Distractions

It’s been a…difficult few weeks here at Chez Goth. An understatement, really, but I get inappropriately sweary when I think about what’s been going on. So difficult it is.

I’ve been dealing with it by distracting myself. Music, spinning/spinning prep, knitting, crochet, cross-stitch. Distractions.

My favorite distraction so far, the Steotchalong 2016, is almost over. It really has been fun, and the theme is one I’ve been hoping for for 4 Steotchalongs now.

The next-to-last part of the Mystery Steotchalong 2016.
The next-to-last part of the Mystery Steotchalong 2016.

Just a few words left to go, and it’ll be ready to frame.

I’ve also been working on something that I keep putting off. It’s a crochet pattern, Asphyxiation, by Severina (Aundrea Murphy). Originally published on The Anticraft! back in August-ish 2006, it’s something that I’ve been wanting to make for a while. In fact, I’ve started and ripped it out at least a dozen times from then to now. I also have Just Enough linen handspun to finish. Coincidences FTMFW! I want to wait until I block the body of the choker to take a blog picture. Right now I’m almost finished with the Irish rose for the middle. It’s not black – it’s bright blue – but I’d like to make another one with black commercial crochet cotton. Just so I can say I’ve done it.

For music, I’ve found Mixlr and am trying to figure out what I’d like to play. There’s also going through the Clara Schumann Book of Secrets for the piano. I will master the 3 Romances if it kills me.

That’s pretty much it. Just things to keep me occupied and not thinking about What If and What May Happen.

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Cross-Stitch and You

3 weeks ago, Steotch started the 2016 Steotchalong. It’s the cross-stitch equivalent of a mystery KAL/CAL, and I have to admit it’s a hell of a lot of fun. This is the fourth one, I think? So far, there have been homages to Pulp Fiction, Snoop Dawg, Star Wars, and…? I’ve got no idea what it’s going to be this time.

Here are some pictures. Week 1:

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No idea.

Week 2:

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Still no idea.

Week 3:

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Nope.

And tomorrow is Week 4. Maybe I’ll have an idea by then.

I’ve written about my cross-stitching before. It’s kind of relaxing, even though I kind of looked down on it when I was doing “regular” free hand embroidery. There are a lot more kinds of charts than there were when I was a kid, and they’re a lot more fun to work on. There’s even a chart on the side menu as well. It needs to have a new border, but you’re welcome to put whatever you’d like as a border there. Come join the Steotchalong!

The Start of a New Week

This past weekend was a bit rough. It was a long weekend for Baby Goth, and we’ve been doing free/cheap things which has been a challenge. She did spend most of Saturday out with her gang, so that was good.

I spent the weekend working on this chart, which was a good distraction.

We’ll see if it uploads, shall we? Not correctly. Sigh.

Now that that’s finished, I need some more to do. I think I may do some crewel work this week with this: crewel1

It’s more of the Churro; light gray to start with, which made some nice-looking dyed crewel yarn. Probably on some hemp twill canvas for a bag, but we’ll see.

The Dalek is coming along. I keep frogging and repeating the lace, as I’ve not been happy with how some of the lace turned out. I think I’ve got it this time. The yarn has held up surprisingly well, considering the abuse I’m putting it through.

(Something)alongs and me

When it comes to doing things with other people, I have issues. Knitalong, stitchalong, crochetalong, singalong…Things like that. I start off well, but tend to not finish things. Much like the vast pile of UFOs in various corners of the house. This year’s been a little different. So far, anyway.

A and I have committed to going on a hike every Monday when school was out. I had classes this summer, so it was a good way to work off some stress and spend time with my not-little-at-all-anymore girl. We went on part of the Colorado Trail – the most northern section, where the bighorn sheep hang out. We went along another section of the South Platte River – a bit further north, in a nice park near the highway and what looked like some mighty fine tubing opportunities. We only missed one day, while we had company here that couldn’t physically do the hike. Or any hike, as it turned out. But it was fun, and I got some Monday mornings I wouldn’t trade for anything.

And…I participated in a couple of ____alongs. The first one was the Steotchalong. I did the first one last year, a portrait of Samuel L. Jackson as Jules in Pulp Fiction, along with one of his more famous quotes. This year’s is waiting for a post of its own, but I really liked how it turned out. Not nearly as much of a challenge as last year’s, but still fun. If they have it next year, I’m doing it next year.

I also started the Geek-a-long at Lattes and Llamas. So far, I have all these:
Geekalongsquares1
(Not the greatest picture, but I’m recovering from our company. Sigh.)
I’m redoing the Slytherin House square next week. There are two very different colors of green, and I’ve decided on the darker, more grass-looking green for this one. There are all four Hogwarts houses on the Geekalong list, and I’d like to do the rest of them too. This has gotten my double knitting going a lot faster. A lot. A is pretty excited about this as well, and wants me to do the Who square as well. Maybe next weekend

Still Here, More or Less

These days less, but yeah. Still kind of here.

This year, I’m in school. So there’s not a lot of time for fun. But some.

Our Big Kid is going into 7th grade this year. She’s been a little bummed about not doing very much due to Mama doing her own classwork. In other news, the ocean is a little deep.

But we have been doing some things. This, apparently, has been designated the Year We Work on the House to Keep it From Falling in on Us. We’ve painted the house. We’ve replaced roughly 3/4 of the trim boards on the chimney and outside the kitchen. We’ve even rebuilt the garage floor. W00t.

Big Kid has gone to a couple of movies. She’s read probably more YA fiction in the past month than, well, ever before. I have even discovered what’s more awkward than watching a movie with a sex scene with your parents. Trust me. Don’t make me spell this out for you, for the love of Bob.

I’m still working my way through the superwash blue-faced Leicester. Even gotten a little of the stash worked down. There was a bookmark for a swap,

a shawl for 6th grade continuation
(it’s the Mermaid’s Song shawlette from the Unofficial Harry Potter Knits collection) out of some of the BFL,
and something else. Something that looks a lot like a big piece of stockinette with some beads on it, and will hopefully look a lot better once it’s bound off and blocked.

Also…some cross stitch.
WIP Wednesday Day 2 of the Steotchathon
This is for the 2014 Steotchalong. It’s only a picture of Day 2; everybody else is on Day 4 and I’m midway through Day 3. But it’s fun. In between catching up on Pseudopod stories and watching episodes of Sherlock, it’s really going pretty quickly.

My heart belongs to…

I’ve been doing some embroidery lately. Making some valentines from an ideastolen heavily borrowed from Subversive Cross Stitch – some nice and some naughty. They’ve been packed up and are ready to send out.

There is one other, that I haven’t washed and blocked yet. It’s for Dad Goth, and will be in a password-protected post. If you want the password, just ask.

We wind up making things like Valentine’s Day and Christmas cards. Not for everybody. Quite frankly, there are some people I won’t even waste the glue gun on (the ones that get gift cards from us). Frankly, I’m less focused on the Hallmark holiday and more concerned with a couple of birthdays that are coming up really, really quickly.

New Year, New Things

Lots of people make New Year’s resolutions. I’ve given up on that, even for crafting. Not even goals.

Although…

I’d like to start making up some cross-stitch things of my own. Not necessarily anything as huge as a sampler, but something in between super-tiny and huge.

I also want to make a lot more amigurumi this year. Some handspun things, but cotton works a lot better for me than animal fibers. So probably not.

Speaking of handspun, I’ve been working on some handspun sock yarn. At least 3 ply, and hopefully some cabled yarns. At last I can turn my tendency to overspin into an advantage. I’ve got some cabled experiments from last year, so I’d like to try working with that and see what it looks like.

As for everything else, there are some things going on here that have completely taken all my fiber crafting oxygen away for the time being. But we’ll see how that goes. Figuring out new things to make this year may be the absolute least of my worries.