A long-overdue WIP Wednesday Update

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Hi everyone! It’s amazing how quickly life becomes so busy once the new year hits! There have been some very exciting developments at work, which combined with a few big grants to write and lots of math homework have left me with little time to blog the last month.

The weather has been pretty crazy here, this was the view from my window yesterday! The exciting thing about the snow was that school was canceled (woo-hoo!) and my work was closed! (Unfortunately I didn’t know that part until the afternoon so I was still working away on that grant I mentioned earlier) But, once I read that work was closed I got right to knitting.

Lots of snow in Downtown Hampton!

Lots of snow in Downtown Hampton!

The lovely Jennifer of Knitwise, Purlwise recently designed the super awesome Colorblock Shawl and is offering it for free on Ravelry! Sweet, right? To celebrate the publishing of her first pattern she’s hosting a knit-a-long on her blog and through the Instagram-along-ers group on Ravelry. Needless to say I fell in love with the pattern right away, especially since it’s such a great stash-buster! Taking advantage of yesterday’s snow day (and the power going out which gave me a few uninterrupted hours of knitting) here is my progress so far.

My colorblock shawl

My colorblock shawl

Happy Wednesday, and be sure to check out Jennifer’s blog for other colorblock shawls, of if you’re on Instagram check out #colorblockkal for other updates. And as always, click on the WIP Wednesday logo at the top to check out other projects on Tami’s Amis!
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Miss Socks-A-Lot

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That’s right folks, it’s time for my weekly knit-a-long update! You can just call me Miss Socks-A-Lot since that seems to be all that’s on my brain lately. Sure I’ve got a whole slew of projects laying around the apartment on needles, but the cold weather has made me want enough hand-made socks to have cozy toes every day of the week. As you saw in last week’s post, I decided to make socks for Justin as I take part in the knit-a-long being hosted by Sarah at Crafts from the Cwtch. As of Saturday night I’d turned the heel on the first sock.

... and we have a heel!

… and we have a heel!

So of course I continued to knit like a crazy woman and finished the first sock before going to bed on Saturday.

When I woke up on Sunday I decided to start a pair of socks for me, in order to help avoid the dreaded second-sock syndrome (or at least that’s what I’m telling myself to keep from feeling guilty :)) Last week when I was at one of my favorite yarn shops, The Yarn Seller, where I was lucky enough to find a crazy zauberball to finish Friday’s featured shawl, I decided to pick up a pair of Addi Turbo knitting needles. As I mentioned last week, trying to knit toe-up on the double pointed needles was more than a pain, so I thought this was my perfect opportunity to try out some needles I’ve always wanted and give the magic loop technique a try.

For those who have only dreamed of the addi turbos like myself, let me tell you, these were magical! Other than my hand getting a little sore (I’ve pretty much knit only on bamboo needles for at least the last 5 years) these were incredible! I’m not sure if it was the needles or magic loop or some combination of the two, but these are the fastest socks I’ve ever made! I cast on in the morning and before bed had turned the heel! I still kind of can’t believe it. But here it is folks, my first magic loop sock.

The funky toe (increases only on one side)

The funky toe (increases only on one side)

The yarn goes so well with my purple leggings!

The yarn goes so well with my purple leggings!

Thanks for stopping by to check out my work, and be sure to click on the picture at the top to see how Sarah and the rest of the KAL crew are coming on their socks.

Happy Knitting! knit.gif.pagespeed.ce.LRMYtQ35pD

Welcome to WIP Wednesday

Two posts in the same week (let alone consecutive days)… I can’t believe it! One of my crafty goals for 2013 was to be better about documenting my craft-ventures on my blog. So be ready for lots of ‘WIP Wednesday’ and ‘FO Friday’ posts.

For those of you who aren’t too familiar with knitter-speak, WIP is ‘Work-In-Progress’ and ‘FO is Finished Object’. So no, I’m not actually breaking out a whip on Wednesdays and I didn’t mean to type UFO Fridays (though some in the crafty-universe call their wip’s UFO’s, aka unfinished objects. For the sake of the blog I go with WIP since last i checked there isn’t a day that starts with ‘U.’ Confusing, I know. You’ll get the hang of it, I promise.)

Recently Danielle from A Stashed Addict posted on her facebook asking how many wips people have laying around. That got me thinking, just how many projects do I have on needles and hooks laying around the house. After some digging I’ve discovered 2 crochet projects and 4 knitting projects on needles and hooks around the house (I think there may be 2-3 more in the storage unit too!). So over the upcoming weeks I’ll be highlighting my work in the ‘WIP Wednesday’ feature.

Up this week is my current favorite WIP, my Fiddlehead Mittens. With some inspiration through the class at my favorite lys (that’s knitter-speak for local yarn shop) Knitwit Yarn Shop in Portland, ME, I decided to jump into more detailed color work and give these mittens a go.
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I’m using Berroco Ultra Alpaca in Couscous for the main color, Malabrigo Rios in Aguas for the coordinating color, and Suibui Knits Baby Alpaca DK in Suit for the lining. With the alpaca and merino wools these bad boys feel like a cloud, they’re so soft!

At time of publication I’ve got one shell totally done, and the second one just barely started. I think these should be done in the next few weeks, just in time for those late-winter New England cold snaps.

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Thanks for stopping by, and Happy Knitting! knit.gif.pagespeed.ce.LRMYtQ35pD

Confessions of a Craftaholic

Hi everyone. I’m back stateside and finally getting caught up on life after my 6 week adventure in Deutschland. For a while I thought about shutting down the page, but I realized that I do have a lot of fun writing from time to time (it’s nice to write for pleasure instead of all grants all the time!) and my blog is a good way for me to share what I love with those who may not be on my facebook or twitter. So as many of you know, I LOVE to craft. I learned how to sew when I little and have been knitting and crocheting TONS the last few years. So I’m thinking this blog might be a good way for me to keep up with my writing for fun while sharing my crafty adventures. What do you think?

So to kick things off, I’m going to be working on a Granny Christmas tree skirt. That’s right, I’m crocheting a tree skirt in August! My fellow crafters would agree that it’s never too early to start on holiday projects! It’s a pretty awesome pattern from that looks easy enough for my intermediate crochet skills. Not to mention that I’m hooked on granny squares, and it’s just simply beautiful! Anyone out there want to craft along with me? I’m planning on picking up my yarn tonight, so be on the look out for picture soon!

Here’s a new favorite song of mine that I discovered on my trip to Germany, happy almost weekend!

“I’m on the right track, baby, I was born this way!”

So I confess… I love Lady Gaga! I absolutely can not get enough of her great beats, crazy antics, wild videos, and what she stands for. Yep, I said it, I think Lady Gaga stands for something. From her twitter page, read these lyrics for her latest smash hit ‘Born This Way’ and tell me you don’t at least respect the woman.

BORN THIS WAY
WRITTEN BY: LADY GAGA
PRODUCED BY: LADY GAGA, FERNANDO GARIBAY, DJ WHITE SHADOW
MIXED AND ENGINEERED BY: DAVID RUSSEL

INTRO:
It doesn’t matter if you love him, or capital H-I-M
Just put your paws up
’cause you were Born This Way, Baby

VERSE:
MY MAMA TOLD ME WHEN I WAS YOUNG
WE ARE ALL BORN SUPERSTARS

SHE ROLLED MY HAIR AND PUT MY LIPSTICK ON
IN THE GLASS OF HER BOUDOIR

“THERE’S NOTHIN WRONG WITH LOVIN WHO YOU ARE”
SHE SAID, “‘CAUSE HE MADE YOU PERFECT, BABE”

“SO HOLD YOUR HEAD UP GIRL AND YOU’LL GO FAR,
LISTEN TO ME WHEN I SAY”

CHORUS:
I’M BEAUTIFUL IN MY WAY
‘CAUSE GOD MAKES NO MISTAKES
I’M ON THE RIGHT TRACK BABY
I WAS BORN THIS WAY

DON’T HIDE YOURSELF IN REGRET
JUST LOVE YOURSELF AND YOU’RE SET
I’M ON THE RIGHT TRACK BABY
I WAS BORN THIS WAY

POST-CHORUS:
OOO THERE AIN’T NO OTHER WAY
BABY I WAS BORN THIS WAY
BABY I WAS BORN THIS WAY
OOO THERE AIN’T NO OTHER WAY
BABY I WAS BORN-
I’M ON THE RIGHT TRACK BABY
I WAS BORN THIS WAY

DON’T BE A DRAG -JUST BE A QUEEN
DON’T BE A DRAG -JUST BE A QUEEN
DON’T BE A DRAG -JUST BE A QUEEN
DON’T BE!

VERSE:
GIVE YOURSELF PRUDENCE
AND LOVE YOUR FRIENDS
SUBWAY KID, REJOICE YOUR TRUTH

IN THE RELIGION OF THE INSECURE
I MUST BE MYSELF, RESPECT MY YOUTH

A DIFFERENT LOVER IS NOT A SIN
BELIEVE CAPITAL H-I-M (HEY HEY HEY)
I LOVE MY LIFE I LOVE THIS RECORD AND
MI AMORE VOLE FE YAH (LOVE NEEDS FAITH)

REPEAT CHORUS + POST-CHORUS

BRIDGE:

DON’T BE A DRAG, JUST BE A QUEEN
WHETHER YOU’RE BROKE OR EVERGREEN
YOU’RE BLACK, WHITE, BEIGE, CHOLA DESCENT
YOU’RE LEBANESE, YOU’RE ORIENT
WHETHER LIFE’S DISABILITIES
LEFT YOU OUTCAST, BULLIED, OR TEASED
REJOICE AND LOVE YOURSELF TODAY
‘CAUSE BABY YOU WERE BORN THIS WAY

NO MATTER GAY, STRAIGHT, OR BI,
LESBIAN, TRANSGENDERED LIFE
I’M ON THE RIGHT TRACK BABY
I WAS BORN TO SURVIVE
NO MATTER BLACK, WHITE OR BEIGE
CHOLA OR ORIENT MADE
I’M ON THE RIGHT TRACK BABY
I WAS BORN TO BE BRAVE

REPEAT CHORUS

OUTRO/REFRAIN:

I WAS BORN THIS WAY HEY!
I WAS BORN THIS WAY HEY!
I’M ON THE RIGHT TRACK BABY
I WAS BORN THIS WAY HEY!

I WAS BORN THIS WAY HEY!
I WAS BORN THIS WAY HEY!
I’M ON THE RIGHT TRACK BABY
I WAS BORN THIS WAY HEY!

While this song is already an anthem for the glbt community, I think that it is going to find it’s way into the hearts of millions of boys, girls, men, and women. I know I sure love to listen to it when I’m feeling a little down… who doesn’t love to hear “Don’t hide yourself in regret, just love yourself and you’re set.” Amazing. I really love this woman and how she uses her position on the world stage to be such an advocate and make millions feel good about themselves. More people need to look past her wild outfits and start listening to what she has to say.

Here’s her performance from the 2011 Grammys. Check it out, and pass it on to somebody in your life who may need to be reminded they’re beautiful in their own way.