Gauge, gauge, gauge!!! It matters!

If you’re a knitter I’m sure you have taken a class and the instructor strongly urged you to check your gauge. I know I have heard that many times, and I usually comply.

If you look at the photo below it’s evident I didn’t. So as you pick up your needles for your next project remember to – CHECK THE GAUGE! I will!

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One Stitch at a Time ~ I Will Not Be Defeated!

“To conquer frustration, one must remain intensely focused on the outcome, not the obstacles.” ― T.F. Hodge

Utilizing my OLW to aid me with a dilemma today, so I sought out my list of focus quotes and the above fits today perfectly.

So I’m dealing with a little frustration today, and for the last couple of weeks but I am going to keep moving because the outcome – a pair of comfortable and fashionable socks is on the horizon.

Right now I’m trying to work through picking up a dropped stitch. All kind thoughts and prayers welcome!

I will not be defeated!!!

Sock Euphoria turns to Drama

My early week euphoria has been replaced by drama! My last post proved to be premature and  I believe I jinxed myself because not long after that posting I realized I had dropped a couple of stitches!

If you  recall,  part of my motivation for working on this project is my OLW – FOCUS, so instead of being defeated I  stepped away from the project for the day which turned into several. Feeling confident that I had enough time to FOCUS I picked up the socks again last night. After a few hours of knitting and feeling satisfied with my progress, another error was located!

Just as I was about to complete the shaping of the toes and move on to the heel, I realized I had once again goofed and needed to figure out how to correct my mistake! I tried to use my “phone a friend” to help me out of the dilemma, but she was no help.

Choosing not to be deflated or defeated I took a shot of what I had created and resigned myself to the fact that I would have to start over again! A more seasoned knitter would probably be able to determine where the mistake was made and just back track to that spot – that does not describe me, so it’s back to the drawing board!

There is always a light at the end of the tunnel and my light came in the form of another outlet for my creative energies. One is taking the time to create this post and the second is to edit some photos, and hopefully create some art that I’ll share here.

For now I ask that you take a look at my progress and send messages of good will my way as I again start the journey of creating these socks – two at a time!

An almost complete toe! Back to the drawing board!

I’m Ecstatic ~ So Beyond!

I am jumping with joy right now and I hope you can just feel the sense of FOCUS and ACCOMPLISHMENT racing through my body right now! Yippee!! Yay! Go Shelley, go Shelley!

I am my own personal cheering squad right now because I have reached a milestone in a project that has beaten me up over the last several days! What project you ask – Knitting Two Socks at a Time! Yeah, it’s nothing major in the grand scheme of things, I have not invented some new cure, or solved the world’s problems, but right now at this moment I have solved one of my problems!

Two socks! One needle! Success!

In comparison, the shot below is what this project looked like a week ago, and a couple of times after that but I chose not to document those near-misses!

ERROR – Conjoined Socks

If you have followed this space at all you have read about my OLW – Focus and my plans to work on doing just that this year. Well last month I thought a lot about my word and in many ways I accomplished my task, but there is still a lot of work left in order to unequivocally say that this is the year of FOCUS.

Our prompt for the month of March is to take little actions to give life to our words and today I am working on knitting these socks as my action – and more importantly getting beyond the toes! I’ll post my progress tomorrow, because I plan to have these babies with me all day!

My Creative Story

As I peel back the layers and expose my creativity in Kim Klassen’s Beyond Layers class one of the challenges or prompts is to tell my creative story. This was our first prompt last week, but it has taken me almost a week to conceptualize this story and sit here to share it with you.

I hope you’ll grab a nice cup of your favorite beverage and take this journey with me.

As a youngster I did my fair share of coloring, but I was not one prone to start an art project – give me a book and I would be lost for hours. One of my favorite photos of me as a child is of me lying on the floor with my legs bent at the knee with a book in front of me. At first glance you see a child reading, but if you inspect that photo closely you will find I have fallen asleep!

Now my Mom was one to have you involved in several activities and having studied Early Childhood Education she also had many projects for us that included painting and creating. I eagerly joined in, but I can’t say I was pleased with the outcome so I concluded art was not for me.

Early on I did have fascination with cameras and even had a Kodak Instamatic that I used to capture early memories. This would be the closest I came to being creative – or so that’s what I thought at the time. I’m not sure if it was my efforts to emulate my Dad or an early notion of recording history, but photography planted itself in my life and has since become a fixture. By the time I was about 13 or 14 my parents gave me my first and only 35mm Nikon FG that I still own and use from time to time today.

As a voracious reader it would naturally follow that I would love the written word and follow some sort of literary path. My path was not literary, but journalistic. I’m not sure when, but I was fascinated with the news and newspapers specifically. So I took all the English classes offered in school including AP and studied journalism in college. While seeking out English classes I avoided Art classes if at all possible. Unfortunately, I came up during a time when Art and Music were still a part of the curriculum so I really didn’t have a choice. I toiled through the assignments and my Mom even displayed my art.

Creative – not me. As a journalist with a weekly newspaper I used my camera to help tell my stories, and to document family events and my travels. I never looked at this as being creative. Over the years I learned how to do page layout and design at the newspaper, which I used later to create computer generated cards and invitations – creative, not me.

I didn’t take to crafts either. My Mom and sister loved crafts from needle point to sewing and finally knitting – not me. When my Mom took up knitting she and my sister tried to get me to join but my response was “I have two left thumbs.” I did give it a half-heart try, but to no avail. Then a few years later my sister announced she was pregnant with her first child and I decided I would try knitting again. I knit a cute, but imperfect blanket for my niece and I was hooked. Creative – not me.

About a year later when I was planning my wedding I created the invitations and a friend of my Dad’s – a tenured Art Professor and Artist received the invitation and was so impressed he framed my “artwork” and gave it to me. Creative – maybe I am.

My framed “Art” Wedding Invitation

Since that time I have taken up card making, I knit regularly and I have created wedding invitations for a few people. I have also taken up photography again. Today I still struggle with the designation of “Creative” but I’m working on accepting the “Creative” in me with Beyond Layers and renewed confidence.

Wrist Warmers I knit for a friend.
As I close I want to give a shout out to my “Cyber” friends! Over the past year I have met many women who have offered a wealth of advice for free, but more importantly have given me and many others the confidence needed to continue honing our skills. Also, the many participants in e-classes who have offered their kind words when viewing my work – it gives me hope and inspiration! The ladies I speak of include but are not limited to Shutter Sisters, Karen “Chookooloonks” Walrond, Kim Klassen, Kat Sloma, and Big Picture Classes.

Tasting Yarn and Wine!

Last weekend I had the opportunity to attend a Yarn & Wine Tasting presented by Soft ‘N Sassy Yarn Shop and hosted by the Richfield Art Studio. It was a blast, and I have been meaning to post this for a week, but life keeps getting in the way so I tried my hand at creating a storyboard so that I could share some of the highlights with you guys! Not sure what happened to the bottom photos…will work on that.
Enjoy!

#reverb10 – What is the Last Thing You Made?

So on my second day of participating in #reverb10 I am happy to say we have a happy topic, or one that does not dwell on any sadness. The topic today is what is the last thing you made and this works well with my previous post on feeling a little scatterbrained because I have been doing so many things. So technically, the last thing I made was one half of a pair of foot warmers. These are hand knit and made first and foremost with love, because I love the person who will wear them and I hope that each time they put them on the depth of our friendship will come through and warm them both physically and emotionally. The yarn used to knit these warmers is Artful Yarns Circus and it is 95% wool and 5% acrylic so they are nice and warm and you can toss them in the laundry – making them convenient.
I have knit these over the last several years for a number of friends and I receive rave reviews after the fact. It is such a joy to knit something and then have the recipient genuinely enjoy the gift. This is something that really brings a smile to my face!
The completed project are a couple of hand knit hats, again they are made with love, but t
he fiber used was Cascade Lana Grande a bulky yarn – also a mix of wool and acrylic.
I can’t wait to pass on the love!