Sunday, April 28, 2013

Ground Cover Project!

A few weeks ago I had a friend of mine take me downtown to a 'crafternoon' with a few super amazingly crafty gals and one of the women was working on a blanket for the Phoenix Ground Cover art project. Turns out that one of the other crafters there gets her talent genetically from her mother, Ann Morton.

Ann has created a community project to create a giant blanket made up of smaller blankets and these blankets are made up of 10in x 10in squares that will cover an empty lot in downtown Phoenix. Once the instillation is complete, the cover will be deconstructed  into 300 individual blankets to be given to the homeless of the area.

 Probably the one group in the Phoenix area that actually needs warm, knitted and crocheted blankets.

I love this project for two reasons- we have too many empty dirt lots in Phoenix. Our city continues it's ugly, massive urban sprawl and yet we have SO many of these empty, ugly spaces throughout our city not being utilized. There has been some movement recently to fill these areas with art, public space and 'greening' the city. (The Valley of the Sunflower is a fantastic example of this)
Ann has designed a gorgeous flower pattern for the lot. Check this out...
©Ann Morton
Cool, right?? I love the colors.

Of course the best part is that after this art project has brightening up the lot it will serve a second purpose of helping to care and share a little homemade love with our homeless community. In Phoenix there are around 3,000 people living on the street, and unfortunately it's been on the rise the last few years. This is just a small something that our knitting and crafting community can do to put our skills to good use.

I signed up with a friend of mine and we started this weekend. I've almost finished my first square (I'm dealing with a sick kiddo at the moment so it's taking a little longer than expected) Here it is...

We've got a long way to go but I'm excited to be doing it and it's going to be great to see it completely as well as to see what everyone else is going to do for their individual blankets.

Check out the ground cover site; there is also a Facebook page and a Ravelry group. You don't have to be in Arizona to participate, so pitch in.

What are crafters and artists doing in your community to make a difference? There are so many amazing projects out there- I'd love to hear about them and feel free to post about them here.

Keep on knitting...

Sunday, April 21, 2013

I knew the pain would eventually ease.

After having the lovely ladies at Tempe Yarn and Fiber Tempe Yarn and Fiber helped me out (and were downright excited about) finding some complementary yarn to finish the Mystery Shawl from last summer, I have FINALLY gotten around to actually casting it on.

It's been almost a year- I have had to take a really big breath to restart. Really quite psychologically difficult.

So I'm back... and the coolest thing is...IT'S GOING TO BE FREAKING SO FANTASTIC!

The new yarn is going to add a lot of depth and interest to the piece I think.

Love affair back on!

Monday, August 6, 2012

"Who wears short shorts?"

Just got back from vacation from the Magical Land of New Hampshire. They have YARN IN STORES THAT AREN'T YARN STORES.
I know, right?
*sigh* Dreamy.

Also finished moving my whole family into a new house (not by myself but...) and then roughly 4 hours later rushed off to the airport with the whole family off to the Eastern seaboard.

Although I made some awesome headway on my Ravellenic Games projects I'm way behind so I'm cutting it short....speaking of shorts...may I present the scariest photo on the interwebs...


You win buddy, you win. 

Monday, July 16, 2012

Knittus Interruptus part 2 (Electric Boogaloo)

I really expected a completed lace shawl by the end of the week, ready to take with me to New Hampshire at the end of the month. Alas, no such luck. However, this sudden disruption inspired me to immediately run to the LYS (aka The Fiber Factory) and the kind and understanding Susan and Terry. They sympathized with my plight and pointed me in the right direction.
I had decided to go back to the Mastering Lace Shawls and have Laura Nelkin show me the way back to the light. I'm sure she would gently show me the error in my ways. I decided to take on the Skywalker shawl, it called for 400 yds of laceweight yarn, I bought 875. HA! Take THAT knitting gods!

Pretty, right? More Alpaca With A Twist...I thought it was a good omen but looking back maybe it's something I should have steered clear of?
Got it home, wound it up, pulled out my Harmony Bamboo size 4 interchangeable needles, snugged into the couch with Laura and got to work. It started out so nicely...

And of course, because it seems I'm not actually suppose to knit a lace shawl, disaster struck.

It was late, 11pm or so, and I had this feeling of awful thirst, seeing I was out of water and hadn't moved in about 3 hours I figured it would probably be a good idea if I moved and hydrated myself for a minute. (Not that any other knitters out there know what I'm talking about...) I filled up my water, walked outside for a minute to enjoy the cool of the evening...such a nice night...came back inside, sat down....


So of course then I sat there and tried to figure out how I could glue the wooden needle back to the base. Tape? Wonder if there is a yarn shop open? At 11pm? On a Tuesday. Again with the denial. Seriously sat there for 1/2 hour looking dumbly at it, trying to fit the pieces back together.

I don't have a picture of the broken needle. I was just too much for me to bare.

The one nice thing that came from it is that I shot off an email that night to Knit Picks to see about being able to buy just 1 size 4 needle and they replied back the next morning that they were sending me a new set free of charge. Yay Knit Picks!

Since the universe wants to teach me humility and patience, I'll wait for my new needles and focus on packing. (We are moving and the stash situation is worse (better?) than I thought.)

But more on that later.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Knittus Interruptus Pt. 1

Why are the Lace Gods mad at me?
Just tell me what I did and I'll repent! I'll finally get around to spinning that damn alpaca that I bought in New Hampshire 2 years ago...I'll swear off cheap, dull bamboo needles forever I'll even air out my stash...Just tell me what to do!

Why the drama you might ask? Well it all started with my friend Gwarcita (Raverly handle ) asking me to join her in a Mystery Lace KAL on Raverly. Seems innocent enough, no?
"Great!" I thought. "I signed up for that knitting lace shawls class on MONTHS ago and never got around to doing that...maybe this will launch me into the world of lace that I so badly want to be included in."

Confession: I'm one of those knitters that loves the look of lace but never thought I would have the urge to actually do them. I see things like the above (btw- How freaking awesome and cute is Franklin Habit?!) and my heart says 'yes!' but my mind likes to remind me that I like to do things like drink wine and watch bad teen movies while I knit. I like to pretend that the gaping hole in my sock or the obvious enormity of the sweater I just made is going to 'block out' somehow. I'm not a really 'quality' knitter. I knit for knits sake. So, not really the lace type right? And anyway, where am I ever going to wear a lace shawl? Dang.

So anyway, although I knew I should have stayed away, instead I say an enthusiastic Hell Yes! to this KAL with visions of me on a windy cliff of Dover, gorgeous lacy tendrils whipping around my face.
Or at least I thought maybe I'd learn something along the way.

Oh I learned something alright.

You know you have a problem when you make a stupid mistake again and again and you keep telling yourself that it was the yarn/needles/math/pattern/distraction/etc not you?
Yeah. It's you.
Here's the thing, I had enough yarn when I started, I really did. Called for 400 yds, I had 400 yds! I was trying really hard to be thrifty! To prove the husband wrong- I in fact DID knit from my stash.

It was beautiful. Yummy soft rusty red melt in your hands Alpaca with a Twist. Socrates. Solar Explosion.
Oh. That's a fingering weight not a lace weight you say? Mmmm. Well really, how much could it really matter?

See that teeny tiny little wee pile of sad yarn over to the side there. That's all that's left. Of course the pattern has 10 rows of 12,000 stitches* each and the wee pile just won't cover it. I actually sat there for a full 30 minutes at 11pm at night trying to ignore the wee pile thinking that if I just believed hard enough it would be enough yarn. I kept trying to channel Jesus with the fishes. Honestly.

Told you I had a problem.  It's called DENIAL. And yes, indeed it is not just a river in Egypt.

There's more to my slight with the Deities of Yarn Overs but after reliving the horrors of The Great Knittus Interruptus of June 2012 I really am feeling rather overwrought and it will have to wait for another night.

* slight exaggeration perhaps