Sunday, October 26, 2008

Brandon Mably Color Knitting Workshop

Have you ever wanted to dive into a pile of yarn and roll around in it? Well, short of rolling around, that's what we got to do at Brandon Mably's Color Knitting Workshop at Yarns 2 Ewe yesterday. I felt like a kid in an art class where we just got to play. Remember how free we were as kids and how excited we got with the giganto 64 color crayon box? We just grabbed colors based on how we felt, not based on trendy color combinations. Brandon Mably is the Studio Manager at Kaffe Fassett's Studio. He has an intuitive sense of color and a great sense of humor. In his words, he would rather dive naked into cold porridge than knit a solid color sweater.

The class was a lot of fun. First, Brandon discussed his color process. He does not use a color wheel. Many colors that exist in nature, paintings...etc do not follow the color wheel. Instead, he taught us to see color more in terms of values and tones. He also stressed how certain "ugly" colors come alive with the right color next to it. Color should induce a feeling. He slowly and surely deprogrammed us not to overthink our color choices.

Having never done colorwork before, I was initially focused on the technique of the thing. All of the colors, ends were quite fiddly BUT, I was there to learn something about color, so my tension and color changes were a little wonky. He also showed us how to weave the ends in as we knit which was a great trick. Who wants to use a darning needle to sew in all of the ends? With all of the colors we were using, it would have been a nightmare! Brandon was great about teaching and making sure to give everyone individual help. He even brought some things that he has been knitting on such as the stole above that was knit in a lovely, soft bamboo yarn.

The best part of the entire workshop was at the end when we all put up our swatches on the wall like children's drawings on parent night. Then Brandon went to each one and extolled the virtues of our color choices and how blah color choices were saved with the addition of other colors. We all beamed as he talked about OUR swatch. Would I take the class again? You betcha!

Unfortunately, the drive in Houston and sitting in cold hard chairs was not too kind on my back. I stopped by Walgreens on the way home and bought a strap on heat pad, Icy Hot and some stick-on heat pads. I plan to sit around all day. I'm not much good for anthing else! But it was well worth it!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Pumpkin Tea Cozy

Pumpkin teapot
Originally uploaded by christijnp
Yay! It's finished! I'm not sure I crocheted the leaves right, but hey...they're leaves! I used the Broken Rib Tea Cosy Pattern from Pamela's blog and used the leaves and tendrils pattern from the Fall 2008 Knit Simple Magazine.

Just in time for cool weather, hot tea and the holidays!
Raveled here

Thursday, October 23, 2008

"Back" to "Hooking"

No, I am not, nor have I ever been a lady of the night. There's nothing like a provocative blog title to get your attention though! ;-)

I went home from work today because of my back and taught myself to crochet.
I must have pulled something outta whack while I was trying to disassemble my trashed, hurricanized patio that was just laying there killing the grass. I woke up sore this morning, but the 40 minute commute and trying to do my job just made it worse. To top it all off, my co-workers saw me cry. Don't you hate it when you get mad at yourself for crying, which only makes you cry more? They were sweet and understanding, but I felt like a bawling baby.

So here I sit, drugs finally kicking in, bored outta my gourd and pick up The Happy Hooker by Debbie Stoller. A few pages in and I'm crocheting! (okay, maybe it's the drugs but it makes me giggle that it looks like I typed crotch-eting) I'm making the leaves and tendrils for my pumpkin tea cozy. I'd take pictures but I can't reach my camera and my nurse (daughter) has left for work. So, I leave you a picture of my Wollmeise yarn club acquisition

I can haz dat nu choo toi?

Monday, October 20, 2008


Originally uploaded by christijnp
Hobow abar youbou doobooing? (Fat Albert reference for you yunguns)

Methinks this tea cozy makes a far more entertaining hat, don't you think? What a schnoz on that puppy! (no animals were harmed in taking this photograph)

Okay, I'll share the real picture of its intended use. Far less entertaining. A tea cozy. I'm going to crochet some little leaves and tendrils to make it look like a pumpkin. Awww...

I got the pattern for the tea cozy at Pamela's Blog and am using the leaves/tendrils pattern from another pumpkin tea cozy from Knit Simple magazine Fall 2008 edition. Ravelry entry here. The Knit Simple pattern used way more yarn than I had. This tea cozy only used 45 grams of Cascade 220 which works out to be about a 100 yards of worsted weight. The pattern was knit in less than a day including seaming. Yay for instant gratification!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Shins

No, not the supa cool indie rock band, but the "oh my aching shins" variety. It seems that when I go on a jog/walk many areas of my body are in constant protest however, one usually protests more loudly than the others. Last week it was my knees, this week is my shins. I guess I need to go read about what to do with shin splints...

I'm trying something different this time around...I'm NOT weighing myself for awhile. I could easily get so caught up in the constant fluctuation of my weight that I forget the bottom line of this whole eat-healthy-exercise program. When I lose, I feel that I have achieved success and when I have gained/not lost, I feel failure. This is DESPITE what effort I have or have not put into a healthy lifestyle. I can't expect to do the same thing over and over again and expect a different result.

I also tend toward self sabotage. Sometimes when I lose weight I feel that I can get away with more and eat more. Then again, sometimes when I gain, I get frustrated and eat anyway. Bottom line...I need to outsmart myself. I'll let you know how that goes.

In other knitting news, I am knitting a tea cozy in orange yarn to look like a pumpkin for the holidays. I'll post pictures when I get a little further along.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Whose idea was this?

Oh.... Mine....
So I started the Couch to 5K program last week with the help from a podcast from Robert Ullreys. I had started this before, but after week 1, I injured my knee (doing something else), then a post-surgical dog, then the hurricane, then all of the after hurricane crap...then... I ran out of excuses. Thankfully, Turtlegirl (insert superhero fanfare here) inspired me to start it again.

It's week 2, but I'm stuck on week 1 part of the plan. Why am I just now blogging about it? Because week 1 would have looked like this..."today(gasp) is (gasp) my (gasp) first (gasp) week (gasp) of (gasp) Couch25K (thud - as I collapse on the floor) You try running with 50 pounds of extra weight on you! My badonk-a-donk went donk. I felt like a fat-alanche was about to happen on my backside (It didn't...darn it. I checked.)

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Clapotis part deux

Clapotis part deux
Originally uploaded by christijnp
Clapotis #2 in Brooks Farm Four Play yarn. I love this color combo!

Mystery Stole 4

IMG_2664 001
Originally uploaded by christijnp
Ah...yet another knitalong I can't keep up with.
This is the UFO from Mystery Stole 4 WITH BEADS!
I'm loving the beads right now, but this next section is without beads so it is going slower.