Sunday, October 9, 2016

WTH is a MKAL?

What the heck is a MKAL? 
That is a great question and I trust that all of you want to know.
Wait for it...
It is a Mystery Knit Along. Okay so that may not have answered your question. 
There is this wonderful online knitting community called Ravelry . If you are a knitter or crocheter or a fiber artist of any kind you should click on that link. You can find friends, learn new things, find free patterns, purchase patterns, and just have lots of fun! There are groups that you can join that have folks on them that like the same things that you do. 
One of those groups is called  Periscoping Sisters they also host a podcast on YouTube
They hosted the 3 Peas in a Pod MKAL 
Every week they beginning September 9 they would send a clue to the pattern. They also sent out a project page so you would know exactly what you needed to cast on.
This is a truly fun way to knit because, I know for me, when I look at a pattern I think there is no way that I can do that. When you get a clue you just follow the words and bam! you have a shawl. 
Now how does all this work?
First up pick your yarn.
I chose yarn from my stash. The exact yarn as well as notes are on my project page (you may need to be a member to view my page) 
Then the wait. I had to wait for the first clue.... And then the day came!
I began the MKAL
I finished the clue almost in time for the next. 
and then the final clue. It was so fun and quite a motivation to be a monogamous knitter.
I added the blue stripes because I wanted a bit more contrast.
Added the lace section
And Done! Well almost had to do a picot bind off!
I finished it in the park. So happy for cooler Phoenix weather.

Now it was time for blocking, with a little feline help of course!
I am so in love with the finished product. 

My favorite part of a mystery KAL is the fact that I have no idea what I am going to be knitting. I cannot look at the pattern and say "Oh I can't do that yet. I don't have the skill." I just knit and follow the directions. No preconceived idea that "I can't do it"
It is a great way to challenge your skill and teach yourself!

Again a big shout out to the Periscoping Sisters for hosting this KAL and for creating this beautiful pattern. 
Give it a try!

As always,
Stay Quirky my Friends


Monday, May 30, 2016

Casting off and Casting on along with dating woes


Hello and Welcome!
I am so excited to show you my latest FO. It is the Ballerina Shawl by Ela Torrente
It is absolutely beautiful. I must admit though I did not follow the pattern exactly. The cable section was just too much for my brain. It included cabling across over 300 stitches and I am just not ready for that yet. I need to sharpen my skills. I wanted to add a leaf border but the pattern that I had made huge leaves and I decided it would look weird. It could have worked if I would have left maybe the short row section off. Nevertheless I am so happy with my shawl it will be so nice to use this summer in restaurants and other places that decide to over AC. I don't know if they do this in other parts of the country but here in Phoenix I think I get more use of jackets and such in the summer because of AC than I ever do in the winter.  I used Brava Worsted from Knit Picks in the Current Colorway
Here is a photo of the wingspan
Isn't it beautiful. Simple but lovely!
Again I will say that I am so happy with it.

Okay so now onto my WIPs


Still working on Hermione's Everyday Socks
I really love the fun texture of the pattern and it breaks up the potato chipness of the stockinette stitch leg nicely.
I am a bit sad though because I wanted to change out my DPNs and go onto two circulars. I had one and I ordered the other from Knit Picks and whoever put the needle into the bag was not paying attention and put a size US3 into a US2 bag so I have the wrong needle. No big deal, mistakes happen. However, it's a Holiday weekend and I cannot address this issue with them until Tuesday. HUMPH! I really wanted to see if the two circulars would speed up my sock knitting and get these babies off the needles and onto my feet!


This week's Cast Ons

I needed a take-along project for my lunch break at work and for other times when I am stuck waiting someplace and need something to do besides hang out on my phone. I am using some Patton's yarn that I had sitting in my stash and I must say I am enjoying the striping. It is living in my Sugar Skull Bag by SpinnersEndStudio. This one is sold out but she has some really fun ones at her shop. She will also do some custom orders.  The stitch marker I am using for this and for my next cast on is from Little Bit Fae Hand-Dyed Yarns  they are beautiful cobalt blue and are perfect for a small needle beginning of round marker and for a progress marker when knitting tons of garter stitch! 


I also cast on Marelle by Melanie Berg. This pattern was a gift from my friend Shannon when I was in the hospital. So thoughtful.  And way longer lasting than flowers!!!
For this pattern I am using the suggested Knit Picks yarn Palette in the Oyster Heather and Midnight Heather colorways. 
This shawl is beautiful and has an Art Deco feel to it. I am using this one as a sort of training for Stephen West's Rockefeller that truly reflects the Art Deco Style.

Rockefeller by Stephen West
Now onto Dating Woes

I have decided that perhaps the spinster cat lady thing is working about as well as the knitting recluse is. From this decision I have chosen to give, once again, the online dating thing a try.
YIKES!
It has not been successful thus far!  At all, in no way. Well, Maybe not entirely, there is the laugh factor.
Case in point

Oh my! The Speedo, but mostly, the pose! What on earth gave this guy the idea that any of this would attract a woman? I have seen many crazy things on these dating sites and so far this one is the winner of "Most Cheeky Pose".
Do you see what I have to deal with here? Someone please save me! Perhaps I should just accept my lot as Crazy Spinster Cat Lady.

Anyway, that is all for now!
Enjoy your day and as always,
Stay Quirky my Friend




Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Bad Guts, But Knitting Makes it Better

Many of you know that I have Crohn's disease. What is it? 
Watch this. It is a great video about the disease.



There now that you understand a bit about my disease I will let you know just a little bit of how I am on a daily basis.
I wake up and don't feel well. If I decided to get out of bed on my first feeling when I wake up I never would get out of bed. That doesn't work well if you want to have a life so I get up. Drink some coffee and reassess. Most days I go to work and live. Some days after work it's all I can do to drive home and plop on the couch. 
I spend most days in the bathroom at least 10 times. Makes for a fun work day when you depend on someone coming to give you a potty break. I usually have a fever by the time 2PM rolls around. 
Once in awhile I have pain so bad that a trip to the ER is in order. Usually followed by many tests  and the diagnosis is bowel blockage. In goes the NG tube. (pictured up top) and the "is it going to fix itself" game starts. If all goes well I go home in a few days. If not, it could become a month long stay in the hospital. 
The disease impacts me daily. Many don't understand and that's okay as long as I don't hear the words "but you don't look sick". When I hear that I want to shove my colonoscopy result photos in their face. 

My usual self is pretty upbeat. I try not to be one of those folks that goes on and on about having a disease and how much their life sucks. I know many others that have it much worse than I do. I try and keep it into perspective. 

My latest addition to my stash
Oopsy Emu  Egg by Expressions Fiber Arts
So beautiful!!! 

Yarn saved my life!
Or at least my sanity!
I started out using a knitting loom and within a week I was on needles. I fell in love. I can knit and for that moment I am not a girl with Crohn's. I am an fiber artist! I love it and I truly believe that it heals me like no medication can. 
I can sit and knit when I am in the hospital, at doctors appointments, when I am home sick or (my favorite) in hangouts with friends from around the world. There have not been many days where I have not been able to knit because I was too sick. 
Not only has knitting given me a way to relax and destress but also because of online communities I have found new friends around the Globe to knit with. 
The Knitting Lodge is a wonderful place where people come to share there projects, ask questions, share ideas and have virtual knit nights using Google Hangouts.  Because of this community I have met new friends that I trust will be lifelong! This community truly makes the world smaller and we all have one thing in common. YARN!
The encouragement and friendships I found within this community get me through some truly tough times and have opened my world up to so much. 

Socks!

I cannot express how much community and knitting have helped in healing. Perhaps not the disease itself but in the production of beautiful fiber art and friendships that, for a moment, make my world not so "sick". 

If you have a chronic illness or just want to make some new friends I suggest that you find a Google Community that you can connect with .  The World will not seem so large when you begin to have Global friendships.


Stay Quirky my Friends
Until next time. 
Blessings






Monday, May 16, 2016

Knit All the Things

  I have been busy finishing up lots of things! 
So I have some fun FOs to show you.
Let's get started shall we?


First I finished "An Author's Friend" 
This was a project for the "Little Bit Fae Knits Podcast" KAL 
This was a fun and relaxing knit.
As you can see it's orange. Yeah not my color...
Or is it?
I really like the way that it turned out. 
I used Brava Worsted from Knit Picks
I am also using it for the "YarnderWoman Podcast" Opposites KAL
This KAL is super fun. The rules are it has to be opposite of how you knit, colors, kind of project, it is really up to your creativity.
Mine qualifies because first it's orange, NOT a color that I would ever use. Second it is pretty much summer here in Arizona and this is clearly not a summer garment. 

Next up


Before felting (Hopper doesn't even care)


This is my 3rd felted project and I am truly pleased with how it turned out.
I went with my friend to Michael's to find some buttons and I found this cute Paton's yarn that is perfect for felting.  It is a super fast project. I cannot find the blog where I got the pattern and I cannot find the pattern on Ravelry. If you do please comment.
It was a fun, fast knit and the best part is I finished it in a day. Don't you just love instant gratification knitting? 


 Let's move on to WIPs shall we?


I am still working on the Ballerina by Ella Torrente.
I have decided to modify the pattern because there are over 300 stitches on the needles and I needed to cable all of them and well, just NO! 
I did 15 rows of 2x2 ribbing and now I am on the short rows and then I am going to add a leaf edging to bind it off. My brain just could not handle all those cables.


My Rose City Rollers will forever be a HO because I played the yarn chicken and lost!
I may cast on another pair. They are fun to knit. 

Whew! That's a lot! My fingers have been busy. 
Please let me know if there is any trouble with any of the links.

Now onto what's for dinner!
I am still on a quest for tasty healthy food. Wow! did I find something. 
I believe I heard about this recipe on the ACTuallyKnitting podcast. Infact yes, I just checked show notes and that is it. I didn't take a picture of this but all I can say is WOW! Sooooooo delicious!
What is it? Okay here ya go!
Trust me it's amazing.
The only modification I made was I put the sauce in with the chicken while I was cooking it.
It came out so good. I steamed some rice and broccoli to go with it.

Happy eating & Knitting. Until next time,

As always,
Stay Quirky my Friends! 

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Knit one Purl two

felted bag


So much knitting. 
I digress. First thank you, thank you for reading when I have been the biggest non blogger ever! Lots of "life" has been happening and blogging has not been part of that. 
No more! I will, no, I am blogging again. 

seedling hat

My goal of this post is to catch you up on my obsession.
KNITTING
I kint if I am not working, hiking or camping, Confession, If I could combine work, camping and hiking with knitting I would. Perhaps I have.
I have another confession. Knitting is a passion but you cannot knit without yarn right? 
My name is Becky and I am a Yarn-aholic! I just cannot stop!
Again I digress. 
Now onto the purpose. Finished objects, or FOs as us knitters like to call them. 
I love the process that produces a beautiful product.

spliced hat
This fun cable/colorwork hat took second place at the Maricopa County Fair.

my first sock

So I had a great fear of socks. Kind of a silly fear. This was my first sock. It's a little big. I am still perfecting it but I did it and I will knit more!!!

my first sweater
I did it. I made a sweater. 

appletini MKL
This was my first Mystery Knit Along. Each week you get a clue to knit and as you knit the beautiful pattern reveals itself.


As you can see these fingers have been busy knitting away. More to come
Until then,
Stay Quirky My Friend





Thursday, July 30, 2015

Quirky Urban Girl Knits

So it's been a while... a long long long long long while, since I have put together a blog post. I guess I have been busy. (not really) The truth is I have been lazy. Too lazy to think about blogging about anything. I have been busy doing nothing! But have I been doing nothing?

I have been busy, really I have! I have a new obsession, Knitting. What is more Quirky than an urban girl in her late 40s knitting? I am obsessed! It is my first hobby that I spend money on almost every week! It is useful and great for gifts... that's what I keep telling myself at least.
Seed Stitch Hat

My favorite hat pattern 
It's fun, it's practical and well, Quirky.  There is a whole knitting culture that I had no idea even existed. It's so fun.
 Ailen Illusion Scarf
Be prepared for more fun posts my knew little hobby! Consider this little post a preview!

Stay Quirky My Friends

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Quirky Urban Bread Geek



Bread, the staple in cultures around the World. It has a bad reputation at the moment.  There is a campaign that is out to crush bread.  Everyone should cut wheat out of their diet.  It's bad for you, causes wheat gut, leaky gut syndrome and other things that I have never heard of.  There are some who have a true allergy to wheat or a disease that will not allow them to eat gluten but the whole Country?  Now that thought has to make you scratch your head.  "They", once again, are out to convince us that we need gluten free products.  The question I would like to ask you today is why are we letting the media tell us what we need or don't need. We allow them do it with drugs, food and well, pretty much everything.  The media is not our friend.  They just want our money!!!!

Okay I'll get off my soapbox and get on with the bread making. So bread is kind of a mystery to some. You put something alive in bread. Yeast. It  It  bubbles as it feeds on gluten.  It rises and then is popped into an oven and then comes the smell.  The smell that fills your home with feelings of love and warmth. The moment that it happens you cannot help but feeling the love that went into those loaves.  The recipe is simple. Flour, water, yeast.  Yup that's it all you need to create a simple loaf is that. Nothing more.  Why the heck "they" put yoga mat in it is beyond my comprehension.  True, that simple formula is for a simple loaf but even the most complex ones don't require much more.  Perhaps some salt, oil, potatoes water, spices.  Maybe some eggs for that fluffy Challah.  Simple as that!

But is it?  I have been on my quest for the perfect loaf for years.  I have tried, failed and tried again.  It has become an obsession and a passion for me.  To create that perfect loaf. Crisp golden brown crust and soft fluffy crumb on the inside or the tunnels and bubbles of the perfect sourdough, that is the goal.

For my next few blog posts I am going to do a series on how to make the perfect loaf.  From instant yeast to sourdough you will learn what this quirky urbanite has learned.  I hope that you find it helpful.