Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Needlework Tuesday - Knitting and knitting

Needlework Tuesday is an occasional post detailing my needlework and/or crafting projects.

I guess it's been about a month since I posted about my needlework/knitting projects. Since then, I've been knitting on and off and have managed to finish two projects and start another one.

The two finished projects were from the Mary Maxim's Knit Club of the Month.

1) Fair Isle Mittens

I really liked knitting these mittens. The first one was a breeze. The second one though threw me for bit of a loop. I won't go into details, but it was the whole left/right thing...the pattern written for right-handers; me, left-handed. No, I didn't end up making two left mitts, but had I not been paying attention, that was a real possibility. Anyway, they are done and ready for next winter. Here's a shot of them:

I didn't use the fair-isle technique exactly, which I believes involves holding one yarn in each hand, but I got the desired result regardless. These mittens feature another technique that makes them doubly thick throughout, except for the ribbing. The patterned part is pretty evident because both yarns are carried along with no breaks. The finger tips and thumbs, though, are knit with two balls of yarn of the same colour, alternating stitches (one stitch from one ball, the next stitch from the other) rather than holding the yarns together. It was a little tricky at first, but it didn't take long to get the hang of it.

2) Cowl made from Marble Chunky Yarn

Even though it's a really easy pattern, I managed to screw it up a couple of times by not paying attention. I didn't bother going back to make corrections because no one will notice. I'd even be hard pressed to find the errors. Here's a photo of the finished piece:

I didn't have my trusty photo assistant handy and I haven't mastered the "selfie" yet, so I wasn't able to model the cowl. Besides, it's much easier to see the colour and pretty patterning this way.

The one project I started was another shawl, Celadon from ravelry.com. I've been eyeing this one for some time and even went to the yarn store to price it out. Since those yarns were out of my budget (over $200) for a shawl, I decided to search my stash first. I had two options: the leftover yarn from the sky scarf, lace weight blues, grays, and white; or the leftovers from my temperature scarf, DK weight in rainbow colours. Since this pattern calls for sport weight yarn, I decided to use the rainbow selection since its weight was closer. It's going to be really colourful and not at all what I had in mind for this shawl, but at least I'm using up all of this leftover yarn. I might be adding in a few more stripes (maybe in varying thicknesses) to use up the colours that I have. We'll see. Here's a shot of the started project:

Needlework Tuesday is hosted by Heather over at Books and Quilts.    If you'd done any crafting this week that you'd like to share with others, please head over to Heather's blog and use the Mr. Linky to link up your post, so others can enjoy your creations.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Start Where You Are by Meera Lee Patel

Start Where You Are is a little book filled with quotes and prompts that takes the reader on a journey of self-exploration.

This book is absolutely gorgeous! It pairs inspirational quotes with writing or drawing prompts that will help readers gain a deeper understanding of their personal journeys. The watercolour work is so lovely. Even the blotchy backgrounds for the quotes are stunning.  If I didn't think it would destroy the book, I'd rip out a couple of pages for framing.

I love that the quotes used are appropriate and fit nicely with the prompts. Here's a wonderful one from Harper Lee:
Real courage is when you know you're licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.
The accompanying prompt:
List four times you continued to try even though the odds were against you.

Another terrific quote, this time from Arthur Ashe:
Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.
The accompanying prompt:
Fill these shapes with resources that can help you on your journey.

I've reviewed one other book by Patel, Daily Zen Doodles. I liked it as well.

Highly recommended. This would make a wonderful gift book for Mother's Day, birthday or graduation.

For more information about this book or to have a peek inside, please visit the Penguin Random House website.

For more information about the author and her other work, please visit Meera Lee Patel's website. There's a link to her Etsy shop, which features some of her awesome watercolours.  :)

I'd like to thank Angela at Penguin Random House for this review copy.

Start Where You Are by Meera Lee Patel, Perigee (Penguin Random House), ©2015. ISBN 9780399174827(Soft cover), 128p.