Fifteen minute Friday

5 Apr

I’ve decided that it’s better to write these posts late than not bother writing them at all. So what’s new with me? True to my word I’ve been working on my handspun mitts. On Thursday evening I went out with some friends and it was just nice enough to sit out on the patio, which meant it was perfect knitting time. I finished up the body of the second mitt this afternoon, so all that I have left is two thumbs and then I have a new pair of mitts!

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This finishing things feels pretty nice, maybe I’ll work on some of my other lingering WIPs. One of my thoughts on the WIP Wednesday posts was that hopefully having to list all of the projects I’m working on on a monthly basis will prevent any projects from lingering too long. So here’s to finishing what you start!

WIP Wednesday

2 Apr

I almost forgot about it being the start of April this week, it’s been a long, but apparently quick March. Looking back on last month’s WIP Wednesday, it doesn’t look like I’ve gotten a whole lot done this month, but I swear I have!

The most visible progress is of course on my Moyen Age sweater. I think that larger projects tend to take my attention more than smaller projects. I definitely get very monogamous with sweaters once I’ve reached the halfway point and the end is in sight. I finished the second sleeve last night, and tried it on for the ladies at La Casita. The were all shocked that it fit so well without me making any modifications to the pattern, and I have to say that I agree. They also asked if I’d be wearing a shirt underneath, what with the neckline being oh-so-low, but once the collar is knit I think it will be much more appropriate. And I have to say that I am dying to wear this color, I don’t have anything quite like it in my wardrobe.

moyen-age

Now this pile of lovely WIPs, is, well, pretty much exactly like they were a month ago. I’ve made a little progress on the plain blue sock, especially since my sweater became a bit too bit to carry around everyday. But other than that, I don’t know what I’ve been up to all month.

WIPs

spinning

Although I have been doing a quite a lot of swatching for designs in the last week, so maybe that’s what happened. Hopefully April will see more visible crafting progress. Maybe I should start setting some goals in these posts along with my WIPs? Goal number one is obviously finish the Moyen Age sweater. It’s so close I can taste it! I just have to sit down and pick up all those stitches around the neck. I think goal number two goes to the handspun fingerless mitts. Today seemed like the perfect day to wear them, but alas, I only have one. It will probably be nice to do some spinning as well, although I’ll have to decide between plying and spinning new fiber seeing as I only have one spindle.

All in all, not the world’s most exciting WIP post, but progress is progress, no matter how small!

Fifteen Minute Friday

28 Mar

Let’s see if I can get back on track with this Fifteen Minute Friday business, shall we? Let’s start off with what I’m looking forward to this weekend. First off, The second sleeve of my Moyen sweater is for sure getting finished. I might even scope out some new patterns to knit. Recently I’ve been feeling the need for scarves of more colors. I have a white/brown/teal cowl, a dark teal scarf, a red/orange cowl, and a bright green scarf that only seems appropriate for spring. So what colors are missing? I have no idea, this is why you won’t see much colorwork on this blog, or see me dabble in yarn dyeing by myself, I just don’t have an innate color sense. Which just means that I am that much more impressed by the people that do. (Like Kristen Voolenvine, go check out her amazing new etsy shop!)

I was talking to a classmate about crafts, and she mentioned that she could deal with the intricacies of beading, but knitting had eluded her the last time she attempted it. We also talked about her grandmothers house being covered with quilts. There are so many different ways that people are talented in a crafty way, and I think all of them are amazing. Maybe I’ll pull out my sewing machine and play around with making a project bag. I have this adorable sheep fabric that I went halfsies for with a friend at Rhinebeck.

Learning new crafts is always an adventure, and it’s not like you have to be perfect right away! Remind me to tell you in a few weeks about Dabbler, I’m excited to get started with it. Well, that’s my fifteen minutes just about up! What new crafts are you playing around with? I think crafters are always looking for new ways to be creative.

Wednesday’s the day

26 Mar

It seems that for the last few weeks the only days that I manage to blog are Wednesdays. Clearly my fifteen minute Fridays are going well! It’s hard to imagine that I can’t set aside 15 minutes to write a quick something, or even snap a picture. I don’t have that much knitting news to share, even though I’ve made quite a lot of headway on my Moyen Age sweater. I’m working on the second sleeve, and because it’s knit all as one piece, it’s a little too big to carry around with me and knit when I have a few minutes on the subway. I have a feeling that it will be done by next week though, and with the way this winter’s been going, I’m sure I’ll get plenty of chances to wear it. Other than that there’s not a whole lot of progress, or excitement, right now in my knitting life. But that’s not to say that there aren’t other things I’m excited about.

One of the many YouTubers I follow, Tessa Violet (aka Meekakitty) just released her first album Maybe Trapped Mostly Troubled, which I bought yesterday and have been listening to it non-stop. It’s a mix of upbeat songs that get stuck in your head, and more mellow country-ish songs, and of course a song about robots, because why not? I’d have to say that my favorite song right now is Broken Record, and I’m hoping she’ll be coming out with a few music videos soon. Definitely check her out on iTunes, they give you a nice long clip of the songs to see if you’re into them.

Now, if you’ve been around here for a little while, especially if you follow me on twitter, you might remember my excitement over the Lizzie Bennet Diaries, a vlog style adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. The actress who played Lydia, Mary Kate Wiles, is now in a new series called Kissing in the Rain, which follows two actors that keep getting cast in movies where they end up kissing in the rain. Like the Lizzie Bennet Diaries, it’s also a bit of a transmedia experiment, where there are new episodes posted every week, the director writes character drabbles to go along with each episode, but then the best part is the fanfiction. The fanfiction is posted on tumblr with the appropriate tags, and the director goes through them all and makes the ones that mesh with the rest of the story into cannon. This means that instead of all the fanfiction that people normally write, where it just hangs out online to be read, this becomes a part of the larger story, it fills out the space in between the episodes, behind the scenes, and gives backstories to the characters. To me this is a mindblowing experiment, although each episode was filmed in advance, I’m sure if this team takes a second go at this transmedia experiment, they’ll be writing each episode in real-time, as the fans fill out the canon for them, making it a truly collaborative piece.

Now we’ve got music/video/writing, what type of media is there left for me to talk about? Comics. Or more specifically, the graphic novel Watchmen. It’s been on my list for a while, and along with all the other comics I’ve been getting into (Saga and Ms. Marvel at the top), I figured it was beyond time that I read one of the most well known series. I haven’t gotten that far into it yet, but it’s definitely been an adventure so far.

What are you excited about right now?

Spinning update

20 Mar

I think it was a few weeks ago I finished spinning my Malabrigo fiber, well, by spinning I mean plying. I took a whole Sunday and just kept going until it was finished. I then tried skeining it on my swift, and realized pretty quickly that it wasn’t working out. I’ve skeined my other spinning on my swift, but I think because there was so much more yardage and I was trying to keep the tension tight, I just ended up squishing my swift closed as I went. Now a year ago I knew very little about spinning (I still don’t know much), but I had heard of a niddy noddy and vaguely knew what it did. I did a quick google search and found a whole variety of them for sale, usually for quite a lot of money, and I even saw some how-to guides for making them out of pvc pipe. Then I remembered that Maria said she got hers from ebay and so I found a great one there for a good deal. It’s just plain wood, not finished or anything, but it’s interchangeable so it can make three different size skeins, 2 yards, 1 1/2 yards and 1 yard. You know I’m a sucker for tools with more than one function. (I only allow rare exceptions to Alton Brown’s rule of no uni-taskers in the kitchen, gotta have my garlic press though!)

niddy-noddy

Once my niddy noddy came in I quickly skeined my Malabrigo, and I can tell you it takes a very odd arm movement to be able to wind it on the niddy noddy smoothly and quickly. But now it’s washed and twisted into a hank and it’s so pretty!

skein

I have absolutely no idea what I’m going to do with it, but I don’t really mind having a mini handspun stash. What I do need though, is a wraps per inch tool. And obviously I can just measure it around a ruler and that would probably work out alright, but look at this Tardis wpi tool! So adorable!

300

11 Mar

This is the 300th blog post I’ve written on this site. Just over six years ago, February 25th 2008, was my very first post. It’s crazy to think that I’ve been doing this for that long. I started this blog on a whim, with the purpose of keeping a record of the random patterns I was creating. It functioned as much more of a journal, full of personal tidbits, ramblings and short status updates, which was pretty much on par for blogs in 2008. I wrote a lot about college, posted my very first selfie, went on and on about how sad I was to be away from Ty, had a foray into selling knits on Etsy, and used emoticons like a 12 year old girl.

I have to say that it wasn’t really until 2012 that I actually put effort into making my blog look and sound nice. And it probably wasn’t until 2013 that I really felt like I was part of a global knitting community. When I joined twitter in the fall of 2012 I continued being an observer, like I had been with blogs I followed, but when I finally started interacting with people on twitter and through comments on blogs, it’s like I dove into this magical hidden world. One of my favorite parts of knitting is, surprisingly, not the gorgeous yarn, but the people. I have met so many amazing people that I hope to be friends with for a very long time. And I know that as long as I stick around I’ll become friends with even more fabulous people.

Knitting has been an amazing adventure to me, and although I’m all the way to 300 posts on this blog, I know that my adventure is really just beginning. There are so many great things ahead of me, and even if I’m getting there slower than I’d imagined, I’m making progress sure enough. Over the years, my knitting has been a safety blanket, a creative outlet, a chore, and a friend. And I know that I’m not the only one who feels this way about knitting.

Now for some stats. Over 6 years and 300 posts, I’ve certainly had my ups and downs. I published 39 blog posts in 2008, falling to 24 posts in 2009, and 18 in 2010. But I’m happy to say I persevered, posting 47 in 2011, 84 in 2012 and 82 in 2013. That means I’ve been publishing over 1.5 posts per week for over two years now.

There are going to be some exciting changes going on with my blog in the near future, so definitely make sure to check back here. I have a feeling I’m going to get to 600 in far less than six more years!

WIP Wednesday

6 Mar

Okay, I know it’s actually Thursday, so sue me. This is the second installment of my work in progress Wednesday, so let’s see whats on the needles. What I’ve mostly been working on this last month is my Moyen Age sweater. I’m nearly to the point of separating for the sleeves, and I think once I do the rest of the sweater will go by really quickly. The cable pattern is just gorgeous and I’m so excited to be able to wear it. When I first started knitting Moyen Age I wasn’t too sure about the color, I love yellow, but mustard is not a color that exists in my wardrobe. But the more I’ve knit with it the more that I like it, I think it’s actually going to be a pretty good color on me. [Yarn: Shibui Knits Staccato]

moyen

I also started a pair of socks, I want to have a simple pair of socks going at all time, in addition to the ones at work. I grabbed some random sock yarn from my stash, which I think is some old Knit Picks Stroll. This is just a simple ribbed toe-up pattern I’m making up as I go.

sock

My work socks are going pretty well too, the first one is nearly finished, but I haven’t been working on it that much. I probably should remember to work on it more, because it definitely keeps me more focused when I’m reading.

work-sock

The fingerless gloves I’m knitting out of my handspun haven’t really been worked on either, but I’ve definitely got more time until it’s a reasonable temperature to not have three pairs of of mittens on.

gloves

And speaking of handspun, I’ve been doing a lot of spinning recently, I’ve finished spinning up the Malabrigo, and all that’s left is to do is skein it and wash it. The Full Moon Farm’s Fabulous Fibers is also finished spinning, but I’m planning on doing a three ply with it, partly just because I’ve never done a three ply before that wasn’t a chain ply.

spinning

Of course I still have the lace shirt for my sister and the the Stalagmite socks on the needles, but I haven’t worked on them since last WIP Wednesday, so I won’t bother you with the exact same pictures. I’ve been realizing lately that I’m in need of a larger variety of scarves and cowls, so you can bet that next month you’ll probably be seeing a lot of that.

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