Gold Medal Knitter!

Every other year there are either summer or winter Olympics. This year we had the winter games in Sochi, Russia. During the Olympics there are also the lesser-known, but more-exciting  Ravellenics games (OK – maybe more exciting is not true, whatever!). The goal is to get knitting/crocheting/weaving/spinning projects completed in the the Olympics timeframe. So this year February 7th through the 23rd knitting needles all across the world were clicking away.

I joined Team West Hollywood SnB  and entered in 3 categories:

1. Event Hands

Project: “Look Ma, no fingers!”
Pattern: Fingerless gloves, written up by Ellen
Category: Mitten Moguls (Any items for your hands: mittens or gloves, with and without fingers.)

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2. Event Hat

Project: “Going Big!”
Pattern: Slouchy hat, Cordova
Category: Hat Halfpipe (Any hats and headgear: berets, tams, skullcaps, slouchy hats, headbands, etc.)

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3. Event WIP

Project: “February Mystery”
Pattern: Baby cardigan (Puerperium Cardigan)
Category: WIPs dancing (Any project that was started before the Games that is finished during these Games qualifies .)

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Looks much better on the model:

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BUUUUUUUUUUUTTTTTT:

Best of all, thanks to our awesome team leader Laurie Ann, I was able to take home Ravellenic Gold! 2 medals! Yeah! I don’t care what they say – it IS all about taking home those medals!!!!

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Mood School Student!

Last Saturday, Lisa (veteran Mood-school graduate), Sarah, and I took a one-day class at Mood: “Sewing 101: The Basics of Sewing By Machine”

It was a fairly basic class and our project was an envelope purse with a button. There were some very interesting tidbits of information (Yes! I’m talking to you Gütermann thread spools – I know your little secret!), something brand-new I’ve never done before (automatic button hole – awesome!), and mostly a lot of fun and good times with Lisa and Sarah!

If you ever have a chance to take a class at Mood – go for it. It’s just fun being there. I love the store, even though there is a lot of snootiness going on. Still fun!

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My new BFF

A few days ago (December 31st) I lamented over how I only had one post last year because I didn’t try out any new things to write about. Well – HELLO NEW YEAR! January 6th and I already experimented. And it’s all because of my new best friend ever, Miss Julie Taboulie.

OK – maybe this is one-sided and she doesn’t consider me her best friend. Or know me all too well. Or know me at all. Very likely she doesn’t know I exist, BUT I see her on TV all the time now and that makes her my new best friend, right???

Anyways, “Cooking with Julie Taboulie” is a fairly new show I recently discovered on “Create TV” (one of the PBS stations). As the title states, it’s a cooking show; specifically Middle Eastern and Lebanese cuisine. I don’t usually care much for cooking shows – or for cooking – but I really enjoy watching her. And I want to try things. According to my friend Julie it’s quite simple.

Last Sunday I watched the “Street Food Stars” episode, dashed over  to the local Middle Eastern store, and then went to work to make some Kaftas!

Adjustments:

  • Couldn’t get mint, so I skipped that.
  • Don’t like lamb, so I ground up some spicy Italian sausages and used those as the meat base.
  • Didn’t have skewers, so I just skipped them.

Results:

  • Came out really well and was delicious.
  • Definitely a “keeper” recipe.

Lessons learned:

  • Well – my friend Julie made all of the food in during the show in less than 1/2 hour. Took me a bit longer – more like 1 & 1/2 hours. Who would have thought!!!

The masterpieces:

1) Caramelized veggies:

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2) Tahini sauce:

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3) The meat:

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The Kafta:

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Sooooo gooood!

Thank you Julie!!!

2013 – What happened?

I got an email from WordPress today – “Your Annual Report from WordPress.com: Your 2013 in blogging”.  They put together “a personalized report detailing how your blog did in 2013”. Well that’s nice!

For the sake of complete transparency and full disclosure, here is my report:    “In 2013, there was 1 new post, growing the total archive of this blog to 16 posts. There were 5 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 13 MB.”

WOW!!! That’s pretty sad. Since the aim of this blog is to report on my various adventures into the crafting world, does that mean I didn’t do anything this year? Not entirely. I usually only write about new things I try out, but not stuff that I already know how to do (knitting, crocheting, etc.). So I guess I didn’t venture much into unknown territory in 2013, but here are some of the things I did actually make:

1) Big Items

Crochet Blanket
Completed Level 1 TKGA Knitting Master’s
Skully sweater
Shawl

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2) Medium Items

AG Doll sweater
Market bag
Sock monkey
Crochet flower bag
Ohio State scarf
Another scarf
Market Backpack

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3) Small items

Cat toy
Ice pack cozy 1,2
Squares for my 200 crochet blocks blanket
Swiffer Sweeper cover
Ice pack cozy 3
Squares for yarnbombing of the Art museum
Soap pockets

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4) Headgear

Steeler’s hat
Copycat hat
Brioche hat
Entrelac headband
Crochet hat

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5) Charity Chemo Hats

Mostly made for Knots of Love.

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6) Washcloths

Washcloths, Potholders, Scrubbies

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7) Sewing

This section is pathetic!!! I can’t believe I made only 3 bags in the entire year. OK – did some mending, but that’s about it. And I had such good intentions, great inspiration, and sooo sooo many plans!  ULTIMATE SADNESS!!!!!

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I guess that’s it for 2013. I still have 1 chemo hat on the needles, and 1 more that needs the ends sewn in, so there will be 2 more hats finished before midnight tonight. It’s not bad. It’s not great. At least I did something. Hopefully next year I get to try out more new stuff again – not like there aren’t any ideas available on Pinterest!!! And more sewing! DEFINITELY MORE SEWING IN 2014.

With that,

HAPPY NEW YEAR! ALL THE BEST FOR 2014!

STAY SAFE!

Huh!!!!! It’s MAGIC!!!!!!

Michele and I started a KAL (Knit-A-Long – whoever came up with that acronym? It’s like the worst on the planet. Ever!). The pattern is the Noro Striped Scarf, but since we both don’t much care for Noro yarn, we are doing it in Fake Noro, hence the Fnoro KAL. Somebody suggested the F in Fnoro doesn’t really stand for “Fake” but some other 4-letter word. Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe yes.

When we compared scarves after a couple of weeks we were surprised by two things:

1) GAUGE
We both cast on 39. Michele use size 7 needles, I used 8s. Mine is much leaner. 😐
(We love them equally. No child left behind!)

2) COLOR
This really blew our minds. We both used Red Heart Boutique in Spectrum as color 1. Michele chose RHB Abstract (orange-yellow-redish) as color 2, I chose a simple Caron Sheepish black as color 2.

The spectrum looks like 2 completely different colors on our scarves. On Michele’s it looks greyish. On mine it looks pink-blueish. IT’S MAGIC!!!!! True, real-life magic!!! Happening right here in Los Angeles.

(OK – one might say it’s not magic but a simple middle-school “Colors in Context” lesson. One might also say there are no unicorns! Or vampires!)

FATSO vs. LEANO:

COLOR MAGIC:

FINI:

(YUP! French for FINISHED!)

It’s all about STRATEGY!!!!

So last month Michele challenged me, and I threw the dueling glove right back in her face. “I accept!” I screamed with my fake French accent. 3 bags – 1 zippered, 1 tote, 1 drawstring. 1 of them has to be lined. All to be finished within the month of September.

Now I announced my strategy from the very beginning: take the month to think,  get the fabrics on the 29th, and make the bags on the 30th. However; my challenger couldn’t handle my strategy. All month long I had to hear mumblings of the sort of “never gonna make it” – “strategy my ass” – “procrastination” etc.  Wanna know what I think? Jealousy of my brilliance. Jealousy of my strategy. Jealousy of my planning skills. Yup. So BOOOYAAAAAA – here are the bags:

1) Zippered pouch (lined)

lined:

2) Drawstring (my favorite):

3) Tote bag:

Yup! I did it. Finished on time. Met all requirements. AND posting about it before Midnight. There you have it. All done.

If your name is Michele, stop reading here. Everybody else, come on.

Michele? Not supposed to be here.

Michele? Close page now and go stalk somebody on Ravelry.

OK – bye Michele! Hugs! See you soon!

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I think she’s gone.

I do have to admit there may possibly be some teeeny tiny flaws in my strategy. Like the tote bag I had originally planned was way too complex for my skills and will take me about 12 days to make. Plus I’ll have to ask for help understanding the instructions.

Also, the 2nd choice tote meets the requirements, but would probably have been cooler if it were lined. And round. And another pattern.

Also, I have never in my life sewn a zipper or a zipper cover, so that was a real pain in the ass. If I had approached this differently, I could have asked some people on how to actually do this properly.

Also, I had to cancel a movie and a barbecue this afternoon because I had to sew bags.

Also, I now have to finish school work that’s due at midnight because I didn’t have time to do it.

Also, I’ll wear wrinkled clothes tomorrow to work and I’ll eat a can of beans. Didn’t really have time to iron or prepare any food for tomorrow.

Also, I didn’t have time to exercise.

Also, my husband got cup-o-noodles for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Also, didn’t really get any fresh air all day, but DID see the entire first and second season of Downtown Abbey!

But that’s really it. Not too bad really considering the brilliance of the strategy overall!

Oh yeah, if I didn’t return any phone-calls, emails, text-messages, or answer my door today – I’ll get back to you tomorrow!

😀

Sewing: The Final Frontier

These are the creations of my friend Deb
Her ongoing mission
To explore strange new fabrics
To seek out new patterns and new ideas
To boldly sew where no man has sewn before!

My friend Deb has amazing sewing skills. Her latest master-piece: a queen-sized quilt made from Kaffe Fassett fabrics:

She also made this table-runner for her friend’s cabin in the woods. One day I wish to have the same sewing skills:

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