Skip to Content

Making friends with blogging again

I used to write. A lot. I used to write so much that I'd just fill notebooks with my ideas and blatherings and research and inner dialogue to the point where I'd buy the college-ruled notebooks by the five packs, and buy two. I'd doodle, leave shopping lists, write little stories and poems, and keep my to-do list all right there. I carried a backpack constantly, so I always had room for a notebook.

At some point, I seemed to lose my connection to paper. I still love notebooks, though. Often, I buy a book I think is pretty and would have filled from cover to cover in the past. Now, more often than not I've got most of these books on a shelf, maybe with a few pages written in one here or there. I've stopped carrying a notebook with me everywhere, and instead always have my phone or laptop.

Does this disconnection with the physical tend to make me less creative? I feel like I've connected to other people and been able to reach out more, offer more of my thoughts and ideas to share, but that I personally have lost a bit of the inspiration to write and create. I pick up notebooks, but that need to scribblescribblescribble and write and fill the pages has evolved to a more compartmentalized view. I tend to keep one book for one project, one thought process, and I like that a lot. But, I'm missing that free-flowing, open feeling of writing whenever it comes to me.

The opportunity to do so is still in the palm of my hand, figuratively and often quite literally. I have technology strapped to my hip at all times, much like I once always carried a notebook. Between my phone, laptop and its tablet pen, and a huge selection of creative software, I've got the ability to do just what I used to do. I just haven't rebuilt the habit.

They say it takes 21 days to build a habit. I've been feeling a little lost lately, and I'm thinking it's time to incorporate some new habits into my routine. I think it's time for me to make peace with the technological creative process, to make friends with sharing myself again. I think it's time to rededicate myself to blogging, even if I don't have a pattern or a project to share today. Every day there's something to write about. Every day is a new day, and most of those days are a blog entry just waiting to happen.

What do you think, those of you out there reading this? I know there's a few of you out there, but even if there isn't, nobody but Lilli ever saw my notebooks filled with yammering before anyway, and I still filled them up! I hope that if you're reading, you enjoy seeing more of the process of my inner workings. It's a little weird in this head of mine, but things are usually pretty good.

Enjoy. <3

Ciara Crochet Cloche


IMG_8328
Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

I wrote this cloche pattern while designing a gift for my friend Ciara. It's a great lightweight style that works well to hold the hair back on a windy day or keep your head warmer on a cool day. It has a fun cluster mesh design that is intricate enough to leave alone, but looks great with a decorative accent such as a flower as well.


IMG_8330
Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

Materials:
Fibranatura Oak, 1 skein
Size I(5.5 mm) crochet hook

Gauge: 14-16 sts and 8 rows in a 4"x4" double crochet square


IMG_8329
Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

Row 1: chain 3, then sl st into first chain st to create ring.
Row 2: ch 2, dc 9 into ring. sl st into 2nd chain st to close round.
Row 3: (ch 2, dc 1) into 1st st. dc 2 into each st, 9 times. sl st into 1st st.
Row 4: (ch 2, dc 1) into 1st st. dc 1, (dc 2 into 1 st, dc 1) 9 times. sl st into 2nd st.
Row 5: (ch 2, dc 1) into 1st st. dc 2, (dc 2 into 1 st, dc 2) 9 times. sl st into 2nd st.
Row 6: (ch 2, dc 1) into 1st st. dc 3, (dc 2 into 1 st, dc 3) 9 times. sl st into 2nd chained st.
Row 7: (ch 2, dc 1) into 1st st. dc 4, (dc 2 into 1 st, dc 4) 9 times. sl st into 2nd st.

Rows 8-10 : ch 2, dc remaining sts. sl sts into 2nd st.
Row 11: ch 3, sk 1 st, (dc4tog, ch 1, sk 1 st, dc 1, ch 1) 15 times, dc4tog, ch 1, sl st into 2nd st.
Row 12: ch 1, sc remaining sts. sl st into 1st st.
Row 13: sl 1, ch 1, dc3tog into same st, ch 1, sk 1 st, dc 1, ch 1, sk 1 st, (dc4tog, ch 1, sk 1 st, dc 1, ch 1) 15 times, sl st into 1st cluster.
Row 14: ch 1, sc remaining sts. sl st into 1st st.
Row 15: sl 1, ch 3, sk 1 st, (dc4tog, ch 1, sk 1 st, dc 1, ch 1) 15 times, dc4tog, ch 1, sl st into 2nd st.
Rows 16 - 19: repeat rows 12 - 14
Row 20: ch 1, hdc remaining sts. sl st into 1st st.
Row 21: ch 1, dc into same st, dc2tog into remaining sts. sl st into 1st st.
Row 22: ch 1, sc remaining sts. sl st into 1st st. Cut tail, pull through. Weave in ends.

Leave plain or embellish with crochet embellishments, such as a crochet rose or leaves.

Baby Crochet Stripes Beanie - Crochet Pattern



Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

My son Parker was born last Sunday, and while I've been hanging out holding a sleeping baby on my chest, I've taken the opportunity to have some yarn in my hands. This beanie is made with Knit Picks Shine in worsted weight, but can be made in any soft worsted weight yarn. Machine washable is always a big bonus for babies, who I'm coming to find out are very messy! I came up with this very basic baby beanie with stripes of a coordinating color worked through the bottom. This hat pattern is quick, easy, and doesn't use much yarn at all.

Note: Stripe colors can either be carried up the back of the project, or can be trimmed and worked into the rows.

Materials:
Size H crochet hook
Knit Picks Shine worsted weight yarn, 2 colors

Gauge: 8 sts x 4 rows in 2"x2", double crochet stitch



Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

Size 0-3 Months:

Row 1: with Main Color (MC) chain 3, then sl st into first chain st to create ring.
Row 2: ch 2, dc 9 into ring. sl st into 1st dc to close round.
Row 3: (ch 2, dc 1) into 1st st. dc 2 into each st, 9 times. sl st into 1st st.
Row 4: (ch 2, dc 1) into 1st st. dc 1, (dc 2 into 1 st, dc 1) 9 times. sl st into 1st st.
Row 5: (ch 2, dc 1) into 1st st. dc 2, (dc 2 into 1 st, dc 2) 9 times. sl st into 1st st.
Row 6: (ch 2, dc 1) into 1st st. dc 3, (dc 2 into 1 st, dc 3) 9 times. sl st into 1st st.
Row 7: ch 2, dc all sts. sl st into 1st st.
Row 8-10: ch 2, dc all sts. sl st into 1st st.
Row 11: with Accent Color (AC) ch 1, sc all sts. sl st into 1st st.
Row 12: with MC, ch 1, hdc all sts. sl st into 1st st.
Row 13: with AC, ch 1, sc all sts. sl st into 1st st.
Row 14: with MC, ch 1, hdc all sts. sl st into 1st st.
Row 15: with AC, ch 1, sc all sts. sl st into 1st st. Trim ends and weave in.



Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

Size 3-6 months:

Row 1: with Main Color (MC) chain 3, then sl st into first chain st to create ring.
Row 2: ch 2, dc 9 into ring. sl st into 1st dc to close round.
Row 3: (ch 2, dc 1) into 1st st. dc 2 into each st, 9 times. sl st into 1st st.
Row 4: (ch 2, dc 1) into 1st st. dc 1, (dc 2 into 1 st, dc 1) 9 times. sl st into 1st st.
Row 5: (ch 2, dc 1) into 1st st. dc 2, (dc 2 into 1 st, dc 2) 9 times. sl st into 1st st.
Row 6: (ch 2, dc 1) into 1st st. dc 3, (dc 2 into 1 st, dc 3) 9 times. sl st into 1st st.
Row 7: (ch 2, dc 1) into 1st st. dc 4, (dc 2 into 1 st, dc 4) 9 times. sl st into 1st st.
Row 8: ch 2, dc all sts. sl st into 1st st.
Row 9-11: ch 2, dc all sts. sl st into 1st st.
Row 12: with Accent Color (AC) ch 1, sc all sts. sl st into 1st st.
Row 13: with MC, ch 1, hdc all sts. sl st into 1st st.
Row 14: with AC, ch 1, sc all sts. sl st into 1st st.
Row 15: with MC, ch 1, hdc all sts. sl st into 1st st.
Row 16: with AC, ch 1, sc all sts. sl st into 1st st. Trim ends and weave in.

Size 6-12 months:

Row 1: with Main Color (MC) chain 3, then sl st into first chain st to create ring.
Row 2: ch 2, dc 9 into ring. sl st into 1st dc to close round.
Row 3: (ch 2, dc 1) into 1st st. dc 2 into each st, 9 times. sl st into 1st st.
Row 4: (ch 2, dc 1) into 1st st. dc 1, (dc 2 into 1 st, dc 1) 9 times. sl st into 1st st.
Row 5: (ch 2, dc 1) into 1st st. dc 2, (dc 2 into 1 st, dc 2) 9 times. sl st into 1st st.
Row 6: (ch 2, dc 1) into 1st st. dc 3 (dc 2 into 1 st, dc 3) 9 times. sl st into 1st st.
Row 7: (ch 2, dc 1) into 1st st. dc 4, (dc 2 into 1 st, dc 4) 9 times. sl st into 1st st.
Row 8: (ch 2, dc 1) into 1st st. dc 9, (dc 2 into 1 st, dc 9) 4 times. sl st into 1st st.
Row 9: ch 2, dc all sts. sl st into 1st st.
Row 10-13: ch 2, dc all sts. sl st into 1st st.
Row 14: with Accent Color (AC) ch 1, sc all sts. sl st into 1st st.
Row 15: with MC, ch 1, hdc all sts. sl st into 1st st.
Row 16: with AC, ch 1, sc all sts. sl st into 1st st.
Row 17: with MC, ch 1, hdc all sts. sl st into 1st st.
Row 18: with AC, ch 1, sc all sts. sl st into 1st st. Trim ends and weave in.

Cody Hat - Knitting Pattern


side
Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

I recently made a hat for Cody, a close friend of mine, and he and I both love it. He's got long thick hair that he likes to wear up in a hat, so it's got plenty of room.


front
Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

The hat is made from Hempathy yarn, so it stands up to some abuse and still looks fantastic. He can wash it, throw it in his backpack, whatever he likes and still have a great looking, comfortable hat.


IMG_7606
Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

Materials:
Hempathy yarn, 3 colors
One size 2, and one size 3 40" circular needles

Gauge: 10-11 stitches by 18 rows over 2"x2" square


Cody Hat Decrease
Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

Cast on 100 stitches using long-tail cast on method and Color A (CA) onto a size 2 40" circular needle. Join in the round using magic-loop method. Leave a long enough tail to pick up stitches along cast-on edge after row 18.


back
Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

Rows 1 - 16: Knit all stitches

Row 17: Purl all stitches

Rows 18 - 34: *K1, P1*, repeat to end of row

Row 19: Using cast-on tail, pick up stitches in each of the stitches in the original cast-on row using a separate circular needle. Fold fabric up so that the stitches line up on each circular needle, holding the new circular needle behind the old. Knit together 1 stitch from each needle. Continue to knit a stitch from each needle together to create a tube until there are no stitches left on the second needle.

Rows 20 - 21: Knit all stitches

Row 22: Switch to Color 2, dropping Color 1 to back of work. Knit all sts.

Row 23: *Knit 9 sts, make 1 st*, repeat 9 more times. Stitch count will now be 110.

Row 24: Switch to Color 3, dropping color 2 to back of work. Knit all sts.

Rows 25-26: Knit all sts.

Row 27: Carry up Color 2, dropping color 3 to back of work. Knit all sts.

Row 28: Knit all sts.

Row 29: Carry up Color 1, dropping Color 2 to back of work. Knit all sts.

Rows 30-31: Knit all sts.

Row 32: Carry up Color 3, dropping Color 1 to back of work. Knit all sts.

Row 33: Knit all sts.

Row 34: Carry up Color 2, dropping Color 3 to back of work. Knit all sts.

Rows 35-36: Knit all sts.

Row 37: Carry up Color 3, dropping Color 2 to back of work. Knit all sts.

Row 38: Knit all sts.

Row 39: Carry up Color 1, dropping Color 3 to back of work. Knit all sts.

Rows 40-51: Repeat rows 20-31

Row 52: Carry up Color 2, dropping Color 1 to back of work. *K 22 sts, place marker*, repeat * 4 more times

Rows 53-54: *K 22, slip marker*, repeat * 4 more times

Row 55: *k1, k2tog, k to 3 sts away from marker, ssk, k1, slip marker*, repeat * 4 more times.

Rows 56-57: k all sts, slipping marker when you come to them.

Rows 58-69: Repeat rows 55-57

Row 70: Repeat row 55

Row 71: K all sts, slipping marker when you come to them

Rows 72-77: Repeat rows 70-71

Row 78: *K2tog, ssk*, repeat * 4 more times

Row 79: K all sts, dropping markers as you come to them

Row 80: Cut thread, thread tail through tapestry needle, then pass needle through all open stitches knitwise. Pull tight to close hole.

Pass needle through to back of fabric. Weave in tail of yarn into back of fabric, then trim.

Weave in all other loose ends through back of fabric, being careful to close any holes from switching colors. Secure tail, and trim ends.

Total stitch count: 7580 stitches

Savings Experiments for New Year's Day, 2011

A few years ago, I consolidated almost all of my credit debt. Since then, I've been steadily working my way out of debt and working toward getting my financial life on track.

Now, with things most of the way paid down and everything under control, I have started to think about a word I usually dread: SAVINGS. I've been realigning my priorities with money and what I really want lately, and this has included realizing that I don't need nearly as much stuff as I previously believed to keep myself happy. What I do need is less stress, some stability, and a focused drive to improve my life. At one point, every extra dollar went to paying down my high-interest-rate credit cards, and I've eliminated all but two accounts: one business account that acquires miles and one personal account to a favorite clothing company. I'm currently in the process of paying those accounts down from almost-maxed to within 10% of their balances.

With all this money going to correct purchasing mistakes from my past, and the rest going to support my business, I wonder how I ever have any money at all. But then I look around and realize how much money I spend on superfluous things, such as some new craft kit or a new ball of yarn that I just had to have when I haven't gone through hardly any of what I got the time before, or even the occasional hundred-dollar stack of books I walk in the door with. I decided that I had to stop telling myself "I don't have enough money to put into savings."

I started a few months back with a monthly account transfer into 2 accounts: my shared savings with my husband and my smaller, personal savings account. I figured if I had an automatic transfer, I'd kind of set it and forget it, and just notice that ok, 25 has gone here and 10 has gone here. I've been working off that method for a while, and I'm never put back by the small amounts of money leaving my account at 2 different points during the month.

Then, I started thinking. At the very, very least, I make $10 an hour at work. Usually more, but at the very least, $10. I thought, why do I not think my future and finances are important enough for me to invest what equates to usually less than 1 hour a week of my time and money? I needed to give at least $10 extra a week to myself to put aside for either emergencies, or for whatever future plans require - college funds, maternity leave (ahem, eventually) or vacations my husband and I want to take together.

However, since my industry is a per-customer situation, my income is not always consistent from week to week, so a certain amount per month on a certain date other than my prerequisite phone bill or credit payments always makes me nervous. I decided to see if I could trick myself into not noticing myself saving money by doing smaller increments, but a lot more frequently. And when I say small, I mean small.

I decided that I'd add a couple more transfers to the list. One day a week, 3 dollars comes out of my account and goes into my personal savings account. Originally I was hoping to set up a $5-a-week payment to my credit card, but I wasn't able to set that up. That's when I decided that I'd save the whole $10 a week I was thinking about originally, and just make an outside effort to pay my cards down instead of buying unnecessary items in 2011. Instead of changing my 3 dollar transfer to $10, or adding another transfer day, I decided to break up the remaining 7 dollars, and transfer $1.40 every business day to my account.

This way, 5 days a week, I'm paying myself $1.40. 1 day a week, an additional transfer of $3 goes to the same savings account. 1 day a month, an additional transfer of $10 goes to that same account. And finally, 1 day a month, $25 goes into my shared account with my husband.

With less than 2 dollars a day coming out of my account, I don't have to stress whether or not my savings transfer is going to threaten my account into overdrafting, and I'm already used to the higher two amounts from coming out of my account.

I know it doesn't sound like much, but with this system, I'll be bringing my savings from what was before $420 a year, to a total savings of $940. And hopefully, I'll barely even notice.

Huz Scarf - Knitting Pattern


IMG_7141
Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

I made Mark a matching set this year. Here's his Huz Scarf, and you can find the link to the matching Huz Hat here.

He loves this scarf because he can wear it a few ways, it's warm, and it's very soft.


IMG_7143
Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

As you can see, the finished scarf is very long, just under 10 feet long. The ribbed pattern pulls the scarf in, highlighting the raised stripes and making for a very warm fabric.


IMG_7142
Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

Materials:

Main Color (MC): Fibranatura Oak, Colorway 5382, 1 skein
Accent Color (AC): Fibranatura Oak, Colorway 5392, 1 skein

Needles:

Size 8 24" Circular

Gauge:
2"x2"=9-10 sts, 13 rows


IMG_7144
Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

Row 1: CO in MC 402 sts, using long tail method in 2 by 2 rib pattern (k2, p2) ending on a k2

Row 2: p2, k2, p2, place marker, *k2, p2*, repeat * 97 times, k2, place marker, p2, k2, p2

Row 3: k2, p2, k2, sl marker, *p2, k2*, repeat * 97 times, p2, sl marker, k2, p2, k2

Row 4: p2, k2, p2, sl marker, *k2, p2*, repeat * 97 times, k2, sl marker, p2, k2, p2

Row 5: repeat row 3

Row 6: Russian join AC, then p2, k2, p2, k between markers, p2, k2, p2

Row 7: k2, p2, k2, p between markers , k2, p2, k2

Row 8: p2, k2, p2, k between markers, p2, k2, p2

Rows 9 - 10: repeat rows 7 - 8

Row 11: Russian join MC, then k2, p2, k2, p between markers, k2, p2, k2

Row 12: p2, k2, p2, k between markers, p2, k2, p2

Row 13: k2, p2, k2, p between markers, k2, p2, k2

Rows 14 - 15: repeat rows 12 - 13

Row 16: repeat row 13

Rows 17 - 20: repeat rows 12 - 13

Rows 21 - 25: repeat rows 6 - 10

Rows 26 - 35: repeat rows 11 - 20

Rows 36 - 40: repeat rows 6 - 10

Row 41: Russian join MC, then k2, p2, k2, sl marker, *p2, k2*, repeat * 97 times, p2, sl marker, k2, p2, k2

Row 42: repeat row 4

Rows 43 - 44: repeat rows 3 - 4

Row 45: Bind off in k2, p2 pattern, ending on a k2.

Weave in beginning and end tails and you're done!

My First Shawlette - Knitting Project


IMG_7120
Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

Hey StashBustArmy and other knitterly friends! I wanted to share my first completed shawlette, a gift I made myself to wear in New York City for this year's World AIDS Day event I attended at the UN with Hairdressers Against AIDS.


IMG_7128
Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

It's a classic triangle-shaped shawlette with an eyelet lace pattern that I improvised. I should eventually look up what this lace pattern is called, since I'm sure there's a pretty name for it somewhere. It's essentially a k2tog, yo row, a purl row, a sl 1, k1 row, then another purl row. Anyone know what it's called?

I also love how the eyelet increases give a spine to the center of the shawl. I continued the yarn-over eyelets along all the edges, too. Eventually I'd love to make a plain shawl with the eyelet edges, and weave a bright ribbon through the edges and center spine.


IMG_7126
Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

The shawlette is just long enough to add a little warmth, or as a cover for a strapless or spaghetti-strap dress.


IMG_7132
Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

It also makes a great chunky scarf with extra coverage, and also has the possibility to provide face coverage on a rainy or windy day.


IMG_7124
Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

Next time, I'd love to make one of these in a larger scale. I'd love a big, long shawl in this style that I can completely engulf myself in.

By the way, I made this in Blue Sky Alpaca's Organic Bulky Cotton in the colorway Tomato on size 8 needles.

What do you think? I love having this piece as a new accessory for the upcoming chilly months.

Banana Nut and Seed Energy Biscuit



Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

This bar is a great start for a high-fiber, high-protein, vitamin and omega-rich breakfast, or a great satisfying snack. I like to eat these with a piece of fruit and a glass of milk an hour or so before going on a run, or when I'm running out the door with a travel mug full of coffee.

45 Minutes to Prepare and Cook

Ingredients

Salt, 1 tsp
Pumpkin Seeds, 1 cup
Wheat germ, 1 cup
Flax Seed, 1 cup
Whole Wheat Flour, 1 cup
Hemp Seed Nut (hulled hemp seed), 1 cup
Quaker Oats Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats, 2 cup
Chia seed, 1/3 cup
King Arthur 100% Unbleached White Whole Wheat Flour, 1/2 cup
Baking Soda, 2 tsp
Egg, 1 large
Banana, ripe, 3 medium (7" to 7-7/8" long)
Vanilla Extract, 1 tbsp
Canola Oil, 1/3 cup
Cashew Butter, 1/4 cup
Brown Sugar, 1 cup, packed

Directions
Preheat oven to 350.

Combine whole wheat flour, wheat germ, hemp seed nut (hulled hemp seed), flax seed, chia seed, pumpkin seed, rolled oats, white whole wheat flour, baking soda, and salt in medium-large bowl. In a separate, large bowl, mash 2 ripe bananas. Add oil and egg, and beat until combined. Add cashew butter, brown sugar, and vanilla extract, and mix until combined and sugar dissolves. Slowly mix dry ingredients into wet ingredients, scraping down sides occasionally. Allow mixture to sit for 5 minutes to hydrate oats and wheat germ.

Scoop 1/4-cup portions into a muffin pan or onto a cookie sheet, sprayed with non-stick spray. Bake for 15 - 25 minutes (longer cooking time will make for a drier, crispier biscuit), then allow to cool enough to move to a wire rack to continue cooling. Makes 24 1/4-cup bars.

Number of Servings: 24

SJCC Student Art Show, Spring 2010


IMG_6049
Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

This spring, I had a few pieces in the San Jose City College Student Art Show, so I thought I'd share my pieces with you. Here you see a charcoal piece of mine.


IMG_6050
Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

The piece is a still-life charcoal drawing final from my Representational and Perspective Drawing class. I titled it "Miss my bucket." I'm cute.


IMG_6052
Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

The top right drawing is also mine, from my Beginning Drawing class in the fall of 2009.


IMG_6053
Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

It's entitled "Wicker and Linen" and is a study in pen and ink. I really enjoy pen and ink, and I'm completely addicted to Micron pens.


IMG_6055
Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

All 3 of my paintings were put into the show, but nobody labeled them! Ugh. They're all on the bottom row here, and all but the second-from-the-right is mine.


IMG_6057
Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

Mark has this one hanging above his desk in our office. It's acrylic on canvas.


IMG_6059
Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

This one, called "Two-Hour Shoes," lives at the McCloud house now. Acrylic on canvas.


IMG_6060
Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

This one, "South Central Urban Garden," is hanging in my bedroom now. Acrylic on Canvas.

Nap Cat says Don't Bug Me

image1366394538.jpgDiz is a-snugglin in fresh-from-dryer blankets. Go ahead. Move her. IF you're brave.

Syndicate content