Together

Well it’s Valentine’s Day. It’s always a day full of such great expectations. If you have a typical Valentine good for you. I’m flying solo, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t have awesome family, friends, and the tribe to send me love all year long. Plus…. Motley Crue.

Happy V Day. Whatever it means to you.

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Love yourself the most.

xxxx
GFK

Heliopath Vest Knit Along!

Well the time has come my friends! A while back I shared with you this adorable Heliopath Vest from the Unofficial Harry Potter Knits book and me and a superb fellow knit-wizard SocalMeaghan over at The Unapologetic Knitter are hosting a KAL!

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Here are the BRIEF details.

1. The start date is March 1st.
2. We will have 6 stopping/check points along the way over 6 weeks. (Scroll down for exact details)
3. There is a Ravelry page as well as our webpages to share information, tips/tricks, or ask questions.
4. There WILL BE A PRIZE!

luna1

Okay now let’s expand on those brief details. The calendar for the KAL is six weeks. That means that by Easter you will have a gorgeous new vest!

March 1 (Sat): Knit swatch and measure gauge.
March 7: Cast on and work 2″ of rib (per pattern)
March 14: Begin working Cable and Lace Chart for 7″
March 21: Continue working Cable and Lace Chart for 7″ more (to the split for the armholes
March 28: Shape Armholes and neck.
April 5: Finishing and armbands and buttonhole row

Here is pattern information. I bought the digital one and I suggest you do that too – message me here in the comments or email me if you are having any questions or issues about the Unofficial Harry Potter Knits 2013 pattern book.

In terms of what yarn to use, you can follow the pattern suggestions of course. Meg and myself will be using the lovely Ewe Ewe yarns! If you haven’t heard the buzz about Ewe Ewe then please do yourself a favor and head to her website or IG (eweeweyarns) to be marveled and awed.

ewe ewe

Finally, and the part you wanna know…. THE PRIZE! Well we decided to award one lucky knit-alonger with a skein of Black Market Wool!

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Anyways! If you have questions about the KAL or want to join please feel free! I have the info on the side bar to the right and you can play along with us on Ravelry and Instagram!

Ravelry Page

Instagram you progress at #heliopathkal

We are so excited to start this super fun and adorable KAL! Join in on the fun!

xxx
GFK

February Health Challenge

I’ve decided to do something a wee bit different in terms of challenges this month because obviously I NEED to get back into the flow with writing daily blogs – I was doing so so well before the holidays. Life just gets so busy! I’ve done several things this past month that I have been proud of. I started running again which I love. It’s nice to run for mental well-being and fitness/stamina than just ‘to lose weight.’ I’m making HUGE progress on my vintage patterned sweater. I taught myself how to fair isle. Also I learned to crochet and have been having a blast learning the ins-and-outs of that art.

crochet mummy
crochet mummy

Oh and Lois visited over the weekend and we had a blast!

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Anyways this challenge. It’s just a daily reminder about health. This picture I found on Google Images for “February Blog Challenge” is old and I’m not guessing the correct blog for this is even working, but I hyperlinked the photo to the address on there despite it seeming like that domain has changed owners. I thought it would be a great way to get back in touch with some mental/physical well being.

Old Feb Challenge I'm Hi-jacking.
Old Feb Challenge I’m Hi-jacking.

So I’ll just jump right in at #4: Relaxation. This one is always tough for me, because I operate at high energy and anxiety levels 24/7. However, I do relax by knitting and embroidering. Most projects I work on become pretty therapeutic. Especially embroidery, the ‘risk’ of messing up or ‘ruining’ the project with a simple mistake does not exist.

embroidered tea-towel for my Grandma's birthday.
embroidered tea-towel for my Grandma’s birthday.

I think that’s why I’ve enjoyed learning to crochet as well – the ‘ripping out’ is so simple and not as scary/severe as when a small mistake is made in knitting. Sometimes, like last night I just crocheted a little ‘doo-dad’ and watched TV all evening. It was so relaxing and just what I needed after a jam packed weekend with Lois.

just a shriner fez for the tribe.
just a shriner fez for the tribe.

I can’t believe it’s already February. Time flies!

xxx
GFK

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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