Fun Friday

Fun Friday

My schedule at work got a little screwed up this week, so I get today off!  Whoo Hoo! A nice, long weekend!

I have not had a chance to fill you in yet, but I left my job a month ago…4 weeks ago to be exact.  It was retail, so I was closing the store every night and working every weekend and holiday.  The problem was this:  no time to take care of my family!  Now, I know I need a job, but I don’t need one THAT bad!  My poor husband was making dinner every night and was alone on the weekends…not to mention I missed church consistently because I was scheduled to open and close every Sunday.  So, I saw an ad for an Activities Aide at a local nursing home and emailed my resume.  I got an interview the very next day!  I love the job, love the residents and only work three days a week 9am – 5pm, so I can take care of my family, keep my husband company nights and weekends and get to church every Sunday.  Win -Win!

With that being said, I have time for fun today!  Guess what I plan on doing?  Clicking my needles together!  Here is a peek at what I have been working on:

Ocean Surf Top

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I apologize for the crappy iPhone pictures…I still have an iPhone 4.  Waiting for my upgrade in February!  Anyway, it is a lace top that I am knitting as a test knit for the designer.  It is to be completed by January 31 and I surely hope I get it done!  Work keeps getting in the way!

Holiday Advent Lace Scarf

file_medium3Another crappy picture, the scarf was intended to be knitted during the month of December to be finished Christmas Eve Day.  Yea, right!  I’m still on Day 7!  Is is knit from alpaca lace yarn.  Love it so far and can’t wait till it’s done…hopefully before next Christmas!

What are you working on over the weekend?

Oops, I did it again!

Oops, I did it again!

I dropped the ball, of course!  And what a heavy ball I dropped!

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The reason the ball is heavy is simple:  It’s really the only ball I have.  Since going back to work, I really don’t have many things left to keep me sane, just knitting and reading, and which work comes much less time for that.  I used to knit every day and now I am lucky if I knit a couple times a week.  What makes this so frustrating is that I am trying to work and pursue hobbies with a disability.  For any of you that have tried to do this, you can certainly understand how hard this is.

So, I am trying to reclaim what is mine…my leisure time.  No more excuses, I am going to knit…and I am going to blog about it.  I am considering this a turning point for this blog and I am hoping, with your support, I follow through for an entire year!  I refuse to lose myself in my daily struggles and choose to enjoy life once again!

What the picture says…

What the picture says…

Wow, it feels like it has been a long time since I posted any knitting projects.

Oh, wait, it has been forever.  Since May, at least!  What’s my excuse?  Well…..

I went back to work, which more or less takes up most of the knitting time I had before.  But it really does work out very well in that I have more money for yarn!  Certain aspects of the job can aggravate  the dystonic muscles in my right arm, but I have learned to know my limits and I do ask for help if I need it.  Well, now I do.  I sell auto parts and when I first started the job, I was afraid my boss would think that if I had this problem with my hands and arms, I would be unable to do the job.  Therefore, I tried to do things I really should not have.  For example, the Botox treatments I was recieving on my right hand and arm atrophied the muscles all up my arm.  It has taken me two years to regain what muscle I have regained and you really can’t tell without close inspection that my muscles in my hand are not quite all the way recovered.  So, after selling a customer brakes and rotors, I ended up dumping the rotors on the floor due to loss of muscle control.  In the line of the fall was a toe that ended up losing a nail!  So, I can go get the part and take it to the counter, but I have learned that carrying two rotors farther than that will result in a nail-less toe…or worse!

I also took a wonderful vacation for five days with my daughter and my best friend (and her daughter!) on an island off Long Island.  Maybe someday I will get some pics up!  But I have been doing a little knitting.  I knit a cotton shawl for my best friend for the trip and I am working on a kerchief and fingerless gloves for winter.  I also just purchased an awesome purse pattern…I will share photos of all soon.  I am going to try to discipline myself to post on  my days off…I work swing shift, so they will always be different every week.  I would like to try to post at least once a week…at the very least!

Well, off to bed…gotta work the whole weekend :/

Have an awesome Labor Day!

I will be laboring on Labor Day to celebrate!  Ha!I-Miss-You

Day 14 (30 Day Knitting Challenge)

Day 14 (30 Day Knitting Challenge)

Day 14: What’s the worst yarn/fiber that you’ve worked with and why?

I know exactly which yarn I am going to bash.  Well, in defense of the yarn, I must confess something.  I am a bona fide tight wad.  I will take it as cheap as I can get it…well, most things.  But, when I was learning how to knit a few years ago, I was trying to build my stash and was finding supplies in places I never thought I would find them!

I was shopping at a local Big Lots store and found, of all things, yarn!  I was in heaven!  Each skein was about 50 grams and sold for only $1!  I must have put about 30 in my cart, two of each style.  As I found much better quality yarn, the Big Lots yarn fell to the bottom of the stash and was forgotten about.  Until this year.

I have been on a stash busting thing, trying to get rid of the lower quality yarns I purchased in the beginning.  This yarn was one of them.

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The yarn brand is Gala Yarns and claims to be 100% Acrylic (which I don’t doubt), but all the yarns in this line are claimed to be 100% recycled.  At the time I purchased it, all I knew was that I loved the color and it was oh, so soft!

Well, eventually I found a project for it!

Leaves in Sequence by Eleni Paraschou

Leaves in Sequence by Eleni Paraschou

It was a test knit and when I thought a cowl with leaves, I thought of this super soft, buttery, burgundy acrylic.  The knitting process was nice, it felt so good in my hands, but alas, there was one problem.

Despite the anti-curling edging added by the designer, the cowl curled.  Even after being blocked, steamed and left alone for months…it curls….

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There is nothing worse than a curling piece that you spent so much time on!  I am absolutely not casting blame on the designer…this is purely the fault of the yarn.

So, while I love the way this yarn feels and looks, the curling makes it unwearable and thus, is my least favorite yarn.

Eh, you get what you pay for!

FO Friday

FO Friday

I am so happy to have two Finished Object Friday posts in a row!  Despite having started the new job!  Well, here she is:

A Stork's Nest Wrap

A Stork’s Nest Wrap

The piece is derived from an Estonian lace scarf pattern by Nancy Bush and an old Estonian lace edging pattern by Olga Jamovidova.

DSC_8115I knitted the wrap for a group that I belong to on Ravelry…the challenge was to knit a lace pattern in variegated yarn.  Now that was hard!  It literally took me over a week to decide on a pattern.  The problem with knitting lace with such a high-contrast variegated yarn is that you run the risk of losing the knitting pattern in the color changes.  Others chose to knit with lower contrast yarn, but what is the challenge in that?  Just my opinion, but an opinion just the same!

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The edges were actually grafted on the scarf, which was a task in itself!  I have grafted with stockinette many times before, but you have to keep the yarn really loose with grafting lace…as I have learned!

I plan on wearing this on the back patio on chilly nights while I indulge in reading…my other fun thing to do!

Here are specifics on the pattern:

A Stork’s Nest Scarf  by Nancy Bush

Edge Lace Sylvia by Olga Jamovidova

Knit Picks Stroll Hand Painted Fingering Yarn in Make Believe

Day 13 (30 Day Knitting Challenge)

Day 13 (30 Day Knitting Challenge)

Day 13: Do you have yarn that you love but can’t find a project for?

Well, yes, in fact, I do have a yarn that I can’t find a project for!  I won this merino wool finger weight in this gorgeous colorway called Bo (Lost Girl) from Fish Belly FiberWorks a few months ago.  The colorway was created and named after Bo in Lost Girl.  I have never seen the show, but it sure reminds me of Caribbean coral and the gorgeous turquoise waters where it can be found.  But the problem is, I cannot find the perfect project for it!

Bo from Fish Belly FiberWorks

Bo from Fish Belly FiberWorks

It is definitely going to be something summery that I can take to the Crystal Coast of North Carolina the next time I am blessed enough to go…

Bo from Fish Belly FiberWorks

Bo from Fish Belly FiberWorks

I am thinking a nice shoulder wrap for chilly midnight beach walks…

like this…

Ginkgo Shoulderette Shawl by Maggie Magali

Ginkgo Shoulderette Shawl by Maggie Magali

or this….

Damask by Kitman Figueroa

Damask by Kitman Figueroa

or even this…

Bryce Canyon Shawl by verybusymonkey

Bryce Canyon Shawl by verybusymonkey

The trick is going to be the perfect pattern to show off the variegation in the yarn.  That’s going to be tough!!!

Do you have one of those yarns that is just too picky for every pattern you showed it?

FO Friday

FO Friday

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I actually have something to contribute this Friday!  Since I started working again, I have not had much time to knit, something I am very sad for seeing as though knitting is just about all I can do anymore with this hand of mine.

Anyway, I finished the Tartine Hat by Kristeen Griffin-Grimes.

Tartine

Tartine

 

What a cute little frenchy hat!  It is being modeled by my beautiful daughter, Tayelor, who, by the way, used to love all things French…that is until she took French in high school.  Let’s just say that the woman teaching should have left teaching long ago and her poor attitude towards students caused my daughter to hate the language.  Shame.  These are the times that tenure should not be in existence.

Tartine

Tartine

The hat features a scalloped shell knit edge, which took me some time to master before I could actually start the hat…maybe five or six tries, and the tie on the bottom is a simple twist with two yarns.  Super cute!

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Tartine

Anyway, I knitted Tartine with finger weight black softball cotton and a lace weight cotton/rayon blend held double with size 10 mercerized cotton.  The two lace yarns actually worked very well to make a finger weight…you can’t even really tell there are two yarns/threads involved!  All of the yarns/threads were purchased on cones at my local weaving shop, so I don’t even have manufacturer info to share.  I did knit these on US Size O needles, as my tension is super-loose with my hand.  A normal knitter would probably knit on US Size 3.

Do you have any FO’s this week?  If so, share…even if it’s not knitting!