Kindle & Knit

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I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas!  My family and I celebrated the holiday by staying home and having a great dinner made by my mom.  Simple.  I love simple.
One of my favorite gifts was an Amazon Kindle, and I gotta say that I am falling in love with it.  1) Browsing books online is one of my favorite past times; 2) I wanted to keep my physical library to a minimum, but don’t like getting rid of books; 3) I can buy and read books anywhere; 4) It’s lightweight.
In all honesty, I was a little worried that it would take time for me to get used to the screen, but the Kindle has a screen unlike a computer or phone. . . it really is like reading something on paper.  I also worried that I wouldn’t like the lack of page turning (it’s something I love about reading from paper books), but pushing a button isn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be. :)  The one and only thing that I will miss that the kindle cannot replace is the smell of books.  Ah well, life is about give and take anyway.

Enough of that – I’m gonna prove to you that I still knit.

Abalone Cardigan

Pattern: Abalone by Beata Jezek
Yarn: Hand dyed (main) and Araucania Nature Wool Chunky (cc)

The sleeves turned out too big for me, but I intentionally knit the body a little bigger so that I could close it up in the front if I needed to (with a shawl pin).  Either way, I’m pretty happy with it and I’ve almost completed another project which will be posted soon!

In the meantime, give me book recommendations!

This post has fiber. I promise.

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Two posts in two days!!!  Let’s not get crazy, shall we? ;)
This post is going to be photo heavy. Enjoy it.

School:
An update about Monster’s first morning of school.  It’s only 9:30 am, and I cannot wait to pick him up and see how his day went!
We got up super early, so we had time to squeeze in a couple of Mario Kart races;  the morning was off to a great start!
He was super excited about his backpack and getting to school,

Superhero pose! (this is his superhero pose, btw)

and even when we got to the room he was super great.

Monster in his school seat

But alas, the time came for his dad and I to leave the room and the tears welled up in his eyes. . . and then in ours, but we held them back to be strong for him.  He cried a little because he wasn’t sure of the new environment, but I think he did a little better after we left (we peeked in without him noticing).
I really really wish that I could call to make sure everything is going well, but I can’t!  I miss him right now and I hope he’s having more fun than not.  He should have a good day, because today is music day, and if he takes after me the music will make everything a-ok.

Intermission. . .

Let the fiber love begin

As of late, I have been in a spinning craze.  I’ve updated the shop with all sorts of goodies, and have been at my spinning wheel every day cranking out bundles of pure yarn bliss.  Some of it is my hand dyed, some of it is not – I really enjoy spinning fiber dyed by others because every dyer has their own “eye for color” that varies from artist to artist.  I won’t put any yarn details here, but if you want to know yardage and what-not, head over to my Ravelry stash.

Spinning Colors

“Black Cherry”

“Pine”

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Funky Carolina

“Lily”

“Tarnished”

“Colorful Heart”

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Southern Cross Fibre

“Katoomba”

And of course there’s more. . . but you get the point! ;)

Last but not least

I am selling my wheel!!! No, I’m not giving up spinning.  I’m ready to upgrade my wheel a little so that I may explore more aspects of handspinning and my Julia doesn’t offer everything that I am looking for.  If I could keep the Louet Julia AND get the wheel I want, I would certainly do that, but in order to buy a new wheel I need to get some money by selling my current one. :(  So sad!!!

Anyway, if anyone is interested, please let me know – and tell your friends!

Louet Julia S11 details
Included:

  • Louet Julia wheel (no missing parts)
  • Lazy Kate
  • 6 bobbins (3 came with the wheel when it was originally purchased)

The lazy kate is missing two of the three caps, but this does not affect its use.

Retail value is $787 (via The Woolery)
I am asking $650/obo I’m willing to negotiate.
I would prefer pickup in Austin, Texas, but am willing to ship (buyer will pay for shipping costs).

These images can be seen here.

Thanks for tuning in! :)

A New Beginning

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School
Usually I talk about what’s going on for me at school, but tonight I’m talking about someone else.  My oldest son.

It’s the eve before Monster starts school, and I’m a bag of mixed emotions!  I cannot believe that he is going to start school.  It’s kind of hard to believe that I have a 5 year old (going on 15), and that my little boy is quickly becoming a big kid.  I’m scared of what he’s going to learn from the other kiddos at school, but also confident that he’s being raised well and knows the difference between good and bad.  I just really hope that his first day goes really well because it’s the first impression that really counts!!

Wish him lots of luck for tomorrow!

My Monster

PS – The next post I have will involve fiber. ;)

A Finished Knit!!

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I’ve been on a knitting hiatus for a while, but I’m happy to say that I’m BACK!  I finally finished a pair of socks for Monster that I had started sometime last fall.  The sad part is that it only took me a few hours to complete the second sock.

Luckily, they do fit him right now but we’ll have to see if they still fit when Winter comes along.  If not, he’s got a younger brother!

Panopticon Socks

Details
Yarn: Lorna’s Laces Sock “Franklin’s Panopticon”
Pattern: Followed instructions according to “8 stitches per inch socks” by Ann Budd

And I even have something special going on the needles right now!  An upcoming bag designed by the one and only Snowden Becker.

Falling off the Earth

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This post is a collection of my thoughts and concerns from the last few weeks.
I promise I haven’t really fallen of the Earth although my posts here seem to have indicated it.  In reality, I’ve been overcome with things to do and I have too many tasks going on, and I think I’ve found myself at yet another crossroad in my life.

Lately, I have become extremely scatterbrained (instead of just a little bit like usual);  I find it really difficult to remember little things such as a conversation that I held only a day ago – because during that conversation I was also thinking about something else that I need to get done, or an idea that I need to make sure to write down before I forget.  In terms of my knitting and crocheting, I have felt blocked every time I have tried to start a new project – as if I’ve forgotten how to do it even though I understand and remember all the motions.  Even though I want to make something, I feel as if it’s lost some of its appeal to me because for the last few semesters it has turned into a daunting job instead of a relaxing hobby.  I don’t like this feeling of being unfocused.

I have gotten to the point where I feel as if a stick has been thrown into the spokes of my life, and I won’t be able to move onward until I decide the best way to remove it.

For me, I have determined that the best way to remove the stick is to choose a single subject to major in.  At the moment, I am majoring in both Fibers and Photography, and not only do I think it is unwise to have two different focuses to be identified by in my artistic life, but I think I should lessen the burden on myself (and my living space) by choosing one or the other to focus on.  The decision that I have made is to focus on Photography.
I have a lot of reasons as to why I have chosen Photography that I won’t go into right now, but inevitably I think that it will create space in my life that I desperately need both emotionally and physically.

I will continue to do fibers work because I do love it, but it will not be what I focus on as a working artist.  I enjoy the processes of fiber arts, and the colors and textures are always interesting to me, but I don’t see it as a subject that captures me as conceptually as photography does.  My mind sees “pictures” all the time, and I feel that I can best interpret, express, and share those mental images through a photograph.  In speaking for myself as an artist, I feel the need to be able to speak about the work I create in a way that can not only cause reaction with an audience, but also to feel a deep connection to what I am trying to share with others.  I need to feel that I am creating a sort of message instead of creating something that is only aesthetically pleasing, which is how I feel about my fiber art.  This is not to be confused with how I feel about other fiber artists, because I can find meaning in many other artist’s work, but I feel that I personally don’t convert my feelings and thoughts into fiber art successfully like I can through photography.

So overall, my decision to narrow my focus will give me clarity in my life.  I also believe that I will be able to enjoy the simple act of crafting something through knitting, crochet, spinning, etc. and it will bring me more joy than it has in the last few months.

Felted Bag #1

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As part of my desire to learn more about wet felting, I took a class that allowed me to felt around a template.  When felting around a template you are able to create a seamless, non-flat project.  So, I made a bag!

Felted Bag

The fiber was hand dyed, and the light green “zips” are bits of handspun singles that were leftover from when I plied some yarn a while back.  The lining is a batik fabric, but unfortunately I can’t claim it as my own because I bought it from JoAnn’s!  I have gotten the urge to do some batik though. . . but that’s a whole ‘nother post.  Here’s a shot of the lining:

Felted Bag Lining

I’m pretty proud of it considering it’s the first one I’ve made.  For the next bag I’ll take more time to add an inside pocket (or 5) and also figure out a way to close it up;  I think I’ll want to add a flap to close it instead of only a zipper.

ETA:  One of the most useful resources I’ve used to learn more is the website: Felting Lessons.  She has great, free videos that will guide you through the felting and fulling process.

Tumblr.

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I’m just popping in to talk about my photography blog that I’ve started.  Since I use this blog mostly for personal life and knitting, I wanted to start another online journal to keep track of my experiences and inspirations concerning photography.

If you’d like to keep track of my photography, you can find it here: Life in Millimeters

Fibers
I am working on a monochromatic wall hanging that I’m hoping will come out as I want it to.  I’m still experimenting with what I can do with felt, so there’s something new at every turn!  This semester has really been a breakthrough for me because I believe that I have found my focus in terms of my medium, and I’m really excited about what the future holds for me right now.

Knitting/Crochet
Keep a look out for a new crochet pattern that I’m preparing – it should come out really soon.  I just need to find time to write it out!
Other than that, the latest project I have finished was the slouchy hat featured in the previous post.  More knitting to come soon – I hope. :P

Puppies!!
Last but not least, Staci is a part of the Basenji Rescue program and she’s got a puppy looking for a home!  I gotta say, if I wasn’t always on the go I would have snatched him up already.  The little guy’s name is Whiskey River, and if you’d like to know more you can check out Staci’s blog at Very Pink.

More photos of the puppies are here at my flickr set.

Mojo-A-Go-Go

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I haven’t had a lot of knitting mojo in the last few weeks, and it’s not because there isn’t anything in my queue (that’s definitely not the case) – but mostly because I get in a rut when I feel forced to knit or crochet.  If that doesn’t make sense: I don’t like creating stuff that I didn’t originally feel like creating in the first place.  So, that mixture of being forced to make things that I’m not too big on to begin with plus school (read: writing papers upon papers) is just the right tincture to put me in a crafty rut.
However, that’s all changed within the last couple weeks;  a student wanted to learn to spin, so of course I said “Yes!” because we need more spinners ’round here – and she has put me back on track!  In our first lesson, I was reminded of how much I love to spin so I finished spinning up some Funky Carolina fiber that’s been sitting around for months into a very lovely lace.

Details
Funky Carolina – “Floralsplosion”
100% Merino
4 oz.
862 yards
25 WPI (Lace)

Now I just have to figure out what to make with it!  Suggestions welcome. ;)

Also off the needles is my Handspun Ripley (rav link)

Details
Pattern: Ripley by Ysolda Teague from the Whimsical Little Knits 2 collection
Size: Small
Yarn: Handspun from Lorna’s Laces fiber in “Montrose” colorway
Date: April 10-11, 2010

This hat was made out of a heavy worsted weight which made it knit up in less than 24 hours.  Usually I’m not really a hat wearer, but I love this hat and I plan on making more, especially because this one is just a smidge too tight for me. . . but I love it all the same.  I’ve been a fan of Ysolda’s designs for a long time, and this pattern has deepened my faith in her knitta skillz – it’s simple but interesting and depending on the band you decide to knit for it (lace or garter) it can look delicate or modern.
When I was spinning the fiber, I was less than thrilled with the color that was developing, but now that it has been knit up I like it a lot, and I’ve got just a bit left over for a crochet square or something. :)

Going Places

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I was given an assignment to photograph “People” a while ago, so I decided to head on over the the Barton Creek Farmer’s Market (which used to be the Sunset Valley Farmer’s Market) because I figured I could get some decent shots.   Turns out my shots are okay but not great, but I did find an awesome snack!  Now, I’ve never been one who likes granola very much, but lemme tell ya – this stuff is great.  I bought the Agave Almond kind.  It’s good enough to eat alone or as a topping!  So, I just wanted to pass that along.

Speaking of photos – my photography class is going well (although I do have a late assignment to turn in. . . whoops), and I’ve decided that since I am going to be majoring in it that it’s time for me to get a new camera.  I have been a Pentax girl for a long time, but I am making the switch to Canon as soon as I can afford to.  I still love my Pentax glass, but Canon has more of the professionality that I’m looking for;  I’ve started to save to buy the Canon 7D.  I’m sure they’ll come out with something newer and greater by the time I can afford it, but for now the 7D is my goal.  Donations are appreciated!! lol
Here’s a pretty neat video taken by the camera (not by me).

Here’s some photos to detail what we all did this weekend including going to the Thomas Carnival, Camp Ben McCulloch & Wimberley. :)

Bobo on the playground

Crunch Time

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Well, it’s officially crunch time in terms of getting everything that needs to be finished, done in time for Christmas.  I’ve placed my last order through Amazon, wrapped a few presents (with some to go yet. . . ), and have finished some knitting projects (and ripped out some knitting as well)!

What is this about the ripping of knitting, you ask?  Well, as it turns out, Monster’s sweater will not be making an appearance in time for Christmas because Mommy doesn’t have a good sense of making a sweater from scratch. YET.  I’m guessing that I just added too much ease, therefore the sweater was a bit too wide for him for my liking.  And it needed to be a little longer in the torso as well – it’s easily fixable, but then I would have to rip back to the short rows. . . . yada, yada, yada.
Either way, I want his sweater to be done right and not fudged, so I will restart it after the holidays have passed.

On the other hand, I finished a scarf for him!  And I will be casting on for his brother’s scarf tonight. :)

Details
Pattern – Noro Striped Scarf from Jared Flood
Yarn – Malabrigo Merino Worsted
Notes – CO 35, worked until it measured 43 inches

Also, a big thanks to Stacy for picking out the colors!

More from the holiday happenings ’round here after Christmas! :)