Friday, December 7, 2018

On Being Busy, and Painting


Sorry for disappearing this week! I've been crazy busy with music and theater rehearsals, but I just need to get through the next nine days, and then everything will be better.

(No it won't. Then it will be the solstice, and then xmas, and I'm going to be trying to finish up gifts and doing more baking than I have time for. It will not be better.)

Wednesday night I was feeling a bit overwhelmed—for the past couple of months, I've been working nearly nonstop on design work and drafting my novel, and once you add in my day job at the library, dance classes, and music and theater rehearsals, it's been a lot. It's all things I enjoy doing, but they have all been weighing me down as well.

So I painted.

I used to be a pretty serious painter, and it's something I love doing, and it felt so good to do something just for me. No pressure, no expectations, no deadlines, just doing something because I wanted to do it.

Friends, it felt so good. I haven't painted in ages, and it turns out that I missed it desperately. It's been so long since I took an hour to do something that just makes me happy, with no other expectations.

I really hope that I can hold onto this feeling and remember to make time for painting more regularly. I keep getting swept up in the feeling that I need to constantly be producing work—that if I'm not knitting a sample or polishing a poem or knocking out five thousand words on my novel—and if I'm not, I'm somehow not enough. Which is bullshit, and I know it, but it makes it difficult to say "I'm taking this weekend to just do things I like to do, with no pressure," and I need to remember that taking that time is important and healthy.


Friday, November 30, 2018

Counting Down

Hi friends!

I decided to try something new this year! As a gift to you all, I'm going to put one of my Ravelry patterns or collections on sale every day from December 1st through the 24th for 50% off with the code 24days.

The daily sales will end at 11:59pm (US Central Time) each night. I'll share the sale pattern (or  collection!) on Instagram, on Twitter, and in my Ravelry Group.

I've chosen a mix of older patterns and some more recent ones, and I really hope you find some that you love! 

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

My GAL Plans

This year for the GAL, I may have bitten off more than I can chew, and I'm trying to complete a project in each of the 8 GAL categories. This is, of course, an entirely reasonable goal, given that I'm trying to finish Currituck Sound, and I work full-time in the library, and I have choir and bell ensemble rehearsals, and dance class, and I'm drafting a novel, and I have rehearsals for A Christmas Carol.

Eight projects by New Year's is definitely not a stretch.

One of my projects is Top Sekrit, as it's for my mum, but the rest I can share here! In the Hats/Head category, I'm going to be knitting Billo, by Ambah O'Brien.


In Hands/Arms I'm planning on knitting Birch Bark Mittens, by Abbye Dahl. I fell in love with these mittens last year, but never got them knitted. Hoping that 2018 is the year for these!


In Feet/Legs I'm going to be knitting Ex Nine Socks, by Kristen Jancuk.


In Baby I'm going to knit Gidday by Georgie Nicolson. My cousin is having another baby later this winter, and I fell hard for the yoke stripes on this cardigan.


In the Garments category, I'm planning to knit Carrollton Top, by Faye Kennington.


In the Neck category, I'm going to knit Enchanted Cowl, by Shannon Squire.


And, finally, in Toys/Home/Other I'm planning to knit The Perfect Little Pillow Cover, by Denise Voie de Vie.


It's definitely a lot of knitting, even if I wasn't already swamped with other activities, but I'm willing to give it a shot. At the very least, I'll have some great WIPs to wrangle in 2019!


Monday, November 26, 2018

Currituck Sounding


I hope all my USian friends had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I managed plenty of baking: I made cinnamon rolls for breakfast, a crustless pumpkin pie for myself, and an orange-cranberry pound cake that everyone has asked to have as a repeat bake. As usual, we went all out on food, despite there being only five of us, and my mum's fridge is still full of leftovers (even after making a Thanksgiving Leftovers Casserole to have next weekend!).

I've been focusing on my Currituck Sound over the past few days—I'm super excited for the GAL, and I'v already cast on my first project, but I set Currituck Sound aside while I focused on getting Delwyn ready for release and preparing for Thanksgiving. I really love this knit, and the KAL ends on December 3rd, so I figure I can try to bang the rest of the shawl out this week. (I have several KAL projects that have been left unfinished and have been hibernating for different lengths of time, I don't need to add another!)

The shawl is ready for the last two sections now, so I should be able to bang the rest of it out quickly, and then all of my attention will go toward GAL projects. December is always a busy month for me, and it'll be even busier this year with A Christmas Carol coming up, so i'm going to take this last week or two I have of normalcy and enjoy them!

Linking up with Crafting On

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

2018 Indie Designer Giftalong!


It's that time again, when thousands of knitters gather together for six weeks to knit as much as possible (ostensibly for gifts, but I know I'm not the only one knitting selfishly during this time).

It's Indie Designer GAL time! Running from November 23rd (at 8pm US Eastern time) through December 31st, the Giftalong is a GIANT knit- and crochet-along with games, prizes, and some really great company.

From November 23rd (at 8pm US Eastern time) through November 29th, hundreds of participating designers are putting patterns on sale for 25% off! Each participating designer has a bundle with 10-20 of their patterns that they're putting on sale for the Giftalong, and the fantastic GAL organizers will also make a massive bundle of all the sale patterns that you can browse and search as well.

Use the code giftalong2018 at checkout to save 25% on all your sale patterns! (My bundle is here, and all the bundles—including the massive one—will be live at 8pm US Eastern time tonight!)

The sale is great, but I really love the next five weeks. Every year there's been a great group of knitters participating, and it's a great place to check in when the holiday stress is getting to you. Even if you don't buy anything during the sale (hey, times are tight, I get it!), any pattern by any participating designer is eligible for GAL prizes!

There's tons of details and a lot of conversation already in the official Indie Designer GAL group on Ravelry. Hope to see you there!

Monday, November 19, 2018

New Pattern: Delwyn


Delwyn is the sweater of my stripy dreams. Colorblocking on the yoke makes way to stripes for days, and coordinating sleeves feature striped cuffs.


Delwyn is worked seamlessly from the top down. The upper back is knit first, then placed on hold while stitches are picked up at the shoulders to knit the front. The body is joined at the underarms and knit in the round with waist shaping. Sleeve stitches are picked up from the body and sleeve caps are shaped using short rows.


Delwyn is intended to be worn with 0-4 inches/0-10 cm of positive ease. Sample shown is size 45in/114.5cm. Model is 5’ 4” tall and has a 44in/114175cm bust.


Sizes: 33 (36, 39, 42, 45, 48, 51, 54, 57, 60, 63, 66)in/84 (91.5, 99, 106.5, 114.5, 122, 129.5, 137, 145, 152.5, 160, 168)cm at bust, to be worn with 0-4 inches/0-10 cm of positive ease


Delwyn is available on Ravelry and is 20% off through Friday, November 23rd! 

Friday, November 16, 2018

Stripes on Stripes on Stripes


I am making excellent progress on my striped sweater, despite having an incredibly busy week. We're getting ready to order costumes at the dance studio, and I've measured well over 200 dancers in the past four days. We're finally done, now, and I'm definitely looking forward to the weekend. 

I'm quite a bit behind on my NaNoWriMo novel, as I've pushed it to the back burner while I've been re-knitting this sweater, but I'm hoping to catch up some over the weekend and next week. I've completely given up on the idea of a NaKniSweMo sweater, so my Linney is going to sit on the bookshelf for a few weeks while I focus more on my Currituck Sound (which is very behind) and my Great Northern KAL project. I want to have both of these done soon, but the Indie GAL starts after US Thanksgiving, and I do have quite a bit of giftmas crafting to start.

My plans for this weekend are to rest and to not knit too much! This sweater should be finished tonight (since this photo was taken, I've passed the halfway point on the second sleeve), and I think once it's blocking I might take out some fabric to sew a top for myself. I've been knitting at least six hours a day for the past nine days, so I'm ready for a bit of a change! 

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Re-Knitting


So, it has been a while since I posted. Friends, I was ashamed. I had finished my striped sweater, after over a month of work. I lovingly wove in the end and laid it out to block, all the while ignoring the niggling voice in the back of my mind saying it looked a bit large.

And then I tried it on.

Oh, kittens, it was awful. Due to some incredibly strange arithmetic on my part, I knit two sizes larger than what I needed, and the result was a very woolly sack. It would have been a lovely sweater for someone larger than me, but alas, I cannot change my size. I tried to think of ways to fix it quickly, but I realized pretty much immediately that I needed to rip it out and re-knit it.

So, in a week, I've knit a sweater body and half a sleeve. I am too exhausted to be mad at myself, but I'm hoping to have this pattern ready for release over the weekend. I haven't really had time to process how upsetting this is yet, because I've been so focused on re-knitting it, but based on the reactions from many of my knitting friends I will probably be weeping in a corner eating chocolates for a week once this is done.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Some Progress, and a Minor Setback


So, yesterday I managed to do something that threw out my wrist. I'm not sure if it's a nerve issue this time or if it's a tendinitis flareup, but I'm back in a brace. It's slowing me down, but I can still knit, which is about the only thing keeping me sane right now.

I had play practice last night, and it went pretty well. Our Scrooge is out of town right now, so we focused on some background scenes and ensemble work. After I got home, I pretty much ignored everything else in favor of watching election results come in. South Dakota is still completely red (disappointing, but unsurprising), but I feel like I can breathe a bit after seeing most of the nationwide results. I want to live in a country that is compassionate and welcoming, where sick and disabled people aren't at risk of bankruptcy and homelessness, where immigrants are welcomed and embraced, and where religious minorities can worship freely, and I like to hope that this country took a couple small steps in that direction last night.

As you can see, my Linney for NaKniSweMo is barely any bigger than it was on Monday. The twisted rib is really kicking my butt, but I have handbell and choir rehearsal tonight, and I can usually bang out quite a few rows there, so fingers crossed for a productive evening! 

Monday, November 5, 2018

Weekends


Happy Monday, kittens. I hope you all had a good weekend. Mine was pretty darn good: I finished the striped sweater (it's blocking now, and the pattern is with my TE), I took a very long and well-deserved nap, and I had lunch AND dinner with my mum yesterday. I also started my Linney for NaKniSweMo, and after three hours of work, I have...the pocket linings and almost an inch of twisted rib. Friends, there is SO MUCH twisted rib in this sweater, and it takes SO LONG and it hurts my hands and I HATE IT, but it will look SO GOOD when it's done. That is, if I ever finish it.

Saturday was the annual holiday bazaar at the Lutheran church up in the city. We've been going to the bazaar for seven or eight years now, and it's definitely the start of the holiday season for us. I made out really well this year—for a total of $14 I got: a decorative plate with a rooster on it, a cast-iron biscuit pan (heart shaped!!), a skein of Lamb's Pride for slippers, most of a Norwegian sweater (the front and back are done, and there's most of a sleeve, and yarn to knit the other one, but I haven't decided yet if I'm going to rip out the sleeve and do them both from scratch yet), a painting, four books (a facsimile of Shakespeare's First Folio, Eleven Plays by Ibsen, Knitting Without Tears, and the Reader's Digest Guide to Houseplants), a spool holder for my studio, some cloth napkins, and a geranium.

After all the excitement on Saturday, yesterday was mostly a rest day for me. I hung out with my dogs, caught up on laundry, and watched a ton of GBBO, which was just what I needed. This week is going to be pretty busy—I didn't get any writing done on my NaNo novel over the weekend, and I'd like to catch up, plus I have play practice, dance class, and choir rehearsals, some sewing to do for the dance studio, and on Saturday we're helping my sister move into her new house! I'm definitely glad I took a lazy day when I could!

Linking up with Crafting On