Showing posts with label knitting/crochet. Show all posts
Showing posts with label knitting/crochet. Show all posts

Monday, January 30, 2017

Podcast Episode 8 show notes


Podcast episode 8 is up! You can either listen below or subscribe in iTunes. You can search for Cozy Cape Cottage, or click this link.

I talked about:

Knitting and sewing - finished!

Phoebe's Sweater, Joanna Johnson  11.21.16 - 12.17.16
Phoebe Mouse, Joanna Johnson 12.18.16 - 12.24.16
1 knit and 1 crochet dishcloth + 2 scrubbies 
Time Traveler Socks 12.01.16- 01.02.17
Campside Quaker shawl 11.10.16 - 01.15.17
Burlap basket from book Growing up Sew Liberated by Meg Mcelwee
Sweater sized project bag

Knitting - in progress:
Tornado socks, The Yarn Enabler 01.05.17 -
Pure joy shawl, Joji Locatelli 01.17.17-

Monday, December 12, 2016

Podcast Episode 7 show notes


Podcast episode 7 is up! You can either listen below or subscribe in iTunes. You can search for Cozy Cape Cottage, or click this link.

I talked about:

Knitting - finished:
Hermione's Everyday Socks 11.05.16-11.27.16
Grandma's Favorite Dishcloth  11.29.16-12.03.16

Knitting - in progress:
Campside Quaker shawl 11.10.16-
Phoebe's Sweater, Joanna Johnson  11-21-16-
Sock Yarn Scrap Blanket 06.25.15-
Time Traveler Socks 12.01.16-

Watching:
All the Vlogmas vlogs!

Mentioned:
Yarngasm
A Homespun House
Inside Number 23
Yarn Hoarder
Boston Jen's clasp weft join tutorial

Contact links
email - cozycapecottage@gmail.com
instagram
ravelry
facebook


Music courtesy Bensound.com

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

October 2016 Day in the Life

According to my sidebar, I did one of these posts a year and a half ago, and it's also one of my most popular posts! I haven't been moved to do it in a while, but this year, something about it spoke to me, so here we go!



Again, I chose a Monday, but that's just a coincidence. It's still my day off, and I still love that schedule. I woke up around 6:30, which sadly is sleeping in, and even more sadly is hours later than it was a few months ago. Everyone slept all night too, so it was a relatively restful sleep. It's October and a gorgeous fall day. It's cool this morning, but should be nice later.




Feeling a bit like a mad scientist, I crush up some vitamins in almond yogurt (fun with food allergies!), and make some coffee in the french press. Which, can I just say, I think I'm doing fancy coffee wrong. I don't have a teapot, so I have to heat the water up in the microwave, and half the time I don't get to the second cup in the carafe while it's still hot, and I have to nuke it anyway. None of this is fancy. I should be demoted back to drip coffee with the hot plate to keep the second cup warm. I also threw in a load of laundry.






Breakfast is followed by playtime, and I remember that I'd planned to put something in the slow cooker for dinner. Yesterday I pulled out both chicken and a roast to defrost. The roast was still a bit frozen, so I decided on chicken, and, feeling uninspired, I googled. Cilantro lime chicken tacos sounded good, but I didn't have any salsa. Knowing I was probably making a mistake as I did it...I put in tomato sauce instead. I know, I'm ashamed. I didn't actually have any cilantro either, so I put in parsley and wondered if this was even going to be edible. I finished up in the kitchen and unloaded the dishwasher. At this point it is about 9:30




I was surprised to see a familiar face on the tv when I walked back into the living room. A dad of a school friend was on some morning show talking about bike and pedestrian safety. I was glad that I was able to go back to the top of the segment to catch his name and confirm that he WAS who I thought he was. I have such a hard time recognizing people "out of context".



After that we settled back in for some more playing while I played my youtube "watch later" list in the background. I was treated to a podcast episode from Susan B. Anderson. I just love her, and knitting podcasts in general are just so great because you are nearly guaranteed that there won't be anything offensive to little ears. I pulled the sheets out of the washer and threw in the still gross shower curtain liner again with a couple of towels in super hot water to see if I could get rid of the mildew spot I had been trying to address. We have a block window on the back wall of our shower that is super not waterproof, so we have a clear shower curtain hung in front of it. We don't open and close it frequently since that's not the in and out curtain, and I had noticed a couple weeks back that I hadn't noticed a hidden fold and it was looking yuck. Spoiler alert, my plan didn't work.



Naptime = me time. 10 am, and I get set up to do some yoga. A friend saw my complaining that the 90 min P90X workout is just way too flippin long to get through, so he shared the newer version from P90X 3 with me (no, I did not know there was more than one version!). This one is only 30 minutes which is MUCH more manageable with my limited free time. I was surprised that it wasn't a super tough workout, but instead more on the level of a moderate flow class. Other than my lack of flexibility, I could do all the poses with the group, and only nixed the extra stuff like pushups during vinyasa and some of the more difficult yoga trick toward the end - I did manage all of the balance poses though, even crow!



Then I grabbed a quick shower and another #nomakeup selfie. In fact I skipped makeup all day because lazy.




I still had a little time, so I headed downstairs to continue working on a Halloween costume. So many layers of slippery, sheer fabric going through my poor machine. What a pain.



Around noon I stopped to get lunch going. We had leftovers, one with cheese, one sad without. Same serving sizes, and still the small one screeched when the food was gone. Which is nuts. Little bottomless pit!



I got the mail, and my husband is apparently A List now on Southwest. This is great and horrible, because we should get upgraded seat assignments if we can ever get away, and horrible because it means he's logged enough trips to have earned that status.





We headed outside for a bit to enjoy the weather. It was very nice in the sun without our jackets on, but there was just enough crispness in the air that I half regretted not putting them on. Oh well, I knew we wouldn't be out for long.




When we got back inside, it seemed like I was going to get a few non-hands on minutes, so I sat down to frog back a couple rows of a pair of socks. Now that I'm on the home stretch of my other in progress pair, I wanted to get these back to a pick up and go spot. I had started them back in June when I was doing a test knit for Chrissy and I didn't love how they were going so I switched from the pattern to just doing stockinette...but then I didn't like that either and decided to go back to the original plan. So that meant ripping back several rows of plain knitting. Props to the Kroy yarn, I think I only dropped two stitches....despite all this fun going on as I ripped.



3 pm, and naptime again. I mixed up my daily glass of greens. I'm surprised again and again how much I really like this stuff! I like the taste, I like that it makes me drink more water, and I like that I have more energy and have NOT caught the plague which is constantly surrounding me from my coworkers! I've been ordering the "old" version because they are on sale and I'm cheap. :) (Also, Miller glass - #milwaukee)




The skirt is now attached to the costume, and I set about installing the zipper. I hate installing zippers, and am extra nervous about all of those slippery layers and fluffiness. I put on Buffy to keep me company (YES I watch a lot of tv), and it's the horrible, sad episode where her mom dies. Still gets me, every time.



I get the zipper in, hold it up, and have done a crap job. I put it aside for now and contemplate redoing it. One the one hand, it's just a kid costume. On the other, it's an opportunity to practice a skill I suck at. I'll probably decide to fix it, but not today. I head upstairs, continue watching Buffy (alternating with Angel because I'm watching them all in original airing order because my friend Maggie mentioned doing that once) and started the first colorwork rows of my hat. So far, so good!



4:30, and the rest of the evening hours fly by in a flash. It turns out we didn't even have any tortillas, so I popped out to Target when my husband got home to grab those and some other random things, including the crazy pea protein milk I can ONLY get at Target (annoying) (I could also go to Whole Foods, but it's not conveniently located for me, and probably more expensive) and some new shower curtains because I give up. And fell victim to a $5 deal at the checkout line, which reminded me that I forgot to grab that movie as I flew out the door to return at the library. I made a mental note to drop it off before work Tuesday so we don't get fined. I stopped by my parent's house on the way home to collect my other child. We ate dinner, and while it definitely wasn't cilantro lime chicken (how can it be when you are missing 2/5 ingredients!?), it was edible, so that's good. After dinner we watched some Hocus Pocus before bedtimes for about an hour.


After bedtime, my husband and I popped on the Netflix series we are watching (oh my GOD we are going on some kind of screen time diet!!!), Bloodline. We are about halfway through season 2. It's ok, but it's something we can watch together, so that's always points positive. By the end of the episode, I finished the colorwork portion of my hat, hooray! I even learned how to "catch my floats" in the middle sections of the hearts.


10 pm, weirdly on the dot, and it's time for bed for me. Tonight's featured 20 minutes of podcast is an episode of the crafty planner, which is an interview based show by a former city planner. I usually have no idea who her guest is, but the host does a lot of research and asks pretty insightful questions, and I like that. Happily, I fall asleep easily.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Full of Fail

This week was full of sewing fails, file disasters that nearly made huge trouble at work, and that time I got stranded at a fiber festival. I'm not sure I ever really believed in the whole Mercury in retrograde thing before....but I might now!

I typically work 4 days a week - I chose Mondays as my usual day off, and I really love that schedule. When the weekend is over, I still have that ONE extra day to get stuff done. The only real bummer is that there are a surprising amount of businesses which are closed that day, but that's not terrible because I frequently don't get out of pajamas when I'm home! I work enough hours though that I still get paid for holidays. When they fall on a Monday, I get to choose another day to stay home, which varies depending on what's happening at work that week.

So, all that to say that I took Thursday as my day off this week since we were off Monday for Labor Day. I planned to go for a long run, do a whole bunch of sewing, maybe record a podcast, all on deliciously on my own time before the daycare pickup around 5. HA. HAHAHAHA

Where oh where to begin? First off, I didn't want to run at all, because while the temperature was a comfortable 75 or so, the humidity was nuts. I'm not a very experienced or good runner, so the thought of running in soup? No thanks. I ended up doing a DVD at home, but even that wasn't very satisfying. Maybe I just didn't pick a good one for me that day, or didn't push myself hard enough, but it sort of felt like a waste of time. (The one thing that did kind of work out was that I washed my hair with a "no 'poo" recipe that called for first scrubbing with baking soda and then with apple cider vinegar. It really helped my hair feel quite clean, as lately I've felt like I've had a lot of shampoo build up or something. Anyway.)

By that time it was about 10:30, and I was feeling quite stressed that I was wasting my day. I went down to my sewing room, and cleaned up a whole bunch of past project debris that was holding me back from doing anything else down there. It took me SO long after that, but I finally finished the bra I started a couple of weekends ago. I am pretty sure I put the back part of the band on upside down, but it turns out that makes no difference at all because the fit was BEYOND horrible. It was just....so bad. So, so bad. I was essentially swimming in this thing, in all of the ways that a bra can just NOT fit. I don't know where I went wrong. I even made a muslin! Just....the front didn't fit, and there were seriously extra INCHES around my ribcage. It was not a, well, let's tweak it here and there and see if it works. It's a full on chuck it in the corner and be mad at it for awhile kind of fail. My friend said that hers really didn't turn out either. Perhaps not as full of fail as mine, but still not good. She said that maybe for the next go round, if we can bring ourselves to go there, we should try doing the fitting with the foam for the cups, rather than just fabric. That's a pretty good idea, but I don't know when I'm going to feel like going for it again. Ugh, such a bummer. (I was using this pattern, which I feel bad even saying because I was so unsuccessful!)



After all of that, it was about 3:30. I thought ok, let's change gears. I got out a pattern that I've wanted to make for years, the Lola dress by Victory patterns. I have the fabric too, a navy sweatshirt material. I thought a cute sweatshirt dress might be the perfect palette cleanser to a horribly ill fitting bra. I got the pattern pieces all traced and cut out before I had to leave to get the kidlets, so I was feeling like maybe I turned this thing around and salvaged some of the day after all!


And do you think that was true? No. After dinner and baths, I headed back down because I wanted SOMETHING cute to show for my precious solo day. The pattern directions were really easy to follow, and by 11 pm, I had a totally assembled dress except for the neck, wrist and bottom bands. Before going through the effort of putting those on, I decided to try the dress on for fit. I'm sure you see where this is going....

I could get it ON...but I was totally uncomfortable, and couldn't really move my arms without feeling like I was going to hulk the thing apart. Before completely throwing in the towel, I let out the seam allowance on one of the arms (which, ugh, was only 3/8" instead of 5/8" like many clothing patterns! Now is one of the only times I wished I had that extra 1/4"!!), and it was a great improvement. I can probably go through and let out some of the other seams and it should fit ok in the end, but ugh! I cut the same size in the bra and the dress, and ended up with a tight sweatshirt dress and a bra so loose I could have put it on over said dress.

The following day at at work, I'd left just a couple of things to finish off when I left Wednesday night. I thought, surely I'll have enough time to do these things before my 2:30 call to sign off on these plans!



 Yeah. There was some kind of ridiculous file problem which made it so that I couldn't get into the file until 1 pm!! I had an email window open on my other screen about to cancel the meeting, which would have been sort of a disaster to the project timeline, which obviously would have been very bad. Let's just say that when I finally got in there, I was drawing like the wind and there might have been smoke coming from my mouse. In the end, I got everything done that needed to get done and I got the sign off, but MAN was I stressed out!


So that's Friday. Friday night, I made a last minute decision (in hindsight, OHMYGOD stop making last minute decisions!) to head about an hour away to the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival. I dragged my family along last year, and when I brought it up to my husband he seemed pretty enthusiastic about it....ha, wait, nope! So I decided to go on my own, and rather than drive, I caught a bus from one of our local yarn shops with a friend from knit group. She had told me that it left at 7:45 and would leave the fairgrounds at about 5:30, and I thought that sounded fun. A whole day of shopping, watching the sheep shearing, maybe petting some baby lambs, and I could knit the whole way there and back!







And it was a really great day! It was fun to hang out, I spent way too much money buying pretty things that I don't need, and just had a really relaxing day. We headed over to where the bus had dropped us off around 5:15, and saw zero other people waiting.

And that's when I got nervous. You see....I didn't reserve my spot on the bus ahead of time due to aforementioned last minute decision. One of our other friends decided not to go, so I just took her spot. This meant I had no official confirmation, and no contact info in either direction. The friend I was with is one of those rare birds who does not have a smartphone, and also doesn't know her email password and only checks it at home. The shop website mentioned the bus, but again, no times. I tried calling the shop to see if they could hook us up with a cell phone of the owners, but it had closed at 4, so no answer. The woman standing near the entrance said that yes, there WAS a bus, but it had just left at 5. It was scheduled to leave at 4:30, but hung around until just after 5 when they finally left....just minutes before we showed up at 5:15.

In the end, we got home ok because luckily another friend was vending the event, and luckily not staying overnight between the Saturday and Sunday shows, and we were able to catch a ride with her back to the city. Even if that hadn't happened, I'm sure my husband could have come to rescue us, but that would have been about as exciting as coming along in the first place.

All this ramble to say that in the end, really, no harm, no foul on all of it.....but I am definitely staying in bed Sunday. (She says while typing this during a bout of insomnia in the wee hours Sunday morning....)

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Podcast episode 3 show notes

Podcast episode 3 is up! You can either listen below or subscribe in iTunes. You can search for Cozy Cape Cottage, or click this link


Thank you to Eva from the charm of it for the shout out!

 I talk about Wild Haven Fiber Company and the upcoming classes - see the full schedule and details for how to sign up here.

Almost done with podster mittens (http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/chilly-podsters). Put thumb in backward. Playing yarn chicken with last of the Ella Rae classic wool. Working my way up the flap before I decide if I need to carefully uneven the thumb or just snip it off and re knit with fresh yarn 



Also working on some class samples for crochet 101. Using cotton fleece by brown sheep company. 80 cotton 20 merino in Terra cotta. Should look nice in the shop as a sample. Doing a couple samples, rectangular dish cloth with single, half double, double crochet, a round cloth to teach about typical increases in round, and a big granny square. 


Got my first 3 ply off the wheel! 
Ready to spin something more colorful and traditionally handspun looking yarn




In sewing, I started working on bras

Contact links
email
instagram
ravelry
facebook

 



Friday, July 1, 2016

So 2016 is for classes apparently



I took my first knitting class a couple of weeks ago, and now I basically want to take all the classes. I attended a sweater class taught by Ann Budd (of the "Knitter's Handy Book of...." series) at Wild Haven here in Milwaukee, and I loved it. This week I got an email from Joann's about a free Craftsy class, and I snapped up - and actually watched part of! - the drafting class by Jacee Boggs Faulkner that I've heard about over and over again. (That's drafting for spinning, not architectural drafting!) Now this morning I read Susan B Anderson's latest post, and I am SO tempted by her double feature class at the Knitcircus retreat this fall in Madison, Wisconsin. I'm on a self-imposed spending freeze right now....but it's only $120 to take in a whole day of classes from a teacher who I think is a pretty big deal.....Decisions, decisions.

I was lucky enough to have dinner the night after the Ann Budd class with a yarn rep, Ann's event coordinator, the owner and other teachers at Wild Haven, and Ann herself. The rep, Kim Lui, had an interesting question to pose to the group. She was wondering how you go about creating an engaging yarn shop that keeps people coming back again and again, and how classes can be a part of that. I feel a little silly even considering myself a "teacher" because I've taught all of one class. My second session was cancelled. We aren't sure if it's summer thing - maybe people aren't up for learning to knit as the weather warms up? - or if it was an over-saturation thing, as maybe monthly 101 sessions are too frequent...in any case, it was a really interesting discussion. I have a lot of ideas, but am a little unsure how to implement them...especially since it isn't MY shop. I mean, I like it there, but I don't run the place! Oh well, we will re-evaluate this fall, and for now I'm happy to take all the knitting time for myself!

I didn't manage to finish my sample sweater in class, but am nearly finished with it now. Having that in person demonstration, I'm finding, was invaluable. I went to pick up the underarm stitches on the sleeve, and it was a breeze compared to some of my past attempts. (also Ann commented on my instagram post - a brush with knit celebrity!)


I find the same thing when I manage to make it to knitting group - I can learn so much by watching someone demonstrate a technique. I've mentioned before that I'm mostly self-taught, and I'm surprising myself with how much I like in-person learning. Maybe it's an evolution, or a season in life where I just don't have the time to search down multiple tutorials online. The act of paying for a class and getting my butt in the chair and getting as much out of that time as I can....it's resonating with me right now.

I'm hopeful that I'll finish the sweater this weekend. I actually knit the whole body, but had a little brain glitch, as we modified the sizing to get a lot accomplished in class. Basically my stitch count works for 6-12 months....but the length chart I was following was for a child size! I've more or less knit a sweater dress that will go down to the knees. I have finished the sleeves, and will rip the body back to a more typical length. Fingers crossed for few mistakes. I tested about 3 bind off's on the first sleeve, before landing on the sewn bind off, which Ann recommended in the first place. Last night I bound off the second sleeve first with a too tight i-cord bind off. I ripped it back and did a lovely, looser i-cord bind off. And yet....the cuff still wasn't as stretchy as....or matching....the first one....how can that be? Oh yeah self....you landed on a SEWN BIND OFF. Sigh....rip back again, complete sewn bind off, put self to bed.

Stay tuned.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Classes are in session!



Remember how I said I was going to teach a knitting class? Well, I did it! I had 5 lovely students, which was a full class and a really good number to manage. All of them were brand new knitters, except one woman who had learned to knit as a child from an aunt. She thought she didn't remember anything, but it was amazing to watch how quickly it came back to her! Muscle memory is a magical thing. And it was such a great experience that I'm doing it again! I've got 2 more dates lined up on the calendar - both Wednesday evenings, May 11 and June 1. Here is the link if you are interested: http://www.wildhavenfibercompany.com/classes/, or you can give Kate a call at 414-744-0009 to sign up.

So that first class. I wasn't really nervous per se, but I did spend several days ahead of time creating a little packet of basic information about the essential stitches, along with some swatches and step by step photos that I hope were helpful to everyone when they got home.



I also wrote up my version of the pattern that I mentioned in my last post. It probably wasn't strictly necessary, but I wanted to make sure that I was super familiar with it, rather than referring them to something written by someone else. The idea was that I really wanted to give them something useful that they could make with just one skein of yarn that wasn't just a scarf. That long strip of knitting can feel really endless when you are just getting started!









Despite my preparations, man, it's hard to go all the way back to the mind of a beginner. I've been knitting for about 8 years now, and while I definitely don't consider myself an expert (I'm not sure how you can ever consider yourself an expert in an area with as much breadth and depth and history as knitting!), it's been such a long time since I was a beginner that I took for granted that not everyone knows what a "cast on" might be! I'm very grateful that this first round of students was pretty kind to me and was confident enough to ask those questions - otherwise I'd have kept talking thinking that they were with me!

I seriously give major props to those who jump right in and take a class as a very new beginner. It's so not the way I learn, but I think that it would be SO much easier. I tend to hunker down with a pile of books (you should see the pile surrounding my laptop right now, about a whole variety of subjects...the library is my happy place!) or videos. I guess I like to get frustrated on my own? I'll definitely say, that for some things, there is just no substitute for in person instruction. When I started spinning, I did my usual. I got a ton of books, read a lot online, watched some you tube. But every time I would sit down at the wheel? Frustration, big clumps of fiber going through the wheel, not enough fiber going through which led to horrible over-twisted bits of rope, stress. It was just terrible. I was about ready to throw in the towel, but I ended up taking a 2 hour class at Wool and Cotton Co, and it was a world of difference. Something about watching someone make the motions right next to me, and stand over my shoulder to see what I was doing and make just enough adjustments to my technique....I swear within about an hour I was going from making horrible ropey broken bits of twine to something that resembled yarn a person might knit with. I guess I just like to learn these lessons the hard way!

But speaking of learning, I've learned a ton from teaching that first group of knitters - yes, they were all knitting by the end of the first class! Everyone got there by the end, but I know I want to introduce certain things a little differently next time, and I want to have some swatches sort of pre-set so that I can more easily demonstrate knitting in the round vs. in the flat.

I was thrilled to see one of those ladies at open knit night the following week. It's so cool, thinking that I could be part of someone's "knitting journey." I know that it doesn't quite click for everyone right away. I had several clumsy attempts before I made that first "dishrag" out of acrylic yarn while watching and re-watching a DVD I checked out from the library (it's Learn to Knit, vol. 1 if you're interested!) (omg, why didn't anyone tell me that you shouldn't make dishrags out of acrylic yarn!) before knitting really STUCK for me. That was back in 2009. Who knows why that thing inspired me to keep going. Maybe it was just that it actually resembled what it was supposed to....lord knows it didn't actually absorb any water! I don't think I even have it anymore. In any case, I fell down the rabbit hole, and I'm happy to keep falling. I feel like I've ticked off a ton of my goals - cables, charts, sweaters, socks, even designing a few patterns myself. I've got colorwork on the horizon...sometimes I practice continental knitting for a row here or there to try to get ready. (I don't know why that's so hard for me - I learned to crochet long before I learned to knit, so it's not like I've never tensioned yarn with my left hand before!) That's what I love about knitting. It's as much or as little as you need it to be. The simple, meditative repetition of pure garter or stockinette dishrags or socks, or the full attention absorption of complicated lace or cables, it can really always be there for you. You can totally zone out and let your hands work out the stress of your day, or you can throw yourself into complex masterpieces of intricate lace or unusual construction. And at the end of the day, you'll probably at least have warm feet. :)

Oh and if you're interested, I went ahead and added the pattern that I'm using for the 101 class for free on Ravelry. There are links below to both the pdf itself as well as the Ravelry link. Please feel free to take a look and let me know what you think!

download now via Ravelry

pdf download here: