Wednesday, February 29, 2012

WIP Wednesday: Shawl, Gloves, & Magic Balance

Magic Balance (Working Title) - Rewrites
Previous Word Count: 5,175
Current Word Count: 5,175 (Up 0)

I decided to rework how the two main meet the third and ... I'm stuck. I've been letting them argue it out while I dye yarn and knit. Hopefully they'll figure it out and I'll be able to just write it down already.

Let the Circle Be Unbroken by Mildred D. Taylor. I'm closing in on the end and the story lines are getting wrapped up. It's still as wonderful of a story as I remember it being.

Knitting: The shawl and I have had ... words. Somehow it snuck an extra yarn over in a line and I didn't see it until I went back across the row so I unpicked quite a bit before realizing I could just take up the slack and use a sharp needle to tighten all the stitches back across. A row and a half later and I was back on track. I'm only a few rows away from a color change so that should be interesting. I love watching how this shifts through the chosen colors. It's knitting up quite a bit faster than my first one did. Part of that is going and buying sharper needles for the lace work. Now I have no clue how I managed the whole shawl the first time on such blunt tips. *laugh*

It looks like mostly nothing so far since it's only 5 rows but it's a design that's been poking at me. It's something I can work on in the car or other times when I can't focus on a pattern (so far) so it's probably not going to grow very fast since I'm still putting most of my time into customer stuff.

Another experiment ... this time with kool-aid rather than food dye. If nothing else the yarn now smells of grape. If the yarn turns out the way I'd like then it'll be made into one set of mitts, if not then I have a different pattern in mind for it.

Purple Dye

It's no wonder I'm tired ... wow.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Crafting Days 25 - 28

Day 25 in A Month of Craft Photos by Untangling Knots is When You Craft.

I am skipping this day because I craft all the time. There's not an off switch on my brain so I'm cramming the knitting, designing, and everything else in every chance I get .... plus I already took a picture of a watch.

Day 26 in A Month of Craft Photos by Untangling Knots is Organization.


Excel is incredible. I'm using it for so many things. It's keeping track of all customer orders, a pattern I'm working on designing, and how many hours it's taking to knit a giant shawl. Of course I had to get Husband Man to help with a few of the functions in excel but it's working and that's awesome.

Day 27 in A Month of Craft Photos by Untangling Knots is The Wrong Side.

The Wrong Side

An inside shot of Dragon's glove. The other side is cabled between rows of purls so the lumpy, bumpy bits would be cables and the line of v's would be recessed purls on the correct side.

Day 28 in A Month of Craft Photos by Untangling Knots is Simplicity.


This is the first thing I ever created. It's a scarf for Lynn and he refuses to let me rip it out and fix it. I did it in double crochet stitch. One end is about 25 stitches wide and the other is closer to 15. It's not hugely obvious .. unless you know it's there and / or you're a crafter. Thus, it is photographed folded.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Wrapping Up Close

Day 24 in A Month of Craft Photos by Untangling Knots is Up Close.

Wrapping Up Close

This is a close shot of a dreamcatcher I'm working on for a customer. I wrap the brass ring in thread which allows me a wide range of colors. It's also a great thing to have in my hands while I read as it's fairly simple to do.

Snuggly Blanket

Okay, either I've gotten really adept at this particular pattern ... or I managed, somehow, to fall into a rift in time itself! I actually knit this adorable blanket in just 9 days. It may have been that whole giving up sleeping thing. Or perhaps I've memorized the pattern far more than I thought I had. Either way, I think it's gorgeous.

I had a brief moment of pure "oh crap what is wrong with me!!!!" on Saturday thanks to the lovely Dragon, brat that he is. He said that the customer wouldn't have asked for green and purple. I ignored him, climbed back into the middle of my knitting stuff on the bed, and began the border. Three stitches in I remind myself that I checked the order three times before placing it. At 7 stitches I tell myself that I verified the colors again when I got the yarn in. At 15 stitches I give up, shoot him a dirty look, and check my email to verify what the customer ordered. I was right, he was just bugging me ... but then he started giggling. He knew what he'd done alright. Dragon is tricksy like that.


 Mr. Rabbit is the only thing I have around here that's close to baby sized. Good thing he's not picky about modeling for me when needed. Isn't he just adorable when he peeks out like that?

Yeah, I know, I'm in a world of my own. That's okay, they know me there and serve me chocolate and supply me with yarn.

I was a little nervous about using cotton yarn since I the yarn I'd used before hadn't been all that great to use. Would it be too harsh on my hands? Would it do as I needed? I should have never worried. This was some 'really' soft yarn. I kept getting side tracked and cuddling it. I'll certainly have to get my hands on more of this stuff and work with it again.

Pattern: Sweet Lullaby Seamless Hooded Blanket by Elizabeth Elliot
Yarn: Knit Picks Simply Cotton Worsted
Ravelry Page
Mods: None that I know of.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Contrasts and Reasons Why

Day 22 in A Month of Craft Photos by Untangling Knots is Contrasts.
I'm working on three different projects at the moment. One is fine alpaca lace weight that I'm holding double, very sticky. Then there's blue sock yarn and grey worsted weight for a glove. 
Day 23 in A Month of Craft Photos by Untangling Knots is Clothing Inspiration.
Clothing Inspiration
The whole reason I got started knitting was because I love socks. I love the patterns, the colors, the softness. I love how quirky they can be without being too in your face. Socks. Socks are the reason for all this insanity of yarn.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

WIP Wednesday: Gloves, Chinook, & Magic Balance

Magic Balance (Working Title) - Rewrites
Previous Word Count: 4,892
Current Word Count: 5,175 (Up 283)
I tried. So hard. I managed to get some work done on Thursday. I could blame Dragon, I mean, it's him I was so excited to be able to see .. but no. I'm a big girl, I choose when to work and when not to. Besides, I'll not attach blame and sully such a lovely weekend.


Let the Circle Be Unbroken by Mildred D. Taylor. I actually made more progress on this since I took a long bath on Friday and was able to soak and read for a bit. It was sinfully delightful and so needed.

You get two pictures today .. and neither of them is a baby blanket. Perhaps you'll see that on Friday. First up is a sad lonely cuff of a glove. There can only be one. See, one of Dragon's fingerless gloves that I knit him jumped out of his jacket pocket and ran away. Its poor mate is crying. We can't have that. Luckily I 'think' I have enough of the grey to reknit a cuff and plenty of the black to do the rest of the glove. At least Dragon has something to wear, should he need it since I pulled out the fingers on his other gloves and reknit them longer this weekend. The man has 'very' long fingers.

Second we have a Chinook Shawl. I only started it last night but I'm already up to row 7. Pretty impressive considering that my brain was a wee bit broke. This whole "start my own business" thing is hard. Nothing like a little lace to soothe my beleaguered mind. You know ... if anybody ever needs proof of my insanity, I think I just gave it to them. Lace is not calming to most people, and given the anguished whimper I let out at nearly midnight it wasn't very calming when I realized I'd knit the wrong row and had to undo it. At least I'm working the shawl on straights for a little bit, long enough to get the pattern established before I put it onto circulars and the yarn over start floating over the stitch markers and I lose where they belong.


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Behind Again

Day 18 in A Month of Craft Photos by Untangling Knots is Craft Books.

Craft Books
It somehow seems wrong that the girl with over 1,000 books on her shelves has only 4 craft books. There's an imbalance there and balance is always necessary. 

 Day 19 in A Month of Craft Photos by Untangling Knots is Supplies.


Not all of my creative brain is tied up in knitting. I still have all my supplies for dreamcatchers and even have been working out details on a custom one that's been requested. This is only 2 of the 4 boxes that I have. On the plus side, the seed beads can also be used for knitting. They're useful like that.

 Day 20 in A Month of Craft Photos by Untangling Knots is Finishing.


I try to do quite a lot of my finishing while the work is in progress, like weaving in ends. It makes it so much easier at the end when I've done multiple color changes or used several balls of yarn. Then I'm not staring at a million ends to weave in and feeling the urge to toss the nearly done project into the corner. And yes ... that's the baby blanket in the finishing picture, make of that what you will. *wink*

 Day 21 in A Month of Craft Photos by Untangling Knots is Crafting Accompaniments.

Crafting Accompaniments

My husband Lynn has been the biggest supporter of this knitting insanity I've dropped into. He accompanies me to yarn stores, listens to me ramble on about fiber content, plays the part of a swift when I'm winding yarn, has attempted to hand wind a ball of yarn for me, makes suggestions on color and design, and handles most of the math for me. I really don't know what I'd do without his support.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Blue Fireworks

It's always amazing to me how changing yarn or color can really change the look of something you've done before. Somebody wanted the Firework Mitts that I'd just finished and shown off ... but they wanted them in the same color as my Blue Leaves Shawl. I looked at the computer screen funny for a moment but decided that since the yarns were 'very' close in thickness I could easily do it. We settled on the exact same yarn that I'd used in my shawl and I got to work.

First the yarn is super soft and squishy. I kept wanting to just sit and squeeze it because that's what you do with yarn like that. Actually wearing the gloves is a treat because it's so soft. Miss Kid modeled for the pictures ... and then didn't want to take them off.

Second, the yarn being one color means the detail fades back a little but I think that's still pretty cool as it gives an awesome texture that's a little subtle and interesting. Of course now I want to play with various other stitch patterns and see what else I could come up with to use in place of that particular stitch pattern.

I always worry when I mail something off. I'm on pins and needles until I hear back from somebody to let me know they got what I sent and it's the right fit / color / look. The happy recipient has received them and says they fit perfectly. All is right with the world.

Pattern: Fireworks Mitts by Megan Bayonet
Yarn: Plymouth Dreambaby DK in 109 / Royal
Ravelry Page
Mods: Same as before

Also, since I'm here:
Day 17 in A Month of Craft Photos by is Last FO You Used.

Cuddly Warm

Speaking of the Blue Leaves Shawl, this was my most recently used Finished Object. Since the Nox Puppy was crashed out on the bed I decided she'd be a good model for pictures. Of course then when I tried to hang the shawl up afterward she wasn't too willing to get off it; she was both laying on it and resting her head on part of it.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Funky Texture

Day 16 in A Month of Craft Photos by Untangling Knots is Texture.

Basket Weave Texture

One of the things I love about knitting is the different results I can get by changing between knit and purl or at what angle I create new stitches. There's just so many possibilities.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

WIP Wednesday: Baby Blanket and Magic Balance

Magic Balance (Working Title) - Rewrites
Previous Word Count: 3,285
Current Word Count: 4,892 (Up 1,607)
Still working on that balance. The adventuring party is about to grow by two and that'll have to change quite a lot from the original writing. I think I know what direction it's going though.


Let the Circle Be Unbroken by Mildred D. Taylor. This is an old favorite of mine, one of the few books that has lasted through now since my childhood shelves. My copy is very well loved and has been often read. I've read the preceding story, Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry many times as well. I was unaware, until recently, that there was a third book. That's found a place on our shelves and I wanted a small refresher before grabbing that story.

Every time I do this pattern I'm amazed at how it grows so quickly and how fast it seems to go, it's one of those great projects for watching movies and TV while working on. Plus? I think I've found a new favorite yarn. I'm using a cotton yarn from Knit Picks and it's so soft and cuddly. It'll be perfect for wrapping a baby up in.

Balancing Act

Day 15 in A Month of Craft Photos by Untangling Knots is A New Skill.

Balancing Act

With commissions on the table to be done as well as my normal stuff I'm working harder to find that balance between my reading, writing, and knitting. Most of my reading these days is relegated to when we eat. I've been rather lax on the writing area but I'm making more time for that. Knitting is the one that gets the most of my time. I'm fairly okay with that as I do enjoy it so much but I do still want to have time to be published, which does mean writing and reading are necessary beyond me simply enjoying them.

Alternately I was going to post a picture of my word doc where I'm keeping track of all commissions and the details for each but I couldn't manage to take a picture of it that was recognizable without having to go back to blur out personal information. Because keeping track of everything in this particular habit of mine is a form of a new skill ... though somewhat a hold over from those anal retentive days of being an administrative assistant.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Crafty Space

Day 14 in A Month of Craft Photos by Untangling Knots is Where You Craft.

My Desk, My Home

I spend nearly all my time at my desk so that's where I do most of my crafting. Luckily it's been recently cleaned so it's a bit easier to deal with. Especially since Lynn's using the media desktop as his computer. We're doing good with the sharing really close space though it's only working because I cleared some of the clutter off the desk. Places I craft that aren't pictured: Riding in the car, standing in line, and walking through stores. 

Also? Yes, that's wrestling on the computer as that's what I was watching when I snapped the picture. Have to catch up on Friday Night Smackdown after all.  

Monday, February 13, 2012

Indoor Inspiration

Day 13 in A Month of Craft Photos by Untangling Knots is Indoor Inspiration.

Indoor Inspiration

Part of what I love about knitting is the texture. I'm always looking for something that's as soft and cuddly and comforting as I remember my stuffed animals being.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Crafty Gift

Day 12 in A Month of Craft Photos by Untangling Knots is A Crafty Gift.

A Crafty Gift ... to Myself

I'm all about not buying myself things at this time, quite often actually. But, now that I have 2 shawls on commission and have in my possession their required 5,280 yards of lace weight yarn, I think it will be a much appreciated gift and well used.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

A Long WIP

Day 11 in A Month of Craft Photos by Untangling Knots is A WIP.

  Lagoon Blanket 

This is a WIP that's been in progress since 2010. The problem with working on a large blanket worked in one piece while living in Texas is that there are only so many times of the year you can work on it. It's a crochet blanket done that's being worked in Lion Brand Homespun color Lagoon. It's intended to be large enough to fit on our queen size blanket. Once I get this main center portion complete I plan to add at least a couple rounds of a darker blue around the outside.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Craft Catch Up Again

Day 9 in A Month of Craft Photos by Untangling Knots is Your Hands.
  My Hands

I read, write, game, and knit. My hands are very important to me so I try to take care of them. About once a week I take a day off and pamper myself with a manicure. 

My Craft Bag

I don't actually have a craft bag. I have a large bag that I occasionally toss things in, mostly for long trips, but I'd really love a smaller messenger type bag to carry my current project in. So, since I don't I thought I'd share my bag of ends instead.

Dropping Stitches

I'd seen it around. I'd flirted with the idea of doing the pattern. I'd even had it in my queue for a little while. It took a friend asking me to make one for her before I finally settled down to work on it.

I was interested to see how the dropped stitches would look and to see how the colors would line up in this different stitch pattern. It was really interesting to see it come into being. I think it came out exactly as hoped. I can't wait until it arrives home and the packaging is opened by the waiting owner. I suspect I'll be able to hear the squee of happiness from here.

Pattern: Drop Stitch Scarf by Christine Vogel
Yarn: Ella Rae Lace Merino in Color 123
Modifications: None
Ravelry Page

My Valentinr - shadowwolf
Get your own valentinr

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Crafting Catch Up

  Blue Dye 

 This is my first attempt at dyeing yarn. So far .. I think it's gorgeous! I can't wait for it to dry and then to make it into something that I can wear. It's only 92 yards, so I'll be searching for something small. 


 Here's a board that Lynn made for me to easily wind the yarn back into a hank 'and' calculate how much yardage I have left. Also? That's the blue dye responsible for that brilliant color higher up.

Day 8 in A Month of Craft Photos by Untangling Knots is Challenging.

Challenged for Time 

 These days I'm feeling super rushed, like I just don't have time for everything. It's fun and nerve wracking at times. If only there were a way to add more hours to a day.

WIP Wednesday: Blue All Around

Magic Balance (Working Title) - Rewrites
Previous Word Count: 3,285
Current Word Count: 3,285 (Up 0)

Between OwlCon and yarn loveliness I've not had much spare time. I'm finding that balance though and should be back at it tomorrow.


Just After Sunset by Stephen King. On a continuing theme ... I've not had a lot of time to read either. The book is living in the bathroom and I get a couple pages in at a time. I'm still loving the stories though and finding them fun. At the moment I'm on N which I also have as a graphic novel, though I haven't read it yet. I'm really looking forward to checking that out after finishing the book to see how they compare.

So much going on these days! It's fantastic! I'm currently on the second sock for a friend, but those aren't "due" until November, so I've got plenty of time. Which is good since they're about to be put aside to work on a pair of commissioned wrist warmers. First though, socks!

And the beginning of the wrist warmers!

Also in terms of WIP: My first dyeing attempt! I took the left over yarn from the Fireworks Wrist Warmers and added blue food dye. The water looks clear because it's sat all night and now the yarn's sucked it all up like a sponge! *glee*
Blue Dye

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Odd Notions

Day 5 in A Month of Craft Photos by Untangling Knots is Notions.

Odd Notions

I haven't gotten confused with what the theme is for today. I'm still technically doing craft related photos, it just happens that I'm still mostly in Gaming Con mindset. When I have a pattern that calls for me to do a multiple repeat across the row I'm on I tend to grab the dice box and use something from there. I turn the dice as I go so that the number facing up is how many repeats I've done. This is particularly helpful when I've been doing lace and the pattern has changed so that I'm no longer sure how it lines up with what has come in previous rows. I have used stitch markers for such things before but sometimes they're more in the way than they're really helping. 

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Nature Inspired

Day 4 in A Month of Craft Photos by Untangling Knots is Inspiration Outdoors.


It's not so much the fungus itself that inspires me, it's the little things I see that most people tend to overlook because they're small. Normally this is brightly colored flowers just budding at ground level ... considering that we're currently experiencing Noah's Ark levels of rain, this is my unexpected beauty for the day.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Many Finished

Day 3 in A Month of Craft Photos by Untangling Knots is An Old FO.

A Finished Fo

Pictured are Chinook Shawl, Shrug This, Chastain Park Shawl, Traveling Woman, Clara's Cowl, and Triangular Leaf Shawl.

This is a hanger by our front door that holds lots of scarves and shawls for when we head out to the cold.


These were so much fun and so quick to knit up! I love the new stitch that they taught me, though I'm not sure of the actual name. I can certainly see using it elsewhere.

Pattern: Fireworks Fingerless Mitts by Megan Bayonet
Yarn: Ela Rae Lace Merino
Ravelry Page
Modifications: Added an extra row before turning the cuff for the picot edging, added two extra rows to correct pattern at row 41.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Crafting Tools

Day 2 in A Month of Craft Photos by Untangling Knots is Craft Tools.

My Craft Tools

I figured I'd take on some of the tools that aren't getting as much love as some of the obvious ones. First up is my laptop, Kaylee (10pts to you if you catch the Firefly reference). Obviously Kaylee has seen a lot of love and attention since I purchased her in 2007. She's so helpful with multiple crafts that I do. She is the computer that sees all my writing as I work on my novels through her and research various translations, definitions, and alternate words. I use her in knitting a lot as well by looking up patterns, searching Ravelry, researching yarns, and keeping track of various notes I make while working on patterns.

Then there's the memory card and card reader. I have to have both to make my camera function. One stores the pictures from the camera and the other helps move them Kaylee for editing and publishing. (Kaylee also stores all my electronic patterns and pictures.) I have a plastic bag for most of my knitting notions for around the house, mostly extra row counters, stitch markers, and such. The purple case is a hard plastic and goes in my purse to carry the few things I must have while out, like scissors, a pencil, a couple stitch markers, and darning needles. Naturally both yarn and needles are important to my craft so they're pictured. My phone is so much help, at times. I can use Google Docs to save my patterns and then I access them via my phone, no paper to fly away while out traveling! I do still use paper patterns, as shown by the paper under the phone. That's currently the Left Sock pattern for a project on hold. Sometimes the pattern is just a little too involved for the phone, with charts and such so it gets printed and then filed away after use.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Experimenting with Creativity

So Untangling Knots has a plan of throwing a little creativity into photos of our crafty things; A Month of Craft Photos. I'm thinking of doing this, we'll see how long I last.

Working on the Drop Stitch Scarf

Day 1: You in Action

WIP Wednesday: Scarf & Magic Balance

Magic Balance (Working Title) - Rewrites
Previous Word Count: 2,624
Current Word Count: 3,285 (Up 661)

They've started on their journey and, for the first time ever, they're in the natural world around them. Many of the comforts of their automated world have been stripped away; that could send them both running back to the known world ... or not.


Just After Sunset by Stephen King. I'm back to loving short stories. Apparently King is the only one who can make that happen. He's got notes on the origins of each story at the back of the book and I'm reading those as I finish each story. It's always interesting to see the various things that can trigger stories for authors.

Both the wrist warmers are complete, with no help from the designer. I suspect that at this point, with the project being marked complete on my site, she won't be replying. It's obvious that I figured it out after all. I do hope she updates the pattern for anybody attempting to make it in the future. Anyhow, since those are finished I started on the second half of the project.

That right there is 25 inches of Drop Stitch Scarf. I'm not sure how long it should end up being ... I should probably ask about that. I know it'll stretch a little bit, probably between 1/2 inch and 1 inch, with I block it. I won't want to stretch too much as then I loose width and the dropped stitches look wonky then.