Monday, June 29, 2009

Meme

I snagged this Meme from Musings of a mostly Self-Taught Knitter.

Rules of the game:

* List six unimportant things that make you happy;
* Mention and link to the person who tagged you;
* Tag six of your favorite bloggers to play along , and comment on their blog to let them know they have been tagged.

***** I am not going to tag anyone, but if you'd like to play along, go for it!

1. The smell of fresh cut grass.
2. Watching the bunnies in the back yard.
3. Water - lake, sea, river, etc.
4. Picking berries.
5. Riding bikes with the boy.
6. Crafting.


I agree very much with Karen, trying to think of something you enjoy but it not being important is difficult and odd. What qualifies as unimportant and what makes it so?

Friday, June 26, 2009

What's going on

Well, I have decided to do a little spinning. I took this off of one of my spindles, it's natural wool roving. I was going to ply it with my Falling Leaves, but changed my mind.







I began a very little bit of the roving that was dyed for the contest choice. It is spinning up better than I imagined. The blues, green, and purples are just lovely.




This second one is more true to color. Will try to remember to get a natural light picture, if these thunder storms stop.





Knitting-wise, I finished the first sock. I am working on the second one now. I think when I get some extra money, I will have to go back to Elmwood Fabrics and get some of this yarn for me. I just love the way it feels. Will give all the specs of the socks when I am finished with the pair.







On a side note about socks, I have decided to make baby Vera a pair of socks from the left over yarn of each person who is getting Christmas socks. So when I am done with my mom's socks, if there is enough yarn, Vera will have a pair to match her Grandma.

I am also cutting warp threads to dress the loom to work more on my dad's blanket too. I don't have a warping board, so I just cut each warp thread individually. Just takes some time. I also need to go buy some more of the tan yarn.

Have lots of ideas for new projects floating in my head. Doesn't it always figure that the less time you have to work on projects, the more ideas you have.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Cooking and knitting

Well, my work schedule is nights this week, so I wake up at 4pm and go to bed between 7am and 8am. So, yes, this post is quite early, but not to me. Anyways, had a lovely Summer Solstice. Didn't do anything specific, relaxed some, knitted, cleaned the kitchen, exercised (doing the 30 day challenge on the new Wii Active), and made a good dinner.

Here is the dinner:



It is "cornflake chicken", but instead I used regular Special K. There is a little garlic and chili powder in there, but just a hint. This was a test run and I really like them. I made them into little strips. Next is just a pasta from a package. Then some green beans, I tossed them in olive oil and garlic powder and baked them (there were carrots too, but those were for the boy, I am not a carrot fan). Yummy!



Then we have the knitting:



I started my Mom's socks for Christmas. They are a variegated olive green color. I love how it is knitting up. The yarn is Rozetti:Always Dreams, I picked it up at my local fabric store. I really like it.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Interweave Crochet Summer 2009

Ah, the new issue of Interweave Crochet is out. It was waiting for me, in my mailbox, when I got home from work tonight. The mail-person had man handled it, so it's not in the prettiest shape, but it is workable. Any who, this is the Summer 2009 edition, so let's get to it.



Patterns:
Summer Petals Cardigan - - I like the stitch pattern used in this garment, but not a fan of the fit. I am a suspicious person when all the poses available are of her leaning against a wall. It make me think there is something wrong with the garment, something they are trying to hide. In general from the schematics, it looks boxy. If I were to make it, I would probably make the neckline higher; put a button band on it, instead of those flimsy hook & eye closures; and I would give definition to the waist by doing something simple like increasing and decreasing the hook size for a little more shape. Designer is Julia Vaconsin.

Bustier Top - - I like this one. I would probably not make the back a low neckline too. But otherwise, I think this would make a nice vest or even shirt if some sleeves were added. Again, as with most crochet, there is the boxy shape of it, but that could be changed with changing hook size. It has a very nice, feminine look. Designer is Lisa Naskrent.

Mimosa Dress - - There is a good reason that the only sizes offered are fairly small . . . this dress would not look good on anyone who wasn't slender or in good shape. If you ignore that part. It' does look like it might be a nice summer dress. I think this is one of those garments though, that so many things have to line up for it to work well. Not worth the time of girls my size. Designer is Rhonda Davis.

Retro Cardigan - - I like that this one has some waist shaping of sorts. I think the general cut of the top is nice. I like that the button band does not stretch into distortion. Overall, I think this looks like a nicely constructed garment that seems well thought out and pretty. Designer is Simona Merchant-Dest.

Island Necklace and Earrings - - Well, in all honesty, I am not much of a jewelry gal in the first place. Second, as much as I love crochet . . . I am usually not a fan of it as jewelry. I like the shapes of the motifs used in the jewelry, but I really don't care for them as jewelry. I could see myself using these motifs maybe in something else though. Designer is Robyn Chachula.

Dolores - - This is an online only pattern you can download, only until September 17Th. It is a cute-ish mesh tank. I think it has potential, maybe for a beach cover up. My first thought is to changed the front into a more solid stitch pattern, but leave the back open and mesh. Not sure, but like the how the stitch pattern looks. Designer is Beatrice Simon.

Raindrops Broomstick Lace Shawl - - Honestly, love the look of this. I am not much of a shawl person. But the broomstick stitch pattern looks lovely in this. I like the half-hexagon shape. I think the part I find most appealing is how it is obviously open and lacy, but not too much. Not sure if I would do the beads on the edge, but they are kind of nice. Designer is Jill Wright.

Pretty Pleats Skirt - - Part of me likes this, not sure why. Logically though, it's too see through, you can see where her tucked in shirt ends and her black leggings begin. Lets face it, a wool skirt in the summer is still probably going to be a little too warm. But part of me still likes it, I think it is the lines in the skirt. It looks well made and the stitch patterns, and directions seem well thought out. It needs to be in a tighter gauge to help with the the transparency issue, but it probably would not have that wonderful drape then. Maybe it could be as simple as lining the skirt. Worth thought. Designer is Annie Modesitt.

Curiously Easy Lacy Curtains - - Now, I am a fan of hairpin lace. It is one of the things I would like to experiment with here in the somewhat near future, however, I do not like the look of these. They look shabby, trust me, there is a reason why the only picture available on their site is blurry. It makes it look more elegant-ish. but it's not, it looks raggedy. Nope, no thanks. Designer is Doris Chan.

Wedding Veil and Purse - - A pretty edging for a veil and a nice little purse. In general, the trim is pretty, not so much for the flowers. The purse is a little too "granny" looking for me. Like the veil, it would probably look better without the flowers. Designer is Christina Marie Potter.

Beaded Lace Garter - - Off of her leg, it looks dainty and lacy. Once on her leg it looks small and yet bulky. I think something that had more ruffles even on the leg would look nicer and maybe a little bit longer, not much, but some. I don't much care for the blue ribbon, might look better as a white. Designer is Melisa Darnieder.

Shape-Shifting Shawl - - I like it better as a shawl than as a shrug. I could be largely bias here, as I am not a fan of shrugs in general, but I doubt it. Designer is Tracy St. John.

Summer Splash Dress - - I like aspects of it. The stitch pattern on the sides and bottom hem. I do not like the square look of the top. The top doesn't look like it fits well, at all. I would be far more interested in the hat, than the dress. Designer is, again, Simona Merchant-Dest.

Aragon Tunic - - I do not understand the color choices. It looks more like a costume top. Maybe if done in a solid color or simply colors that worked better together, it could make a nice costume top, maybe even a nice peasant looking top, if the weird belt wasn't there. Somewhat ridiculous. Designer is Robyn Chachula.

Seashell Tote - - A cute mesh bag. Color choice is nice and neutral. I like the solid bottom as it seems more realistic than those with mesh bottoms. The handles seem too insignificant though. would probably be better if thicker. Designer is Elisa Cleveland.

Beach Sarong - - Why do they have it on a fully dressed person? and not on someone in BEACH wear? It is a cute stitch pattern used. Seems a little short and not very wide for a beach sarong, but then I don't wear them, so I am not sure. Designer is Ellen K. Gormley.

Breezy Hat - - Nothing special. Don't really care for all the colors used. Maybe if the stripes could be on the vertical-ish lines instead. Designer is Linda Permann.

Rainbow Rolls - - I like the theory of these. But they look more rustic than I care for. I think the kids one with the crayons has too many strings and beads, it looks like an annoyance. Designer is Lisa Naskrent.

Orphan Scarf - - Ah, such a better use of the hairpin. This looks lovely and interesting due to the yarn being multi-colored. Now if the curtains had been done in something more like this, with a smaller gauge, could have worked. Designer again is Doris Chan.


So, in conclusion, there are some nice crocheted items here, but nothing except the broomstick shawl, that really stand out. Again, as with Crochet Today!, I am tired of seeing the same designers all the time. Some of these were in Crochet Today! and some of them were in here multiple times. I understand the theory that if we want more designers, we need people to get out and design . . . but are these really the only designers worth publishing who are submitting patterns? I don't know, but I still need more variety, more something . . . less of the same stuff by the same people.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Downfall of not having a crafting room. . .

I finished the first panel of my dad's blanket, in an effort to sew the edges I realized that the foot on my sewing machine was the zipper foot. So, I rummaged through every place the regular foot should/would have been . . . go figure, no foot. So I just did a straight running stitch instead of a zig-zag stitch and tomorrow, I will probably be buying a new foot for my sewing machine. This is my downfall of not having a crafting room. Too many places I could have placed things and not enough time to search everything just for a foot. *Or I could just be better organized, but like that is going to happen!* Blah!

Size: will change slightly when washed and blocked.
10" wide
18" long





As you can see, my selvages are much better than before, but my beat is not even. Next panel I will make an effort to work on both of these. I am not overly concerned about small errors, as this blanket really is my first large scale project and only my fifth (I think) weaving project ever. So I know I am still learning, but I think I am progressing well. This panel and four others will make up the top half of the blanket, while the bottom five panels will be significantly longer. I still think this project is going well, if not slow.

Time to start dressing the loom for the second panel.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Knit in Public

Well, I did knit in public today, for only about 5 or so minutes on my break though. It's nice to sit outside, now that I work in a hot and semi-oily environment. I think since I knit out in public more than the boy cares for already, it's okay that it was such a small time today.

My new job has some wacky hours and sometimes only like 9 hours between shifts . . . so, blogging will not be consistent over the summer. Not that it has been recently, but just letting you all know. I still intend to squeeze in as much crafting as possible and I'll be blogging.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Friday's Featured Blog

Today's featured blog is Knittingdragonflies.



Things I enjoy about this blog:
~I enjoy the fact that she writes her blog like she is sitting with a good friend and just talking.
~Lovely pictures!
~I enjoy the Tarot Tuesday.
~Puppy pictures, who would turn those down!



Some Arts & Crafts found at this blog:

~Rag Quilts
~A few more rag quilts - - I love the look of these!
~Quilted Bag
~Crocheted Socks
~Spinning
~Knitted Bunny
~Crocheted change purse and baskets
~Crocheted Snake and Sheep
~Neck Gator/Hat Pattern
~Felted Purse
~Knitted Birdhouse
~Kool-aid Dyeing - - orange!
~More Kool-aid Dyeing - - lovely variegated


Interesting Links:
Free Knitting Pattern Directories (from 2007)


Overall impression is that this is a welcoming blog with suggestions and interesting stories. I love reading people's blogs who can type to the blogispehere like they are at ease, talking to a friend, just hanging out, stopping by to chat. I am envious.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Update on current projects. . .

This is one of the panels to the blanket I am making my Dad. It's going slower now, I got a new job and work weird hours that are making me sleep at odd times. Do you see how much better I am doing with my selvage edges? - I am a little too proud of them.







Echo's purse is also moving along. This is a little easier to work on, because I can take it to work and knit a few minutes on both of my breaks, only about 5 minutes or so, but still, it helps it along.





Inspiration!

Isn't THIS just adorable! I saw in on Planet June today. I am a huge fan of origami in general. My mom always got us inexpensive things to learn when we were little, it was very important to my mother that we were always learning. She got an origami video for us way back in the dark ages and we loved making things from that. I think that is why I still enjoy it, so complex but doable if you just have some patience with it. I may just have to make one of these later. Will update with a picture, if I get around to it.

Edited to add:











I rushed mine, as you can kind of see in the middle, I used tape in the place of some of the glue places. I am kind of impatient. Love how it looks and more importantly, this gave me a wonderful idea . . . will let you know if it works.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

New Knitty

Summer edition of Knitty is out!


~The Deadliest Crab - - this is adorable! I love it. Would definitely consider making this for someone.

~Diamond Halter - - not so sure on this one. I do like the diamond feature, but don't think the halter in general is very flattering. Maybe if it was a little more snug and didn't look like it was going to fall of the model.

~Annette - - Not completely in love with it, but I do like it. The lack of waist shaping makes it a little too boxy. I like the sleeves and the stitch patterns used. I just think maybe a little longer and some waist shaping (maybe just using a smaller needle) and it would look even better.

~Elenka - - I think the dress is adorable. I think it was in poor choice that there is not something under the dress and we can see her skin and underwear through the stitch pattern.

~Miss Honeychurch - - I like the how the stitch patterns in this are used. This would be a nice time to know the size knitted and the size of the models, because it looks like it has quite a bit of ease. I like the almost thermal look of it and the single cables on the sides. It looks very well done.

~Kingdom - - I like these, though doubtful I would make gloves that intricate. Just a little too much for me.

~Rani - - I like the beaded pattern within the knitting, but am one of those people who don't see the point of knitted cuffs.

~Tridactyl - - Not really appealing to me. I would just prefer a regular glove. Honestly, that yarn in that pattern is not very appealing either.

~Verdigris - - I like these. I love the stitch pattern. I like how it looks so organic and geometrical at the same time.

~Morning Glory - - I think this is a cute idea and looks well thought out and made. I would definitely consider making one of these. Interesting bead pattern too. A small enough project to maybe try beading with knitting.

~Treetop Socks - - First, I dislike the fact that none of the pictures have the whole sock pictured, they are all cut off. Look okay, but can't tell completely. Would not bother knitting them due to this reason alone.

~Outside In - - Uhm, absolutely love these! Definitely going to make a pair of these. Love the use of line in them. Just beautiful.

~Mermaid's Lagoon Socks - - okay, nothing seems particularly special though.

~Cold Mountain Stole - - I love the geometric look of this. The yarn overs look like little bricks, something to take you on an adventure. Not a lace knitter, but I do like it.

~Entomology - - I like this, but just barely see the dragonfly motif the designer sees. I do more see the moth image as mentioned in the beginning. This doesn't happen with many designs, as I can usually figure out why I like or do not like something, but this one is very appealing and I am not quite sure why. Lovely though.

~Urbanista - - Love it. The round shape, yet geometrical shapes within really get me. Will, most definitely try knitting this sometime!

~Trilobite - - Not so much drawn to this one. Just don't care for the trilobite sections. I think it is that the sections really do remind too much of bugs, etc. Spiney, and serpentine ridges. All the garter stitch ridges looking like numerous millipede legs. Just kind of creepy, not much of a bug person.


Overall, lots of nice patterns. Hope to make a couple of them. Go have a look for yourself.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Crochet Today July/August 2009

The newest Crochet Today! is out. It is the July/August 2009 issue.


Patterns
~King Crab Comeback - - This is an updated version of an older pattern. It's okay. Not sure I would take the time to make something like this. Designer is Regina Rioux Gonzalez.

~Tote - - I love this in a way! I think the design is nice, different and appealing. I would probably feel the need to line it (too many holes for things to fall out) or use it as some type of basket. How could you line something like that though? Maybe tack the fabric in increments to the top edges? Hmm, definitely worth thinking about though, love the tote. Designer is Mary Jane Hall.

~Summer by the Sea Shell - - I like the fact that it is asymmetrical. Not sure if I like the motifs starting so high, I think it might look better if the top motif started under the bust. Otherwise, it seems like a nice lacy top. Designer is Doris Chan.

~Lace & Amethyst Wrap - - I like this! I really think that done with smaller yarn and smaller hook, so the pattern was denser, it would look even lovelier. The only lace I am very good at is crochet, not knitting, and this I really like so you might see it on the blog soon! Designer is Kristin Omdahl.

~All-Seasons Vest - - I think this is cute. I think it would probably look better in a different color, but the stitches look nice and complimentary to the design. I would maybe make the part over the shoulders thinner, just a little to much width there, but otherwise looks nice. Designer is Mari Lynn Patrick.

~Swingy Summer Skirt - - I like how this skirt is obviously an over skirt and not an attempt to make a full crocheted skirt. It is nice, simply pattern and not over done. Designer is, again, Doris Chan.

~Light as Air Vest - - Nice construction, looks nicely put together. Personally, I am not much for granny square clothing. Maybe if the whole square were the same color, then it would just look lacy. I love the edging. Designer is Kazekobo.

~Dreamy Doilies Afghan - - I do love this. I love motifs in general. I love the flowery design of them. Not sure I'd make an afghan out of it, but it would make a lovely table cloth or place mat. Designer is Joyce Nordstrom.

~Good Cause Afghan - - Again, I like motifs. The colors in it are nice, but one could have some fun with colors for this too. Designer is, again, Joyce Nordstrom.

~ School of Fish Pillows - - The idea is cute, but nothing particularly special for me. Designer is Alison Grenier.

~Stitchy Seashells - - I think these are nifty. Very creative and look like shells. I would make these if I knew someone who would like a seashell theme. Designer is, again, Regina Rioux Gonzalez.

~Dancing Doilies Tablecloth - - I like the doily motifs, I even like the color used. But I do not like that they are doilies attached to fabric. They kind of look like lily pads on water. Not sure how I feel about this design. Designer is Linda Permann.

~Catch a Wave - - Nice, but nothing particularly special. Designer is, again, Joyce Nordstrom.

~Always-Blooming Bouquet - - The flowers are cute and nice. Not sure if I'd make any, but they are cute. Designer is, again, Linda Permann.

~Whimsical Watermelons - - This is cute. Not sure as I would ever make it, just no reason to, but it would be cute. Designer is Jennifer J. Cirka.

~Flower Yoke Top - - This is cute, don't like the open top part, it seems silly for a crocheted summer top to need an undershirt. Maybe if the flower motifs were smaller and higher up, maybe in a smaller yarn or something. Designer is Robyn Chachula.

~Sail-Away Robe - - Cute, should probably be a little longer though. Color could definitely make this unique to each child. Designer is Ellen K. Gormley.

~Flippy the Fish - - I think this little guy is adorable. Would go well also with the seashells. If done maybe with acrylic or nylon and something inflatable inside, this would even be a pool toy. Designer is Kj Hay.

~Super Simple Charity Blanket - - An easy blanket of dc stitches. Designer is Sarah Graham.

~Ballpark Blankie - - Simple and cute. This is just proof how simple additions can make something adorable. Designer is, again, Ellen K. Gormley.


Overall, this is much the reason I won't be renewing my subscription to Crochet Today! They use too many of the same designers, over and over and over and over. And it's not that they aren't necessarily nice designers, but a variety is nice too. I want a magazine that is somewhat challenging. The selection just seems to be thin and not "jump out and crochet me" patterns. Oh well, it's hard to find good crochet.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Other bloggers

Other bloggers who made me smile today. Sometimes it takes a lot and sometimes it doesn't, to read a post from someone else that makes you feel good inside.

This post from The Pioneer Woman. I like this post because it reminds me of my Uncle Chris. As far as I understand it, he had something go wrong when he was very young and his oxygen was cut off, which resulted in him being mentally disabled. I never really saw him much growing up, as my parents had divorced when I was little, but now my grandparents are dead and he lives in a type of assisted living home. It is good for him there. He is able to function at a higher level than my grandparents thought possible. He loves peanut butter sandwiches, country music, giving foot massages, pretty girls, and cars. It would have been nice to know him better when I was growing up.

These quilt blocks made by Linda of Lindamade. They are just beautiful!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Contests at an end . . .

Well, the commenting contest ended yesterday night. I have gone to a random number generator and our winners are:

for the fabric: gray la gran

for the weaving book: Echo

Monday, June 1, 2009

Time to go to pieces . . .

So, I have finished the middle strip of my dad's blanket. Now I get to move on to the individual sections. I had thought that I had put 1.5 my height in warp on, but evidently it was just equal to my height in warp, so the middle strip is now going to run horizontal, not vertical, but that's the only big change I anticipate.

Here are some pictures of each weave that will be in the blanket. You can see where I wove in the ends, after I wash it, those will get taken out and a border will be put around the edges. My salvages are a little wonky, but I think for the most part, I did well.










This is one of my favorites.





This one too.
















I have already started preparing the warp yarn for the first rectangle, can't wait.

Adding up

Well, it's moving slowly, but I am making progress on Echo's purse. I have to say, I'm not longer worried that she may not like it, because it's definitely growing on me. If she doesn't like it, she can send it back to me and I'll make her a different purse and I'll keep this one! :)







I also got all my tip money saved up so far out and decided I was going to get a few books. This is what I picked up. I wanted Eclectic Sole also, but amazon.com says it's out and they don't sell it at Barnes and Noble.

Cookie A's book, have wanted this since I knew it was coming out. Have only looked in it a little, but so glad I got it.



This weaving book was one recommended by my fiber instructor, only it's been hard to find -not available, weeks of waiting - I finally saw a copy of it in Barnes and Noble. Yeah! I like the information in the back about altering weaves.





I have also decided on the last contest, but instead I am going to cheat and add it to this weeks contest. If you leave a comment, just say something short about which prize you would prefer, the fabric, this weaving book, or you don't care. Then there will be two drawings on Sunday.


This is a nice book about obviously, weaving without a loom. It shows frame weaving, dream catchers, board weaving, stick weaving, how to weave a circular pattern hat, etc.