Living in Florida has not helped my knitting will power. I’ve found that I’ve lost all motivation to knit more than socks and blankets. More so blankets. It doesn’t help that I seem to be consummately busy which makes focusing on complicated patterns more difficult. I have not posted in several years and I’ve been averaging a blanket a year. So here we go again.
One was a baby blanket for the kid pictured above. I guess I didn’t take a picture of it.
The second was a queen size blanket made of Bernat Cotton – which is more comfortable in Florida.
I knit the majority of this during a time of personal emotional turmoil. For about two weeks, I would knit row and row in a fury trying not to think. We survived and it’s not easy focusing on a 350 stitch row one after another.
I started blanket number two a few months ago with the intention of giving it to baby above – which I decided against because all of a sudden we don’t have enough blankets in our home. It’s the same pattern but flecked with pink and purpose instead of green and orangish. This one fits a twin size bed easily and I finished it 1 year from the date I finished the queen size blanket (thanks TimeHop App!).
A short while back, I bought a Northfield Tia riddged heddle loom from someone online for $30. The thing has some wooden parts and other plastic parts. The books (and the loom) all appear to be from the 1970s. I figured out how to warp it using YouTube. I wove a blue and white checked scarf for my mother and sent it to her for her birthday. It wasn’t long after receiving it that she pulled down her old loom that was hidden for about thirty years. I was trying to explain the process of warping and weaving to her over the phone and through Skype but a lot was lost in translation. I am a very inexperienced weaver and her loom was a completely different type with skinny metal teeth rather than my big moving heddle. I took these pictures to try to explain the process. This might help someone else out there.
So, it has been about six months since I posted, probably a little more. This last year has been one of the most stressful of my life. I survived and came out the other side. Yay. I must be very busy knitting and spinning, right? Nope. I have been going nonstop for the last month and I’m wondering why. I’m taking advanced accounting classes, tutoring, exercising (because these past six stressful months have added at least fifteen pounds to my belly) and trying to cook dinner a few times a week.
In the past six months, I have:
bought a loom and learned to weave
bought a dehydrator so I can make my own fruit rollups
shuffled yarn so many times I can’t even count
convinced the cats to stop stealing my yarn never mind, the cat is playing with my yarn right now
applied to the master’s program for accounting and taxation
decided to do a PhD program in Accounting if anyone will accept me
Obviously, life is busy and that doesn’t include the crazy activities that I won’t post publicly. From now on, I will try to post every Monday. These posts may be knitting or yarn related or they may involve cooking, baking, dehydrating, general crafts or chasing cats around the apartment (changed my mind, no cat posts allowed on knitwerks).
For this week, here is a picture of my very old tia rigged heddle loom that works like a charm and has made me want a room sized loom as soon as I win the lottery.
However, I have been drinking green drinks for exactly one month now. I’d love to say I feel great but see statement above. Between school, work and home stresses, I don’t think there are any vegetables that would fix my stresses. I am down six pounds overall and my appetite has decreased dramatically.
Secondly, I sewed up the summer skirt above. I found a lovely fabric in JoAnn’s and did this in one night. My sewing isn’t so great, but my crooked lines are barely noticeable. I can’t wait to try this again. It was very easy to follow.
It is week two of the Pinterest reporting challenge. This is my way of proving that surfing Pinterest is not complete waste of time. It is a great source of crafting and money-saving ideas.
1. Tshirt Skirt: I love this idea. I did it with four shirts altogether. I do have to say my sewing is not great. I had a hard time finding the elastic thread and finally found it at Joanns. I had to buy 2 XL shirts in order to make sure the length would be appropriate.
2. Steel Cut Oatmeal in a Ball Jar. This worked surprisingly well. I cooked it for twenty minutes and spooned it into jars, added water, brown sugar and maple sugar. These may have actually been over cooked by the time I ate them, but they were still delicious.
3. Rosemary Mint Fabric Softener: I don’t use fabric softener at all because I don’t like the waste and the chemicals. This is great though. The rosemary mint conditioner is all natural. Everything smells awesome.
Take a man’s shirt, xl or larger, cut the sleeves off and using elastic, sew several lengths around.
Thursday I stopped by Goodwill. My Goodwill is too expensive. The shirt cost $5 but it was striped and I loved it. I spent all of Thursday searching for my elastic. I did tear apart my house. I did not find it.
Friday morning, I leave my house early so I can get to Wal-Mart to pick up the elastic. I shut my car door and realized that I left my keys in the ignition. Long story short – it took a slim jim to open my car. No- Wal-Mart did not have my elastic.
Friday night. I decided my sickness, canker sores, and cold sore were a sign I should relax. So I tried. But I couldn’t resist. I’m not showing my sewing because it was that bad. I don’t know if I’ll ever wear it outside but I can’t wait to try again.
Okay, so I am a Pinterest addict at this point. Rather than spend hours at a time wasting the day away scanning Pinterest ideas, I have decided to use it as a tool and to report my findings. I hope to do this weekly but no promises.
Homemade Biore Pore Strips: I used gelatin and half and half (it was the only dairy product in the house). It worked great the first time. The second time it congealed too fast. I would follow the directions closely and let it dry thoroughly. Wonderful trick!
So, I am a little more than half way through with my blue sky shrug. I really do love this pattern. It is so simple to follow but it is taking more time than I would like to finish it. I thought I had less yarn than I do and I’m already wondering what to do with the leftover homespun. Of course, I’m not as thin as the model below, but I’m looking forward to wearing this. Here in Florida, alpaca is used sparingly. Today is cold and my cats are continually sitting on my work in progress.
This weekend has been especially lazy. I have zero motivation. I’m even having trouble getting enough energy to surf through pinterest. I did manage to finish my chocolate homespun yarn. I bought the batt at the Florida Fiber In back in September but haven’t really had time to sit and spin it until recently. I tried to create a thicker yarn this time and it worked. I used the navajo plying technique to create a three ply and I can’t wait to use it. I’m not sure for what yet, since I don’t have that much.
Finally, I started a bobbin of what will become my cotton candy yarn. I also bought this at the Florida Fiber In back in September. I’m going to pair it with a gorgeous hot pink. I’m thinking socks for this two ply yarn.
So here we are on Super Bowl Sunday. In between cleaning the house, studying for my test, reading up on Micro Economics and cleaning the mess of gasoline that spilled on the garage, I am getting ready for the Super Bowl. My husband worked last night and this morning, so we’re not too eager to go out today. Despite the fact that I am not a football fan myself, I do look forward to this game. While I can let you know my affiliation, I think it is best if I remain neutral in the matter.
Isn’t it funny how family affects us? I grew up in a certain area with two teams for each sport. My mother and uncle were the ones who determined my teams. I remember when I told my mother I was dating (my now ex) a new boyfriend, she was more concerned that he was a (deep breath) Mets fan, then anything else.
My uncle passed away in May. He was the biggest sports fan in the family. He lived in the basement of my grandmother’s house and many times I passed the staircase to hear him yelling. I’d jump or react only to realize he was yelling at the tv, whether it was at the offending team or toward his own. He was the one I remember going to live games with. He had a passion for his teams like no one else I’ve ever met. I wish he was here today to see his team one more time.
Enjoy the game, be safe and if you can manage, knit something pretty as well.
So, it is Saturday. I’m sitting in my living room experiencing a serious problem. I have recently become addicted to words with friends. Now I understand how Alec Baldwin could be kicked off a plane because of this. It probably wouldn’t be that big of a deal if that was my only recent addiction. I am now riveted to the Pinterest page. If you haven’t experienced this website, stay away. At first I thought it was nothing but a time waster. There are pictures of everything from how to organize your home office to creating candles from tangerines. You create different boards and pin pictures to your board. You can follow other people, like “pins,” and of course, repin. My big discovery was that on most of these “pins” you can click through and it will take you to the website. For instance, a few of my patterns are posted. So, if you are new to pinterest and stumble upon a picture of my wedding garter, you can click on the picture and keep clicking until you get to my website. You can follow people with similar interests and organize your boards for different parts of you life.
I have several boards going:
Health and Fitness: I need to lose weight and am even drinking a green smoothie now.
I just recently finished a beautiful yellow baby blanket. I used Bernat cotton. I wasn’t really sure about this yarn at first but chose it because the baby is due in the Summer and in Florida. Wool would not have been appropriate in many ways. I do love the yellow and white blend and I think it shows wonderfully in the pictures. It feels great and I may just buy more and knit up an adult sized blanket for myself. The stitch was a variation on the block stitch. I did try to do an edging but I tried to do the whole thing at once and broke my new forty inch Knitpick’s cord. Frustrated, I pulled the edging out. The blanket may be finished, but it doesn’t feel like it is complete. I still have plenty of time to pick it back up.
I am very blessed to have a mother who is willing to spoil me with Christmas presents every year. Here we are, December 26, and I am happily playing. Unfortunately it is nearly bedtime and I have work tomorrow morning bright and early. Despite telling my husband repeatedly that I am not returning and that he will have to get two or even three jobs to support my fiber habit, I will soon be returning my wheel to its corner to get ready for tomorrow. I should have posted earlier- but – I was busy – playing.
Christmas eve I called my mother asking to open my presents early with full knowledge that my new jumbo plying head for my Kromski Sonata. After Skyping present opening, I popped that baby on and plyed two strands of bfl wool and one strand of local brown alpaca together. Not only did it create a huge skein of yarn but it looked gorgeous. The pictures don’t even do it justice. I just want to hold it and hug it and love it forever. I’ve been working on two more bobbins of wool and will have to make at least one more skein if not more to create the sweater jacket I want to knit. It should be ready just in time for next winter. Alpaca is very very warm and I live in southern Florida. I may just turn up the A/C and walk around the house wearing my sweater. If only I didn’t have to pay electric bills.
Last week, my friend and I were hanging out spinning away and talking about ideas. We were talking about knitting and spinning events and retreats. Neither one of us have much money and now we’re both more concerned with Christmas presents but we would love to go and learn at one of these events that take place all over the country. Well, why not have one here? We joked about it and moved on to other topics of conversation.
And I keep thinking. . . why not?
Of course there are some things to consider.
1- I’ve never been to a knitting/spinning/ fiber retreat.
2- I love to knit and spin but am certainly no expert.
3- Southwest Florida doesn’t have a lot of knitting shops in the area and no spinning fiber whatsoever.
4- I do not know how to plan events.
But on the plus side.
1- Naples is a great destination with natural beauty and wonderful weather during the winter.
2- It might be a lot of fun.
Would anyone be interested in this? Does anyone out there have any experience planning these things? Let me know. This is just a thought at this point.