Monday, April 1, 2024

Time Flies!

 Well, it’s been about 3 months since I’ve updated this page.  I’ve been busy at work.  I finished the Monday sweater and a cardigan called Verbena.  I’ve been making progress on my Not-Temperature blanket although I’m a week behind on it at the moment.  I love how it’s coming out in the Tunisian Simple Stitch though.  I’ve knit a beaded drawstring bag.  And I’ve experimented with the new Red Heart all in one granny square yarn.   My next endeavor is to start granny squares for a Christmas project I have in mind.  And cast on a simple project I can carry with me in Disney World during our vacation so I can keep my hands busy while waiting for rides.  I haven’t decided between knit beanie hats or a pair of TAAT magic loop socks.  Oh, and I dyed and spun 600 grams of wool for the Spin Together event in February with my team Flannel Cakes.  That was great fun and I plan to buy myself a new EEW 6.1 e-spinner when they go on sale at the beginning of next month.  After vacation, my daughter & I will be trading rooms in our house, so I’ll be getting a much bigger crafting room to work in.  I’m super excited to be able to have room for everything and be able to clean & organize all my supplies.  I’ll be consolidating my previous craft room, the Cricut/Silhouette I have in the dining room, the sewing machines & supplies in the living room, my planner/journal supplies from my bedroom, along with my spinning supplies in the family room into one big craft room/office.  I’m going to be organized & clutter-reduced in my whole house if I can just get the craft stuff where it belongs.  Bee wants to have a smaller, cozier space that will be easier for her to take care of.  It’s a win-win.  

Ok, here’s the photo dump of recent projects…

Sunday, January 7, 2024

I’m back!

​I am finally back!  I was busy working on Christmas crochet projects and didn’t want to give away the surprise on the off chance one of the recipients found my page.  I crocheted the Surprise Flower Pot Coasters from Brunaticality for 6 different people.  I crocheted granny square afghans for my parents.  I machine knit hats for 4 people on my Addi King Size.  All the gifts were well received.  Mom’s Blanket

Dad’s blanket

We also had COVID a week before Christmas, so I was able to knit a pair of quarantine socks with Hobbii Silly Socks yarn. 

quarantine socks

Right now I’ve got a sweater on the needles - The Monday Sweater by PetiteKnit, which I just split for the sleeves.  

Monday Sweater

And I’m working on a Not-Temperature blanket for my crafting group’s year long MAL.  It’s done in Tunisian Crochet simple stitch with a rainbow of 6 colors of sport weight Brava yarn from Knitpicks/Wecrochet.  Pink signifies Saturday & Sunday, each of the other colors signifies a different day of the week.  It’s 416 stitches wide and I expect it to be king sized when completed at the end of 2024.  

Not-Temperature Blanket

Saturday, September 9, 2023

Is it Autumn yet?

 Geez, it's been quite a while since I posted, again. A lot and nothing has happened since August.  I'm struggling with my yarn mojo lately.  I finished the body of Elton and realized when I went to start the sleeves that I need a different needle that I've misplaced in my mess.  That's enough of a hurdle for me to put the project in time out for now.  It's safe in its bag with the pattern and I know exactly where I am so that I can pick it up and finish it any time I find the needle.  In the meantime I'm trying to work on crocheting squares for my Christmas project.  I've done about a dozen of the yellow squares.  I ended up getting 70 out of the ball of blue, so a long way yet to go before I get to start on the red ones.  

In the meantime, and maybe partially to blame for the loss of knit/crochet mojo, I've gotten back into journaling and collecting fountain pens and inks.  I bought some more Pilot Kakuno pens and Pilot Iroshizuku ink, then decided I really liked my TWSBI Eco pens the best, so I ordered more of those.  I'm really enjoying the grey Iroshizuku Fuyu-syogun ink the best, so I ordered Noodler's Pasternak ink, which looked from the samples like it was a shading ink, but so far I've only used it on absorbent paper so it doesn't shade on that.  I also got bottles of Tsutsuji (and then found I already had a bottle of it on my shelf - oops) and Murasaki-shikibu.  But the grey was my favorite.  While waiting for the broad nib TWSBI Eco's to get here, I ended up ordering 5 more Eco's and a bottle of Diamine Polar Glow from Goulet Pens.  That order is arriving today and I can't wait to ink up my new pens and try my new ink!  I also got Tomoe River paper for my correspondence with my new penpals. 

I got back on a writing kick when I was reminded about Julia Cameron's Morning Pages habit.  I don't follow her rules explicitly.  I rarely write 3 pages - usually only 1-2.  But I do it every morning in a sketchbook with my fountain pens lately.  It's just stream of consciousness writing.  Sloppy.  Written with broad nib pens that I have no other real use for.  It's different from my evening journaling, which I do in a Sterling Ink Travelers Notebook sized journal that has 520 pages of Tomoe River paper.  My goal is to fill that with my daily evening journaling in fountain pen and my neater handwriting.  It's taking up my knitting time in the morning and at night to journal, but my mind is clearer I think, getting stuff onto paper and off my mind.  

And, back to penpal-ing. l have had the same 2 pen pals for several years now and decided that I really could fit a few more friends into my writing schedule, so I looked for options online since the last service I used is now defunct.  I came upon Global Penfriends and immediately signed up and looked for matches.  So far I've found several new pen pals that I hope I will be writing to for years to come.  I love getting non-bill mail in my mailbox!  I've also started collecting wax stamps to seal the letters.  I'm always afraid to put things on the outside of the letters like washi tape that I know may peel off during processing or jam their sorting machines, but I've gotten letters several times with sealing wax stamps intact so I'm hopeful.  

This year I'm really going to try to mail out Christmas cards.  I buy them every year thinking I will send them out and then I don't.  I love the USPS Christmas stamps this year - I can't wait for them to be available on 9/19.  They are snow globes!  I got my Christmas wax seal stamps already.  I better put it on my calendar to send them out so I don't forget.  

And speaking of calendars, it's already that time, it seems, to be looking for a 2024 planner.  I'm torn between keeping my existing Sterling Ink Weeks sized notebook and putting 2024 weekly pages in it (I draw the lines by hand and date it like a Hobonichi Weeks) or buying the Sterling Ink TN sized Weekly notebooks that are bigger and predated, but come split into 2 notebooks for some reason.  I really like the TN size, but I almost would rather get a blank notebook and draw it in myself and have it all in one book with an extra 400+ pages to use. Of course, that's a want not a need, because I could continue to use the smaller Weeks size for the same purpose.  Ugh, decisions, decisions!

This morning I plan to go to the apple farm before I get my nails done.  I'm so excited for Autumn, although I barely registered summer on my radar because I worked during the week days this year and didn't have my mid week day off like I had last summer when I could sit out on my hammock on my day off.  We only used our fire pit one time this summer, or actually, ever.  I plan to use it this fall when I can wear a hoodie and drink hot cider.  Doesn't that sound delightful!  I can't wait.  

Wednesday, August 2, 2023

Matchbox20 & Crochet


Yesterday we went to see the Matchbox 20 concert and had a great time.  I worked until 1:30, then we headed to Walmart to get an outdoor blanket to sit on for our lawn seats.  We drove the hour or so to the venue, with me crocheting in the front seat.  We sat in our car, watching Nimona on my iPad (pretty good movie on Netflix, btw).  I crocheted until the gates opened at 6pm.  Then we went in and got expensive drinks and stale pretzels.  I stopped at the merch stand and picked up a tshirt and hat to memorialize the event because I do not have luck with concerts.  Then we sat down and waited until the opening act came on at 7:30.  More crochet of course.  Matchbox 20 came on at 9pm and did a 2 hour set.  It only took us about 35 minutes to get out of the parking lot, luckily.  Overall it was a great experience and I got over 20 squares crocheted, so BONUS!  

Tuesday, August 1, 2023

Accessory August

 I think I might have mentioned before that I’m a part of a community called The Mindful Creators Clubhouse.  It’s a paid social network that focuses on crafting, especially knit/crochet/spinning/dyeing but all crafts are welcome, but also on mental health.  I have been a member since the Beta test in March of this year, and I quite enjoy it.  Each month we have a makealong subject instead of a specific pattern we all work on.  In June/July we had a summer top makealong.  August is for accessories - small projects like socks, dishcloths, small shawls, etc.  I will hopefully be working on finishing my gumball socks and making a lot of crocheted granny squares for a Christmas project I’m working on.  

This morning I’m up early because I have to be at work at 7am for a change.  We are launching a new inventory system at my store, which is expected to be a nightmare.  I had the system at my old store, so I am a little familiar with it, but the initial launch is always a rough start, even after nearly 2 years of the company rolling it out.  I didn’t have to process the incoming inventory every day at the old store like I do at the new store, so I will be more impacted this time around.  My coworkers have never used it before, so I have nobody onsite to ask questions, if anything they will be asking me.  

This evening we are going to see Matchbox20 in concert.  I say evening, but it’s more of an all-day affair, as the parking lots open at 3pm, the gates open at 6pm, and the show starts at 7:30pm.  I get out of work at 1:30, and we are leaving directly after I get home.  I’m hoping the day will be uneventful.  I have a long history of issues when I go to concerts, dating back to my first concert on the night of my senior ball, when I opted to hang out with a friend and we went to a radio station concert downtown.  The band incited the mosh pit to riot against security, and we ended up pepper sprayed and a lot of people were arrested.  Luckily I wasn’t affected, but it was my introduction to trouble with concerts.  My next concert a couple years later was at a bigger venue and a lot of teenagers were drinking spiked koolaid and puking in garbage cans.  My brand new car was my biggest concern and we left before the most well known artists got on stage because we didn’t want to get hit by drunk drivers.  The following concert was DMB, where we were towards the front of the crowd and were getting squished to the point that we went to the front and were hauled over the security fence by guards and barely saw the concert from the lawn.  After that concert, I swore off them for life.  Life ended up being 1998-2014, when I went to the NY State Fair and passed out during Barenaked Ladies.  Then there was Alanis, when my daughter was sent to a psychiatric hospital just before I was leaving town for the show.  The last few shows I’ve taken Jo because bad stuff doesn’t seem to happen when she’s with me.  I hope that luck holds out today.  My mom is in the hospital from having a stoke last week, but she’s where I know she’s getting the best possible care.  My nephew was in a car accident last week, too.  I hope all our miserable luck is behind us.  

Wednesday, July 26, 2023

Plugging Away

 I’m working on my Elton sweater.  Yesterday and last night I didn’t get as much done as I expected because my nephew was in a car accident and that sort of derailed my plans for the evening.  I hadn’t brought it with me to work so that I could get a couple rows done on lunch because I stopped in the middle of a row in the morning.  By the time I got home at night I was exhausted and fell asleep early.  

This evening I have a craft & chat with my online crafting community, The Mindful Creators Clubhouse. I hope people show up, because the last couple of them have been either just me, or me and one other woman.  It’s family dinner night, which I will be missing in order to stay home and do the call.  

I have 40 minutes left this morning to knit, so I’m gonna go do that now…

Monday, July 24, 2023

I’m still here!

 A lot has happened in the past 6 weeks since I last posted.  One of the big things is that I got a new iPad and have gotten back to digital planning, which has the effect of making me focus on my goals and priorities.  Subsequently, I’ve gotten blogging back on my priority list for Mon/Wed/Fri mornings.  I’m also keeping track of my projects and plan to spend an hour every morning on my knitting.  

I finished knitting Tolsta Tees for myself and Jo (sizes 3 & 5)  I just need to weave in the ends, which I plan to do this weekend.  In the meantime, I’m going to work on my Elton sweater, which is a welcome change after working on my mom’s blanket.  She asked for a lapghan and when I was almost done she said she wanted it to come up to her chin!  I kept measuring it and thinking I had only a few inches left, but then after knitting a few inches I would measure again and have more left to go than when I started.  I got it to about 56” and called it good enough.  I’ve never knit a blanket before, and I don’t plan to do it again for a long time.  I only spent 20 days working on it, but it felt like forever. This is a progress photo before I found out that it needed to be 2 feet longer.

Photo dump of the CNY Fiber festival yarn and the Hobbii yarn I had to buy when I realized I didn’t buy enough pink mohair…

My Elton sweater is going to be knit with neon peach yarn that I absolutely love.  I got it from my trip to the CNY fiber festival.  I had a great time and got a ton of yarn.  Everyone was so nice - the one shop gave me the pouch pictured above and everyone else gave me progress keepers. I can’t wait to hopefully go to Rhinebeck in October.  I need to get a lot of knitting done before then to justify the trip & more money spent on yarn.  I’ve heard that the festival is something that is overwhelming, but that it’s something you should do once in your lifetime.  I feel like I will regret not going if I skip it this year and then something happens where they stop having it.  The finger lakes fiber festival is cancelled because it got to be too much for the organizers, I guess.  The western NY fest is in East Aurora I think which is quite a drive in the opposite direction, but I would rather wait for the big one.  Maybe it can be my Christmas gift from Dan.  I usually pick what I want online and hand him the phone to put in his payment information to pay for what I want.  I think he was going to buy me new AirPods for Christmas, but I couldn’t take it another moment when they started dying every 90 minutes, so I already replaced those.  

Time to knit Elton… I love the stripes and smaller needles after the monotony of the knit blanket.  

Friday, June 9, 2023

Summer Top MAL Progress

Tolsta Tee size 3 is coming along well.  I'm about 4.25" from the underarm.  Only 7 more inches to go.  I put it back on the needles from my stitch holder cord and finished the first 100g cake of the green (Lichen) yarn this morning. 

This weekend I'm going to be busy with the CNY Fiber Festival & working Overtime to earn extra money to spend on yarn.  This morning I'm scouring Ravelry for patterns I want to make so that I know what yarn to look for tomorrow.  Otherwise I will come home with a skein of this and that and just add them to my stash.  When in doubt, I just buy 100g of sock yarn that I know can become socks or a beanie with no thought required.  After knitting the Tolsta Tee for me & for Jo, I think I will work on a shawl.  The ones I'm pondering right now are the Boneyard Shawl by Stephen West, Ashes by Joji Locatelli, or Inclinations Shawl by Andrea Mowry.  I also have the Shetland Lace Shawl by Alice Karachi in my stash of patterns that I own that I want to make. The sweater I might try again (with the proper yarn this time) is the Comfort Fade Cardi by Andrea Mowry.  The last attempt was with expensive LYS acrylic in solid pastels that did not fade, and I would have worn it but I changed the needles on the sleeves and didn't like the fit, so I gave up on it.  Or the Elton sweater by Joji Locatelli is intriguing me.  I feel like I might want to work on something with a mohair yarn.  I wish I could go back and buy more of the lace weight mohair from Lorna's Laces when I thought That was expensive - now it's ridiculous how much mohair has gotten.  

I have prepared my list - wish me luck!  


Thursday, June 1, 2023

June Summer Top MakeAlong!

Hello, I'm back after taking most of May off from social media posting.  In the past month, I managed to finish my Serged Dream Coat by Crochetverse and knit a pair of vanilla socks for my husband.  I cast on another pair of socks for myself and started a crochet hat as a beginner level project to base my crochet teaching certification lesson plans on.  Busy Days!  I'm even more excited this morning to learn that for June/July the Creators on the Mindful Creators Clubhouse platform will be doing a Summer Top Make-Along, and I'm geared up to make the Tolsta Tee by CreabeaDesigns for myself and Jo.  I have the yarn and ordered the needles (they arrive on Saturday) so that I can be ready for the kick off on Monday. I've settled on making myself a size 3.  I need to measure Jo to decide which size to make her.  She will be happy that the yarn I bought her about a year or more ago will finally be turned into something.  I had knit up a ball of the yarn and then stopped... I have no idea what pattern I was using and I'm not satisfied with the texture at the gauge it was working up into.  

Here is a photo dump of May!