Thursday, September 22, 2011

ICADs on a Grid

Daisy Yellow showed a bunch of ICADs today and several of them were done on those index cards with the quarter inch grid instead of lines, so I thought I would show you the ones I've done on those same cards. Well, not the same cards, but, you know, ones like them.

My mom and I ate at a Chinese restaurant and I decided to put my fortune on the above card. Then I filled each square with a different image, though some of the "differences" are only because of the orientation of the design. Of course, there is an alien in there, too.
This one is from a technique I learned here, here and here. I used the grid to lay out the starting dots, then after I had drawn the knot, I used correction tape to sort of cover the grid lines. I kind of like that they aren't covered up completely.

These were all inspired by quilts. I like the way the blue lines work in these.

I Am Not So Much a Knitter

I am a crocheter, but many years ago I finally learned to knit because I saw an article on continental knitting and I was able to do that without it hurting my hands too much. Once I got used to the movements, it didn't hurt at all. Mostly what I knit are dishcloths and most of those are for Christmas presents and for a long time I only knit the classic, ubiquitous, garter stitch on the diagonal dishcloth.
Somewhere along the line I found a very similar pattern, but with only 3 stitches cast on and the yarn over increase done after just the first stitch in each row. It seemed to be a little more symmetrical for me and so I stuck with that.
Then just this last year I decided all on my own to just do a single decrease at the beginning of each row instead on the usual decrease, yarn over, decrease that I had been doing all along. It meant I didn't get that little eyelet edging on the second half, but for me it was worth it to avoid the distortion I would always get on the second, decreasing half of the dishcloth.
Well, didn't that just open a whole world of crazy, because this year I am knitting seed stitch dishcloths. Okay, it's not real-knitter-crazy, but for me this is a big step.

The two at the bottom are from a pattern by Chris Williamson, but I can't find a way to get to it on her website. I originally got it from a yahoo group I'm in called holidaymysterygifts, but the patterns there are only available for a short period of time. New ones every month, though.

Anyway, I was looking for the pattern and came across Devin's Dishcloth which is the one on the needles above. I really like the garter stitch banding around the seed stitch center, especially in the solid color I am using here. I did change the pattern a tiny bit by casting on an odd number of stitches and beginning and ending each row of the center seed stitch section with a purl stitch. I tried it as the pattern is written but ended up with the border being one stitch wider on one side.

I know this is probably the knitting equivalent of crossing the street by yourself, but to me it a big step forward.

Friday, September 16, 2011


In July I stumbled on Daisy Yellow and her index card a day challenge. By that time I had already missed the sign-up deadline for her three month summer challenge, but I thought it was such a great idea that I wanted to participate anyway. So, I started on my own that very day.

Now she has a new month at a time challenge and I managed to get myself sign-up in a timely way. Since I am official now, it seemed like a good idea to show some of the cards I have done. Since I am terrible at posting things, it took me this long to do that.

Last night I was trimming some paper and thought these skinny little strips of paper would look interesting on an index card. I was going to add some bits of red to be flowers but I liked the way the "grass" looked so much I decided to stop.

These are some other scraps that I had, and I thought I would use them, too, on another card. Yes, the rules allow making more than one card a day. Since the first one was card 58, this one is 58.1.

The first card from yesterday reminded me of this one I did about a week earlier with still more thin little bits of paper trimmings. I had had the idea as I was going to bed the night before to wrap a string around an index card and this seemed to be the right card to do that with.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Color Of. . .

Look at the beautiful things you can do here on The Color Of. . . (via daisy yellow):

These are only a few of the images I did there. Go try it yourself. Now.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Friday the 13th

So how was your day?

At 7:41 this morning we heard a horrific sound that even our 12 year old (who makes the most of every possible moment of sleep before it is time to go to school) couldn't sleep through.

As you look out our front door there is an elementary school right across the street and a hill to the left. Someone coming down that hill apparently had a seizure with her foot on the accelerator sideswiped our neighbor's car, probably totaling it, jumped the curb in front of our house, tore off our mailbox, flew through a planter with -- luckily for her, I think -- three large, heavy block and concrete posts, our trash can enclosure and a fence and into the neighbors' backyard stopping several yards short of the neighbors' pool.
It is how close she came to the pool that makes me think it was good she hit those block and concrete posts. If they had not slowed her down I hate to think of what might have happened.

That is not the most amazing thing though. At that time of day parents are dropping off their children and there are usually lots of children getting out of cars, on the sidewalk and running across the street. No cars were parked in front of our house. Usually there are 3-4. Wow. No one was hurt. Even the driver and her son were walking around after the accident thought I'm sure it will be awhile before they are actually all right. How terrifying it must have been, especially for the son who was not having a seizure and so was aware of what was happening.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Paradox Fun

You may have noticed that I do enjoy doing zentangles from time to time. When I first heard about them, I would try to find patterns that I could figure out how to do on my own. As I have learned more I have sometimes found that my idea of how to do a pattern was different and often harder than the correct way. There is a wonderful website, Tangle Patterns, that has links to how-to's for all sorts of patterns.
One of the things I learned from a link on that site is how to draw the pattern Paradox. It is one of my favorite patterns now that I know how to do it. It is almost ridiculously easy, but until I saw the directions I could not figure it out. Oh, I tried, but I made it much harder than it needed to be. And it didn't look anywhere as nice. It might have been possible for someone to figure out that I was trying to draw Paradox, but that is as close as I ever got on my own.
Armed with the knowledge of how to do the pattern, I came across a zentangled drawing that the artist alleged was from Paradox, but that was beyond me. I saw it or similar designs more than once and stared at it until I figured it out. They look something like this, which was my first attempt at it.I was very pleased with myself for figuring it out and thought I would show you how to do it, too.
The first step is to learn how to draw the basic Paradox. The same method can be used to fill in shapes other than triangles.
Next, divide the area you will be filling into smaller areas for the individual Paradox patterns. On the top of the first one I did (above) it happened to form an sort of star pattern that I wanted to try to duplicate so I drew this:
Then I started filling in the shapes with the Paradox pattern. Here it is with just the upper right area filled in:
Each space was then filled with the Paradox pattern working each time in a clockwise direction. That is what gives those S-column (for lack of a better word) shapes where two Paradoxes meet. If you look carefully you can see that I have kept the pictures of these three steps oriented the same way to make it easier to believe it is that simple.
Next, I tried dividing a space into six (an even-number) shapes radiating from a sort-of center point. Sorry there is no before picture. I wanted to see what would happen if I alternated the direction of the Paradoxes as I filled in the shaped. For instance, in this example the upper right shape is done clockwise while the upper left shape was done in a counter-clockwise direction.
It is the change of direction that gives the fans and points of this design.

Last, I wanted to show you this envelope I recycled using the same idea. This was done while I was watching TV with my daughter. After I had filled in a couple of shapes she looked over and asked me what had happened to the first two shapes I had drawn. The pattern overwhelms the initial shape it fills.
It is something you almost have to try to understand. Or at least that is how my brain works.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Courtney Milan

Smart Bitches Trashy Books just hosted an online chat about Courtney Milan's most recent book Unveiled. I finished reading the book about 15 minutes before the chat and it is, like all her books wonderful. She is an excellent writer.
But I am not telling you this so that you will go out and buy her book -- which you should do -- but because for the last half hour of the chat Courtney Milan herself joined us and I got to ask her a question and she answered it using my name. As I told my daughter, I am now considering myself part of her body of written work. Squee.
What do you mean, that isn't how it works? Are you saying that it will be possible for scholars of the future to get PhD's in the works of Courtney Milan, without any mention of my place in her writings in their dissertations? Sorry, that disappointment is not going to overcome my happiness.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Zentangled Valentine's Bookmarks

Here are two bookmarks I made for a swap on swapbot. The picture was taken before I covered the bookmarks with packing tape and strung some fibers through the hole in the top of each bookmark to fancy them up, because I didn't want to deal with glare on the bookmarks. If you click on the picture, a larger image of it should appear on your computer.

The pink bookmark is the one that actually fulfills the requirement of the swap which is for a zentangled bookmark. I adapted some patterns (unyun, finery, and paradox) to be valentine-y and then just filled in with puf, netting (bottom of the page, but check out that map of the USA just above the instructions for netting) and some tassels. On the netting I added some petals to the center to fill it in visually. The shading was done with a red colored pencil, instead of the standard no.2.

The white one is based on an ATC that I did a couple of years ago, that is based on a pattern I was trying to copy from something I saw on deviant art when I was looking for patterns to use in zentangles. I could not get the pattern right and hearts kept showing up in the pattern. Well, I gave up, outlined the hearts in red colored pencil and said I planned it that way. When I tried to do the same thing on the bookmark, I couldn't get a single heart to volunteer to show up, but had to go back and fit them in. Funny how things work out.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Nine Inchie Puzzle

Here is an abstract drawing to be cut into 9 inchies to make a puzzle for a swap on swap-bot.
And here it is cut.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Scraps ATC

I hate to throw something away when I think I can use it but sometimes there are just too many bits and pieces lying around. When I made the last ATC, the lazy daisy one two posts ago, I was bothered by the nest of leftover bits of thread from previous projects, so I took an ATC back that I had cut from the back of a Christmas card and started poking holes to make rectangle shapes, doing a few of the larger ones and then filling in with the smaller shapes. Then I just got to stitching and voila! the thread nest is gone.

By the way, I posted the ATC upside down. I'm sure that if you will just stand up, lean over and look at it in the correct orientation you will see what a difference it makes. Probably only because your brain will thank you for an extra little rush of blood and your body will enjoy a little stretch, but you never know.