Monday, April 30, 2012

I take it back!

I must have just been having a few off-days in a row with the red doily, because my mojo is back with a vengeance.

So before I start talking about what changed, I'm going to announce it officially.

Pattern: Lyra by Herbert Niebling.   According to a google search done just now, he's the 4th most popular Herbert- which I thought was interesting.
Yarn: Shadow lace by Knit Picks.  I do feel slightly ashamed at having Knit Picks in my stash, but I love this color, and I got it when I was buying dye forever ago and if I added $8 then I could get free shipping.   Anyhow, I love the color.
Current Progress:  Row 120/180.

If you guessed it and I for some reason didn't see it- let me know.  If you suspected this pattern and didn't guess, you should have- I had some really cute stitch markers that could have been yours!

And a little picture before I break it down here...
I'm not a huge fan of cables.  I love the way they look, and every once in a while I enjoyed a cabled hat or other small project to remind myself that I can, in fact, still cable and I do, in fact, still dislike doing it.  I just never got past the point where cabling wasn't so darn awkward and required full concentration, the use of funny faces with my tongue sticking out and the odd grunt or swear word, depending on the scenario.  And so when I got to the point in my lace uberdoily/tablecloth where it said to place the next 2 stitches behind the 3rd and 4th stitches, knit it took me a minute before I realized what it wanted me to do.

What?  There's no cables in lace tablecloths!  I looked on Ravelry at everyone else's Lyra.  Sure enough- cables.  So I contemplated what the flower would look like if I just did plain knitting in place of the cables.  I didn't like it.  I had a cup of tea and counted cables.  I couldn't knit a Niebling only to cut out the cable part- it's like dropping out of a marathon after 26 miles because that extra .2 is far too much effort.  I had another cup of tea and dusted off my cable needle.

The first row made me cry a little.  I had to sit in silence while working each of the 56 little buggers.  The next row was a plain old knit row, and it was blissful despite being absolutely huge. The next row wanted me to shift the cables while knitting 2 stitches in between them- a sigh of relief, not quite so many cables. Except I couldn't get my stitch count to work. I thought that maybe I'd just messed up the first one and kind of fudged it in to place.  Same with the second, third, fourth and somewhere around the 6th repeat of this, I decided to skip that row of cables and go back to cabling in the same place every four rows, thus cutting out half of the cables and saving me about a month and a lot of tears in this project.

And after much deliberation, I like my way better.  Sorry Herbert.  And now I'm loving my project again.

Oh, here's some handspun I'm plying.  I wonder if there's going to be enough for socks...

Friday, April 27, 2012

Loss of Momentum

I've kind of lost momentum on a few of my personal projects as I slug through the necessary preparations of starting one's own business.  Plus I really only knit/crochet when I'm watching TV, and there's only a couple shows that I actually sit down and watch, which means it's been slow going.  I've also hit a point on my lace project (if you know what it is, leave your guess below!) where I not only have a skabillion stitches per round, but the pattern is like- hey, there's 56 cables every other row for 38 rows!  Oh snap- that's a lace weight cable!  I'm less than enthused to return to my lace project.  But here's the latest picture-hint for you... I think I'll give the answer next post (in a few days) whether there's been a correct guess or not. Just a heads up! 
I've also been hitting the leftover afghan pretty hard during those TV shows- but I'm down to 1 ball of white yarn left that I've been attaching the circles with.  I've asked for more for my birthday, but that's still a month away.  Plenty of time to finish up more little circles so that when the white yarn comes I'll have plenty to work with.  Here it was the other day at 12 x 14, and here it is presently at almost 14 x 14.  I try to make 2 or 3 little circles a day so that I have options when I'm attaching them in groups of 4.  I'm thinking (and this could change a thousand times between now and then) that it is done at 16 x 18, or maybe 18 x 20.  I'd also like to do a border, which will only add an inch or two but give it a nice finished look.

And blankets.  I made one out of some fluffy acrylic leftovers from last year's Craft Fair that wasn't.  I had to buy two more hanks to make it a decent size.  I had started it with Project Linus in mind, but a friend was asking if she could buy it off me.  So she might take it, and then I'll donate one of the stashed baby blankets to Project Linus- it's been a while since I made a donation.

I also bit the bullet and bought 3 more balls of Encore Worsted so I can finish a baby blanket that has been on the hook since late last year.  I hit the black hole point around inch 4, and I can crochet on it until I'm blue in the face but never seem to make any progress.  I lucked out and found a lady who wanted to sell 3 on Ravelry and haggled a bit until it was cheaper to buy her's than to go to the LYS to buy more.  That and I have no self control, and walking in to my LYS for $25 of baby yarn normally means deciding the baby blanket can wait and that I actually need more lace weight and 4 hanks of sock yarn.  So I Raveled.
And that's what I'm up to...craft wise.  I've got a few other things coming up though...

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


I feel like the last year has been an emotional roller coaster for me.  Last Spring, I began playing for the Indy Hoydens.  Soon after that, I met Bam Bam.  After 5 inseparable  months I was engaged, and 2 months after that I wasn't.  It was about that point in time where I just wasn't thrilled with my job anymore.  I looked for other things, interviewed a bit, but there's not a lot of options for someone with an English degree.  But my ongoing pulmonary problems made it very clear that staying where I was for much longer wasn't an option.  I wasn't happy, and working in a cold warehouse full of dust and animals wasn't helping- I was angry, alone, and in quite a bit of pain.  I had a good heart to heart with my dad about the direction I wanted my life to go vs how it really was and he and I made a plan.  More specifically, we made a business plan.

And it's been a few months, and there's still a lot of work to do, but I will be going in to business with my dad this summer. My last day of working for someone else was yesterday and while it was ugly and dramatic, I'm glad it's over.
I spent most of yesterday in a sort of shock- my life had completely changed direction but it's not a bad thing. It's just a different thing.  And this morning I saw that I had 2 Peace Lillies about to bloom, so I'm going to take this as a sign from the universe that I'm doing the right thing for me and everything is going to be just fine.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Presumptuous Cross Stitching

I have been a little under the weather still with the cold that refuses to die and have been getting quite a bit of crafting in. I'm also madly in love with my current audiobook (The Fiery Cross- part 5 in the Outlander series) and have been making time and probably staying up later than I should so that I can sneak in one more chapter. But that one more chapter means one more color in my cross stitching or a couple more rows on the red lace thing. I do love multitasking.

But I was ripping out green that was supposed to be orange on my Harvest Home cross stitching and I decided I was a little bit angry at it. And not just because I had a brain-fart and starting stitching a green pumpkin. My cross stitching says "Welcome To Our Harvest Home". Okay, right now it says "To Our" but that's the part that's pissing me off.
Isn't "Our" Harvest Home a little presumptuous? What if it's a single girl that just really gets in to Autumnal decorations? Here are a couple scenarios that make me want to rip out OUR and put MY Harvest Home because I'm selfish and single. If you enjoy them, I might share another poorly written scenario with you for giggles.

Scenario 1. 3 years from now. "Paige, you're amazing. I just love the way your house smells like cinnamon and dreams." The handsome Scot rolled the "r" in dreams, just the way Paige had imagined he would. She could feel his passion bulging as they slammed in to the wall, barely making it in to her adorable little bungalow before layers of clothes began to drop to the floor. True, they had only been together for a month, but Paige knew that she had found the love her of life in this Gaelic man. "The bedroom is this way...just passed the spinning wheel and to the left," or at least she started to say this before his mouth found hers in sweet kisses. He fumbled for the light switch and instead, knocked a picture off the wall, glass shattering across the rustic wood floor. Paige turned on the light, and in the illumination he saw the way her long blond curls blew in the wind, regardless of there presently being no wind.

"Our Harvest Home." He looked puzzled. "We've only been together a month, Sassenach. I think it was a bit early to start cross stitching things about OUR Harvest Home."

"But Ian, I made it years ago, I was too lazy to change the pattern to "My" Harvest Home."

"I can't, Paige. I just can't."

Ian shifted his plaid shirt that made him look slightly like a lumberjack, covering his 8-pack abs from her view. She knew this was the last time she would ever see Ian, but she stood frozen, shards of broken glass surrounding her fabulous 9 West stiletto heels, frozen, as she watched him turn and leave her life forever.

Scenario 2. 20 years from now. "Dad, I think Aunt Paige is delusional." Clay knew his son was right, she hadn't been in her right mind for nearly 17 years now. Her spinning wheel sat in a pile of dust, and she picked up balls of yarn randomly, calling them the names of her deceased cats. She had also recently picked up a Scottish accent, though she had not been in years. Clay's son spoke again. "Was she married? Who did she have a harvest home with?" Clay shook his head. "Nobody, son, nobody. She never married. And it drove her crazy. So why don't you pick a few things that will go nicely in her room in the looney bin."

So yeah....a little over the top but that's just how my brain works when it's 2 am, I can't sleep and I'm cross stitching words intended for people in wedded bliss.

So moving on....

Here's the next installment of Guess- That-Lace! This one is a little bigger and maybe someone will have a guess as to what is it...ready set go!

And finally...I'm taking a quilting class next month! And I'm super-pumped! And I went to the fabric store and picked out my 18 colors today! Squee!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

April's Autumn

Somehow I've ended up with 3 autumnally appropriate projects. I just finished my Bonfire socks (which are very autumnal and stripe-tastic), I'm working on a deep red doily/tablecloth (depends on how big it gets or how small of a table it goes on) and the other day during a particularly angry few hours, I started a Harvest Home cross stitching because I needed something to do to take my mind off something that was making me very very angry and it still making me very very angry. A few people know what it is, and we'll leave it at that.

I also have a couple non-autumn projects, but none I'm presently loving working on. In case you were wondering...

Here are the Bonfire socks. I finished them on Friday night when I was angry and not sleeping. I love them, and while I'm loving this warm spring weather, I wish we could have a really cold day so I have an excuse to wear them.
They were made by working stripes from 1 ball of Noro Kureyon Sock, working 4 rows off one end of the ball and then 4 rows off the other end, rinsing and repeating.
I had to break the yarn a couple times when the colors were getting too close and I couldn't tell I was striping. I probably should have broken up the colors on the foot of the right sock a little more, but I was lazy and wanted to get it done and move on to the next project.
Here is the next clue to the mystery doily! Here it is after 30-something rows. If you guess what it is, you'll get a prize. If nobody guesses, then I'll be slightly offended that nobody is (a) reading anymore or (b) nobody wants anything that I'm making for a giveaway. Not really. But if you think you know what the pattern is, leave a comment and you might just get a really cute set of stitch markers or buttons or something like that! I really want someone to guess so I can start putting current pictures up- I just finished row 94 and I feel like I'm kicking butt!
And here's the start to the Harvest Home cross stitching. It came in a set, so I'm probably going to run out of thread because I'm using 3 plies of cotton instead of 2. I just don't like the way 2 plies looks- I want bold, thick stitches that look like I intentionally put them there, not like I brushed it on gently as an afterthought. Maybe I'm putting too much thought in to this.
And....a little terrarium that I'm starting out of some air orchids and ferns that I stole from my parents' house in Sarasota.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

I'm baaaaack!

Did you miss me? No? I'll pretend you did.

Life has been a little crazy with work, rugby, rugby tournaments, rugby boys, more work, various knitting groups, a particularly stressful cross stitch project and a few attempts at gardening. Eventually my body decided I needed to sit down and rest for a bit, so it struck me down with a sinus infection. Naturally this occurred 2 days before my first rugby tournament as a Hoyden. I went anyway (wishing the whole time I hadn't) and was taking shots of DayQuil between the games. Because I like to party.

And after that I headed down to Sarasota to hang out with my parents for a week and just chill. AND IT WAS AWESOME! I got sorta caught up on sleep, I got a few work-outs in, I saw a man-lizard try to seduce a lady-lizard with some very erotic throat-puffing, I went to my favorite yarn shop ever- twice! I cooked a tart for a gourmet dinner, I dyed Easter eggs, I went to the beach, I attempted paddleboarding, and there were some margaritas involved too. Not that many- I'm still trying to get over that darn sinus infection from 2 weeks ago.

So here's a few of my favorite pictures (I think I took a whopping 15 from the whole trip- 8 of them about yarn).

This is Mike. He lives in the mailbox.
One of my treasures from A Good Yarn. They have a bunch of colorways from Lorna's Laces and 3 Irish Girls that are exclusive to the shop. The owner and her hubby (who are super nice people) are big scuba divers and they take these amazing pictures of fish and coral and things underwater and then they have colorways dyed to look like the fish. I get the newest one whenever I'm down there. This one is called Gill's Night Out. I love it.
A caramelized onion, cheese, tomato and Kalmata olive tart I made while down there. It's much tastier than it sounds.
I totally splurged on some new sunglasses. Here I model them in my only pose, the "bitch, I'm fabulous" pose.
Seagulls. I just love them.
Gardenias. I don't think they're the prettiest flower under the sun, but they are the best-smelling.
Sea urchins on the seawall. Those suckers hurt.
Paddleboarding princess! It's like a giant surfboard and you paddle. Okay, it's like kayaking standing up. My very first time a manatee swam right under me and I was pretty sure I was a goner because I was having balancing issues anyway. It was close, but I hung on.
The start of my new lace project! Ooooh- let's see who is reading. The first person to guess what the pattern is gets a prize. Leave your guess in the comments below! I'll post my progress each blog post, which should make it easier as we go. Here's your first hint though: 180 rows. (there's only about 12 rows here)
I cross-stitched this for my Mom before I went down there as a house warming gift. I framed it for her while I was down there and we knew what colors we wanted in the matting and frame. I'm pretty pleased with my amateur frame-job.
And that's it! I'm 8 rows away from having a second sock done which I will post next blog, as well as the next progress/clue picture to the mysterious red lace project! But now, I zumba.