This Week's Progress

I feel like I would never get a blog post out this week.  Between work and other activities, it's become harder to be able to sit down every other morning to post something...excuses, excuses.

Reading books counts as progress, right?  Good, because I've been better at reading since moving than I every was in Arizona.  It just works better with my schedule.  I wake up in the morning, get ready, make my lunch and then sit down with my coffee and read.  And then at work, during my lunch break, I eat and read.  I finished one of the books I received for my birthday, Blog Inc., on Tuesday.  It was an interesting book, full of helpful tips, but not much I really feel like I can apply here.  This is my artist blog, I'm not really looking to earn money off of it (though it'd be nice).  

The next one I'm reading is Art Inc. in the same format as the previous book.  I have a feeling it's going to be similar to the book I read with my morning coffee, Art/Work.

I finished the Jeweled Cowl Wednesday evening.  I plan to block it and hand deliver it on Saturday.  

And now it's time to chug my coffee and get going to work.  Have a great weekend!

2015 Goals

Happy Friday!

Let's go over my 2015 goals, shall we?  This might be a post that evolves over the course of the day, but for now, let's recap what I said back in April 2014.

-In the next 3 months (Now-June)

  1. Begin packing (April)

  2. Extend lease to end of June (April)

  3. Locate storage space (June)

  4. Take the family cruise to Alaska and RELAX (May)

  5. Move back to my parents’ house (June)

  6. Continue working on felted animals and knitting projects

-In the next 6 months (Now-September)

  1. Continue working temp/contract jobs

  2. Continue searching for job in San Diego

  3. Search for housing in San Diego

  4. Take a trip to San Diego to physically be there while I search (July or August?)

  5. Move………………..?

-In the next 2 years (Now-2016)

  1. Living and working in San Diego

  2. Continue with felted animals and begin selling them

  3. Teach knitting classes

  4. Design knitting patterns to sell

  5. Go to the beach at least once a week (Sunday mornings?)

  6. Visit home 4-5 times a year (especially for Easter and Christmas)

  7. Travel (because the boyfriend probably wouldn’t let me get away with not traveling, but also because I’d like to see a little more of the world)

And now?

-In the next 3 months (Now-March)

  1. Find an apartment/house
  2. Move
  3. Continue working day job
  4. Sample knitting (more on that later)
  5. Design knitting patterns
  6. (Hopefully) Get started on art
  7. Make Sunday ME Days (Going to the beach, relaxing)

-In the next 6 months (Now-June)

  1. Continue working day job
  2. Continue working on art
  3. Continue sample knitting (?)
  4. Continue designing knitting patterns
  5. Family trip (June)

-In the next 2 years (Now-2017)

  1. Quit my day job
  2. Become a full time artist (maybe with a part time job)
  3. Travel?

It's a rough outline for now.  Hopefully as I continue living and working in San Diego (AHH! I can't believe I did it!) things will become more clear.

What kind of goals have you made for 2015?

I hope you have a wonderful weekend.  See you on Monday!

Sweater Sleeves

I thought that I might have my Driftwood Sweater done by this week.  However, the sleeves are taking longer than I thought they would.  Instead of doing them one at a time, I'm working them with the Magic Loop technique, so both at the same time.  (Check out this article on all the different ways to knit in the round.) (Remind me to put a picture here.)

One of the guys at my job keeps asking if it's done.  And honestly, it's just because I haven't had time to work on it.  Life has been crazy or I fall asleep.  Remember that whole falling asleep thing if I stay still for too long?  Yeah.  Friday is my last day of this temp job, and then it's on to a dental appointment on Monday and then California for a couple of weeks.  I couldn't be more excited (not the dental appointment, just California).

Thoughts on I Love Yarn Day

I didn't mean to miss yesterday's post.  I just had a lot going on at work.  And I was getting more literal rejections from jobs I've applied for.  One even called me but then decided against interviewing me when they heard I was only available on October 21st and wasn't living in San Diego right then.  I did explain my double edged sword dilemma (No one will hire me because I don't live in San Diego, and I can't live in San Diego until someone hires me), but alas.  Oh well.  The hunt goes on.  I have one week left of working this job, and then it's onto San Diego for the job hunting trip (finally). So my day was kind of a downer, but I was cheered up by Amanda (who I taught how to knit socks on Sunday) when she texted me a picture of her first completed wearable sock!  I'm so proud of her.  I cannot tell you how good it makes me feel when I see people I've taught to knit or taught certain techniques to flourish.  Best. Feeling. Ever. Damian shared with me last night a cowl he had finished for his mom with some yarn he dyed in the Indigo vat at school before he left.  Arlyn shows me her projects and planned projects.  If I can teach all of them and have them take off, surely I can teach others professionally?

Also, HAPPY I LOVE YARN DAY!!!!  We all know by now I have a healthy (or maybe not so healthy for my bank account) addiction to yarn.  And I have built up quite the stash since the San Diego Yarn Crawl.  I hope to work in my room this weekend to clean it a bit and maybe organize my stash and plan for future projects.

What are you doing for I Love Yarn Day?ZTJdkuPl0gBJX56S.jpg

New Sweaters and More Socks

On Friday, the yarn for my Driftwood Sweater arrived!  Of course I had to go straight home and wind it all into balls so I could start on my new sweater.  And that's what I spent the rest of the evening doing...winding yarn and starting my sweater.  It's quite easy and addicting to work on!  Clearly...look how far I am. TkVMdvSb7AyYL4Xc.jpg

Just a little more of the body, and then the sleeves and button band and I'm done!  One of the people at work walked by saying, "You'll be done with that by Christmas!" To which I replied, "No, I'll be done with it by next week!"  I'll give you all the details about the yarn, etc. when I'm all finished.

On Sunday I was able to teach another sock knitting lesson!  This time it was with Amanda, one of my Fibers classmates from ASU.  We parked ourselves in a Starbucks after picking up some yarn and needles for her, and spent about two hours working on her first sock.  And it was a success!

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She updated me on Monday that she had even gone ahead and done a second one!

Also on Monday, part of my knitting machine arrived!  I'll tell you more about that another day.  For now, I'm just super excited to learn how to use it.

Artsy Things I Did This Week

Tuesday was the end of the Soak Photo-A-Day Instagram Challenge.  I finished up with this image. vLYd5cSMNLkbRh1L.jpg

It's such a true statement for me...as you might have gathered during the last few months (or maybe just post college).  All I want to do right now is make things with my hands.

Also on Tuesday, I went to the FAN (Fiber Arts Network) Club's show opening, chromoFEELia, at ASU.  It was such a well rounded show.  It really made me miss school and having a studio to work in and a community to work with.  I still keep in touch with classmates, obviously, but it's still really nice to have them all there present.  I was able to see Clare, my Fibers professor, and Damian came up from Tucson to see the show and to see Arlyn and I.  I miss the Fiber Frat so much!

Monday and Tuesday I bought more yarn...you knew this.  It's a problem.  One of the packages is supposed to arrive today and I'm itching to start on my Driftwood Sweater!  The yarn for the Crosby Sweater should come on Saturday, so I guess that one will be second.  Also, I think that I have some buttons that Dylan brought back from Europe for me that will work perfect for one or both of them!  I'm so excited.

My Traveling Woman shawl is coming along.  I really enjoy the easy to remember repeats in the lace section.  I may have messed up the first row of the lace...but oh well.  It's not a mistake, it's a design element!

Onto the weekend...See you next week!

On Bringing Patterns to Life

I finished my Ishbel scarf/shawl in a week.  And I love it.  And I wore it before I blocked it...actually, I still have yet to block it.  But that's okay, because I was cold the day after I finished it, so I just put it on.  I can't wait to block it and see the pattern come to life even more. That's one thing I love about finishing projects and blocking them.  After you finish something, it's kind of lumpy and weird looking.  But after you wash it and stretch it out and pin it down to see your work, it's amazing.  Before I really got into knitting almost all the time, I was lazy and didn't really block anything.  I'm still bad and don't make swatches (oops), but I always try to block my work now.  And if I don't, it just seems to sit around.  I have one project, Ship to Shore Shawl, that I finished on the Alaska Cruise.  It's been sitting in my closet with my other finished shawls, but hasn't been blocked.  I just need to do it when I do my Ishbel.  There's something so satisfying about blocking.  You're done.  All done.  And then you go and enjoy what it is you've made or wrap it up to give away. So gratifying.

In other projects, I've been working on Hexipuffs for the Beekeeper's Quilt I started over two years ago.  Since Arlyn has started on hers, and I was coaching her through how to start them (really, it was taking pictures of me doing increases on my needles with a different project while I was in the car on the way to Tombstone), I've picked it back up and made a few.  It's a nice little thing to make while I'm working and in between projects.

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Knitting Downtime

Yesterday, one of my co-workers made the comment that I must have a really boring 8 hours.  And I'll be perfectly honest: I do.  But I try to occupy myself when I'm not answering phones or working on social media.  Usually I write these posts, browse Facebook for things to post on my page, glance at Ravelry for any new patterns to put in my ever-growing queue, and knit.  I don't like spending all my downtime on the internet, nor do I have any books on my Kindle that are begging for my attention.  So I knit.  I can put it down at a moment's notice if I need to do something, and I can still be totally aware of my surroundings. I started the Laughingbird scarf the first week I started this job.  I don't always work on it, and sometimes when I do I can only put a few rows in.  Some days I'm bored of it, and others I'm totally engaged in it.

laughingbird.jpg

I can't wait to see it when it's all blocked.  I'm hoping that I can get another project going (maybe with some nicer yarn) before the San Diego Yarn Crawl.  I also am looking into getting a project back from Slipped Stitch Studios.  I'm kind of obsessed with their Lost at Sea fabric they've been using for their products.  I have bought way too much stuff of theirs in that fabric and am about to buy more.

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I'm looking into getting the Double Knit Plus Bag in Lost at Sea.  I know I have a ton of project bags that I've made myself already, but I really want this one...because of the fabric.  Believe me, if I knew where to find it, I would buy it all and make so many things with it. ...right after I wrote that, I just went and searched "Lost at Sea Fabric" and I found places to get it.  Damn.  There goes more money down the drain.  I really want to just buy 10 yards of the stuff.  It's a good thing my sewing machine is in storage...obviously that won't stop me from buying it.

I mentioned in a previous post I talked about knitting at work.  It just reminds me of my internship when Susan would say "Okay, enough work, let's go knit." And we would sit down and work on our projects, either personal or for the store, and if someone came in, I was able to pop up and help them.  That's something I really miss.  But no one has made a fuss here yet about me knitting on the job, so until they do, I'm going to do just that. And buy my new project bag.

Next Month's Plans

Can it be September 19 yet?  Cause that's when I plan on heading over to San Diego for the 2014 San Diego Yarn Crawl!  I wasn't able to go to the first one last year, so I'm determined to go this year.  Also, if you haven't noticed (ha.) I'm itching to take a trip to my favorite city.  So many yarn shops over there (as well as couple of Alpaca Farms!) are participating this year, including The Grove at Juniper and 30th, where I interned during Summer 2012.  If you're in the area September 18-21 you should check the crawl out. I'm only able to go Saturday and Sunday due to work, but I still plan on hitting as many stores, if not all, as I can before the event ends! That's all I really have for today...I'm going to be teaching a couple more people how to knit fairly soon.  That always makes me happy.  I really ought to just make a lesson plan that I can use so I can be more organized in teaching. I'll have to eventually!

Have a lovely weekend!

Knitting to Relieve My Stress and Worries

When I sat down to write this post, I wasn't sure what to blog about.  There's only so many times I can rant about wanting my studio, wanting a job in San Diego, and wanting to make art.  I have the ability to make art, just not the art that I want to.  I guess I better take what I can, though. So, while I'm here feeling stressed and struggling, I thought that I better knit.  There have been so many articles this past year about the benefits of knitting.  This one here is one of my favorite articles regarding the subject.  After a few rows, I'm feeling much more calm...though hungry.  I've been craving muffins this week.  No clue why.  IMG_6373

I'd like to start bringing a sketch book to work so I can think of designs I can print when I do have a space to screen print again.  I feel like that, or making any kind of art, would also be beneficial to one's health in a similar way that knitting is.

Anyway, I hope you all have a Happy Friday and a good weekend.  Until Monday...

New Knitting Pretties

IMG_6332 Ever since I got my Nickle Plated Interchangeable Needles from Knit Picks, I've been searching for the perfect case for them.  At first I had one from Knit Picks that was on clearance (I don't think they even have it anymore...and so I cannot link to it, nor do I know where it is off the top of my head after the move), and it did very nicely for a long time.  It was small, compact, 8" or so square in shape when closed, and held all my interchangeable needles, tools and accessories.  I only replaced it with a Della Q Double Interchangeable Needle Case when I got my Caspian Interchangeable Needles earlier this year (I kind of obsessed over them ever since they came out...so pretty!).

The Della Q one is nice, has labels for the needle sizes so you can grab them at a glance, and it had lots of pockets for the tools and accessories and extra space for extra needles and more sizes.  However, my one issue was the zipper pocket that I kept my cables in on the outside.  I would try to coil the cords as tight as I could, but they would always unwind themselves and then it made it hard to fold the right side over properly when I went to close the case.  It worked for a while, though.

Then Damian came home from Christmas '13 (between him, Arlyn and I, it was a very fibery Christmas) with his Pendleton Needle Case.  He showed me the large pockets and how it had space for both sets of needles.  The only issue for me was that it's only sold by Knit Picks, and they only had red (they call it Geranium) and Grey (if I remember correctly, that's the color Damian has...and I wanted something different than what he had, duh).  In the product photos, it looks like they used to have a green one, which would have been absolutely perfect for me, but it was not available.  So I stuck with my Della Q for a bit longer.  Well, when I was on the website a few weeks ago, just checking to see if any other colors came out, I noticed that they were adding a Marine (Navy) color!  It was the next best thing for me...you know, cause I like nautical stuffs, and navy blue seems to be a popular color in all of that.

So I bought it as soon as it was available (end of July), and it arrived this past Wednesday.  I immediately put all of my needles inside, and I love it.  It takes up less space in my Namaste Harlow Bag (I had been considering getting their Build Your Own Binder, but it would have been a little out of my price range...I love the concept though!), doesn't take up space on the table or on my lap when I have to open it up and it's not an ordeal to close it back up.  Everything seems to be staying in its place so far.  I do miss having the sizes labeled on the pockets since I got my Nickle Plated set before Knit Picks started engraving the sizes on the needles.

Also pictured are Caspian Cable Needles and the Yarn Kitten Project Bag. For cabling, I usually just use a DPN instead of an actual cable needle (you know, the curvy ones).  I liked it because all my DPNs are wood so it kept the stitches on the needle better than a plastic or metal cable needle or DPN.  The Caspian Cable Needles were a bit of an impulse buy, but I love the colors so much and they'll be well used.  That also doesn't risk me accidentally misplacing a DPN in my set.  Knit Picks also had a promotion recently that if you spent a certain amount of money, you would get either the Yarn Kitten bag or the Superfine Project Bag for free.  I chose kittens over Feelin' Superfine because...yanno...cats.

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I am no way affiliated with Knit Picks, Della Q or Namaste Inc., nor am I being paid to talk about their products...I just like their stuff.  A lot.

Inspiration Thursday: Numbers and Work

Wow!  I got a notification last night that my views were a lot higher than normal.  That just made me want to blog more and get something out!  The numbers themselves are inspiring.  I did notice Merlin getting a lot of attention.  He's usually one of the first things I show people when I'm talking about my art. MHaerle027

Merlin alone is an inspiration to me...because I want to continue making felted taxidermy.  It's a process though, as is anything anymore.  My felting supplies and taxidermy forms are in my storage unit from when I moved...and they're high up...and there's a million things in front of the tower of boxes that I need to get to.  See, I had a plan to only put boxes I needed access to on a certain side of the unit so that I could get to them if I needed something out of them.  They were either clearly labeled or the boxes were clear so I could see exactly what is inside.  And then when it came down to the deadline of when I needed to be out of the apartment, everything just kind of got thrown in.  Whoops.  But it's even more incentive for me to find a job in San Diego and a new apartment/house and to move.  Job, move, Megan can get to her boxes, Megan can make more felted taxidermy.

Speaking of jobs, I'm working another temp job for 12 weeks.  I started last week, and it's going well, but I don't understand how people do this. Call me lazy (and/or negative), but all I want to do is sleep at this point.  I don't know how some people work 40+ hours and then maintain a social life post work.  I can understand being able to do it if it was a job you absolutely loved.  I can totally see myself working in the studio for over 40 hours a week (what is it, "Choose a job you love, you'll never work a day in your life"? Yeah, that one).  But right now, if I try to go do anything with Dylan after work, I usually end up passing out before I can get through one episode of whatever TV show we've chosen to watch.  I'm hoping that at some point I can catch up a little.  The nice thing is that I have been able to knit a little during the downtime.  Usually I'm pretty busy with phone calls and social media updates, but sometimes I can squeeze in a couple rows.  I should make it a personal requirement if I'm expected to work.  "Hi, sorry, I have to do this, it's for my therapy so I don't kill anyone today."  Coffee and knitting: My two things to get me through the day without killing anyone.

Speaking of working and doing what you love, I found this article last week titled 8 Things People of Our Generation Don't Understand (and Really Need To) About the Working World. Check it out; 8 is my favorite and kind of reiterates what I said above.

I wish I had been able to write and post something yesterday.  I think maybe this weekend I need to do a knitting round up so I have some progress things to show you next Wednesday.

Summertime Update

So, I started this post about two weeks ago.  I suppose I ought to finish it.  I apologize that my hiatus has gone on longer than I anticipated!  I had my Alaskan Cruise in May, was home for a week, then I was off to Boston with my boyfriend's parents to go meet up with the boyfriend there.  After I came home from Boston, I had about two weeks to move out of my apartment.  Moving has always been stressful for me, as I imagine it is for anyone.  But I made it and am now living at my aunt and uncle's in their spare room while I work temp jobs.  Onto the next step: job hunting in San Diego. The cruise was amazing.  I had plenty of time to relax and knit, all the while seeing amazing places.  I even was able to stop into a couple of yarn shops!  One was in Skagway, called Changing Threads.  I bought my souvenir skein here.  The yarn is Raven Frog Elegante, the content is 50/50 Merino and Silk, and the colorway is called Totem Spirit.  I thought that was very fitting due to purchasing it in Alaska.  There was a wonderful lady in the shop who fawned over my Lonely Tree shawl and Hello Sailor handwarmers I was wearing that day.  Together we excitedly discussed fibers and knitting.  She even let me hold some Qiviut fiber!  SO SOFT AND WARM AND LIGHT AND UGHHHH.  I want some.  I don't know what I'd do with it, other than just probably pet it.  I digress.  I should have given them my card, because I asked for the lady's name, but now I've forgotten.  So, if anyone knows the names of the lovely employees of Changing Threads in Skagway, Alaska, please let me know so I can remember who it was who was that assisted me in the shop!

I also visited Seaside Yarns in Juneau.  I saw it when we drove by on the way to the excursion we went on there, so obviously I had to go back afterward to check it out.  I purchased a small project bag there to keep the needlepoint project I had on the ship.

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I also went next door to Changing Tides Needleart.  I wish we had all of their fabrics in Arizona!  Walking in there really made me miss sewing.

In Vancouver, there were a couple of shops on Granville Island that sold Fiber Art related things.  One was called Maiwa and it had so many dyes and yarn and fabric.  I also saw the Silk Weaving Studio there.

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While I'm not too excited by weaving, it was great to see all the looms and know exactly what was happening, and to not be wondering  just how they work.

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I had a funny thing happen to me on the second day of the cruise.  I was sitting up in the lounge knitting, watching the scenery go by, when I heard someone come up behind me and say, "I cannot tell you how good it is to see you knitting!" (Or something along those lines.)  It was Paul and Carol Mulvey of Black Sheep Wools! It was so great meeting them and being able to talk with them a little bit.

I wasn't able to do much knitting in Boston with all the sight seeing and visiting the boyfriend on the ship.

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I was able to go see Quilts and Color exhibition, The Pilgrim/Roy Collection, at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.  While I'm not a quilter, it was so great to see these pieces of functional art up close.

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Anyway, I better stop with my updates there.  Until I have a chance to write again, and it should be soon since I just finished another shawl last week, I hope you're having a great summer full of crafting and making.

Knitting Plans

After the last couple of weeks, I feel as if I haven't made a whole lot this week.  I was thinking about it last night and I average about one knitted item a week and am usually working on some other project at the same time (usually unrelated to knitting).  Typically I'm not a one project knitter.  I have a scrap blanket in the works, and plans for another blanket.  When I was working on my Embrace Sweater, I kept that one at home and took another project (I think it was my Doctor Who shawl) out and about with me. Right now I'm solely working on a Sea Foam Cowl that I'm using up some stash yarn with.  Last week I was moving (*gasp!*) all of my stash into my new storage unit, because, you know, I'm moving.  But, I made sure to pull out some yarn I totally forgot I had so that I had something to use this summer.  This is due to me realizing I was almost done with my list of projects I had planned for last year.  I think, also, that's why I started working on one thing at a time.

I was also a bit bad, and bought some new yarn last week.  I couldn't resist it.  It's Wanton Fiber's Tart in the Koi colorway.  It's Alpaca and Silk...so soft and heavenly!  It came all wrapped up like this:

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And when I opened it....ERRMERGERD.  I love it so much.  It's sitting next to my knitting spot as motivation for me to finish the Sea Foam Cowl and start knitting with the Tart yarn.

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I've already planned what project I'm going to make with it.  I've been wanting to make Purl Bee's Bandana Cowl.  With a little math, I was able to adapt the bulky gauge pattern to comply with my new sport weight.  I hope to finish it before my trip to Alaska, because it's going to be super warm and soft up against my neck.

I also made more project bags on Monday.

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I made a total of 7, two are the foxes.  I made a second one for a coworker who also knits.  I really hope she likes it because it's a total surprise.  The two on the far right are for Den because I gave her a refresher on knitting.

So, there's really no excuse why I shouldn't have a tutorial for these.  I was good a took pictures to make a tutorial for tomorrow's blog post.  That's all I have for you today, so please stop back tomorrow for the project bag tutorial!