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Back in Play

I’ve neglected this blog for too long! Okay, so it was a rocky summer.  And my foster dog Biscuit chewed up my camera cable shortly before leaving for her new home with a couple just down the street.  (Long story about how I got her and gave her up, but she’s happy as can be with two guys who love her to pieces.)

My craftiness has been diverted to living room decor as I try to put my student ways behind me.  But I can’t wait for the fall issue of Interweave Crochet. They’ve really upped their design level.

Getting engaged with the world again, I’ve been watching the conventions.  I think most politicians have a flexible relationship with the truth, but the Republican Party is much more comfortable telling outright lies, especially when they’re desperate.  For anyone who’s interested, FactCheck.org does a great breakdown of all the B.S.

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New Home and an Escape

Moved to an apartment that is a short bike ride from work so that I can come home during the day to walk my dog… that is, when I get a dog.  To be honest, I don’t love my apartment.  On the good side, the building is small and nice, and the unit has hardwood floors and a gas stove.  But there’s semigloss paint everywhere — I may repaint if I stay — with not enough light.  The surprise was the procession of grocery store delivery trucks past my bedroom window at 6am (curse them!).  Some things you don’t find out until you move in.  But it will do for a short while, considering how hard to get an apartment that allows dogs, especially if you don’t already have a dog to present to the landlord.   (See?  He’s no  Kujo.)

The last week has been an emotional wringer, not least because of frantic work demands, and I am so glad to feel somewhat clearheaded at last.   Don’t know if this is going to be a long separation or a short stop on the way to the big D, but I feel almost ready to live alone.

Tomorrow I fly to Seattle.  I’m taking my sister to Olympic National Park for fantastic hikes and then Vancouver for fantastic food.  It could be a blast, as long as we don’t annoy each other to death, and I look forward to the distance.

My big fat excuse

for the fact that I’ve been absent for a whole month is…  (TMI alert!) Continue Reading »

Yum!

The Knit and Crochet Show is in Portland this fall. Last year it was in Oakland, and I had a blast with my mom. Since it’s one of my favorite cities, I’m tempted to take a trip to this one. I’m practically drooling at the incredible list of classes, taught by knit and crochet design luminaries like Lily Chin. Didn’t count, but it looks as if there are as many crochet classes as knit classes (yay!).

Since it has been so slow to warm up this spring, I want to crochet a short, simple swing jacket with 3/4 sleeves, which seems to be all the rage these days. Now, I have yet to make anything with set in sleeves, but I’m determined! Here are some inspirations:

Juicy Couture @ Nordstrom.comKensie Lace Swing Jacket @ Nordstrom.com

I’m not crazy about the Peter Pan collars, will have to figure out how to make small lapels. The illustrations in the Vogue Knitting Bible should tell me what the basic collar shape is, at least. But those skinny sleeves ending in puffy cuffs (cream Kensie Lace Swing Jacket) are so darling!

Comfy Cardi WIP 1

Ordering yarn online is tricky business. As often as not I wind up with yarn that is inappropriate for the pattern I had in mind. That’s how I wound up with 8 balls of Peruvian Pure Alpaca Fina from Elann.com. So I was glad to discover that Robyn Chachula of crochetbyfaye–who is quickly becoming one of my favorite crochet designers–had worked up a short sleeve version of her Comfy Cardi (pattern published in Crochet Me) in the very same yarn. Best of all, it’s crocheted mostly in one piece. I started with the back and am working my way through the sleeve.

Comfy Cardi WIP1

I always have a terrible time getting gauge. I think I just crochet more loosely than most people. But I can’t stand to use hooks smaller than 4mm, so I got as close as I could and modified the pattern a bit to account for the looser gauge.

Comfi Cardi WIP2

It has a soft hand but is too prickly for my sensitive skin, so I’ll probably have to layer this over a shirt.  I find this yarn a bit difficult to work with, but the pattern works up quickly.  If this one works out, I’ll try another version with a nice periwinkle Patons Grace from my stash.

Brea Bag WIP #1

From the pattern from Berroco. The pattern is easy to follow. I’m actually quite happy that I managed to knit something like this! The pattern calls for double stranded alpaca yarn but I opted for a sheeny and sturdy acrylic (Vanna’s Choice). I figure there’s less chance of pilling, and the color choices aren’t bad.

Brea Bag WIP

Joshua Tree

Desert photography is tricky! The light is so harsh, what little color there is washes out. Here are my best attempts:

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Joshua Tree in Bloom

After a while I realized that black and white works better given the lighting conditions.

Joshua Tree Flowers

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