Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Time to redecorate

I realized the other day that I'm kind of bored with my current blog template but I haven't been able to decide on a new one. Blogger only seems to offer a few in the dashboard design tool and they were okay but after previewing all of them several times I had to admit that none of them really grabbed me.

I looked at some free and allegedly 'new Blogger compatible' templates (like those here, here or here*, for example) but wasn't sure if I was up to the project of installing and configuring a third-party template right now (oh sure, it could be fast trouble free...or not). Plus? Some of the free template sites I found have hundreds of samples to go through - too many choices for a data/research type person who is also indecisive (because, of course, I'd have to look at *all* of them before choosing to the 'best' one).

Which of course, puts me back to square one. ::sigh::

If anyone has any tips or resources for templates I'd love to hear them.

*for some reason I kind of like this orange template, but wowza, is it bright or what? I think it might be hard to read for more than a paragraph

Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Finishing Faeries Have Been Delayed

The knitting portion of my Sommelier sweater is finally complete.

I had to tweak the back neck band a bit to get it to fit better. In spite of my experience with the specified stitch pickup counts for the front bands, I went ahead and picked up the designated number of stitches for the neck band. Readers Reader Internet, I'm not sure why I was surprised that the stated 136 stitches were too many. The band bowed/sagged out out in back so I ripped them out and picked up 12 fewer stitches. It's still not quite right but it is definitely in the 'good enough' range at this point.

This project has certainly dragged on well past my interest level, in large part due to initial irritations with the pattern but subsequently from the suspicion that the sweater is not really flattering for me*. It's challenging to feel excited about finishing a sweater that one likely won't wear.

The pattern only specifies steam blocking but I wet blocked everything since the steam blocking didn't give the result I wanted (i.e., removing the stockinette curling at tops of sleeves and edges of armholes and really opening up the lace pattern).

There's no mention in the pattern of sewing in the sleeves, the pattern simply ends with completing the shoulder seams, neck/front bands and the armhole bindings (not present on the sweater version of this pattern and apparently just a repeated section from the vest portion of the pattern).

I left the blocked pieces out for the faeries to complete in the night, however they seem to have been delayed as the sweater parts have been laying about for two evenings now with no finishing activity at all. Perhaps the blatant disregard for the dictated steam blocking has violated some faerie union working conditions clause?

I suppose at this point I need to assume they aren't coming and move forward on my own. Darn.

*Yes, I know I tried on the sample sweater and thought it looked fine. I now suspect that I may have been under the influence of the excitement of Madrona , yarn and fiber fumes in the marketplace and the exuberant encouragement of enabling knitter friends.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

No Talent Required

Or "What was I thinking?"

I'm off to a beginning watercolor workshop shortly. I'm not sure what possessed me to sign up for this - I think I may have gotten a bit too caught up in the excitement of Artswalk last month.

The brochure states "no drawing experience or talent required" so theoretically I should do just fine, especially since I definitely have no drawing or artistic talent.

I'm going with two friends who both have a art/graphic design background so, you know, no pressure, lol.

But don't worry, I have very managed expectations for myself. A friend of mine asked me what we'd be painting and I told her I didn't know but whatever it was supposed to be I was pretty sure what I'd be painting was colorful blobs.

The workshop is given by Melody Cottongim, a talented local artist whose work I've admired for many years.