Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Spathiphyllum finally at home?

Yes, I am sure you may be wondering, what is a Spathiphyllum?

They bloom these wonderful white flowers. They are beautiful plants. I have had mine for approximately 5ish years. Within that time it has never bloomed, except for the bloom it had on it when I brought it home from the store. Which is surprising because it was on one of those 'buy me quick, I am dying racks'. Any who, the first year, maybe even two I waited for blooms. After that I just gave into the fact that this plant doesn't seem to want to bloom and left it at that.

Well, look what surprise I had today when I came home:


Yes, it is a bloom beginning! I have to wonder if it is finally at home. Either way, I choose to take this as a good sign.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Weekly Update #16


What's going on :
~Cut my hair. It is just so nice not to have all that hair.
~As I mentioned yesterday, sinus issues, but today it rained, which eased the allergies.

Finished Objects (FOs) :
~Ladders of Success Cap
~October Bakers Dozen Square

Knitting Works In Progress (WIPs) :
~Blume Hat

Crochet Works In Progress (WIPs) :
~Filet crochet trio.
1st = worsted weight acrylic
2nd = sport weight cotton - which I will later be dyeing
3rd = fingering weight wool

Sewing Works in Progress (WIPs) :
~First potholder to embroider is in progress. Picked the design, sized up and cut template pieces, and have started cutting out the fabric pieces.
~Mending the husbands lab coat for work.

Tempting Ideas :
~Purses, they seem to be my masochistic art/craft. They frustrate me to no end, but I think that is why I enjoy making them. I just can't make them very often or I'd go crazy. I've been having ideas again though and might be making something in a couple of weeks.

Favorite Thing :
~Electric Sheep Podcast. She's quite hilarious, thoughtful, and at some times will just make you cry. Most definitely a good podcast.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Craft is Art

I know I was a little absent last week and I do apologize for that. The weather has been making my allergies almost intolerable. I have been on lots of Benadryl and such, the only things strong enough to make much of a fight against the allergies are the ones the make me drowsy and useless also. Any who, no weekly update today, but it will be out tomorrow!

For now though, I am really getting stuck in this filet crochet, but in a good way. In warning these pictures are of the red yarn, which photographs horribly. I will try to get some better pictures tomorrow in daylight before I head out to work.

Here is the first try, it wasn't not going to be the correct height though, so ripped back to the open mesh and crocheted a few more of those rows.

Here is the finished square. I love how it turned out. So much so that I am going to do a couple more filet crochet squares, I have some cotton that I think would work nicely.

I was thinking of doing a series of the same image in different yarn fibers and thicknesses, kind of like an artist does a series, but not sure.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Fall Equinox/Full Moon

Hope you all enjoyed the Fall Equinox yesterday. It was also a full moon. It was a good day. The husband had yesterday off, so after I got out of work we got to hang out. It was nice, with our work schedules conflicting so much now, I only see him for like 15 minutes or so before I leave to catch the bus in the morning.

Usually our schedules stress me more than they do him. I hate it when we see so little of each other. It was nice yesterday though to know he was missing me as much as I was him. We went out to dinner, had some ice cream, and played video games.

I did do some inner thinking, but that's best talked about at maybe a future date. I am knitting away on the Blume Hat and have started my filet crochet, will be back tomorrow with some pictures.

Just wanted to say that I hope all of you had as nice of a day as I did.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Success and an apology

My success is that I finished the Ladders of Success Cap. My apology is . . . to all the times I put down slouchy hats in general. I really like this hat. Yeah, go figure, cause I'm not a slouchy hat person, or better yet, I thought I wasn't. I always thought they looked odd and couldn't be any better than a normal hat, in fact, I figured they would be worse, after all it wasn't snug on your head, how was it suppose to keep you warm.

The whole time I knit this, in the back of my mind I kept thinking for sure this would be given away, probably to my sister Echo, since she's a fan of hats in general. But sorry, my dear sister, this one is mine. I tried it on for the photo shoot and I was surprised by how comfy it is. I will definitely be wearing this tomorrow on the bus to work.

Yarn : Moda Dea Washable Wool
Color : Real Teal
Care : wash warm, dry flat
Needles : US 6(most of hat) and US 7(ribbing and first set up row)
Pattern : Ladders of Success (will provide a link when it is up)

Profile : the hat has enough slouch that my ponytail is not messed up at all and comfortable fits withing the hat.

The fit of the band is nice, not too snug, but not loose.



Detail of garter and cables.

Overall : Glad I test knitted this, because I may just be turning into more of a hat person. It was a fairly quick knit and is very comfortable.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Filet Crochet Plan

Well, I have figured out what I am going to do for the filet crochet.

The tools:
3.5mm crochet hook

Lion Brand Microspun in the Cherry Red color.

The Filet Crochet Book by Chris Rankin. I love this book, very inspirational and easy to take parts of the designs for smaller projects. I am using the rose motif in the back for the pillows.


I am excited to start this. The red will be a challenge to photograph well though as it is quite a nice red. We shall see how it goes!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Update # 15


What's going on :
Sinus issues!! Ack!!
New job started last week.
Focused knitting, since when?

Finished Objects (FOs) :
Bakers Dozen Square

Knitting Works In Progress (WIPs) :
Ladders of Success Cap (Ravelry Link) , this is a test knitting in the group Free Pattern Testers.

Sewing Works in Progress (WIPs) :
Washed up the fabric for the potholders with embroidery.
Brother-in-law, John's, fabric for his bandannas.
For both I plan on going through the Take A Stitch Tuesday lessons.

Tempting Ideas :
Filet crochet. . . I have already decided to give into this though and us it on my October Bakers Dozen Square. Just have to find the perfect pattern and yarn.

Favorite Thing :
Public transportation!! Boy do I hate driving and taking the bus the last couple days has reminded me of that so much.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Fabric Plans

So I washed some of the fabric I had in a Bargello Blanket Kit that was never used and the fabric in it that I had already washed, I rewashed. Didn't really get anything done today with it necessarily except to figure out what I wanted to do. I've decided to do some quilt squares in these colors, add embroidery and make them into potholders.


I purchased some fabric yesterday for my brother-in-laws bandannas for his birthday. My sister mentioned that he liked the ones I made before and would like more. So I got some more bright colors with a little bit of pattern. I plan on hand stitching the hems again with some sewing/embroidery stitches.


Saturday, September 18, 2010

Joys of test knitting

I decided to join one of the test knitting groups on Ravelry called Free Pattern Testers. The first item I am test knitting is called Ladders of Success Cap. It is going well. I am about half way done. The fabric is at a looser gauge than I prefer, but most patterns in general are. However, they farther I get in the hat I think it will be quite comfortable like this.



I decided to join this group because I figured this would give me a chance to try things that I might not normally try. With a deadline, they would definitely get finished. So far so good.

I will be back tomorrow with some pretty pictures of the fabric I washed, trimmed, and ironed today!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Bakers Dozen Square - September

Love how this one turned out!



Yarn : Alpaca Love
Color : Dusk (Purple) and Fern
Content : 80% Wool / 20% Alpaca
Care : Hand wash cold, lay flat to dry
Needles : US 5 / 3.75mm
Pattern : Top of Page 96 in Beautiful Knitting Patterns by Gisela Klopper

Love the knitting into a stitch below technique. This was the first time I've tried it. I had to use a crochet hook instead to grab the yarn. Part of what made the square turn out so well was the yarn though. Glad I chose to try it out. I think there might be some future work with this yarn.

I think this pattern would be nifty to try with different colors to make it look more like wild flowers in a field. I have some ideas I might like to try out.

It should be done blocking tomorrow *crosses fingers*, the cooler weather isn't helping with the drying.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Just stopping by

Just having a small post today because I am tired and am falling asleep at my computer. I started a new job today, so far just temp work, but it seems like a nice place. I just wasn't cut out for call center work. I always felt like a bad guy. That was working at one of the better places to be at a call center too.

I've always been one of those people who get nervous and excited for the first day of school/work. Yeah, I couldn't sleep last night and only got 3 hours of sleep. Not conducive to having the energy to blink without falling asleep. :) Any who, will definitely be back tomorrow.

I am test knitting a hat and have been doing some spinning. Hope everyone is having a lovely week so far.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Update #14

In warning, I apologize for the crappy lighting. I am still trying to find a good compromise between having the light bright enough to see the projects well, but not be really harsh. I will practice more with this over the weekend and next weeks will be better.


What's going on : Not much other than my shoulder issues.

Finished Objects (FOs) : None.

Frogged Objects : Black Tie, Optional (RAV link) - Which is the Sockdown September Mock in the Sock Knitters Anonymous (RAV link). The motifs were just too spread out in the larger sizes. I may knit it again, but as a gift in one of the smaller sizes.

Knitting Works In Progress (WIPs) :

Yoga Socks - Working on the second one, just started the cabling.

Bakers Dozen Square - Almost done and still liking the pattern. I may use it again for something in the future.

Colorwork Socks - Thinking third time may be the charm.
Two-Handed Fair Isle Technique from the Philosopher's Wool Company.

Tempting Ideas :
Clay has been tempting me. I am thinking about making some worry stone type clay items. Not quite sure yet, but there is likely to be some clay work this weekend.

Favorite Thing : Kettle brand potato chips. Love that they inform you about whether they have gluten. Loving the Spicy Thai flavor. These are a nice snack because the flavors aren't too strong. I hate chips that are caked with flavor.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Trial by colorwork

Okay, as I've been saying I have been wanting to work on some colorwork. I had my mind set on socks, I even had which ones picked out. But honestly didn't feel like adjusting someone's pattern to fit my feet. Colorwork sock do not often have a range of sizes, much less sizes that are large enough for me.

I've also been saying that I wanted to do something Fall themed. So I've decided I'll just design my own socks. It's only a little more work that rewriting a different pattern. So here is one of my trials so far:

Fall Sock 2010

Love the falling leaves! However, I think they are a little too close together. After knitting it up, it just needs more space to look like they are actually falling through the darkness. I think this was a good idea to start this, because it's definitely got my mind going again about crafts. I think this week may have been enough of a lull. Although I will be taking more care not to irritate my shoulder again.

So that was my second attempt, forgot to take a picture of the first one. I have started knitting the cuff for my third attempt and have already recharted the leaves. I am becoming quite good with the stranding of the colors.

The only thing to fear, is fear itself

I feel like this weekend stands for introspection. A time to remember how short life is and to make the most of what time you have. There have been many posts on different blogs with similar statements, like Laurie from Crazy Aunt Purl.

So I have been thinking more about what it is that I want to do. Who it is that I want to be. Not that I would change myself, per se , but where is it I want my life to be heading and am I doing what I need to be doing right now to get there. I know I haven't been on here as much this week. Time of thinking in general.

So some ideas I have been tossing around:

~Should I do an audio podcast instead of the video cast?
I consider this because I know it is more of an inconvenience to set aside time to watch a video cast. It is much easier to download an audio file and listen to it anywhere. Or should I do both, sort of as an either/or?

~Craft focus each month?
I am considering doing more with the video though and possible making a focus each month of a craft project/idea. Where there might be a craft-a-long project each month, maybe a free pattern, videos for technique, and maybe even kits to do the project.

~Donating time and knowledge?
I am considering looking into the community center, boys and girls club, after school programs, senior citizen places, etc. to be able to teach/share the joys of different crafts. I do not have the desire to teach art in a public school environment, but I still very much want to teach art in some respect.

Obviously any of these path options would take time and further organization, but they are on my mind. Thinking about them won't get me anywhere, only action will.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Bigger is not always better

Sorry to disappear like that. Just taking my time and relaxing. The only thing I have been working on was the September Mock Sockdown.



I was knitting the Xtra Large since my feet are big. Plus my gauge is smaller. Basically with the two of these, it separates the two design features too much aesthetically. So, even though I have done both cuffs through the first clue and the second sock was almost 1/3rd through clue two, I frogged the both. Love the sock pattern so far and think it's very lovely on the small and medium sizes. If I was in the mood to knit a sock for process reasons, I would recast on this sock in a small or medium and just give it away. But I am really wanting some more socks for myself.

This is one of those designs that unless revamped more, it just doesn't upsize for the larger sizes very well.

I will probably cast on something for myself tonight, just not sure what yet.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The young rarely do as they are told

Ah, I mentioned Monday that I had started the September Mock Sockdown in the Sock Knitter Anonymous group.


To use my yarn, gauge, and for it to fit me, my socks have 98 stitches per round.

Yarn : Beehive Scotch Fingering
Color : Beige/Natural with a bit of tweed
Needles : US 00

This evidently was a bit of a last straw for my body. I have been mentioning a lull in knitting due to natural ebb and flow of crafting. I have been trying to push this away, but my body agreed with the ebb and flow because I seemed to have annoyed my shoulder again with a little too much crafting lately. I have annoyed my shoulder a couple times before. I am going to give it the light duty, advil, and ice pack it wants. This means little crafting this week.

So I will probably have my Interweave Crochet Fall 2010 Review up tomorrow, since this involves little from my shoulder as long as I use good posture at the computer.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Weekly Update #13

Okay, change for this week is simply the length. Since I started this video blogging/podcast I have been concerned on time. Is it long enough, will it be too long? You know, the basic worries. I have decided to let that go for this episode. I think worrying about the time makes me less relaxed. Also, I like talking about my projects. You will only notice one small glitch in the video and that's because evidently my camera will only record for 10 minutes and since I went a smidgen over, I did the best I could at connecting the two pieces. I am looking into getting myself that video camera for my birthday/Christmas present. We shall see if I can save up.


What's going on : Very little, trying to clean to keep off the crafting lull, but I feel it creeping up. My crafting tends to lull when I can't keep focused on my projects and want nothing but to start new ones. Like I just can't be satisfied, hoping to push this off with some super cleaning . . . like scrubbing cupboards, stove, and the refrigerator!

Finished Objects (FOs) :
Nothing really, but I am counting the yoga sock as half of an FO.

Knitting Works In Progress (WIPs) :
Bakers Dozen Square - still enjoying the way it looks, even like the way the back looks!

Cloud Chaser - still working on it, honestly it's one of the few projects I am still loving working on.

Shetland Pi KAL - yes that is the link to Clue #5, nope I am not there yet. Rows are moving slowly.

Black Tie, Optional (RAV link) - Which is the Sockdown September Mock in the Sock Knitters Anonymous (RAV link). I am modifying it just a bit because my gauge is smaller than the pattern calls for. I am blaming my involvement in this KAL on Wendy from Wendy Knits simply because I enjoyed doing her Shetland Pi KAL so much and it was my first KAL. May all KALs be as enjoyable.

Sewing Works in Progress (WIPs) :
Raw Edge Circle Quilt - Eleven more circles hand stitched onto the background squares. 17/64 Squares

Giraffe - working slowly on sewing the yarn mane into the 8" neck of the giraffe.

Dyeing :
Purple and pink yarn dyed.

Tempting Ideas :
Colorwork - I want to knit the Alchemist socks from The Enchanted Sole by Janel Laidman. I am considering using some of the yarn I dyed up. I told myself once I am done with the Shetland Pi Shawl, I can cast on for these.

Favorite Thing :
IntenSati workout video. I am appreciating the affirmations that go along with the exercises. They do help me focus and feel better cognitively/emotionally. I am considering trying some of her other videos.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Sunday Inspirations

~Sage Blouse by Donna of Random Knits. I love not only the pattern, Sage Blouse (RAV LINK), but I also love the yarn Donna used.

~Beaded Kamal Kadai by Deepa of This and random thoughts. Love this tutorial and I so want to try it!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Growing up and Dyeing. . .

What exactly does growing up mean? In exactly one month from today, I will be 30. I know in the scheme of things this isn't that old, nor do I feel like it is old. However, 30 does say adult to me...grown up. Do I feel like a grown up? Eh, not so much. I feel like a grown up should know where they are headed in life more than I do. I feel like I should have more plans and have accomplished more. Even I know this is somewhat ridiculous, but still I do.

So I am trying to figure out what to do for my 30th birthday, after all, it feels like out of all birthdays I've had so far, this one deserves special attention. What does it say about me that I'd like to do something childish though? In warning, you are probably going to hear more about my thoughts on this before it arrives!

Onto the dyeing, earlier this week I had slept bad and just was feeling blah so I decided to do some dyeing. I've been wanting to do some colorwork. I dyed up two colors. Which I think I might use in conjunction with each other and a neutral color.

This is what the skein started out as and I divided it into two pieces. It is just a light gray unknown wool that was mill-ends.

Here they are languishing in their vinegar and water bath.

I chose to dye up one in a similar way as the yarn that I am using for the Blume Hat. I liked the broken up purple with pink and blue.

The other is a rose-pink color. I used the Rose color of Wilton's Icing Dye. I really loved how this one turned out. So much so that I am considering dyeing up some more.

My mind is so stuck in starting new projects right now, so tonight I am focusing on working on projects I have already started. With the justification that if I make enough progress on these, I will allow myself to maybe start my colorwork project.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Food Friday - Gluten-free Cracker Crust

I've been wanting a fruit dessert for a while, but I can never seem to make up my mind on what I want to use as the base. I can't use a lot of things I use to. I never, ever, ever was a fan of graham cracker crust. In fact, never liked graham crackers, I know atrocious! I chock this up to my body trying to tell me about my gluten issues.

So I decided to try a fruit pudding pie with a cracker crust. My crust was made with this Graham Cracker Crust recipe, but instead of graham crackers I used gluten free animal cookies!


The recipe says to use a blender/food processor, however, I do a lot of my cooking later in the day, since the weather has been so hot. So I crushed my animal cookies in a plastic bag by using the back of a fork.

A cup and a half of crushed cookies!

This is mixed with the other ingredient and put in the pie pan.

After baking . . . mine baked for about 12 minutes since I only did the bottom it was thicker.

I mixed up Vanilla instant pudding with whole milk. The box suggested pouring it directly onto the crust before refrigerating, so I did. (forgot to take picture!) After pudding turned solid I added blueberries and cut up strawberries!


Overall : the gluten free cookies do not need even close to that much butter, they just can't absorb all of it. I will definitely make this again, but probably with half the amount of butter. Otherwise, it was delicious and the flavor of the cookies worked wonderfully with it!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Relaxing and winning . . .

I have finished one Yoga sock, but not sure yet if I am a yoga sock person . . .



I am going to finish the second one and try them out. So we shall see. Either way, love the cables and am thinking that I need to make up some cable socks soon. . . or at least some socks with pattern.

Doctor's appointment went better than expected. She thinks the previous doctor may have misread the results and it going to go over them herself again. She will let me know if she thinks they were right, but she thinks it is very unlikely that I have cancer. So yeah! I will be going back in November either way for another test, just to make sure.

Onto the Winning . . . I won runner up on Val from Life With Sheep's contest! If you don't read her blog yet, you should go over and check it out. She always has adorable pictures of the animals! Definitely my weakness.