Wednesday, February 29, 2012

WiP Wednesday: Volume 2 Issue 6

I have a few projects that are in progress this week.  So let's get started...

First up is a Spool Blanket swatch of sorts.  It really was a test run to see how I liked the project.  I used what was on hand, which happened to be some Lime & Cactus Cotton-Ease.  I worked these up on a US 8 and did just a quick whipstitch assembly...

I have LOADS of Cotton Ease and I love the drape of the yarn, so it is a contender for sure.  I also have some Cascade 220 Superwash that was originally destined to be a cape, but then I realized how much knitting that really is and well...  This block is unblocked as I have yet to get out the mats and spray bottle.  (If you saw my post earlier this week, you know I suffer from an extreme case of procrastination).

While working on my latest Jersey Project FP, I thought to myself, "If you do find a tree to put all these on, you will most certainly need a "skirt" of sorts.  You should knit up NHL team spool blocks."  And thus...the Jersey Mini Spool Blanket (hopefully to have a cooler name at some point)...was conceived.

I have just the one spool done.  The Edmonton Oilers.  I really like the color combo.  I am finding I am a sucker for the Navy Palette.

Then I started working on a new pattern that I just had to purchase...

...the Rustic I Cord Bracelet.  I am using some Panda Cotton yarn and boy is it splitty!  I do love the colors though.  I am hoping that my planned wooden buttons work with this color combo.  I have a ways to go to get to 36" though.  I need to work on it some more that's for sure.

And finally we have progress with the BSJ...

I have officially reached and just surpassed the half way point and am now working on the dreaded increase section.  Still not seeing much shaping.  A little, but not much.  Really excited though to get this done as I need the needle tips for another project that I am itching to start!

So that is what I have.  Be sure to check out other WiP Wednesday entries through Tami's Amis

Monday, February 27, 2012

The One Where I Catch Everyone Up


I’ve been contemplating doing an update post of sorts. All I ever really post is crafty stuff and I thought, “Hey, maybe all two of my followers want to read about what a boring life I lead.” So here is my What’s Happening blog post.

Would you run away and hide if I said, not much is happening in my life? I don’t think there is a lot going on, but it’s kind of how I want it to be. Things are running pretty smoothly but let’s break it down in one of my most favorite styles…BULLETS (Oprah voice).

• Where Does All My Time Go?

o For the most part my time is spent at work (don’t look at last week). I am up earlier than a lot of my friends (between 6:00 and 7:00 a.m.) and am at work between 7:00 and 8:00. I know that seems like a wide range, but it really depends on what appointments I have for the day. And by appointments, I mean therapy. My job does not require the scheduling of appointments and meetings (one of the best things about it). So, if I have therapy, I get to work by 7:00 a.m. and if I don’t, I am there before 8:00 a.m. I leave between 3:45 and 4:00 every day! Yes, I get paid a full eight hours. We have an incorporated 30 minute lunch, which is usually in office and we usually stretch it to 45 minutes. Seriously, three or more people trying to cook and eat lunch with one microwave in 30 minutes? Not really a happening event. To make you all jealous, at least once a month we get a catered lunch (leftovers from meetings) from a variety of places complete with dessert. Those are only a few of the perks. I am very thankful for a job that lets me be flexible with my time and scheduling appointments and such. This is the slow time of the month, leading up to the busy time. My slow times are the second half of the month, while my busy time is the first ten or twelve days. I have a whole list of things that I will never plan on getting to during the slow times.

o Home is where the heart is, and all that other work! I was so spoiled earlier in January when my office/studio was cleaned up and organized. It was so lovely to be able to have clean surfaces to craft on. Then I began crafting. And now, the surfaces are not so tidy. I really need to get in there and get stuff put away. I have about a month to get that done before my sister arrives with her family. There are about a gazillion (yes that is a real measurement/number) things on my to do list, about a gabillion of them are cleaning related. If anyone is hankering for a closet to clean and organize, I have the PERFECT one for you! I always think I will get to it on the weekend, but then the weekend arrives and I have errands to run and then I usually crash (more on that later). The other gamillion things are mostly craft related. I have been pretty good about keeping up on the finances (what little there seem to be) and bills (what a huge amount there seems to be).

o Hockey & Twitter are my two biggest weaknesses/not so guilty pleasures. They sort of go hand in hand because 90% of the people I follow are hockey related journalists/fans/players. It is a HUGE time waster and I am really good at it. I am almost up to 3,000 tweets and am one follower away from 100! I am not such a rockstar on twitter. I have been getting retweeted more and more which always puts a smile on my face! Sometimes I make funnies that people deem worthy of sharing with other people. So there is hockey. I pay for Center Ice every season so that I can see every Penguins game there is. If I am not home, I record it (can I get an Amen for DVR?) and watch it later. I also am following the New York Rangers and Colorado Avalanche with some regularity. Actually if it is anyone other than the Capitals and Flyers I will pretty much tune in. I definitely get my money’s worth of hockey. It is the perfect thing to put on for a nap. You start your nap at the beginning, being lulled to sleep by picturing what is happening and with any luck, you wake up two hours later to see the end. Of course I don’t sleep during Pens games, what with edge of your seat action. But an Islanders/Ottawa game? You bet! My planner and work calendars (both Outlook and desk) are all filled in with Pens games so that I know what lies ahead. I am such a hockey dork.

o T.V. Land has been quite a lonely place this season. I quit watching several shows including Glee, CSI, Mentalist, Hawaii Five-0, Blue Bloods. I still DVR Hawaii Five-0 and on occasion CSI, but for the most part I end up deleting them. They just failed to capture and hold my interest this year. I watch most shows on DVR and have deleted a few without finishing them. I regularly watch Castle, NCIS, Vampire Diaries, Grey’s Anatomy, Bones, and One Tree Hill (don’t judge it is the final season and I can suffer through 13 horrid episodes to see if someone dies or if they all just explode from cheesiness). I try to catch Face Off on SyFy, which is really my only reality show that I watch. I am also new to the Archer craze over on FX. I found this through twitter and am hooked. I even signed up for Netflix and for the past few days have been streaming Archer Seasons 1 & 2. I signed up for Netflix because I also want to watch Friends from the beginning. It has been a long time and I have been catching episodes here and there on Nick @ Nite and…well one thing led to the other. So that is where I am at viewing wise.

o Health. I have been under the weather for about the past week. It started with a monster headache on President’s Day that lasted for two days. Thursday I was nauseated for a good chunk of the day with another headache and Friday I just felt really run down. I think I am finally on the mend. I saw my doctor a few weeks ago for a general well visit and well…I had to do an overnight pulse ox test which came back not so good. So now I get to do a sleep study to see if I have sleep apnea. I am not surprised. I have suspected this for quite some time but never really mentioned it, but lately I have just been so tired by mid day that it is hard to do anything! I just lay around kind of zoned out. If it does come back that I have sleep apnea I will try the treatment, the whole cpap mask/oxygen combo because I wan to feel good. I want to have energy and I want to stay awake! I will know more mid March when I do the study. Not going to lie, it is kind of nerve wracking to think about someone watching you while you sleep. Creep City. Also in health news is therapy! I am so excited that I found a therapist that I really like. I think she is great and I can’t wait each week to go and see what we can discover about me together. I have been trying to find someone for about a year, a little over and I have not had any luck. I called the EAP number from work and at first I thought it was Joke City because they had found someone for me on the High Line (read: Canada for all intents and purposes) and well that was not even feasible considering I live in Southwest Montana and not Northern Montana. So I told them that they failed me. Then they found me this wonderful lady and I am just so pleased. We are working on finding a way for me to like me. It is interesting to really verbalize and admit how much I don’t really like myself. I can’t wait to see where I am at in a few months and then in a year. It will be worth all the money I have to pay to make a go of this.

o Family life is great. Everyone seems to be happy and healthy. The boys are their usual selves, Cooper is concerned with working and Elliott is all about food. Elliott is mostly concerned about treats and people food really. His goal pretty much every day is to see how many treats he can trick us out of. He lies a lot! He will tell one of us that the other didn’t give him a treat and then he get’s one and the other person gets a lecture about not giving him a treat. You would think we would learn but we don’t. I think it is his big brown eyes and just all around adorableness. Cooper is all about being outside working. He doesn’t really have a real job, he mostly tries to corral cars on the drive a block over from ours (large empty lot in between). He is a talker though. Every day and every night you can count on him to just be jabbering away about what, we really don’t know. He seems like he is getting really old and cranky. He goes to bed earlier and earlier every night, has even taken to abandoning us in favor of his nice dark bedroom. Funny guys those two are. Mom recently returned from visiting sister and family. She had a good time. She got to go to the boys’ Cub Scouts meeting and just hang out with them and read, snuggle, fun Granny stuff. They will be visiting in just about a month. It will be great to see my sister and nephews. And my brother-in-law too. Sister has promised to show me some sewing tricks, so I can’t wait for that. I should start ironing fabric now though! My stash cupboard is basically all stuffed with shoved in fabrics. So much for my organizational strategy.

• The Other Stuff

o I love gadgets! I cannot tell you how in love I am with my iPad. It is the first thing I grab when I get home, provided I didn’t take it to work with me. I check twitter and facebook then I check and then blogs. I read with it, am viewing Netflix through it, almost sleeping with it. I am really hoping that Montana passes legislation soon to allow me to marry it. I think that it is more likely for that to pass than same sex marriages. Just saying that my state is so far behind the times, it might still be operating solely in DOS.

o Stash. Oh my gosh my yarn stash is about to hit Hoarders proportions. I went on sort of a wild spree at Knit Picks not long ago and actually had to covertly sneak the yarn into the house and into my stash bins. Yes, I am shameful of my stash enhancement. Guilty does not even cover it. I did purchase every thing with projects in mind, but my mind and motivation is so wandering that I am libel to sit on it for a few years before offering my sister a shopping trip through my stash. I keep purchasing sock yarn and I don’t knit socks. I do knit monsters however and I have this skein of Punky that will make a wild rockstar sort of monster. Just as soon as I settle on a pattern and have a spare five hours. I also have plans for two blankets. Never mind the fact that I have yet to knit one blanket, I have plans for TWO. Actually at this moment, I have plans for THREE. I bet in six months I still have those plans hanging in the back of my mind and in a year I will have started two and have nothing completed. I am an expert procrastinator. If there is rehab program for that, I will need to be fully committed. I am talking Lindsay Lohan, Demi Moore, Roberty Downey Jr. commitment. I am ready for PA meetings.

o Oh, I almost forgot one thing BULLETS (Oprah voice). I follow the Freak Show guys on twitter (fsmikey and fsbigbob from Pittsburgh’s KISS FM (I think)) and they are always doing Oprah voice. You know the voice she uses when she is really excited and giving stuff away. I don’t personally like Oprah. In fact I believe that she might be the most evil thing there is, but…I do enjoy a good Oprah Voice mention. So, that is what that was all about.

Well I hope you enjoyed this rather extensive look into my life. Hopefully I still have my two followers and I promise next time there will be pictures. I know that photos are the life blood to any blog. I just don’t have any right now or rather don’t have access to any at the moment.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

FP: Edmonton Oilers

Finished Project: Edmonton Oilers Jersey
Craft: Knitting
Begin Date: February 25, 2012
Completion Date: February 26, 2012
Materials: Knit Picks Palette (Navy, White, Masala), US 2
Pattern Source: Mini Sweater Ornament

Number six of thirty.  So far I have completed my goal of three per month!  This is exciting as I feared I would easily bore of this project, but I think the fun lies in the color combinations.  With almost every jersey I say, "This is my favorite color combo".  I think the Palette colors are just so rich and wonderful.  This is the second time I have used the Navy and I just love it.  The Masala is the perfect copper color, it matches the "oil drop" in the button pin perfectly. I am so happy I chose to use Palette (see sometimes it is good to have a huge stash!).

This is the first time that I have knitted the pattern strictly from memory.  I used to look at the yoke portion to keep track of the decreases, but this time I just somehow remembered.  Okay, I was too lazy to get up and get the pattern...

I can't wait to see what teams I take on in March!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

ATC: First Issue

A few weeks ago I decided to try my hand at Artist Trading Cards or ATCs as they are known.  I did them quite a few years ago, then in a cleaning frenzy I got rid of pretty much every piece of paper crafting supply I had.  In hindsight, it was probably an ill-advised move, but what's done is done.  I did keep my ATC template and some pre-cut cards.  I had a little get away and bought some papers and stickers and quickly churned out two very simple cards just in time to sneak into Mom's suitcase before she went off to visit dear sister.  Actually she got them before she left, but sneaking them in has always been what I do.  I always make her a travel card (which is why I have so many travel stickers and papers)

I love the Going Places sticker and the three stars.  The background paper is actually from the DCWV Rockstar paper pack just cut down to size.

Then...I wanted to do a Valentine's Day card so she would have a little Valentine while away.

Again I used some Rockstar paper for the back, then with a chalk ink pad and a dollar stamp from Michael's I stamped the Fleur de Heart, added a strip of sticky back ribbon, and two stickers.

These two ATCs are not "titled". If I were to title them they would be "Going Places" & "Sending All My Love".  Very original I know.

This weekend I saw a challenge of sorts on a blog (forgive me for not remembering, I blog hopped most of Saturday and Sunday) about stitches and I remembered I had a dress form stamp in my collection, so out to the shed and garage I went to track it down.

I used a Versa Magic ink pad on stamped the body of the form onto a cream card stock, cut it out, pasted it to an ATC cut from DCWV Immortal stack (I used a background that looked like deep chocolate curled fabric.  It doesn't translate in the end result).  I added a tiny piece of brown ribbon, a few buttons from the button jar.  I then stamped a clock in Versa Magic ink, added two Tim Holtz Idealogy button stickers, a little piece of Tim Holtz tissue tape and here is the result...

"Buttoned Up"

They are not near as elaborate as some out there are.  My supply box is still pretty lean.  I have a ton of ideas, I just need to find the time to schedule it in!  I look forward to getting back into this little craft.  I hope to find some more confidence and join in some swaps.  I would love to start showcasing them throughout my little "apartment".

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

WiP Wednesday: Volume 2 Issue 5

I had planned on getting here yesterday to post a new finished project of sorts, but I was hit with the headache to end all headaches and it kept me down all of Monday and a good portion of yesterday, but I am finally feeling normal and wanted to give you a peek at what I am working on...

The very beginnings of a BSJ.  This is my first full size BSJ and by full size, I mean an actual baby sized one.  I made a mini as a test a few years ago because I just wanted to see how it all worked and it is a little slice of magic.  I am through row 26 of a 97 row pattern, so still a ways to go.  I hope to get back to it this week.  I took a bit of a sabatical to just kind of veg out and catch up on some television shows.

I also tried my hand at these...

Yep!  Hexipuffs.  They are actually not puffy because I don't really see the need to have a puffy blanket.  I am not sure I am going to continue.  I don't know if I will actually see it through and would hate to waste all that time for a project that just doesn't go anywhere.  I did two different sizes, the solid is a worsted weight on US 6 and the ugly stripey one is fingering on US 4.  I used two circs because I found the two dpns to be to cumbersome.  I also used a kitchner for the bind off.  So, the big question is do I continue and if so, which size do I do?

Thoughts are most appreciated.

Thanks for stopping by.  I will have a new post up soon with a re-discovered obsession craft.

I was looking for new bloggers to folllow and stumbled upon Tami's site and found tons of links to other fibery minded bloggers.  Check it out!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

FP: Philadelphia vs. New Jersey

Finished Project: Philadelphia Flyers Jersey
Craft: Knitting
Begin Date: February 4, 2012
Completion Date: February 5, 2012
Materials: Knit Picks Palette (Sweet Potato, Black, White)
Size: Mini
Pattern Source: Mini Sweater

It is by far the hardest one I have had to knit yet!  I figure it is good to get this one over with.  I could have easily thrown the button back in the cup and picked again, but I just sucked it up and knit it.  Truth be told, I love this orange tone.  It is not in your face safety orange (thank god!), but rather a nice rich orange.  It is unfortunate that this one will be at the back of the tree or whatever else I use to display these.  I just can't support Philadelphia.  What kind of Pens fan would I be?

It's a twofer today.  I have another FP to show,,,

Finished Project: New Jersey Devils Jersey
Craft: Knitting
Begin Date: February 11, 2012
Completion Date: February 12, 2012
Materials: Knit Picks Palette (Serrano, Black, White)
Size: Mini
Pattern Source: Mini Sweater

I settled in with some Ranger hockey last Saturday night and started work on this.  As is my M.O., I finished the body and both sleeves, then left the yoke for the next day.  So I settled in on Sunday and watched Bad Teacher (I don't recommend it) and turned this little gem out.  If I were to dedicate this to anyone, I would dedicate it to my dad, who was a big Devils fan.

Well I have now completed 5 of 30 jerseys, so I have completed 1/6th of the project.  It is still fun to do, even if it is a little monotonous at times.  I love to see each one come alive when I put that button on. 

Happy crafting....I'll see you soon.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Preparing a Post

I was sitting here doing a little blog hopping and I got a sudden desire to do a post.  What kind of post though?  A Finished Project post?  A WiP post?  And then I thought, why not do a post on my process of doing a post.  So, here is a little photo journey of how I prepare a post...

First, there is photographing.  If I have learned one thing, people like pictures!  So, I had to prep a place to take some pictures...


It's covered in all kinds of crafty odds and end, also a shipping box, and some books.


I know I am a very professional amateur photographer, it shows with my high quality backdrop, a pillow and empty pillow case, all unironed for that texture effect.

Then you have to take some photos of the items...but I don't want to ruin the Finished Project posts, so moving on.

You start to realize that maybe you should try to use that natural light, since you can't really take the items outside because it is ugly, not enough snow to make a beautiful wintery scene and just enough to make it cold and wet.  It's clearly a lose/lose situation outside.

So I need something close to the window...aha...

My desk chair, complete with a special chair covering (my Penguins jersey from 12-13 years ago!)  But that isn't really going to work as a good backdrop, so it is back to those fab backdrops (pillows & pillow cases).

You will have to image that, as I didn't take a photo of that.  Oops.

Next up it is time to upload the photos and get to writing.  Here is where all the magic happens...

You cans see I have a little bit of everything, an NHL ruler, a Christmas ornament gift box that has knitting needles and if you could see inside, dollar bills (my stripper tip money.  No not really, they are my F dollars that I save for something Fun).  I have my adding machine with its display protected by Pittsburgh Penguin back up goalie Brent Johnson (swoon), that cup next to it is the cup o' hockey (my pins for the Jersey Project).  I also have my purple metallic owl bank for that random change, a sock monkey cup sleeve, my liver pencil cup, and just barely in frame my Subway cup of Coke.  Also peeking in is some Tim Holtz paper & stickers for ATC making. 

Next up I have to choose what photos I want to use, so I write down the numbers on my handy notepad...

I snap a picture using that fab app Hipstamatic, which I am still struggling to learn properly.

Then it is time to put this all together, so for a Finished Project post, I will consult my Project Notebook...

...too see what I did when and a project page to get all the little deets...

And, that is how I put together one of my award winning blog posts.

During this post I rocked out to:

Adam Lambert: For Your Entertainment
The Naked & Famous: The Sun
LMFAO: Party Rock Anthem

I hope you enjoyed my "Blog Post In the Life" piece.  Check back soon for a Finished Project Post as two teams go head to head in the Jersey Project game of the week and also a Finished Project Post on a new craft that I am just getting back into!

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

WiP Wednesday: Volume 2 Issue 4

I am not going to lie.  If it wasn't for a few good days last week, I would have nothing to show you today.  The past two days have been filled with laziness.  I have sat on my bum reading picture books, aka magazines.  My motivation jumped ship when it looked like we hit a huge iceberg while working on this...

...yup!  Our Game of Make Believe.  I told you last week I would post through clue number 5 today and that is what this is...sort of.  There are a few mistakes unique touches, that I am hoping are somewhat hidden and will not be noticed once this is scrunched up around a neck.   At some point there was one or four dropped stitches that went unnoticed for one or eight rows and may or may not have been found when stretching stitches out after the last clue row to make sure we had the correct number of stitches.

Quite honestly I thought I would be posting through clue 6 today after clue 4 only took one evening to do.  But then clue 5 came along and I quickly realized that this thing had been increasing in stitches and it was taking a lot longer (read YEARS) to purl all of those every other row.  There was a lovely little reminder to use lifelines often in each clue, but after I picked it up from hibernation and no life lines were to be found, I thought, "pfft, who needs lifelines if you are careful?"  Me.  I need them.  But dammit I am not going to use them!  I am going to trudge through all 852 million stitches next week and try to salvage this, because if I end up frogging this at this point, I may never pick up a scarf/shawl pattern again and let me tell you that I have been stockpiling such patterns and the yarn to go with them.

Let this be a lesson children, do not put off today what you won't remember you are supposed to be doing six months from now.

But, I am not working on it tonight, if I find a life saver, I am throwing it to my motivation and enticing it to return with this photo....

COTTON!  You know what cotton means Motivation.  It means something small and relatively simple.  So please, I beg you, come back to me and we will make beautiful small things out of green cotton. 

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

WiP Wednesday: Volume 2 Issue 3

Whew...just in under the wire!  I wasn't quite sure I was going to get a post up today.  I haven't had much progress to share, but today I do have something.

I am dedicating February to working on WiPs.  I have a few things on my needles that I would like to, if not finish, get a good chunk done.  Today's project I will finish this month if it is the only thing I do.  Well, I am still reserving weekends to work on the Jersey Project.

Here is what I am working on right now...

This is titled Game of Make Believe.  It is my version of The Knitting Game.  I started this way back in September, it was a Knit Along in the Criminal Knits group (for the Criminal Minds show).  I decided to join the group and the KAL because The Knitting Game intrigued me.  A clue a week for seven weeks?  A mystery?  Yes please.  I stalled out just after week three.  Actually I took on some Christmas knitting and well, that's how things go. 

It is really fun because each "week" you pick from three different clues that vary in difficulty.  There is an option for a wrap (which I did not choose to do) and a kerchief (which I did choose to do).  I am using Knit Picks Stroll Hand Paints in Make Believe, hence my project title. 

This is the progress through four clues.  With any luck, next week I will be able to show you through at least five clues, I am hoping for six (it all depends on my motivation, which went missing around January 9th).