The yarn room….

I have decided that this coming weekend will be extra productive and will result in a clean, organized yarn/craft room. My plan is to move the yarn room to a different location. On one hand, I am excited for the weekend to get here. However, on the other hand, I feel like this is a mountain sized task that will be hard to accomplish. So many thoughts are running through my head: where to start? How long will it take? Will the task get completed? With such a daunting task, I just want to bury my head into my knitting and Netflix!

I must think of the positives: I love organization, I want the current yarn room for another use, I can find out everything I have, and so on. I can do this! Netflix and knitting can wait!

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Distractions, distractions, distractions….

When it comes to the web and technology, social media and ravelry are both wonderful and my downfall. They get my creative juices going and improve my abilities but they also result in wasted hours that could be put to better use knitting or painting.

And now, I have another blessing/weakness- my mother’s new cri-cut. I love looking at design space and Pinterest, fantasizing about what I will make next. Boy, is my last long!

I couldn’t understand what all the fuss was about when it came to the machine. All I knew was it cut materials, what did I need that for? Apparently everything, as I have made three projects in the week alone, two vinyl iron-ons (should be three but the cutter didn’t work on one attempt), and a stencil for a ceramic tile trivet. I plan on making a few projects for this work week. Whoot whoot! The only problem is material costs, there goes my extra money!

I love looking at the design space projects. I have spent way too much time drooling over projects. It is interrupting my knitting time and goals but I am having fun!

I know I have been absent from AmandaBanana Knits and Paints, I kept thinking about the blog and wanting to write but I hated the fact that I had been lazy and hadn’t written. So because I hadn’t written for weeks, I was afraid or embarrassed to get started. Then weeks became months and the embarrassment and fear or failure grew bigger. My silly fears became my downfall and I didn’t post for the last few months.

I decided that January, full of resolutions, would be the perfect time to restart AmandaBanana Knits and Paints. A new year, a new me and a second beginning for my blog. Fear will no longer stand in my way.

In the beginning of 2917, I had three knitting goals (if I remember correctly):

  1. Minimize my yarn stash and use 20 balls of yarn before buying more
  2. Make my husband a sweater
  3. Make me a cowichan sweater

So how did things go? I decided in June that I would wait on the second and third goal. I really wanted to work on minimizing stash and purchasing yarn for two sweaters would not help with that, especially when I already had yarn for multiple sweaters!

The first goal went well, I used 20 balls from stash, it took me longer than anticipated as I was on a fingering weight kick! For the year I ended up using 49 balls of yarn, way more than I purchased. Until the end of December, any purchases were used immediately. After that I focused on Christmas knitting.

Here is my full jar of yarn labels.

For 2018, I have some similar knitting resolutions:

  1. Minimize yarn stash, only participating in a one ball per month subscription of Knitted Wit yarn my local LYS is having.
  2. Having 60 balls of yarn in my jar by the end of 2018
  3. Use up scrap yarn, it is beginning to pile up!

I still plan on making my two sweaters but I really like the idea of minimizing stash and decluttering my yarn room.

Good luck to you all on your knitting resolutions!

Upcycling in the Summer

Once upon a time, there was an old locker who sat all alone in a dirty old shed. He gathered dust and rust, and was not much to look at. He wished and he wished for changes to be made and BOOM his fairy godmother obliged.

What a difference a wash, sanding, primer, paint can make!

From the dirty shed to the laundry room! Now what to paint next?

Squak!

These past few weeks I have been slapping paint on everything! I have made Christmas gifts, kitchen items, you name it. I am on a roll!

My most recent item is a stoneware plate that used a Magic designer line pen and Duncan underglaze paints, which was supposed to result in a water color look.

I chose a crazy chicken face, applied it to a plate, and then painted away, using blues, reds, greens, yellows, and a light brown. Then I took the designer line and lined the whole thing in black.

And of course, forgot to take a photo of the pre-glazed plate! The end result came out beautifully, except for one little thing: the reds and yellows did not show up. It is likely they magically disappeared! The yellow was used by others and it showed up on their plate. Mine? Nope. The paints must have thought it looked better without them.

Here is the end result! The whole face is missing most of the color, but I like the end look.

Quit Needling Me!

I have the perfect two balls of fingering yarn for a shawl: a deep green and a variegated light red/green mix. Together they will make the perfect accessory.

I wound the hanks into balls and then began looking for the perfect pattern. I thought the pattern would call to me and the second I saw it, I would know. Unfortunately the perfect pattern never came.

I would work on other projects, searching Pinterest and revelry in the night, still searching for that perfect pattern. Still it hid from me.

Finally, I decided I would make that shawl now! Now, now, now! I was sick of waiting. No more hide and seek! I spent a large part of yesterday looking and decided on the pattern. It called for a DK wait and was $6. It was well worth the splurge. I decided to go down to a size 6 needle to deal with the yarn difference.

The yarn and the pattern were not happy, they despised each other from the start. So, grumbling about my wonderful paid pattern, I went searching for something new. I found another pattern.

I decided to stick with the size 6 needles, even though the pattern called for size 5. I needed those for a collar for a project I need to finish today (it must be DONE today!) and I didn’t feel like looking for another pair. The yarn still could not get along with the pattern and needles.

I kept looking and looking into the evening hours, the yarn liked nothing I suggested. I was about ready to put them aside and work on something less picky.

Finally I decided to do a Cameo shawl. I made one in the past and I loved it. I didn’t necessarily want to make the same thing again but why not try it. For this, I decided on the size 5 needles as these are what I used last time. I can go searching in the yarn room for another pair for my other project. After all, I can’t be that lazy?!

Finally the yarn was happy. I found out it wasn’t the patterns it was against, but the size 6 needles. Next time, I will listen to the yarn better! (And not be so lazy when looking for needles!h

Car knitting

This week has revolved around a lot of car travel; either to and from the airport, visiting local attractions, and driving a few towns over to watch the eclipse.

During all that driving, I was a knitting machine! I finished a beautiful shawl in a couple of days. My wrists were starting to hurt from all of the knitting but I ended up with a gorgeous finished project!

I have also started my next car project! Socks! Well, actually I am knitting socks at home, in anticipation of going somewhere. Hopefully this will minimize Second Sock Syndrome! (I am also procrastinating on knitting a sweater for the fair, it needs to be done in two weeks. Eek!)

Happy knitting!

Ho ho ho!

I am feeling Christmassy this summer as I start making my holiday gifts. I am on a role! Just like Santa, I have made a list (in Excel, no less) and am checking it twice!

For the nieces and nephews on my husbands' side, I have hand painted Santa mugs. Not only are they cute and made with love, but I think they will make keepsakes for the future.

Ho ho ho! Is anyone else getting in the Christmas spirit this August?

Amanda

Fair Time!

One of my big knitting motivators is the local fair. The idea of winning a couple of bucks and a ribbon is all I need to get some knitting done! For this year, I plan on entering the following:

  1. Two shawls (one of my own design)
  2. A pair of slipper socks I made my husband
  3. A baby sweater with an owl on the front- this just needs to be seemed together
  4. An adult lace cardigan- which has not been started
  5. A hand painted santa ceramic cup- which will be done this week
  6. A rug made with yarn- still working on this as well

I may add some other items to my list as the date gets closer. I have another week or so to get my registration list in and then until the beginning of September to get everything finished.

Let’s get those fingers knitting!

Amanda

Knitting Goals

I love to give myself knitting goals to keep me motivated: knit four inches by the end of the day, a sleeve by the end of the weekend, you get the drift. My knitting goal for this week was to have my Joker & the Thief shawl completed, with ends woven in and on the blocking board by Wednesday. And I did it! The project is done and hanging on a mannequin. If it wasn't so hot, I would be wearing it every where!

Now I need to get the next project started. I have made my gauge swatch but need to start the actual knitting. The fair is coming and I need some eye catching products to enter!