January 27, 2008

I spy....

...with my little eye, someone crocheting! I am sitting here at Panera trying my best to focus on my online class forum, but people-watching too and I just glanced over to see a high school (maybe jr. college) aged guy crocheting in public. He is sitting with his family and showing off his latest WIP. I am trying to see what it is without being too obvious, but it is brown and blue stripes and rather wide....maybe the start of a sweater? I think it is so cool that not only is this young guy doing something that when I was that age would have been socially unacceptable. He is doing it unabashedly, in public, and proudly displaying his work. Awesome!

Speaking of show and tell....

I have a few older projects that I made before I discovered blog-land that I thought I'd share with you. I had a brief love affair with ponchos and fun fur scarfs...I'll spare you the photos of those. But these are two projects I am particularly proud of.

The first is one of my own designs. I saw these really cute cell phone cozies at a little store on the downtown mall. They were handknit and sooo cute, but also outrageously priced. I thought to myself, I can do that! So I went home and looked through my yarn stash and came up with this. It's not nearly as professional as the ones in the store, nor is it as complex, but it works for me and more importantly I didn't follow any kind of pattern. That's 100% me!

The second project is probably the one I am most proud of to date. I only have three finished sweaters under my belt, and the two adult-sized ones were pretty simple knit-in-the-round dealies with little to no finishing. This project incorporated intarsia, weaving in countless ends, finishing, and other little things I had to learn for it.

This is from Family Circle Easy Baby Knits. (I totally recommend this book if you have kids...the patterns are all super cute and pretty simple.) I made this about 2 1/2 years ago, just after I learned to knit. It was a super-addictive knit. I'm not sure what made is so addictive....maybe learning a new technique? It was a pretty quick knit too...only took me about 3 weeks including finishing. I remember trying to crank out a few rows on my lunch break. A few notes about this one...I made this before I discovered "real" yarn stores, so it's entirely acrylic. I suppose that is great for easy-care for a baby, but also dangerously flammable for a little one. It also means that I can't block it all, since synthetic fibers don't block. I also modified the neck a little bit....you knit it back and forth with an open seam on one side. I seamed up the side because I thought it looked funny, only too-late realizing that there is no way you will ever fit a baby's head through it. I just need to take out the side seam on the neck, though and it would be perfect.

I don't know if you can tell from the picture, but the ears are sewn onto the sweater so they stick out, and the sheep is made from a different yarn. I used a boucle to give him a fuzzy sheep-like feel to him.

One more note....the guy that is crocheting that I am sneaking peaks of is now teaching his grandmother how to do it. Cute!

January 25, 2008

The Solution

Every year around Christmas-time my blood pressure shoots through the roof. Granted, I work in retail and that would be enough to drive anyone crazy at that time of year, but it's also the crafty-crazy that circulates the blogs in December.
It usually goes a little something like this:
"Ok, nothing huge this year....just a pair of socks for mom and maybe some washcloths for my MIL."
"wow, that's cute and it would be perfect for my sister..."
"Hm....my grandmother would absolutely love that one..."
"I love that sweater....I wonder if I could memorize that cable pattern..."
"Yes! I could totally spin my own yarn, dye it, design my own pattern, and knit a gorgeous shawl for each of my female relatives!"

Yet I repeat the pattern each year. Even if I have sworn to tone it down, or even do no handknits I find things that people would just *love*. Like this past year I played it all high and mighty with the "no handknits" attitude, but secretly I was lusting after making matching sweaters, socks, and hats for each family member and their dogs.

This year, though....this year will be different. Why? Why when year after year of failures I believe I can make it work this time?

Because it's still January!

I just found this awesome website knit-a-long so I won't end up with the same problems this year. (Thanks for the link Jennifer!) You write a craft list each month for the gifts you want to complete that month and then it holds you accountable for them by offering prizes to those who complete their lists, etc. They are still accepting sign-ups and it's totally worth checking out.
Now, because any post with pictures is boring....
These mittens are now on the back burner but I am loving fair isle!

January 20, 2008

Crop, crop, crop

This weekend was the long-awaited annual scrapbooking retreat! I look forward to this all year long. It is a three day, two night crop held at a local hotel. You can go to any one part of the crop (Sat day, Fri eve, etc.) or go all out and stay the whole weekend. This is my first year doing the whole weekend. I've only done one overnight in the past.

I had three guests join me yesterday for the daytime portion of the crop. The ballroom was open to scrapbookers until 2am. Maybe I'm insane, but I stayed up and cropping (mostly) until 2 with Shining (in the blue). I then had to be back in the ballroom this morning at 7am because I was in charge of unlocking it and opening up.

Amazingly this starvation of sleep has done little to slow me down. If anything I have more creativity this morning than I did last night. Of course that could have been due to all the antics, dancing, and conga lines last night, but that's another story.

I did solve the knitting mojo issue from my last post. I got a mitten kit for the cuteset striped mittens with embroidered swirlys on it. I'm about halfway done with the first one. Pictures soon!

January 6, 2008

oh where oh where...

...has my mojo gone?

Something terrible has happened. I haven't knit anything since before Christmas and I have no desire to either. I have about a million things I could work on, but nothing interests me. Help! Can anyone recommend a quick mojo fix project?