Saturday, January 4, 2014


I was in a rut. Feeling really blah. More like blaaaaaaaaaah...... Which seems to happen to me when I spend too much time in front of the computer. Don't get me wrong, I think computers are just fine, but they aren't a substitute for actually doing stuff. Pinning cute ideas on Pinterest, reading fun things on blogs, saying "hi" on Facebook, avoiding Twitter like the plague, are only semi-activities, for me to be happy I have to actually do something.... in the actual real world.... with no (little) help from the computer... 

Because I'm a person with a gazillion ideas and a very short attention span my preference is to go from doing nothing to doing EVERYTHING!!!! Or at least a lot of things all at once. 
That way I don't get bored... I often don't finish anything either but I'm eternally hopeful that I will complete 90% of the projects I start one day. Hope does indeed spring eternal. I thought I'd show you what I'm doing on the off-chance you were curious.

First of all I'm doing three knitting projects:

There they are.

The first is what will be an extremely expensive, absolutely FABULOUS baby alpaca throw for my couch. I should write a post about "How to Knit Something Wicked Expensive without Laying Out a lot of Cash all at Once." Truthfully, I don't really need to write that post because I can just tell you: 1. pick a yarn that is unlikely to be discontinued. 2. By one skein and knit to the end. 3. Go buy another and repeat. 4. Make it striped so the color can be out of stock and you won't lose your momentum.

This is Cascade Yarns Chunky Baby Alpaca. I have no intention of calculating how much the 20-ish skeins I will need will cost. If you make that calculation, don't you dare tell me.

It is the softest, loveliest yarn and the throw will be big enough for Hun to sleep under. It's about 80" long! That is, in fact, 80" crammed on that needle right now.

My next project is a pretty swing cardi made from yarn that I've had for about four years.

Here it is:

That is Peace Fleece Worsted Weight in Chickie Masla. I LOVE that color! and the pattern is from Debbie Bliss Magazine Fall/Winter '09 which is still available here. I probably won't knit the collar but do a crocheted edge instead. Not a huge fan of the collar.

Right now I'm still doing the gauge swatch for this one. The pattern will tell you haw many stitches you should have in four inches. If you get it wrong the sweater could come out any size, from an infant sweater to a cover for a barge, always knit a gauge swatch. That's the gauge swatch on the left there. I was really happy to see that Boye is making rosewood needles now. Brittany used to make them from walnut but they discontinued them. I like the wooden needles if I can get them.

The last knitting project (for the moment) is a swing coat again by Debbie Bliss:

I'm making this one out of Valley Yarns Stockbridge in Periwinkle and that pattern can be found in Debbie Bliss - Design It Knit It  I like a lot of her patterns, particularly the ones that are a little deconstructed and very simply designed. I'm not big on frou frou. 

SO lots of knitting.

I have a bunch of sewing I'm doing too, six or seven tops, or possibly five or six tops and a jacket, we'll see. Here's the fabric:

All but the gray on the lower right are Rowan's Kaffe Fasset Shot Cotton, which is woven with a different color on the warp so they have a little more depth to them. The gray on the bottom right is a much heavier woven that might be better suited to a jacket, we shall see.

These are the patterns I'm using:

You can see what they're called in the picture; you can get Amy Butler's Liverpool hereLisette's Continental Blouse hereSew Liberated's Schoolhouse Tunic here, and Wiksten's Tova Blouse here. All but the Liverpool are very straightforward. The Liverpool has lots of button holes so I imagine I will be calling my mother for help before all is said and done. That's if I get that far. Right now I'm trying to overcast the pieces to the first Schoolhouse Tunic I'm making and my machine is not cooperating. It sort of makes me want to smash the machine to little pieces with a hammer but I realize that would be bad.

Here are the cut-out, half overcast pieces to the tunic:

That's the 7th color right there. I'm mostly confident that I will finish this without hammering my sewing machine... mostly.

Finally, I'm baking.

First, I'm baking cookies. This knitting book contains my favorite butter cookie recipe:

The fact that one of my favorite cookie recipes lives in a knitting book is obvious to me. We knitters are cozy, cookie-loving people so why wouldn't you combine cookies and knitting? I'm a master at it. 

I'm also baking bread from this book:

I actually think that my involvement with the bread is under five minutes but I will be doing a post on this and I'll time it. This is an amazing book! I'm just waiting for the right moment to do the photography for the post. That moment is the elusive time when three factors converge - 1. it is daylight, 2. my kitchen is clean. 3. I have the inclination to bake the bread. So far they haven't lined up. I suspect that cleaning my kitchen is the hold-up. That's probably it.

So there you go! I have adequate reasons to close the computer and do something creative and productive. Hun is really happy because he no long has a wife who feels blaaaaaaah so she's boring and depressed and chronically ignores housework. No sir, now he has a wife who is happy and energized and who undoes any housework she might do by covering it with projects in process. Hey, at least I'm happy... and cookies and bread! There's that too.

Are you the one project at a time kind of person or the multi-project crazy person like me?
Happy Hump Day!

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