Thursday, April 30, 2015

Something old, something new, and something cool on the other side of fear

Every time I go outside, I walk around my yard to look for flowers and it always seems to me as though there are never enough. It really is a whole lot greener out here, but what I really want is more purple, more yellow, more blue, more red, more everything. So every year, I plant more. Some things make it, some don't, some just kind of barely hang on to dear life until they either throw in the towel or until I figure out that they need more sun or better soil or something of that nature. Where am I going with this? I don't know. Flowers are pretty. There should be more.
And I have a thing about irises. These buttery yellow ones came from Bekah and the ones that came from Mom are about to bloom.

There are also muffins-- lots and lots of muffins. I found a basic recipe that uses a tablespoon of baking powder, which is really great if you're trying to get rid of baking powder. It's almost Thargelia and I think one more pass through the cabinets and the freezer and I can get rid of most everything that's more than a month old. I never can get quite everything, but I do seem to get a little closer each year.

This is the perfect time to cultivate new things growing and to transform old things into new things. That's where I am in Project Make as well. 
The project bags I'd started are still sitting draped over my sewing machine, waiting to be stitched, mainly because I've started on the eldest's Spring Formal dress. It feels like I'm training for prom because the dress, which is really a top and a skirt, is meant to be beautiful and elegant. The color is perfect for her and she will be the most beautiful princess at the ball.

My only concern is that it's sleeveless and to be held up by gravity, friction, prayers, and a little boning. It's not so much that I'm not sure I'm up to the task as far as technical skill, but really more that my baby is thirteen and I simultaneously have the urge to purchase a firearm and feel a little like a bad parent for making a bustier for her. 
Of course, that said, she's a confident young woman and I'm looking forward to the challenge of this particular design. The pattern is an old one from my pattern stash and I'm glad she found one from there that she liked. I'm looking forward to watching this transform as I work. 

And I have new yarn. I saved my spending cash for quite a few weeks and managed to go to Stitches South with about three times my normal budget. This is the entirety of what I came out with, aside from a pear-scented Lo-lo bar from The Barmaids. The best part of the trip was hanging out with my besties, meeting the most delightful people that I'd only previously known online, and watching yarn vendors flirt with Bu. The yellow yarn on the far left was from such a vendor, A Hundred Ravens, and happens to be in a colorway named Apollo

When I started Project Make, I thought I might be tweaking my sewing skills a little, learning some more about weaving, or maybe trying a new heel or two on socks. I didn't think I'd be taking on something as daunting as planning a circular shawl. I've never done it before and have a great fear that it'll suck as a design, but I'm poking along anyway because there might be something cool on the other side of that fear. 

This week's technique is the cast on I'm using to start the shawl. If it has a name, please do tell. I just kind of made this up as I went. Because I wanted to work it from the center out, I started with just a few stitches and increased from there. The intended shape is twelve-sided, but you could make any number of increases with this method. For the dodecagon:

CO 3 sts
1. As though knitting I-cord, kfb in all three stitches (6 sts)
2. Continue as though you were knitting I-cord and knit all 6 sts
3. kfb in each stitch, transferring stitches to three DPNs as you go (12 sts: 4sts/needle)
4. And all even rounds Knit around
5. (k, yo, k) into each stitch (36 sts)
7. *k 1, (k, yo, k) into one st, k1* repeat around (60 sts) (If desired, transfer to four DPNs: 15sts/needle)
9. *k2, (k, yo, k) into one st, k2* repeat around (84 sts)
11. *k3, (k, yo, k) into one st, k3* repeat around (108 sts)

And so on, adding one to the number of stitches on each side of the increases.

I'm also working on transforming myself. Week 4 of couch to 5k hasn't killed me yet, so I'm going to keep on truckin'. I can't wait to see what blooms next.

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