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Chastain Park Shawlette

I recently allowed myself to buy some of that Lion Brand Amazing yarn. It just looked so good and I’ve been eyeing it for an inordinate amount of time considering the price. I’ve been a good girl about my destashing efforts so I splurged. Then it was just a matter of finding some patterns that would be fun knits and good Christmas presents. Enter Chastain Park.

This was a quick knit for a pattern that I found to be very well written. It would also look great in a variety of yarns. If I did it again with this yarn, I would add a dozen or so extra rows to make it a little bigger. Or maybe just add tying tassles to the sides so you can get it secured around your neck easier. Aside from that, I’m really happy with how the beads pop on this yarn. I just used some pretty gold ones from my stash that I thought would be happy there. They are.

Overall, if you’re looking for a fast, satisfying knit that looks more complicated than it is, this wouldn’t be a bad place to start.

As for the yarn, I found it a little scratchier than I was expecting, but it’s not too bad. I would probably still wear it next to my skin. It has a slight thick/thin effect that looks pretty nice. The colorways are longer than some sock yarns but they don’t have huge strands of the same color. It’s also fuzzier than I expected. I thought maybe it would smooth down, but it hasn’t yet. It’s almost like mohair which I’m not too crazy about. However the halo isn’t too crazy, so I can live with it. Has anyone had anymore experience with it? It seemed to block nicely, but I’m not sure how a hard blocking would behave if it was for something bigger like clothing.

Foundry Day 2012

Despite the fact that I work in the same office as the Visitor’s Bureau, I always seem to be the last to know about events happening in the area. I had to read IN THE PAPER that they were going to have a booth at a craft fair this weekend. Despite their best efforts to keep me in the dark, I got to go and look at all the goodies.

Apparently Foundry Day is the biggest event in Boiling Springs and it was very nice. Aside from a pretzel braid and frozen lemonade, I didn’t buy anything though I was sorely tempted to. I picked up business cards for my favorites and looked up what I would have bought it I had unlimited money and space. Which I don’t. But I have a blog.

Erin Keck was there. Apparently she’s sort of famous and for good reason. I really was going to buy something from her, but couldn’t decide. Since she’s on Etsy, I figured I could take my time to find that perfect piece. She makes great Steampunk jewelry and really kick-ass clocks.

http://www.EKCreations.etsy.com

Wood and natural stones really get me going, so combining them into jewelry and beautiful wood pieces makes me happy. My favorites are the necklaces and they have so many good combinations.

http://www.reisrenditions.com

Imagination in Glass had a variety of jewelry that I really liked. There were giant rings that I almost picked up and wrap-around half necklace pieces that were really cool.

http://www.ImaginationInGlass.com

Did I mention that I’m a sucker for natural pieces? Maybe I’ve never repeatedly mentioned that, but I’ve always wanted one of those sanded down pieces of glorious sculptures disguised as wood. These are bowls, so I tried to convince myself that they were practical. Maybe next time.

http://www.Harringtonhill.com

2011 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 3,600 times in 2011. If it were a cable car, it would take about 60 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

He eats your socks.

He lies sullenly in the sun (thinking of darkness).

He tells you ugly lies with his tiny, mutated mouth.

Ted is a prototype for a pattern that did. not. work. But you know… Einstein started with fudge = square pie which we all know is not true. So my first attempt at creating this pattern ended up with an evil hand puppet. No big.

As a side note, have you ever tried to take an action shot of a hand puppet on your own hand. Hard. Hurt your wrist kind of hard. Just saying.

Out There in Blogland

As I previously mentioned, I’ve been out of the loop in a serious way this year. Case in point, I wanted to start seeing what my favorite craft bloggers were up to and found out that about 30% of the blogs on my favorites lists were no more. Or they moved without a forwarding address. Ouch. Anyhoozle, that’s fixed. Of course, while I was surfing around I found some awesomeness. So here’s what I dig from last week in no particular order.

Glow in the dark corset shirt from Maya in the Moment:
I think it looks just as awesome in the light. I love how she used simple lines and designs to make it look like a fitted piece. It shapes nicely without actually doing anywork! Oh how it gives me ideas…

Coffee Table Library from Design*Sponge:
Everyone needs a coffee table right? Right? Well, I want this one. I’m such a dork that I think I actually gasped out loud when I saw it. Of course, there is that little snag that I gave away almost all of my books. Maybe I can put yarn in it.

And last but not least, the best poster EVAR:

from Sad Little Crown on Etsy.

I am buying this poster the second I have a real job and new apartment. I must have it. In red. On my wall. I’m thinking this is the last thing I want to see before I walk out the door in the morning and the first thing upon entering. You know, to set the mood.

That’s it ya’ll. Just a taste for now, so I can spend some extra time working up a free pattern. I added last minute Christmas presents because, well, it’s me. So if anyone is up for learning a few techniques you may not know yet, stay tuned. I’ve just got to get my ducks in a row and get Adobe to stop HATING me.

Care Shawl: Revenge of Care

Holy cow, ya’ll. It’s been a little bit, hasn’t it? I have no excuses except for my present one: my volunteer service is over mid-November and I’m trying hard to find a job. I’d like to stay in this area of PA, but it will depend on the job situation. Scary scary.

Now let’s touch on one of our favorite topics: knitting. Specifically the sheer lack of knitting posts this year. Guys, I have to tell you something. I’ve knit more this year than ever. Since I’ve been in PA, I’ve put all my other knitting to shame. The only reason I haven’t told you about it was because I had a vicious bout of sickness. It was called something that sounded like hazy, and maybe started with an L.

Moving on. Remember the first care shawl I knit? Well, I was knitting two at the time. Actually, #2 didn’t work out, so I knit three. Plus, the recipient sometimes reads this blog, so I couldn’t talk about it until it was knit and sent. Check and check.

I liked it so much I nearly kept it. Also, I really wish I could get an action shot of this one *ahem* so you could see how well it draped and the dramatic stripes of color. It’s a sassy little thing.

I’ve got a ton of things waiting in the wings, but I’m taking it one day at a time. I’m busy with Christmas knitting that I’d like to have done and sent before I move in November. Also, I’m turning into a basket-case trying to job hunt. Ugh. Nevertheless, I will try my damnedest to come around more often so we can chat.

Before I go, what is everyone else making for Christmas? I feel like I’m going to run out of knitting ideas by next year.

Alright, here’s the drill. I’ve always got a ton of projects in the pipeline, but limited time and attention span. However, I’ll be moving again in about 6 months and I want to leave with less than I came with. SO. I’ve been practicing my ruthless face and deciding that some things just need to finally get done or get out.

It hurts us even saying that.

My t-shirt quilt has been in the works forever. I had so much good work done on it, but there was a ways to go. This is a must-do thing. Actually making it will get rid of a lot of scraps to dwindle my fabric pile, make me find a few more shirts to donate that won’t fit in it, and get it off my list. I like when projects for me reduce the amount of craft stuff on hand.

Can I share a secret?

It’s half done. This is just some layout ideas that the cats… well layed on, but I’m way past this stage now. I’m almost done with the piecing. I’m going simple with this, mostly due to general laziness and lack of real sewing skill. I’m going to make a very thin, easily portable yet HUGE blanket using other scrap fabric I love. Then it’ll be an quick tie-off project instead of quilting it and voila. I’ll keep you posted because this one has to get finished. Felix promises.