Tag Archives: crafting

Whoa.

Holy absentee blogger, Batman!

I’ve sort of been writing.  Elsewhere.  Stuff more for me and less for public consumption.  I just haven’t been writing enough, which is likely why I feel… congested? emotionally.  Time for a cathartic dump.

I’ve been exhausted, aching, and/or ill, for what seems like for.ev.er.  I have depression/anxiety/panic issues, and fibromyalgia, and chronic back pain from an ancient injury.  Those are all the basics that are with me on an almost daily basis.  I’ve had in increase in migraines (complete with aura, awesome), a resurgence of insomnia, an uptick in panic attack intensity and frequency, and some unexplained diffuse lymphadenopathy which hit me like a freight train.  And this has all just been my shit.  Each of the kids has had their own (typical, uneventful, unremarkable, viral) illness, and John has had his fair share of ickies.

So through all this shit, a lot of things have taken a back burner.  This blog was one.  My spinning.  My painting.  My knitting too, on occasion. Reading, some writing, most frivolous/fun things.

I’ve spent more time primping and preening.  I figure if I feel like absolute shit, I will at least look good.  Hot, even.

I listen to more music than before. [Side note: each of the kids has a distinct musical preference. JR = bluegrass/jam bands, classic rock. Mia = ’80s hair, metal, industrial.  River = r&b and hip hop.  These are usually incompatible genres, often leading to musical chaos and at least one disappointed child.  Thank goodness for Pandora.]

I text more, play Words with Friends, nurse an ever-teething baby.

River’s not really a baby anymore.  He’s 26+ lbs of adventure, charm, and mischief.  He turned ONE YEAR OLD on July 3.  My Itty Bitty Baby Boy is ONE.  It’s amazing, and kind of heartbreaking.  (He got cake.  He loved it.  He took his first steps just days before that.)

I’ve reconnected with some really great people.  My friends and my music have really gotten me through some crappy times these last few months.  Thank you.

My lymph nodes are all starting to calm down, finally.  My spleen still hurts, but it too is on the mend.  I have medication for the panic attacks and insomnia.  Now that I’m getting at least 4 hours of sleep a night and am in less pain, I’m starting to feel like things are looking up.

Maybe I’ll get over this mental block I have about sharing certain things and y’all might see some more posts.

Pictures soon, promise!

Random on a Tuesday

  • My youngest sister, Melinda, died at 25 on January 14, 2011.
  • We drove to Anchorage for a small memorial service for her, held on Friday, January 21, 2011.
  • It’s got me mourning my mother all over again.
  • The kids got to play with Grandpa, cousins Faith, Caleb, and Vicky, Aunts Jessie, Tasha, & Sandee, and Uncle Darrell.
  • We took family photos at my parents’ house, courtesy of Sandee Rice Photography.
  • Back at the hotel, we took the kids down to the swimming pool.  They had a blast.
  • The chlorine in the pool did crazy tightening things to the dreads forming at the back of my head.
  • Bouncing Bears is the coolest place to get kids worn out before a long road trip.
  • The living room floor is the greatest place to roll around after many long hours cooped up in car seats.
  • The wolf and the orca share the same animal spirit in Yup’ik lore.  These are the two animals I debated between in trying to identify the animal essence of my youngest child River.  JR is a polar bear.  Camilla is a lynx/mountain lion/fox.
  • I’ve spun 4 oz of a pinkish-purplish wool/alpaca batt by Bohoknitterchic Spins into 400+ yards of a fingering weight single.  Melinda loved pink.  I’m going to knit a shawl out of this yarn.
  • I’m knee-deep in laundry that needs to be done before we leave Thursday night on vacation.
  • I get a kitten after we get back.  It will go nicely with the litter box and cat food I got from John for Christmas.
  • I’m planning on getting tattooed in San Antonio and Chicago during the next couple of weeks.
  • I’ll be starting a Little Acorn Learning curriculum for JR and Camilla after our trip.  I’m excited.
  • I definitely need to get back to daily workouts.  They’ve fallen by the wayside with a marked increase in fibro pain.
  • I nearly forgot how comfortable Vans are until I bought a new pair the other day.
  • I am very clearly doing anything possible to avoid laundry and packing.
  • I have to start all that now, before Thursday gets here.

Sigh.

New Pattern! — Columnar socks

Now available — Columnar!

I designed these primarily to showcase the beauty of hand-painted artisan yarn. I believe I’ve accomplished this in an easy way, while lending visual interest, slight texture, and a simple counter-spell for pooling.

Columnar. Shown here in Titania colorway on Adorn Sock by Three Irish Girls.

These socks are worked in the round from the cuff down. This pattern assumes you have a basic familiarity with sock construction, though will be easy enough for beginners. This is written for use with Magic Loop, though please use whichever method of small diameter in-the-round knitting you prefer. Three sizes are available, and more can be achieved through gauge modification.

You may purchase this pattern for $5.00 via Ravelry. You do not need to be a member of Ravelry to use the link below.

Yummy Malabrigo

I made a pair of wool longies for Camilla out of worsted Malabrigo. Yum.

Mmmmalongies 2

Mmmmalongies 2

Pattern: Perfection Pants by Pamela Grossman (purchased at Three Irish Girls)
Yarn: Malabrigo Worsted, 100% wool, Little Lovely colourway (purchased at The Backwards Loop)
Needles: Size 6 (4.0 mm) and size 8 (5.0 mm) 16″ bamboo circulars and bamboo double-point needles
Gauge: 4.5 stitches per inch, 5 rows per inch, in stockinette

Yes, I absolutely must buy some awesome 3IG yarn to make more of these. Even more Mmmmalabrigo, since it’s so soft and yummy.

Woolies!

I’ve finished my first pair of knit wool longies, and love them. I’ve knit soakers before, but I’ve only ever crocheted longies. It’s so soft, I almost want to knit a pair for myself!

Malabrigo wool longies for JR

Malabrigo wool longies for JR

Pattern: Perfection Pants by Pamela Grossman (purchased at Three Irish Girls)
Yarn: Malabrigo Worsted, 100% wool, Oceanos colourway (purchased at The Backwards Loop)
Needles: Size 6 (4.0 mm) and size 8 (5.0 mm) 16″ bamboo circulars and bamboo double-point needles
Gauge: 4.5 stitches per inch, 5 rows per inch, in stockinette

I’m about halfway done with the pair for Camilla. I’m so excited about how these have come out that I’m sure to make many more in plenty of great colourways! I’ll definitely have to buy some special merino from Three Irish Girls. I know I’ll still crochet longies, but I’m thinking I may reserve that for workhorse wool (read: cheaper) that can handle the abuses of being used during JR’s rougher playtimes.

Project Ideas

After seeing this yarn on WendyKnits blog, I must have it. It’s destined to be a pair of socks for John, since he loves gray so very much, and since the yarn is wonderfully noted as superwash.

Schaefer Yarn - Heather - Ash colourway

Schaefer Yarn - Heather - Ash colourway

I’ve got ideas for matching mother-daughter February sweaters a la Elizabeth Zimmerman. I’m thinking of using either Malabrigo or Three Irish Girls yarn but just can’t make up my mind. 3IG may win out, with all of Sharon’s beautiful yummy colourways (and the fact that I’m already in her Sock Yarnista club). Aren’t these going to be just darling?

FlintKnits February Lady Sweater

FlintKnit's February Lady Sweater


BrooklynTweeds Baby Sweater on Two Needles by EZ

BrooklynTweed's Baby Sweater on Two Needles by EZ

Knitterly things

The socks from hell were finished days ago. Amen.

And I’ve learned something new, namely how to knit both socks, from the toe up, at the same time, on one long circular. (Could I have drug that sentence out any longer?) It’s fascinating, and while it was slow going at first, I don’t know if I can go back to making them just one at a time. I’ll have to go get more long circulars in more sizes so I can have more pairs on the needles. I’m using 40″ Addi Turbo 1s, ShiBuiKnits sock yarn in Tweed, and Wendy‘s Waterfall sock pattern.

Oh, and I picked up a Hiya Hiya 9″ circular to try for sock knitting. It was awful, and hurt just to cast on. I’ll be returning it, and will stick with one long circ or dpns from here on out.

What’s your preferred sock knitting method?

I will prevail

I play with sticks and string, and will not be undone by them.

I finished the damn sock.

img_1086

Boo-yah. Take that.

The socks that almost weren’t

And still may not be.

I have been working with this yarn for-freakin’-ever. Seriously. It’s a gorgeous, soft, squishy, lovely Malabrigo sock yarn in Stonechat. I love it. However, it has had an identity crisis over the last couple of weeks. It doesn’t know what kind of sock it wants to become, if a sock at all. It’s been terribly frustrating.

I’ve knit and frogged six different stitch patterns, ultimately ending with a boring 2×2 rib that I’m still not happy with, but I’m tired of frogging and reknitting this yarn. I am beginning to get a bad case of start-itis because of these Stonechat socks. There are no less than 8 sock patterns I want to work on, and a multitude of other projects I’m desperate to cast on, just to relieve me from this damn sock.

img_1073

That’s right, after all this work and all its time on the needles, I still have not finished one sock. There’s a whole other sock to knit once I get this one done in order for them to be wearable. It may not happen this decade.

Baby Update, crafts, JR, and such.

I am 16 days away from my due date.  I am as big as a house, and uncomfortable all the time.  I am ready to get this child out of me.  She is not yet ready to come out though.  So be it.  She knows when she’s supposed to be here.  I do not.  I will wait.

JR knows that something is changing with me.  He constantly wants to be climbing on me, and I just can’t deal with it.  I just want personal space.  Poor little guy is in for a major shock when he suddenly finds himself sharing mommy and daddy.  I hope he handles it well.  I think he’s going through another growth spurt; he’s eating constantly. He’ll get to play with another little boy this Friday when we go to town; we’re going to have M watch him for a little while so that JR can get used to her and her son L.  Hopefully he’ll have a good time and get comfortable with them.

We have almost everything we need for Milla’s arrival, except that I still need to sew together the ring sling and prep all of her diapers.  My BFF Melanie is set to come up the last week of the month (also when John is having his sinus surgery).  It’ll be great not only to hang out with her, but to have her help with the kids while John is out of commission.  Besides, I don’t think I could handle having anyone else around the first month or two that Milla is here.  If it were anyone else, I would feel like I would have to play hostess, whether that’s the case or not. I’m just not going to do that, so I’m glad that it’s just Melanie and John who’ll be around after baby comes.

As for my crafting, I’ve got socks for John on the needles using my pattern.  I’m using this beautiful ShiBui Knits Sock yarn that I picked up last weekend at INUA Wool Shoppe.  Isn’t that the cushiest looking yarn?  I know I’ll be getting more.

I’ve decided that I want to make myself a snazzy, stripey sweater with my 1200+ yards of Patons that are back in my stash using this pattern.  It’s not exactly what I want, so I will probably heavily modify it as I go.  I have several other socks planned too, so you should just keep an eye out for me on Ravelry to see what I’m up to.

Let’s see… what else.  Oh, I’m going to go insane if I have to watch The Wizard of Oz one more time this week.  It’s JR’s new favorite movie.  It was cute, the first dozen times.  Now I want to rip all the stuffing out of the Scarecrow, then pull the Lion’s tail.  We’ll see who has a heart now, Tin Man.

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