Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I am in the air on my way to the Madrona Fiber Arts Retreat. It has been a whirlwind these last couple of days. The big karate push paid off when Elizabeth and I graduated on Friday night. She received her advanced blue belt and I received my advanced red belt. I got a few pics of her. She was the photographer for my graduation so the pics aren’t great but what can you expect from a five-year-old. She was at least enthusiastic!
Look at that great back stance! I am so proud of her for really sticking with the karate. And it is amazing to see the progress she makes. It seems like forever that she cannot do a specific move and then all of the sudden, she can, and she does it well. So much fun to see!

Saturday E ran in the Medtronic ½ mile race for kids. It was pretty chaotic for her age group (first grade and under). The faster kids quickly lapped the little ones and you could no longer tell who was ahead. E was in first place for about the first ½ lap and then she slowed down. Due to the chaos, she accidently did an extra lap before I was able to get her attention and signal her into the finishing area. Pretty funny! At least she had a good time and is excited about doing another race in May.

Having finished the Grant Ave Vest, I have had some serious starter-itis. This is in part due to a visit to Bella Lana after E’s race on Saturday. I was able to find the Tilli Thomas yarn for the stitch diva sweater I have been eying for the last six months. I am excited about this pattern because it is knit from the top down, something I have little experience with, and it might be dressy enough to wear to Danny’s graduation in May. I also bought enough Twinkle Soft Chunky to make the Potter cardigan from Town and Country. I have been working on this, it is such a quick knit, and have one sleeve done (my swatch) and am working on the body.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Crisis of confidence revisited

So this is the project that got me thinking of all of my UFOS and why they continue to be UFOs. It is the Celtic Vest kit by Fleece Artist. I picked the kit up at BeeHive in Victoria British Columbia. I just couldn't make this work. I got 3/4 of the way done with it and realized that even with some heavy blocking, it just wasn't going to work. Also, the neck shaping looked funky and I just didn't have the endurance to redesign the whole thing. So, to the 'repurposing pile'.
As I thought of my other UFO's it is apparent that most of them have some aspect with which I am not happy. I will have to think long and hard about each one before expending more effort.
Finally, the Grant Ave vest is done, all but the buttons. I am a little unhappy with the way it gaps out away from my waist because it has no shaping along the shoulders. It is a generous size and I might wear it belted which will solve the problem.
To get geared up to really work some fairisle, I started these mitts. I am very happy with the way they are going even though I am only on the first one. Once the fairisle bug bites me, I am usually good for a fair amount of it. We'll see if it gets me through these mitts.
Lastly, this is what I got for my birthday this year. It is my fifth (and final) stripe on my red belt, which qualifies me to test for my advanced red belt! I am very excited and have been working hard to get here. I need to continue the push to try and qualify for my brown belt by May, otherwise I have to wait until September. Elizabeth will also be graduating, to advanced blue so I will put up pics from our graduation on Friday.

Monday, February 2, 2009

I'm over it

I've had enough of the subzero temps for this winter. It was quite depressing to note the -3 on the car thermometer on my way to work. I am tired of cold hands and feet. The saving grace is the blue, blue sky today. And I heard a cardinal singing when walking to the office from the parking lot this am. Hopefully the bird knows that spring is on the way.
I haven't had the energy for any serious spinning lately so I have been working my way through several shipments of CrossPatch Creations sampler packs from the Bellweather. I love these. They are one ounce samples of various colorways and I can spin them any way I like without worrying about final weight etc. These are pics of my recently completed fourpack. I have another all spun up into singles and waiting to be plyed. I am trying to have a shrinking fiber inventory this year. So far, I have taken in 8 ounces of Merino/tencel from Chameleon Colorworks and have completed these little 1 ounce skeins. Once I ply and wash the others, I will be negative 1 ounce!
Aren't they fun?! I think the black/brown/white will be cuffs for some black mittens/gloves/mitts. I think I have a skein of soft, soft Kimmet Kroft Fibers yarn, or perhaps my black Malabrigo--either will be luscious!