Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Spring Update


(Me in my new design, Winter Hiking Hat)

Hey Knitters!!!!!

I know it's been many, many months since my last post. I've watched my blog update go from over 300 hits a day to a very sad 90 hits a day. Yikes! What a depressing situation - though completely understandable. I really hate it when I'm following a blog and then that person doesn't update for a LONG time. But, I guess they usually have a good excuse.

Here are my excuses:

1. College
Helping my son, Tim, get through his college applications and scholarship applications...as well as going through the HELL of financial aid and horrible horrible FAFSAs. Though, I must highly recommend using the wonderful organization NHHEAF, if you are in New Hampshire. We went at least 3 times and, every single time, they were more than helpful. The people who work there try their very best to explain the whole college and financial aid process with you, without making you feel like a complete idiot. Happily, Tim has finally chosen to go to Champlain College in Burlington, VT (with a $10,000 scholarship!) for Game Programming. Also, Tim will be inducted into the French National Honor Society in May. Yay for Tim!!

Tim also participated in the 2011 Penguin Plunge in January to raise money for the Special Olympics - that was a great day!



2. Hooping


(my Pink "Firefly" LED hoop from Hoopnotica)

I'm preparing myself for the Hoopnotica Teacher Training in September this year. As many of you know, I also teach yoga (http://www.YogaGardenNH.com) and I'm hoping to add hoopdancing to my teaching experience - and I'd love to incorporate hooping into a yoga class as well. I started hooping in December 2009 and it was a very slow process for me to start with. I couldn't even keep the hoop going around me more than once for weeks and weeks. But, I kept it up and now I've learned lots of cool tricks and hope to practice enough so that I can teach others in the fall. I've been practicing at least 30 minutes a day and I'm making progress. If you want to check out my hooping page, click here for HoopGlow. Yay for me!

3. Sewing


Okay, I'm a traitor to knitting. It's true. I've spent most of February - April sewing (and hooping). And not knitting. I'm trying to work on my new (!!) book, a sequel to Dreamscape. And I'm lacking the enthusiasm that I was hoping I'd have. I have ideas sketched out for most of the designs and have already started on (which is very lovely, but going pretty slowly because of my other interests) Did I tell you that I had to order a 4th order of 100 Dreamscape books in December?? I was really happy about that. But, now, sales are down and I think knitters are waiting for something new. The other knitwear designers of the world must either be single or retired, because I'm having the hardest time trying to keep up with my housework, my family and my hobbies. Maybe I'm just too scatterbrained? But, those other designers must really focus 100% on their designs 24/7 to be able to crank out such fantastic things continuously. Sadly, I can't (and really don't want to) do that. While my kids are still somewhat young, I'd like to enjoy them. I have years and years left to devote to designing. Right??

Anyway, that was a tangent.

My hubby bought me a sewing machine last year for my bday in May and I was too scared (yes, scared) to use it until a few months ago. I usually always sewed everything by hand (toys, blankets, eye pillows, etc) and the machine really intimidated me. Luckily, it's a Hello Kitty machine, so it's less scary :D My friend, Hilary, came over and forced me helped me to start sewing and that was a breakthrough. Since then, I've made SO MANY things:

3 pairs (or more) of Waterproof mittens for Ian's winter hiking expeditions
1 balaklava and 2 cowls for Ben made of fleece
4 collapsible shopping bags for friends and family
2 baby quilts (in duck patterns)
4 Robot squishy toys
1 pretty patchwork bag with handles
1 knitting accessory bag
1 accessory bag that matches the patchwork bag
1 black peasant blouse (for me)
1 adorable strawberry skirt (for me)
1 super cute cherry pillowcase for my bed
1 pair of Spongebob flannel pajama pants
1 sweet Pennant Banner for a very special little girl that says, "Riley's Room"

So, now you can see why I haven't been knitting! lol

If you're into sewing, too, check out the book: "One-Yard One Skein Wonders" by Storey Publishing. I borrowed it from the library at first, but ended up spending so much time and money copying the patterns that I liked that I just bought the book. More great sewing books that I found are: "Weekend Sewing" and "Sew What? Skirts" - both are very nicely organized, appropriate for beginners and fun to read - and are inspiring.

4. Designing


As I wrote above, I'm in the process of creating my new book so all of the knitting I've been doing lately has been, well, work. It's not something that I can easily pick up and just enjoy. I've got to pay attention to what I'm doing, write down changes or mistakes that I've made to my pattern and just THINK alot. That's not always a fun way to go about knitting. My friends have suggested that I just have 2 projects going so that I'll have something mindless and fun to knit, but then I KNOW I'll end up procrastinating and not completing my designs for the new book. So, I'm trying to be responsible, but...it's hard.

I have completed a number of projects so far this year:

Angora/Merino Wrap
Amanda Hat for me
Armando Hat for my dad
Mittens
An Amanda Hat with earflaps
Ben's felted clogs
2 Winter Hiking Hats (my new design...Ravelry link HERE)...(see top photo)
2 sets of Baby Duck socks
2 sets of Baby Duck hats
A Baktus
and, my favorite, my Garden Gnome Mittens.



If you want to see some pics and/or details of them, click HERE for my Ravelry page.

5. Blog
Let's face it. Facebook has taken over blogging. Or, at least, I think so. Most of the people who keep in touch with me (in the knitting world), do it on Facebook. I constantly update my sewing and knitting projects on there - with links and pics. I'm finding it harder and harder to update my blog. But, here is where I have links to my patterns and other stuff, so I won't get rid of it. But, if you're interested in keeping in touch with me more often, friend me :)

This is my personal page: http://www.facebook.com/gina.sleepyeyes
(if you don't mind seeing stuff about my family, friends, hooping, sewing and knitting...it's less censored than here...lol)

Or, you can friend me as Sleepy Eyes Knits: http://www.facebook.com/sleepyeyesknits
(where I only update knitting related news/shows/projects/etc)

So, I think I've pretty much updated most of the stuff that I've been doing. Sorry that there's not too many photos and very little talk to knitting, but I hope that will change once I get more time on my hands. Hopefully!

Would love to know how you're all doing and thank you again for being so loyal to my blog. Hope to see some of you on Facebook, too!

Lots of love,
Gina :D

P.S. YIKES!!! Almost forgot...did you see my NEW Classic Elite pattern (Webletter #171), "The Kimberly Shrug"??? This pattern (named after my sister, Kimberly) came out right after Christmas this year. You can download this FREE pattern HERE on the Classic Elite website.

Check it out and let me know what you think!! :)