If you want to sing out, sing out, and if you want to be free, be free, cause there's a million ways to be, you know that there are.
--Cat Stevens

Thursday, April 18, 2013


I missed last Friday and this Wednesday despite having plenty to share.  I thought I should drop  by to tell you that everything is fine.  I am just tired and busy trying to get ready for exams and such so I wanted to let you know I am going to be away from the blog until next Friday probably.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Unicorn and Socks

My unicorn is coming along very well. I had hoped to finish him by Friday but I don`t think I will have time to finish the mane. I am not sure if he is going to stay with me or find a new friend elsewhere.  I had planned on giving him to the daughter of one of my friends for Christmas 2012 but that obviously never happened. I had considered giving it to my niece for her birthday but the eyes aren`t really baby-safe. Maybe the unicorn will hang out with me for a while and then find a new home for next Christmas.
The yarn I showed you Wednesday is done. I followed a video and managed to sort of chain ply it .  It is drying now and I will show it to you Friday.
I am almost finished with the gussets on my socks. I have had a few issues so they are kind of ugly. 
Secret knitting is fun and makes my heart burst with joy.  I am planning a major project and am just about ready to start swatching.  I have some other secret knitting and crocheting I am preparing for as well.
As For books I forgot to take a picture.  I finished Funny Boys and can't decide if I liked it or not.  It's kind of a gangster book and it's pretty funny and fairly sad but left me feeling kind of unresolved.  I am still reading the Great Hunt by Robert Jordanson, and I started listening to I Still dream of you by Fannie Flagg.

Friday, April 5, 2013

March reflections

I haven`t finished anything new this week but I wanted to talk about some of my highlights for March and how I am doing on my goals.

Reflections on my snowflake project
I am a member of the Harry Potter Knitting/Crochet House Cup (HPKCHC).  The HPKCHC is a Ravelry group "competition" that is set up around the world of Harry Potter.  Every month there are class prompts for various things to craft and a player earns points for their house by participating in activities.  It is fun and helped me to stay motivated and get to know new people. 
My Snowflake project was what is called an OWL (ordinary wizarding level) and is supposed to be a project that takes 10-12 weeks to complete.  Participants have to propose and OWL and be approved to be able to earn the 150 points available. 
·         The whole owl  proposal process was a bit demanding and slightly annoying but helped me prepare to finish the project in a limited amount of time
·         Setting a time limit made me much more likely to finish the project
·         I was totally proud of myself for finishing on time
Learning to work with thread
·         I don`t think I am an expert at crocheting in thread yet but I feel fairly confident
·         I have learned a lot about tension and stitch definition
·         It`s easier than it looks.  In a lot of ways thread and crochet feel like they were made for each other
·         I really love the stitch definition of thread, and I actually like working super tight which keeps the stitches super neat.
General reflections
·         I really enjoyed the project and the results, but I am relieved to be done.  It was a huge undertaking and by the end I was pretty bored of tiny white  crochet thread and snowflakes.
·         Written doily patterns are a bit of a pain.  It is kind of difficult to determine what the huge sheath of instructions means until you actually do it.  I am sure the instructions I have written out will proof just as difficult to someone else as the instructions I have run into were for me.
·         I have resolved to learn to read and write crochet charts.  A lot of the pattern reading difficulties I had could have been solved with a good chart.

Learning to spin
I set a goal in the HPKCHC's Order of the Pheonix (OOTP) missions to spin for 3 hrs a week for 8 weeks.  
I loved this project.  I think in a lot of way the biggest thing I have learned by  spinning project is that there really is so much to learn about fiber and spinning.

There are so many things I don`t know. My yarns are still lumpy and uneven but I think they are beautiful in all their irregularity.   I really liked working with the BFL even if was also the hardest for me to draft evenly. 
Setting a goal and sticking to it was fun and challenging.  It was good for my self esteem as well

Yearly goals 
I know I have alluded to these, but I haven't posted the list yet.  So here is how I am doing on my yearly crafting goals:
  • Knit or crochet 12 squares for charity---2 so far
  • Learn Tunisian crochet----so far I have worked through
    Beginner's Guide to Tunisian Crochet by Marie Segares and made this sampler square
  • 24 snowflakes for my Christmas tree next year--Finished

  • Learn to spin ( I got a spindle on Christmas --Actually my WIP the first project is with the tiny bit of yarn I have spun since then)--See above
  • Knit at least one Men’s Bias-Knit Tie--not started
  • Knit Wallet--not started although I've had the yarn for 2 years
  • make at least one homemade present for everyone in my family(either Christmas or b-day NOT both)--I have a few presents for special occasions planned but none completed
  • Learn Irish and/or Clones lace--I learned a little bit making the Irish snowflake and I have done some reasearch
  • improve at tapestry crochet--not started.
  • Knit or crochet 12 Bookmarks --Not started

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Spinning,Socks, and Unicorn

 My newest spinning project is looking good.  I have been able to draft quite a bit thinner and more even.  I hoping to attempt chain-plying on this one.  I have to admit I am loving spinning even more than I expected.  I had to force myself not to spin to finish my snowflake project on time, and I think if I have the time and money spinning could become my favorite of the three fiber arts I know so far.
 I know I posted the cast on of a pair of peach socks a couple weeks ago.  I have since ripped those out, because they were too hard.  I decided to try two and a time toe-up socks and to that end I received (at my request) KNITfreedom's class on the subject.  So far the class has been great and very helpful.  These grey socks in Brava worsted weight are my practice project for this class.  I am sure they will become bed socks for someone on my Christmas list.   This week while working on the socks and watching the videos I discovered that for the past two years I have been twisting all my knit stitches and creating twisted stockinette.  This unpleasant discovery was less difficult to fix that I imagined and I have knitting much easier since fixing it.
This beauty is Hermione the unicorn by Dawn Toussaint.  In many ways I am unhappy with some the construction in this pattern and I have had to do a lot of embroidery repair (both duplicate stitch in white and decorative) to make this unicorn look acceptable to me I would probably have put it together differently if I had know before I started.  On the other hand I love the face I have come up with and probably wouldn't have done the star on the forehead if I hadn't had some of the other problems.  The nose could have really benefited from more shaping and has be squeezed and shaped with the fiberfill to make anything resembling a horse shape.  You can see this even more clearly in some of the other project pages.  I am really looking forward to the mane when I get there though.

As for reading  I finished listening to A Mighty Fortress by David Weber for the second time this week.  I have really loved the Safehold series which feels like a mixture of historical fiction and sci-fi.  The series is set on the world of Safehold 900 years after the destruction of all other human colonies, including Earth, by a hostile alien species.  Safehold is at about the technology level of Pre-industrial revolution and the people living there have been kept from innovating past this point by the repressive religion instituted by the colonies founder's 900 years earlier.
Merlin Athrawes is a PICA, basically android with the personality of a long dead woman, named Nimue Alban's who's mission is to undo the millennium of brainwashing by the oppressive religion and all the humans on the Safehold to begin innovating.  The Safehold series more or less follows Merlin's decisions and the friends he makes through a harrowing fight for religious and intellectual freedom against the corrupt Church of God Awaiting.  I won't tell you more for fear of spoiling the series for you but I love it.
I am now currently listening to Funny Boys a drama about a gangster's girlfriend set in the 1920s .  So fa I like it pretty well.  I am also starting The Great Hunt by Robert Jordan, which is the second book in the Wheel of Time Series.