Archives for category: Resolutions

Deconstructed

I’ve been still working away on my crochet wrap. I would love to finish it this week but lately, life has been interrupting and not allowing me a nice long stretch to sit and get a lot done.

Since fabric had been on my mind since last week, I decided to bite the bullet and begin taking apart the vintage quit that was in tatters to see what is salvageable. There was a floral sashing between each of these strips that was so weak, it would tear just by handling it.  While there were originally 5 rows of stripes in the quilt, only 4 are usable at least on one side. The 5th has too many pieces that have disintegrated on both sides.

Cutting into the piece, I still felt like this was destruction rather than deconstruction. Now, however, I am starting to feel like something usable will be able to be made, and that’s a good feeling.

AHS afghan

Thank you all for the kind words and thoughts over the past days. I had to step out of routine life for a while but am starting to resurface.

I have to admit, there were several days last week when I did not work on any creative projects at all. It is probably a time when it would have helped the most, but I’m giving myself a pass. This week I got back into it and pushed through to finish the hospice afghan I’d been working through.

The weather has turned decidedly spring-like, and I knew that once it got too warm, the idea of an afghan-in-progress on my lap would not be appealing. The body of the afghan turned out smaller than I anticipated, so I had to make up the difference with the border.

Many, many thanks to Simply Hooked for introducing me to this stitch. Because it is a dense stitch, I went up to a K/6.5 hook, and it is still nice and thick and cozy without being too heavy.  I even have enough yarn left over for a second afghan, but may watch the weather before I decide to start.

Lap size

When I work on a large project, there is always a point where it feels as though no progress is being made. I tend to forget this every time I start a new afghan. The first few inches seem to work up quickly, then it hits a point where no matter how much you hook, it feels like it is not getting any larger.

I’ve been trying to get at least 3 rows done on this each day. Sometimes I have the time for more, but other days that is all I can manage. I had been measuring it a lot, but since this pattern is single crochet, even 3 rows did not add a lot of length to it. (This is the point where, even though I love the pattern, I vow to only make afghans with double crochet in the future. I have made this vow before, eventually it will stick.)

Finally it has reached a point where it covers my lap when I am working on it. It is only about half way complete, but sometimes you need to have these milestones along the way to keep the momentum going.  This is giving me hope it will continue to progress, and is a good reminder to tuck the measuring tape away for a few days at a time. It feels so much better to see hit has grown by 10 inches rather then one at a time.

Hospice afghan

The end of last week was oddly low key. It felt as though all the energy had been sucked out of the house. There was more time spent on the sofa watching movies than I think there had been the entire last year combined.  It made me happy I had started the afghan since I realized that even when I don’t have my usual get-up-and-go, I still can’t just sit in front of the television.  This is the perfect project since it doesn’t require much concentration.

I did have one outing to meet up with some of the members of my craft group on Sunday afternoon. I am hoping that seeing friends will jump start my energy and make this a more productive week.

3 color moss

I’ve talked about changing what I work on depending on the weather, but I find I also need to work on different projects depending on the time of day.

At the beginning of the year, I was determined to focus on the large embroidery project WiP I have. And I am making progress. It is, however,  a project that requires concentration and good light. I am still making it a point to work on something creative every day, but the time I find to work is not always the same. When I can’t sit down  until evening, the embroidery is just not the right project.

I’ve started the hospice afghan to have a night-time project. Since I need to use the yarn provided by the hospice program, I have multiple colors to incorporate into the design. I’m using the 3-color moss stitch I first saw on Simple Hooked.  I like its tweedy look, and really like the added benefit of not having ends to weave in since the yarn gets carried up the side.  Since this is a fairly dense stitch, I also went up to  K/10.5 hook which still seems to hold the look without making it so stiff since the yarn I have to use is…let’s say not of the high-end variety.

This solves one of the mysteries of why I need to have multiple projects going at the same time. Now I just need to work on finishing one of them.

 

Morris

One of the local arboretums offers a variety of classes ranging from cooking to horticulture. The spring catalog arrived in the mail on Tuesday, and I have already signed up for one of them.

This is where I took the class on resin casting last year, and I love the fact that the classes always incorporate natural materials. They do not always offer things of interest to me, but this term there are FOUR that caught my attention just from the Creative Expressions section.  My short list included:

Weaving with Natural Plant Materials: Using strips of natural fabric and dried plant materials. I can’t decide if this would create something beautiful, or end up looking like a big mess, but it is intriguing.

Indigo Dyeing: My first attempt at dyeing yarn was a few months ago. I have always loved indigo fabric and would like to learn how to dye using natural materials.

Flower Pounding: This hit my RADAR last year. It transfers the image of the flower onto cloth or paper by pounding it with a rock or hammer. And since the cold has finally hit here, the idea of a project with fresh flowers is pretty appealing.

Japanese Ink Painting: I am no artist, but I have always been fascinated with this style where a few brush strokes can produce the essence of an image.

Really, how do you choose from a list like this? And I didn’t even let myself consider any of the cooking or horticulture classes. But choose I did. And the winner (for now) is….Indigo Dyeing. The course is not until April, and I may end up deciding on at least one more, but starting today I can look forward to this.

Coloring

I don’t know if it is just a USA thing, or a world-wide phenomenon, but this past holiday season coloring books for adults were everywhere. (Or maybe they were just in all the book stores and craft stores, I didn’t do much other traditional shopping.) I did not receive one, and I am glad about that. For one, I have more than enough crafty projects to keep me busy for a long, long time, and I also never was particularly good at coloring, and I don’t think that will have changed as an adult.

However, while I was stitching, I realized that I was doing my own version of adult coloring, but using floss instead of pencils. This pattern uses a lot of the satin stitch, and it follows the same principle of filling in a set area.  Like my challenges with actual coloring, I have problems staying within the lines, and always going the same direction.  I have cropped out the top of this section where my stitches are  particularly wonky, but you can still see that even in the “better” part, there are gaps and slight diagonals where the stitches should be straight.

I am working on the piece because I love the pattern, and I have decided that I am not going to sweat the imperfections in my stitches. There are some types of crafts where I remove and redo imperfections as I find them. For this one, I’m just going to let myself enjoy the process and the progress…wonky stitches and all.

 

Project bag

A friend had some outpatient surgery and somehow, I was deemed a “responsible adult” and went with her to wait and drive her home.  Of course I took this as an opportunity to bring along a project bag (or two).

While almost everyone else was playing with their phones or tablets, I used some stash yarn to start a scarf I’m planning to donate. I have larger projects, but wanted something containable for a waiting room chair.  One woman asked if I was crocheting a scarf and then started talking to me about her own crochet and a new stitch she had made up.  After describing it, she came over and started demonstrating it.

It was at that moment the nurse came out and called her name. Do  you think she hopped up and followed the nurse into the back for her surgery prep? No she did not. Instead, she turned and said “You need to wait a minute until I’m done with this.”

OK, she may have been stalling not wanting to face what was ahead of her, or it may be a testament to the power of yarn and the instant community that can be created when two like-minded crafters find each other even in unlikely places. At the very least I hope it took her mind off of worrying for a few moments while she was waiting.

Right handed

While I was embroidering I noticed something. I was stitching with my right hand.  I am left handed, but throughout life have found myself occasionally doing things with the other one.  I have always cut right handed, but I attribute that to the lack of left-handed scissors available in school.  I write and crochet left handed, but use the mouse right handed, and now, apparently, I also do hand stitching that way.

I noticed in the fall when I was painting our porch that I switched back and forth depending on what side of the ladder I needed to reach.  Does everyone perform tasks with different hands? Is it a left-handed issue from living in a right-handed world? Or is it just me?

Just a glimpse into what runs through my mind when I am working on a project.

Tulip 0106

Perhaps everyone does this, but I change over what crafts I work on depending on the temperature. Living in an area that has definite seasons, there are some things that get put away when it is too hot.

I hit the point on the baby blanket where I need to wait until I know if it will be for a boy or a girl in order to add a second color. That left me deciding what to pick up next. I need to make a push in January because I participate in a group blog called Thing-a-Day in February, and it has a way of side tracking any large projects.

I was torn between an embroidery project WiP and starting the hospice afghan. Both of these need to be done when it is not hot and humid In the end the embroidery won out. I keep picking this up and putting it down without doing any work on it. It’s time to make some progress on a WiP before I start a new project.