Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Organized chaos and some good TV

I haven't gotten much done the last couple weeks, craft-wise. I've been spending most of my time on the continuing effort to organize our three bedrooms after we moved both girls into a bedroom together and made my 4-year-old's former room the office/craft room. It is 3/4 of the way done, but there's still a lot of work to do, and I have lost count of how many bags of old clothes I've sent to Goodwill and how much crap I've thrown away. I'm finally almost done with The Great Purge of 2012, though, thankfully, and now just have to organize what's left.

Last week I organized our master bedroom closet, which previously was truly a candidate for Hoarders. When we moved in, I was 7 months pregnant and I just threw stuff in there randomly. It was more of a pile than a closet. Now it's all neat and organized and we can use it as actual storage! I moved what I affectionately call my Yarn Dumpster in there from the office/craft room. I just like to be near my yarn! The master bedroom closet is also a hell of a lot bigger than the one in there.

I put my fleece and flannel fabric stash on top of it. Up on the shelf at the top of the closet, I've got a box filled with more fabric, fabric scraps, thread and sewing notions.

Still to deal with is this mess, the random pile of yarn on top of the armoir in our bedroom. It all needs to go in the Yarn Dumpster... then the armoir really needs to be dusted. Hoo-wee.

Also to attack is my little bedroom nook, where I plug in my laptop and keep my most frequently used knitting needles and crochet hooks, some of my favorite books, and some WIPs. It's kind of a mess (understatement of the year) and the space could be utilized more effectively for sure.

I did manage to get my craft and art book collection (thus far... heh) organized, though that old shelving looks a bit strained:

With all that organizing going on, I still haven't even cast on the socks I talked about last post, but I hope to tonight while I watch Mad Men. I couldn't watch it Sunday night because I was too tired for two hours of anything! I have, however, made a lot of progress on my ripple afghan. After cleaning all morning today, I took a much needed Mommy Time break and crocheted while I watched The Bronson Pinchot Project. I have been dying to watch this show ever since I saw it mentioned in the Seattle Times a few weeks ago! I tried to DVR it immediately, only to find that our current cable package doesn't have the DIY network. Lame. To my delight today, I discovered that I can watch it on OnDemand and I took in two fantastic episodes while crocheting away. It was the perfect Mommy Break. One of my biggest dreams is to have a big, Victorian home on a nice chunk of land somewhere and lovingly restore it, while populating the land with my own small herds of sheep and alpacas. Vicariously enjoying watching someone else meticulously reconstruct multiple Victorian houses and make them gorgeous was a good time.

I got into Victorian architecture in my early 20's when I had a gorgeous, huge, mostly-restored apartment in Toledo, Ohio's Old West End (dammit, I miss Toledo... *sniff*). It's a neighborhood of magnificent, mostly-restored Victorian and Edwardian houses near downtown Toledo. There are plenty of houses there that still need some love, but overall it's a beautiful, colorful crayon box of restored homes. For that reason, I nearly fell over when Mr. Pinchot mentioned getting a couple cool, oval attic vents from Toledo Architectural Artifacts! Those vents might have come from my very favorite neighborhood!

I think my spinning wheels and all my yarn and handmade blankets would look lovely in a Victorian home. For now, they happily beautify and add character to my 1987 rambler, which needs a shocking amount of restoration itself. It amazes me that all that old, Victorian stuff makes it all these years, when a home built in 1987 already shows so much wear and tear. Maybe that's why I love and appreciate handmade stuff so much: it's made with love and care, so it lasts!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Celebrating National Craft Month!

It's National Craft Month, my favorite month! I've been celebrating it by working away on my ripple afghan, crocheting fifteen minutes here, a half hour there, and as you can see, it's really growing.

I am so happy with the way it's turning out! I stuck with the colors the pattern called for except for one. I switched "Denim," a darker blue, out for "Sky," a lighter blue, and I'm so happy I did. I think the lighter blue makes it more cheerful and playful, and therefore more appropriate for a kid. As I've mentioned before, I really, really like this yarn. It is wonderfully squeezable, bouncy and soft.

In the knitting world, I shockingly have nothing on the needles right now. I am about to remedy that, though, and cast on some socks. Some of my favorite hand-knit socks are... *sniff*... wearing out, and I need some new ones. I could use something from my ample sock yarn stash, but instead I performed a long-overdue frogging of an epic fail of a Baby Surprise Jacket. I'd post a picture of this epic fail, but I thankfully did not ever take a picture of it. See, I was about 8 months pregnant when I knitted it, and this was a time when I still worked full-time AND we had just moved into our house. I already had a two-year-old, to boot. In all that chaos, I totally screwed up the pattern and it was unwearable. I kept thinking, "OK, trust the pattern, it will look right when it's all folded together," but, uh... it did not. Let's just say nowhere does the Baby Surprise Jacket pattern call for ruffles...

In frogging that disaster, I've rescued the beautiful Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks That Rock Medium seen above. It's the Gertrude Skein colorway. It will look much better on my feet than in a heap of humiliation that no one will ever wear. Don't feel bad for the baby, she got a Big, Bad Baby Blanket made of Koigu. She's two now, but here she is all swaddled in her blankie when she was a newborn:

Speaking of blankies, I pieced the Trashed Onesie Quilt that I mentioned last post, and I've begun sewing the pieces together (after neatening them a bit). Here's how they are going to go together:

We're only nine days into National Craft Month, and I have a lot going on! I also just entered Interweave's "Pass on Your Passion" sweepstakes for National Craft Month. To enter, all you have to do is go to Knitting Daily's Facebook page, enter your e-mail address and optionally, say how you are passing on your passion for knitting during National Craft Month. The winner will win a Knitter’s Library of 20 DVDs, magazines and books. Whoa!! That could keep me busy for a while!

I pass on my passion year round by wearing my handknits proudly! I also give my 2-year-old and 4-year-old plastic crochet hooks and big plastic knitting needles to play with, so they can learn how much fun it is to be creative with needles, hooks and yarn! How do you pass on your passion? To get you off to a good start, here's Interweave's library of free beginner ebooks!