Sunday, January 20

KAL Notice

Tomorrow I will be uploading the first part of the pattern for Eggplant Parmigiana. That means that the price to join the KAL will be going up to the regular price of $4.99. Last chance to join in at the sale price!

Saturday, January 19

I'm sewing again!!

Holy cow did it ever feel good to sit in front of my sewing machine again!! Last weekend I got about a third of the squares cut for my Half-Square Triangle Block of the Month (HST BOM).

I'm not sure which order this blogger app will post them, so I can't give the descriptions in order, so I'll do it chronologically.

I took a picture right after I finished the cutting to show the stacks of 4" squares. There's just over 500 there.

I took another one once I separated out the fabrics since I had cut them 6 layers at a time -- loving my new 60mm rotary cutter! There is nearly a quarter yard of each of the prints. I purchased 2 metres of 108" wide backing fabric to make the background half of each square, and cut 8-10 strips so far.

I was so happy to be sewing that of course I had to take a pic! I used 4 of each print and ended up with 104 HSTs. Pressing and trimming of them is tedious beyond words!!

Finally I show my finished square. It's a slight variation of the windmill block from one of the months. This is being donated to the quilting group I belong to and is going into a quilt that will be raffled off. I am very happy with how it turned out, with nearly perfect matching points and am even more enthusiastic about working on my quilt!!

Wednesday, January 9

Eggplant Parmigiana now available!!

I'll have more details later for y'all, but I wanted to quickly announce that the KAL pattern for Eggplant Parmigiana is now available.

The pattern page is here: Eggplant Parmigiana
My Ravelry group where the KAL is being hosted is here: Nicole Rodgers Designs

The pattern is currently being offered at the low introductory price of $1.99 until January 21st, 2013. That is when the next "clue" is being released and the price will be the regular price of $4.99.

Tuesday, January 8

KAL watching!

Sometime tomorrow (January 9th) I will be uploading the first "clue" for the Eggplant Parmigiana pattern. The pre-release price of this pattern is $1.99 CAD. The KAL itself will begin on Monday, January 21st; and the price of the pattern will then increase to $4.99.

I can't guarantee the exact time it will go live as I have a quilting class in town tomorrow morning and am not sure when I'll be back home. I may have time to set it up in the morning before I leave, but I don't want to make any promises. I will post here with the link once it's all set up.

Monday, January 7

KAL teaser!

Here is the yarn I picked up yesterday for the first KAL I've personally hosted in around 8 years. It's Cascade Yarns Heritage Silk in a beautiful eggplant purple colourway. Later this week the details will be posted. In the meantime I'll be over on my couch petting the silky goodness!!!

Friday, January 4

Enjoying what you are doing

Ever since I left my "paycheque" job nearly two years ago, enjoying what I am doing has been my #1 priority. It doesn't just apply to my knitting. I do my best to enjoy everything that life has to offer me now.

One problem with this is how I get distracted by "ooh shiny!" moments!! I am trying harder to focus, and I think I've been showing improvement in that respect. Going over my Ravelry projects as one example, it appears on the surface that I haven't finished much at all. In actuality, it's simply lack of FO photos that have kept me from changing the status of my projects to completed. I actually have relatively few on the go right now... and that's just how I like it!

Last night after I cast off my wrap, I began work on my new cardigan. I had fun doing several gauge swatches, and of course had to get started on it right away! I have no idea how long this particular "oh shiny!" moment will last, but I don't have any other large projects on the horizon for starting anyway. I'll post a couple pictures in the next couple of days once it actually looks like something other than a gauge swatch.

Thursday, January 3

(Nearly) first FO of 2013

I just finished casting off my first FO of 2013, a project I've named "Rainbow Wrap". It was a kit I ordered from Mary Maxim last spring, "Shimmering Lights Wrap" and made with their Shimmer yarn. I still need to weave in the ends, and do the washing and blocking, but for all intents and purposes, it's done.

Overall, I'd have to say that it was an enjoyable knit. Unlike the MM Mohair Glitter yarn I used a year and a half ago (The Mohair Blob in my Ravelry projects), this yarn was a joy to work with. The sequins are spun into the yarn using an embroidery floss-like thread, but the plies don't shift on each other at all. The pattern that came with the kit was fairly easy to follow, and seemed to go really fast since the lace stitches were on both the knit *and* purl sides of the project. Out of the 4 balls of yarn included, there was only 1 knot in the middle of one. However, I *did* notice that the colour repeats weren't always consistent. Occasionally they would reverse themselves or be wound in the ball "backwards". This was inconsequential since the colour shifting was very smooth. Even when changing g balls of yarn it was easy to match up. If I would have done one less pattern repeat on the second half, even the graft at the middle would have been colour matched.

I will block it over the next couple of days and then get some FO pics posted. I can't wait to wear it!

Wednesday, January 2

I'm not being mean. I'm just saying "no".

It's not hard to tell that I spent a lot of time on the "Selfish Knitters and Crocheters" forum on Ravelry today. The basic premise of the group is that your (insert crafting type of your choice here) time is your own to choose what to do with, and others shouldn't be telling you what you should or shouldn't be making.

I am fortunate that a lot of the people I am close to "get it". It keeps me from having to get defensive about what and why I do something. Unfortunately, in this "entitlement" society we live in, this isn't always the case. I do not "HAVE" to make you anything EVER, simply because I have the ability and you have the want. If I choose to make you something, you damn well better appreciate it because I have deemed you knitworthy (or crochetworthy or quiltworthy etc).

I have people for whom I would knit cobweb weight handspun unicorn hair sprinkled with fairy farts into the most intricate lace wedding ring shawl ever. My DH is one of these people, although the lace shawl simply isn't his style! I also have people I know on the opposite end of this spectrum. They could bring me a flat-bed load of cotton yarn for free, and I wouldn't even spend the 20 minutes to crochet them one of my mindless dish cloths.

For these reasons, most requests made of me are either ignored or outright denied. Everything I make, I do it because I WANT to. Even my designing fits into this category. I am not expected to keep food on the table or roof over our heads with my designing (or other commissioned work), so I am free to choose what to work on guilt-free. I submit to the design calls that I am interested in, and try to only do my design work when I have the time and brain power to do so.

My life is much simpler and less complicated this way. Last night I was forcing myself to work on a pair of socks promised to a friend. There is no deadline on these, but I want to get them out of the way so I can work on a few other things. I kept putting the project down to do other things around the house and online. I finally clued in and grabbed my lace wrap to work on that. I managed to knit half a ball of yarn even while spending a bunch of time online because I was HAPPY to have it back in my hands after nearly a month of being put away.

Life is way too short to be wasted working on things that don't make you happy, especially if that thing isn't absolutely necessary. So go knit (crochet, sew, embroider) something that makes you happy!! Even if it *is* for someone else!!

Tuesday, January 1

No regrets!

I always try to live my life with no regrets. I usually look before I leap, and take into account that I expect anything I say or do will be made public in perpetuity. I will celebrate my successes and accomplishments. I will try my best to not beat myself up over my defeats and failures. Life is way too short to waste it away saying, "I'm sorry" for everything, so I do what I can to avoid needing to apologize for my (or lack of) behaviour. I think that will be my only resolution this year... To have no regrets.

I've seen something floating around Facebook the last few days that I think I may try. It's a gratitude jar. You start January 1st with an empty jar. Every time something good, cool, or even remotely noteworthy occurs, you write it on a slip of paper and put it in the jar. At the end of the year you read through all those notes to allow you to be grateful and appreciative of all the great things that happened throughout the year.