Sunday, October 26, 2008

First knitted doily

It took only two weeks to finish, and it's now my new favorite. I like it so much, that I want to make more knitted doilies.

And another one!

It's a banana doily because Joey put his bananas on it.

Joey asked me to make him a balaclava the other day, and I already have the yarn ready for it.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

New Additions to the Family

We gained two new additions to the family over the weekend; Joey's bike and a new mattress set. I don't have a picture of the mattress, but here's a picture of Joey and the bike.

We originally agreed not to get a bike until he turned forty, but that promise obviously did not hold. I feel better about it now. The idea of the huge trucks and SUV's that litter the streets worried me more than any potential irresponsibility. I can't wait until gas prices become so lucrative that more people will be forced to ride bikes and scooters. But that's another lost cause since gas prices are dropping.

I just finished grading over eighty freshmen exams this past week. Most of them were decent and showed some sort of attentive behavior in class. There were some, however, that made me worry a little. Did they really believe the stuff they were writing? Or were they just making up stuff to fill a page? I'm hoping for the latter, because if it were the former, then they must have spent the past eighteen years of their lives in a well.

So it's that time of the year again! No, not just hectic Christmas present making time, but also paper proposals and research! Even though I'm taking three classes this semester, I only have to do formal papers for two; the Nuclear Age class and Thought and Philosophy in Early China. I have a preliminary bibliography and a sketchy proposal for both. Once I research more, I will put up my proposal.

For projects, I haven't finished anything yet. I am so close to finishing up the Oriental Butterfly.

It's so close to being done, but I just can't bring myself to finish it. December might be my finishing up month then.

I have a suspicious feeling that I won't achieve all my grand plans for handmade crafts this year, but at least I tried. I'm too fickle in my craft making process, and that leads to a lot of happiness with not a lot of results. So that means I'll just have to start now for next year.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Bittersweet are the finished projects!

I finished two projects the past week.

I'm not quite sure what to feel. During the last one percent of the stitches, I felt accomplished. However, once the last loose end was woven, the happiness I felt disappeared. I was left with a deranged form of postpartum depression.

This was ... it. Weeks of hard work and anticipation dissipated right before my eyes. I no longer had something to look forward to each day. There would be no more updates, no more showings of each row to Joey. It is ... complete.

Joey doesn't really understand, and to be honest, I don't understand either. People speak of gratification upon completion, but all I saw was a piece that didn't live up to expectations. Of course this sounds so melodramatic, but every time I finish a big project, I go through a bit of a difficult stage until I find a new purpose.

And I have! I found out the perfect way to deal with this situation was to start new things, new projects. I have a filet centerpiece on the hooks for Grandma Berglund and a butterfly cross stitch kit ready to go for Aunt Maxine. On top of that, I have plenty of other kits and patterns I need to work on once I finish up Ladydurer's butterfly.

I'm prepared.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Happiness is a pair of socks

I finished my pair of socks last night! I can't seem to find my camera though, so I'll have to update the picture later.

I was dubious when I first started knitting socks. I didn't see the point or the necessity for handmade socks even as a hobby. The yarns I first looked at seemed to be too warm for Texas. But I have a competitive nature, if someone out there is making something, I have to be able to make it too.

My first dozen attempts were horrendous. I tried nearly every method at least five times and unraveled each in frustration. However, I didn't give up and persevered. I managed one sock for Joey with only a guideline for toe-up sock and created my own pattern. Soon after that I made the sock a deformed twin. Joey's first pair of socks did not match and did not fit very comfortably. The yarn, while soft to the touch, did not breath very well and I never even wove in the ends. Nonetheless, I was proud and ready for a real pair.

I went to Woolie Ewe and looked around for affordable sock yarn. Most of the stuff they had were merino wool with a mix of nylon. The yarns were pretty but did not feel too comfortable to the touch. I certainly didn't want to spend so much money that's going to feel itchy afterward.

I soon found a little section with Panda products. I've seen the Panda Cotton before but never found it appealing. Experience from crocheting doilies tell me that cotton yarn was not a prime candidate for clothing. However, underneath the Panda Cotton was a new product I never saw before. Panda Soy was its name and softness was definitely its feel. It is a bamboo, soy, and nylon blend. I bought two skeins of Tibetan Red and started right away.

I love it! Even though it's not plied very tightly, the sheen and softness of the material won me over. Now that I have a pair of those socks on, they feel extra nice. They breath really well. Each skein comes in about 185 yards, and I needed
only one and a half to make my socks, which meant I only needed to buy one more to make another pair. I bought a yellow skein the other day in order to make myself a pair of red and yellow argyle socks.

In other news, Ladydurer has her own blog now!

Ramblings from a Deranged Mind