It’s All About the Follow-Through

December 29, 2011 § 1 Comment

Started this sideways crocheted sweater this morning -- need to have it done for VKLive in 3 weeks!

I have about 5 posts mostly written but not yet published…I’m not sure why I haven’t been able to complete them (I suspect it’s partially due to extremely high level of kitchen fail I’ve been experiencing lately…last weekend alone I screwed up cookies, the easiest pie I know how to make — recipe below — and lasagna. I screwed up lasagna. How does that even happen?). I need to tell you about my fabulous Thanksgiving dinner (turbaducken! — this was before all the kitchen fails started) and my miserable weekend of cake baking for Zacky’s birthday and the things that have been angering me on the interwebs lately, and all the great knitting and crocheting I’ve been doing…and I just have no follow-through. None. Not even a little. So I’m sorry about that, and hopefully the new year will bring some changes, but I’m not making any promises. Nor am I making any resolutions. What I will make is a list of hopes for 2012:

In 2012, I hope to:

  • Learn to use my knitting machine.
  • Learn to use my serger (tshirt alterations and lettuce edges, here I come!).
  • Make my studio a usable, organized space (do I sort yarn by color, weight, yardage, or fiber content? Hmmmm…)
  • Post more often.
  • Publish more patterns, both personally and through other publishers. This in turn means I hope to…
  • Design and write more patterns.
  • Be a kinder, nicer person.
  • Spend more time playing and crafting and cooking with my kids.
  • Finish the things I start.

I hope to do all of those things, and I’m sure there are others that I’ve not thought of or that will come up as the year progresses, but I think this is a pretty good start. Now all I need is a little follow-through. Part of which means not waiting until 2012 to get going on this list. I’ve got a submission to finish and submit tonight. Over the next couple of days I’m going to finish up those posts that have been sitting there waiting patiently, and this weekend I’m going to focus on whipping my studio into shape (okay, that will actually be happening on the 1st and 2nd, but I’m going to start planning it and making decisions about organization now!). I might even finish a knitting project this weekend that’s been in progress for over a year (and yes, you will totally wonder why when you see it — it’s big yarn on big needles and not particularly complicated…I just kept getting distracted by other things).

What do you hope for in 2012?

 

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FREE Pattern! Sangria Swirl

December 7, 2011 § Leave a comment

The other day, I came upon this delicious, unlabeled yarn. The colors were beautiful, the yarn was nice and chunky so I knew it would work up fast, and it felt just lovely in my hands. I did some measuring and weighing and figured out that I had about 450yds total. Perfect for a scarfy-shawl-thingie! What I wanted was another Clapotis but I knew it wasn’t nearly enough yarn for that. Then I thought maybe I’d just do another drop-wrap shawl, but I didn’t really want another big triangle, and so I thought I could do a rectangular one. And then…then I thought about doing a rectangle on the bias, similar to how the Clapotis is shaped.

So I sat down, cast on a couple stitches, and started to play with it.  Love. It. It spirals and stretches and you don’t really have to think much about what you’re doing. It can be worn as a scarf (doubled — it’s really long) or stretched out and worn as a wrap. Best of all, even for slow knitter me it was a crazy fast knit. I think it took me <20 hours all told, and I was figuring out the pattern as I went. Without further ado, I give you the Sangria Swirl:

It's a shawl!

No, wait! It's a scarf!

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Measurements:

72″ x 12″

Materials:

  • App. 450 yds bulky yarn
  • Size 11(8mm) needles

Instructions:

CO 3.
Increase section:
Row 1: kfb, k to end
Row 2: purl
Row 3: kfb, k to end
Row 4: purl
Row 5: kfb, k to end
Row 6: purl, wrapping yarn twice around needle for each stitch (drop extra wrap when working next row)

Repeat these 6 rows a total of 14 times (84 rows, 45 stitches) Note: if you want to make your project wider, work more repeats of this section, and then work the same number of repeats of the decrease section, below

Work even section (no net increase or decrease):
Row 1: kfb, k to last 2, k2tog
Row 2: purl
Row 3: kfb, k to last 2, k2tog
Row 4: purl
Row 5: kfb, k to last 2, k2tog
Row 6: purl, wrapping yarn twice around needle for each stitch (drop extra wrap when working next row)

Repeat these 6 rows a total of 22 times (216 rows, 45 stitches) Note: if you want your project to be longer or shorter, work more or fewer repeats of this section

Decrease section:
Row 1: k to last 2, k2tog
Row 2: purl
Row 3: k to last 2, k2tog
Row 4: purl
Row 5: k to last 2, k2tog
Row 6: purl, wrapping yarn twice around needle for each stitch (drop extra wrap when working next row)

Repeat these 6 rows a total of 14 times (300 rows, 3 stitches)

Bind off remaining 3 sts. Weave in ends.

Where have I been? Where have YOU been?

December 6, 2011 § 2 Comments

Well, it’s been awhile, hasn’t it? Life’s been crazy (again) and I just got distracted, fell behind, had other things going on…you know, life. BUT, now I’m back, and I have all sorts of things to tell you about. Not the least of which is I have actually come up with a scheduling system that might actually work for me because it’s pen and paper rather than electronic and is in fact very similar to the only other system that has worked for me, which I used in college (“college” wasn’t as long ago for me as you might think — I didn’t go ’til I was 30).

So, hopefully life will un-crazy itself a little and combined with my new-old system there will be much bloggy goodness in the weeks and months to come.

First up, November’s Taste & Create. Yes, I know it’s December. I’m late. Again. See above re: life. This month, I was paired with Angry Asian Creations. She has a ton of delicious sounding dessert recipes, and I had settled on the Six Minute Chocolate Cake. Then I had Zack’s birthday weekend, wherein I baked four cakes, three of which were miserable failures (more on that in a later post). So yeah, not going to be baking cake for awhile. In fact, my kitchen has been full of fail for quite awhile now, with very few exceptions, so I really wanted something I couldn’t eff up too badly easy.

Since I’m trying to get more veggies into my diet, Sugar Snap Peas with Lemon and Olive Oil seemed right up my alley. Except I don’t like lemon, so I went with lime instead. And they’re…okay. Very fresh, very crisp, very light. I think I’ll enjoy them more in the summer, when a cold crispy snack is exactly what I’m looking for.

Light and crispy!

Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 bag sugar snap peas (I got mine at Trader Joe’s)
  • Juice of one lime
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Slice the peas thinly on the bias. Toss in a bowl with lime juice and olive oil.

Where Am I?

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