Fair Isle Goat Pillow DONE

Well, it’s done. It only took total 10-11 hours which is not that bad considering it was my first real Fair Isle project. I’m really pleased that I did NOT try this as the glove. I think it would have turned into a AMF knitting project (angry mofo), if I had tried DPNs with my first time Fair Isle. Anyways, there’s a few mistakes – it happens. I really dig this as a pillow and will be doing more pillow/tapestry designs in the future. I will however go a step further and knit in the round next time. All my mistakes were on the purl side (WS) so being able to see the knit side the entire time would aid in banishing those little flubs.

Finished pillow front being 'blocked' it's acrylic so it's not like that did anything.
Finished pillow front being ‘blocked’ it’s acrylic so it’s not like that did anything.
added some 'french knots' to cover up a missed black perrie. oops.
added some ‘french knots’ to cover up a missed black perrie. oops.
i really like the split in the goat.
i really like the split in the goat.
finished pillow. pug mildly impressed.
finished pillow. pug mildly impressed.
shhh mom, just shut your mouth.
shhh mom, just shut your mouth.
new sweater blaster - embroidered 'B" for the baby boris.
new sweater blaster – embroidered ‘B” for the baby boris.
one half of hall and oates. this is what i do on saturday nights people.
one half of hall and oates. this is what i do on saturday nights people.

Adventures in Fair Isle

Before the holidays, we had a secret santa at my work. Well, I was pleasantly surprised to receive a Mastering Colored Knitting book for my gift. I still in fact have no idea who gave this book to me! They won’t fess up, but when I finish my more intricate pattern I’ll send an email thanking/inquiring again. Anyways, I’ve been just practicing a few little projects and I love it. Just like most knitting techniques, I’m mad I didn’t learn this sooner. SO FUN.

Just a simple one peeries for practice.
Just a simple one peeries for practice.
First heart project on modified sweater (no cable obviously) for Boris.
First heart project on modified sweater (no cable obviously) for Boris.
Baby B likes his sweater.
Baby B likes his sweater.
Gloves have inspired a pillow 'flat/larger' project.
Gloves have inspired a pillow ‘flat/larger’ project.
Slowed down by headache/cat kisses.
Slowed down by headache/cat kisses.
Almost done. Still have 15 rows to go - adding inverted cross to top right design panel. Red to left crisscross pattern as french knots too.
Almost done. Still have 15 rows to go – adding inverted cross to top right design panel. Red to left crisscross pattern as french knots too. I’m hoping some of the gathering goes away with blocking/pressing. Damn you tension.
Valentines Cards? Can I Fair Isle this?
Valentines Cards? Can I Fair Isle this?
This is for a child. I'm thinking it would look awesome as vest. (no one wants to knit sleeves - especially for my ape like arms)
This is for a child. I’m thinking it would look awesome as vest. (no one wants to knit sleeves – especially for my ape like arms)

Pet Projects: The Animal Knit Bible

After my ‘finishing faux paw’ (harhar) on Boris’s new sweater of sewing the arm holes closed I realized I’ve knitted too many pet sweaters to be making such a silly mistake! So I’ve been inspired to share a few of the patterns I’ve made here.

a cat straight-jacket is okay with me too.
a cat straight-jacket is okay with me too.

Obviously I knit a lot. I knit for people and of course animals. I have talked a little bit about the knitted items I’ve made for the animals before, but without a doubt all the patterns are from Pet Projects: The Animal Knit Bible. I can’t even tell you how many sweaters I’ve made for mine and others’ pets, but here are a few of the patterns and a lot of sweaters I have made from this book. (PS If you click the book link it takes you to the Ravelry page with other knitters’ works too!)

Despite his grumpy demeanor he's warm.
Despite his grumpy demeanor he’s warm.
This was for a furry friend. Too short for Vlad.
This was for a furry friend. Too short for Vlad.
All dressed up and no where to go - also ever since I took this photo I've wanted to make an all grey 'knight' suit for Lee.
All dressed up and no where to go – also ever since I took this photo I’ve wanted to make an all grey ‘knight’ suit for Lee.
My first sweater for Vladimir then it became Leopold's.
My first sweater for Vladimir then it became Leopold’s.
Although short, he prefers this sweater because he can run around.
Although short, he prefers this sweater because he can run around and you know grab a cup of coffee.
Pet bed, perfect for two.
Pet bed, perfect for two.
Vladimir's favorite summer spot.
Vladimir’s favorite summer spot.
"The Anti-Firework" Balaclava..... aka "The Laugh Hysterically at Your Animal Hat"
“The Anti-Firework” Balaclava….. aka “The Laugh Hysterically at Your Animal Hat”
Again "Laugh Hysterically"
Again “Laugh Hysterically”
I modified this hat to make Lee transform into RASTA PUG MAHN.
I modified this hat to make Lee transform into RASTA PUG MAHN.

They have a LOT of wonderful color pattern knits in this book too. I think I’m gonna turn the page from the sweater section and start making a few other fun animal items. Coveting it now? Buy it here.

SERENITY NOW!!!

Gee Whiz, it has been quite the week here in ‘Chiberia’ and it’s only Tuesday. First let’s just get it out of the way – it’s so cold I can’t even believe it. Second, Chicago has really sucked it up on being ‘prepared.’ The CTA (our transit system HA) ran yesterday with MAJOR DELAYS – that meant that instead of waiting an average of 5 minutes for a train or bus (even less most days) the wait for the bus was 15 minutes each way to work (exposed mind you) and 15 minutes for the train. The only saving grace yesterday was that a lot of people stayed home. This morning we were not so lucky because the buses are back to business as usual but the train still for some reason is running incredibly infrequent and late.

let's not even talk about this cold.
let’s not even talk about this cold.

Regardless, the crap weather didn’t stop me from taking an amazing class at The Needle Shop on Saturday to learn the famous Amy Butler Gumdrop pillow. I had a blast. I met some great women and learned some awesome new patterning and hand sewing skills.

Amy Bulter Pillow
Amy Bulter Pillow
Amy Bulter Pillow well received.
Amy Bulter Pillow well received.

I also started a new sweater for my sick kitten Boris.

Boris' new sweater.
Boris’ new sweater.

My neighbors and I exchange little ‘trinkets’ from time to time and this was what I made for their pup Lola.

Handkerchief for the neighbor doggie Lola.
Handkerchief for the neighbor doggie Lola.

I made some ‘winter shorts’ notice I’m wearing long underwear under them haha.

new pj shorts for the STAKBE club.
new pj shorts for the STAKBE club.

Sewing is interesting with two nosy sphynx cats.

my two 'assistants'
my two ‘assistants’
the inspector.
the inspector.

Finally – a chuckle at how ridiculous Leopold looks in his winter outfit.

a man with a mission.
a man with a mission.

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a great day of new beginnings. I woke up with some congestion that has been upsetting my asthma and driving me insane. I’m going to grab some Mucinex for later, but any respiratory ailment scares me, because it can get so out of control so fast for someone with asthma. Bleh – woe is me!

Other than that, I embroidered (which is fast becoming addictive) and knitted on a little surprise gift for someone. I’m determined to get the pattern out of my Harry Potter book and start on the ‘Luna’ vest I love from there too this week. Anyways here is a few photos from my lazy 2013/2014 switchover.

Life is pretty tough for a small sphynx cat.
Life is pretty tough for a small sphynx cat.
Blizzardy New Year here in Chicago.
Blizzardy New Year here in Chicago.
First Project of 2014 Complete - Cowboy Pup.
First Project of 2014 Complete – Cowboy Pup.
Close up of Cowboy Pup
Close up of Cowboy Pup
Cowboy Pup the Robber.
Cowboy Pup the Robber.

2013 In Picture Collages

Let’s see… 2013 was a HUGE transformation year for me. From weightloss, to choosing a clear path, embracing my hobbies, adding to the tribe, ditching booze, finding a job, and traveling to Thailand – it was a year full of experiences and fun too.

Here are some picture collages to show case a very very few of the THOUSANDS of moments I caught on camera.

select crafts of 2013 (all from december)
select crafts of 2013 (all from december)
Knits/Sews from the last half of 2013
Knits/Sews from the last half of 2013
Tattoos of 2013. Josh Howard, Arajan Bpom, Artbrutis, Alisha Rice, Dusty Neal.
Tattoos of 2013. Josh Howard, Arajan Bpom, Artbrutis, Alisha Rice, Dusty Neal.
The new addition (his first two days with me)
The new addition (his first two days with me)

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3rd Post of Christmas

Five people you want to spend Christmas with:

1. Family (GA-DUH) – I’ll miss MiniMe a lot this year though and my old Polish family (sigh).

2. The Ugly Tribe
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3. Alexander Skarsgård “shhhaawwwwwing!”

Alexander Skarsgård

4. Windhand to play tunes in the background

5. Alas. All the departed elders go here. G-ma, Nita, Jerry, Grandpa Dan, and Grandpa Connelly. Tears.

12 Days of Christmas Challenge


Okay so I needed a small challenge to get back in the saddle of daily blogging. Mary over at Secret Obsession (from the October Daily Challenge I did) was smart and creative enough to host a 12 Days of Christmas blogging challenge. I think since there is a few more than 12 days left in the month I’ll go ahead and just start this challenge now!


6 THINGS YOU ARE GRATEFUL FOR THIS CHRISTMAS:

1. Being able to go to Denver and spend Christmas with my friends and family.
2. My job – I am one of the few that is actually doing what I went to school to do.
3. An uncompromised future – I’m gonna keep doing what makes me that authentic self.
4. Sobriety – the BEST gift I ever gave myself.
5. The Ugly Tribe.
6. Yarn.

Blizzards, Tattoos, and Christmas.

Jeez. Let me start by saying sorry that I have been the worst blog owner ever in December. I’ll briefly just mention jet lag, knitting/making holiday gifts, and life as why I’ve been MIA here. I don’t like it. I’m thinking I’ll finish up the November challenge I never finished (because of Thailand) and get back in the daily blogger groove.

Let’s see what’s new? Well I have been knitting like a fool and I have so much to show you all – except it’s all gifts for people who read my blog so…. you’ll have to wait. (*stomps foot*)

I’ll recap the weekend for you a little since I had a wonderful time. Friday afternoon we had our work Holiday party at Maggiano’s Little Italy. The food was alright, the dessert was AMAZING. I decided after the official party to go out with a few co-workers to mingle and be social. It was great getting to talk to some people I don’t get to interact with on a daily basis. Also I really enjoy being sober at social gatherings – I never have that moment of ‘oh shouldn’t have said that’ or ‘wait what???’ I did have a hard time getting home during rush hour on Friday night though – after all that I ended up home at 7:30ish and decided to prep for my BIG DAY on Saturday and knit/cuddle with animals.

My body the animal mattress.
My body the animal mattress.

Saturday: Well a few months ago I scheduled an appointment with Dusty Neal at Black Anvil Tattoo in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. Now a few months ago it was not winter, there was no snow, and the mild last winter we had made me forget it even snowed here in Chicago. Fast forward to Saturday December 14th – there is a winter storm warning for my entire drive. Wonderful. I briefly thought about re-scheduling, but I just am stubborn so I pretended like a winter storm was not happening. I left Chicago at 5:30am to moderate flurries/snow fall and proceeded to drive the 208 miles to Ft. Wayne for my 11am appointment. I will say that the snow driving was not ‘that’ bad. However, people in the midwest (forgive me midwest followers) have NO IDEA HOW TO DRIVE IN THE GODFORSAKEN SNOW. Being a Colorado-girl, I guess I was forced to figure out scary snow driving from the start. I also understand my car in the snow and was able to make it to Ft. Wayne only 15 minutes behind schedule. Travel Advised in Case of Emergency? Tattoos by Dusty Neal are emergencies in my life.

Saw this on my phone at 12:30AM as I tossed and turned and knew I had to go to Ft. Wayne Despite the Weather.
Saw this on my phone at 12:30AM as I tossed and turned and knew I had to go to Ft. Wayne Despite the Weather. Copyright @dustyneal

When I got to Black Anvil in Ft. Wayne I can say I was beyond impressed. Dusty Neal is not only an amazing amazing amazing artist and tattooer, but he is a great and inspiring human being. I had a blast being tattooed for about three hours. As time went on more friends of the shop started showing up and the commentary and tom-foolery happening was a hilarious and pleasant distraction. I just can’t say enough wonderful things about Dusty Neal and his shop. The entire experience was professional, relaxed (although I’m hardly intimidated in a shop these days), spacious, clean, gorgeous, and perfect. I will most assuredly go back (in the spring/summer haha).

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Right after finishing.
Right after finishing.
Close up - that eye is INSANE! So gorgeous and so much detail.
Close up – that eye is INSANE! So gorgeous and so much detail.

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For size reference - also a swollen arm lol.
For size reference – also a swollen arm lol.

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I left Ft. Wayne at about 3:30pm and by the time I hit South Bend, Indiana, the roads were no longer wet so the drive home jammed by. Pure stubborn ideals, 6.5 hours of intense snow driving, 3 hours of tattooing and conversation, and one epically beautiful tattoo = the best day.

My lesson this weekend was to value safety and your responsibilities by being prepared, but don’t stop living life because you might have to white knuckle drive for 200+ miles.

Oh and Vladimir helped me Sunday prep to ship gifts to Denver and Friends.

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