have been working on my cowl, it's moving along. It seems I am one of those people that when I don't really have any deadlines, classes, etc. I seem to accomplish almost nothing. It's not like I don't do anything, but I so have the attitude that there is plenty of time to work on things and get things done, no rush, kind of putter along. Yet in a time of busy, deadlines, papers, work, etc. I always seem to get more crafting done at those times. I am always thinking, that I really need to find time to fit in crafts, so I'll make time for 15 minutes here, and hour there. I am beginning to think that I am actually happier during the busier times, the whole rush of having too many things to do and little time to do them in, it makes me more motivated. So now the question is . . . do I find ways to keep my life busier more of the time or do I figure out some way to enjoy the down time more? Not sure on that one.

Wii Update:
Monday: 47 minutes. I am getting better at quite a few of the ones I do regularly, so I am trying to add stuff in there that is out of my comfort level. I am definitely seeing the need here soon to do more though, like tapes or weight training, because even though I really enjoy the Wii and I think it is helping my ankle (even if it never did seem to heal correctly) . . . it doesn't seem to make me break a sweat anymore. Which is good, I am getting stronger, but I need to keep pushing myself. Now to get myself to actually it . . .

Monday, January 12, 2009

Monogamous I am NOT

Well, I have never, ever claimed to be a monogamous crafter. I have issues with this, but I doubt they have the appropriate psychiatric facilities for this kind of problem. So I promised I would show all my WIPs, including the ones that were rediscovered while cleaning up the crafty stuff. I will admit that a couple were frogged and will not be shown.

You have been warned, don't say you haven't . . . this isn't a list for the faint of heart. Here we go . . .

WEAVING

First up is Rhoni's scarf. As you can see by the beam below the weaving, I have gotten some work done on it. It's been a little slow because the loom and myself are really still becoming acquainted and it seems to be resisting the relationship some.



SPINNING
This is the yarn I am spinning for my eventual gloves. They have been "in the works" for some time now. I have blogged about this yarn before. The theme is the colors of fallen leaves in the fall.


This yarn is the yarn I intend to ply with the above yarn for my gloves. Both are spun very finely.


This is some lovely yarn that I started spinning but took it off the spindle to spin the natural roving above. This was carded by hand, since I don't have any tools yet to do any of that. I love it and will return to it once I am done with the natural color.



KNITTING
Here we have the Catherine Bear I am working on. I have the body, one side of the head, and a third of the other side of the head done.



My orange and brown top I started on I believe around January of last year. I put it down in late spring as it wasn't done in time to wear and was getting warmer and then kind of just forgot about it. I really didn't remember being so far along already. I have to admit, I can't wait to finish it, it feels so soft and snuggly.



My gloves that I started knitting this holiday season. My hands are always cold it seems, as you can tell, I haven't made it very far yet. I love the colors of this yarn though.



A charity hat.



One of Rhoni's headbands.



Another one of Rhoni's headbands.



Ah, well. This is sort of an indulgence. This is Knitty's Via Diagonale. I always wanted to knit a bag, so here she is. I know, it's quite bright and believe me, the colors are just as bright or maybe even a little brighter in real life.



This is my first toe-up sock. The stitch pattern is from one of the Sensational Knitted Socks books. You'll notice that the toe looks very unique. I worked hard until I made that short row toe pretty much match the shape of my toes. It was annoying and tedious, all that frogging and re-knitting, but I definitely think it was all worth it in the end.



My cowl. Ah, this was started early this fall I think . . . or somewhere around there. It was one of the items pushed aside for holiday knitting. I am looking forward to finishing it, preferably in time to still wear it this winter. You can see my love for moss stitch. :)



See, only 13!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Charged

Well, I am feeling somewhat better today. Not completely, but getting there. I know I was going to post pics of my wips, including ones rediscovered during cleaning, but I went to take them and my camera battery was dead. So it will charge tonight and I will take some pics tomorrow. Unfortunately, I have this bad habit of forgetting to turn the camera off and unplugging it from the computer once I have downloaded the pictures off of it and on to the computer, therefore, running down my battery. Yes, you would think I would have learned by now. So tomorrow.

I heard from my family and it seems that all gifts were well received, so that is good. It is even harder making things for people when they are so far away. Sizes are more of a guess, desired colors are more of a guess, etc. Since I live so far away, I haven't the slightest idea if they actually wear/use any thing I have made for them, if they just sit in a closet, or they have been donated/thrown out.

Wii Fit Update:
Sunday: 34 minutes. I finally got all the way to the end on that stupid bubble balance game, granted it was only in the beginner level, but still, it is quite an achievement for me.

Well, I will see you all tomorrow with some wonderful pictures . . . as for me, I think I might go spin some.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Icky

Well, I did some new year cleaning of the craft closet. Most stuff stayed, only a few things discarded. I still have to clean of the wire shelves I have in the living room, but rediscovered some projects that I forgot I had. When Christmas gift crafting starts, everything else is shoved to the curb and some times I forget about them completely. Sometimes, it was all for the better for them to have been forgotten about, so some were frogged.

I will take some pictures of my WIPs and rediscovered hibernating projects tomorrow after work. Not really feeling very good today, at all. My stomach is misbehaving. So very short post tonight. Probably going to try to get some rest here soon, maybe I will feel better tomorrow.

Wii Fit Update:
Friday: 37 minutes (I did a lot of Yoga and some strength training, only a little aerobics and balance games.)
Saturday: Missed day again. *Balancing and nausea don't go well together. (Was hoping to do a exercise video today too, but not with being sick.)

Friday, January 9, 2009

Friday's Featured Blog

Today's Featured Blog is Mama Urchin.


In her archives she explains that this is the blog she started reading that led her into the world of crafting blogs, Loobylu.


Things I enjoy about this blog:
~ I really love the way she "talks" so easily on her blog, like she's talking to a good friend.
~ Beautiful pictures.
~ I love her cooking posts, they make me want to go cook!
~ Her children are, of course, absolutely adorable
~ I love that she tries to involve her children in crafty projects.


Arts & Crafts I found at this blog:
~Felting
~Dyeing
~Mini Scrap booking
~Knitting
~Cooking
~Knitting and Felting
~Embroidery
~Re-purposing Crafts
~Polymer Clay Beads
~Sewing
~Little Sweater Knitting
~Go Fish Game
~Doll Clothing

Interesting Links from this blog:
~Tutorial for a String Backpack


I hope you have a look at her blog and enjoy it just as much as I do.

My boyfriend thinks it is ridiculous that spend so much time following as many blogs as I do, but he doesn't understand that they are all like little pieces of a puzzle . . . each has something different to offer (sewing, knitting, beautiful pictures, wonderful stories, in depth details of projects, humorous tales, etc) and in the end, they all fit wonderfully together.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Knit, frog, repeat

Once again, good sleep was had. :)

I worked on my toe-up sock last night and got about 3 or 4 inches in and realized, duh!, that I should try it on, since this is one of the perks of toe-up construction. And found that the toe shape wasn't all it could be, so I frogged and re-knit the toe. And frogged and re-knit the toe. And lastly, frogged and re-knit the toe. I think I have a good toe now. We shall see. I figured though, if they are going to be hand knit socks, they deserve to be the best that they can be. Plus, in the future, I will know how to knit my perfect toe. :) I might be far enough along to show a picture tomorrow.

I spent way too much time last night backing up all my old Live Journal posts into the beginning of this blog's archives. So all of the posts that are now listed in January of 2008 are old Live Journal posts. I guess LJ is going through another change of hands and as always, there is a possibility it may close its doors. Since early yesterday the site was messing up majorly for me, I decided if it would cooperate, there was no time like the present. Blah, it makes me glad that I didn't post very much to my journal over there!

Wii Update:
Thursday: 35 minutes (more time was spent today in Balance Games and Aerobics, with a few exercises in Yoga and Strength because my abs and wrists are sore today)

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The hills are alive with music . . .

Ah, to say I feel much better today would almost be a understatement. I got plenty of sleep and more importantly, good sleep. Almost feeling like I could take on the world today . . . so what did I do with this wonderful energy? Why of course I learned a new technique. I have begun my first toe-up sock!




I know this may not be much to some, but I have never done a toe-up sock and felt it was time I learned. I used Knitty's references on doing a toe-up sock. I used the short row technique, but used a provisional cast-on. Overall, I am feeling very good about these socks so far. I haven't decided whether I want to do a patterned sock or not, especially since it's in such a dark color. But of course they are for me! :) I never thought I would be someone who likes hand knit socks, I only own two pairs but I wear them constantly, so of course, I need many more socks this year. I truly think they feel better than store bought socks.

* * * * * * *

Here are the two headbands of Rhoni's I have finished . . . yes, the ends are not woven in yet. Don't worry, her birthday isn't until the beginning of February, I think I'll finish them all in time. I will probably put more scarf time in tonight too.






I was going to take a picture of my new haircut, but that is going to have to wait for another day . . . not exactly feeling very photogenic today. I have a lot of respect for those people who do the 365 self portraits. Maybe I'll try that next year.

Unfortunately, the boy's jury duty may last longer than first thought. The trial was suppose to be over by Friday, supposedly that included time for deliberation. However, they were sent home after only a short time today because the lawyers and judge couldn't agree on some legal stuff, so now it looks like it'll run into at least Monday. Poor guy. :)

Wii Update:
*edited to add: I did get a perfect center of balance today on the body test! Very happy about that!
Wednesday: 47 minutes (very proud of myself, I focused a lot on strength training and yoga. I know I am going to feel it tomorrow, but it's worth it.) I need to work on breathing evenly and consistently while doing the strength training.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Sleep, what?

Oi! Well, unfortunately last night's attempt at sleep wasn't much better. Technically I was "asleep" longer, about 7 hours or so, but it was bad sleep. I kept waking up, bad dreams, too cold, too hot, etc. I am not even going to mention what I hope tonight's sleep will be like in fear of jinxing it. I am one of those people who really doesn't function well on less than 7 or 8 hours of sleep, especially for days in a row. My body prefers to get somewhere around 9 or 10 hours of sleep, it doesn't get it too often, but it prefers it.

I am still fairly set on ripping out the Jeanie Shawl. My poor mother asked me to make her a shawl about a year ago or so and I was all for it. I have gone through a couple of stages and different patterns and in the end . . . I am not a shawl knitter. I am not a scarf knitter (trust me, the one I did accomplish took everything inside of me to plug away at the little bugger), much less a shawl knitter. There, I have said it. I am not a shawl knitter. Sorry Mom. What does this mean for the shawl I intended on knitting for my wedding? Only time can tell, but I may need to consider shopping around or paying someone else to knit it for me.

I will take some pics tomorrow. I finished a couple of the headbands and have made some progress on Rhoni's scarf. I also got my hair cut, nothing special, but it's not annoying anymore.

Wii Fit update:
Monday: only 30 minutes, I felt like crap.
Tuesday(today): no minutes. I still feel like crap and my body just needs some sleep. I will be going to bed shortly after I hit publish. Hopefully my eyes won't open again until 7 a.m. when I must get up and get ready to take the boy to jury duty.

* I did do some walking today though, walked a mile to get my hair cut and a mile back home, so I did something active.*

Monday, January 5, 2009

Long Day

Well, I only ended up getting 5 hours or so of sleep last night. Yuck! I have a feeling I will sleep a lot tonight though, I am already feeling tired. The boy went for jury duty selection today . . . and of course was chosen for jury duty. He is going to be on a civil trial that will last the rest of this week. :) poor boy! I think it's hilarious in a way, but unfortunately he gets to spend most of his next set of days off in a court house. It'll be hard for him because he works at night and sleeps during the day, so now he'll have to flip his schedule around to do jury duty, then turn it back around again to start work Sunday.

I picked up the Jeanie Shawl this morning and worked a couple rows on it. I will work a nice section before I completely decide, but I am not sure this yarn will live out its life as a Jeanie Shawl. It may just end up getting frogged. I think that I just might not be a shawl person at all, after all, a shawl is nothing more than a glorified scarf, right? And I definitely have too short of an attention span to be a scarf knitter. Sometimes we must accept our limitations . . .

On fitness news, I joined a new group on Live Journal. I tend to usually just read in Live Journal communities and not actually post very much because they tend to be very critical and drama related places, but they can also have some useful information. However, this new group (lbs_for_yarn), if it continues how it seems to want to I think could be beneficial. I have made one of my long term goals to reward myself with a spinning wheel. I am walden121, if you are interested in joining up.

Wii Fit Update:
Sunday: 36 minutes
I am sore today. I pushed myself to do more strength training options on the Wii and payed for it. :)

I think I might go take a short nap and then do some Wii Fit. See you all tomorrow.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Gifting Clause

See, I told you I would do it, I am just a little late. So these are the crafting items that are gifts that I can work on in 2009, only because I didn't finish them in 2008.




This is Rhoni's scarf. I wasn't able to make it for Christmas because the loom broke, but now it's all fixed and dress and begun. I hope she likes it. I am making it wide and long. She is one of those people who is always cold.

Yarn:Bernat Berella "4"
Color: Camouflage (black, browns, white)
Content: 100% acrylic (so she can easily wash it and dry it)

Yarn:Red Heart Soft Yarn
Color: pink
Content: 100% acrylic

Yarn: Caron Simply Soft
Color: black
Content: 100% acrylic

Pattern: Plain weave. Warp:6 black, 36 camo, 3 black, 6 pink, 3 black, 36 camo, 6black. Weft: camo

* * * * * * *

Moss stitch, skinny headbands for Rhoni - she wanted some of her birthday and I told her yes, before I made this deal, so I tried to finish them in 2008. No luck.


Yarn: Plymouth Yarn Dream Baby DK
Content:50% acrylic, 50% nylon
Color: tan
Needles: US 1




Yarn: Patons Kroy Socks
Content: 75% washable wool, 25% nylon
Color: Charcoal
Needles: US 2


Yarn: Knit Picks Lace weight
Content: 100% Merino Wool
Color: Bare
Needles: US 000


Yarn: Knit Picks Shadow Lace weight
Content: 100% Merino Wool
Color:Basalt
Needles: US 000


I know there is a very strong Rhoni theme here, but the last one is one I need to finish for my Mom:



The Jeanie shawl from Knitty. I only have a few rows done on it, but I would still like to finish this year.


So, as you see, not too bad really. The headbands are tedious, but won't take too long and neither should the scarf. The Jeanie will take a little more patience though. We shall see.

Oh yes, update on Wii Fit progress:
Friday: 35 minutes
Saturday: 31 minutes
Sunday: going to do it right after I hit the publish button