Thursday, May 31, 2012


Yesterday while doing my physical therapy exercises, I managed to do something that actually made me hurt in all sorts of new places, so aside from dealing with the humiliation of hurting myself WHILE doing the exercises designed to make me better, I got to spend another day pretty looped up on pain medication.  So:
there is a finished hat (#4 of 12 for the year), and
started another one.  I think even at my most loopy I can create vaguely head-shaped things provided they don't have to match anything, so until my back mellows out a bit, hats are my friend.  And, probably far more importantly, my political consulting hours are finished, and I have withdrawn from the campaign until (and if) I can get my back under control.  It was actually a tough decision, but I have now had to pop my hip back into place twice in the last week, so the deterioration of all that progress was happening too rapidly to ignore.  Until I'm fully healed, I just can't handle anything quite that stressful.  So, I should have LOTS more crafting time this month........even if some of it is a bit loopy.

I did start cutting out the fleece ensemble:
though I haven't made it very far.  I have a great pair of spring-loaded shears that work great for fleece and heavy fabrics.........and they weren't with the other scissors.  This is going to be a long process.  So, no new sewing for the month, unfortunately, and since I can't imagine finishing the new hat in one day (good heavens--I become RATIONAL when looped up on pain pills!), my May totals stand thus:

Skeins of yarn used:  7.15
Yards of yarn used: 1202.5
yards of fabric used:  ZIP

Aside from the fabric tally, not bad for such a crazy month.  I didn't count any yardage for the mitten ornaments because it's so very minimal, and even with the slower pace, I'm averaging 1545 yards knit per month, which still puts me on target for 18,500 yards used up for the year, which would be my second-best year ever.  AND, even better, I would finish the year with 18,500 yards of yarn no longer in the sewing room!!!!!!!!!!  And not just because I couldn't fit it back in............

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Ravelympics are Coming! The Ravelympics are Coming!

Some of you might remember that I had a really good time with the Ravelympics two years ago....

And it's almost time for them again!!!!!!!!!!

The mass cast-on is July 27, so I have some time to decide which events to enter.  As always, the event list cracks me up:
afghan marathon afghans, blankets 
baby dressage baby items: anything baby 
bag-n-tote backstroke bags, totes, containers 
balance beads beaded items 
cable steeplechase cables of all kinds 
cast-on trap shoot cast on mania 
RULE: 1/3 into project (% yds) completed to qualify; projects can’t cross compete in other events
charity rowing items for charity 
colourwork crosscountry colourwork, fair-isle,
cowl jump cowls, infinity scarves; things for neck joined in loop 
double-knit boxing double knit technique 
felted freestyle all things made then felted 
frogging trampoline frogging projects 
RULE: only deep hibernation projects (1+yr on needles); projects can’t cross compete in other events
hand-dye high dive hand dyeing of yarn or fiber 
handspun heptathlon spinning event: fleece/fiber to spun yarn 
hat dash hats, all things head wear 
holiday hurdles gift knitting for 2012; holiday themed items 
home stuff hammerthrow home accessories 
lace longjump laceweight or finer yarns (For thread, Size 10 thread or finer); and lace patterns 
mitten medley mittens, gloves, any hand/arm covers 
modular relay modular techniques; creating modular bits /items to use later
RULE: state your goal (ie: 20 hexipuffs; 40 dish cloths; 50 mitered blocks); projects can’t cross-compete in other events
rhythmic machinastics machine knitters event 
scarf hockey all things scarves 
shawl sailing shawls, wraps, stoles, ponchos 
single skein sprint one skein projects 
sock put socks 
swatching coxswain making proper 4x4 swatches 
RULE: must follow specific criteria (to be announced soon); projects can’t cross-compete in other events
sweater triathlon all sweaters, vest, cardigans, pullovers, shrugs, boleros 
synchronized stash busting using only stash that’s 1+yrs old 
toy toss toys, amigurumi 
weaving vault weavers event 
RULE: projects can’t cross compete in other events
wips wrestling wips only 
RULE: not touched since May 15 2012; projects can’t cross compete in other events

EXHIBITION SPORTS non-medal events for fun only
British Cricket all things British themed
Olympic Glory Anything with an Olympic theme. See the various patterns and books for inspiration: Olympiknits, Knitlympics for starters. Or an olympic flame, mascots…etc.
Yarn Bombing/Storming let us see what fun things crop up during the Olympics. Caveat: Please follow all local rules and regulations in your area, and get whatever permissions are needed for your installation.

Of course, the event list makes me want to do all the events now--it  even makes me want to do real, proper gauge swatches just to do something involving the word "coxswain."  We don't get to use that much out here.  It's my understanding that rowing teams tend to prefer flat, non-white water rivers, and we just don't have any of those.  You get a guy going down the river in the front of a boat facing backwards out here, and "stroke, stroke" is NOT going to be the first thing that pops into his mind to be shouting I would guess--maybe not even in the top 20.................

Monday, May 28, 2012

Happy Memorial Day

I'm not sure what Andy would have normally chosen to do with a three-day weekend, but what he's doing is finishing the top shelf for the sewing room.  This
will stretch across the tops of the other shelves and run the length of the entire wall.  I call it the "holy-cow-I-have-a-lot-of-stuff" shelf.  For another day, I am going to pretend that this will allow me to organize EVERYTHING crafting I own.  Then I'll have a paper-bag ready for the hyperventilation later......

My back is hurting less, and the drug episode is wearing off.  Because my back hurt again, I went back to full-strength pain pills.  Makes sense, doesn't it?  Well, I have always had a pretty rotten tolerance for any sort of drug, and with ALL the exercise and working out and weights and everything else, I discovered today that even with all the new muscle mass, I've lost 9 pounds this year alone.  Well, THAT will play all sorts of fun games with one's ability to absorb things one doesn't do well with anyway, and I have been flattened by the pain pills this time.   I dropped back to half-levels, but still had to take it easy yesterday, so:
I started a new hat.  Being a hat I've made before, it isn't too tricky for me, and if my gauge is wonky still, there isn't anything for it to match, and I need 10 more hats for the year.  I love this hat pattern, mostly because of the tweedy effect:
It's all done with slipped stitches, so each round only has one color to contend with, thankfully.  I'm not a big color-work fan at the best of times,  but it would have completely done me in yesterday.  After the last couple days, it was almost pure stockinette.............

Sunday, May 27, 2012


Wednesday I went to the gym and tried a new abs machine, and I could feel it straining my back so I didn't do a second set, but then I drove to my parents' for the evening, which I haven't done since I hurt my back because riding in a car has been so hard on me, and I thought I was handling it okay.  I was stiff, but okay.  I got up the next morning, drove back, very sore and stiff, but as usually happens, the REAL back pain didn't start until the middle of Thursday night.  Oh. My.  Now I can say that my back was not ready for that.  So, Finishing Friday was spent pretty thoroughly drugged, though while I was conscious I made
ornaments!  I even did one more thread on that cross stitch--though to be on the safe side I kept with only working a straight line.  I don't know if it's my tendency to block out anything unpleasant or just because I probably wouldn't remember anyway, but I honestly did NOT remember the pain pills knocking me for such a loop.  But I've slept through most of the last two days, and been really fuzzy when I've been awake.  I did a little work on the sock I started for the knitting group I started because it's the simplest thing I have on needles right now,
then went back to ornaments:
The blue one took me most of the day yesterday because I was so fuzzy, and either there's a difference in cheap worsted weight acrylic yarns or,
my gauge was swinging pretty wildly with the drugs.  Not that they actually have to match, but the mitten size difference really made me laugh.  It would funnier if it were the drugs, but the blue and red are different brands of cheap yarn, so that is possible.  But just to be on the safe side, I'm staying away from sweaters for a bit........

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Maybe Not

I don't know whether anyone has noticed that reality and I are not always on close terms--I know I probably hide it pretty well.  After emptying the sewing room filled up most of the available space upstairs, I really do seem to have expected that ALL of the fabric, yarn, and books would fit neatly into the new shelves,
once I got them back from Theo, of course.  I'm thinking I have underestimated the stash,
or overestimated the shelves.  Oops.  Andy is going to get cranking on the shelf that will join the two and run all the way across the wall, which will help.  I, however, need to get cranking on some sewing.

I was thrilled to have located my wrist pin cushion--I wear it so often that the little sewing I've tried to do while the sewing room has been packed up has generally led to at least two or three pin pricks in my wrist, which is a bit discouraging as it seems I don't jab them gently.  So, happy with my wrist protection, I thought I'd tackle this
which is meant to be "fleece lounge-wear," which sounds better than "nice-looking sweats."  Fleece takes up scads of room so if I sew it, I don't have to find a home for it.  Point number two in it's favor: the pattern is in the bag, which is highly important as the pattern stash is still in the "in some box or other" category.  Of course, the big strike against this one (besides the fact that I couldn't find my paper scissors and measuring tapes) is that no matter how long it's been since you've done any sewing, it's really hard to get excited about sewing fleece clothing in the spring.  So, there was a sidetrack to trying to A) find a summer-type pattern, B) find summer-type fabric in an appropriate weight/width/yardage to the pattern, and C) locate the blasted tape measures.  Which is why, at the end of my weekend, I am showing you:
WHEW!  Boy, it's hard not to be just completely OVERWHELMED with all that progress, isn't it???

Friday, May 18, 2012

They're In!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And I am simply astounded.
When I talked about "shelves" I didn't picture anything remotely this cool.  There will be lights in the top curvy part eventually, and then a shelf running across the top joining the two shelves, and the baseboards need to be added, but they are ready to be filled!  As soon as I stop admiring them, of course.

Saturday, May 12, 2012


Ta-da!  Finished mittens:
A finished scarf (sideways):

Lots of progress on the mohair sweater--which I forgot to take pictures of--and,

a new baby hat which obviously isn't a WIP but nobody's perfect.

Please forgive the sideways photos.  We recently upgraded my Linux laptop, and the new photo manager takes photos that were ORIGINALLY the right way up, turns them, and then no matter how many times I edit them, they still come out wrong.  In general, I really like open source software, but when it has problems, they're whoppers.  So, until I find a different program, I'm stuck with crazy pictures.  Don't you just love technology?

Friday, May 11, 2012

Nothing Like Planning Ahead

It's May, and I think it's fair to say that I'm a bit behind on my 12 12s for the year.  So what am I doing?  Planning my challenge for next year.  Because I really, REALLY do not have a brain in my head. 

See that "12s" list on the right?  See where it says "12 Christmas ornaments - 1 done?"  Notice how I'm already a bit behind there?  Well, next year my goal is make 365 ornaments.  Yeah--because I'm managing so well on 12. 

It has a lot to do with this:
which is my one lapse on the crafting-book ban.  I just love this book, and want to knit straight through it, which is fine.  It also has a lot to do with how much fun I had with the mitten ornaments last year, and what great gifts they made, and the fact that I was able to track down (and found in my stash) lots of glittery Christmas yarn just screaming to be used.  The BIG reason, however, is both to do something fun and to push myself to try new things.  For several years now, I've made it a goal to read or listen to 100 books per year.  When I was only reading 10-12 books a year, I was really picky about what I read and didn't venture much into new genres because if one only gets 12 books a year, they'd better be good.  Now with 100 every year, I do stop if a book is bad or annoying, but I've been exploring all sorts of new stuff--classic children's books I never read, memoirs, science fiction/fantasy--because the emphasis is on volume.  I'm sure it wouldn't work for everyone, but it's been fun and I've found all sorts of books I would have never read that I enjoyed thoroughly.  When only making a few ornaments, I'm going to stick with stuff I know will work--like the mittens.  With only doing a few, the fact that I struggled with trying to do them made me too timid to try other things.  If I need 365 of the things, I'm hoping I'll be a lot more willing to branch out and try a bunch of the ideas I have had that I'm too intimidated to try.  That's the plan, at any rate.  I'm not going to make it one ornament per day--that sort of thing never works out in my life.  I haven't worked out the logistics yet--maybe I'll go through my crafting books and make a list of 52 patterns, then put them on slips of paper in a jar and draw one each week.  That could be doable.  Then leave the other ones up to chance?  Or, more probably, desperation? 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

A Little Vacation WIP-ing

My friends know me so well.  Gaidig has DARED me to finish the mohair sweater before starting the purple one, and I think we all know that I'm enough of a child to totally get into this, so I have been diligently wrestling with mohair.  And when I've needed a break....
I have been working on THE most pathetic WIP I have.  A pair of EZ's mitered mittens in colors I love that inexplicably were started in October and have been languishing as little more than a cuff for months.  They are now cruising along and THIS time I'm taking decent notes so I don't have to examine the first pair of mittens every 5 minutes to see what I need to be doing.  Honestly--7 months for a pair of mittens?????  That's insane.  In fact, almost as insane as..........
the cross stitch!  As a severe Type-A personality, once in a while I think it's good for me to do something on a vacation that isn't productive at all, and what fits the bill better than cross stitch?  I just finished thread number SIX for the year on it--which is probably a new record for me--and only have 6 more to go.  Just look at all the progress since the start of 2011:
At this rate, I should finish this baby up when I'm 115.  Good thing I eat healthy..........