I need a random title generator…

I finished the monumental task of casting the shawl back on.  I really looove the other cast on I found.  The back will look like purl stitches for the CO row, but that doesn’t bother me at all.  The tension on it is great, it was easy to develop a good rhythm with it, and it makes the cutest stripe around the edge.  I’ll probably be coming back to this one again and again for my double-knit needs.  The biggest lesson I learned with it is I waaay over-estimated how much yarn I’d need for the long-tail on this one; I probably have a tail as several times longer than I am tall.  Oopsie?

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The yarn is holding up amazingly well considering I’ve knitted and pulled it over and over throughout the start of this project.

Our backyard has finally woke from the winter nap and I’m so excited to see more plants blooming and critters emerging.  Happiest of all, we have a red squirrel!  We have probably a hundred gray squirrels, but this is our first red and it’s a feisty little thing so I’ve been thoroughly entertained watching its antics and listening to it chitter.

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It’s a Monday kind of Tuesday

Right on the brink of freezing and pouring down rain, today is probably a day better spent curled up in a nice, warm bed.

…especially if it keeps up with these kinds of shenanigans.

I ended up having to rip out the shawl and untangle and rewind the balls of yarn this morning.  The stitching was going great until there was a minor mishap of the most unexpected kind yesterday.

I have a really long lamp that clamps onto the edge of my desk and, as is typical with my luck, I was happily knitting away and the lamp decided to crash down on me.  Immediate reaction was to protect my head, so I jerked my hands and since the needles were packed…lucky me ended up dropping and then pulling almost 30 stitches in the middle of one of the rows.  There’s no way I have the brain-power or skills to fix that royal mess, so figured it would be so much easier to rip and restart since I was only a few rows in.

This time, though, I’m not going to do the standard invisible double-knit cast-on.  I’m going to go with one I found on YouTube.  It’s a bit more complicated and time consuming but I like the way the stitches look *and* I especially love, love, love that the stitches are nice and snugged down on the needle instead of kind of free floating like the invisible CO.  Should make the first row much less fiddly.

I cut out some fleece this morning to make a Nessie for CholyKnight’s April Crafting Challenge.  I know, I know, I put it off until the last minute but I’ve really not been in much of a sewing mood for some reason.  At least it’s cut out and ready to sew when the mood strikes!

I also used clipart to make a little lady gnome to match the feller from a few days ago.

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Skipped week =X

Between guests and life, I completely forgot I was trying to start up a blog.  Oopsie.

The Lion King was fantastic, as expected.  I had a blast at the show and I enjoyed the guests we had much more than my social anxiety anticipated.

I went in for a routine glasses checkup a month or so back and my optometrist noticed my optic nerves are swollen (papilledema) and apparently pushing into my eyeballs.  I had to have some MRI scans taken on Tuesday to see if my new neuro-ophthalmologist can figure out what’s going on.  I haven’t had a MRI done in almost a decade and I forgot just how closed in they can be.  It wasn’t bad, other than trying to contort my line-backer shoulders into a space that was meant for tiny, petite people for half an hour.

Thankfully, no tumor was visible so now I get to face one of my biggest fears in life: a lumbar puncture.  I have issues with anybody touching my back as it is — most of my panic attacks actually begin with a stranger touching my back — so the thought of a needle going into it is TERRIFYING.

All of the stress had kicked off an episode of insomnia as well, so I’m thoroughly exhausted and unproductive.  Fun times!

I’m slowly knitting away at the shawl I’m working on; I really, really don’t like the invisible cast on for double-knit, so I think if I have to rip and redo this, I’ll just suck it up and go with something more decorative or visible.  I won’t know how much of a hot mess it is until I’m a few more rows in.

I did manage to venture into my sewing room long enough to pick out fabric for my next project so I’m ready to cozy up with one of my machines if motivation strikes soon…thinking of treadling this one.  I do so love the rhythm of treadling. ❤

As a final note, I finally issued a design challenge to my Facebook quilting group!  If I get enough entries of garden themed blocks, I’m going to make a quilt out of them and then run a Quilt Along using member generated blocks.  It should be a lot of fun, if we get participation.

I went ahead and designed a block too because I just couldn’t help myself.  I found a cute photo online (dead-end link on Pinterest so I can’t give proper credit :() and made a block off of it using Quilt Assistant.  I have EQ7 but I still prefer Quilt Assistant for this particular kind of design.  I’ve thought about adding a female gnome to it too but thought that may be too many pieces for quilters who may not be super comfortable with paper or foundation piecing.

I may or may not be the wee littlest bit obsessed with gnomes. 😀

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Insanity is coming…

My cat gets me.  Just turn off the lights and let me sleep for a bit longer.  Preferably all day.

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My Mom is hitching a ride coming to stay the weekend.  She’s bringing along two coworkers and their teenage nephew; I’ve met the guy once, his fiance and I went to the same school but I don’t know anything about her other than her name..so this could prove interesting.  I’m hoping for fun, but will settle with interesting.  One of our friends is also coming up — he was here Monday/Tuesday as well to go see Neil deGrasse Tyson with us.  Yay for friends!

Point of all the guests flooding Little Miss Antisocial’s house?

THE LION KING!!!

Color me excited!  I’ve wanted to see this show for ages and the Broadway tour landed right tin my lap.  *happy dance*

As one can imagine, today has been a madhouse of cleaning and last minute projects to try to make our house habitable by seven people.  Two pull out couches, an air mattress in my sewing room, Mom will sleep with me, and poor hubs volunteered for the floor.  Total insanity.

There are bright sides!  Lion King is tomorrow!  Have I mentioned that already?

We’re having dim sum before the show.  Yummy!

Hubs is helping with the frantic cleaning.

Projects are actually being down around the house.  I finally got the family tree photos up.  I painted the tree last summerish?  So yah, about time that the rest was finally put up.

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A package arrived — woot!  It contained yarn and dishtowels I got to test/review.  Looking forward to that!  I love free and/or cheap stuff.  Plus, yarn always helps the stress melt away, right? 🙂

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Kind of busy, but not really.

If I hadn’t managed to somehow sleep until almost noon today, I would’ve considered it a semi-productive day…but it wasn’t.  I needed a good sleep-in day.  We’re having a flood of visitors and events this month and I’m pretty socially awkward, so the pressure is mounting.  I handled all of it by pretending there is absolutely nothing wrong or stressful and slept like a rock.

…and then I just puttered around.

I wove in the ends of the scarf I just finished:

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I still haven’t blocked it, but it’s pretty fun as it is so I may skip my least favorite part of working with yarn.  Ignore my homemade body form.  I may be pasty white, but I don’t glow quite as much as masking tape. >_>;  The pattern is a freebie on Ravelry: Narrow Crochet Skull Scarf by Karen Kaufmann.  I stitched it up using Lion Brand Sock-Ease yarn in Green Apple — it’s a bit itchy but hoping it’ll soften a bit after a good wash.  If not, I’m glad it’s just a scarf because it would drive my feet mad…but I don’t like socks anyway, so guess that isn’t much of a testimony.

I then broke out my yarn winder and wound up all the bits and remnants of yarn I had floating around from projects.  Word to the wise: Don’t let your cats anywhere near yarn remnants.  It’s a special land of knotted hell.

I also applied the final coat of Modge Podge to some wooden pictures I’ve been making for a family tree in our living room:

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This particular photo is of my great-great grandparents.  I’ve been kind of lackadaisical about the edge applications because I really like that slightly roughed up look on the borders, but I’ve been careful with application around faces and interesting outfits.  The Modge Podge has made them nice and shiny now!  I love shiny.  🙂

…and no photos but I finally finished our cursed tax returns tonight!  Ours are unnecessarily insane to handle every year and we don’t get some of the forms we need until the end of March at the absolute earliest; I’m so glad my mom agrees to double-check them for me every year.  I think the universe anticipated the tax pain today because a magical package containing a bag of Pop Works Salted Caramel & Fudge Popcorn showed up today from PinchMe!  Definitely hit the spot, even if it is pretty salty.

Now, if my brain doesn’t give out on me first, back to casting on 720 stitches for that shawl!.  Eep!

 

Yarn delivery!

I can’t deny that my favorite daily moment is when I hear the rumble of the USPS truck pull around the corner.  I love, love, LOVE snail mail and especially packages!

…and best of all are packages full of crafting goodies!

Unfortunately there really isn’t a large crafting community or supply where I live.  There are some of the large, national retailers about 30 minutes away, but there really isn’t much variety.  I have a crazy hard time finding anything but worsted or bulky yarns — we even have one of the three Lion Brand stores in the nation in a nearby town and while they are incredibly friendly and helpful, most of the yarn was worsted and acrylic (update: they’ve now closed the Lion Brand store).  Acrylic yarn itches like there’s no tomorrow!  I try to avoid it like the plague.

So back to the reason of the post: today my latest order from KnitPicks showed up! I’ve been chomping at the bit waiting for his yarn so I’m super excited.

I ordered several skeins of Shine Sport (cotton and beech wood fiber) to make a shawl I’ve been drooling over for a bit.  I ended up picking Sailor and Robot so I could get a nice contrast without anything being too bright or attention seeking.  The yarn is super soft and silky feeling, so I can’t wait to start working with it!

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The pattern for the shawl I’m making?  Yggdrasil, Tree of Life by Tania Richter.  I ultimately plan on making one of her fun dragon sweaters but thought I should refresh my double-knitting skills with a less intense project first.  Shawls are easier than sweaters, right? 😛

Sibling Day :/

Yesterday was Sibling Day and it put me in a pretty big funk that I haven’t been able to shake yet.

My sister passed away 10 years ago when she was 18…and while she’s never far from my mind, being bombarded on social media was a bit overwhelming.  I miss her so much.

So, it’s a day late and I didn’t want to share on Facebook since I’m also friends with several of her friends there:

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My immediate family was never big on taking photos, especially as we grew older, so I mostly just have photos of us when we were little.  That’s fine by me, we were cute and innocent then. 😛

Gift for Grandmother

Since I’m not really working on anything at the moment, I thought I would post a project from earlier this year so I can get back into the swing of blogging.

My Grandmother celebrated her birthday in February.  As always, she deserves something a bit more special so I had to make her something bright and cheerful.  I’ve made a challenge to myself to make her something rather than purchasing a gift for the past several years.

I spent a good bit of time at her house when I was growing up — she lived right across a very small excuse of a stream and if I disappeared from home, my parents knew to call there first.  Mom says that when I was about 3, I told her I was going to move in with Grandmother but not to worry because I’d still come visit her.

My favorite things to do at Grandmother’s, other than make playdough (I’ll share the recipe at some point!) was to search her flowers for Japanese beetles, inspect milkweed for monarch caterpillars, and to burst touch-me-nots (orange jewelweed seed pods)

A few years back, Grandmother gave me this photo of myself — probably 4 years old then — searching on the weedy banks for either touch-me-nots or caterpillars.  The photo above was taken from the deck right outside of her dining room, so it’s almost the exact view you see while sitting at her table.

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So in honor or inspiration of my favorite childhood activities there, I decided to make Grandmother a table runner.  Blue is Grandmother’s favorite color, so I just committed to blue and ran with it.

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The pattern was out of a book I’ve had hanging out in my sewing room for a while now.  If I can remember, I’ll grab the name of it so I can give proper credit later.  The pieces were fused on and then raw-edge appliqued on with mono-filament thread.  Free motion quilting was done with the same thread — it made it kind of shiny and sparkly, both of which I’m a big fan.

Since I live almost 700 miles away now, I had to mail the runner to her.  I also sent instructions with it on how to launder it (I may have flooded her basement a time or two trying to wash things at her house).  When I was able to visit in March, she pointed out that I didn’t have to include laundering instructions; not because she didn’t know how, but because she wasn’t letting anybody near it with food!

I already hate naming things…

Is there some kind of unwritten etiquette about a first blog post?

I want a crafting blog but really have no idea where to really start.  I craft a lot, probably too much, so thought it would be nice to have an outlet to spam the world with the things I’m playing with at the moment.

This post is really just a test.  I’m sure something more productive will follow once I’ve had time to fully explore WordPress. 🙂