mamagotcha: (Default)
I've had a run of discouraging failures with my craft work lately. Julia's tanktop was the exception... although there were problems, it did turn out to be wearable and she likes it. But Cord's hat (colorwork was way too tight), an Avatar hat, an earflap hat, and a balaclava all turned out badly (the last two even had patterns). I'd been wrestling with a vest for me for over a year now, and I'm coming to the conclusion that it's not salvageable and I need to rip the whole damned thing out. And this last week, I tried to make an Italian medieval dress for an SCA thing today. I had to draft a pattern, and was using old cotton drapes from the thrift store. I got frustrated with it late last night... a rotten headache wasn't helping... and gave up on having it done for today, but then I woke up wide-eyed at 5:30 a.m. and decided to take a run at it.

It doesn't fit. No way, no how. It's close in a lot of ways, but ultimately, the waistband is just not big enough and there's something funky in the shoulders. I feel really unhappy, because I thought I followed the instructions... but there must have been something off in my measurements. I screwed up and I'm really unhappy (not least because it means I have to put on my uncomfortable old Elizabethan Renaissance garb yet again for a medieval event... if I hadn't volunteered to help out at an afternoon thing, I think I'd ditch the whole thing).

I figured out that it was unsalvageable at around 8 a.m., but I went ahead and finished all the handwork on it anyway... the barony has a loaner-garb program and I figured SOMEBODY would fit into it. I think it's actually a nice dress... alternating pleated panels on the skirt, and a soft nobbly bodice fabric, all in natural browns and greens. I'm just really mad that it doesn't fit ME.

Oh well. I learned a number of things, anyway, and since most of the materials were thrifted, it didn't cost me much more than a bunch of time (the interfacing was close to $20, though, eesh).

Still... the free-wheeling experimental attitude that serves me so well in the kitchen is proving to be quite painful in my fibre arts. I keep thinking that all I need is more experience and practice to get it under my belt, but it seems to be getting worse, not better. Argh.

I'm hoping this is some sort of normal learning process... frustration begets wisdom, eventually, right?
mamagotcha: (Default)
I've been elfing along here all week, and it's been fun. I don't think I'm getting a holiday card or newsletter out before Christmas, though (and if we drive to KC, it won't be until after the new year), but I haven't entirely given up on it.

I scored a nice artificial tree off of Freecycle... the boys snooted it at first, but once the lights and ornaments were up, it looked great and I haven't heard any complaints.

I've been knitting like a mad thing, and I've done five projects for people this year... one really big one, one kinda hard, and three quickies. Sometimes I can knit and watch a movie, so lately I've been taking to sneaking off downstairs when I wake up early to knit and watch. Some of the interesting things I've tripped across on Netflix include the following: ...behind the cut )
mamagotcha: (otter)
... and it wasn't so bad!

I was at a park day yesterday, and met a lovely lady knitting on a fabulous colorwork sweater of her own design. She was perhaps in her mid-to-late 50s, obviously comfortable in her cronehood, wearing a t-shirt featuring a cascade of skulls, talking about her Harry Potter group on Ravelry. A lovely older geeky nerdy gal who sings in her local UU choir, paganish, volunteers at the arboretum, was involved in the creation of the only Sudbury school in Chicago as well as unschooling; her older kids are now mostly grown and gone.

She was funny, happy in her skin, warm and welcoming, smart and sassy... I hope we're going to be friends. Most of the folks I meet through my kids are much younger (I had Linc when I was 41), and while they've been wonderful people to get to know... there's an element of looking ahead, too.

My first midwife, Tosi, was probably the closest thing I've had to an older friend and mentor, back in Davis. I don't think I really developed one in Kansas City (though I think I used Tosi's great example to maybe be a help to a few other younger women, which also felt great). But I've missed having someone a little further along the path than me, or even struggling with similar issues at the same time... [ profile] kightp, [ profile] uncanny_npl, [ profile] paulaandandrew, and [ profile] essaying have been my virtual great examples of older women embracing their age with grace, strength, humor and style; but IRL I just haven't met many older women that I see and think, "I wanna grow up to be HER!"

Friendships with older women were something I didn't even really realize I was missing. Maybe I need to put some energy into actively pursuing them... hmm. Something to think about, at any rate.
mamagotcha: (Default)
So I wanna make that new vest that just came up on Knitty for my Knitting Olympics entry. It's my very first piece of Real Clothing for myself, and I'm a little nervous... it's gonna take a LOT of yarn.

So I wanna do it right. I'm swatching, even!

I've found that 10 and 10.5 needles don't get gauge, but when I use the 11s to get the width right (4" with 12 stitches), my length is screwy (instead of 4" like it's supposed to be, it's 5 1/4" at 20 rows). In fact, each time I made a gauge swatch, it was longer than wide... and it's supposed to be a square.

Am I just a messed-up knitter? What do I do here?

(If it matters... I'm using doubled Cascade 220.)
mamagotcha: (Default)
Behind the cut. )

What have YOU been making?
mamagotcha: (Default)
This is definitely one of the cooler knitting projects I have EVER seen:

Fluid Sculpture from Charlie Bucket on Vimeo.

Hmmm... I have a engineer friend who works with silicone tubing...
mamagotcha: (Default)
I finished the Clapotis!


I updated my Ravelry page for the first time in forever. Unsurprisingly, I'm also mamagotcha over there... friend me and show me what you've been up to!
mamagotcha: (Default)
Knitting for the Wii!

FINALLY... a game where I'm practically guaranteed the ability to kick my husband's sweet butt across the room!
mamagotcha: (Default)
So I'm working on a project with a set of DPNs, and I broke one of them. I tried to cut it down and resharpen it, and I'm limping along with it, but I really need to get another needle.

So... before I blow bucks on a whole set of 'em, does anyone out there have an extra size 6 wooden 8" DPN? Or a couple of 'em; I use this set enough to know I'll lose one eventually. I think they're Brittanys, but I'll take whatever I can get. I'd be happy to buy them from you and pay postage, if you're not local.

Otherwise... well, who knows what might happen?
mamagotcha: (Default)
I walked down to the farmers market the other weekend, and was pleased to find an old gas lamppost snugly wrapped in some wild and wooly knitting graffiti:


Here's a tag that was fluttering on the fiber:


(Apologies for the crappy phone photos... but that's all I had with me)

Hm. I seem to have found the culprits. Go, girls!


Aug. 2nd, 2007 11:22 pm
mamagotcha: (Default)
Had a totally unexpected migraine today... hit hard this afternoon, took me out for a few hours. Haven't had one this bad in a long time, and usually I get some kind of warning. I'm not even all that stressed right now... just working on the house, getting ready for a little gathering for Linc's birthday (he's 3 on Monday!).

Clay got back yesterday, and he's been really cheerful and nice to be around (sometimes when the kids get back, there's a day or two of transition time that can be... challenging). He and his girlfriend Kylie and Julia all went to a Fray concert (the one postponed from May), and it sounds like they had a great time. He's about two inches taller than before he left! He is ecstatic about having his own room, which is an understatement.

Julia's getting ready to pack up and head out to California. I'm going out there with Linc first though, from the 10th to the 15th of August, with my sister. Too bad I won't get a whole lot of time with Jules during her last week here. She drove to Target and back last night, and did really well. I'm gonna miss her like crazy.

Linc is pointing out letters and trying to sound them out while we read stories. Wow! This just started happening in the last week... he's really getting it about those little black squiggles being symbols for words, now he's just gotta crack the code. Julia and Clay are clearing out their older books, and I'm seeing all these wonderful stories I'm going to get to read to Linc again: the Indian in the Cupboard stories, all the Brian Jacques books, Roald Dahl, the Little House series, Swallows and Amazons, Phillip Pullman, of course Harry Potter and the Lemony Snicket books, Wise Child and Juniper, Runaway Ralph and Ramona... all our old friends.

Lots of cooking and cleanup over the next few days, getting ready for the party (well, and just clearing up the mess around here... the house has really gotten away from me lately, inside and out). But I'm sort of on low energy at the moment... that post-migraine bleary space. Lordy I hope we're not starting a cluster series...

Hey, Knitter Buddies out there... be sure to sign up for your free Ravelry account! I got on last week... it's a great idea and I look forward to seeing you in there soon!
mamagotcha: (Default)
I finally finished a pair of socks I've been working on for my MIL... they'll be sent off tomorrow, but I'm being horrible and posting them now because I'm so proud of myself. My second pair of socks, yay! I've got another on the needles for Linc (green and grey and sparkly), and I'm doing swatches with some Trekking XXL 100 for some socks for ME!

Lori's socks behind the cut. )

Now to get the next pair going!
mamagotcha: (Default)
So I finally finished those fingerless gloves... Pix and comments behind cut for those who are sick of hearing me talk about these! )OK, now I'll quit yammering about these. But it feels soooo good to have them done, and gifted to someone who likes them!

Now Clay wants a pair too, in black and without the cabling. Shouldn't be too difficult.
mamagotcha: (Default)
So I'm well on the way to finishing the second fingerless glove, but Linc was making it impossible for me to concentrate on the cabling yesterday. I waited until he went down for a nap, and grabbed the needles. I got about two rows in and he woke up, grrr. A tiny little knitting drama, behind the cut. )

I was so danged proud of myself, I had to come post about it. I guess it's a pretty dinky thing... it wasn't so bad once I got over the palpitations caused by seeing my work unravel. A small step for knitting, but a big one for me. W00t!
mamagotcha: (Default)
Finished one of the fingerless gloves (pic behind the cut) )

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