When You Get Mad at Your WIPs

Scrap 'Ghan Fail: Wooly MastadonIt happened, and no one is surprised. In the past two weeks, I pushed to attempt to finish the bane of my existence, my scrap afghan. Honestly, its been a project for almost two years and although the initial idea was cool one mistake at the very beginning made this project a time sink and trouble all the way through. For some people, they would have seen the warning signs and ripped out the first few motifs at the start, but I was stubborn and decided to plow through.

Scrap 'Ghan Fail: Wooly Mastadon

I was so excited when I finished the borders around each motif for the afghan. So excited I didn’t plan and simply tried to crochet all of the motifs together…without testing for strength. Yeah, that was a fail. I shoved the connected circles, loose ends and all, back into the bag and I haven’t looked at it since. The kicker to all of this, it has stalled my knitting/crochet/spinning mojo. I want to cast on my Waiting for Rain shawl (yes that is going to be my next project), knit away at my socks, and start other projects. However, this afghan is preventing me from starting anything.

Do you ever have those projects, the ones that seem great at the beginning, but slowly but surely fall down the slippery slope of constant error and troubleshooting. This is one. The only way to get this cloud off of my knitting mojo and out of the back of my brain is to finish this afghan. I have an idea for a fix. Here’s to hoping it works and that I can report back with better success very soon. Happy Friday.

~Stay Inspired

FO: Moulin Rouge

FO Moulin Rouge: Wooly Mastadon

It’s done, it’s photographed, it’s awesome and ready to face the world. As you may have seen in my post last Friday, I had finished my Moulin Rouge shawl by Kirsten Kapur but had yet to take photos. Well, spring is starting to show up here so during the week on my day off I was able to head outside and take some photos. Granted all the photos look like I could have taken them in October of last year but that’s spring for you where I live. Things don’t green up and bloom until May and June.

FO Moulin Rouge: Wooly Mastadon

The stats, I knit my shawl out of Knit Picks Stroll Bare Fingering on a US size 7 circular needle. I had hand-dyed this skein with icing colors hoping for a gray but ended up with an almost purple. Before I started knitting I was seriously considering over dying this but now I’m thinking against it, I like how the patterning of the shawl pairs with the yarn.

FO Moulin Rouge: Wooly Mastadon

As you can see from the pictures this shawl is very long, more of a scarf. It blocked out to far past my wingspan but it is light and airy and will be perfect for the rest of spring and summer. Considering I had never worked short rows in a shawl this pattern was a great place to start and I might knit it again as a gift for someone. Final thoughts, awesome pattern, awesome design, love this shawl!

FO Moulin Rouge: Wooly Mastadon

As for my next shawl I think it will have to be Waiting for Rain by Sylvia Bo Bilvia. I love the lace detailing and have some yarn I dyed last year (at the same time I dyed the yarn for Moulin Rouge) that would be perfect. Here’s to spring, sunshine, adventures, and of course, new projects and lace knitting.

FO Moulin Rouge: Wooly Mastadon

~Stay Inspired

A Friday Update

Moulin Rouge: Wooly Mastadon

Once again it is Friday…how on earth did that even happen? Well, although I don’t have the final project pictures taken, I just had to share a sneak peek of my current FO. Yes, my Moulin Rouge shawl by Kirsten Kapur is finished and blocked to all it’s glory. It’s super long, way past my wingspan but it’s light and airy and I absolutely love it. More details and final project photos to come.

As for the rest of my week, I finished that shawl and started searching for a new shawl pattern to cast on. Any ideas? There are so many beautiful options and I just can’t seem to pick. I also got out my crochet scrap ‘ghan and started working on the borders on each circle. I’m over half way and since this will be a two year old WIP in June, I hope to finish it soon before it ages that much.

Sketching: Wooly Mastadon

Other than that, it’s been warming up in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The sun has given me reason to do things again so I’ve been cleaning and organizing up a storm. I rediscovered some artists materials I forgot I even had and unearthed my desk from a winter’s worth of stuff. It’s been a productive week. Here’s to an awesome weekend.

~Stay Inspired

Moulin Rouge Progress: Thoughts on Short Rows

Moulin Rouge: Wooly Mastadon

I have been knitting, I promise. The past few weeks, especially the week of Easter were crazy with highs and lows. I got a bit of spinning done, but that isn’t what I wanted to share with you today. Today it’s all about the Moulin Rouge shawl by Kirsten Kapur (my project page here). I cast this shawl on at the end of February, got it started and per usual, let it sit. Well, once the storm that was the past few weeks was past I was able to finally sit down and knit. I sped right through the lace edge and moved into the body of the shawl…that contained short rows.

Moulin Rouge: Wooly Mastadon

Now, I have a confession to make, I haven’t knit short rows since I first started knitting and decided I needed to knit socks. I got myself a book (fyi it was Easy Knitted Socks by Jeanette Trotman), some baby yarn (yes, I had no idea what I was doing and that was the only fingering weight yarn I could get my fingers on at a big box store), needles, and knit some slippers. Delving boldly into the pattern, I worked through short rows sitting on the floor in my parents living room on a Saturday…a weekend free from high school drama. It was wonderful, the socks I knit, not so much…and I haven’t tried short rows since.

Fast forward to this week. Interweave Knits Spring 2016 had a wonderful article on short rows that I was ready to reference. I got out my shawl and started knitting. Truth be told the written instructions with Kirsten Kapur’s Shawl Book One on short rows was all I needed. I got to knitting and am about half way through the short row repeats and loving it. Why have I not worked with these more, they are so easy and manipulate the fabric in such nice ways.

Well, that is it for this week. Hopefully with the coming weeks I can knit, spin, and crochet some awesome stuff. Happy Weekend.

~Stay Inspired

Snow, Snow, Snow

Snow Day: Wooly Mastadon

Every year this happens, every year we get a St. Patty’s Day storm. This year was no exception. Since the only two things I knit on this week were two baby hats and my socks, I decided I’d share some of the snow photos I took of the storm. There was beauty in it, the trees were draped in a covering of white, everything looked so clean. Granted in all that beauty it made getting to work a chore and put many people out of power. Alas, at least I got some outdoor time with my dog and was able to enjoy hopefully the last major snowstorm of the year.

Snow Day: Wooly Mastadon Snow Day: Wooly Mastadon Snow Day: Wooly Mastadon

It’s Friday, the weekend is almost here! Enjoy it!

Snow Day: Wooly Mastadon

P.S. Mazie enjoyed the snow, she was too busy investigating to look at the camera…

~Stay Inspired

When the Time Change Kicks Your Butt…

WIP House Cleaning: Wooly Mastadon

It’s true, the time change, especially when it comes to “springing forward”, gets me every time. We had a lovely day Saturday, sunny, warm, just beautiful. I took my dog for a walk, cleaned a bunch of stuff, and started feeling the need to work on or clean out old WIPs. I was motivated. That evening I sat down and ripped out what I had completed on my sock loom for a baby hat. It just wasn’t working, the acrylic didn’t have any give, and I had hid it in a bag for a few months…a good indicator that it was time to go. Perhaps I’ll just knit some hats out of that yarn, but we shall see.

The second project, and yet again a project I had hiding away in a bag was a final pair of mini mitten ornaments. I had cast this on in a frenzy a few days before Christmas and realized I wouldn’t have time to finish it to give it to it’s intended recipient so I gave up, stashed the project and happily forgot about it. Saturday came and it was staring at me taunting me. I finally decided to bite the bullet and finish the stupid thing. The plan is to give the pair to mom this week, she’ll have a brand new ornament for the tree or a decoration for the house come fall, bonus points if I don’t have to see it much during the year.

I wanted to keep going, I wanted to cast on a new project, work on my scrap afghan that seems it will never be finished, and knit on my socks, but alas, when you have to be in at work for 7 am, you get to bed early. Although that did happen, so did the time change and now my knitting mojo is dwindling. Hopefully we have another sunny day to bring it back, but at least I frogged/finished a few things so I can move on with new projects guilt free.

Happy Monday! HAPPY PI DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

~Stay Inspired

FO: Sea Monster Spinning

FO Spinning: Wooly Mastadon

Here it is, the skein of yarn that lived on bobbins in progress for months. Although it was a pain in the butt to ply, I am happy with the end result. It softened up quite a bit and the yardage is an awesome 349 yards of a 100% wool fingering weight/dk yarn. I have no idea what this will become but I’m glad it’s finally done and ready to be knit into something amazing.

FO Spinning: Wooly Mastadon

On that note, happy Friday. Keep your fibery projects and good friends close at hand. It’s going to be a good weekend.

~Stay Inspired

Spinning Craze

Spinning: Wooly Mastadon

The good ol’ Kromski Minstrel is getting a workout as of late. Once I got my last project off the wheel I’ve wanted to spin all of the things. The next project in the line-up was two braids of fiber my Mom picked out. The idea is that I will spin them, hopefully into something close to a two-ply fingering weight yarn, with the intent to knit a lace shawl of a decent size for her. She loves that I enjoy spinning and knitting and asked specifically for two shawls, and this is the first. She even bought the fiber so I can’t complain. This color is Here Comes the Bride from Camelot Dyeworks. I have two 8 oz braids of 100% merino so it is very soft and a dream to spin. It will be slow going and it is extremely out of my color comfort zone. I just hope I don’t lose interest but I am liking how it is spinning up and have an end goal for the yarn so I’m hoping to have success.

Spinning is back! Happy Wednesday, halfway there.

~Stay Inspired

A Weekend Project: Painting Textures

Acrylic Paint Fun: Wooly Mastadon

This weekend I decided it would be the perfect time to paint…or at least attempt it. I had a friend over and we both went at it, trying our best to paint something decent. Although he gave up painting realistically very quickly I never even tried. I just decided to play with paint in the hopes that I could make some textures I could scan into the computer and use in future graphic design projects (perhaps a branding system for tea…hmmmmm yes). That is what I did and although I didn’t make a whole lot I ended up with three textures playing with color that I think will be fun to put to use digitally.

Acrylic Paint Fun: Wooly Mastadon

On a side tangent, I absolutely love the idea of taking something tactile and combining it with digital media to create a new project, piece of art, or branding system. That part of art is what keeps me going when I get frustrated in the current digital age. I love being able to make a project or piece of art with my hands, but then also be able to digitally make something as well. Perhaps this is my balance.

Acrylic Paint Fun: Wooly Mastadon

Regardless we both had fun with paint, acrylics to be exact. I think I need to get the watercolors out next to make some more textures, despite the frustration I feel every time I get out paint I still want to go back and try again. That’s got to stand for something. With that, happy Monday! Here’s the chance to make it an amazing week.

~Stay Inspired

A Week of Projects

Sock Knitting: Wooly Mastadon

It has been a week of projects, of finishing things, getting caught up in socks, and starting a new knitting project. This week I finally got the urge to go full force back into spinning and ended up finishing the project currently on my wheel (finished skein photos will come soon). Next on the wheel, some fiber my mother picked out for me to spin up and knit into a lace shawl. I can’t wait to start it, perhaps that will be a project for the weekend…I get a weekend off!!!

Spinning: Wooly Mastadon

As for knitting, I’ve been reaching for my socks at every spare moment, especially at work on lunches and breaks. It’s my popcorn knitting right now, I say just one more row but that almost always means five or six. I love how the colors are making a striping pattern and can’t wait to wear the finished socks.

Moulin Rouge: Wooly Mastadon

Finally, I started knitting my Moulin Rouge shawl by Kirsten Kapur. I dyed up the yarn this past summer and am not set on the color. If all fails, I’ll overdye the final shawl but I want to see how the color plays with the pattern first. Right now, my shawl just looks like a fluffy catterpillar, but I am hoping to knit a few rows here and there and have a beautiful shawl this summer.

With that, I leave you for the week. It has been a week full of projects and productivity and sunshine. Hopefully the weekend follows suit. Here’s to a crafty fun weekend full of fun, fiber, and yarn.

~Stay Inspired