Category Archives: Painting

My Wall of Shame

She admits to inconstancy

OK, this article was just sitting here ready to go so I’m posting it now.  It was meant to be posted Nov 2007 but for some simple reasons, it never got posted.

It is no wonder that we knitting folk call ourselves knitting ‘ho’s, harlots and other less savoury names! We simply cannot stay true to one love project. The temptation of luscious yarns and interesting patterns has the effect of luring us away from one obsession to another.

Why am I going on like this? … Well, let me tell you. One day, while cleaning up my craft room, I realised that I had a few unfinished items laying around and for the heck of it decided to pull them all together. I was surprised to see this…

Wall of Shame

This is what I call my Wall of Shame. These are all the projects that I have not completed. Not just not completed but not touched in ages. Do I have good explanations why I haven’t finished them? Not really, it is just my temperament I guess. I get all excited about something else I see and have to start knitting it. Most of the time I do finish projects, but sometimes, to my shame, I just let them languish in a corner somewhere. They are always there in the back of my mind but somehow I never realized how many there were! Maybe they reproduced when I wasn’t looking. How else would you explain 4 different socks on the needles?

Pulling them together was a GOOD thing. Now they will not be so lonely. Now they have friends and neighbors to commune with. Now they have each other to complain bitterly to about the landlady’s lack of dependability.

Some of these items I do intend to finish, some I will frog and use the yarn for other more interesting projects.

To be quite honest these are not my only UFOs. These are only the ones in knitting and crocheting. I didn’t put on the pile my UFOs from painting, quilting, sewing, spinning, cross stitch or needle point in which I have at least one unfinished project. I will go now and hang my head in shame!

OK, enough of that! Let’s find creative ways to deal with this situation. I have been reading a lot about this on the web. Here are a few ideas I got from readings other people’s ways of dealing with this.

1. Work on a number of projects at once by giving yourself a set number of rows to do before you can move on to the next project.  This requires discipline.  You must do 15 rows of this lace shawl before you can move on to 22 rows of the easy scarf.

2. Try to keep to only one project but have an alternative if you get bored. Some projects such as lace, are so complicated that it is a relief to put them down for a short while and knit on a sock. Conversely working on mindless knitting may bore you so much that you really don’t want to finish.  Break up the monotony with something more complicated like colour work.

One member of a group I follow has this to say:

3. ” Joan Hamer has an excellent method for dealing with multiple projects at
the same time. Work on one the same night each week until finished,
then start a new one for that night. This allows for changing of needle
size, yarn material, knitting method (heck, you could put in a crochet
or x-st or beading night!) and keeps each project in work. You don’t
get bored, everything gets worked on and you get to feel virtuous. :)”

Even Sandi Wiseheart over at KnittingDaily has this problem. She took a poll and here are the results. Sandi really does a good job at exploring why we put down one project for another. If you haven’t read her article you should.

My projects will be divided into three piles; 1. to be frogged, 2. to be finished, 3. marinate a bit, I might finish later.

I do have one FO to show.

CreativeWhimsy's Dashing

This is Dashing by Cheryl Niamath

I’ve been very occupied with getting ready for the cold weather that is right around the corner and will probably continue to knit Hats and Mitts for awhile yet. Then this yarn-addict intends to finish off many of the projects on her wall of shame. Really, I will!

Today, don’t be ashamed, be creative!

Saved by Zero

Where she tells about her absence…

Life has a way of waking a person up. Suddenly and without warning you can get the apple sauce shaken out of you and you have to rethink your life. The title of this post is the title of a song from a few years back (OK! a few decades ago!) from The FIXX. I can remember an interview with the lead singer Cy Curnin who explained the meaning of the song. He spoke of life getting complicated and throwing everything up into the air (zero) and picking out the important stuff as it came down.

My life has been very complicated and just seemed to get worse as October came to a close. Serious illness is rampant in my family and it has fallen to the healthy to pick up the slack. I have had to eliminate a lot of activities that consumed so much of my time. I had to streamline and simplify my life. This blog was the first thing to go. I love blogging and I do intend to get back to it on a more permanent basis, but people come first. I also had to give up most of my crafting and painting… for now.

I’ll show you where I left off in November for most projects, some of which you haven’t seen before.

I only made it to two painting classes before I had to stop. I showed you the painting from the first one so I might as well show you the painting from the second even though it was deeply disappointing to me…

second painting class

These were supposed to be baby sandals. Not a subject I would have chosen and I truly believe I was so stressed at this time that I could not concentrate. Speaking of babies…

Crocheted baby booties

If you recall the Baby Feet Wash Cloth I made a few posts ago, these are for the same baby. He was born Dec. 14th, 2006 and I’m not going to be finished, even one of these, in the near future. Sorry, baby Aidan.

Both mitts finished

You may recall these mitts. I only had one made when I posted the original picture! Well, I finished the second one and am using them. I would like to create a hat using the same pattern. That is a project for sometime in the future when I have lots of time! I will post the pattern if I do!!! The pattern for these mitts is up under the tab marked pattern and they are called Newfoundland mitts.

I have, in the meantime, continued on with the same balls of Noro and begun the second mitts…

Second mitt

Look below at the balls that remain. They are not the same and I did have to fiddle a little to get the colours to go the same way in these mitts!!! I think I still have enough left over from the two balls of Noro to do another uneven pair of mitts or, maybe, a pair of child’s mitts. If I do create a child’s size, I’ll post the directions!

Second pair of mitts and remainders

This is the project I wanted to present in it’s finished state and will not be able to for a long time…

Entrelac scarf

This is the entrelac scarf I began with the soy silk yarn (Patons SWS). It feels lovely and I have only made a few mistakes (note the artful folding of the garment to hide the glaring one!). I learned entrelac using the dishcloth pattern called garterlac created by Criminy Jickets. This dishcloth is not true entrelac as it uses only the garter stitch (all knit). I also used this tutorial that shows you how to pick up the stitches. Then using this knowledge and making one side knit, the other purl, Voila! Not perfect but I like it!

Anyway, it will be a while until I post again. It was by eliminating everything and then slowly adding it back into my life that I ‘ve been able to cope. As the blog was the first to go, it will be the last to come back. I hope you have enjoyed what I have been able to post and I hope to write again in a few months.

By the way; in researching this post, I discovered a little information about Cy Curnin I found interesting. Here’s a quote directly from their website…

Q. I saw something on VH1 that said Cy was making hats. What’s going on with that project?
[Editorial Note: During a break from recording with the band in the mid-’90s, Cy started his own line of
hats, called CyWear. A segment was featured on the music feature series “Where Are They Now?”]
CY: Not making hats now, but may be making a few for the commerce page. Might be fun for the Fixx
fans to be able to buy a hat with the Fixx written on it.
ADAM: Knitted by the singer.
CY: Yeah, exactly

I just thought you might find that interesting too!

No matter what faith you are, I wish you a happy and safe holiday season.

But Why?

Wherein she tries to explain the need to create.

It’s hard to explain to another person why one chooses to knit socks or sew your own skirt (they’re so readily available and cheap at the store!) or spin your own yarn (the stores are full of it!).

For me the drive to create has always been there. It’s not necessarily because I think my product is better. I do believe the hand made article will be unique and can exceed the store bought in quality, however, for me the thrill is going back to the beginning and creating something from scratch. Doing like my forebears did and making something from what appears to be nothing. I get a deep sense of satisfaction from this act of creation. The more practical and usable the better.

I have created many things over the years. I will spare you my poetry and the book that never did happen. As you know, I knit. I have long resisted the urge to spin, the call of the fibre. It just didn’t seem right that I should spend any creative time away from knitting to spin something so readily available. Of course, ultimately, I did give in…

Second attempt at spinning
This being my second attempt at spinning. Not too bad but quite thick. If I wanted to ply, it would create a heavy worsted weight yarn, so I’m using the singles to create gloves for DD. I did, however, wish to create a thinner yarn, something lace weight but I only had this Turkish spindle and it was too heavy for thinner weight yarns. So I searched the web and found a site that showed how to make your own. It’s an Akha. I thought this should do the trick.

Broken spindleI don’t know what I did but it wasn’t correct! The spindle kicked and wobbled. Maybe the yarn was too heavy for the Akha. Maybe I was trying to force the whorl up the spindle too far. Maybe I should buy a light weight spindle and get some experience!

Spinning Success I have success, a much thinner thread! When I ply it …

Skein of homemade yarn My first skein of 2 ply homespun. I think I need some practice plying! It doesn’t look all that impressive and it isn’t quite lace weight. According to many sources this 20 WPI yarn could be considered lace weight, according to others, it is a heavy sport weight or light DK weight.

20 WPI

At any rate, it is not yet lace weight in my books. I wish to create a soft lacy scarf for my mother for Christmas. I guess I will need more practice.

The question still remains, however, why do I spin? It’s a question I ask my self. If I truly enjoy something, then, it is worth doing. My painting teacher told a story of wanting to learn to play the violin. She loved the idea of playing beautiful concertos on a violin. She loved the sound. She did not, however love the process of playing the violin. The bowing and fingering were not for her. So the violin became merely a prop for still-lifes and interesting stories. So, do I love the process? I don’t think I do yet, I’m willing to give it a bit more chance. I will spin some Merino/Silk for Mom and then we will see… oh speaking of painting, class started last week.

warm up picture We warmed up by painting with our weaker, less dominant hand. This I painted with my left hand. I know it doesn’t look like much here but it looks much better in person. In fact it looks much better than the painting I did with my regular hand.

The real picture My right hand sucks! I think I’ve got it all worked out. It is impatience. The painting with my left hand looks better because I had to slow down and watch what I was doing. With my right hand, I’m impatient and think I should be able to whip up a good painting in minutes. Nobody can, but that doesn’t stop me from thinking I should be able to. Do I enjoy the process? I don’t know. I certainly enjoy the outcome… at times.

All in all, it is the process that I love. The spinning, the knitting, the painting and writing. Nothing feels better than when things go right, smoothly and correctly, or when problems are surmounted, barriers leapt, I love it when I’ve done something quite clever!

Will I continue with the spinning and painting? I certainly will give it more of a chance, perhaps more focus and less rush. Then, we’ll see…

Keep creating, no matter what you do.