Tag Archives: Arts

I’m still alive

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Hampton Twists Peaches & Creme

Hampton Twists Peaches & Creme

 

I’ve been sick for an insanely long time.  And now it is March, the time when the sun starts to come out and blind everyone that isn’t used to it – Migraine Season.  I have always loved this time of year because of the sunshine but the last several years I’ve been getting a lot of migraines during March.  It took a long time before one of my doctors figured out that it was the sun (bright light) triggering it.  I have my movie star sunglasses with polarized lenses that I always wear when I go out but somehow I still get migraines.  So, while the weather is warming up and it is a beautiful sun-shiny day, I am sitting inside with the drapes all drawn like a vampire.  I vant to suck yer blood ah ah ah ah!  Okay, not really.  I like things more well done than rare.

Anyway, I think I’ve been sick for a good two whole months at least.  That really sucks but the one thing that keeps me going is crafts.  I always knit or crochet something though I usually drop the more complicated projects and start something more simple.  For some reason I like something that requires me to count stitches when I don’t feel well or when I have a migraine.  If not I end up counting anyway.  It must be a distraction tactic.

Right now I’m making a reusable grocery bag I found FREE on this blog and on Ravelry.  I’m using the new “Twists” yarn by Peaches & Creme.  The color is called Hampton Twists and has burgundy, white, and neutral strands twisted together.   The effect is very cool but a bit difficult on the eyes when working on it.  I’m working the bottom of this bag which is done in a spiral of single crochet and my eyes just can’t seem to keep track of the stitches with all the stripes.  I think it will be cool though.

The pattern says to use a stitch marker to mark the beginning of each round but because of this crazy stripped yarn I’m using 4 stitch markers.  This would also be a great way for beginners to do this pattern.  The bottom is an oval spiral – so basically a rectangle with a half circle at each end.  The rectangle is 39 single crochets long and after rounding the corner you go back down and work 39 single crochet in the back side of the chain stitches.  So I marked the first and last stitch of the 39 stitches on both sides.  3 of my stitch markers are one color and the one that also marks the beginning of the next round is a different color.  This makes it easier to know when you get to those stitches that require increases.  You know exactly where they are because they are between the two markers on the short sides.  If you don’t mark them it can be difficult to know where those stitches actually begin and end.  The first time around I noticed my piece wasn’t looking quite right and I knew I had gotten mixed up somewhere.  So this is my 2nd attempt.

I found a sneaky little trick to crochet in my stitch markers since I find it a little fiddly getting mine to slip into these tight single crochet stitches.  They just aren’t stiff enough and they are rubbery so they want to stick to the cotton and refuse to go through.  They are the Boye ones that come in the cute little box.  I normally love them so it must be the cotton.  Anyway, when you get to the spot where you want to add the marker – just before that stitch – close the marker and then slide it on the back end of the crochet hook.  Then push it down and over the loop of yarn and then off the hook end (keeping the yarn on the hook).  That puts the marker around the part of the stitch that will end up being the top.  Then you just work the stitch like normal and it will already be in place.

I’m still working on the bottom but you can see my progress by clicking here.  I’ll take a picture once I get the bottom finished.

Crocheted angels and weight loss

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I haven’t been feeling well for a while.  Mostly I’ve been really tired and have very low energy but I keep trying to make my goals for losing weight.  I started using my stationary bike again and even though my goal is to make 10 minutes I sometimes don’t make it.  I still do what I can and once or twice I made it to 15 minutes without too much pain.  I have lost 6 lbs so far!  Last year I was stuck at this one place and I am now past it!  That right there makes me happy!  I weigh less than I ever did last year.  Not a lot less but any less is great!

I have to work really hard to watch my diet.  I’ve found that cutting back on carbs really helps but I also use a little protein supplement to make sure I get enough.  That is one thing I usually run low on.  I’m keeping my calories at 1200 and taking vitamins.  I’m using myfitnesspal.com along with the app for the iphone to track what I eat.

I also made a gift for a friend who is pregnant.  She lost her first baby at birth and I can’t imagine going through that.  My stomach was in knots just thinking about it.

Well in my dishcloth group we were learning about intarsia, which is a method of adding colors.  There was a knit pattern and a crochet pattern.  I did the knit cloth and I wanted to learn the technique for crochet as well.  I wasn’t loving the pattern though.   It just wasn’t something that I wanted for my kitchen so I thought I’d just have to make it for someone else.  Well, after I looked at the pattern I saw something else in it and decided to change the pattern.  The pattern was on graph paper so I changed the design by omitting some squares and embroidery designs and adding my own until it looked like a baby carriage.  I also got a piece of graph paper and scribbled in squares until I had a decent angel.  I made it a long rectangle with one design at each end and backed it with pre-shrunk flannel for a baby burp cloth.  It is made out of materials that are easy to wash and dry.  I was able to give it to my friend last night and she loved it.

 

Finished baby burp cloth with flannel lining

Finished baby burp cloth with flannel lining

I decided to link this post up to a linky party hosted by Creative Crafts Thursday at www.creativecraftsthursday.blogspot.com.

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Knitting Escapades

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Double Diamond Circular Facecloth

This was a learning experience for me.  I taught myself to knit at least 5 years ago….hmmm maybe 7 but I never did anything challenging.  This was a huge challenge for me.  I ripped this out several times and my dog helped me rip it out once too.  I had to learn to relax so I could knit 2 and 3 stitches together in one which can be tricky.  I learned the provisional cast on which uses a scrap piece of yarn to hold stitches that can later be placed on a needle and knit in the other direction or you can kitchener two edges together (as above) and avoid leaving a seam.  So, that is another thing I learned – how to kitchener, or weave stitches together so it blends in with the rest of the knitting.  Mine is not perfect but is better than I thought I could do.  I’m very happy with it.  I made this face cloth for a Christmas gift and wrapped it up with some rose french milled soap.

The pattern is free on Ravelry.com 

Me Time

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Daily WordPress Prompt: What’s your ideal Saturday morning? Are you doing those things this morning? Why not?

In the winter time I love to sleep in and snuggle in my blankets.  After I wake up I enjoy reading and just laying in the quiet room.  Sometimes I play games on my cell phone or text my sister.  After a while I like to sit in my chair with a cozy throw and work on a project – sometimes it is crochet, sometimes knitting, sometimes tatting, sometimes painting or a sketch.  I love that I can see the snow covered trees outside from where I sit.  Since it is Christmas time now I’ve been listening to Christmas music but at other times I enjoy listening to classical piano or guitar.  I listen to a lot of different types of music also though.

In the summer I like to go outside in the mornings and read on my swinging bed and listen to the birds.  I took the top covering off so I can soak up the sun.

Today I was lazier than usual and spent more time sleeping and less time doing anything else.  I haven’t read anything yet but I plan to go to bed early and read until I’m tired.  My husband went to play poker so I have the room to myself.  He often watches movies and disturbs my peace.  I did finish a crochet dishcloth though.  I wanted to do something different so I added a square of a different color in the center.  I don’t like to weave in ends that much so I “carried” the thread I wasn’t using by crocheting over it until I needed it again.  When I wanted to pick up the wine color to use on the row above I just slipped my hook through a couple loops of the stitch and pulled the loop up and then did a slip stitch.  Then I just worked the stitches I needed in that color and crocheted over the other color (the variegated) so I could just switch when ready.  I think it looks great!  The pattern for this dishcloth is on Ravelry and if you are interested you can read my notes to see how I made this one.

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Sleeping Beauty

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Merryweather: Sweet princess, if through this wicked witch’s trick, a spindle should your finger prick… a ray of hope there still may be in this, the gift I give to thee. Not in death, but just in sleep, the fateful prophecy you’ll keep. And from this slumber you shall wake, when true love’s kiss, the spell shall break.

My prince kissed me so I can finally stay awake.  I slept so long and finally woke up and felt like doing something.  I got my book in the mail that I ordered from Handy Hands Tatting.  It is called, Tatting with Visual Patterns by Mary Konior.  I have been salivating over this book for a long time but $60 is a lot of money to spend on a book.  That is the cheapest you can get this book new.  Finally, my “prince” said I could order it and I have it my grubby little hands.  I’m like a little girl in a candy store looking at these glossy pages of beautiful tatting patterns.  I’ll be making so many wonderful tatted treasures now.

Source: hhtatting.com via Donna on Pinterest

 

 

I just updated my paged called “Twenty Wishes“. When I read the book by Debbie Macomber called Twenty Wishes I decided to make my own list too. I don’t quit have twenty yet but I’m working on it. I have fulfilled one wish so far. I really love how this list keeps me thinking positive and thinking about the future and all that I can do.  My life isn’t over, it is just getting started!