Some knitting stuff, some sewing stuff, and podcasts!!

Happy New Year!

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A little late I know, but still.

I know I said before Tombstone would be the next post, but I will do that one next time, I promise! ;P

I really wanted to pop in and share something(s) I recently stumbled across. If you are not a knitter this will probably not be very interesting to you, but have you checked out knitting podcasts on youtube? Do you even know that there are such things? Or am I the only person who had no idea such awesomeness existed? No one I know really knits or crochets, and the few people I know who do, don’t live anywhere near me. The podcasts are like hanging out with a good friend, and seeing what they are making and what yarns they’re using and hearing about the things they plan on making or new things they’ve tried. It is awesome! I’ve been watching podcasts while working on knitting project bags (I’ll show a few pics in a bit. If you follow me on instagram you will have already seen them) or while working on my “never-ending-favorite-scarf”, I started and finished a knitted hat for a secret santa present, finished another hat that had been on my needles for for-ev-ver, and whipped up a quick little earbud pouch, all while exploring the new awesomeness that is knitting podcasts :) Sweetness! Some of my favorite podcasts so far are, in no particular order as they are all awesome:

The Knitting Expat Podcast
Sticks+Twine
Holland Handmade
Sword of a knitter
The Fat Squirrel Speaks

These are the ones I have found that I really love so far, and I’m finding new ones each day, but I highly recommend each one on the list above! They are fun and inspiring and often times funny, and just a great time!

So, for the aforementioned knitting objects, pictures!

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The never ending scarf you actually saw in the last post, and it hasn’t gotten too much longer although I have been working on it. It is actually a great pattern by Lisa Bruce called “favorite scarf ever” and the never ending part does not have anything to do with the pattern, I’m just lazy and don’t knit on it enough to make any real progress. No magical elves have visited my house to finish my WIP’s, which is very disappointing, but I may just need to leave out some delicious coffee or cookies for them. Need to work on that.

Next, the hat I made for my cousin, who I got for the secret santa grab bag. I was so excited once I decided to make her a hat, didn’t really stop to think she lives in Arizona and while it has been the coldest here it has ever been in years, she probably won’t get much wear out of this :[
Whoops.

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The pattern is “Gin and Tonic” by knittedblissJC, and after reading some of the comments from other people who had made it, I did a longer rib and added another set of the pattern rows so it would turn out to be a bit slouchy. I used cascade 220 heathers, and I love how it turned out! Until I washed it. Apparently I have never washed anything made from wool before, and good god does it stink when it gets wet! I was freaking out, because I made it about in the week before I needed it to give to her (go me) and finished and washed it two days before Christmas, discovered the smell and thought I had ruined it. I tried rewashing it with a different soap, drying it with dryer sheets in it, and finally putting it in front of the fan with a wonderful smelling bar of soap. After the fan thing it was dry (on Christmas morning, about 2 hours before we were supposed to be at my aunts house for Christmas, so just enough time to wrap it and eat breakfast and leave) and smelled quite good.  Future handmade gifts will really need to be better planned, so I can enjoy the holidays instead of stressing over unexpected complications. Note to self: get wool wash. And keep extra gift cards on hand :/

Next, the hat I finally finished officially after years (and years, I don’t remember exactly when I started it, but I know it was in NC sometime around jan 2009). Picture is pre-blocking. If it dramatically changes after blocking, I’ll post some new pics. But I don’t think  it will. Anyway, onward!

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I had finished this hat once already, and it turned out too short, so I ripped it back, and was going to add just a few rows but ended up setting it aside and being annoyed with it to the point that it got packed up and moved across the country, twice, before I picked it up again. Now in that time I did add a few rows here and there, which is why when I eventually finished it again a few days ago, it was waaaaay longer than it needed to be. Should have kept track of those rows….but anyway. It ended up having kind of a pointy elf hat thing going on, and while some people like that I am not one of them. I ripped it out yet again, and  re-re-finished it, to finally have a hat I can and *might* wear in the spring or fall. Really, with all the effort of finishing this hat it should never be parted from my noggin, but I’m not in love with it. Which also might explain why it took so long to finish. The yarn is Naturally Caron in either spa or country, not sure which, but I’m thinking it’s country, and the pattern is just a simple 3×3 rib after casting on 96 sts on size US6 needles. So, finally off my needles and I now have a free pair of size 6 dpn’s! Yay!

And lastly, a cute little earbud pouch.

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The pattern is “Earbud pouch” by Mary Keenan (you can find all these patterns except for the 3×3 rib hat on ravelry.com) and I kind of just used the pattern as a guide. First I didn’t have any sock weight yarn I wanted to use for it, or teeny tiny US 1 & 1/2 needles, so I read thru the pattern, cast on 24 stitches with worsted weight yarn on US size 6 needles. Discovered part way through I wasn’t doing the increases right, didn’t bother to rip back, and at the end found I have no idea how to do the grafting even after watching a few videos on youtube. So don’t judge this pattern by my lil earbud pouch, it is way cuter on her pattern page.

Now, for the project bags I’ve been making!

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I think I will definitely make some to sell in my (neglected) etsy shop once I find a rhythm/pattern/the patience to be able to make bags in a reasonable amount of time. One day I made two bags in just a couple hours, went quite smoothly, and another day it took all. freaking. day. to make just one. On one of the flowery green bags I had to rip out the long seams no less than 12 times for various reasons. So you can see the learning curve is steep with this one. But theoretically, the more I make/practice, the better and possibly easier it will get! And I just realized, I’ve made all these project bags, and I still have a paper bath and body works bag sitting by the couch with 2 projects and my needles in it. *Facepalm*

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Some travels

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Hello!  Welcome to this slightly photo heavy post of our recent trip to Canyon lake, Tortilla flats, and the Roosevelt dam.

We had some family come to visit for Thanksgiving, and we had a great time. It was the first time we had people over for Thanksgiving since we’ve been married, so I was a little worried about cooking for more than just 2 people. It all turned out well though, and most of Thanksgiving dinner was done at about the same time, which was quite an accomplishment for me :P While they were here, we took a couple of sight seeing trips around the area to Tortilla flats, the Roosevelt dam, and Tombstone.

We did the Tortilla flats, and the Roosevelt dam in one trip, because they are both fairly close to each other, and we stopped at Canyon lake for a bit too since it was on the way. It was overcast for most of the day, and a bit chilly, but it was a great trip, and the sunset was amazing!

If you’ve ever been to Tortilla flats, you know how winding and narrow and slightly terrifying the road (route 88) can be getting there. If you haven’t been there before, I highly recommend an anti-nausea medication beforehand. I’m not sure if it was the winding-ness of the road, or just sitting in the back of the car, but I was definitely getting a bit carsick by the time we reached Tortilla flats. It didn’t last too long once we were out of the car tho, so that was good. And it also didn’t stop me from taking pictures the whole way, after we got home I had about 620 pictures on my camera just from the Tortilla flats/Roosevelt dam trip alone.

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Tortilla Flats is a neat little place with a mining era feel. They have a saloon/restaurant, a little museum that used to be a school house, a general store, and few other buildings. It was pretty busy when we were there, so I only have a few pictures. The museum was super claustrophobic feeling, as there were about 4 people in there at one time, and that was 3 too many! The walls in the restaurant and general store are almost completely covered in one dollar bills that people from all over the world have written their names on and hung up, which was cool. And the bar stools in the saloon were saddles, which I nearly wiped out trying to get on and off of. :/ Being short is rough, lol.

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After Canyon lake and Tortilla flats, we had to move a bit faster to make it to Roosevelt dam before the sun set. We made it before dark and got to see an awesome sunset over the mountains. My camera was doing weird things with some of the colors, but I love how most of the pictures turned out!

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I love the Arizona sunsets so much! I don’t know if I have just not noticed the sunsets as much in other places we have lived, or if the sunsets are just more spectacular here, but we have seen some amazing ones since we’ve moved here!

It was such a fun trip and we got to see so many beautiful things, I’m so glad we were able to go.

Next up: Tombstone

Thanks so much for stopping by!

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A not-done-in-time-for-winter-like-i-thought-it-would-be scarf

I can’t believe how fast this year has gone and that the holidays are almost upon us (O_o) I am so not ready for Christmas. Nor for Thanksgiving either, especially as we are actually having family over for it for the first time since we’ve been married! But no pressure or anything….lol

So, artsy stuffs! I have been working on and off on this scarf for months. I love the yarn, and the pattern, I just have the attention span of a goldfish most of the time :)

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It needs blocked, but once it’s done you will be able to see the eyelets that run up each side of the columns. The pattern is “Favorite scarf ever” by Lisa Bruce and the yarn I used is ‘Tapping Tootsees’ from Done Roving Yarn in the colorway “Summer sunrise”. The pattern is great and it’s pretty quick to memorize, but there was definitely a learning curve for me in the beginning.  The first 13 or 14 rows I wasn’t getting the “slip two stitches knitwise together, k1, pass 2 stitches over” as you can see in the closeup pic. But after some youtube surfing, I found a video that showed me what I was doing wrong and then suddenly it made sense! The actual way you are supposed to do that double decrease is way easier than the way I was doing it wrong, so once I knew what I was doing the knitting actually went faster :) I had struggled so much with the first part, that I couldn’t bring myself to rip it out and start over. I left the mistakes in figuring it’s just for me and doesn’t have to be perfect.

This is the only knitting I took with me when I went back to PA for my best friend’s wedding, and I knit it on the plane, and during any downtime between planning and making and going and doing for the wedding. It grew really fast and I thought “I will most definitely have a new scarf in time for winter this year!”. Riiiight. Once I got home and went back to work, the knitting momentum slowed to a snails pace and now it’s winter and I has no new scarf to wear :( But that’s the thing with knitting, it surprisingly doesn’t get any bigger if you never pick it up and knit it. Who would have thunk, right? lol

I also have a couple of drawings to show, although neither one is really “done” yet.

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Practice, practice, practice…

Oh, and check out our Christmas cards for this year, arn’t they cute!?

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I just love them :)

I hope you are warm and comfy where ever you are, preparing for the holidays and just doing all the day to day stuffs that always needs done. Take care!

Thanks so much for stopping by!!

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Some sketches

Despite the blogging absence, I have been sketching on a fairly regular basis, which if you follow me on instagram you may have already seen a lot of the pics that follow. Most were done with a Col-erase pencils, although a few were regular graphite. I try to avoid graphite pencils because I have horrible luck with smearing them but sometimes you use what you have on hand.

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I’m about halfway through the sketchbook I’m using and I’m hoping to have it filled by the end of the year. Fingers crossed!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

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Whew! It’s been a while…

Between going back to work, getting ready for my best friends wedding, spending a month in PA for said wedding, and having some family come out to visit, the blog has gone untouched for months. When things get busy and you have to choose between doing creative stuff or blogging about it, the doing always wins (with me at least).

Artsy and creative things have definitely been going on around here, like some new altered journals for Jane Davenport’s “Joynal” and “Express Yourself”, and Roxanne Coble’s “21 Secrets” class. (Just a warning, once you start altering books for art journals, it’s really hard to stop!! :) )  The local goodwill and the Half price books have been getting frequent visits lately as I stock up on any books I find that are perfect for altering, even tho I have only gotten a few spreads into the three (3!) I have going right now. Like I said, it’s an addiction :P  There has also been some intermittent jewelry making, and knitting, but lets just focus on the artsy stuff this time ;)

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Some pages in progress from Roxanne Coble’s “21 Secrets 2015” class:

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Loving Jane’s classes (as always!!) and Roxanne’s class has been so fun, and is such a different style than I’m used to that it’s always a surprise to see where a spread ends up.

Next time I’ll post some sketchbook pics, as I have been drawing on a fairly regular basis, unlike blogging, lol :)

Thanks so much for stopping by!!

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Strathmore online workshops 2015

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The first Strathmore online workshop for 2015 starts today! Traci Bautista is back, teaching another print and mark making workshop with Strathmore. I loved her last workshop with  Strathmore, and I am so excited for the new one! It’s a weekly lesson for 4 weeks per workshop, and it’s free! The next one will be “Acrylic painting” with Patti Mollica  starting may 4th. Workshop 3 pt 1 will be “Exploring pen and ink ‘Hand lettering and calligraphy'” with Maureen ‘Marzi’ Wilson Sep 7th, and pt 2 will be “exploring pen and ink ‘Drawing'” with Alphonso Dunn Sep 21st. Can’t wait!! The workshops will be available until Dec 31st 2015. 

It’s free to join, and definitely worth checking out! 

Thanks so much for stopping by!

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Making the Journal…BIGGER

I just came across Pam Carriker’s great journal tutorial today, and thought it needed sharing! I love a bigger journal with room to work in, and making my own is usually the best way I have found to get the size and paper type I want.

Making the Journal…BIGGER.

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