When I was younger (read:  in High School), I used to sketch all the time, and not just the Metallica logo.  I would spend time in front of the window of my house sketching the tree in the front yard, or drawing flowers from pictures I had taken.   Lately I haven’t made time to do it and have felt a bit stale and rusty as far as drawing skills.  My memory is usually pretty good but I can’t seem to tap into the 25 year old database of information I learned in art class.  I decided I needed a refresher on my drawing skills so I did what anyone in the technology age does, I asked Google to find me free online drawing lessons.  The results weren’t the best but a few photos caught my eye and I checked out the website they came from.  Drawspace.com has a wealth of information and contains over 200 free drawing lessons.  Actually some aren’t even lessons, just informational pages, but useful nonetheless.    I burned through the first two beginner sections and mostly because it’s getting late and I’m tired, I’m waiting to tackle anything more.   Yet what I managed to accomplish gives me hope that I’m not hopeless.

The lessons start with simple line drawing exercises but it doesn’t take long before you start working on shading.  For instance, I was able to draw these horses this evening.

Hand drawn horseDrawn horse

Yes I know the proportions aren’t perfect, I’m working at it, but I’m trying really hard not to just copy what the instructor has done, but actually do my best to see what I’m supposed to be seeing.  That sounds very zen and it kind of is, but it is explained in one of the first lessons.  If you have any interest in drawing but don’t know where to start I’d recommend you check it out.  I have no illusions that I’ll become a Rembrandt, but just being able to draw what I see and have it look the way it is supposed to is good enough for me.


Lost in Knitting

Netflix is both a blessing and a curse. I can catch up on TV shows I’ve missed or I can watch entire series I didn’t catch the first time around.

Like “Lost”. Yes, I’m the one person who never watched the show when it was on. Now I can’t stop watching it. Those who were devotees, I have no idea how you handled the intensity and suspense from week to week. It’s dangerous that I can watch episodes back to back to back. Every time there is a cliff hanger, which is every damn episode, I can just click to watch the next episode.

Also, to anybody I ever gave weird looks to when they would have intense discussions about the show, I apologize. I get it now.

Somehow during my marathon viewings I’m getting a staggering amount of complicated knitting completed. I’m working on a sweater, Celtic Icon from Inspired Cable Knits. The sweater is knit in pieces that will be blocked and joined together at the end, seven pieces in all. I only had one piece completed a week and a half ago.

Tonight I started the final piece. If all goes well I’ll have a completed sweater by the weekend.

Of Babies and Blankets

Way back in August my cousin had her second child, a girl, born with the best birthdate ever (8/9/10)!

Soon after I started a blanket with the intention of giving it to her for the colder months.  Well here it is December already and I’m not quite done.

Because this blanket is HUGE!  The pattern I used, a Catherine Wheel crochet stitch pattern is based on a 10 stitch repeat.  At this point I don’t remember how many stitches were in the starting chain – 80?  100?  150? More?

All I know is that this can not be referred to as a baby blanket.  This is more like a toddler blanket, a small afghan really.  I’ve worked on it nearly exclusively while sitting at the cold ice rink while my daughter has her lessons.  If I had to estimate I would say it’s about 80% done.  Yet I probably need about 10 more hours on this thing until I’m satisfied with the proportions.  It is large enough to keep my entire lower half warm while I work on it.

I’m switching colors every two rows and each row takes anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour, depending on attention level.  Because of the multiple colors it has strong horizontal lines and the blanket is worked from the bottom up, so to speak.  Right now it is wider than it is tall.  I need to keep going until it is at least square for my symmetry-loving brain to deem it acceptable for gifting.

Fiber snobs, sheild your eyes, for I have made this out of soft baby-melting acrylic.  Chances are quite high that this blanket will be peed on, pooped on, spit up on, spilled on, dragged on the ground, etc.  It needs to be durable and washable, and it needed to cost less than a car payment to make.

Romy's Blanket
I’ve kept it under wraps for quite some time, but I’m giving you all a sneak peek.  As soon as it is 100% complete (and gifted) I will post a photograph of it in all it’s glory.  The colors remind me of an ice cream parlor and I love how the pattern has a bit of a 70’s retro feel to it.

Hopefully my cousin will like it.