Year of Projects: Week 21/22

Witty Words Here.

Way to start off the month by not writing an update last weekend! No worries though, because there wasn’t anything that exciting going on.

The biggest piece of news is I FINALLY released Chaos Cables!! Its available on Ravelry and Etsy! If you purchase through Ravelry and use the code CHAOS2021 through January 20, 2021, you can get the pattern half-price! Thank you, Hannah over at Quiet Water Craft, for all your assistance in getting this pattern release ready!

CHAOS CABLES!!

In non-creative self-care: I finally went to the foot specialist to find out why my feet were so incredibly inflamed and why they were getting worse, despite my complete ignoring of the problem. I apparently have plantar fasciitis really bad. I got a cortisone shot in each foot, and it’s made a world of difference! I’ve been taking a lot of walks, and I’m virtually pain free. It’s not all the shot, the shot simply reduced the inflammation enough that the stretches are actually helpful in keeping things limber instead of making it worse. Who knew going to the Dr would be more helpful than ignoring the issue and pushing through the intense daily pain. Now I can take all the walks, pain free.

Me, on all the winter walks!! (Feat. the Merry Unbirthday Hat coming out later this week)

I’ve been chronicling my January Photo Challenge, #YarniaPix2021, on Instagram since the first of the month. It’s really inspired me to wear my knits and crochet projects! I’ve listed the pattern, designer, yarn and colorway where applicable there too.
I tend to wear the same hat/cowl/old fuzzy fingerless mitts to most of my outdoor workouts, so I don’t really bother retaking those pictures, I just wear something else that day too! In case you don’t use Instagram, I’ve made a gallery of most of what has been posted 1-16 of this month. I feel good that I’ve been sticking to it. I want to do it again next year, maybe you’ll join me! I’ve fallen in love with my finished items all over again!

Yes, I too notice that most of my projects are in a VERY specific color pallette! Purple IS my favorite color!!! And also yes, I gave myself a hair cut the other day. I was so annoyed with ALL the dead ends that I am now rocking a basic bob once again- the only cut I can manage with any degree of success.

Diversify

New shoes, feat. lint covered pants.

I finally did something I should have done A LONG TIME AGO. I’m making my patterns available on platforms BESIDES Ravlery. It is significantly more time consuming that I thought it would be.

I love Ravelry. It is the place I go to look at new patterns and and where I interact with the knitting community, outside of my blog. I understand the platform. They don’t charge designers to list their patterns. They have REALLY low processing fees.

But there are SO many other places that people get patterns, and I wasn’t representing myself. Including my OWN site; apparently I can host PDFs and take payment for them.

I’ve added my paid patterns to ETSY (because they won’t let me offer free patterns). I’m working on getting all of my patterns on LoveCrafts, so people can find my patterns while yarn shopping. Once I get all my patterns up and approved, I’ll add the link to my designer page!

What other places do you shop for patterns that I’m not representing myself on?

Holy Chaos, Batman!!

Layers of Chaos!

FINALLY!! I have released CHAOS into the world. Kidding. Kinda. Chaos Cables is now available for purchase on Ravelry! Now through 1/20/2021 you can get 50% off with the code CHAOS2021.

After talking about if for months, I am so excited to finally be able to share this project with everyone! I have 3 cowl sizes and 2 caplet sizes available. The layered picture is me wearing the Large Caplet (green) the Small Cowl (middle) and the Mini Cowl. I made the Mini Cowl for my daughter; I thought matching cowls would be cute. We’ve never worn them together! In fact, I think she’s forgotten all about it.

Wear them blocked or unblocked. In yarns of a vivid combination, or a subdued solid. All options would be amazing!

Share your Chaos Cables on Instagram with #ChaosCablesCowl

Baby, Take a Break.

Just testing the fit!

A number of connotations in the title, this being Friday, the 8th of January, 2021 and all. First, I need a break from the news cycle. The insurrection of the 6th is still being processed in my mind; I have a lot of feelings right now. None of them are sympathetic to the perpetrators terrorizing America with their white supremacy.

Crochet your own 60-Minute cowl!

It also is me working on a quick project in the middle of a big project; I’m taking a break this afternoon from the HPW Sweater Dress. About a year ago, I released a crochet pattern called the “60-Minute Cowl” on Ravelry (link goes to the free pattern on Ravelry). Honestly, for a moderately quick crocheter, this can be finished in under an hour. Today I completed another one, I think this is my 5th one? I now have 2 in my Rav project page.

But what precipitated this quick project? I’ve been posting my handmades on Instagram everyday in January. My Aunt half-joked she wanted to learn how to crochet so she could make one for my Grandma! My grandmother is in her mid-80s, and a scarf that doesn’t stay in place could be a real safety hazard for her. Of course, I was all, “Yeah, I can make one what color?!?!?!”. So this afternoon I whipped up a 60-Minute Cowl in Lion Brand Thick and Quick (in Fisherman) and a monsterous size Q hook. This version is slightly smaller than the one I wore the other day (worked in Malabrigo Rasta); that’s ok, my Grandma is pretty slight these days.

A very open stitch. Light weight but still warm.

I still think Malabrigo Rasta is my favorite version for a couple reasons. The colors seem to glow from within, even on the more muted palettes and the yarn is JUST the right size. However, the Lion Brand version is Machine Washable, widely available at any big box craft section or store, and using 1 skein is very budget conscious. It also makes a slightly smaller finished product, perfect for petite individuals!!

The Malabrigo Rasta version worn 01/07/2021

Now I’m going to take a break from sitting and make some chocolate chunk brownies with the leftover GIANT hershey kisses the kids got for Christmas. I want the boxes off the counter.

Two-at-a-Time: Sleeves

Live Dangerously.

The epitome of DANGER.

Danger! Danger! Danger!! I decided to just go for it, no life lines. Dove in, head first (sleeves first??) doing the sleeves two-at-a-time on the girl child’s sweater dress. It’s going pretty well, now that there is a little length to the sleeves. For the first few rounds I was questioning my sanity, it was a tangle of tips and cables and chaos. All is calm now. My tension is a little tighter, but my kid has little arms, so this is really a blessing.

Disclosure: I’ve knit two sleeves flat, on straight needles before. Back in 2008 when I was knitting up the Central Park Hoodie. This is more like knitting two-at-a-time socks, but with extra dangly bits.

Central Park Sleeves x2 Circa 2008

Year of Projects: Week 20

New Year, same list.
Say Yes to Pie

The big YOP check off: my Say Yes to Pie socks are now available on Ravelry! Being my first released sock pattern, the download is FREE.

As of today, I have 15/20 goal items checked off my YOP list, which has a total of 39 items on it. Once I hit 20 completed items from my checklist, I will revise the list to include new goals and make the whole thing look “neat and orderly” again.

Here’s this week’s cast-on. My daughter needed a replacement for a sweater I knit her a couple years ago. She picked out the yarn when Love Crafts was having a sale. Cascade 220 Superwash Sport Multi in the colorway Punk. I’m using stash, Cascade Superwash 220 Sport in colorway Royal Purple for the trim. She said she wants a sweater dress (knee length) with a ruffle at the bottom. I have almost 1000 yards total. Since she is 6, and completely average in size (according to the WHO charts my pediatrician uses to measure growth), I without a doubt have enough yarn to make this happen. I split off the sleeves onto a long circular for 2-at-a-time sleeves. Never done it before, it would be prudent for me to use a lifeline… However, I like to LIVE DANGEROUSLY. When I finish up the ball I’m using for the body, I will do the sleeves. What could possibly go wrong?

Notes about the yarn: This is a commercially dyed yarn. The color spacing is at a constant interval. There is some color pooling, but not that much. I had started the yoke with 2 balls and was alternating but the pooling was awful. I had considered doing a helical color change, but I don’t think it’s necessary. The yarn is really soft, no random knots two balls in. Machine wash for the win. It can be popped into the dryer if the drape gets too relaxed. Thumbs up so far on the yarn.
I am reminded that I do not particularly enjoy using heavily variegated yarns on large projects- this is not the yarn’s fault! I *SHOULD* have purchased multiple colors and just striped it. Maybe the solids weren’t on sale?? I can’t remember: it was over a month ago. But these factors are irrelevant, because my daughter LOVES how it looks so far.

Not a YOP challenge, but on Instagram I’ve decided to do a pic a day for January with my handmades. My goal/idea is to wear at least one handmade item each day. I have DOZENS available: why not?? I’ve tagged it #YarniaPix2021

Happy New Year!!

Goals and Intentions- January 2021 (and beyond)

Guerilla Gifting.

A friend surprised ME with a handmade gift! I feel the LOVE every time I look see it.

Last spring, I started randomly sending my friends makes. It made me feel good, and I got to create without the guilt of hoarding finished objects. AND since they were surprise, just because I love you, gifts there were NO timelines, no strings attached. Let’s be honest, how many hats do you ACTUALLY wear? Scarves? BLANKETS???? How many do you have? Exactly. I’ll never stop creating, but I don’t really NEED more items. 2021, I intend on continuing this. The small cost associated with shipping is worth surprise gifting (with no expectation of any return)! I show my love and affection by making things. Seriously, if I *REALLY* love you, I’ll make you something. Cookies, a cake, a knit or crochet item, a sewn something. It makes me sad that my fingers aren’t more fleet!

My newest art acquisition. Artist: Avery Ann

Support Art. Support Artists.

I had always operated on the assumption of original art as something that was for VERY wealthy people. Not true! You can support local and independent artists directly! It was way more affordable than I thought. In 2020, I added 3 pieces of art, purchased directly from the artists, to my home. I plan on adding more in 2021. Every piece brings me joy. I have have some large generic thrift store prints that I want to replace over the next couple years; I’m thinking some gallery style installations!

That’s my face!

Moisturize. Moisturize. Moisturize. Oh, Sunblock too.

I’m almost 40. My skin is pretty alright. No deep wrinkles (yet). I don’t really use filters for my photographs, and then it’s usually to adjust colors to reflect reality. I usually remember to moisturize my face, this year’s goal moisturize my face twice a day and body once a day. I really need to get better at using sunblock EVERY DAY too, particularly when I’m doing a lot of outdoor workouts!! I’m not always wearing make-up (my favorite foundation has SPF), so it’s important that I remember; my sunspots are getting rather widespread.

A Month of Handmade

I see everyone doing photo challenges for the new year. The theme of mine is “A Month of Handmade”. Everyday in January, I’m going to be posting what I’m wearing to Instagram (CinnaofDoom). I’ll include patterns and yarns when I have that information. Some of these items are pre-Ravelry (gasp!! There was a time?!?!?!) and I’ve literally no record. I’m going to hashtag it #YarniaPix2021, feel free to join me!

Magic Sea Captain Watch Cap

New Pattern Releases!!

I know, this was also my goal of 2020, and I DID release 14 patterns. I have 6 in various states of readiness for 2021 already! Boom! Also, good pictures are hard.

What are your goals and intentions for 2021??

2020: Wrap it up, B.

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Pexels.com

It was exactly 1 year ago when I decided to jump headlong into blogging and pattern writing. So, HAPPY BIRTHDAY MISCELLANEOUS DESIGN STUDIO!!! 2020 was quite the year! I released 14 patterns, wrote 120 blog posts (this post is # 121 if the blog, BTW), and finished over 60 projects (a few of them never logged into Ravelry). This has been my most focused and productive year of crafting, hands down. Thanks, Covid??

I started the year with GOALS, and worked toward many of those goals. I participated in a couple of challenges with my Ravelry groups, which REALLY helped me. I plan on participating in similar challenges for 2021!!

Sigma20: This is part of the Stash Knit Down group on Ravelry.

Not bad!!

I’ve already made my Sigma 21 goals!! Some of them are low bar/easy, because I am counting baby sweaters in the Sweaters count (and my bestie is expecting a baby). Some of the goals are not crafting related: I do want to shed the weight I’ve gained this year…. it was rather substantial. BUT it’s paired with a crafting goal: 3 months of NO YARN BUYING. I’m going to try to Cold Sheep, just a little.

Goals!

I’m also doing A Year of Projects (Ravelry group link), and have been making weekly updates (Sundays) since August! This list is a bit different than my others, with some crossover. I’m kicking butt on this list, and will need to do a mid-year revamp when I have completed the first 20 project items on the list; I’m currently at 15.

This list is SO MESSY now…. I feel compelled to re-write it and make it neat.

Happy New Year and Happy Birthday, Miscellaneous Design Studio!!

Socks! Socks! Socks!

Say Yes to Pie.

Say Yes to Pie.

Honestly, can you say no? No whipped cream required for these tasty tootsie treats! I’m so excited to have these socks FINALLY released! After weaving in the ends of my most recent pair, I literally have NOT taken them off! The weird fraternal striping is a bonus, not a deterement.

This is the Ravelry Link to the Free Download!!

Same colorway, same dye lot. Don’t even remotely match!

I have also decided that yes, I do need a light box for photos. Hoping for good light just isn’t cutting it for me.

BEHOLD the Cranky Pants! And they are glorious!!

Non-pattern related:I got the perfect PJ sweatpant joggers for Christmas! I wanted to buy them for myself a couple months back. But spouse, agreeing that I did just buy a couple of new pairs of PJ pants and that another pair might be overkill, confirmed my initial reaction to not purchase them. Well!! Imagine my surprise on Christmas morning when I unwrapped they VERY same pants I wanted from Santa! Spouse and Santa must be buddies!

Year of Projects: Week 19

Ramblings of a madwoman.

Ah, the glorious post-Christmas, pre-New Year week during the October-January holiday whirlwind! Like much of 2020, I don’t know what day it is, and there is no schedule to keep me grounded. Luckily virtual learning resumes January 4, so this haze of candy induced delirium won’t last forever.

CANDY MADNESS!!!

This week I’ve been working on a pair of commercially dyed, big box craft store available yarn for my pattern: Say Yes to Pie Socks (coming soon). I wanted to see how the design would work up on something accessible and inexpensive, Patons Kroy Socks FX was hanging out in my stash- it works like a dream! I love the original more, but every pair of handknit socks doesn’t need its own investment portfolio. I also found some ambiguity in my pattern, bonus!! I started them on 12/19 and am starting the 2nd heel tomorrow. I had hopes of finishing today, but alas.

Unpicking the Peasant Heel marker row.

I knit these two-at-a-time, toe-up in the magic loop method. I still started them on DPNs, simply because the first few rows feel like you are wrestling an octopus. Managing 2 socks, and the twisty cable of a circular isn’t my idea of a good time. I will say, doing both socks at once is REALLY fast, I feel like I finished quickly! Once I finish the second sock in the morning, I will have used up 100 balls of stash yarn for 2020!! Go me!! I’m going to make a victory lap here and proclaim item #14 crossed off my list (use 100 balls of stash yarn in 2020).

Complete. Except the ends. Tomorrow is another day.

With the new year approaching, I have another self-imposed round of projects to do and blog about. There is some crossover, but I need something to talk about next week. Other things coming up for this week: Start a sweater dress for my daughter (requested). She’s a little kid, so it’ll be finished pretty quick. Unless I get sidetracked. I have been trying to work the socks up quick, so once those are done, I’ll have daylight hours to work on pictures for a few patterns (oddly enough, my main hang-up for release!) and refine formatting for some other ones.

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