So much crafting!

I spent the weekend away at a scrap booking retreat. It is one of the weekends I look forward to most all year! Lots of fun ladies to talk to, good food, no kids, massages…the list could go on and on. This year was fabulous, as usual! Scrap booking is my other favorite form of crafting. My sister got me into it and showed me the ropes right after my Son was born 8 years ago. I went to school for electronic publishing, for me scrap booking has a lot of the same elements and has always felt like a natural fit. Here is a picture of my workspace from this weekend. I am not a very tidy scrap booker…but I did get about 30 pages done this weekend, so tidiness is not everything.

I didn’t just scrapbook this weekend. At one point when I needed a little break from scrap booking I spent a few hours knitting and finished the Taylor Shrug for Minnie’s Easter Dress! I am so happy to be done with it. I do really like the finished product. I stand by what I said before though, the pattern could be much better organized.  And the best news…it matches BOTH her Easter dresses!! Now, I need to hope that it is not too WARM on Easter for her to wear it. MN has been having very unseasonal weather. We didn’t get much of a winter and now we’ve had 70s and 80s in March. I miss our regular spring weather.

After I finished the Taylor Shrug I also spent some time on the yellow mystery project. It is coming along and is back to the top of my must finish list! No new pictures of it this time.

I started off my fabulous weekend seeing the Hunger Games movie with my husband. We put the kids on the bus and headed off for a 10:40 AM showing! I really enjoyed it! I also cried a lot. My husband and I agree that our only complaint is the way they compressed some parts and some of the parts that seemed really dramatic in the book were a smidge lacking in the movie. But, overall I LOVED it.

I have been reading The Paris Wife by Paula McLain. It is about Ernest Hemingway’s first wife. I’m not too far into it but am finding it interesting.

I hope everyone had as lovely a weekend as I did.

Start-itis has hit

I have start-itis; which is a well-known disease afflicting most knitters at various times. It makes them yearn to cast on every project they see and abandon the projects they were very recently in love with. For me it strikes when I’m unhappy or bored with my current projects. The only project I’m actively working on right now it the Taylor shrug. It has been going fine since I got past my difficulties with the instructions, but I’m bored with it. Twenty-five inches of an 8 row lace pattern just gets tedious. Maybe my real knitting issue right now is that I haven’t had as much time for it and every time I have to set it aside means more time to re-acclimate myself when I pick it back up. Not to mention, with all the pauses it feels like I’ve been working on this same thing FOREVER. I might be happier if I was working on the Toe-Up socks or the mystery yellow project or even finishing up the Lintilla Shawl for my Mom…but I have a real deadline on the shrug…maybe that is really why I’m bumming…I kind of hate deadlines. Sometimes start-itis is a good thing though (as long as I’m being strict with myself.) It forces me to get busy on projects so that I can start new things.

I did make my son “LJ” some of the Sasquatch Slippers I made for Minnie. We picked out the yarn together at Jo-Ann’s last Saturday. I knit both slippers that same day. I think they turned out cute. LJ likes them…my husband thinks they are a little bright. I finished the second slipper while we watched Hugo with the kids. What a neat movie! If you haven’t seen it I would highly recommend it!

My Reading:

As I’ve had very little time for knitting…I’ve also had very little time for reading. However, I work 40 hours a week and enjoy podcasts and audiobooks while I work. The kids and I went to the library over the weekend and I did a little browsing for some new audiobooks to try. I ended up in the Young Adult section. Sometimes I run across books I loved as a kid/teenager on CD and check them out to listen to. This time I stumbled across an author I’d never heard of before. Stephanie Perkins has two books that were published since 2010. The cute cover illustrations is what got me to try them. I have listened to both and found them to be absolutely delightful and excellent departures from the usual formula that teenage romance books follow. I am not ashamed to say that I still enjoy some YA fiction as an adult. I love that they are mostly happy and skim over the nastier parts of life. Oh, and the romance!!! Stephanie Perkin’s books are called, “Anna and the French Kiss” and “Lola And The Boy Next Door.” She has a third book coming out later this year (I think) and I’m already looking forward to it.

Until next time happy knitting or reading or whatever. Hopefully I will have more knitting to share soon.

Now and Then…and some books

This week I let my 5-year-old daughter distract me from my projects currently on the needles. One evening after announcing she was cold she went in search of slippers and discovered none of her slippers fit her anymore. I offered that I’d knit her some new ones sometime and she happily accepted. Being someone who can easily be distracted by the call of new/different knitting projects it took me mere minutes to lay aside my knitting, log onto Ravelry and start hunting for the perfect quick and easy slipper pattern for Minnie. I wasn’t finding exactly what I’d envisioned but in the end picked one that looked okay and I knew I had yarn for. This just ‘okay’ pattern turned out to be exactly what I didn’t realize I was looking for – awesome!! It is a pattern adapted from another to include the use of fun fur. I’m not a fan of fun fur so I didn’t go that route, but even my more plain slippers turned out great and I really think the construction was ingenious! The pattern is Kid and Adult Sasquatch Booties. By my bedtime I’d finished the first! Last night I finished the second and my son is eagerly anticipating a pair of his own within a few nights.

Working on slippers reminded me of one of my first knitting project ever after moving beyond simple knitted dish cloths. I think the year was 2001 or 2002. My husband’s Grandma, a fellow knitter, had given me the pattern for her much coveted knitted slippers and my husband said he’d like a pair. I’m not even sure if this pattern had a name. I don’t know if it came from a book or was someone’s own design handed down through the years. I got a black and white copy of the pattern, which appeared to have been written up on a typewriter at some point previous. As a fairly new knitter the knitting lingo was baffling and it is probably a gross understatement to say that I badly misinterpreted parts of this pattern. I had no idea what gauge was and didn’t really even consider that by moving to a large size of needles it would be easier to work with the yarn held double. Even just the stitching up of the seams when I’d finished the knitting was a whole new adventure for me. But, I didn’t give up! My husband still wears these hideous slippers to this day. I have offered to make him new ones now that I’m a much more experienced knitter but he says they are fine. There is a little bit of pride in seeing them still being used, but also the knitter I am today cringes a bit.

My Other Knitting:

I have worked a little on the yellow mystery project and I have worked VERY little on the Taylor Shrug. Maybe if I hadn’t let myself be seduced by the allure of new projects I’d be finished with the shrug. I will have to get back to work on it soon. I also have a baby gift to knit by the 23rd….I’m not even sure what I want to knit, I better start looking into that too.

Reading:

My other great love is reading! I’ve decided to start talking about what I’m reading or listening to. Maybe it will inspire people to share their thoughts on what I’m reading or offer me suggestions. I’m up to book six of the Stephanie Plum series: Hot Six. I’m part way through several other books on my Kindle, but I won’t mention things I’m not actively reading right now. I just finished listening to Red Leaves by Paullina Simons on my iPod. I love her Alexander & Tatiana trilogy of books (I will link to the first of the series) and remembered reading Red Leaves a teenager so thought it was a good pick for an audible download. If you like murder mysteries it was pretty good. I would have enjoyed it more throughly except I remembered the plot twist so it wasn’t as exciting this time through. Also, I’m thinking about rereading the Hunger Games before the movie comes out on the 23rd.

Until next time, happy knitting, or what whatever your hobby is! And…May The Odds Be Ever In Your Favor!

A Tale of Two Sweaters

At Easter time it is still cold in MN. Even when Easter falls ‘late’ it is still cold in MN. So, one of my biggest gripes is that ALL the Easter dresses are sleeveless. It makes no sense to me. It does however, give me an excellent opportunity to knit cute little shrugs or sweaters for my ‘Minnie.’ I bought Minnie a dress at Target a couple of weeks ago and pulled some yarn out of my stash that I thought would match well enough to make a shrug. I actually posted a picture in my last post of the dress and the yarn and heard from one person that it looked like a match. I happily knit up the shrug, washed it, blocked and it and tonight tried it on Minnie with the dress. My husband looked on and said, “Maybe it’s because I’m not a girl, but I’d say that doesn’t match.” Sigh….so here it is, let me know what you think. I think the color of the shrug matches some of the flowers down below well enough. This pattern is called ‘Something Beautiful Shrug.” It is a great little pattern that I have knit for her before.

That brings us to the second sweater. After I purchased and started knitting the first sweater my mother in law called to let me know she bought Minnie a dress. She didn’t say it was for Easter, but this is the fantastically frilly sort of Easter dress Minnie always wants and I never buy for her. So, now we have two Easter dresses. I’m fine with Minnie not wearing the dress I bought her for Easter, she can wear it any time this spring/summer. It does mean I have another sweater/shrug to knit. I do think I did a better job matching this one to the dress. This pattern is called Taylor. While the pattern has all the necessary info, it is very poorly organized, in my opinion. I struggled to figure out what was going on ( I kept wondering if I was missing a page of the pattern) and would have given up, had I not paid for the pattern on Ravelry. I’m knitting this out of Knit Picks new Brava acrylic yarn. I will admit to having become a bit of a yarn snob. I mostly don’t enjoy acrylic yarn except that it washes and dries in my machines like a champ. This yarn is really, really nice acrylic that I would highly recommend it!

The rest of my knitting:

Here is how that lovely ball of yellow yarn I shared in my last post is knitting up. I’m still not going to offer very many details since this is a gift for someone who may read my blog. I expected to be a lot further on this project except my needle broke. I had to put the whole project aside until my order of new needles came in. So frustrating!!

This has been a perfectly lazy weekend at home with my family. Now…off to watch the Oscars with my knitting! Until next time, happy crafting – or whatever your passion is!