Summer Crafting Coming to a Close

It is hard to believe that the fall semester is starting up in a couple of weeks! At present it looks like I will be working at all three of my jobs starting at the end of this month. This is going to greatly decrease my financial stress, increase my workload, and decrease my crafting time. Since I love to work, this is a positive move overall. However I am planning on taking these next couple of weeks to organize some projects so that they are easy to pick up and put down. The first is my insane idea that I am going to sew myself a very simple pencil skirt. For my first try I have measured the fabric so that there is plenty to go around my waist and that the length is something I can live with. I have then folded over the top to create a channel for a drawstring. I pinned down the edge of the channel so that the raw edge is tucked under and I can try to stitch the folded edge down.

Ecru cotton fabric with a top hem pinned, iron on the upper left hand with foldable scissors on the upper right hand.

By pre-threading my needles and running the thread over beeswax, I am ready to start stitching when I have a couple of minutes. I can only take a couple of stitches at a time before my back starts killing me, so I have to find a way to work on that.

My melt and pour experiment did not work out how I wanted it to. Either I put too much glitter between the layers or there was too much wait time between pours.

soap loaf molds, a bottle of glitter, small chunks of blue soap as well as chunks of pale pink and purple layered soaps.

I have some goats milk melt and pour soap coming in the mail this week so soap will get a take 2 next weekend. Hopefully the next batch is better.

I have also managed to get Lady, my spinning wheel, cleaned up and ready to go. My Firefly electric wheel has been a lifesaver, however I am now able to get back to spinning some with Lady. I managed to finish spinning a small batt of Corriedale, and there was even enough for me to weave a sample on my Ashford Sample It Loom at 5 ends per inch.

Brown wool yarn warped and woven loosely on a rigid heddle loom.

The final project that I have made progress on is my second worsted weight sock. I am ready to turn the heel! These are going to work wonderfully with the new shoes I purchased, in the hopes that they will last more than six months. If they fit, I might just plan on using the yarn I purchased for my Sherlock afghan as socks instead.

Clear ball yarn holder with a ball of white yarn inside, sock cuff on addi flexiflip needles with one poking through the project.

With Lady ready to go, end plenty of fiber to spin, needles threaded and ready to be stitched, as well as socks ready to knit (we aren’t discussing the shawl I’m knitting, it’s a KAL so I am not going to get it done on time), my fall is looking to be full of fun, crafting, and work.

Remember to Live Life a Little More Abstract.

Freedom of Movement

Minor medical update, non-crafting information in between the *’s

*I have my second cast, this means that I am 1/4 of the way done with wearing a cast! The unnerving tingling that I was feeling, in the form of hot spots going up and down my arm, is apparently my nerves healing. My new cast is slightly shorter, slightly lighter, and firmer around my wrist. This actually means that I have a much greater range of motion than I did with the other cast. Often when I tried to move my fingers, whether to exercise or stretch them, or to accomplish a task, I would get a jabbing pain where I have a pin in my wrist. With the firmer cast, I no longer get that pain, huzzah!*

My new cast went on Thursday and by Friday I was crafting up a storm! I finally managed to finish weaving the bamboo scarf I dyed with the Enchanted Mountain Weaver’s Guild last summer. At the time of posting this I have washed the scarf and I am diligently working on the fringe twisting, as my wrist allows.

Beaded scarf in reds, greens and yellows with a bit of blue. Draped over a 4 harness table loom.

I love how this has turned out, however the red bled quite a bit, I seem to remember a warning about that. I have also been knitting on my worsted weight socks in Cascade 220 Superwash White. I hope to dye these when I am done. I have the first finished and the cuff on the second completed. With all of this going on, I also decided to bring up my personal larger table loom that has had towels warped up for a couple of years. It is my main goal to finish these towels before I am back to work at my colleges (or in a full-time job).

4 harness table loom warped with pastel yarn, yellow plastic boat shuttle with blue cotton resting on top. Completed wool sock to the right of the shuttle, with the knitted cuff to the left of the completed sock and below the shuttle. On the table is a Leclerc fringe twister with the bamboo scarf to the left.

All of this crafting energy has me jazzed. I managed to attend Vogue Knitting’s Virtual event in July, learning quite a bit from the lectures I attended. I have signed up for the marketplace and extras for the August Virtual event. I had hoped to sign up for classes, however with my wrist it is not realistic that I can knit enough to justify the financial outlay. (Just about $100 for 3 classes and tons of extras, if I could knit normally this would be a really inexpensive way to take expensive classes).

Fortunately I have had some visitors to my back yard to cheer me up (this is not a euphemism).

Hopefully you are as inspired as I am. Until next time, keep crafting and Remember to Live Life a Little More Abstract!

I’m Back

I am sorry that I have gone over a month without updating this blog.  The time off began with my ligament repair surgery, this surgery was successful however it did take almost a week for me to get back to normal.  Immediately after that my public library began to open back up to the public, changing my work environment radically. I have still been able to post my crafting videos, fortunately I had recorded all of the spinning and plying videos before my surgery. Since the surgery I have gained some more mobility, along with a better understanding of how badly my range of motion had gotten. I am still two weeks away from my first of three cast changes, I will have some questions for the doctor about the sharp pains as well as some of the warmth I feel running up and down my hand and arm at times. This has caused me to slow down my crafting, a row on my sock is a big accomplishment. My amazing sibling helped me by putting together a couple of bookcases so that I could work on my organization.

This image shows a five shelf bookshelf with a rigid heddle loom on the top, a mirrix tapestry loom on the next shelf down with a box containing the tapestry loom supplies. The next shelf down holds spinning supplies, several bobbins are showing. The next shelf down contains two bags of purple spinning fiber, a mini cowl kit, a box containing an afghan kit. The last two shelves contain fabric boxes with fiber and yarn in them. In front of that shelf are weaving tools, heddles, bobbins, shuttles, etc. The three shelf bookcase on the right side of the photo contains two shelves of spinning fiber, with two empty fabric boxes on the bottom shelf. The top shelf contains six plastic boxes with spinning fiber and a magazine holder.

Along with my organization I have been working on discovering something called book nooks. These are amazing mini diorama’s that take up about the space of a hardcover book. This is taking me many places, from looking at painting miniatures, some woodworking, clay work, paper work and so much more. I am also working on learning to paint scenery. This has, of course, led me to a desire for a resin 3d printer (I hope I can save up for that). The 3d printer will be a great addition to my resume and skillset.

Okay, I’m going to keep this post just this short, however I wanted to share photos of a visitor I had while feeling down.

A red or brown fox sitting in a clear patch of grass looking over their right shoulder.

Remember to live life A Little More Abstract.

Using Swatches and Testing Patterns

One of the crafts that I have been concentrating on is knitting. While others are brushing up their sewing skills and learning how to sew masks I have been knitting little swatches. Fortunately these swatches are usually at least 4 inches long and a couple of inches wide, this is the perfect size to add buttons and create an ear saver for your masks.

3 Styles of knitting Top to bottom: Stockinette, Cabled, and Garter stitch.

I also purchased the YarnIt from Make Something Prym. I have been attempting to find a yarn bowl, box, or something where I can put a realtively large ball of yarn, not have it flying everywhere gathering up cat hair and dust (I don’t vacuum as much as I should), and still be able to easily access more yarn when needed. This device accomplishes all of that while having an option to quickly remove the yarn from the device without ripping out an entire pattern and storage in the bottom. There is even a carrying strap. I admit I was skeptical at first, however after using it for some time I really enjoy this device.

Cascade 220 worsted weight skein and slipped stitch sock

I am knitting up a worsted weight sock from the cuff down with a slipped stitch heel using the pattern known as Accogliente Socks by Stacey Winklepleck from KnitPicks website. I had a bit of misunderstanding with the phrase: set up row. Now my slipped stitches are on the outside of the sock instead of the inside, I’m calling it a design feature. It is my plan to use koolaid to dye these socks in a video once I have them both knit up.

Until then I hope that you have an amazing week. If you are an introvert, please check on your extroverts. Remember to live life A Little More Abstract!

Semester End & New Beginnings

During COVID I have managed to learn new skills, watch quite a few webinars to learn new skills and information, as well as crafting for my own pleasure. I am knitting a worsted weight sock in a white superwash yarn that I plan on dyeing when I’m through knitting it, like a treat at the end. I’m also using some of my yarn samples to knit a hap-type shawl.

Through the events of COVID I am being given an unprecedented opportunity to learn, be encouraged to apply for a new job, as well as spending some time with my sibling when they visit to take me to my surgery. I have found some boxes of memories that we can go through together so that when I get a full-time job I do not have to worry about moving these memories to a new space, my sibling can take those that are important to them and I can keep those that are important to me. Those that are not important can move on through the world to bring joy to someone else.

I planted a victory garden with vegetables that I enjoy, it is a joy to see these little green things grow and meet each new day. Tomatoes, peppers, pumpkin, spaghetti squash, butter lettuce, and more. It is certainly a joy to eat a salad made with lettuce leaves from my own garden. My pleasure in using the rain barrel I set out to water my garden is unprecedented. I love knowing that this water collected is being used on days that it is not raining.

These days are frustrating and confusing however looking at each day as an opportunity to advance more on projects, personal, crafting, professional, I am able to find a joy in everything. A friend of mine has reminded me that I enjoy Gaming, StarDew Valley has become a new hobby, and that I am as enamored with technology as ever.

I’m going to finish this post with a photo of the spinning I have been working on. My surgery to repair the ligament in my left wrist is scheduled for 2 weeks hence, I hope that I can maintain the freedom of movement I have recently discovered so that I can continue crafting.

Remember to Live Life a Little More Abstract!

Shawls Galore

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I finished the Odyssey shawl by Joji Locatelli using DK Grab bag yarn from Jimmy Beans Wool.  I love how this turned out, cannot wait to see what it will look like when dry. The length of this shawl is longer than my queen sized (spare) bed.  I used blocking wires to pull out the picot edging as well as knit blockers to stretch the top edge as straight as I can.

Before finishing this shawl I cast on the Mooncat Shawl by Kelly McClure using Leading Men Fiber Arts yarn in the showstopper base starting with the colorway Nevermore.

This is finals week for both the community college and private university I work at.  I’m still working on crafting videos for my public library and other crafts.  I’m doing a bit of spinning and trying to find time to work on my woven shawl.

If you are an introvert, please check on your extrovert.  Remember to Live Life a Little More Abstract!

All the Crafts

This has been a learning experience for me.  I have put up a fence around my well cap, it is right beside my driveway and but trucks tend to run over it.  I put up the remaining two fence pieces by my driveway so that my garbage cans cannot easily fall into the ditch.  I warped and started weaving on my rug loom in the detached garage.  I can shoot crafting videos, okay so I’m still improving on that.  I also discovered that I can spin if I hold my fiber very loosely in my bad hand, to do this I am  using my electric wheel because I tend to tightly grasp fiber in my left hand when using my regular wheel.  Knitting is something that can happen (on larger needles) because I only need to hold the needle still in my left hand.  (Crochet is not going to happen because I pinch my project in my left hand while crocheting to keep it still, that still hurts)  Socks still are not going to happen, however I can use size 4 needles.

 

I finished two plying projects, the one on the left is the Shetland Moorit I started spinning last year for the Spin Off Hap-Along.  The project on the right is when I took a couple of lace weight yarns that I plied together to create about a fingering weight yarn.  I do not think that this will actually be a fingering weight yarn, however I think it will be a wonderful project eventually.

I was able to swatch for a mitered square blanket I bought a couple of  years ago, when a knitted afghan project is under $35 it is hard to resist.  I’ve also progressed to knitting a worsted weight shawl out of the Hedgehog Fibres Potluck in a really pretty orange.  I crowd sourced whether I should add on some black or just be done, it was decided that I do not need to add on black.

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Finally I wound up lightly felting my 7′ shawl from my tri loom.  I took a photo before it came off of the loom, I will have a felting photo in another post.

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It has been very busy here.  One of my supervisors is talking about starting procedures for opening back up, presuming that we will be doing this in Mid May.

Remember to Live Life a Little More Abstract, and if you are an introvert check on your extroverts!  Be safe!

Memories in Crafts

Yes, right now my room still looks like an absolute mess.  However, I can see what this room will be once I get these large pieces of furniture out of the way.  Right now I have the cabinet I showed you last posted filled an organized, I am amazed how much fits in there.  The cardboard tube organizer that I used in a maker video for my public library turned out really well so I am using it on top to keep supplies visible.

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I did have to buy a second cubby in a different size and configuration that you can see next to the original.  I put a storage rack that was mostly empty into the corner to hold a combination of mom’s kits and some of my kits.  I am using the open blocking mats as shelf liners.  You can see part of one of the dressers I need to destash in the near future, with a lamp and a sock project on it.

I am not completely finished getting everything sorted and organized, however I have made a ton of progress.  There is still a bin I need to sort through, however I have also started displaying some yarn for inspiration.  I believe that this is the first time ever that a large majority of my crafts have been entirely in one place that I am likely to frequent.  I still have items downstairs however it is cold, and since I live right by the woods I am concerned I might have another dang mouse.  Most of mom’s acrylic yarn is down there also.

During all of this frenzy of organization I have found many things that I forgot were around, or simply did not know where they were.  There is a pair of Christmas stockings that I need to sew the trim on, Mom made the stockings and never finished them.  Mom had a ton of plastic canvas kits that she wanted to make, when I feel up to it I am going to have to sort through those.  The one that brought a tear to my eye, though I’m telling myself it might have been dust, is the alpaca yarn squares that I wove and mom edged for me.  We were going to make a vest out of them, however the project was abandoned well before finishing them.  I am going to make a table runner out of them to remember her by, I just need to find the right yarn to use to attach them together.

*whisper* I also found the organizer in which I stashed all of my DPNs, I knew I had DPNs!*whisper*

I have also found out that I can do more crafting than I thought I could if I hold my wrist carefully.  I’ll make a post about progress in crafts later.  Until then!

Remember to Live Life A Little More Abstract, and if you are an introvert please check on your extroverts!  Stay safe!

Organizing My Self and Stash

Two weeks ago I thought that I would be able to pass along two of the dressers left in my home.  My sibling and I inherited my home from my parents along with the 30+ years of accumulated stuff that goes with a family of 4.  My sibling is uninterested in much of this and I have realized that it is way too much stuff for me alone.  Truthfully we have a chest of drawers, what I think is called an armoire, and three dressers.  Out of these five pieces I only want to keep one of the dressers so the other 4 need to be re-homed.  All of this is just to say that I had plans for what I call the computer room, which is where I am doing my work from home work.  I planned on streamlining my work space, bill paying station, and adding in craft storage.  Even though I have not gotten rid of the dressers yet, I have prospects, I have moved forward on the craft storage part.  Right now everything is boxed up…randomly..in my living room.  I have no idea how I thought that was organizing anything.  Instead I purchased a 12 cubby system.  I love it, however when I was putting it together many parts were held together by little wooden dowels….that I managed to snap every single one (it really was my fault but shoot).

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I did manage to get this put together, however at this point it is not very sturdy.  I have t-brackets coming that I will install on the back to stabilize the entire structure.  Honestly this might be for the best, the metal pieces should stabilize things better than the wooden dowels.  I also purchased black fabric bins to hold my yarn and fiber.  I think I’m going to start with my fiber and see how much I can store.  You see a mostly empty bookshelf to the right, those are my comic books on top, I hope to greatly curate my book collection as well.  The bookshelf there will hold my treasured favorites, there is another to the right of the shown shelf that holds my crafting books.

This deliberate organization of my stash has allowed me an opportunity to actually look at the kits that I own, stash them in a single space, and eventually plan on which ones I can work on when I get my hand fixed.

With trying to get organized, and spring break being finished with at one of my libraries, I have not gotten a lot of crafting done.  I’ll post next week with how my storage and crafting are doing.  Until then remember to live life A Little More Abstract and if you are an introvert please check on your extrovert!

Progress and Change

This has been a really strange week. I have spent most of it thinking that I have not gotten a single thing done.  However, when I looked back  I have made a lot of progress on many different projects.  In the way of domestic chores, I have come to the realization that cooking for myself is just creating more dishes for me to deal with and I am not eating any healthier.  To combat this, I have started opening a can of green beans or carrots, heating them up, and using that as a snack.  I have also purchased some frozen food that I just need to throw in the oven and that will be food for at least a day if not more.  I also purchased salad mix, we will have to see what a difference these steps make in my overall eating/time spent cleaning up.  I managed to get the black plastic on my front bed, I’ve been meaning to do that for three years, but I think I mentioned that in my last post.

I live far enough out that I have a well, the heavy cement well cap is right beside my driveway.  This means that when big trucks come up my driveway, fedex, ups, oil delivery, repair trucks, they tend to run over that cap often knocking it askew.  To combat this I purchased 4 pieces of fencing that arrived a few days ago.  I promptly went out and managed to get them temporarily installed around the well cap.  I will use a rubber mallet to completely install them when it stops snowing.  Since I only needed 2 I will be using the other 2 to create a barrier between my garbage cans and the ditch so I don’t have to retrieve the cans from the ditch on garbage day.

The final home repair I have done is a patch job on a wall in the master bathroom.  Half of a toilet paper roll holder that was installed somehow got ripped out of the wall leaving a hole.  I honestly cannot remember how, it’s been years.  I purchased a repair kit a while back, but like many things, never found the time to fix it.  On to Crafty Stuff!

For my public library job I created a video on how to finger knitting for Monday April 13th.  This past Monday I created a video on how to weave on cardboard looms, the video turned out pretty well however the process was a mess of cable repairmen, upload times, and time restrictions on unverified Youtube accounts…I’m not dwelling on that.  I shot the video on finger knitting, have been requested to create an introduction with my face, and will edit and upload the results on Monday.  Until then, here is some finger knitting:

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This is Madelinetosh Home in Danger Will Robinson colorway.  The bulky yarn shows the stitches pretty well, I used  a worsted during the video this will be my intro piece.

I’m trying to organize my stash, during that process I found a shawl I was working on.   It’s a very simple shawl, however it is knitted with my handspun yarn on very large needles.  I’ve discovered that I can hold these without any real pain, so I am working on that.

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Finally we have my shawl.  As you could see last week, the weave seemed pretty loose.  I spent some time adjusting the yarns so that the structure would be tighter.  The results were interesting, I posted them on Instagram and was advised to felt the piece to keep the structure how it was.  I decided to stabilize the edges and some of the structures by weaving around them, the results are here:

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I am still not certain how well I like it, however I will finish with the edges and give it a wash. I already have two bulky yarns tied together so that I can try another tri-loom shawl once I have the loom cleared.

This is about it for me for the week (not including work stuff, I’m still doing academic library stuff for my other two libraries).  I hope that you live life A Little More Abstract, and if you are an introvert please check on your extroverts!