Friday, May 8, 2009

Every Day in May - expanded updates

I've been Twittering my very short Every Day in May updates so I don't forget what I do each night. While good in theory, it sure doesn't help with my goal to make a good attempt at blogging. So, today is devoted to expanding on what the Tweets mean.

May 1 - counted the Every Day in May blog post as my creative outlet for the day.

May 2 - I love knitting dishcloths and have been hooked on a simple bar pattern from the Mason Dixon knitting books. It's such a great pattern because you can easily memorize it, it looks much more difficult than it really is, and you can play with all sorts of color combos to use up bits and bobs of yarn. Over the past few weeks, I'd knitted up several of the cloths but never wove in the ends. This day was devoted to weaving in all of the ends (strangely satisfying) and then starting just one more of the dishcloths because I couldn't resist. After this cloth, I must move on.

May 3 - finished up the dishcloth. I also started on a new project - a knitted monster. I have a great knitting book that shows how to make knitted icons. Most of the patterns are for a simple knitted generic body, and then how to turn those body parts into famous actors/musicians/artists/etc. There was also a king kong pattern that looked like it could easily be made into a monster. Why am I making a monster? For a swap . . . not for me. I don't need a monster in my life. I got through quite a few of the monster parts.

May 4 - finished up the monster! Finishing meant knitting up the rest of the monster parts, weaving in yet more ends, and then assembling the monster. There were a surprising number of parts to the little guy -- the head was in three parts plus add-on ears, two parts for the body, arms, legs and also arm/leg "pads/hands". I knitted him up in blue, purple and green to go along with my swap partners likes. Overall, I think he turned out good, but not great. The experience reinforced my desire to learn how to crochet because I think the crocheted amiguramis turn out SO much cuter than knitted animals. There's one exception - I made an adorable hedgehog over the holidays, but it was a knitted animal that needed to be felted.

May 5 - I needed to take a break from the knitting, otherwise, I would have been tempted to start another one of those addictive dishcloths. I took out a cross-stitch kit I'd purchased during my last craft purchasing binge and got to work. It's a lovely pattern of three hanging herb sachets. The colors are primarily different hues of beautiful purples and greens. While watching TV (latest Biggest Loser - very emotional), I stitched up a little section of the project. I hadn't cross-stitched in a while -- been embroidering a lot more these days -- and it was fun to get back to following a pattern and making little x's all over the fabric.

May 6 - Back to knitting. I stayed away from the dishcloth, but didn't stay too far away. My other favorite Mason Dixon knitting pattern is for a hanging hand towel. I made several of these for Christmas and gave them all away. Now, I'm going to make a couple for myself. I like this pattern because parts of it are memorizable, you can play with different color combos, and it has a cute button-over top so it will hang nicely on a rack. It's mitered, so you start with 95 stitches and slowly decrease up to the top. The one pain of the pattern is that the top third of the towel is knit using two strands of yarn, not one. In the end, the reinforcement is definitely needed -- no droopy towels arounds here -- but I still haven't found a way to avoid tangling yarn.

May 7 - Made a little (14 rows) of progress on the hanging hand towel. The bottom part is a rich purple. I haven't decided what the top part will be yet. I need to evaluate the yarn situation.

Tonight and over the weekend, I'd like to get several things done --
1. Finish the hand towel
2. Start (and maybe finish) an embroidered picture to include in a swap.
3. Find all of my digital camera parts (charger, camera itself, cords) -- this is a must-do.
4. Photograph backlog of items I've recently received from others as well as some completed projects so I can post in appropriate places.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Every Day in May

French Toast Girl ( is hosting "Every Day in May" again this year and I'm thinking it may help me focus on getting stuff done.

The concept is to commit to creating something every day this month. On my end, I'm going to focus on three activities -- blogging, knitting and embroidery. I figure that, between the three categories, I will be inspired to do at least one of the three every day.

Of the three, blogging continues to be the most challenging. I'm still working out whether blogging is something that's helpful to me or weighs me down. Since I love reading so many other blogs (and reading in general) and have "write a novel" down on my all-time dream list of accomplishments, I think that mastering a blog is a reasonable goal/first step to the ultimate. The two main issues are that 1) I'll not think of writing anything down until I'm already away from the computer and/or 2) I am horrible at documenting activities by taking pictures. For some reason, I have never been fascinated by photography as a hobby. As a result, I'd always surround myself with people who do like to take pictures and are willing to send me copies (or links to digital photos these days).

Knitting and embroidery are much easier challenges. I can't bear to watch TV without something in my hands, so these are both activities that are perfect. The only issue with both past-times is that I get serious cases of startitus. I love starting new projects and end up finishing a lot of them; however, I also end up with numerous UFOs lying around the house. I'll need to monitor myself to insure that the month of May does not end with 31 UFOs. That would be quite a sight!