Art & Craft

Yarning Along, Quickly!

Holy Moly, I completed a project with yarn from circa 2007-8!!!  Now that’s a deep plunge into the stash.

Frustrated with my Islay Cardigan (recap – I ran out of yarn, bought more yarn, waited for said yarn, forgot where I was in the chart, realized I couldn’t figure out where I was because I had done the decreases for the wrong size, unknit the additional decreases, and I still had the wrong number of stitches, oy!), I decided I wanted to knit something quick quick quick and get a finished project under my belt.  Get my knitting mojo back, you know what I mean?  I feel like it’s been awhile since I finished a knit project.  So, I went looking for something small, something modest.  Every year I admire the dooable projects in Ysolde Teague’s Knitworthy e-books, patterns perfectly designed and timely released for gift knitting.  These patterns are released bi-weekly until the ebook is complete, and while from the start you can preorder the entire ebook, and get the patterns as they are released, you can’t buy the individual patterns until after the subscribers get their full ebook.  So, I usually like the first pattern, don’t want to commit to the whole book until I see the whole book, and then I forget about it.  So, when I really liked the first pattern this year, Belyse, I just decided to go for it, and I subscribed to the whole book.

So, because I needed immediate gratification, I wasn’t going to buy anything, and I started going through my stash.  Dig dig dig – and I ended up finding a nice, tweedy Rowan 4 ply Tweed, which came out sometime between 2006-2008, and is now discontinued.  For the main color, I picked this purply pink tweedy yarn from Maryland Sheep and Wool, from Davidsons.

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Unlike traditional glove patterns, Belyse starts at the fingers, not the cuffs.  Interesting.  The fingers are actually pretty ingenious – they’re knit like I-cord, and then you make a stitch from the tail, ladder it up the back, and close up the circle.  Crazy.  And then the fingers are joined to start the palm.

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Here’s the first one in progress.  Sorry about the crappy photos – I knit these through Saturday and Sunday football – not to much movement out of the blue chair.

The back (yep, with some dog butt) –

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And front (sans butt!)

I really did mean to take better photos – but I forgot.  Oops.

And of course, as soon as I finished these mitts, I saw these –

 

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OMG I love these! They’re from Ann Kingston Tup Knits (tups apparently refers to sheep mating, learn something new everyday!), and I love the mitts, the hats and the cowl – although I think all three is a bit much.  I think I’ll make the mitts and the hat and call it a sheep.

So, that’s where I am in my yarning!

And the reading!  I finally secured the digital download of Dark Matter, and read it in a day and a half.

The beginning is edge of your seat exciting, the middle starts to read like a traditional time travel novel (although its not about time travel), and then there’s a twist and bam! Gotta find out what happens!  I enjoyed it, and obviously it was quick, like my mitts.  I guess that’s the theme this week!

Back next week with probably a return to the cardigan, or the start of something tuppy!

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Still Not a Closer

As predicted, my one-handed, fast and wrong bead glazing and drying technique was a bit of a disaster – I lost a handful of beads that stuck together because they were strung too closely while they were drying.  At least it wasn’t a surprise – it was pretty darn predictable once I had it all strung up – just with only one hand, I was somewhat helpless to start all over again.

But, I did rescue enough beads to string up a ladder bracelet:

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I didn’t have any leather cord in my stash, just hemp, so I went with that.  And, I broke out the new C-Lon cord that I bought for my next up Eclectic Beaded Crochet Jewelry class.  I did taped down my button closure, did some macramé knots to get it started, and laddered on down to a finished bracelet.

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As you can see, I tacked down my loop with the same macramé stitches with which I began, and I thought my loop was secure.  Wrong.

My husband is always asking me why I don’t sell my finished objects on Etsy.  First, the only thing that I think I make that is sellable quality is my knitting, and unless I come up with my own design for a small item – like mitts or a hat, the time v. expense v. profit analysis just isn’t worth it.  If I make a shawl, I’m probably spending at least – well, let’s not guess, let me look at the last shawl I made – which was super expensive.

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I made the Spice Market Shawl with a Miss Babs gradient set, $76 (now $83 in her online store), and then I ran out of the main color, and I had to buy an additional $26 skein to finish the project.  I think the pattern cost $8 or something close to that.  So, to break even, I’d have to start pricing at $110.  Now, what would someone pay for this?

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It’s hard for me to say. My motivation for making something is rarely “I love that shawl so much I have to wear it, and it must be a part of my wardrobe,” it’s “I love that yarn, I love that pattern, I really want to knit it.”  Once it’s finished, of course, I’m happy to wear it, but I’m a process knitter, not a product knitter.  But, I’ll render a guess that someone might spend $150-$200 on this handmade item created with luxury yarn.  But is my labor only worth 50-100?  That comes to less than $10/hr.  Obviously, I didn’t log my hours knitting this, but it took more than 10.  And, I have zero motivation to knit it again.

So, the only way I’d knit to sell is if I came up with my own one of a kind small item pattern that I could crank out in a fairly short amount of time, and use 1-2 skeins of luxury yarn.

So, until that time, my only marketable craft skill just isn’t worth it to me.

What does that have to do with the beads.  Well, while I may sew a lot of things, and put together some jewelry here or there – I just don’t think my workmanship is of the sellable quality.  I have never made a piece of jewelry that hasn’t, over time of course, fallen apart in someway – with the wrap bracelets, inevitably my button or my loop comes loose.  I made a lot of these ladder bracelets a few years back, and all of them eventually came apart at the button or the loop.

When I finished this ladder bracelet, Joe asked if I could sell it, and I pondered a moment – the paper beads are inexpensive, the wrapping/laddering only takes an hour or so – and then I stopped myself.  Let’s see if this holds together.

And, it didn’t.  Even though I had macramé knotted the loop closure down, it opened up.  Sigh.

But, there is hope!

I have now watched all of Robin Dudley-Howes Eclectic Beaded Crochet class, and she has an awesome, three part method for securing her closures.  I was so happy when she admitted that before she discovered her method, her jewelry fell apart too.  I really do enjoy successful crafters and artisans sharing their fails as well as their successes.  Anyway, I’m now thinking that selling my stuff might be entirely possible.  Forget the paper beads for the most part – back to the junk jewelry beads, flea market beads, beads from broken jewelry.  And, the crochet bracelets are back in my wheelhouse – fiber, stitching – all good!  And, because I do know how to crochet beyond chaining, slip stitching, and single crochet, I’m thinking how I can add other stitches, and make bracelets that look more like my own.  Anyway, the cogs in ye old brain are turning.  But, I am so far ahead of myself.  Let’s get that bracelet closed properly first!  And, I will leave you with that, as I await my ThreadZapper II from my Amazon Prime 2 day shipping!

Back tomorrow with a Yarn Along, and a spur of the moment finished object!

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Yarn Along – Head to Head Hippos

Of course, you’ve already met my Ravellenics Hippo, and now meet the knit version, Knit Hippo!

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How cute are they? KnittyD did an excellent job with her knit hexagons and pentagons – the colors are really beautiful in person – they really sparkle like the jeweltones they are.

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As you can see, there’s quite a size difference, but I don’t think that’s the pattern so much as the yarn choices and gauge. Both are fingering weight yarn, but KnittyD knit hers on size 1 needles. I don’t remember the size of my hook, but the fabric is like the equivalent of being knit on a 3 or a 4.

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Photos don’t really do these guys justice. They are so squishy! Someone at the yarn store asked what we were going to do with them, and we just stared at her – what do you mean, what are we going to do with them? Love them, duh.

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What are we going to do with them, please.

On the current knitting front, I finally wound the Miss Babs that perfectly matched my already underway Islay cardigan.  Unfortunately, when I tried to figure out where I was in the pattern, I had no idea – totally lost.  When I had some non-t.v. quiet time to spend with my knitting and the pattern I realized that I couldn’t figure out where I was because I had knit the decreases for the wrong size, and I didn’t have enough stitches between markers.  Oospy.  So, I unknit back to the right number of stitches, and I should be able to go from there, hopefully.

On the crochet side of things, as predicted, I did run out of yarn.  I thought I had enough to get through all of the Lotus Moon Tiles, but alas, I ran short on the second to the last row.  So, I have 9/12 Tiles complete.img_2014

 

And, in a moment of success, Dark Matter finally became available from the library.

The beginning, at least, is edge of  your seat excitement.  The only reason I put it down last night is because I just had to go to sleep, I was head bobbing into my Kindle screen.

So, that’s that the fiber/reading report for the week!

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Rumors of a Bead Fail Are Greatly Exaggerated

So, when last I left you, I promised to show you my bead fail.  Ah, I had such little confidence in myself!  Shame on me!

As I’ve mentioned before, my craft pursuits are usually the result of a tiny spark that leads to a stream of seemingly unrelated ideas – for instance, photography lead to image transfers that lead to art journaling that lead to portrait painting that lead to dolls.  Of course, it wasn’t such a straight line, from photography to dolls, there was sewing and sculpting along the way too, but basically, one spark lead to another.  This past weekend, after I finished up the doll, I switched to beads.  How did I get to beads?  Crochet to crochet jewelry to this class that’s starting next week   (I’m always a sucker for an earlybird special!) to a desire not to invest in any more store bought beads.  I’ve been down that jewelry hole before, you see.  Gotten all excited about beading or wire wrapping or soldering, or whatever, and then I’ve gathered my materials, made a sizeable investment, made one thing, and that was the end.  Not again, I said to myself.  Small investment, this time.  And, I stumbled on paper beads.  I invested in 2 bead rollers (a big one and a small one) from this Etsy shop, and paper marking template from this shop.  Of course, now I’ve made a $26 investment, but I’m still not paying any money for the beads, right?  Whatever, I say to myself.

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So, I marked up my paper with my template – for Pandora like, fat beads, with a large hole in the center to place a bead core, a fancy name for an eyelet.  This, frankly, was a pain in the ass, and no fun at all.  To make these beads, you have to cut three sizes of strips – one that’s the same size on both ends, a second stip,  with one end that matches the width of the first strip, and tapers in to about half the other end, and a third strip, which matches the width of the second strip on the one end, and then tapers to a point on the end.  That’s a lot of marking, cutting and rolling.

Bleh.

And, here are the four beads I finished:

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Not quite finished, I didn’t even bother to put the cores in – I was just over them.  For four beads, I had to measure and slice up 12 strips of paper!  That adds up, my friends, and with scrapbook paper, and a rotary cutter, is zero fun.

So, I thought I was done with the beads after only 4 beads, but then I went back to the youtube drawing board, and found this video – Paper Beads 101, and it all just clicked.  I don’t need to mark my paper – I can just measure on one end, cut to a point on the other.  I don’t need to use scrapbook paper – I can use magazine paper, and it’ll fit right in my Fiskar’s paper cutter.  And, I don’t need to use multiple strips for a bead, I can just use one.

With this measureless cutting technique (well, I did measure the one end to be 1/4′ but that was more about aligning the paper on the paper cutter, than measuring), I cut cut cut away my National Geographic magazine, tossed aside the big bead roller with the 5 mm hole for the eyelets, and started rolling up beads like a machine:

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These small beads are perfect for my crochet project!

Of course, then there was the glazing.  Unfortunately, even though I burned my hand on our grill (yes, the grill handle is there for a reason – don’t touch the top – oy! so stupid), I didn’t want to waste the evening, so I strung up my beads one handed, and created a makeshift drying rack out of my quilting hoop.
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Doing this one handed was quite a feat, and probably stupid – since the beads are too close together, and the Glossy Accents will probably glue them together, and then they’ll be worthless, we’ll see when I get home!  Fast and wrong.

Anyway, if you clicked on Paper Beads 101, she makes a bracelet that takes 300 beads.  When I first watched it, thinking it was the excruciating process of the big beads, I thought, holy cow, no way, but in the span of the PSU/Pitt football game, I rolled all of the above, about 150 beads, so 300 – easy peasy.

Since I didn’t do such a good job with the glazing, I think I’m going to make a ladder bracelet with these, and then start the rolling machine going again for crochet class.

For which, by the way, between my bead fail and my bead success, I purchased the class kit – so much for not buying any more store bought beads.  Although, of course, these are special vintage beads, plus charms! And a hook! And C-Lon thread!

I should have had more faith!  Hmm, but now I have the special beads and the paper beads – win win!

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My Mini-Me

Well, she took more than a weekend, but she’s done!

I managed to paint her face – with only one or two paintovers of the eyes.  I started with arcylic paints, and then I switched to pastel pencils.  The pastels didn’t blend as well as I thought they would, and, if I make another one, I think I’ll use oil pastels with a bit of water.  The next time I’ll probably make a stencil for the eyes, too, and maybe I’ll manage to get them to look symmetrical.  Processed with Snapseed.

And here she lay for a few days while I contemplated what she was going to wear.

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The woman who wrote the pattern, Anya Balybina, translated two parts of her Russian language only class  into the patterns I bought, but she hasn’t yet (or may never, I don’t know) translated the parts about clothing the doll and attaching hair.  By the way, if you’re ever looking for doll tutorials, and don’t mind some awkward google translation (or if you understand Russian), this site, I think it’s called Livemaster, I’m not even sure if that’s what it’s called or that’s the closest translation,  but it has tons of tutorials you can plop into google translate.  The Russians are huge into crafting dolls.

But, googling along to Russia aside, I was left to my own devices for the finishing up.  I decided to do what I know best, and knit.  I downloaded a bunch of vintage knit Barbie clothes patterns from Etsy for a buck a piece, changed the gauge, and adjusted here and there and voila!

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Well, that’s not voila! yet.  That mess above was the crazy construction necessary to be able to get the sweater onto Barbie – the back needs to be snapped shut in order to get the clothes on and off. If I make another someday, I’ll definitely knit in the round, because I can always sew the head on after, like I did with this one.

Here’s the real voila!

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How cute is that sweater!!!  Man I hate knitting stripes though – all of those ends to weave in – sheesh!  All of that work for a doll that’s just going to sit in my craftroom.  But, the fun is in these little details, so it’s all good.

Time to sew on the head! Oh, and maybe she needs some pants.  For the pants, I just cut off a leg of one of my old jeans, traced around the doll right onto the back of the jeans, sewed up the seams, and cut it out.  Another, Voila! Jeans.

 

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For hair, I used some roving that I had leftover from a needle felting kit I never finished – I just poked it onto her head.

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And now she can take her place among the other dolls of the craft room!

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And altogether now!

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Her clothes are definitely my best effort so far – it definitely helps to work in your comfort zone. Although – it may be too close to my comfort zone – Joe says I made a mini-me.  I can see his point – my blond hair is gone, and I’m back to the dark brown, and she is wearing a handknit sweater and jeans, my fall/winter uniform.  But, that wasn’t my intent.

So, now I’m feeling like clay.  But, it’s really hot again, and I don’t know if I have the patience for it – I think that’ll wait until fall – real fall, not this faux fall with 98 degree heat.  I really want to take these classes by Adele Po, but that’s not in my budget at the moment.  Maybe my holiday present to me!  I do want to continue to paint heads, so this weekend I might just sew up a bunch of heads, and the ones I like will get a body – doll eugenics!  I think it’s an acceptable method of survival of the fittest in this case at least.  Not quite natural selection, but I’m the creator, so I’m good with it.

Have a great weekend!  Next time, I’ll show you the great bead fail!

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Yarning Along – Lost in a CAL

I am a machine.  A crochet machine.

I just keep cranking out round after round after round.  Very relaxing.  I have no idea where I’m supposed to be in the CAL, but I think I’m working at a good, steady pace – on pace to run out of yarn, again.  And that’s not to say that I’m not checking in on the CAL, and looking at everyone’s pretty pictures.  I am, and Polly has a really nice intro video every week highlighting some challenging parts of the pattern, it’s just that it’s a pretty relaxed CAL, everyone is working steadily, and I seem to be about where everyone is.  I’m just not on a timer – like the Ravellenics Hippo.  And, since it’s not a mystery, I don’t have to wait for the next part of the pattern to come out.

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I should finish the tiles without any yarn shortages, and then I’ll have to wait for a replenishment shipment to start the connecting squares and corner triangles.  But, it’s all good.  As you can see, I have plenty of ends to weave in, uch, and I also have my knitting to go back to, since my Miss Babs was a perfect match.  Plenty to do while I wait!

On the reading front, I downloaded a mystery from the library, thinking that since I was next up in the library queue for Dark Matter, I just had a bit of time to kill.  But, I’ve been next in the queue for about a month now – I think the Dark Matter borrower must have turned off their WiFi to get the book finished, because it should have been returned by now – drat!  Anyway, so I’m not reading that planned next up book, I’m reading Elizabeth George’s A Banquet of Consequences.

A Banquet of Consequences: A Lynley Novel (Inspector Lynley Book 19) by [George, Elizabeth]

It’s 19th in the Inspector Lynley series, which of course I didn’t know when I downloaded it.  I have not read the previous 18, and I usually don’t like to start a series in the middle (or at the end, as the case may be), but oh well.  So far, I haven’t encountered any historical nugget that harkens back to anything other than the ramifications of the last book on one of his fellow detectives. I’m not that far into it, it’s ok, but I just love the title.  There was a prosecutor in Pennsylvania who recently died who always closed with the defendant now sitting at the feast that he had prepared for himself – and I when I saw “banquet of consequences” I thought what a better turn of phrase.  If I were a prosecutor, I’d definitely use it – but as a defense attorney, it doesn’t quite fit.

Speaking of defense attorneys, as some of you may know, I’ve been a public defender for 20 years.  I just finished watching HBO’s The Night of, and once again, I am just horrified by the portrayal of the woman defense attorney.  Just like that show on Lifetime, where they had the Innocence Project woman lawyer taking her top off on death row to impress a client, and later hooking up with a client to kill another suspect, this defense attorney, Chandra, falls for her client, and does beyond belief things.  Why? Why? Why?  Why can’t women defense attorneys be portrayed like their male counterparts, and not sexualize their clients?  I go to work, and I’m a professional – I treat my client’s the same way the male character on the show, the John Turturro character, treats his clients – with humanity, but not anything else.  I don’t even worry about crossing the line – because the line is so far off on the horizon it’s unimaginable.  At least the show’s one fantastic lawyer, the prosecutor, is a woman, so at least there was that.  So, just my two cents.

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Moogly’s Hookin on Hump Day!

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Well, Hello Dolly

Spinning the creativity wheel this weekend – whirl! – all signs point to . . . dolls! In my cycle of painting and knitting and crocheting and jewelry making and whatever crafty thing crosses my path – this weekend I’ve landed on the doll square of the crafty board. At first, I was all internetting about cloth and clay dolls – again – but I found this cloth pattern on Etsy by Anna Balybina, and I liked it, and said to myself, that’s my project this weekend. I never did finish my Danita Art cloth doll – I started stuffing my body, and the neck was so infuriating – no matter how much stuffing I added, it remained floppy and crinkly. Aargh. So, I put it away, thinking oh, for tomorrow – but, tomorrow tomorrow tomorrow – never came for that doll. I guess it still could, I don’t know. But in any event, I’ve birthed a new doll –

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The sewing is similar to the Tilda doll, but it’s much smaller, and the shape is different. It’s been so long since I pulled out my sewing machine, that I contemplated for about 2 seconds the notion of sewing it by hand . . . um, no. And, my worry was for nothing – I can still work ye ol’ sewing machine. And, in fact, since it was already threaded, it fired right up, the bobbin didn’t jam once, easy peasy!

I started stuffing, but then decided, tomorrow is another day. Huh, that didn’t work out so well for the Danita doll, but this one . . . it’s gonna happen.  So much so that I spent a little bit of my morning practicing faces – I’m a little worried about moving to fabric, but I can always cut and sew another one . . . and another – practice practice!

And that’s what I have on deck this weekend!  Hopefully, I’ll have a finished dolly to show you on Monday.  Have a great long weekend!

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Yarning Along, Again With the Hook

When last I left off, I had run out of yarn for my Shetland Trader, Islay. While I sweated it out (literally and figuratively, as the weather has yet to get the message that summer is winding down) waiting for my yarn to arrive from Miss Babs, I decided to do a stash dive, and once again, attempt to finish a crocheted afghan.

Enter the Lotus Moon Tile CAl from Polly Plum. I’ve been an admirer of Polly since the Sophie’s Universe MKAL, when I cribbed her RBG colorway scheme. I like her aesthetic, and I was happy to find a project to distract me from the “will it or won’t it work” thoughts/dread surrounding the pending arrival of my non-dye lot skein of Rainforest Yowza What A Skein!

Of course, stash diving into a work in progress stash means accepting that the first project is no longer a project but a fail. And, I’m ok with that. I did enjoy the mystery/round by round aspect of Sophie’s Universe, but in the end, I didn’t like that it wasn’t really done when the MCAL was done, unless you wanted a finished small square. The pattern totally provided alternatives for borders, additional blocks, growing the project, etc., but I didn’t realize that’s where it was going when I started, nor how much additional work it would be. Eh, excuses – I just know in my heart I’m not going to finish either version, so I might as well use the yarn.

So, here is the baby produced by my two attempts at Sophie’s Universe, which is a mix of Valley Yarns and Michael’s Impeccable.  Yep, wool and acrylic, call me crazy.  The Valley Yarn wool is sooooo much easier to crochet with, and much easier on the hands.  Also, as you can see I’m using a generic metal crochet hook, and I’m really feeling the difference after I spoiled myself with the Clover Soft Touch with the hippo.  I may just suck it up and buy the whole set of them, we’ll see.  Crazy talk again.

Unlike Sophie’s Universe, which was a mystery CAL, Lotus Moon’s entire pattern is available from the start. The CAL is set up in weekly bunches of rounds, with accompanying video tips and tricks from Polly. You can work at your own pace, or work on the CAL schedule. I aspire to catch up to the CAL since I started a week late. The CAL is into week three, and I’m halfway done week 2, so pretty good progress!

I feel like if I went to the store, and actually picked my colors, I don’t think I would have gone with the rust color that I’m working with now, and instead of the lighter grey, I would have used a cream maybe. But, that’s about it.  Hmm, maybe I’d trade in the dark grey too, I’m not sure.  Polly just started another that uses cream for the big petal round, and I like that as well.  Doesn’t really matter though, does it – it’s well underway!

I may run out of the rust, but that’s easily, stressfree replaceable, and I may run out of the forest green, but again, an easy peasy color to get another skein.

See, Junie B isn’t worried at all!

Actually, she looks a little worried.  Huh.

And, drum roll! My Miss Babs arrived and its PERFECT!!

It’s so identical I’m wondering if this was a color they just did for Sheep and Wool and this was the last of it. But, I’m not going to wonder too long – I’m just going to wind it up, and get a move on!

 

As far as reading goes, I have nothing really to report. I had started Outlander on Starz, but then we cancelled our Starz subscription. So, I thought I’d try to get back into the books, but that meant rereading the first book, which I read over twenty years ago, and I’m not feeling it. While I was enjoying the show to a certain extent (not as much as a LOVED Stranger Things, poor Barb), I just don’t think these weighty historical romance tomes are for me anymore. But, today is payday, and I’m heading to the Amazon store, I think to buy the new Jeffrey Toobin book on Patty Hearst – I think I’m committed, but I may change my mind before I hit the buy button. Especially since I’m only one person away from securing the library’s digital copy of the new Blake Crouch novel, Dark Matter. We’ll see what happens first.

Until next week!

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Back to School-ish

Ah, it’s that time of year again – when my Facebook feed is flooded with back to school photos, in a parade of endless backpacks and tight ponytails. Aside from the shock I felt when my one crafty Karate Kid niece appeared as a GASP cheerleader in my lead story, it’s all the same old same old. And, while I’m not packing any peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, or hovering over any kids at the bus stop, I too feel that change of seasons, as I slowly emerge from my heat induced, airconditioner addicted stupor, and feel those creative juices start to pump.

My pumping creative juices, however, sound like “thunk a thunk a” as opposed to a gently flowing river – creating havoc and mess wherever I go.

This weekend, I hit the paints – or the paints hit me, as even as I type this, I have acrylic paint on my nails that I can’t get off.

I made this face on a long ago prepped canvas –

She’s looking a little Elvis, but that’s ok – I enjoyed her. And that’s the point. To be honest, not only is my Facebook feed overloaded with back to school, it’s also filled with a lot of “bad” art – art from the heart though, and everyone is so filled with happiness in their creations that I’m happy to see lopsided eyes, neckless tilted heads, cartoon noses – all that good stuff – because it’s stuff that looks like my stuff, so I know my fellow crafter gets me, and why it’s ok to revel in making stuff you’ll never sell, or never gift, or may never even leave your craft room. Because it’s fun, and relaxing, and art isn’t reserved just for the talented or the professional or the art student.

While creating Elvisina, I spilled some blue paint – just craft paint from Target, no big deal, but I didn’t want to waste it. So, I had some gessoed cardboard, and made blue and purple girls –

I feel like this should be the underpainting, and I shouldn’t be so lazy, and I should keep practicing, and add another layer of paint . . . we’ll see. The truth is I am a lazy crafter when it comes to painting or sculpting or dollmaking, I make one thing, get it out of my system, and then move on to the next thing, never getting very good or skilled at anything. For instance, the doll bug is biting again – and if I had just stuck with it back when I was originally struck with the must make dolls jolt, I’d probably be a pretty good dollmaker by now. But, as it is, with no practice, and no improving upon the last project, I’m theoretically back at the beginning, and when I get my doll stuff out this week, it will be like reinventing the wheel. But that’s ok, I’m a process girl anyway.

So, Elvisina joins the crew of stuff that doesn’t leave the craft room, and I will continue to plot my next trick.

I have a crocheted jewelry class lined up, which has lead me down a paper bead hole , I’m all about paperclay and cloth bodies again (at least in my head), and I’ve been revisting my Misty Mawn classes (they’re only supposed to be around for a year after purchase, but she always leaves them up longer). I also really really wanted to make these crocheted stones but I cannot find one usable stone in my backyard. I scavenged my mother’s backyard on Saturday, and every stone I found was really a rock, a rock which looked like doo doo according to my mother, so that didn’t quite work out. Maybe it’s a good thing – TOO MANY PROJECTS!

Although maybe I could walk the dogs, and perhaps lift from stones from my neighbors . . . shhh!

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Yarn Along – Until the Yarn Runs Out

Now that the Ravellenics Games are over, and fall approaches (totally wishful thinking!), I’m back on board with knitting, and I cast on my Miss Babs from the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival.  Who cares is 90+ degrees out?  Pshaw!  There’s never a bad time to sit with a pound of wool on your lap, right?

This will grow up to be The Shetland Trader’s Islay.

Well, that’s the plan at least. But to grow, you need yarn, and yarn, weeeeeelllll – I originally bought this yarn for another sweater with a different gauge. And then, I was seduced by the Shetland Trader cardigan, and based on my eyeball estimation, it looked like the same amount of yarn to me.

And why did I trust my eyeball?!?!   My eyeball is constantly off on gauge, has trouble with right and left, and isn’t allowed to drive a car since my eyeballs are bad drivers. Bad eyeball!

I definitely need another skein of this hand dyed yarn.

Yep, hand dyed, purchased at a festival probably one of a kind yarn.  I do have another skein on the way, and I can only cross my needles that it’s close.

The color is more accurate in the above photos than these two, which I shot really quickly this morning with only light from my dining room chandelier.

So, here’s where I am, and as you can see from the hanging tail, I’ve finished my first skein of Yowza, and I still have finish the left side, upper back and upper right front of this piece. So, I’m sure my second skein will get me through that, and I’ll use the incoming skein for the sleeves.  I guess if it’s a crap match, I’ll . . . I’ll think about that when it happens.

On the reading front, I finished Richard Price’s The Whites.

Since we’re deep into HBO’s The Night Of, co-written by Richard Price, and years ago, I read Clockers, I was really looking forward to sinking into a dark Price world, but unfortunately, this wasn’t his best.  In fact, it’s pretty stupid.  While the events that take place in the book certainly would be some detective’s fantasy, it’s the not the gritty realism I was hoping for.  And the big reveal in the end is pretty much a whole lot of nothing.  In any event, at least it was quick read.

Now, I’m reading Graham Swift’s Mothering Sunday, which is a novella about a Downton Abbeyish maid who becomes a writer.  Her story is revealed through a framework of  interviews of her in her 80’s and 90’s, interspersed with the events of one day, a Mothering Sunday, from her “maid days” that shaped her.  There’s a lot of writer craft talk, about words, language, giving things names, and meaning, and it brought me back to a short story class I had in college where my professor was into all things meta.  The Amazon review refers to it as “luminous, intensely moving tale,” and I don’t think I’ve been intensely moved, but I have enjoyed it so far.

So, that about wraps it up for this week!  Linking up with Small Things Yarn Along!

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Thanks for stopping by!

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