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

Posts tagged ‘blanket’

Want to be Happier?

Try making my life a tad harder, preparing for Ravellenic games.  It’s epic.  I am on two teams, already!  Heehee.

Have you read Little House on the Prairie books?   Just imagine…scrubbing my menstrual flannels in a bucket, stewing up endless turnips, and chasing off the locusts.  Oh boy…my volumizing hair would surely have been greasy…petticoats grubby and encumbering…cuticles raggedier than my kids’ rag dolls.  Yet, the Ingall-Wilders were connected to their own lives.  Their every happiness and very existence were created from the work of their own hands.  Pa fiddled by the firelight while the girls knit themselves stockings with Ma sewing pantaloons.  Don’t forget…kids skipped school ‘cuz it’s time to boil maple syrup, harvest rutabagas, or cut ice from the lake.  I am full of envy.

My longing is no mere fantasy.  I’m actually happiest when accomplishing tangibly productive work–cleaning dishes and putting ’em away in proper places and stacking order, shoveling snow, replacing a shirt button for the boy’s jeans, cooking up feast, picking up hair from dogs and girls–rather than crossing virtual tasks off my on-screen to-do list.  I love seeking out activities that cultivate mindfulness.  The sense of oneness with my activity whether it is crocheting an afghan square, knit a sweater, or we felt.

The repetitive work helps me in two ways.  Counting chains/stitches and shingling fiber, a cognitive distracter,  distract me from stress while I’m doing the craft.   I get a great sense of accomplishment when there is a clear connection between my physical efforts and results.  My reward chemicals increases while the anxiety/stress toxins–heart rate, blood pressure, perspiration and all–drops.   This is a pretty nice cocktail, wouldn’t you say?!

Leisure turns out to be complicated and important.  But, any type of repetitive motor activity can calm the brain.  What do you do to ease the anxiety?  Will you be participating in any of the Ravellenic games?  Here is a pair of newly published Carved Heart Socks, perfect for Valentine’s Day gift, I plan to cast on for the kick-off ceremony and knit during the games.  Coupon code at check-out is Heart for your free pattern, good ’til January 8.

Kate Heppell of Shetland Story have made Love in Cold Climate FREE for the run-up to and duration of the Olympics as her little way of helping to raise awareness of the plight of the LGBT community in Russia, subject to terrifying levels of persecution, discrimination and abuse. You may read a little about this here.

Other candidates for the games are:

    • To Zola With Love, a prayer shawl worked up/designed by Kay Meador for a special someone in her life.  Free to Ravelry member. No coupon needed.

How’s that for starter?  I will show you my Ravellenic queues of JenJoycedesign by my dear friend next.  For now, Pin-striped Fingerless mitts is a free download to Ravelery member.  Grab a copy.  Sharpen your needles.  Dig in your stash.  Cast-on away.  Now, I must get to my daily walk.  Come back soon for more Ravellenic enabling.

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Happy crafting and keep those creative juices running!

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


To be human is to be wild.

Wild is the strange pull and whispering wisdom.  It’s the gentle nudge and forceful ache.  It’s my truth, passed down from the ancients, and very stream of life in my blood.  Wild is the soul where passion and creativity reside and the quickening of my heart.  Wild is what is real.   Wild is my home.

Today, I choose to step into it.  My primal self.

  • Be courageous.
  • Stand up and show who I am, authentically and completely unapologetically.
  • Be fearless in my ambitions, goals and decisions.

These energies will then spread into the world and boost the human race…for one drop may indeed raise the entire ocean.

When I peel back the layers of what I think I should be doing, what is it that I really want to be doing?  When will I revisit those things? Is everything else really more important?  Tiny time-fillers.  Do they ultimately matter?  Why is it that I become sick before I learn about what I truly, individually, need on a deeper level?   Today, I listen to my soul cravings.  They’re wild.  And they’re my truth.

What do you crave?  How do you want to feel?

#2 of the temperature knit is underway (shown two images up,) recording hi and lo of first 5 days of the year.  20 wedges made with 8 more to be added over next two days.  Each circle is ~7”.  It may grow to a 9” square.  Once the first square is completed on Sunday, math work would be more accurate.  To make it work, I need to add 2 fillers–good place to embroider in the year and perhaps the city.  I envision the throw be about 5’ by 7’ when finished.  What do you think of this modified Easy as Pi(e), another free pattern by Knitty.com here?

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Happy crafting and keep those creative juices running!

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

Anxiety Relief Meditation

Meditation keeps me sane in a sometimes insane world.

  • First, I find a quiet place where I won’t be disturbed for next 13 minutes.  (not as easy as it may sound, mind you…at least not around me) 
  • Second, find me a comfortable position to sit.  Most times, I just lay flat on the floor.
  • Now that I’m ready, press PLAY.

Well…did you follow along?  How are you feeling?  Calm?  Peaceful?  Safe?  Uplifting?

Another common relief I find regularly is playing with fiber.  This is not spaghetti squash.  Just yarn in Wilton Cake Gel, lemon dye bath.

I needed some quick dyeing for a project ‘cuz the high temperature around here has dropped to the 30s in a day.  Why does it matter, you ask?  Read on.

Have you heard of a “temperature,” “sky“, and/or “weatherconceptual knitting scarf?  The outcome is totally dependent on the weather observation.  Each day, you knit a stripe in color that matches that day’s sky/weather.  At end of the year, you would have a spiffy 5-foot-long scarf.  This has been in my “queue” since 2011.  It has taken this long to move up to the plate.

If your temperature stays relatively constant, choose corresponding colors based on moods (chart linked.)  If you’re trying to diet in 2014–pick 3 colors and change your rounds when you lose weight, gain weight, or weigh the same.  The latter could be more challenging as you’ll have to step on a scale every day around the same time.  None of these flies?  No problem.  Just choose other motivator(s).  I choose blue for cold, red for hot, etc., but, you may pick anything appeals to you, whatever in your stash. Choose an easy hat pattern–there are tons of ‘em and free–on Ravelry.  Knit, crochet, weave, or full/felt goes.

Same idea fits easily into a hat, a sock, a mitten, a square, a blanket…one round a day, one color for each 10 degrees…Initially, I picked the high at 3 p.m. each day, wherever I may be.  Chances are the color changes won’t be too dramatic so less ends to weave in.  On the other hand, if you select 15 or more colors as I do, the gradient effect would be glorious.

After the 3rd day, I decided to just take the high of the day to simplify my life.  Less is more, right.  (Yeh…secret is out the bag.  I love BACI.  No if or but.  Just LOVE ’em.  24 boxes for Christmas.  Beyond sweet!)

At a snail’s pace, it takes two months for a hat.  Six hats a year for gifts.  What a cool chemo hat this would make, don’t you think?

Rebecca aka socksformumtook started taking pictures of the Colorado sunrise every morning on May 12, 2012, used various motifs from Mary Jane Mucklestone’s 200 Fair Isle Motifs and modified her Fair Isle Sampler Hat…

What a stunning beauty she has grown up to be (as of December 31, 2013.)

I am madly in love with Alice’s double-knit option to record hi and lo temps.

Weather underground is a good site for looking up historical, present, and forecast, recorded temperatures in case you miss them on any given day.  It goes back to January 1, 1942 for my area.  However, it only went back to 2011 when I did a search for my birth place outside of the U.S.  Guess it takes time for the site to build up its historical database.  Do you know of other useful site(s) for tracking historical weather data?

Two heads are better than one.  Since the kick-off of A year of Temperature/Mood Scarf/Hat/Patchwork Blanket-Along for Ravelry 52in52-2014 member group challenge, the list of possibilities/ideas grew exponentially by the hour!  I am still charting, planning, prepping, and constantly changing/shuffling color orders.  This is what my 2014 Almanac looks like…4 days into it.

To accomplish my initial sizable project, instead of a row a day, mine goes like this:   2 rows first 2 days, 1 row on the 3rd, 1 row on the 4th.  Repeat the sequence.  Did you see a problem with my sequence?  If you do a lot of color work, you would spot it immediately.  On the 4th day, the designated color is quite contrasting from the day before.  Changing color strand on the backside would create an eyesore line of dashes on the public side of the project.  Image below is the backside of the fabric, but, you see the dashes between Lavenderish Wisteria and Royal Purple I am talking about, don’t you?

That just doesn’t fly with me.  Oh, no.  Solution?   With public side (aka right side) facing me, pull cable all the way to the left.  Attach new color strand and knit away.  Voila.  No dash.

Now, have I lost you in all these knitting gibberish?  Or have I convinced you to knit/crochet along?  You gotta admit giving a temperature scarf to an out-of-town friend–with his/her year of local temperatures–is nifty, cool.  If a sky scarf isn’t for you, maybe you can think of knitting, spinning, or even sewing/felting something else to represent your life on a daily basis.  By the way, if you have young kids, this is a wonderful project for teaching weather, temperature, charting, tracking, and more.  The sky’s the limit.

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Happy crafting and keep those creative juices running!

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

Every Ride Can’t Be all Downhill

but a nice cider every now and then helps…I must admit I’m addicted; seldom a day goes by that I don’t knit at least a couple of rows.

Today could have been a day of solid progress as long as I didn’t bite off more than I could handle.

Yet, I discovered another step in learning to readjust my attitude and expectations so that I could find joy where I may not have expected it… finding the joy inside of all the work.

I love designing.  I love working out the math.  I love fitting the jigsaw puzzle pieces together…but the stress involved in getting so MUCH to work congruently can be daunting.

I did find a way to readjust the attitude and enjoy the ride today…with a few COOL friends by the pool (only regretted that I didn’t take some photos.)  Life is good…even though I am fighting a very, very bad cold!

Happy crafting and keep those creative juices running!

(still doesn’t do texting, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, DiggIt…)

Luxury and DIY

To some that may sound like a strange combination, but I believe in using good materials for DIY projects.  Seeing others so passionate about knitting and designing inspires me.

I am up for the challenge again…an air of familiarity about it.  I want to create something fashion forward and design-driven–nothing synthetic, as I believe in the beautiful complexity of organic nature–using beautiful yarns that are widely available in today’s marketplace.

I start seeing hints of that in some lines I’m playing with, but also feel that there is  room for more.  Ideas and inspiration come from the world of fashion and I like the challenge of figuring out how I may deconstruct it and make it myself.   The next design play, in a Gigantuous swatch,  is a classic piece I dream to really get wear out of.

I’m also very moved by the Japanese crafting scene and  love its simplicity and styling shown in craft books.

Experimenting is key, I can’t be afraid to make mistakes.  Just go for it…I’ll  learn more that way 😀

Happy crafting and keep those creative juices running!

(still doesn’t do texting, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, DiggIt…)

Quality Yarn and Rustic Textures

I’ve been itching to cast on new design ideas. After all, I love to surround myself with dreamy fiber, yarn, and fabric. So, my craft space (as hubby calls it the SuperStore) is littered with many inspiring rovings, batts, yarns in skeins/hanks/balls, fat quarters, quilting charm packs…awaiting to reach their potential.

My weakness? Simply put, I couldn’t resist this indescribably, gorgeous silky ShibuiKnits Staccato in pretty powder blue shade named Rain, pair with 50’s Kitchenplayful for naming a colorway, isn’t it!?

This yarn is to die for–the old adage you get what you pay for is certainly true here. The sheen from the silk makes the project stunning.

I love making functional and aesthetically pleasing articles. This clever design , by Sara Morris, (aka fyberduck) suits my preference for vintage/heirloom/heritage-style knits that I love in a blanket, or shawl, for a modern baby–useful and attractive, with beautiful details.

Though I followed the pattern exactly as written, the recipe may easily be modified to a substantial blanket to accompany the discerning baby through his or her early years.

I love this crisp pattern utilizing simple stitches to showcase the yarns and colors. It’s simple, quick, and elegant. It’s just enough to keep you interested, without needing constant reference to the pattern. Perfect for my appetite. What’s more? It will be very durable with all of the up coming washing it will endure. 😀 It’s a PLUS! After washing and blocking, the awesome piece is as specified in the diagram: 28″ by 29″, used 2.5 skeins of each colorway (or 955 yards.) See this post for blocking instruction. Personally, I prefer it longer than nearly a square.

You can’t go wrong with that one, perfect for lecture/concert/long car-ride (oh no…I don’t mean you as a driver!) knitting.

It took me about 9 hours of uninterrupted knitting (and I’m a decent, speed knitter.)

Check out both the yarns and pattern at one of the nicest stores in Portland, KNIT-PURL (online here.)

Happy crafting and keep those creative juices running!

(still doesn’t do texting, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, DiggIt…)