If you're not knitting, the terrorists win

(My mostly on-topic ramblings about knitting. And life in general. My life in specific.)

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Location: Indiana, United States

I'm a middle aged mother of 2 grown children and wife to a man who doesn't seem to mind my almost heroin-like yarn addiction. I spend my time writing, knitting, and generally stressing out.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Fall Floral

I took a floral class today. I've never taken a floral class because I have never really needed to make any floral arrangements. And that's because of one certain someone.
But just look at that face!
I've bought real floral arrangements before and Achilles has eaten them. I've bought fake floral arrangements and Achilles has eaten them. So I choose not to have any floral arrangements in the house because I don't want to spend all my time saying "Get out of that!"

But I liked the way this arrangement looked and I also wanted to do something nice for my MIL. She is very lonely and sad these days. So T and I went and also talked Bre and R into going too.
Funny that Bre and I both chose white pumpkins.
So did this lady to my right. We were the only
white pumpkins in the class!
T added some gold paint to accent our cream-colored pumpkin. I think it gave it more depth and definition. We both chose a variety of flowers, berries, and leaves.
It takes intense concentration, you know.
 In the end, we walked away with a pretty fab-looking display that we were able to take over to my MILs. She was very impressed and displayed it in the living room, next to her chair.
Yes, some colors are not found in nature, but
you gotta love a metallic sunflower!

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Another Open House

About three times a year, our store has an open house where we showcase our craft classes. The instructors meet and greet customers as they come in and, hopefully, answer any questions they might have about our classes and/or sign them up for classes. It's fun and frustrating at the same time.

Fun, because when we get to talk about our crafts, we really enjoy it. We are all instructors because we want to share the craft, after all. We love when people are interested for themselves or for others. "I have tried to learn from a book, but I think I need hands-on." or "My grandma used to crochet blankets for us when we were kids. Now that she's in a nursing home, I'd like to crochet one for her." or "My daughter-in-law has always wanted to do that. I think I'll surprise her with lessons." 

It's also frustrating because many of the people we see are not that interested. It is, after all, a craft store, and people are shopping there for craft supplies. So chances are great that they already know how to do some crafts. So they give us the "no thanks" wave and move quickly on.

I even added several intermediate classes to my roster this quarter, to appeal to those who might want to go beyond scarves, hats, and dishcloths. It was exciting to me to learn short rows and cables and such. I thought there would be more interest.

But at any rate, it is nice to sit and knit at the table. The knitting always draws people over to ask about it. This time, I was working on a basic garter stitch scarf (the one for M) using Cakes. That got a lot of attention, mainly for the way it was color blocking, I think.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Sam And Dean? Is That You?

Pulled into the parking lot at Roscoe's and saw this hubcap reflection from the car next to me:
Makes me wonder what else is going on around here.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

River Quest

I have to preface this story by telling you that my father-in-law passed away on Thursday. He suffered a stroke and pneumonia a few weeks ago and his health just went down and down until he just couldn't recover. My father-in-law, until the last few years, had loved to do nothing more than fish. He competed in a bunch of bass tournaments all over the country (and did pretty well in some) and he also fished for sport along the local rivers. T has plenty of stories about the infamous fishing trips they would take throughout his childhood and teen years.

The funeral is tomorrow and it occured to us that it would be very nice for him to be able to take a piece of something he loved so much with him. So T and I drove down to one of his favorite fishing spots and gathered some river rocks to place with him. The stones were smooth from being washed in the river for years. They were stones that he would have parked over many, many times. It was appropriate, I thought.

In order to get to the fishing hole, we had to park and walk a bit. It wasn't a secret place, as you can see by the footprints we found along the bank.
There are a lot of different footprints here. Human. Dog. Some smaller animals like raccoons. You can tell this dog is about 40 pounds or so, by the depth of the print in the mud. Then, I noticed these prints, overtop some of the dog and human prints:
That's not dog. It's bigger than the dog, and heavier. It looks like a cat. A very large cat. You can see that this cat seemed to come from the side, find the dog and human prints, follow them a bit down to the edge of the water, circle a little, then leave, continuing on its path.

T said this was a bobcat. He said there had been a few bobcat sightings along this river and that he and his dad had even seen one. I called bullshit and looked it up on my phone. Although this shows claw prints (and cat tracks usually don't show claw prints), this looks exactly like a bobcat print.

We gathered our stones and left without seeing any other sign of a bobcat, though. But that makes sense, since they tend to stay out of sight. I just kept thinking how interested my FIL would have been to hear about this.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

FO: Bridger Cowl

I had a little yarn left over from the Wingspan (about half a Cake), so I decided to make this cowl with it.

This is the Bridger Cowl, by Kris Basta. It takes about 150 yards of worsted and I thought it would make the perfect thing for my leftover Cake Pop colorway. It's a nice, close-fitting cowl, which I prefer over the long, loopy ones. Plus, it angles forward, so you have a bit that covers the part of your collar area that the coats never close over completely. And that little piece of lace on the bottom adds a little extra interest.

It's funny, while I was knitting this I kept thinking how much I loved this little lace detail and the way it was constructed. It reminded me of something that I couldn't quite put my finger on. When I went back to add the project to my Ravelry page, I realized it's because I have several of Kris Basta's patterns in my queue. One of them, Gallatin, I've made twice.

So that should tell you I like the designer, right?

Details: I used less than half a cake of Caron Cakes in Cake Pop. Knit on #8 circular needles (because that was the size that gave me gauge.) Knit over the course of two evenings.

Friday, September 09, 2016

Caron Cakes Haul!

My Michael's got restocked on Caron Cakes, so I naturally had to go get some more. I really like the way this yarn looks and works up.  And it's so pretty. I couldn't stop this stuff from falling into my cart.
M has already claimed that rainbow one in
the corner for her Christmas scarf.
I got a bunch. I'm not even ashamed. It makes me feel like:

Monday, September 05, 2016

Tail Update

Here is a little update on the Mermail Tail. It's been pretty slow going. This crocodile stitch is three times the fun work. It looks spectacular, though, doesn't it? And, you know what I always say... It's always better to look good.

This now reaches up to mid-thigh on me. So I'll need about 16 inches more, plus the fin. It's already September. Can you hear me mind-screaming?

Thursday, September 01, 2016

Spreadin' My Cake-Colored Wings

On the needles, it's hard to tell whether this is going
to be long enough. 
One of the main things I hear people saying about Caron Cakes is that there are not enough patterns made for the yarn. I think there may be two different knit and two different crochet (if that) patterns on the ball bands. But you know, you don't have to stick to what's designed specifically for that yarn--or with yarn that is recommended for the pattern.

For example, I started a Wingspan with Caron Cakes in Cakepop. Wingspan is a shawl pattern that normally calls for fingering weight yarn. However, Caron Cakes is a worsted weight, so I used the appropriate needles for that. (These are
Turned out lovely!
size 8s) I also adjusted the number of stitches so this would be a scarf, rather than a shawl. I was guesstimating how much yarn this would use and didn't want to run out.

As you can see, the color changes worked very nicely with this pattern. I think they might work out even nicer in a shawl version of this pattern, giving you more--but thinner--color changes. There would probably be enough yarn in a Cake to knit the shawl in worsted, since I ended up with half a Cake left over after this. And that was after increasing the number of triangles to 13, instead of the 8 the pattern calls for.

This is a nice, quick pattern, by the way. The garter stitch gives you lots of texture. The color blocks and short rows add interest to the eye (and to the knitting). But it's not difficult at all. I would say it would be a great introduction to short rows, if one were looking to expand their skillset.

It's also a highly adaptable pattern. If you get a chance, check out the Pinterest page with all the variations people have done on this pattern--lace, crochet, swing knitting, different colors, etc. I can't say enough good things about it. (Also, if you buy the pattern, you are actually getting a booklet with several versions of the pattern. So it's a good deal.)

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