I made some progress on the Galveston.  I have one side and two corners done!  I don’t know how much longer it will take, but the border is easily memorized and is good TV knitting.

And I got another section done on the baby blanket

So this weekend we went out to spread the good news about knitting.  I am a member of Sock Knitters Anonymous Group on Ravelry and this year we had a scavenger hunt to celebrate WWKIP day.  I gathered up my yarn warriors and, with clip board, knitting and a camera in hand, we headed out to confound as many muggles as possible.

Our first stop was the University campus.  One of the big point items on the list was for a picture with a landmark.  We decided that the University would have the highest concentration of landmarks.  Classes have been out for about a month now, but there are still orientation tours going on, so we hoped we could get some people to take photos with us (also worth good points).

We wanted a shot with some Saguaro cacti, so we started at the cactus garden.  As we got there we noticed a tour group not far away headed our direction.  I ran over, explained what we were doing and why we needed them to stand in front of the cacti holding the beginnings of a sock.  They were all great sports!

We then moved on to the Asian family trying to keep cool in the shade of a palm tree.  We asked them to come stand next to a fountain so we could get some points for having a shot of the sock under water

Next we grabbed a family that was walking past Old Main.  My brother is the tall guy in the baseball hat.  It is the original building from when the university was founded in 1891.  Phoenix got the insane asylum and Tucson got the University.  Suck it Phoenix :P

So after a couple hours of being out in the 100+degree weather, we decided to hit some places with a little more air conditioning.  We went to a bike shop for some points for having the sock photographed with a bike.  And not just any bike!  That bike sells for $7000!  The lady working the shop was nice enough to let me show her how to knit while she was on the bike.

We had lunch at Taco Bell.

Where I got to sit and knit a little more

And then it was off to find a celebrity to take a photo with us.  We were able to track down Indiana Jones, one of the more popular celebrities in our house.  We celebrate Indiana Jones day every New Years day by watching all the movies back to back, so a photo with him was a given.

And as TheBon said, that guy in the grey shirt was REALLY happy to be in the photo, LOL!

We were all hot and tired, so we went to the mall for a play break and a chance to get shots of the sock with the masses.  I am the orange blob by the big pillar.

We parked by the pet shop, so we had to go in.  I think it is a law or something.  Anyway, we used to have bunnies and I miss them terribly sometimes, so when I saw this little bunny face I had to have a knitting shot with him.

Then it was time to reward my scavenger warriors for being dragged all over town in the heat so that Mom could get shots of yarn.  I bought them all fancy ice cream.  Not just every day, run of the mill, ice cream, but fancy pants ice cream!  You know the ice cream that you would see when your mom took you to the mall, and you would ask if you could have some as you were being dragged past it to try on shoes or clothes or something equally as boring, and she said no it would spoil your dinner, or you didn’t have time, or you already had ice cream at home.  Yeah…THAT ice cream.

I got one last chance to just sit and knit.  Very satisfying after tromping around all day

This is how far I got that day.  It started as just a little bit of ribbing, and ended up this big.  Check out all of its majesty!

 

 

I haven’t been able to spin or knit very much in the past day or so because my wrists hurt.  Not the joint, but the muscle right above it.  Like I was in a car accident or something!  The right one hurts more than the left and is a little swollen.  I have no idea how I hurt myself.  Before I got hurt I had been spinning a bunch of singles recently, and I have been having a ball.  Talk about wonderful instant gratification.

Mud Season from Spunky Eclectic

Beach House (dyed by me)

And Sea Glass (also dyed by me)

I have been knitting some too.  I have almost 1 side of the Galveston border done, but it would be easier to finish if somebody didn’t keep comming in at night and putting extra stitches on the needles.  I swear that no matter how I work, I never get any closer to that corner!

I have also started on some of the baby items.  I have the pink section of the Grumpecue done and I have started on the orange.  It is a fast knit and I realy enjoy the simple eligance of it.

Today is a big first.  This is my first post from my brand new laptop!  It was a Mother’s day/13th anneversary present from my husband and it makes me so very happy!

So, down to business!  I have not been idle in my long absense, here is just a small part of what I have on the needles right now

Starting with the oldest project, the Galveston Shawl

I am actually farther along than this photo.  I finished the last chart and I am almost done with the first side of the knitted-on border.  It has been great listening to the radio/TV/movie knitting, but there are other projects that are a siren song to my finishing this in a timely manner.  I am trying to be good.

There has been no progress on my Bugs in Your Garden shawl, but as soon as Galveston is done it will be the next large project to be finished.

I have been spinning quite a bit.  This box has my next rug in it.

I have quite a few scraps that varry from worsted to sock weight, so I put them all up in these random balls and I am using the knifty knitter there to make a long, 5 stitch, I-cord that I am going to be crocheting into a circle.  It will be random and scrappy in the center and then have random scrappy greens as a border.  The whole thing was inspired by those large oval braided rag rugs, but I couldn’t find an oval pattern I was satisfied with, so it will be a circle.

I spun up some South African fine into a heavy laceweight

 

I also spun some for socks

Three different colors of superwash that I am knitting in a spiral pattern as discribed by Grumperina.  I have three colors, instead of 4, and some tension issues around the needles, but otherwise it is knitting up SUPER fast!  Thoroughly enjoyable.

I am also working on two other socks, some for my husband in the Earl Grey pattern

And some yarn that I dyed up for my mom, but I don’t have a pattern picked out yet

I also spun up some Time of the Month fiber from Spunky Eclecticfor her TOTM Contest.

Rage, Tears and Chocolate

The contest was to come up with the most outrageous thing we could with this fiber, so I knit a Merkin!

On Friday’s my sister comes over for dinner and Dr Who/Torchwood, so we started this hexagon quilt so we could have a project to work on together

We almost have all of the close to 3000 hexes cut out!

When my Grandmother was here a couple weeks ago I found out that one of my cousins is expecting his first son this summer, so you know what that means!!  BABY KNITTING!!

I ran to my dye pot and dyed up some yarn for a Grumpecue blanket

I think I might use the leftovers to make a Baby Surprise Jacket too.  And I also got a Funky Sock Monkey kit from Blue Moon Fiber Arts.

It is in the Fire on the Mountain/Sherbert colorways.  This is my first order from Blue Moon, and it will not be the last!  The colors are vibrant and the yarn is wonderful.  I want one of every color.

So, that is what I have been up to for a while, and I have so many other projects waiting in the wings.

And by request, a photo of me!

hard to get a good photo and smile at the same time without that up the nose shot.

 

Last week Chris asked how I got started making Amigurumi and for some advice about how to design your own and I thought some others might be interested too.  I have a background in costume design, so when I decided to start creating my own patterns, I went at it in a very systematic way.

I had been crocheting for years, but I had only ever made two dimensional objects, afghans, doilies and the like.  I had seen the Amigurumi on Craftster and, like many others, I fell deeply in love.  The first one I made was the classic Amineko.  I made two of them, one for each of my kids.  It was a great way to get started thinking in three dimensions.  When I finished with the first one I was able to look at it and see what I liked and what I didn’t and I made some changes to the second one to make it a little better proportioned to my eye.

Now I had some knowledge of some basic shapes.  Circles for heads, pears for bodies, triangles for ears, long cylinders for legs and arms.  What else could I make with these shapes?  What if I moved the decreases and increases around to different places?  What if I elongated the head or shortened the arms.  What if I flattened a shape that was usually round?  I found that once I new the basic shapes and the pattern formulas to make them, that I could just plug them into each other to make new creatures.

I looked at lots of pictures of other Amigurumi.  There are lots of different patterns available for free online.  If there was a pattern that had a shape I had not made yet, I went ahead and made the pattern to learn the new shape.  I sketched.  Part of my design process was to sit with a piece of paper and draw thumbnail sketches of Amigurumi I had seen and liked, ideas that popped into my head randomly,  things I saw pictures of that I thought might make interesting creatures.  I also had a notebook where I wrote down names of people or things that I thought of that I might like to try creating.

After all the sketching and designing, I found that simpler and smaller is better for Amigurumi.  You aren’t going to be making a photo realistic representation of something, but a cartoon caricature.  Picking 2 or 3 characteristics (or more for a more complicated creation)  I broke the sketch I had drawn down into the basic component shapes I knew and began creating.  I experimented with adding different stitches, like bobble stitches for fingers, to add more detail.  I kept detailed notes of every stitch I made.  When I wasn’t working on a specific project, I was experimenting with new shapes. 

I sure hope this is helpfull in answering your questions.  If you have more, please let me know!

It turns out that my summer is going to be insane, so I am putting the shop on hold for a while.  There are a few bags available now, but there won’t be any new ones added to the shop.

I will still be crafting and blogging.  I will still be around the fiberverse.  I have been spinning up a whole whack of fiber the past couple weeks for my livingroom rug, so I will try to get some photos up soon!

So, I have been a busy little bee recently, but I still got a little crafting done.  I took these Romney singles

and holding two strands together as I crochet, I made this rug for in front of the back door

It was a fun and fast rug.  I started working on my next rug.  No photos yet, but it will be the largest project I have ever worked on!  It is a rug for the living room I have been planning for a while.  I love the look of those old fashioned oval rag rugs and I wanted one forever.  I had some trouble finding an oval crochet pattern, and the ones I tried left large holes in the fabric, so I am going with a circle instead.  So far it is about the size of a salad plate.  I am using a knifty knitter loom to make a 5 stitch cord and then I am crocheting it into the rug.  I will get photos soon once it gets a bit bigger.

I have been trying to find time to make more Craft Cubes and there will be more in the shop on Friday!  So far this one is my favorite

Here is the interior fabric

I LOVE this fabric and I had to go back and purchase as much as I could afford for my own stash!  I have two of this bag and I am tempted to keep one for myself.  There will be other bags too.  Here is a peek at the fabrics I am currently working on.  I am going to try and have as many of these bags assembled as possible for the Friday Update.

So I have been fibering a little recently.  I was in Sock Madness this year and made it to the 4th round!  There was no way I would have been able to make it further.  Some of those ladies were staying up until 3 am to finish or knitting 14 hours straight without stopping or eating!  I wish I had that dedication, or uninterrupted alone time.

Here are the socks I knit for the first three rounds

Zombie socks done in my hand dyed yarn

Reversai Socks done in Dream in Color Smooshy

and Slippin socks done in my handspun laceweight

I have been dying too recently.  I sent out the club fiber for this month.  It is Wenslydale fiber and was inspired by Monet’s water lilly paintings.  You can peek here

I also did some yarn dying too

More Cubes soon too!

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