Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Leaps of faith

Well, I tried, and didn't finish the Bella dress this weekend. Mostly because I have a wonderful husband who likes to be spontaneous. We went to dinner on Saturday night, as a date (yes, even married couple with kids can occasionally still have a date), and we didn't go home until Sunday. We left the children in perfectly capable hands (their grandparents) and had a great time. However, this did mean staying in a motel overnight with nothing (we had to buy a toothbrush and contact solution) and I had left the dress at home thinking, "we're going to dinner, I won't have time to work on it." I worked maybe 3 rounds of the Cloudy Day, so I wasn't without a project, just without the dress. This dress does work up quickly, which is nice. I'm maybe halfway done with the skirt. I am a little confused by the directions. At one point it tells you to work in the round, but at the end of each row, it still says "turn."

I really need to hurry with this dress. Not only am I slightly afraid it won't fit by the time it's done, but my classes start back next week. I have a couple more crochet projects that should be good school projects. They should be fast and easy crocheting while reading or relaxing. And, they work up in worsted weight yarn, so they will be almost instant gratification. If I disappear for a few weeks, it's just school. I'll still try to post something here and there, but I will be relegated to once a week, if even that often. School will add a whole new dimension of craziness to my schedule, since I'm taking 2 classes at once this time. I will still have 1 class left to graduate with my MBA, but this added complexity plus the insanity that is work will leave me with very little time to do much else. On the bright side, the classwork will encourage me to leave work on time each day and leave me unavailable to work late. That's always a good thing.

Saturday, February 25, 2012


Sometimes I forget how quickly crochet goes. I'm already down to the skirt on the Bella Dress, and there's only about 14-16 rows until you start the bottom ruffle. I'm already on row 7, so I'm about halfway done. Once this is done (maybe this weekend?), I'm casting on my hook again two new patterns from Francine Toukou - the Fireside Capelet and the Little Red Riding Cowl. Both should be fast (crochet usually is) and Francine looks to be a terrific designer. I haven't used one of her patterns yet, but I have 3. The aforementioned two and a third called Flowers Head to Toe. For some reason, the Fireside Capelet isn't in Ravelry - maybe that will change soon. Francine also has a website, that you can see here. It's a lovely site that to be honest, I just stumbled upon as I was connecting the links to Ravelry. What I have seen of her designs are truly a wonderful use of crochet. We've all seen the horrid uses, like that 1974 vintage tissue box cover your grandmother lovingly crafted out of squeaky acrylic in Harvest Gold and Avocado Green - together with Burnt Orange. But these days, there are terrific patterns for crochet, and more being designed by fantastic designers. Maybe I'll add my name to that list one day.

Thursday, February 23, 2012


Things are changing. I finished the socks, and started the Bella Dress. It's a beautiful crocheted dress for Princess. It's in a lovely French Blue, and I found a great purple silk to go underneath it. After the trip to Whipstitch, I'm inspired to sew. I even cleaned off a table so I can set up my sewing machine. However, since sewing is less portable than crochet or knitting (notice I didn't say not portable), I'm going to have to take up some more crochet projects. I found some great ones though - Deep South Fibers has some terrific independent designers. Maybe one day, they'll publish one of mine. There are also some designs in the works, but after I get a few other things done. I also have a couple of repair projects. School starts back in a couple of weeks, so that will be yet another layer of complication.

On the side, I just have a question: why is it that some people refuse to acknowledge the good, and exacerbate the bad? I mean, I understand when things are inconvenient, but seriously, if the good outweighs the bad, why focus on the bad?

Maybe next weekend I can sit down and sketch out a few ideas. I might be done with the Bella Dress and sew up the lining, then stitch it in. Cleaning also may happen.

Monday, February 20, 2012


I have been bitten by the creative bug. There is something about the first of the year and all it's promises that make me want to get crafty. I've picked up a few new crochet patterns, and started on an old one. I started on the Bella Dress from Interweave Crochet. It's a beautiful little dress, with a fabric lining. I just cleared off my kitchen table to set up my sewing machine. I've been checking out Whipstitch online, and reading Deborah's blog. I've been interested in sewing for a long time, especially since my mother sewed all the time while I was growing up, but never had the nerve/knack for it. Whipstitch offers sewing classes, both at their store in downtown/Midtown Atlanta as well as online. This of course, has piqued my interest. So, I bought some fabric to line the dress, and hopefully I won't make a wreck of it. If so, I always have my mother to fall back on. :) I would like to sew, and in clearing off the kitchen table, now I can set up my sewing machine, leave it (we don't eat on this little round table - it's not ideal, but the setting is because of the light available), and hopefully practice. I also finally broke down and bought Stitch by Stitch, Deborah's book. The shop was wonderful - even my mother was impressed. They have mostly quilting fabrics (read: 100% cotton, must be ironed if used for clothing) but the shop is spacious and airy with good light. What they do have isn't crammed onto shelves and stacked on top of each other so you can't find anything. It was thoughtfully laid out and nicely put together. There is even a table set up for classes! I highly recommend the shop, even if all you're looking for is a lining for a dress or a purse. At this early in the morning, I still have to get ready for work, so I'm off!

Sunday, February 05, 2012


I have been so tired this weekend - mainly due to Thursday night. Hubby and I went to a concert at the Tabernacle in downtown Atlanta. For those of you who haven't been, the Tabernacle is a converted church (yes, stained glass and all) that is now a concert venue. The acoustics are fantastic - when it's loud, it's really loud. There's even a crystal chandelier hanging from the ceiling. So, the concert had three bands who played, and one member of the headlining band wears a hat. It's a cool knitted hat, like a watch cap with a small brim that he puts in the back. It has a cabled pattern, and I told him I liked it. He shook his head - he misunderstood. He thought I wanted it. Please - I'm a knitter. If I want it, I'll MAKE one. Don't get me wrong - it would ROCK to get this hat. This hat graces the head of Rob Caggiano, who is a phenomenal guitar player (and doesn't look half bad either, I have to admit). We usually get a guitar pick from a band when we go to a concert, so you can imagine that getting a hat would be unusually cool. Instead, we got a picture:
We were lucky enough to park right beside the tour buses and found Chuck Billy, the singer for Testament (one of the bands we saw) signing autographs, taking pictures with fans, and being a generally nice guy. These guys don't have "Rock Star" attitudes - they know without their fans, they wouldn't have a job.

So, back to the hat. This guy seriously needs a new hat. I noticed he kept having to push it up during the show. It kept slipping. That tells me it's too big. He needs a hat that fits. So, fan to the rescue. The one he was wearing was a cabled pattern; I've seen him wear one with a simpler diamond pattern as well. I guess he likes the small brim on it - I think both the hats I've seen him wear had them. It might be what he finds. In any case, there's a design brewing. I think it is actually too tall for him, and thus falls while playing. I'm sure that's annoying - imagine playing guitar and every time you look up at the audience, all you see is black wool. That would not be happy.

Friday required working late; Saturday required more working, pictures with Princess, birthday party with Little Man, and a little more work. Today was church and a pseudo-nap, and I'm tired. Maybe I can catch up on sleep and knitting this week.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

I can't believe it

You know, it really helps to TURN THE HEEL on a sock before you start the gusset.

Today has been full of minor setbacks like this. The sock had one - apparently it's easy to forget a step like turning a heel when doing a sock. It must be easy, because I did it. I could blame Knit Night, as this was where I reached the end of the heel flap last night, and immediately started working the gusset, missing the critical part of the heel turn. Now, I'm not a sock expert, but I've knit a few. I know the anatomy of a sock (did you know that there are 7 parts to a sock, or at least 7 major steps in sock making? Can you name them all?). But somehow last night, at Knit Night, I ignored one. Maybe it was wishful thinking on my part to hurry up and get the sock done.

Work had a few minor setbacks, but they were all manageable. Today, there were a couple of other personal setbacks as well. But today, it didn't bother me. Those setbacks are less actual setbacks and more resets to spend more time to some other things. This is not always bad. Being able to take a step back and re-evaluate can be good, provided you want to re-evaluate. I happen to want to do this. I think of it as a rest period, which is good. We all need rest. And now it's time for me to get some more rest.