Unraveled

All Wrapped Up

This pile of knits . . . 

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represents the sum total of my Christmas knitting.  Complete!

And this afternoon . . . everything will be wrapped and packaged and ready for shipping.  Yes, my friends.  Everything is all wrapped up -- with weeks to spare!  Which begs the question . . . 

Is there time for one more???

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Be sure to head over to Kat's today for more Unraveled posts.


Merry and Bright

. . . and SHINY!

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Yesterday, I spent the afternoon with a friend in her studio making glitter balls.  Fabulously fun and super simple!

(And, yeah.  I don't have a Christmas tree at my house.  But I do have a lighted birch tree.  And these will look very fine hanging from the branches.)

We also tried some ornaments with alcohol inks.  Our results were decidedly mixed.  While this one looks quite pretty. . .

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I think there's a learning curve.  (Because not all of them worked quite as well.)

It was a fun afternoon, filled with mess, laughter, and creativity.  Merry and bright, indeed!

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It's kind of amazing how many "unraveled" posts I can come up with that have absolutely nothing to do with knitting.  I've been knitting a LOT, but can't show you any of it quite yet.  (Because Christmas.)  Stay tuned!

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Be sure to head over to Kat's today for more Unraveled posts.


Totally Unraveled

Yesterday I had my 2nd (of two) shingles immunizations.  (Shingrix -- the new and highly effective vaccine against shingles.)  When I had my first one, my doctor didn't warn me of the side effects.  (In fact, he told me there really were none.)  (Which proved to be Not True.)  Anyway, I had some pretty dramatic - and surprising - side effects.  As in . . . I was out of commission for a full day after the shot.  (Think flu symptoms and you've pretty much got it.)

So, when it was time for my 2nd immunization, I planned a bit more.  I cleared my schedule and warned people that I might be feeling bad.  And I kept my fingers crossed that maybe for the second go-round, I wouldn't feel so bad.

But, no.  
Here I am.  
Feeling like total crap today.  
(But I won't get shingles, which has got to be WAY worse than a couple of days of flu-like symptoms, y'know?)

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Let's just say . . . I'm totally unraveled today!  
So I'll just sit and knit . . . and nap . . . and sip my tea.  And wait for my symptoms to pass.

(And, on the plus side, I woke up today in a Michigan where weed is legal, gerrymandering is outlawed*, voting laws are loosened, and my Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State, and U.S. Senator are all Democrats -- AND WOMEN!  If that doesn't help my flu-like symptoms, I don't know what could.)  (Well.  Actually I do.  But this is a good start.)

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* This one is especially satisfying because Betsy DeVos and her family POURED money into the campaign for the opposition.  (Ha.)

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Be sure to hop over to Kat's for more Unraveled stories.


Happy Legs

When the weather cools down, I pretty much live in leggings and tunics.  (The stretchier, the better!)  I sew tunics for myself all the time, but I've never sewn a pair of leggings before . . .

until last weekend!

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These awesome and most comfortable leggings (maroon with white polka dots FTW!) are made from Sonya Phillips' Pants No. 2 pattern.  A snap to sew (no serger necessary), super clear directions, a great fit, and . . . $3.97 for the fabric.

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My legs?

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VERY happy!

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I've decided to knit for Christmas this year, so while there is no unraveling going on, there is also no knitting I can show.  But you can check out what others have been "raveling" over at Kat's!

 


Knit a Harvest

"But there's a full moon rising
Let's go dancing in the light
We know where the music's playing
Let's go out and feel the night"
                -- Neil Young, Harvest Moon

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So.  This year, I've been having WAY too much fun putting together monthly "care packages" for my adult children.  Usually, I organize each little package around a "theme" of some sort (which makes it easier to put them together, y'know?).  For October, I went with a "harvest" theme, and featured pumpkin stuff:  a pumpkin carving kit, pumpkin chocolates, and these . . .

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Adorable knitted pumpkins!  

Simple and quick to make -- and a big hit on the receiving end.  (Ravelry details here.)

There's still time to knit yourself a harvest this fall.  (Just sayin.')

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Be sure to visit Kat today, to see what's . . . unraveling!


Take My Hand, We'll Make It I Swear

Let's set the tone for today's post.  

Knitting with linen . . . is not for the faint of heart.

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Because knitting with linen?  Well.  It looks like C.R.A.P. on the needles.  

The gauge is off.
The stitches are wonky.
It twists.
It puckers.
It is incredibly . . . not nice to work with.

You need to have faith.  You need to keep that washed-and-dried gauge swatch nearby at all times during the knitting.  Because it all feels so very, very wrong.

We've got to hold on to what we've got
It doesn't make difference if we make it or not
We've got each other and that's a lot for love
We'll give it a shot. . . 

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You knit on when you're knitting with linen.  Just hoping for magic to happen in the blocking (which often means the clothes dryer . . . instead of blocking pins).

Ohhhhh, we're half way there
Oh-oh, livin' on a prayer
Take my hand, we'll make it I swear
Oh-oh, livin on a prayer

And sometimes?  It all works out in the end!

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Me and Jon Bon Jovi . . . livin' on a prayer!

(Find Ravelry details here.  And once Tom gets back home, some better photos!)

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And here's something very funny.  Jon Bon Jovi and I . . . used to have the same hair!

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(Oh. . . those 80s. . . )

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Be sure to head over to Kat's today . . . for more Unraveled posts.

 

 


Unraveled: Art Prize Edition

Tom and I spent a lovely afternoon wandering through several Art Prize venues in Grand Rapids.  (To read more about Art Prize, click here.)  As always, there were lots of very cool pieces to see . . . and a few that I thought would be perfect to highlight here on an Unraveled Wednesday.

First, there is this piece. . .

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Cacerolazo by Saskia Jorda (click the link to learn more about this powerful piece).

Red yarn.  Spilling out of pots and pans . . . and terribly hard to photograph.  (Here's another try of the red yarn with a filter.)

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This powerful piece is in the running for the public vote top prize in the installation category. 

Next, an amazing quilt. . .

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Pacific Quilt by Sarah FitzSimons (click the link to learn more).

This quilt is HUGE . . . and displayed on the floor -- which made it difficult to really see and appreciate all the detailed hand stitching involved.  (The colors represent the ocean topography, and the stitching represents the currents.)  Apparently, the artist intends it to be used as bedding!  (Personally, I think it would have been better displayed hanging -- because it was impossible to get a close view with it on the floor like that.)

Then, there was this collection of pieces. . .

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Making Mends by Mark Newport (click to learn more about these pieces).

Many of us have been jumping on the slow stitching bandwagon lately -- embracing hand-stitching and embroidery and mending -- so these pieces especially intrigued me.

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Finally, there was an incredible piece I want to share with you -- but, sadly, I don't have a photo. Oh . . . I could have taken a photo -- and it would have looked like a beautiful painting of a black panther.  But . . . it wasn't really a painting.  It was silk embroidery -- and I was just blown away!  You must click the link below to see it for yourself -- although even the artist's photos don't accurately depict the beauty of her delicate stitching.  

Black Panther by YanFang Inlow 

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It's always a treat to visit Art Prize.  You just never know what will be . . . unraveling!

 


All About the Pockets

Last week, I finished a pair of Alabama Chanin drawstring pants . . . in the knee-length shorts version.

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I was a bit hesitant about making pants . . . with hand stitching.  Because, really, you want the butt seam and crotch seam to HOLD, y'know?  But last fall, when Vicki and I visited the Alabama Chanin Factory, I tried on a pair.  And they seemed surprisingly stable.  And super comfortable.  So I decided to give it a go.

This particular AC pattern includes drawstring pants (4 lengths) and a drawstring skirt (also multiple lengths) -- and a variety of pocket options.  I planned to try ALL pocket varieties when I stitched up my shorts.  Kind of a . . . pocket sampler!

So.  We've got side seam pockets . . . 

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a cargo pocket . . . 

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and patch pockets!

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These really are the most comfortable pants in the world.  (And I'm happy to report that with two full days' wear, both the butt seam and the crotch seam are holding fast!)

Now . . . I'm thinking I need a long pair.
(And maybe the skirt . . . )

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Be sure to head over to Kat's today . . . to see what else is Unraveling!


Baby, Baby

I know you've seen this before (and - hands down - voted for the round buttons), but not in finished form.  The little guy arrived this week, so it was time to get those buttons sewn down snug!

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I think baby sweaters are so much fun to knit.  Tiny.  Sweet.  And full of hope.

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I hope this little baby has many happy hours of playtime ahead -- wearing this warm little sweater, knit with love.

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(Ravelry details here.)