Tuesday, April 30, 2013

That's One Big Cast

The surgery on my broken leg went well yesterday, and I came out of it with the largest cast I have ever seen! The pain has been intense, unfortunately. I can't read very much, but I have been able to work on a simple sock. I wonder if it's possible to do the Kitchner Stitch while a knitter is on narcotic painkillers?1

Sunday, April 28, 2013

On Sweaters and Blogging

Being under doctor's orders to rest and elevate my leg, I have done a good amount of knitting. This morning I finished the last of the mitered squares -- I could add up the total number but I'm not sure I want to know. Now I just have to knit the sleeve gussets, and then I can start assembling the pieces.

Which brings me to the fact that there is no photo for today's post. If I had one, it wouldn't look much different than the photo in my last post. I could try for a more artsy photo, but the fact is that I am not mobile enough to get the camera, take a photo, etc. Keith is at work today (yep, on a Sunday), so I'm trying to stay put as much as I can.

My surgery is scheduled for Monday afternoon -- and I am terrified! I haven't had any kind of surgery since I had my tonsils out in 1964!

Over the past few years, I've wondered how I could knit sweaters and still maintain a knitting blog. There just isn't enough change for someone who knits at the slow pace I do to say from week to week! I think that concern has steered me toward smaller-scale project that show more progress in a short amount of time.

How do you sweater-knitters out there manage to keep your blogs so interesting?

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Forecast: More Knitting and Blogging

I went 53 years without breaking a bone, and I was quite happy with that state of affairs. Then, yesterday, I somehow fell down a few stairs and broke my right leg. I've learned a few things: broken bones are very painful and painkillers make you extremely thirsty.

Anyways, tomorrow I find out if I need surgery -- and the doctor thinks I probably do. Bummer. That means more pain and a longer recovery time.

So, I'm trying to find the silver lining here and the only one I've come up with is more knitting and blogging. I've been adding squares to my Crayon Box Jacket. The good thing is that the squares knit up pretty quickly; on the down side, I think I did a horrible job planning the sweater and it's too loud and busy.

It's a bad time for a special education teacher to miss work. I have a lot of paperwork that was due this week -- so much for making that deadline! I'm trying not to worry about work and, instead, focus on knitting!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Urban Sketching

I made it to Draw Madison yesterday and I actually like my sketch -- though I have to give the credit to a fellow sketcher, Elsie, who helped me save a a disastrous drawing.

If you have ever wanted to draw, you should see if there is an Urban Sketchers group near you. There are groups all over the world, linked by a web site and a manifesto. It began as an online flickr group in 2007 and morphed into a nonprofit dedicated to drawing on location.

The manifesto holds, among other things, that sketchers draw indoors or out, depicting what they actually see. Sketchers can use any media and are encouraged to draw together and share drawings online. I love the 8th item on the manifesto: "We show the world, one drawing at a time."

That makes it sound so do-able, doesn't it?

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

I'm not sure exactly how famous Sheryl Thies is. She is a knitting/crochet designer who has published five books and is very well known around here -- but she's a local girl, so that doesn't tell me much.

At any rate, she was the speaker at last night's Knitting Guild meeting. Her two most recent books are about Tunisian Crochet, which completely puzzles me. She had Guild members model 16 of her garments, which was a great way to show off her designs. Some of them were breath-taking, but I'm not tempted to take up Tunisian Crochet, as knitting keeps me happy.

However, I really should finish this scarf:

 This is the Ocean Waves pattern from the book above. I started this a very long time ago -- and it was a bit too hard for me. I should be up to it now, though.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Not So Bad

I am admittedly a yarn snob. I generally look down my nose at the bins of Red Heart and Bernat at the big box stores, like JoAnn Fabrics. Still, I'm enough of a yarn lover to wander through the yarn aisles at the big stores. And a little while ago, I came across this colorful yarn, Bernat Mosaic. It's 100% acrylic, which would usually keep me from tossing it into my cart, but I loved the saturated colors in this enough that I searched my memory for a scarf pattern that would work with it.

I decided that it would make a pretty Honey Cowl and picked up two skeins.

So it wasn't until I got home that I had a chance to check out the low-down on Mosaic on Ravelry, and the news wasn't good. Many other people had been seduced by the color, only to be disappointed once they started knitting. The yarn feels like cardboard, some said. Many said it broke while they were knitting. There were complaints about knots, too.

The yarn did have its fans, I was relieved to see. And about 2 inches into my Honey Cowl, I've had a knot but no breakage. I do have trouble with most wool, so it would be nice if this yarn worked out for me.

Friday, April 5, 2013


I actually did finish the red Rikke Hat, but I don't have a photo of it yet. Instead, I have this, which came in the mail this week:

It is a mini quilt, which I submitted to Somerset Studio magazine. This incredibly beautiful magazine has a theme for each issue. They announce the theme in advance and request submissions. I've submitted a few things over the years -- bus I have never gotten anything published that was on a theme!

One of the problems is that I don't start early enough. Looking at this now, I can see it isn't finished. Those few shells at the bottom look ridiculously random. And the sun is far too plain. No doubt those are only a few of its problems. I think I'll work on it some more, but that's going to ruin the back, which I affixed after doing all the embroidery!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Suspenseful Hat

I am worried about finishing my red Rikke Hat. I have quite a ways to go -- it's a very slouchy hat -- but I don't have so much yarn! The yarn is fairly expensive Madelinetosh, so I'd hate to have to buy a second skein just to top off the hat. I know I could make the hat shorter, but I really like the slouchy-ness.

I kind of like the idea of buying more Madtosh -- but my stash really is large enough.

Now the question is: Can I have this done for an FO Friday?

Monday, April 1, 2013

River Rocks and Sea Glass

Obviously, you won't find river rocks and sea glass in the same place, but then, these beads are not stone nor glass. Nope, they are plain old polymer clay. And I can't even claim originality. These beads are taken right out of this book:

For the most part, I like to make jewelry of my own design, but now and then I fall in love with someone else's ideas and want to make something for myself or someone I love.  That's how it was with these beads.

The trick to the stone-like appearance is to mix Tim Holtz distressed embossing powders into  translucent clay. I used Premo brand clay. My only twist was to make the stones small:

I'm trying to come up with some "matching" earrings that are not too matchy-matchy.

But not today. It's the last day of spring break and I need to work on my teaching license. Like most states, Wisconsin has implemented a complicated system requiring us to design a Professional Development Plan every five years -- and mine is due!

And a note on my last post: There is a lot to see and do in Northeastern Iowa, but not in March and certainly not on Easter Weekend! We cut our trip short by a day because so many things were closed and the wet weather made hiking less attractive. However, the company was excellent, so we enjoyed the trip.