Tag Archives: Art

Mixed-Stitch Madness

Hi, my name is Katie. I’m a yarn addict, and I’m constantly hooking to feed my habit.

P1020310.jpgBut in all realness… when I look back on the sheer volume of what I’ve crocheted in the past four months, I’m stunned. I’ve completed a total of 3 afghans so far, with a fourth one 3/4 of the way done. And that’s having taken a break to make the oh-so tedious dragon for my Halloween costume. That’s a LOT of crocheting. If I had to make a guess, I’d say that’s at least 40 skeins of yarn (you’re welcome, Hobby Lobby). People always ask me how much time I spent on each piece, and that’s really hard to say. The first blanket took me at least two seasons of House of Cards, plus other miscellaneous time when I picked it up at work or while watching something else. I don’t know! It does make me curious though; maybe next time I start a project I’ll punch in on a timer and see.

Like so many awesome, crafty ideas, mixed-stitch crochet found me by way of Pinterest. A long time ago I stumbled across pictures of the colorful, seemingly random, chaotic patterns that somehow looked so neatly designed. I took a stab at it on my own and failed miserably- the edges were beyond warped, and I put it aside for a while.

I picked it up again a few months ago, this time sitting down with the amazing instructions I found here. Having never mixed random stitches before, I didn’t realize that different ones required different hook sizes to make the edges straight. It took trial and error– and a whole lot of frustration with counting to 24 eight times plus 1– but I finally got it.

12105882_10100165885880739_4457990446597664563_nThe first blanket I made was for Micah, the little girl I nanny. She actually went to Hobby Lobby with me and (with some guidance) helped to choose the colors. When she saw me working on it she would ask, “is it almost done?” which I jumped on as an opportunity to teach her what “patience” meant. I decided it looked best without a border, since the edges were a little off.

To correct for the zigzagging edges on Micah’s blanket, I started using stitch markers to make the counting process a little more diligent and learn how to work each row of stitches onto any other. Once I got it down, the edges were as straight as any could be. The second blanket got a black border on all four sides, which I thought would really tie its color scheme together. I gave it to Jewel 🙂

2015-09-23 21.18.07.jpgThe next two blankets are for me and my dad; I put mine aside to try and finish his in between his birthday and Christmas. I got it done the day after Thanksgiving, so I succeeded! It is extra big, based in greens and purples, and it has a border on the two long sides. He loves it so much he doesn’t want to use it, and freaked out when my dog was sitting on it. Little does he know, Duchess was using that ol’ rag as a bed from the moment it was big enough. But I washed it (even though that freaked him out too) and the blanket is as good as new– and as good as it always will be. It might be the most perfect thing I’ve made yet.

But wait until I’m done with mine!

Advertisements
Image

Katie & Duchess – A Self Portrait of Love :-)

kt duchess

Recuerdos :-)

Memories of Mexico. A few little drawings I made recently.

suenos

I’ve finally started a crochet project!

I’ve been itching to pick up crochet again for a while. It’s something I’ve done since I was so young I never remember learning. But every few years I go into a manic-yarn phase and teach myself new stitches and techniques. It’s something I find calming; I can do it while I’m listening to music or watching TV. It keeps my hands busy, almost like a nervous twitch. Only when it’s all said and done I have something to show for it. In other words, its a productive waste of time.

IMG_20131002_204407Sometimes its hard for me to choose a project. There are so many patterns out there for things I’d like to make, but sometimes I’m not in the mood to follow a tedious new pattern. That’s why I recently decided to start making squares for an afghan. I know the pattern for each square well enough that it takes hardly any focus. I can makes squares whenever I’m in the mood, and if I find another project to do I can just put the squares aside for a bit and pick them back up later. Once I have enough, I can stitch them all together and be super proud of myself. I’m not sure yet how big I want to make it, but I’m thinking I’ll need at least 81 or 100 squares. I’m also not sure yet how I’m going to stitch them together, or what border to stitch around the edge. This is why I’m making a handful of tiny squares so I can make a “practice” blanket first. I can’t wait to see the end result. Patience is a virtue… is what I keep reminding myself!

Blog Updates & Art Gallery

pink-hairI haven’t been posting much lately, but I have spent a bit of time on this blog in the past few days. I finally got around to tasks I’d been putting off, and even a few more. I’m studying about how to host a WordPress blog independently; apparently it provides way more opportunity to mess around and tinker with the layout. Hosting it on your own opens up the door for plugins, and there are literally so many of them its incredible. It all seems very open-source and democratic, and I really want to dive in and see what it’s all about. My own blog is simply a hobby, and I never needed more than the free services provided. Luckily I’m helping to create a WordPress website professionally now, so I’ll be able to sink my teeth into all the details. Who knows- if I really love it I may not be able to resist self-hosting my own blog… 🙂

I’ve finally added a few pages to the site– still no “About Me” section though, I just can’t seem to get started on that one at all. I added a category tab for chickens, which will pull up all posts related to the big, fat, flightless birds. I added a page with a link to all my recipes. I also added galleries: my Instagram photos, by month, as well as a few scans of artwork I’ve created over the past couple of years. I hope to add more to them in time, but this was good enough for now.

My Left And Right Brain Found Some Harmony Today

right leftIts been ages since I’ve spent quality time in Book People— and damn do I love that place. Any book store can suck me in for a few blissful hours, but Book People is by far my favorite. I only bought two items, and on the way out it struck me how opposing they were. For my left brain I snagged my favorite planner– the simple “August to August” weekly calendar that my mom and I have been devotees of for years (and is only sold at Book People and The Container Store). The second book was a gift to my so-called “right” brain: a coloring book of 100 bold, beautiful, psychedelic mandala patterns. They’re so relaxing when you really engage in coloring one. The book’s intro had an interesting perspective on whether one begins to color on the inside or the outside. Working toward the center is an exploration of one’s inner self, while working outward is a reflection on one’s connection with the outer universe. Super cool. Either way, they look kick-ass when they’re finished. 

Roundtop Festival Scrapbook

This post is long overdue, but it’s too good not to share. I went to the Roundtop Antique festival in April with my mom, and we had a blast. What a cool little corner of Texan culture. The merchants and sellers that come from far and wide, the locals happy to be hosting, and all the people that get together to rifle through the junk and the treasures. These are just some of the shots I took that day, but even a million pictures couldn’t capture it all.

Jewelry is the Icing on the Cake

vanity

IMG_20130626_150637

Back in February, I went on a frenzied Spring Cleaning/reorganizing of my entire house. I completely overhauled each and every room, nook, and cranny– my kitchen, my clothes, my bathroom, even the tool shed out back. After two weeks, only my jewelry was left looking for a home, and I was exhausted and content to take a break. Previously, I kept all necklaces and bracelets hung on nails in my bathroom. Rings, earrings, and anything else got tangled up in a drawer. I wanted it in my new closet/dressing/makeup room, and to display all of it on the wall. When it comes to me and jewelry, out of sight is definitely out of mind.

a20cd85a9b3011e28ce622000a9f13a7_7

For the necklaces, nails would still do. But I’ve been wanting to make a frame to hang earrings on display as well. I browsed through some frames at Hobby Lobby, but found them both gaudy and too expensive for my purpose. Then, in April, my Mom and I went to the awesome Texas treasure that is The Roundtop Antique Festival (it’s long overdue, but a post about it is coming soon!) There were frames aplenty, and I found this beautifully old, perfect wooden frame. And it was just $2. Add chicken wire and some staples, and you’ve got yourself an awesome jewelry frame. Clever repurposing and DIY are some of my favorite things in life.