Wednesday’s Wow Moment

So I’ve decided I need some sort of tradition on this blog to keep me going, as I’ll get some rhythm going and abruptly stop posting for months at a time. Therefore, one of the weekly posts I’ll put up is Wednesday’s Wow. It’s a broad statement, I know, but that’s what I intend it to be.

Today? This random tip I saw in PNW Magazine (that comes with my Sunday edition of the Seattle Times; yes, I do subscribe to the newspaper, at least weekly and might be one of the few people on earth to still do that) to freeze herbs. Hailing from Southern California, I’m rather spoiled with the variety of freshness that’s available. Moreover, having been a city girl my whole life, I tend to take having anything I wish (at least in terms of fresh fruit, veggies, and herbs) at my fingertips at any given moment. However, being on my own for some time now, I’ve encountered a problem time and time again: throwing out herbs.

 

This tip tells us to freeze herbs in an ice cube tray to have that availability at hand all the time! I’ve done this with thyme so far, and it’s absolutely lovely! I simply snipped them with kitchen shears to fit the cubes, poured some water, and froze it. Keeping it in a plastic baggie separate from other herbs so as to maintain its flavorful integrity. I did notice that as I poured water, the leaves did float to other cubes, so I’d advise you to do only one type of herb per tray at a time. Try it!

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Wednesday’s Wow Moment

Deception

Being binge crafter, I’ve been on a relatively constant spinning kick this week, meaning I hardly made progress on most of my knitting projects. That’s not to say everything’s been stagnant here.

I’ve finally finished spinning up the batch of wool that I’d gotten when I went out to Whidbey Island in August. I went out there with the intent of just hiking Deception Pass and spending the weekend out there, but the first night I encountered an absolutely lovely craft store in the city of Oak Harbor (where I stayed) where they sold only local fibers, yarns, etc. Moreover, this was an amazing place that had its own workshop where one could dye or spin their wool (among other things) as well. If only I lived closer to this place.

Now deception might be somewhat of a harsh name to give such a lovely fiber and yarn, but I feel that the colors, spinning & plying methods, and place and meaning of the fibers acquired have warranted such a name. It’s exactly what I think of when I see this yarn, for literal and more personal reasons. I have no idea what the different fibers are within this yarn and the colors vary greatly. Funny enough, upon first glance, it appears to be an aqua, teal flavored yarn.  But upon further examination, you can see the variety in fibers really well. And I really do believe the variety gives the yarn an amazing flavor, though it has yet to be knitted up so I’ll keep that in mind.

I’m extremely proud of the thoughts behind this yarn. Being immersed in thoughtful architecture has led me to search for a greater meaning behind every life decision, menial and major. Menial as it may seem, the meaning behind this wool makes spinning and (soon to be) knitting it so much more meaningful and enjoyable. I look at the yarn today and a wave of various feelings comes with a bundle of simple twisted fiber; I can see the twists and turns of life spun into this fiber.  More than just memories come with this fiber; emotions and nostalgia of that time in life.

I never really realized why the prospect of spinning and processing my own wool was so important to me. But after spending some time and thinking through all of the meaning and the ideas behind starting something from the very beginnings, it makes me realize how much each step of life can intrigue me. Knowing and learning about so many different stages in life and other forms of development such as design is absolutely fascinating and just constantly leaves me wanting more. I’m sure everyone has their medium for intrigue…any thoughts?

Deception

Hullo Froggie

The ominous melody of frogs has been following me lately. Such a lovely sound, especially when mixed with the harmony of failure. That goal I set last week to finish the blanket? Fail. But I guess that’s why I make goal to begin with; if I didn’t have any goals then I wouldn’t really get anywhere. If I have them, at least I achieve…something. At least when it comes to knitting. I know for a fact that I rarely ever meet a knitting goal. Or at even any crafting goal to say the least.

Mr. Blankie is plodding along at a snail’s pace, naturally. However, I have made 2 headbands, but only an eighth of one currently exists. I am currently ill with the frogging disease, meaning for non-knitters I am destroying my handiwork. For knitters, I am simply satisfying the perfectionist attitude that goes along with purchasing high quality yarn. Now, a headband may seem like a menial and too simple of a project but when the weather is this:

and I am doing this outside:

(playing ultimate)

and my jacket does this within an hour:

then it’s time for a headband. Though one of my new years resolutions (like so many other knitters out there) was to not buy yarn for myself, I found that none of the yarn in my bin fit the criteria for my pre-imagined headband. Therefore, in keeping with my mission to visit possibly every LYS in the greater Seattle area, I ventured off to the Fiber Gallery. However, this is not the last time I shall be going there. I loved my first trip there, it’s easily accessible by a bus line near my apartment, and the selection was awesome. I loved the variety of materials there. However, no spinning things (at least I didn’t see any). And on top of that, I ordered some wool to mix in to pick up Project Sheep to Sweater once again. I’ll hopefully be dyeing some wool in the very near future.

Anyway, back to the headband. (Geez, I really do go off onto tangents all the gosh darn time!) I feel that any physical activity that warrants heat transmission from the head should go together with a headband. Hats are just too hot after running for a while, plus they always seem to fall off super easily. Moreover, they take so much more yarn than a headband and restrict your line of sight. The beauty of a headband allows your head to breathe while keeping your ears attached to your head. Quite nice, really. Unfortunately, despite such a simple product, I’ve frogged twice already due to the size. First was the ribbing; it was much to thick. Then it was too wide and didn’t fit me (well enough). I’m on my third try…third time’s a charm?

Despite my lack of loyalty to the blanket, I have made plenty of progress on the Inishmore legwarmers and I’m about an inch of ribbing away from being completely finished! Win!! I’ll take pictures of the FO once it’s done tonight, to be posted later. I’ve also made some progress (minimal) on Awry, one of the sleeves. I’ve forgotten how boring/tedious/fun (yeah, I know contradicting each other) this project can be due to the yarn, but constant stockinette. Hopefully that’ll be done by…March??

Pressing on with the headband.

Stay warm everyone! Let’s hope Seattle remains blue for the next couple days/weeks?

Hullo Froggie

Bobbling Along

Two Christmas projects stand between me and birthday project time, one a knitting project and one a tatting project. While I had originally thought tatting would be a nice quick project but it’s definitely taking a lot longer than planned. The visible progress is rather satisfying; unfortunately it’s so tedious with the same motion over and over again that I need knitting to give it a break. But I’m still enjoying both the tatting and the various WIPs that are getting done that I feel like I have finally reached a productive balance with progressing on Awry, the blanket, and the two projects.

Since the recipient of the knitting project has not only known about the project since its inception having chosen it, but she has seen it in progress as well which leaves me free to discuss it on the web openly.  There’s something about giving hand-knit gifts that compels me to reveal it to the person early on in the process so as to ensure quality over the surprise. Of course, when it comes to hats and scarves, surprises are great since size really doesn’t matter quite as much. But these legwarmers I’m knitting for one of my cousins had to be carefully measured. One might ask why the size of legwarmers matters. For the average female, it shouldn’t matter that much; however some might be cursed with the calves that we find too large to fit in many long socks, skinny jeans, and legwarmers. This is where my knitting skillz comes in. I was able to take a pattern found in Interweave Holiday and make these Inishmore legwarmers while customizing the size to make them fit well over our calves. They’re a ton of fun to knit and the cable pattern is incredibly easy to remember. I had always seen those little bobble thingies (I’ll just call them bobbles) and never really knew how to knit those. Lo and behold, they’re tons of fun to do and are pretty cute accents.  I also learned how to knit backwards while doing this because I simply got tired of turning them back and forth. Moreover, a great suggestion by one of the ladies at Weaving Works, I put the yarn inside the legwarmers as I knit (since I chose to employ the two at a time method) and the yarn no longer gets twisted! I love how they’ve just knit themselves up. I’m using a Cascade 220 in sport weight and I think they’re going to be awesome! Plus, I’ll make sure to block them.

Speaking of the bobbles, that leads me to think about the learning curve. I think one reason why I’m so enamored by artwork and crafty hobbies is the infinite abyss that one can delve into. But the capability to simply skim the surface also exists, without skimping on one’s education. This way, the option to delve in and become obsessed about something (such as fiber arts for me) or to simply toe the water of another art is present for me to try absolutely everything. I mean, I’ve been knitting for almost ten years, and though I’ve only become relatively serious in the past 4-ish years, I’m still constantly learning new techniques and understanding new methods. I think the feeling of accomplishment that I have from learning everything myself makes this so much more exciting. How do you prefer to learn? What intrigues you about the possibility of new ideas, skills, and hobbies?

I shall leave you with Bonnie, an adorable terrier mix.

Happy Tuesday/Wednesday!!

Bobbling Along

Looking back to look forward

In the spirit of the new year, and my prolonged absence from the blog, I sat for a moment to ponder the past to look forward to the future.  With every new year, there’s always talk of “new year, new changes.” But I always seem to wonder why new change must come with the modern calendar. Are we not continuously changing and moving forward? Moreover, why must this change come suddenly and with definition? It may be a good time to make these decisions to change one’s lifestyle, but I want to continuously be changing and becoming a better person, the type of person I would like to be. I’ve set some personal goals  after I settled in after “the big move” back in July that I’d been eyeing for the past couple of years (one of which is be more loyal to you, mr. blog) but haven’t had time to as a result of architecture school. Now that that’s said and done, I’m hoping to accomplish today what I’ve always said “some day.” Maybe the end of this thought is contradicting the beginning of my thought…

Anywho…

With the looking back, I also examined my knitting past, and longstanding WIPs. I think back to some projects I started about 9 years ago, when I first got into knitting before my many hiatuses. Nearly all of those were scarves, as I was far to scared to start anything A) in the round or B) with many colors. Granted, I was a 14 year-old and I would say I had other priorities other than knitting. But one of my Christmas presents was a blanket for my mom. Nine years later, it has progressed very little, sad to say. However, I am pleased to say that I brought it back with me from my visit to my parents’ house and intend on finishing it before I return to their house later this year. It’s an extremely basic garter stitch with two colors, constructed in squares to be sewn up. Here is the pattern.

I’m currently working on my 23rd square. My goal is next weekend….I really think it’s possible.

I’ve also started needle tatting. It’s wonderfully quick (kinda), at least to see progress. Per usual, I’ll get bored somewhere through and switch to knitting, but it was a relatively cheap new hobby and gives me a quick reprieve from knitting. Pictures later, but I think it’s a wonderful quick hobby to do and feel a little “cooler” doing something most people haven’t even heard of  🙂

Looking back to look forward