Monthly Archives: July 2012

Ladies and Gentlemen…

Ladies and Gentlemen….at 1:06 this morning…..the shawl is completed.

I am in a sleep- and food-deprived daze…I have been knitting for 12 hours straight today, my homework is not submitted, and I have to be up at 6:00am (that’s five hours from now, for those of my readership who were not blessed with stellar math skills.) But the shawl is made. I can hold it and wrap it around myself and it is warming me up right now, and I don’t really feel capable of forming a coherent sentence right now I am so excited and confused. It’s taken almost three years to complete, six months of work, tens of thousands of stitches, hundreds of hours, but this piece is finally done, and I cannot wait to show it to you.

Even though the knitting is done, I still need to weave in ends, wash it, and block it, so I have made the decision to not share pictures until it is in its final, completed, beautiful form. The one thing I will share right now is this:

The Last Stitch

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Filed under Crafting, goals, Jane Sowerby, knitting, lace, Life, Lost shawl, portfolio, projects, shawl, The Cap Shawl, Uncategorized, Victorian Lace Today

Reading The Book Thief

“Trust me, though, the words were on their way, and when they arrived, Leisel would hold them in her hands like the clouds, and she would wring them out like the rain.”

-Markus Zusack, The Book Thief

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July 27, 2012 · 11:29 am

My Nephew’s Birthday Present

Today was a great day! Why? Because I went to work for 8 hours and then followed it up with an hour of filling out tedious paperwork! Just kidding, it’s because my fall issue of Interweave Knits arrived in the mail, and with it, an idea for my nephew’s birthday present! My nephew is turning 2 in September, and picking out his present is a big freaking deal. Not only is he the most adorable, clever, fun, and sweet nephew ever (other than my other nephew, Riley), but he lives three and a half hours away, putting me pretty close to the top of the list of World’s Most Terrible Aunts. I don’t get to see him that often, and when I do, I feel like we just start to form a bond and then I have to leave again. It breaks my heart every time. Which is why picking out the perfect birthday present is so important! And I am hoping I found it.

First of all, let me just say that a subscription to a good magazine is one of the best gifts I can think of (though this is NOT the gift I’m getting for my nephew), which is why I am so happy that I was given a subscription to Interweave Knits for Christmas. In my opinion, they produce some of the best content, and some of the best, cutest, and – most importantly – most wearable* clothes of any knitting magazine I’ve seen.  Add to that their great online presence with excellent free content and videos, along with their attention to other crafts in addition to knitting, and I think they offer the best bang for your buck. Plus, there is the major point that I consistently like their patterns more than most other magazines, which tend to be hit or miss for me.

Surprisingly, I wasn’t overly fond of many of this issue’s patterns because they just didn’t happen to be my style, but the ones I liked I fell in love with. And one of these, is going to be my nephew’s birthday present. What is this magical item, you ask? It’s a hobby horse, and it’s freaking awesome.

For those of you who do not know what a hobby horse is, the ones you buy in the store look something like this:

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You can purchase this one at http://www.sunny-bears.com/inv/gund/hobby-horse.php

And the ones you make at home look something like this:

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This one can be found at http://www.ms-notsoperfect.com/2011/04/bugz-horsefly-costume.html

Mine was named Trigger; he was made by my mother and was loved to death. We still have him, but I think he’s missing a few facial features at this point. The point of this toy is that a small child with a humongous imagination will straddle this stick, hold it with one hand and the ‘reins’ with the other, and gallop around on his or her ‘horse’, having all kinds of dangerous and wonderful adventures. I loved this toy, and I am hoping my nephew will as well. It is coming at a good time, I think, considering his new fascination with ‘skipping’, which tends to look more like a gallop anyway.

I will post a pic as soon as I can, but for now suffice it to say that this one is very colorful, with a fair isle motif in big blocks of color all over it, and a funky blue mane sticking out the back!

*By this I mean that many knitwear designers either go too simple with their clothes, so they’re boring to knit and to wear, or too complex so the clothes just look silly and no one except a super model or movie star would actually wear them out in public (I’m looking at you, Vogue Knitting.) Interweave Knits strikes a good balance by featuring beautiful clothing that is complex and interesting, but has classic lines and styles that anyone would feel chic and comfortable wearing. This, I think, is the mark of truly good design.

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July 27, 2012 · 1:52 am

Knitting, Math, And The (Relatively) Short Road Left To Finishing My Shawl

I have been ‘almost done’ with this freaking shawl for what feels like forever, but has actually been approximately two weeks. I have been working an average of four hours per day to complete it, but sometimes six or more, and the seemingly never-shrinking number of stitches still remaining on the needles is slowly but surely turning me into a crazy person. The main part of the shawl was finished two and a half weeks ago, and then ‘all I had to do’ was ‘whip up the border’ and I’d be good to go – simple and easy! Simple, yes. Easy, yes. Time-consuming, HELL yes! I always work better when I know concretely what is left to accomplish and I can count down to achieving my goal, so below is a mathematical representation of the work left before this thing is FINALLY off the needles and ready to be washed, blocked, tail tucked and finished!

Stitches remaining on the needles: 274

Border rows needed to work one of the above stitches: 2

Total number of rows left to complete: 548

Number of rows in one border pattern repeat: 30

Number of pattern repeats remaining: 18

Number of minutes it takes to complete one pattern repeat: 30 (approximate)

Number of minutes remaining until shawl is off the needles: 540

Number of hours remaining: 9

Whew. That’s not as bad as I thought. I can probably get it done by the weekend! I’ll let you know how it goes, and post pictures as soon as possible.

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A Blogger Convert

So I have had a blog on Blogger for about two years now with the same title. I love Blogger, but it does make me feel like that last person out there clinging to Safari while all the Chrome users gaze sadly down their superior noses at me.  Which is not to say that I use Safari, because I most certainly don’t. However, apart from the fact that Blogger is kind of old and clunky, and sort of heavy-feeling to use, I have also been getting an annoying weird virus-pop-up thingy every time I try to navigate around (I’m very tech-savvy with the hip know-how lingo). So, I feel as though the time has come to make the switch and see what WordPress has to offer me. I am hoping to get my blog content from Blogger transferred over to here somehow, so if anyone has any knowledge on how to do that while successfully avoiding virus-pop-up thingies, please feel free to leave me a message in comments.

On this blog, I will be navigating the trials of being a recent college graduate, participating in random (and not so random) acts of crafting, and attempting to write my first novel, a young adult science fiction masterpiece with the working title Exodus. Join me on my journey if you are so inclined, I promise it won’t be boring.*

Some things to look forward to:

  • A rousing game of “Where Will Hannah Be Living In Six Months!”
  • The completion of a magical lace shawl that was tragically lost for two years and then re-discovered two months ago, right where it was supposed to be all along.
  • Musings on how much wiser and cleverer I am now that I have a degree.
  • An even rousinger game of “What Should Hannah’s Career Be!”
  • Other, equally interesting and exciting things.

Hope to see you here again soon!

*author’s note: It might be boring. I don’t know, I’m just the writer. Readers – it’s your job to tell me when I’m being boring, so go ahead and get on that. Or don’t. You know, whatever you want to do.

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