What’s on my Needles Today

The socks are finished.  Thank you.  It’s been my experience that socks are not a small, weekend project, contrary to their size.  They take awhile, at least for me; so when I finish them, it’s a bit of a disappointment when they don’t fit they way I would like.  I try to work in a lot of negative ease, and this time, I used KnitPicks Stroll Tweed, which must have been slightly larger than the yarn I used the first time I made Vanilla Latte Socks, so I ended up with slightly larger socks.  Oh, well.  They’re still cool looking and I will be wearing them!

Now that those are finished, I need to concentrate on one of the harder projects I’ve ever started.  I say harder, because it’s not something I would normally knit.  I talked about this on my last post, the Deadhead baby blanket!  I love the girl who requested this like I would my own daughter (my daughter is sitting next to me on the couch right now – thank goodness she doesn’t follow my blog!!) or else I would have passed on it.  I am anxious to be done already and I will be following the advice of a blogger friend, Angela of Avanta Knits, and using intarsia for the color changes.  That means that I will be learning intarsia.  I believe I’ve used the method before, way back when, but it wasn’t called that, it was just block color changing.  Not hard at all (clears throat nervously).

As you can see, I have broken the picture down into stitches, but I wonder if this will be detailed enough?  It’s 6″ x 6″, and I’m using Red Heart Soft worsted weight yarn.  Thinking of putting it dead center.  How I’m going to pull that one off will be a bit of good math and a LOT of luck.  The dimensions and numbers I have used were based on the garter stitch, even though I will be using a stockinette stitch for the logo.  Yikes.  I’m going to keep my fingers crossed on this one!

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All Good Things Must Come to an End

I'm going to miss his lovely face.

I’m going to miss his lovely face.

After two years of working at the local cannabis clinic, my interests have lead me elsewhere.  I will miss meeting all the people who came in:  the miracle stories, the walking wounded, and the chronic pain sufferers and even the slackers.  They all had their stories; some of them were horrific, some amusing, some were inspiring, but all very human.  When I first started here, I was dubious about the efficacy of marijuana, but after seeing real results, I have now changed my mind; I even got up and made a speech at a city hall meeting to defend our need for a local dispensary.  Anybody who knows me understands I HATE speeches and how much this experience has changed my attitude toward the much maligned cannabis plant.  So it is with mixed emotions that I bid farewell to a controversial field and start some trouble of my own!

I know I mentioned several years earlier that I was having trouble putting aside my camera for good.  I gave away so much because I was “done”.  Since writing that blog, I have had several gigs for friends, mostly as a favor or a trade and I have stumbled upon a cool sideline, doing social media, to include my photography, for local businesses.  These are not what I would consider paying gigs, as so far, I have been doing it for trade.  I get food credits for Cafe Luna, and cheese credit for Wheyward Girl, (no, Wheyward Girl does not reflect my images or my handiwork  – yet!) and honestly, I think I’m getting the better end of the deal on these!  I’m now focusing my attention on other local businesses that are running on a shoestring budget but need the help.  What better way than to offer a trade if cash money is tight?  Let’s keep it local, right?  And you are buying local, correct?!  I won’t get on that soapbox today, because I am guilty of making weekly trips to the closest Wally World for those super economical deals – damnit!vanilla latte socks with two colors

As for my other loves, knitting and crocheting, that goes without saying that they’ll be in my life.  I will continue to make designs, review patterns or tools of the trade and bitch about my latest disaster, be it knitting or crocheting – never fear.  I am currently ignoring a pair of socks, using the basic Vanilla Latte Socks pattern, my fave.  The pattern is free, so snatch it up!

See you in the funny pages!

Post Script:  I just published it and noticed all the links I have in this article – oops!  They’re good references, but you’re off the hook if you don’t want to follow them.

Wrong, wrong, wrong!

You ever spend way too much time on the wrong project with the wrong yarn at the wrong time of year?  Welcome to the last several weeks of my crafting!  I have been fighting this thing since the beginning.

Several weeks ago I put out an impassioned request for some ideas on how to use the linen stitch.  I rattled off a list of items I didn’t want to make, which included a cowl, but as a proper linen stitch needs to be worked in the round, I was limited.  So what did I do?  I started a cowl.  No big deal.  Except I had to cast on 16 different times because I kept twisting the foundation row.  That is such a rookie mistake, that I should have taken my cue from such an inauspicious start.

I didn’t.

The yarn is Malabrigo that I’ve had tucked away in a bag in my closet for over a year, and I wanted to use it.  I even rescued a snarled skein that had previously kept me from using the yarn at all – that’s how bad I wanted to get this thing started!  As for a pattern, I was loosely basing in on Kristen Kapur’s Chickadee Cowl, but not having too much success.  The yarn combination was just wrong for me.  So now it sits, rewound and back on its shelf in the closet, awaiting a more suitable project.

Doing the Eye of Partridge stitch for the heel and loving it.

In the meantime, I figure it’s never a wrong time to work on socks!

See you in the funny pages.

 

 

I Just Don’t Get Socks!

A great palette...

A great palette…

I’ve been crocheting a lot these days.  A lot.  In fact, every project I do seems to be crochet.  I love crocheting because it moves so fast, it’s easy, and versatile.  Because of the larger portion of my crafts appears to be crochet, I’m wondering if I should have come up with a different business name such as “Crocheting Crook” or “Hookin’ Mama”.  You see why I went with Nittin’ Ninja….  Anyway, I got to a point where I just came to a stop.  Writers call it a block, runners call it a wall, and I don’t know what else anyone calls it other than I got stuck.  I was working on a cute little zebra outfit for a baby photo prop and I got stumped on how to create a cute face.  Needless to say, I haven’t done the ears or the obligatory braids, but I truly couldn’t come up with a likeable  muzzle, and button eyes were just a big nothing.  Maybe I need to get the mane and ears on and every thing else will fall into place.  See what I mean?  So I’m done for awhile because…

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We’ve only just begun.

I have started knitting another pair of socks.  For those of you who have read any of my previous entries while I’ve been working on socks, you’re probably rolling your eyes.  Why, Glenda?  Why are you starting another pair?  Because I want to learn socks!  I’ve knit five pairs and used three different patterns in order to get a good fit, and possibly to understand the whole process.  I recently purchased “Sock Knitting: Master Class” by Ann Budd and intend to use that…after I finish these socks!  My problem lies in the short rows, the gusset and whatever else.  These areas are always talked about, but for some reason, it ain’t gellin’.  I figure if I keep following a pattern and keep trying, I’ll remember and one day it’s going to make sense – BOOYAH!  LOL.

How did you guys overcome any learning disabilities, crafts related or otherwise?

See you in the funny pages.

Yes, yes – I do love you!

Whilst struggling with one damn pair of socks, I have crocheted 3 dolls, a shark hat, 3 bath mitts and knit a classic beanie cap, sewed 4 pillowcases and 3 couch pillows.

Now if I can just do this to our beat up old couch!

Now if I can just do this to our beat up old couch!

 

I think my husband may be feeling a little neglected at this point, as he is now asking about them on an almost daily basis.  How are those socks coming along?  When will they be finished?  Each time he asks I feel a stab of guilt as I look down on whatever else I’m working on, lying in my lap or in the sewing machine.  I can almost swear he’s being accusatory.  but why not?  He’s waited so long.  He looks at me and I want to say, “Just because I’m not whipping out your pair of socks at lightning speed doesn’t mean I don’t love you!”…but I don’t want to go there.

It’s not that they are particularly difficult socks – it’s a beginner sock pattern.  I think I’m just burned out on socks.  I’ve made 3 pairs, and I want to move onto other things…which I kind of have.  Now I’ve forced myself to finish this project or I don’t get to do anything else.  Wish me luck – !  LOL

 

Something old, something new, something messed up and I’m blue

2013 was a banner year as far as learning new techniques, meeting great, helpful, new people online and for actually sticking with a linear project schedule.  I averaged around 13 finished items, some required that I step out of my comfort zone.  For years, I have wanted to knit socks.  *deep breath*  I finally finished a pair.  With double pointed needles.  No cheater-mageeter magic loop technique here; though I must in all honesty add, that I do love it!  It has made for some quick and easy hats and mittens.

Looks ok from this angle.  Fairly good stitching and a pretty color.

Looks ok from this angle. Fairly good stitching and a pretty color.

But I digress.  The socks.  O, woe is me.  I thought I had done something wrong constructing the first sock, but what exactly, I don’t know.  I found it fit my daughter’s foot very well, so I endeavored to make the pair for her.  I figured, in my faulty way, that if I did exactly what I did the first time, I would get the exact results.  You see,  I’m not sure what I did wrong, so I couldn’t quite repeat myself.  And the second sock came out the way it should have…the first time!  Argh!  So when we tried on the second sock, I laughed so hard I had trouble standing up.

The difference!

The difference!

Eh – live and learn.  What this did teach me  is that I love me some double-pointed knitting and I got some more sock yarn and a whole pattern book to peruse and drool over!

In the meantime, I have another set of mitts that I’ll be knocking out first.  Wish me luck!

Yarn for next sock project!

Yarn for next sock project!