Nothing is Ever Simple

So I’m glad in life I have knitting and well now crocheting because yarn, needles, a hook, its life at its purest. At work no matter how well I think I have planned things out, something always goes wrong, even on the simplest task. It seems as of late, no one is every happy, no one is ever content. Demanding is the world we live in.

So when these things frustrate me, i just turn to my yarn, needles, and now hook. And I know that in the few moments stolen away from the crazy that I can make a stitch, life returns to simple.

In addition, I seem to get annoyed rather easily these days. For instance I sit near a person that constantly munches on things and the noise is driving me literally insane. So now I have to sit with headphones and Pandora playing all day in order to cope. I can’t handle the chewing noises non-stop, 5 days a week, 40 hours a week. I. am. going. stark. raving. lunatic. mad.

So I turn to my yarn. Just having a basket of it near me is calming. Well that and my desk sheep.

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That and the daily reminder of my silly dogs.

Django sleepy

 

So I hope you find some time today for the simple things in life, some knitting, some crocheting, some spinning, some weaving, something with yarn!

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Look Ma I’m Crocheting…Maybe that should be Look Sis

My mother is not a crafty person. In fact I think if you put a crochet hook, a pair of knitting needles, or a sewing machine in her hands she’d use them as weapons. Well, maybe as kitchen tools. Apparently she sewed when she was first married, there are some matching outfits of her and my big sister. However she didn’t keep it up.

My sister on the other hand. Amazing. She crochets, she draws the most adorable characters, she’s a graphic artist, she is a true creator. She also knits, her daughter and I taught her. She has this ability to just see a skein of yarn and see the end object whether its a toy or a garment. She makes the most adorable crocheted characters. I envy that ability. I have to have a pattern, I have no artistic vision. I’ve only ever changed a pattern once successfully, and have only created one thing completely on my own the blanket I made for my cousin.

So I follow patterns. I live by patterns (as yesterday’s post discussed) but I’ve always been a little annoyed at myself that I couldn’t read or follow a crochet pattern. So I determined that I would finally figure it out. Yesterday at lunch I found several crochet blanket patterns I liked, I have so much scraps and partial skeins of yarn I wanted a project that would help use those up. And since I really could use some washable, abusable blankets, it was time to learn to follow a crochet pattern. So I choose to start Graphic Granny Afghan. The last round of the hexagon took me a bit to figure out, and I’m still not entirely sure I’m doing it right. But today possibly in the silence of the conference room at lunch, I can figure it out.  Now to pick out my next crochet project. Actually I think it’ll be another granny square blanket. But I have several in my queue to choose from.

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Patterns

How I love thee, let me count the ways, or at least the patterns, and that would be 7,279 patterns in my personal library. According to Ravelry. I seriously love Ravelry. I can add my book to my personal library, or that fantastic pattern I found on Ravelry. And then, and this is really the beauty of it, I can search all the patterns I own whether in a book or in an individual pattern I’ve downloaded and I can search by yarn recommendation, sizes, construction, all sorts of things. Its fantastic!

How I love looking at patterns. To me a pattern is much more than a design to follow, its a map to a new destination, its a dream, its a fantasy. The yarn, the words, the needles, all have to fit together to make the pattern a reality. And its a marvelous journey. I’m constantly looking at patterns, wishing, hoping, dreaming, planning. Honestly, they are what get me through the mundane day of working in an office.

Today, I’m interested in crochet patterns. I’ve never been able to follow a crochet pattern and I feel like maybe its time to force myself into it! So I’ve been searching Ravelry for a basic but interesting shawl pattern that I can play around with. I’m also getting ready to purchase a new pattern to make myself a coat for this year. The Boston Top-Down Hooded Coat. I have the yarn to make it already, I just need to dedicate myself to making it for myself.  Speaking of myself, I did make myself some new shawls since we last spoke. My favorite, because its huge and comfy, is my Illusion Shawl.

illusion shawl 2illusion shawlSo excuse me now while I go look at some patterns, and dream of time at home knitting them all up into beautiful pieces of art.

 

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Introducing Gertrude….or Gertie for Short

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Yep that’s a third wheel in three days. Apparently all old wheels go to the South County Antique Mall. Don’t judge me I am weak.

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First There Was Helga, Now Meet Anoria!

Someone needs to stop my husband. Really. Seriously. But please don’t!  He went back to that same antique mall today, and he sent me a picture of Anoria. $87. How could I resist! Well you just can’t. I mean, its impossible. And she’s in really nice shape, complete for the most part. the tag said she was from the 1890s. He thinks the tag is wrong, she’s definitely not that old. I concur.  So without further discussion, please welcome Anoria.

anoriaI can’t wait to meet her in person. I have some serious spinning to do now! Although my Ashford needs a new drive belt, I think I’ll have Nick make me one this weekend. My old one has gotten stretched out. But I have some cotton I can use to make a new one. And well Anoria looks like she’ll need a drive belt herself.

To show you how small Helga is, here’s a picture of her on the piano bench. She’s only 22″ x 22″. She’s seriously tiny.

helgaSo that’s my exciting day, two wheels in two days. I’m giddy with excitement. You can probably hear me squealing across the entire country.

Hmm…..so what should I spin up first? I have plenty of roving, that’s for sure. I need to knit with the yarn I’ve made, maybe that’ll encourage me to spin spin spin.

 

 

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Please Meet Helga

…now I wish Helga was a new puppy. But alas, she’s a spinning wheel.

my new wheelNick found her today at an antique mall in South County. $75. Now I’m always looking and hoping I’ll find an old wheel, or an old loom, when I go to antique malls but I never do. And if on the rare occasion I do, they are wheels that are not in operable condition (i.e. missing major components) and they always want in excess of $300. Really $300 for something that could never work, and while I love the look of a spinning wheel, its not exactly something that you just sit around your house as a decoration unless you live in a really big cabin or cottage I suppose. Although, come to think of it, my mom had an old spinning wheel as a decoration at our house when I was little, I constantly pinched my fingers in the thing.

Helga appears to be in working order, my husband checked her out and inspected her, and he knows a thing or two about spinning. She’s very small coming up (apparently because I haven’t actually seen her yet) to your knee. She fits in the front wheel well of my husband’s work van.

I can’t tell you how excited I am about her. I don’t know why, I have a perfectly nice new spinning wheel that I have not treated well and have not used as much as I should, but its our wedding anniversary Saturday and my husband picked this out for me on his own, and its fantastic, and someone threw my lunch away yesterday at work so this is just the perfect mood lifter.

So when I get home, I’m going to start oiling Helga up! Well after I inspect her. I have a feeling she’s going to need some tender loving attention and oil over the next several weeks.

And because I’m in an exceptionally good mood now, here are my sweet boys.

Abner the sweetThe sweetest (well next to the sweetest) dog there ever was. Notice the tiny bit of gray showing up on his muzzle now. He’ll be 10 this October.

And then there’s the Django Boy.

Django boyHe’s annoyed that I want my seat back.

 

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Have you ever noticed……

……that no matter how large your yarn stash is (and mine is huge); or how many pairs, sets, types of needles you have; or how many knitting books or patterns you have access to; its never the right combination of all three for a particular project and thus you have to purchase more yarn, a different set of needles, or a new book for that perfect project. I am pretty sure its a conspiracy between the vendors of these products, its the only thing that makes sense. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve searched for hours looking for a pair of needles I knew I had somewhere, or that yarn I was sure existed in my stash, only to end up at the nearest yarn supplier purchasing one or the other, and sometimes both.

Ravelry sure doesn’t help in this process, all those tempting patterns taunting me, saying knit me, even though you have 1,800 other projects waiting patiently in line to be knit up.

Alas, I succumb on the conspiracy and embrace it, I mean someone has to keep them in business.

A couple of months back I needed a graduation present for my youngest cousin, who graduated high school an entire year early, she’s a very dedicated young woman. I found the perfect pattern, it was free, and while I had some of the perfect yarn in my stash, I didn’t have quite enough, and then I decided the purple wasn’t purple enough and made her a second one (which in the end was also not purple enough). I made her the Kansas City Cowl by Kim Guzman. Like many several in my family don’t like wool because they think its too itchy (I know, I know, I keep telling them they just haven’t worn good wool) so I used yarn from Michael’s and yes, its Red Heart (don’t fall over in shock) Boutique Treasure. for a more inexpensive yarn, it was quite nice really. And the end product was very cute, of course it doesn’t hurt to have a cute model. I may have to make this pattern for myself, I think it’d look great over a turtleneck for winter.

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