Sunday, August 5, 2018

A Sock Journey


Hi there!
The last time I posted in January, I was in search of a simple beginner's sock pattern, determined to try again to learn to knit socks.  This is not a new endeavor for me since the previous year I attempted to learn to knit socks.  Since I've always been a do-it-yourself kinda girl, self taught mainly by watching or reading How To books, etc. it seemed logical for me to sign up to take a knitting course and I found one online to try.  In fact, the knitting was pretty darned easy until the very end of the process when the heel was added in after the sock was completed. That's where things went south for me. While trying to put in the after thought heel my stitches accidentally slipped off the SIZE ONE needles! For me, it was a bit of a disaster because I was unable to pick the stitches back up again (tiny stitches, tiny needles & bad eyesight) without twisting and losing some stitches in the process. Not that I didn't try, mind you but the effort didn't seem worth the aggravation I was having at the time. Sometimes you need to know when to "let it go".  THAT was my first attempt to knit socks...not a complete fail....but very frustrating, enough so that I put it aside until THIS year.
 Once again, my 2018 goal was to learn to knit socks and I refused to give up my desire of learning to knit socks. My Mama always told me where there's a will, there's a way (in other words if you want something bad enough, then find a way to make it happen-don't give up trying).  Meanwhile I began to do research on sock knitting, reading books, patterns for heel techniques (since that seemed to be the part that stumped me in the process), exploring Toes-Up vs. Cuff Down, Magic Loop vs. Double Pointed Needles and watching You Tube videos on sock making. Eventually I felt encouraged to TRY it again.





Perhaps you are looking into learning to knit socks too, if so these are some of the things I've learned about sock knitting.

  • You Tube is your friend.  Videos are plentiful.
  • Ravelry.com is your friend.  Lots of free patterns available, plus tons of inspiration.
  • Big box store yarns are good for learning.  Later invest in good quality yarn by supporting your local yarn store. 
  • Expect to make mistakes, it's okay. Learn from your mistakes.
  • NEVER EVER GIVE UP! The first pair of socks that come off your needles will be worth the effort it took and the second pair will go quicker and easier.
  • A word of caution: sock knitting can become an addiction. 

My First pair of hand knit socks
Here's an update on my progress:

I've learned to knit socks! Are they perfect every time? No, but each pair is wonderful in it's own way and I learn something with every pair.  Each time a sock comes off my needles, I immediately cast on the second sock and when I complete a pair of socks I'm totally delighted and cast on for a new pair.  There is always a sock on my needles no matter what else I happen to be knitting.  

Bee Creative! 
Suzy 


P.S.

It pays to never, ever give up on learning something new. Thanks Mama!








Thursday, January 25, 2018

Knitting Therapy

Hi there,

Happy New Year!  I’ve been mentally writing blog posts to you over the last month or so but haven’t actually written them down until now.  Wait, that’s not entirely true, I wrote a nice post before the end of 2017 but for whatever reason, it was deleted mysteriously by blogger while I attempted to insert photos using my new iPad <big eye roll>.  Geez, sometimes technology is NOT my friend, if you know what I mean.

Oh looky what I did! Yay!!  Okay, the above photo is my new obsession....winding yarn with Ball Winder received as a Christmas gift, there’s also a yarn Swift that completes the yarn winding experience.  The Swift is for yarns that are in hanks, these yarns were in skein form from Joann’s not the fancier yarns in hank form. I just waned to get a feel for the ball winder and I’m pleased to report it was a successful experience and I’ll be “caking” up more skeins in the future, which makes knitting so much easier.

After the “fall” and between physical therapy twice a week and recovering from PT & working, the remainder of time I spent time knitting more cowls, a shawl and starting a pair of socks (which I recently “un-knit”).  



  I really fell in love with the Concerto Cowl pattern and have since knitted several cowls using variegated yarns, each time being totally delighted with the “new”look just from changing yarn colors and the simple slip stitch pattern.


Since I love the pattern so much it’s only natural to segway into knitting other projects like a hat and scarf!  Who knew one simple pattern would lead to more creative design projects.  If you’d like the free pattern from Lion Brand just click this link and then search for Concerto Cowl . Enjoy!




Each week at knitting group I’m inspired by the gorgeous wraps my friend Gail makes and thought it would be fun to try one.  This is my very first attempt at a wrap/shawl with lace.  Pinterest is a great source for ideas and inspiration and after several hours looking I found a free pattern for the Gatlin scarf. Simple stockinette for a beginners to knit and interesting with yarn overs to create the lace.

Once again I used a variegated yarn, this time in cotton baby weight #3. I love the drape of the knitted fabric, lightweight and pale variegated colors.

For Christmas my husband gave me a set of Chiagoo interchangeable circular knitting needles I’ve been eyeing for some time. then purchased a set of DPNs to complete the set, all in hopes of keeping my New Years promise to myself of learning to knit socks!







Here’s
 the socks I started on my new Chiagoo needles, then ripped them out because I wanted to try a different pattern. Stay tuned for the sock saga....
TOBECONTINUED

Until next time, BEE CREATIVE! 
Suzy












Monday, December 11, 2017

Fall In the City



Hello everyone,

My goodness how time got away from me since August! Let’s say it has been busy around here between hurricane season in August & September, a trip to NY that has me still recovering from an accident and working through the pain of a fractured and dislocated shoulder. Thanking God because it could be a lot worst.

It was Girls Day Out in NYC my daughter Amanda and I were having the best day taking the train into the city to visit the 911 Memorial,walking the Brooklyn Bridge, eating dumplings in China Town enjoying the sites and sounds of NYC in the morning and seeing the off Broadway play “Carole King Beautiful “ in the afternoon, then heading to Tony’s for dinner via Rockefeller Center when I missed a step and it all went down hill from there. It was one of the best and worst days of my vacation.  Ten hours in the emergency room in NYC was not what I had envisioned for vacation but there I was,  unfortunately. Thank God for my sweet daughter who was great in an emergency situation and my dear son in law who drove two hours to come get us in the middle of the night, and who held my hand as they put my dislocated shoulder back in place.  It’s been a long journey from that night until now, six weeks later and I will spare you the details. As I write this post I’m grateful for my family and friends that continue to support, encourage and pray for me.

The good news is that although many areas of my life are limited right now,  I’m able to knit for short period of time each day and count this as a blessing. You could say  it’s a form of therapy (both physical & mental) for my arm when it is out of the sling. I’ve knit several cowls and discovered mixing variegated yarn with solid will give the look of fair isle knitting, using a drop stitch pattern. It is always fun to discover a new way to knit the same pattern over and over again with a new look.

So, you might have noticed that there aren’t any photos in this post.  Having recently purchased an iPad I’m still trying to figure work out how to insert photos.  It’s just a small technical glitch so come back again real soon and there will be lots of knitting and things to see.

Until then....
Be Creative
Suzy


Tuesday, August 22, 2017

HOT OFF MY NEEDLES-FINITO

Hi Everyone!

It's been a few weeks since my last post and I've been a busy girl.  I've been creating art and knitting my fingers to the bone <grin>.   That's right, my Wips (works in progress) are whittling down and soon I'll be forced to work on the Summer KAL (Knit A Long) Zadie Sweater.  It's been so hot here that the thought of working on a sweater makes me sweat, so I put it aside to work on some smaller projects.

For the life of me, I can NOT remember where this yarn was purchased; so bad about taking the wrapper off yarns when knitting and forgetting where I put them for safe <wink wink> keeping. Before my BFF Bonnie came down a few weeks ago, while doing the mad dash knitting pile clean up I came across a WIP and knew that needed to be finished.  The Drop Stitch Scarf.



Oh my, the colors and texture of yarn was just so pretty.  Don't you agree?  Stunning changes in color and texture made my heart sing as I was knitting along.  Oh did I mention I had to look up how to do the Drop Stitch pattern again on You Tube?!?  Here it is if you are interested in trying the Drop Stitch scarf.  This yarn was perfect for the Drop Stitch pattern, believe me I knit it several different ways before coming up with this pattern.

Next I was on Craftsy.com (have I mentioned how much I LOVE Crafsy.com?) and found a few patterns/kits I wanted to try for Fall/Winter.  This one is called the Leaf Press Shawl  and it is just so pretty, loving the stripes and leaf pattern. I couldn't help myself.  Look for a post when this scarf/shawl is done!


This kit is called  Concerto Cowl .  This is my finished Concerto Cowl that is hot off my needles and it will not be my last one either, I can already see it in other colorways. It knits up very fast and is a fun pattern to knit and will be nice and warm for my next trip to NY in October.



Oh AND I finished my Cable Knit Blanket last week!!! I'm definitely on a knitting roll!!!  This is called Violet's Cable Knit Blanket.   I LOVVVVEEE it !   I knit it up in Big Twist yarn color Sky Blue and it is Soooo soft, yet light weight enough as a nice throw over the legs when needed.


My husband has put a claim on it and my daughter has already said she wants one.....good thing this knits up pretty quickly with large needles and once you get the initial rows started, it is easy to follow the pattern without having to read or memorize it.  The only thing you have to keep track of are the rows where cables are inserted.  Easy peasey cables too!  I could knit this one in my sleep. Lol!

Well, that's what I've been up to lately, how about you?  Got some finished projects? Would love to see them.

Bee Creative,
Suzy

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Hi Everyone!

Last week I missed posting on here.  It was that kind of week. It's my husband's annual trip north to Saratoga Springs and the annual visit from my BFF.  BFF Bonnie was coming in town and there was prepping for the big week of art and some housekeeping to be done beforehand between working and getting hubby out the door.  If you know me, you know I'm a procrastinator, last minute kinda gal. But I got it done and was ready for some fun!

Bonnie was here when I arrived home from work on Wednesday afternoon, we caught up, did a little grocery shopping (no, I didn't get to the store beforehand) and I cooked us a nice dinner to start off the visit.  Unfortunately, I had to work on Thursday but that gave Bonnie a chance to rest up.

Let me give you a little back story: Bonnie and I love to paint with watercolors and when we get together we try to get out to paint, sketch and draw, (see our  blog: SketchyGirlz) but this year we decided to try acrylic painting.  I was recently inspired by a painting class where I used acrylics as my medium and shared the experience with Bonnie about the class, she naturally wanted to try acrylic painting.

Another back story: In January I had joined an online site Creative Bug that has loads of crafts (knitting, crochet, cooking, jewelry making, etc.) plus videos how-to's and classes.  You've got to check it out! Yes, it does involve a subscription to join but it is WELL WORTH the cost.  On this site is a class by famed artist Flora Bowley called Intuitive Painting which I really enjoyed and thought it would be the perfect art adventure for Bonnie and I to try when she came down for her annual visit.

Armed with video instruction we took a "walk about", taking photos for inspiration and then interpreted the images for the painting process.
 I will not spoil the process for you, but let's say it was WAY out of our comfort zones and took multiple times of viewing the videos to be able to paint in such an abstract way. Bonnie is a realistic painter and I am too pretty much, although I have a more intuitive paint style than her.  She likes to know what the END result is going to be, where I'm more of a go with the flow/intuitive painter. Nothing wrong with either style. Flora's process is very intuitive and somewhat abstract (at least for this lesson) in the fact that this process doesn't really involve a great deal of realism.

Suzy BEFORE: Half way thru process. 
With that said, we dove in and just tried to go with the flow, at times it was easy and at times it was downright hard.


Throughout the process when we would doubt our abilities, we just repeated Flora's mantra "we are awesome for trying this" and we would say out loud what we LIKED about our painting.
Bonnie BEFORE Half Way thru process




Half-way thru the process I think we both wanted to call it quits but we pressed on.  As you can see the half way point was mostly abstract and way out of our comfort zones.







It WAS fun and it WAS challenging and we both were pleased at the final product and we both said we would try it again and are planning another painting using this method.  
AFTER: Bonnie's Final Painting 

AFTER: Suzy's Final Painting
  So all in all, a very successful art adventure was had by the Sketchy Girlz.  Tell us what you think. We'd love to hear your comments. Oh and be nice!

Bee Creative!
Suzy

Thursday, July 27, 2017

WEEK 2 ICAD

Hi Everyone!

Week 2 of the Index Card A Day challenge is posted and up on 30 Days in April ICAD.  Just click on the sidebar and you'll be able to view Day1-7 and Day 8-14.

Let me know what you think! Have a great week.

Bee Creative,
Suzy

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Veggie Tale

BreesMimi Design Studio (BMDS)

Hi Everyone!

It's hard for me to remember a time when I didn't eat veggies, even when I was little there wasn't much in the veggie department I wouldn't eat.  But when my husband and I met some forty plus years ago, he wasn't a fan of vegetables, in fact the only veggies he ate were corn, tomatoes and onions.   He told me the story about how much he disliked peas and how he put them down the heat register in the floor to hide them!  Many years later his father discovered the dry, hard peas when he investigated a strange rattling sound..... coming from the heat register.  We still laugh about that one.
Watercolor sketching veggies

SO how did I get him to willingly eat veggies?!?  The answer was to smother the vegetables in cheese sauce.  Yep, I lured  umm, introduce him to veggies smothered with cheese and gradually weaned him from the sauce. He's a big veggie lover now, with the exception of beets.  Okay, I can live with that, because I Do have one vegetable I won't eat. Brussel sprouts.  Ewww! Gag. Enough said.

But why all this talk about veggies?





 I've been painting veggies for an online class with on of my favorite artist, Tracy Fletcher King.  Having fun with the sketching and water color.
Finished watercolor of fruit & veggies.
Here's a few of my favorite veggies/fruits, in case you can't make out what they are: eggplant, pears, apples, carrot and zucchini. 

Sometimes a process will inspire other things like the Index Cards below.



Hope you find some delicious inspiration today!  

Bee Creative,
Suzy