Friday, July 31, 2015

Back to the Beginning

My first knitting project was a washcloth. I still maintain that's a great first project. It's small, uses only knit stitches, can be jazzed up as you gain more skills, and washes dishes extremely well regardless of how misshapen it may be. (And it may be very misshapen, as my first washcloth illustrates.)

Recently a friend asked for some washcloths. I eagerly went to the basket of cotton yarn I keep for just such occasions and cast on.

First, I did a leaf one. I hadn't knit that pattern before, and it was good fun.*

Then I tried a Chinese Wave pattern. This one is nice because the slipped stitches are all slipped on the wrong side, which means you're not constantly flipping your yarn from the front to the back as you would be if you were slipping on the right side. It's a small change, but it makes the pattern much faster. The pattern called for each row to be 45 stitches. I cut it down to 41 and it still seemed really large. I stopped when I ran out of that color yarn, and it seems to be a good size, although a tiny portion of my brain keeps muttering, "It should've been a square." That part is just being difficult. After all, hands are vaguely rectangular, so why wouldn't washcloths be?

Then I did The Washcloth, the first pattern I've ever knit.

It felt really good to go back to the beginning.

*I wanted to write "good, clean fun" since it was a washcloth, but I refrained... until I got to the footnotes. It was the best I could do.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Fruit and Veggies Towel

It's surprising how much I've been enjoying embroidery recently. I look through various books at their fancy stitches, admire lovely embroidered art online, and then happily backstitch cartoon-y fruits and vegetables.

I've made a dishtowel* that I won't let anyone use. I fully recognize the ridiculousness.

Ooh la la! Vous etre tres jolie, l'orange!


I'm just a carrot, dancin' a jig while my neighbor the tomato eyes me hungrily.

I don't really understand what's happening.

Stitch on, my friends.

*Dishtowel is a Most Awesome Tea Towel and pattern is I Luv Veggies, both from Sublime Stitching

Monday, July 27, 2015

Eagle Creek Park

More staycation pictures! We spent a lovely few hours hiking in Eagle Creek Park.


Go, pollinators!

Looking across Eagle Creek

Maybe I'm a sap, but I see a heart.

Yup, we did that.

What about if the flag looks like this?

My favorite.

I always am stunned by how beautiful lotus flowers are.

We had sun and rain, which was just fine with us. We started the longest trail, deciding we could stop halfway if we wanted. We were having such a great walk that we did the whole trail. Then we went home, showered, and went to dinner to eat fried pickles, burgers and fries at Burgerhaus. I love us.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Embroidery for Lynn

Yesterday was my dear friend Lynn's birthday. I gave her two pieces.

Sometimes you need to gently remind people about the importance of interpersonal communication.
This is more polite than yelling, "If you don't turn off that phone, I'm going to smash it into tiny bits."

Lynn IS magic. I hope this reminds her that I know it, too.

Lynn, I'm really grateful to have you in my life. Happy birthday!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

A Reminder

I think everybody does it. I look at my life and see only the things that I perceive to be lacking. I look at my job and I see the frustration, the annoyance with coworkers' habits, the fact that I'm not able to sit on my couch, knitting and eating bonbons all day.

I forget that my job is actually pretty great. I'm helping people have a meaningful place to express their religious identity. I don't have to deal with people all day (just some). I have my own space. I work very normal hours. I work with people who care about each other, even though that sometimes feels little more like a dysfunctional family than I'd prefer.

And, for the love of all that is holy, I am lucky. There are so many jobs that suck, not just ones that I might not enjoy, but ones that are dirty and smelly and filled with assholes and dangerous. So. Many.

So, as a reminder, I made myself something and hung it in my office.

Get a grip, Bonnie. You do not work in a Chilean mine.


Tuesday, July 21, 2015

White River Gardens

Andrew and I celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary on June 17. We thought about going to Chicago for a week's vacation to celebrate, but the hotel in Chicago was very expensive, even when I was trying to be frugal. We decided we'd rather spend the money on fun things rather than an uncomfortable bed in a tiny room, so we stayed home and played tourist in our own city.

One morning was spent at White River Gardens. We spent a lot of time enjoying the butterfly house.

In the gardens themselves, there are very odd animal sculptures. I'm pretty sure they did not get the intended reaction out of me.

Come here, tiny child, SO I MAY EAT YOU.

Okay, so what's the next step toward world domination?

Hic--And then I said--hic--Wait, what? 

And this goose is shoving his friend in the pond. Real nice, goose.

Despite the sculpture, the gardens were gorgeous.

I highly recommend a visit if you're ever in Indy! Oh, and there's a zoo next door, too, if you're into that.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

In Which We Meet Violet

Through the magic of the Internet, I met Katie. She's an excellent friend. One of her amazing traits is that she can knit and crochet. She is, in fact, bicraftual. In a clear illustration of her awesomeness, she offered to crochet the pieces necessary to make a happypotamus (these pieces shall henceforth be known as "hippo bits").

My end of the bargain was to sew the hippo bits together and fully assemble said hippos. I would send one back to Katie.

Katie then realized that hippo bits are a tedious pain in the ass. She finished mine anyway because she is awesome. Hers is on hold.

first pieces!

I started assembling last week.

hippo bum!

After I sewed all the pieces, I gave it a soak. The hippo had been through a lot and needed a bit of spa time. (The floating bits in this picture are the two ears and the final nose patch that gets attached after all the stuffing happens.)

The pattern recommends using glass or plastic eyes with a little hook on the end. I didn't have these and didn't want to buy 100 eyes--I don't make that many things that require eyes--so I used the pair I had left from when I knit my sister a teddy bear. They had posts that pushed into washer thingies (technical term).

Trying to do it once the hippo was completely sewn made me want to kill people, so I did a little surgery and took out a seam around the eyes. Then Andrew muscled the eyes into place.

The hippo, now finished, sprang to life on the dining room table. This made Nocturne the cat furious as she gets in trouble for being on the table.

So we went outside.

She visited the stokesia...

...and the coneflowers...

...played hide and go seek...

...reveled in getting to be a hippo on a bird's back rather than the usual other way around...

...contemplated living in one of my planters--to be fair, she looked great with that mix of colors...

...hung out in the hydrangeas...

...checked out some petunias...

...and ended her afternoon smelling some coleus.

Her name is Violet, and she is beautiful.