Monday, January 27, 2014

My Crafting History (Or How I Got Addicted to Knitting)

A good online friend of mine, Lizzy, recently did a blog post on her blog about her history of creativity and overall craftiness. So I decided to take a leaf out of her book, and do one of mine. Unfortunately, it's not as half as exciting as hers, but I'll do my best. It's also an opportunity for the watchers of this blog to get to know me a little better, I suppose?

I've only been knitting two years. I've been a writer for far longer, but I haven't written much in about three years. I do write in an academic sense, and also professionally (I was a member of my college's newspaper for two years of my college career).

So here's my story about how I got addicted to knitting and crochet. When I was a freshman in college, a good friend of mine thought it was a cool idea to knit together and learn. However, we both grew bored of it quickly and dropped our projects.

Several months after that happened, I began staying frequently with my boyfriend at the time. As such, I developed a close friendship with his mom, and although she was a crocheter, she taught me the basics of knitting. She also taught me how to hem pants by hand and to crochet granny squares. Later on, I bought a book about crocheting and taught the rest of the crocheting techniques I know to myself. Unfortunately, I've lost touch with her, but she was the spark that really ignited my inner creativity, and I've been knitting ever since. Most of the first things I knitted were for my boyfriend at the time and I knitted a lot of slippers at the beginning of my adventures as a knitter.

Since then, I've knitted hats, a pair of gloves, and more slippers. I also knitted a pair of gloves, an entire sweater (my biggest feat yet! not without error, though) and a stuffed animal (a dalek)!

I'm definitely too lazy tonight to post pictures, but if you want to see what I've been creating as a growing yarnster, check out my DeviantArt or, if you want to buy something, check out my Etsy... Yes I do have one! It's a bit empty at the moment but surprisingly I've legitimately made sales off of there and hope to make more, especially with my upcoming graduation and move.

I have more ideas for hats of my own personal design; these ideas will turn into fan-art hats, more than likely. I like doing fan art knitted work because a lot of people have a show or movie they're obsessed with, and personalized with that obsession makes it more special and also is great for cosplaying!

The one thing I will hopefully make someday is a Star Trek sweater uniform, probably based off of Star Trek: The Next Generation or Star Trek: Voyager. Star Trek is my jam, seriously. Would cost a lot in yarn, though, so maybe someday when I have a lot of money, I'd love to do that and wear it at cons or for a quick Halloween costume. Most recently, I've been binging on Star Trek: Voyager and it's been great (I also knit and crochet while I watch any sort of television so I can get commissions and gifts done while relaxing). It's a great show and although it's a bit campy, it's the best for downtime and doing funny commentary with my long distance bubby, my twin sister, while watching.

Have a great week, everybody!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Yarn Stash and More!

Hey everyone! I could not for the life of me figure out what to blog about, mostly because I've been behind in my reading and have been shuffled around several different places in the past few weeks. Now though, I'm back at school and facing my last semester as a graduating senior. I have some things I'm looking forward to in the next couple weeks, which I'll post if I feel necessary to.

Before I start blabbing about yarn, I'd like to talk a bit about my online presence and whatnot. Here's the thing; I do have a facebook, but I don't post on it very often. Why? Well, I suppose it's because it's really easy to 'like' someone's status and keep up with them via social networking, and I'm not going to lie, if I didn't have texting and online chat I wouldn't talk to my sister and the friends I have made online nearly as much. I appreciate these conveniences and the friendships I have made as a part of them. But I don't post on facebook too much because I prefer face-to-face interaction. A 'like' is the equivalent of acknowledgement and possibly approval (but maybe not). If I'm not in an exclusively long-distance or online relationship with you, message me and ask me for coffee or hang out time instead! And the longer we can interact with each other rather than 'liking' statuses, the better. This is not to say I hate facebook. I don't. I guess this is just me saying I'd really like to spend less time on it and more time interacting with people. A lofty ideal, but a good one and one I don't always follow. It's always something I can improve on, though.

My apologies for the unrelated content.

Now, to the stash-cave, Batman! (Bad knitting jokes are bad)

For those of you who are non-knitters or crocheters, a stash is a collection of yarn that grows over time. I guess you could compare it to a collection that grows over time, but it's a little different. You see, a yarnster's collection of yarn grows because of scrap yarn; yarn that's left over after a project. What happens to me is I might run out of yarn just before I'm finished with a project and be left with a stray skein, or I will be gifted yarn and not use it, or someone will request or buy something in colors I don't have, so I'll be forced to buy more in those colors.

So this is my stash:

I've been knitting for around two years, and although my stash has grew quite a bit over the years, it's stayed mostly the same, give or take. I'm going to explain a little bit about where I got the yarn and whatnot. There is some yarn missing here, but it's only for my WIP blanket and will probably be used promptly.

This section is my cotton yarn. Some of it is scrap, and some of it is full skeins; I use most of it to make dishcloths or washcloths. I've used some of the yarn to make squares for my crafting group's blanket exchange event, but usually just dishcloths. There aren't very many brands of cotton yarn here in the U.S., so these are either Peaches and Cream or Lily Sugar and Cream yarn... Can you tell I like variegated yarn?

Here's another section of the yarn pile. In the middle is some stuff I got from knitpicks for one of the hats I'm planning. Some stuff on the left is some unlabeled yarn I won as a prize from a knitting contest on DeviantArt that I haven't gotten around to using. The unlabeled blue yarn next to the green chunky is actually Viking wool yarn; very good quality. So good quality that it actually broke off a couple of times while I was using it, it was spun so loosely!

 In this section is some Vanna (White?) yarn, it's very soft acrylic and was a birthday gift from my step-grandmother last year. I hope to use it sometime soon. The WIP on the right is a commissioned hat that someone ordered while I was working at a manufacturing plant recently.
Lastly, here is a larger area of yarn. The grey next to the needles (the two smaller skeins) is cotton sock yarn, I think. Then the big pile of black yarn is wool! I don't own a lot of wool, but the reason that black yarn is in a pile like that is because I was using that yarn to make a gauntlet and a pair of super warm gloves! Good stuff. The rest is acrylic, except for the light yellow, which I believe is polyurathane yarn.

So there you have it, that's my collection of yarn at this time. A bit boring, but it was fun dumping it all on the bed, for sure. I'll keep you posted on my yarn (and regular) adventures in the meantime.
Have a great week!!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Projects and a New Camera!

 Hello everybody!!!

So my crafting friend Carolyn (her blog is here, it's pretty awesome, I suggest you check it out), has done a blog post in the past called "what's on the needles". I just wanted to do that to try and see if it works out, plus I'm excited about some projects I have in the works as of late.

This right here is my first finished project of 2014! It was a very quick knit for my mom, who has been in the hospital for a couple days with a serious infection in her mouth. I got the chance to visit her in the hospital today, and last night and earlier this afternoon whipped this up in anticipation of a possible visit. The yarn itself was pretty nice to work with, and the photo (although taken with my new digital camera) doesn't do the color full justice. Needless to say, she was very happy with it.

Shhh!! This is a secret project. When it's finished and the recipient has gotten it, I'll upload the whole thing and the story behind it. I just wanted to post the progress behind this because the quality is unbelievable (more raving on the camera later). Do the stripes look okay? It was originally going to be all one color (the color my thumb is touching), but I really felt that it needed a stripe to soften the brightness of the bottom yellow. Besides, I need a little of the yellow left for another hat project I'm planning!

This picture is actually just me showing off the quality of the camera, but this is actually a square for my crafting group's square exchange event! This is a monogram square, which I will crochet around until it's the size needed for the exchange. For the monograms, I've been using dishcloth patterns! They work great. You can find the patterns for all the letters of the alphabet here.

Finally, I'm going to unveil my biggest project so far; my very first blanket! I did it on a whim, mostly because I had a lot (although I see 'a lot' differently than I should, so I ran out) of vintage yarn that I wanted to use up. So it was essentially a stashbuster project. The blanket is 26 inches wide; I haven't measured the length yet but I think it's a foot long...? We'll see. I did run out of the burnt orange, so I have no idea what color will work best to finish the thing. As you can see, I started a light brown, and then will probably add on a dark brown, so maybe that will work for a "scrap" ish blanket.

Basically the same picture, but this one shows the orange more and what I was attempting to do with it.

 As you can tell, I have A LOT of time on my hands, mostly because of the holidays and whatnot. I have been working, but I usually bring my crocheting with me or work during the day. The only other obligation I have is my thesis, which I actually have been working on--hopefully it won't bore, but I'm going to do a huge blog post about it when it's finished.

Now to the camera!!! I got a new digital camera yesterday. It's a Canon PowerShot A2500, and it's

what I've been taking all these photos with. It's very simple to use and the fact that the kit came with a very nice microsd card, case, and wrist strap makes it even better. It was $90 for the kit with warranty, and though it isn't one of the better digital cameras, it does exactly what I want it to, and has the sd card so I can easily upload whenever I want to. I think it's a good investment at least, mostly because I know money will be extremely tight after I graduate. Learning how to adult will be hard, for sure.

Well there you have it, that's what I've been doing with my time as of late. Hopefully I'll finish some books and put up some reviews. I'm reading Catch-22 right now; when I'm finished reading that, I'll probably post a review.

Happy crafting and stay warm, everybody!

Friday, January 3, 2014


For those of you who don't know who I am or have just stumbled upon this blog, my name is Tiffany and I'm 21 years old. I am about to graduate college, and my two favorite hobbies are reading and knitting. So this blog has been created for the sole purpose of writing to my heart's content about my two passions, as well as comment about different things that really catch my fancy. My other blog, was kind of a flop in my eyes, because I got caught up by college and was (and still am, in different aspects) stressed out about a lot of things. I hope that this blog can be a place for me to destress and to really talk about the things I love.

In lieu of a proper introduction, here is a photo of me with one of my projects: EXTERMINATE!! (pattern isn't mine). I also don't take a lot of pictures of myself, but I'll try harder maybe for this blog.

I'm also toying around with the idea of using this blog to post about really important life events, instead of facebook, because at the core of it, I'm a writer and I really write best about the things that I care about and that impact my life and the lives of others.

Some more about me: The degree I will be getting in the spring is a Bachelor's of Arts in Sociology and English Literature. I might have mentioned this before, but I LOVE BOOKS AND I LOVE READING. So much reading, so little time. I have a basic knowledge of the Arabic alphabet and language. I also love getting mail, hence one of my old hobbies of Postcrossing (an online postcard exchange project) before it got taken over by my love of craftiness and making things. Want to know more about Postcrossing? Find out how awesome it is here.

I've been knitting for almost two years, and have honed my skill to the point where I've started making my own patterns. My favorite item to make are hats, so you'll probably be seeing a lot about hats in the near future! I've also made a sweater in the past.
Also one of my proudest moments as a crafty person. Came out great!
So to wrap it all up, this blog will be about my adventures in the world of patterning, reading, and you know, just life. And stuff. I think most of all it's going to be about not stifling myself when writing, because I have a bad habit of being super critical of what I'm writing. So be excited!

Stay warm, everybody!