Thursday, March 31, 2011

"Whatever Happened to Your_______" KCBWDAY4

The question of the day for the 2nd Annual Knitting and Crochet Blog week is "whatever happened to your___". I know exactly what came to mind when hearing this question.

What ever happened to your Damson? Or the GDamson as known in knit group circles! Begun twice, frogged 3 times, and there it sits:

Out of sight (almost) out of mind. Damson's current mailing address is in a bag, in a bin, on a shelf. With other long forgotten things. It's really kind of a sad halfway house!

Out of the bag, be free be freeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! I love this yarn, love the color love everything. Well, except the pattern that I am apparently too much the bozo to be able to knit!!!

See? The rib that marches up the shawl, and then the pattern starts and nothing lines up. Growl and Grumble. If you happen to know it is supposed to do this, please holler, nothing would give me greater pleasure.
The Plan:
I am going to frog this back to the beginning of the pattern. Again. and I will get GDamson finished. Really.

Just not right now!  ;)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Tidy Mind, Tidy Stitches 2KCBWDAY3

The title of today's broad reaching much blogged about subject--- Tidy Mind, Tidy Stitches. Both are questionable more often than not, no?

The crux is organization and the challenge to photograph the stash in it's current state of being.

SO.............. it is all MOSTLY in one place. I do have some scattered bowls of yarn around but they DO NOT COUNT because they are purely decorative, i.e. the colors of the yarn in the type of bowl are there to be pretty not to knit from or to be considered as active stash. Secondly, I do NOT have a huge stash, never had, never will. Probably. (insert grin here)

My stash at present is a lot of DK weight, purchased when I thought I was going to be a mitten machine for Christmas last year. I was not. Hope springs that I might be in the future, time will tell. Then the odd skeins of Koigu purchased on sale, and leftover Eco from frogging the cabled cardi (aka boat cover) last year. There is still yarn left and I plan a bobbled cowl and some mittens for sure. The rest of it? I couldn't tell you. It looks good though! 

Peek into my  "tidyness" (words not actually portraying life I fear):

This is true stash. The DK's are on the bottom shelf--- the top shelf is the ever present coral pink yarn that has tried to find homes in several different projects that yielded big fat goose eggs! The rest of the yarn is all orphaned skeins that for the moment merely take up space.

One of the Decorative Baskets that IS actually STASH.
There are two skeins of gorgeous purple lace weight waiting (I know it looks blue, but it is in fact a very royal purple with a soft variegation)
and 3 skeins of KPPG that don't coordinate well so will have to be used for one skein projects. I have the project, just need the time. So it goes.

One of the purely decorative baskets.
I don't knit with straight needles but they look cute here!
All scraps and snipppets--
and a fabulous blue hooty poo!

The whites on the first shelf. Some of the Eco, a bit of DK, a skein of mystery white and a couple balls of an angora blend. Bottom shelf is a skein of watermelon hued sock yarn that waits (and has been for years) and miscellaneous balls of orphaned yarn, mostly chunky.

My plan (now that I've actually SEEN IT, rather than just walk by it several times a day) is to really make an effort to knit the KPPG into cute little beaded spiral bags, to put bits of yarn and the project instructions into zippie bags to wait for the MOMENT. (Enough Eco in a bag with instructions for the bobbled cowl and mittens) along with each skein of KPPG with the bag instructions and beads.

This will make me feel wonderfully organized or woefully behind the curve, who knows?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Skill + 1 up- 2KCBWDAY2

Yay for Eskimimi and her awesome organizational skills to bring the2nd Annual Knitting and Crochet Blog Week to life! It runs through the 3rd of April and on each participants daily blog post through this period there will be a "tag". Today's tag is 2KCBWDAY2. By using that tag to search, you will come up with a LOT of wonderful reading on the days topic. Inspired Eskimimi! It is a lot of work and I know we all appreciate her muchly!

In looking back over my last year of projects, I am to compare my current skill level with that entry point. What have I learned? Maybe more accurately what have I NOT learned. (AGAIN).

The top of my I have not learned list:
  • I still can NOT knit in the continental method. At All. And I've tried. I have decided (after many years) that I am not meant to knit this way and a "thrower" I will be!
  • I still can't knit lace as well as I'd like.
  • Some Patterns just don't make it very far. I wish I could knit every single project to completion but that is not to be. Some haunt me.
Like this one:

Perfectly beautiful mittens------------ the Hiroshige Mittens. That is as far as they have gotten. I love the color blue, I'm actually DECORATING my creative space with this mitten on dpn's as art! Sort of a statue to humility.

What I HAVE learned:

  • I can be a junkyard dog when need be. In the past year it seems I don't have a lot to show for my knitting--- but I knit an ENORMOUS cabled cardigan, it was crappy--- I frogged it, rewashed the yarn, skeined and blocked it. And re-knit it into the current cardi I love! That my friends is some cool beans!

It's a thing I'm proud of---- sticking with a very, very long project.

  • Having said that, I have a shawl that is sitting on waste yarn in the deepest darkest cubbies in the creative space that drove me crazy, was frogged 3x and I'm just OVER. Harumph. It's Damson and it goes by another name far less lovely.

  • In the "lemonade" category was the little sweater I made for my Little Girl Dog. *(she's so cute!) It began life as Feather Duster and a little ways in I didn't like the color, didn't like the yarn, didn't like IT. So with a bit of alterations it is now Hana's. I'm not usually anxious to make it "do". I learned that sometimes this is OKAY!

  • It was a year of projects that had their core in simplicity. I'm one of those work all the time people and because of that it is necessary to have projects that don't strain the brain overly much. Things that pick up, can sit down half a row in when the phone rings or a client beckons. Things that don't suffer for that abuse.
  • Out of that came a gorgeous shawl, garter based, skinny armed triangle shaped in a beautiful vacation bought hand spun and dyed yarn. Yummy.
  • I'm NOT a very good lace knitter, I admit it. But the mondo shawl for my daughter was easily accomplished with it's fat yarn and big needles.
  • I also finished a color-work sweater from the mind of Elizabeth Zimmerman that I've always wanted to knit. It turned out beautifully and I love wearing it. I even made it in time for my vacation deadline!
  • Another shawl, I couldn't tell you why the urge to knit them this year---- was Citron. I love this for the shape and drape.
  • In looking back, I love to cable----- and the hat for my maybe someday daughter in law was such a fun project.
I think for me sometimes knowing what you HAVE NOT learned is the most important thing of all. It's a time to decide whether or not you really need to learn something or if you can let it go. Kind of like stash or a bad habit, Fish or Cut Bait honey!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Random Monday: Courage: 2KCBWDAY1

The courage for me today is to clear my desk and even (gasp) get ahead of the game. What I should be doing is blogging for the second annual knit & crochet blog week. The topic today is "a Tale of Two Yarns".

I have no tales to tell, I can't see out of the desk but in all good time it will be a good thing! :)

I offer my Day One shoulder shrug...... I'll do better!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

What is WRONG with this picture?

  • Hockey on the TV
  • double layer quilt on my lap
  • dog at my feet
  • Eiffel Tower Shawl being WORKED on! (I felt like I hadn't picked it up in weeks b/c I hadn't!!!)

Knitting is happening! Mostly because SPRING is NOT NOT NOT!!!! NCAA hockey , c'mon it is hard for hockey to get better than that, favorite quilt happily not put away, dog ALWAYS at my feet and KNITTING! :)

I'm off this weekend which is a thing of mondo gloriousness---- I'll be knitting, making a bracelet from shrinky dinks and my printer (really), and working on a mixed media painting that's a gift for my daughter's birthday.

Monday, March 21, 2011

All Good!

It's ALL GOOD, the creative cross training has been great all the way around. While I have not knitted one single solitary stitch since last Tuesday evening at Knit Group---- I have been busy and feeling the burn! Well, except for the 2 days I lost when my back went out for no apparent reason other than to cause pain and keep me reading.

The first bit is a piece of upcycled art---- inspired by Melody Ross and a photo from her home during Brave Girl Camp was made using some old canvases that have lived a good life and I was tired of. Using lessons learned and creative spark from Christy Tomlinson & her class I created them in mixed media. I must say I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE them!

The dining room made progress. It still needs to have the chair covers, table runner and window coverings changed out. I'm having a tough time finding yellow/blue fabric that I love locally. I think I'll end up doing what I always do and internet it. The question of the day is----- now that I finally repainted my Mom's vintage pressed back oak chairs, do I paint the black "architecture" on the back wall blue as well????

I do love the table runner but am anxious to do something that better sets off the room---- we shall see what evolves.

The black "architecture" piece----- paint it? Leave it black??????

Showing off the inspiration and driving force behind the makeover, the fantastic light from IKEA.

Cute Cute Cute, this room makes me so happy!

And there you have it! Still in progress but I can see the finish line.

I've also been working on A Tisket A Tasket from Bunny Hill----- as I've loved this quilt from the first moment I saw it I knew that someday I was going to just roll up my sleeves and get it done. This morning shows 7 blocks "together" and ready for embroidery and details. Once that is done hopefully it will not be a long slog to set some sashing and put it together. I plan to machine quilt it myself.

The last block is the Fourth of July block----- and it HAD to have some red and blue that was different from my completely "Breakfast at Tiffany's" palette from Fig Tree Quilts. I'll go back and add some of the red to each block in small doses, I think it is actually just what the quilt needs to bring it to life. August is the cupcake block, sure to make me hungry!

Hope things are creative and happy on your side of the screen!

Monday, March 14, 2011


The weekend flew by like crazy. House guests, a really weird engagement party, and no time to be "off the clock". I don't know why it is but down time is just a necessity for me. So here we are at Monday and my plate is overfull. All promises to the contrary have been broken!

AND---- I woke up to snow this morning! SNOW! It's supposed to be 70 on Thursday, how did we get so much snow? Stupid lying groundhog!!!!

I'm running away for a couple of hours to recharge. Part of that will be spent looking at YOUR blogs to see what creative fabulosity you've been up to.

Don't let me down!

Friday, March 11, 2011

On the Doorstep of the Weekend!

Friday already, man how did that happen?

After a long week of longer days I'm happy to take some time off. Houseguests this weekend and an engagement party so there should be fun to be had.

I put the Spring face on the bedroom, painted it a serene white and changed the bedspread to a white chenille with meandering flower stems in pink blue and yellow. The walls before were a sort of latte color, who knew this small bedroom would take an entire gallon of paint down to the fumes?

SUNSHINE TODAY----- maybe time for a dance out in it! :) Have a fabulous day and a "more fabulouser" weekend!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Mad Busy Girl

I have new clients where I "guest blog"------ which means that my own blog slips to the bottom of the pile. Which really shouldn't happen but it does.

Needless to say being knitterly, quilterly, crafty or painterly gets "squoze" in where I can. Often in the wee hours.

I do have a finished canvas from the [fabulous] online class with Christy Tomlinson. My girl is below:

the color on that shot is nasty for which I apologize, she really is cuter than she looks. AND, she has a great personality. :) I'm enjoying this plunge into mixed media a lot.

I think cross training the creative muscles has unblocked a log jam, or that's how it feels. I've been inspired to shake things up a lot around Casita Contessa.

A new lamp in the dining room (also where I work when I'm toiling at home). The fixture is IKEA of course, a special delivery from a recent houseguest who knows how to kiss up. LOVE that lamp as much as I thought I would. What has happened since the lamp was up:
  • accent wall above the fireplace was repainted blue
  • rug below the table changed out from black/leopard to a white frisee shag
  • maple wood table moved to the creative space and chairs to the basement
  • a new white table and chairs came to live at my house (or will when some assembly required happens)
  • the two 'head of the table' chairs will be painted blue. They have remained unpainted for many years since inheriting these reddish pressed back oak chairs from my Mom

Maybe 3 rows have been knit but I don't think I sit down long enough to make that happen! And I consider it okay under the cross training rules.

Mad busy I tell you!