Monday, March 20, 2017

Where have I been?

Do you still read blogs?

I have found that most of the blogs I used to check on daily, are no longer active- or at least they aren't being actively updated.

I've spent the last 3 weeks trying to remember how to log into my blog. This blog. Clearly I have now figured that one out.

But that's beside the point. Because I haven't been posting. And there's at least one person who still follows this crazy page. And even though that one person is well up to date with what's been going on, there maybe another one of you out there wondering just what happened, or where I went.

So, to solve that mystery... the update: I moved back to Texas. I moved just as I was getting the hang of California, and enjoying the company of my co-workers. I moved. That's the short answer. There's a long answer that doesn't belong in the public eye, so you won't find that answer here. But I moved at the end of January.

I moved in with my parents in a rural part of North East Texas, where I have taken over their house with my many moving boxes.

The last post I had mentioned that I had gotten into dyeing yarn. I took a whole online class about it, and it was fun, and I hadn't planned on doing it as anything more than for myself...but it's so much fun that I can't control myself and have dyed too much. So I created an etsy page to sell the skeins I don't horde for myself. and I even created an Instagram @aluyarns to share the madness. Both of these are fantastic for me, minus the fact that the rural part of Texas that I moved to has very little internet access- so it's hard to update (In fact, I'm doing this blog update from the comfort of the good internet at work...hehehe...don't tell!)

So along with taking over my parents house with moving boxes, I have also taken over a corner of my dad's wood shop, which he is kindly letting me use as a yarn dyeing area. Of course we have to take turns on who uses the shop and when (so he doesn't get wood shavings in my yarn and I don't get dye particles in the air for him to breathe in).

There's more to the update: Of course, life and it's ever changing sense of humor has also thrown my existence for a loop. While I had moved back to Texas, and was looking forward to reconnecting with old friends and family and co-workers (I went back to the place I had been working at before the move to CA)- while visiting a very dear friend days after the move, I managed to have a slight medical emergency that landed me in the ER. The slight medical emergency lead to a discovery that no one was expecting. Especially not me.


If you look it up (google), it basically says that I'm either a baby or an old person and either way I should be dead-because it's a brain problem. Mine, is a tumor. A brain tumor, that they don't want to operate on right now. Which I'm fine with. But one day they may, and the side effects of brain surgery don't sound that great.

My brain has actually been suffering from Hydrocephalus for so long that it learned to adapt to the extra fluid that's hanging out in the ventricles- which is both awesome and not so good. It makes the surgery more complicated; but also not an emergency.

To cope with that, my tumor has a Twitter now: @hydrotumor

Yes, I named my tumor the angriest name I could come up with.

It's not really trying to kill me, contrary to what the Twitter page indicates- well at least not that I'm aware of. Although I was unable to say the word "doctor" this morning, and it kept coming out as "droct", so there maybe something happening. I'll be seeing my neuro-surgeon in about 3 weeks to have a follow up- so we'll see.

I'll be moving again at the end of May, closer to work, closer to civilization (read that: internet)- so I should be able to update more often (when I remember). But then again, if no one is reading, why should I update? And, since this was created more for drawing than yarn-ing, why should I update? I promise I still draw, just not as much as I once did. I'll post. I'm just not sure what the few folks who still follow me are interested in reading. Follow instagram for yarn, etsy if your interested in purchasing yarn and twitter if you want to read some not so funny tweets about a brain tumor trying to kill the host. But the blog isn't completely dead yet.  

Sunday, October 16, 2016

An Update- A Clutch and Dye class

For starters- I have 5 knitting projects that I'm working on in my spare time to have ready by Christmas...It's October. I might be kidding myself. We'll see.

I've also started an 8 week yarn dyeing course, which is fun, but nerve racking since I haven't really done much dyeing before. I didn't even experiment with food/non-toxic dyes until week one of the class. Here are those results:

"Violent Violet" (I saw this YouTube video and ran out to get the Wilton's Violet Icing Dye- this was a lot of fun):
"Barn and Silo" (McCormick's Food coloring in Red and Blue) :

Once the class is over I'll show off all of the skeins of yarn I've dyed using the acid dyes- but here's a preview of a few in pots:

 But here's an update on the "clutch" I was working on and mentioned in this post:
The first attempt did not turn out how I had hoped it would...unfortunately.

There's supposed to be an even seam between the flap and the clutch...which there is not- the pattern called for the same number of cast on stitches for the flap as for the clutch...that's not accurate:
And I have a feeling I know why this yarn was in the clearance section at Joann's:
There are little bunches where the yarn is flawed and I didn't want to have to piece the yarn together, I didn't want a lot of joins, so I just kept knitting thru the flaws. It's not pretty.
But I really do like the braided closure:
That's definitely a great detail that is on this pattern.

Here's a look at the back:
I think, once the holiday season is over and I have time for "my" projects- I'm going to revisit this pattern and try to make it correct...once it looks like I want it, then it will get a lining and a zip closure (the braid will just become decoration).

Now I have to get back to my dye class. Like I said, I'll post pics of everything once class is over. I'm learning a lot. Did I mention the teacher is the owner and dyer for Phydeaux? Pretty sure I've mentioned a time or two, in other posts, about how much I love that I'm learning how to make it!

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Ode to Los Angeles-why can't I like you?

I still can't say that I like living in Los Angeles, it's almost been 2 full years on the West Coast, and I can't say that I like it.
Sure there are things that I do like. For example: The Altered Stitch (yarn a plenty); Gindi Thai (Technically Burbank); Like's Thai and Chinese Food (Sunland- but still a Los Angeles zip code); The seafood (super fresh!); Fruits and Veggies (Also really fresh!); My Home State (run by people from Texas); Mountain views!; And of course this (even though I only get to see it rarely):
There's something really captivating about the ocean. Especially when dinning at a restaurant that is on stilts overlooking it. Moonshadows in Malibu (Malibu...not Los Angeles)...super awesome. Great way to forget about everything crazy, just sit down and stare at the waves crashing in.

But Los's still not my place. It's not home. It's a nice stop over for whatever comes next, but unless I get to see a whole lot more of the Ocean, I can leave it. Although I have yet to visit The Last BookStore (I highly suggest doing a google search to see images of what it looks like inside). It's definitely on my Los Angeles bucket list of things to do before I move on.

I keep waiting for there to be a day that I wake up and accidentally call this place home. Or wake up and not miss another place so much that I wish I was there instead of in the sun soaked land of palm trees, movie stars and ridiculously rude people. I'm not holding my breath for that. But I'm hopeful that one day, Los Angeles and me get along. (Truthfully, it will probably be the day I no longer live here)

Monday, August 29, 2016

Something in the works

I saw a pattern for something not too long ago, and I thought to myself "I must make it!"
Which wouldn't be bad, except I had to go purchase specific yarn for this project. The spare bedroom in our house looks like a yarn store, people...I don't need anymore yarn. I don't. I could knit on all the yarn I have for another 2 years and still have some left. Then I could go to my storage unit and my parents house and get the other stashes of yarn I have and still be able to knit continuously for several years- then spin all the fiber I have and knit some more...this is a sick hobby.

Anyway, the pattern is one I attempted before when I made myself a pair of socks, which turned into short socks with only this pattern on the cuff, because I really didn't like knitting it...with sock yarn. Using this yarn is pretty freakin' sweet.

I found the Buttercream Luxe Craft Soft Knit Solid yarn on clearance at Joann's in a "purple" color. The yarn is 100% polyester, which is bizarre, but actually really fun to knit. For only $3.97/skein I bought several different colors and have this grand vision of making this particular item for all the women I know...Who knows if I'll keep up with that idea or not. But I will at least finish this one. More details on the pattern (which was free) and what it is, to come. I've gotta get back to knitting,  only 3 more inches of this pattern before I get to switch to a different stitch!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Happy 10 year anniversary to this blog!

So the automatic post schedule doesn't exactly work...this should have gone out on the 18th, forgive the inaccurate post date.

10 years ago today blogs were a big deal. You could consider yourself a published writer if you had a blog. You could claim it was your own personal website, if you didn't have an actual website. I started mine with the thought that it would motivate me to draw more, to animate, to paint.

While I didn't do so much animation (sorry college degree, you've collected so much dust), I did produce a bunch of drawings, several paintings, and low and behold I kind of went crazy with the knitting and crochet.

10 years has seen the following:
- 1 relationship that's still going (Hi Gonzo!)
- quite a few job changes
- 2 layoffs
- 6 moves (one of those being across the country...hello CA)
- Approximately 147 pieces of art (Drawings, paintings, vinyl customs) (that I posted)
- Approximately 36 knitted/crocheted pieces (that I posted)
- Approximately 2 sewing projects (that I posted)
- Approximately 3 craft items (that I posted)
- Countless other crafts and art that I didn't post or keep track of
- Many other things...

I've learned a lot about myself in the last 10 years. I've done a lot in the last 10 years. There are some days that it feels like yesterday that I started this blog, and some days that it feels like forever ago.  There have been days that I feel like throwing in the towel and just letting my blog hang out in cyber space for eternity, leaving people who read what I write here, to wonder, "what happened to her?"
Whenever I think of getting an instagram account, I think, "Well, would I still post on my blog?" which I bet I wouldn't. I could hashtag it out, instead of leaving a whole bunch of non-sense here. But I'm a creature of habit. I like my blog. I like that I have low viewership/readership (although, Groot...that's still crazy and I've seen it linked to news stories for crafty people-Say What?! Little 'ol me over here? So many page views- so many messages on my Ravelry account- THANK YOU!!! To everyone who looked at that post or made a comment or asked a question or reached out- THANK YOU!!! That was really unexpected and wonderful!)

The next 10 years? I'm looking into writing (some of you may know that), maybe I'll self-publish something soon (fiction, don't take what I write here as my writing style); I'm even designing some knitting patterns (maybe I'll post another free pattern soon) I'm looking into dying my own yarn and fiber for knitting; I've gotten back into spinning fiber into yarn, so maybe I can sell some hanks of hand spun fibers; I'm still drawing, and don't see my style (of semi-photo realistic portraits) changing any time soon- but who knows what the next 10 years will bring. I do follow Loish online and absolutely love her style, so maybe more digital art...we shall see, we shall see.

Thank you all for a wonderful 10 years. Thanks for reading!

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Oye with the Poodles already!

I heard there's a thing called "The Olympics" going on right now. Unfortunately, I've completely ignored them this year. I've opted instead to binge watch all 7 seasons of Gilmore Girls (you know, just in time for the next 4 episodes to come out in November- I like to get an early start).

I thought binge watching the episodes would give me plenty of time to knit and finish the long list of projects I have going, but I kind of forgot how amazing that TV show was. So I find myself actually watching the episodes, even though I've seen them all too many times to count.

Currently on my needles:
1. A crochet mermaid tail for my niece. It should be done in time for Christmas (here's to hoping)
2. My dad's knitted socks...I knit them two at a time, I've just turned the heels and am working the foot- a few more weeks of of the easy part of the pattern and I should be done.
3. A Dobby hat for my niece for Halloween. This should be soon, I'm practically done with the hat, I just have to knit the ears and attach them.
4. A pretty little Capelet/Shawlette/short sweater for myself.

I'll post these as I finish them.

I just purchased the yarn for the Virgo Shawlette for the Toshstrology collection. I'm pretty excited about it, cause it's really cute! Can't wait until the yarn gets here! It's my favorite shade of green!

That's it for an update right now. I've got to get started knitting today.

Monday, July 04, 2016

Taurus Slouch Hat

Once again, this is an update for the Toshstrology Collection that can be found on

This time it's for the Taurus Slouch - a somewhat oversized (hence the word "slouch") hat. I don't know that I'm a huge fan of the Taurus colorway. I used to love the color green, and I still love it, but I think there's some better Madelinetosh Vintage yarn colors. (seriously, the image above and the one below is the same hat...One is at night time-above-and the one below is in daylight...weird)
I'm fairly sure I screwed up on the pattern when it came time for the last leaf (top leaf). I've read and re-read the pattern, and there haven't been any updates on Ravelry, so I'm fairly sure it's just a misunderstanding on my part, as mine didn't turn out as pretty as the example for the Taurus Slouch found here. I wound up with extra stitches around round 37 and couldn't figure out my mistake, so I just kept moving forward so I wouldn't have to frog it.
One side of the hat has no decoration, which is fine. Keep in mind, this isn't blocked yet. My steamer is in storage, so it won't be blocked for a while. Blocking will help make it look slouchy, as right now it fits pretty snuggly.

I did buy two skeins of this colorway, and since I had problems with the first try at this pattern, I may try it again just to figure out where I went wrong. Although, I can't say I'm a fan of this pattern either. I may wait and use the skein on a leaf pattern hat that I like. We'll see.

Hope everyone in the U.S.A. is having a great Independence Day; and for those everywhere else, I hope you are enjoying your 4th of July a.k.a Monday.