Wednesday, 1 October 2014

WIP Wednesday 210: 50 Shades of Beige

Hanson-Roberts Tarot

                          At the weekend I went with Belo to visit my BIL The Cornishman, and my nieces. A drive of a couple of hours cannot be craft-free, especially when focussing on the craft somewhat quells the anxiety of being in a car: so, what to take ? 

Can't take the MKAL as I'm doing the allthebeadsintheworld version, and beads and bumpy roads are not ideal lovers. Working on Destructo Boy's blankey ...  hmm ... might be all right; but then, so many ends to weave in as I go .... nah: too ittybitty. Checkerboard Mitts ? No love. 

Which left the Madaket Cardigan that has been malingering in the WIP basket, as I didn't feel in the mood to decide on something new. I like the pattern, though it seems to be taking forever - doing borders, sides and back at the same time in one piece drags while you're actually doing it, but will totally be worth it in the end when there's hardly any seaming to do.

 I like the yarn, Drops Lima - so soft - but I was clearly suffering some kind of color sense aberration when I ordered it; the Drops website calls it '0619 beige'. I call it taupe. Everyone else calls it 'boring'. Those who have seen it, including Titch, my kids, and my nieces, look at it, then look at me, and ask me 'Why ?' Cuz they're articulate and eloquent, see ? They do not fully appreciate my attempt at subtlety, even if it is accidental.

And because I was so beguiled by the conversational excellence of my family - or maybe it was the amazing BLT they forced me to eat - I made a rookie mistake. Let me show you, with arrows and letters using Paint as otherwise you might be blinded by my yarn color choice:

 The letters 'A' show you buttonholes. The red letter 'B' and the stitchmarker show you where there should be a buttonhole. But there isn't. 

I know ! And that was before I had any gin ! While I ponder how to fix it, pop over to Tami's Amis and see what happens .....

Monday, 29 September 2014

MKAL Monday 3: Moving Along

Gendron Tarot

I'm about 4 rows into Clue 3 of the SusannaIC MKAL6, but let me show you what it looks like after Clue 2:

Definitely looking like Autumny colors to me - but outside after the fog has lifted we have bright blue skies and warm sunshine ....I do love an Indian Summer. Please pop your link in below to any MKAL, KAL, or CAL that you're blogging about ....

Friday, 26 September 2014

FO Friday: Hedgehog Delight

Prairie Tarot

Just popping in on this gloriously sunny and warm late Summer day to show off a lil ole tea cosy I made - I do like to make them, but I don't use them: so I decided to revive my Folksy shop and hang them up in there with some shawls in case anyone wants to help me clear out some FOs and simultaneously fund my yarn junkie life-style further adventures in knitting ... I'll just remind you all that I'm happy to take commissions ....

I thought Autumn was supposed to be here, and I ran across this really cute pattern - and WAH-LA:

Meanwhile, pop FO Friday into Google and see what turns up ....

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Tarot Blog Hop: Mabon 2014

Mary-El Tarot

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 You may have arrived here from Hilary's blog, and when you leave, go to Ania's blog for more Tarot Blog Hop writings.

The topic for this Mabon 2014 Blog Hop is:

 ''In the life of everyone who deals with Tarot, there comes those moments where your understanding of the Tarot undergoes a radical change, or when one's skill with the Tarot takes a giant leap forward. Sometimes this is the result of learning a new technique, or acquiring a special deck, or because of an event in one's life; other times, it is the result of nothing that you can pinpoint. Whatever the cause, the end result is that you approach the Tarot in different manner than you did before.
The topic of the Mabon Blog Hop is to talk about a time when your understanding of the Tarot undergone such a quantum leap, talking about what brought about the change in your understanding of the Tarot (if you have been able to figure it out) and how you approach the Tarot differently than you did before the change.
(I tend to refer to this topic as "the things that I wished I knew about Tarot sooner than I learned them.")''

I had no bolt of lightning moment,  no grand epiphany, but rather a gradual dawning ....

Having taught myself to read tarot at the beginning of the 90s, I found most of the material available was written with a very New Age, hippie or .... Californian .... slant. And until fairly recently, this approach was the standard, and any suggestion of deviation from a passive yet 'empowering' 'holistic' illuminating style of reading was met with howls of judgmental scorn - for example, a discussion about prediction would go up in flames in a mere moment. This scorn and judgment, you understand, is acceptable because it comes from 'spiritual' people, and any attempt to put one's case just results in the mob getting more overbearing. So my first realization was that so-called self-styled 'enlightened' 'spiritual' people tended to be exactly the opposite - twins to the kind of Christian who goes to church every Sunday but behaves like a Philistine in actuality.

Housewives Tarot
This in turn enabled me to become more confident in sorting the wheat from the chaff in the tarot world - and believe me, there is a lot of self-serving chaff in this field, and all too many willing acolytes for their over-sized egos. In some ways, these 'spiritual' leaders are more truly charlatans that your stereotypical Madam Cleo or Gypsy Rose, because they have so fallen for their own hype that they begin to believe it, thus deceiving themselves along with everyone else who drinks their KoolAid; your average 'cold reader' or magician cannot afford to be so detached from reality.

Animals Divine Tarot
Adding that to age and experience has made me care far less about what others think is right, and to do instead what I think is right, for myself and my clients. That means that I will make predictions, if I feel it is appropriate. I will actively give advice rather than tell the client that they must make a decision all on their own. I do not shilly-shally, waffle on about 'free will' and fill the time with psychobabble when what is wanted and needed is advice on the next practical steps to take in a situation. This means that my belief in the tarot and my ability to interpret it has made me take responsibility for what I say - I do not shirk or give myself an escape route by some caveat phrase like 'nothing is set in stone'.

Steampunk Tarot
 As a result, my teaching and mentoring is very much about keeping my students focussed on the everyday, the mundane, the stuff clients actually care about, and not getting too high-falutin' and philosophizing with big words; maintaining an open mind and compassion when you get your eleventybillionth question this week about 'does he/she love me ?' is enough of a challenge in itself.

You'll probably find less grumpy posts if you hop backwards to Hilary's blog, and definitely if you hop forward to Ania's blog.

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Monday, 22 September 2014

MKAL Monday 2: Slow Progress

Hanson-Roberts Tarot

Wow, that rolled round quickly, didn't it ?

I've got a ton of ideas and a ton more of things to do. There are even some that aren't knitting or crochet related, but we'll simply ignore those - life is just too short to clean a house to your husband's standards, and if he doesn't like it, see if he can find the Hoover for himself.

Anyway. The 2nd clue for the SusannaIC Autumn MKAL was released Saturday, and what with Stuff and the children's social calendars, I haven't had a chance to get going on it yet .... but here is the beginning of Clue 1, which was all about short rows (not that you can tell from my photo):

If you are taking part in an MKAL/MCAL or just a plain ole KAL/CAL, pop your link into the box below so we can come check out what you're up to ...

Friday, 19 September 2014

FO Friday: The Blue Dahlia

Phantomwise Tarot

So I am feeling especially triumphant, having finally beaten into submission conquered the Blue Dahlia Shawl that provoked my temper tantrum a while back, resulting in it being flung into a Serious Time-Out on the naughty step while I regained the normal, natural sweet temper for which I am renowned.

Uh-huh. Yeah.

So anyway. I am stubborn and unwilling to admit defeat, so I picked it up again, determined to complete it. I ran into the same problem, and even on the same rows as before - in spite of having made the charts larger, trimmed and taped them together so there were no gaps.

I emailed the designer, Andrea Jurgrau - who was very approachable, friendly and helpful: she worked out that one of the problems was the placement of my stitch markers, so that was easily resolved. Later I had a query, and wrote out the chart to demonstrate my problem - she immediately identified that the stitch I'd seen and been working as ktbl (knit through the back of the loop) was actually a K2tog (knit 2 together) ..... proof that if you add bad eyesight to badly formatted, small charts which are smudgy when enlarged you get simple errors that drive one to insanity.

This was in no way the fault of the designer, but rather of the publisher who chose to format large charts in Portrait instead of Landscape, miniaturizing them in the process,  and placing them across the middle of the book creating a break in the middle of the chart. I would have had even more trouble if a kind friend hadn't sent me large versions of just the charts.

There are beads involved, but not as many a there should have been. If I were to escape the strait jacket and make this ever again, I would add loads more - there are lots of opportunities in the pattern for placement.

All in all, it was a rather miserable experience which has put me off trying any of the rest of the quite beautiful shawl patterns in the book. But I know you know that its little voice is seeping through the mental locked dark room in which I have bunged it ....

Here is the evidence of success:

The yarn was West Yorkshire Spinners Signature 4ply in 'Bubblegum'; it was a slightly scratchy bouncy, springy yarn that was quite splitty during the crocheted bind-off; a lovely intense color, fortunatel the yarn was softer after a good soak in fabric conditioner.

So while I sit here and gloat, you can pop 'FO Friday' into Google to see lots more pretties .....

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

WIP Wednesday 209: Adding to the List

Housewives Tarot

I'm up to date with the SusannaIC MKAL and I have finished the Blue Dahlia aka the Shawl from Hell; I still have one Checkerboard Mitt left to do, I also have the Madaket Cardigan on my needles but am not feeling the love for beige ..... time to cast on something entirely different, don't you think ?

No ? Have some self-discipline and finish something I've started even though it's turning into Cod Liver Oil knitting just as if I was an adult ?

Too late. Here it is so far:

It's small, cute and hopefully a quick knit - I await some eyelash yarn which will be needed too. Yes, I felt that, the tremors of horror and trepidation at the mention on any kind of novelty yarn - but trust me, it'll be fine .....

You'll find lots of other projects on the go over at Tami's Amis ....