Tell ‘em Why You Mad, Son!

This is my second year for gardening. Last year was really successful! The green beans were delicious, the tomatoes were poppin’, and I had tons of jalapeno to freeze. It was work, but rewarding work, so I’m back at it again this year.

But those strawberries…

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A few weeks ago I noticed that the strawberry patch had quite a few flowers and little green berries budding. I got happy. Hey! More strawberries for me! Much more than the two that I ate last year.  I popped off a couple that were ripe and went on about my business.

Then the animals came.

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Red berries, Half ripened berries, tiny green berries, many of them GONE.  So I got me a piece of chicken wire and I wrapped that fruit up tight.

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Or so I thought. 

The next day even more berries were gone.  I don’t know if it’s the birds or the squirrels, or something else, but I’m mad now.  Those are MY berries. 

I reduced myself to eating a half-ripened berry this morning just to ensure that I got to it before the animals did.  Now, that’s desperation.  I’ve been back and forth several times with myself about on giving up on those berries.  Nu uh!  They can’t have ‘em.  Not today!

I’m plotting to get 1/4 in plastic fencing and I’m going to wrap that fruit up so tight that even I will struggle to get to them.  Anything to keep away those berry stealing creatures.

Thank goodness we don’t have deer!

 -Nizzy

 

With Just a Tweak, Something New Entirely

When is a scarf more than just a regular scarf?

When it has hood like capabilities!

A friend and I tossed around this idea at work one day and I couldn’t bear to leave this challenge untouched.  It was simple, really.  Maybe you don’t want to don a hat on those cold winter days , but want to keep the cold wind off of your ears.  We wanted a scarf that you could wear over your head without it actually having a hood nor being as wide as a wrap. 

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What do you call that a HARF? A SCOOD?  Okay, none of those names work. 

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Thankfully she got a picture of it in action and was kind enough to let me share.   For sure, I will make one for myself on the next go round, but I’m going to need a lot more yarn if I want to cover the fro!

-Nizzy

Fashion Draping Class

You don’t know how much I looked forward to my Wednesday Draping class.  At the tail end of class, my place of work got a little crazy: lots of happenings, rumors flying about, untruths, finger-pointing, lots of confused, angry people walking about. To be able to throw myself into this project was a blessing. Home life and work life can’t be crazy at the same time or you will lose your mind! So I threw all my crazy energy into my final project. This was something that needed more than just two weeks for construction, but I made it work enough to have something to present in class.

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Patternmaking and Draping once intimidated me, but turns out it’s not as bad as I was thinking. I think I jumped in with the hardest thing I could think of at the time: hand pleating.  I think it’s a pretty decent start with something I haven’t tried before now.  I spent lots of late nights hand basting pleat lines and doing damage control for a couple of pattern mistakes.

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Overall the class was great. I learned a lot and met some great people who I will miss seeing weekly.  Next is to figure out how to apply all my knowledge to some new projects.

-Nizzy

This Is For You, Dear

A few weekends ago I got the chance to meet a really nice freelance knitter.   At some point in the chat over lunch among topics of what we do for a living, knitting, chicken factories, and yarn sources, I heard the words “husband” and “spinning” and “yarn” in the same sentence. And I got ideas. I came home and told my husband that I had something “cool” for him to do.

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Now I know I said I wasn’t going to go get all excited about what other people are doing just so I can torture myself by making my craft to do list LONGER, but a week later I ordered some materials so my husband could try spinning.

“Babe, you can do this while watching TV!”

Then BOOM! Another Idea. Yo, my MOM can do this too. She’s looking for a new hobby and I have just the thing!

I called up my mom and told her what she had to do for me to keep my hobby going. Between laughs, “Rumpelstiltskin this, Rumpelstiltskin that”, “Mom, it’s easy!” “Whatever, girl!”, “Don’t you want me to be happy and help me with something I love to do?” I think I convinced her to get on board.

So just to make it easier for them to get into the craft, I picked up a few things so they can get started right away.

We are going to learn together. Family bonding time is where it is! It’s gonna be GRAND!

*sigh*

Well, a girl can dream can’t she?

-Nizzy

Lessons Learned While Knitting

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I never thought I would have so many lessons learned from knitting three pairs of fingerless gloves.

1.  Knitting (and other crafting)  for others is just as rewarding (if not more) than knitting for yourself.  Knowing others enjoy what I’ve made for them makes me smile.

2.  I was always hesitant to “waste” pattern stitches on black yarn.  This mini cable still has great texture and definition on this dark yarn.  I’ll never doubt that again.

3.  Bartering is just as good as selling an item in some cases.  Knitting is just one of those things that it’s hard to get full value for your project because it’s so labor intensive.  And good yarn doesn’t always come cheap!  You really have to keep projects small and fast to make it worthwhile if you are going the financial route.  Or not!  If you have a true love for knitting and the money doesn’t matter as much, then that is okay too! 

4.  I have a love/hate relationship with variegated yarn.  I love the colors, but hate how some of the color transitions are either too short or too long.  You really have to study the yarn and swatch (I know, *groan*)  to see if it’s perfect for your project.   

5.  What is the point of a glove with no fingers?  Uhhh, now I know!  These are actually WARM and they serve a purpose.  I recently read a comment on FB that said “There is a special place in hell for people who wear fingerless gloves.”  I mean if you have to be in a cold place where you need to keep your fingers free, say, like a photographer, or in my frigid basement trying to use a computer, why would you not want to warm up as much skin as possible and keep the cold air from going up your sleeves? Oh well, I am officially team fingerless gloves!

- Nizzy

Make New, Again

During my Christmas holiday break, a friend gifted me a pair of earrings gifted to her. It didn’t quite count as a re-gift as she just handed them to me. They weren’t really her thing; she doesn’t do dangles, or purple, or green. I thought there were kind of cute, kind of funky, kind of odd, kind of wild, kind of not really my thing either, but I would still wear them. Better yet, I could make something better with these items!

Unfortunately, I didn’t get a picture of the before, but I turned it into a necklace.  I could have kept it, but I gave it back. Hopefully, it’s more her thing now.

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An idea is born!

Next, my mother gave me a huge bag of costume jewelry that she found in the house. Some of it was hers, some of it belonged to my grandmother, and some of it she had no idea where it came from. We hung out, sipped some tea, and chatted about old memories surrounding some of the pieces.  I left with a bag full of ideas on turning the jewelry into something new. Some things I thought were oddly fabulous as they were and planned to leave those as they are.

Right now, it all looks like junk and clutter sitting on top of my yarn/bookcase, but I have plans to use as much of each item as I can, combine it with beads and findings that I already own (or will purchase) to make a completely new look. Ooo, a challenge!

I immediately dove in to this bag to work on my first necklace, inspired by these gold balls that have been in my stash forever.  Here it is in progress.

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Those “pearls” are connected together and are not my favorite piece to work with, but here’s to the task of trying to turn it into something that looks a little more desirable (at least to me or in great lighting)!

Although, I’m not so sure what to do with this!

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- Nizzy

Inspired By The Old Project Wish List

Always wanted a rag rug and now I have two! 

I was inspired to make this project from my old wish list when the space bag containing the fabric for it was ripped to pieces.  With 5 different colors of 2 yards of each fabric there was a LOT of strip cutting.  So much strip cutting that I ended up with more than enough fabric for two rugs and you know about three-quarters of the way through this project I grew tired of these strips!  I’m not as in love with it as I once thought I would be, but that’s the chance you take when you dig up old ideas.  Maybe that’s why those ideas are left behind in the first place.

Regardless, I have two new rugs that will have a new home in my kitchen.  Can’t wait to step on and dirty up my creation!

-Nizzy

When Did That Happen?

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Several nights ago I walked into the bathroom and wondered why I could feel the cold floor only on my heels.   Then I looked down and realized that my hand-knit socks were completely worn.    These are the second pair of socks I’ve ever knit and the hole is too big to bother with mending.  I’ve only used these socks for lounging around the house and I don’t have pets so I don’t have any idea on how this happened so quickly.   Is this a bad thing?

NO!  I get to knit more socks!  Sock knitting is one of those things you either really enjoy or really dislike and I happen to like it so it’s a fine thing to add to my 2014 “list” of things to tackle/attempt this year.  I’m still not completely sold on the idea of a big year-long/monthly challenge, but I am still keeping tabs on few things I really want to get into. 

I used to keep a master list of different projects to complete, but I found that list quickly became overwhelmingly long.   I mean I drool over most of the projects in knitting magazines and craft books! 

“Oh, can I please have almost every scarf ever designed?” 

“Don’t make me choose!”

“Put pages 1-100 on the to-do list!”

However, I find carefully choosing specific craft goals just as overwhelming.  To get out of that rut I’ve been in since the end of last year, I’m just going to let go of the listmaking for a while and just go with the flow.  Let the crafting ideas take me wherever they take me!

- Nizzy

Lost Little Puppy

I’m still feeling the effects of internet overload so lately I’ve moped about the craft room like a lost little puppy although I am taking the opportunity to make some progress on a few unfinished projects.   But there is hope.  My husband presented me something that just might enliven my knitting spirit!

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I got hooked up with a handmade yarn swift.    Let me tell you how much of a pain it is to try to wind yarn while having someone hold it on their arms.  There is always a tangle, it always falls off the person’s arms, and it almost always winds incorrectly.  As he grew tired of my frustrations (read: moaning, whining, complaining), he trudged through the snow and out to the shed to whip this up based on plans I found on the internet sometime ago.  I’m certainly thankful for it! 

Next stop, winding up the yarn for a lace project I’ve waited forever to start.

- Nizzy