Monday, September 21, 2015

Me On Monday

I always enjoy Sian's Monday posts, so thought I'd give it a try myself! We had a great Saturday; it was just the perfect kind of late summer day. First, we headed to Yellow Springs for A Wool Gathering. It was their 20th anniversary, but the first year for us. We will be back.

I bought this lovely hand-dyed sock yarn. The hanks are truly gorgeous in person. I hope I can bring myself to knit them up. 

These shawl pins caught my eye. I couldn't resist the block O, plus another not shown in this photo. Never mind that I don't own any shawls. I can knit.

This guy was loving the attention. We met up with our DIL and granddaughter, so visiting all the animals was a must. The granddaughter wasn't too sure at first, but eventually became brave enough to touch a few.

 This is what she really wanted....freedom!

Then it was back home to watch Buckeye football and knit my Scoreboard Cowl. The game was too close for comfort, but I did get some color variety from their not-up-to-par performance. So there was an upside, sort of.

Yarn shopping, football, knitting, time with family. What a perfect Saturday!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Good Enough Scrapbooking

I've come up with a new category for many of my scrapbook layouts these days: "good enough". That means they are not a design team assignment, and likely will not be seen in any online galleries. It's more about the photos and story, but I also like the way it looks. No overthinking the process whatsoever. Like this layout I finished yesterday morning.

Now, I did give the page SOME thought. There's a Half and Half design foundation. I've got Color, Pattern, Texture and Shine. (thanks to this article by Lisa Dickinson) And a visual triangle of silver. But still no overthinking. I'll put this in an album and move on to the next layout.

I've been doing lots more "good enough" scrapbook layouts lately. And I love it.

Friday, September 11, 2015

On My Needles: Monogamous Knitter No More

I have been a mostly monogamous knitter for years. The sight of unfinished projects laying about my house, taunting me, was too awful to contemplate. My motto has been start and finish, start and finish.

Until now. And I should have seen it coming.

I've been humming along on my Building in Color Afghan. I attend a monthly class at my LYS to learn a color knitting technique and have one month to create a color panel. Each one is 36 inches long, but I roll them up for storage. It's been fun, very doable and  I'm halfway done! But with six months to go before there's actually a finished product, I need a little something else to keep me motivated.

Socks. Of course! I love sock knitting and it's long been a goal to knit my way through The Knitters Book of Socks. So I made a deal with myself: knit nine inches a week on the color panel, and if I finish early I can spend the rest of the week sock knitting. Deal! I've already finished one Stepping Stones Sock. This is almost too easy.

So I decided it wouldn't hurt to cast on a simple top-down raglan sweater for our granddaughter. It's only an 18-month size. Easy stockinette knitting in the round. It shouldn't be hard to squeeze in, and it would be nice to switch to a larger needle size after a bit of sock knitting. Besides, I have such soft, pretty alpaca-blend yarn in my stash just crying out to be used. See, I finished the body of the sweater before I knew it.

You see where this is headed, don't you?

When I bought the yarn for the Scoreboard Cowl KAL (knit along), I knew once football season started I would be knitting this project on college football Saturdays. I could not resist the clever premise: choose the two colors of my favorite team, then designate one as a main color for my team and the secondary color to represent the opponent. When my team scores, I knit a round in the main color for every point. If the opposing team scores, switch colors and follow the same format. When the season is over, I will have an amazing, wearable knitted record of my team's season! I even talked my sisters into doing this one. That's enabling at its best.

So Labor Day evening, I settled in to watch my beloved Ohio State Buckeyes take care of business at Virginia Tech. By the end of the game, I had a total of 66 rounds to knit, and I had not even completed the first half. Later I read that the average college game has a total of 60 points scored. The Buckeyes are favored for the rest of the season by double digits.

This could be a problem.

So to recap, every week I need to knit nine inches of my color panel, then I can switch to sock or sweater knitting. Every Saturday...and Sunday...I will watch football and work on the cowl. Sure, it's a plan, but is it sane?

On the positive side, all these lovely projects need a home to rest in until it's their turn to be knit. And a few more row counters and needles wouldn't hurt, either. So I've been doing a little shopping. You can never have too many knitting supplies.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Scrapbooking Ideas for Speeding Up Title Work and Embellishing

I've got a layout on the Get It Scrapped! blog with tips for speeding up title work and embellishing on a scrapbook layout. Because sometimes you just need to get it done. But you still want it to look pretty. Am I right?

This page is about reading to our granddaughter. That little girl loves her books! My number one strategy for quick and easy titles and embellishments is to start with pre-made products, preferably from a coordinated collection. Here I used my Cocoa Daisy kit from April.
Title work shortcut in two steps. 1) choose one or two words from the journaling for your title, and 2) place the title below the photos. Easy Peasy.
Embellishing shortcut in two step. 1) using patterned paper and a punch, make a grid of compartments to house the embellishments, then 2) layer. Above all, don’t overthink this step. Just do it and be happy.
You can see what the rest of the team did in the article here. 

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Welcome September

I love turning the calendar and being greeted by a brand new month. This one looks especially promising, full of fun weekends and start-up activities, time with family, friends and hobbies. And the return of college football. Lots and lots of college football. I can hardly wait.

But, one day at a time. After last week's delightfully cooler temperatures, we're back into summer mode here in central Ohio. To beat the heat and humidity, my morning walk is as early as I can get it in, (trust me, it's not all that early) and my evening bike ride is as late as I dare before it gets dark.

Exercise out of the way, now for a lovely morning in my craft room. First, a few purchases from the Silhouette store. Printing the free monthly sketches from Page Maps.

Next a little clean up from layouts I finished last week. They're design team pages, so I can't show them yet, but here are the supplies I used on one. Notice something missing? There's no patterned paper! Crazy, I know.

Later I have a few books to return to the library. I've been on a knitting book kick lately. Only one book in this pile is from our local branch. All the rest came from inter-library loan. I've taken such advantage of requesting books that I wonder what the librarians do when they see my name come up, again. Do they mind performing this service for me, or heave a little sigh of impatience with my persistent demands? I don't think I'll ask.

Conveniently, the library is located near a small cafe that just opened up downtown. I feel it my civic duty to support small local business, especially if it involves food, so I'll go check it out for lunch. My first day of September is off to a great start!