Saturday, July 22, 2017

Where I've Been...And Where I Am Now

Hey guys!

What a week!  I had all of these wonderful things I wanted to post and never had the time!  I've been so busy trying to get everything ready for my shop so that I can be sure the shelves are stocked for all of you!  And in the midst of all that, I was helping family, bringing the dog to the vet, supporting my man with his new job, and sleeping. All of this while still working on my book blog and preparing for the upcoming school year.

FINALLY, things are slowing down!  I HAVE MY GORRAM LIFE BACK!

It wasn't all bad though, in the midst of all this I was able to get my new desk set up.  I now have one table dedicated to my school work and book blogging and another one for my crafting.  This is especially wonderful as it sounds like our family of four may be expanding to at least six.  No, I'm not pregnant.  We're just talking about getting a betta fish and a kitten.

Anyway, I'm really excited to share some pictures of my now mostly set up studio!  Enjoy the gallery below.

Hi!  I'm Cathryn, I'll be your tour guide today.  See that Q-Tip?  Mom's taken it away five times today.  HA!

That's Mom's chair and a few of her books.  She only has four bookshelves right now.  So, there's a towering wall of boxes you won't get to see.

More of Mom's desk. She likes those plants.  I hate them.  I can't sit on the window sill!

More of her desk and those danged plants!

Mom's knitting table.  Yorick is watching over from above, and I'm down below.
You can see all of Mom's work books here.  She gets mad when I bite them.
And that's the majority of the studio.  I know it's pretty messy at the moment.  Like Cathryn said, I have a wall of boxes filled with books that need to be shelved.  I also have a closet filled with tubs of yarn.

Until next time, take care!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Monday Mishaps: The Story of the Circle Sweater

Welcome to Monday. Monday's suck.  I spend most Mondays feeling....well...

Unfortunately, the crafting powers that be don't care if it's Monday.  Sometimes they just want to watch you fail and they will surely laugh in your face as you do.

In May, I had the idea to make Mom's birthday gift.  Keep in mind that this is the same mother who taught me most of the things I know about crafting.  She had always teased me about not making my first sweater and I saw this as the perfect opportunity to really give it to her.  So, I hopped online and found a circle sweater pattern.  This thing was so easy!  It was a circle!  With armholes! To which you added sleeves!

So I crocheted.  And crocheted.  And crocheted some more.  And I got to the part where the armholes were created.  And the pattern told me to leave the chains for the armholes for later. SO I DID.  Now, that was where I made my true mistake.  Leaving them was not what I needed to do.  But, that's what the pattern said.  So I crocheted and crocheted until this circle was large enough to meet the XL measurements.  I then used the previously made chains to try to figure out how the heck the sleeves worked.  I got those puppies added, slipped it on, and cried.

Let me help you picture this scene.  Here I am, all proud of the sweater I made.  I go to the bathroom to look in the mirror and I basically have two sleeves with a whole turtle shell thing going on. None of the sweater was at my sides or in front of me.  It was BAD!  Instantly, I turned into panic mode, tried to figure out what to do to fix the thing, and promptly hooked it on the handle of the laundry chute.  The more I tried and tried and tried to free myself, all I did was hook my turtle shell screw up to the chute handle.  I was attached.  I was going no where.

At this point, the man was wondering why I was in the bathroom for so long stomping in circles, grunting, and making some very ill sounding noises.  Bravely, he ventured to the bathroom and knocked on the door.  As you might imagine, my response was not very friendly.  Luckily for me, he braved his panic stricken, angry woman and entered the room to free me from this hellish contraption.  Luckily for him, he didn't laugh and tried to help me come up with a way to fix it.

There was only one thing to do.  So, I went to the bedroom and laid it out on the bed.  Then, slowly unwound all of my hard work back to the original center of the thing.  It took more than an hour to unwind all five skeins of yarn that had gone into this thing.

One thing they tell you when you start crafting is that as ye crochet, ye will frog.  What they don't tell you is that as ye frog, ye will sob.  A lot.

This has been today's edition of Monday Mishaps.  Join me next week for yet another recollection of the pain I put myself through for the hobbies I love.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Supply Cabinet: For the Love of Red Heart

Welcome to Crafters' Anonymous.  My name is Jessa, and it's been approximately five seconds since I last knit anything.  I am not here to quit.  I am here to tell you about the supplies I have come to know and love-one Sunday at a time.

This week, I want to take a good look at Red Heart Super Saver Yarn.  I know, I know, it's cheap.  It's acrylic.  It can be scratchy.  It's really not the fanciest stuff in the world.  HOWEVER I don't think I would have ever gotten into knitting or crocheting without it.  

Let's look at all of those "cons" in a more positive light.

1. It's cheap.  OK, so it's bad to save money?  What I love about the cost is that I can buy several skeins for a little bit of money.  This means that I can practice and screw up and not feel like I'm out a ton of money.  Additionally, when I knit for my nieces and nephews, I don't need to worry about allergies as much.  And, as any auntie knows, kids can be messy.  This brings me to my second point.

2.  It is acrylic.  In other words, if my niece or nephew pukes on it, drops it in the mud, feeds it, spills food on it, spills pop on it, etc.  I just shove it in the washer and dryer and it's good to go for another round.  It's not that easy with wool, angora, or alpaca.  Save that yarn to make the things they love in something fancier when they are old enough to properly care for it.  

3. It can be scratchy.  Notice that I didn't make a guarantee that it will be scratchy every time you work with it.  In my experience, a little bit of fabric softener can go a LONG way.  If you would rather soften it up a bit before you work with it, you can find several resources on Pinterest about how to wash it before using.  Though I have never done these personally, they are out there! 

I would definitely suggest anyone who is new to knitting or crocheting try to work with Red Heart Super Saver.  It's an excellent way to start without the fear of destroying precious natural fibers.

Let's Chat
Do you use Red Heart Super Saver?  What do you think of it?  Have you stayed far away from it?  What is your favorite yarn to work with?