Show and Tell, Loopy Mango Puff Sleeve Top

Hannah wearing Loopy Mango’s Puff Sleeve Top.

 

Hon, there must be a knitting or needlepoint project in the house at all times! Make that several projects. I just finished knitting two of Loopy Mango’s “Mohair Puff Sleeve Tops,” but instead of LM’s mohair I used their Merino No. 5. Hannah gets the gray and Morgan gets the yellow. Once Darcy picks a color, I’ll knit one for her, too.

I’m almost finished knitting two of Loopy Mango’s chunky sweaters (future post), have finished weaving in ends on an infinity scarf, and am finishing up a knit market bag and needlepoint pillow. See, many projects?

Upon hearing about the gifts reserved for future birthdays and holidays, a friend asked how they’re being stored. Good question! The answer? In a bin of aromatic cedar blocks!

Thanks to  Wool & Grace for curbside pickup during quarantine. I actually squealed when they answered the phone!

Hannah wearing my version of Loopy Mango’s Cropped Sweater.

Show and Tell, Needlepoint Pillows

Hon, you know what feels great? Completing a project. Make that two projects!

The cupcake canvas flew from New Jersey to Florence and back. I bought it for my daughter when she was studying abroad and, though she finished the cupcake, she ran out of steam to fill in the background. The unfinished needlepoint sat and sat and sat, along with my partly-done dandelion canvas, until I decided it was time to finish both. It was off to Wool & Grace to decide on pillow background colors. I love how they came out!

Now it’s time to finish a market bag, an infinity scarf, a sweater, a handmade paper collage…

Related Post: Unfinished Business

Unfinished Business

Needlepoint canvases, knit infinity scarves and market bag.

I’m a WOABOPP!

Do you finish one book before starting another? Clean one room before heading to the next? Eat dinner before dessert? Apparently, I’m the opposite of all that. I was picking out yarn for patterns and also looking at needlepoint canvases when someone in the yarn shop looked over her glasses and said, “You’re a work-on-abunch-of-projects-person.” Is that a bad thing?

It’s not just knitting and needlepoint. I work on several writing projects at a time:  one manuscript might be up for review by my critique group; one manuscript might be in its infancy; one manuscript might be ready to query. And, of course, I like adding new posts to Bmore Energy.

I wasn’t always like this.  Then I had triplets! If this was one of my picture book manuscripts and I had to identify the moment when the change occurred, it would have to be the day all three triplets shared a bassinet together for the first time.

Baby B left the hospital at 10 days, Baby C was released at 12 days, and Baby A stayed in the NICU for 6 1/2 weeks. When Baby C came home, she was on a completely different feeding schedule than her siblings, and the first two babies weren’t thrilled about the new face. (The sisters could not be placed next to each other! Think head to toe.)

Three babies who needed to eat eight times a day meant preparing twenty-four bottles while doing constant laundry while changing countless diapers. Dinner for me and Hubby? Lots of pasta. Gifts? Piled up unopened for a long time. Sleep? Very little. There was no learning curve–it was a lion’s den!

I wasn’t multi-tasking; I was MEGA-tasking!

So, to the person who called me a WOABOPP…yes, yes I am. And I’m off to revise a manuscript, pick up a kid, try a new recipe, finish knitting a market bag, read one book, listen to another, bathe the dog…

Which camp do you fall in? One-Project-Person or WOABOPP!?

No judgement, hon!

Show and Tell: Something’s Fishy

IMG_6548

 

Remember the book What Color is Your Parachute? 

Back when I was wondering what the heck I was doing as a department store manager that included a) a divisional marketing manager who gleefully chose one of us to humiliate daily, b) being in charge of two multi-million dollar departments on two floors with two buyers and two staffs without an assistant, c) no time to eat, and d) hair falling out in clumps, I decided to re-look at my priorities. Not only did I read What Color is Your Parachute?, I took a career-assessment test at New York University. There was one glaring characteristic missing in my life–creativity! Hon, I should have known.

I recently came across one of my very first picture books complete with illustrations and an author photo in which I’m missing my front teeth. I wrapped some of my books in plastic wrap so they’d look like they came from the library. Cute!

I also came across songs I wrote. I’d play around on the piano and then plot the notes in a music book.

When my parents said they wouldn’t buy me a dollhouse, I made my own out of cardboard. (It actually had a couple of floors!) When I wanted a summer dress, Pappagallo handbags with changeable covers, and an Esprit drawstring bag, I sewed my own.

I learned how to needlepoint, embroider, and knit when I was elementary-school-age. Another creative outlet opened up, and I designed my own canvases and wrote my own patterns.

My first jobs, aside from babysitting and being a camp counselor, were working in stores. I liked retail, but especially merchandising the selling floor and doing the windows.

So, when I left that miserable, weight-loss-inducing department store job, I started my own business. A couple of years later, I became pregnant with triplets. That was the end of the business and time to re-assessment priorities again.

Back to the magic of children’s books, which I was trying to create as a ten year-old. Guess what? I’m still trying.

Needlepoint pillows I made for two sweet sisters. I added the coral to the fishy scenes. Real life fishy scenes from the Mystic Aquarium.

 

 

Easy Two Stitch Infinity Scarf

93 yards
70 yards

IMG_9069

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two Stitch Infinity Scarf
Two Stitch Infinity Scarf

Sew Handy

I learned how to needlepoint and embroider in Girl Scouts when Girl Scout badges were earned by practicing “traditional girl activities.”  My mom taught me how to use a sewing machine and, in fifth grade, I learned how to knit. I’m not sorry about learning Victorian-age  skills, though, because they provide instant stress relief and a sense of accomplishment. Knitting, especially, has taught me…

It’s okay to make mistakes.

Miss a stitch? Rip out rows. Yarn’s knotted up? Untangle it. Don’t care for a pattern? Try a different one. Sometimes, I re-start a project several times and–guess what–I don’t yell non G-rated words (click here if you want to know when I do yell non G-rated words.)

Easy Two-Stitch Infinity Scarf Directions

  1. Using a size 10 1/2 inch circular needle, cast on 60 stitches. Place a stitch counter to mark the end of the round. Gauge doesn’t matter.
  2. K2 P2 for 4 rows.
  3. Knit in the round until yarn is almost finished, but leaving enough to rib until the end.
  4. K2 P2 for 4 rows.
  5. Bind off loosely, Weave in loose ends.

Finished scarf–mine measures 9 inches wide.

Show -n- Tell (more projects)

I recently finished needlepoints for my niece and nephew. Here they are made into pillows.

IMG_5849IMG_5854

 

 

 

Keep Calm and Carry Yarn/ Potato Chip Scarf Pattern

keep-calm-and-carry-yarn-141

Texture + Color = Possibilities

I love yarn shops!  Vivid colors and scrumptious textures call out from the bins and shelves. (“Pick me, pick me!”).  I might walk in with a project in mind, or I might let the yarn decide what it wants to be.  I give it creative license!

Gorgeous Ella Rae Lace Merino Chunky blue/aqua and purple/berry variegated yarn caught my eye this fall.  I had recently finished a Potato Chip Scarf (so called because it’s ruffled) for me and wanted to knit another with chunkier yarn.  One teen daughter got a Potato Chip scarf and one got an  Infinity scarf.

Potato Chip Scarf knit with chunky merino wool.
Potato Chip Scarf knit with chunky merino wool.

Potato Chip Scarf knit in a finer wool, strands doubled.
Potato Chip Scarf knit with finer wool, strands doubled.

Infinity Scarf knit with chunky merino wool.
Infinity Scarf knit with chunky merino wool.

Infinity Scarf knit with chunky merino wool.
Infinity Scarf knit with chunky merino wool.

Petit Point pillow that may have caused me to need reading glasses!
Petit Point pillow that may have caused me to need reading glasses!

I also, finally, finished a petit point canvas and had it made into a pillow.  Petit point is comprised of smaller stitches than needlepoint.  The stitches were so small, I needed a magnifying light to see what I was doing!

I found this easy Potato Chip scarf pattern on Ravelry.

Potato Chip Scarf Pattern:

Yarn weight:  Aran/ 10 ply (8 wpi)

Needle size:  US 8  (5.0 mm)

Yardage:  300-310 yards (274 – 283 m)

Cast on 20 stitches.

Row 1:  knit 8, turn, knit back to beginning.

Row 2:  knit 6, turn, knit back to beginning.

Row 3:  Knit 4, turn, knit back to beginning.

Knit across all 20 stitches.

Repeat these rows until desired length is reaches.  Bind off.

………………………………………………………………………………………………

Infinity Scarf Post–Infinity scarf pattern.

Ravelry-The pattern I used is by Connor Thompson.

The Stitching Bee–Shout out to the yarn shop in Chatham, New Jersey

Happy knitting, Hon!