Sunday, December 29, 2013

The Empty Shelf Challenge

Disclaimer: I know this doesn't have anything to do with my artwork, but I only have one blog and don't write enough to warrant a separate blog for this activity.

Today when checking my Facebook Newsfeed I noticed one of my friends posted an interesting link. It was a challenge by someone named Jon Acuff. The challenge is to empty a shelf on your bookcase and fill it up with books that you read between now and the end of next year. (Click here to see the original post.) Seeing as how I utterly failed at my Goodreads challenge this year, and I had recently organized our bookshelves, I decided this might be a good place to start. Here is a picture of my empty shelf: 

Notice the overflowing shelves around it. This was the shelf with the least books to take off.
The husband has suggested that we just buy a new bookcase and fill it up with books we read this year...but that seems a little more daunting. Maybe when I finish this one I will get started on a whole bookcase. We need another one anyways.

He also wants to do this with our video games. I may have just created a monster. :P

Friday, October 11, 2013

Starting New Year's Resolutions Early

Now, I haven't participated in setting New Year's Resolutions for quite some time. In my experience they are often vague ideas that usually don't have a plan for implementation and never amount to much. This isn't just a 'New Year' problem for me though, I am pretty bad about setting up new goals throughout the year that don't get implemented. I plan them all out but have a hard time following through and need some accountability. Obviously I am failing at my goal of staying off the computer in the mornings (I started writing this around 9:30 am). But I am succeeding at blogging more often! So today is a bit of a win-lose situation.

About a week or so ago, my mother was giving me some advice on selling my projects in different avenues. She encouraged me to consider getting a booth at a local art festival or at the Nashville Flea Market that is held one weekend a month. I told her that if she would sit with me at a booth next year, then I would 'make pretty things to sell'. I meant it as a bit of a joke, and it was one of those vague ideas mentioned above that sounds nice but has no real plan. However, this morning when I was reading through the list of blog topic ideas that I linked in my last post, I found this:

61. A list of steps you’ll need to cover before you move (or publish a book, or start a blog, or open a restaurant).

Well then.

I have a desire to be able to sell more of my work, and Mom did have a pretty awesome idea. It will need a lot of work and dedication, and setting some smaller goals would be a great place to start. Since I am attempting to find activities to work on in the mornings that will hopefully keep me off the computer, I can work on reaching my smaller goals during that time period. Now that I have a time set up for working, I should be more likely to succeed. I will still need accountability however, which is where you guys come in. I will be telling my mom about this post and this is my written permission to her: Please help me stay on track. You shouldn't need to nag (because I am determined to work on this), but I will need someone to talk to about my progress and remind me of my goal when I start to lose focus. So here goes:

Steps for getting a booth

  1. Work on projects to sell during my designated time of 8 am - 12 pm on MWF. (A side note to this step is to start waking up by 8 am on these days. It is fall break this week, so I've been off my sleep schedule but this shouldn't be a problem to implement starting Monday.)
    • Baby items, hat & scarf sets, and some more artistic items should be included in my projects to provide a variety of price range and increase chances that people will stop.
    • Make an Excel worksheet to keep inventory.
  2. Price items.
    • Decide on set prices for each item 
    • Make labels for the table or for each item as necessary.
  3. Decide where.
    • My current ideas are: the Nashville flea market in October or November, a Christmas show in Murfreesboro, or an art festival in Nashville/Murfreesboro.
    • Once I decide where, I need to pick a booth location of the ones available.
  4. ?

I'm not sure what else I will need to do, so this list will have to be altered as we go. My first goal is to start working on items to sell, so that's what I will go do now. :)

Saturday, October 5, 2013

To Become a Better Blogger

Well guys, once again I find myself back here and ashamed of my lack of consistency with blogging. So, I have challenged myself to be better and become more responsible with my time. This has been a constant thread in my life recently and I have decided that I will also use it to become better blogger as well as the other goals I am currently working on. I searched the web for ideas for becoming a better blogger and found this wonderful post written by Molly Greene

I have started limiting my electronics usage because I am addicted to mindless entertainment that I find on the internet and have little to no self-control once I turn on the computer. I have been leaving the computer off in the morning before I go to work (I work the afternoon shift at my one job and don't go to work until 2 pm on MWF). So far I have succeeded at completely cleaning and organizing my master closet/laundry room and have almost finished the process of warping my loom. *happy dance* Soon I will be able to make honeycomb patterned shawls on my loom. This will be my first project of a larger scale on my loom and I'm finally going to be using it to its full potential! Photographs will be posted on here soon, I hope. 

In addition to taking care of my own things better and blogging more, I have challenged both Luke and myself to cook more at home. We have a nasty habit of eating fast food every meal due to our work schedules. I don't get off work until 6 pm or so every weekday and the husband has no consistency in his work schedule. So, last weekend we boiled 10 chicken breasts and made several meals. I made a chicken and rice casserole Sunday night and Luke made some awesome stir-fry Monday. We still have a fair amount of chicken leftover, so I am planning on making this Crock Pot Chicken Recipe this weekend. I plan on making a separate page on here for the recipes I use and our opinions on them. I don't know that anyone else will care about it, but this page will help me keep my thoughts and favored recipes organized. 

Anyways, if at all possible, please attempt to hold me accountable to these goals. Thanks!

Sunday, September 22, 2013


So, I finally broke down and created a Twitter account. So far I'm attempting to keep my tweets related to my artwork. This way when I don't blog as frequently, there is still documentation of what I'm working on.

I've added a live feed on the side of this blog over there ---->

Oh, if you wish to follow me on Twitter the link is on the live feed...or you can type @andromedafibers in the twitter search bar. I've been using my phone to take pictures of recently finished projects and current WIPs, so Twitter stays more up-to-date than here.

Also, I've started making toddler hats for the children at work and have been writing down the pattern as I design each hat. If you see a picture on my twitter of a hat you like, let me know and I'll post the pattern on here for you. So far all of the hats are of my design. If that changes, I will link the original pattern on the picture.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Navy Hat Pattern needs Testers

Hey guys, I know I've been sporadic about posting on here. I have been a terrible "yarnie" and have been playing MMO's recently instead of working on new projects. However, this week I have started on Christmas presents and went back through my old written patterns.  I found a shorthand pattern for the hat below and have finished converting the pattern to a version that normal crocheters can follow, but I need a couple of people to test it for me and make sure I've written everything out properly.

To be a tester you will need:

  • Worsted weight yarn (I used Simply Soft and Simply Soft Paints for the two I made, so I would prefer that you use a different brand to make sure it works across brands.)
  • Size G crochet hook, and possibly a couple of surrounding sizes to make gauge.
  • A measuring tape or ruler.
  • A critical eye.

So, send me an email or comment on this post if you wish to test for me and I will get back to you. Hopefully I can get the pattern tested quickly and get a copy of it posted on here soon.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

New fun!

Wow...I haven't blogged for quite some time. So, I'm still knitting on that Enterlac blanket. I love it, even though as a blanket it does take a lot of time. I've also been working on rewarping the loom, but I haven't made it very far...I got on a knitting kick yesterday and started a new scarf instead. I will post a picture of it when it is finished. I was going to reproduce the scarf below that I got in an art trade a few years ago...the friend who made it was new to knitting and tied knots at each color change instead of weaving in the ends. Being bamboo yarn, the knots have been slipping out even more quickly than expected and the scarf has started unraveling. The moral of this story? Don't EVER just tie knots in your yarn. Take the extra time and do it right. The time spent weaving in all those pesky ends is definitely worth it in the long run. In any case, I knew that she talked about 'moss stitch' when she was making the scarf, so I looked up the stitch pattern online and decided to make the scarf here instead. I'm using a different weight yarn, so mine is turning out quite lacy and beautiful. I love it already.

The lost cause scarf from a friend. :(
Close up of one of the unraveling ends.
It's gotten worse since this picture was taken.
Anyways, I've been asked to do a few commission pieces. (Yay money! Spend it on yarn!) I finished the one commission for my friend Mrs. Wilson. See her blog here. She wanted a beret, scarf, and a pair of fingerless I made them...quickly. Mainly because this girl is AWESOME and I knew if I didn't get started right away I would forget and/or never get said items finished. It also helped that she wanted a very simple design. All of the pieces were made with Caron Simply Soft Paints, Color Spring Brook.

Mrs. Wilson's Beret.
Link to pattern.
I used the suggestion to make it longer by increasing Round 10...but I don't remember how many times I repeated it.

Arm warmer/fingerless glove.
The ridge on the bottom was from slip stitching the piece together instead of sewing.
I ended up turning them inside out to remove that effect.

Scarf on my lovely giraffe, Jerome.
Also, I realize that I never posted a picture of Mom's table here are a couple of pictures of it. I apologize for the awful picture quality.  

So, I finally made an Etsy account...we'll see what happens with that. Here's my profile. I don't know that I'll sell stuff on there...unless you beg. I might if you beg. :P I don't know what I would try to sell since most of my projects are made with specific people in mind. I did buy a pattern on there for a different commission. Hopefully that one will pan out. The lady wishes to buy the yarn for it, but keeps forgetting/running out of time. 

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Vandy Hat Pattern

Well, only one of my testers finished checking my Dad's Vandy Hat for you guys will have to let me know if you have problems with this pattern. Oh, and for you guys unfamiliar with what I mean by "Vandy" it's short for Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN. My parents go to a lot of their sports events and Dad wanted a hat to match the scarf I made for him a few years ago to wear to games. My dad has a fairly large head, so this pattern is written for people who have trouble finding hats big enough to fit.

Same rules apply as my other patterns: You are allowed to do whatever you want with items made from this pattern (because it is free on the internet and I obviously can't stop you).  Sell them, donate them, give them to your dog as a chew toy, whatever.  
Just don't claim the pattern as your own or try to sell it.  Give credit where it is due.  

Dad's Vandy Hat

Hook Size: H/8

  • Main Color (MC): Bernat Satin Black or other worsted weight yarn
  • Contrast Color (CC): Filatura Lanarota Cool Cotton Yellow (Color 17) or other DK weight yarn
  • Starting chain at beginning of each round does not count as a stitch.
  • Written in US crochet terms.
  • Linked videos are not mine, but are nice if you are not familiar with the stitch listed 
Abbreviations/Stitch instructions:
  • Chain (ch)
  • Single Crochet (sc)
  • Double Crochet (dc)
  • Front Post Double Crochet (fpdc)
  • Stitch (st); stitches (sts)
  • Slip Stitch (sl st)
  • Long Single Crochet (long sc): Also known as Spike stitch. Single crochet in row below. Link to youtube video. (You only need to watch through 1:22 in the video)
  • Crab Stitch: Also known as reverse single crochet. Single crochet from left to right. Link to youtube video.

Round 1:      In MC Ch 3, 12 dc in 3rd ch from hook. Sl st in 1st dc. (12 dc)
Round 2:      Ch 2, dc and fpdc in each st around. Sl st in 1st dc. (24 sts)
Round 3:      Ch 2, (2dc, dc) around. Sl st in 1st dc. (36 dc)
Round 4:      Ch 2, (2dc, dc in next 2 sts) around. Sl st in 1st dc. (48 dc)
Round 5:      Ch 2, [(dc, fpdc) in same st, dc, fpdc, dc, (fpdc, dc) in same st, fpdc, dc, fpdc] around. Sl st in 1st dc. (60 sts)
Round 6:      Ch 2, (2dc, dc in next 4 sts) around. Sl st in 1st dc. (72 dc)
Round 7:      Ch 2, dc around. Sl st with CC in 1st dc. (72 dc)
Round 8:      In CC Ch 1, (long sc, ch 2, skip next st) around. Sl st with MC in 1st st.
Round 9:      Ch 1, 1 sc in each st and ch 2 space around. Sl st in 1st sc. (72 sc)
Round 10:   Ch 2, dc around. Sl st in 1st dc.
Round 11:   Ch 1, sc around. Sl st in 1st sc.
Round 12:   Repeat round 10.
Round 13:   Ch 2, (dc, fpdc) around. Sl st in 1st dc.
Round 14:   Ch 1, sc around. Sl st in 1st sc.
Round 15:   Ch 2, dc around. Sl st in 1st dc.
Round 16-19: Repeat rounds 7-10.
Round 20: Ch 1, Crab Stitch around.
Finish off.