A different kind of Holiday season this year

This year I am not in a mad dash to finish a huge pile of projects.  I have been busy with big life changes: a divorce and all that goes with that, getting a full-time job, meeting new people, dealing with illness in my family, friends’ life changes – you know, LIFE.

And usually I would be knitting or crocheting through all of these things, but this time I just didn’t feel the need to do that.  But now that the big life changes have settled it is time to fill moments with knitting and crafting again.

Lately I have been knitting more – simple things like dishcloths.  I finished this set for a friend:
wally112009Although it is not a colorway that I would have chosen, I think it turned out pretty nice.  The set is based on the Knit Nutt’s – The Squidge Cloth. Done up as dishcloths, a hand towel and then used Nancy’s hanging towel and just subbed in the stitch pattern for the whole towel. There was also a Four-corners dishcloth added to the set that I had knit earlier that wasn’t in the photo. If you look really carefully there is also a Tribble (tawashi/sponge thing) there in the photo too.

Now that my friend has moved to a new place with new kitchen colors we have realized that something with a little more POW! would be nice. Perhaps a blue set? So that is on my “Something to do” list, maybe for Christmas or a “just because” type of gift.

Back to Holiday gift-giving. I am toying with the idea of either buying those spice mix sets one sees at every craft fair lately, or perhaps make some of my own and pack them up in some nice jars. I think everyone would appreciate a nice brownie, cake or goodie/snack mix around for those times when you feel like having something good to eat but haven’t been out shopping lately. So now I am in the hunt mode to find either one recipe that I can make in mass quantities or really customize it to the individual giftee.

Wish me luck, and if you have any suggestions or ideas….

Peace

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Rebirth / Birthday

I had a birthday on the 28th of September. Yeah me!

Although I am only 48 – it was still an important one.  And now I am wondering, why do we make a big deal about the 10s?  Hmmmm, anyway, I celebrated for about 3 days.  2 days before and then on the actual day.

On the 26th I celebrated with some Reiki pals.  I was a part of a Reiki healing share where we get together and do group healing and eat (of course).  Nice group of people and especially nice was getting to celebrate with my “twin” Mary.  We share the same birth month and day, except she is only 47 this year.  Her girls gave me a very nice card, and a special birthday cupcake – sweet!

No time to knit because I had to scoot over to a new friend’s place to start the 2nd celebration.  Here are some photos from that part:

A special birthday cake for ZenKnit (Susan)

A special birthday cake for ZenKnit (Susan)

Happy but boy do I look tired!

Happy but boy do I look tired!

Sweet!

I guess I am starting to look my age.  But that is very okay.  It is very nice to be what you are.  A nice older woman *grin*.  I can’t really claim to be middle-aged unless I am planning on living to 96. That is a bit of a stretch.  But honestly, every day is a great day.

On my actual birthday I went to work and then had dinner at my mom and dad’s place.  We have a tradition where mom makes our favorite meal.  Mine is swiss steak and vegetables and for dessert, confetti angel cake and ice cream – sweet!

But back to days and time… I have been having a lot of odd dreams about the end of things.  The funny thing is in the latest dream, the sun disappeared and I thought that it would be important to gather up all of my knitting (especially socks) and sock yarn because it was going to be very cold and I didn’t know if I would be back at my home – there was something about trying to decide if I would go to live with my twin Mary (great gardener) or head out for a trek to other places to seek out comfort and strength (newer friend).

And then I woke up.  Although it was kind of a weird dream, it was quite nice in that:

  • I felt safe
  • I had plans
  • There was knitting!

Peace!

time – fast and slow

I know I haven’t posted much lately.  I have been so busy with this new job, still getting used to keeping regular hours and I don’t seem to have much time to do anything else but work, eat, sleep and get ready for the next day.  But I have managed to cram in a few birthday celebrations (for me and friends) and that was great!  Getting closer to being a crone (it’s a good thing).  I am officially 47 even though I have been telling people for a long time that I am 47 already. But enough of that – let me show you some projects!

Here is what I have been able to do since I last checked in:

Pretty impressive if I do say so myself. I have also finished a few bits to some already shared sets, so here they are complete:


Here are more details:
2 red, white, blue and cream dishcloths in the ballband pattern as written with 13 repeats. I am doing a hand towel using a modified KBB Kitchen Hanging Hand Towel. Using the pattern’s CO number, did the ballband pattern (modified) to use up all of the 59 stitches, knit those for 3 repeats, then I will continue using the variegated yarn to knit up the length using the basket weave 2 pattern from the book 365 stitch a day calendar. I will use the decrease and tab instructions as written from the KBB Kitchen Hanging Hand Towel. I have already done the matching tribble sponge.

The Blue, White and Yellow set is one squidge cloth (upper), a Christmas Cloth Pattern (lower) and a hanging towel using that same pattern. I still need to do a tribble/sponge for the set to be complete.

The white, yellow, violet and blue set are all done using the stitch pattern called corded ribbing, which makes up the stitch pattern in the blissfull moss rib used as written for the 2 dishcloths. I used the pattern in a matching hanging towel. I also have a matching tribble sponge here that completes this set.

For the Red and White set I completed the hand towel, which is a modified KBB Kitchen Hanging Hand Towel. What I did is use the CO number, did the ballband pattern (modified) to use up all of the 59 stitches, knit those for 3 repeats, then using those 59 stitches, switched to the basket weave 2 pattern from the book 365 stitch a day calendar. Then used the decrease and tab instructions as written from the KBB Kitchen Hanging Hand Towel. The set is complete with a red and white tribble sponge too.

I don’t think I covered everything yet, but I need to get ready for bed for another day. I hope you are all happy and healthy and making most of the time you have.

Peace

I have been very busy

I have been very busy and it looks like there will always be more of that for a while.  Good stuff but a lot of change.  I am working a corporate job again.  That is taking a lot of energy as I get used to keeping regular hours.  Usually I am quite the night person – not a paint the town red all night, but the kind of person who goes to bed early in the morning because she doesn’t have to get up until she wants to.

Now I have to force myself to bed because if I don’t I will regret it big time when the alarm goes off at 5:30 a.m. Ouch!  But the commute is pretty clear, and it will be nice having a regular paycheck again.

What I am doing is reading documents and entering bits of information into a database. It isn’t straight data entry. You have to search around to find key information. Kind of like “Where’s Waldo” for nerds. It is strangely fun and nice because the area is as quiet as you would like a library to be. No ringing phones, no people talking much, not a lot of walking aroundygs2008-8a. Peaceful!

I get to cram some knitting time into breaks and lunch, but my production will be very sloooooooow because evenings and weekends are pretty jammed with trying to have my regular Reiki and Tarot and a somewhat regular life too.

But I do have some projects progress to show you.  Here is one of my newest sets:

More later!

Peace

The Right Tools

Using the right tools for the job is always a good idea. Sometimes I forget that even though I can knit washcloths/dishrags/handtowels or whatever you want to call them=those cotton things, on straight needles, perhaps using my trusty old Denise Interchangeable Knitting Needles are the best tool for the job. Lightweight, bendy, easy on the hands, wrists and elbows, low to no drag on cotton yarn; just all around good, better, best tools for pretty much any job. I could put the little stoppers on and make them into bendy straights but I am forever dropping one, so circular used as straights really works the best too.

So, back to the dishcloth/washrag/hand towel thing. They are this year’s christmas theme. Inexpensive, colorful, quick and easy to knit or crochet and heck, who doesn’t need a nice cotton cloth to do a nice regular job around the house?

I figure I need at least 12 sets are needed for family members and a few friends, and by a set I mean:

  • two dishcloths
  • one longer hand/dishtowel (hanging or straight)
  • one sponge type dishthingie like a Tribble or one of the many tawashi patterns there are out there on the internet, either knit and crochet or a combination of both.

I haven’t decided on who gets what set or if colors really matter. Except that I do want Jessica and Joe’s set to be red and white because they are a newish couple and I know that when you are just starting out you tend to want things to match your decor. Those of us that have been around for a while (keeping up a home) know that color doesn’t matter if you are talking about mopping up a spill or whatnot. Oh and then there are the more masculine colors for the male relatives because I don’t think they would take kindly to a lot of girlie colors, or maybe I only think it matters? Most of it really depends on the mood I am in and just how sick of green and yellow I am going to be by the end of this particular large maygs2008-1ny itemed project.

Onto photos, details and links!

Set number 1:
eLoomanator’s Diagonal Knit Dishcloth (.pdf pattern)

I still have a few items to do, but in order to do those I need to find a matching pale green, pink or brown cotton to use for the hanging towel and the tawashi.

The following set is complete except for finding a button for the hanging towel:
ygs2008-2b
The small green/blue/yellow cloth on the upper right is a Ballband Dishcloth
The cloth on the lower right is a combination of the Ballband dishcloth on both ends, and a basketweave pattern in the middle, same set-up for the hanging towel. The round variegated cotton sponge is a Tribble.

 

This following set ygs2008-3is complete!
The long dishtowel is from a free pattern called Vignes, the square light green cloth is called Baby Fern Stitch Dishcloth. There is another Tribble, this time using alternating variegated and solid green.
ygs2008-3b

 

 

This is the finished dark green square from the previous photo. Another free pattern called Little Shells.

 

 

 

 

On this one I finished the two dishrags:

Both variations on the Little Starbursts Dishcloth.  And I have started on the handtowel tonight – is a Christmas Lace Kitchen Hanging Hand Towel.  Once that is done, probably tomorrow I will also need to do a tawashi.


And finally, the start on set 5, just one dishrag done:
ygs2008-5a
The Squidge Cloth.

It still seems like a lot to go but I have plenty of time. If I get all the sets done I may just keep adding to them, or do extra sets for myself, who knows?

Peace!

Private

I don’t know about you, but I am always fascinated by the parts of knitting that we don’t usually share. The wrong side, the private side. But then again I search for patterns that don’t have a right or a wrong side – being totally reversible is cool, especially for objects that get used or you just know they are never going to be wrong side down all the time.

Right – wrong – public – private. We have so many back and white kind of words like, you know, black and white. I hate black and white. I love the colors, but I hate the concept of totally one or the other.

Yes, this is about life and knitting. Knitting and life, a life filled with knitting and thinking.

I joke with my students and clients that I would really like to be able to take a vacation from my own head/brain. If I could just turn it off for maybe a weekend. Sure, I can kick back and be different, but the thoughts are usually there in the background…

I wonder why my business isn’t so busy anymore – is that *good* or *bad*? Yes, it is nice to kick back and get a little down time, but having a bit of money doesn’t hurt. I wonder if I should get a *real* job? I wonder it that would be like giving up? What would happen if I took a vacation from my teaching? I wonder if I would be happy with a regular job

On and on, damn that monkey mind – Gah!

I know that when I start getting fussy about things aka life, then it is time for a project break. But to be a good girl, I made sure that most of the finished blankets were really done – all the ends tucked in and such. I have left the blanket of a million ends and the not so evil younger brother waiting till I get back in my groove.

Time for a little me time! Hand towels! Dish cloths! Here we go!!!

First, my cherry moss square hand towel – sized for a person who doesn’t have huge hands (that is what I am saying out loud but in my head=didn’t have enough yarn – dang!):
cherrytowel

Shown with the partial list of other stitches that would make nice towels, and the small bit of a ball band dish cloth.

My first ball band dish cloth. Amazing, I didn’t know what I was missing. I am in serious love with how these things feel. But back to the top of the post. I always wondered what the back side looked like. Why don’t most people show the side I want to see? I really want to see the side you aren’t showing to me. I think there are other people *out there* who want to see too. So here it is, the private side of a ball band dish cloth. (I can only imagine how many weird hits this post is going to get)

private

Meh. But the front side is pretty. I am set to make a gazillion of them, so be forewarned.

Back to life, if you care to follow. I am in the process of making some big changes in my life. Being unbalanced isn’t the best part of me. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE change, but when the change has to do with how I see myself and what that means, it can get icky messy. A little bit too real. Having Buddhist leanings I know that I need to be okay with all parts of myself – public and private, not so icky and icky, good and whatever. I am usually okay with that but I realize other people aren’t quite okay with me being different. That part sucks. And sometimes I wish I wasn’t aware enough to notice.

But then a few heartbeats later I realize that it (whatever the it is) really doesn’t matter all that much. I have a very blessed life, full of friends and family, with an amazing heap of stuff all around me ;-).

Anyway. Enough of the rambling. I am hoping that you are feeling whatever it is that you need to feel this moment. Right now I am choosing happiness and

Peace

Backing up a bit

Okay, so in the last entry I was counting all the afghans (donation) that I had started. The real details are that I still have a few that are in process.

cblanket10-2

Tonight I photoed the almost conclusion of the latest cotton-ease blanket that I had shared earlier:I used a free pattern from Lionbrand website called, Crochet Shell Stitch Baby Blanket. I used Lion Brand Cotton-Ease in 3 of the discontinued colors with a chain of 110 stitches to create a 30 inch width. Pretty, huh?

 

 

cblanket10-3

 

And here’s a detail shot of the borders:

Good work, yes? Now do you want to see the WHOLE truth? It’s a bit graphic, so those with a delicate constitution might want to peek through fingers or such.

cblanket10-4

 

 

Sadly, this is one of the gory details of the ugly underbelly of multiple color crochet projects. I thought I could crochet over the ends when I was doing the borders, but that was a big no-go; too lumpy, so I just worked around them and now I am stuck with weaving them in. Last night I wove in some of the pink ends; I am doing them color by color so as to have a small sense of accomplishment, cause let’s face it, this is the not-so-pretty part of finishing a project, and anything to make it tolerable is something on the plus side.

cblanket5-3Tonight I decided to tackle another not totally finished blanket project. Another free pattern, this one the Baby Blocks Throw on the Lionbrand.com website too. I had finished crocheting all 16 squares (the pattern had just 12), but I hadn’t sewn or crocheted them together because I hadn’t decided which to do, sew or crochet. Sewing won out but here is a photo before said sewing.

 

Now I am working on some crocheted border(s) all around, even though the pattern didn’t direct any. Without borders the blanket feels unfinished. I am not sure how it will end up.

And last but not least there is another blanket that is still in process. This one is taking longer because it is both knit (and a knit blanket takes longer) and a shadow/illusion one at that, which means following a chart = slooooooooow.

This is from another free pattern but this one I found on Ravelry.

cblanket7-3

It is the Star Illusion Blanket. I actually have more done rows, but the photo didn’t show much more than this earlier photo.

That’s all for now. Hope you USA folks have a great 4th and YEAH! to a long weekend!

~ Peace