craft on friday

It’s official. At least in my mind… Friday will be the day that I show you, illustrious reader, what I’ve been up to in my craft life. For now, I am committed to showing updates of my Santa cross-stitch. I have a very strong compulsion to complete this project so that I can move on to others. Yes, I realize I can put it to the side and go for other things, but this is another way for me to work on Focus. One thing at a time people.

Behold! Week 2 of Santa of the Forest.

Santa - week 2
Santa – week 2

To be honest, I’m not sure if subsequent weeks will show as much progress as this one. I mean, I’ve been working on this to the exclusion of everything else. I do want to pick up my knitting from time to time, but for right now it’s kinda an obsession.

While you’re here I’ll show you this really great cowl I finished up a few weeks ago.

cowl

It’s lovely and squishy and will be perfect to wear in Tahoe this weekend. Tahoe, the land of snow and ice. I’m excited about skiing for the first time in several years. I’m not excited about the cold. I’m never excited about the cold. I dread the cold. Weird that I enjoy skiing so much. Heh.

memories

Brenda Dayne. For those of you not familiar with the Cast-On podcast and “If you’re cold, put on a sweater” fame, then you are totally missing out. Even if you’re not a knitter you should go take a listen because she have this amazing voice and always has something interesting and insightful to discuss. This was the reason that I had to get myself to A Verb for Keeping Warm this past Sunday so I could see/hear her in person. It was a no brainer, duh!

She read an essay that she had crafted and yes, I use the word crafted because she is able to put ideas together like nobodies business, it’s truly amazing.

It was about knitting, but it was also about memory and how things come together. I’m sure I won’t do it justice so I’m hoping that at some point she’ll publish it on her blog so I can point you to it. What I find amazing is how she can one moment be talking about her first sweater and then the next about the Method of loci and then her Memory Bag project and somehow tie it up as if these things were always meant to be together. That they were always related. That, is her genius.

To actually be in the same room with her as she spoke was a bit surreal for me. I discovered her podcast only a few episodes in so I’ve been listening to her since 2005 or so.  All those hours and I’ve never felt that even one of them was wasted. Not one.

Alas, I have no pictures of the event. I was too distracted to even think about it.

Also, I dropped off a wee memory bag with a story. I may share that story here at a later time or maybe not. It certainly gave me some things to think about.

I do have a picture of my teeny bag though.

dinner ftw

So last night I get home from work and my back was feeling like crap again so I decided to forgo my illustrious to do list and just hang out for the evening. It was nice. I sat on the couch with Leeloo, a martini, some knitting, and some old Law & Order. I’ve been working on this scarf, Laetiporus, and may actually get it finished here in the next few weeks. It’s crazy long and I may have to dub it the Dr. Who scarf since it’s already way taller than I am (which is not really saying much…).

Later I got a text from Joe that he was heading to the gym and wouldn’t be home till later. Well, I decided that I should have some dinner ready when he gets home. That means I was going to fix some delish local ravioli that I topped off with some olive oil heated up with parsley, red pepper flakes, and garlic. Oh my! It was perfect! Yeah, I know that doesn’t sound so amazing, but my cooking skills are not all that, so for this to turn out so well was a huge bonus. It was so good that I decided to leave all the dirty dishes for today. Maybe not my best idea, but it felt like it at the time. Ha!

So now the dishes are clean and I’ve got to run upstairs and scrub a few bathroom sinks before I run out to meet some friends for the evening. My parents will be in this weekend so I feel like this place needs to sparkle!

weekend update

This past weekend was one of those really good ones. One of those weekends where it seemed like everything went just right.

Friday night we headed over to the San Francisco Symphony to see American Mavericks. The hall is gorgeous and we had amazing seats pretty much dead center in the lower level. I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t know much about these composers or their music, but it was such an experience. I will say though, that Harrison’s Concerto for Organ was, um, disconcerting at best. There was a lot of dissonance and it was a bit overwhelming at times, but you know what? It was so much fun and now I have a couple composers that I’ll be looking into, since I really enjoyed the other pieces. I’ll definitely be back for more!

Saturday was spent running those errands that you can’t seem to get done during the week and then we bought pillows at Crate & Barrel. It’s the little things, you know? Like freshening up your living room with shiny new pillows with giant flowers. It is spring after all…

Sunday was the best though. I spent over two hours that morning at Imagiknit listening to Amy of MadelineTosh talk about color theory. Yeah, I know that may not sound like all that, but she was amazing. You could feel her energy and her love for color came through with every word and every bit of dyed yarn she picked up and spoke about. She made the history of color and dye come to life and was able to connect it with the fashionable colors of today. I was amazed at how a few simple rules could change how I look at and combine colors in everyday life… something I’m really not that great at. This, of course, means that I see a pocket color wheel and a gray scale in my future to be carried about wherever I go. I wonder if this means I might actually add a bit more color to my wardrobe?

a lesson

So much knitting has been happening around here. So much! I was able to finish this super cute shawl in the first few days of January. I even washed and blocked it.

OK, I didn’t knit the entire shawl in two days, but I buckled down and powered through the last rows of over 400 stitches so that I could start on a fresh new project in the new year. I believe this is what we call follow-through, right?

This second picture is a bit more true to color. It’s a beautiful grey with bits of blue and purple. MadelineTosh creates such amazing colors. I’ll definitely be knitting with more of this soon. The shawl is called Sugar is Sweet and it’s officially my new fave!

Next I decided to knit up this super quick cowl that should have taken me a small portion of an evening, but instead took me four days of ridiculousness to finish. This ball of yarn right here… it taught me a life lesson. I know, so cliche, but true.

Malabrigo - Rasta

What I realized after knitting, ripping out, being unhappy, knitting again, ripping back, being unhappy, and on and on… is that when my mind is a mess my knitting is a mess. The chaos in my head translates into my knitting. Now I know why several of my projects over the past few months have been practically non-starters or better yet, projects that I knit on and on knowing there were major issues. It’s amazing where you can glean bits of knowledge from, especially when you are open to them. It took me a while, but I finally caught on.

The cowl is finished, but I need good daylight so I’ll get some pics this weekend. Hopefully I’ll have found some buttons by then.

I’m going to leave you with this pic of Joe and Leeloo. I really love it. I was fooling around with my camera after taking a photography class. Took me a few tries to get the settings right, but I think it’s a winner!

Joe & Leeloo

I swear she looks like an old man sometime…

weekend adventures

So many things this past weekend… maybe that’s why it took me an extra few days to get it all in writing. Or maybe I’m just lazy. You pick.

So let’s start with Friday. Day off from work and spent most of it working cleaning up around the house. Typical. However, there was pizza making, which I’m getting better at bit by bit. Friday’s pizza making challenge? Rain. Pouring drenching rain. No rain all day until I have everything ready to go and need to get the grill on. Yeah. So despite the obstacles and the soaking of me and not too much of the ingredients I made a pretty fab dinner. The recipe is from Grilled Pizzas & Piadinas. Delish!

Saturday was one of those all around great days. The morning was spent in a techniques class with Ysolda Teague and her new book Little Red in the City. I learned So Much! I am so ready to get started on some sweater/cardigan knitting that to date has not turned out all that well. I really feel like I learned some valuable lessons and well, I was able to meet Ysolda in person as well. FTW!

If you don’t have a chance to take her class definitely check out the book. So much information and really well laid out. It’s a winner!

PS: I love that she talks with her hands!

So, after class and hanging out at A Verb for Keeping Warm for a bit (hope you didn’t miss that spectacular sale!) Joe and Leeloo picked me up and we were off to get the car washed. I know, not much excitement there, but we did stop and take some amazing pictures of the Golden Gate Bridge on our way home.

We took a ton of pictures so I’ll spare you the duplicity, but it was an amazingly clear evening!

So that was my long weekend… Oh wait, Sunday you say? Sunday was a nice lazy day of do nothingness. Or well, more like a day of knitting while watching television and snuggling with Leeloo. A great way to end.

 

some things to do

Thought this nice rainy Friday morning would be a good time to catch up on ye olde blog posts. Plus, I’m super caffeinated from drinking like an entire pot of coffee. Whoops.

Leeloo wanted to say hello to the internets this morning…

I’ve started on my to do list and it’s becoming very lengthy today. Of course, if I had been keeping up with things during the week that wouldn’t be the case, but what’s the fun in doing things in a timely manner? A lot, apparently. Note to self: to do list should actually be done, not just looked at while I watch television.

One of the agenda items today is completely ripping back my Safire cardigan. Yeah, only one sleeve left and I’m just now realizing the it’s too small and I’ll never wear it. Actually, that’s not quite true. I’ve known for a while it was too small, but didn’t want to admit it to myself. The result? More unnecessary knitting. I know I’m not the only one that does this, but why? Why do we do this to ourselves?

So, it’s already mid-morning and I’ve wasted enough time on the internets and various other activities for the time being. Now, now is time for cleaning. Whee!

knitting update

The frenzy of knitting is upon me! In September I finished up a Jane hat and a pair of Intrepid Traveler socks and started on the Four Corners Baby Blanket*. Then started this super cute Safire cardigan, which better fit btw. And because the cardigan was getting a little large to cart around on the bus I started another pair of socks. I’m on fire!

So, pictures or it didn’t happen, right?

Ok, so I’ve already posted pictures of the hat and sock from September, you can see those here.

This is the baby blanket. I need two more skeins to finish it up, one for the fourth square and another for the border. I foresee some super happy baby all snuggled up inside. Squee!

This is a knit that I’m excited about! I feel like if I get this done and it fits I’ll have the confidence to a full on sweater. The only problem is there are like a thousand sweaters that I would love to knit and that of course, means more yarn… manage the madness, manage the madness.

But I digress, this is the Safire cardigan and it is working up so fast! Just don’t mind the temporary dental floss sleeves…

*No, I’m not pregnant, just thought it was super cute!