Jimmy Beans Progress Pics

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This is the second month of the third quarter projects from Jimmy Beans Wool, and I have not come close to finishing the first month of this quarter’s projects.  To be fair to myself anytime I start crafting recently it is with the intention of getting at least a row done on my sweater, pattern by furls.  I am down to the last 9 rows for the sweater before the end two and sleeves.  I really hope to get at least three of these rows done this week so that I have a reasonable expectation of finishing before September, which is just flying by.  The photograph above is of my crochet cowl from the Jimmy Beans Kit, this is the start of the first part and I received my second installment in the mail this past weekend.  The pattern is simple and pretty, I have it memorized already, but it will take some dedicated time to get through it.  If I could find a TV series that I can get lost in that might help.

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I have made quite a bit more progress on my Jimmy Beans Wool Knitting project, however this is going to be a poncho, so there is quite a bit more to go.  One of the main things that I am learning this quarter is how to work with two or more colors of yarn alternating rows.  At present the knitting is easier, there are not any floats to carry since I am changing colors every row.  With the crochet I am changing colors every two rows so I will have to either learn how to deal with the floats or crochet on a bit of a border to bury them.

If I manage to finish off another ball of yarn this week I will try to post photos before starting the next.  I make no promises, if I finish this skein before I reach 3 rows completed I will have to put on another skein and see if I can charge through that one so that I can post photos!  Wish me luck!

Remember to Live Life a Little More Abstract!

19 More Rounds to Crochet

Since the last posting I managed to crochet 9 more rows on my sweater.  This means that I have 17 more rows before I am ready to start the sleeves.  With a lot of luck I can finish this by time I am back to academic librarianship the week of August Nineteenth.  Each sleeve is about 35 rows, however they are smaller rows so they should go much faster.  I am about five rows from beginning the straight portion of the knitted poncho which is the 3rd quarter project from Jimmy Beans Wool Knit Club.   I have not begun the crochet project and honestly I am quite far behind on my other clubs.  At this point I do not know if I should cancel some of the subscriptions that I belong to, or if I should keep them in case I cannot afford them next year so that I have the option to knit or crochet them then.  I am still waiting for the external garage to be finished so that I can move my metal loom, chair, shelves, and a few other things over there.  It is my fondest wish to be able to create rag rugs over the winter out there.

I am not only working on these two projects however.  Just a couple of weeks ago while I was looking out my back door I saw a pair of fawns on my back hill.  While I could not obtain a photo with both of the babies in the same photo, I think that this one turned out quite nicely.

Deer photo Cuba ny backyard for tapestry cartoon

I am hoping ot be able to turn this into a tapestry cartoon and hopefully weave it up on my Mirrix 12″ loom.  I was thinking about tracing the important parts in outline on a piece of white paper, however I would need a light box.  Instead I believe that I will try to warp up the loom the correct width and then draw the important aspects onto the warp threads.  Right now I am aware that I will need at least 3 shades of medium to light brown, white, black, yellow, greens.  I will likely need some other shades of brown or off white to represent the switches that are everywhere, and at least some black and dark greys to cover the woods and gnarled tree behind the deer.  It should be quite a bit of fun, even if the end results are a bit abstract.

I am also playing around with resin some, I presently am expected to create a collage of berries, leaves, and the library logo for my director to commemorate a tree that had to be cut down on library property.  I have created two small pieces already with intentions of doing one more experiment with the greenery and another berry before completing the project with the full-sized pour.  The final experiment is to see if the greenery will foul the resin with moisture or if the results will be as rock solid as my last two versions.  I will confess to being quite excited to see how this project will end, I simply need to remember to grab some greenery before I leave one of these days!

Tomorrow I will be getting a new drive shaft in my car, according to what I have found this should take between 1-3 hours, I hope to use this time to work on my poncho!  I hope to post photos next week to demonstrate my progress.  I will receive my next installment sometime this weekend, and I have not finished my first installment yet, I am 4 out of 15 mini skeins into it.  I will also confess, I have not started this quarter’s crochet club project either.  I did complete last quarters crochet and ignoring the knitting project.  It is my fondest hope to be able to complete the crocheted sweater, knitted poncho, and at least one of my weaving projects this month.  That’s right, I have not mentioned my weaving!  I have been working some on my bamboo straight twill scarf with beads, it is my fondest hope to be able to finish the scarf with nine strands twisted together with a few beads to create a lovely fringe.  I love how it is weaving up and look forward to completing it.  For the cotton that I have warped up on my rigid heddle loom, things look lovely.  I have a plain weave edge already on the piece, however, I am not certain what pickup techniques I would like to use.

All of this means that I have a very happy and fulfilling crafting life.  While I do not have three knitting projects on the needles at once (I don’t count the things I am not actively working on, nor the ‘I need to make socks sometime’ projects) I instead have two or three other crafts that I am working on.  I love being busy, I hope that I can keep some of this up during the school year.

Remember to Live Life a Little More Abstract!

Back to Crafting

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I have finished the second quarter Jimmy Beans Wool Crochet Club Pattern.  This shopping bag was fun as well as easy to create.  I have greatly enjoyed learning the different stitches.  In addition to this, I have been crocheting on my Furls Coffee Sweater using Furls Z twist Crochet yarn, a 5 mm hook, and the free pattern.  I am on row 8 of the second part of the pattern, with one row of ‘coffee cups’ done and about to begin the second ‘coffee cup’ row.  The two pictures are of the same piece with different lighting.

 

This sweater is going both quickly and slowly.  Since I have been back from vacation the only other crafty pursuits I have engaged in are winding a bamboo warp and weft for a procion dyeing project I will be engaging in with my guild, experimenting with some natural dyes for a class I taught, teaching a class on spinning, and teaching a class on weaving a seamless pouch with a cardboard loom.   Since I have already purchased the yarn, and paid for the dyeing, I will have to wind my cotton warp and weft within the next  three weeks.

I have not made any progress on any of my knitting projects.  I honestly hope to have this sweater completed sometime within the next…well I have 52 rows to complete plus 34 rows for each of two sleeves.  I’m not going to worry too much about the sleeves, however if I can get something like 5-6 rows done each week I should be able to complete the sweater by mid August.  If we are taking the sleeves into consideration, then probably closer to September, just in time for the colder weather.

Mason Dixon Knitting is performing a Sock Along.  This will have several prizes and run until the end of August.  Since I have tried to complete several knitted socks, and failed so far due to how very long they seem to be taking me, I believe that I will put my current socks on a lifeline so that I can give a pattern out of Field Guide 11 a decent try.  Since this Field guide is much closer to a formula than an actual pattern, I believe that I will try a simple cuff down sock following the numbers and directions, probably with a 2×2 ribbing and a plain body/toe with a short row heel.  This will give me a decent idea of the construction of a sock, should I combine working 2-3 rows on the sock along with working on the sweater 1-2 rows a day I may have a decent chance of having both a pair of socks and a sweater done by September.

That is all for now, until next time remember to Live Life a Little More Abstract!

Jimmy Beans Crochet

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I will confess, whether this pattern is particularly easy, or I’m a quicker with crochet than I thought, this bag which is two months worth of kits took me a grand total of three days to crochet.  Not even particularly dedicated days, and I did put in an extra repeat of the mesh.  I would have done another but I was not certain I would have enough extra yarn.  The pattern is a ton of fun to crochet, the cotton/linen blend makes for a lovely, yet crisp, crochet.  Since I spent the month of April trying to knit a pi shawl, I love it, and crocheting shower poufs I did not get a chance to indulge in my Jimmy Beans Wool Boxes of the month.  By the time this is posted I will be back from my vacation and will have some to post about that (I hope) so I should be able to work on knitting the shawl that is this quarter’s knitting club.  I have a couple of other  kits that I have purchased recently and while I look forward to working with them, they will have to wait until I get back from vacation.

As to why I bought the kits, I am a plus sized woman.  As a plus sized woman, with lovely taste in yarn, purchasing a sweater’s quantity of yarn is quite expensive.  In fact, most sweater’s worth of yarn would run me a conservative 120+.  This is why when I find a kit that promises a sweater’s worth of yarn, in my size, with a pattern I like for under 75 I tend to seriously contemplate purchasing them.  If you throw in a coupon or a KAL or CAL then I will usually see if I can fit it in my budget.  This is why I have a shawl that I really need to start crocheting on for my CAL as well as three other sweaters I need to work on.  One of the sweaters, I suppose it really is a cardigan, is of the same construction as the shawl so once  I have that pattern mastered I will feel comfortable starting on the cardigan.  I am very excited.

In the next post I will be discussing my trip as well as any crafting I managed during the trip.  Until then remember to live life A Little More Abstract.

Pi Shawl Blocked

Okay, so not everything blocks out.  This is not the 40 inch shawl I hoped it would be, let alone 60.  It is about 30 inches, I’m going to call it a shawlette.  Now that it is washed and blocked the shawlette is very open with amazing drape.  I will let my sibling know that if it gets dirty they can send it to me, I’ll wash and block it back out again.

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I love how this looks, with the arrows pointing to the left as they spiral around.  For my very first try designing a shawl, my first round shawl, and with just one skein, I believe that this turned out pretty well.  I have learned a lot from this experiment, always have 2 skeins of fingering weight yarn that are either complementary or the same if you want a full sized shawl is one.  Go big or go home, make sure you know what you are doing with stitches before you get started, count the stitches between repetitions, little things like that.  I am enjoying knitting more than I thought I would.  I like the challenges, I enjoy having a framework that I can be creative within, as well as the amazing knitting podcasts, lol.

Happy Crafting and remember to Live Life a Little More Abstract!

Pi Shawl Finished!

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I finished this shawl before 8 am Sunday May 5, 2019.  Since I began this shawl April 16th, this is pretty good.  Completely unblocked it looks like the shawl is about 24 inches wide.  I am hoping that the phrase, “Oh, that’ll block right out” is true.  The center puckers, the edges don’t want to lay flat, the lacy bits don’t show up very well.  Aargh!  So, I am going to throw this in the wash when I get home with some other stuff (the way I think my sibling will…) Hmm….I don’t want my sibling washing this.  They will not know how to block it….I’ll tell them if they don’t get it dirty it doesn’t need washed.  If they do I’ll pay the postage send it home and I’ll clean it.  A little fussy, but it’ll work.  Okay, that being said, I’m going to throw it in with some wool wash and lukewarm water to give it an initial wash.  Then I’ll block it aggressively and hope that it stretches to about 40″.  I originally wanted the shawl to be about 60″ (my wingspan) but this will have to do.  Perhaps my next will be a different size.

I very much enjoyed knitting this Pi Shawl, though I believe that one skein of fingering weight yarn is probably too little yarn for a shawl with this much straight stockinette stitching.  Should the shawl have more lace elements, and therefore more holes making the yarn stretch further, then this might have been enough yarn.  Given that information I believe that I will buy sock yarn in pairs of skeins from here on out so that I have the opportunity to make two pairs of socks or a really rocking shawl.  I will also test this theory by taking one of the single skeins of sock/fingering yarn I have and trying out a half pi shawl.  If my (pretty bad) math is accurate, this means that I should be able to get to the…Okay so I tried to draw this out and write it out to figure things out, then I had to admit I cannot.  If I were to knit along with my patterning then I would stand a chance, but just sitting here and trying to imagine it, not going to happen.  Due to this, I believe that I am going to do three things.

1) Search ravelry for a fingering weight half-pi shawl.  If I really like it I will buy it

2) Check the BluPrint papers for the shawl construction sheet and use  that information to begin ‘writing’ a pattern for a shawl

3) Trawl my stashed yarn on Ravelry for what kind I would like to use.

Fortunately with the MyBluPrint class I was able to discover the ratios that I need to make my own shawl with an approximate depth of 18 inches.  This should be enough to come about mid back on me.  With the help of the website “New Stitch A Day” I was able to narrow down, without being overwhelmed, my knitted on border choices to 4.  This may be revised at a later date.  Since all four of the borders involve techniques I do not know off hand I plan on using them to create bookmarks so that I can:

A) Practice

B) Block

C) Gauge Yarn used

D) Gauge size of edging when finished

Now I just have to Woman Up and Cast On!

Remember to Live Life a Little More Abstract

Sugarfina

I have a horrible philosophy about foods that I should not eat.  For background information, I am diabetic and should not be eating sugar in any form except on special occasions.  Yeah, I’m bad about that.  I’ve been having a bad time of it, and I know that I tend to eat my troubles away, but self awareness doesn’t equal a solution.  All of that to say, Sugarfina has some sugar free candies that I really wanted to try.  They also have Caffeinated Gummy Bears!  I am a caffeine hound, I drink 2-3 energy drinks a week (of course I work a 13 hour day one day then have to get up about 6am the next to get to work on time) and can often be seen sipping diet mountain dew.  I am trying to drink water as well as using Cirkul to add flavor and sometimes caffeine.  All of this to say, I placed an order at Sugarfina.

Next week is extended hours week (where the library will be staying open later than usual as well as having snacks and extra tutors to help students through the last week of classes at the community college I work for), so I will be bringing the caffeinated gummy bears in to share with my co-workers and student workers.  Since I received my package I tried the sugar free champagne gummies, very yummy, and brought in the three pack that I ordered.  It contained Prickly Pear gummies, Chocolate Pearls, and Rose flavored Gummies (part of a Mother’s day promotion).  I am very glad that I tried these, the pear gummies have a light flavor but a very gummy (not rubbery) texture to them.  The same with the rose gummies, light interesting flavor, good chew, nice finish.  I am so glad that I brought the chocolate pearls in to work.  I would have the entire container devoured like they were M&Ms.

Am I going to order from Sugarfina again?  Probably not unless they greatly expand their sugar free line, of if I hear of an international sweet that I cannot get elsewhere.  I am happy with what I received for the money, however this was one instance where I would rather have the experience of trying something new than really messing with my blood sugar on a regular basis.

About crafting, that thing I do when I’m not eating things I shouldn’t?  I’m 9 rows from being done with this section of the shawl, and I firmly believe that this is going to be the last section and the size is going to be whatever it turns out.  If it is only about 30 inches I’ll tell my sibling that it is a bed accent or a mandala for their wall, I’ll think of something.  Should it actually be between 40-60″ wide, yay!  I’ll tell them that it is a shawl/lap blanket and they can style it however they want to!  Since I will be seeing them two weeks from Tuesday this should turn out fantastic!

Until next time, Remember to Live Life A Little More Abstract!