2020

Move


The much anticipated relocation of Casa Coleman has been and gone, leaving behind mountains of boxes. Who knew we had so much stuff? Mr. iKnead made the final old house to new house run about 8 o’clock last night. It could have been a bittersweet moment, leaving the old house but we were so exhausted neither of us even thought about it until this morning. We LOVE LOVE LOVE our new home, even with the box mountains and questions of “what the heck is this?” and “why did I think I needed this (fill in the blank)??

ON MY NEEDLES

I started a new pair of Skype socks, knowing that the two row repeat pattern would be relaxing and easy to pick up and put down on short notice.

Skype Socks
Patons Kroy Socks FX
Cascade Colors

ON THE WHEEL

Absolutely nothing, but I have an actual pottery room, my wheel is in, the sink works and the kiln is in its place. Maybe tomorrow…….

ON THE MACHINE

Again. nothing. Have I mentioned that about a month ago I started quilting? Yeah, because taking up a new hobby is clearly what sane people do when undertaking a megatask with just enough spare time left over to attend to personal hygiene on a good day. 🤪🤪🤪

But, it’s all good. ❤️

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2021 · Knitting

Lowering My Standards or Giving Myself A Break


I’ll take the latter, thank you very much. 🙂

When I was a worker bee, I published a post three times a week on average, usually Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Since retirement, I MIGHT get a blog post in once a week or so, all the while making promises to myself that “next week I’m getting back to three times a week”. Now, if you are a regular reader, you know that three posts a week has yet to happen.

Why was I a more productive blogger back then when I worked 40 hours a week than I currently am as a happy retiree? Seems counterintuitive (am I using that word correctly?) doesn’t it?

I think I know the answer. I’m still working, but at knitting, working with clay, throwing pots, doing a bit of sewing, painting a bit and having a go at whatever catches my curiosity at any particular time.

All this leads to full happy days and these full happy days tend to squeeze out my blogging time.

So, I’m cutting myself some slack and instead of beating myself up for what I haven’t done, from now on my goal is one post a week and actually enjoying sharing thoughts and projects.

This is what I’ve been working on this past week –

I started these yesterday. Sadly, this photo doesn’t do this yarn justice and doesn’t show off its sparkle.

I rediscovered my love for counted cross stitch, which has been back burnered for about 20 years and went all in with this gargantuan project.

Go big or go home!

I can tell how long I’ve been away from cross stitch by just how much my close vision has gone downhill. My new bifocals are supposed to arrive today and none too soon. I expect they’ll make a HUGE difference! 🤓

Cookie A’s Pomatomus Socks are off my needles!

These make me particularly proud since this pattern has defeated me at least three times in the past. Yay me!!!!

Details on all these projects can be found here, and here.

For success, attitude is equally as important as ability. Harry F. Banks.

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Random

WIPs As Far As The Eye Can See


ON MY NEEDLES

I’m going to dive right in……..

 New Gray Day Sweater

Knitpicks Wool of the Andes

Sprinkle Heather

 

Five Roses Shawl

Knitologie by Knitcrate Sparkling Sock in Turquoise (speckled)

Emma’s Yarn in Turquoise

 

Twisted Flower

Yarn Bee

Rainbow Wrapsody

 

Kew Socks

URU.YARN  by Knitcrate Sugared Sock

Hidden Pool

Dissent Cowl

Faithful Beauty by The Verdant Gryphon

Arco Iris by Malabrigo

Shell Cottage from The Handmade Sock Society

Knitpicks Stroll Fingering in Seashell Tonal

Helen Stewart, Designer

So, lots of knitting happening here at Casa Coleman, just not a lot of finishing. 🙂 I’m trying to be more diligent about recordkeeping and such, so you can find pattern details and progress in my project pages.

Silence is a fence around wisdom. German Proverb

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Random

Show and Tell, More Proactive Changes and What’s On My Needles


SHOW AND TELL

My sweet son in law has been requesting a pitcher for I don’t know how long.  Being a pastor, he wanted something he could use for baptisms and communion. After many unsuccessful attempts, I finally came  up with one that passed muster.

Clefton’s Pitcher

Inside glazed with Spectrum Cinnamon Ripple

Outside glazed with Amaco Seaweed

 

Test Bowl

Outside glaze Amaco Seaweed PC-51

Inside glazed with Mayco Stoneware Glaze

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Galaxy

Here’s a better look at the inside –

 

TODAY’S PROACTIVE CHANGE

This one is turning out to be the most difficult – putting all my devices aside 30 minutes  before bedtime. Yep, this one is by far the most difficult.  There’s always just one more thing I want to  check on, which leads to another page, then one more site and then just one more peek at Facebook. Putting it all aside 30 minutes before bedtime gives my brain enough time to calm down and I fall asleep faster and stay asleep. 🥱😴

ON  MY NEEDLES

 

Shibui Sock

Colorway unknown

100% Merino

Petty Harbour by Rayna Curtis

 

We are limited,  not by our abilities,  but by our vision. Anonymous

 

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Random

Has My Warranty Expired? or Now What!!??


It’s 11:48 p.m. and I’m wearing my insomniac hat tonight. Now, it’s 11:49 p.m. which gives me about 11 minutes to have that last glass of water before midnight. If you’ve ever undergone a “procedure”, you’re familiar with the nothing to eat or drink after midnight rule. So, yes, there is a “procedure” in my near future. To be more specific, tomorrow at 11:30, I’m having oral surgery to extract three molars on the right and placement of two screws into my upper jawbone for eventual implants and a bridge. I admit that while I don’t have a phobia regarding dentists, I do get anxious a few days beforehand. I will be under heavy sedation so intellectually I know that it will be painless and quick, it’s just that my nervous stomach and jitters haven’t received the It’ll be OK memo.

This dental adventure on top of my broken arm and my subsequent ER visit, followed by a visit to a hand and arm specialist and the surgery to repair it using a steel fixator and let’s not forget about Covid-19 and it’s cousin, Quarantine, has me wondering what next!

I got a photo of my postop x-ray. BTW, if looking at stuff like this makes you feel woozy or sick I encourage you to skip over the low tolerance stuff.

This month’s Knit Crate carried a naked hank of yarn and enough kool-ade to dye it up right. Here’s how mine turned out using cherry on half and blue raspberry on the other half. I think it will knit up into a very interesting pair of socks.

Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new. Albert Einstein

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Knitting · pottery

Picking It Up Again


 

That’s right,  the Insomniac Potter is back. It’s been a busy month, both craftwise and familywise.  My gray sweater is growing, but slowly, as expected.  I’ve started and and abandoned several pairs of socks and a scarf or two, but I think I’ve found THE sock pattern – at least for now. Have a look-

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This is the book-

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My Gray Day Gansey

Like I said, this sweater is slow going, but is totally worth it, I really love cables. It’s definitely not portable or what I call cruise control knitting, though. It requires my full attention sort of like a toddler — take your eyes off it for one second and you’re in the weeds, at least I am! 😋

Then there’s the pottery. Here’s one of my newest pots –

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This one’s a do over. The original glazing turned out to be so ugly, I immediately reglazed it.  I’m much much happier this time around!  It’ll be going up on ClayDreamsPottery on Etsy in the next few days.  If it floats your boat, let me know!

I have several pieces that are in that limbo between just thrown and dry enough to  trim and bisque. I learned the hard way not to fire anything I’m not totally sure is bone dry.  Nothing more discouraging than opening a kiln full of busted pots, but I’m also waiting for a couple of new glazes to come in before getting started on finishing them.

I always pass on good advice.  It is the only thing to do with it.  It is never of any use to oneself.  Oscar Wilde

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Random

Monday in Bangkok


 

ON MY NEEDLES

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Ariel Socks

So far, the Ariel socks are playing nice, but they’ve been slow going.  Things are looking up since I purchased a nice, bright headlamp at Decathlon, a store similar to Academy Sports. I actually was at Decathlon to get a new water bottle, which I did, but apparently the placement of impulse items is universal – right next to the cash register.  That bit of extra light has made a big difference, I got through the first pattern repeat last night without problems.

I’m also working on a Leksak sweater, though I find the rows and rows of stockinette boring.  It makes for great plane knitting, I’ll give it that.

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Leksak

ON THE WHEEL

Not a thing.  While I’m in Bangkok, I have to be satisfied with surfing Pinterest and making endless lists in my head of glazes and techniques to try.  That reminds me, I need to order clay.  I’m thinking that if I order now, it will arrive in Little Rock about the same time I do.

FIELD TRIP

Here are a few photos of Iconsiam, a new mall here in Bangkok that has a replica of a floating market on the bottom floor, with traditional Thai food and crafts vendors, most wearing traditional Thai clothing.  Really, the photos don’t do it justice………..

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FYI – This is an escalator!

Action is the foundational key to all success.  Pablo Picasso

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Knitting

It’s A New Start


Ever have a skein of yarn that you fell hard for, but got over it in a hurry when it just couldn’t seem to decide what it wanted to be? Yes, I tend to assign human characteristics to inanimate objects, even putting projects into time out for not cooperating. Well, this particular yarn has been in and out of time out several times. I’ve even toyed with the idea of relegating it to the back of what I call the Not In My Lifetime UFO box. I decided to give it one more chance, sticking it into my carry-on bag for my trip to Bangkok. So far, it’s playing nice and I’m beginning to feel optimistic. 🤞🤞🤞

At some point, the ball band became history, but I think it came from Knitpicks.

                                                  Last go at this yarn

I’m hoping that the Ariel Socks from Ravelry will suit us both. 😋

I’ve been missing my pottery wheel a lot the last few days. This is the longest I’ve gone without throwing anything. I’m glad I worked as hard as I did, mopping and scrubbing my workspace. It will be so nice to come back to clean tools and a clean wheel!

A QUICK WORD REGARDING BLOG CHANGES

Wondering about all the blog flipping and flopping?  Yeah, me too. 😳  Here’s the deal…..

I let my long time knitting blog slide after getting my very own pottery wheel and spending the time I usually set aside for blogging playing in the mud and getting a feel for my new equipment. I fully intended to get back to my knitting blog, but it was always going to be “tomorrow”.

I missed blogging much more than I thought I would and so decided to add another blog to the mix.  What was I thinking??  I’m having issues with keeping iknead2knit going and I convinced myself that adding another blog was the perfect solution?? All I can say is this – DON’Y TRY THIS AT HOME!

Long story short – Condensed the two blogs into one and renamed the whole nine yards, starting fresh.  So….,Welcome to new blog, Mud&String.  I hope you like it!

A good decision is based on knowledge and not on numbers.

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Knitting

Finally A Little Progress


 

Finally showing a bit of progress on the Shell Cottage Socks!  I have to admit that this is NOT my favorite yarn to work with.   It’s really nice and soft but tends to get fuzzy and is super sticky. Seems like it’s always snarled up with itself. 😠

Joy in looking and comprehending is nature’s most beautiful gift.  Albert Einstein

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Knitting

Ch-ch-ch-changes


In my last post I shared about my Shell Cottage Socks project, part of The Handmade Sock Society, Season 2. Unfortunately, the original yarn I used became so fuzzy after even a couple of rows it drove me crazy enough to put that project aside and try a different yarn.

I found a nice JoJoland Melody yarn in the stash and cast on right away….

I think the JoJoland Melody was a good choice, even though I can never do the colors justice in photos.

Ideas are the beginning points of all fortunes. Napoleon Hill

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Knitting

WIPs


Here are a few of the projects I’m working on at the moment –

Clockwise from left:  Whatever Socks, Malabrigo Sock, Indiecita colorway for me.  These are a variation of Hermione’s Everyday Socks using (I think) a linen stitch, Sunburst Lichen Cowl, in a really pretty blue mystery yarn and last, a pair of Simple Skype Socks for Babydaddy using Fingerpaints Supersock Self Striping from Cherry Tree Hill Yarn, in the Java Jive colorway.

From the pottery wheel

Unfired pots, using low fire red clay

A couple more days of drying time and then they’ll be ready to bisque fire, the first step toward a finished pot.

NEWS FLASH – Unfortunately, the darker, larger pot didn’t make it through the first firing. ☹️

Don’t compromise yourself. You are all you’ve got. Janis Joplin

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Knitting

Sometimes You Just Need………


A QUICKIE

Something fast, something that gives (almost) immediate gratification.  I’m in the middle of a sweater, a huge crocheted shawl, a pair of socks, a dog sweater and the cutest flag garland ever.   I’m not counting my Christmas knitting — it’s not the last minute yet and I don’t want to let the cat out of the gift bag.  Anyhow, despite my vow to not start anything new until the WIPs are at least a little bit under control, I caved.  I needed a project that offered some immediate gratification.  Rav served up the perfect pattern, Leafy Washcloth.   I knit up the first one last evening and it’s blocking as I type this.

 

I used some Sugar and Cream cotton that I had around and size 7 straight needles, filling the immediate gratification bill perfectly.  Feels so good to have a FO!

The odds of hitting your target go up dramatically when you aim at it.  Mal Pancoast

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