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A Designer Obsessed

July 13, 2011 2 comments

“Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary…”

My latest design obsession is shown above. I finished a small sample last night and blocked it, to eventually share with the person I will be submitting the design to. I get inspiration from random things. I get an idea and I become obsessed with it…until I finish and it’s out of my head and/or out of my design notebook. Right now, this design is sort of consuming my head. I get a bee in my bonnet and have to go with it.

The post I made before, about being up way too late/early working on charts…is this design. I hand drew the charts, from my head. I had to knit a sample to see if the actual knitted version would look like I imagined and what I had drawn on paper. I need the visual. This is just me.

Can you guess what the inspiration is? If you read the quote above and recognize it, you would know. So, who’s gonna Google it? Cheater! 😉 Alright, I forgive you.

I am not going to share what this design is for, just yet. Things are still in the works. I need to figure out what yarn I want to knit this one in. Knit Picks yarn, maybe? It depends on where I can get my hands on fingering weight yarn in black.

So, the sample is done and I am pleased with it. Now to work on my sock design for today. I am close to finishing the sock samples…I will then be writing out the actual pattern. I can handle a few hours of sock knitting. It just doesn’t seem much like work. Off to “work” I go…

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The Knits I Can Show

July 7, 2011 2 comments

It is all dark and cloudy this afternoon. It’s been this way all day. I think I saw the sun for about 5 minutes, as it came up over the building, around 7 am. I guess I am alright with the clouds for a change of pace. It was pretty warm the past two days and having a cool day to recover is sort of nice. The cats are enjoying the cooler day too. They are more active. Phinn has been playing and chasing Phoebe around all afternoon. She’s an old biddy and cranky about it, but Phinn is sure having his fun.

Look at that bratty face. He was evil-eyeing Phoebe as I took the photo. You can’t see the twitchy tail. Two seconds after i snapped the photo, he jumped off the couch and went tearing after poor Phoebe. Meh, it keeps her young, right?

Yes, my Vlad Shawl is certainly coming along. I have about 10 rows of the edging chart to knit before I am finished. Done, done, done! The shawl pattern is not as hard as I thought it would be. The shawl looks really intricate and fancy, after blocking. I found it kind of easy to work. This will be my first completed intricate triangular lace shawl ever. I’ve been knitting for over 7 years and it’s about time, right?

I may have to make this shawl again…probably bigger and in a different color, of course. I am anxious to see how much my red Vlad will grow with blocking. I won’t share my blocking process, since it is most embarrassing. My method does work, though. Let’s just say, I need to purchase a blocking board and pins some time soon, if I continue with the lace knitting.

I have also been knitting, slowly and randomly on the Oaklet Shawl. I work on it, while watching TV or listening to my iPod. Right now, it is mostly mindless stockinette. The colors in the yarn are a bit bright and wacky. I do love the bit of sparkle the yarn has going on. I am hoping to wear this one as a triangular neck scarf, more than an actual shawl. This photo of the shawl is not a very good one, since it is all scrunched up on the needle. My size 5 circular needle is currently occupied with a project. So, Oaklet is being knitted on flat needles until such a time that I can transfer it to the circular needle.

I think when these two shawls are completed…I am going to cast on a project that uses at least US # 8 size needles. Maybe even US # 10 needles. I need something quick and larger to work on. This tiny needle and finer yarn project obsession I have going on…is getting a bit crazy. I am considering a cardigan. I always need a cute cardigan to wear. Any suggestions? I’ll look at patterns later.

I’m also knitting on some designs. Three to be exact. I can’t really share them right now. It drives me crazy not to be able to discuss them. I spend more time working on the designs, then all of the above shared shawl business. ~sigh~ I keep telling myself, “Soon. Soon, I can share.” I am also thinking of opening an Etsy Shop to sell a bit of my hand knits. Not sure just yet. I’m always up for making a bit of extra money. I have a huge plastic zip-up bag with tons of over flow hand knits. Hats I have made over the years, mostly samples of my designs. I never wear them. I just put them in the bag, zip it up and put it up in the top of my closet. I only wear a select few knitted hats. Maybe a handful. I would not sell those…just the ones sitting in the bag. I don’t know? Do people really buy hand knitted items from etsy? Just a thought…

My youngest daughter, Hannah, and her friends love to take artsy photos, lately. They go to the park and break out the camera for the afternoon. They are pretty good at it, if I do say so. Not bad for a few 15 year olds. I love the colors in this picture.

I use Hannah as my model for some of my knit designs. Any excuse to put on make up and primp for a 15 year old…is the thing. I am sure to use Han in my upcoming designs. I already warned her to be ready and cooperative.

And that is all I have to share for today. I am going to make myself a home-made iced coffee and watch the evening news for a bit. Then it is off to cook dinner for the family, cleaning a bit. I also need to work on some knitting…I probably won’t get to bed before 1 am. Oh well. Have a great evening, everyone.

Categories: cats, general, knitting, motherhood, WIPs

Summer Of The Shawl

I have been knitting over the past weekend. Mostly on a new sock sample for a new design…and on my red Vlad Shawl. I have knitted about 5 and a half repeat of the body portion of the shawl, in this photo. There are 7 total repeats in the shawl, before the edging begins. Almost done.

I really like knitting on this shawl. It isn’t as confusing and hard as I thought it was, when I first started on it. The pattern still takes a bit of concentration to knit. The yarn is enjoyable to work with, as well. I bought the skein of Knit Picks Gloss Lace with some Christmas money I had, two years ago. It had been sitting in my stash for that long, waiting for me to find a lace shawl pattern to be knitted into. I am quite pleased with how the shawl is coming along.

~knock on wood~ There have been no mistakes in my lace knitting…yet!

I’ve probably just jinxed it.

So, I am calling this my Summer Of Shawls. I have never been one for lace shawls. Not my style. It just wasn’t an interest for me, as a knitter. I always thought of little old ladies with the shawl-wearing. For some reason lace shawls have become my summer obsession this year. I can’t explain it. Maybe it’s the intricate lace that is attracting me, lately? I love wearing triangular neck scarves, though…so I like the smaller lace shawls for that purpose.

After I complete the above lace shawl I want to make two more shawls. Yes, you read that one right. More shawls! What is wrong with me?

I recently won a lovely skein of Lucy’s Laceweight yarn. I did a search on Ravelry on what to make with this new skein of yarn. I have decided on knitting Citron, from Knitty Winter 2009, with the yarn. Again…a small shawl neck scarf type pattern. I will probably begin this one after completing Vlad. We will see how much time I can allot for personal knitting. Personal knitting as opposed to design sample knitting. I have plenty of that going in the background.

A second shawl I would like to knit soon is the Oaklet Shawl. I have a skein of Berroco Sox Metallic set aside for this one. Rather than knitting a pair of sparkly socks, I am aiming for a neck scarf/shawl.

With all of this lace shawl knitting…I should just take advantage of the obsession and design my own shawl. I am definitely inspired. My brain is beginning to turn…

What is your knitting obsession lately?

Today is another perfect Portland Summer day. 85° and sunshine galore. I love days like this. I love to take my knitting out on the patio… 🙂 Enjoy your day, everyone.

Categories: general, knitting, WIPs

A Swap & Shawl Knitting

June 28, 2011 2 comments

I joined a swap on Ravelry a little while ago, called the No Money, But The Postage Swap. So, the idea is to send things that you already have…in your stash, in the home, etc. The only money that you are allowed to spend is on the postage. Nifty idea, I say. My swap partner sent her package to me and it arrived at my doorstep yesterday evening. Yay! I have a lot of new-to-me goodies. Books to read, yarn to play with, soap, a coconut scented candle, stitch markers, a new cardigan pattern, a small project bag with cute kitties on it, a key chain, cat toys, some earl grey tea, etc. Fun stuff. I love it all.

I am still compiling my swap partner’s package. I have a few more things to add. I can’t share what I am placing inside the package, in case my partner reads my blog. You never know. So, mums the word. I will discuss what I put in the package, after it arrives to my partner, maybe?

In other life news…I got another letter from my oldest daughter, Taelor. She’s at boot camp, becoming a US Marine in South Carolina. She is into her third week of it. She says, the PT stuff is going well for her, the food isn’t bad, and there is a lot more class time than she thought there would be. She mentioned that South Carolina has some awesome thunderstorms and she loves them. I did mention to her that you have not experienced a storm until you have been in the South. The Pacific NW’s thunderstorms are let downs, usually. Tae also mentioned a few girls who are being difficult, not getting along with others and refuse to work as a team, and it gets the rest of the company in trouble. I don’t blame her for getting irritated at these girls. They are making it more difficult for everyone else. Get with the damned program, people. Otherwise, Tae is doing well. She misses home and my cooking, of course. 🙂

It’s showery this morning, in Portland. It’s warm and quite humid. Sticky! I slept terrible last night. Too warm in my bedroom. That is with the window open (much to my allergies dismay) and the fan blowing air around the room. Hubby kept throwing the blanket onto me. Obviously he was just a hot as I was. I heard the newspaper delivery guy at 3am. He delivers the paper the same time every morning. SLAM! My bedroom window is right above the front door. I hear all. Once we get over this rainy kind of day…the weather is going to heat up around here. Near 90 degrees this coming weekend. I am excited that Summer is here, but not the heat. One of our fans broke, not long ago. We are one fan short. I want to buy a new one, but Hubby is a procrastinator on this. I’m gonna be all melty this weekend. One day I am buying a portable air conditioner for this apartment. One day…I know, I say that every year.

 I managed to only knit one more repeat of the Vlad Shawl, yesterday. I have knitted three out of the seven body repeats, so far. I hope to find time to knit more on the shawl today. I have to really concentrate on the shawl, while knitting on it. I tried to keep markers on the shawl, to keep track of repeats, but the markers move around. I thought I was crazy at first, or my stitch count was off. It seems to be the nature of the pattern. I gave up on the whole stitch marker idea, for now.

My other lace shawl project was ripped out yesterday. I was so upset with it that I actually cried. It was one of those things. I was trying to slide some stitches over to the edge of the needle and 5 + stitches came off. The yarn is VERY slippery on the needles. I tried to fix the boo-boo, but being lace, it was not cooperative. So, I ripped it out. It totally sucks. I was about 75% done with the shawl. I am going to restart the shawl again, sometime soon. Probably with a different yarn, of the less slippery variety. I’ll figure it out later.

I am now off to begin my “work” for the day. I have some design stuff to work on, a PDF to make, some design submissions to look through to decide if I want to participate. I have some house cleaning, a cat box to empty, clothes to wash and hang, emails to answer, a package to compile for my swap partner, etc. I’m a little behind, today. Once I catch up…I can knit for a bit.

What have you got goin’ on today? I’m nosy, do tell…

Categories: general, knitting, WIPs

True Blood, True Love

June 27, 2011 3 comments

I know, I know…I have been a bad blogger this past week. All I can say is that “life stuff” tends to get in the way, sometimes. I have been knitting like a mad woman, behind the scenes. I am also working on designs too. Most of those I don’t discuss, in depth, on the blog. At least for now. I haven’t finished any knitting projects in a while. Shame, shame.

I did begin a new project. Yeah, like I really needed a new project to work on. I could not resist this one. I joined the True Blood Season 4 Knit-Along on Ravelry. The chosen project for the knit-along is Vlad, a lace shawl/scarf. It’s a free download over on Ravelry. The shawl is sooooo pretty.

I chose to use my one skein of Knit Picks Gloss Lace in “fiesta” for my shawl. So far, I am loving the feel of the yarn and the color. I love red! I cast on the shawl about an hour before the premiere of Season 4. There was no way I was knitting on the shawl during the show. I also worked on the shawl another hour after the show ended. I have completed the set-up chart and two body repeats of the shawl. So far, the shawl is not overly hard to knit, but takes severe concentration. Using stitch markers to map out the repeats is a bit ridiculous. The repeats cause the “markers” to be moved around a bit. Okay, it’s a pain in the ass. The pattern calls for 7 body repeats. I may try to swing 8 repeats, depending on how much yarn is used up. I only have 440 yards to work with. We will see.

I am so thrilled that True Blood is back for another season. It just isn’t summer around here, without my favorite show to watch. It gives me something to watch and look forward to every Sunday. The premiere did not disappoint, but some of the storylines…not sure yet. I am trying to reserve judgement. If you don’t want to know what happened, last night, don’t read any further.

SPOILER ALERT!

Just a few of my jumbled thoughts on the premiere…here goes:

WTF is up with the time lapse. Over a year passed in Bon Temps, by the time Sookie came back to town? It took me a bit to get over that. Things can change a lot in year. Jason also sold her house (Gran’s house). Not cool. We don’t find out the buyer of Sookie’s home, until the end. I was pleasantly surprised. Eric purchased her house. I am trying to come up with ways, in my head, that Eric could use the house against her, or hold it over her head. Hmmm…Bill is now the King of Lousiana. I did not see that one coming. I don’t like this at all. This means that Bill is “above” Eric in the vampire hierarchy…and will most likely cause trouble for Eric and Sookie. I can see Bill being Mr Petty Jealous. Hoyt and Jessica…Uh oh, trouble in couple-ville. I loved their argument. I totally grossed out at Hoyt eating the raw eggs. EWWWW! I love Pam and her “Paminess.” She cracks me up. Love her. Ummm…Tara. What is she doing? I get that she is a little crazy and trying to distance herself from her life in Bon Temps. Who can blame her? She is going by another name, lying about where she is from, and lastly…kissing on women. Eventually, she will have to go home. I can’t wait to see what happens with that. Lafayette. I love him. I hated his new hair…the mohawk was just not working for me. Jesus has become a nag over the Lafayette joining “the coven.” I smell trouble, of course. Marnie is EFFING creepy. Arlene is just a kooky as ever. I love Terry, though. He makes me smile. I died laughing with the “evil Renee baby” ripping off all the barbie heads. Arlene is convinced the baby is not right. Terry just said that he is being a typical boy. Please, don’t make the baby evil. This will just fuel Arlene’s craziness. What else? Oh, the whole Fairy-land thing. I am not sure what the show is doing with this whole story. It was bizarre, weird. Are they setting up a Fairy war, or something? Claudine lured Sookie over to that realm. What does that say about her and the whole fairy godmother thing? Claude is the one who helped her back to Bon Temps. Interesting…? Jason and the whole Hot Shot story line…is kind of predictable, if you have read the books. I saw the freezer and knew that he would be locked in there, some how. Jason is all Mr. Responsible now, a sheriff. I don’t know what to make of that just yet. OMG, the ending…Eric shows up in Sookie’s home and told her that he owns the house and I practically shivered when he told her that she is HIS, with fang. ~sigh~ A cliffhanger, for sure.

Episode 2 is already available to watch. I refuse. I am waiting for next week to watch episode 2. I’ll be good. I am still mulling over last night’s episode. So much going on.

Alright, I am off to begin my morning chores. Then some knitting, design work, etc. Have a fabulous Monday, everyone.

Categories: general, knitting, true blood, WIPs

Not Enough Hours In My Day

June 13, 2011 1 comment

Sometimes I feel like there are just not enough hours in my day to do all of the things I have to do. You see that pile of stuff there? That is the current state of my knitting basket, my WIPs. All of my ongoing knitting projects. I counted them…there are 6 of them. I am not sure if I should be ashamed, stressed over them. I have seen much longer current WIP lists on Ravelry. I just work on these projects as I am able to. I admit that some days I don’t knit at all. I get so busy doing something else…I can’t find an hour to actually picks up my needles.

So, what are these 6 projects?

1. Birch Leaf Shawl (pale pink) – I have come to grips with the fact that this shawl may just take my ALL Summer to complete. It is an easy lace shawl to knit. It does take some concentration to work.

2. Cable Car Coat (off white) – I haven’t picked up this project in a few weeks. It’s on hold. I will finish it when the moods strikes. The coat is usually buried in the bottom of my knitting basket.

3. Un-Named Scarf Design (forest green) – I was playing around with some leftover worsted yarn for a scarf. It doesn’t have a name and I have no idea what yarn will actually be used for this. I am testing out my idea, for now…

4. Arlene Tank (ocean blue) – My one Summer top project. I am not adding the sparkle thingies…just a plain a-line tank top. I’ve managed about 7 inches on the back piece, so far. It rolls up like crazy. Hard to tell.

5. Little Things (turquoise) – I am trying a new hat pattern/style. Since cutting all of my hair off, really short, I need a new hat to wear. I figured this one is simple enough in style. I like it. I started the project last night, actually.

6. Un-Named Sock Design (cream/off white) – I finally made it to the heel on the first sock. Size US # 1 needles does not work up as fast I would like.

Upcoming Knits?

Well, I joined a knit a-long for True Blood Season 4, which begins on June 26th. I’ll be knitting another lace shawl, called Vlad in Knit Picks Gloss Lace in “fiesta” red. In September I will also be knitting in another month long knit a-long. The 2nd round of Six Sock September. I will be knitting 3 pairs of socks in a month. I plan to buy yarn to knit myself an Off The Shoulder Sweater sometime soon. I won’t begin this until the Fall, probably. Late Summer also brings around my hat knitting phase. I usually make the family hats for the upcoming colder weather. I have not decided what hats, or yarn yet. All of this does not include the designs I am working on in the background. I try to keep a mix of personal knits going and designs. I don’t want my knitting to turn into a chore. Once it becomes tedious and not fun anymore…is the day I quit designing. Just sayin’…

Now, I really should split for now. I need to get dressed, eat some food. Too late for breakfast, too early for lunch. I also have a few house chores to do, then I am free to knit away my afternoon. Have a great Monday. Mine is gray, drizzly…perfect for staying in to knit.

Categories: general, knitting, WIPs

Friday Randoms & WIPs

May 27, 2011 5 comments

I’m feeling quite random, this morning. I am sure my post will reflect that. Fair warning…

– It’s a holiday weekend. The unofficial beginning to the Summer season. Memorial Day. I was hoping for some warm, nice weather in Portland, for the weekend. It’s not going to happen, I don’t think. Upper 50’s and stormy showers does not inspire a “Summer feeling.” Allow me to complain…This Spring has been awful, for the most part, weather-wise. I am so sick of the chilly, rainy weather. It’s depressing. La Nina can kiss my ass. I am SO over it.  I want warmer weather. I have a new Summer dress that I want to wear. I haven’t worn it yet, because it’s too cold still.

– Also, this allergy season has been one of the worst for me. I have no idea why. It’s a daily battle for me, even taking my allergy pills. It’s gotten to the point that my allergies are keeping my up at night. I haven’t been sleeping well for about 6 weeks now. I wake up, in the morning, to sneezing and dripping. Oh, then there is the itchy, watery eyes. It’s just ridiculous. I am usually okay once the tree pollen stuff passes. I am counting the days. Well, then there is the “mowing of the grass” in my immediate area. I can deal with that, though. That lasts for a few hours to a day. Maybe I need to try a new allergy pill?

– I really should be cleaning up the apartment this morning. Again, I am procrastinating. I tend to do that a lot. Company is coming over for the weekend. They aren’t arriving here until the evening. So, I have some time. I will make the oldest daughter help me clean. It’s her friend that is coming to stay the weekend. She’s visiting from Washington/UW. Tae wanted to see her best friend once more before she leaves for boot camp in June.

– I finally bought AA batteries for my digital camera. I know, it’s about time. I will now limit my cell phone pictures. Yay!

– I haven’t knitted anything in over 2 days. Shocking, I know. I was having a little break from knitting. I have been busy doing other things, actually. I will probably pick up the knitting later today, sometime. Sometimes my fingers and wrists need a little time off. I haven’t shared any WIPs pictures in a while. I took a few photos this morning. Excuse the poor lighting. The gloom outside is not great for photography. My apartment is dark this morning…Now for some pics.

Since we rearranged the living room last weekend…I have a new knitting corner, next to the couch. The basket holds my current WIPs. It’s a bit of a mess, I admit. I simply can’t keep the area neat. Luckily my cats leave the yarn, knitting, basket alone.

The Birch Leaf Shawl is still coming a long. It just doesn’t seem to look any bigger than my last photo of it. I only knit on the shawl when I have quiet and the time to concentrate. I have to count stitches. I can’t watch TV or listen to music while knitting the shawl.

I am designing a sock at the moment. I have had to restart this particular sock 5 times already. I think I finally have the right combination of yarn and needle size. I haven’t gotten very far in the actual knitting portion of the design. US # 1 needles doesn’t seem to progress the sock as much. Smaller stitches, I guess.

Finally, an easier knit project. I began the Sage Remedy Top with my Knit One Crochet Too Wick yarn, recently. Right now, it’s all stockinette stitch. I usually watch TV or listen to music while knitting on the top. The color of the yarn is not that bright. I had to use the flash on my camera to get the photo to turn out. The color is called “ocean.” It appears turquoise in the photo, but it’s more of a real blue color.

Lastly, the final WIP, not shown, is the Cable Car Coat. I haven’t knitted on the cardigan in weeks. For shame! It’s buried in the bottom of my knit basket. I will finish it…eventually. I didn’t photograph it due to my laziness of having to dig it out, etc.

I apologize for the long entry. If you have managed to read this entry to the end. I thank you. I hope you have a fabulous weekend. I hope the weather is very nice where you are. I’m jealous! Happy Friday. 🙂

Categories: general, knitting, randoms, WIPs
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