Friday FO Y’all!

What? It’s a (mostly) natural fibre 😉

Look what I made! :)

Look what I made! 🙂

I have to go slowly with these projects – M.E. means I get wiped out way too easily! – but I really love putting together furniture. These are my first hinged doors and I’m feeling very ‘proudy pants’. They are the self closing kind and working without need for adjustment. I got to use my new level for the anti-tippers installation and can now hide a few ‘junk’ piles 🙂

Advertisements

DIY And WIP

Still not anything on the FO front – spring restlessness and the call of the garden are working a different kind of creative spell 🙂

My poor, poor Rheinlust has suffered some ‘dino damage’! A needle pulled out and I don’t have the patience just yet to tackle dropped twisted stitches. I will, but right now, it’s not happening. I have to fibre so snagged another of Hélène’s patterns, ‘Brise d’été‘ and went stash diving for the right yarn. I came up with a cobweb weight, hand dyed, 100% silk from ‘No Two Snowflakes’.

I’m terrified! I’m still far more enthusiast than expert with my crochet and I rarely knit with cobweb weight – dammit Jim! I’m a maker, not a masochist! So far though, it’s coming out okay and I’m a process stick handler so it’s all about that anyway 🙂 The NTS has a silky hand, subtle sheen and the colour is beautiful.

On the house front, the gardens are coming along well. I had promised myself no plant purchases this year – funds and needing to see how last year’s fill in being the reason – but… I have a few more heuchera and sedum coming and some mini bee balm to keep the bees happy. My living room long term plan got a wee bump up too – curse you Ikea how I love you! The bookcases I’ve had my eye on went on sale and it’s so rare, I decided to go for it. The last bit should be finished by the weekend, super happy that it’s working out for use of space and scale in my little nest 🙂

My Mother’s Day was wonderful as always because… my kids ❤ and my own Mumma ❤ and I hope the same for all the mums who read here.

And here are a few pix of of the WIP’s both wool and wood:

 

Hi! :)

That’s as catchy a title as I can come up with and I agonized over it, believe me!

No FO’s just yet although my ‘Duane Park Triangle‘ shawl is blocking as I type – cursed thing. Remind me to never commit to a pattern that is all garter stitch again. Even the pretty Zen String yarns that I used couldn’t save my attitude by the end.

Happier WIP’s are my ‘Gothic Starfish‘ afghan. It just needs a few rows of black border and it will be out the door to live on my daughter’s purple sofa and my ‘Rheinlust‘ shawl, which I am madly in love with; all twisted stitches and Wollmeise goodness. This is not to say that I now love Wollmeise, I still prefer other yarn bases a LOT but it’s perfect in this pattern.

With spring finally here for real, I’m working hard on my little house and the gardens. Replaced the old mailbox with one that’ll match my new screen door when it goes up and the dead doorbell is on today’s agenda for a new wireless one. Good friends adopted my old wooden picnic table for their cottage and I now have room for an elf-size gazebo in the back garden. Lots of leafy clean up to do before that goes up but it’ll make a lovely outdoor retreat. My little office is coming along too, I just finished the assembly yesterday and am moving files, supplies and all that stuff that’s been living in my kitchen to its proper home.

Finally have my ‘Leaf’ set up and it’s keeping me honest about my exercise goals or err… honest about how much I fool myself! Apparently, knitting does NOT burn many calories… A terrible oversight on the part of our physiology IMHO. Saying goodbye to another dear family member and some irksome ‘girl’ health issues just lately have me wanting to get back to my former athletic self or a reasonable facsimile! I can say that deleting a few of my social media accounts has been a HUGE benefit in terms of stress relief. I mean really? How connected does one woman have to be, right?! 😉

With that, here’s pictorial ‘skinny’ on all of the things :):

Oh! And THIS! A month or so ago, I stabbed my finger with some wicked sharp scissors when I was lifting staples from the back of a painting… I couldn’t even look as I tugged them out and did the first aid thing. Knitting and blocking were really hard for a week or two and now I have a scar! Apparently, I haven’t outgrown this stage…

 

Wednesday…

Still waiting on my beads to finish up ‘Ile d’Ecosse’ shawl and so committed myself to finishing and blocking ‘Pennae‘ shawl. I like how the two colours of Tosh Merino Light played so nicely together but I have to admit, I prefer symmetrical shawls. I did tweak this a bit to minimize the snooze-inducing amount of garter stitch – again, just personal preference – and I think it’s come out okay.

Pennae’s portfolio:

I’m still really hook obsessed at the moment and so progress on my fourth NCM2016 project has been good. I’m making the  ‘Starry Skies‘ blanket in some very ancient worsted leftovers, yarn too nice to give away or donate but no longer a favourite colour or rescued from very old WIPs. It’s about ‘lapghan’ size as of today and I hope to have it wrapped up over the coming weekend.

Meanwhile, household chores call. I’m staining an antique washstand that has been passed from my Auntie, to my Mum and I scavenged it from the end of our driveway when I was a teen – much to Mum’s chagrin :). It’s been with me ever since and endured an epic session of stripping and sanding to remove the five or six coats of paint it had endured over it’s life with a family of DIYers with good taste. While that dries, I’m planning how to best individualize the translucent, frosted privacy film that I’ll be putting up on the entranceway sidelight. A new front door meant the old, curtained window went – glad, as it was original to the house (!) We’ll see how my attention span holds for the next few days 🙂

All of the WIPage:

Not So Swift?

I saw a post on Instagram that caught my eye. A newbie to skeins, as opposed to commercial yarn balls, asked an Indie dyer if winding a skein into a cake was necessary before beginning to knit.

Confession? I’ve been in such a rush to start a project that I have sometimes knit right from the skein. I always want to put myself in a corner at some point before that skein is all knit up!

The discussion continued, as the newbie didn’t know how to cake yarn, what a swift was or what she could use in its place as she didn’t own one. I decided to post my own swift hack on Instagram and Pinterest because I don’t own a swift either! I have something that works great for me, is super cheap, easy to put together and ‘green’. Picture follows with the blurb I posted with it. Pretty straightforward assembly and it puts zero stress on the yarn – one reason why some Indie dyers advise winding by hand v. a swift / winder combo.

“No ‪#‎swift‬? No problem!
KeiB’s ‪#‎diy‬ swift solution. These ‪#‎upcycled‬ coffee jars work great and don’t require rearranging furniture or introducing your partner to ‪#‎bfl‬ bondage wink emoticon. Get fancy with ‪#‎acrylicwater‬ to anchor the contents and ‪#‎sculpey‬ or ‪#‎fimo‬ to dress up and disguise the lids. ‪#‎knittersofinstagram‬ ‪#‎keibdesigns‬‪#‎crochetersofinstagram‬ ‪#‎instaknit‬ ‪#‎lifehacks‬ ‪#‎skeins‬ to cakes – buy yarn not gadgets 😄 💕 ‪#‎keibonravelry‬

Three Happy Making Things

My first guy / unisex pattern ‘ James Harris‘, was worked by the awesome WildWoolly and she posted her FO photo on a real guy! I’ll never get tired of seeing my patterns made up 🙂

'James Harris' modelled.

‘James Harris’ modelled.

~~~~~

I bought a rock! A little ‘Goo Gone’, some felt feet and I have half a bookend 🙂

Half a bookend :)

Half a bookend 🙂

~~~~~

I have a good start on another stashbusting project. The worsted version of the Cerys Hexagon Blanket:

To keep me out of the bars when in-between projects ;-)

To keep me out of the bars when in-between projects 😉

Preparations, Purls and Patterns

Life goes on and this is a very busy week for which I’m grateful. I’ll be spending an afternoon with my Mum and Sisters – the l’il big Bro works shifts 😦 – followed by wrapping up a crocheted crib blanket for my very first grand niece-ling. A visit to the dentist today – chipped a tooth! – as a former CDA, I’m mildly freaked about that. Thursday is official ‘Sit ‘N Knit’ at my LYS but I may forgo as Friday brings our departure for 2015’s Needler’s Retreat!

I can definitely say, this has been an excellent diversion. I’ll be vending in person, as opposed to selling on Etsy, et al and creating and updating my Seller’s ‘tool kit’ has been at the top of my list. My presentation will be very simple as the Vendor’s Night portion of the weekend is small, the bulk of the time being devoted to workshops. I’ll include an info stand with my Berroco interview in print and business cards, a binder with a selection of patterns and samples for those. Hopefully, I’ll create some new connections and broaden my customer base. I’ll be including the first of my professionally tech edited patterns and one or two of my friend Francine’s (of Fancy That) shawl pins. Verra excited 🙂

On the homefront, I did a redux on my bar cart / microwave stand yesterday. It’s not my favourite piece, being from the ‘year of apartment living’ but it’s useful and so I thought I’d make it more presentable. The DK version of Matinée ~ Marbles is done too.

A little gallery of the knits, the Duct Tape Diva stuff and the last of October: