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Posts Tagged ‘Knitting’

What a never-ending day!  Full of fun stuff, of course, but after weeks of sickness, all this activity kind of threw me for a loop.

I did get to take some pictures of what I’m working on…

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First is my aunt’s February Lady Sweater.  Not a very exciting shot, but I’m pleased.  I’m really liking the Shine yarnI’m using – so soft!!!  This is my second try at the top of the sweater – first try, I wasn’t making gauge, so I frogged it and started over.  Looking good so far.

Next is one of my SIL’s Christmas gifts – so, Jessie, if you’re reading this – STOP AND DON’T READ ANY FURTHER

I don’t think she actually reads my blog, though, so I feel pretty safe posting this.

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Can you tell what it is?  EJ’s first words when he saw it were: “Oh, Momma!  Another kitty?  For ME?!?”  Nope, not a kitty, and not a deer either, which was his second guess.  It’s a llama.  Apparently Jessie like llamas (who can blame her?).  This is from this so so cute alpaca pattern – and alpacas are just smaller, softer llamas (I checked to make sure so I could use it).  As you can see, I need to sew up its back, and I think I’m going to applique some pretty flowers on her back… and maybe up her neck and on her head, too.  I’ve got all kinds of crazy ideas for her. 

Then… one of my felted bags.  As I was taking these pictures, I was wondering why in the world I hadn’t finished this already.  All the parts are done, and all I need to do is sew them together and throw them in the washer, and I’m going to have one rocking bag!  In fact, I’m going to go and work on it right after I post this.  Maybe tomorrow I can show you my finished purse! 

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So, in the picture above, you’ll see the felted slab that I shaped a bit by cutting, with the two side edges sewn together with the same green yarn.  Then I started knitting an interior pocket, decided knitting was taking too long, switched to crochet (mid-pocket! YES! It won’t show – it will be all felted together… but it nearly blew my mind picking up all the knitting loops with my crochet hook), and crocheted 2 handle flaps as well.  I used some cream wool to add some accents – I thought those little dotted-stripey-things would look good felted into the bag, too.  But then, look at what I found in my WIP mountain stack – my very first cable!  And it was even supposed to go along with the green felted slab!  Here’s my bag all put together – squint your eyes a little bit and lean your head to the left… there!  See it?  Won’t it be pretty?

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I wasn’t planning on felting the cable, but I just saw a cabled sweater online today that got felted accidentally, and the cables still had a lot of definition.  I might stitch the cable on before I pop it in the wash.  I’ll let you know as soon as I decide.

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Today, with EJ, I worked on a little craft for our Fall Impressions carnival on Impress Your Kids.  It wasn’t so much a craft as trying to talk to him about kindness and hoping to instill some of these behaviors in his little self-will powered world.  We are looking at the letter K this week, and I really wanted to do something with keys… no real reason other than wanting to do it.  There really aren’t too many crafts out there for keys – especially since we don’t have a pile of actual keys laying around the house to use.  So I did a Google image search and found a whole bunch of pictures of keys, and I printed them out.  They turned into our “Keys of Kindness” poster…

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While EJ glued the extra keys to the poster, we talked about what it means to be kind to others.  It gave me some insight on how his little mind works, and I hope he will remember this as he sees it hanging up on the wall.  BTW – the word under “Love” does not say “shave.”  I just get sloppy with my “r”s.

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So I’ve noticed a trend… when I’m actually doing things I should be doing at home (cleaning, etc.), I have less time to blog!  What is up with that? 

My new things this week are new knitting books!  New books in general are exciting to me, but when you make them knitting books, there are hours of entertainment built in – just sitting and staring at the pages, imagining the possibilities…

New knitting books

Knitting Classic Style by Veronik Avery, GlamKnits by Stefanie Japel, and Custom Knits, by Wendy Bernard.  All of them beautiful books, filled with beautiful patterns….

I bought Knitting Classic Style because I wanted a couple of specific patterns in the book (layered skater’s top and the bias shell) – and bonus is all the other fabulous patterns in there!  I love the red sweater on the front (the Aspen Top-Down sweater), the “fake” argyle socks, several of the cardigans, the graphic hoodie… I could go on.  There are also some children’s patterns in there that I probably won’t knit, because they are for girls, and some other patterns that just aren’t my style.  But overall, a great book.

I love Stefanie Japel.  I just love her.  Her designs are what got me back into knitting – she was the first designer I found online that had cool designs (of course, she was the tip of the iceberg for me – I didn’t know how much great stuff was out there!).  Then, if you add the fact that her daughter was born just after my youngest, and I actually was in an expectant mother’s group with her on Ravelry, and I was supposed to be a test knitter for her Petal sweater (except that I knit too slow and was barely finished with a couple rows by the time the rest of her test knitters had finished the sweater)… and the fact that I want to knit everything in her first book, Fitted Knits… well, then, I had to buy her newest book, GlamKits, on principle.  See, I’m not so much a glam girl myself, and I can’t really afford luxury yarns that she features in her book – so I bought the book not thinking that I would actually want to knit up much of what was inside.  Boys howdy – I was wrong.  Beautiful and accessible – I think that most of the patterns would look as fabulous with jeans and messy hair as they do with the satin skirts and wave curls that are featured in the book.  Which is good, because I’m all about jeans and messy hair.

And the jewel of the bunch… Custom Knits.  I’ve read Wendy’s blog since I found it back in the day, and I didn’t really even realize that she was a designer for a long time.  But when she came out with this book, I read around online what I could about it, and bought it more on a whim.  I am so glad I did!  What is awesome about this book is that she basically teaches you how to design your own sweater (hence the name, Custom Knits!).  And with the 20+ patterns that she gives you in the book, she gives multiple ways to modify each one to your tastes.  LOVE. IT.  With some modifications, I want to knit everything in this book.  Everything.

Now – all I need is an unlimited supply of yarn and time to knit up all the new goodness that I’ve found in these books.  Anyone know where I can get some of each?

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Wow, I have so much to post about!  Why does it seem when you have tons of things to say, you have no time to write anything down?  I’ve got some picture-heavy posts planned, but today it’s going to be just some thoughts that have been banging around in my head for a little while.

That makes it sound like these are large, deep thoughts that I need to share.  I don’t want you to get excited – the deepest thought I’ve had recently was, “How many times can I watch Toy Story again without going crazy?”  But this started from some feelings of…. shame? inadequacy? … I don’t know what to call it.  And it all started on…. Facebook.

Ah, Facebook.  The wonder of our age (wow – talk about a big statement, huh?).  I hopped on Facebook last spring when a friend from college was over and showed me how many of our friends from back in the day were on it.  Suddenly, I had access to see what people who I thought were long gone from my life were up to.  And they could catch up on me, too. 

I’ve changed a lot since I was younger.  I went from a proud, pretty liberal (and looking back on it, rather thin, too) young woman to… well, the conservative SAHM-obsessed-with-her-children-and-crafting that I am today.  Since I am now in a completely different state from where I grew up, went to college and even grad school, I honestly thought that my past was behind me and I would never have to face those insecurities or memories again.  And not in a bad way – I have nothing to regret about my past.  But I am a new creation in Christ, and who I was is nothing in comparison to the child of God I am today.

So, with my past having access to my present, I found myself editing my public profile on Facebook.  I wanted to truly represent myself as a believer, but I also had a lot of pride wrapped up in who I used to be.  I fully disclosed my education and employment history, so people could know that I made something of myself before I chose to stay at home.  I made no bones about the fact that I am a Christian and a SAHM with the best job in the world.  I also put links to my blogs and mentioned my interests in knitting and crafting. 

But as more and more of my past found me (and I found it, too), people started asking me what I was up to.  “I’m staying at home with the kids, and enjoying every minute of it.  That takes up all my time!” I would answer. 

That’s not the whole truth, though.  I do a lot of crafting in whatever spare time I can find – naptimes, after bedtime, movietime – and I often knit while sitting with my kids while they play.  But I never mentioned it when I was catching up with people.

And the world outside of Facebook has been no different.  While I have a wonderful group of friends, not all of them seem to understand my obsession with doing something with my hands.  A lot of them really do appreciate what I do, and they seem to admire my work, too.  But I know those that I can mention it around.  If I mention it around others, I do so sheepishly.  Even with family, I would love to be able to pull out some knitting while we’re just sitting around and talking.  But I don’t.

I want that to change.  What am I so afraid of?  I am proud of the crafts I do, and there are tons of others out there who do the same – and even do them for a living!  The Internet is full of us!  And I feel so at home out here on the Internet, surrounded by people who take pride in the crafts they make, and the crafty lifestyle they’ve made for themselves.

I’m sorry, my fellow crafters.  I have been under-representing us out there in my little corner of the world.  That’s changing today.  I will knit in public.  I will make more handcrafted cards.  If people don’t seem to appreciate my handmade gifts, I will still relish the process of making them, and I will continue to make them.  I will wear my creations proudly.  If someone says, “I thought knitting was only something grandmas did,” I will shove some needles in their hands and help them cast on.  I will share with my past, present, and future the crafts that help make me who I am.

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