Make Something Monday – and I Cleaned Out a Bin!

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Yesterday, I got a wild hair to rummage in my craft storage bins for some yarn that I bought waaaay back when I first started to knit.  I put it away, thinking I’d make a sleeveless sweater or something for the holidays.

Only, I’d bought four skeins, which isn’t enough for a sweater.

And so it’s languished in the bin for ~cof~ years ~cof~.  I also got some very difficult, fussy eyelash yarn of an eye-catching red.  I tried mixing it with this gorgeous stuff and it looked awful.  Rather than looking like a fur border, it looked like, well, a mess.

I’m not sure what magical alchemy happened yesterday.  Mercury is retrograde; maybe it’s that.  No clue.  But in I walked to my office, let my fingers do the walking through my binventory (I made up a word!!), and voila – new project glee.

Only one problem.  What the eff do I make, if not the sweater I’d been procrastinating?

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The yarn is a lovely, skooshie Plymouth 24k in a red and gold, complete with gold flecks.  I could do a rectangular shawl with thin tassels, (once I learn how to spell tassels ~fail~).  I could do a necklace or beads.

Hmm.  That’s actually not a bad idea.  I have four balls of it; I could use three for a triangle shawl and the one remaining ball for some jewelry.

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I started with a garter stitch border and then started yarn over increases three stitches in on each side.  When I had enough of an edge to make the point strong, I started two yarn overs in the center.  I’m going to do Little Arrowhead Lace from Barbara Walker’s Volume I, and then in the center, I think I’ll do budding branch once I have enough on either side of the center spine.

Oh.  As I’m writing this, there are really two centers, one on either side of the spine.  Hmm.  I can do buds, but have them mirror each other.  Facing center, or facing out?  I’ll noodle on that, but I’m thinking facing center.

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I got pretty far yesterday.

And I did not allow Kolya to eat the yarn.  Or chew on the needles.  Or steal the project bag so he could gnaw on the plastic.

Right.  I decided to be a textile artist in a house full of cats.  Brilliant.

What are you making this Monday?

Work In Progress Wednesday

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I looked at the ratty holder I’ve been using for my transit card the other day and got embarrassed.  It’s falling apart!  The leather’s all rubbed off on the corners and it was built to hold a cell phone that I haven’t had for two phones now.

I’m a knitter.

This should be a solvable problem, yes?

Ergo, I’m making a small knit pouch wallet for my transit card.  I decided to try the woven stitch, but it curls a lot at the bottom.  I may add an edge of seed stitch or do the whole thing in seed stitch, we’ll see.  I’m still farting around with the swatch.

But I’m having fun designing again!  That’s almost better news than the fact that I’m knitting.

What about you, Dear Reader?  What’s your Work In Progress for Wednesday?

Saturday Stashbusting

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I’m working on busting my ginormous stash.  In order to do that, I need to work on the projects I started.

The Stash List

  1. Block the Jewel Scarf
  2. My hat
  3. The red cable bag
  4. Line the Uglii Bag
  5. Bind off the Uglii Afghan; decide if I’m adding to it
  6. Buttons to the red blouse

This was originally a list of 5 things, but I realized I need to block the Jewel Scarf too, and that’s something I can do on Sunday.

Oh, and here’s Boria keeping the Uglii Afghan warm for me.  I know, I featured him a couple days ago, but it makes me laugh so I figured I’d share again.

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What about you, Dear Reader?  What’s in YOUR stash?

 

Tuesday Tips – Sheet Protectors

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I know those really neat fabric roll-ups are a cool way to store needles and hooks.  But until I can afford one, or make one for myself, what I’ve been doing is using sheet protectors and a large binder.  I organized the needles by size, and put the crochet hooks in the back one (which you could reverse, if your primary craft is crochet).

I keep my circulars in a zipper pouch organized by needle size; I splurged one year and got a set with detachable needles.  I highly recommend this, if you can swing it, because it makes sorting out the circular needle mess so much easier.  I really like KnitPicks needles for their smooth joins.

What about you, Dear Reader?  Got any favorite storage tips?

Make Something Monday – The Jewel Scarf

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The Jewel Scarf is done.  It’s nice and soft.   I’m not sure what I’m going to work on next; maybe a top-down sweater.  For now, here are some more views:

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I like long scarves, but I think this will fit well on the person for whom I designed it.
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It actually drapes well, which is nice.  I haven’t blocked it yet; this is just off the needles.  But I like the flow of the fabric even without blocking.

What about you, Dear Reader? What are you making?

 

Stash Sunday

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Now that I’ve finished the Jewel Scarf, I’m at a loss for what to make next.  I want to do a top-down sweater, but I don’t feel up to something new and complicated.  I have a bunch of yarn left over from the Bryce Canyon Shawl, and I don’t like the hat I made with the leftovers.  I decided to take another shot and make another hat.

Top-down hats are easier than they seem.  The nice thing about making them is that you can try it on halfway through and make sure it works how you want it to:

  • Cast on 8 stitches; join to work in the round.
  • Increase in each stitch; 16 total.
  • Work 1 round even.
  • Increase 8 stitches in next round.
  • Work 1 round even.
  • Repeat last two rows until it’s round enough to cover the crown of your head.
  • Work straight for as long as you want it, down to the ears or longer, if you want a foldable brim.
  • Then bind off and you’re done.

I like Elizabeth Zimmerman’s sewing needle bind off best, because it’s a nice edge, and isn’t tight or rigid.

  • Leave a long end of yarn and thread it in a blunt sewing needle.
  • Insert the needle into the next 2 stitches as if to purl and pull through, leaving the stitches on your knitting needle.
  • Insert the needle into the first stitch as if to knit and pull the stitch off the knitting needle.
  • Repeat these steps across the end of the row.

What about you, Dear Reader?  What’s in your stash?

Saturday Stashbusting

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It’s 2016.  A new year, right?  I saw something on Facebook the other day that made me laugh.  It was a meme about new years, where we focus on what we didn’t accomplish in 2015, and wanted to do in 2014, etc.  I do want to work on my stash busting, but I know better than to say “I will bust all my stash this year.”  I did that once.

Once.

So this year, I’ll focus on playing.  The shot, above, is of my jewel scarf that I’m making for Rachel.  I’d say it’s about 60% done.  Boria is sound asleep next to my spot on the couch, with the Ohio State afghan my mother crocheted.

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My craft shelves.  I installed them this year and like them a lot better than what I was using.  This has a whole bunch of projects to play with.  My biggest challenge is to work on making sweaters.

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This holds a number of overflow supplies, including my ivory yarn that I want to use as my first top-down sweater practice yarn.  I tried one with some colored yarn, (purple heather and pale pink), but it was too challenging to work with the color design and the new technique at the same time.

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This is my list of stash containers that live under my bed.  I had an idea, at one point, to go through the list and make stuff one by one.  That’s where things imploded, because I got too overwhelmed by the project.  Instead, this year, I’m just going to focus on one thing at a time.

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This is my mess.  I’m working on reorganizing my filing system.  This is actually more organized than it looks, because the piles are specific things, but they still don’t belong on the table.  I need to get them into the filing cabinets.

How come I can’t use a magic wand like Hermione?

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A little more close-up of the scarf, where you can see the pattern of the yarn as it interacts with the lace stitches.  I can’t wait to finish it and see how it blocks out.

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This is my latch hook rug frame, with the start of the peacock/firebird rug on it.  This is what I got away from this year, because I kept getting intimidated by how much I had left.  This year, I want to try applying what I learned in NaNoWriMo – meaning, do thirty minutes at a shot, make small daily goals rather than big giant ones.

We’ll see.

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And this is the cabinet I bought to organize our sewing supplies.  Obviously, I haven’t PUT the stuff in the cabinet yet, but hey.  Once step at a time.

That’s my motto for this year:  one step at a time.

What about you, Dear Reader?  What projects are on your list?

 

 

Stash Sunday – Becoming

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It’s coming together.  Slowly.

2015 has been a difficult year as regards output.  Most of the work has been internal; journaling and the like.  When Rachel was in town in October, we bought this yarn and I started farting around with some lace patterns, and realized I needed to drawn it out in a chart because the swatch was decidedly not cooperating.  As in, sticking out its tongue at me and going “Nya-nya-nya.”

I finally finished the first of the two skeins yesterday.  If this were a scarf for myself, it would be way too short – one, I’m five-eight; two, I like loooong scarves.

But it’s not for me; it’s for Rachel.

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She’s a similar height to Leticia (my dressmaker’s form).  This length comes right about to her hips, which is actually where Rachel prefers her scarves because she is using them more for an accessory, given that she lives in the desert; whereas I, living in Chicago, am looking for warmth and the ability to wrap it around my head and my neck several times.  So yay, it fits!

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Here’s a view around back, and there’s plenty of room for the second skein to make it a full length scarf for her.  I’d like it if it could be longer, but the third skein is a different color (and only one skein of that color, so it’s probably going to be made into an Amazeball or a truffle; I haven’t decided yet.)

An Amazeball: I came up with this a couple days ago when my bud and I were sharing hard-won kudos with working out.  I thought, we need some kind of trophy or something that we can mail around in our group of friends, and whoever gets it gets to take a picture of themselves with it, and gets to decide to wins it next.  But we need something, and I figured a ball of yarn (not a ball of unmade yarn, but a knitted ball) would be a cool trophy.  A truffle, if you recall, is a creature from our Persis Chronicles that’s a cross between an aardvark and a cocker spaniel.  I think I’ll modify an elephant pattern and make a small one; only problem is, I think I need more yarn than I have for this project, which is why the Amazeball.

Glad you asked?

What about you, Dear Reader?  How long do you like your scarves?

 

 

Tuesday Tips: Keeping Notes

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I just realized something as I was looking at my design notes for the lace wrap I’m making.  My notes go back to about 2010.  That’s like five years, sports fans!  Cool!  So, I figured I’d share some reasons why I think Keeping Notes is the Thing To Do:

  1. Keep track of your current project. This way, if you have to set it aside and you forget about it for a month or ~cof~ year, you’ll remember what you were doing.
  2. Keep notes of stuff you are planning that you might make someday.  In other words, it doesn’t have to be the Notebook of Things I Will Make.  It becomes a NOTEbook.  Of notes.
  3. I found a list of gifts I wanted to make from 2011.  I haven’t made everything on there, and the ideas are good ones, so why not crib from that for the 2016 gift planning list?
  4. You can use it for the 2016 Gift Planning List.  (See how I did that?)
  5. Pro-tip: if you get yourself a pad with grids on it, then you can use it for regular notes, in words, but also for design concepts if you’re learning how to use charts (which I am).  In fact, that picture up there ^^^ is my vereh first real chart.  (My vereh first unreal chart is actually page one of the notebook, but I couldn’t figure out charting, so there you go.)
  6. Number six in my list of five things:  the point of number 5 is that this is a work in progress.  Keeping notes, and reminding yourself that they’re notes and notes by their nature are informal, reminds us that we are learning, always developing, and that it’s not important to get it right the first time.  It’s just important to show up with yarn, needles, a pad of paper and a writing implement.

Happy making!

Make Something Monday – Afghan for the Uglii Chair

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I love to knit. This isn’t really a surprise, for those of you who have been following me for a while.  Knitting is something I do for meditation, creative expression, and because it keeps my hands busy so I can think.

But I get into jams where nothing on my needles inspires me.  I feel a sense of boredom or overwhelmed-ness when I look at all my WIPs (works in progress), and wonder what I could start or just play with.

The solution is to make something large, with a fairly simple stitch pattern.  My writing partner, Rachel Wilder, suggested I make an afghan for the Uglii Chair and poof.  Project!

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It turns out I already had yarn in my stash, too!  I adore KnitPicks, and they had a great sale last year.  I picked up a bunch of skeins of this great wool blend for a really great price and they’ve sat on my shelf, awaiting a project.  I actually intended to do a sweater with them, but when I realized I needed yarn for the Uglii Chair and this one matched the brown, then voila!

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I made a mistake on the edging, but I like how it turns out. I accidentally switch sides with the pattern, but it now looks like it was intentional. That’s the neat thing about mistakes – sometimes, they turn out to be part of the design!

What about you, Dear Reader? What are you making?