Friday, September 7, 2012

Why it's a Christmas September?!?

Thought that would get your attention. The only miracle happening here is the fact that I got on my blog and posted. That, my friend, is a small but triumphant feet! Now onto the happenings, I'm just about ready to open my etsy shop, Needle and String. At the moment I'm fiddling with a few things to list..mostly of the knitting genre but I'm also delving into hand embroidery..which I must say is pretty freakin' fun. For those of you that love fast projects (those projects that you can finish in a day or two) and enjoy art (drawing, painting etc) then I urge you to give this a shot. I've bought a few embroidery patterns. These Sellers are my favorite: BigBgsd, Polka and Bloom, Country Garden and finally, Sarah Jane Studios All of their embroidery patterns are amazing and if you feel like getting a little crafty you could always add them to your knitting. For example, I made Princess Crown and added some nifty embroidery.
One of my older projects for my niece was the One-Skein Hooded Sweater.
I love the detail aspect that embroidery can bring to a project. Its amazing how much a lazy daisy or even a french knot can add. Here are some links to some easy tutorials. Stitch School has a great tutorial. Pictures and step by step instructions. Also Holiday Crafts tutorial has an easy step by step tutorial. Lastly, if you're looking for a handful of different stitches then check out Sarah's Hand Embroidery Tutorials. She has many different types of stitches that anyone can use. I'd love to see what you come up with so please post your patterns so I can take a gander.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


I dream a lot. No not the lay down..go to sleep..and dream sorta dreams but the dreams you have about your life..visualizations of what you would like to accomplish..I have a simple raise my daughters to be productive members of lose 20 err 30 lbs...but the one I would really like to accomplish is to simply design a pattern. I know, I know..sounds silly and simplistic but I fear that my creativity and knowledge isn't quuuuuuuuuite where it should be. I see all these clever designers, doing that thing they do, and think to myself "Self, there is no way in Haiti's that you could ever be that clever." Self doubt? Yep. Big time. I've bought all the books and even tried to sketch a few things..joined TKGA for the Master Knitting program..I don't even know where to start? Where does one start? I guess research is in order..After some careful consideration I came up with a quick outline of what one must do to create a successful pattern.

1. Visualize
2. Swatch
3. Calculate
4. Construct
5. Test

I think its accomplishing each one of those that's giving me such a hard time. How does one visualize something? And does one pick the appropriate yarn? Calculating? I flunked math..then construct. Bah! I realize I'm being a negative Nancy here but I have no idea whatsoever how to get from point A to point B. There has got to be some sort of formula, right? I guess its for me to figure out..until next time.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Daily Grind

I haven't knitted in four and a half weeks. At this point, I currently have over ten projects various stages of construction that should really be picked up and finished. I think part of the problem is that I started back to work...after a year and a half being home I decided I was ready to get back to the daily grind. Working full-time, being a mother and wife and staying on top of everything is a difficult task so finding that small bit of time to do something I truly enjoy is nearly impossible. My personal time is in competition with daily chores, exercise, work, cooking and kid the old saying goes "there's just not enough hours in a day". There are some positives to working..bringing in the extra cash is nice, especially with one kid in college and the other just a mere 4 and 1/2 years away. Plus I can actually spend money on knitting without feeling guilty..well I do feel a little guilt..have you seen my stash? I'm on the verge of bypassing stashing to entering the world of hoarding..even I have to acknowledge the fact that I could not possibly knit everything in my stash..So here I sit....with my piles of yarn....but simply not any time to create. I know it won't always be like this..that I'll eventually learn how to carve out time for myself and but like anything else in life there is a learning curve.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Miseries of Knitting for a 13 y/o

My youngest starts 8th grade Monday. So I thought as a treat I'd knit up something for her to start the year off "right". We perused some sites and came up with a cardigan she liked:

alexs sweater

08/12/2011: First attempt. Knit 2/3's of the cardigan only to discover that the two skeins of yarn I was working with were two different whites. :/

I ended up ripping it completely back because the initial skein I used was the only off-white skein I had. Aye Carumba!?


08/16/2011: Second Attempt. Decided I would try this from a different approach and knit it top down in a raglan style. Yeah. Not. After knitting a good 1/4 of this sweater I noticed I had THREE arms. :/

08/17/2011: Third Attempt. Again with the raglan top down style. After knitting all day at the shop and coming home..I took one look at the "ew" look on Alex's face..then compared what I had to the picture..then proceed to rip it completely back. The fabric was way too bulky and not at all even close to what Alex wanted. After looking at the picture further I see now that the sleeves are set-in rather than raglan. So here I go..Fourth attempt!?

08/17/2011: After my miserable three prior attempts I decided, again, that I would go in another direction. Since the knit fabric looks to be smaller (maybe a dk weight yarn) I toss the yarn aside that I had originally purchased to make this sweater. Reswatched in a dk yarn (Debbie Bliss' Cathay) and decided I liked the look. I've calculated my swatch and knit approximately an inch on the ribbing. Lets hope "fourth" times the charm and that my arms don't fall off as I try and finish this by Monday. :/

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Baby Knits

There is nothing like a new baby in the family to jumpstart anyones knitting. The projects are quick, pretty simple and super adorable! Now that my niece, Chloe, has been born I've been on a baby knitting crusade. I've decided that I like baby knits immensely and am thinking I just should stick to the smaller projects because my knitting A.D.D. doesn't get a chance to kick in. With all of my cardis, and any other knitting projects that take more than a month to complete, I end up losing interest, sitting whatever project aside and take a chance losing interest altogether. With currently over 30 projects in the works, its nice to see some finished additions to my project page. Plus they look so darn cute on that baby!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Vacation Knitting

Vacation knitting! Love it! Over analyze it! It's funny. When preparing for a vacation the first thing on my list is "What project shall I bring?" That's when the monster in me comes out to play. I mean really, you have to have a project that is easy..mindless..doesn't require my entire suitcase full of knitting tools etc etc. Then comes the research. I start going through my list of patterns..researching patterns on Rav...looking at projects done with yarn already in my stash..then it starts to roll a little outta control. I find a project but I don't seem to have any yarn in my stash that will complete this to my satisfaction (yeah riiiiiight). So then I purchase the yarn. Then I find other yarn that will be simply perfect for a cardigan...but alas..I have no pattern satisfactory for the I buy a pattern..this continues until I now have four..yes FOUR..vacation projects. All cardigans. I'm only going on vacation for 10 days. Now I'm sure you're wondering how I rectify this in my mind..and here's the math:

1) There's the wait time at the least a few hours worth..I shall knit!

2) The flight alone is 15 hours..I figure if I knit super fast..intent on making the Guiness Book of World Records as the fastest knitter..get no sleep..I can surely (don't call me shirley..giggle..I had to say that) finish at least one cardigan.

3) I'll be relaxing on the ship for a least a few hours of day...what will I do? Hey, I know! I figure I can finish at least another cardigan.

4) Lastly, the trip home..again why can't I finish another whole lord I'm delusional!

Wow..after reading that I think I really need some professional help. In all reality I probably won't even get half-way through one project but I so enjoy imagining all the finished projects I get to bring home. I love the thought of having a project I can have, keep, and remember the time I had when going to [insert vacation destintion]. It's the best souvenior of all! Along with the memories and photographs. ;)

The patterns I plan on bringing:

1) Hay Cardigan using Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light in forestry;

2) Kira using either Rowan RYC Baby Alpaca DK in Spring Leaf or Madelinetosh Pashima in Isadora;

3) Lily using Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool in Burnt Orange; and Lastly

4) Walnuss using Madelinetosh Pashmina in Charcoal.

Here's hopin' I at least get to finish one! ;)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

My Knitting Eludes Me!

Sometimes my knitting simply eludes me...either I get sidetracked with things I feel are more important...or I'm interrupted by one or more of the following (1) the husbeast; (2) the child(ren)beasts; or (3) my motherly duties i.e. cleaning, bathing, errands, dog duty etc. I think you get the how does one carve out time for themselves? Without being interrupted? Lock themselves in the closet, bathroom, car? I'm honestly hoping that I can buckle down and get three projects finished by the end of the month..yes I said three..are you laughing at me? Okay I'm actually laughing at myself..I know I know..impossible, right? :/