Wednesday, February 27, 2013

WIP Wednesday: Halfsies!

This week's post is dedicated to halves. As in, every project I have is half done. 

Let's start with those socks. I finished sock number one over the weekend and have since started sock 2. Although I don't really know when it will get done, with school work, it's on the top of my list. Isn't the color just amazing? I love how it pools. I do wish you could see the pattern a bit more, but beggars can't be choosers. I can't wait to see how sock 2 comes out. 

The next halfsie is something I haven't talked about lately on my blog, but I really want to get done. My Dragonflies sweater that I started at the end of my school break. I just finished the 2nd repeat of the body pattern before I cast on those socks. I tried it on and it fit PERFECT. I really really want this bad boy done, I wish I would stop getting distracted by my other projects. And don't forget life. Life is important too. 

Bad photo -- my camera hates this sweater!

Mom's Christmas gift is literally half way done. Exactly 40 out of the 80 inches it needs to be. I've been knitting on it at Wildflower knit nights, because it's my only "Wildflower yarn" project right now. She'll get it by next Christmas haha. It's practically a blanket, it keeps me really warm when I work on it. 

Finally, I should probably just classify this one as "in hibernation" because I haven't touched it since December. The Autumn shawl I started for a KAL with Evelyn at Project: Stash. I had been working on it before figure class last semester, but then the yarn got all tangled and I just have had nothing but grief with it. I wish I didn't have so many issues, because it's MALABRIGO! Ugh. But to prove that it fits today's theme, I pulled it out for this photo to find myself HALF WAY through a row. Wow...shows how much I care about this one.

I'm half way through a lot of other things right now. A collaborative spinning project with Ivy; a painting; an interesting drawing experiment. The list could go on and on. Why do I keep doing this to myself? I've been having trouble focusing lately. Oh the joys of being a senior.


And don't forget Tami's Amis :)

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

WIP Wednesday: I Caved!

Yea Yea Yea. I know I have 4 other WIPs. I know I have a couple of baby hats for a friend. I know I have a spinning project to get done. BUT I just couldn't help it!

If you read my last post, you'd know I've been itching for more socks lately. Well on Monday I had a bit of free time and just could not help it. I NEEDED to cast on a pair of socks. And not just ANY pair, THIS pair:

Photo Curtsy Alicia Landi

Although I was not a How I Met Your Mother fan when she released this pattern (although I am now...completely obsessed in fact), I fell in love with Fiasco right away. So imagine my delight when I won a contest on Alicia's blog and was gifted this pattern.  It's been sitting in my library ever since, just waiting to be knit.  My sock craving has finally given in and I pulled out the most lovely skein of Farmhouse Yarns Fannie's Fingering from my stash and got started!

I finally got my swift to work in my favor! It's been giving me some grief lately. But look at those colors? Can't you just see that pair of socks in this yarn???

The best part? Tomorrow is a SNOW DAY! We are supposed to get at least 10 inches of snow between midnight and tomorrow and they already cancelled school. So I get a day off. I am NOT going to studio, trekking in the snow is no fun. I may work on some drawing stuff, but for the most part it will be me, my netflix and these socks tomorrow. :)

Maybe I should be more worried???


Don't forget about all the other amazing WIPs today!


Saturday, February 16, 2013

A Wish for More Socks

I feel like I talk about socks a lot on here. But maybe that's because they are one of my favorite knitted things. The yarns are gorgeous, the patterns are endless and the final result is something I will likely wear way more than a sweater or hat.

Right now I have 8 pairs of hand knit socks, which is actually quite a few given that I have only been knitting them for a little over 3 years. But then you have to factor in the 'mistakes', 'oopsies' or 'needs fixing', which actually leaves me with 4 pairs of hand knit socks. Hmmmm.

Exhibit A:

I'm not really sure how the toe on my soft flames socks came undone, but this pair has been sitting on my floor since NOVEMBER waiting to be fixed. I think I may finally do just that today....

Exhibit B:

My Lacy Ribs Socks which took me a pretty long time to knit, have felted up pretty bad in the washer. This is probably my own fault, since the yarn is 100% merino and I don't actually know if it said it was machine washable. Lets just say it takes quite a bit of work to get them on when I decide to wear them.

Exhibit C:

Right after I learned to knit socks I spent a summer working on this pair out of Mini Mochi. I love the color way, and I would wear it more, but the heel on one of them is off by a bit, thus making my feet hurt every time I wear them. I guess that's what I get for using a 'make your own sock' book not long after actually learning how to make socks.

Exhibit D:

There really isn't too much wrong with my First pair of socks, but I still feel like I can't wear them as much as I'd like. They're a bit big (need a second pair under) so they are more like night time/around the house socks.  And they have started to pill pretty bad. I love the yarn though, Dream in Color is amazing. 

That leaves me with 4 other pairs I can actually wear on a regular basis, and in all honestly, even those are a bit big sometimes.  Sock gauge is the worst, I feel like I can never really meet it in a way that will make my feet happy. Is there some trick I'm missing??? 

I have another 7/8 skeins of  sock yarn in my stash, so why have I yet to start another pair? Second sock syndrome? My desire for more instant gratification? The fact that I have 4 other WIP's right now, plus a commission? I wish I knew. I really love socks, but sometime I wish they'd knit themselves.


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

WIP Wednesday: 9 Weeks and Counting

The countdown begun today, when my drawing teacher started giving me crap about priorities and what I really need to focus on right now. I guess I don't blame her, I have been painting a lot more than drawing. But what I don't think she grasps is the fact that my drawings are much less labor intensive, and thus don't need as much dedication.

Take, for example, my "Drawings in Progress" -- I like to write that on the outside of all my boxes. The concept is simple: Make a box out of a drawing surface (illustration board), insert charcoal, strap to leg, arm, etc and let drawing make itself throughout the day. The only real work involved here is making the boxes, which did take like 3 hours, but after that, the drawing makes itself.

Enough pieces to make at least 20 boxes, and I have 15 mores sheets of board on the way :)

I am adding a new component to these drawings, but it's not going to be a big deal for awhile. I ordered myself a GoPro "Hero" camera, with which will record videos of the charcoal in action.  The best part? The camera is super tiny!

Taped to the side of the boxes, the camera will film a video of the charcoal movements, of which I will then edit and display next to my drawings.  So yes, there will be some labor there, but not for a few weeks. 

And then there's the knitting drawings.  The afghan I had talked about last week is out the window, but that's OK because the new concept is stronger and more like many of my previous works. However until today, when I got the yarn from my aunt, I couldn't really start it.  So once again, I had nothing to really do in class....

Yay Linen!

The new idea is simple. Make a table of colors, times intervals, total times and needle sizes and let an online number generator decide which to use. The "drawing" below consists of just that.

Orange, 30 sec intervals, 45 minutes total, US 13
Violet, 30 sec intervals, 10 minutes, US 8
Black, 5 minutes intervals, 30 minutes, US 10

It's actually really fun, and allows me to catch up on shows and movies wall I "log studio time". But until today, I couldn't really do much.  So... is it OK that I wanted to paint during my drawing class today? I think the evidence is in my favor. 

Especially when your painting teacher wants 2 new paintings started by Monday...

But starting Monday, the 9 week countdown to my BFA Drawing show shall begin! Good bye life...


For more WIP's check out Tami's Amis!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

A Bit of Everything...

Man, I have so much going on right now, it's scary. Therefore, this week's post is dedicated to EVERYTHING.  Where do I even start??

I released a new pattern to Ravelry on Sunday. I spent all day Saturday knitting, literally nothing else. So after spending the day working on a sock design (see below) I decided to whip out a cowl with some Berroco Borealis that Ivy gave me for Christmas. About 5 hours later I had this! I call it the "double squish cowl", although I'm not sure why. It just sounded good I guess. It's available for free on Ravelry, so why not check it out? It's super duper simple.

As I mentioned above, I am working on a sock pattern. This is my first design in Sock Weight yarn, and I want to submit it to at least Knitty, so I don't want to spoil anything here. Although the chances of having them done by the June 1st deadline is not super high. I do have a quick photo to share. I'm knitting them with some Happy Feet I had in my stash, and the color goes really well with my ideas, which lets just say, involve some pretty cool diamond type things.

In spinning news, I do have some fiber on my spindle, that I don't think I've talked about with you guys. But I could be wrong. It's some chocolate wool (I don't remember what type of fiber...Ivy do you?) I got at the Manhattan spinners open house. Ivy some too, we've been doing them together. Although I haven't touched mine since the beginning of January....

And then there's my art. I've been diligently working on my drawing stuff for my BFA show. The knitting thing is a bit on hold for now, as I am switching to Linen yarn and a different ink type, something I have yet to really confirm with my teacher, so after today I will be (hopefully) purchasing everything I need to get the ball really rolling on that. 

I've been doing other drawings also, mostly involving my body movements. I've started making boxes out of illustration board and placing charcoal in them. This one below is a box I strapped to my ankle. Although it was a bit noisy, the marks I had at the end of the day were so worth it. The idea for displaying is that I will "disassemble" the box to lay all the pieces flat, then hang on a wall. 

Painting wise, that pink thing I was working on is in hibernation, because I've been working on this bigger one instead. It's even changed a lot, as you can probably tell by the random underpainting stuff. I am going in a new-ish direction by turning my paintings into more open space landscapes, with knitted elements. It should be fun if I can get it to work out ok. 

(I keep forgetting to take a photo on my camera, so this is a phone photo...).

Finally, I wanted to share with you all my "Ultimate Studio Mix" that I like to listen to when I'm at studio. For some reason music by these artists just really helps me get into the groove and paint!

Lisa's Ultimate Studio mix artist list:

Matchbox 20
The Script
Mumford and Sons
Florence + the Machine 
Death Cab for Cutie
The Fray
Jason Mraz

Probably my favorite Train song right now. 

I hope everyone has a great Thursday. It's almost the end of the week already! Have a good one :)


Saturday, February 2, 2013

Recipe Exchange: Blackbean and Spinach Burritos

It's Saturday. Yesterday was Friday. I didn't do anything productive (art wise) and I don't think I'm going to today either. I just need a break after spending 8 hours straight in studio on Thursday. I have done a bit more experimenting with the knitting/ink thing, but not enough to share for now. So today's post is about a new recipe I invented last week!

Last summer at the Smokey Hill River Festival I tried a black bean and spinach burrito, and fell in love. It was AMAZING! So since then I have been experimenting with my own. I did one last semester with black beans, rice and spinach all separate and it was pretty good and decided to do it again for last week's meal. 

This time I happened to have an extra can of both corn and Rotel in my cabinet from a salad experiment gone wrong and decided to add them in. The end results? Brilliant! I present to you: 

Mexican Rice and Bean Burritos. 

1 can of black beans
1 can of Rotel tomatoes (I used the kind with cilantro, but any will probably work)
1 can of corn
1 package of Mexican Rice Mix (my favorite is Mathas (sp?) at Dillons. .99 cents for a package)
1 bunch or package of spinach, fresh.
Shredded cheese
1 can/package of Enchilada Sauce (optional). I used the powder that you add a can of tomato sauce to.
Optional other toppings for burritos.

Open cans of black beans, corn and Rotel, and drain.
Prepare rice as listed on package, and add the beans, corn and rotel to the pot. Let simmer as instructed.
While the rice is cooking, wash and chop spinach.
Prepare enchilada sauce (optional) according to label.
Once rice mixture is done, fill tortillas with mixture, cheese and spinach (and whatever else you are wanting).
Close tortillas and top with sauce and more cheese.

The batch I made ended up producing about 8 burritos. The nice thing about this recipe is that mixing all those things together allowed for less pan usage and the flavors to blend well. I really liked how this turned out.

I also shared this idea with my mom, who decided to turn it into a casserole  She made the rice mixture, than topped it with chicken and cheese and put it in the over for a bit to melt the cheese. My whole family loved it!

I am starting to really enjoy the mission I am putting myself on to find cheap, simple, healthy, delicious meals and am so glad I stumbled upon this idea. Sometimes pouring random things from the cabinet is so much fun! Have you done so recently?