Saturday, December 13, 2014

Sam Dickens: My Gift To Ravelry

Zoom in on the heart (third pic) to see who holds my heart! ;) 







The following writings are taken from my Ravelry notes on this project.  I am so thrilled with this crazy sweater.  I love everything about it and am so proud that I was able to see my vision through completion! Please keep in mind I just taught myself to knit in May, so although my excitement may seem silly for such a project, for me it is quite the accomplishment.  I will be making this a free pattern, hopefully in the next week or so. :) 

When I made this sweater I had no idea what I was doing (hence the name). I had a vision and went to it. I had the biggest trouble with the trim….I knew what I wanted but didn’t know what to call it to figure out how to do it. But thanks to the lovely Rvelry community, someone put me on the right track with a knit on edge and I was able to research that a bit and make something up. I LOVE IT. It was a bit of trial and error getting the pattern to work with my sweater, but in the end it was worth it. There are no big bind offs in this sweater, which is HUGE for me because that is the BLECHY part-plus you don’t have to worry about the bind off being too tight! EEEK! So happy with this thing. I will be getting pics of the finished sweater today and in the next week or so type up the pattern. This will be a free pattern-my leave a penny contribution to this awesome community. I love you guys.
My notes from when I first started the top:
I knew I wanted a sweater…with a cowl…that was big…but not the choking you to death kind-I HATE turtle necks…I knew I wanted cables, but not HOLY CRAP! CABLES! I knew I wanted bobbles, but not OMG SHE HAS MEASLES bobbles….
So, enter the Sam Dickens. Why this title? Because I have no idea what, in the Sam Dickens, I am doing. I’m not even sure I know who Sam Dickens is, which makes this perfect.
12-5-14: Turning out really well, I like that I used a larger needle, it has a nice drape and this color is awesome. I love LB heartland. I’ve gotten it to the point where I can try it on and see how it will fit-loving the fit so far. I wanted it to be fairly fitted without being tight-I HATE tight crap. Very happy so far. :)
12-8-14: Getting closer to finishing the body section. I’ve figured out how I want the edging to look and for that I am very excited. I wasn’t too keen on a ribbed edge-I don’t like it when things get tighter at the bottoms. I’m going to do a rope cable edge for all the edgings. It will be my first one so I hope it works! :)
Okie dokie, I did the trim on the body and I loved it! BUT I felt it came out too wide-so I am going to modify the way I attach as I go, because I want to be super happy with it…so a little bit of frogging and then back at the drawing board. The last three pics show the too big edge…Not bad…but not what I am going for.
12-9-14: Got most of the bottom band re-done at dd’s karate last night. Much happier with the redo. Glad I did frog that part. I’ve had another mental breakthrough-I had been stressing on how I wanted the cowl portion to look, I think I have it figured out out. :) Can’t wait for that part! EEK! New pic up-showing the start of the cowl neckline and the redone bottom edge. I probably should have made it wider..Sooo I devised a new plan, that will entail the back of the cowl to be a little tighter and the front to be a little looser-I actually think this was an awesome mistake, because I would prefer to not have a huge bit of bulk in the back! :)
12-12-14: Cowl neckline is done and I am so so so super excited. The pattern will actually reflect the cowl as it is now, but will have an option for a tighter almost turtle neckline if that is preferred. I love having choices in my patterns-I was always a fan of those ‘choose your own ending’ books as a kid. :)
HUSTON! WE HAVE A SLEEVE! EEK! I’m SO excited about that stupid sleeve. It fits perfect-the next should be a breeze! :)
12-12-14: Oh dear god we are DONE! I am so so happy with this thing! I put it on and showed DD. She got wide eyed and said, “It’s UGLY.” Apparently she loves it all except for the neckline. I’d say she hurt my feelings deeply, but she has a keen hatred for all things knitted. Except for the hand warmers and hat she ‘designed.’

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Bringing Booties Back!


Alright, here's the deal. My husband is awesome. He really is...Buuutttt sometimes he says incredibly stupid things...Things you cannot take back. If you know him well, chances are you have a favorite Jaime quote.

Tonight, he outdid himself. He was whining and complaining about his feet being too cold. He said, "I NEED BOOTIES!" Now of course we all knew he meant slippers, but booties is what came out. 

We can all look at Shawn (me) and blame her because she makes stupid stuff like booties on a continuous basis....So we giggled and laughed for about five minutes as he continued to get our lovely daughter her ice cream...

He finally had had enough of the abuse and shouted out to us, "Hay! I'm bringing booties back!" So that,my friends, is his one funny for this year. So if you were hoping you'd get to witness it, sorry....you missed out. You'll have to wait till next year.

While I wait for him to come up with his next funny though...I think...just to be a big mean jerk, I will make him some booties.  ;)  Some really cute frilly ones.  

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Dreambird For Dragonbird



I am currently working on my dream project. It is something I have seen floating around for a while and every time I would see someone’s lovely FO of this project pop up I would sit and stare at its beauty. I would enviously wish I could knit so I could create such a wonderful display of artwork on my own body. So I taught myself to knit in May. Mainly, because this was my goal. I worked very hard on many different projects so I could get some experience and decided it was time to take the leap.
So now I am having a really tough time with this. I am so in love with the project it is interfering with my working on it. I keep stopping so I can lay it out and ogle it. I lay it out…pat it gently, think about what color to use next, take pictures of it, show it to my family (who roll their eyes because it looks no different than the last time I showed them) and basically just DROOL all over the stupid thing.
Am I the only one that has this crazy love obsession with a project? I want to think that it is a GOOD thing to love what you are working on, but good lord, maybe I shouldn’t love it THIS much! haha! I’ll never finish!

This is an excerpt from my project's notes:  "I am in love LOVE with this pattern I tell you. I keep stopping my work so I can just stare at this stupid thing. how insane is that? VERY. I love everything about this pattern, and I think I shall marry this thing when it is all over. I finally got to the pink part in a feather and I almost died from excitement. I think this is seriously getting out of control. No one should be that in love with a project. It’s Wacky Shack worthy. I have found though, that I was pulling my double stitches a little too tight with this thinner thread (the crap yarn I was practicing on didn’t have that issue). So the first few feathers have a few little holes mainly because I was too diligent in pulling them tight…But my last feather is perfection. PERFECTION I tell you. Did I mention I love it? OMG I need sleep. Sleep? I’ll dream about my dreambird. Yes I will. Why? BECAUSE I LOVE IT."

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Sceathers!




I taught myself to knit in May (see the blog post 'Scarlet K' for more details) and since then I have been trying to learn everything I can about it.  I have made my own patterns already and am really excited.  Just easy things like headbands, hats and scarves but I have just finished designing my very own top.  I am so happy with how it turned out!  I hope to someday get it tested, but for now it is seven long pages of scribble that looks like a serial killer wrote.  I've been typing up a little bit a day and am about half way done.

My favorite part about this top is the crocheted focal point in the center.  It gives validation to my true love! :)

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Artist Blog Hop!

Julia Gartner of Dada Neon Crochet has asked that I join in the fun in this Artist Blog Hop!  I am thrilled to participate and honored to have been asked.  She is such a gem in this little world we live in.  She fills our world with color, smiles and kindness and we need more people like her in this world.   I invite Jenny Lawson , and Enna Strikkeliese  to participate in this fun Artist Blog Hop if you so chose! :)  (Julia gave me your names, I hope you don't mind-you both create magic!)



1. Why do I do what I do?


I do what I do because it brings me joy.  I love to make something out of nothing.  There is a great satisfaction that comes with turning a ball of yarn into a work of art-and if the art is wearable it is even more fun for me!  I began on my crochet journey when my daughter was incubating inside and I decided that since I'd be a mommy to a girl I HAD to know something like crochet and so I learned how.  My grandma did most of the teaching me the basics and I have been self teaching ever since.


I love to be my own unique individual.  I never leave the house without something adorning my head.  Flowers all year long, spiders and rats in October, flags in July, Turkeys in November and lots of fun stuff in December.

I'm also a stay at home mom, and now that my kiddos are getting older I really need constructive things to pass the time, sometimes earning just a little but of extra money.  How can one ever be bored when they can make stuff out of yarn??!!! I've enjoyed donating items throughout the years here and there to various charities and fund raisers.  

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

My work differs from others work in that I try to make every item I make it's own unique individual.  There is something special about being able to say, "This is the only one in the whole wide world like it!"  I think if you are trying to exactly replicate something you see it ceases to be art.  It is the art side of crochet that I truly love, which is why I enjoy making my own patterns.  I also remember being a slave to a pattern so I try to put free patterns out there as well as some that have a price.

My latest pattern (mentioned in more detail below) allows for some serious personalization while constructing the hood.  I am so excited about it because I remember being shackled to a pattern and looking at freeform crochet wishing I could do it!  This goes a long way in helping people create something unique and fun while still using a pattern. :)


3. How does my creative process work?
My creative process is fairly simple.  If I see something I like I think, "how can I make it better?"  My mind might whirl around for a bit but then the wonderful things that come flying off my hook (or needles) are so worth the swirling mental crisis I sometimes find myself in.  Sometimes I'll just randomly think of something to make while doing daily chores-especially cooking.  I hate cooking.  I actually hate eating.  Unless it is chocolate.  MMMmmm chocolate.

4. What am I working on now?
Currently I am working on Dada Neon Crochet's awesome CAL (link at the top of the page) and am working on finalizing two patterns.  I just published my latest pattern Faux Freeform Hood .  This one I am really proud of, I had some amazing people test it for me, and each one of their creations is completely unique.  That is precisely what I was going for when I created the pattern.  You can see different projects there on the pattern page if you click the link.  FUN!


CAL:


Patterns in progress:


Tuesday, July 8, 2014

CAL: A Walk In My Shoes

I have always wanted to do a CAL.  I am so thrilled to finally participate in one, but I think, this may be the best one ever.  Of course I have nothing to compare it to, but this has been quite the exciting adventure.  I started late, and am currently playing catch up! 


Here we go!  It may be cheesy, it may be ridiculous, it may be a hot sweaty mess, but they are MY shoes, connected to my soul which is being ripped out of my heart thanks to Dada Neon Crochet, and the amazing CAL. This is my first CAL I have EVER participated in, and so far THIS IS AWESOME! :)  Here is the link if you want to join along!   Please post your projects on Ravelry, because I am having a fun time stalking everyone's progress there! :) 








Week 1:  Just a little fun piece to get started








Week 2 My hand has a black line around it because when I was little I was always looking for the black lines around people. I did not know that cartoons were drawings, adn I always wondered why some people had black lines around them. :P The design on the heart is a merging of my initial and my hubby’s initial (s and a j) along with a wedding ring. :)








Week 3: Week 3: My garden-The Confession: I cheated. A while back, I was learning how to brookstick stitch. I made a really ugly fingerless glove and never made another for it to have a mate. Sooooo I used THAT as a base for my garden-instead of stitching it closed, I left it open and used it as a bunny hole…so….of course I needed a bunny so it could pop in and out







Week 4: A Starry Night-my yarn interpretation. I didn’t try to embellish this one too much. The reason being it is one of my favorite pieces of art-and a print hangs on my daughter’s wall because even at her young age, she appreciates the beauty in it. Her name means heavenly as well, so there is special meaning in stars and whatnot in our house.
Week 5: My pet…I tried to incorporate her psycho yet cute side all in one little piece…I think I accomplished that. because this thing looks psycho….but it has a bow just like her! I also put a rainbow bridge above her to show my first fur pet that has already crossed the bridge….She’ll always hold a piece of my heart and I vowed to never had another dog….it was too tragic losing her…But this silly sweet psycho dog came into our life and taught us that although our hearts may be torn up and sad, they are capable of healing themselves and finding more room for more love.
Week
6 part A: Tree-a tree that represents me….Well…technically this one represents my daughter because it reminds me of karate kid, said in my best Mr. Miagi voice, “BONSAIIII!!!” My daughter is learning karate and kobudo from a wonderful sensei who was trained in Okinowa, Japan. She is the Sempi, senior student, of all of his dojos and I am very very proud of her. She has been doing this for almost five years now and everyone knows to steer clear!
Week 6 part B: Stained glass: this was only a ‘suggestion’ but I took it to heart. I LOVE stained glass, and have even taken a few classes in it…I wanted to make a dragonbird encircling a flower because I AM dragonbird and I never leave home without a flower (or something holiday related) in my hair.


Week 7: Your Dream Home-this is MY dream home….it is the home where I already reside. My hubby spent all his free time during his last deployment searching for homes online when the internet was working…When he came back we looked at this place and it was love at first site. It is a magical world we live in filled with magical trees, magical people and magical animals. I call it my death house, because I plan on living here until my death.
Week 8: My “AYEEEE Tharrr Mateyyyyy” Eye…I guess we’ll just call it “Aye Eye.” My dad always said my eyes were brown pools of mud. I tried to capture that…Well, and of course that sometimes I like to talk like a pirate. So this piece is an interactive one, you can flip the patch up and reveal the eyeball.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

The Scarlet K

Crochet is my true love. Long ago, I vowed to never learn to knit. Why would I do such a thing? Because I loved crochet too much-it became my obsession, my love affair, if you will.
Then came Ravelry…temptation was all around…I resisted for as long as I could, but I love to learn new things…and after about 13 years of faithfully giving myself only to crochet, I strayed.
I felt so dirty as I tenderly fingered the knitting needles in the store, trying to figure out which ones I would try first in this foreign land. Once I put them in my cart there was no going back. Crochet would never again be able to take comfort knowing it was my only love. I almost cried. Almost.
Once the seal was broken, things got a little better, I felt such pride that I could learn this new thing, a whole new world was open to me. And then I showed my husband. He rolled his eyes and said, “what’s the difference?” I tried to explain, but to explain to a non-yarner…what’s the difference?
As I worked through the worst movie ever created, hubby finally said what was really on his mind. “I don’t mind you crocheting. But I cannot sit and watch you knit. You look like a grandma and I don’t want to be married to a grandma.”
As if I couldn’t feel any dirtier for cheating on crochet! haha! I think I need a Scarlet K on my shirt to wear for eternity.
So, what is the point to this? I’m not sure, I just thought I’d share my story and see if there are any other crocheters with similar experiences with stigma to their craft or feeling the pain of cheating on their craft….

Here is my second ever knitting project (this is a fabulous free pattern-here is my ravelry project page where you can find the link to this pattern)