Monday, May 21, 2012

Post for Sarah

To appease my friend Sarah, who has been asking for an update, here is a post of many things.

For the last two weeks I have been thoroughly congested- I refer to this as being full of elephants.  Tiny fat dancing elephants having tea parties in my lungs, playing tennis in my sinuses, and using my nose as a slide.  Sigh.  After the first few days of "Oh its just a little cold"  I finally gave in and went to the doctor, who discovered I had a respiratory infection and gave me tons of medication (three, which isn't tons but I hate being medicated) and suggested I rest.  Ha!  Ever tried getting a workaholic to rest?  Not possible.  I did spend all my energy at work however, and really had no brain left at the end of the day so I would pursue one of three activities that require no brainpower: reading, knitting, and playing WOW.  Yes, I admit it, I'm a big nerd.  I am now five books into the Southern Vampire Series (If you have never read it I suggest you give it a try- it isn't your typical vampire book and the heroine is hilarious!), have finished a scarf, and am most of the way through the Loremaster Achievement on my main toon.  If you aren't familiar with WOW don't worry, it just means I spend way too much time avoiding dungeons!

Still being congested and icky, I got fed up with the house today but the man vacuumed.  Before I came home from work.  Without my asking.  I nominated him for sainthood, but he declined claiming that vacuuming wasn't a qualification.  I disagree and I suspect anyone with a busy schedule would as well.

But at least I can do things while watching TV, things involving knitting.  I probably shouldn't knit, as it will irritate my silly wrist, but I can't help it, I've got to!  Some people are addicted to alcohol, drugs, online gaming- I'm addicted to knitting. My hands crave the graceful motions and my fingers itch to test the tensile strength of all the yarn in my stash.  Shame on me.

This is the big project, setting up my blocking mats.  I know, I should have done it a long time ago.  What can I say, its easier to stuff the projects in a bag.  But, I wanted to get to work on my afghan.

Last year I knit my way through the Fearless Knitting Workbook, an amazing book that I recommend to anyone who wants to pick up knitting or has knit before but wants to go back over the basics, or even people that hate knitting.  The author is hands down the best knitting coach ever and her entertaining stories helped me relax and really enjoy knitting.

I thought I would do this tonight, then realized I hadn't washed my fabric.  So into the washer it went.  While putting the soap in I was attacked.  Yes, that's right attached.  And what did the man do as I screamed in terror at the unexpected assault?  He laughed.

No, he was not behind my attack.  This was- an ordinary laundry basket.  While I was putting a tiny amount of soap in the dishwasher, setting the temperature, and daydreaming about the amazing things I would tack onto my mats, this dreadful basket slithered down the hallway silently and attached my ankles.  Twice.  After the first shout the man came running, but failed to protect me.  My indignation at his laughter continues.  Why, do you ask, did he dare laugh at my frightened countenance?

Yep, my attacker was really the cat.  He was under the basket doing penance for attempting to escape as we let the dogs out the back door.  We live right off a major intersection and flattened kitty is not my preferred style of cat.  I watched the man put the basket on the cat and then forgot.  Once I got over the scare, I could laugh about it, but sheesh!  I really didn't expect a laundry basket to creep down the hallway and poke me with its claws!

So, while I must wait until tomorrow to set up my mats (and I promise to post about it, the advice is from our local yarn shop, The Hook and Needle, from Nancy who is such a great friend!  Check them out, they've just updated their website!) tonight at least I can hide the ends.  Its a task I hate, but someone's got to do it and the man won't.  At least he vacuums!

Oh My, An Award?

Want to win an award?  Have a fantastic friend like Sarah from Engineered Crochet!  Even though I've been sick (more on that later) she gave me a Liebster Award!  My apologies for the number of exclamation points, its a great idea to honor newer blogs with few followers.  I'm grateful to be given the award and the opportunity to highlight some of my favorite blogs.

There are some rules to the Liebster Award:

1. Post about your win on your blog.  
2. Link back to the blogger who presented you with the award.
3. Copy and past the award button to your blog.
4. Present the Liebster Award to 5 blogs that have fewer than 200 followers that you think deserve to be recognized.
5. Let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.

No problem. ;D

My favorite blogs (besides the ones who have already received the award!)

Katalina Jewelry:  Amazing tutorials as well as terrific pre-made jewelry on Etsy.  I don't know where she gets her ideas, but they're always beautiful and trendy.

Create With Mom: Full of great advice, links, tips, recipes and all things to make you smile.

Cook Love Craft: Started reading for the great earring tutorials, stayed for the practical advice and humor.  

The Hobby Room: Amazing things to do with crafty flair from products I never imagined could be used in crafts- love the great recipes too!

Me, Embroidery, and the Geek: I love to cross stitch and seeing beautiful small pieces made into jewelry always stokes my crafting fire, not to mention the fantastic tips!

Thanks again Sarah! :D  

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

SxS Mini Project 4: Continuous Bias Tape

Bias tape is an evil necessity.  Well, it has been evil.  Stores only carry certain colors and there is very little choice in fabric type or pattern.  That hasn't stopped people from making their own, however, and luckily there are teachers available.

I forgot to take "in-progress" pics of this because its so involving.  You take a fat quarter, cut it a particular diagonal, sew it together, press the seam, draw lines on the bias and then (and this is the hard part) you match one off lines so you get a continual piece, pin it, sew it, press the seam (of what is now a tube) and then cut it on the lines you drew earlier, right over your seams.  I know its a useful skill, but wow was it hard to get the lines pinned right- I repined it about eight times before I got to the machine and realized I pinned it backwards!  Luckily I got it right then or I'd have a lot of gingham donuts!

Here's a YouTube video demonstrating the technique, and here is a written tutorial for people who prefer to read. I recommend both; the video was a big help for getting it to make sense.  But hey, at least I'm free from never having matching bias tape!