Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Blanketmania and SHEER MADNESS

As I said in a previous post, this past month has been INSANE! A little over a month ago, I found out that I got a job across the state and I'll be moving there to work full time. I'm super excited and nervous, but I can't wait to finally make some money and use my college degree. Hooray! I got my apartment and will start working at the end of August. So overwhelming but so awesome!

I participated in my first swap in July! It was a lot of fun. The goal was to dye your partner a skein of sock yarn in their preferred colors. My partner's preferences were on the bolder side, so I used kool aid and went all out and used all four of her preferred colors: red, blue, green, and purple. And the result is:

Here's what my partner sent me. My preferences were to use fiery colors or blue/green/purples. They went with the fiery theme and I can't wait to knit up some socks! I also got a sweet Ravelry project bag. I use it all the time now!

Another random thing is that I received two drop spindles from someone because I mentioned I would like to learn how to spin. I've practiced with them, but I'm still not that great at it, so I hope to take a class or further myself in that area sometime in the future. Obviously working full time and learning a new skill like that MIGHT not go hand in hand at first, haha.

In the past month, I have taken part in a challenge on Ravelry called the "Exploding SNAP". It's hosted by the Harry Potter Knitting/Crochet House Cup and the goal is to finish as many WIPs (works in progress) in the month of August. I had a few still on the needles that definitely needed finishing. I ended up finishing the test knit I had for my most recent pattern. It's a dishcloth that uses the block S logo for Michigan State University, my alma mater! I loved how it turned out and am glad that I'm now up to three published designs on Ravelry!

Here's the MSU dishcloth:

And my other design (not a part of the "Exploding SNAP") that I haven't posted about yet. The black outline isn't part of the pattern. The dunking basketball player pattern is for a dishcloth, but this is the blanket square the dishcloth pattern is based on:

The blanket square in the picture is for the comfortghan I'll post about later.

Another project I finished for the "Exploding SNAP" was a pair of socks. I don't like making socks (have I said that before? Haha) but these were actually fun to make. The yarn was beautifully variegated and it was a very fun pattern - Nutkin.

Before Exploding SNAP:


Another big project I did for the "SNAP" was to finish my Monthly Adventures Block of the Month Afghan. I went ahead and made the squares from September-December in order to finish the blanket before I started working. I know in a way it kind of defeats the purpose of "block of the month", but I did complete the March-August squares during the correct time period, so I think that counts for something. I was worried that if I didn't try to finish the afghan before starting my job, it might have been put on the back burner until who-knows-when. I want to give it as a gift for the holidays, so by finishing it now, I don't have to say "OH SHIT! I NEED TO FINISH THAT BLANKET!" the week before Christmas.

Although it's encouraged to only work on WIPs during "Exploding SNAP", it's also ok to start new projects as long as you finish them before the end of the challenge. I decided to start two projects for a fellow raveler who lost all of her ornaments in a flood (the lady who gave me the spindle, actually). These were my first knitted beading projects and I LOVE how they turned out.

Lastly, the project I am most proud of from the "Exploding SNAP" (and in general), is the comfortghan that I have mentioned. It was made for a young man I graduated high school with who had leukemia. He had to move to Texas in order to receive treatment for his disease after he relapsed. I decided to use my resources and time to organize a blanket for him. I originally proposed to my local knitting group and an online ravelry group (the Amazing Flying Squirrel Karma Team) 20 12 inch squares for the blanket so that the final size would be about 4 feet x 5 feet. I soon learned that there was so much interest that a 30 square blanket could be made. I had about 15 people involved from all over the country (and out of the country - Canada) to make this blanket that turned out to be about 5 feet x 6 feet. I used red because it's one of our high school's colors and gray because I wanted a more neutral color to complement the red. The red squares were used as texture squares while the gray squares were meaningful pictures put into the blanket. I made 9 squares of my own and seamed the squares together. After seaming it together, I sent it to Texas.

A few days later, the young man lost his battle with leukemia. I later learned that the blanket made it to him before he passed and that both him and his mother were VERY touched by the gesture. There's a little more to it than that, but for privacy reasons, I don't want to disclose anymore of it. I can't really find the words to say how happy I am to know that I was able to be a part of something to help comfort someone who was really in need of it. I feel that any words I do write about this will fall short of saying how I really feel about it. Even though I didn't know this young man very well in high school or after high school, I am so grateful I am able to help anybody in that capacity. I feel that there will not be another project like this comfortghan project for a very long time, if ever. The whole thing is so much bigger than I am, and I am glad that I was able to use my talents to help it come to fruition.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


All I can say is that so many things have changed since the last time I posted. I'll post a more substantial update later, but I'm just so surprised with how things have come together in was I didn't expect this last month or so. Crazy.