On Hiatus

As you can probably tell from my absence these last past months that I’ve taken a huge break from blogging. My last attempt (Craft-a-Day) obviously failed before it even started. So much for New Year’s resolutions and crafting…

Here’s the short version:

– I was caught up in school, which is thankfully behind me for now.

– I hadn’t been the mood to knit until yesterday, (if you care to know, I knit like I drink coffee: powering through for a period of time before I stop cold).

– I’m back in my knitting mood and in the mood to inspire myself (Is self-inspiration a thing?).

– As for my plans at the moment, I’ll continue going on hiatus from blogging (maybe until fall 2015). The reason? I want to improve myself before I share what I’ve got with the world. A little dramatic? Perhaps. Will I continue to knit? Heck, yes!

So to any readers out there who have stumbled upon this or have continued to follow me, thank you for sticking around!

Craft-A-Day

The start of a new year (2015!) should welcome new resolutions right? I for one was never big on setting goals for myself because I know I’ll never get around to them (no matter how motivated I start out) and this invites failure and disappointment. But for me, failure and disappointment usually don’t reach me because I’ll just keep setting the same goals until I stop caring about them. In some way, I’m procrastinating or delaying results, but I know I’m only cheating myself. That is, if I allow myself to think I’m cheating myself out of being productive, which I can safely say is not the case.

Needless to say, I’ve stop making New Year’s resolutions for quite some time now. Don’t worry, I still set goals for myself, but they usually don’t coincide at the beginning of the calendar year (mostly because I’m too busy gorging myself on food) and they’re usually small, last-minute sort of deals.

Then yesterday happened (like it always does). One of my sister’s friends gave her a Craft-A-Day calendar, which was some perfect timing on her part because 2015 had yet to start. DSC_0355

Flipping through it, there are some really fun-looking projects in there that make me want to run to the nearest crafts store. Now I’m definitely NOT doing a craft a day because that would be laughable on my part, but I’m aiming to do my—technically our (my sister included)—favorite of the week. Each week is themed and this week’s is all things snowflakes!

To make my sort-of resolution less official (because let’s face it, if I’m still crafting by December, a miracle has happened), I’m including some disclaimers such as:

  • The goal is one project per week, but it’s not the end of the world if we don’t get around to it because we’re not well stocked on supplies.
  • I would like to make a post each week centering on said project to track my progress, but I might not have time especially when school starts up again.
  • This goes with the one above. I feel like making a post each week is a little trivial because I don’t want to bore anyone with simple, but cute crafts (you can surely find better ones on Pinterest), so I’ll keep my sharing to a minimal.
  • I can stop anytime I want to. I’ll most likely forget rather than stopping voluntarily, but hey, at least I can say I tried.

On that note, good luck fulfilling your resolutions if you made any! If not, I hope you still have a great year!

Making a Comeback with Pom-Poms

 

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It started with a hat. It always starts with a hat … or a chair. Anyone catch my reference there? No? That’s completely fine. Anyway, in my case it started with a hat, one preferably full of cables like the ones shown in the picture. But these aren’t just any cables; they’re a different kind of cable at least for me. I found a pretty decent site for cables. It doesn’t have a lot in the glossary, but some of the cables look nice and doable. If anyone knows a good site for cables, don’t be afraid to link me up! I love a good cable.

So the cable was something new, but wait, it doesn’t stop there! I knitted the hat with sock weight yarn, which was a first for me. I know it’s not that big of a deal, but I usually don’t venture too far out as far as yarn goes, and yarn really goes a long way. This meant my whole gauge for hats was thrown off, which is a given, and like my “cooking” I don’t measure things well or at all. I know one of the key things knitters stress is to check the gauge because it would save a lot of time, but I’ve never got around to learning how to check my gauge. For the most part, I’ve been fine. Really, knitting for me is almost like throwing confetti to the wind and seeing where they land, except for the whole being environmentally conscious part. Don’t worry, I would never litter like that!

I did however seriously ran with my project. And I would like to say it didn’t turn out shabby at all, although it’s a little awkward to look at when being worn because it’s slouchy, but not too slouchy and not slightly slouchy either. It’s an awkward kind of slouch. Now I know a lot of people can pull off hats like this, but I’ve always wondered how they do it. I guess they just have great wearing-hats-heads, but for me, the hat was too awkward for my taste if I didn’t adjust it after throwing it on. I don’t know about you, but whenever I have cables on hats, the cables made the hat somewhat stiff, so it doesn’t fall naturally on my head. (Come on, what do I know about hats falling naturally on my head? All of this could be in my head, which it probably is.)

I couldn’t just leave it like that, and I didn’t want to rip the piece and knit it so it was form-fitting. (I have a thing against ripping away a part of the hat and reknitting it once I’m down to my last few stitches, aside from making eye-blistering mistakes of course. The next best solution for me? Cry.

Just kidding. Because pom-poms aren’t sad things. They’re actually fun because they’re like accessories for your hats or scarves or whatever. So I watched a few YouTube videos because I have seriously never made a pom-pom in my life. Quick! Someone, take my needles away! I made my first pom-pom the easy way though (hint: not the technique with the cardboard), but by using a gift card. Well, it turned out to be the size of a golf ball and looked ridiculous on the hat due to its size, so I laughed and made a second one! The one you see here.DSC_0397 (2)

Now I’m still a little worried about having a pom-pom on a hat (even though the hats looks ten times better) because I like to wash and dry my knitwear by machine. I’m quite lazy, but the kind of yarn I have been working with usually allowed it. This sock weight yarn however says to lay it flat to dry, but I’m not even sure I trust having a pom-pom in the washing machine in the first place. It’s part of the reason I stayed clear from attaching pom-poms onto my hats because if it falls apart in the cycle, it would create a huge mess right? Not if you made it the right way. Yeah, well…

I really don’t know. There’s another thing I almost forgot to mention. I read that blocking your knitwear and reshaping it the way you want really helps clean it up—as in no awkward slouch, but I don’t know the first thing about blocking. I heard there were several ways to approach it, and it probably depends on the type of yarn, but I’m really at a lost. Which brings me to my question of the blog:

Are you the kind of person who blocks your projects, and if so, how do you approach it?DSC_0621 (3)

Spring-Green Infinity Scarf

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I made this a while back right after I made my sweater-inspired scarf. The pattern was altered slightly and made into an infinity scarf because I just can’t get enough of those apparently.

The color was called “Pistachio,” which I can kind of understand but at the same time not really. See, if I had my own line of yarn, I would name this color in particular “Springsteen Green” because the color reminds me of spring and as a tribute to Bruce Springsteen, who sang one of my favorite songs of all time: “Hungry Heart.” In fact, I would name all my colors as tributes to bands, singers, and songwriters. “Coldplay Blue” or “Nirvana Yellow” are colors I can visualize and describe to people rather than just “Pistachio” (No, I’m not picking on the person who named this particular yarn color because choosing a name for a color can be a very daunting task). I really have no idea why I’m getting worked up on my yarn colors because I’m practically color-ignorance, as in yellow is yellow and red is red and that there are shades of yellow and shades of red. And together they make orange (Look! I learned something in my elementary school art class!).DSC_0372

Anyway, being a knitter and having all these names as yarn colors will be the death of me because I can’t take these names seriously. I wish I could accept them for what they are, but I’ve never been one to accept things as they are given. It’s a problem really. I’m going to get off the topic of colors and my problems as of now…

I don’t have the pattern written up properly though I want to share it, so think of this as a preview for the present moment. This scarf was actually very simple to make because the pattern is short and repeats, but for some reason, I’m not very good at writing out patterns. That and the fact that I love to procrastinate.

I’m also in the middle of exam week, but after this week blows over, I’ll have a lot of downtime to work on projects! And by that I mean I have a LOT of downtime because I accidentally (lazily) never got around to applying for a real job. So I’m going to be lying around the house knitting and watching cop/mystery/murder shows, or as I like to call it: a well-deserved break. I actually got into cop/mystery/murder shows about a month ago! In high school, I started watching Veronica Mars because all my favorite afterschool programs were canceled or moved to very inconvenient times. Now shows like Rookie Blue, Cold Case, and recently Castle are taking over my life. Anyway, what are your favorite TV shows? I’m aiming to be very obsessed and emotionally-torn this winter break, which is by far my greatest plan to date.

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Winter Frolicking Photo Shoot

DSC_0318Every year, my sister and I have this tradition where we take to our neighborhood streets and run in the snow. Of course, it’s better when it’s snowing, which happened roughly a week ago when we went back home for Thanksgiving break. No warnings or weather alerts from anyone. And guess where I was? Still in bed.

Okay, I did get a warning from my sister, and thankfully it was still snowing by the time we bundled up and headed out.DSC_0119

 

DSC_0219Looks familiar? This lovely hat is making another appearance because it was the only knitwear I brought back (shock!). I want to put up a similar version of this hat on Etsy, but I’m not so sure because I made it from heather yarn, the kind that unfortunately leaves a part of it on you because it’s so attached to you. The color is really nice though. Maybe I’ll make another one with yarn that sheds less than a cat after finals blow over. Of course, I’ll have to survive finals…

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Running away from finals!

 

Knit in Progress – A Cable Scarf

DSC_0225I know I’ve been out of it for a while now (blame school), but I recently started up another knit (that is not a hat!) because I was inspired by a design on a sweater I just bought. By “just bought” I mean like two weeks ago—time really does fly. I’ve actually never tried to copy a design before, mostly because I can’t figure a pattern out to save my life, but this one was simple enough, so I looked up some stitches and tried to piece it together as best as I could (technically I needed to re-familiarize myself with the fisherman’s rib stitch.

The color is called pumpkin, which is quite fitting for this season (or maybe a month ago?), and I’ve had this skein laying around for a while, but I couldn’t figure out what to do with it because it’s a very ambiguous color (if colors could be ambiguous). I didn’t think I could combine it with another color (to tone it down), but it looks great on its own, and you can actually see the pattern, so I’m happy with it so far.DSC_0227 (3)

It’s also different from the scarves I usually make (aside from when I first started out and didn’t know what infinity scarves were) because it’s going to be a traditional scarf. By “traditional” I mean that it’s going to have two ends! I normally don’t make “traditional” scarves because I find it hard to wear. Yes, I can put it on, but there are so many ways to loop it around your neck (versatility is good right?). Then there’s the fact that these scarves aren’t symmetrical when I wear them, and sometimes I can’t deal with that. Problems, problems, problems. I know. Please excuse my weird preferences.

The other thing is that I can never make both ends look the same. I guess I should look into other methods for casting off… And for me, the end that I bind off from is usually awkward and rigid, and it doesn’t feel natural. I keep considering adding tassels to the end of these projects, but I’m not much of a tassel person. Roadblock! That’s why I take detours and knit infinity scarves instead. Then again, they usually have a seam when I connect the ends…

Does anyone else have these have these problems or am I just overthinking everything?

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Lacy Cable Hat

DSC_1141 (2)A couple days ago, I knitted up another one of these cable-lace hat because cables and lace are my favorite things whether on hats, scarves, legwarmers, cowls, you name it and I’ll love it.

I made up the pattern, and I’ve already started on a modified version of this, but sadly (to every knitters’ horror), I ran out of yarn [insert gasp here]. I even contemplated ripping apart the hat I have now, so I can finish it, but I have a hard time destroying anything I make, so I’m placing it on hold.

The thing is, I’m not going to be able to run to the store until this weekend, so I’m partly devastated that I won’t be finishing my new favorite project anytime soon. If you can’t tell, I’ve been in a knitting frenzy lately, so this isn’t helping me very much. (Now would be a good time to focus on my schoolwork, right? Yeah … that…)

The new version will likely make a debut on Etsy (once I finish it), but for now you can simply sit back and feast your eyes on this one.DSC_1149 (2)

I made it using Lion Brand Wool-Ease yarn. The color was “Mushroom.” I really don’t know how they (or anyone else for the matter) comes up with names for these colors. It makes it really hard for me to describe the color (though pictures should suffice), but still… Does anyone else have a problem with trying to describe colors? For some reason, it’s something that’s been troubling me for a while now.

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