DIY

I backwards inherited some open cardigans from my younger sister this past weekend. In addition to all the shawls I’ve knitted this year that are likely to become Christmas presents, I need a light and warm cowl that I can wear on a regular basis. For the lightness I’m going to use alpaca. And for the warmness…I’m going to use alpaca! Maybe if it comes out alright I’ll make more for Christmas presents and keep my shawls…?

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Inspiration is coming from cowls that are available for sale on Modcloth. I like how they are just a basic two stitch pattern, but I want mine to have more color and with a lace variety. Since this piece is going to be made with alpaca, I’m not worried about it being a solid piece of fabric. Both stitch patterns I am going to use will be incorporating open work, aka lace stitches. This will help give length to the project (each skein is only 100 yards of sport weight) as well as provide some interest for the eye. Hmm..maybe some beading too!

Once I have the child’s sweater completed I will be casting on for this one!

I’m likely going to release the pattern for free as well if anyone is interested in trying it out!

 

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If you know me then you know that my fashion sense is a bit on the subdued side. I like blocks of color, subtle prints, and little accents as opposed to loud and flashy, bold prints, and multi-colored or neon. I prefer subtle elegance that appeals to the eye as a restful place rather than an intricate brain teaser. With that in mind, I’d like to introduce you to one of my favorite blogs: PurlBee.

Most if not all the knitting patterns on the site are free and include detailed images and a tutorials section to help you through the new techniques. It’s a great place that both beginners and advanced knitters can glean useful information from.

purlbee

Content:

  • Knitting / Crochet
  • Sewing
  • Embroidery
  • Weaving
  • Crafts
  • eCommerce Shop (PurlSoho).

User Interface:

  • Mobile friendly
  • Clear photography
  • Organized content
  • Excellent typography

User Experience:

  • Content driven
  • Consistency between content types
  • Straight forward navigation
  • Quick page load time
  • Subtle javascript

So what is my inner knitting child squeeing over the most about this blog? Well today it is the Caliper Cable stitch. I’ve seen it before, but never thought to look it up until it popped up on the suggested posts from today’s newsletter from PurlBee. Their example project has the stitch repeated horizontally to create a really nice long scarf with the stitch repeats almost looking like herring bone, but better!  Sometimes I feel that cables are just to puffy and don’t create a dramatic enough effect in some yarns. This looks like the perfect stitch to show off on all types of yarns and colorways. The Dream In Color Smooshy I bought over Labor Day may become this scarf. Or maybe I’ll make it into a hat with a ribbon. Or maaaybe an accent on a pair of wrist warmers!

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A few months ago the App of the Week was this image comic strip graphics generator called Halftone 2. I wasn’t quite sure what to do with it and then realized that my habit of taking multiple photos of Lucy in any given space would be perfect for this app.

Kitty Snuggles

 

The app itself is a little fiddly with touch detection, but otherwise super awesomely straight forward.

Look! There’s Lucy grooming herself in such graceful kitty poses.

Cleaning Time

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But who gets to say where that mark is actually placed? Who gets to set the terms of success or failure? What benchmarks have to be hit or missed?

That struggle between having enough and having just enough. Does that make me greedy or does that make me needy?

When I try to help myself, but it’s not getting me anywhere? When I try to help others, but it’s not getting me anywhere? When I try to let things alone, and that definitely gets me nowhere…

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I’m done with letting the glass’ half-way mark be set by someone else’s standards. But it’s hard to break away from; the constant comparison, the hunger, the desire for better, even just what we assume to be basics.

I’ve been living for a while in Calvin’s Mother’s Camp: We have it good enough. Good enough just isn’t good enough anymore. The base level for good enough has been dropping faster than a DJ Tiesto Sunrise Album (any of them, ‘cuz they’re all the same name).

It’s time to switch to Calvin’s Camp: We have it good enough for yesterday, time to upgrade life standards. Letting things float along as they are now will only result in future dissatisfaction with myself, and I can see it coming already.

Shame is a terrible motivator. No one should ever be motivated by shame. I can’t say explicitly that I’m motivated by it, but I see it creeping along far far far behind me every once in a while. It comes out especially when I have to explain myself to other people. I find it very difficult to speak positively about myself in a face to face conversation. I start talking about anything or anyone else.

Right now, as a goal for myself: I will get a job that leaves me no desire to relax via video games. And in the meantime: Neverwinter and Guild Wars 2. Heh.

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I think I’m going to start tracking where I come in on the Google scale of search terms for “Cute + Knitting + Portland”.

I’m on page 5! (And this is inclusive of Portland, Oregon and Portland, Maine results.)

Out of the box, WordPress SEO only goes as far as clean URLs. (Google Analytics isn’t baked in either. )  And even then you’re limited to the theme template content type slugs. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing if you’re just blogging away like I am. But this can be a nightmare for sites such as magazines and eCommerce.

So what to do?

I’m not one to do a ton of online research, but if Google ranking is what you want, Google should be who you ask.

Check out Google’s Webmaster Tools in addition to Analytics. There you will find a plethora of how tos and don’ts and avoids.  For me, just being within the first ten pages of any search with the words Portland and Knitting is good enough.

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I’ve finally decided to retire the old portfolio. I’ve replaced it with a nice clean few lines of html and css directing back to the blog here, and to my new portfolio under my married name. It has a nice finality to it. The end of an era.

The site itself was originally a project for a Web Portfolio class I took at the Art Institute of Portland. At this point, the content is at least 2 years old, the design overall about 4 years old, and the resume hopelessly outdated!

I don’t want to let go of the url just yet. I’ll let it be in the case there is a link floating out there on the internet directed at that site. Would be best. =)

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Well duh!

How can one not love a good button collection? Here’s my set of One Of A Kind Buttons; handmade in Portland by Candace!

One Of A Kind ButtonsOne Of A Kind Buttons

Candace will be having a month long trunk show at Pearl Fiber Arts this month starting on the 3rd. Not only will these buttons and pins be available, but also shawl pins and these gigantic coaster size sew-ons! You can see other creative ideas for these unique buttons on Candace’s Website. There’s a knitting project bag on there that I’ve been meaning to make and One Of A Kind buttons are perfect embellishments and for the strap closure. A button is a button so of course use it as a button! hehe…

Also, don’t forget to use your Supportland Card. Get them points!

The theme for the trunk show is Portland, Oregon. Here are my Portland themed pins:

One Of A Kind Buttons - Portland

The bicycle one lives on my backpack which I use to ride around on my bike, obviously. Yep.

The bird one I’ve yet to delegate to a location or project. It is likely to end up matched with the chicken. Yes, chicken buttons! (There are also octopi, dragon flies, animal paw prints, inspirational quotes, William Shakespear’s face, and cat pins/buttons) XD

I’m not sure yet which button I like best for my Seeds to Flowers shawlette.

Seeds to Flowers with Butterfly Seeds to Flowers with Little Bee

Date Completed: August 1st, 2015

Project: Seeds to Flowers

Yarn: Zauberball in the 7 Wolke colorway

Difficulty: Beginner-Intermediate

Notes: Butterfly…Little Bee…Butterfly….Little Bee…decisions decisions… lol The pattern itself is written exceptionally well. I generally don’t gauge swatch for shawls, but I used pretty much the yardage noted for the small size. Beads used were a size larger too. Since this is my first project using beads I really didn’t mind the size. Larger beads = easier to work with, imho so far anyways.

I also picked up this handy tool to string the beads into each stitch called a Bead Aid. Yet again, another awesome tool for making my knits more awesome by a Portland artisan!

 

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Oh man, where to begin.

I’m currently working on a sweater. It’s been a while since I made a project that took a while…although I do have a very large circular shawl in hibernation. It is rather same-same status as far as other things go.

Still haven’t purchased a gym membership. =/ (I really need to get on this)

I do have a number of projects I’m looking forward to though!

a) Paulette Test Knit – Shawl by Norichan
b) Fall sweater – Kyra Boatneck Pullover
c) Winter leggings – Fyne
d) Fall coverup – Pontos Cardigan

I still have the office planter. It’s a giant round glass terrarium that I’m undecided about. Put in plants or put in a beta fish?

Too much to do!

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