Monthly Archives: July 2010

WIP Wednesday: Lacy Knee Highs and a Cabled Pullover

For the past few weeks I’ve been working on two projects.  The socks I’ve been making for myself for the month of July are Afternoon Delight, lacy knee highs.  They are a lot of work, and lacy so they take a lot of concentration.  Not great for toting around, knitting in the car, or even talking or watching a movie while working on.  I’m a lace lover so I do enjoy them very much, but they are taking a long time.

Normally I’m the sort of girl who just has one WIP at a time.  I don’t like having several projects on my needles because I like focusing all my attention on one thing, finishing it, then moving on.  I really don’t know why I am that way.  Most other knitters have well over 3 projects going at a time.  Not me, that would freak me out.  The knee highs take all my focus, so I finally broke down and decided to start another project for now.

I have a recent obsessive need to make sweaters for the baby to wear for the upcoming winter.  I started a faux cabled pullover with fingering weight yarn.  I’m enjoying the stockinette stitch with the cables very much, it makes for the perfect project to tote around and knit while visiting. 

Both projects still have a lot of work to be done and August is coming very soon.  I’ve decided to buckle down, finish the knee highs for my July socks and then move on.  I hope I can finish them in a reasonable amount of time.

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My New Mantra

My entire life has been a long spiritual journey.  3 years ago, several events happened that turned my whole world upside down, emptying all previous ideals.  I like to think of myself as a bowl.  My whole bowl was cleaned, and I was almost like a new person, searching for new ideals.

Since the “bowl emptying”, I’ve been finding bits of life lessons, new ideals, new thoughts, and little things along the way that I’ve opted to add to my bowl.  I leave behind anything that I don’t want, and am constantly going through it and throwing out anything that is negative or doesn’t belong there for one reason or another.  

I’ve added mantras that have helped me through difficult times.  Recently I’ve been reading a book called “Ishmael” by Daniel Quinn.  I highly recommend this book to everyone, I belive it has the power to change the course of humanity if everyone reads it with an open mind. 

I’m not finished reading the book yet, but I have found a new mantra that makes sense to me and can be applied to every single aspect of my life.  

Use what you need, leave the rest behind.

I am blown away by the power of this.  Every single aspect of my life can be governed by this mantra.

This is all probably coming off as jibberish, but I feel like right now I’ve been on a very deep and life changing journey that is changing my life path, further molding me into the person I’ve always wanted to be. Finally organizing all these bits I’ve collected in my bowl, joining them all together, so every part of me is moving in the same direction.  The direction I’ve always wanted to go.

I don’t think I could be happier.

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30 Days of Sewing- Mission Accomplished

Dear readers,

First I want to apologize for my blogging inconsistencies.  It seems that my goals have taken me away from the virtual world.  My current goals for knitting, sewing, and weight loss take up a lot of my time.  On top of that I do my best to keep a clean house and make dinner for my family.  Taking care of a baby doesn’t exactly allow for blogging much either.

With that said, I may be taking a little blogging break.  I fear I have not only run out of time, but steam as well.  I don’t like spending too much time online, it’s too draining and most of the time leaves me feeling depressed.  It sucks hours from my day and the more time I spend online, the more I feel I need to spend online.  Also, I don’t know what to talk about at the moment.  Don’t worry though, I’m sure I will be back soon enough.  Everyone needs a vacation every once in a while.

I do, however, need to tie up a few loose ends.  A while back I made a goal to sew everyday for 30 days for at least 30 minutes a day.  On Sunday I finally reached the end of that goal.

I set out to learn how to sew, to stop fearing it, and possibly learn to enjoy sewing. I would have to say, Mission Accomplished. By treating myself as a beginner I learned so much. I constantly referred to my Sewing for Dummies book and really learned to do things! It’s exciting having some experience behind me. Of course splurging on a nice new machine made a huge difference, but other than that I feel like a brand new seamstress.

You see, I learned to sew when I was about 9. My aunt was wanting to teach a 4H sewing group and was testing her teaching abilities on me. It must not have gone over well because she never started her 4H group and I didn’t touch a machine for 5 more years.

When I was 14 every 8th grader had to take home economics. We made a locker caddy and then learned how to cook and clean.

I would sometimes buy a yard or two of fabric at Wal-Mart (that was the only store in the town I grew up in) and get out my mom’s ancient machine. That didn’t go over well because I don’t have even one finished object from my teenage years.

My parents gave me a Brother for my high school graduation. I sewed a skirt to wear to the graduation, but you couldn’t see it under my robe. Through the few semesters I took of college before I got married I tried to quilt, but just threw that away because it turned out awful.

After I was married I tried sewing many many times. I never consulted a manual or anything to try to fix my problems, I would just get angry and stuff my project and machine in the closet until my next endevour months later.

During that time I did manage to make some people some awful baby blankets. It makes me laugh thinking back on it.

Last summer I made some fitted cloth diapers. I actually did a good job on them, though I didn’t install the elastic correctly and they popped out in the laundry. I sewed a lot last summer and also at that time I frequently consulted the Sewing for Dummies books and also went online and many tutorials offered a lot of help. But still, when my diapers didn’t survive the wash my confidence in my sewing was severely damaged.

So this attempt I wanted to REALLY learn about sewing. I really did, I am so happy with the way this challenge has gone! I still see myself as a beginner in everyway, but I know I can do it because I’ve finished many projects during this time. They turned out really well, and at last I can feel proud of myself and be confident in my developing sewing skills.

My goals for my short-term sewing future are to perfect my fitted cloth diaper pattern and to sew sundresses for myself.  I think a fun floral sundress with a knit cardigan would be the perfect outfit for me.  If I made the outfit, it would be a work of art.  Isn’t that the beauty of knitting and sewing?  Making a functional piece of art?

I have decided to take another 30 days to sew everyday.  I have found an hour to be a pleasant amount of time, but if I can squeeze in 30 minutes I am completely satisfied.  I hope to be back and report on my progress soon.

Until then… Happy Summer Everyone!!!

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WIP Wednesday: Plain Socks and a Crinkly Tag Toy

It’s been a while since I blogged last.  Real life has been taking my time, I suppose it’s bound to happen every now and then.

This week I found out the Ravelympic team Itty Bitty Knitties are rising again for Tour de Fleece.  Tour de Fleece was originally an event for spinners to work on their projects during the Tour de France cycling competition.  Team Itty Bitty Knitties is using it to work on our knitting, crocheting, spinning, sewing, weaving, or just about anything that needs any extra motivation.

Honestly I don’t need any motivation, I’m always obsessively knitting.  I wanted to participate so I can chat with my friends in the group.  I’ve made a goal to finish both this months socks during the Tour de Fleece, July 3rd-24th. 

My husbands socks this month are just flying off the needles.  Last month his simple ribbed socks took forever and it was a really easy pattern.  I have to admit, I was quite discouraged because there are a million other things I would also like to knit.  I still can’t put my finger on what took me so long.  I’m thinking it was the Harmony wood circulars.  They were too sticky for sock knitting.  This past weekend I bought several sizes of Addi Turbos in 40″ circular.  I can’t tell you all how much I love them.  They are perfect for magic loop 2 at a time. 

So this pair is the Gentleman’s Plain Winter Sock with Dutch Heel by Nancy Bush, from her book, Knitting Vintage Socks.  Another reason they are going so quickly is because they are mostly just stockinette stitch, but the ribbing was a breeze as well.  Surprisingly this pattern is not boring me one bit.  I turned the heel this morning and it was unlike any other heel I have turned before.  I think I will finish them tomorrow, and I just started working on them Saturday.  How exciting!

This past weekend was a 4 day weekend for my husband.  We had a lot of fun together.  It stormed so we stayed inside and the baby was cutting tooth #4.  I think we got a bit stir crazy because we decided to reorganize the house.  In the middle of that, my husband decided he was going to start a gun case for one of his many guns.  He sketched out the design he wanted, and together we worked on it.  The house reorganization came to a screeching halt.  So today I’ve been trying to clean the house up the rest of the way.

Also today I started a simple little sewing project.  It’s a crinkly tag toy for Dylan.   It took me 45 min from start to finish including the time I spent looking for a little iron on applique.  I decided not to use it anyway. 

So the toy is crinkly because I put the inside wrapper of a cereal box inside.  He loves it!  He keeps smashing it and rubbing the ribbon loops.  I should have made it earlier, I hope he doesn’t outgrow it too soon. 

I guess that’s not a WIP, but I still wanted to show it off.  It was a WIP earlier today.

My 30 days of sewing is almost up.  Today I finished with day 28, I can’t believe how fast it went.  More to come about it later.

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