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WIP it, WIP it real good!*

February 8, 2010
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It’s been a while since I’ve been consistently knitting.  The past few weeks I’ve managed to knit more days than not.  The following illustrate what’s on the needles (and I’m seriously contemplating frogging most of what’s been on needles for longer than a few months).

Dad's Socks

These are socks that I’ve been promising my dad for ages.  I had a different pattern on the needles partially complete (some sort of split rib) that I frogged.  I immediately started this pattern after frogging the previous.  Because of that, and the curliness of the frogged yarn, the pattern on the first part of the leg isn’t as clear and defined as I’d like.  It also doesn’t feel that soft.  I’m hoping that will work out when I wash them when I’m done.  Overall it’s a simple yet clever pattern that I will probably used again in some form.

Next up?
Grey Scarf

The Gray Scarf.  Descriptive and catchy name, no?  This is worked in a bulky superwash and I created a pattern that uses purl stitches to create horizontal “ribbing” width-wise on the scarf.  The ribs are split by 3 stitches at semi-random intervals.  I didn’t trust myself to do a good job on the fly, so I sketched out a chart to keep my breaks evenly spaced and not stacked directly on one another.  This is a wonderfully squooshy yarn and I may have to find more someday.

Lastly is a project that is snoozing until the scarf and socks are done:
Stocking

It’s a Christmas stocking I started right before Christmas (like a week before).  I was told Christmas 2009 delivery was not required.  Still, I’d like to finish this and start another (for a future sibling of the recipient) before Christmas 2010 is upon us. Oh, and it’s the Cascade Christmas Stocking pattern.

The socks are the first to be worked on from my Personal Sock Club (copyright Yarn Harlot) and if I continue at my current pace, they will be done well before the month is over.  They weren’t really a random selection since my dad has been waiting for another pair of socks for forever.  Next month it’s gonna be close my eyes and grab a bag.

* (-10 points for bad Devo pun)

My Own Personal Sock Club

February 2, 2010
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The Yarn Harlot had a great idea the other day.  She went through her stash, found the sock yarn, paired each yarn with a pattern (making copies if necessary) and putting each one in it’s own plastic bag.  Each month she plans to grab a bag and knit a pair of socks.

For whatever reason I haven’t made socks in about a year, I’m not sure why.  But this week I’m going to get all my sock yarn together and put together my own sock “club”.  It also has the added benefit of saving time when I’m in that “I don’t know what to knit” rut.  I’ll already have yarn and pattern paired so I can just grab it and start.

Now I just need to figure out what patterns to put with which yarns (or at least write down what I want to do if I’m winging it – i.e. mini cables, etc.)

Impulsive Me

January 19, 2010
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So I did it.  I have a new blog – Creative Tendencies.

It will be primarily project based, with a goal to have at least one picture with each post.  It encompasses all my fiber arts goodness – knitting, crocheting & spinning – but it will also include my other creative projects – cooking, baking, photography, painting and possibly the previously mentioned jewelry making.

This blog will still be used (some cross posting may occur).  Once I figure out which way works best for me I’ll either keep this one or switch to the other.

Taking It Up a Notch

January 19, 2010
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Lately I’ve been feeling a bit creatively stifled when it comes to knitting.  I primarily use somebody elses patterns for my projects.  Well, I want to change that.  I’m hoping that either this year or next I can maybe hit the craft fair circuit and see if I can make any money on doing what I love.  Or even better, coming up with projects and selling patterns on Ravelry.

The only way I can do this and feel as though I am keeping my integrity is to design for myself.  I ordered a few books on basic knitwear design that I hope will help me get the basics of knitwear construction down so I can expand and get creative.  In the least, I may be able to work through a lot of the crap yarn in my stash coming up with samples of my designs.  Except for the Red Heart.  That shit cannot be knit with.  Crochet?  Sure, I don’t have a problem with it, especially for afghans, but knit?  I’ve tried, and I just can’t do it.  It’s like fingernails on a chalkboard.  I’m not sure why there is such a difference, but there is.

The other books I picked up are on chainmail jewelry.  I picked up a book on it from the library and I’m intrigued.  I may pick up some supplies tomorrow and see if it’s something I’ll enjoy.  I suspect it is, there is something about it that made that creative part of my brain go *ding ding ding* and already the gears are turning with ideas.   A few of the designs look a LOT like visual crochet patterns, which really got me thinking of the possibilities.

What the hell am I going to do if I pick up jewelry making?  Make another blog?  Eventually I may have to create one blog for all my creative endeavors.  In fact, I’ll pick a name and reserve one now just in case.  One can never be too prepared.

Deep in my bones, I know that somehow, someway, I am meant to use my artistic and creative tendencies to create a career for myself.  And what better time to lay the groundwork than the present.

You Spin Me Right Round

November 11, 2009
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The way the economy has jacked with our budget, I have decided that handmade gifts (more than usual) are going to be on the to-do list for Christmas.  I can bang out a hat in a day or two (same for a pair of mittens), and to save on supplies, I’ve started to spin up some of my stash of wool that I’ve had in storage.  I went hunting for yarn the other day and was shocked at how much dyed unspun wool I had.  My girls are going to get kitty & devil hats.  The aunts will be getting hat/mitten combos (or just hats if I run out of time).  I’d love to try to bang out a few hat/scarf combos for the guys, but scarves take much longer than I think they will.  Every time.  If I get through my dyed wool (the good stuff, not the itchy stuff), then I might actually dye and spin some more.  I also have some of my first yarn that I spun (a TON of it) that is asking to be made into a shawl or poncho like item.

What I find interesting is that the reason I’m moving toward handmade gifts is probably the reason the craft was developed in the first place.  It’s much cheaper to make it yourself than to pay for something pre-made.  Well, maybe not nowadays, but considering that I have a substantial stash I think the economics work out in my favor.  Seriously, I need to get things in order in my stash area.  I was shocked with how much I have.  Creativity will have to be sparked so I can come up with projects to use up my yarn.  I’m considering a bit of a yarn diet.  Oh, except for that stuff I ordered the other day for a hat.  I swear, I didn’t have any comparable yarn in my stash!

Balance, Peace & Harmony

April 21, 2009
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Three things that are not easy to attain in this hectic modern world.  There are times when I fantasize about chucking nearly all our belongs (except for my beloved fiber and painting supplies) and move somewhere where we can disconnect from a lot of modern technology and get back to the basics of making our own clothes, growing our own food and providing our own entertainment instead of relying on some glowing screen to do it for us.

Real life takes precedence though, and between Tae Kwon Do, skating lessons, swim lessons, guitar lessons, school, etc., things sometimes get out of balance.  I’ve been dying to get back to knitting and spinning and getting my Etsy shop set up again.  Yesterday, I took a few steps in the right direction.  I drove out to Fine Line and picked up some super soft Australian top roving to dye and spin (16 ounces!).  Then I ordered some Shimmer lace weight from Knit Picks so I could finally start and finish a lace shawl for my mother.  I will be knitting the Swallowtail shawl (Ravelry link).

Don’t Forget Your Hat!

January 21, 2009
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My fingers were busy this past weekend.  Not only did I knit a simple ribbed hat, but also ripped one I made last year and re-tooled it into my new favorite hat.

Simple Ribbed Hat made with Paintbox Merino Yarn:
Ribbed Hat

The ribbed cap is knit in 2×2 ribbing on size 8 dpn’s using Paintbox 100% merino yarn.  I wasn’t sure of the colors when I started, but really like how they subtly spiral around the hat.  For decreasing I ssk at the beginning of each needle and k2t at the end of each needle.

Color Work Hat with my own handspun and random black yarn:
Fair Isle Hat

This was knit on size 6 dpns.  I cast on 120 stitches and knit 2×2 rib for a few inches then a few inches of straight knitting in the black, then I jumped into the pattern.  For decreasing I divided the stitches evenly (groups of ten) and knit 8, k2t the first row of decreases, alternated with a row of straight knitting and reduced the number knit before the k2t by 1 every decrease round.  It made an attractive spiral pattern on the top of the hat.

I’m starting to really enjoy making hats.  They are relatively quick and I can get creative without a major time investment.  And, as I discovered, frogging one I don’t love doesn’t break my heart and make me mourn the hours lost on a knitting project.

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