Releasing and Rewarding Myself

I have finished a number of projects, am in the process of rearranging rooms in my house to accommodate my kids’ needs, as well as my own need for a studio workspace, and have had to be very disciplined to keep myself on track.

Now that I have accomplished my goals, I am releasing myself to start some new projects and find new inspiration. (Always energizing things for me!) When I get turned loose to surf the web, I always find way more things to do than I will ever have time for (we all have this problem when we look at our Ravelry favorites, don’t we?), and my Links to Inspire category was created for this reason.

Of all the cool things I’ve come across, here are my favorites:

  1. I love, love, LOVE a cool stashbusting project! And this one uses 3 strands of yarn at once, which would be really helpful if you have a huge variety of leftovers you thought you’d never be able to find a way to make work together. Just an idea: lay out your colors and pair according to light and dark, or warm and cool. Or you can do it according to color families – reds of varying shades together, blues, etc.
  2. A tried and true way to clear your head – plus, you get to buy a pretty notebook.
  3. A cool DIY project and a beautiful way to enjoy flowers.
  4. I am going to make EVERY pattern in this book. Doesn’t happen too often that I like every pattern in a book, but this one – YES PLEASE! Plus, by the time I make it through the book, I will have tried about every short-row technique there is.

I believe when you work really hard and meet your goals, you should release yourself from obligations for a specified amount of time and reward yourself, which is exactly what I am going to do over the weekend. Enjoy yours too!

via Release

Advertisements

100 Sweaters

In Los Angeles, it’s generally about 100 degrees (at least!) until at least the end of September. Sweater weather doesn’t start until mid-to-end of October, and sometimes later. But, depending how fast you work, now can be the perfect time to start a sweater project because by the time you finish weaving in ends and blocking it, you will be able to actually wear it.

I came across this post with 100 sweaters, and it spoke to the designer in me. But even if you’re not a designer, you will find this helpful if you’re not sure what kind of sweater you’re in the mood to make. You have 100 options here for different silhouettes, sleeve styles and necklines, so you can either choose what you like to help you decide what sort of pattern to buy, or if you’re designing your own, you have helpful visuals to help you decide which combo of necklines, sleeves and stitch patterns would make your perfect sweater. And this will exponentially help narrow down a Ravelry search, which will yield you 115,394 choices if you just type “sweater” into the pattern search.

Have fun, and happy making!

Summer Movies and Books + the Coolest (FREE) Knitting Pattern Ever

Anyone who reads my blog for much length of time knows it’s very hard for me to tear myself away from knitting and/or the beach. But summer is never complete for me without some lazy afternoons spent reading or going to the movies.

I just finished reading a real-life Indiana Jones story, which fascinated me and basically meant I couldn’t carry on with life until I finished the book. Parts of it were very technical, but overall, it was an interesting read and amazing to me that there is somewhere left on earth that is relatively unexplored. However, the author also gives a dose of reality about the risks taken to go trekking through dense jungle, and just so I don’t spoil anything, let’s just say that Indiana Jones remains more fantasy than reality.

Next on my reading list is an art heist true story… if you’ve already read it, let me know your thoughts, spoiler-free of course!

On to movies:

I don’t know if there’s an exploration theme going on with me, but I have always loved the Pirates of the Caribbean movies – especially the first one, and the last two. I just took the kids to see the latest last week, and it didn’t disappoint!

But, there is one movie that is at the top of my wish list to see:

A number of people I know are so excited about this movie they went in costume to see it. Not sure I will go in costume, but, if I did, this would be my cape. Seriously the coolest knitting project ever! And this is why I think our community is the best ever – where else do you find such cool stuff for free?! Enjoy!

Summer Inspiration and Entertainment

I really love the start of summer. Three months in front of us that we can fill or not fill as we choose. During the school year, it is hard to immerse myself into projects because I have an hour here and an hour there, and in between have to run my kids to one activity or another. Summer days are so much more relaxed, and it is nice to have longer blocks of time when I can “lose” myself in a project. I have been catching up on emails, podcasts, and blogs and debating what projects I want to tackle this summer. I am still deciding, but in the meantime, here are a few links to inspire you, and even if you already have your summer projects laid out, to entertain you. Enjoy!

To listen to while you work: Talks for the Fiber Lover

One of those lovely projects that isn’t hard, but looks impressive: Make A Statement

And to shop, get inspiration or summery DIY home ideas: Kailo Chic

#yarnlovechallenge – Friends, Family, and Fiber

#yarnlovechallenge
Read on for Days 11 – 18
#yarnlovechallenge
Day 11 – Travel Projects. I love a good garter stitch shawl or cowl when travelling.
#yarnlovechallenge
Day 12 – Progress. I know I’ve made progress when it’s time to get all Project Runway and pin pieces on the mannequin to ready it for seaming!
#yarnlovechallenge
Day 13 – Selfie. One of my first ever selfies – I was still learning how to take them. This was when we went up to the mountains to let the kids experience snow.
#yarnlovechallenge
Day 14 – Yarn Love. Doesn’t this photo just say it all?! Taken when my Boo was only a few weeks old – I had to take her with me to work because I was still bottle-feeding her every few hours. I put a THICK stack of paper towels under her before snapping this photo, just to make sure nothing “wet” would happen to the yarn.
#yarnlovechallenge
Day 15 – Family. This was taken 5 or 6 years ago when my kids were dressed up for Halloween.
#yarnlovechallenge
Day 16 – Happy Color. I mean, just look at it! Happy color indeed. 🙂
#yarnlovechallenge
Day 17 – Fiber Friends. Here is my best fiber friend, still a kitten, hiding in my project bag. She is still my bestie when I’m doing some late-night crafting.
#yarnlovechallenge
Day 18 – Gratitude. I am grateful for Kaffe Fassett. I am grateful to have his books. I am grateful to have knit one of his patterns. I am grateful I had the floor space to deal with knitting one of his patterns. And I am VERY grateful that I never have to work with 20 balls of yarn attached all at once ever again. 🙂

#yarnlovechallenge – Where I Craft, Tools and Oldest Stash

#yarnlovechallenge
A combination post to finally get me caught up – Days 8 – 10

#yarnlovechallenge Day 8 – Where I Craft – this seems to be a hard one for alot of people, based on the posts I’ve seen. The answer is – EVERYWHERE! This is the beauty of working with yarn – you can take it with you everywhere, do a few stitches, or a hundred…it truly is one of the most versatile things you can do!

I originally got into crafting by sewing. But after my son was born, I had to give it up. I didn’t have room for the setup – sewing table, place to cut patterns, all the fabric and sewing notions storage – and I also didn’t feel safe. My son was one of those children who could find pins in the carpet two seconds after I had just vacuumed! All that to say, it didn’t take me long when I started crocheting and knitting to realize they fit my current lifestyle much better.

So for this challenge, I will tell you a few of my FAVORITE places to work – my couch, my favorite little coffee shops, at the ocean, and in the mountains. Check my Instagram to see more photos of my favorite places, but here’s one of my favorite photos taken at the beach last year right before Easter. It was too cold to play in the water, but the kids and I spent the afternoon in Malibu and actually watched the sun go below the horizon.

#yarnlovechallenge
#yarnlovechallenge Day 8 – Where I Craft – well, one of the places. My FAVORITE place! 
barbara walker stitch patterns
#yarnlovechallenge Day 9 – Tools – My set of Barbara Walker stitch pattern volumes

As a designer, this set of books is truly indispensable!

#yarnlovechallenge
#yarnlovechallenge Day 10 – oldest stash

This is the FIRST photo of yarn I ever posted on this blog. I think it is also one of the first purchases in a yarn store I ever made. Manos del Uruguay Maxima – still one of my favorites!

#yarnlovechallenge – Community, Mistakes and Stripes

#yarnlovechallenge
Since I’m starting a wee bit late, I will combine a few days.

If you are doing #yarnlovechallenge, please tag me! Enjoy!

Day 5 - Community - apologies for the glare, but I love this list of fair trade principles that Manos del Uruguay had posted at one of the TNNA shows I attended
Day 5 – Community – apologies for the glare, but I love this list of fair trade principles that Manos del Uruguay had posted at one of the TNNA shows I attended. Our community is a caring one, which I feel privileged to be a part of!
#yarnlovechallenge
Day 6 – Mistakes. Its important to allow yourself to make mistakes, and dishcloths are great for practicing new things and making mistakes, because even if they turn out horribly, you can still use them.
#yarnlovechallenge
Day 7 – Stripes – Still a favorite out of all my designs. I love gradations, especially playing around with them in stripes.

In fact, I love stripes so much (and this project), I just recently reknit it!

If you missed my first post, here are Days 1-4. Until tomorrow, my friends…