Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The spree update

Well Spree,

We had a good run. I'm sorry I wasted all that time on the sheep rug that didn't work out (who knew a 12" pillow front wouldn't go on to a 12" back without puckering? Now I do!). I'm also a little disappointed that I didn't get my TNNA knitting finished- that last colorwork block looks about as fun as a bikini wax. But I'll get there. I do want to thank you though, Spree, for the last three projects we finished this week. Thanks, and I'll keep chugging along...those projects aren't going to finish themselves.

23 tomorrow

Handspun Suri/Merino/Bamboo blend from Flaggy Meadows mill. 4 oz, roughly 188 yards, fingering weight. Color: Daffodil
Baby Newsboy cap. On etsy site if you're interested!
Pink ripples baby blanket. Made from Lion Brand "Baby's First" which is ridiculously soft but a little splitty. On the etsy shop if you happen to need a pink baby blanket!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

The black hole of pink lace

As the spree continues, I have unearthed yet another project that has been taunting me for a while: the pink baby blanket of DOOM!!! (dramatic reverb)

I started it last June (or July?) for a friend's baby girl- I decided I was done with the cheap-o acrylic bulky baby yarn and that this blanket was going to be special. I did buy bulky baby yarn, but that was only to ensure that the baby got it as a "welcome to earth" gift instead of a gradation from high school gift- and after about two weeks of fan and feather and only a foot or so of blanket to show for it, I went to Walmart (of DOOM!!!) and bought some cheap-o acrylic baby yarn that squeaks when you knit it, sat down and made the blanket in one night, promising myself I'd finish the original blanket and post it on etsy when I finished it hoping to get back the money I dropped on the yarn. And now it's May. I have 5 balls of yarn and had hoped to use all of them, but at my Sunday knitting group we decided that finishing the current yarn ball (which happens to be #4) would be enough, and that sounds pretty good to me. I'll try to use the last ball on squares for a friend's charity so I never have to see this pepto-pink bulky yarn again. Okay, it's really not that bad, but I'm really tired of seeing it. I have so much I want to knit, I just can't cast on without feeling guilty for not finishing a thousand projects first, ya know? Moving on... the Dolly Mama cross stitching kit. I dug this out the other day and sat down to work on it for a few minutes (all that's left is border, backstitching, and a string of french knots on the apron) and found a stain that I hadn't seen in the dark. I googled how to remove a stain from cross stitching that's not finished yet and didn't have much luck, so I ended up wetting the spot that was dirty, using my Victoria's Secret "delicates" wash, scrubbing the crap out of it (I highly doubt the stain was actual crap, this is only an expression) and then rinsing again with cold water. It's not 100% dry yet and I haven't seen it in good light, but until further notice I'm calling it healed. Border shall begin once it is dryer than dry to avoid more stains on white cloth. I'm sure I won't be so lucky next time. (In case you were wondering, this is why I NEVER knit with white yarn- I'm terrified of the stains that seem to follow me. Same rule applies for white clothing and white furniture) And moving on again...
To spinning! Here is some very pale yellow (not white!) suri alpaca/merino/bamboo, percentages of each unknown at the moment as I think the cat ate the piece of paper with the percentages on it. It's roughly 4 ounces but I'm not sure how much the cats have eaten. I'd really like to finish this tonight during my HBO time and let it sit on the bobbin for a few days to set before I ply it, but we'll see how that works. I'm not sure what it wants to be when it's graduated to actual yarn, as I always have grand plans (like socks) for handspun before I realize that weeks and weeks of spinning has only left me with a very dense 94 yards of fingering weight yarn. C'est la vie d'une tricoteuse.
And lastly for today, the sheep pillow (also filed under DOOM!!!). This pillow has been in progress for more than a year. I bought all of the rug hooking necessities at Greencastle last year and began that night. I didn't dish out the money on a frame, thinking I'd just save money and use a cross-stitching hoop. That worked well for about 3 days when the project outgrew the loop and I had to borrow Laurie's frame. That worked really really well until I ran out of fabric. There was a month-long period of sending fabric snips back and forth to the dyer before we settled on a blue that was close enough. Yay- finished the rug and decided to make it a pillow. Bought a pillow and some lovely red fabric that complemented the rug and sat down at my sewing machine to discover that the fabric and my sewing machine would just not work well together. Put it away for a while in disgust. Cleaned out my stash room last week and found pillow and it taunted me while I cleaned. Threw the pillow, the red fabric, and the sheep rug in the car and drove around town looking for someone to make the pillow out of the red fabric so I could hand sew the rug onto the front of the pillow. After 4 alteration shops, I finally found one that would do it and while I was appalled at how much it would cost to sew a 12" circle into red fabric, I agreed so I could stop searching for someone to make the pillow. Picked it up Thursday and am slowly making my way around with a needle and thread, pulling the rug on to the pillow and trying to make it look nice. This one might be good for my next birthday.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

the spree begins!

I am very pleased to report my first FO of the birthday spree, an apple pie sampler that I've been working on since last July. A little sad that it took a year? Yes. Glad it's over? Yes again. But now the heck do I do with it? I don't have apples or cross stitchings anywhere!
(the ubiquitous art shot. check out the sexy on those French knots- oui oui!)
I've also dug out a Dolly Mama cross stitching that I've been working on since my sophomore year at Purdue (5 years?). Naturally it's not that extensive or difficult, I just have the attention-span of a goldfish when it comes to needlepoint. I am going to try very hard to finish this, my rug hooking sheepy pillow, and my TNNA knitting before next Thursday. And if hell freezes over and they all get done, then there's a partially knitted baby hat I found while looking for a crochet hook this morning.
Bring it.

Monday, May 16, 2011


I know that most people live in fear of deadlines, but I have learned to embrace them. I've learned to love them- I find that I stress over the project or task until the deadline until it's officially due. This was especially bad in college when I'd finish a paper a week early and then wonder for the entire week if it was terrible because I had finished it early and should have spent more time on it. I was always relieved when I hit the point in time where the project was done- done and turned in and there was nothing more I could do about it even if I wanted to.

I continuously find myself creating deadlines for tasks that need finished- the main floor needs vacuumed by Thursday, these mittens need to be done before August. Absolutely nothing bad will happen if I fail to meet any of these deadlines, but I still feel a sort of failure when I miss them. And by never making them in the first place, I put things off forever and projects are banished to dark corners never to be seen again.

Each year, I have two big self-imposed deadlines, and they're fairly evenly spread apart. It's a little challenge to myself to see just what all I can accomplish when I really set out to finish things. The first "deadline" is my birthday- I see finishing several lingering projects as a gift to myself since I can finally wear/gift/sell/cover up with whatever I've been putting off. The other "deadline" is Christmas- and that's just because I like starting the new year with fresh knitting, a class out-with-the-old-in-with-the-new.

But my birthday is sneaking up on me and I'm starting to sweat a little. Yes, I've finished a couple shawls lately, and Meghann's wedding gift squares are done as is a little work knitting, but there's still no much I had hoped to accomplish! True, I have until the 26th, but I highly doubt that I'm going to cram 3 sweaters, a blanket, spun singles, a sock, 2 cross-stitchings, a good resin session, and a rug hooking in before then. Plus work/working out/rugby/hanging out with Bam Bam.

So let's just see how much I can finish. I'm going to be better about documenting for all four of my readers and I'm just going to see how much I can possibly get done. And I'll try to have a little fun while I'm at it :p

I'm also curious- do you have a system? How do you finish things that you've been putting off? Do you put things off in the first place? Leave it in the comments- I love it when you guys have something to say!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Crabby Mother's Day!

I know- it's a few days late, but my mom just flew in to town for the summer about an hour ago and saw her gift waiting for her! (She even said she liked it- it's a little on the random side but I'm thrilled with how "Jean-Claw Van Crabbe" came out!)

Here he is checking out Steampunk the fish...
And proving that man-crabs still do man-things...
Having a steam-bath...
and my favorite- having a little crabby cuddle with Bam Bam!
*pattern is the Deadliest Crab from Knitty, yarn is my handspun.
** I know! I finally knitted something with my handspun! And nothing bad happened- isn't that weird?!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

How is it May already?

I swear- just a few weeks ago I was anticipating my first rugby practice of the season (and my first season as a Hoyden), waiting for my daffodils to bloom and was still giddy from my first date with Bam Bam.
And now it's May. Which is a good thing. My birthday is in 19 days, and I'll be 23. Not that it's monumental or anything, but it's still a birthday and those are good things. The rugby season is over, which is both a good and bad thing- I can nearly confidently say that I won't have a black eye tomorrow, but I will miss the games, I will miss the camaraderie, and I might even miss the sprints. Probably not the sprints. And Bam Bam and I are still going strong. I even went up the the UP of Michigan to meet his parents for Easter- which wasn't nearly as scary as I thought it would be.
But you know what's really not happening? You guessed it- knitting. I've done a little here and there, finished a pair of socks, finished a scarf that was coming up on a year in progress, knitted the front of a ruffled pillow for work, started a Mother's day gift, started more work knitting, made a little progress on the Queen Anne's Lace shawl which I'll be using as a tablecloth, and am chugging along on some super secret un-bloggable knitting. I'm even spinning a little! Here's a few quick pictures of knitting and a few pics of why I haven't been knitting after that...
Now that rugby is over we should return to more regular blogging. At least I hope so!