AML Arts

Trial and error adventures in knitting, crocheting, and many other craft activities.

Monday, October 30, 2006

The Little Things...

Why is this so difficult? It's a stupid crocheted cylinder with a brim. A pilgrim hat. To go over a roll of toilet paper. And I've re-done the brim area about a million times! Okay, so actually, it's been about five, but this was supposed to be quick, just getting used to the pattern and making sure I don't need to alter it much. Good news is, it fits, bad news is, I can't count. Twice (technically three times) I've had to rip back in order to re-do and count correctly. I think I've finally gotten to the point where I'm good.

What else have I been up to? Oh yeah, the whole deadlines thing? Not so much. Personal upheavals have severely cut back on the limited time I've had, though I did do some stuff recently. I wanted to cast on something new when I realized I didn't actually have any knitting going on (except a test knit that I am waiting for revised directions and some finishing touches, like weaving in ends and such), but then I realized that I actually still do have a sock in progress, so I spun some yarn. I can't wait until the spindle is full so that I can ply it, wash it, and see how it turned out! I'm rather happy with how it's going, I think it will look nice plied. It's definitely not all the same thickness, but it is quite close and I think once plied will look nicely uniform. I'm going to try Navajo plying, so we'll see how it turns out!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


I've been working hard to finish things on time. Missing deadlines is my worst habit. So, I'm working on that, setting little goals and trying to actually finish them. Right now, I am being monogomous (kind of) to five small projects so that maybe, just maybe, I can get them done. Once they're done, I can put the yarn into the yarn bin and grab more out. I also bought myself yarn for a stadium blanket in my school colors, orange and brown. I had to get orange for a Jack-O-Lantern toilet paper cover and brown for a Pilgrim hat that my aunt wants, the yarn was on sale (I'm only using Red Heart) and they were perfectly school colors. I am keeping to the yarn paying for itself rule because I used stash yarn for all the other colors of Pilgrim hat (black, yellow - actually, I may need to get other yellow because my yellow is too yellow and not gold) and Jack-O-Lantern (black, green) and money for a test knit I'm doing, so I can make a blanket for me, for once. I want to be going to the hockey games, and they can get cold, so I'm making a blanket for that. I had more to say, but I've run out of time!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Yay, the Week's 1/2 Over!

Okay, so I was typing out this really long involved e-mail, checking all of my facts and making sure that it had everything it needed, and the e-mail site timed out on me. Crap. So when I clicked "send", I lost all that information. No, the back button did not help. No, screaming at the computer did not help. The e-mail has gone to e-mail heaven, where most of my e-mails with important attachments have gone this year. Thesis...grumble grumble grumble...

On a much happier note, I finished the sleeve! Yes, the sleeve of Peasantry! Which means I now need to *shudder* untangle the yarn spaghetti. So, I will finish knitting the couple of pairs of socks that I am in the middle of, and then probably knit the next couple in line, cross stitch for a bit, and then spin some yarn. And then maybe, just maybe, I'll untangle that darn yarn! I did figure out that I will have enough yarn leftover to dye it black and do the edgings. I wasn't sure, because the pattern calls for a certain number of skeins of a certain type of yarn, and I had as much yarn as is needed for the Main Color. I am happy that it is enough.

I really, really, really want to spin some llama, but I have been coming home so late and I need to work on it outside (so the inside of the apartment doesn't get all dirty and icky) so I haven't been wanting to go out in the cold under the light that will attract any bugs still alive in order to spin for a half hour. Or less. So this weekend will be a spinning weekend. My goal is to get through two spindles of llama, carded, spun, and plied. I'm going to try navajo plying, and something else that may or may not work. If it works, my Mystery Ball Swap pal will probably be getting it for the swap! Yes, I am a procrastinator, but I do know what I want everywhere, I just have not yet gotten it all together for her. I also haven't been able to decide what kind of yarn to get, but if the llama comes out well, then I know exactly what I want to do, and even have the pattern written out! The best thing about my procrastination is that I'll usually do something productive to procrastinate - like knit, or plan out swap patterns and things when I have to do homework, or do homework when I should be doing laundry, or something like that.

So, life is good, I'm still not updating the sidebar (mostly because I really have more projects to add than subtract and not enough progress on current stuff!) and pictures are still held hostage inside the camera by the missing USB cable. My computer is fixed though, so once the USB cable is found, I can update at home and put all sorts of cool* pictures in my blogs.

*Definition of cool is very much subjective. You'll see what I mean when I can post pictures again!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Fast and Furious

Quick update:

1. Sleeve #1 for Peasantry - 14 of 17 inches done so far, then the sleeve cap. Very annoying tangly yarn. Not looking forward to untangling the still tangled mass of yarn at the foot of my bed for the front/other sleeve.

2. Thesis - Have topic, will write, yay for me!

3. Mickey and Fireman cross stitch - chugging along - I've pretty much finished seven colors so far, I'm quite proud of that!

4. Week seven of a ten week quarter already - jeez, I almost have to start studying for finals!

5. No, I have not actually finished anything in a while - though I really need to update the projects sidebar because those squares have been sent for quite a while!

6. There really isn't a seven. I still really want to be finishing a couple of socks and getting some spinning sometime this week!

That's about all I have time for - adios!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Dude, You're Getting A Dell! (Tech Support Guy)

So, I finally had the Dell guy over to fix my computer. Now it won't turn on. So I have another Dell guy coming tomorrow to actually fix it. We'll see about that. Maybe you'll get pictures someday soon. Then again, maybe not.

I haven't been knitting for a couple of weeks due to the wrist thing, even though I can. I haven't been wanting to overdo it. So, I've been cross stitching and crocheting, and I've learned that although crocheting is easy to do without looking at, say while in class or otherwise distracted, it is also much easier to drop stitches. And much harder to fix dropped stitches in crochet than in knit. I usually do the crochet hook fix when I screw up the knitting. Can't do that with crochet. You gotta either just add a stitch and hope no one notices the few rows in between, or rip back to where the mistake was made and fix it. Of course, being the perfectionist I am, I rip back and fix it. I figure I could be somewhere between 5 and 10 inches further if I just crocheted when I could pay attention better or decided to add stitches instead of ripping back. Stupid sleeve. I really want to finish this sweater though. I can't wait to wear it! I also have to dye the leftover yarn black to use for the edging, and I'm not 100% sure if that will be enough. My row gauge is not what is called for in the pattern, though I'm using two hook sizes larger. I should probably have tried a larger hook, but since I've been getting the exact same gauge using different hooks, I think it's the yarn, not me. In order to finish this sweater, I need to:
1. Untangle second half of yarn and wind nicely. (I think I'll actually use an old pop bottle to hold it when I'm using it since the first half, the one that wound nicely, is acting up while in use.)
2. Finish sleeve #1. (This will probably actually be done first, since it does not require the second half of the yarn.)
3. Make front.
4. Make sleeve #2.
5. Measure leftover yarn, decide if it will be enough or if I should buy some more.
6. Dye leftover yarn for edging, because you know I'll end up deciding it's enough even if it isn't enough for half of what I need.
7. Block and seam sweater.
8. Grumble because either:
a. I should have not dyed the yarn and added another inch to the length, or
b. I should have not dyed the yarn, taken an inch off the length, and then dyed the yarn since I no longer have dye.
9. Edge sleeves.
10. Edge neck.
11. Edge bottom.
12. Pick your adventure! Will I:
a. Add embroidered details, buy beads and finish sweater? Or
b. Curse because I only needed three yards to finish the bottom with current yarn.
If b, then continue. If a, I win! Wear sweater in triumph! Then go to #20.
13. Curse because I can't find the same yarn since it was recycled.
14. Take out other edgings, use yarn for embroidered details.
15. Buy other yarn for edgings.
16. Crochet edgings.
17. Take out embroidered designs because they just amplify the difference in yarns used.
18. Embroider details in new yarn.
19. Wear sweater in subdued triumph.
20. Scream at everyone who asks if I made sweater (because they saw me making it) for implying my sweater looks homemade.

Yup, this won't get done for awhile. Especially because I've been itching to knit and spin. I think spinning will happen this weekend, as my wrist feels up to carding. It's probably a good thing that I don't have a spinning wheel, because then I could just take the bobbin with the half carded llama off and start spinning the confetti roving. So my spindle is forcing me to take spinning one project at a time. I guess that's a very good thing!

I've also been working a lot on the new Disney cross stitch. I'm getting as much work done on it as I can before I cast it aside for a new project. I think I may actually be monogomous to this one for awhile! It's smaller and has a LOT more white space than my other Disney projects, and I misplaced the Tinker Bell on the other smaller one, and since I really don't want to take that out yet, I think I'll just work on this one. Hopefully I'll keep on working on it until it's complete. And by that I mean, no other cross stitches except for those couple ornaments I started, and probably the Eagle one since it's so freaking close to being done. If I was working on that one instead of the other three I've been stitching, I'd have finished it two or three times already!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

I'm Dead.

I have actually been dead from Sock Wars for a few days now. I just haven't posted! I think it's safe to say now that I have also killed; I finished the day before I died. Pictures will be coming. I need to get on that. And by get on that I mean, find the cord for my camera. So it will talk and share pictures with the computer.

My wrist is better enough to knit, as long as I keep my pinky from putting too much pressure on the needles and I keep my wrist in the brace. It's getting there, but I have a bad habit of thinking it's better than it is, and re-injuring it slightly by picking something heavy up or doing something else stupid. Like cooking without my brace on, and bumping the pinky side of my wrist about a million times into random things like countertops and the oven handle.

I also got a new Disney cross stitch kit as a sort of consolation prize for not being able to go down in November like I was planning. It's Mickey shaking hands with a fireman, and my grandpa was a fireman before he retired, so I think it's great. The really cool thing is that the reflector tape on the uniform is actually glow in the dark thread! Woohoo! I'm almost done with the first color, and I would be if I could count. Yup, I'm like a kid with a new toy. That is why I have so many works in progress. Once I start them, I consider them in progress until they're done. Even if I haven't worked on them in over a year, like the broomstick lace blankets. I guess most people will toss them over to another pile (or just keep working on them 'till they're done - what a novel idea!) and consider them unfinished objects, but as I have crafting ADD and will usually skip over to one I haven't touched in forever at a moment's notice, they're all still works in progress to me.

Most recently, my top knitting priority is a pair of test knit socks that won't get finished in time due to wrist issues (thank God these weren't required knitting!), my top crochet has been my Peasantry sweater (I finished the back and am almost halfway done with sleeve #1, yay!), and my top cross stitch until yesterday was a bell pull wall hanging Santa, as it is small, would be quick, didn't bug my wrist, and I wanted instant gratification. Well, that one didn't pan out, as the kit was from an independent company and didn't come with enough white (and probably not enough red either, but I didn't do the red yet) and then yesterday I got the new one which will take years and years and years to complete, so the Santa got put to the side. Which means I started three, count 'em, three! new cross stitches in the past two weeks. I get a slap on the wrist for that one. The hurt wrist too, so maybe I'll learn. But since I'm still typing and that's bugging my wrist, I think that learning will not happen. Either my learning curve is more of a downward slope or I am learning too much engineering stuff to learn otherwise. The engineering stuff I am blaming for my inability to focus otherwise. And my apparent inability to use the English language. I'm using up all my focus at school. However, I am zeroing in on a thesis topic, I have an advisor and I got a lot of research, so that is good. I am also close to an A in all my classes, so I might get a 4.0 for the first time ever, or at least get on the Dean's List. And I'm working 20 hours M-F in addition to school, and not doing school related stuff on the weekends. I am awesome this quarter. So basically, it is time for everything to come crashing down on my head. No, I am not being Chicken Little, but the sky usually does fall around now. Though I think I have used up all the bad karma this quarter - I'm just hoping the third bad thing to go with a hurt wrist and broken car was something small, and isn't still lurking, waiting to jump out at me when I least expect it.

Monday, October 02, 2006


I definitely did not e-mail Sock A Month to let it be known that, not only do I get a letter by my name for September, I also get a star! Yup, two pairs of socks done in September. I rock. I also am bored and kicking myself, because I definitely have a bunch of stuff to do in my locker, and because dinner took too long, I was unable to get it before clocking in. I have homework in three subjects I could be working on, though I can work on one of them now, and I have three projects in my locker. IN MY LOCKER!!!! Doesn't help me much. I coulda finished something. Maybe. Actually, I would have just worked on homework. Gotta do that. Nothing's due yet, but I gotta be studying for two exams, finding a thesis topic, and doing the homework in the three subjects. I would have really liked to be doing the homework in one of those subjects as that would be helping to study. I would also like my craft items with me. The work I can be doing now is all reading, so crafting could be getting done. I also realized that I really need to update my sidebar, as I hadn't added anything I've started in the past month, and I've started a few things. I've also finished a bunch. The one time I don't have something in my purse, and my purse is all I have with me. Crudpuppies.

I'm trying to cut back to the one item to a bag rule, as I've gone well beyond that. I have been in a cross stitching mood recently, and since the only cross stitches that are currently in progress are monster Disney ones, and the tiny but horribly complex Santas, I started another much smaller one. It's a bunch of small Christmas ornaments, all with very few colors and not too many stitches. Pretty good for when you really don't have the attention to spare for those exact details that are needed for my others. Oh crap, I should have dug out the Eagle one, it's quite simple too. Maybe I'll dig it out tonight and finish that. But I already started the ornaments, so it doesn't matter anymore, does it? Okay, the Eagle will be easier to finish, I'll dig it out and bring it to school tomorrow.

I've been knitting a bunch of socks this past weekend and didn't take Aleeve this morning. I get very resistant to medications, so since my wrist was still aggravating me, I decided to not take more medication. I found out that the mild irritation and sharp pain when I did something stupid was tempered by the Aleeve. And I didn't bring any with me. So I bought some Bayer, but it doesn't work as well. I didn't finish as much as I was hoping this past weekend, mostly because if I didn't give my wrist a break, it was going to fall off, but oh well. I still have socks on the needles I must finish soon, and I need to find my other test knit sock so when I finish the second, I have a pair. Then I gotta finish my Fair Isle socks, as the needles they're on are needed for the next test knit I'll be doing. Actually, I may just put those on holders, or take them out. It's only at the cuff, and the test knit socks are a bit more imperative. Plus, the new socks are cabled, and I've never done cables before, so I really want to try them. I have the yarn picked out and everything!

Yeah, I'm not going to update the sidebar today. I need to go home and figure out what I have started, what I have finished, and what I have worked on recently, enough to add a percent or two. I tried untangling my huge mass of icky white recycled yarn that I had given up on over the summer. I wanted to crochet, but figured I should probably fix the yarn mess before working on it some more. Though I could definitely finish the piece I'm working on, and probably a sleeve before needing to touch the icky pile.

I want to go home and check my mail. Maybe I get socks today! Actually, I probably won't. I just checked my assassin's blog. She got the socks Friday, but had row gauge issues. So she might be done, and might have sent the socks my way. In which case, I could very well be dead when I get home. But I hope not!

I would just like to end today's post by saying that the Bayer has worn off. Also, I am happy with the state of my yarnings. Yes, I may be a compulsive starter, and yes, I may own more than I will probably get through while in college, but I do not currently feel the need to own more yarn. At all. I feel at capacity. Although there are other yarns I'd like to own for projects I'd like to take on someday, I do not feel the need to have those yarns today. Which is very good, considering my poor college student-ness. When do I get that next paycheck???