Jul 24, 2007

Buttonhole Bag

The Interweave Fall preview is up. I really like all of the warm, cozy projects. I think it looks better than the last few issues. Eunny's cardigan is gorgeous and why in the world is everything Norah Gaughan creates so damn cool looking?

In other news, you may know I have a penchant for entrelac, so I was delighted to combine it with my love of dishcloths in the garterlac cloth. However, this cloth has caused me nothing but trouble. I found it very hard to simply knit into the stitches themselves for one thing. The pattern is fairly straightforward and I do not fault the designer at all. I brought it on myself by apparently knitting too tightly and wanting to use 3 different colorways of yarn, thereby creating hundreds of ends to weave in later. Needless to say, the cloth made the forlorn yet inevitable trip to the frog pond last night. Adios amigo, may we meet again in better circumstances.

Here's a bag I'm not sure how much I will use, but I needed a quick, fun project to work on while watching Live Earth. The colors will just not photograph well with or without a flash, so this is kind of an approximation.

Before Felting:

After Felting:
Project: The Buttonhole Bag
Source: Mason-Dixon Knitting
Yarn: Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Bulky in Periwinkle, Fuchsia, & Turquoise
Needles: US 15
Started: 7/7/07
Finished: 7/8/07
Comments: Easy peasy, fun

I will be on vacation (in seclusion) for the rest of the week to savor reading Harry Potter. I shall return afresh next week with Harry hat photos & sock photos!

Jul 19, 2007

101 in 1001

Meshell mentioned this about a month ago and I wasted no time in compiling a list of my very own. I've always loved making lists and loathed not completing most things. However, I think this project could be very focusing and perhaps life-changing. Without further ado, I present the details from Triplux regarding my 101 Things to Do in 1001 Days Project:

The Mission:
Complete 101 preset tasks in a period of 1001 days.

The Criteria:
Tasks must be specific (ie. no ambiguity in the wording) with a result that is either measurable or clearly defined. Tasks must also be realistic and stretching (ie. represent some amount of work on my part).

Why 1001 Days?
Many people have created lists in the past - frequently simple goals such as new year's resolutions. The key to beating procrastination is to set a deadline that is realistic. 1001 Days (about 2.75 years) is a better period of time than a year, because it allows you several seasons to complete the tasks, which is better for organising and timing some tasks such as overseas trips or outdoor activities.

Some common goal setting tips:
1. Be decisive. Know exactly what you want, why you want it, and how you plan to achieve it.

2. Stay Focused. Any goal requires sustained focus from beginning to end. Constantly evaluate your progress.

3. Welcome Failure. Frequently, very little is learned from a venture that did not experience failure in some form. Failure presents the opportunity to learn and makes the success more worthy.

4. Write down your goals. It clarifies your thinking and reinforces your commitment.

5. Keep your goals in sight. Review them frequently, and ensure that they are always at the forefront of your thinking.

So I think this project could be really good for me. I can never motivate myself enough to change things that I really want to and I'm hoping this will help. There is a good mix of fun stuff and heavy stuff in my list and I'm really looking forward to starting. Some of the tasks I've done before or used to do regularly and some are completely new, so I'm hoping that a lot of these goals will become habits if I do them consistently. I'll link this post in the sidebar and update my progress in it, plus I'm sure I'll talk about it in other posts. Some stuff is just too personal to put online so I've got some secrets! Here's my list broken into categories.

101 Things to Do in 1001 Days
Start: 7/19/07
Finish: 4/15/2010

* This symbol means I've already started on the task!
Items in Bold are completed

1) Crochet 5 Granny Squares (0/5)- Easy for some, but crochet is a killer for me
2) Write consistently on novel
3) Create a mosaic piece
4) *Finish first subversive cross stitch
5) Learn to sew & sew a DPN case
6) Make 5 photo collages & frame them (0/5)
7) Compete in Knitting Olympics- Assuming there will be another one
8) Do the finishing up of WIPs before I cast on a new one five time in a row (0/5)
9) Make soap & bubblebath (0/2)
10) Build something myself out of wood
11) Submit photo to photography contest
12) Seek out new & interesting things to photograph

Food & Drink
13) Bake 10 kinds of bread by hand (0/10)
14) Bake 5 kinds of pie by hand (0/5)
15) Cook 10 never tried vegetables (0/10)
16) Try 10 never tried fruits (0/10)
17) Eat in 5 new restaurants (0/5)
18) Make fresh pasta 5 times (0/5)
19) Eat raw for a week (0/7)
20) Give up alcohol for one month
21) Give up refined sugar & flour for a month
22) Limit alcohol to no more than 2 drinks per night for a month
23) No junk food/ bad snacks for a month
24) Eat no Mexican dishes for a month
25) Go vegan for at least 2 weeks (0/14)- I'm already vegetarian

Healthy Mind & Body
26) Go on a hike
27) Get teeth fixed
28) Go to dermatologist to have mole removed
29) Go to dentist regularly
30) Go to doctor for complete check-up
31) Go to gyno
32) Go to bed no later than 11 every night for a week (0/7)
33) *Lose at least 20 pounds (5/20)
34) Follow skin regime everyday for 2 weeks (0/14)
35) Stop biting nails
36) Go to eye doctor
37) *Personal
38) Personal
39) *Do yoga at least 6 days a week for one month
40) Detox once a month for 6 months (0/6)
41) Pluck eyebrows regularly for a month
42) Get a professional massage
43) Get professionally fitted for a bra
44) Drink 2 cups of hot tea everyday for a month

45) Read passages from the different religious texts (list forthcoming)
46) Go to a jazz club
47) *Watch all Star Trek: The Next Generation Episodes (20/178)
48) Go to a classical music concert
49) Watch The Wizard of Oz synched with Dark Side of the Moon
50) Read at least 10 banned books (0/10)
51) Read 10 books from my bookshelf that I haven't read & have had for more than 1 year (0/10)
52) Spend an afternoon walking around downtown

53) Start selling crafts (knits, patterns, photos, cards)
54) Personal
55) Buy no new books for myself for 3 months & see how much money I save
56) Sell stuff on eBay
57) Buy only necessities for one month

58) Participate in a charity run/walk
59) *Knit at least 20 items for charity (0/20)
60) Donate blood
61) Sign up to be an organ donor
62) *Plant trees in the names of my family (10/110)
63) Donate to the ACS or MD Anderson in Mickey's memory

Sustainable Living/De-clutter/Eco-friendly
64) *Rate all iTunes songs (12405/18252)
65) Recycle all old magazines
66) Get rid of old, broken electronics responsibly
67) Do something about china cabinet
68) Organize printed photos
69) Knit produce bags & start bringing to the grocery
70) Buy a fireproof safe & store documents
71) Put rest of loose recipes in binder
72) Catalog & photograph household inventory including serial numbers
73) Sign up for Greendimes

Better my Environment
74) Find a place to live & move
75) Research new cities to live in & how to go about moving
76) Don't use a computer for 72 hours
77) Don't watch tv for one weekend, 4 times (0/4)
78) Get something to hold LPs
79) Vacuum once a week for 3 months straight
80) Have front door fixed

81) Dye my hair pink
82) Get hair cut professionally
83) Go on a romantic picnic
84) Learn to ride a bike
85) Play tennis
86) Visit at least 1 new state
87) Buy vinyl, old-school Mary Janes
88) Rollerskate
89) Buy a DSLR camera
90) Go on a weekend getaway to a cabin
91) Buy a dress that looks fabulous on me
92) Personal
93) Dance everyday for 2 weeks (0/14)
94) Spend at least 30 mins. "chill time" outdoors everyday for a month
95) Play in the rain
96) Send at least 5 notes/cards to Gram (0/5)
97) Forgive myself
98) Brush all cats once a week for month
99) Write down one thing I'm thankful for everyday for 1 month
100) Film videos of Amelie playing (digging in bowl, jumping, kickin' it)
101) Start a new 101 list no later than 1 month after finishing this one (catch-22)

Whew, I'd better get started! Tell me what you think of my list and if you're thinking of starting your own!

In knitting news, I'm almost done knitting up my second sock. Stay tuned for Harry photos!!

Jul 11, 2007

Go Go Federer!

Here's my recently completed Swiss Pride Hat that I designed exclusively to wear while watching Roger Federer win Wimbledon for the 5th straight time. He's an amazing athlete, watching him at his best is like ballet. I'm very proud of this hat because it turned out exactly as I envisioned it (it's the Swiss Flag by the way) and I conquered scary intarsia by just plunging right in. I also hear that the Mad Hatter is planning on making the same hat!

Project: Swiss Pride Hat
Source: My Design
Yarn: Plymouth Encore Worsted in #9601 & #208
Needles: US 7
Started: 6/29/07
Finished: 6/30/07
Comments: Intarsia, smarsia. I was nervous about attempting this colorwork without practicing, but it was a complete snap with no problems whatsoever. I thought I might have to do some duplicate stitching at the corners of the cross, but once the ends were woven in, it was fine. I did block the hat with a sample of Soak, which I really liked. The yarn is mostly acrylic, so it didn't do too much, but it does smell good! Poster Boy here I come!

I also blocked my Cotlin hand towel and the Soak worked wonders for it. The stitches are nice and even and it doesn't stretch out horribly like before. It feels a little softer and will probably increase with use. I can't say much for the slight pilling which will probably increase as I use it and toss it in the laundry, but I'll probably use the yarn again.

Lizzy, I would recommend Mason Dixon. It has a lot of things for the home, which I like, but if you want to look at lots of examples, check out the archives of the KAL.

Stay tuned for a very long list of things to do coming soon!