crafty distractions

Cover of "Mason-Dixon Knitting: The Curio...

Cover via Amazon


I received my held copy of Mason Dixon Knitting: Outside the lines from the library. Can I say? I love it. I think I need to buy it because I want to make lots of patterns from the book. I was immediately intrigued by a pattern they call the Cardi Cozy. It is a cardigan that is meant to be worn over a fine-gauge cardigan, the kind you actually buy (because the gauge is too fine to knit). The thing that really got me with this pattern is that it is knitted with a mere two balls of Kidsilk haze. TWO balls. How awesome is that? The result is a really pretty lacy little cardi that is worn tied in front. Cute!

Since I checked it out from the library and only had the book for 3 weeks I immediately cast on with some leftover Kidsilk Haze in my stash. I couldn’t figure it out at first because you only cast on something like 45 stitches. Then I realized at one point that it is knitted from the top down. Cool.

That was the first non-obvious thing about this pattern. The second is the raglan “seam.” It is made by making increases in a funky way that involves knitting twice in a stitch, in between which you yarn over. This is supposed to make it easy to see where you do your increases. I didn’t find this to be as easy as claimed. I actually had a hard time with this at first and ended up with way too many arm stitches. I got to the first sleeve and was a quarter of the way through it before I decided to count them (my bad. I should have done that earlier). I had an inordinate amount of stitches. I decided to just start over. The second time around has been a bit easier. I have been able to determine where I do my increases better, which is good.


I was in my knitting program today and had the book with me. One of the ladies was looking at the book and made some comments about how she didn’t like the cable that ran up the back. (that’s another thing. It has a cable that runs up the back, arms and fronts). She kind of went on and on about it and it sort of bugged me. But I kind of realized, as she was talking, that I didn’t like the cable either. I really don’t like the way it looks at all. And, for that matter, I don’t think I like the way the raglan “seams” look either.

So I’m sort of thinking I’ll set it down for awhile and maybe rework it without the cables and with a different method of increasing at the raglan seam. I love the idea of it. I love the way it ties in front. I love the kidsilk haze (TWO BALLS). But I might as well make it the way I like it if I’m gonna make it.

little fluffies

I took this after work last Friday (I think). It was one of those days where i was just not in the mood to do my picture of the day. But then when I started taking pictures I started seeing all of these wonderful things that I could take pictures of. So snapped this one. And then I got chased away by a yellow-jacket.

A couple of political tidbits

Still used in "End Times"

Image via Wikipedia

First of all, I am really happy to have learned that Obama didn’t give in to McCain trying to bow out of the first debate on the pretense that he feels the need to fix the economic problem. And I really like Obama’s answer to it:

“It’s going to be part of the president’s job to deal with more than one thing at once.”

Enough said, really. I mean, the debates take up a few hours of their time on a Friday evening. They can debate. Now is a good time to debate, with all that is happening! I want to know how they plan to fix it!

Okay, the next little tidbit. I ran across this newsy item earlier this week and found it really interesting. Jill Greenburg, the photographer who shot the cover of the current Atlantic Monthly, the one with John McCain on the cover, had a few outtakes that she shared on her website. Apparently she ask McCain to sit for a few more shots and lighted him in a menacing way, McCain not suspecting a thing.

While I kind of think the outtake photo is kind of funny (scroll down a little bit on that link), I do think that she was very wrong to do this. In the end it was really just in bad taste. Especially the Photoshopped images that she put on her blog (you can see them on this post here). I completely understand the whole concept of making a political statement via your art. But I really don’t think it is in good taste to do it on a client’s dime.

Life in 2 inch strips


Quilt SquaresSo last Saturday I woke up and as I laid there in bed I thought about (as I often do) crafting. Usually I think about my current project but not this time. This time I was thinking about a certain kit that had in my closet. A quilt kit that had been sitting in there for almost year and a half. My vintage cowgirls were calling to me.

Then I thought about my sewing machine and how it has been sitting, collecting dust, for 3 months. It made me feel bad. It was high time I started on that quilt.

I think the thing that was keeping me from working on it was just sheer intimidation at the process. I have looked at the pattern book over and over again, yet I just felt totally overwhelmed by the whole thing. On Saturday I just decided to “just do it” as the cliche goes.

As I read through the directions and started working on it I decided to break the process down into do-able chunks. And the pattern kind of works out that way so it was very easy to do. The first step was to cut a each fat quarter into 5 two-inch strips. And it was really as easy as that. Cut a whole bunch of 2-inch strips and then sew them together. Then cut them again into 5 inch squares, which you then put back together into a pattern.

As I was doing this I thought about how awesome this is as a metaphor for accomplishing goals. The ones that seem big and overwhelming, like changing careers, or planning a wedding, or moving to another state, etc. Things are much less overwhelming when you break them down into smaller parts. Figure out what little things you need to do to get to that big thing and then just do them.

Live life in 2-inch strips.

I’ll be starting my new career as a motivational speaker in the near future (kidding!).

This past weekend (well, the one day of it) I was obsessed with sewing projects of a different kind. This has a bit of a back story.

For our Summer Reading Program each year I buy the t-shirt that goes with the theme of each year’s program. Our theme this year was “Catch the Reading Bug” and this is the shirt that was offered this year. I ended up with a large which looked ridiculously big on me and I hated wearing it all summer. I felt like a complete dork in it. So a couple of weeks ago I decided that I would cut it shorter so that I wouldn’t have to, at the very least, tuck it in (which I HATE doing with t-shirts). oops. I ended up cutting it too short, making it look even dorkier.

I had seen the book Generation T so I thought I would check it out and try some hacks on my “Reading Bug” shirt. Here is my creation, before and after:
hacked t-shirt. before and after
This turned out way too tight and not suitable for work. But it was actually kind of cute! So I went to work on some other t-shirts. I made a hoodie and a really cute sleeveless t with ruched sides. I don’t have pictures of those but I will get some taken and show you. It was lots of fun. And now I’m kind of obsessed. I’m actually thinking that this would make a great teen program at the library…

Photography Friday with a little bit of political thrown in

Photography, Thoughts and Opinions

I took this last weekend on our walk. This cow was grazing with it’s calf and two other friends across the lake. I haven’t really used my telephoto for distance shots like this and am very happy with how well it works! I love how the cow was looking at us as we were looking at it.

Is anyone else kind of freaking out about the financial situation? It is starting to sound scary. How much more can Bush fuck up our country while he is still in office? Nevermind. I don’t want to know.