Actual Progress

I’ve mentioned before how therapeutic I find knitting to be.  It’s that calm in the storm sometimes. The known when I am surrounded by the unknown and feel out of control.  It is a distraction during the times I need one most.

My Ready for Summer 2016 MKAL sweater proved to be just what the doctor ordered over the last few weeks when Dad had to have a very risky surgery.  Being the daddy’s girl I am, I took time away from work to be there and see him safely settled home.

Being a responsible knitter, I knew it was best to pack a larger project that was *just* challenging enough to keep my attention, but not so challenging as to bring about a migraine.  (Sorry Echo Flower Shawl, you are gonna have to wait!)

Two weeks later, I am happy to report that dad is doing as well as we could hope for.  He had the best of care and I am eternally grateful for the staff at his hospital.  Of lesser importance, is the progress I was able to make on my sweater.  Between checking vitals, adjusting pillows, filling ice packs, giving meds, changing bandages, helping with PT, and keeping the old guy entertained, I didn’t have as much time to knit as I thought I might, but I did manage to finish with the first skein.

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The alpaca blend is like knitting with kitten fur and I’m feeling pretty spoiled.

 

My other guilty pleasure….

I learned to paint when I was  young.  My grandmother, an avid tole painter, fascinated me and I was thrilled when she let me start to paint along.

My first attempts were clumsy and precious and are all stored away someplace safe – most likely in my parent’s crawl space alongside other relics of my childhood.  Over time, though, I developed more skill and eventually sold a few pieces and even taught a handful of classes.

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I’ve been out of painting for a while now.  I have always really enjoyed the hobby, but never really had the time nor space.

I’m happy to report that thanks to a local paint-your-own pottery shop, I have started to knock the rust off of those old skills.  I make my way that direction at least twice a month and have a box full of plates and mugs and bowls and knick-knacks to show for it.

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This is a medium bowl I painted as a place to collect keys and the odds and ends that come from my pockets at the end of the day.  It is done in glazes.  The firing process never ceases to amaze….

Ysolda’s 2016 Shawl Club

It has been a little like Christmas this month so far with piles of new yarn appearing all over the place.

First, there was the yarn I ordered from Knit Picks after I realized the yarn I was using wasn’t going to work….

*no picture, sorry, it hasn’t even shipped!*

Then there was the not-so-little splurge at my LYS that I picked up because Knit Pick’s couldn’t just teleport the yarn I had literally ordered just hours before…

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And now, there is the second installment of Ysolda’s 2016 Shawl club, and I could not be happier.  The accompanying pattern is a lovely hat and mitt set that I am selfishly planning on keeping.

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Never mind that I have yet to start the first project of the year!

The Creative Blogger Award

When I decided to start blogging, it was really to help myself keep track of my projects, lessons learned, and give myself a creative outlet.

I’m touched that anyone at all decides to follow me, and I was speechless when Rene at periwinklepursuits thought enough of my little corner of the inter-webs that she nominated me for the Creative Blogger Award.  Thanks, Rene!  I’ve had a rough few weeks and you really made my day!

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Here are the rules:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you and include a link to their blog.
  2. Share five facts about yourself.
  3. Nominate 15 – 20 bloggers and add their links.
  4. Notify the bloggers you included.
  5. Keep the rules in your post.

On to the fun facts…

  1.   I taught myself to knit a few years ago when I was staying up nights watching over my dying grandmother in a nursing home.  I still think of her when I see the cowl I was making.
  2. I have been a 911 operator for 14 long-ass years.  I have three CPR saves to my credit.  Some of those stories are bittersweet, but it’s why I still show up every day.
  3. If I go to long without spending time with my horses, the hubs says I turn into a crazy person.  Nobody wants that…
  4. I hate tomatoes.
  5. And spiders.  I really hate spiders.

I do follow some pretty amazing blogs.  One of my favorite things to do between calls on a slow night is catch up on my feed.  I’m constantly amazed at the talent and creativity out in this world of ours.  Here are my nominations:

  1. Glennaknits – this is the blog that introduced me to knitting blogs and a source of knitting inspiration.
  2. Yarn Harlot – how can you not love how real Stephanie Pearl-Mcphee and her never-fading sence of humor?
  3. Judyschickens – she saved the day last Chrismas with her easy cranberry pie recipe.  It is now a family favorite!
  4. Joeycake – great recipes and hilarious commentary.  I’ve been following her so long, I feel like we could be friends
  5. Untangling Knots — Andi is so creative and her blog posts are always colorful and interesting.  She’s also starting up a new online magazine.  Go check her out!
  6. Ontheneedles – full of great projects, tutorials, and interesting knitterly things!
  7. The Knitting Doctor – I love a blog that follows a variety of works in progress.  I got hooked on Lorette’s blog this winter during quiet grave shifts.
  8. The Knitting Samurai – if you are interested in a little knitting history, she’s done her research.  There is some fascinating stuff here, though it doesn’t look like she’s posted in a while.
  9. The Snail of Happiness – a sweet and colorful blog about knitting, and chickens and recently, a weekly post about things that make her happy.  …  And adorable knitted snails!
  10. Knitting Like Crazy – I’ve peeked in on this one for years.  Has been fun watching Jen evolve from knitter to designer. I hope to do the same one day!
  11. Limescented – posts full of some serious eye candy for this knitter.
  12. String Geekery – I’m not sure how she does it, but Naomi can turn a random word into a magical mathematical formula and charts it into interesting and beautiful lace.
  13. Knit the Hell Out – talented knitter and designer with a great eye for photographing her knits.   I love following along.
  14. The Applejack Blog – a lovely regular knitting blog filled with envious stash pictures, a few tips, and of course, knitting!

I hope you find these spaces as enjoyable as I do.  I’m off to knit!

 

 

False starts and new yarn

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My stash is almost as out of control as my project pile.  I have balls of yarn stuffed into every single crevice and drawer and shelf and box in my closet.  It wasn’t always like this though.  I used to only buy yarn when I needed it for a specific project.  But as my project list grew, so did my stash.  Eventually, I started to forget why I bought this yarn or that one.  Now, it’s like having my own little yarn store.  Sort of. Except the store never has what you REALLY want.

 

When I caved in and started a new sweater project, I was pretty proud of myself.   The yarn I needed was in my stash!  I hastily grabbed a skein, a needle, and my lawn chair and sat outside with the new horse and dutifully knit my gauge swatch.  I felt like I had this whole sweater thing in the bag.

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Sadly, it’s just not that easy.

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Gauge just didn’t turn out right.  My stitches were spot on, but my damn row gauge was off by about one row per inch.  And the fabric was scratchy.  And I just didnt love the way it was starting to turn out.

So I did just what any self-respecting knitter would do.  I grabbed a beer and my debt card.  I ripped and I shopped.

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Then, not to be one to be stuck with a regretful decision in yarn, I went shopping again the following day.

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Poor Knit Picks hasn’t even had the time to pack my order and here I am busting in through my front door like I saved the day with ever newer new yarn.

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Let’s try this again, shall we?

 

Finally done with SOMETHING!

14 years as a 911 operator have ruined me for sitting still.  I’m always anticipating that another crisis is around the corner and that anxiety has caused me to be a little hyper vigilant.  I have become antsy and easy to distract.  I don’t watch much TV, I can’t make it through a movie, and I really don’t like knitting or crocheting the same thing twice.  

  
That probably explains why my son’s Skyrim Inspired Viking Helmet took so damn long.   This is my second go around, and the acrylic yarn certainly didn’t get any nicer.  Once I got going though, there really wasn’t much to it…

  
Except the part where I couldn’t get a good picture before the kid took off with it.  

He approves.

That is ugly, cheap, acrylic yarn from stash.  No sense wasting the good stuff on the likes of that mess!  Glad he loves it.