Friday, August 31, 2012

Hey Look, an Update!

I don't know if it's school, lack of motivation, or that fact that I am just bored, but lately updating this blog for me just hasn't been all that fun, or on top of my priorities list. I LOVE hearing from all of you and reading and  commenting on your blogs, but for some reason updating is just a hassle lately. Finding things to talk about is SO HARD!

So even though it's supposed to be FO Friday, I am going to show you all of my WIP's.

First off are the socks you have seen who knows how many times. They probably have about 3 or 4 more pattern repeats before the cuff, just because I want them rather long. I am so slow working on these! I have so much else to do and they are just taking a back seat.

Next is my mom's wrap, which I have finished the first pattern repeat for. Luckily for me it's just 10 rows over and over and over. Unlucky for me it's just 10 rows over and over and over. This thing is going to get boring, I can tell.

Finally, I have been on the rocks with my painting class for the last 2 weeks, switching project ideas literally every class period.  My teacher has been a great help and together we decided that I am going to KNIT MY STILL LIFE! Basically, remember this painting from last year?

Zoomed in Corrugated Paper

I am going to be doing similar works, but with all white knitted objects instead of corrugated paper. This is what I have knit so far.  It's going alright, but knitting the still life is actually a bit dull. Like I always say, the second knitting become work I don't want to do it anymore. Anyone else feel that way?

Won't be arranged this way for the painting, just what I have.

I hope the week has been good to you all. It's been pretty good to me. I finally nailed down a studio schedule for my self and I really hope I am able to keep it.up.

 Finally, I am leaving you with the super doctor card I made the guy I like. He is taking his MCATs (Tests for med-school) tomorrow and I wanted to give him a gift from me and my friends. So they all signed this super awesome card I designed (and when I gave it to him, he said he'd have to get it framed lol).

Yes, I have it BAD for this guy....
Happy Friday!


Monday, August 27, 2012

MIY Monday - Quickie Wall Decor

Hi guys! Sorry I didn't post a book review on Saturday, but it was a very busy day and I just didn't feel like it. Do you ever feel that way? Like you just don't wanna blog anymore for awhile? Maybe it's the amount of school work I keep putting off to do other things, like hang out with my friends. I have done that WAY too much lately....

Anyways, for MIY Monday I wanted to share with you something I did in a bit of a hurry last weekend, but I still think turned out great. I have a flat wall above my bed that is a bit lower than the rest of the ceiling, so I decided it needed SOMETHING! I just haven't been able to decide what. I finally settled on doing something based on the seasons.  Since it is basically fall, I started there.

I started with the basics: Construction paper and print outs of leaves from Microsoft Word Clipart (best resource ever!)

After cutting out the leaves, I traced them onto my paper, fitting as many as I could on one sheet, and then proceeded to cut those out as well. This part took a bit of work. 

I was originally going to just leave them as shown above, but then I remembered the craft paint I had and decided to spice them up a bit. 

I went in with my brush and paint and just did a few textures here and there to make them pretty. After letting them dry, I put tape on the back and randomly put them on the ceiling above my bed. Now it's fall up there! I can wait for winter so I can do homemade paper snowflakes!

School is picking up and I am not sure if I like it yet. Being a senior really isn't all it's cracked up to be :/

Happy Monday guys, and if you want to join in, feel free to link and take my banner!


Friday, August 24, 2012

New Year, New Goals

Happy Friday! I didn't have classes today, and my job hasn't started, so I spent my day relaxing and starting in studio.

Since I am bound and determined to have the best school year EVER I have decided to make a list of goals and such that I plan to achieve this year.  And what better place to put them then here, so you all can see exactly what I am up against in the coming months. :)

Activities I am involved in:

KSU Painting Society - President
Relay for Life of KSU - Luminaria chair
Academic Mentoring (job) - 4th year, working at pre-school
Bowling League - Sunday night's at 8. Team: Stop, Drop and Bowl. We got 2nd over the summer (with handicap)
The Knitting Monthly - 2nd Sunday of the month at Wildflower!

Academic goals for the year:

Get an A in my painting class - something I have yet to do.
Improve my skills as a painter, especially with acrylics.
Expand my drawing ideas so that I can have a cohesive body of work for the Spring.
Be confident in my figure drawing skills by the end of the semester.
NOT put off my History of Rock and Roll class - just cuz it's online doesn't mean I can forget about it.

Fun goals for the year:

Go for walks and hike the various trails around Manhattan, maybe even document it for you all here.
Knit in Public - coffee shops, cute spots on campus, etc
Knit hats! - I am on a winter hat spree
Hang out with my friends - We have so many plans for the year!
Hang out with the guy I like - Not saying names yet, don't wanna jinx it.
Skate - Last time we went it was so much fun!
First Friday in KC - Maybe with Painting Society?
Movie Nights - my new 32 inch HDTV is calling!
JOG! - The guy I like has me wanting to pick up jogging again....

That being said, I would like to share my next project with you also. Since the socks are coming to a close (but still have about 2 inches at least) I decided to use the bit of extra money I had to get the yarn for the Milanese Wrap, which I am knitting for my mommy.

She said she'd pay me back for the yarn, but I am going to surprise her! And I found the perfect yarn ON SALE last night! I didn't even know it was on sale, it just happened to meet my gauge requirements. I wanted something with more blue, but I decided on this because of the stripy nature. I really hope she likes it!

I started a painting today, but I am not going to share it yet because I don't really know where it's going. For now, the whole painting on knitting think is out the window....long story short my teacher doesn't get it. Whatever, what I'm doing now is pretty awesome too!

I'm having all my friends over for tacos tomorrow, and I can't wait! But that means I gotta get my butt in gear and clean this place up. Hmph. I hope everyone has a great weekend!


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

WIP Wednesday: SENIOR STUDIO!!!!!!!

GUESS WHAT?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?


Ok, yes I am excited, but can you blame me? I have been waiting for this day for 3 years! I payed my dues and it's about time I get the rewards.

So the first WIP of the evening is my studio:

Cubicle in converted chem lab? No. My senior studio: YES!

As the year progresses expect more updates on my studio. I plan to litter this thing with lots of art and paint and photos and just fun stuff! I cannot wait to get started on my work! 

Speaking of work, I wanted to show a painting I 'finished' the other night. It's another yarn balls project. I've mentioned this before, but I plan to pursue these ideas further this year, maybe even taking them off the canvas, knitting other objects and just going crazy with acrylic paint!

And finally for the evening I present my actual knitting WIP - Dark Rainbows Ribbed Socks. I finally reached the heel and turned it and now I am on the cuff! I still think I have at least a week or two left on these (school is picking up fast) because the lace takes time and I have enough yarn to make them fairly long if I choose. 

I cannot wait to finish these! They will probably be my favorite pair of socks (although my Springy Orange Socks are a close second).  

I hope the week is treating everyone as well as it is me! Yes, the school load is already a bit high, but I am so glad to have my friends back and just be back in the swing that I know it will be a good year!


For more WIP's, don't forget to check out Tami's Amis!

Monday, August 20, 2012

MIY Monday: Homemade Pesto!

My MIY Mondays's Mission is share creative, innovative, fun and (hopefully) cheap ideas and projects for you home and life, as well as healthy and (hopefully) cheaper alternatives to everyday cooking, shopping and eating out. I hope you will join in my on my mission!

About a month ago me and my aunt harvested a huge batch of basil from her garden. As she promised, we then decided to make homemade pesto! And believe me, this stuff is amazing!


1 Cup of pine nuts (but you can also use cashews, walnuts, it!)
4 cups of fresh basil, firmly packed
2 cloves of crushed garlic
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil

The first thing we had to do was get all the leaves off the basil stems, which took quite a long time to do actually! She had SO much of it!

While we were doing this, the pine nuts were roasting in the oven and 450 degrees. With careful watching, they were taken out once they turned lightly brown. 

 Next came the garlic, which we peeled and crushed before moving onto the blender!

My aunt even has a fancy crusher!

Putting the basil, garlic and pine nuts into the blender (or if you have one, food processor), we then pureed everything until it was smooth.  The end result looked like baby food! 

This is where the magic happens. Using freshly parmesan cheese makes it taste so amazing! So guess who got to use the fancy grater? Tee hee :)

 Also according to my aunt, the kind of olive oil you use actually affects the flavor. I never really thought of that, but then again, I don't buy olive oil too often.  So we ended up using the one on the left, which was organic, extra virgin.

Olive oil and cheese in blender, we set to work mixing it all together! 

After it was all combined we tasted and then added a bit more basil, tasted again and added more garlic, tasted again and added more oil. Long story short, the recipe is just a basic guideline. It really is about preference. I loved the end result, but according to my aunt, she's done better. She very much thinks it is the type of oil we used that affected the flavor. 

Upon getting the recipe the way we liked, the pesto was divided into mini jars to be frozen until further use. I still have 5 of the 6 in my freezer, waiting for the perfect pasta night! What I was worried about was that these little jars wouldn't serve very much each, but after using one of them, I learned that the flavor goes a very long ways. 

Wanna join MIY Mondays? Just add your link below and take a banner if you want!

Want an idea for something to eat with your pesto? Check out my other blog, Lisa's Tiny Kitchen, for a chicken parm recipe!


Saturday, August 18, 2012

Saturday Evening Book Review

It's Saturday! And I am having such a great time relaxing right now. Listening to Train (best band ever), just ate a salad for dinner, took a nice nap before that, and going to hang out with some friends in a bit! How can this day get any better?

Well by reviewing books of course!  Tonight's reviews are both books that I really enjoyed looking through a while ago, I hope you enjoy them too!

Sock Yarn One Skein Wonders by Judith Durant (editor)
The intro is super cute, talking about stashes and sock yarns and such
There are things in here I never thought you could do with ONE SKEIN
It's divided by the type of project you want to make.
Since it's sock yarn, the opportunities for colors and designs are endless.
Lovely photos!
So many innovative ideas for things other than clothes!

There are a lot of flowery things...I am not a flower person.
Seriously, that is my only complaint

Favorite Patterns:
Overall, I WANT THIS BOOK! It's perfect for a sock yarn hoarder like me. The patterns are cute and easy and amazing.

The book is divided into sections on who the gift would be for
She uses hourglass symbols to tell you how long each may take to make
As she was writing the patterns, she tried to think of the person they would be for....she discusses this in the section intros, which adds to the book.

There are a decent amount of 'embroidered' items...not a fan.
I don't really like the layout, some of the pages are too flashy and the graphics are a bit much.

Favorite Patterns:

Overall, this is not my first choice for a book with gifts, but the patterns I do like are ones I would knit in a heartbeat for myself :) If I needed a quick gift though, I'd probably turn to one of last week's books.

School starts here in 2 days! YAY! I am dying with anticipation! 


Friday, August 17, 2012

The Generosity of Knitters

It's Friday! I have some pretty awesome plans for the weekend, including an excuse to hang out with this guy I like :) But that is a whole other story! Today I want to take the chance to share with you the amazing knitting and spinning gifts I have been receiving lately from some very amazing people!

I am pretty sure I have mentioned her on here before, but I have this amazing aunt who is a knitter and a weaver and loves to buy me new yarns and fibers to play with.  Well her and my uncle took a road trip to New Mexico last week and when they got back she had a surprise for me.

She might as well have just gotten me the sheep, because that's about how much Navajo-Churro Sheep wool I have now! For those interested, I did a bit of research (via wikipedia!) and the Churro sheep is bread primarily for it's wool, which consists of a dual coat (80% inner, 20% outer) and the people who use it tend to keep it in it's natural state, or overdye it with natural dyes.  My aunt says this is enough to spin to make a sweater, but it's a bit scratchy and fuzzy, so who knows what it will become. Ask me in a year when I finally get done spinning it!

Now, if you thought that was amazing (which it is!) then you will LOVE this too!

One of the ladies at knit night is about to move to Chicago and was clearing out her stash. Guess who got to pick through what she didn't want?!?! Me and a fellow college knitter, for she felt we were the ones in need the most.  So true! I am not really sure what I am going to make with most of this yarn (a lot of it is 'fun' yarn) but I see a couple tops and few scarves in the future! This is going to be so much fun to photograph and stash! I think my favorite is the fuzzy blue/pink/green mix at the top middle. It will definitely make a fun scarf!

Leave it to me to  post a Facebook status about my boring week! The knit shop owner, Kennita, saw my post and decided to gift me with a small vial of some dual-purpose paint she has been using in some of her knits.  She knows all about my art projects and thought it would be fun for me to experiment with. This could get fun!

On the knitting front, the hat is done, and waiting for photos (Next week!) and the bag is done too! It's pattern is almost done, there are just a few things I need to finish. I think I may pick up my Berry-boned wrists again, and keep trucking on the world's slowest socks. 

Edited to add: Bag pattern is now available for free on Ravelry! Click here!

I hope everyone has a great weekend!


Check out the baby Colobus Monkey I saw at the zoo yesterday!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Design-in-Progress Wednesday

Good morning! I am currently entering day 3 of my week of nothingness (aka week of boredom). I am actually starting to wish I had gone home to work, and I don't say that often.

The only thing good about this week is the amount of knitting I have gotten done and all the progress I am making on everything. So today I wanted to share with you a few things I am working on, all of which are designs of my own (hence the name...).

I was bitten by the sock designing bug back in June and filled many pages of sketchbook with ideas. So far the only one to materialize into reality is Woven Cables Worsted Socks, which, after the help of a couple of amazing testers, is available for download as of yesterday.  I am not going to lie guys, I am in love with this pattern! The finished socks are so gorgeous, even more so than I visualized, and I was able to make the pattern look so professional and neat.  The math is all correct (for once) and I finally have a formula for heels! Expect many more sock patterns out of me in the future.  But until then, head over to Ravelry and download this one :) It's $2 and all the money goes to Relay For Life!

Thanks Ivy for the amazing photo!

The next design on my list is the messenger bag I made my sister a few weeks ago. I had a few people express interest in the pattern and I have decided to publish it. So right now I am working on a second one, with commercial yarn. I'm noticing obvious differences between it and the handspun: The gauge is much bigger, requiring bigger needles and less stitches.  I love this design though, as I have never seen a bottom up, non-sewn closed bag. But then again, I haven't done many bags....

Expect this pattern by the beginning of  next week, and this one will be free :)

Knitting the bag at the coffee shop :)

The final project is one I mentioned in a couple other posts, my secret hat! I finished the first one and then decided I wanted to try submitting it to Knitty. So I got to work on the pattern and realized there were a lot of things needing changed.  So what did I do? I started a second! I had enough yarn anyways, and will likely rip out the first one eventually. The second one is coming a long very fast and I am liking it so much! I really hope I get in -- this hat is super cute!

I can't share a full photo, but I can share this with you if you'd like an idea. I should have it bound off by later today...if my wrists don't give out first. And then all I need is photos by Sept. 1! 

This week seems to be going really fast, school starts Monday already. And man, I am so ready! Getting to be in senior studio FINALLY is like a dream come true for me, and all my friends will be back and "hopefully" there is a boyfriend in my future too :D I just want this week to speed on by so I can get on with the epic-ness that will be my Senior Year. 

How is the summer winding down for you all? Is in speeding to a close, or going slow? I'd love to hear all about it!
And as proof of how bored I've been, I started a puzzle last night, something I told my brother (who gave it to me) I would never have time to do!

Hardest Puzzle EVER

Want to see more WIP's? Check out Tami's Amis!


Monday, August 13, 2012

MIY Monday: T-Shirt Recyling

Happy Monday all. In exactly one week I will be returning to classes! Yikes! But in the mean time, I want to share a quick crafty thing I did this weekend for my MIY Monday.

My MIY Mondays's Mission is share creative, innovative, fun and (hopefully) cheap ideas and projects for you home and life, as well as healthy and (hopefully) cheaper alternatives to everyday cooking, shopping and eating out. I hope you will join in my on my mission!

This past Friday I was thinking about how I had some old Relay For Life shirts I would never wear, since they were faded an no longer my size. A guy I work with had turned some old shirts into wall art, so I figured why not try it?

He told me he had used styrofoam and glue, and as much as that idea appealed to me, I couldn't bring myself to actually glue the shirts down.... and I didn't have any styrofoam or foamcore laying around, nor did I have the funds to go buy any.  So I settled for the box to my new TV. Not as archival (won't last as long) but will do for now.

Upon deliberation, I settled on a size that would fit all four of the shirts (16 by 14) and went to work with my amazing box cutter knife. They didn't turn out completely straight, but the bulkyness of the shirts hides that fact.

For the first shirt, I decided to cut it up and wrap it around the cardboard. It worked out ok, except the shirt is thin enough to see a bit of brown underneath and I also cut it a bit off.

If I didn't want to use glue, than what should I use? That was a very tough question, finally settled with packaging tape. Like I said before, this was definitely more of a temporary solution until I have more funds. I wrapped the cut shirt around a piece of cardboard and taped it down with LOTS of packaging tape. :)

Shirt 1

As you can see below, after doing the first I realized that I shouldn't cut the shirts up, just fold the whole thing around the cardboard. This prevents the cardboard from showing through and also allows me to remove them later if I decide to do something else.

Shirt 2

Upon completion of all folding, I attached a smaller piece of cardboard to the back to keep the shirt tight and secure (no photo...) and then moved on to the next one. Below are all four shirts. Overall, I am happy with what results; They don't really look that bad, and are going to be easy to take apart if I decide I want to re-do them more permanently.

So how do you hang these? That is a good question even I don't have an answer to, as they are still sitting on my floor. I tried to attach a panel of cardboard with fishing line and hang from hooks, but after attempting to hang them, they just fell off, the fishing line coming undone. I am thinking this is a job for those amazing Command picture hanging strips, but I am out right now. So when I get to the store next I shall pick some up and share with you my t-shirt wall. 

Hanging Device? Fail

I really do think when I have a bit of extra money I will try to make these more legit and permanent, such as this.

On the knitting front this week, I have 3-4 projects on the needles right now, but most will be off by the end of the week, as they are for designs I am writing up. I think I am going to submit my hat to Knitty, so wish me luck!

Want to join in MIY Mondays? Take the banner and post your site here, even if it isn't on a Monday, any DIY post will work :) Also, if I come across any DIY blogs, I may link them back here. I hope that's ok with the writers!