Saturday, December 31, 2011

{You May Have Noticed....}

You may have noticed that I've left everyone hanging after my last post.   My camera is acting WAY weird and I need to get photos of my knits.  Pretty much since school got out I've been knitting up a storm!  I'm about 75% of the way through a pair of crazy-colour socks and I'm 95% of the way through my Cromarty Cardigan.  I had to stop on that one because I ran out of yarn with only 1 1/2 repeats left to go on the arm.  It was a WAY bummer, but I've ordered another skein and it's here now, so that's good.  I've also knit a whole Steven West shawl since I blogged last! So yeah...   I need to get the camera up and going. lol

As a way of winding up the year, I've made it a tradition to see all of my year's knitting all at once.  So here it is, in the form of a wonderful Picasa collage:

All details can be seen on my Ravelry Project page, if anyone is interested. :)

I think I've done less knitting this year than any year since I started, which makes sense to me when I remember that it's my last year of college. lol   What I notice though is that I'm happier with the knits that I have done - they're ones that I wear.  I think I've figured out my own knitting "style".  Also, the other thing I notice is that I've knit more for myself this year than maybe any other year.  I've learned who is good to knit for and who appreciates the knitting the most.  Much less disappointment this way.

Next year I'd really love to learn a few new skills.  It's cool looking at all of my year's accomplishments together - I see that pushed myself to master the skills I know more thoroughly - I did more difficult lace shawls (Fiori Di Sole and a pair of Cookie A socks) and more complex fair isle (Selbu) than I had before.  I'd like to learn some entrelac for sure, and maybe some steeking.  Though that last one scares me. lol  I'd also like to make time/money to learn some basic spinning on the spindle I have, though to do that I'll have to get a teacher for it I think.  That's not one I'll be happy with teaching myself I don't think.  There's a lady that teaches it at the local School of the Arts I'm involved in - so maybe a class is in order. :)

Do you have any 2012 crafty goals?  What were your big accomplishments from this year? I'd love to hear them!

I hope everyone has a FABulous New Year's Eve tonight and I'll see everyone in 2012 - with pictures I hope!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

{Christmas Decorations}

I've done some new things with our decorations this year and I wanted to share with my friends and family who live far away.  So here goes!

I'm very happy with the buffet this year.  You can imagine it smells amazing with the wreath, the rosemary and the mint all right there. The little bud vases were a steal from Pier 1 last week and I adore them.   The little silver bowl has jingle bell ornaments that I can't trust my cats to not climb the tree to get. hehe

This is the front door of the house as seen from our living room.  The natural garland came from the farmers' market and I cut out all those snow flakes and hung them from the ceiling.  The little wreath hanging from the bookcase was an experiment from last year.

And finally, the Christmas tree with all the gifts wrapped and ready to go underneath.  We tried some new things this year: we used 5 strands of tree lights instead of the usual 2, and we used silver beads instead of the fluffy garland.  This last one felt kind of like betraying everything I've known about how to decorate a tree since the day I was born.... but I kind of like it as something different.  We'll see if we keep it going next year or not.

Tomorrow I'll come back and show you how my knitting is going, but if you're just dying and can't wait, I've uploaded new pics to my Ravelry project page.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

{On break, finally.}

Christmas break is finalllllyyyyyy here! yay! I'm not going to lie - this end of semester push was the hardest I have ever had and it nearly drove me insane. By the end I was a mere shell of my former self and it's taken me about 3 days to really comes to grip with the idea that it's over.

Lots of lots of knitting therapy.  Really, even more than the knitting, I think I needed a few days of just doing nothing to get it through my head. lol

I managed to get these bad boys out in just about a week!  They are called the Daina Mittens,by Tuulia Salmela. 

I knit the first thumb in the same pattern as the rest of the body, but there just wasn’t enough room in there for the 3 yarns and my thumb, so I had to rip it back and do it in a single colour. Kinda disappointing.  So instead I did something crazy and made the thumbs two different colours: one's green and one's orange. :)

I'll be back tomorrow to talk about some house decorating!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

{Winter Knitting Update}

Man I really wish Winter would hurry up and get here.  The weather outside still feels distinctly of fall and I'm getting antsy for the gray skies and icy mornings.  It can hold the ice until after finals though (10 days from now!).

So yeah... blogging. hehe Recently I was visiting Virginia's Blog called Virginia is for...  and she was asking for volunteers to take her back issues of Interweave Knits.  Since it's my favorite of all magazines I spoke up with a "Yes! Yes! Yes Please!" and she was kind enough to send me all she had along with a very sweet note:

So incredibly cool! I love Interweave and there are  always a couple projects in each magazine that I want to knit.  I had a subscription last year though so now I have doubles of each of the seasons from 2010, Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter.  If anyone would like them I'd be happy to pass them along. :)

Meanwhile, I'm knitting a sweater to prepare, and hopefully to bring good MoJo, for cool weather.  I bought the pattern for Cromarty by Heather Dixon the instant I saw it because I even had yarn for it!

photos from Army of Knitters

Isn't it perfect!  Going to be gorgeous when it's done, but I have some tinking to do first.  I was tired and I blew through about 3 rows of lace when I wasn't paying attention. I'm not sure how I did it since there's lace on EVERY row, but there ya go.  The yarn is pretty big so it shouldn't take too long once I feel like doing it. lol  The pattern is super well written (so totally my fault, not the designer's) and there's even a knit-a-long on Ravelry if you're interested.  The pattern is kinda steep at $9, but since I already had the yarn for it... oh and I also was in LOVE with it, I splurged.  Consequently, when you pay good money for patterns they're usually super well written and easy to follow. Who knew? hehe  This one is no exception to that trend.

Speaking of Interweave, have you looked at the Winter 2011 yet?  I'm kind of obsessed with the Briar Rose Tunic.  Go there and find out why.  I probably wouldn't knit it quite so long, but otherwise i'm all up ons that pattern.  I need to get my hands on that pattern for sure.

I've also finished a project oh about... 2 months ago that I haven't written about yet.  School and all, blah blah blah. lol It's almost done! Then I can be back to blogging regularly! hehe

I called this the Forest for the Trees cowl.  I just made up a pattern of alternating cable and lace and cast on enough stitched to go around.

The colour is a deep pumpkin and I love love love  the yarn, Fluffy DK from Gaia's Colours (discontinued), but to tell you the truth... I'm just not sure cowls are for me.  I can't figure out how to wear it to look right.  I like it under a coat, but I'm struggling to make it look right after the coat comes off.  Do you guys have any hints for wearing cowls?

Well, I think that's it for me. :)  You folks probably won't hear from me again until after finals, about December 10th or so.  Wish me luck!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

{Holy Crap an FO}

Yep, you read that right: I've finished a project!

  When I found this yarn for sale on Ravelry, I pretty much fell in love with it.  Then when I went looking for a pattern and couldn't find one that excited me, I pulled out this book of patterns. It's super handy!  The patterns are all very basic and given in table form where the gauge is down the vertical axis and the size is across the horizontal axis. Pretty brilliant!

  But just because you have a pattern for worsted weight gloves doesn't mean you SHOULD knit them.  The fingers are different lengths (doh) and I didn't manage to close the gaps between the fingers very well.  There are too many hand stitches and not enough finger stitches, too. lol  I'll wear them because they're warm, and I like the yarn, but geez.  I think the next gloves I try will be in fingering weight. lol

Warning: Whining about School Ahead
  So, you may have noticed that I've been missing for a little while too.  Do you want me to tell you about my last month? hehe  This semester has been a KILLER. More than any before. I am a math major, and I never thought it would be *easy* but I seriously considered dropping it as my major and I only have 1 semester left to go.  I just didn't think I could do it anymore.  I've spent fits crying and I've been stressed out of my mind since pretty much the second week of class.  In order to finish on time, I had to take 3 math classes this semester, which is just too much. 

  I came to this University with a perfect 4.0 GPA from my community college, so I'm used to being above average academically speaking.  More than that I'm used to above average coming to me fairly easily.  This has been a real struggle to face a task where no matter how much effort I put in, I don't get the results that I've become accustom to.  In all my other not-math-courses I have earned A's, and they have been harder to get than Community College, but dang.  These math courses are kicking my ass.

  So I was freaking out about my plummeting GPA, knowing that someday I want to go to Grad school.  I also would kinda REALLY like the latin honours on my diploma, which is questionable now whether that will happen.  I spend about 3 weeks not thinking about anything else other than if I want to drop this math - a goal I have worked toward for almost 3 and a half years.  I talked to top women CEOs in the Roanoke area that I had made connections with at a conference, and they all told me to follow my heart and no, they really wouldn't care if I had a math minor or a math major beside my business degree.   But Mr. Pie was still holding out that he believed I would be disappointed if I quit now, but he understood and was supportive of whatever decision I landed on. 

  I was all set to walk in to my math adviser's office and tell her that I was dropping it but after talking wit her she strongly urged me to consider it for another night.  I was only two 2-credit classes short of a bachelor's degree, and no, they really wouldn't be as hard as I was thinking, and do I really want to quit so close to the end?  So I did what all rationally-thinking adults would do and I called my mommy.  She pretty much didn't even let me finish my sentence when I told her what I was thinking of.  She made an analogy that made sense to me: I'm like a marathon runner in the 21st mile and according to her, I couldn't be trusted to think rationally about this right now because I'm so tired and so stressed. 

  So with the opinions of the two people who know me best in the whole world, I decided to have faith in the system and stick it out.  This is going to be so. so. hard and I'm so scared that I'm not going to be able to do it.  Next week I'm registering for my last semester of undergraduate classes EVER.  I'm not sure how I feel about it - not excited, but maybe more resigned to my fate?  If I can make it through just ONE more 12-week stint and I'm done.

May 20th (graduation day) can not get here soon enough for me.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

{Knitting News of All Kinds}

Today I have an FO, an imminent cast on and also knitting patterns to share with you!

First: Patterns! Because the new fall Knitty is out!!  Do you all have your faves picked out? The first one that caught my eye was the Tenney Park Pullover.  I love love love the entralac in the front, especially since it's been on my list to learn for ages now!  I'm imagining my version having a slightly lower neckline and a little less contrast in the colours chosen for the front panel.


 The Auguste Pullover is a good style for Mr. Pie I think, though I wish I could see it on some dude other than Mr. Twilight Fanclub  that they have it on. (hehe)  Mr. Pie is pretty boxy and large across the shoulders, so the open neck will work well on him I think.  It's also a fairly small gauge so it wouldn't turn out to be a super heavy sweater, which is important because he's practically a furnace all by himself.

 But for me the one that steals the show is the Vignette Cardigan.  I adore the turquoise with the red buttons! The deep V is perfect for me and I love the detail down the arms.It is knitted in pieces and then seamed though, which might be something to keep me from knitting this particular pattern in stead of just say... using it for inspiration.  I can totally hack that lace pattern, right?

In other news entirely, I finished a languishing UFO! YAY!  In you're interested in seeing it, and you're not family to me, then you can go to my Christmas 2012 page at the top of the blog to see pics and details of the latest gift knitting. :)

So with that one off the needles, I think I want to start a new project!  I've foobarred the lace sweater really good and I need to decide if  I really REALLY want to tink back 5 rows (in the round) to put the waste yarn for the arms at the appropriate place.  While pondering my next project, my friends Anna and Jenny informed me they were both knitting the Brandywine Shawl, so I thought I'd hop on board! It's a Rosemary Hill pattern, so I know I'll love knitting it.  I have a semi-solid with quite a bit of contrast in primarily a very dark brown (almost black) from the Unplanned Peacock, so I'll be using that. :) 

Friday, September 16, 2011

{A New but Older FO}

Do you remember me mentioning my Shrug This cardigan that I knit AGES ago during the summer? Ravelry says I finished it on June 30th and I guess I believe it. hehe

Well I wore it today!! I was SO excited when told me it was going to top out at 59 degrees today!! YAY!  I had Mr. Pie take a few pics before I left this morning:

(oh and I also cut my hair this summer. Wattaya think?)

I'm loving this! Over the summer when I tried it on I wasn't digging it at all but just over a black t-shirt and with jeans it's perfect. It's super warm but without full-length sleeves it wasn't TOO warm for hiking around campus in. Perfect!

The yarn I used was from Unplanned Peacock, Superwash Merino Aran and then the edging was a Gaia's Colours yarn, Fluffy DK which is now discontinued.  This one is certainly going to be worn. I got SO MUCH compliments and even another friend of mine asking what it would cost for me to make one for her! I hope the price didn't scare her too much! LOL

And just so you don't think i've been doing NO knitting, I'm getting ready to connect up my lace weight top down sweater together below the neckline. lol  It's a little slow-going.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

{Seriously... lace?!?}

What was I THINKING when I decided to knit a sweater in lace weight yarn?  Yeah... I haven't even reached the increases around the neckline yet (working from the top down).  This is going to take a while.

In other news, I'm completely up and running with school and even though the first day was only a week ago it seems a distant memory.  With 9 months left until I graduate from college - does this make it the first week of my first trimester?

Send some good mojo my way, won'tcha? :)

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

{Cast on: Laverne}

Readers, meet Laverne by Snowden Becker. 

She is a charmingly simple laceweight teeshirt knit in a fuzzy yarn, which in my case is primarily Knit Picks Alpaca Cloud, perhaps with a contrast border in a deep blue from my stash:

It's a pattern I actually paid for, which is pretty uncommon for me.  There are so many free patterns out there that I want to knit, and funds are so strapped right now that I frequently try to not pay for them. This one was only $5 though and I'm delighted to say that it is written very clearly so to be easily understood and the modification for bust shaping and waist shaping go above and beyond other free patterns that I usually deal with.  I think this was money well spent. 

I am SUPER excited about this knit, but gauge is going to be important so I'm trying to take this first part slow so I can do it properly. 

Monday, August 29, 2011

{Winner from Mama Roux!}

The winner of the giveaway of a circular needle holder from Mama Roux is....  Knitterly Designs!

  knitterlydesigns said...
"I could use one of these. Very cute!"
You get to choose the style  from MamaRoux's Etsy site!  Thank you so much to everyone to entered! 

Friday, August 26, 2011

{My Favorite Dinner Recipe}

The Giveaway from Mama Roux is still going on through Sunday!
Comment on THIS POST and be sure I can get a hold of you if you win!! 

Don't worry, this isn't about to turn in to a cooking blog. hehe I'm not much of a cook, so when I find a recipe that is healthy, yummy AND easy to make then I want to scream it from the roof tops! 
Right now sitting on the desk in front of me as I type this is my dinner plate, which looks like this:

This is Chicken Sloppy Joe's and I LERVE it.   It's one of those recipe that I have to be careful I don't make too often or I'll get tired of it because seriously, I could eat it like 4 times a week (and between days for lunch) and I'd be happy as a clam!  I have no idea where I found this recipe, so I'll type it out for you here.  I have it hand-written in my recipe binder.

Ingredients: 2-3 Cloves of Garlic
2 tablespoons EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
2 pounds of ground chicken
1 carrot, peeled and grated (obviously if you pay attention above I skipped that and just chopped baby carrots)
2 celery sticks finely chopped
1 onion chopped
2 table spoons red wine vinegar
2 table spoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon worchestershire
1/4 - 1/3 cup of hot sauce
1 cup tomato sauce
1 cup chicken stock
8 rolls

Instructions: brown your chicken with the EVOO for about 5-6 minutes.  Add the carrots, celery, onion, garlic, salt and pepper. Cook for 7-8 minutes until your chicken is brown all the way through and the onions are translucent. Meanwhile, in a bowl mix red wine vinegar, sugar, worcestershire, hot sauce, tomato sauce and chicken stock.  Pour your mixture in to the pan and simmer until you have the amount of sauce left over that you desire.  (I like mine a little more saucey! hehe)

DONE. It's like, 20 minutes.  Enjoy!!

(More updates on the knitting front tomorrow. :) )

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

{Wow... Just Wow.}

How often seriously do you stumble over the most gorgeous products you've ever seen on Etsy?  For me it's like that everyday.  But this.... you guys... I don't think you even have to be a fiber enthusiast to appreciate the colour and the luminance captured in this yarn.

It's a two-lady team from Germany and they have several shops.  I've only pulled just a few examples of their work (they have PAGES of offerings in each shop!)

These yarn above are from the shop Dye for Wool and are all wool and wool/silk blends.  Seriously - do you see this colour???? All of the ones pictured are between $25 and $27 dollars, which I think is very reasonable.  They are so incredibly breath-taking!

Then these ones are from their shop Dye for Yarn, and are all 100% silk with a price between $34 and $35, which is still totally comparable to other yarns that don't have this kind of depth to the dyes.

Then... THEN! They have a jewelry shop too!   It's called Balanced Entropy and this is my favorite piece from that store:

This is called "Moonflower" and is $47. Way cool.

Friends... family... distant relatives and complete strangers: look no further for my Christmas, Birthday, Anniversary or graduation gifts.

You're welcome.

Monday, August 22, 2011

{More Frogging than Anything}

Don't forget to enter the giveaway for a circular knitting needle organizer by commenting on my last post! Entry deadline is Sunday, Aug. 28th!

The last three days have been more frogging than knitting around here it seems.  I can't find just the right project to get my mojo back, but at least I'm trying, right?

I've really been feeling this fall orangey colour that I have an abundance of in my stash and decided I wanted a fabulous cabled cowl.  Something with a lot of intricate weaving cables that would keep my attention.

I started out with the Caera Cowl which I LOVE but after frogging it and recasting on about 3 times, and getting frustrated with the FIRST paragraph of directions, I gave up.  It's these instructions here which do not make sense to me:

"Next row: Begin row 1 of Cable Pattern 1, followed by row 1 of cable pattern 2. 
Work one pattern repeat of 12 rows of cable pattern 1, (followed by two 6 row repeats 
of cable pattern 2. Remember Cable Pattern 2 is half the size of Cable pattern 1 in rows)."

does this mean I do the first row of pattern 1 ALL the way around (for however many repeats of row 1 of the pattern) and then on the next row of my cowl I do row 1 of pattern 2 ALL the way around my cowl, then I flip back and start with pattern 1 again and complete the whole chart?   OR do I do one repeat of pattern1, then 1 repeat of pattern 2, etc....  I tell ya, neither looks right with the picture for me.  If anyone wants to go investigate and let me know what I was missing, I'd be grateful.  The comments all say it's a great "easy to understand" pattern, so maybe I'm making it more difficult than it needs to be. Sounds about right for me. lol

SO - then I cast on for the Cornflower Cowl instead (about 4 times to get the count right) and I'm half way through the first repeat, but I'm just not feeling it.  If you look at the Caera again, then the Cornflower, you'll see there's just no comparison and my heart has been set.   I'm thinking of maybe searching for something in another gauge that I can adapt by doing more repeats or something.  We'll see.

After much frustration, it was the Mailman to the rescue! Sunday I was informed of a surprise package that came in the mail for me!  It's my kit from the Unplanned Peacock yarn that I won AGES ago!! I was so delighted!!

It's Steven West's Daybreak pattern along with two skeins of fingering weight Superwash! YAY!  It was the kick in the pants that I needed.  I'm kind of in love with the colour combination he's wearing in that picture on the front, so I swapped out the golden-yellow colour for (what else) but a coppery orange to go with the deep brown she provided.  I'm in LOVE. :)  

So there's what I'm knitting on right now, between panic attacks about school starting next week. 

Sunday, August 21, 2011

{Giveaway from Mama Roux!}

Mama Roux contacted me a few days ago about hosting a giveaway here at my blog and seriously... how could I say no??  Her things are so pretty!!

She sews tote bags and knitting needle holders and sells them over at her Etsy shop Mama Roux Handmade.  Here are a few of her creations: Circular Knitting needle holders!

I ADORE the patterns and the colours!  These holders are made with velcro to hang over a hanger or pole (brilliant) and each pocket is labeled in American AND metric sizes.  YAY! No more conversion on the computer! hehe   Her bags are just as cute, both knitted and sewn. You should check them out!

I'll draw one name at random from the comments on this pose one week from today on August 28th.  The winner will choose the needle holder from any on her Etsy shop!!  This is a $25 value FREE!  Just leave a comment and be sure I have your contact information in case you win!

Don't forget to visit Mama Roux Handmade to see other pretty things!

Thank you so much Mama Roux! I feel blessed that quality craftspeople such as you want to give pretty things away to my friends. :) Good luck everyone!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

{I'm BACK! }

My camera finally arrived in the mail!! (Thanks Dad!) and so I can show you my (not so many) knitting accomplishments since I've written last.  The weather has finally broken and it was only about 62 this morning, so I'm hopeful that soon my knitting mojo shall return. I'm even sipping Chai Tea as I write which is definitely a good sign.

The FO completed furthest back is this sweater, which I have been promising a picture of for AGES.  It's from the pattern Shrug This by Toni Kayser.   It's a free one on Ravelry but it's also been published in the One Skein Wonders series.

I made it from two skeins the most SUMPTIOUS yarn I've ever come across and the colours just screams of fall. The body yarn is Superwash Merino Aran by the Unplanned Peacock, who is local to SW Virginia, and the ribbing is in Pales DK (held double, I think) by Gaia's Colours. Both are discontinued but if you can find them used on the Ravelry exchange they are well worth the extra trouble to find.  The length is longer than the pattern as written with lots of waist shaping put in.  It turned out this length because I just wanted to knit until my yarn was gone but it's actually a little but awkward.  I haven't worn it out of the house yet because it's been so hot, but ripping back the length a bit may not be out of the question. 

The buttons are cut from antlers! Oh my goodness I love them!  They've been in my button tin since I got them for Christmas two years ago from my mom waiting for just the right project.  

Okay, on to my knitting from my trip home.  The plane rides and layovers are always long and annoying, so I decided on some intricate Fair Isle to keep me busy.  At the top of my queue for a long time has been Selbu.

I used Marks and Katten Fame Trend for the background and some Knit Picks Palette I had kicking around for the cream pattern.  I loved knitting it and watching the stripes appear and the pattern take shape.  I really think this was my most favorite pattern to knit ever.  Unlike lace, it's instant gratification!  I totally recommend giving this one a try.  The chart is an easy one too.

That's it for completed knitting for the past month. Crazy, right? I have a couple pairs of socks on the go right now, but they really aren't interesting or complete so I don't think they count. lol

Other FOs include non-knitting (really, non crafty) type things such as.... CARPET!  Our landlord GRACIOUSLY paid for new carpet in our rental home and I can not be more pleased.  We've been here for almost 6 years now and he said he wanted to reward us as good tenants. Yeah!  We did all the heavy lifting though in that we completly moved out of our house and then back in to it two days later.  The Uhaul never moved! lol  Here's a peak at the difference:

BEFORE: 40 years old, dingy, stains, holes, and no padding:

AFTER: bright, clean, and NEW!

It seriously feels like a new house!  I love it but it was  LOT of work.  It's like we moved but without moving. lol We're still unpacking  a few boxes and I've taken one huge load of miscellaneous junk (to me) for the Goodwill.  I made a few tough calls so that our house wouldn't feel cluttered again like before.  I gave away my wedding dress.  Hopefully it'll find a home with a bride on a budget who doesn't mind a little alteration.  It was a gorgeous gown but it was just taking up a LOT of space in my tiny closet. 

I'll wrap up with a couple of photos from home:
My sister and her two oldest girls:
(I'm sure she'll love me for the no-makeup pic. hehe But the girls are cute!)

And the baby, her youngest and my Goddaughter:
doing her fashion pose. hehe

They are getting big too fast and seeing them once a year is not often enough.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

{Christmas Knitting?}

I got a call from family back home that my camera is on it's way , so that's good.  I'll be able to have pictures for you of my FO's from the last month and maybe get this blog up and going soon. :)

I'm also thinking ahead to Christmas Knitting.  I'm definitely cutting back this year because I think there are certain family members who just aren't *thrilled* with hand knitting. And I want them to be overjoyed and EXCITED to get my hand knit gifts.  It's not like they save me a bunch of money or time or anything. *scoff* 

IF you aren't a family member, check out my Christmas 2011 tab at the top for my first planning thoughts and then let me know what you think!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

{Do You Ted?} may be one of my very favorite websites of all times, ever. In all of history.  It's an open source learning site chalk full of speakers on every inspiring, interesting, scientific, or humanitarian topic you could think of.  I can spend hours getting lost in 18 minute speeches.  It's a grand morning when that happens, let me tell you.

This morning I was browsing my regular blog roll and came across an old post from an Interior Designer that I enjoy, Colour Me Happy, that mentioned a Ted Talk from Eliazabeth Gilbert, writer of Eat, Pray, Love.  In this speech she talks about creativity in a way that I've never heard before and it almost brought me to tears.  Go listen to it so the rest of this post makes sense to you.

The reason I was almost in tears is directly related to a recent crash and burn I experienced, creatively speaking.  I spent almost one entire week earlier this summer sewing clothes.  I started with a pattern for a skirt, got stuck and moved on to a skirt with no pattern that wouldn't fit over my hips and then a dress that looked terrible followed by another skirt that I was SURE would work, and may still work some day when I lose 10 pounds.  Not one actual piece of clothing that I would be comfortable wearing and one huge pile of pieces of clothing shaped fabric to mock me was what I was left with for my efforts and enthusiasm.

At the end of this week I felt like a huge failure, and no matter what I tried I wasn't cut out for sewing. All my dreams of making my own wardrobe some day were down the drain and really, why try when I just spend all this time only to fail again and again? 

After listening to Elizabeth, I feel like if I just keep showing up at my sewing machine, and I keep doing my end of the deal, eventually it will click.  That's a better feeling than just defeat.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

{Man I Dislike These}

So, I kinda swore that I would never do this thing where I apologize for not posting.  For a number of reasons.  #1 - I don't think you're waiting on baited breath for my every post, I know you guys have lives.  Doesn't an apology assume somehow that you're waiting for me to post?  #2 - I'm certain you understand that life sometimes gets in the way, so at least for me, no apologies are necessary between friends. :)

BUT.  I wanted to let you know why I've been absent, so maybe there's a balance that can be had?

Over the last couple of weeks I've been home to visit family in Vancouver to celebrated my dad's retirement and his 65h birthday.  Travel to and from was horrendous but the visits are never long enough.  I did do some knitting while I was there, but I left my camera at my sister's house and am waiting for her to mail it back so I can take photos of what I've done. hehe 

August looks like it's going to be a busy month! I start a new part time job and I'm back to my internship too.  Then the last day of the month is the first day of school!  I'm not sure if I should be nervous about this year or not!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Saturday, July 16, 2011

{A Treat!}

Hey folks!

I'll be out of town for about the next week or so to go home to Vancouver and visit with family.  I leave you with a special treat!  You know about the Clifton Forge School of the Arts, right?  I've been heavily involved with them this summer doing their website, teaching classes, etc... and in an effort to promote what they do, got in contact with a friend of mine, Josh Hagy, who works at the local paper, the Virginian Review.  Well, someone from the not so local (but almost) TV station, WDBJ7 saw the front page article and contacted me about doing a feature!  On Thursday, July 14th, I was on TV.  It still astounds me.

So here it is. Enjoy!

Leave a comment so I can still hear from y'all while I'm gone, okie?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

{A Designer Spotlight: Vera Sanon}

Ravelry is a huge time suck, as most knitters know.  Some days I spend more time on Ravelry than I do *actually* knitting.  hehe  But sometimes it's really worth it! I stumbled across a fantastic designer!  Her name is Vera Sanon and she designs simple and chic garments.  I love that!

This was the first I fell in love with.  Does it not look like the perfect weekend pullover that's effortless and fabulous?

photo (c) Cascade Yarns

But there are so many other fun things she's designed! This one is so perfect and sophisticated:

photo (c) Cascade Yarns

I am a total sucker for a great cable:
Stika Cable Pullover
photo (c) Cascade Yarns

Totally effortless summer chic:
Summer Lace Wrap Cardigan
photo (c) Cascade Yarns

You should totally hop on over to her Ravelry Designer page to see some other fun things!!  I'm not sure where I'll start. :)

Edit: And did I mention that all of these patterns are FREE???

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

{Swap Presents!}

Lazy (from Lazy Knits and Purls) and I decided WAY back in May to do a swap amongst ourselves just for the heck of it!  I had a ton of fun picking and choosing yarn and a pattern for her! 

Then, with much anticipation, my package from her arrived!!

I LERVE it!!  The colour is the perfect shade of heathery teal that I've been obsessing over lately and I absolutely adore the pattern! She blocked it perfectly so all the lace stands out super nice! 

AND I got some Godiva chocolates, but unfortunately they have not survived until photographing. hehe YUM!  Thank you so so MUCH, Miss Lazy! :D  I can't wait for weather to get cooler so I can wear it out!!

Monday, July 11, 2011

{Knitting Updates}

I've had a pretty busy first week at my internship, but I've managed to do quite a bit of knitting as well.  I finished a second From Norway with Love hat, this time a touch bigger so I could wear it!

Also, I've knit the first sock for The Store inside CFSotA.  Have I told you guys about that yet?  There's a new school of the arts around the corner from my house in this tiny town and inside there's a little art supply store that is carrying Unplanned Peacock yarn!!  I offered to knit a sock sample, and here's what I've come up with so far: one Nanner Sock by Wendy Johnson.

I think what I've decided to do is knit two ankle socks out of this 100g skein and then knit a pair of fingerless mitts just to show how far one skein can go instead of knitting one pair of VERY tall socks, ya know?  Is this a good idea or not so much?

And then yesterday I've also cast on for the Lace Saddle Tee out of Interweave Knits Summer 2010.

I'm knitting this one in pieces from the bottom up because I think the side seams will actually help support the 100% cotton and keep it from growing too much.  I think I've heard this somewhere... I think I'd rather be knitting it in the round up to the armpits to tell you the truth, but this also keeps too much knitting from sitting in my lap.  I'm knitting it from Estelle Young Touch, which is making a really pretty fabric.  I think I'm going to like this one! Not getting gauge (of course) but when I hold it up to myself it looks like it's going to fit okay, so I'll keep going and pray for the best. lol

I've also got a skirt mostly sewn together on my sewing table and a zipper to go in it, but no zipper foot.  I'm a crossroads here... do I pay for a zipper foot on my little Brother LX-3125 or do I hold out and wait until I upgrade (before the end of the year, I'm thinking) which will most definitely come with a zipper foot.  If I decide to wait, I'll just put elastic in the waist band of this one and keep my eye out for a used or refurbished sewing machine.  Ideas? Advice?

What are you guys up to this summer? :)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

{Fall Cannot Get Here Fast Enough}

Remember the other day when I said I was totally in the mood to knit fall wear?  I knit a fair isle hat!

I love it!  I've already cast on another one.  I'm loving this planning for fall here in this hot hot weather.  It's a tad small for me though so it'll go in to the Xmas 2012 file I think. :)  Anyone in my family wanna call dibbs? hehe

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

{Blog Birthday Giveaway Winners!}

You know, I've been noticing a TON of blog giveaways these days.  I just want to make sure that you guys know that I really really feel the love - the fact that you decided to visit me, follow my blog and enter this giveaway.  Thank you SO MUCH!!

That wasn't too creepy, was it?  Well... either way. It's time to announce winners!  I'm going to announce these in the opposite order they were listed, because that's the order I can scroll and see them. hehe

Giveaway #5: The winner of a set of buttons of her choice from Stephanie Xu Is....................

PEG! Who said:

"HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!! My Birthday is July 12th....
those buttons would be a  sweet bday gift (wink, wink). "

Giveaway #4: The winner of the cupcake project bag from Craftastic IS....................... 

Jess/Blushed who said:
"How adorable! I love cupcakes and project bags :D"

Giveaway #3 The winner of the leafy buttons from RetroNaNa IS................. 

 Tecrin!! who said:

" Oooo, pretty buttons! :D "

Giveaway #2: The winner of those spectacular gray crochet earrings from Febystan Designs IS... 

Simply Sitting!!  Who said: 

"Love your blog -- thanks for adding to my list of 
must have now earrings :-)"

And of course the winners of Giveaway #1, the 20% off coupon code for spectacular natural buttons from A Remark You Made is EVERYONE!   The coupon is good until 6PM EST on July 15th, so you can continue partying my birthday for another 10 days! hehe  

Thank you again to everyone who took the time to enter - you made this so super fun for me and it will for SURE not be the last event I do like this. SUPER HUGE thank you to the 5 Etsy stores who participated and believed in me enough to donate pretty things.  to you too!  (I'm a hugger).  For those of you who entered the giveaway without checking out these awesome vendors, I urge you to do so now! :)

I'll be contacting all of the winners, but I'm going to have to give you a deadline to respond before I pick someone new.  I hope you all left your emails for me!  More crafty content coming soon.  I owe you that designer feature from this morning's post and also that pic of the durn sweater.  All coming soon!

{Last Chance to Enter Blog Birthday Giveaways}

I am so so excited and humbled that so many of you have joined me for my 2nd blog birthday! To date, I have gained about 70 new followers from this event and I couldn't be more PLEASED! Welcome to all my new friends!  The 4 drawings will all be drawn tonight at approximately 8PM EST.  So enter away until then!  Also, happy birthday to my little seester!  Her and my blog share a birthday. hehe

Sewing and knitting have been flying everyone in my craft room this last week, mostly half finished projects and clothing in pieces are strewn around at the moment.  I do still have to grab a photo of my new sweater for you (but who wants to model Aran weight wool in 100 degree temps? Gah!).  It may be a little bit before we get that picture to you. hehe I've also finished some SEEKRIT knitting and I've begun Christmas 2011 knitting too!

I also plan to feature a designer coming up too! Here's a sneak peak at what she does:

(c) Cascade Yarns

Happy back to work after the long weekend! It's my first day at my new internship, so wish me luck!

Friday, July 1, 2011

{And the Queue Goes On....}

Happy Canada Day, Blog World! 
Before you read this awesome post, don't forget to enter my Blog Birthday Giveaways here, here, here and here! You won't regret it! Also, there's a great coupon code here that you definitely want to check out.  The drawings will be announced on July 5th, the day Student Knitter turns 2 years old!

I have been doing a bunch of crafting lately, but since the giveaways were so exciting they took priority. I don't have pictures yet for this post, but tomorrow I'll take photos for you all to see my new sweater!  I knit a sweater in like a week! (aran weight, top down. don't be too impressed. lol)  

Oh, so Ravelry seems to have exploded with interesting new fall patterns I haven't seen before!  My queue there used to have like 3 things in it and now I'm up over 20! I'm kind of sick of summer already.  Is that terrible to say?  I'm just not a summer person.  My skin is so pale that I constantly have to worry about getting burned if I'm out too long, I hate the sticky wet feeling of the humidity here in the south, shorts and my butt aren't really getting along (hehe), so yeah.  I can't wait for fall to get here.

It's patterns like this one for instance. My heart literally skipped a beat when I saw it! (cables. How I love thee!)  The depth of colour on this first yarn is just mind blowing:

and the same in white:
(Ravelry link.  If you aren't signed up for Ravelry already you seriously should be!)

The cables just down the center are so so flattering, don't you think? I'll be able to build in some shaping! YAY!  The cables... the neckline... the way the sleeves fit! SWOON! I love this sweater!  I might make it just a tad longer so it comes down over my hips but lord oh lord that is one gorgeous piece of clothing!

And I might just wear it with these socks.

I wonder if the Boyfriend Sweater Curse carries over to socks?  These would be some FAB boyfriend/husband socks.  But I still think I'll make them for me. :P  I have been doing MUCH better at selfish knitting this year as a whole.  It took some work, too! hehe

I think it's time for a really fantastic fair isle hat too.  Something like this one:

Gramma K's Fair Isle Tam 

I think I would choose different more fall-ish colours, but I love the overall design.  Or something similar. So pretty. Maybe something with matching gloves?

Hand Painted Gloves by Karen Neal

Entrelac is totally on my list too.  Something about how the colours play off each other in this hat makes me very interested.  


Felting.. ? Maybe? I'm not sure.  I am intrigued by some of the bags I see though.  I still haven't found my perfect pattern for the one in my head.  

I have pieces of a skirt for sewing on my sewing table.  It's my FIRST skirt! YAY!  I managed to buy a very different size from the one I needed though, so that sucks.  My friend Judy helped me cut it out and add the extra inches in where I needed them.

I also expect I'll be doing a touch of quilting... crochet maybe? We'll see! Definitely more berry jelly  making (because fresh berries make summer worth living through) and bread making.. do you guys want to see that here? :)

Happy July 4th weekend!