Sunday, December 31, 2017

2017 Creative Recap

Welcome to this year's creative recap. This might be the most projects I've finished in a year. The totals came out to 12 pairs of socks, 10 woven scarves, 3 sweaters, 1 hat, and 1 cowl.

My project total was boosted because I took up weaving and decided to weave a bunch of gifts. I really enjoyed trying out all sorts of different color combinations and ideas in each scarf.

I also took a watercolor class this year and got to learn how to do all sorts of techniques. 
This was the final for the class. We had to do an animal with lots of colors. I did a manatee with a Florida theme.

Connor and I got the daily comic site up and running. It can be seen at

I also took up embroidery. Most of what I embroidered was practice for the USA quilt, of which I have made fantastic progress. I just have part of the Southwest and the South left to go.

I think the theme of this creative year was diversity. I had my hand in a lot of different areas and at times I got overwhelmed and had difficulty deciding which project I should work on next. I'm hoping that with some of these projects wrapping up I'll feel less scattered when it comes to my creative output.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Arrowhead Cardigan

I finished my Arrowhead Cardigan a few days ago, and it was just in time. We've been at Connor's parents' farm and the temperatures have gotten down to 15°F/-9°C during the day. Brrrrr. I was in desperate need of a warm coat that would allow me to layer underneath it.

Like many of my knits, I modified a huge amount. The smallest size was 49"/125cm. I didn't want such an oversized jacket, so I resized it to 42"/106cm. There is no shaping in the jacket and the new size didn't leave me with much ease for my hips, I steeked in 5"/ 13cm side vents.

The original jacket didn't have any closures, so I added four toggles. I also gave the jacket a slight v-neck by decreasing 3 stitches on each side and adding a big shawl collar.

Originally I had done a crochet steek. Even thought the yarn I used is sticky (Fancy Tiger Crafts Heirloom Romney in Poppyseed and Spincycle Yarns Independence in Payback), I was manipulating the jacket so much that the steek started coming apart. No matter. I sewed the steek and made sure to add all the facings, including along my vents.

I'm really pleased with how this jacket came out. It's been warm and wonderful.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

The Elephant Seals Of Año Nuevo

Last Friday Connor took the day off of work so we could go on a guided walk at Año Nuevo to see the Elephant Seals. Mating and pupping season are just starting. We were hoping to see some of the giant bull males, but the first view was of the juvenile and some slightly older males. One of them had the long proboscis they are famous for and it was pointed down into the sand. Every time he exhaled, a cloud of sand would blast into the air. I giggled every time.

We were also lucky to see the first pup of the season. It's really hard to see, but the little dark lump alongside the leftmost seal is it. We heard it crying for milk.

It was starting to look like we wouldn't see any big bull males as we reached the last viewing point. Someone on the tour went to the far edge of the view area, looked down, and there he was. He looks like a giant rock, but if this guy had reared up, he would have been quite frightening indeed. He is the size of a good size car.

With the holidays moving full steam ahead, it was nice to get out and have some peace and quiet. After seeing these amazing animals, we walked back and had lunch by the Marine Education Center. Connor closed his eyes for a bit and I just took in the view. I can still smell the salt air and hear the loud grunting the seals made.
The house in the background belonged to the lighthouse keeper. It hasn't been maintained since 1948 and the seals and birds live in it now.

I had been to Año Nuevo before, but hadn't been on the look out for a patch at the time. I think the current patch looks great. We also got a magnet to add to our fridge.

In what ways have you all been able to reclaim some peace during the busy holiday season? 

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Miss Steek

School has kept me pretty occupied for the last few weeks. I was looking forward to finishing up my finals, which I did on Tuesday, so I could get back to my sweater. On Wednesday I woke up with a case of tonsillitis. Sigh. 

Luckily I was able to see the doctor on the same day. That mean that today (Thursday), with antibiotics in my system, I was able to get up and finally cut my steek.
Snipping 1-2 threads at a time

Ta da! 

This is only my second steeked sweater, but both times I've chosen to pick up the stitches for the button band before cutting the steek. I find it is easier to make sure I'm matching stitches on both sides. After all, a sweater with offset ribbing on either side doesn't look tidy. 
I used a dk weight yarn for the crochet steek on my worsted weight sweater

Once the button band is in, I'll be ready to steek the armholes and put in the sleeves. I have a personal goal of finishing this by next Thursday. I'm not sure I'll be able to do it, but I think I'll get close.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

O Christmas Tree

I thought I'd have some great knitting progress to show off today, but finals are next week and all sorts of homework and projects have gotten assigned at the last minute. Instead I'd like to share this year's Christmas Tree. We've enjoyed the warm glow of the lights in the evenings as we snuggle up together.

I'm also pretty excited about some of the presents under the tree. The three kiddos that live next door have no idea that they each have a present waiting for them. I've had the pleasure of spending time with them and had a pretty good idea of what they each would enjoy. Rather than buy a toy, we have chosen to get them each a book that can help them do something they already have voiced wanting to learn. (One of them wants to be a knitter!)
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