I having been on a bit if a fabric binge, ahem, as I showed you a small portion of last week.(Cia’s Pallette and Hankcock’s of Paducah arrive tomorrow) I hadn’t a pattern in mind when I bought that fabric from here, so I began thumbing through some newly acquired, ahem, quilt books.
I picked a the Crosses Quilt from Quilt Road but I didn’t like the randomness of the color placement. I also wasn’t too fond of some of the fabrics for this quilt and I wanted some sort of color repeat. So I set out to chart a new color pattern, with the fabrics I had on hand. I tried to hand draw a giant graph as to better chart it out. Wrong. Between small hollering boys who wanted to use my crayons and a muttering at the computer husband and the garbage eating dog it was not happening.
Then my knitting, quilting and generally crafty friends- I found it!(Cue ephiphany music…) Praise God and pass the collection plate! I found this site.
Free, completely customizable GRAPH PAPER. Like twelve types, hex, trapeziod, regular. You can choose line weight and color and and and , oh it just gets me so excited. I know. It is graph paper. But come on folks, how cool is it that you can specify the size of the square, etc and in 2 seconds it is there for you. And it is free and you don’t have to register and ooh the tumbling blocks graph paper makes me happy.
So, the muttering husband took the hollering boys out and I ignored Earl, the garbage eating dog long enough to rechart the pattern, which you see above. Wonky, yes. Effective, very. I already have all the squares cut, and I just need to pick a binding, backing and border. But tonight I am going to start sewing the squares after the boys are off to bed.
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I used to have such interesting standards (read: I was a total snob and idiot) about creativity. This is art, that is trash. What does it mean? How could they make that. Well, there is art and then there is craft. I spent years trying to change the way I painted or made sculpture, collage, or knit. Yes, I tried to be better at those things but I am talking about trying to change the style or essence of these things. I could no more change my painting style than I could change my eye color with the power of my mind. I truly think that everybody has their own creative style.
Penmanship is a good example of what I am talking about. Each person has their own personal handwriting, and you can make it neater, but I say it is nearly impossible to change it. It is yours.
I mean I make stuff to express myself, so why would I work so hard to change what that expression is. I would see something somebody made and be jealous that they had done it and I hadn’t. What I didn’t realize is that I could never had made that particular that. Someone else made it and even if I did my best to duplicate it, more than likely it would look like I did it. I used to hate that, I used to not understand that this is the gift of creativity. Yours is yours and mine is mine. Seeing this, I am freed up. Somehow in my mind it had been a competition against the maker of the cool object. Now, it is a drive to just do the best I can and learn something new with each project I undertake. A competition to best myself every time I see a chance.
Now, looking back the competing with another person (oh, and, this was a completely internal competition- the others had no idea) about creativity seems so very counterproductive, like wasted time. And like with so many things, I see it was necessary to get to where I am now about creativity and things that I make. I see creativity everywhere and might not love it all but I really strive to appreciate it all. And I am having a lot more fun making stuff. Sure, sometimes the process drives me crazy but at the end of the day I am so happy to have something that is all mine.
Oh and the painting is one I made about 3 years ago, it is 4×6 ft. This is a great example of my having fun, experimenting. I am completely fascinated with anatomy and gesture.
October is my favorite month. Halloween is my most creative and most favorite time of year. The crows have moved into the house and soon the Goblins and Witches will appear.
Autumn is barely on the radar here but no matter, it is time to get ready for Pumpkins, Chill and of course Sweaters.
But first I have to check the house for Ghouls and Ghosts.
On a knitting note: You know what really scrapes my plate? When you pay $16 for a ball of SuperChunky Cashmerino (If your initials are D.B., listen up!)and there is a broken strand of yarn that has been tied off. I have worked through 3 balls of the stuff and 2 of the 3 have had tie offs. This is just Bad Form and really is aggravating. I am happy to pay for well made yarn and well balled yarns, but this does not get my vote. I mean, if you want me to pay your prices, can’t you at least treat me nicely?
&otWe are feeling kinda Kaffe over here at LWIM. Maybe we are just multi-Fassetted. (Groan. Sorry, couldn’t help it.)
There is nothing like a visit from the Postman to cheer a girl right up!
Look at these beautiful Kaffe Fasset fabrics. I ordered them from Glorious Color on Friday and they arrived today. Fantastic. Now I just have to wait a few days till Duncan goes off to school and I will have 4 hours a day to make something with this fabric.
And really what could be better than these:
A pair of Kaffe Fassett Pyjamas. And they even came in a matching fabric bag. I am thinking that wearing them to pick Angus up from school is probably a no go, even if is a Montessori. Damn.
Thanks to all who have been leaving comments (Hi Mom!), I really appreciate it and it just plain makes me happy.
Oh, and Kay, steal the scarf and let me know how yours turns out.
While away this summer I did some stash enhancement. It was the willy nilly kind, no pattern in mind kind. The candy store version that I feel pretty fortunate to do every once in a while. It was a frenzy, who the hell am I kidding? It was wonderful and embarrassing and I felt like I needed a Zantac afterward. I mean, really. I need more yarn without a purpose in mind like I need a hole in the head.
So I had been hearing for a long time about the Debbie Bliss Cashmerino-Super Bulky-Extra Crunchy-Now with More!- Yarn. I resisted. I wasn’t willing to spring for a yarn with “Cash” in the name with a mere 12% “Cash”. I wanted more “Cash” (and who doesn’t?) Especially with the yardage/price ratio. Long story short- I caved and bought 5 balls of it. In a Winter white color. I mean if we are going on a bit of a frenzy, there should be no practicality involved right? Right.
Then next step was what to make? If I were truly impractical I would have made a garment for one of the small hollering boys. Or a pair of underwear for the dog. I cast on for a scarf- totally ignoring gauge and got about 3 inches into it and it looked like crud. Riiiiiiiip. I seem to be doing that a lot lately. With all the craziness of this household (it gets less crazy a week from Tuesday! Yippee!) knitting, never mind completing a complex project is out of the question right now. So I broke out my Harmony Stitch Guides and just thumbed through. I wanted fun, easy and something that would lie flat. I picked a simple but interesting knit and purl pattern and cast on for a single repeat. Pattern 1.14 in Book Volume 4 on Size 11 Denises. The yarn says for gauge to use an 11.5 but we are not being practical remember?
So I am getting 4 repeats to one ball so I think that it will be a decent length and quick quick quick. And orderly. And I do like the wavy edges. I can only take so much order. I don’t think I will block it, we will see when we get there. I will take this order and simplicity anywhere I can get it, ’cause I am not getting that from the small hollering boys.
Oh and say a little knitter’s wish for me, in about 10 minutes I have to break a promise to myself that I am not looking forward to. There is a place I said I would never ever go and now I must or I break my child’s heart and the heart of his new friend. I have to take Angus to a party at Chuck E. Cheese.
I was asked this as I was standing outside in the pre-dawn morning. It was cold! Yippee! Cold!!!
I was so enthralled with the chill and the moon that Angus had to ask again. I came out of my trance and told him that I was taking a picture of the sky for Sandy.
Fall is coming people. And you should enlarge the above picture, the moon is really beautiful.
I’d like to introduce you to the two newest members of Team LWIM. On the right, we have the white kitten, formerly known as “Boy Kitty” and now known as Frog. Aaaaaaaaaand on the left, we have the stripey kitten formerly known as “Girl Kitty” and now know as Tink.
Welcome to the team, Frog and Tink. We are really glad you’re here.
In my morning surfing I came upon Restash Network. This is a fantastic idea to get those affected by Katrina (and I assume Rita)knitting and crocheting again. They are accepting books, magazines, needles, hooks and YARN. There is a full list of items needed and instructions of where to send on their site.
In the various blogs I read I have noticed that a lot of us seem to be organizing and destashing. Personally, I have some perfectly great yarns that have been in stash for years (plus a few recent additions)and every time I look at them I wonder: “What the heck am I ever going to make with that?” I am not saying they are ugly, bad or scratchy- just a bit too familiar. And what is that saying, familiarity breeds contempt? I am going to go upstairs and pull out these yarns and ship them off today. Because, even though I don’t know what to do with them, I am certain that there are people who need some sanity, something to do with their hands and they will know precisely what to do with these yarns.
Will you join me in doing this with your stash? Please leave me a comment and let me know that you are!
I was out a few weeks ago with a friend of ours. We have known him about 5 years and somehow he didn’t know I knit. Either it had never come up or he forgot. So we were chatting and he asked about my day, and I had a couple of hours to knit that day. So I said something like : “Oh, it probably woudn’t interest you, I got to knit today.” Well, he did want to hear about it and kept asking me about all the other things I do: sewing, quilting, machine knitting, felting, painting, sculpture. And apparently I was on a tear because he looked at me and said, in the nicest and most complimentary way: “You are a G-E-E-K. Man I had no idea what a huge geek you were.” If he only knew….
As I have confessed before- I never used to make swatches. Then I would make them and not redo them until I got gauge. Then I wouldn’t follow the rule: Do to the swatch what you are going to do to the sweater. Which I now do. And somewhere in the great swatch making odyssey it occured to me that I should make a note of all this. And I did, but there was always something that slowed the whole process down, what is the suggested gauge the manufacturer suggests? Which were the exact needles I used? What was the gauge before and after blocking? And one of the most important items: how many yards of this do I have in my stash? I cannot tell you the number of times that I have gone to the stash, pulled out the same yarn over and over and over, counted the number of skeins and done the math to figure out the total yardage. Total time waster. And frustrating.
So now I am getting geekier. And maybe it will save me a few miniutes and save me from having me to clean up the mess that stash diving creates. I just need a filing system for the swatch/index card geeekiness.
And Emily called me on the seven swatches of yesterday’s post. It was four, not seven. You got me.
Wow! I had no idea how little I could get accomplished with one child in the house and one at school. Again, I was deluded that I could get anything done with just Duncan home. October 11 people! That is the magic day he starts school. Wanting so much to begin a new project and I cannot even get enough time alone to pick one let alone swatch. So I start a swatch, get interrupted, forget that I started swatch and then dig through the stash and start another. I have 7 started swatches this week. Yikes!
Here is one of my all time favorite sweaters. It is probably 12 years old, made out of La Gran Mohair. I have no recollection of the pattern. Love it. And this is another sweater that wears like iron. The seams on one side have finally worn out and I will need to reseam. But 12 years for seams? Pretty darned good I’d say.
Tomorrow, Hubbalicious has the boys (to add to the fried Mommy brain, he has been travelling all week) so I will get to actually knit and actually blog and actually get to take a shower that doesn’t involve small hollering boys and rescue helicopters.