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 yarn...now 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 Angeles...it'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 post...it'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 Ravelry.com

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.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Aries Shawlette


It's not completely finished yet, but I couldn't help it. I had to share! (I'll weave in the ends and block it soon)

I've been working on the Toshstrology collection since January, and while I'm severely behind on the monthly projects, I did just finish the Aries Shawlette. (Toshstrology can be found on Ravelry.com- it's $15 for all 12 patterns, yarn is sold separately...I've been getting mine at Jimmy Beans Wool)
The pattern has this cute little short rows section that creates a pretty awesome look.
And the pattern includes this awesome edging around the top. I'm looking forward to blocking this one.

Can I just say, Madelinetosh yarn, is my all time favorite...particularly the vintage yarn (this shawlette is knit with the Merino Light yarn). I love how it feels and how it knits up. It's fantastic (all Madelinetosh yarn feels amazing- vintage is just my personal favorite). I'm using the vintage Madelinetosh for the Taurus Slouch hat that I started immediately after the shawlette. I'll post it as soon as it's done.