Posted by: Mare F | December 6, 2018

Thursday chat

If only I had this book to peruse while leading up to and after my dentist appointment last week I might have relaxed a bit more than I did do. Mind you, my dentist is wonderful and I had no pain from my extraction, but I will say that I was a bit more distracted than usual. Of course, this arrived on Friday, after I was already home and regaining my composure, but I’m not complaining. I plan to settle in with it this afternoon, it’s been a very hectic week, and enjoy a large mug of tea!

 

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How often to you curl up with your pattern books just because you can do?

Posted by: Mare F | December 3, 2018

Variety of projects

I don’t believe that I am the only one who has more than one project going at a time, but I’m not sure how many people have several projects going at once. I will admit that this time of year I tend to have more because of orders and so that I don’t get bogged down on one item. I tend to have a short attention span, but an obsession to finish what I start which can lead to frustration on certain project. Kind of a wholesale second sockitis, if you will. You know, the middle of the afghan pattern when you just know that you will be making it forever.

So, I try to have at least one knitting project and one crocheting project going at a time. That way I can also use different muscles if I want to do. Occasionally I do a project with uses both crocheting AND knitting.

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I had a request for an ear flap hat, but couldn’t find a comfortable pattern for both the colorway and my attention span issue so I knitted the hat and crocheted the edge and ear flaps. Got my colorway under control.

I also try to have simple projects as well as more complicated projects. The current complicated project is the Entwined Shoulder Shawl which I haven’t made in years.

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There is just enough variation to keep my attention, but not enough to make me panic. it will be lots of fun when I get to the I-Cord bind off. It’s a large shawl!

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And then, as an added carrot, I have the next project, or two, set up in my line of vision so that I keep moving on the current projects. We won’t talk about my sock basket which has been languishing in the corner for almost a year now….I know that it’s time for me to make some more socks, but then it’s finding the time that slows me down.

So, how many projects do you have going and how do you handle the rotation?

Posted by: Mare F | November 26, 2018

Holiday weekend

I hope that everyone had a safe and happy Thanksgiving weekend. Kudos to you if you braved the crowds on Black Friday and if you did, I hope that you got some wonderful bargains. As I’d hoped, our weekend was quiet. I parked my car in the drive on Tuesday afternoon, after I got home from school, and didn’t get back into it until this morning when I had to leave for work. It was lovely especially as we had temps in the single digits with negative wind chill temps on Thursday and Friday.

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I finished an afghan for a Christmas gift and, of course, the young man’s favorite color is black so I went from black bed socks to a black afghan.

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I also finished a wool cap (dark brown) and a messy bun hat (also in black) for orders I received at the craft fair a week past. They worked up quickly, but I’m really rather tired of dark-colored yarn. I’m hoping that my Red Heart Fair Isle shows up today so that I can start on an ear flap hat with some bright colors! I suspect that the knitting light that will sit around my neck will appear soon as I’ve done just about all of my dark projects for Christmas, but it will still be much appreciated.

 

Did you manage to work on some projects over the weekend or did you have your hands full with family, friends, and activities?

Posted by: Mare F | November 22, 2018

Thursday chat

First, I would like to wish everyone a happy, healthy, and safe Thanksgiving. It will be Doug and I this year so I’m looking forward to spending the day working on orders, nibbling before a delicious Thanksgiving meal, and reading/watching TV. For many, many, many years I had held Thanksgiving dinner at my home, which was lovely, but the amount of work involved became far more than the enjoyment of the day which defeats the purpose, in my mind. Our door is always open and we will welcome anyone in who would like a comfortable meal in a very relaxed setting, but my days of the large get-together is past.

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So. Black Friday. Who among us is braving the craziness and who is staying in? I suppose that this goes along with the large family gatherings, but I tend not to leave the house at all on the entire holiday weekend unless I must do. All of my toys are here, I can’t imagine anything being worth risking life and limb in the massive crowds and distracted drivers. If you are a fearless soul and are setting out tomorrow to do your Christmas shopping, then I wish you the very best. I will be sitting in the living room, in front of the fire, knitting and drinking tea. 🙂

Posted by: Mare F | November 19, 2018

Yarn searches

Where, oh, where to you go for yarn that is no longer made? Or rather, colorways which are no longer made. I got a request at the fair,  this past Saturday, for a second pair of purple and gray fingerless mitts. It’s Sirdar’s Crofter’s Fair Isle effect yarn and I have made several pair of fingerless mitts with the various colorways.

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After spending many unhappy moments finding every color,  but this one online I went digging in my stash to see what I have left. I think that it takes a bit more than half of a skein, but I did find a gray that would match for the cuffs and ribbing if need be. So, do you have a go-to place for out of print yarns?

Posted by: Mare F | November 15, 2018

Thursday chat

Stash. I won’t ask if you have it because most of us do have a stash whether it be 5 skeins, 500 skeins, or somewhere in between. My question is, how do you store it? Are you wildly organized with labels and such or are a fly by the seat of your pants kind of person? Over the years my stash has grown, shrunk, and grown again. Because I knit and crochet for various groups as well as craft fairs I frequently get bags, boxes, and/or totes of yarns and accessories. This has made my storage rather fluid. Once upon a time I had a very tidy stash in small clear totes. The small totes

Looking at this picture just boggles my mind. It is so tidy…. Now.

 

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And I have a few more totes off to the side.

So, which camp are you in on the stash storing question?

Posted by: Mare F | November 12, 2018

Gardens, craft fairs, and general holiday mayhem

It’s that time of year again when there seems to be more to do than time to do it in. My last craft fair of the year (that I know of currently) is this coming Saturday, my garden beds are a mess, and Thanksgiving is a mere 9 days away. Where to start? First up we have heavy rain coming in overnight as well as Friday and because this craft fair is at work, I try to bring my stuff in over a couple of days and leave it in my workroom. That makes Saturday  morning easier and I don’t clog up the parking lot loading and unloading. Now, with this forecast, I’ll be packing the car with the first load this afternoon instead of digging out the other two trees from the scary garden.

 

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The scary garden, I noticed yesterday, had 4 trees growing in it. It started out as the horseradish, raspberry, milkweed butterfly garden, but apparently I’ve neglected it long enough that the trees are 4′ tall. I dug two out yesterday, but what a pain! I also had 6′ goldenrod growing in it. I should have taken pictures of that! It was very pretty if a bit overwhelming. This is to be my garlic, parsnip, horseradish, raspberry, and milkweed garden. We shall see how that goes.

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Then we have the bed socks…..I started them 2 weeks ago, they are made with worsted weight yarn on size 8 needles, but I’ve just about finished the heel and they are being picked up on Saturday.

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So,  how do you sort out your “free” time and choose which chores get done when? I can’t be the only one who could use a few more hours in their day….although I suspect that those would fill right up with the other things I want to do.

Posted by: Mare F | November 8, 2018

Thursday chat

What project, that you consider difficult, do you have on your life list? You know, the item that you see at the wool festival, in the yarn shop, on someone in the market, that makes your heart go pitty-pat. The project that you know will take concentration, learning, and perseverance? My goal is to make myself a Shetland lace stole. I don’t think that I have the intestinal fortitude to do either a square or round shawl, but I’m willing to give a stole my best shot. This book is on my wish list.

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I suspect that I shall find some lovely things in here and hopefully the confidence to step off of the dock into the deep end of the pond. So, what project makes you smile and sweat all at the same time?

Posted by: Mare F | November 5, 2018

School play

One of the perks of my job as an A/V Tech at a middle/high school is the student body. The children make me laugh, want to tear my hair out, and hug them all at the same time. It’s rather like having a few hundred grandchildren who go home every day. Okay, maybe not quite like that, but you get the feeling.  Due to recent budget cuts I am also spending a good deal of time on the circulation desk in the library. In fact, I work by myself on Fridays so I decided to add some fun to the end of the week once or twice a month. Occasionally we’ve added the odd day in, but since they are non-stop action, I try to limit it to two. Last June, I set up a hyperbolic coral reef in our display case and some of our students made paper plate jelly fish with ribbons and googly eyes. They were just too much fun.

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Last month, while celebrating R. L. Stine’s birthday, the students made either a monster or a ghost house out of mystery bags. Mystery Bags are brown lunch bags with pipe cleaners, coffee filters, cups, craft sticks, tubes, pompoms, etc in them. Below is one of the many monsters which appeared that day.

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And last Friday we had the option of making hand turkeys out of construction paper or leaf wreaths. A good time was had by all, but I will be cutting out leaves (in preparation for the future) for some time to come.

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While these are all very simple crafts, the students truly seem to enjoy making them and they have needed very little direction. The creativity and energy that comes bouncing out of them is contagious and invigorating. They have created a pond from blue fleece, fish from pompoms,  and water lilies from tissue paper and felt. This is seriously one of the best perks around. It’s a wonderful thing when work is fun!

Posted by: Mare F | November 1, 2018

Thursday chat

I found this book at my local library when I met a friend for knitting last week and I’m going to buy a copy of it for home. There are so many cool patterns in here that I’m a little sad that I used up  my bulky stash. Guess I’ll just have to go shopping. Seriously, if you get a chance to check out Highland Knits , published by Interweave, do so, it looks to be a good deal of fun.

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