About Rayna

Newfoundlander, just returned home from Toronto after 14 years in exile! Knitter of pretty string, spinner of fluff (mostly wheel), sometimes designer and newbie dyer. Occasional stringer of shiny rocks. Wife, and doggie mom.

Progress In A Short Time

So I’m off to a pretty good start with this whole thirty day crafting challenge. I have wiped out several of the smaller items… including re-skeining the yarn from three projects I frogged last week. On Saturday afternoon when the list was prepared, they looked like this:

And as of this morning, they looked like this:

I also blocked my Sick Day Shawl:

I admit that blocking might be a strong word. Since I didn’t want points, I soaked it overnight, spread it on a towel and stretched it out and I let it try and trimmed the ends. It’s a lot larger than it was and I might eventually block it “properly”.

I had planned to sew last night and ran out of steam. But determined to do something per our challenge, I cast on my dad’s sock, made from my very own hand dyed yarn.

Now… I actually don’t know what I am doing with this yet. Plain knit, or Hermione’s Every Day Socks…? The other pair I did were Hermione’s and Mom has laid claim to those because they were a touch too small for Dad. So making them plain will make them go faster and it means they’ll be easier to differentiate from the first pair when they are in the laundry. Decisions, decisions!

Advertisements

Getting My Crafting Mojo Back

So… I was chatting with my friend Opal the other day, and I mentioned that there were a dozen projects I needed to get to or get through, and I just couldn’t seem to find the motivation to do it. I wondered if perhaps scheduling crafting time on a daily basis was the way to go, and Opal told me that it was the way she got through a bunch of projects last year.

She suggested a 30 day challenge, wherein we both crafted for 30 minutes a day, at a minimum for the next 30 days. It sounded like a great idea, so in a FaceTime call today, we chatted about what we wanted to get done. Some of my projects are kind of small, but some of them are fairly significant, at least to me.

I made a list, and it ranges from writing up a pattern for my friend, Shireen over at The Blue Brick, to blocking two different shawls that have been finished for an embarrassing amount of time…

to putting together the top of a quilted bed runner…

to knitting socks for my dad….

to reskeining some yarn from some frogged projects…

A total of 12 items 13 items…I missed the completion of a quilted table runner.

I might throw some painting and drawing in there, just for the fun of it, but I think it will mostly be fibre and fabric. I would even like to get back at my spinning wheel.

I’m going to take notes and figure out how well this works… and hopefully there will be blog posts along the way, especially now that I have the app on my phone and can post this way!

Wish me luck!

Perhaps my Knitting Mojo is making a comeback!

Last night, for the first time in nearly a year, I finished a thing.  It’s not a project, because it’s just one sock.  But still…it’s a good sign, don’t you think?

feliciseasideBehold, a Knitpicks Felici Sport sock in Seaside!

And I nearly packed it in because I screwed up the Kitchener-ing of the toe and had to pull it all out; but I picked up the stitches and persevered.

And an even better sign…I cast on the second one immediately, and got partway through the cuff.

Maybe I am back…

Designs: Helix and Oskar

About a year ago, I received a text message from my friend Kim over at indigodragonfly.  We got to chatting about her upcoming Smart Assed Knitters/World Domination club year and she casually said, “This year, I am featuring new (or at least new to me) designers…you wouldn’t happen to know of anyone, would you?”

I gave it some thought for a few minutes and told her that since she and I ran in the same knitting circles, I really didn’t think I knew anyone she didn’t already know.

In retrospect, I can hear her rolling her eyes at my utter lack of taking a hint.  She messaged me back: “You just totally missed what I asked you, didn’t you?”.

I was flabbergasted.  And after flabbergasted I was honoured and more than a little chuffed.  Kim wanted me to design two new designs for her October club shipment.  Knowing that sock design is my happy place, she told me the socks were good and I set about creating something pretty to go with what Kim told me was going to likely be an autumn-y orange yarn.

The yarn turned out to be a stunning colourway…and that’s a big compliment coming from me….she formerly of the “I hate orange” club.  Not anymore.  Ron named it “The Cod Couple”, in honour of my Newfoundland heritage.  And the sock names followed suit.  I give you Helix and Oskar.

helix2

Helix.  Model: Opal Gamble / Photographer: Paul Sveda

oskar1

Oskar.  Model: Me / Photographer: Shireen Nadir-Santana

I love socks that have lots of stockinette but have just a little something for both visual and knitting interest and I also love the offset panels that I had seen in other designs.

I wanted a lace sock and a cabled one.  There needed to be one for those of us who hate cabling and love to knit lace, and one for those who love cabling and feel that socks should not come with pre-made holes!

Overall, I was thrilled with how they turned out.

Really this post should have been made months ago, but life was more than a little complicated on the day these were released.  I will be allowed to release these to the public in a month or so, so if you are interested, stay tuned!

Hitting the Reset Button

Wow.  That was, uhm, quite a year.

I am alive…but it’s been a rough last several months.  Without going into much detail, since this is a crafting blog and not a “here’s my personal life” blog, my marriage ended in October and I have been spending the past few months re-decorating (I kept the house) and trying to find motivation to re-start some of the hobbies I love.

Christmas was lovely.  Shireen and Tito came to see me as did my friend Opal.  My brother and his partner were home from Vancouver and I saw a lot of my parents and some family and family friends.

New Year’s Eve, after struggling for the previous few months, I made the decision to start the year on new footing, and have picked up my crafting again.

I knit a Bandana Cowl for me to go with a new jacket I bought because I lost so much weight over the past year that it was an embarrassment.

cowl

I finished this pair of mitts as a test knit for Kate Atherley.

mitts

I am on the gussets of the second sock for my dad, made from yarn I dyed myself a deep teal-y green last autumn before everything fell to pieces.

sock

I have also signed up for dance classes that start tonight…and am contemplating a second dance class that starts Sunday.  I figure they’ll get me out of the house and back doing one more thing that I used to love, but inexplicably gave up.

And in the midst of all of this, I released two new patterns (they are part of the indigodragonfly SAK/WD club for the month of October) and didn’t even blog about them.  I was thrilled with how they turned out when I submitted them, but at the time they were released I had other things on my mind.  I will try and post those shortly.

Welcome 2016!  May you kick the ass of 2015 in every possible way.

I Knew I Was Having a Slow Year….

I really had no idea how little I had accomplished from a crafting standpoint until, on a whim, I looked at my FOs for the year.

Considering I have, for the past several years, completed in the neighbourhood of 25 knitted projects over the span of the year, I’d say calling this one slow is a massive understatement.

I have, to date in 2015, completed exactly five projects.  This is unheard of.  I should be at a minimum of 14 by now, if I were on track for a “usual” year.  And in fact, two of these five are not even officially in the FO list because they have not been blocked and photographed.

Now, in my defence, there are other things I have been doing from a creative point of view.

I am in the midst of a sooper seekrit project that I cannot talk about for another while yet.

I have taken up hand dyeing and have dyed up about 20 skeins (plus a single braid of fibre) this summer…plus I have more undyed yarn winging its way to me as we speak.

I have done some spinning (although no plying and as such have also added almost no spinning FOs to my list, either!).  This is a lovely indigodragonfly braid I started for Tour de Fleece (don’t even get me started on how badly I did in keeping up with TdF this year!  Downright embarrassing…)

I took a sewing class, although, if I am honest I haven’t done a whole lot of that either.

And I sure as heck haven’t been blogging!

I wonder where my year has gone….?  Looks like I am going to have to get a severe case of finish-itis if I am going to make any progress this year at all.

The other option, I suppose, is to stop forcing it and just craft when I feel like it.  That’s a valid lifestyle choice, right?