Monday, August 29, 2011

Mosaic Monday


like blueberries
     1. Another Little Bears Cardi, 2. IMG_2640, 3. Finished Tie, 4. IMG_4102

As you can see from my recent Flickr favorites, I've had a lot of knitting on the brain. And, for some reason, blue. I'm not sure why, but blue keeps recurring. :)

Here's a palette I made from my favorites:
monday palette

Saturday, August 27, 2011

A whole lotta knitting

      ss2
under construction

I've been knitting like crazy lately. It seems like the sensible thing to do, given that it was 111 degrees yesterday, and walking outside makes you feel like your skin is on fire. Instead I sat inside placidly with the AC cranking, knitting.

I finished this pink baby hat 2 weekends ago. I started with the stripe pattern from my first hat ever, then did my own stripe pattern on the main part of the hat:
pink baby hat
I feel pretty meh about it. I like it so-so.

If you're wondering about the little orange guy above, he's from the Big Book of Knitted Monsters. My friend gave me the book and it was sitting on the coffee table where my niece saw it. She asked for the teeniest little monster on the cover.

My niece is kind of a sweetheart, so although I had no clue if I'd do it right, I had to try it...
little monster

I must say he came out pretty cute, and he was a pretty quick stitch on double pointed needles. I winged it with the little legs, though - the pattern called for a basic heel on the feet to create a sort of sock shape. I just made them long and skinny instead.

Of course that little monster made me want to make a bigger one, so I started on Hugo:
monster feet

He's a couch potato, like yours truly! :) Naturally, I bit off more than I could chew - I'd never tried a knit front and back increase before, which was necessary on the little feet, which are knit from the bottom up. Those first 3 rows were the most frustrating knitting experience of my life. I am not kidding when I say I spent 3 hours alone trying to knit one foot. But after a billion mess-ups, slipped stitches, and so much cursing my mom shut her bedroom door, I prevailed and had 2 stitched feet. I do think it's kind of funny that knitting a monster turned me into a total monster. :)

Next up, was transferring the 2 feet to large circular needles and joining them together to form the body. Eep. That was super frustrating, too. I spent another 3 hours or so trying to get that right. I'd never done Magic Loop knitting in the round before, and I couldn't understand why it was so hard for me. I grasped the concept but I felt like I was wrestling with the needles.

I had picked up Boye interchangeable needles at the local Hobby Lobby because I was so impatient to begin:

They're really pretty to look at, but I had no luck with them. The cord was really stiff, there was a hard join in the plastic, there's a funky slant at the edge of the needles that my stitches would get caught on, and best of all, with all the wrangling and wrestling I had to do to slide my stitches around, the tips came unscrewed and I sat there, staring at about 10 unraveled rows of knitting. Maybe these needles are good for some other types of knitting? But for Magic Loop knitting, and me, forget it.

I read a lot of blog posts, forums, etc. and the only needles that were mentioned over and over again were Addi Turbos. So I put an online order in and let Hugo sit for a few days. And Addis are every bit as amazing as everyone says they are. The cord is super light, thin, and flexible, so there's no wrestling and wrangling. The join where the cord meets the needle edge is smooth, so your stitches don't get caught. The tips are just blunt enough that they don't split your yarn, and just sharp enough to pick up your stitches.

They're so easy to knit with that I found myself knitting happily for hours:
monster in progress
I'm not kidding, if you're at all considering learning the Magic Loop technique, or even just regular knitting in the round, get yourself some Addi Turbos, they are worth the extra 10 bucks.

As if that wasn't enough knitting, I decided to make a knitted tie for a special person:
knitted tie

I used this free pattern from Lion Brand yarn, but try as I might, I couldn't get seed stitch to work for me. But I've seen plenty of nice versions in garter stitch, so I did that instead, and was very happy with it.

I've also been working on my Watson scarf, which is almost finished! What about you guys? How's the end of summer treating you? Any bit as scorching as it is here in south Texas?

Friday, August 26, 2011

Flashback Friday: a summer morning in South Texas



2 weekends ago we visited one of the World Birding Centers in Weslaco, Estero Llano Grande. I am a real bird and animal freak - and the older I get, the more sharply attuned I am to creatures and critters on the periphery of our notice.

For example, this little screech owl almost missed my notice - almost. :)
little screech owl
To the naked eye, he looked like fuzz oozing from a bird box, but luckily I had my zoom lens so I could see his sleepy, grumpy little face.

We heard a weird rustling sound, and suddenly this little fellow popped out of the bushes and loped across our walkway:
mr. armadillo


I love armadillos, but boy are they strange. They really look like they should be extinct, and I love Texas even more when I see prehistoric weirdness like this all around me on a hike.

We heard a bizarre, clucky cacophony of sounds and spied something else in the trees... I didn't get a good picture, so I'll just describe it to you.



By the way, "chachalaca" is my new favorite word. Seriously, just say it a few times. You'll want to keep saying it, over and over again. :) There were birds everywhere. Naturally, I captured none of them in my shots, but oh well. They were there. :)

We walked over to one of the ponds and saw this stern sign:


We didn't see any big guys but we did see this little guy:
baby alligator

South Texas is such an odd, pretty amalgamation of sky blue, dry earth, and green leaves...




hiding bunny

I love the way this bunny thinks he is hiding by standing perfectly still, even though I am 6 inches away from him, with my camera. He does do a good job of blending in, I must admit.

new earrings
I'm such a weird bird freak that I bought a little something at the gift shop to commemorate my visit. If you're ever in the McAllen-Edinburg-Weslaco area in South Texas, I really recommend this place!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Three Things Thursday: love, love, love

love, love, love
   1. I heart my hometown, 2. My 2nd piece, for Valentine's :), 3. Cafe Loveless

It's weeks like these that I'm really grateful to the world for Flickr. When I'm uninspired, or feeling blah, just logging in and seeing these wonderful bursts of color and thought and creativity just buoys me up.

l1
l2
l3

I'm seeing a lot of greens in my faves lately. And knits. I've been knitting pretty steadily lately, actually working on about 5 different projects now, which I'll show you very soon! :) But if you have a Ravelry account, you can get a sneak peek! :)

Lastly, here's a palette I made, eyedropping the 3 pics in that mosaic above:
thursday palette

Hope these posts are inspiring you any bit as much as they do me! :)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Wardrobe Wednesday: the black dress

My creation

Here's what I've worn to, oh the last 3 weddings I've attended - including last weekend's. :) Yes, I actually styled my hair in a flip - it's pretty retro, but I've always loved that look. Plus it's low-maintenance, and that's the only sort of look my naughty hair can maintain.

My creation

A cute pair of black satin peep toes with black chiffon flowers from (where else do I get special event shoes at the last minute?) Payless. I was surprised at how comfortable these shoes are, given the heel height. But they fit perfectly and I trotted around in them all night with no problem. Not bad for 18 bucks. (on sale) Has anyone else noticed that Payless shoe prices have been creeping up? Regular price for these was 35. I know they're nicer shoes, but still. They should just call the 30 dollar and up shoes Paymores. :)

My creation

This dress is just a simple black chiffon halter dress, but I really love the length and the style and it goes with anything. It's dressy enough to look dressed up but not SO dressy that you feel like you're cheesing it up in satin. I actually wore it as my bridesmaid dress for my best friend's wedding - we were all allowed to pick our own style of dress, as long as it was black, and past the knee. The #1 compliment I get on this dress is that it looks "very classy." I can deal with classy. :)

What about you? Do you have a favorite dress you wear to weddings all the time? :)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Typography Tuesday: tea and small caps

2011-08-15_11-58-42_306.jpg

I love looking down in the course of my day and noticing tiny, beautiful things like the typography on this tea label.

I love small caps. They're so beautiful and understated. To me, it's like a person speaking in an even tone, clearly, but not shouting (like ALL CAPS). :)

sc8

In my opinion,

sc7

Monday, August 22, 2011

Mosaic Monday: a little bit of red and blue

a little bit of red and blue
     1. elaine fong poster, 2. okay-lets-do-this, 3. Tidying Up in threes, 4. pretty red flower and tropical dress


From Pinterest and my Flickr faves, here are some of my favorite shades of

rb3


Here's a little color palette I made for today, eyedropping all 4 of the images in the mosaic:
mpal

By the way, how beautiful is Casey? Way beautiful, and I love her 40's style and sewing posts. Now, if I could only get my hair to do what her hair does, just once. :)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Three Things Thursday

Three Things Thursday: green, pink, red
   1. Leafy Sprig, 2. big crafty booth, 3. Emerald Green Dress with Handmade Bug Pin

Above, here's a few lovely things I stumbled on in my Flickr favorites.

In particular, I really love the
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Here's a palette based on the pictures above - I wasn't liking the palette the generator made for me, so I made one myself, using the eyedropper tool in Photoshop, and lots of squinting:

thursday palette

How are you guys? I haven't been around much for comments - out first for the wedding and now with a bad cold. Hope your week has been better!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Mosaic Monday: black and tan

Mosaic monday: black and tan


Something about these shades in Bauer Bodoni just looks so delicious.


Here's a palette for today's mosaic:
monday palette

Friday, August 12, 2011

Weddings

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022

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025

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I'll be at my cousin's wedding this weekend, so I thought some pics of the aunts and auncles getting married were in order. Hope your weekend is every bit as festive. :)