Friday, May 29, 2015

Multi + Black, Together At Last

I was knitting a baby sweater out of leftover sock yarn and, BAM, I ran out of yarn on the last row. The last row!

So, I cast off  with a little black. The upside? Jeny's Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off is adorable in black, worked over a multi-colored base. Lovely. 

I'm bummed to be missing TNNA this year! Safe travels to all!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Momma's Got A Brand New Bag

Creative Options sent my this tote to try and, well, I love it!

It's the perfect size for a long weekend away, and there are bottle holders on either end of it. That's great if, like me, if you try to bring a lot of water with you in the car. A pen holder on the outside means that you don't have to go fishing around in your bag for your pen.

It would be a little small for an adult-sized sweater project, but is great for a couple of medium-to-small projects, at once. The sides are nice and stiff, so you can set the bag at your feet without worrying about it slumping over and making it hard to find your things. 

If I were taking it on a plane, I'd prefer that it zipped up, somehow. As it is, I'd be worried about spilling needles everywhere underneath the seat in front of me. But, it's ideal for a car trip!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Stencil + Paint = Happy Lara

It isn't fine art, but it's my art, and I like it. I bought a prepped canvas and stenciled a little flower on it. :)

I always told my photo students - anything that feeds your creativity is good for you and ALL of your work. As long as you can pay your electric bill and make all of your other deadlines, feel free to follow your fancy and try new things. 

It's about time I took my own advice, no? I don't have great hand skills for drawing or painting, but I can learn new techniques (and intend to) all the live-long day. 

Friday, May 22, 2015

He Must Like It There

We heard a weird noise in the bathroom and went to check it out. He barely fits in that tiny sink. I guess he's decided it's a nice place to be? Anyway, Happy Friday and I hope you've found your comfort zone for the weekend!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

UFOs, The Stash and Memorial-Day Shopping!

This post contains affiliate links, which help me keep my blog up and running - thanks for the support! 

I'm terrible about getting some projects 99% done and then, well, just stopping. When I organized the basement/office/studio earlier this year, I piled all of my neglected projects into this little box. (The afghan wouldn't fit, it's in the knitting bag under the table, and it is NOW DONE!)

I seriously have, in order from least embarrassing, to most embarrassing: 

1) A sock that needs about 2 hours of work to finish the pair. (I ran out of yarn, but I have more, now. I  have had the yarn for 2 months.)

2) Three cotton bibs that need buttons. I have had them for about 2 years. I always had the buttons. I just really, really hate sewing on buttons. 

3) A baby sweater that needs about 2 rows of knitting and a little icord to finish. Abandoned about a year ago. 

4) Another baby sweater that seriously only needs icord ties to be finished. Also abandoned about a year ago.

I had excuses. I had the Book, then we moved, and then I had to finish the Book, and yadda yadda. But, now, I'm not letting myself start anything else until I finish these 5 things. The afghan is #5, but it is done, done, done. It still counts. 

At least my timing is pretty good. From  now until the end of Monday, you can get up to 70% off all kits, fabric and yarn, up to 60% off all sewing project kits and up to 40% off art, paper craft and cake decorating supplies! So, either hop on over and renew your yarn stash or try something new!

I'm not letting myself start anything else until these projects are finished. But, once these things are done, all bets are off. Maybe I'll spoil myself a little and replace some of the dpns I still can't find. (How does that happen?) Maybe I'll try out a new yarn. Who knows? 

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Easy Non-Knitting Gift

There comes a time in every knitter's life when knitting for gifts just doesn't work. Not forever, but just for now. Maybe you're writing a book. Maybe you're teaching a lot. Maybe you're having trouble coming up with something you could knit for 12 different people that won't make you want to poke your eyes out. 

(Maybe everyone already has an awesome set of slippers, and they haven't worn out, yet.)

Well, then, maybe bath/shower products are in order. They get used up faster than (most) knitted gifts, they are faster to make than (most) knitted gifts, and it is something new to try (so why not?)

I made these for a recent birthday, and they came out great! Package in Mason jars, for extra Pinterest.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

All Over But the Seaming

We're having a bit of a cooler spell in Minneapolis. Which is awesome if, like me, you're only finally getting around to seaming up an afghan that spent over a year as an ignored UFO. Soon, my pretty, you will be my answer to people who say, "Do you just knit socks?"

No, I keep myself and my family warm in every way, both practical and lovely, thanks for asking!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Travel, Apropo of Nothing Else

I bought a set of GoToobs years ago. (They're not paying me, I promise.)

They cost a lot, but in 5 years they have never leaked. Not once. That means a lot to a girl who often shoves her knitting (or spare yarn) into random bags when on the road. There is no hassle like the hassle of beautiful lace knitting, half-way finished, covered in hair gel.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Black Socks

I...think we might have enough, now.

I'm actually grateful for my black-sock knitting. If I had been distracted by color changes, I might not have ever been motivated to seek out so many ways to knit socks!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Inspiration in Church

I was paying attention during the sermon! But, before church on Easter Sunday, I had to snap a photo of this awesome detail of First Presbyterian Church in Tulsa. Potential very fancy slippers?

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Paint Me Like One of Your French Girls

Is it too many photos of the cat? (If it's wrong, I don't want to be right!)

Monday, May 11, 2015

Last Chance - Craftsy Class Sale Ends Today!

This post contains affiliate links, which help me keep my blog up and running - thanks for the support! 

There are fewer than 24 hours left to shop Craftsy’s Make It Great Sale! Hurry and save up to $20 off 100s of online classes. (The banner at the top of the blog will take you to all of them.)

Why not take this chance to try something new? Some of my favorites: 

Although this post is sponsored, all opinions are my own. But, you already knew that!

Friday, May 08, 2015

Furniture Upcycling

This post contains affiliate links, which help me keep my blog up and running - thanks for the support! 

Trust me, no one is more surprised than me that I was SO EXCITED to see a furniture upcycling class on Craftsy. (I know, I really need another hobby. Too much time on my hands, you know.)
Dee and I took a woodworking class last winter and made cribbage boards. It was ok, but it didn't really grab me. But, I was in Home Depot last week and saw a display of chalk paint, and got really excited about the idea of painting without sanding. 

I painted a little before I made myself take a photo.
So, I ran home, grabbed an end table that we bought at an estate sale last summer, and went to town. 

Two coats of paint, a stencil and some wax later, and I'm hooked. I wasn't too worried about "ruining" what was clearly someone else's half-finished project, but now that I have that under my belt, and I've watched the Craftsy class - all bets are off. Garage sales and Goodwill, look out!

P.S. - Don't miss the big Craftsy class sale this weekend - through Monday! (The banner at the top of the blog will get you there.)

Although this post is sponsored, all opinions are my own. But, you already knew that!

Thursday, May 07, 2015

HUGE Class Sale This Weekend on Craftsy, Including Susan B. Anderson's Wee Ones

This post contains affiliate links, which help me keep my blog up and running - thanks for the support! 

I had a great time selling books at Yarnover. However, one of the drawbacks of selling is that I couldn't take any classes!

I heard from one of the students that Susan B. Anderson's class about making stuffed animals was really fun. I love her work, so even though I haven't taken her Craftsy class on Seamless Knit Toys, I highly recommend it!

I love that the patterns don't involve seams. A lot of knit toys involve seams for structure and aesthetic reasons - but I still don't like to sew seams.

There's a whole other reason to at least check out her class - from today to May 11, every single Craftsy class is on sale. (The banner at the top of this blog would be a great way for you to get to them.) Plus, Craftsy has a money-back guarantee. If you don't like it, you don't have to keep it!

Although this post is sponsored, all opinions are my own. But, you already knew that!

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

All Is Well

Oh, my love. My sweet. Just keep petting me and it will all be well. :)

Monday, May 04, 2015

The First Few Rows

I keep finding different ways to think of (and knit) the beginning of a round (French) heel turn.

In my Craftsy class, the really important bit is:

ROW 1 (RS): Sl1, knit to the center of the heel sts, k2, ssk, k1. Turn.

Which means the same thing as (from page 23 of Sock Architecture):

If X is an even number:

Row 1 (RS): Sl1, k(X/2) sts, k1, ssk, k1. Turn.

(My Craftsy class is restricted to X being an even number, to keep things simple. If X is odd, there is help for you in the book!)

So, even though I said it two different ways, I seem to know what I'm about in those moments.

But, a sharp-eyed knitter pointed out: in the patterns section of Sock Architecture, I seem to have led myself astray. By one stitch. It is an important, stitch, though!

(pages 51, 101 and 104, Sock Architecture)

Row 1 (RS): Sl1, k14 (15, 16, 17, 19, X/2), ssk, k1. Turn.

Should be: Row 1 (RS): Sl1, k14 (15, 16, 17, 19, X/2), k1, ssk, k1. Turn.

I am adding this to the Errata page. I am so sorry if this has caused any of you to think that you have failed at counting to 2, 5, or 17!