Monday, August 9, 2010

summer bliss

Hey guys!
I just wanted to put up a quick – well not really since it’s been so long since I’ve posted - blog entry to show you what I’ve been up to lately. So, I finished hemming my second quilt and squeezed in a photo shoot with my cousins before I had to leave them. (Jamie's acting crazy in the top one, there)

I love this quilt so much! It’s so happy. They’re both super happy. I was carrying the two quilts to my grandma’s house and I had them folded up in my laundry basket and even though they don’t go together at all, they still look good together because they’re bright and cheery. I think I’ll do my whole dorm like that. Exciting! Oh and I have a dorm picked out. I found out who my roomie was and it sounds like we’re going to have lots of fun this year I’m in Futrall Hall in room 314. I liked that because it was pi. Yes, I am a bit of a nerd but I had good vibes about that room.

I also got one of the two books I ordered in the mail, i heart patchwork by Rashida Coleman-Hale. I love it. I even had to drop her a little note to tell her thanks. I saved reading it until I was on the plane home from Sikeston so I’d have something to look forward to. And it was a good thing because it was really hard to leave this time! I’d just been there too long and gotten too used to it and then I was wrenched out of there before it even felt like I’d been there 2 weeks.But anyways! So I got that book JUST before I left and I wasn’t sure whether I’d have enough time to even try one of the patterns out before I left. But! I did and it was excellent. My old math teacher (well, she’s not old, just… she doesn’t teach me anymore. You know what I mean!) had a baby over the summer and I didn’t get to see her before I left so I wanted to try and visit her before I went to Laos. So my two friends Kate and Jenna and I worked together to make the patchwork ball. It looks SO cute! And it was a lot of fun to just sit and sew with my friends. People don’t DO that enough anymore! Just sit around, not watching TV or anything and just sew and chat! I’ve expressed my fondness of this before, but it was just so fun to catch up with my friends AND make something awesome all at the same time. So here’s a photo from my backyard. It’s precious.

Then, when I got back from Laos/Vietnam I made this apron for the friend (Jenna) who I stayed with while I was in Canada to say thank you:

I absolutely love it to pieces. It was really hard to give it away, but I know she’ll put it to good use with her baking and whatnot whilst looking beautiful in her apron :) to toot my own horn there a little. It was really a good pattern. I was very confused about putting the band on the top because the instructions were a little unclear, but I had a chat with my friend, Liz and we basically made up a way to do it, although it was a little different and it still turned out fine.

I also bought my first knitting pattern online. Ysolda’s Elijah. It is probably the cutest thing I’ve ever made. I gave it to my neighbours who are having a baby boy. The picture is a bit crap because I was in a rush. It was so cute. Another thing I was a bit sad to get rid of:

I made a few of my own personal touches to the Elijah. I curved the trunk up, just by tying the yarn at the end of the trunk to the back of his head. Plus I added the tiny little bellybutton and a braided tail which you can't really see in the picture, but I didn't think he was complete without it.

I had some excellent knitting adventures whilst in Canada! I dragged Jenna and Jessie to some yarn stores in Winnipeg and we all ended up buying some very excellent yarn from the Ram Wools Yarn Co-op and I bought one skein from Where the Wool things are but I much preferred Ram. We even got to use their swift to wind some yarn!

I look very silly in that picture, but I knew if I put up the one of Jess she'd kill me. Anyway, I made one simple guy’s slouchy hat and started a pair of mittens but I think I’m going to have to unravel them and start again because they’re a tad too small. It’s the first thing that I think I’ve ever unraveled so it’s going to be a little tough. But I’ll get over it because I think they look ugly now anyway. Jenna started a big project that I don’t know if I’m allowed to say what it is, and Jess learnt how to make a hat, so she whipped up 2 while I was there and has another on in the makings! I was very proud of her because she had to learn how to purl, increase, and decrease all on circular needles!! I was definitely a proud teacher.

Blog in mind, I snapped some pictures of us knitting on the back porch of Jenna’s cabin:

I can’t really believe my summer is practically over. I am lapping up the last sweet, sweet minutes of it :)

I hope you’re all enjoying your summers, whatever you’re doing!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

I have some catching up to do...

Oh goodness. It’s been ages. I’m going to be horrible at this when I’m ACTUALLY busy. I really think that I keep waiting on things to blog about so I can make it into one jumbo entry, when really I should be doing it in smaller chunks so it’s not so tedious to read. I’ll work on that, I promise.

Anyway, I have a few things to share with you. I finished hemming my very first quilt EVER and I FINALLY did a photo shoot with it. I was waiting for 2 things: good weather, and models. I’m sick of strange looking photos taken from my basement room and I felt that natural light would do wonders for my photos, and that was entirely true. As for the second thing, I had some cousins lying around willing to do the job for meager aka no pay.

So this is my lovely quilt:

As you can see, it is entirely girly. I really like this picture, if I say so myself. The stormy sky looks so pretty and it’s such a contrast to the quilt.
You can’t really see the fabric so I’m going to throw in another of my close up shots:

And this works out pretty well because now you can see the pretty quilting design! If you can’t really see it, it’s supposed to be a sort of heart pattern with a 3 leaf clover in the middle. It’s really pretty, especially on this quilt. There are 3 places where, when hemming it, I went all the way through to the front (so you can see the white thread, which you don’t want to happen, basically) that I need to fix. No one else can see them, but knowing that they’re there means I can’t view it as completely finished. I’ll get around to it…

Now, these are my 2 cousins, Jaden and Evan. Jamie was at a friend’s house so he missed out on this excellent modeling stunt. They look entirely angelic in this photo, but don’t be fooled. Especially the dapper young lad on the right. Trouble is his middle name.

See, look. They’re crazy.

Unfortunately, as I said in my previous post, my knitting is falling slightly by the wayside, however it has not been entirely forgotten. I have mentioned Helen, my aunt who helped me make my quilt. Well, I wanted to make her a ‘thank you’ hat to replace the crazy one that a lady made for her, who is admittedly quite old to still be knitting, but has seemingly lost her knack for picking out colours and yarn types, to put it nicely. I look all over for a hat pattern and finally settled on this one. I really am in love with this pattern. Not necessarily the hat pattern itself, but the mock cable pattern. It is so easy and is really quick. I definitely recommend it to knitters who like the cable look but don’t want to fuss with the thousands of needles and other such nonsense.

This is Jaden modeling the hat. Behind her is a Purple Martin hotel, effectively. I thought it looked quite cool.

And I really had to throw in this super close up shot of the cable pattern so you could fully enjoy it. I really hope Helen likes this hat, but based on her hat history, she isn’t all that picky, so that makes me more confident she’ll at least wear it (and possibly retire the old one). I still have to give her the hat, but she doesn’t have a computer so she won’t see this post (But for all of you who WILL see it, please don’t say ANYTHING to Helen until you are 100% sure she has the hat in her possession. Otherwise it would spoil the surprise terribly. You know who you are.)

I really will try and post more regularly. I need to do some more knitting for my near and dear so that should provide some material. Until then, I will leave you with this cliché sunset shot. I looked out the window and was in a particularly snappy mood, so I dashed out there and took a few photos. There’s no harm in a few cliché shots sometimes. As a friend once said: “Everyone likes a good sunset photo”

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Hello again readers.

I have a confession to make. My knitting has been falling slightly behind, but that is because something ELSE was taking up a huge majority of my time. That something else is called “My Absolutely Adorable Fit-For-A-Princess Pink and Flowery Quilt.” It is so so so girly it’s verging on being ridiculous. No, not ridiculous, I think I am in love with it. I finished the top about 2 weeks ago (sorry!!!) and it is now back from the quilter’s.

So, this quilt was actually quite a special project, because I was working with my Aunt Helen, a very experienced quilter, herself. It was so cool to be able to learn it from someone who is really talented, and especially someone who I care so much about. I always think it’s cool to hear stories about knitters who originally learnt to knit with their Grandmothers, because I really love the idea of a craft being handed down through generations. Plus, when the quilt got back from the quilter’s Helen took me to her sister-in-law’s (Mary) to learn how to hem the quilt by hand. This was mostly because Mary is right-handed, whereas Helen is a lefty through and through. So that was awesome. To be in the company of two excellent quilters, just chatting and sewing away. Mary was telling stories about living with her sister and making quilts together. My favourite one was what they would sit opposite each other, and start hemming and “here directly” (as Mary said) she would come to her sister’s stitches and it would have come full-circle. That would be so much fun, to live with someone who you can sew and chat with the whole time!

Like I said in my last post, I get too excited about starting things, so I forget to take pictures during the process, but I’m working on it! So I don’t have a picture to show you, but I’ll get some pictures before and after I’ve hemmed it (however the after one might take a liiiiittle longer). It actually took far less time than I had imagined it. But that’s probably because Helen helped me with the cutting and basically did ALL of the pinning. But I really did do ALL of the sewing. Helen sewed part of 1 block, but that was only because she forgot. It was so fun to go over to her house after work and sew and “visit” with my Ninny and Helen and hear all of the local goss! It was tiring, but really fun.

Now, I do have SOME pictures to share with you guys. This Friday, after I got home from a gruelling week at work, I had an entire MASS of goodies awaiting me! I recently got a Paypal account, and the wonders of internet shopping have opened their loving arms to me. Firstly, my rucksack which I’ll be taking to Laos this summer got here! It is SUPER tough. I am going to look absolutely hard core and basically awesome. Additionally, one of the 2 books on Laos I ordered on Barnes & Noble got here. I had no idea, but Barnes & Noble can hook you up with second hand sellers so I got the books for about half price used and they still accepted the gift cards I was trying to spend. And last but certainly not least, it is in fact verging on being the very best news of all, MY YARN ARRIVED! I ordered some yarn from Yahaira from Bitter Purl and it arrived a mere 2 days later! It is gorgeous. It came in two HANKS!!! I’ve never had yarn come in hanks! I’m so excited to wind it up and my cousins will be glad to know, because they did such a good job with the yarn from my unwound sweater! I snapped some pictures. Oh yeah.

This weekend, I went on a much needed shopping trip to Cape Girardeau (honestly, I had to look up the spelling for that. Here, we lovingly call it “Cape”). I had driven up there for the first time all by myself to take Jamie to baseball practice last Tuesday, and I nipped over to Hobby Lobby to have a look at the yarn. I also had to peek at the fabric, and I was absolutely in awe. They had the COOLEST fabric 30% off, but I didn’t know what I was going to do with it! So I was talking to the cashier about it, and she told me the sale was only on until Saturday! So when I got home, I found an idea of a pattern I wanted to make, but I can’t remember the blog I saw it on! If it comes to me, I will certainly reference it. It’s not even entirely the same one, it’s just a similar idea… ANYWAY! It’s going to be awesome. My family doesn’t necessarily appreciate spending a long time picking out fabric or yarn or any crafty things, really, so there was a lot of pressure to pick the fabrics out super fast and get out of there. It was a little crazy, people grabbing fabrics left and right, getting rid of ones that just weren’t right, but it was so much fun! I picked 8 different patterns and got a picture of them folded up all nice in a little circle:

I’m still iffy on some of them, but we only got half a yard of each, so if I decide to exclude one or two, they can be easily replaced. I’m sure I’d find a different use for them. My favourite one is the one with the butterflies on it! Which one do YOU like the best?! Let’s get some reader involvement :).

Ok, that’s more than enough from me. Hope you all have an excellent week!

P.S: This Easter, I got to die some eggs for the fist time in a VERY long time. I took it very seriously and was being severely rushed by the end of it. I thought you might like to see my b-e-a-uuuuuuu-tiful eggs :)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Something to think about

Hello Readers,

Ok, ok. I know I haven’t blogged in a while, but my real excuse is that I like to have pictures with each of my entries because otherwise it’s just incredibly boring. The only problem with this is that I get too excited about what I’m doing to take a minute to snap some photos. I’m going to have to work on that.

Speaking of getting excited about things, the reason I’m blogging is not to share what I’ve been knitting, but to talk about something that has struck me to the absolute core. I was reading all of the new entries of all of the bloggers I follow (over there >>>) and “a Friend to knit with” had written something new. When I read it, I was nearly brought to tears! In the previous entry on her blog, someone had written the ignorant and pointlessly hurtful comment “Get a life.” The tactful post she wrote in response was so touching and true that it made me SO mad at whoever had the nerve to write something like that on her blog.

I think she is exactly right. Exploring and sharing your passions and hobbies could literally not have any MORE life in it! Why in the world should anyone change what they like to do or talk about based on the opinions of a complete stranger?! Or based on the opinions of anyone! Knitting receives a fair amount of slack from the general public because it’s considered boring or old-fashioned. What no one besides knitters understands is how exciting the tiny things about knitting are. The huge amount of colours and the search for the one perfect for whatever you’re making. The wonderful feeling of caressing every inch of the luxuriously soft yarns that are gradually being sculpted into something that the recipient will (hopefully!) love. I really feel like more people need to appreciate the small things. I get made fun of because I get so excited about tiny things, but if you don’t get excited about things, if everything just goes unnoticed, you’re wasting the fact that it’s there! If you waste time being unhappy or grumpy or not enjoying things, what is the point of you being here? That is time you will never get back.

What’s actually funny about the comment is how this human landed on that blog? I mean, if you don’t enjoy knitting or reading about knitting, what are YOU doing wasting your time reading them!? And then to insult the person who wrote it? Who was forcing you to read it!? And what did they even have to gain from saying something like that?? I guess I’m giving them exactly what they want by getting upset about it but no! I really felt like the message that a Friend to knit with’s entry carried (much better than mine) was a really important one. I, too, hope that everyone finds something that makes them happy, whatever it is, and shares that joy with the people around them, because if you aren’t reminded to appreciate every little thing you might miss something important, mightn’t you? You never know.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Coming Apart at the Seams

Hello Readers!

I’m sorry that I have slacked a little, but seeing as I’ve started work (on the 10th admittedly) it’s already remarkable that I’ve managed a new post in the same month. I fell off the knitting bandwagon a bit, but I’ve jumped back on and I have some things to share with you lovelies.

So, after I discovered one of my favourite blogs (Allergic to Wool), it has been my dream to purchase a second hand sweater at a charity shop or such and unravel it and breathe new life into aka knit it into something else. Well friends, this dream has been realised. Not too long after I started work, I went to my local Goodwill shop and bought a highly unattractive sweater (but made of pretty yarn) and bought it for a mere 3 dollars! When I got home, I even noticed that the price tag indicated that it was originally FIFTY dollars! And, although there is no tag on the inside, I think it is real wool. The idea of a sweater’s amount of real wool for 3 dollars is just mind-boggling for me, but I have some big plans for it. I found a tutorial on how to best unravel a sweater, and that was quite helpful. I did also have some help from my tiny angelic (ha… ha…) cousins to unravel the sweater and wind it back up into balls, so that was helpful. So here are some pictures of this little adventure:

This is what the sweater looked like before. You might notice that I like these up-close pictures. It just makes me feel very warm inside to see all the fibres and colours and textures mixing together like best friends. As Jess once said to me “You’re a bit of a freak, aren’t you?” Yes. Yes, I am.

I was a bit too excited to start, so there is no absolute before and after pictures. I took ONE picture with only one arm off, but it was the worst picture ever, so I’m not even putting it on here. Here is one sleeve balled up and next is the entire sweater’s worth of yarn.

So you’ll have to wait and see what becomes of this. I have one plan for something for myself and I want to make something for Jaden, but I’m not entirely sure of what, exactly. I think I’ll have to let this yarn mature for a while so I can find the perfect time and place to use it :). It’s SO exciting! I really love the potential that yarn has. It makes me so jittery!

Until the next advancement in my knitting saga, dear readers!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Almost Ruby Slippers

Hello to my numerous readers.

I come bearing GOOD news! I have finished the baby booties!!! However, due to a sudden realisation, the prospective owner has now changed entirely. Changed continent even. My mom informed me today that one of our neighbours had her baby girl very recently, so I decided that the other pair could wait since that baby is still in-utero.

The first one took me nearly an entire day, whereas the second one was a mere 4 hour job from cast on to seaming! I felt quite proud of that accomplishment. I was a little disappointed to realise upon completion that one is a liiiittle bit bigger than the other. Damn you changeable gauge! It really is annoying and I don’t understand how I could make it in EXACTLY the same way and still have such a difference in the size. However, there is a bright side to this situation: I’m being forced to give “blocking” a go. To the non-knitters (aka most of my avid followers) that means wetting a finished piece and stretching it out. It’s usually done by pinning it down to stretch it out until it dries, however I do not have any pins right now, so I’m just stretching it by hand every once in a while. Hopefully that works… it’s drying quite quickly. Compared to the size difference before, there has been fairly significant improvement, but it’s not even dry yet.

So here they are in all their glory. I absolutely LOVE them. I think that every new (female) tiny human should own a pair hence me wanting to ADORN every baby I see with a pair. These were knitted on 2.75mm needles aka very tiny. I think the smallest I've ever knitted on even.

I, unfortunately, have not quite finished the scarf yet. It’s been proving to be a bit of a knitter’s block for me, actually. I get really bored knitting scarves. Luckily, this one’s quite a cool pattern to keep me intrigued, but it’s not doing such a good job. And I have a hard time knitting other things when one project is unfinished because I just REALLY want to get it off my shoulders before I start something else. I’ve got about a quarter of a skein left and I don’t think it’s going to be long enough, so Jenna, I’m sending you on a wild goose chase, because my mom was highly unnerved at the prospect of being responsible for that. I’ll tell you more details later :).

While I’m not knitting, I’ve been having some good times with my cousins! (since my pharmacy license has STILL not arrived, so I can't start my job yet...) After much debate, Mike (my uncle) and I purchased the blu-ray version of Coraline (as well as some rubber car mats which he proptly ripped while trying to take a staple out. I've taken the piss out of him A LOT because of that...)because I expressed my wanting to see it. Much to my glee (at the time) it came with a 3-D version and those ‘totally-awesome’ glasses. Here are Jamie (front) and Jaden enjoying the movie and looking quite futuristic and intense.

Unfortunately, we had to stop the 3-D version and commence viewing in the standard 2-D because it was hurting our eyes! I have to say I was immensely let down. I really love Tim Burton movies because of their colour and how crazy it is to make them (and also the slightly weird plots) and I was very disappointed that the colour is so lame in the 3-D version. Some parts were cool, but mostly it was just verging on nauseating, so I was relieved that Jaden and Jamie also wanted to watch the 2-D version. The coolest part about the Coraline movie, I have to say, was that ALL of the sweaters that the teeeeeeeeny characters were wearing were actually knitted by this girl (I’m linking you up to a youtube video of her talking about it). So that was pretty cool…

Well, I am going to wrap this up, but I’m just going to say now that my next post will not be quite as prompt as the last, because the next thing I am planning to work on is a fair bit larger and more difficult. Now, eager readers, as much as this news may pain you, I assure you, your wait will not be in vain.

Until then, farewell.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Forest Gump Scarf

Ok so really, this scarf has nothing to do with Forest Gump, except that I lovingly call it this in my head. I read “Friday Night Knitting Club” by Kate Jacobs – as an interjection, when I googled that to find out who it was by, and found out that it might be being made into a MOVIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That would be suuuuuuuuuch a good movie! – and the main character, Georgia Walker, always secretly names her knitted things which I thought was an EXCELLENT idea, so I’ve started doing the same. So since it’s green and forest-y… you know where this is going.

So, I got this pattern from my current favourite blogger (Allergic to Wool – go there, read the WHOLE ENTIRE blog and love her.) who got it from this human, but you have to be a ravelry member to see that :). I was not even LOOKING for any specific pattern to use this yarn from Katy, and the instant I saw it, I knew this was the destiny it was meant to fulfil. I kind of love this pattern. It’s super fast and looks really good with variegated yarn. I tried a little swatch on single-coloured yarn because I was going to mail it to a friend so they could appreciate it, and it looked rubbish. I unravelled it even. Told it RIGHT off for being so horrid. No I didn’t… that yarn has served me well. 2 mittens and a hat and it’s still going strong! Well not strong… it’s looking a bit pathetic and unwound these days. Anyway! Picture time:

So, appreciate the excellent colours and extremely beautiful yarn. Like I said in my last post, it was a Late Christmas present from Kate. It was such a treat to be knitting with such good quality yarn, because I never get to do that! So thanks Katy. I’m going to include a picture of the initial balls of yarn because I don’t think the scarf looks quite as good as those little dandies did when their possibilities were still endless, but it served it pretty well, I think you’ll agree. I’m not quite done though. I’m hoping it gets longer than it looks like it’s going to, because otherwise I’ll have to send my mommy on a wild goose chase for this yarn!

Yes, I think that photo captures their absolute beauty right there.

So anyway, I’ll give you the pattern here I suppose, it’s SUPER easy:

Use a needle US size 8 (5mm) and cast on 26 stitches

Row 1-4: Knit
5: *k6, yo once, k1, yo twice, k1, yo thrice, k1, yo twice, k1, yo once* (you’ll get 2 little wavy things on this row)
6: k all stitches slipping off the yarn wound around the needle from the yo
7-8: k
9: k1, *yo once, k1, yo twice, k1, yo thrice, k1, yo twice, k1, yo once, k6* (you’ll get 3 little wavy things on this row)
10: k all stitches slipping off the yarn wound around the needle from the yo
11-12: k
Then just keep doing rows 5-12, but remember to finish the scarf with 4 knitted rows just like you started it. Easy peasy. And extremely beautiful to boot!

So I’m going to keep trucking with this little number and maybe I’ll take some pictures when it’s finished :)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Breaking the ice

It's a little scary to write the first entry of this thing, now that it comes down to it. I've been wanting to start a blog for a REALLY long time, and I've finally gotten round to doing it and now I have next to nothing to say. I’m sure this problem will be resolved once I get going…

So, I’m just going to pretend that people besides my friends are going to somehow stumble upon this blog whilst on a quest for knitting patterns or the like and explain some things about myself.

My name is Bailey and I very much heart knitting. I’m essentially obsessed, as my friends all know (Margi). Just this past year I have started knitting absolutely regularly, and I feel REALLY weird if I’m not knitting when I’m sitting around, or if I go away for an extended amount of time without bringing something to knit. About a week ago, I realised it had been nearly 2 weeks since I’d even picked up a knitting needle, but I browsed some blogs and got caught up in the spirit of it and started on some projects (which I’ll blog about soon!)

I’m riiiiight in the middle of my gap year right now, so I have TONNES of time on my hands to knit and blog and whatnot. I usually have at least one project going at a time. I haven’t really knitted a big thing yet… I prefer small things so that I can get finished with them and give them to humans who I love. That’s another thing: I rarely keep the things I knit. I’ve knitted a (crappy) scarf and a hat for myself and EVERYTHING else has been given away. I quite like knitting pointless things (but I have to give them away because I then don’t know what to do with them). My favourite pointless thing I’ve knitted is the previously named Mervin the Molar, but Jenna changed it to Miguel la Muela so she could act like she is fluent in Spanish. I might do a blog entry about Mervin/Miguel actually… that was quite a good one.

Currently, I’m knitting a scarf for no one with the b-e-a-u-tiful yarn that KATE gifted me for Late Christmas. The yarn quite suits that little forest girl and I don’t know if I can stand giving it to anyone else but her… I’m going to try and convince her ;). It’s quite a cool pattern because it uses ‘yarn over’ technique which I’ve never done before, surprisingly.

I’m also knitting the most adorable little baby booties for an old friend which I have fallen in love with and I’m practically searching for babies on the street whom I can lovingly adorn with these wonderful creations. I have plans for a tiny teddy bear baby hat but we’ll have to see how that one goes. Oh dear. I’ve come across as a bit of a paedophile (ha JOHN look at the spelling go!)

So HOPEFULLY I have enough things that I’m working on to make blogging about it worth my and YOUR while. I’m going to try not to blog like once a year, but we’ll see how that promise goes. I also got a new camera for Christmas and I’ve recently been expeeeeeeeerimenting (in my basement lab just like Dexter, basically. I actually do currently live in a basement… it’s not as rigged as Dexter’s though… ANYWAY) with the settings on my camera because I have a MAD difficult time capturing the essence of my knitted things when I try to take a picture of them. It drives me SO CRAZY! Because all of these other knitting humans have basically the best blogs I’ve ever seen and they must have some wicked good cameras or SOMETHING because they just capture the very spirit of their pieces like it’s a walk in the freaking park. So, if you can tell me how to make my pictures a million times more awesome, DO IT!

Thanks for lending your ear (although, really it’s your eye…) I hope I’ve not bored you senseless :)