8 Months in 1 Post

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Yikes! Where has the time gone?

The last 8 months flew by. You may be wondering:

Where did Lisa go? What has she been up to? She looks rough! Is she getting enough sleep? Are those grey hairs I see?*

Last you heard from me was in January when Nick and I completed my lovely secretary.

Later that month we joined his parents and brother in Florida for a much needed nice, sunny vacation. While on the trip, I started crocheting a basket to hold all of my knitting/crochet supplies, so they wouldn’t be strewn about my new desk and spent most of February working at it in front of the TV while we binge watched Netflix’s Jessica Jones and Daredevil and caught up on the latest season of The Walking Dead.

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Once that was complete I acquired, Kristina McGowan’s Modern Top-Down Knitting and More Modern Top-Down Knitting, both of which are full of lovely patterns for skirts, dresses and more. I immediately fell in love with one of the dresses, knitted up some swatches using Lion Brand’s Microspun and cast-on with the pretty blue you see below. About a month into it I discovered that the yarn I was using had been discontinued and I couldn’t find it anywhere on the internet. After moping for a a few days, I remembered that I have lots of the same yarn in lavender, black, and lime green.** So I frogged (ripped out for you non-knitters) very carefully and convinced myself it would look good as a two-tone black and blue dress. It has yet to be completed, so we’ll see in a month or two.

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By then it was May and time to put the fiber projects away, turn off the TV and enjoy the great outdoors.

In anticipation of lots of summer road trips, I replaced the radio in my car, which had been broken for ages. I purchased a kit from Crutchfield, watched a YouTube video on how to install a radio and got to work.

Now, not only do I have the radio/CD combo of yore, I also have a fancy USB jack and an aux input for my phone. It’s almost like I got a brand new car!

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May and June were filled with yard clean up, planting and a visit from Nick’s folks!

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July was filled with bbq’s at my folks, a tubing trip, adventures in Cincinnati, OH/Louisville, KY with our dear friend, J and her dogs, and a concert featuring 2 bands I absolutely loved in high school, plus lots of delicious vegan food.

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August featured me pining over beach time during my work breaks, a visit from my parents, pinatas, awesome birthday gifts from friends and loved ones and lots of trips around the neighborhood and/or Lake Park to collect Pokemon!***

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It also was the month I finally decided to replace our couch cushions with thicker cushions and nicer fabric for all the TV watching I’m planning on doing this fall/winter.****20160813_123654-collage

In September I pulled out the crochet hooks and started to work on a rug that matches our couch so the dogs have an extra warm spot to lie down this winter.20160910_132755-collage

I also ran my first 5K in a long time (and beat my time). Our Monkey had surgery to remove some tumors, which was successful! I purchased some bass gear from my brother in the hopes of starting a new band here in Milwaukee. We saw Belly in Chicago, went to the Milwaukee Maker Faire, ran along the lake, started our annual horror movie marathon and started getting our house ready for Halloween, phew!img_20160905_210654-collage

Oh! I also started baking again and canning lots of food I’ve been making from everything we’ve harvested from our yard.img_20160924_185122-collage

And of course through it all we had to throw some dog time in there, too!

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It’s been a helluva year! I’m looking forward to fall/winter when I typically spend less time on the go and more time at home working on projects.

I’ll keep you all updated on rug and dress progress*****. In the meantime enjoy the lovely fall weather, because winter is coming…

Winter is coming

*around, stuff, yes, sometimes, and yes. In fact the very first photo was taken at a Dunkin Donuts after I signed away a paycheck to get my shocks and struts replaced. I think I got a dozen new grey hairs that day while I sat there waiting for about 5 hours with my book and my coffee.

**I went through a phase were I thought I would be knitting lots of little green men. X-Files anyone?

***Go, team Instinct, go!

****Our butts no longer hit a hard surface immediately upon sitting, hooray!

*****All 3 of you ;-)

Getting back into the swing of things…

Colorful leaves and a chill in the air always make me want to curl up in a chair and knit or crochet. So when summer wound down a couple of weeks ago, I pulled out my knitting books and magazines in search of the perfect pattern to get me back into the swing of things. I wanted something quick, but challenging, so I picked the Gretel Tam from Debbie Stoller’s Stitch’n Bitch Superstar Knitting.

It was pretty, it had cables (something I need to practice more) and I figured it would come in handy this winter since in theory it should fit over my longer hair better than my old hat. So…Nick and I found a new show to watch (Six Feet Under) and I cast on using Red Heart Super Tweed in Pinkberry, excited about my new hat!

15147020910_f8fb374512_oHowever, that excitement waned last week as somewhere along the way I lost count of my stitches; which isn’t all that surprising considering I got sucked into the Fisher family’s drama. I mean what is up with Brenda and Billy? Will David ever learn to relax? Is Ruth going to be miserable forever? She just wants to connect and be happy, but she doesn’t know how to do those things and it’s painful watching her try…

Needless to say I went back on some cables when I should have gone front, as I watched these people’s lives unfold. I decreased too much too soon and I ended up “finishing” the hat around row 48 when I should have been able to keep going until row 58.

~Sigh~

So I ended up with this stiff hat that fits more like a cloche than a tam and/or looks like a weird chefs hat if worn farther back on my head, which is dissapointing.

This one is definitely getting put in the box of stuff I have waiting in my car to take to charity:

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Here’s a picture of what it’s supposed to look like from the designer’s website: ysolda.com:

Gretel Tam - photo and design by Ysolda of ysolda.com

Gretel Tam – photo and design by Ysolda of ysolda.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So pretty!!

I’m going to have to try this one again in the future. Perhaps if I knit it during my commute to/from work, it will turn out better. Normally I would’ve ripped it up (or frogged it for you knitting purists) and started again, but with all the cables and decreasing that would have been more work than it was worth. For now Stitch’n Bitch Superstar Knitting, is going back on the shelf while I work on an embroidery project for my friend Heather’s baby shower next weekend.

More on that soon!

 

 

 

Throwback Thursday: The Unloved

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m notorious for pouring hours into making things for myself because they look cool in a magazine, wearing them once, deciding I don’t like them for some reason and then giving them away.

Here are a few of those things:

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Completed: February 2, 2009

Project: Cabled Jumper from the now defunct Knit 1 Magazine.

What Went Wrong: Cute in theory, but so tight you could see the hem of my shirt through it and due to my body shape it would shift up as I walked, bunching around my waistline.

Lessons learned: I learned how to make cables, which is handy. I also learned that just because something looks nice on a model in a magazine doesn’t mean it will look nice on me or be functional.

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Completed: November 17, 2009

Project: Flouncy skirt from one of Interweave’s Knit Scene magazines.

What Went Wrong: I wasn’t a big fan of the stripes. Also I followed the pattern without measuring myself first and I didn’t check length along the way so it ended up being too short for me to wear comfortably.

Lessons learned: Steer clear of variegated yarns when it comes to large clothing items unless you really, really like stripes and/or surpises! Don’t bind-off on a skirt until you’re sure you’re comfortable with it’s length.

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Completed: February 27, 2011

Project: A crocheted A-line skirt; yet another item from Knit 1 Magazine.

What Went Wrong: The waistband ended up being loose and saggy. I also had no idea what I was doing when I installed the zipper. Out of all of these, this got worn the most, though, (3 times) with tops that covered the waistband issue.

Lessons Learned: Always remember knits stretch and modify patterns to your body size. Also unless you want a lot of frustration and a lumpy zipper, do not attempt to install a zipper on your own if you have no idea what you’re doing! That’s what YouTube is for.

 

New Hat!

I finished my new hat on my commute home yesterday (hooray for public transportation). The pattern was adapted from a pattern in the Fall/Winter 2005 issue of Knit.1 Magazine and I used Lion Brand Homespun Colonial yarn. Rather than use a circular needle this time I used double pointed needles, which made this project so much easier than it’s predecessor (the same hat made on circular needles in a different color) and I’m happier overall with the finished project.

Here’s the old hat:OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

If you look towards the top of the hat you can see that the ribs jog over instead of continuing in a straight line. I made the first hat using circular needles that were small, but apparently too big for that particular project, which made knitting hard since the stitches would get all tight and the needles’ cord would bend in weird ways. I spent so much time and energy just trying to get one stitch from one needle over to the next that I must’ve lost count when I decreased, which caused the rib lag. Not this time though!

Here’s the new hat:

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As you can see the ribs don’t jog this time. We’ll see if that’s still true once I’ve worn it and stretched it out a bit, but judging by what it looks like now and what the old hat looked like when I finished it, I don’t think that will change.

Here are a few more shots of the new hat. Of course, today it’s 42 degrees, so I don’t really need to wear a hat, but temps are supposed to dip again this weekend and while I’m not looking forward to that. I am looking forward to wearing my new hat!

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Keeping the Winter Blues at Bay

February is probably my least favorite month of the year. Even though it’s the shortest month it always seems to drag on forever. It’s cold, gloomy and monotonous and there isn’t a lot to look forward to besides Valentine’s Day. These days all I can think about is starting my veggie seeds indoors, enjoying temperatures above 40 degrees and taking long walks with the dogs.

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Our apartment has been so drafty the past two months that they spend a lot of time cuddling together; rather than playing, so whenever we go outside Harlow pulls like she’s competing in the Iditarod. Then she gets cold and plays “let’s see how many paws I can lift off the ground and still move”, which is both funny and heartbreaking, so our evening and weekend walks together have been very short.

Unfortunately for us it looks like this winter is going to be a long one, so in an effort to break up the monotony of life, I have 1) started playing fetch indoors with the dogs and Nick has started creating treat scavenger hunts for them, and 2) I’ve started knitting a hat.

I like hats, because they’re quick, easy and extremely useful in this weather. I’ve had my current hat for four years now and I’ve worn it every single day this winter, so I figured it’s time for a change.

Here’s my old hat:OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI made this hat using Lion Brand Homespun in Blue Moon on circular needles. However, I had problems using the circular needles when I made it since they were too long and once I joined my initial stitches it was a pain to knit around ’cause everything would get too tight, so this time around I’ve decided to use double pointed needles, which I have never used before, in the hopes of making the process easier and faster.

Here’s what I started last night while watching TV:OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This time around I’m using Lion Brand Homespun in Colonial, which has an indigo hue to it. I’m excited to have a new hat and will hopefully have it done by early next week. As much as I’m enjoying making the portrait of Ian, I just needed a break since it’s an involved project.

Next on my list of side projects: ZINES! Chicago Zine Fest is 29 days away (March 14 & 15 – mark your calendars) – I have so much to do, yikes!