A little bit of this and, a little bit of that, makes a little bit of me.

Falling in Love


in love–with lace and knitting all over again. My needles have been busy…with more lace cardigans. Details are coming up soon.

I’ve been a bit spotty in my musing here for months, busy living life, hanging out on Facebook, fundraising for music programs and national archery competition, and cranking out quilts in between.

Have you been celebrating Knit in Public Week? Here at Handstitch Studio, “knit” means “do something fun with fiber” and what’s important is the IN PUBLIC part.

If you are unfamiliar with WWKIPD, read all about it here. Are you in need of some inspiration? How about a free E-MAG from Cooperative Press aka Shannon Okey? Get issue one of Knit Edge for free here. Freebie is set to expire on July 8. A ton more of free patterns is coming up next. Stay tuned.

Be fearless and creative. Perfection does not exist.

Happy crafting and keep those creative juices running!

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ƸӜƷ•.¸¸.• ƸӜƷ

(still doesn’t do MySpace, Twitter, StumbleUpon, DiggIt…but caved into Facebook, a smartphone, and a little bit of texting!)

Delight of the Sight


The more I see

courtesy of Gary Miller Photography

and respect others good qualities

Snow-in on February 8, 2014

the more I open to and develop those good qualities in myself.

Curing fibromyalgia…impossible?  Read Liz’s story and learn how she healed herself from this challenging condition.  Thank you, Kelly the Kitchen Kop, for the post!

Love making more face and body cleaning pads–Go GREEN!

Happy crafting and keep those creative juices running!

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ღ(✿◠‿◠)˙•٠•●ღ
ƸӜƷ•.¸¸.• ƸӜƷ

(still doesn’t do MySpace, Twitter, StumbleUpon, DiggIt…but caved into Facebook, a smartphone, and a little bit of texting!)

I’m Never Lost


I’m merely finding my way.

It’s easy to just get wrapped up and never move past.  When I thought she would back away, she walked forward.  Growing through her struggles, confusion, uncertainty, and the moments of bliss as she experiences the natural occurrences that I experienced as I began my journey in adulthood.

Not that she doesn’t get nervous when competing, it’s just that the nerves don’t show.  Here is the instant replay of the teen’s competition piece performed yesterday at 2014 Central Oregon District Solo & Ensemble.  It didn’t matter that how tired she was or who’s in the judging room, she just played her heart out.  (It’s a long piece…so grab a cup of coffee or your favorite drink, sit comfortably, and enjoy.)

Everyone there heard her expressive tone and musical phrasing.  So did the adjudicator.

As defending champion, the teen is advancing to compete at state level in May at Lewis & Clark University.  The improvement in rhythm, technique, and articulation has given her a great set of new tools in her musical arsenal.  Her mentor Lynn Lakin feels she is on the verge of going up another entire level.

I am a proud mother who couldn’t help but share the admiration for my daughter.

beautiful friendship since childhood

With good intention…quilting just wasn’t an option as my vision is still bothering me today.

No worry. Tomorrow will be a better day. I just feel it.

Happy crafting and keep those creative juices running!

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ღ(✿◠‿◠)˙•٠•●ღ
ƸӜƷ•.¸¸.• ƸӜƷ

(still doesn’t do MySpace, Twitter, StumbleUpon, DiggIt…but caved into Facebook, a smartphone, and a little bit of texting!)

Go with the Flow


Before I can go with the flow, first I have to find mine.

Nerd War Tournament 10 Round 1 Challenge

I am thankful.  Period.

Snow-in on February 8, 2014

When I love and accept life the way it is, I have more power than when I resist and reject life.

Surrender to what is.

Accept reality for what is.  (I got kicked by this vintage crochet pattern instruction hard.  Took a few attempt and ended up doing my own interpretation. It’s fine if you don’t examine them closely. :D)

Learn to go with the flow of life and not against it.  Things will get and life will become a lot easier.  Resist nothing.

Another sample for a crochet class

Have a peaceful day, my friend, and remember to love yourself and be good to yourself.

Another sample for a crochet class

Happy crafting and keep those creative juices running!

ღ¸.•*””*•.¸¸ “
ღ(✿◠‿◠)˙•٠•●ღ
ƸӜƷ•.¸¸.• ƸӜƷ

(still doesn’t do MySpace, Twitter, StumbleUpon, DiggIt…but caved into Facebook, a smartphone, and a little bit of texting!)

Into the Soul of Winter


It’s been one sad, tragic/shocking day.   The loss of life at the high school.  It is a painful thing, not only for the families, but for all those left behind –especially us as parents.  I am worry about my kids and cannot begin to fathom the pain of the parents that lost their boy.  I will be holding all in prayer.

One of class samples for my crochet class started earlier in the week

Besides holding my kids tight and close, what’s more can I do to shield ‘em out of harm’s way?  It’s not what I do for my children, but, what I have taught ‘em to do for themselves that will make ‘em successful happy and true human beings.

As an effort to pivot away from the sadness (and hubby’s van hit from behind and pushed into a car in front of him,) I joined in the fun, the challenge, and comradeship of the Ravellenic Winter Games over in Ravellenic Winter Games 2014.

If you are new to this wild-and-crazy Ravelry tradition, the Ravellenics is a worldwide stitching celebration of Winter Olympics.  You pick a project (either something new or a UFO you want to finish) and try to complete it during the 16 days of Olympics Games.

The idea is to cast on during the Opening Ceremonies (which is today!) and bind off by the end of the Closing Ceremonies after the Olympic torch goes out on Feb. 23.  Here is a great article in today’s Toronto Star highlighting our very own Ravellenics Games.  Isn’t it wonderful when the media acknowledges our knitting efforts?

Are you participating?  Whatcha making…anything special during the Ravellenics?

Another sample for a crochet class

The Official Cast On was at 11 a.m. EST today!!!!!!

Another sample for a crochet class

My plan is to double dip and use some of my Nerd Wars projects here too. They issued the challenges and I got ideas. :D

Another sample for a crochet class

I kinda went from I’ll do these two for Ravellenics games and Nerd Wars, then I’ll see about the other three challenges to I will Dwarf the Nebula AND get a bunch of cool Ravellenics badges with completely separate projects!  No one ever said I am sane…

Another sample for a crochet class

Tonight (while watching Sochi opening ceremony,) I got my first Nerd Wars Encyclopedia: VOLUME M: MUSEUM) as well as Ravellenics entry crossed the finish line, combined in the categories of Alpine Abode Enhancement for the green event, Color Purple: Nordic Colorwork Combined, and Stash Skeleton.  Not a bad start…not too shabby…at all.

Another sample for a crochet class

To Sochi.  To Ravellenics!  Good luck and happy stitching to all Ravelympians!

Happy crafting and keep those creative juices running!

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ღ(✿◠‿◠)˙•٠•●ღ
ƸӜƷ•.¸¸.• ƸӜƷ

(still doesn’t do MySpace, Twitter, StumbleUpon, DiggIt…but caved into Facebook, a smartphone, and a little bit of texting!)

Keep My Mind Active


Studies confirm what knitters and crocheters already know

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WVEbBh4KvTk

–knitting and crocheting are good for my health and mental well-being.

One of class samples for my crochet class started earlier in the week

I like that it keeps my mind active as I try to figure out complicated patterns or stitch motifs.

It’s also incredibly calming.

Another sample for a crochet class

How does knitting, crocheting, or your craft help you?

Happy crafting and keep those creative juices running!

ღ¸.•*””*•.¸¸ “
ღ(✿◠‿◠)˙•٠•●ღ
ƸӜƷ•.¸¸.• ƸӜƷ

(still doesn’t do MySpace, Twitter, StumbleUpon, DiggIt…but caved into Facebook, a smartphone, and a little bit of texting!)

To Be Better


My goal is not to be better than anyone else, but, to be better than I used to be.  Here I’m referring to my fiber passion.  But, how?  I like to be specific about the things I could do to improve myself.  I need a refresher and adjust my attitude.

Last week, my prayer was answered.   A friend from Team Jazz Hands recruited me to join Nerd Wars (not the TV show or movie) on Ravelry.  Every project that I do, I try to tie it in to a Broadway or movie musical.  It’s been great fun so far planning projects to fulfill nerdy challenges.

For my first dissertation in my first Nerd Wars, I have chosen crochet freeform as my New Frontier challenge with concentration on Irish Crochet (lace) study.

When Kate Middleton walked down the aisle at her wedding to Britain’s Prince William, the lace that adorned her gown was immediately copied in fashion centers around the world.

For centuries lace has been a fashion favorite, where in the late 19th century it decorated the wardrobes and homes of only the wealthiest members of society.  1930s fashion was an era of feminine and romantic style as influenced by America’s captivation with silver screen stars who wore sensual silks, luxurious lace and backless gowns.

1950s style marks an era of feminine glamour… ’50s clothing inspired women to embrace their figures with hourglass silhouettes and hip-hugging cuts a la the pencil skirt and wiggle dress…and not without the elegant embellishment of lace.

Another sample for a crochet class

I’ve had the passion for making lace since I was in my teen. Next three months of studying a new form of crocheting is thrilling to me.  I love accessing the creative side of my brain.

The constraints of the tournament will motivate me to move this study along in a good pace.  As each motif is small and portable, I can consistently crochet at least one or two a day. This project will take 3 months as it involves a lot of trials and errors, ripping, and re-doing. Mid-way would be having individual scrumbles all done up and have their placements against my tunic template. I will concentrate on picking a mesh design (or a few) to use for making up the background and joining the scrumbles, then, writing up an essay to support my thesis and what I’ve learned specifically and without wandering.

Hook 2.75mm (C)
Paisley (light fingering Wool/Nylon, Red/Pink): 1.5” x 3.5”
Ridged Leaf (light fingering Wool/Nylon Yellow/Orange): 3” x 3.5”
and Curly-edge Leaf (Bulky Alpaca Wool, Maroon): 2.5” x 7.5”
Hook 4mm (G)]
Small Leaf (Worsted Merino, Hot Pink): 2” x 4”

Project Summary:  Freeform/Irish Crochet study. The latter is totally foreign to me. Through the process, I like to make a freeform tunic with the help of my freeform knitting knowledge/skill already in my tool box.  I don’t quite get the presentable way to crochet/join the pieces together in a garment yet.  Instead, I did a knitted mock-up for a visual guide while I progress in the study.  People sketch with pencil and paper.  Me?  With yarn and needles.

Pattern:  Freeform crochet, by some definitions, is a combination of stitches and colors, worked in a multi-directional way. Style of freeform typically doesn’t follow a pattern. It involves a combination of small pieces of knitting and crochet into patches (scrumbles,) that later be joined together to make a larger piece of unique and extremely tactile fabric. It means not only that I don’t follow a pattern, I don’t necessarily follow the standard “rules” of crochet. I add stitches anywhere I see fit. I start blocks of fabric and then end ‘em and start anew. It is a form of painting with yarn and a hook instead of canvas and a brush. The yarns, hooks, stitch type and direction are constantly changing. It gives the scrumble its appealing variety. Sometimes a new yarn is joined in and the work carries on; other times, it’s necessary to break off the yarn and begin again with new yarn in another place on the scrumble. These are decisions made as I go along.

Hook 2.75mm (C)
Irish Leaf with center ridge (light fingering Wool/Nylon Red/Yellow): 1.5” x 3”
Hook 4mm (G)
Starflower (Aran Acrylic Ref/Purple): 2” x 2” and
1/2 flower (Aran Acrylic Red/Purple): 2.5” x 4”

Yarn:  Red hues in Merino, Bamboo, Linen, Silk, Blend, Acrylic, Alpaca, BFL, cotton thread, cobweb singles, lace, light fingering, DK, Worsted, Aran, Bulky, Super Bulky…use everything I have in my stash including handspun.

Swatch:  Gauge doesn’t really matter for this project, but, I got a general gauge that I liked on 1.25mm, 2.75mm, and 4.00 mm.

Hook 2.75mm (C)
Red Rose (Sport weight/Acrylic): 1.75” diameter

Hook 2.75mm (C)
Spiderweb Square (light fingering Wool/Nylon ): 4.5”

Hook 2.75mm (C)
Fan/Shell (Silk Haze lace weight): 2” x 4”
Circle (Silk Haze lace weight): 1.5”

Hook 2.75mm (C)
Celtic Leaf (Sport weight/Acrylic Red): 4.5” (tip to tip between two leaves)

Hook 4mm (G)
Large Leaf (Aran Acrylic, Red/Purple): 5” x 10”

Hook 1.25mm
Padded ring (Cotton thread, Red) 1/2” diameter and
Ruffled Flower/ring (Cotton thread, Red) 3/4” diameter

Team tie-in:  The red colorways of the scrumbles in my tunic can be linked to the playful swing dress Tracy Turnblad had on in You can’t Stop the Beat, in Hairspray.  Mine will also ‘keep spinnin ‘round and round’ as in the line You Can’t Stop the Beat.  ‘The motion of the ocean. Or the rain from above. You can try to stop the paradise…,’ but, you can’t stop my making of this New Frontier.

Writing up the mini-thesis proposal took me back to college days where I sweated for days as I went into its writing totally clueless…then the wait for grade was even harder; it made me nervous.

I did it.  It took me two days of researching and preparation.  I submitted the proposal last night and received approval to proceed with the study earlier today.  I’m thankful for the supportive teammates who encouraged and walked me through all the steps.  Let the game begins.

Are you on Nerd Wars?  If not, what are you doing to challenge yourself to be better than you were?

Hook 4mm (G)
Bullion Stitch Scroll (Worsted Merino, Hot Pink): 2.5” x 5”

Happy crafting and keep those creative juices running!

ღ¸.•*””*•.¸¸ “
ღ(✿◠‿◠)˙•٠•●ღ
ƸӜƷ•.¸¸.• ƸӜƷ

(still doesn’t do MySpace, Twitter, StumbleUpon, DiggIt…but caved into Facebook, a smartphone, and a little bit of texting!)