Sunday, February 17, 2008

More finished stuff

After the ugliness of yesterday's adventures, here is something really pretty to reward you, my faithful reader(s?). The clapotis is done. Dare I say 'my first' one? It was fun to knit, and I can see another one in my future. But not yet.

At the moment, I am officially out of a large knitting project. I do have several projects in progress still, but they are either sewing or crochet projects. And I don't even count the 'little' knitting projects: hats, gloves, socks. They are portable, and serve another purpose in my life - that of keeping me sane outside the house.

On the contrary, large knitting projects are made at my sofa corner, with Skid curled up on my lap, with Sunny on the back of the sofa next to my head, with Seven demanding my attention while she kneads on said large project. Luckily, tomorrow is not only a bonus day off, during which I will have the mental space to plan and begin a new project, but I am also anticipating some yarn arrival to be put to work immediately.

Skid, naturally, wanted to be featured in the very first picture of finished clapotis taken. I indulged.

I also made a bookmark made from origami paper and a not-so-balanced tassel, but no pictures of that. It was whipped up and slid into my bedside book so fast that I didn't get a chance to take a picture of it.

I will post, however, a picture of the superfluous potato solution, i.e. baked chips, that took less than the bookmark to make, and even less to eat

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Playing around

Today I decided to play with freeform knitting/crocheting. I pulled out one of the 'yucky yarn' bags, which is full of acrylic yarns with harsh colors that make my eyes and fingers hurt, and started toying around.

The whole experience was quite liberating. Starting to knit without a plan tapped straight into an untouched pool of creativity and technique, which was exhilarating by itself.

It was also a great learning experience. Every piece made here is an answer to 'what will happen if I do this or that?'

Putting the shapes together reminded me of being a tourist in a new place, preferably an old medieval town with meandering narrow streets and something exciting to see every corner you turn. In places like that, I just walk around with no plan, letting whim and inspiration determine my path and enjoying the surprises of exploration.

Putting the colors together was challenging, due to the limited yarn supply. This, of course has nothing to do with inspiration, and everything with the bag that I pulled out. Not worried at all that when I work with better yarns it will be just as fun as all other aspects of the process.

For the time being, I wasn't even concerned with trying to control the direction to which I was going, or the shape to create. I was just enjoying myself. Like learning anything, taking time to play around without expectations in the beginning has benefits that are hard to grasp but are invaluable for the overall understanding of how things work.

With time, control will come naturally and I am looking forward to it, whenever and however it manifests.

For now, I 'll just put this rather horrid result aside and bask only on the pleasures of learning, even if the actual product is just as ugly as the yarn that created it!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Weekend highlights

The biggest news is that Lizard Ridge is done!

I made 12 rectangles, that were created out of one extra repeat from what the pattern calls for. Each patch took almost one entire skein, and was about 11x14 in. The end result was a comfortable 'siesta blanket', but no more than that. I don't think I could afford a full queen size version, even though given the length of time it took me to finish it it amounts to less than a skein a month!
Every step was great fun, however, and of course the reason for that was Noro Kureyon, and its never-ending color changes.

Here is the view of the blanket 'in action'

not a bad view right before you doze off for a nap

I also made lasagna, which turned out very yummy

While I was waiting for it to be cooked, I got the urge to sew.
Since the blue table next to my knitting sofa was officially designated sewing table, the cover of my sewing machine has been bothering me (it is always in the background of the Skid as supervisor pictures). It came along with the machine itself, made by its previous owner, obviously more for utilitarian rather than for aesthetic purposes.

I used a piece of some IKEA fabric I bought in Christmas, and whipped up a happier cover

much happier corner

Inspiration list

Ideas I 'd like to play with:

Freeform knitting and crochet, by Prudence Mapstone

Christmas card luminaries, by zakka life crafts

A fun game with Photoshop, by Happythings

Of course, the Babette blanket, from Interweave Crochet magazine (spring 2006)

Now I need to invent the time machine that creates 36-hour days. Any ideas for a tutorial online?

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Ο Φλεβάρης κι αν φλεβίσει...

I smelled spring last Monday, as soon as I came out of the house in the morning. I have been smelling it every morning ever since. The signs of spring are indeed everywhere. No pictures of it, yet. For now, spring remains an elusive feeling, a promise, that only my supersonic nose can catch.

However, there are pictures of the sky a few days ago. I always like it when the skies do weird things that are like inviting people to raise their eyes from the ground and stressful lives, and look up at the incredible happenings just above their heads.

Another piece of 'old news' is that I finally gave in and bought one of the incredibly cute Japanese aprons I found in Flushing. I don't really use aprons, but I realised that if I didn't buy one I would regret it in the future. And I am all about avoiding the unnecessary feeling of regret ;-)

Every apron has a different piece of fabric, and I wish I could buy them all! I had to make a choice, though. In the end, I always go for the greens...

Finally, here's another picture of Skid supervising my vigorous knitting progress. She has got into the habit of lying on my sewing table, which is next to my knitting-and-t.v-watching sofa, and she is incredibly interested in my diligence. This picture and the one from the previous post were taken on two entirely different days. Skid never lets her guard down!

Monday, February 04, 2008

Memory flash

I have been dealing with sketches at work recently. Lots of sketches, incredibly beautiful and expressive sketches, that are truly a joy to play with. As someone who was never particularly good at drawing, just looking at them amazes me and inspires me. It also makes me think a lot of my high school years, when I spent endless hours drawing cartoon stories while (sometimes) listening to the teachers' lectures. Ehm..

So, where am I going with all that?
It must be because of some odd crossing of wires between sketches, cartoons, and my new shoes, that something has been needling me insistently in the last couple of days.

Admittedly, only one other person on earth will understand this, but that's what my new shoes remind me of:


In crafty news, I have eventually decided upon an edging for the long-suffering blanket I am sure everyone is sick of hearing about.

So I spent two episodes of Charmed working on it, while Skid supervised

Saturday, February 02, 2008


It feels like life has been moving on two different planes lately. Mind here, hands there. And blogging has been caught in between the two.

Things are moving on. However, despite the fact that I am very much in a finishing mode, only one thing was finished:

Gratitude mittens

All other projects are suspended, until the three I have set my eyes on are finished:
1. Mum's second sock (45% done)
2. Lizard Ridge border (45% done)
3. Clapotis (80% done)

On the other hand, look!

new paw covers (Ζες καλά παπούτσια!)

As for Sunny, she particularly liked the box they came in

Blog Widget by LinkWithin