Saturday, December 1, 2012

November. Gone.

I still haven't finished my back to knitting socks. In fact, I started another pair of socks, and those are sitting on needles waiting to be finished too. I joined a Ravelry group that puts up sock challenges for the month with the possibility of winning prizes if you complete the monthly challenge by the end of the following month. You get one entry for every pair you finish within the guidelines of the monthly challenge. It is definately good group if you want to learn new techniques.

The sock I chose to do has a lot of texture and I thought would be easy to follow along with since it was a mystery sock and clues would be released each week. I am a pretty slow knitter, but thought I could keep up. It is much further along than the picture shows, but I haven't taken a picture since I cast on. I am sure I could if I had as much time to knit as I would like. Or....if I didn't decide to join in another mystery knit for a cowl. I am determined to finish the mystery socks, that are no longer a mystery because the pattern has been released in full. I have also finished my other mystery kal (pic below shows it almost finished), so i have no excuse not to finish them.

I amazed at how many socks some folks can knit in a month. If I could knit that fast I would have a drawer full of colorful socks and maybe even not look at people like they are crazy when they want me to knit them some socks. I am a selfish knitter. That, and something about someone knowing I am doing something for them, and waiting for it, sucks the joy out of it for me. I don't know why. Two Christmases ago, I decided to make a crocheted log cabin for my bf. I bought all the materials early on in the year and got started. A couple months later I decided to make a prarie star quiltghan for my daughter, and a ciuple months later one for my son. I worked on all 3 without any of them knowing about theirs. I worked on bfs at home, daughters at bfs while watching football with him and toted my sons with me so it was wherever I was. I finished all 3 and all (including me) were amazed I had done all of them once they realized what I had done. Had any one of them asked for these, they would still be waiting I bet. For me, the process is just as much for me as the end result. Not sure if that makes sense, but I have come to understand know this about myself and accept it.

So, I doubt I will be knitting or crocheting for anyone this Christmas, but I am hoping to finish the 2 pair of socks I have started by the end of this month. After all, one pair will make me eligable for prizes and who doesn't love the possibility of winning a prize? I will not cast on another pair until I finish these 2. (REPEAT this to myself until I find a good reason to cast some on and ignore myself.)

Welcome to December!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Knitting, Bowling & Dyeing...Oh my!

I started, frogged, started, frogged again, and maybe even did that a third time before I think I finally have a sock started. I am thinking I would have given up on socks if I had not discovered the circular needle method the last time I was knitting, but I could not locate the size of circs I needed when I started this one, so I am doing this sock on dpn's. I am going to finish it and then on Saturday I get to head to the post office to pick up my ChiaoGoo interchangables! I am super excited to get these and can't wait to cast on my next sock on these. Plus, I will be able to get back to doing 2-at-a-time socks, which is good for me. I get bored by the time it comes to do the second sock, so doing them both at once solves this problem for me. It was good to do this first one on the dpn's so I could get comfortable with knitting again. I might even be able to churn out a couple of pairs for Christmas presents if I stay motivated.

Here is where I am on this one...just a basic pattern, nothing fancy:

I found a pair of socks I was working on before in my knitting project bag and I could have finished those, but at some point during my hiatis, my grandson found scissors and made cuts in the skein of yarn I was using as well as the connecting strand. (I keep telling myself)Better the yarn than the cat, or his hair or something much worse. That boy is sneaky...and that is all I have to say about that.

Another procject for this weekend is to weave in ends on some dishclothes my friend picked out from my tub-o-cloths. When I was learning to knit I participated in a couple dishcloth kals and have quite the stock pile built up. I always let her pick out a bunch, but then I have to weave in the ends, because most of them I did not when I finished them. It only takes maybe 10 minutes total...but I keep putting this off. This morning I set them on my chair with the intention of finishing them first thing when I sit down before I get involved with my sock knitting. Weaving in. Blech.

For anyone who may be reading this that may be concerned since my last woeful post, my bowling game has improved. What I discovered is that I had mild lower back pain that was keeping me from standing up straight. I stood up straight and got a 257!!! I think after this past Wednesday I have pulled my average up to 170 again (it was at 158), so I am happy with that. The 257 holds at the moment as the women's high scratch for the season. I don't know if it will hold until the end of the season, but now they remember I am there and still competition.

I have decided that I am going to finally learn how to dye wool/wool blends. I have threatened it in the past, bought some supplies to experiment with, but now I really am going to do it. I want to expand my shop offerings and see how it goes. If it doesn't work out, I will have lots of sock yarn to knit with for years to come. I have had quite a few potential buyers disappointed about my thread not being yarn, so I figured I would give it a go. I am going to experiment for the next couple of weeks, then I am hoping over the Thanksgiving and Christmas break I get, I will have the process down and I will be able to dye a bunch of thread and yarn. I have been scouring tutorials and I think I am ready to actually try a batch this weekend. In the meantime, I am buying various types of superwash to sample and experiment with then I will stock up on my favorites for my dye-a-palooza in December.

This weekend, I am going to dye up some thread. I have the hanks soaking and they will be all ready to go. If I still have energy tonight, I am hoping to actually get them dyed tonight and possibly have tomorrow to do another batch. It's the rinsing I hate though, and the more I dye this weekend the more I have to rinse. I am looking forward to what looks like minimal rinsing with wool dyeing. But I do so love my cotton threads!!!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Bowling Blues

No, it is not a new color of thread I am is how I am feeling about my bowling lately. Since the start of this season I am sporting a 158 average. On top of that, I feel pretty darn lucky when I can get into the 160's. Why should I have the blues then? Because, I ended last season with a 175 book average. I did have a 178 game one night. It has been a few weeks ago though, so I don't remember it well.

I have decided I am going to get some coaching. I need someone to help me figure out what I cannot. Usually I am really good at self-coaching/correcting, but for the life of me I cannot do it now. I am wondering if I have lost the love of the game, or if the change in team mates (2 team mates that I have bowled with for the past 3 years could not bowl this year) or maybe just the league itself, has me not as excited about the sport.

Whatever it is, it makes me sad that I feel this way about bowling and that I can't find the spark to reignite the excitement. Maybe the coaching sessions will help...I will have to see.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Pretty Threads All In a Row

I have been working on winding up my most recent batch of threads. I have sent out the special request orders, now all I have to do is take pictures for my Etsy shop, label them and then start planning my next batch.

I was very pleased with this last dye run. I have not done any dyeing since April while I was busy house-hunting and moving. It always takes a little bit of time to figure out the best set up for my equipment and my work area. Now that I don't have to worry about breaking it down each time or moving it around since it has a dedicated space, I should be able to work a little more efficiently. Super excited about that!

Off to snap some pics and label. Visit my shop...Bre-Aly Threads on Etsy (Shameless plug)

Monday, September 24, 2012

Knitting Revival

Setting up my office, I came across a bunch of sock yarn that had forgotten about. I have been on a crochet kick for the past couple of years, so socks weren't on my radar. Finding an abandoned WIP sock project reminded me that those particular socks did not fit me and I think I became discouraged. I had completed a few pairs of socks before that, so it wasn't my first pair, but I think that is what turned me back to crochet for a while. I have wide feet, and when I got to a point where I could try them on, it didn't happen. I can gift them to someone with regular size feet, but I think since it has been so long, I don't know if I will be able to figure out what pattern I was using or where I left off if I do find the pattern. I am not able to improvise, so they may be a lost cause.

Since it has been a while, and I am not as comfortable with knitting as I am crochet, I decided to go back to knitting 101 and make some dishclothes to reacquaint myself with the sticthes. My first attempt came out wonky, but not terrible. It is a dishcloth after all, it will get the job done and no one will probably know any better.

I don't seem to work on crochet and knitting projects at the same time. It's not that I can't, I just don't for some reason. I guess I get bored with one and give it a rest and then go back to the other for a while. I think when I first taught myself to knit that I didn't crochet for a couple of years at least. Maybe the break gives me time to rediscover and get excited about it again. After I was finished putting all of the sock yarns I have unpacked in the "sock yarn cubby" of my yarn collection, I sat there and stared at it for a little while, petting it occassionally, then decided to go look up some sock patterns. I think my fall and winter will be filled with knitting projects since my excitement for knitting has been renewed.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Dusting off the Shelves

Whew...this blog is dusty! I doesn't seem like it has been over 3 years since I posted anything.

Since I posted last, I have moved twice (hopefully the last time was the last time for many years), my grandson started Pre-K and I have made a bunch of things, some big things, but mostly small, quick things.

I made 3 afghans for Christmas 2010, 1 each for my daughter, my son and my boyfriend (I don't know what else to call him, cuz this sounds so teeny-bopperish). It was a great surprise to all of them, especially my daughter and bf as they saw me working on two of the others, but never all 3 at once. Those were my big projects for that year.

In 2011, I joined a block-a-month CAL on Ravelry and was able to make 3 or 4 throws from that, so sort of a mid-size project on a monthly basis.

In 2012 I focused mainly on crochet squares for various charities. I didn't like my set up in the house I was living in, I didn't have easy access to my stash (no more yarn closet like I had in the previous house) and any large project just didn't have room to spread out.

I have pictures in Ravelry of all my various projects, so probably won't crowd up the blog with past stuff. Hopefully I will have new pretties to show going forward.

I am in the process of setting up my very first dedicated craft room! When I head that way my daughter always laughs and asks me if I am heading to my girl cave. Not sure I like the term girl cave, but I do like that I have it, whatever it is called. I took out some built in shelves and painted a wall and assembled some cubicles so I can display and stare and pet my yarn stash anytime I want to.

So this:

Has turned into this:

It is still a work in progress, as I have to figure out how to set it up to be a good workspace for my thread dyeing as well. At first I was hoping I could install a sink down there and have an actual dye workshop, but there would have to be some layout changes to the whole downstairs area for that to happen, so I gave up that idea for the foreseeable future.

As it is, I am very happy in my new home and with the weather getting cooler, I am definately looking forward to sitting down with my yarn close at hand, my DVR full of shows to catch up on and start (or finish!) a project.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

I have finally moved into my new place. I still have stuff at the old place though. I have a bit of time before I have to get it all out. The new house looks so nice without all the clutter though. Heaven forbid I get RID of any of the clutter though. Actually, I am making a sort of possible garage sale pile in the garage. Once it is complete, perhaps then I will decide if anyone else will think it is worth buying and have a garage sale, or if it looks like a pile of junk, perhaps I call the "got junk" people and have them come pick it up.

I am still in the process of organizing my bedroom and doing all the stuff that comes with a move, so I haven't had as much time to knit or crochet as I would like. I do have an entire closet...yes an ENTIRE closet for my thread/yarn stash and thread-dyeing venture. I will have to take a picture of my treasure closet to post on here. I am quite proud of it. I am not so sure what my man will think when he finally moves in (whole other drama there *sigh*), but I did tell him I was claiming the extra closet as my hobby closet. I just don't think he realizes the scope of my hobby. LOL Mind you...this is not a small closet. I think it may actually be bigger than our clothes closet...but really, I don't know what point I am trying to make's just delicious to open up and look at!!!

My Grandson turned 1 back on March 22nd. I can't believe a year has gone by already. He just started walking in the past week, and while he doesn't say actual words yet, he is quite sassy and opinionated and gets his point across quite well when he has something to "say".

I will try to take some pictures to make the next post more interesting. Since I am so *good* at posting on a regular basis. I really want to post more, I just get so involved reading everyone else's posts that by the time I am done, I have to go do something else and my posting goes out the window. I enjoy following everyones blogs though...truly a delight to see all the various crafts everyone does!