Work in Progress Thursday

‘What have you been up to?’ is such a generic question.  It’s in line with ‘How are you?’…it’s hard for me to be anything but dismissive, when faced with such questions.   I haven’t been at work at all week.  I don’t know what I’ve been doing.  Am I supposed to actually stop and think about it and then recount all the things I’ve done this week?  Funemployment is different every day and remembering is hard work, okay?

Thank goodness for the iPhone…how else would I know what I’ve done?  Photo stream to the rescue!  I don’t have to remember what I’ve done…there’s pictures of lots of it!

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And, that’s not all…My Dragon Fade shawl is finished!  Mostly…I’ve still got a few ends left to weave but I’ve been wearing it anyhow!  Pics tomorrow!  It’s gorgeous…I love it!


 

New Cross Stitch Gallery

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When it was suggested that I have a page with all my cross stitching on it, I agreed it was a good idea!  And now, here it is finally…

FogKnits Cross Stitch Gallery

You can also find a gallery link at the top of the homepage.  In the gallery, there’s individual pics of each hoop and notes on where the designs came from.  It’s a work in progress but I’ll keep adding to it.  Turns out there’s a lot of cross stitching that hasn’t made it onto the blog, yet.

These two for example,

 

Sent off as a housewarming gift.  Leslie Knope approves, obviously.

The second hoop, started when I was messing with beads a couple weeks ago.  The beads were the first element in place.  I picked a song lyric to match the stars.  I wouldn’t pick Coldplay intentionally.  I rather dislike them but the sentiment matched the star beads.  I picked a pretty font and a pretty color for no reason other than I liked them.  I really hated those beads though.  They were dreadful and tacky.  I just couldn’t.

Once I got rid of the beads, I was left with a font that just screamed Little Prince to me.  I didn’t have room for him but I did manage a lovely replica of his asteroid, B-612.  That’s about as artsy fartsy as I get.  Despite my intense dislike of Coldplay, I’m really pleased with how it turned out.

Then there’s stuff like this…

 

You can see where all my knitting time has gone :)  I’ve been doing a lot of cross stitch this summer.  And I’ve got pages and pages and pages of notes with more ideas!  It’s just so fun…I can’t stop.  I’ve got plenty more to add to the gallery but I’m off to a good start!

And, many of these hoops aren’t for my permanent collection.  Check out my Etsy shop to see what’s currently available to purchase!   FogKnits on Etsy


 

Back to Stitching…

It took a few days but I have recovered from last week’s interview stress!  A gorgeous weekend and lots of outdoor time helped!

The interview went well.  I’m not sure I got the job but I’m not sure I want the job.  The company is doing really neat science but they’re a very early start up, currently only 10 employees.  So, they’re thinking things over, I’m thinking things over.  We’ll just have to wait and see what happens.

In the meantime, I’ve got plenty of crafty ideas to keep me busy!  Last night was our annual knitting group anniversary party.  9 Years of stitching and bitching!  Wooo!  As part of our annual tradition, we pick names from a hat and then knit for each other.

I really struggled with what to knit this year.  My gift recipient is a total process knitter who loves to knit for other people.  I spent a lot of time thinking about what she would love and find useful.  After considering everything, I decided on a Wonder Woman wrap.  Check it out here, if you aren’t familiar.  It’s a free pattern!

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Like most knitting, it got to a point where it went to the time out corner.  I was happy enough with my progress but our party was months off.  I had plenty of time.  Of course, a quick trip to the time out corner turned into a complete shunning.  My intention was to pick it up two weeks before the party and crank it out.

And then the interview came up.  Keeping the deadline in mind, I was still confident I had time to get the knitting done so my project continued to languish.  I didn’t give it a second thought.

Until…I got home from my interview, ready to knit.  That was about the time I decided I didn’t like my progress and wanted to start over again.  D’oh!  96 hours and I wanted to scrap the whole thing.

The sticky wicket here was sizing.  I picked the smaller size in the pattern and I knit to gauge so I wouldn’t run out of yarn.  As a lover of large shawls, this barely scarf sized piece just wasn’t cutting it.  I was unhappy with it.  I wasn’t motivated to move forward with something I didn’t like so back to the drawing board.

I decided to start an entirely new project…this time, cross stitch.  I should have just started at cross stitch.  We’re both happy with how things ended up…

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A Star Wars collection of cross stitch!  Once I got started it was impossible to stop.  This is so fun!! The series will definitely continue…Aren’t you a little short for a Stormtrooper?  It’s a trap!  and Han shot first are all on the list, with a few others being considered as well.  There’s just so many options…

I love the Millenium Falcon on the black aida.  Colored aida is such a simply idea but you really don’t see it much?  Why is that?  It can’t be because cross stitchers lack imagination and creativity.  I refuse to believe that.

So, a couple weeks back, I suggested to my dye master Mother that aida is cotton, like yarn and t-shirts…no reason she can’t dye it.  Yesterday, this came in the mail…

Hand dyed aida in a glorious array of colors!!!  I’m so excited about this.  There might be a Millenium Falcon in a deep purple outer space in my future!  I can’t wait to play with it!

I haven’t decided what to do with my Wonder Woman wrap yet.  We’ll talk about that more tomorrow!  I’ve got knitting goals too!  If I could just have two extra arms, I could be knitting and cross stitching at the same time…A girl can dream, right?


 

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!


 

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 -Nephew Care Package

 

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My little nephew Marcus is 4 weeks old today!  Wooo!  He’s such a sweet little thing.  It’ll be a while before I get to meet him so I’m sending him a long distance hug, in the form of yarn, naturally.

I’m so excited about everything in this pile.  A dinosaur birth announcement.  An ‘only in San Francisco’ onesie.  I didn’t make it but I love the tripping hippie vibe.  It’s the kind of thing you can only get from your crazy California aunt!

Then there’s the cat toy mushroom rattles, such fun!  The pattern is from Purl Soho’s blog.  A great little stash buster project with super results.  (disclaimer:  my yarn and gauge is completely different, so these are actually a heavily modified version of their pattern, if ya know what I mean.)

Then, there’s the hats.  Even though it’s still August, I’m sending five hats.  Might as well teach him young, this is what I do.  I hope you like wearing hats, kid!  I’m making them regardless.

These came from the knitting Olympics back in February.  It’s such a fun collection.  I’ll never stop making goofy hats but now is really my time.  He won’t be wearing goofy hats forever!

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And finally, Baby’s Second Blanket.  He got the first one before he was born, a cotton blanket for summer.  This is one is the wool blanket for cooler days.  It’s the true pièce de résistance…

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A Honeycomb blanket, complete with fringe.

I knit it as a tube, to avoid purling and then cut it open.  Using the cut edges to create fringe, I avoided the dreaded end weaving.  After that, I added an applied i-cord to the top and bottom edges.  and POOF!  An Heirloom was born!

I hope Marcus likes it.  Obviously I made something I like but I thought about him a lot too.  I picked colors with high contrast and textural interest so it can help his little eyes develop.  The fringe is for a tactile experience, something for his little fingers to figure out.

It’s pretty amazing to see how much he’s changed already.  I can’t wait for the all the developmental challenges to come.  I totally appreciate being a casual observer to the miracle of life.  Human bodies…wow!

..AND, I have plenty of yarn left for all those amazing occasions.  5 Skeins of Miss Babs Yowza is gonna get me a lot of coordinating accessories.  The blanket put a dent in it, but just barely.  It’s time for sweaters and an army of stuffies!!

Welcome to the world, little Marcus.  You have a crazy knitting aunt (and that is the best kind!!)