Yay Friday!!

Happy Friday!  It’s time to put this week to bed!  I’m ready — I feel like I’ve been focused and productive.  I got a good start on my interview prep and my pile of handmade nephew goodies has really grown!  It’s the perfect time for a weekend!

Because nothing makes one feel accomplished, quite like listing those accomplishments, here’s what all my procrasticrafting got me this week…

 

I finished up the leg warmers – two pair, one small, one large, one that matches, one that doesn’t.  The large size might become a pair of matching arm warmers for Mom.

I really liked working with this yarn, KnitPicks Felici.  It’s soft but still has a bit of structure to it.  I’m still thinking about the worsted weight version and a sweater with stripey sleeves.   Maybe my recently cast-on Newborn Vertebrae will cure me of that.  It’s grown since yesterday, I’m up to the sleeve divide already!  Baby sweaters are the best!

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What can I say, I’m a sucker for a good stripe.  I’m also a sucker for a cute animal toy, these days.  My Tubby Wubby stitch & stuff felt toy subscription has come to an end.  Mr. Giraffe is the last to join the menagerie.   I stitched him up, in about an hour, last night.  He’s extra goofy.  I couldn’t resist.

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3 Months was the perfect subscription length for these cute little kits.  They were well put together and the results are super cute but I’m ready to knit critters now.  Knitting is really my thing.  I can see myself stitching more of these Tubby Wubby kits, in the future, but for now, it’s back to Rebecca Danger cuteness.

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I whipped up this little Hippo from ’50 Yards of Fun’ for an instant gratification fix.  I love her designs.  Rather than knit pieces and sew them together, you pick up stitches on the body and knit the limbs out from there.  It can be fiddly but definitely worth it.  I’m always pleased with my critters.  I didn’t even have to fuss too much to give this guy a cute face!

And so, he join the growing pile for my next care package…

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I’ll send this stuff off when I finish his sweater.  Maybe a few more stuffies too…my goal is definitely to re-create that scene from E.T. with knitted toys!  :)

And, now, I’ve committed to doing some real work this afternoon.  Nothing boosts the confidence like putting the time in.  Back to interview prep for a few hours and then, it’s the weeeeekend!!!  Wooooo!

Enjoy your weekend, everyone!


 

It was fun while it lasted.

Procrastiknitting in full force!  I worked on the dragon tail fade yesterday (it still looks the same though.)  Then, I started a new nephew sweater.

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It’s a Newborn Vertebrae, in KnitPicks Felici.  It’s the cutest little sweater and for once, my loosey goosey gauge is going to benefit me.  The Vertebrae series of patterns spans from newborn size all the way up to adult.  It’s a really cute ‘frontless’ cardigan with raglan shaping.

The newborn size is actually too small for my nephew.  It’s a 0-3 month sort of size but my little buddy, at six weeks old is easily fitting into a 3 month onesie.  My plan is to knit the newborn size (aka the free size of the pattern) and hope my loose gauge gives something closer to a 6-9 month sweater.  It should be perfect for the cooling fall weather.

I think it’s going to work out.  Gauge should be 7 sts/in,  I’m about 6 sts/in, giving me a slightly larger FO.  It’s almost like I planned it!

Procrastiknitting is in full force!  I worked on the dragon tail fade yesterday too (it still looks the same though.)  Might as well procrastiblog a bit more too!  Here’s my latest cross stitch project…

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MoviePass has really put the FUN in funemployment.  If you haven’t heard of it, it’s a subscription service that offers one basic movie ticket, per day for the low monthly fee of $9.95.  No Imax or 3D, which was perfect because I don’t like those enhancements.

I joined at the beginning of the year and promptly started seeing movies.  It was awesome.  I saw almost every Oscar nominated film…I’m talking all the down ballot movies too.  I only missed Blade Runner and Roman J. Esq.  It was certainly the most interested I’ve ever been in the Oscars.

Over time though, MoviePass has eroded it’s service.  Turns out their business model sucks.  Today, that same $9.95 buys you 3 movie tickets per month, you can only see a movie once and only movies that they happen to be offering on any given day (aka the shittiest movies out).

After getting significant enjoyment out of my MoviePass, I was finally fed up with their horrible treatment of customers so I quit.  Now that my MoviePass time has come to an end, I miss the good old days already.  It was only a few months ago but it was a great reminder of how much I like going to the theater.

I saw Oscar nominated films.  I saw big budget action flicks.  I saw a boatload of documentaries.  I even got to see a special anniversary showing of the Dark Crystal and a director Q&A of the documetary ‘The King’.   Of course, I also saw some shit.  MoviePass was financial permission to enjoy seeing shit though.

The company is still in business but by all accounts they won’t last long.  So I had to memorialize my fond MoviePass memories in cross stitch.  I haven’t decided exactly how to finish the bottom.  Perhaps simply “it was fun while it lasted.”

While I decide, here’s a run down of what I saw.   As far as I’m concerned, Call Me By Your Name was robbed at the Oscars.  It’s an absolutely gorgeous movie about a sweet and touching love story.  If you have the chance, I highly recommend seeing it.  And now, here’s the full list…

The Best of the Bunch:  Call Me By Your Name (4x), I, Tonya (3x), Thor: Ragnarok, Dark Crystal, Isle of Dogs (2x), RBG, Sorry to Bother You, 3 Identical Strangers

The Really Good Ones:  Lady Bird, Darkest Hour, The Post, Get Out, Coco, Jumanji, Faces Places, Love, Simon, The Party, A Quiet Place, Deadpool 2, Filmworker, Westwood: Punk, Icon, Activist, Hearts Beat Loud, Eating Animals, Incredibles 2, Whitney, The Cakemaker, 8th Grade, Love, Cecil, Blindspotting, Miseducation of Cameron Post, Blackklansman, Skate Kitchen, Puzzle, The Meg

The Just Ok:  Downsizing, 3 Billboards in Ebbing, Mo, Proud Mary, Dunkirk, Winchester, Molly’s Game, Black Panther, Thoroughbreds, Game Night, Final Portrait, Kings, Lives Well Lived, Bad Samaritan, Avengers, Ready Player One, Always at the Carlyle, House of Tomorrow, Solo, Hotel Artemis, Ocean’s 8, American Animals, Jurassic Park, The King, Won’t You Be My Neighbor, The Misandrists, Ant-man and the Wasp, Hotel Transylvania, Generation Wealth, McQueen, Dark Money, Leave No Trace, Support the Girls, Happytime Murders

Why Did I Bother With These:  Greatest Showman, Pitch Perfect 3, Shape of Water, Annihilation, Wrinkle in Time, Tomb Raider, Death of Stalin, Journey’s End, Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami, Overboard, Boom for Real: The Late Teenage Years of Jean Michel-Basquiat, Mountain, Heredity, Gauguin, Mamma Mia 2, Mission Impossible Fallout, Nico, 1988, Mile 22

I Left Early:  Super Trooper 2 (turns out this was NOT Super Bad 2, d’oh), Life of the Party (actually had to google to remember what this one was, at least I was able to block it from my mind!), Action Point

The Absolute Worst:  Phantom Thread

I hated Phantom Thread, it’s terribleness is unrivaled.  UGH.  I can’t believe this was someone’s vision?!?  If I can save even one person from wasting two hours on that shit, it was worth for me to sit through it.

And so, now that I’ve procrastiblogged.  I really have no excuse.  I should go do some job interview prep!  UGH!


 

Procrastiknitting

The only thing worse than looking for a job, is actually finding a job that fits and going through the interview process.  Ask me how I know?  UGH!  It’s the worst.  Had a telephone interview, it was successful enough to get me an on-site interview next week.

And so this week, I shall procrastiknit.   Let’s hope all that nonsense about knitting to soothe anxiety is true because positive affirmations and repeated platitudes aren’t helping!

I’m not normally an anxious person but as I get older, the magnitude of these events seems to amplify.  I’ve got a fair amount of prep work to do.  They expect a presentation of my work and my experience.  I’ve done the work.  I have the experience.  I even have PowerPoint.

The only thing I need to do now:  Procrastiknit.   It’s all part of the master plan.  Step One: a bit of quiet contemplative time to clear my head, focus my thoughts, refine my message.  Step Two:  Domination.  That’s how it works right?

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I will say, all this purple helps!  I’m loving my purple fade, even as it transitions into the grey section.  Sadly, no one at this job will give me bonus points for a kick ass fade.

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Yesterday’s procrastiknitting happened at a beautiful garden & historic site out in the ‘burbs.  It was a gorgeous, foggy day…my favorite kind.

It’s called Filoli, a name made up by the man who built the place, from the letters of his personal motto…”FIght for a just cause; LOve your fellow man; LIve a good life.”

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And live the good life he did.  Mr. Bourn made his money in a gold mine.  That rug was bought from Queen Victoria’s Isle of Wight house.   Fancy Schmancy doesn’t begin to cover it.

Of course, times change and now the property is owned and run by a historic trust, so that tapestry on the left was donated by a local needlepoint group.  It’s a lovely likeness of the clocktower.

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And, this glass exhibit in the reflecting pool…not a Chihuly but Chihuly inspired, no doubt.  And probably for sale.  We’ve all gotta pay the bills somehow…

and so with that, I will transition from procrastiblogging to procrastiknitting and maybe even a little bit of PowerPoint later on.


 

 

According to Plan.

Not much to say about this week’s knitting.  It’s moving forward, slow and steady.  Everything is going according to plan.  I mean, that’s the whole point of having a plan, right?

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Baby legwarmers, one pair done, one pair still in progress.  They have me dreaming of a sweater with fun striped sleeves.  The yarn is Knitpicks Felici…it’s a self-striping sock yarn, aka no good for sweaters.  But, it’s available in a worsted weight as well.   I can imagine a cute saddle shoulder sweater with striped arms and a solid color body.

Not that I’m looking to start another sweater.  Or buy yarn.  No, I’m trying to finish this beauty up…my dragon fade, as I like to think of it. 

I’ve moved into the second phase of the pattern, from increase rows to body rows and I’m nearly finished with the purple section.  It’s time to start fading into my selection of greys.

It’s been so fun to fade so many colors.  The shawl has grown to the point of being unwieldy.  It’s pretty cramped, even on a 40″ cord.  There’s no chance of getting one comprehensive photo until it’s off the needles.  This shawl phenomenon always helps motivate me through the end stages.  I can’t wait to see what it’s actually going to look like.  I’m anticipating instant elevation to favorite status!

And, I’ve even redeemed myself after the whole glitter-tulle fiasco, earlier in the week.  I really had an itch to do something different with my cross stitching so out came the beads!  I’m really pleased where I ended up with these two!

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This first one is inspired by an annoying and ironic girl on the bus this week.  As she yelled into her phone, I couldn’t help but notice the sticker that adorned her new back-to-school notebook.  Yeah.  So…she’s now been immortalized in cross stitch.

The whole time I worked on it, I couldn’t help but thing about candy dots!  Those beads are the remainder from my beaded Hitchhiker scarf.  (Check it out here.)  Even back then, I remember thinking about candy dots.  So, back into the bead bag I went.

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This is what I ended up with.   I really love how this turned out.  Super fun and I’m not even too mad at the earworm.  (yet.)

You can thank me for it later :)   Happy Friday!

Cross Stitch Wednesday

 

I made a fun amazon discovery over the weekend…cross stitch baby bibs!  Of course, I had to try them out!  Yay for 2 day delivery!  The first one is done already.  I wasted no time with it!

 

I’m not sure how useful it’ll be but it’s pretty stinkin’ cute.  Interestingly, I ordered two of the same item, blank cotton aida bibs but received two different items.  One polyester bib, one cotton bib.  It seemed like too much of a hassle to correct, so I just went with it.

I don’t like the polyester at all though.  It’s weird to stitch, floppy and loose, even in a hoop and I question it’s bib-ness.  The cotton is sure to be better, for stitching and for catching baby messes.  I’ve got an idea.  I just need to spend some time with a bit of graph paper!

My other stitching this week was a bit of commentary on television.

And then, I went a little crazy.  It’s a pinterest fail and a glitter bomb all wrapped into one.  After seeing some really cool embroidered tulle pieces, I thought…of course I can cross stitch on tulle!  and of course, when presented with tulle or glitter tulle…the answer is glitter.

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I’m worse than a raccoon stuck in a trap by nothing more than a shiny bit of metal.  (Where the Red Fern Grows, amirite?)   I know glitter is bad.  In fact, I’m a glitter hater.  I’ve never liked glitter.  It’s bad for the environment.  It gets everywhere.  No good can come of releasing glitter in my own home.  Somehow though, I still walked out of that store with glitter tulle.  WTF?  I don’t know what I was thinking.

I deserve the mess it made.  No amount of vacuuming has helped.  It’s everywhere.  It, literally, exploded when I unwrapped the spool it came on.  I had the vacuum out instantly but it was no use.  It’s on my hands.  It’s in my hair.  It’s waaaaaay in the back of my desk drawer already.  It’s all over my clothes.  It’s definitely been spread around my bed.  That’ll teach me to control my craft store impulses.   (hopefully)

At least, the cross stitch was a bust.  Tulle and the technique needed for see through work is really much better suited to embroidery and I’m just not having it.

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NOPE!  I don’t want to embroider and you can’t make me.  So, it’s back to standard aida for me.  I’m gonna play around with some more beading.  That could be fun (and far neater than glitter!)


 

FO Friday – Quickie Blanket

 

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We’ve all been there.  Will you knit me a…?

No.

The answer is always NO.

Furthermore, ‘No.’ is a complete sentence.

 

If you protest, you’re off the list.  I used to drop people to the bottom of the list.  These days, I’m ruthless.  I do what I want.  There is no list.  There’s no possibility I’m going to knit for you.  The answer is just no.  I’ve gotten quite good at it.  There’s no need for me to explain how long it takes or how expensive yarn is.  I just say NO.  After all,

No.

is a complete sentence.

So…don’t ask me how this happened.  It might’ve been an out of body experience.  A fugue state perhaps?  All I know is I, for sure, 100% said no to a request of a blanket…ANOTHER blanket, even.

And yet, here it is.

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Against all odds, I knit a blanket for someone who asked.  Turns out, if you’re knitworthy, you’re knitworthy.

And, at the risk of encouraging copy cat requests, this was super simple.  Everything came together in just the right way.   Leftover yarn, big needles, no purling, fun stripes.  Poof!  Instant blanket.

While it is lovely to look at, it’s real beauty comes from it’s simplicity.  It’s four mitered squares, each worked from the corner in and then grafted together.  I weighed my yarn and divided in it into 4 equal lots, one for each square.

To work each square:  CO 2 sts.  Set up Row: KFB, place marker, KFB.  Row 1: Knit to 1 stitch before marker, KFB, slip marker, knit to last stitch, slip purlwise with yarn in front.  Repeat Row 1 until you run out of yarn.

Rather than bind off and then sew a seam, I kept my stitches live until all 4 squares were finished and grafted them together.

Easy Peasy…unless you hate grafting.  That’s a topic for another day though.  That’s not a Friday conversation!

Happy Weekend!  Hope you get some good knitting time in!


 

WIP Wednesday

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Another WIP Wednesday!  My Dragon Tail (aka Martina Behm’s Match & Move) is making pretty progress!  It’s nothing but purples from here so it’s only going to get better.  WOOooooo!

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I’ve got a quick project on the needles too…Baby leg warmers.

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They’re so cute and tiny.   I think I can get small, medium and large pairs from the yarn I’ve got.  Once I’ve gotten my instant gratification hit, it’ll be sweater time!

Kids are going back to school.  Sweater weather isn’t far behind!