The Good, the Bad, and the Pretty

On Monday I had every intention of posting my living room updates.  That didn’t happen though.  Life happened instead.

Life has taken me on an interesting ride over the past few days– a crazy, roller coaster ride.  It’s been a really fun ride in certain spots, but there have also been some really scary twists and turns. There have been several moments where my heart skipped a few beats, my stomach did flip-flops, and I maybe could’ve used a paper bag in which to hyperventilate.

There has been so much going on that when Dodge hurt his arm yesterday (a minor buckle fracture…should heal up just fine), it seemed like Life’s equivalent of hitting your funny bone.

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And despite all that is presently happening, going to happen, or happened in the past, I feel blessed, proud, and encouraged.  I am so fortunate to be a part of so much love.

With all that being said, we can now get back to the regularly scheduled programming of making, painting, and knitting.

Let’s recap. The yellow flower painting looked like this:

captured_by_snapseed_749_1Out of the paint choices I gave him, Ben opted for creamy white (he probably wouldn’t have changed it at all, but I gave him no choice).  The white looked like this:

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We all agreed that this didn’t look great.  (Trust me, in person it looked weird).

So, I decided to change things up.  Mid-repainting it looked like this:

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With the “too bright” orange, the white, and the painter’s tape, we had a really awesome Broncos thing happening for a bit. (For those who don’t live in the US: the Broncos are Denver, Colorado’s professional football team).

And finally, to this:

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I might paint it again some day and change it to green or antique brass (taking the advice of foundthispaintedthat…great blog…go look), but for now it’s gold and orange.

Abraham Lincoln seemed to approve,

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He looks subtly pleased, I think.

so I forged ahead with my pillow making plan, which turned out like this:

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It’s an envelope-style pillow cover with a quilted front.

 

The back still needs some buttons though because right now it looks like this:

captured_by_snapseed_760_1And with everything that’s been going on my knitting looks like this:

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Not quite finished with the back.

So I think I’ll just go ahead and throw more into the mix.  I’m joining a Summer Sweater Knit Along.

I’ll be turning this:

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LionBrand Fisherman’s Wool. Color: Nature’s Brown

Into this:

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Image © Aliciaplum

The pattern is Wyeth by Alicia Plummer.  It’s pretty.

That is all. Happy Wednesday!

 

 

 

To Paint or Not to Paint…oops, too late

I might be a lot a little easy to please, but I’m finding it really amusing that the placemat that I’m knitting (see yesterday’s post) looks like this when I set it down:

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It’s like a linen tiara or a tiny, linen mountain.  I didn’t know it could do tricks.  Silly linen.  It’s probably a downhill slope to crazy town to start thinking of knitting projects as pets…I should stop…really.  

Ahem. My tweedy, cabled cardigan has grown a little too.  I’ve knitted the back piece a little past the armhole shaping, and it’s looking good.  It’s soft too…and a little fluffy, and warm.  Oops…crazy town again…backing away from the sweater.

In lieu of my attitude towards my current knitting projects, it may be a healthy option for me to branch out on the craft projects this weekend.  So I’ve decided to undertake a few non-knitting crafts (not to worry; there will still be knitting).  I had a bit of a dry, crafting spell after I finished varnishing the bench back in May? June?, but today I suddenly got the urge to change some things in my living room.

I have a very random home decor style (ha…I just called “random” a style).  And I usually decorate based on the Whim Principle.  That being, I get the whim to make or paint something, so I do.  Or, on a whim, I see something I like and have to buy (within my budget, of course).

Well, this current whim is of the “make and paint” variety.  So if I have enough time, I’m going to sew one or two couch pillow covers out of these fabrics:

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Again, my style is random…this may not be to your taste.

And, I also need to finish a painting project I started this afternoon.  (Not painting a painting, but painting the frame of a painting).

I have a big, textured, flower painting I picked up at a thrift store for $10 a couple of years ago.

 

 

 

 

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Ignore the bottom right of the frame…I had already started sanding.

It’s somewhere around 3ish feet x 2ish feet (.9 meters by .6 meters).  It’s a little old-fashioned, but the flowers are gorgeous in person, and in the right light they have a very emanating, glowing nature.

When I bought this, we lived in an apartment with much more natural light in the living room, and it looked good in all the brightness.  Our current apartment (let’s call it the dungeon), has a very minimal amount of living room light.  It’s a sad place.  It’s like somewhere Eeyore might choose to live.  So I’m painting the frame.  I haven’t chosen what color to paint it yet, but I do have options (and don’t get all cheeky on me and choose “don’t change it at all”…it’s too late for that).  It looks like this right now.

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So…paint options*:

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That’s Martha Stewart Crafts™ paint in the colors: Wedding Cake (white), Mace (orange), or Scottish Highlands (green). …and no picking Scottish Highlands just b/c it sounds pretty…you have to go by looks.

Feel free to give other color suggestions if you have any; I’m a little stumped.  Just remember to think light or bright.

Well, I’m off to pet knit some more of my cardigan.  Happy Friday!

*husband’s opinion counts the most…seeing as I didn’t ask him before I started painting it. 

 

Hello Louet!

My beautiful, free (obtained via giveaway) Louet Euroflax arrived in the mail yesterday (Thanks again Kirsten Singer!), and it. is. gorgeous.  Really lovely…so lovely that I wound it up and started knitting “Elemental Linens.”

captured_by_snapseed_747_1Elemental Linens is (and I’ve mentioned it before, but I think it deserves a second mention) up for sale over at Holla Knits.  (You can also find it on Ravelry.)

Now, some of you may already know that I’m on a “Self-Inflicted, Knit Only From Current Yarn Stash, Thing.”  (I would say ‘self-imposed’, but I think ‘self-inflicted’ lets you know that it’s a painful decision…due to space limitations)  And this is why winning a skein of luxurious, linen yarn was such a beautiful thing…you can’t not accept free yarn…even if you are on a SIKOFCYST (see above).

So I don’t yet have enough Euroflax to make the whole Elemental Linens set, but that’s one of the great things about this pattern–it’s for the home, and it can be knitted up and added to as slowly or quickly as wanted.  I’m starting with the placemats.  Then, when I’ve gone off the SIKOFCYST, I can add the coasters and the table runner.  Knitting this pattern out of 100% linen has the added advantage of being incredibly durable and beautiful and pretty much an heirloom.  I love that.  I already had one other skein of Louet Euroflax Sport in my stash in the color Mustard, so I’m gonna knit a placemat or two in that color as well as the Natural.

captured_by_snapseed_748_1I think all these linen fumes are making me giddy (you gotta watch out for that…it’s of the odorless, colorless variety…unlike wool fumes).  Seriously though– brilliant pattern, clearly written charts, and a fun way to make your life a little more lovely.

Despite being incredibly distracted by the linen today, I have managed to start one of the brown cardigans.

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Yarn: Knit Picks City Tweed HW in color Tabby. Needle size: US 7 or 8…remains a mystery because I’ve lost my needle gauge.

It’s the Augusta Cardigan from the book New England Knits.  It’s got a super-cozy look to it, but I’m altering it a bit to fit my taste.  The back of the original cardigan has ribbing on the bottom and then plain stockinette all the way up.  I’ve decided to leave my edge raw (which means it will curl up a little), but throw in some knit 4 purl 2 ribbing all the way up the back, which adds an element of interest and might also add a little shaping.  I’m also gonna switch out the cable running down the arms for a strip of ribbing (I don’t need any more bulk at my arms).  I haven’t decided yet if I’m going to alter the front, so we shall see what happens when I get there.  I like it so far, and the yarn is soft.  I may have neglected to do a proper gauge swatch (yet again), so we’ll see what size it wants to be.  Fingers crossed for my size.

Happy Thursday! :)

On a Tuesday

How about a little splash of color to brighten your day?

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These are the Cutest Booties pattern by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee.  They’re really just a down-sized version of her basic sock recipe…but with some extra cuteness thrown in by way of pompoms. (I use the Clover pompom makers).  These are not the quickest little booties to knit, so I wouldn’t attempt them if you have a baby shower to attend the same day you start them (unless you are super speedy… I’m average to quickish).  But, otherwise, they only take a couple of days with time snatched here and there to knit.  Fun and adorable…”widdle shoosies.”

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I probably should’ve waited until I was elbow deep in knitting brown cardigans before I started these, but the yarn was calling my name.

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Plymouth Yarn Happy Feet in color 7…which is probably discontinued because apparently, that’s how I roll.

I have had two skeins, but I accidentally bought different dye lots, so I’m gonna use the rest of the first skein for matching baby stuff.  The second one Tilly has already claimed because she thinks the booties are “soooo soft”.  She wants socks.

Who doesn’t?

Aim Big

I have a deep, deep love of cardigans.  They’re cozy, they can change the look of an outfit, and they come in really handy when the temperature changes for the bazillionth time in a day.  So, I’ve decided that what I would love to do is to knit myself several cardigans (and/or pullovers) before Fall starts.  

There’s a problem though–I don’t have enough yarn to knit the sweaters I want.  

I am currently exceeding my (self-inflicted) yarn stash limit, and am thereby knitting only from stash.  The problem with this is that I often buy yarn on whims or when I find really good deals.  I have a lot of yarn, but the majority of it is in 1 to 5 skein doses.  Sadly, this means that I usually don’t have enough of the right weights (or colors or fibers) of yarn when the sweater knitting urge hits me….and it has.  Or to be more accurate, this means I can knit sweaters for myself, but they may or may not fit.

Let’s take a look at an example of this:  my finished Sandshore cardigan.  

I bought the yarn at a very discounted price, and I only purchased 5 balls with 110 yds each.  That’s 550 yards of an aran weight, cotton yarn…not really enough to knit a long, comfy cardigan.  Deep down I knew this, but I knit forth anyway.  

I finished the second sleeve yesterday and gave it a bath.

The dye in this yarn bled, but the water ran clear after the third rinse.
The dye in this yarn bled, but the water ran clear after the third rinse.

I blocked it pretty severely to see if I could make it grow; then I put it in the “car oven” to speed up the drying.  

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It was cloudy outside, and this method is best served by the sweltering heat of the mile-high sunshine, so the drying took a tad longer than usual…still worked though.

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Yarn: Louisa Harding Delphine in “Navy”

Then I tried it on.  I already knew the outcome, but I was hoping that somehow blocking would relax the cotton and maybe grow it by an inch (or six).  It didn’t.

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I paid Dodge (my 10-year-old) a dollar to take pics for me. I got what I paid for…dollar quality photos.

 

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If you look closely in this one you can see that Tilly’s making pig faces against the glass…good times.

And while it’s a nice, short, little cardigan, it’s not exactly a Sandshore…it’s more like the kind of little sweater that you might wear to the office or something.  

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I don’t know yet if I’ll keep it or find an extra small friend to give it to, but I’ll try harder on my next cardigan.  I’m aiming for comfortable and cozy.  

Over the weekend, I did find enough yarn in the stash for a couple of sweaters.  It seems though, that I only buy large amounts of yarn in brown, so get ready for brown…all brown, all the time.  

(Yeah right.  I can’t just knit brown stuff…I have something colorful to show you tomorrow.  It’s not a cardigan.)

 

 

Short and Sweet

Happy Friday!  And it’s an especially happy one because today is my Dad’s birthday, so…

Happy Birthday, Dad!  I’m really glad you were born…a long time ago…way back in the 1900s…(oh, wait; so was I).  Anyway, love you bunches!  Enjoy some BBQ for me. 

Not much can top birthdays, but I do have something to show you.  It’s not knitting, it’s crochet (bear with me knitters,) and it’s been sitting around unfinished for several months now, just needing buttons and a flower.

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I finished it up yesterday for a friend, and I think the hat and little shoes are pretty adorable. I’ll give a look around for the patterns I used and add them later. Cute stuff. Pretty quick too.

I also managed to start a sleeve yesterday despite my aversion to the magic loop method.  It’s just so loopy….like weird, floppy, cable ears.  It’s going better than I thought it would…maybe my aversion is reverting?  Is that even possible?  Well, my odd (wrong?) context aside, I’m almost finished with one sleeve.

Terrible picture…it's cloudy today.
Terrible picture…it’s cloudy today.

Which is pretty good, considering I didn’t knit on it at all until 10pm last night.  

Well, I’m off to see a friend.  

I hope you all have lovely weekends!

Dizzy

I should have a completed Sandshore cardigan to show you today, but I don’t; it’s in exactly the same condition as it was on Tuesday–sleeveless.  I haven’t been able to bring myself to start the sleeves.  This is because I don’t have the right size double pointed needles.  I’ll have to go with the magic loop method or something, and that seems to be stopping me in my tracks.  These are big problems, people.

I have started my second sock though, so there’s that:

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 I’m doing a little experiment where I start one sock and knit down to the heel flap, then I put the stitches on a stitch holder and start the second sock.  I’m trying to trick myself into finishing the second sock faster…although technically, now the second sock will be finished first, and then I’ll go back and finish the first sock.  I’m making it sound like a complicated scheme, but it’s simple, and I’m optimistic that my trickery will work…on myself.  

All my current projects aside though, something “knitting-ish” and fantastic happened to me yesterday.  I won Klever Knits giveaway for her new pattern “Elemental Linens”!  Forgive the excitement, but I never win anything, let alone lovely, knit-related things.  It’s up over at the Holla Knits website, and I encourage everyone to go check it out.  I also won a skein of Louet Euroflax Linen, which I am super thrilled about.  I can’t wait to get started on my own “Elemental Linens.”  My table could use a little style (okay, my table could use a lot of style…there’s probably no real hope that it will hide the acrylic paint drips from that time when Tilly went all artsy on some rocks, but I’m pretty sure the knitted beauty will steal the show).

Now if you will all excuse me, I’m going to go spin around in the style of Julie Andrews in the Sound of Music… in my kitchen while intermittently doing dishes.  

Then maybe I’ll knit some sleeves.