Project Complete! Fancy Tiger Sailor Top

I know promised a post about my finished Sailor Top from Fancy Tiger Crafts.  I’m not sure if I’m any more blog-worthy than I was when I first completed this top, since I am running on about five hours of sleep and Fiancé is probably getting sick, which means I WILL PROBABLY GET SICK BY DEFAULT NOOOOOO.

Ahem.

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Yay!!!  It’s done!!!

I think I mentioned in my previous post that my stitching was…not the best with this piece. Exhibit A:

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Um…Exhibit B.

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(Sigh).  Exhibit C.

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Honestly, those bad stitches are in spots where people won’t see them, so I’m just not going to be precious about them (and my laziness outweighs my desire for better stitches, in this instance).  I’m really happy it’s done…but I’m embarrassed it took me so long to finish it.  All I had to do was finish “stitching in the ditch” for the collar and the hem, but it took me months to get motivated to do it.

Don’t get me wrong, I do think this was a fairly accessible pattern for a beginner like me, though the gathering step might have been tough on my own. I think my problem is I’m still too terrified to do anything of substance when it comes to sewing on my own. I feel slightly more confident in a group setting, only because I am comforted by the fact that we’re cutting patterns and fabric together.  These are steps I find absolutely terrifying but unfortunately are completely essential to sewing.  I know I can only overcome my dread of cutting by making more projects…but I just haven’t been able to work up the courage yet.

Here is another obligatory photo of me with my completed top:

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Fiancé says he can always tell when I’m completely done with taking photos, based on my dumb expressions (my words! Not his).

I should also mention that I have very long arms, and half the time I just am not sure how I’m supposed to be posing with them.

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I’m definitely getting sidetracked, but you get the gist of it.  Though it took me months to complete two simple steps, I’m glad that my pretty Sailor Top is finally complete!

 

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Wedding Procrastination Part 2: Craft Mania

I know it’s only Monday, but is it Friday yet?  Most of my mental energy has been occupied by work and wedding planning.  But I’ve had some time to sneak in some crafting.  As usual, there is not any real kind of logic to what I’m doing and why.  And of course, right when I sit down with the intent of doing wedding crafting, I’ll pick a completely unrelated project to work on instead, because procrastination, I never learn, etc.

Let’s throw some pictures up in here.

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Fiancé and I went to JoAnn on Friday night, because – I’m just gonna say it -we are getting overly ambitious with our plans for our wedding favors.  I mean, I LOVE our ideas, don’t get me wrong, but I’m pretty sure what will end up happening is (A) we will make a couple of prototypes of said item(s), realize how much work it will be, and will be paralyzed by the sheer amount of work ahead of us, and, (B) two weeks before the wedding, we’ll be like FUCK IT and throw jellybeans into mason jars or something.

Anyhoo, JoAnn had all these cute little wooden charms, so I threw a bunch of them into my shopping basket.  Like, there’s no coherent plan on what I’m going to do with these things other than paint them?  Maybe I can elegantly toss them at random friends as I walk down the aisle? I don’t really know.

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Sooo at some point this summer (spring? I don’t even know anymore), I took a Sailor Top class.  I didn’t finish the top while in class, but I had TWO MORE THINGS left to do before finishing – “stitching in the ditch” for the collar, and then the bottom hemline. That’s it.  That’s all I had to do, guys.  Yet this top has sat in my basket for at least six months before I finally dug it out and finished it.  While I’m glad it’s done, the stitches aren’t the greatest in the world. I’m just saying. Your six-year-old can probably do a straighter hemline than I did with this top.  But whatever, I was tired of it sitting in the workbasket, so it’s done.  I’ll make a post when I look blog worthy, aka not right now.  (Currently I’m wearing pajama pants with foxes on them and a Mickey and Minnie Mouse hoodie.  It’s a super sexy combo, you guys).

Ok, what’s next?

Blanket progress! I actually haven’t worked on this in a couple of weeks.

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This next project I started during the weekend, because WHY NOT:

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You eagle-eyed knitters can probably already spot my wonky slip stitches.  (Actually – the mistake is so glaring that probably anyone can see it.  IT STARES INTO MY SOUL).  But I’m too lazy to fix it. I honestly haven’t properly learned how to fix a wonky stitch, so it’s just going to be like that forever, you guys.  “Only you can see it,” my fiancé kindly told me as I showed him my progress and whined about my various mistakes.  So yes, I suppose only I will notice once it’s finished…but I WILL ALWAYS KNOW.  Yet my laziness overtakes my will for perfection. Sooooo ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Well, I guess it’s time for me to go- OH YEAH.  This project is legitimately wedding-related.

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I didn’t learn how to do French knots until 2015 or 2016, so I tend to get all FRENCH KNOT ALL THE THINGS.  I’m actually not liking how many French knots I added to this piece.  It’s kind of reminding me of this?

 

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Source: NPR

Now that I’ve given everyone nightmares, I’ll take this as my cue to exit. NIGHTY NIGHT.

Wedding Procrastination

I’m not going to lie – my default mode is being a procrastinator.  It’s hard to feel motivated for something when it seems so far away, right?  It’s why I waited 5 weeks before my test the first time around to study.

I’ve gotten better over the years, though.  You get burned enough to learn that maybe waiting until the last minute for EVERYTHING isn’t such a great idea.  Especially at work – you very quickly learn that rarely does a deliverable rely on one person.  If you wait until the last minute to complete a product, then you have to cross your fingers that the reviewers, the GIS person, and secretary can just drop whatever they are doing to help you.  Procrastinating at work is a great way to make enemies and have people hate you, so I prioritize my deadlines as much as possible.

For wedding planning, we were good about tackling the big items early.  Several weeks after we were engaged, we were looking at venues, and selected one by early February of last year.  (Though it was all for naught, since we lost our venue in December and had to scramble to find another. Ha! Ha! )  We lined up the caterer, day-of-coordinator, and photographer early.

Then summer and fall happened – traveling to Italy, studying for my exam, prioritizing work projects meant that wedding planning fell on the bottom of my priorities list.  In September, I was gripped by a sudden fear that I NEED TO BUY MY DRESS NOW, so I hurriedly made an appointment at David’s Bridal and purchased one.  And then I didn’t worry about how I was going to look until the beginning of this year.  OH GOD I NEED TO SCHEDULE A HAIR AND MAKEUP TRIAL.  AND A DRESS FITTING. AND I NEED SHOES.  AND A VEIL.

I scheduled my fitting the week before my hair and makeup trial (which was today).  While we were shopping, we found a pretty veil.  I was on the fence about getting a veil, but gave in and bought one.  (Once upon a time I thought I would make my own veil. Hahahahahaha.)  My mom and I went back and forth about getting a tiara (I was very firmly in the “not wearing a tiara ever” camp), but I found a pretty head piece that would accentuate my dress but wouldn’t give off Princess Diana vibes.  I also purchased an accessory for my dress that I don’t want to give away here in case my fiancé reads this, EVEN THOUGH I ALREADY DID ACCIDENTALLY OOPS.

After I frenetically found all the accessories I wanted, the seamstress showed me the tally for the alternations.  Now, I had purchased a cheaper dress well below my already modest budget.  But the alterations COST AS MUCH AS MY DRESS.  I started entering panic mode.  Since I wanted to have the veil and headpiece ready for my makeup trial, I resigned myself to dropping a bit of money on everything.

When I went to the cash register, I asked the cashier if I could do a layaway plan.  Nope, everything had to be paid for up front.  Of course it did.  When she chirpily read out the total, I sadly grabbed my debit card and mentally thanked the universe that I’d gotten paid the day before.  And to reward me for dropping a small fortune on accessories I would wear for five hours of my life, David’s Bridal decided to reward me with THREE FREE PRINTS TO SHUTTERFLY, YOU GUYS!

I was mad when I returned home, especially when I started pinning looks for brides with headpieces and veils, and saw veils I could have purchased at half the cost of the one I’d purchased at David’s Bridal.  If only I had taken more time to find a veil (or make one).

I was angry about it for three or four days before placating myself – the accessory plus the dress equals the modest budget I’d originally had in mind for a dress. The veil, alterations, and shoes would have been purchased regardless of the dress, so if I’d picked a more expensive dress, then that would have been even MORE money spent.

Or, Fiancé and I could have gone to the courthouse and I could have worn some jeans and a top from Target and spent $0, I’M KIDDING but kind of not really.

And yet the procrastination continues, because instead of taking the time to make wedding-related decorations, I am NOT doing those things and crafting things completely unrelated to the wedding.

Sigh.

Less than two and a half months to go, guys.  I have a feeling there will be more of these posts.

Little Box of Crochet – Christmas Decorations

I’m going to keep this pretty short because it’s January and we’re all grumpily trudging through this month. The last thing we want to be reminded of is, “HEY GUYS, remember how it was the holidays like last week?”

I’ll be honest, I didn’t finish these ornaments until January 1st.  Yep. I had promised myself that as long as it was technically the holiday season, then I could continue working on Christmas ornaments.

Let’s see what’s inside, shall we?

You get some beautiful, sparkly, festive yarn, along with a nice palette of pinks and peaches.

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You get some cute little treats with this box.  I really liked the Make Arcade’s  Christmas pudding felt kit. We don’t really have Christmas pudding in the States, but it was a fun little ornament to stitch up.

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You also get a stitch marker, postcard, and a mini candle.  It left the yarn smelling soooo good.  Sometimes when I would be working on the project, I would just shove my face into the yarn because it smelled so nice.

The ornaments were pretty straightforward and the patterns were easy to follow. Voila!!!

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I have to admit that I did not make the snowflakes.  The pattern looked a little challenging to my (beginner) eyes as well.  It was getting late in the day and I was feeling antsy about spending any more time on Christmas craft projects. I’m sure had I spent more than five minutes on it, it would have been fine.

Now I have homemade Christmas ornaments to enjoy for years to come!

 

Welcome, 2018 or: Waiting to Get January Over With

Every time a new year begins, I feel conflicted.

-Cautiously optimistic about the year ahead and what I can potentially experience or accomplish

with a piling heap of

-Wanting to accomplish ALL THE THINGS

with a dash of

-Morbid fear about what kind of sadness the new year will bring

with an extra side of

DAMN IT, I HATE JANUARY.

I do. I really do guys. I try really hard to be an optimistic person and I feel like I am much better at it than I was in my trainwreck 20s.  But. BUT.  I don’t like January and January clearly doesn’t like me.  Just about every year I stumble out of January feeling chastened and humbled.  This year was no exception, and started off with a thud as I returned to work after a short vacation and felt like a ton of bricks had hit my desk in my absence.

But I have a cuddly dog to snuggle with, lots of hot chocolate to keep me warm, and my Spotify Top Songs of 2017 playlist to keep me occupied as I work (clearly I listened to a lot of Alice in Chains last year).  I have some anniversaries to look forward to in January – six years with my love, and ten years living here in Austin and working at my firm.  (Ten years?  TEN YEARS?)  And we have a wedding to finish planning that is in three months and holy crap there’s still so much to do LET’S NOT TALK ABOUT WEDDING PLANNING IN THIS POST, OKAY?

Okay.

I also have a lot of craft projects to keep me occupied in the evenings since I can’t bring myself to open a book and study just yet.

I am working on little bits here and there for the wedding that I will consolidate in one post after I have some, you know, actual progress.  I’ve finished the November Little Box of Crochet project that I guess I will post….soon? Even though it was a Christmas box?  Whatever.

And this!

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It’s a blanket!  It’s a project for someone special.  I am hoping to finish it this month while it’s still cold and before wedding planning takes up all my free time.

As for my resolutions this year, they’re pretty vague and simple.  And, with the exception of the third, should be pretty easy to achieve.

  1. Get married
  2. Be crafty
  3. Get licensed already, for the love of god

Time for me to get some hot cocoa and ~hygge~ (It’s not a verb, is it).

 

A Tale of Two Cowls

I was having lunch today with a couple of friends, both who had lived northeast for awhile but had migrated back down to Texas.  “It’s weird that it’s the holiday season and we’re all in shorts,” one of them said.

And that’s pretty much what fall and winter is like in Texas.  Eighty degrees?  Well, I guess it’s time to pull out the winter boots, because when else are you going to wear them?  Below seventy degrees outside?  BRING OUT ALL YOUR WINTER GEAR.

I have two finished cowls to show you, even though it’s currently 75 degrees outside and I will get a heat stroke if I wear them.

Rock Climbing in Vegas Cowl

Last year Fiancé and I went to Las Vegas for a friend’s wedding. It was such a wonderful trip!  Before we left, I stopped by the Sin City Knit Shop and bought a skein of their famous “Roll the Dice” yarn.  I received a free pattern with my purchase and selected the “Rock Climbing in Vegas” pattern by Debbi McCarty.  It seemed the most accessible for a beginning knitter.

As is customary with my projects, I didn’t start it until June of this year, when my family and I were traveling to Italy. I figured it would be a fun project to take with me on a plane.  I worked on the project during the two weeks we were there.  It was a nice way to take a mental retreat.

My cousin’s cat was really intent on helping me with the project.

“I got this.”

“But seriously…just let me try it.”

My aunt’s cat really wanted to help, too.  Italian cats are so nice, you guys!

The project worked up really nicely. I love the ombré effect.

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And the cowl is so soft and squishy!

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Decreasing the size of this picture so my face doesn’t take up your entire screen.  HEY GUYS!

This cowl is perfect to wear for transitioning into cooler weather.  It’s lightweight enough so I won’t sweat to death if I wear it in sub-70 degree temperatures.

Lil’ Snood Dogg

When I got back from the field last month, I decided to treat myself to a Joann’s trip. My brother had gotten me a gift card, and the money was burning a hole in my pocket.  I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw a whole rack full of Wool and the Gang projects.  I excitedly took home a Lil’ Snood Dogg kit.

Let’s see what we’ve got inside.

The yarn is a cheaper wool/acrylic blend than the Crazy Sexy Wool you would get with ordering the kit directly from Wool and the Gang.  I’ve never worked with Crazy Sexy Wool but I liked the blend that came from the Joann’s kit.

The project is worked up in moss stitch. There were definitely some tension issues on my end.  A couple of rows to the end, I messed up and did a couple of knit stitches in a row, but was too lazy to fix it.  Sewing the ends of the cowl was a wonky task given the tension differences at the beginning and the end.  The stitches also worked okay, considering my dog decided to try and eat my knitting needles halfway through it.

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Despite the imperfections, I like the look of the cowl.  It’s snuggly and I don’t think my mistakes will be noticeable.

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I look like I’m about to rob a bank?

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MY FACE HAS TAKEN OVER YOUR SCREEN. HI.

I think I’ll wait until we get really cold weather to wear this cowl, though. So…I can wear this for like three days in January. Can’t wait!

A Chronicle of My Jerkface Dog

My dog Apollo is one of my favorite creatures in this universe.  The way he snuggles up to me on the couch after a long day or leaps with joy when I return home makes me think the feeling is mutual.  I adore my little dog, and I spend a lot of time worrying about his well-being.  I imagine this is, in a very small way, what a parent feels like.

So I love my dog.

We got that part out of the way.

But you guys…can I tell you secret?

HE IS A MASSIVE JERK.

It’s not so bad now that he’s a little older.  Apollo is five and a half now, and he’s much calmer now.  But when he was a puppy, oh god.  I still remember the second day after we’d gotten him.  I was sitting on my carpet in tears, staring at this adorable but totally destructive little puppy, thinking, “What have we done?  I HAD A GOOD LIFE.”  In his heyday, Apollo chewed up, among other things, my carpet, the bottom of my blinds, two laptop chargers, and shoes.  And since he’s a dachshund, he’s incredibly stubborn and, admittedly, not very well-trained.

Like I said, he’s a massive jerk.  I don’t remember when the switch happened – when he stopped being utterly exhausting to a pet that brings me a lot of joy, but it happened and here we are now.  He’s cuddling next to me as I type this.

But the jerk gene is strong in this pup and he wills it as he chooses.  When Apollo was a baby, his insatiable appetite to destroy everything in my apartment was really a function of his curiosity.  Now that he’s older, he only steals or chews things when he wants our attention.

Relevant example – I was cooking dinner yesterday.  Fiancé was traveling home after being gone for several days, and I was very excited to see him.  I’d left a knitting project on the couch so I could preheat the oven for the chicken wings I was making.  You guys are probably all, “Why did you leave your knitting project on the couch after talking about what a jerk your dog is?” I KNOW, GUYS.  But I’d already taken him for a walk and thought that I’d expended any energy he had.  Wrong.  I heard this unusual crunching sound and rushed out of the kitchen to check on Apollo.

Jerk face knitting needles

This is not the first pair of knitting needles he has munched on. (I should have known better, etc etc I GET IT).  Thankfully, he did not ingest the bit that he’d torn off.  I was very upset since I don’t have extra needles in this size, and I wanted to continue being a loner introvert and not have to, you know, drive to a store and deal with people.

I found a pencil sharpener from my cosmetics kit and was able to file the needle down fairly well.  It’s been a bit of a struggle to continue using this particular needle, but it’s getting the job done without too much damage to the project I’m knitting.

Apollo’s reign of terror and bid for attention did not stop there. Fiancé surprised me with an adorable teddy bear when he came home.  I placed the bear on my coffee table and was attempting to take a picture of it when my dog snatched the bear and ran off with it.

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I laughed so hard when I saw this picture.  It is probably one of my favorite pictures of Apollo. This perfectly captures his endearing jerkface qualities.

And then, by the end of the night, he crashed hard.

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