Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Well, good grief!

Yesterday and today have been the days of many wounds. It is getting ridiculous. It started yesterday when I was in Michael's buying picture frames. I spotted some I liked on the top shelf, which was within easy reach for ME, but was still quite high up. Although I did NOT touch the picture frames next to the ones I was interested in, one of them slid off the shelf and the corner landed right on my ankle bone. I was wearing shoes and socks, so I guess it wasn't as bad as it could have been, but it hurt. A LOT. I was putting my weight on the shopping cart and it was ouchypants.

When I got home, I somehow scraped the skin off my knee getting out of the car. That evening, I clonked my elbows and knees a bunch of times no matter what I was doing.

Today was the most ridiculous of all. While leaving my studio, I took the elevator down, because I had the two wheeler (dolly) with me, lugging stuff down to my car. As I opened the door leading to the outside, the hinge-y arm thing that causes the door to swing back shut after you open it detached itself from the wall above the door, swung down and hit me in the back of the head. It was quite a surprise. I'm just glad it didn't happen on my way in, because then it would have hit me in the FACE.

It was ridiculous. Who does that even happen to?

Me. It evidently happens to ME.
MORE Sensational Knitted Socks

All right, it has been longer than I wanted since I have posted, but I had a busy weekend... I was at a craft show for a total of 21 hours over this past weekend. It was pretty rough. It went fairly well sales-wise, and I managed to have a pretty good number of nice conversations with people, telling them about my new studio at Western Ave. Studios, and getting them to sign my email list! Hopefully, sending out emails will help to get people to come by and see what I'm up to.

Speaking of which, Western Ave. Studios has "Open Studios" every first Saturday of the month, including THIS Saturday! I'll be there from noon to five p.m., hanging out, welcoming visitors, making jewelry, and what have you. If you're in the area, do come by... and say hello! You'll get to wander around and check out over a bunch of art studios, and I'll give you some recommendations of other spots to check out... like the Quilt Museum, which has a big event going on this weekend!

Okay, now on to the knitting. Several months ago, I got some yarn from the Socks That Rock Sock of the Month club, and while I liked the yarn itself, I really didn't like the pattern that came with it. The first sock that I knit up was bulky and not really my style. So, I ripped it out, and whipped these up:
The above pic also shows the eye of partridge heel, which looks nice with the variegated sock yarn.

Below is the top view:


And here is a closeup of the scroll pattern. This yarn tends to shrink a little when washed, so the pattern will be a bit more stretched out after washing:



Project Specs:
Yarn: Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks That Rock medium weight sock yarn, in colorway "Monsoon"
Needles: Double point needles, size 1
Pattern: "Scrolls" stitch, from the book More Sensational Knitted Socks by Charlene Schurch, with 'eye of partridge' heel. Cast on 64 stitches.
Notes: The Amazon.com reviewers are right: this book deserves 5 stars for the cool patterns, well written instructions, and ease of changing different aspects of the sock. This pattern looks like it was more complicated than it really is: I was able to memorize the pattern super fast! I will be buying this book for myself... I borrowed it from Cece this go-around, but it deserves to be in my library for sure.

I have started to realize something about my blogging: I tend to prefer to just post pictures of the finished product, rather than sharing pics of the new yarn, the first few cast on stitches, and the work in progress... and I certainly did not take a picture of the sock I didn't like that I ripped out! I think that if I DID share these pictures, that they would indeed be interesting to people... but for whatever reason, I don't do it. Hmm.

So, in an effort to turn over a new leaf, here is a picture of my latest 'quickie project':


While in London visiting my sister, I bought some Mango Moon Dawn yarn, which is made of 100% recycled sarong cotton in Indonesia. The sales of the yarn help to support families in Nepal and India, and it is really cool and interesting to work with. I had actually knit up the yarn I got in London, and then decided I really needed more yarn. I ordered another skein online, and then when it came, I realized that the two colors looked different enough that it would look strange to just keep knitting. So, I have been alternating between the two skeins. I added the drop stitch because I wanted to really SEE the yarn. I am going to add some awesome fringe before all is done.

Today, I'll be heading over to my studio and doing some whatnot... I will hopefully remember to bring along my camera so I can document the developments over there!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Today was a Better Day

Okay, so if you read my post yesterday and if you are a sensitive person who picks up on very subtle clues, you might have noticed that I was not in the best of moods. What a difference a day makes! It was a rollercoaster so far, but whatever. I can live with that.

I didn't sleep so well... I woke up at 5:30 and knew I was really awake. So, I did laundry. Someone had left their clothes overnight in two of the driers, so I used the other two, forgetting that one of them just does not dry at all. This delayed my leaving the house by an hour. This is an important detail.

Starting when I woke up, I obsessively checked the tracking info on my new laptop. By the time my laundry was finally done, the tracking info still did not state that my laptop was on the delivery truck, so I figured it was safe to run out to order a new window crank for my car. As I was checking out, the front door called to my cell phone (technology is so cool)... yeah, it was my laptop. I may or may not have used a mild curse word. I begged the UPS guy to come back in a few minutes. Then, we got disconnected. I paid the $21.75 for the window crank (what a bargain, eh?) and raced home, muttering, "I will find him... I WILL FIND HIM!" The UPS guy drives around downtown delivering stuff, so I figured I could find him.

I didn't find him. Moreover, he hadn't left one of those sticky notes to let me know when he was coming back! What to do? Do I stay in the house until he comes, possibly 36 hours from now? Do I go out, risking missing the delivery again? I called UPS and whined a little. They promised to contact the driver and request that he call me. (!!!!!!!!!!!) About 45 minutes later, the front door rings up to me again.... LAPTOP!!!!

I raced downstairs and thanked him profusely, and told him that he was my new best friend. He must hear stuff like that all the time, because not only is he nice, but he is seriously gorgeous. We're not talkin' like kinda cute, we're talkin' would have been a model if he wasn't so short. He qualifies as pocket hottie. I managed not to tell him that I loved him, but it was most likely on the tip of my tongue.

Tonight, I'm bringing my new computer over to my friend Cece's house, and her husband is going to do masterful computeristic things to it so that it is even more awesome than it was out of the box. I am thrilled.

Oh, except that after the terrible night's sleep, having to leave the house for the window crank, missing the computer, throwing a hissy fit, and then getting the computer, I got sleepy and fell asleep instead of moving my car and then I got a $15 parking ticket.

So it goes.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

WHY MEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!


Dangit! Dangit, dangit, dangit! Okay, it COULD be worse, but it still STINKS.

My window crank in my car broke right off this evening. I rolled the window up, and kapow! the handle came right off in my hand. Snapped. Part of the plastic is still attached, but not much. Yes, I still have manual windows and door locks. Get over it. If YOU would like to buy me a fancier car, feel free. But until that happens, SHUT UP. I am in no mood.

Anyway, I could totally live without this crank if I didn't park my car in a garage that requires me to swipe a passcard... THROUGH AN OPEN WINDOW. Now, I shall be forced to open the door and physically undo my seatbelt, set the parking brake, get out of the car, and swipe the car.... each and every time I come and go from the parking garage.

Clearly, I cannot live like that for another 5-10 years, which is how long I believe my car will last. So, I will be flushing some stupid money down the stupid drain for a stupid handle.

Oh, and my computer KNOWS I ordered a new one, and it is clearly angry with me. It will not turn on any more (well, it turned on after about 20-30 tries last week), so I can't turn it off any more. And yesterday, it started spontaneously rebooting itself every few hours for no apparent reason. Yes, I have backed up my files on an external hard drive. Yes, the new computer is in the mail.

Stuff breaking STINKS.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

New Studio Space

Okay, I am finally going to be showing off some pictures of my new studio space! For those who have not gotten the memo, I have moved into an art studio space, which will be dedicated to making jewelry. It is located at Western Avenue Studios.

Several months ago, I contacted the management company to see if there were any spaces available. I was sick of my jewelry stuff being set up in the middle of my apartment and having to put it away every time I wanted my home to look tidy, and I had hopes that I would get more exposure and publicity over there.

As luck would have it, I called just as plans were being put together to renovate a new section of the mill, and I even took pictures of that section, shown here. I reserved a spot, signed papers, and sent in a deposit. However, the completion date kept getting pushed further and further into the future, obliterating my dream to move on over there and work in there over the summer. I then asked to see if any of the older studios would be vacated as the leases ended July 1, and as luck would have it, there was a similarly priced studio available! I moved in July 1. Of course, 3 days later, I left the country for a week, but I made great use of those three days, quickly setting up my studio and creating oodles of new jewelry.

Now that I'm back, I've been working on setting up my studio, and began painting this past Sunday. Here are a few pictures of what the studio looked like after the first few days of 'occupancy'... it's SOOOO nice to have all of my supplies within reach and nicely organized in cabinets!

Here's a shot of my little workspace, taken from the door of the studio:
Here are my two windows, showing off my glorious view of... wait for it.... an alleyway! Just like my condo! Wahoooo!

A shot of the groovy leather couch I purchased from the former tenant:

Another shot of my work space:

Already, things have changed... I have painted the walls another color, and am making some more tables. I will post more pictures soon!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Hedera

Here is the next of my finished projects.



Project Notes
Pattern: Hedera from knitty, in the smaller size, of course! Pattern by Cookie A.
Yarn: Hand dyed yarn from Wicked Wool
Needles: Double Points, size 0
Pattern Notes: Anyone who has knit a lacy sock pattern by Cookie A before knows what I'm about to say: The pattern was well written, interesting to knit, and looked just great. I was able to memorize the pattern quickly, which made this a great traveling project. Yes, these socks have been abroad!

Before I go, here is a shot of my latest project. Yes, very mysterious shot... lacy, blobby, and thoroughly fabulous!
I will most certainly include more telling shots in the future. For serious.
Sensational Knitted Socks

So, although I had read the book from cover to cover and absorbed all sorts of sock knitting information, I had not yet actually KNIT anything from Sensational Knitted Socks by Charlene Schurch. However, when the most recent Petals Collection yarn came to my door, I LOVED the color of the yarn, but didn't really like the pattern that came along with it. So, I selected this one:
HAHAHAHAHA! I love how the unblocked lace makes this sock look skinny enough to fit Stick Stickley! Here are some better shots...




Oh, how I loved knitting these. The yarn is fantabulous. The pattern was well written and pretty and fun to knit.

Project Details:

Pattern: Oblique Openwork 8 stitch pattern from Sensational Knitted Socks by Charlene Schurch, done over 48 stitches
Yarn: Mostly Solid in Blue Hyacinth by Sundara Yarns
Needles: size 0 double point
Notes: LIke I said, this was a nice knit. I did attempt the eye of partridge heel, but it really did not show up in this yarn. Hm.
I recommend trying out this book if you haven't already. I loved it!
Secret Socks Revealed!

So, I didn't quite get these done by my friend's birthday, but here they are now:




I used Brown Sheep's sock yarn, and followed the Sundara Yarns sock of the month club pattern shown here.

And yay, they fit the recipient!

I liked the yarn, and LOVED the pattern just as much as the first time I made them. The 1x1 ribbing gives the socks a nice snug fit, and the lace pattern is just divine.

I have a couple more pairs of finished socks to show off, but will space them out so as not to overwhelm my reader(s).

Thursday, July 19, 2007

SPT 5/19/07


SPT 5/19/07
Originally uploaded by BrickMillStudio
A couple of nights ago, my good friend James came up to visit me. He knows I've been feeling bummed about being single, so he brought me flowers. What a guy.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Returned from London


Well, I got back late Wednesday night, spent Thursday in a sleepy, zombielike state, and am back to normal today. Click here to view my set of London pictures. I didn't take a whole lot, and it's a bit "Tour de France" heavy, but I guess it's better than looking at 40,000 pictures of places you don't care to look at!

The highlights were the free museums and getting to see a stage of the Tour. It is wonderful that you are able to see so much fine art by famous artists for FREE!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

SPT 7-12-07


SPT 7-12-07
Originally uploaded by BrickMillStudio
I missed last Thursday because I was traveling. Today, I'm so tired I'm just hibernating at home. As soon as I muster up the energy, I'll be back in the real world again, and will upload some pics of my trip to London!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

London Bound!

Well, I will be getting up at a ridiculously, horribly, ungodly hour tomorrow morning. Why, you might ask? I will be heading to London to visit my sister, see the sights, and check out the first two stages of the Tour de France! It even turns out that one of my old high school classmates lives in the city, and I will be meeting up with her at some point.

I'm doing this trip in a pretty casual manner... after all, I'm spending a whole week in one single city, so I figure I'll have plenty of time to hit the high points, as well as doing a bunch of poking around and meandering.

In other news, I moved in to the temporary studio space this past weekend! Now, I'm torn... do I just stay in the one I'm in, or do I move in to the one that is being built now? I have until the 15th of July to decide, but... I'll be away until the 11th! I made good use of the last 3 days, setting up the studio and even getting a bunch of jewelry making done. I absolutely LOVE having an organized space with all of my beads within reach, and plenty of table space to spread out. I LOVE the extra space in my condo, and I LOVE that I don't have to put everything away in order to declutter my home after finishing a project.

I have taken some pictures of the new space, but seriously, folks, I'm not kidding when I say that I have left a lot of the planning and organizing until the 11th hour for this trip! I am pretty much squared away, but sowwy... I'll be making you wait for more!