Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Life Happens

Do you like roller coasters? I use to ride on roller coasters but then I got really scared and couldn't deal with the incline and the descent. No thanks. I don't do roller coasters anymore.

But life can be just like a roller coaster with its ups, downs, twists and turns. As there are different sizes of roller coasters there are different life roller coasters that you get caught up on. I couldn't blog because I was caught up on a children's roller coaster but one that took some maneuvering to get off.

The thing about life's roller coasters today is they have become a free for all. More and more people are finding themselves on them and not being able to get off. With the job situation, money crisis, and caring for families, life's twists, turns, ups and downs just has a lot of us dizzy or trying to find air to breath.

I have started a school program for six months. I am taking a Microsoft Office Certification. I am enjoying it. So that has kept me busy studying and attending class. Even though I haven't kept up with my blogging I have been knitting and crocheting because I don't have to think with it and that is the place I want to be in.

So what have I been doing with my needlearts? I am making this top and it was designed to be made out of cotton. Well, because I am on a yarn diet I have been using what I have for now. I had some acrylic yarn that was the same multi-color so I used that. I had to calculate for the difference in the yarn weight and away I went making it. But then when I got to shaping the sleeves I could tell I would not be able to finish both sides with the yarn I had. What did I do? I forgot to calculate the yardage and went by the amount that it called for in the cotton. Silly girl. I had to improvise by working two rows multi and two rows of the solid tan for the sleeves and neckline. The picture shows the results. I love it. So now I don't feel so silly anymore. It is still a lesson learned to be extra careful as to all calculations and yardage so that all that work in a garment won't go to waste.

We buy single skeins or hanks and we don't know what to do with them. Try mixing colors or change the color at the neckline, stripe it, or trim the bottom and top of a garment in that yarn. There is so much you can do to use what you have. That is called being super creative with yarn. You might be pleasantly surprised what a beautiful combination you can make.

Have fun!

Friday, August 12, 2011

My First Blue Ribbon

Have you ever went to a county fair? Well, I haven't been to one in a long time. I went to the Monmouth County Fair and for my return to the fair I did something that I've never done.

The fair has a lot of things that you can enjoy. Of course what would a fair be without the cotton candy, gyro's, kettle corn and other goodies that we really shouldn't be eating. But since the fair comes around only once a year some of us make exceptions to our diet rules. There are also the shows like the pig racing and wood carving competitions. Of course I gravitate to the animals especially the babies. They are so cute.

There were other competitions and I entered two. Guess what two? Knitting and crochet. I got a first place blue ribbon for my crochet shawl by Doris Chan and second place red ribbon for my knitted neck warmer by Arcadia Knitting. It was fun going to the fair and looking for my two items amongst all the entries. And I enjoyed looking at the other entries.

In past years I would try to do at least one thing that I've never done before during the year. So for this year I entered my first contest. I've never been competitive but again it is all about doing something new.

Since the year is still buzzing with other fairs I thought I would enter another fair. I might as well enter in the fair of my own county of Middlesex. So I did. This time I entered my crochet top by Belinda Carter, my headband that I made up with Aran stitches, and my sample stitch crochet scarf that I made up for my class I was teaching. Well I received a blue ribbon for the crochet top and two second place ribbons for the headband and scarf.

There are many categories that an item could be entered under. So the next time you hear of a fair in your neck of the woods, enter one of your completed projects in and see what happens. You might be surprised. And you know what? It is all just to have fun and expand your horizon.