Wednesday, July 27, 2011

July is Heating Up

Of course, just when you think that things are going well, life throws you a curve ball.  This month, my maternal grandfather passed away.  He had been quite ill for the past several years, and I had recently visited him in March.  Although he had both Parkinson's and Alzheimer's, he did indicate that he not only remember me, but was happy to see me.  He fought in the Korean war and was a talented carpenter (some of his projects included a handmade pool table, a flute stand for me, a grandmother clock for my great-grandmother, and more).  His passing meant that we had to do a lot of travelling, picking up family out of state, and then driving another 6 hours to Ohio.  At the end of the day, my toddler put his hand on the coffin saying, "Bye-bye Grandpa Frank..."

We also adopted a two and a half month old kitten, whom we lovingly named Q after a character from Star Trek: The Next Generation.  This was Peanut's early birthday present, and he was happy to have a new "fur baby" in the house, bringing us to 4 cats.  Q is a mischeivous kitten, who, unlike my other three cats, loves yarn.  As a result, I have to knit faster and with a spray bottle.  At the end of the day, I usually have a wet kitten wanting to curl up with me in bed.

Current Projects
Due to the death in the family, not much progress happened with old projects, I brought a bunch of little projects with me to have something to do in the car ride to Ohio and also while we hung out in the hotel in between family functions.
  • Seamless Dress: This was finally completed and turned out great.  It looks great on the hangar, but not laid do some of my other projects.
  • Simple Girl's Jumper: This jumper was inspired by the seamless dress.  While the jumper was not seamless, it was a fun, improvized project. Since I am trying my hand at designing baby clothes, I busted out the calculator, and designed something simple as my first go of it. The design was originally made for a 3-month-old, but I did not do a gague, since I have used the yarn before. It ended up being about the size for a 9-12 month old. :)
  • Jamaican Slouchy Hat:   Every Wednesday night my husband’s family has dinner and each week, one of the kids (and/or their significant other). Lately, the lucky cook dresses up and makes a theme for the evening. Recently is was our turn to make dinner. I offered to make a traditional Jamaican dinner. My husband and son had hats my husband purchased while in Jamaica, oddly enough, they were made in Guatemala. I decided, as a Jamaican, to make my own crochet hat to go with the theme. It actually turned out well! So, made in America, by a Jamaican; a Jamaican Slouchy Hat. Too bad I don’t have any dreads to fill it up.
  • Jamaican Colors Hat: This was another hat to go with the Jamaican theme. I wanted to try a different method of making a hat to see how it would look. Turned out ok, but the 2x2 rib is overly stretchy. All-in-all…average turn out for me.
  • Tiger Lily Tank: I took the Tiger Lily Tank with me on the road and was able to finish the back with attached straps.  Once this project is finished, I'll be able to post some pictures.  I used Vanna's Glamour yarn and it's turning out pretty well.
  • Peanut's Fall Sweater: Like many crafters, I'm not satisfied with working on one project at once.  Since I'm learning how to design baby and toddler clothes, I picked up some Bernat Baby Softee yarn (Flannel) and started up a simple sweater for Peanut out of a baby knit book.  The back is in progress and measures about 8" in length right now.
  • The Dude Sweater: No progress as of the last post.
  • Patriotic Toeless socks with cuff: Also no progress as of the last post.

    While I do have the ability to crochet, I did have to spend a few hours refreshing my crochet skills.  I actually prefer to knit more than anything else.  This entry's design element: don't be afraid to try something new to stretch yourself beyond your potential.  All through the past season of American Idol, Jennifer Lopez always praised contestant Lauren Alaina for stretching herself and going for notes that she never thought she could sing.  Why not try this with your crafting skills?  So you think you know how to knit or crochet?  Want to recreate something or are picturing something that you'd like to wear (or see on someone else)?  Design it!  I wanted a Jamaican hat, and it happened.  Yeah, I had to look up the difference between half double crochet and double crochet and spend countless hours searching how to start a crochet hat that had the style I was looking for, but I made it happen.  Sure, it might have been a challenge, but I received so many compliments from other crafty family members (and my dad, who's from Jamaica), the effort was all worth it.  Don't forget, your friends at Knitting Daily are very helpful when it comes to the new and even the classic stitches.

    Knitting Madness
    Last, but definitely not least, I must confess that I start way too many projects at once.  Not only do I have several knit projects in progress, but I took on a few other things too:
    1. New Kitten (on top of taking care of my toddler every day)
    2. More knit projects, and design
    3. Buying more and more yarn
    4. Got the business account restarted (and we now take credit cards!)
    5. Getting the house more organized, including my tiny sliver of an office
    6. Rummage Sale!
    So, I had to have a pep talk with myself.  Most of these projects better be done by the end of the year.  That means, all of my projects in the queue must be done and my design projects need to be at least designed, drawn out and started.  That means making a work schedule and officially "starting" this business.  We've been open since October 2008, but obviously a full-time job and starting a business do not mix.  Now that I don't have the headache of working 50 plus hours a week and only knitting to wind down, I can focus on the things I really love.  Creativity, yarn, knitting, and the warm and fuzzy feeling I get when a project gets completed.  Keep checking to see how I'm doing on getting everything set up and completed as the days go by.  That means more (and shorter) posts. 

    Coming Soon
    A method to the madness.


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