Frank’s Alright!!

Ever have a project that keeps giving you fits then all of a sudden you have an “Ah-HA” moment..??

Yeah…that’s been me with Frank, we’ve been fighting a bit lately.

I had yet another bad start….which I really thought was gonna be perfect until all of a sudden it wasn’t. UGH!! There may have been a few cuss words and some pulling of hair involved with the realization that it just wasn’t right….again. ::sigh::

So I sat down with pen and paper and started to sketch (yes, I know I should have done that FIRST) and found my shape…kinda like a pill box hat. Brilliant. It will give me that flat top look I’m looking for here. So Frank has taken on a slightly adapted pill box sorta shape… He’s gonna be just fine…cool even!! I can’t wait to finish him… So much so that I am kinda ticked off I actually have to work today!! But, I should have him done this weekend… Photo’s soon!!!!!

So, do you like my new look?? Decided it was time for a change. How about that glorious photo of my mitt pattern, Namaste’!?! The photo was taken by none other than the genius dyer of the yarn the mitts use!!! Go check out her site, Kama Suutra Fiber Arts…she does amazing things with color… Oh, and pick up a kit for the mitts while you’re at it!! ; )

Happy Weekend…do something spontaneous!!!

Get r’done.

Do you ever have days where you have things to do at work but you just can’t seem to make yourself do them…and you just end up shuffling papers around you desk all day in a vain attempt to actually get something done? (or at least appear too?)

Yeah…one of those days.  I have a stack on invoices on my desk that need to be entered and…..>yawn<

All day long I have been mentally knitting/designing a Frankenstein hat for my friend Erin.  You see, I have this mantra running through my head right now… >GOTTAGETITDONE  GOTTAGETITDONE  SCHOOLISSTARTNGSOON  GOTTAGETITDONE   MADEAPROMISE  GOTTAGETITDONE<

So, I’m gonna get r’ done.  I’ve had a few false starts, but now I think I have the gauge adjusted properly and away I go!!  I’m almost done with the top of the hat (the lid as I have been mentally calling it) and I’m getting ready to pick up stitches for the forehead/back of head.  It’s interesting trying to knit a cube to fit something round.  Here’s to hoping it will retain a bit of the cube-ness.  ::shrug::  We shall see.

I’m also still writing up the pattern for that damn vest (yes, now it’s become ‘that damn’ vest).  I’m struggling with making the shaping make sense in words.  I know what I mean…but…ugh…putting it all into words…  I may just let it go and see what the testers have to say…see what ACTUALLY needs to be refined and what I’m just being a bit mental about.  +

So…with two weeks and ½ day until school starts, my new goals:

-Get Frank hat knit, written (doing this as I go) and to testers

-Get vest pattern written and to testers (which really is ALMOST there)

-Finish crochet and knit traveling wrap groups (at least the shawls currently in my possession)

-Finish Limestone Shawl – FOR ME!!!!!!!!

That’s it. 

That is all I’m gonna try to fit into two weeks. 

I can do it. 

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I know I can. 

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But just in case, can you all cross your fingers for me???

I’ll leave you with a few shop teasers!!

     

Crap.

Steeks.

They suck.

Especially when your yarn is slippery.

So… I knit a swatch and tried my hand at steeking…which isn’t all that scary on a swatch.  I tried the traditional, no reinforcement steek first.  The unraveling was monsterous!  Traditional is not gonna work for this.

Up next:  The Crochet Reinforced Steek.

Hold on to your butts!!

::sigh::

You can let go of your butts. 

Steeking with this yarn isn’t gonna work, I’m afraid.  It’s too slippery.  Even the crocheted method just slipped right out of the crochet with a gentle tug….and wearing a garment, there will be more than gentle tugging going on.

Bugger.

Okay.  So, here it is.  The fronts will look have a different striping than the back.  That’s just the way it’s gonna be and I need to accept that.  I can let that get to me. 

Pushing forward.

Adventures in Pattern Writing

So yeah…it’s been ages… What can I say, I’m a busy girl!  Althought I have said it before, I am going to try (key word = try) to write more frequently.  I know that I should and I think it would help me in my creative process to actually write out what’s going on…so I’m going to try.  I am.  I swear.

So…with that said…

In GirlGoneLoopy Shop News:

Not much, sadly.  I have been so seriously busy with a million other things, that the shop has been a little neglected as of late.  ::sigh::  This makes me sad.  I need more hours in the day or I need to be okay with sleeping 2 hours a night.

In Pattern Writing News:

In September of last year, I released my very first pattern, the Namaste Mitts.  It was a collaborative effort between me and the mastermind behind Kama Suutra Fiber Arts, Rue.  She wanted something that really showcased the yarn and I provided the vehicle to show off it’s fancy driving.  It was magic.

Soon after that release, she came to me with another yarn, and said “Do it again…this time with a vest.”  I said, “Sure, why not!!”  There were some brainstorming sessions and some creative discussions, much debate on the overall “feel” we wanted and then I set to work.

Then I fretted.

Then I panicked.

Then I bemoaned my sweater knitting virgin status.  Having never knit a fitted, shaped garment (I know, seriously..WTH??) I just didn’t understand shaping and fitting the way I should in order to design a fitted piece.

So what’s a girl to do??  Here she is, no fitted garment experience and she’s agreed to write this pattern and doesn’t have the first clue HOW to do it!!  What was she thinking!! UGH!!  So, she did what any logical girlgoneloopy would do, she started studying.  I pulled out every book, magazine, article I own and started to research shaping and vests, in particular.  I started to pay attention to decreases and increases and learned how they work to make the knitting flow and look a certain way.

Then I started to plan.

Now…enter the yarn.  It’s a glorious skein consisting of two contrasting self-striping yarn (much like for the Namaste Mitts only a different weight and colorway)…  The dilemma, how was I going to divide the fronts and yet make the colors flow properly from one side to the other the same way they do across the back??  I avoided the obvious answer for as long as I could because the answer is the one thing in the knitting world that seriously scares the crap out of me.  The answer: Steeks.  ::shudder.gulp::

Steeks.  Where you knit a panel of extra stitches into the knitting then CUT THEM ::gasp!:: when you are done with the piece to separate whatever it is you need to divide.  ::shudder.shudder::  Who in their right mind wants to CUT their KNITTING?!?!?!!!  With SCISSORS!!?! ::sob::  Not I, says me!!  But yet, here I am, faced with designing not only my first fitted garment, but faced with my ultimate knitting fear…steeking.  ::sigh::

I decided that just because the word “steek” makes me want to hide under the yarn pile, doesn’t mean that it makes everyone want to do the same.  Just because the thought of cutting my knitting makes me want to throw up a little (a lot), doesn’t mean that I can’t do it (‘you can do eeeeit!!!‘)…very, very carefully.

I decided that I need to conquer this fear once and for all and perhaps help someone else to do the same.

Wish me luck… I’m about to cast on the trial piece.

::gulp::

In Heather’s Life News:

As you know, in July of 2010, I lost my job…and the job hunt began.  I was unemployed for five months before anything came along. During those five months, I devoted myself to pushing my creativity to the next level and got my Etsy Shop up and running.  There were many days that I worked 10-12 hours, on my feet all day in a steamy kitchen in the middle of a ghastly hot summer (with no AC mind you) dyeing like some kind of mad woman…and I have never been happier…exhausted, but happy.  Hot, sweaty and achey, but happy.

When something finally came along was a temp job through an agency, but at least it was something.  So, since the end of December I’ve been working at a computer engineering firm as an admin assistant. It an okay job at an okay place…it does not feed my soul.  The job was due to end after the first week of May, they’ve recently asked me to stay on through the end of May at least, and they’ve told me around mid-May they will decide whether or not to keep me for longer than that. ::sigh::  I would be an complete idiot to turn it down in this job market.  But I want to be happy and feel some sort of sense of accomplishment at my job and I don’t get that here. (Hell, I haven’t had that feeling at any of my jobs, really)  Perhaps it’s because I am doing someone else’s job right now.  I don’t know.  I have had a hard time getting my feet under me at this job…again, pehaps because it is temporary.  Don’t get me wrong.  I am grateful to have this job while so many people are still out of work.  The people have all been very nice and helpful.

Avery thinks I’m crazy to attach so much Self to my job.  It’s just a job, he says.  But if I’m going to spend 40 hours a week doing something, I want that something to feel worthwhile to me.  If I am going to spend so much time doing something that is taking me away from my home and my creative pursuits (which is where we all know my heart and passion truly lies), that something had better damn well be worth it.  Is it wrong to feel that way?  I don’t think so.  Think about it this way, 40 hours is about 24% of my whole week …almost a quarter(1/3 of my five day work week!!)…that is a lot of something, in my mind.  I spend less time sleeping during those five days than I do working.  If I am going to be forced to work outside my passion, then I want to at least enjoy the work.  I don’t think that is too much to ask.

Does anyone know an opening for a terminally creative person willing to bust ass for 10+ hours a day doing something she’s passionate about that pays enough to keep me alive???  Yeah, didn’t think so.  I have a fridge magnet that sums up the eternal struggle of the hopelessly creative perfectly, it says “I do many things well, non of which generate income.”  Ain’t that the truth.  Dream on.

Have Happiness!!!!

Introducing: Namaste’

Okay…so long story made shortish…

A few months ago I faved a pattern for socks on Ravelry… A friend of mine saw that I had and asked if I would knit up a pair with her hand dyed as a sample for her yarn shop.  I said “Sure!!!!”  It didn’t work out so well…so I said “How ’bout I write you a sock pattern for this yarn?”  She said “Brilliant!”…so the writing, knitting, ripping, knitting, writing, knitting, ripping, knitting ensued. It didn’t work out so well.  The yarn, as gorgeous as it was had NO intention of being a mere SOCK thank you very much.  I say to my friend, “Hey…since I have to rip this out AGAIN, would you consider mitts??”  She said “Brilliant!”  So the writing, knitting, ripping, knitting, writing, ripping, knitting ensued…

…and it worked out BEAUTIFULLY!!!!

Welcome, Namaste’.

 

 

 

Since the yarn is two hand-dyed contrasting self-striping works of art… I decided it would be best to do a reversed color knit for the pair… Meaning, there are two balls of yarn used here…  One is a self-striping of purples, lavenders, cobalts and royal blues…  The other is a self-striping of oranges, corals, yellows and peach.  One one mitt, Color A is the purples and on the other Color A is the yellows…  That way you don’t have to worry a blink about trying to match the pair perfectly.  Works like a charm.

Simmer down, I’m gonna tell you where you can find the pattern and that gorgeous yarn…  Currently, the pattern is being test knit…so you’ll just have to wait…  It will be offered as a kit with the yarn (it’s being test knit in two other delicious colorways as well, so you’ll have a choice!)…  You can find the gorgeous yarn (and coming soon, the Namaste’ Kit and pattern) at:

Kama Suutra Fiber Arts

Run now…go check the shop out!