What I gave and what I got

I had a great Christmas, it was spread out over 3 days, Christmas eve with my dad's family early in the day, then Ryan's family in the evening, then Christmas day with my immediate family, then the day after Christmas is Ryan's birthday, so the whole weekend was a big party, with presents for everyone! the best kind!

First, here is some of the stuff I made for people that I couldn't show pictures of before Christmas.
This is Shannon's "potato chip scarf" from Knit Picks, made from the rayon/silk varigated yarn from Forma Loom.
And this is a scarf I wove for Leah with Tencel from Heritage Yarns.

I also made my mom a roll-up dpn holder, because she has been keeping hers in ziplock bags. I didn't get a picture of it, but I made myself one yesterday, so here's a pic of it.

I also made some little stitch markers for my Grandma, my mom and for Leah, we're a knitting family. And for Ryan's dad, I made him a scarf, because he shaved his long beard this summer, for the first time in probably 25 years. So I figured he'd need something to keep his neck/chin warm this winter. I made it from grey Lion brand Wool, hopefully it is soft enough for him Ryan approved it's manliness, or at least it's un-girliness.

I am so excited about all the stuff I got!!! From my parents I got an iPod!!! ahhhhh!!! I've wanted one for so long! It's a black 30GB color screen photo iPod! ahhhh!!! I haven't really played with it yet though, because I need to get small earbuds for it, the ones that come with it don't fit in my tiny ears.

I got books from Ryan's family and some other small things. I also got some beads and... drum roll... a 20 yard bolt of PFD fabric!!!

One of my bosses gave me these great glass knitting needles. I was so excited that I cast on this scarf IMMEDIATELY and started making another Christmas present! although, it didn't get finished in time.

Shannon made me this great hat that I LOVE, and also got me some neat dressy earrings.
it's not the greatest pic of the hat, or me, actually. The hat has a pattern with two snowflakes, a diamond shape and two tassels on each side like pig-tails.

And from my best friend Leah, I got two skeins of yarn, both are hand painted, and she gave me her mom's pearl earrings inside a little leather pouch of hers. That is very special. I'm a little nervous about wearing them and losing them, so I want to take them and have screw backs put on.

So tonight is new years eve, I am heading out to Ryan's house in a couple hours where we'll count down to the new year, drink some wine for me, gin for him, probably some beer for both of us. I am considering running to the store to buy ingredients for Spinach Artichoke dip... yum! so cheeesy, so garlicky... yum!!!! funny how you can't really taste the spinach or the artichokes, but that is the name of the dip.

Back to work on Monday and back to school on the 9th, so there will be quilting and fiber related content soon. Promise. I got a B in Textiles this past semester. I am not too pleased. I don't think I deserve a B. maybe I'll have a talk with her when I go back in two weeks. oh man... two weeks, that will come so soon!


I know, I know... it's been a week, more than a week. Sorry! I will make it up to you after Christmas with lots of pictures.

Last weekend, Shannon came "home" from North Carolina for Christmas. I say "home" because I think it depends on your definition of the word. If home is where you keep your things, it is in North Carolina. If home is where your family is; Michigan is home.

We spent the whole day baking and eating cookies on Sunday, I think we made at least 5 or 6 different kinds of cookies. ooooh yum. Even our dog Dakota got a treat! That would be Shannon feeding the dog yogurt. She's still in her pj's, I won't say what time it was when I took that picture. ;)

The days since Sunday have been somewhat of a blur. Those of you that have been reading my blog already know that my best friend Leah's mom Michele was diagnosed with uterine cancer in June. Her battle with that cancer ended on Sunday. We knew it was coming, but it doesn't make it any easier to accept or understand. Monday at work was hard, I had to email all 12 of my coworkers to let them know, because I knew if I went in and tried to repeat it that many times, I would make a blubbering idiot of myself. Most everyone was understanding and respected my request not to talk about it. All it took was one person to say, "I'm very sorry for your loss" to make me lose it. Just opening my mouth to say thank you, I could feel my face start to quiver and my eyes well up with tears.

The memorial service was yesterday, it was beautiful, as beautiful as a funeral can be. It started with a relative of Michele's and then a former coworker of hers speaking about her, and sharing stories. Then the coworker introduced Leah, you could hear everyone in the room quietly gasp, sniffle or otherwise share their disbelief that she can get up there and talk. But she did and it was beautiful. The love that mother and daughter share, even in death is just amazing. I've said it since the beginning of this six month battle, Leah is so strong and so amazing. I am so proud of you Leah! The service ended with a slide show of pictures of Michele and her family. It was so great to see so many pictures of her beautiful smiling face.

After the service, we all went back to Leah's house and stayed for a few hours, mingling with friends from high school, relatives and other friends and acquaintences of Leah and Michele. Leah handed me an envelope with a few pictures she had found while creating the slide show that she wanted me to have.
Here is Leah and I, we are six years old and getting ready to ride our decorated bikes in the Children's Fair Parade.
This is me and Michele, I don't specifically remember this day, but it looks like we had built some kind of fort in their back yard and were hanging out in it. This looks like it was about 6th or 7th grade. I'm not sure about the cat's name, but the dog is Lou Lou. (yes, I was allergic to cats back then too, but I just didn't care).

Michele's friends and family have been leaving stories and messages on the blog, I hope it continues for a long time. My mom wrote a wonderful story about her here (as well as some not so flattering pictures of Leah and I as kids). I also posted a story here.

My very very first memory of Michele: I was probably 5 or 6, Leah and Michele lived in an apartment above a storefront downtown in Chelsea. I have the most clear memory of Leah and I sitting at the kitchen table, waiting for lunch. Michele is at the counter, about to pour two glasses of milk, until I tell her, "I only like the milk with the BLUE cap." And even after that, and probably many other "picky-eater" moments that I don't recall, she still welcomed me with open arms, as if a second daughter.


a pair, or two

After about three tries, I finally have a pair of booties! This is a different pattern than the first bootie I knitted. The first one was knit on two needles, so it had a weird seam and was just a little funky looking anyway, so I found a different pattern. I made one bootie with the new pattern and it was a tad loose and had some strange holes in it where I switched between needles (knit in the round). So I considered that one my practice bootie, and made two more with that pattern, and even took notes on the things I changed, so I could make a matching one. and here we have it... a matching pair!
It might be a little hard to see, but there is one row of frilly fringey yarn just above the sole. oooh, uh... did I say they were DONE? I still have to do some i-cord for a tie around the ankle, but THEN they'll really be done. But for now, I'm moving on to Christmas knitting, because the baby isn't due until late January/early February.

Here is a picture of the finished mittens that I never showed off. I still need to wash them and block them. The one I finished first is bigger than the second because everyone I showed it to, wanted to put it on, including men with big hands. So it is stretched out a bit, but I think I can fix that by washing and a VERY quick bounce around in the dryer.

They were really fun. I have this terrible urge to find the tiniest yarn and the tiniest needles and knit tiny mittens. I have no idea where that came from, but I really want to do it.

And here is what I've been working on at school. It's not too exciting, they are just practice pieces, I've been learning doubleweave.

The shorter piece on the right is what I started first. It is an 8/2 Rayon and Rayon Boucle warp and same for weft. It was a nightmare. It wasn't until I started to pull all the ends thru the heddles that I realized my mistake. the little bumps on the yarn were catching on each other and tangling, getting wrapped around heddles and snapping. I snapped 3 warp ends before I even had the thing tied onto the back beam. I managed to get it straightened out, tied on and tensioned, and when I started to weave, I was still getting the bumpy threads tangled on each other, so I could only tolerate weaving that much, which is probably about 6 inches. I decided to get some new yarn and tie it on to the existing warp and pull it thru the reed and heddles. It worked really well, it only took about an hour to tie each new end onto an old end and pull it thru and tie them all on the back. Once my new warp was on, I wove like the wind! That rayon is so soft and slippery and smooth, it's just great to weave with. Especially with doubleweave, because you have twice as many threads shoved into places where only half as many should be. Maybe that is confusing... if your yarn is 24 ends per inch (wraps around a ruler 24 times to equal one inch), you need 24 of each color (because in doubleweave, you are weaving two layers simultaneously), so there are 48 ends in one inch, where really only 24 are supposed to be. So I've come to the conclusion, even after using this great slippery yarn, I don't care for doubleweave. I can see it's usefulness, and possibilities, but I don't really enjoy doing it.

I don't mean to rub it in, but... MY CHRISTMAS SHOPPING IS DONE! I've never been so prepared, so early. This is the first year I've made a budget and stuck to it. I decided how much I could spend on each person I had to buy for, and I only spent that much and stopped shopping. In years passed I've started early and just kept shopping until Christmas eve. But this is the first year I can actually see the bottom of my savings account, so it made it that much easier to budget. I am waiting for one more thing to come in the mail. Something I bought on Ebay, I paid for it on the 23rd of November, I should have it by now. It better come, or someone's in big doooo doooooo.

Oh, the scarves, I never reported how much was made for Habitat for Humanity. We are still selling scarves randomly to people who stop by the studio, but last I heard, we sold about 30 scarves out of the 45 we dyed. So we probably donated close to $300. I didn't end up selling any of the bags I brought in. I think my prices were too high. The average college student, walking through the union at lunch time probably doesn't have $35 in cash. But I would rather not sell them than get less for them. I have to turn a profit, don't I?

I have 6 more days of work before I'm off for 10 days. I can hardly wait. I am already compiling a mental list of everything I want to work on while I have the time. I need to finish the calendar contest piece. I have a quilt I started last December that needs to be quilted, I'd like to re-vamp my website a bit and of course knit knit knit. I might also dress my loom for the alpaca shawl. But at the top of the list is to get a contribution to The Sampler sent out. I think I'll dye some fabric and cut it into fat eighths and maybe dye some silk noil yarn to go with it.

But now, it's back to work for me.


the cold... oh the cold

I can't get away from it, everywhere I go, I am freezing! I am sitting at work right now, on the verge of shivering, I am wearing two shirts plus a fleece pullover thing and I am still cold. It feels like the heat in my car doesn't work anymore. My apartment was built in the 60's and I think "insulation" was a concept unheard of at that time, not to mention the windows are as old as the rest of the place and are drafty as hell, which can be fixed with those plastic sheets that you stick to the window with a hair dryer, but the stuff doesn't stick. So I am cold. The only place that isn't cold is in my bed with my electric blanket on. It is an exercise in will power and strength to get out of bed in the morning. Believe me though, it doesn't happen quietly, it's a bad sign when the first words you utter every morning are "sonofabi***".

Despite the cold, I have been having some fun lately. Last weekend, the EMU Textile Design Guild had a dye day. We learned to dye silk in the microwave, it was unbelievably easy and quick. We bought 45 silk scarves from Dharma Trading Company and dyed them.

Then on Wednesday we had a table in the student union where we sold the scarves. We bought the scarves for between $1.50 to $3.00 each and sold them for $10 to $12 each. All profits went to Habitat for Humanity. I haven't heard any figures yet as to how much we raised, update will follow, possibly tomorrow. We were also invited to bring in things of our own to sell at the table as well, I brought in three of my bags and haven't heard yet if any of them were sold.

Also last weekend, Ryan and I went to see Walk the Line, the Johnny Cash movie. Holy crap... I haven't seen such a good movie in a long time. Joaquin Phoenix is amazing as Johnny Cash, he does all the singing and was just incredible, not to mention sexy. My knowledge of Johnny Cash and his music before the movie was pretty close to nuthin', I knew he sang "I fell into a burning ring of fire and it burned burned burned..." and that was about it. So I do not have a biased opinion of the movie being good just because I'm a fan, which I am now, but wasn't before. The movie was over two hours long and we didn't fidget in our seats for a minute of it. Ryan is a tall guy and usually gets uncomfortable in theater seats, but he didn't even move throughout the entire movie, we were just enthralled. I highly recommend it.

In knitting news... I finished another baby bootie, I used a different pattern, this one is knit in the round so it turned out much better. I will do one or two more to get a pair, but probably after Christmas. Since all of a sudden I decided to knit Christmas presents for two more people. I'll have a pic of the bootie soon.

Today marks the 25th anniversary of the murder of John Lennon. There is an exhibit of his artwork here in Ann Arbor this weekend. I don't know which day, but Ryan and I will be going. I have never seen any of his artwork in person before, only posters and commercial copies. The entry fee is $2 and will be donated to Dawn Farm, I think it's a local charity, not sure. I'm just glad my money won't be going to Yoko, though, I'm sure she already has some of it anyway.


How to Knit at Work

Knitting at work is a tricky thing. I have a job that lets me sit and do nothing and wait for the phone to ring, or wait for someone to come along and give me something to do. If you don't have a job like this, it may be a little more tricky. But for all you knitting secretaries out there... this is how I knit at work.

We are in the process of digitizing 30 years worth of files. Part of my job is to digitize these files by scanning them through our copy machine, which sends the digitized file to my computer. Since it takes a while to do this, a lot of my time is spent staring at the wall, waiting for one stack to finish scanning so I can put another stack into the scanner. This is a HUGE reason why less of this gets done than I have time for... it is extremely boring. A stack doesn't take long enough to go through so that I can go do something else, and it doesn't go through quick enough to stand there and wait... what to do? grab your knitting of course!

So yesterday, I brought with me my second mitten to work on, I was getting close to the decreases at the fingertips, so I worked on that while I digitized files. I was just about to do the first decrease, I checked my bag for a stitch marker... didn't have one. Crap! my plan had been ruined! I looked around, hmmm... paperclips... YES!!! a large paper clip fits perfectly on a size 8 dpn. bwa ha ha <> Nothing can stop me!!

Of course, when you are decreasing and trying to keep track of k2, k2tog, on this round, k around the next, etc. the phone will ring. The phone always rings when you are telling a co-worker a funny story that happened over the weekend, it always rings when your friend on the Instant Messenger is asking you a question about something very important, and it ALWAYS rings when you are counting stitches. How to remedy this? Post-it notes. Find a post-it note (you may need more than one, depending on what you are working on) fold it in half so the sticky part sticks to itself. Since I was switching between k rounds and k2/k2tog rounds, I wrote "k2, k2tog" on one side, and "k around" on the other side. When I passed the marker, I just flipped over my little post-it note, so if the phone rang, I wouldn't have to listen to what the caller wanted AND keep repeating to myself "knit two, knit two together" in my head, I could just read my little post-it note reminder.

I actually got to the point of casting off the fingertips yesterday. The pattern I am using has you decrease until there are 11 stitches on the needles, break yarn, thread yarn thru last 11 stitches and pull tight and weave in the end on the inside. Ok, piece of cake... I'll just grab my darning needle... uh... no darning needle. Ok, I don't have a darning needle, but I do have paperclips... lots of paperclips. For this I used a small, smooth paperclip (not the kind that has the lines scratched into it and not the plastic covered kind). If you have played with paperclips as much as I have (I am fidgety) you know that if you bend a paperclip in the same place about 5 times, it will break at that spot. I opened up a small paperclip, bent it until it broke in half and kept the half with the smaller loop on it. I stuck the yarn inside the loop and squeezed the paperclip until the loop closed, trapping my yarn inside. I then could use this to thread the yarn through my last 11 stitches. I didn't attempt to weave in the end with it though, I think that is asking too much of a paperclip. The make-shift darning needle has a little point that sticks out on the side (unless you work in an office that has needle-nose pliers, which I don't), so that catches on the yarn and snags it, save your end-weaving for when you get home.

I hope some of these office knitting tips will help you, whether you knit at work, on the bus, at the gym, at school or you just have not invested in all those "extra" knitting notions.



Why isn't the past tense of "knit"... "knat"? Sit - Sat... knit - knat... right?
anyway... I have one finished object, one nearly finished, one started, and supplies purchased for two more projects... it's been a full day!

First, I finished a Christmas present this morning, here's a picture.

Of course you don't see anything, I said it's a CHRISTMAS PRESENT. The person it is for reads this... wouldn't want to ruin any surprises. Sorry... there will be a picture after the gift is given. I promise.

Second, the nearly finished is my mitten! I want to run around screaming I KNIT A MITTEN!!! while wearing it. does that make me wierd?

Going to mom's tonight for dinner with the family and then she can help me finish the tip of the thumb and the fingertips. I LOVE this mitten, the colors are great, it fits perfect and feels great, that Manos del Uruguay is just amazing, and it was so much fun to knit.

When I got done weaving and realized I couldn't finish my mitten, or start the second, I had to knit something. So I cast on this hat that I found on Yarn Harlot's blog. (it's not in a recent post, I have started from the beginning and am reading the whole thing. That's what I do when I'm bored at work. I think I have a knitting crush on Stephanie) I just got the last stitch cast on and joined to knit in the round when mom called and said she was there to pick me up.

See that pink curled up thing there next to my needle guage, that's a swatch, I even made a swatch to count my stitches per inch! woohoo!

Mom was picking me up so we could go out to Forma loom. It is a weaving/knitting shop WAY out in the country of Whitmore Lake (just about 10 minutes outside of Ann Arbor). I need some yarn for my double weave project for school, so this is the only place around here to buy weaving yarn and supplies. Here's a pic of everything I bought.

The two cones on the left are what I'll be weaving. They are about a pound each of sapphire blue and lilac, 100% rayon, and so smooth and shiny. After what I've been using at school, this will be a dream to weave with. I would like to take that rayon boucle off the loom at school and burn it and dance around it naked, it is such a pain in my arse.

That pink cone in the middle is some neat 2ply cotton and something else that is really cool, that I can either knit or weave with... what a dilemma. and the cone of white is a cotton rayon blend (only 14% rayon) that I plan to dye, what I do with it after I dye it is not yet determined.

I see you are admiring those two skeins in front of the cones. As well you should... that is a silk/rayon 2ply, space dyed in all my favorite colors. That will also be used for a Christmas present, so there will be no more pictures of the yarn, until after Christmas. It is amazingly soft and will be perfect. There is 300 yards per skein and can you beleive it was only $8.95!! I had to get two, even though one should be plenty for the gift.

What's with all the rayon today?

Thanksgiving part two is tomorrow. Yesterday I went with Ryan for his family's thanksgiving. It was SO much fun, their family is about 30 people at this point and they are all close and get along (as much as a family should anyway). It is the complete polar opposite of anything I have experienced. My family is very small and not close at all, with the exception of a few extended family members. So I feel very lucky to have found this other family that has accepted me as their own and lets me share holidays with them. Thank you Ryan!

So part two is my family: mom, dad, Shannon, Ryan and me. The plan is to spend the day watching old beta tapes of home movies and also The Monkees tv show. Shannon and I and our two best friends growing up, Tia and Leah (respectively) grew up watching two beta tapes full of Monkees episodes that were taped off MTV in 1986, when there was some sort of Monkees anniversary and a full day marathon. My parents had just gotten their brand new beta recorder and were taping anything and everything. Lucky for us, our beta still works and we can still watch old monkees episodes. We used to watch these tapes after school and we'd all call out which one was our boyfriend, "I get Micky!" was always what I would say, but now that I am older, I think I like Mike better. He was always the rational, level headed guy (and with the most "real" musical talent).

I hope everyone had a wonderful thanksgiving and that no one got trampled in any stores today.



We saw RENT last night at the theater, it was amazing. I give it two thumbs up, 4 1/2 out of 5 stars and an A. Wow... It was just so good, and I am a die-hard fan and hard to please. I will be listening to the soundtrack for the next couple weeks, I'm sure. They did an amazing job at sticking to the original story and making it more screen friendly. I think the movie is much easier to follow than the play. I was dissappointed that quite a few excellent songs were left out, one of my favorites in particular is Christmas Bells which is at least four different parts singing different songs at the same time and they just go together beautifully and shows what talent Jonathan Larson had. The few parts they had to throw in for the story to make sense were good, I was skeptical for the first few minutes of each added scene, and my sister and I each took turns looking at each other and rolling our eyes followed by the "what the hell is this?!" look. But the scenes were usually necessary and well done. They were short enough to not really change anything or make the story too complex. The beauty of the stage version is how everything is played out on a single stage with a single set up, the pit band is on stage visible throughout and the same props are used over and over for different things. In my opionion, the stage version is pretty much cheese-free. It's hard to have more than one person burst into song and choreographed dance without a little cheesey-ness, and I think the movie did very well with that too. The movie has far more speaking parts than the play, but that's ok, becuase the rhythm at which the lines were spoken, kept the same feeling that it had in the play.

Go see it... No day but today! Oh yeah, and Happy Thanksgiving!


A watched pot...

My day job is mostly me sitting in front of a computer all day. When I have nothing else to do, I peruse the internet, which is bad for a number of reasons.

  • My credit card gets a good work-out

  • My gluteus maximus is widening

  • This laziness has bled into the rest of my life

  • When I finally do get some work to do, I'd rather be reading blogs or playing on the internet

  • I check my web hosting stats at Yahoo! repeatedly, to the point of obsession.

Which brings me to my question of the day. Does a watched web site never get hits? If I go to my Yahoo Web Hosting page, say, 8 times a day to see how many people have visited, am I watching a pot that will never boil? or am I just impatient and irrational thinking that among the bazillion websites out there, mine should be more popular.

Last night I finished my first set of Fiber Art Post Cards, they went out in the mail today... only one day before the due date. I signed up for this group thing in October, because at that point I had plenty of time to work on them and was really excited about it. But then, of course, the due date got closer and closer and I lost interest before I even started working on them. But they are finished, done, ca-put and I really doubt I'll sign up for another one; it's just not my bag baby. Here they are...

Now I am on my way to school, to battle with the loom some more. I am learning double weave. So far it's not difficult... the maddening part is that I used an 8/2 cotton in combo with a rayon boucle yarn in my warp. the bumps on the rayon get all tangled up with the cotton and with other strands of rayon for a big nasty mess, so far I have snapped 3 warp ends, so tonight, hopefully I'll get it all straightened out and the tension right and be able to start weaving.

My little sister is home for Thanksgiving from North Carolina and I can't wait to see her tomorrow night! She is meeting me after work and we're going straight to the movie theater to see RENT. I can hardly contain myself... the two in combination: the RENT movie AND seeing Shannon.... ahhhh!!!!


it's back

I knew it would happen, I've been in denial for at least a month or two.
Winter. it's here. and it brought with it snow and whipping cold winds. grrrrreeeeeaaaat... my favorite.

I guess the one good thing about winter, I can sit inside under a blanket and knit and not feel guilty. ok, honestly, I can do that in the summer too... I don't get guilty about knitting or sewing or weaving... because I am doing something, I'm not laying on the couch watching soaps and eating bon bons.

I finished the hat part of the hat, all that is left is the chin strap... which might take forever... I cast on 6 stitches and it has to be 26 inches long. yeah, twenty-six inches. sheesh.

Christmas present number one is half done. It's a not-girly-at-all-scarf.
Christmas present number two is not quite threaded onto the loom yet. I have the reed threaded, just have to thread the heddles and tie all the ends. That's the time consuming part, the actual weaving will go quick.
Christmas presents number three and four are still ideas in my head.

Who are they all for? I'll never tell.

I haven't done anything to the shibori panels. I think I have decided to do hand stitching on them, instead of peeling off the fused pieces. Maybe that will be on the agenda for my time off after Christmas. I like to save a week or so of vacation days and have the whole week between Christmas and New Years off work. it's great, just like being in high school again, without the homework.

I registered for my last semester of school last week. I am taking one more textiles class and Physical Science 101 with lab. I knew it, I knew I would leave one stupid academic class for last. Oh well, it shouldn't be too bad. I took physical science in high school and a biology and chemistry class, this should be review, right? The scariest class I ever took was Chemistry. I took it at the local community college, the lecture part was fine, but the lab was awful. Everything was easy, I understood everything we read, but I could barely make out what the lab instructor was saying. She had a VERY thick Asian accent. That was only half of the problem. The other half was the students in the class. I could not beleive the dumb things they were doing. My lab partner and I were seriously afraid. The worst part, the three students across from our lab station, were all nursing students. They couldn't measure liquids in a beaker, they couldn't follow instructions and their results were frequently wrong. I took a mental note of what they all looked like, in case I'm ever hurt and run into them again.

Tomorrow, I learn to knit in the round. Mom's going to teach me to knit mittens! I did a swatch of my Manos del Uruguay yarn on size 8 needles; perfection! After the mittens, I'll be attempting either socks or a sweater. Possibly both. I have a feeling that I will succumb to the sock obsession. Once I learn to knit in the round, I can make some better baby booties. I was just not impressed with the one I finished.


My poor neglected blog

Oh my! I haven't posted in almost a week! Bad blogger, bad! I do have an excuse... how many would you like?

Excuse number one:

I spent all of monday night after work, hand stitching with my hand dyed silk noil on all three panels. Where is all that hand stitching you ask? don't strain your eyes looking for it, it's not there. I went to class Tuesday night, expecting a critique, but we didn't have one. We had one-on-ones with the teacher, which was fine. I hung my three panels up and immediately we decided that the lighter pinkish one didn't really need to go with the other two. so that has become a separate piece. Then we spent quite a while figureing out what to do with these other two. I stayed for another hour in class and did more hand stitching and hung them up again to look. The hand stitching was only visible from about 3 foot away, once you got more than that far from them, even with gallery lights shining on them, the hand stitching dissappears.

Reluctantly, Wednesday night, I ripped out all my hand stitching. I cut out all those thin pieces of fabric and fused them to the panels. I am not in love with it. I definitely will do some hand stitching on them to help the fused pieces to blend in. right now, it looks like they are floating in front and are not a part of the background. I don't think I'll do anything to them for a while though. I need to put them out of view for a while so I can look at them fresh after a few weeks, months... uh... hopefully not years. I am just sorta dissappointed and wish I hadn't put those fused pieces on. I kindof liked that you couldn't see the stitching until you got up close to it, it's like a little surprise. I'm imagining them hanging in a gallery, from across the room, you see them and they are interesting enough to walk up to for a closer look. once you get there, you see all the meticulous hand stitching. I am kindof sad that it is gone. and mad at myself for doing the fused pieces, in part to please the teacher. So I MIGHT try to steam the pieces off. I used wonder under, has anyone had any experience un-fusing wonder under? does it leave nasty glue marks behind?

Excuse number two:

Here is the hat. I am more than halfway done. I am having so much fun knitting this. It's so easy and so not boring with all the k2, p2 ribbing and keeping track of what row I'm on. I love it!

Saturday, my mom and I drove to Grand Rapids for a visit with my best friend Leah and her mom Michele. They found out earlier this week that the cancer has spread to her liver and brain. They don't know how much time that leaves her. Leah has been staying with her at the hospital all day and all night for the past week. We came to help her out at home in any way we possibly could. They have been remodeling their basement since mid-summer so Michele would have her own bedroom there, it is nearly finished, that is mainly what we helped with; cleaning and vacuuming drywall dust and scraping globs of plaster off the cement flloor. We didn't get it all ready to be painted and ready for carpet until about 9pm, so we stopped for dinner and we left for home around 10.
I am very glad we could come help and also very glad we got to go to the hospital to see Michele. She was laying under the quilt I made for her. Leah has told me many times how wonderful the quilt is, that they take it everywhere they go and it brings such comfort to Leah to see her mom with it. That is exactly what I hoped it would do.

During the day, we escaped the "real world" for a while because Leah had a knitting class. She was learning to make a felted purse. So of course, we went with her and perused the yarn shop and some other little shops in the area. Did I leave empty handed? Of course not.

I got one skein of recycled silk. I have always wanted some of that! but it usually is kindof rough to the touch. this skein is particularly soft, so I had to have it. I don't know yet what it will become.
The other two skeins are Manos del uruguay, chunky wool. I think these will be mittens (for me!).

It was a bittersweet day, but I am extremely thankful we had it.


One day to do it

Once again, I have put off the finishing of a school project until the last possible moment. I worked on my shibori pieces for probably about a whole half hour on Saturday. I did maybe 4 lines of hand stitching with my hand-dyed silk noil thread, then hung up the piece and walked away. I had planned on coming back to it after a half hour or so, to look at it fresh and decide where I'm going with this, but after I walked away, I got sidetracked. I cast on a really rediculous hat for the new baby in the family. I started and frogged it at least twice before Ryan came over and we went out for dinner. mmmm...chinese food.... I've been craving that for a long time.
Ryan told me something that I found quite funny; partly because it's so true and partly becuase I didn't realize how true it is. He was talking to his mom over the weekend, she mentioned to him that she saw the bootie on my blog, and he told her, "yeah, every time I call her she's knitting". hahahahahhahaha! oh man... it's so true. And amazingly, even though I am "always knitting" how do I only have ONE finished knitted item?

We rented Melinda and Melinda. A new-ish Woody Allen movie. It's the first Woody Allen movie I've seen and I liked it. It was a two in one story, sortof similar to Sliding Doors that shows two perspectives or two outcomes of the same situation. Only this one was the same story, once depicted as a tragedy and the other depicted as a comedy. Will Ferrel is in it and was great. He should definitely do more toned down humor like this, it was great. (I didn't like Anchorman or his other SNL movies, not that that has anything to do with, well, anything.)

In other news, I have been informed that the OSU objects I donated to the auction went for $55 for the small wall hanging and $70 for the bag (paired with another item as a his and hers package). I am glad to have helped the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. The auction raised $21,000 total! YAY!!!!

Critique is tomorrow night, so I will be spending all evening on hand stitching more detail into my three shibori panels. Photos to come later this week.


Got it all figured out

This is the new plan... there will not be a log cabin wall quilt. There will be a shibori triptych.

I went in to school on Tuesday with all my fabrics that I've been working on for the past 3 weeks or so. I laid them all out on a table with my modified log cabin drawing. I hunted down the teacher and asked if I could borrow her brain for a bit. I explained where I planned on going with the fabric and showed her my drawing, asked her my questions, and we actually discussed things and she helped me work through some things. After we decided on a direction for me, I took another look at that green and brown shibori piece. I hung it up alone so I could look at it and decide if I really could bare to cut it up. a few other students saw it and told me how nice it was just as it is. So I got that dark puple one out and hung it to the left of the green, then found the lighter purple and hung it to the right of the green. Then I hunted down the teacher once again and asked if she could look at one more thing with me. I asked if those three pieces were interesting enough to stand alone. She said they were. So that is where I'm headed. I will not be cutting anything up and sewing it back together.

I admitted to her that the previous modified log cabin plan was somewhat comfortable for me, that I was doing that because I know I can do it. These whole-cloth panels are something I have never done before. And for that reason too, I am glad the log cabin is out of my head. I have a lot of shibori fabric left that can become a log cabin quilt later.

This is a close-up of the panel on the right, that I put back on the pvc pipe, scrunched it and bleached it.

The log cabin design came out of a challenge from a friend at school. She brought in a design she had seen, it was some company's logo, just printed on the bottom of a shipping package.

She asked me if it could be sewn, she didn't think it would be possible to sew a piece into a corner like that, but I assured her, I could do it. I had done it before because I have never really liked the traditional log cabin patterns because there is always one piece that is either the same size as the center square or there is a piece that goes all the way across the bottom of the block. So I took the drawing home with me and set out to prove it could be done. And I did.


Holy crap, it's November!

Where the heck did October go?! I swear, wasn't it JUST August? Being busy sure makes the days and months go by fast!

Over the weekend I got absolutely NO sewing done. I should never have learned to knit. It is consuming my brain, I can't concentrate on all the projects I am in the middle of. I have all that shibori fabric that somehow needs to become a wall quilt before next Tuesday and all I have is an idea and a stack of fabric. I did one drawing on some graph paper and colored it in with colored pencils, but it's not exactly what I had pictured in my head, so I'm kindof stalled. Maybe I can go in to school tonight and get some help from the teacher. If she's willing to spend any time with me. So far she just sorta checks in once a week for 2 minutes or less and moves on to the more beginner students. Thanks for the gesture of confidence, but support and interest is great too, and I'm not getting any of that.

So what did I accomplish this weekend? THIS!!!! One baby bootie! yeah, that's right, I knit a baby bootie, second one is on the way, and there may be a third, then I can pick the best two out of the three. (no jokes about a 3-legged baby here, that is bad luck!) I still need to get it wet and shape it, it's sortof funny looking right now. I might also try to alter the pattern a bit because the foot looks like it is way too long for a newborn. I hope this doesn't turn into picking the best 2 out of 4 or 5.

For Halloween, Ryan and I went to hand out candy at his nephew's house while the family went out trick'r'treating. It was fun despite the cold and rain. Here is me and Joey, he is a sharp-tooth dinosaur, of course. I didn't dress up this year, last year I wore some vampire teeth and some yellowish brown contacts and he wouldn't come near me. The vampire teeth were just little caps to put on your own teeth with denture adhesive. Oh man... it sure made me appreciate my teeth and encouraged me to floss and brush well every day. That denture glue is the grossest stuff!

After Joey came back with his parents from Trick'r'Treating, he helped us "sell candy to the kids".
He was still rambunctious as ever at 10:00 when we left, hopefully they all got some sleep last night. I'm reallly starting to appreciate the whole nephew thing, you can come over and play for a while and then go home and sleep all night.
Here is Ryan responding to Joey's request: "Kunkle, make me hit myself!"

We left there around 10 when my nose started stuffing up from their two cats who aren't happy unless they are laying on your chest. Yes, it is possible that I may be the ONLY knitting blogger that does not have or want cats.


Will I ever have enough shibori fabric?

After another week of school, I have six more pieces of dyed fabric. I dyed them on Tuesday and let them sit until I could come back on Thursday to rinse. These three shibori ones turned out great! Someone in class actually asked me, "how much fabric do you need for this project!?" I said, "I don't know, but this better be enough." So this first piece is just great. (pic below is pretty fuzzy) I really just want to hang it up as it is. I can see it all hemmed on the edges and with some kind of meticulous hand stitching all over it in some kind of organic flower vines pattern or something. I do need it for the log cabin-ish quilt I'm planning though. So I will end up cutting it up and sewing it back together with all my other shibori fabrics. I hope it's worth it!!!

Here are two more pieces from last night. The first one started out purple with mocha on it after being scrunched, the second one is the opposite.

So last week, I was emptying out all the trash cans from home and putting it all in one big bag to take out to the dumpster. I got into the sewing room and started to dump the trash from there. I had thrown the three skeins of pink baby alpaca in there the week before after seeing all the moth holes in it. I started dumping the trash out into the bag and at the last minute grabbed the three skeins and set them on the table and took the rest of the trash outside. Wednesday night I sat down and started to unwind the skeins, one at a time to see what I could selvedge. I got enough to do... something with...some day. hehehe... just can't let it go to waste! throwing it away would have been knitting sacrilege! I saved my soul from the knitting devil at the very last moment! So this is what I was left with, 3 smallish balls of good stuff and a pile of small pieces, lovingly separated from the rest of the skein by some moths. (yes, I threw all the small pieces away, I'm not completely insane)

I've also been knitting a Christmas present with Classic Elite Imagine yarn for a certain someone who reads this blog. I love the colors and the shiny rayon that goes thru it, but it is not so fun to knit with. it's kind of hard against my fingers. I'm almost done with it though and it is looking very nice. I also think my tension is a big part of it too. I noticed I was pulling the yarn really tight when I pull the loop off the left needle. I also noticed that I clench my jaw when I knit. I need to stop both of those bad habits.

Last but certainly not least, my best friend in the whole world (we've been best friends since the age of 3) has a blog for her mom, you can view it here. Over the summer her mom was diagnosed with a rare and very aggressive form of uterine cancer. She designed the blog to be like a prayer circle. The goal is to get as many people all over the world to participate so that every minute of every day, someone, somewhere is wishing them good thoughts and healing (and prayers if you're so inclined). They are the most amazing and beautiful women I have ever been so lucky to have in my life. Please take a moment to think about them today.


Another good weekend makes Monday more miserable

Ok, so I'm not miserable, but I am slightly annoyed that I got up at 7am to get to work by 8:30 so I could sit here and do nothing. I guess I should quit complaining about being employed and getting a regular paycheck. I'm sure there are lots out there who aren't as lucky. I can pay my bills and that is all that matters.

The weekend was great. Ryan and I watched a movie Friday night called Sin City with Bruce WIllis and lots of other recognizable people in it but their names are not coming to mind at the moment. I thought the movie was AWFUL, Ryan liked it. It was basically just an excuse to show sex and violence, lots of guns, lots of body parts being cut off. Total guy movie or "dick flick". So, I got a little nap in during the movie and then knit thru the rest of it. Got quite a few rows of the baby blanket done. So it wasn't a wasted evening. The movie did have some redeeming qualities, it was exactly like a comic book. The direction and artistic quality was really cool. I still don't reccomend it though.

I got to work in the sewing room all day on Saturday. after I got up at 11:30... on accident. I mean it, I had planned on getting up at 9. I must've needed the extra sleep. So this is what I'm working on now. I decided the previous calendar contest piece I started wasn't that great. I'll probably finish it, but not for the contest. I decided to stick with the same theme, my dog Olive, but in a different scene. This was her favorite spot, sitting in front of the patio door with her nose inbetween the vertical blinds. She would sit there and watch, until she saw something, anything move (which is pretty often when you live in an apartment building) and she would FREAK OUT! she jumped all over the place barking and growling and snarling. You can't even imagine how awful a scene it was. The people outside thought it was hilarious. Especially when they got to see me trying to make her stop. So anyway... Here she is looking out the window.

The finished piece has to be either 12 or 14 inches square (this one is 12). but what I have done so far is 5 by 6. So I have some decisions to make about the outside border. The original plan was to do sortof a log cabin thing with a lot of different colored scraps. But I started laying it out adn it just takes focus away from Olive. So I think I like that overdyed purple fabric with a not so black small border right around the picture part, instead of the blue. Then I can do some hand stitching on the purple border.

Any thoughts, ideas, suggestions?

Saturday night Ryan and I went out to Bennigan's for dinner. (If Bennegins is supposed to be an Irish Pub, why is half the menu Cajun? Everything has cajun spice in it.) It was very good despite the not-so-great service on this particular night. Then we were going to go to Toys R Us to get some ideas for Christmas presents for his 3-1/2 year old nephew. We didn't get there in time, they were going to close in 10 minutes, so we didn't go in. We went to Borders instead and browsed books. Me in the knitting section and him in the automotive section (which happen to be right next to each other, so when I spotted a picture of a cocker spaniel wearing a home-made sweater, I could show him and say, "see, this is why I need a dog"). So we each left with a couple things and some coffee (white chocolate mocha, yum!). I bought my first ever knitting magazine and took some notes on a couple things I can put on my Christmas list.

I told Ryan that I was going to make him watch The Music Man or Bye Bye Birdie. Some kind of chick flick to make up for what we watched the night before. He said something like, "we can watch whatever you want" and then I told him that all the movies I rattled off were musicals and he scrunched up his nose. We ended up watching Saturday Night Live, I wouldn't make him watch musicals, I know he hates them and it would not be fun for me to watch them like that. I learned the hard way when we went to see RENT together. I had seen it twice before, and loved it, but he did not enjoy it even a little bit.

Sunday we carved pumpkins at my parents house. The farm we bought the pumpkins at had baby pigs, chickens, two turkeys, bunnies, goats and a llama. We got to pet the goats, and a bunny, the llama didn't want anything to do with us.

Here we are from left to right, Jack-o-Ryan, Candice-o-lantern and Jack-o-Mom-o-Lantern.

Oh yeah, and meet Dinger... my virtual pet (see side-bar).


more shibori

I dyed three more half yards of fabric last night. All Shibori. I really like shibori dying. It's so easy and you come out with such neat fabrics. This time I painted two pieces light pink, then wrapped and scrunched them on the pvc and painted one with purple and the other with mocha/brown. The third piece I did light kiwi and then darker avocado on top. (so far, all the dyes I've used for this next project all have names of fruit except for the mocha, which is a beverage... Mocha, Eggplant, Kiwi, Avocado. Avocado is a fruit right?)

So, here's a pic of ALL my shibori for this project.

And here are the two pieces I painted on Tuesday.

I might use that purple/green one, but I doubt it. and I will not be using the red/purp/brown one, it reminds me of Freddy Krueger.

The OSU stuff was sent out today, here are a couple shots of the finished items that will be up for Auction at the OSU game. Proceeds will be going to Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. I hope no one tells the bidders they were made by a girl who lives a mile from Michigan Stadium! That doesn't mean I'm a fan though. I hate football.

I am relieved to have those OSU things done. It was one of the more difficult things I've worked on lately. I think because I had such a limited knowledge of Football and Ohio State football specifically, and also because I only had about two weeks to work on it, which is my own fault. Now I can focus on my next project with the SHibori fabrics. I think I am going to do a variation on a log cabin quilt for this. I thought of it last night before I fell asleep, and amazingly still remembered it in the morning, so it must be a good idea.

In other exciting news... As you may now, I've been playing these $5 bingo scratch off lottery tickets. Here's a tally so far...
Bought one: -$5 Won $10
Bought one: -$5 Won $20
Bought two: -$10 Won $10
Bought four: -$20 Won $100, yes, I said one hundred. I won a hundred dollars on a scratch off ticket! wooohoooo! So fifty of it is going to my mom, who is going to hide it from me until I have to pay my renters insurance. I'll take probably $20 of it and buy four more tickets and the rest will just go into my wallet for whatever random thing I need cash for. I checked online and the $300,000 winning ticket is still out there. It will be mine, bwa ha ha... IT WILL BE MINE.

Looking forward to the weekend, I don't have anything exciting planned, but just looking forward to NOT going to work. The more blogs I read while I'm here at work, the more annoyed and more jealous I get. I just want to be home sewing or knitting or weaving or dying fabric... anything other than sitting at this desk in front of this computer waiting for something to do. So, all this talk of lottery tickets and money, it's not that I am greedy, it is that I hate working. I can't think of a single job I could get up before the sun for and be happy about it. Unless I can do it in my pj's and at home. So that is my goal in all this lottery talk. I either have to win the lottery, get famous real quick or find a rich guy and marry him. That third one wouldn't be a problem if I weren't already in love.


A hard night's work

I got a good amount of work done tonight at school. I dyed 4 half-yards (aka two yards) of fabric. I did two shibori pieces; I painted each piece first with dye, light eggplant on one and light kiwi on the other. Then while they were still wet with dye I wrapped them around a pvc pipe, somewhat loosely, then scrunched it all toward the middle. I let it sit for about 10 minutes before I painted on the darker of each color. They sat for about an hour while I painted some stripes on two more half yard pieces. I rinsed and washed the two shibori pieces and spun them out in the washer at school. at this point it was about 8:30 (class is technically over at 8:20) so I brought them home and hung them in the bathroom to air dry.

I left the other two pieces at school, I'll rinse them out on Thursday.

Over the weekend, I worked on the baby booties. I cast on and frogged over and over, just sorta practicing the ribbing. But I kept getting weak spots in the yarn, I would be knitting along and all of a sudden, the strand in my right hand would just fall apart, and I'd have to knot it and keep going. I was sortof expecting this to be a practice bootie anyway, but I did want to use the so cute and so soft pink alpaca fleece yarn I already had 3 skeins of. I only had about 4 rows of ribbing that actually looked ALMOST perfect and I had 3 knots in it where the yarn had come apart. So I finally gave up. I took it off the needles and threw it at Ryan and exclaimed, "this yarn SUCKS!" The next day I showed the yarn to my mom and we examined the skein and we found little areas that must be moth holes. unfortunatley, this is second hand yarn, no way of knowing where it's been, how old it is etc. So I threw all 3 skeins away. I COULD unravel the skein and see if the center of it is usable, but that is too much work.

So we made a trip to not one, not two, but three places to buy yarn. hehehe. First stop was Knit A Round in Ann Arbor. We petted every different kind of yarn there twice or more, but didn't buy anything. Then we ventured over to Flying Sheep, on the other side of Ann Arbor (did I mention it was a UofM home game Saturday? yes, we are brave). I had the bootie pattern with me and we consulted the woman working the register there and she helped us figure out what kinds of yarn we could use and still follow the pattern exactly and how much yarn we would need. So I picked out a nice soft lavendar, which I think I'll only need one skein of. and there was this SOOOOOOO cute fringey yarn that matched perfectly, so I had to get some and I think I'll add a few rows of that in the ribbing.

And the third stop was JoAnn Etc. I think we have the best and biggest JoAnn store. I can go and wander for a long time there. I try to never go without a 40% coupon and I can't leave without buying something. So this trip, I left with a HUGE skein of variegated purple yarn to make a baby blanket. this honker has almost 900 yards on it! such a steal at only $7.99. perfect for a baby blanket that will be washed and spit up on and washed some more and who knows what else.

Yes, that bowl used to have chocolate ice cream in it. Don't ask me where it went, I don't know.


That's "MISS Ambitious" to you!

I am a VERY beginning knitter. as of last week I only knew how to knit, but then over the weekend my lis' sis' was home from Asheville and she taught me how to purl. So yesterday, I printed out a couple knitting patterns from the internet including, some baby afghans, a baby poncho and two different patterns for baby booties. No, I'm not pregnant, but Ryan's sister is. Since Ryan's mom is a quilter extraordinaire, I am not going to quilt a baby blanket for her. I decided I either have to weave or knit a baby blanket, but now I'm thinking cute little pink booties will be even cuter. and maybe a blanket too... we'll see. So last night I pulled out a skein of pink yarn and cast on the number of stitches one of the bootie patterns called for, then started to figure out on my own the K1, P1, K1, P1. I did two rows like that, but it didn't look like any baby bootie ribbing I'd ever seen, so I called Shannon, turns out she was doing homework at the bar with a friend, haha. Shannon explained to me how to knit and purl within the same row. I was using circular needles and when switching between K and P, I was pulling the yarn through the middle of the needles (reaching thru the circle) which apparently, is WRONG. so she told me how to do it and I did about 3 or 4 rows and lost track of my K's and P's. I frogged it a couple times and started over. it's ok though. Baby isn't due till February, I have plenty of time to either 1. learn to knit baby booties or 2. scrap the freakin' booties and make a baby blanket. But I have every intention of going toward #1.

As for the moonflowers and the finished critique... it went well. Teacher was pleased except kept saying that she didn't like the quilting I did in the moon. I quilted off-center concentric circles. which... in my defense, were much less visible under the lighting of my sewing room. But a lot of the students in the class weren't bothered by them. I think they are a tad too geometric for the rest of the piece, but it's kinda too late to do anything about it. if I rip out those stitches, the needle holes will still be there because I used Heat'n'Bond instead of wonder under. I suppose I could add more stitching on top of what is already there in a more flowing, stippleing stitch. we'll see. maybe I'll hang it up in my apt. so I have to look at it every day, then maybe I'll come up with a good way to fix it.

I got into a really loud heated conversation about class with my mom on the phone last night. We weren't fighting, it was mostly me being annoyed/pissed at my teacher. I just can't handle people that interrupt. So far, my teacher seems to be the Queen of interrupting. Not only does she cut the speaker off, but she doesn't even stick with the subject. It's liek thoughts are coming into her brain so fast that she has to spit them out before they are gone forever. But it jsut shows me that she is not even listening to what the other person is saying, since she is changing the subject when she interrupts and that she has absolutely no respect for anyone.

Want some examples? ok, I have examples. (oh man, I can feel it, I'm getting all worked up about it again)
1. at the critique Tuesday night, I was explaining my piece. One of the students had a question about the process of free-motion quilting, she had never done it and wanted to try. While I was listening to her question, the teacher says in a louder voice, "What are you going to do with the flowers?". I just looked at her, probably gave her the evil eye, and went back to listening to my classmate.
2. After the crit last night, I asked teacher if she wanted us to turn our pieces in to her, or if we could take them with us. Her reply, "Oh, I was going to bring my camera, I forgot." and then she kept rambling on about that w/o answering my question. I waited until she was done and asked again, "so are we leaving these with you?". Her reply, "Oh, Ann got us the display cases in the hallway so we can hang our work in there." Ok, that's not really an answer either. So I took my piece home with me. I certainly am not going to leave something I've been working on for 4 weeks with someone who can't give me a yes or no answer whether they want to take it to grade it or not.

Now I know for sure that my problem with this new teacher is not related to my problem with change in general. It's not that it's change I don't like, it's that this change is not a good one. I read something on Karoda's blog that I think I need to adopt as my new mantra for a while. "if you don't change, life will change you" and "the only people who don't change are 6 feet under". So true, but so hard for me for some reason. I just don't want the good times to end I guess.



Despite my superb ability to procrastinate and come up with excuses for what I think needs to be done before I can get to work, my moonflowers are finished. I had one evening to finish it, which shouldn't have been a problem. But I had the hardest time getting myself into the sewing room to work on it. The plan was the go right home and work on it until it was done.

Since I was out of milk, bread, granola bars, chocolate pudding, etc. I decided I needed some groceries. So I spent an hour after work at Meijer, got home and put the groceries away and ate dinner (which was already made in the crock pot, good for me for thinking ahead! I knew I wouldn't have time to cook after work). So then I had a mess in the kitchen so I did dishes, took out the trash and the recycling. Then moved on to clean the dining room, I had about two weeks worth of random papers and receipts and things on the dining room table, including my cutting mat, rotary cutter and ruler that had been there since Saturday. After the apartment was sufficiently clean, I mosied on into the bedroom and changed into my big comfy sweatshirt, put my hair up and then went into the bathroom to take my contacts out. I wanted to wear my glasses in case I had more needle breaking problems. They aren't safety glasses in the least, but there's less of a chance a broken needle will fly into my eye than if I were wearing contacts, which offer no protection at all. Then, FINALLY I made it into the sewing room at about 8 and didn't stop until about 11 for a break to lay on the floor and stretch my back. Then back to it after a 15 minute rest and chat on the phone with my man. I was determined to finish it, I wasn't going to go to bed until it was done. and that's what I did.
(this picture is a tad dark)

Here it is, it is finished! I stayed up until 12:30 last night getting it done because I have to turn it in tonight. I am very pleased. I decided to put stitching on everything, I was thinking about leaving the moon and the ground area without quilting, but I didn't want the ground to be a focal point, which I think would be the result of no quilting in one area, it would make it stand out. And I just put some big nested circles (off-center of course) in the moon, I think it makes it look more spherical.

detail of the ground, flower and leaves

detail of the sky

So tonight is the finished critique. It will be interesting to see what everyone has done to finish their pieces. The class is a mix of 15 people, but we are not all at the same level and technically there are about 5 different classes all being held at the same time, in the same room, with the same teacher. So everyone is working on something completely different. There are 3 beginning weavers, 3 surface designers (just beginning to learn to dye, discharge, screen print etc.) then there are the advanced classes that are more on their own, coming up with their own projects and what they want to learn individually. That's where I am. So today's assignment for myself while I'm here at work is to write my 2nd project proposal. I've never had to write a proposal for any art class before this semester. It kindof works against the way I work. I have somewhat of an idea, this next project is going to be geometric, and I want to do some piecing and some fusing. I also want to dye some more PVC Shibori and use that in contrast with some more solid colors. But that is all I know. I wonder if that is enough of a proposal for my teacher. I guess it is going to have to be, huh?

I like to take 5 or so yards of fabric and dye them, see what I get and then design my work from that, let the fabric inspire me by whatever colors I am in the mood to dye that day. It kind of feels like she is pushing her personal methods on us. She is a note-taker, she keeps gobs and gobs of notebooks on every project or method or technique etc. she's ever done. I am just not that way. I don't plan things out that much and I don't like to do practice pieces or "test" things. I just leap in and do it. Which, doesn't always work, but I learn from it at least. (see post 10.8.2005 for a good example)

I can't believe it is Thursday already! The week sure flies by when you have stuff going on every night of the week.


screwed up

My blog seems to be a bit screwed up. I was updating some things and must have accidentally deleted something important. Whatever part of the code that makes the light pink go all the way down the window must've been moved or deleted. oops! Now I guess I have to save all my blog ring-codes and everything else and re-do my template.

This reminds me of the time I adopted my family's old pc for myself. I set it up in my bedroom, hooked it up to the internet (dial-up at the time) and proceeded to delete all traces of it ever being someone else's computer. So anything I didn't recognize or didn't need got trashed. The next day, I looked at the screen and it was black with a bunch of pixelated splotches of color where the icons should have been. Yeah, must've deleted something really important. This messed up blog is not quite as big a deal though, thankfully.

The critique last night went well. The Moonflowers were well recieved, everyone gave me compliments. I went in with some questions about finishing it, but left with no answers. Somehow the subject got changed or somethinhg, but I didn't get answers. So I am on my own tonight. Have to finish it tonight because I have to bring it back in on Thursday for the finished crit. So I'll let you know more after that... for now... time to fix the blog. grrr...


A revelation

I can't believe how much crap is out there on the internet. I have spent the last hour or so looking for a good webring to add to my website. I do belong to one webring that is a fiber art/contemporary art quilt ring, but it's not bringing any traffic of people who want to buy anything from me. So I went in search of some kind of e-commerce or gift shop ring. I found tons and tons, but in perusing the other sites that belong to the rings, I don't really want to join any of them. SO many people just have ad farms (sites with nothing but money making schemes, affiliate ads, etc.). I guess I need to keep looking.

Critique on the Moonflowers is tonight. it is an in-process critique, which is good because it isn't done yet. I sewed on it for a couple hours on Sunday but broke 5 or 6 needles in less than 10 minutes, then on that 7th needle it started to sew ok for a while. I put some of the veins on the leaves and drew on the flowers with chalk where I want to add more detail. That should be good enough for tonight, I'll finish it Wednesday after work, then take it back in for a finished critique on Thursday. I am very pleased with it so far and anxious to show it off and get instant feedback and some advice on a few things. I'm wondering if it should have a border or not. I was thinking I would just bind it like a quilt, but I dont' think I want any border on it, even if it is only 1/2" wide. Also I was thinking about not doing any quilting in the moon. I think it will make it stand out more. we'll see what the class has to say about all that. Then I can choose to take their advice or ignore them. bwa ha ha ha!

I spent some time at work on my 100 things about me list on Friday and Monday. it is posted here in the sidebar>>>
It was not as hard as I thought it would be. I actually thought of more than 100 things...but decided not to show off. ;) hehe


Should have been a productive day, but...

I had a list of things I wanted to do today while home and able. I didn't accomplish any of them, but did manage to get something done today.

The other night, I remembered a project that I promised a friend. I agreed to make a quilt with the theme of Ohio State University Football. It would be donated by me, to be auctioned off for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. I agreed back in JULY that I would do this. Thursday night, I remembered that I should have been working on it all this time. So Friday morning in the shower I planned it all out in my head, and even thought I would make a handfull of 4 by 6 pieces to donate as well.

Well, that is what I've been working on today.
This was the plan:

This is where it is now:

I didn't do any measuring, except to get the O onto my release paper. then I just started cutting out triangles. Not realizing that I had to have a few that were exactly isocoleze or whatever, kind of like a keystone arch... you have to have one on each side that has a center symmetry line, because now as I get farther from the center of the one side all my points are getting funky. so it needs a major re-haul. maybe tomorrow... ugh.

As I was trying to figure all that out, my mom stopped over and we brainstormed a bit. Then we went out for "brain food" haha, hardly! McDonalds. Man, that shit is so good, but OH SO BAD! After she left, I decided to let the O quilt sit for the night and I got on the computer and listed some things on ebay. Some Silk Noil yarn I ordered and don't like and some other random things I don't want any more, none of them fiber related.

Ryan and I are going out to see "Corpse Bride" tonight. The new Tim Burton stop-animation movie. I think it has been about two years since we went to a movie in a theater! it is just so expensive. Guess I should go put some makeup on and maybe change my clothes. Definitely will have to take off the fuzzy purple slippers.