Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 -In Review-

Well, 2013 ends in 2.5 hours over here and I can't believe everything that has happened. This past year I've had so many experiences - mostly good - and learned so many things. I've produced the best art work of my life, received TWO BFA's,  and finished almost 25 knitting projects! Whew what a year!

For the past couple of years I have made a "Fiber resolutions/goals list" and every time I go all crazy with it at the beginning the fizzle out by Summer. But I still want to take the time to look at it right now.

1. Knit a pullover/in the round type sweater: 2012 was the year of cardigans and vests, I want 2013 to be the year of pullovers! And I really want to start with this one: 
Ok so 2013 was not the year of pullovers but I did get one done! Dragonflies

2. Going off of the last one, I would love to knit a bulky yarns sweater, because there are so many pretty ones :)
That didn't happen... sadly I got distracted by other things I guess.
3.Last year I wanted to conquer lace and I feel like I did. Well this year I want to FINISH something lace, with very few mistakes. I have some amazing bison blend yarn that would make a lovely lace scarf!
The bison yarn is still in my stash, but Salacia is by far my favorite finished project ever. And I even learned to seam in the process :) 
4.Felt something, anything. 
I did try felting a headband but it didn't work. And I accidentally felted a pair of socks in the washing machine. Do those count
5.Learn more cast-on's and bind-off's. Because I just didn't do it last year and I know it would be beneficial to know.
I don't remember any new ones by heart, but I did use new ones in several projects for my monthly knitting club. 
6.Design another pair of worsted weight socks. They always seem to go over so well. It's my dream to publish a whole book of worsted socks!
Oops, I guess I forgot...
7. Design a pair of sock-weight socks. Just for the fun of it!
Although not published, I semi-designed a pair for my knitting buddy Ivy!
8. Design and publish something other than socks and submit something to at least 2 publications. I didn't get into Knitty, but I got great response from the editor and I want to try again with them and others. 
I submitted Drehen to Knitty (no go) and Pixelexia to Knitscene (no go). I ended up self publishing Drehen. I also completely improvised my lacey babydoll top with only slight issues along the way (including running out of yarn and having to tie it with a cord)

9. Spin something other than worsted/bulky. I would love to make a fingering weight yarn. 
I didn't spin much of anything all year. I worked a bit on some merino/silk but it didn't get done (however it is pretty thin...)
10Learn to blend fibers through plying when spinning (like merino and nylon). This goes back to the above point. 
See my response to #9
11. Learn different types of drafts and how to know when to use which. I am still stuck in a rut of doing the same thing every time, whether it works for that roving or not.
Yea, that didn't happen. Maybe this year I'll actually start spinning again. 
12.Learn how to properly dye with natural materials (flowers, roots etc)
I did dye a lot this year, but always with food color and kool aid. Although I didn't do natural dying, I am super proud of my new found abilities to dye with the sun. (Check out my shawl for proof!)

Once again, I did about half the things on the list. But I also did so much more this year. I finished so many amazing projects - 6 different full sized garments !! - and learned so many amazing things. What will this year bring? 

I plan on writing up another list, but I don't plan on making it my primary goals like before. I just want to collect my thoughts and get ideas.

What's on your list this year?


Friday, December 27, 2013

Long Overdue

Hello friends! This post is very long overdue, and for that I apologize. It's been such a long month (and year). This coming 2014 I plan to try and update much more.

It's been almost 2 weeks since I graduated (WOAH) and with graduation came the much anticipated BFA Art show. 

(Mine are the paintings, the other stuff is by other graduating seniors)

And of course, some of my knit night friends! 
And let's not forget the amazing shawl!

After all was said and done, I did the math and found out I put 194 hours this semester! Woah. Given I had 5 paintings, that's almost 40 hours per painting. Plus my other classes. I can only hope that I can keep it up in the future.

This is my favorite painting!

I also finally broke down and purchased a domain name. So if you want to see ALL of my works, go check out Lisa Urban Art and tell me what you think. I am really proud of it!

And guess what else happened that weekend?

And to add even more excitement, I am officially a college graduate. Talk about scary. The real world just is finally here. However, I am not sure if I'm ready. I secured a job at the preschool, 30 hours a week, but I am just not sure how excited I am for the next step in my life....

In other news, I finished my Boxelder Cardigan just in time for Christmas. I'm not sure how I feel about the buttons, but I'll probably leave it open more often than not anyway. I am really proud of it. The fit is perfect and I kind of like the raggedyness of it.

I had a great Christmas with my friends and family. I hope you all have too. I am looking forward to whatever the coming year brings, scary or not, I know 2014 will be good. 


Sasha got into the wrapping paper and stayed for 30 minutes!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

November Update

Hi Friends! Sorry I have been so distant in the blog world again. I think after the next couple weeks get through I may be able to start blogging more regularly. But for now a quick update is in store.


Over the summer I self designed a gorgeous spiraling hat. I then submitted it to Knitty. I heard back a couple weeks ago - no go. But the editor liked my style. Long story short, it is now available on Ravelry as a self-published pattern.  

This hat was knit in Wolle Rodel from the UK (a gift from my aunt) but can easily be adapted with other yarns. It has quickly become my go-to hat to wear in the chilly autumn/winter air.

I also managed to finished my color wheel shawl a few weeks ago, which is perfect because the plan is to wear it over a simple outfit for my BFA Show reception. I don't have any model photos yet, but those will be up in the next few weeks :) Overall I love how this turned out. It's big enough to wear as a wrap and keeps my shoulders nice and warm ! 

Finally, I started a hoodie at the beginning of the month, and despite my busy school schedule it is going very very fast. The Boxelder Cardigan by Maria Leigh from the Winter 2013 Knitscene (which btw has a TON of amazing patterns in it!) is being knit in Cascade 220 superwash. The photo does no justice, but this is such a hard project to show mid-way. Take my word for it, it's looking good!
(c) Knitscene/ Harper Point

The countdown to my BFA Painting show has begun. I officially have 1 week left. And yet here I sit, not in studio. Hahaha. Seriously though, most of my paintings are done. I have one left to finish up but I think I'll be good. Maybe I'll work on it later. 

To get you excited, here is a thumbnail preview of my favorite painting:

I also have all of those smaller gouache paintings at a local coffee shop right now, and everyone so far seems to think they look good! I haven't had a chance to take photos of the 'show' (I feel weird with people I don't know being in the photos) but here's a snippet of some of them all framed up nice.


I had this past week off for Thanksgiving break, which was a much needed reprieve. I still got a lot done school wise, but the pressure was a lot less, which was nice. 

I've been hunting around for jobs and art opportunities, as graduation is a mere 2 weeks away (WOAH). Let me just say - job hunting sucks.

In other random news: Has anyone seen Disney's Frozen yet? I saw it on Thanksgiving with my family. It didn't quite live up to the hype it's been given, but it was a good movie with good songs. Some parts weren't needed, while others were amazing. The animation reminded me a lot of Tangled (not sure if that's a good thing or not). But I'm glad Disney is cranking out good movies again. And the song "Let it go" has been stuck in my head all week. 
With that being said, I finally finished my summer mission: Watch all 52 Disney movies IN ORDER before Frozen comes out. I was able to finish the day before seeing Frozen. Man it feels good to say I have seen EVERY Disney movie. :)

(PS Idina Menzel is amazing - but it's hard not to think of Wicked when I hear/see this song)

I hope everyone is having a great fall. Christmas is on it's way and then it'll be a new year. Where did the time go???


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

October Update

Happy October! It's been a good month around here with lots of exciting things going on. I wanted to take a quick minute or two to share some of them with you all.


Last weekend for some odd reason I had a desire for instant gratification - I needed to knit something that would be done within a day. Luckily I had extra time as well as a few single skeins I have been meaning to use up.

I started with this cowl, which I designed myself on the fly (I really do LOVE designing!). It's basically one giant cable that I then seamed together. And it only took one night and an hr the next day to finish. Talk about instant gratification. 

After finishing up the cowl I had a craving for a hat (which is what I was going to knit originally with Bonnie...)So I pulled out my skein of Nashua Granite that I've had for awhile. And began designing again. This bad boy took a couple days but was worth it! It fits absolutely perfectly. 

**Stay on the look out - both of these patterns may be published soon!**

I am also making headway on my current WIPs. The art shawl is getting HUGE and thus a much slower knit. But I think I can get it done in time :) 

Epic Art Shawl knit in hand dyed Cascade 220 sport

My sister's scarf is also a little over half done. The pattern is written to where you knit 2 parts then seam them together. I finished the first part last weekend and am now on the second part. It will be done in no time if I keep putting off the art shawl. It helps that Malabrigo is a dream to knit with!


With 5 weeks left on my countdown, my paintings are slowly becoming faster. This is my third one. It will be done by Friday, I can feel it and I literally started it a week ago. Now that's speed. 

I have been having fun with color in printmaking class as well! I've been overlaying colored inks onto my line etchings. What a fun process that has become.


Monday was my birthday (23!) so I spent the day doing my usual business. I also got some knitting and carved a super cute pumpkin. 

I ran a 5k on Sunday morning. Well more like jogged and walked, but 37 min 53 seconds is a pretty good time considering. I have really been enjoying working out and making my body fit.

And now for the somber news. I found out last Wednesday that my LYS - Wildflower -  will be shutting it's doors come mid December. Kennita has decided to focus on designing and teaching and the shop is holding her back. And so she has decided to move on and close. No one can really afford to buy her out, so everything is 25% off and come December I will be LYS-less. I always hate to see such places go, but thus is life I guess.

Well, I hope everyone enjoys the rest of October. I will try my best. The time just seems to be flying by!


Halloween Kitty Bomb!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

September Update

It's the end of September, and I have a bit of extra time this evening, I thought I would do a quick recap on what all has been happening in my life since I haven't been as active as I'd like on the blog front. Seriously though, I probably spend at least 24 hours a week in studio. 


At the beginning of September I decided to start another shawl project. I am calling this my "Epic Art Shawl" because it has all the colors of the color wheel, and it's all handdyed by me. I will do a longer post about how I dyed it in the future, but for now check out those colors!

It made the most since to just do a giant striped triangle, and thus the pattern was born. I may have under gauged amounts for a few colors, but I think it adds character that not all are even.

And because, you know, I have LOTS of free time (Sarcasm is another service I offer...) I started on my sister's scarf with the Malabrigo worsted she picked out back in August. It's a super easy pattern, but who knows when it will get done. 


This painting has been a labor of love. All semester so far my professor (different than last semester) has been really pushing me on the color and light thing, and after weeks of struggle, I think I finally got it down (with help from an awesome grad student!).  At this point, the only part left to finish is the upper right corner. I just can't seem to get that "net" to feel right....

I have a second one started, but it's not going too far. This week I'm gonna hit it hard. After all, I gotta have 5 by December!


The clean eating continues! I have been super loyal to my "diet" (I really only break once a week!) and it's been paying off. I wanted to share my current obssession: Homemade Tomato Basil sauce. This stuff is to DIE FOR. I don't know why, it's a basic recipe, but maybe it's because I just am not used to eating homemade sauce.

I'd like to thank my local farmer's market for having such amazing produce also, it's really helping me stick to the clean eating lifestyle. My new favorite find? Spaghetti squash. Much tastier than spaghetti!

I hope everyone has had an enjoyable September. October is fast approaching, which means Fall, Pumpkins, my birthday (23!), and keeping busy. Until next time ;)


PS: This movie needs to be out, like right now!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Busy Bee...

In case you haven't noticed, I have been a bit distant on the blog front lately. School has officially started and it being my FINAL semester (holy cow...) I am focusing more on that then on blogging and (Gasp!) Knitting!

So if you don't hear from me much, that is why - both with posting and commenting on others (although I try to scan my reader every day or so).

Wanna know exactly why I'm busy:

*4 credits worth of Adv Oil Painting
*3 credits worth of Adv Printmaking
*3 credits worth of Adv Figure Drawing
*10 hours a week at my Pre-school job
*3 hours a week at another job...
*President of Painting Society
*Relay for Life Committee
Oh and don't forget:
*Making art for my Graduation show in December.

So yea, that's my life. See you... whenever haha.


Friday, August 30, 2013

WIP Friday?

It may be FO Friday to the rest of the blog world, but in my world it's WIP Friday. Simply because I have no FO's but plenty of WIPs.

I decided to knit something by the amazing Stephen West. I wanted a shawl or scarf or something to wear at the reception for my painting show come December, and Chadwick fit the bill. I already had the pattern and one skein in my stash: Pagewood Farms St. Elias, which also helped. The second yarn is Berroco Ultra Alpaca, which is such a dream to knit with! I started this last week when I didn't have classes and am already almost done. And here I thought it would take forever. 

Classes started back up Monday, which for me means I get to oil paint again! I already started working on this one and have added quite a bit to it in the 2 days I've been working. Can you tell? (the "old" version can be seen on my art page).

I hung out with an old high school friend last week and she's a sort-of knitter. She decided she wanted to make a blanket, so I gave her the needles and said have at it. After struggling through her first row on circulars, she got all excited! I hope it turns out really nice :) 

Being back in Manhattan means an AMAZING Farmer's Market. I mean it: Their were at least 20-25 tents last week. About half had craft items but still. The produce is amazing! Check out what I picked up for about $15! YUM. 

I've been trying really hard to eat clean lately, and have been keeping a food log at night. I am happy to report that I have had a 95% clean week! I blame school and my busyness. However, I did look up the nutrition facts for those Sonic shakes I was sipping on all summer: BAD IDEA. That's all I'm going to say about that haha. 

I hope everyone has a lovely weekend and if you are in the States you enjoy the 3 days!


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

WIPs and FOs

Today's post is dedicated to everything I have going on right now. Multiple FO's have come off the needles lately and a few hibernating WIPs are becoming active again.

Overdyed white yarn done tyedye style with shade of green. Still a very scratchy yarn, but it worked and she seems to like them. Pattern is a modification of Jeck with a lattice diamond down the front. 

$60 skein of yarn (1200+ Yards) I purchased on impulse last year. Finally decided on a project and completely self designed. The bust ended up a bit big, so there is some sewing modification in the back but I don't care because I LOVE THIS. I almost want to submit it somewhere.....

Started last fall for Project Stash: KAL, the High Plains Drifter has been sitting in my drawer for awhile waiting to be finished. With the encouragement of My Sister's Knitter KAL I am hoping to finish it up by Sept 30 so that I can qualify for some awesome prizes (and feel good about myself). I purchased the Arroyo yarn last weekend in KC with the intention of adding it to this shawl. So far it looks great with the maroon. I am doing random stripes alternating between the 2 colors.

Speaking of Malabrigo! Me and my sister made a trip up to Kansas City last weekend for a girl's weekend. No road trip is complete without a yarn shop stop, and Yarn Shop and More was right by our motel! I managed to walk away with: Malabrigo Sock in colorway 850: Archangel, Malabrigo Arroyo in colorway 227 Volcan, and 2 skeins of Malabrigo Worsted in colorway 30 Purple Mystery. 
The sock yarn will probably be in my stash for awhile. The Arroyo is of course on my shawl. And the worsted was picked out by my sister for a Christmas/Birthday Present scarf. I promise I didn't intend to buy all Malabrigo, but it's so alluring...

Finally, anyone ever heard of Trader Joes? My good friend Ivy is always talking about them, but there are none near me. We managed to find one in KC and let me say that I am in love. This is the ultimate in amazingness for anyone trying to eat healthy and clean. I myself am starting a new "diet" based on the rules I have been reading about in The Eat Clean Diet Rule Book, which I also purchased in KC. This book is single-handedly changing the way I think about and eat my food.  I am slowly on my way to a healthier and happier me.

I hope you all enjoyed today's post, it's been awhile since I wrote anything. Life has been busy and I've been lazy. Hopefully I will start posting more soon. Until then, HAPPY KNITTING!