I Heart Flax and Tin Can Knits

I just wanted to post about the Flax Sweater pattern and the Let’s Knit a Sweater tutorial by Tin Can Knits. This is the first wool sweater I’ve gotten so far on in knitting. I’m currently on the cusp of separating the sleeves and body stitches.

This is a fun knit. This is not a difficult knit. This is also a versatile knit. In short, I love it very much. I’m already making plans for knitting other sweaters for my mother, boyfriend (I know…), and others as well as more for myself. I am completely enamored with this pattern and plan on making it my “go to” pattern for sweater gifts.

 

Well, since I’m sick and have nothing else occupying my day, I might as well get back to knitting.

 

Until the next time, have a safe and fantastic journey around the Sun. Take care, my friends.Rolling on the floor laughingRed heartRainbow

Blodeuwedd The Hat…

…and various other things.

 

Since NaNoWriMo is now coming to a middle, I thought I’d get in high gear in finally planning my own Winter accoutrements. Long has the project page for Blodeuwedd The Hat sat in my Ravelry projects, uncompleted. Up until now, I’ve been making due with the hat pictured below that I crocheted years ago.

 

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Now, I’m not saying that this current hat hasn’t served me well. It has. I am just looking for something warmer and more air tight/heat trapping.

 

So, using the Beanie 212 pattern, I’m going to go completely off the rails with the color design, to the best of my abilities. This new hat is going to be made of washable wool. It’s going to be at least three different colors. I am going to get more in if I can via scrap yarn. Topping this off, the scarf and gloves I’m making to accompany the hat will match it, again, to the best of my abilities.

 

I can see it in my mind. I just need to figure out how to design it properly.

 

In other stuff, I am teaching myself to write knitting patterns. It’s the next step in this journey I embarked on a little over ten years ago. I figured it was time to take it to the next level and get my feet wet with learning how to properly write patterns. I have two books on the subject, both of which are very informative. The two books are:

The Beginner’s Guide to Writing Knitting Patterns by Kate Atherley

Teach Yourself Visually Knitting Design by Sharon Turner

 

I know that this is, by no means, the entirety of knowledgeable literature when it comes to pattern writing and knitting/crochet design. This is just the beginning of my long-term exploration of the subjects. There’s a lot for me to learn but I’m up to the challenge.

 

Also on the topic of new books and on the subject of personal challenges is my acquisition of a cookbook. I have Maangchi’s Real Korean Cooking and I fully intend to use it. This is the first cookbook I’ve purchased. I’m hopeful I can get some food to make all these wonderful dishes.

 

Onward to present projects. Villimarjatar. I brushed against it the other day on my way to the keyboard to do some NaNoWriMo updating but, other than that, I haven’t touched it. I’m presently on the third row of the second pattern repeat. I’m hoping to get quite a bit done tonight since I’m finally ahead in other things. I live in hope.

 

As to NaNoWriMo, it doesn’t look like I’m going to get to the end of my story this year either even though I will exceed the 50,000 threshold. Still way too many characters and too deep a plot. Still, I like the story enough that I’m going to keep working on it beyond NaNoWriMo. I hope anyway. It’s a good bet my friend will be on me to write it because he wants to see it come to fruition too.

 

I’ve got to go now. My Aerogarden is whining for water. The tomatoes drink the level down almost daily now that they’re bigger and fruiting again. Later.

Live and Learn

I made two boo boos with this cardigan.

 

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Brace yourselves.

 

I didn’t check my gauge. I have two Knit Checks and I didn’t bother because I usually always make gauge. As far as I can tell, I did this time as well but, when making garments, especially when so much effort is invested, it’s a good idea to take the time to make sure everything matches up.

 

The second thing I think must have happened was the omission of some pattern repeats in the pattern itself. This cardigan is tiny. It would barely fit on a six year old child. I’m thinking of dressing it up as a “play coat” and giving it to the neighbor’s granddaughter. Prior to this epic fail in fashion, I’d never made a cardigan before. However, I have made shawls. Something about the rhythm of the pattern screams out for a multi-row pattern repeat or two.

 

My suspicions about this are even further validated by the sheer length of the other cardigans made by fellow members on Ravelry. One couldn’t possibly block something out to those dimensions without there being more than was written on the paper.

 

So, lessons learned. I am, instead, focusing on making myself (what I hope will be) a quick shawl before NaNoWriMo begins. I need a crocheting accomplishment prior to writing. It’s going to be one of my NaNo traditions. Since the cardigan didn’t do it for me and I am sick to tears of sweaters right now, I am focused on making the Sidewalk Shawl. Yet, I’m also wacky and complex. So, I’m making the shawl in Knit Pick’s Diadem Solid fingering weight yarn. Weeks from now, the avalanche of “I told you so” messages will be unwieldy.

 

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I’m going to get back to crocheting now. Getting this shawl done will free my mind up to be creative in writing. At least, that’s the hope.

 

Thank you for reading. Have a fantastic day.

Random Sunday Updates

Hello Everyone. It has been some time since I last posted here. I have been, admittedly, a bit busy, of late. Instead of focusing on Facebook and goofing off online, I’ve been focusing on myself and developing my potential for future application in the meatspace. I’ll just run through a few of the highlights here, shall I?

 

OK Cupid

 

I have finally gone through on the longstanding promise of deleting my OK Cupid account. The site just stopped being fun. When it first started, there were all kinds of bells and whistles to make you want to stay on the site for hours. Now, it’s more and more like the other sites. On top of that, the avalanche of crude messages I received should have been enough to make me leave a lot sooner than a few weeks ago. Had it not been for the deluge of bad messages, I might have connected with a truly wonderful person I exchanged e-mails with in 2010 a lot sooner than recently. It’s a long story, possibly for another time and another post. Suffice it to say, I haven’t been this blissfully happy in quite some time.

 

The Departure of the Protégé

 

My Knitting and Crocheting Protégé is moving out of state in a few weeks. Not like I got a chance to do more than get him fitted out in hooks and a few needle sets. I had plans for so much more but now, if we both have the time, it’ll have to be long distance and via Skype or something.

 

This leaves a vacancy for a Protégé in my life. I’m going to attempt to recruit the Maternal Parental for the role. She’s been showing an interest in the hook set I bought her years ago. Perhaps we could spend quality time together crocheting and knitting? Who knows? It would be a nice thing to have happen.

 

The Fitness

 

Up through to the present day, I’ve been focused on improving my health through diet and exercise. I’ve finally managed to make headway on this front. I’ve lost thirty-two pounds and several inches thus far. I’m now in smaller clothing, which is nice. I even managed to fit a dress I bought in 2011 that I was barely able to fit then. It’s loose on me now. My routine is pretty brutal during the week and much more forgiving during the weekends (to give my body a chance to rest). I’m hoping that I can maintain this level of activity for a while before ramping things up again for the next phase of fitness. A highlight was when I got in over 100,000 steps this past week.

 

The Container Gardens

 

The plants keep growing. After all, they’re living entities. Specifically the Mega Cherry Tomato in the Aerogarden. Since I last posted, some of the tomatoes have ripened and some have been harvested. They’re very tasty too.

 

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In addition to the tomatoes growing amazingly well, I have an inflorescence in my house. One of my Snake plants has decided to put up a flower spike.

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The Comestibles

 

Aside from the above pictured tomatoes, I had something of a treat a few weeks ago. A dear relative gifted half a bushel of the most delectable Maryland Peaches to the Maternal Parental and I. Below is an example Peach.

 

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So, of course, I had to make Peach Pie. It was practically a requirement that I do this in the name of Science, Asgard, and Loki. It may not have won the Great British Baking Show with its looks but it sure was tasty. *grin*

 

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The Culling

 

In recent weeks, I’ve finally done the Mega Culling I’ve threatened to do for a while now. My books, my precious books. Some of them are up for grabs now. Some have already been re-homed. I hope they give many years of enjoyment to their new Humans.

 

A before and after of my bookcase:

 

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More books may be culled. The decision hasn’t been finalized yet.

 

 

The Old School Gaming

 

Ten years ago, I bought a six in one gaming set from Amazon, it includes a set of dominoes, a deck of cards, a Chess/Checkers board with pieces for both games, a Cribbage set, and a Backgammon set.

 

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I had bought this with the intention of spending quality time with people but, sadly, no one wanted to play. It’s all video games now. So, I’m going to teach myself to play these games, find video games for them, and play by myself. Then, when that glistening, shining moment arises where someone asks the $64,000.00 question of “Do you know how to play…” I’ll be able to say, “Yep”.

 

The Crafting

 

Finally, I can update the world, nay, Multiverse on the progress of these damned socks. The Rainstorm II Socks are Finished. Complete. Finito. My proof.

 

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It only took me from 19 February 2015 until 25 September 2016 to get them completed. As I stated previously on Instagram, this is not acceptable. The next pair of socks I start get finished within a month or I don’t get to keep them. Instead, they’ll go to the nearest Mens 9.5/Womens 11/43cm shoe size wearing person I can find. My knitting is fast enough to have finished these socks within a week of starting them, if not sooner. That’s with ample breaks to rest my finger from the brass needlepoint of my circular needles (Magic Loop knitting). Just because I was able to put it down repeatedly didn’t mean that I should have.

 

Anyway, onto the socks themselves. They’re very toasty warm and deliciously soft on my feet. The yarn was a dream to knit with and I’m really looking forward to making more socks in the other colorways of this yarn, which is Stroll Hand Painted from Knit Picks. The pattern is called Misti Sock Family and the pattern designer’s name is Kate Atherley.

 

Once I completed the socks, I decided to work on a crochet project for someone very dear to me. It’s something I’m presently working on actually. Once completed, it’ll be the second Amigurumi Adipose Baby I’ll have made but the first I’ve made in wool. Let me just say that, but for my cheap nature, if I could afford to work in wool all the time, I would. This project has been nothing short of luxurious on my hands. The wool was actually his request, so I thank him for requesting it. This pattern is called the Amigurumi Adipose and the pattern designer is Jennifer Christensen.

 

This is as far as I’ve gotten:

 

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All I have left to do is crocheting, stuffing, and attaching the feet before weaving in the ends. I hope to get this done in an hour or two.

 

NaNoWriMo 2016

 

I will be participating in National Novel Writing Month 2016. I have no idea what I’m going to write as of today. I suppose this makes me a “Pantser” until I come up with an idea? I still haven’t finished the novel from last year. Some day…

 

This year, I’m going to be a lot more basic with my characters, background, and storyline. I want to finish something tangible by the deadline. What I have from last year is okay, it’s just a lot of writing with more writing to come. I need something that’s going to be less War and Peace and more quick and easy read. It is October now. I really need to get myself in gear.

 

Okay, I think that’s it. My stomach is rumbling and I have a workout to get in, so have a fantastic day.

Expanding My Territory

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I am finally making moves to getting more growing space. In my community, there are garden plots available for rental for as low as $20USD per year. I’m not sure as to the specifics beyond that but, if this is still accurate, you’re reading the words of someone who is going to seize this opportunity as soon as it flies past her. For that princely sum, I would get a 4’ x 20’ plot to grow stuff in and a key to the growing space.

 

As much as I love the Aerogarden for snacks/light meals, it’s not sustainable for anything more than that in the long term. As it stands, I don’t have the room in my room to make a hydroponics system that could feed everyone I’d like to feed. So, with that door closed to me for the foreseeable future, my most feasible option is to get a soil based growing space and work from there. Heck, for the space advertised, I could feed a lot of people I’d like to feed. I’ve already promised some of the future harvest to one friend and another has automatic rights to the harvest as well because he’s such a good friend and has helped us tremendously. It’s only a question of getting the plot and supplies at this point.

 

It’s just a matter of getting the supplies to the growing space once I get it. I’m definitely going to grow tomatoes and peppers. While peppers might not need staking, the tomatoes I’d like to grow certainly will. For that, I’d need the supplies for a trellis system. I’d have no problems getting the stuff. I’d just need to figure out a way to get it to the site. I don’t know anyone with a truck, so I’d either have to walk it from where I live or hire someone. I really don’t think they’d let me on the bus with some of the supplies.

 

Seeds are no difficulty. In fact, they’re probably going to be one of the easiest things to acquire/transport. I’ll start them indoors here and then carry them to the grow site once they’re big enough to survive on their own.

 

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In other news, I’ve frogged the sweater/cardigan I was knitting for my mother and replaced it with a crochet pattern. I’m really not in the mood to knit right now. Especially not something as large as a cardigan. So, I’ve opted instead for the New Beginnings Bulky Sweater. It’s a nice, comfortable looking cardigan pattern by Agnes Russell. The best part about this pattern is that I’ll probably end up using even more of this hideous (don’t like the color) pink yarn since it is a crochet pattern. I’m definitely hoping to get this pattern finished by July or earlier.

 

Another good thing about this pattern is that I can take it with me. While the other sweater was on circular needles, there was always the fear in me that the knitting would slip off of the needles. No such fears with crocheting.

 

So, this is my new nighttime pattern until I finish the Boba Fett. Then, it’ll be my all day pattern.

 

For now though, I need to sleep. I have been having a lot of trouble sleeping lately. Good morning, All. 

Last and First

I think I neglected to post the last project I completed in 2015. It was a doll for a friend of mine on the occasion of his birthday. I got it finished just in time too. The pattern information page is available via Ravelry – Hobbes by Ann Stiver-Balla.

 

 

So now we come to the first completed project of 2016. I made this hat for another friend of mine. He likes Hello Kitty and, when I discovered this, I immediately wanted to make him a hat I had seen on Ravelry. So, this is my attempt at upsizing this hat for a fully grown human man. Luckily, we have the same head measurements, so it wasn’t difficult keeping track. Pattern information available via Ravelry – Hello Kitty Hat by Elizabeth Pardue.

 

 

So, as of this moment, I’m turning skeins of bright red yarn into cakes with my Yarn Ball winder for a future shawl project because it is too dark to work on my current distraction. I’m FINALLY making my friend Sam his Boba Fett doll. *fanfare*

 

You are probably wondering why I’m spending so much time crocheting and knitting when I could be…sleeping. Well may you ask. Due to recent health issues with my current medications (edema, racing heart, etc), I’ve had to stop taking the one that stops the panic inducing nightmares from happening. So. No sleep for me. At least, very little in the sleep department, most of which is fretful. Such is life, I suppose.

 

Completely changing the subject: The Aerogarden Tomatoes.

They’re really taking off, as you can see in the above picture. I offer you a few close ups of the fruiting.

 

So far, I’ve got at least ten tomatoes with a lot more flowers coming in everyday. I try to do a trim as needed, usually about once every other week or so. I’m trying to maintain the health of the plants and ensure they keep flowering and fruiting for me.

 

Well, I’ve got to get back to winding up this yarn into cakes. Take care and Be Well.

All By My Lonesome

I’m very proud of myself. I’ve managed to put together my desk all by myself. I carried it up to my room a piece or two at a time and then I struggled with it for six hours until it was all put together. I even deconstructed the old desk and took it downstairs.

Sisters really are doing it for themselves.

 

In addition to this, I finally managed to get the book and kit I’ve been desperate for. The journey to getting this crochet kit has been long and hard. I found out a few things in the process of receiving this:

  1. Some of my neighbors are thieves.
  2. Even my favorite delivery carrier is capable of incompetency.
  3. There is actually worse out there than my formerly least favorite carrier.
  4. I can crochet even when I’m super tired.

 

Now that I have the kit, I’ve been studying, practicing, and making some of the figurines. My first project from this book is Yoda. As of today, he is unfinished because my exhausted body finally crashed on me yesterday. I’ll be working on him again as soon as I eat something.

 

 

Once he’s finished, he’s going to my friend Sylvain.

 

Then, as soon as I get the yarn from Knit Picks, I’m making Boba Fett for my friend Sam.

 

My body is still so sore and covered in bruises and scabs from putting this desk together. I look on this pain and temporary marking as proud battle scars for a job well done.

 

On a similar vein, the bed I was so anxious to get may be too big for my room. I was doing the measurements across the Wall of Inspiration and, even if I tried to, it wouldn’t fit comfortably. So, the concept of a bed is right out.

 

Oh well.

 

My Aerogarden peppers are super producing right now. Every time I look in on the plant, I see more and more Jalapenos with more and more leaves and flowers falling. I might tweak with the feeding a little bit to see if I can get the plant to retain more of the flowers for fruit production.

 

The tomatoes are almost the same height at the pepper plant. I’m really hoping to get a new Aerogarden once I get rid of the sewing table and machine. That way, I can have one Aerogarden dedicated to pepper production and another dedicated to tomato or herb production. Oh, who am I kidding? Tomatoes. I’m determined to lick this tomato growing.

 

Last but certainly not least, NaNoWriMo. I have three more days until I’m fully dedicated to preparing for this upcoming pain festival in November. I have the beginnings of a story. I’ve run it by a few friends and they all say that it seems original. I’m just hoping the melding of my old unfinished stories and this main story go smoothly. I think I’m going to spend the next two days writing character sheets or something.

 

I really need to eat something now. Later.