Monday, January 11, 2016

Christmas Gifts

So much for weekly posts!  With the craziness of the holiday season I had no time for any updates, but don't be fooled; I was knitting up a storm.  I really wanted to up my game on handmade gifts this year and I really did quite a bit.  My work schedule gets busier during the holidays so I try to be reasonable with my goals.

For one of my work friends I made a trio of felted crocheted bowls.  Of course, I forgot to take a picture of them so you'll just have to use your imagination.  They were an off white color and the bowls nested inside one another.  I loved them so much, Iv'e decided that I will eventually make a trio for myself.  For another work friend I made a candle cozy to fit a 3-wick candle from Bath & Body Works.  I used Lion Brand's Cotton-Ease in white.  The bottom base of the cozy was crocheted.  The cables were knit separately from the base and then sewn together.

I'm always nervous about anything I make without using a pattern but I think this turned out well.  I showed my mother the cozy right after I finished it and she immediately asked "Is that gonna get set on fire?"  Ugh!  Way to make me paranoid.  Here is your candle and cozy and a possible fire hazard?  I thought about it for awhile and came to the conclusion that it's safe.  It's well below the rim of the candle and if they use cotton for pot holders than it should be safe for a candle.  Either way, I gave my friend a warning with the gift.  

Next up, I knit some beautiful (if I do say so myself) Christmas balls.  I was going to use a pattern but  it called for fingering weight and all I had was worsted, so I cut down the pattern and designed my own color work graphs.  I took inspiration from the awesome book Knit Nordic by Eline Oftedal.  It's a great book that uses 4 traditional Norwegian sweater patterns to make 20 different accessories.  There is a great pattern for Christmas stockings that made it on my list of things to knit.  

These 4 beauties went to my mother-in-law.  I honestly was very tempted to keep them for myself so I decided that I will start making my own starting now so I can have them on my tree for the next Christmas.  Iv'e learned a little lesson in knitting these: you really have to stuff them until they are about to burst.  I've seen some people use styrofoam balls inside but I prefer the stuffing.  What ever floats your boat.  Maybe I'll write up a few free patterns of my original designs and share them throughout the year.  

I finished my little niece's chevron blanket just in time for Christmas.  It really is a beautiful blanket and it knit up easily.  I would definitely consider making one again.  With the cold weather finally making an appearance in New York, it will be put to good use.  (I hope!)  

Last but not least, my nephew requested a blue hat for Christmas.  Of course I couldn't say no.  I couldn't decide to make it dark blue or light blue so I decided both.  The hat is double knit so it's reversible and extra warm.  This was the first time I've ever done double knitting.  It really was quite easy.  It just goes to show you shouldn't be scared to try new techniques!  

I did make one more thing for Christmas but I never took a photo of it completed.  My husband has been begging me to make him another hat for awhile.  I finally went through my stash and picked out a squishy brown ball of yarn and knit away.  The first attempt was a fail.  It looked like a giant cupcake.  The second try was perfection!  I would tell you more but I intend to take some photos of said hat.  I liked it so much I made myself a matching one!

Next Christmas I will try to be more organized and start my gift projects in September!  It's such a relief to be done with it though.  Now it's time for selfish knitting.  No deadlines, no worry.  Just a cup of coffee or tea and some knitting needles and yarn.  Pure heaven.

If you're curious about my latest projects, check out my Instagram.  I've really become addicted to it and you'll probably see pics of my work before I get around to posting it here.  Happy knitting!!

Saturday, November 14, 2015

WIP: Baby Hats Mania

I've missed my usual Wednesday post this week due to a hectic schedule, but better late than never!   This week it's all about baby.  My mom decided to put together an impromptu baby shower for my sister this coming Sunday and I really wanted to get a few hand made items finished to gift to her.  I figured hats are super fast for a baby so I busted out a cute little ribbed one with a pompom on top. 

Next I felt like doing something daring so I tried a little color work.  I really had high hopes for this little heart but it just turned in to a blob.  I then tried to embroider a gold outline around the blob to make it more heart-like and now it's just a fancy blob.

After that attempt I tried my hand at some fair isle.  It was perfect!!!  Except for the size of the hat.  I thought the heart blob hat was perfect for a newborn but I wanted this one to be more for a 3 month old. I added way too many stitches to the cast on but I couldn't tell that it was so humongous until I was half way through.  This is more for a 1-2 year old.  I'm planning on ripping this one out and starting over.  Plus the ribbing wasn't working out right either.  But working this jumbo baby hat really made me love color work.  This could definitely become more of a thing for me.

All of these hats are made on US 4 bamboo double pointed needles using Knit Picks Brava worsted in white and tranquil.  The yarn is so great for baby knits that you can just throw in the washing machine.  I probably won't finish anything else by Sunday but I guess I got a head start on Christmas!  

Christmas is a scary thought right now.  It's right around the corner.  I had all these grand ideas of making presents for everyone but obviously that's not going to work out.  If I'm vigilant maybe I can bust out some mitts and maybe some candle cozies.  Maybe I can sew or embroider something?  I better make an idea list.  I foresee a fair isle kindle sleeve in the future for myself too.  Maybe that'll be on the after Christmas knitting list.

By the by, Knit Picks is going to have their annual Cyber Monday sale on Monday, November 16 starting 6 am.  I suggest you check it out!  Last year I didn't find too much I wanted but the year before that I made out with a huge haul!  I look forward to this sale all year.  My wishlist is all updated and ready just in case anything on there is on sale.  It's always nice to treat yourself to a few Christmas gifts, especially when they are craft related!  Happy shopping!!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Wednesday WIP: Block Sweater

So I was skimming through my overflowing WIP wagon (yes, it's literally a shopping cart full of WIPs and yarn that doesn't fit in my stash boxes) and I found a project that I almost forgot about!  With all this chevron blanket knitting and crocheting I forgot that I started a sweater maybe a year ago.  Heck, it might have been started way longer than that!  If completed it will be my first sweater ever made!  There have been past attempts at sweater making.  Something has always good wrong:  mistakes in stitches, losing place in pattern, being big enough to stick two of me in, etc.  I've always felt like a novice knitter (despite making lace shawls, socks, gloves, and hats) because I've never made a sweater for myself.  Technically I have made one baby sweater, but it was for my nephew and it never fit him, so to me it doesn't count!  With this sweater I can finally redeem myself!

To make this sweater, I'm using the awesome instructions on raglan sweaters from the amazing book The Knitter's Handy Book of Top-Down Sweaters by Ann Budd.  I highly recommend this book to all knitters.  You can use this instructional book to create your own custom masterpiece or to follow one of the many sweater patterns that it contains.  For the yarn, I'm using Patons Shetland Chunky in black and charcoal.  I've had this yarn for a long long time.  It was actually used for my very first sweater attempt way back when, but unfortunately it was a fail.  The sweater was a fail, not the yarn.  The yarn is actually quite nice.  I'm not a huge fan of acrylic for clothing but the 25% wool it contains eases my mind.  Plus you can just throw this baby in the washing machine and call it a day!  You gotta love that!

I guess it's only fitting using this yarn.  What better way to redeem myself as a knitter than to use the yarn from the very first sad failed attempt to finally complete my FIRST SWEATER?!  Unfortunately this project might have to remain on the back burner.  I think my sister is going to pop her baby out within the next 2 weeks and my gray and white chevron blanket still has a ways to go.  Plus I have these grand ideas of making a hat, booties, and sweater for the baby.  There's no way I have enough time for all that before she's born.  There is always Christmas!

Christmas is a whole other topic.  I really wanted to make this the year of hand-made gifts but I think I should've started on that 6 months ago!  One day I will learn from my mistakes.  I will start months ahead and have enough time to knit myself something for the holidays too.  HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!  Yeah right!  Wishful thinking......

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Wednesday WIP: Dressel Shawl

 Blankets, blankets, blankets.  How many blankets can one person make at a time?  This Wednesday I'm going to introduce my new project that I just cast on this past week.  It's a beautiful shawl from the 2014 Accessories edition of Knitscene magazine.  This is the Dressel Shawl by Megi Burl.  It's available to purchase in the Interweave store.  If you don't happen to have the magazine I highly suggest you try to find it because there are some great patterns in it.

In the pattern, they suggest using Knit Picks Stroll Sport but unfortunately it has been discontinued.  As an alternative I have substituted it for Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Sport.  It's 100% Peruvian Highland wool so it's not as soft as Stroll's merino wool, but it'll keep you nice and toasty warm in the winter.  Megi uses a vibrant orange called Pumpkin in Stroll, but Wool of the Andes Pumpkin is very muted so I went with a red-orange shade called Saffron.  Also, I was afraid that if it was too orange then it would look too halloween-ish (which might be appropriate this month but not so much in January).  The other shade is black but in Wool of the Andes it's Coal.

It appears this shawl combines many different techniques so I might not suggest it for a beginner, unless you're feeling daring.  From what it appears, it includes color work, intarsia, and picking up stitches and knitting side ways.  This is actually the first time I've ever done intarsia.  I'm not a fan of all those tangles of string hanging every which way while I'm trying to hold tension and switch and twist colors, but the results look good.  I'm finally using my bobbins that I bought like 3 years ago.  I don't have enough for every strand but at least I can use them for every other strand.

Since my niece should be born a month from now I'm feeling the pressure to finish her gray and white chevron blanket.  I really want to make a hat with matching mittens and booties for her also but I'm running out of time.  This shawl will probably get pushed to the side for awhile until I get her projects  done.  I would love to make a dress or sweater for her but that can be saved for Christmas.  Then again, Christmas is right around the corner!  If only I could knit all day instead of working.  Maybe I should get a lotto ticket.  A knitter can dream.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Throwback Thursday

I'm going to start a new special weekly post.  I introduce to you Throwback Thursday.  In these posts I will show off my own past projects that haven't been blogged about and also handmade goodies made by my family that have been passed down to me.  Being a crafter,  you can instantly connect to and appreciate these pieces because you understand the work and time put in to creating them.  They serve as inspirations and reminders that what we do when we craft is special.  We are creating memories by hand.  The generations after you could have a piece of you that they can hold in their hands.  It's our legacy.

So here is a cluster of beautiful doilies featuring the famous pineapple motif.  They were crocheted by my maternal grandmother, my Nanny.  Unfortunately I didn't really get to know her too well.  She had a stroke around the time I was born and lost her speech and then passed away when I was about 6.  My mother tells me she was a wonderful knitter and crocheter.  She has piles of doilies that her mother made and now some of those were passed down to me.  These are about 7 1/2 inches in diameter and crocheted in an off white shade.  I'm sure there are numerous patterns on Ravelry that are similar; its such a classic doily.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Wednesday WIP

It's time for another Wednesday WIP!!  It's a good thing I have multiple projects going because my crocheted yellow chevron blanket is going to be a long long long process.  I think you'd get bored of seeing the same thing every week!  Well, I guess this project isn't that different.  It's still chevron!  And a blanket!!

One of my sisters is expecting her second child in November.  I offered to make a blanket of her choice and wouldn't you know, she picked chevron!  What is it about those zig zags?  The baby's room is all set up and the main theme is gray and white chevron with splashes of pink (it's a girl!).  I've been loving the crochet chevron blanket that I've been making for myself so I was excited to start another one.

I personally prefer knit blankets for babies rather than crocheted.  Knit has a lighter softer feel to me and an easier drape to wrap that bundle of joy in.  Plus I needed to switch it up a little!  I found a great free knit chevron pattern on Ravelry.  I highly recommend checking out the creators' website, Espace Tricot.  They have a beautiful store in Montreal and, although I've never been there, it's on my places to visit if I ever plan a vacation!  Is it weird that I think about knitting shops when thinking of vacations?  Nah!  I bet you do too!

This beauty is being made with Knit Picks Brava worsted in white and silver.  It's a quality acrylic yarn that I've used for two other baby blankets and a baby hat because of it's soft texture and easy washing care.  Did I mention the cost?  $2.99 for 218 yards!  That's a good deal!  Not to make this all about Knit Picks (Knit Picks is awesome!!) but I am also using their amazing Options Interchangeable Nickel Plated Circular Needles.  I absolutely love this set!  I store them in my Pendleton Zippered Needle Case.  It's a great way to organize all those needles.  Plus, it's pretty.  

     So far this blanket has been a treat to knit.  It's going surprisingly fast and you can easily memorize the repeats.  I have a little over a month to finish this and I have plans for a few more baby related projects to start.  It's always exciting when a new baby arrives.  They're so tiny and cute and you just want to cover them in wonderful handmade things!  Typically the items are small too so it's not a big time sucker, that way you have more time to spend with the baby!  And of course I can't forget about my nephew, the baby's big brother.  I'm sure he wouldn't mind a handmade toy or cool new winter hat!  My list of things to make is growing by the second!  Good thing I have a huge stash of yarn all ready to be used.  I hear it calling my name!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Wednesday WIP

So.... it's been a long time since I've posted anything.  Well let's jump right in!  I have decided to start a Wednesday WIP.  Every Wednesday I will be sharing my current WIPs (Work In Progress).  I've never been good at keeping up with a posting schedule but I think it'll benefit me in the long run.

This summer has been filled with crazy changes that have caused me some major stress and panic attacks.  I'm talking full on panic.  The kind of panic that I would imagine a prisoner walking to the guillotine would have.  Looking back over the crazy stressful events, my husband pointed out something to me- over the last couple of months he's noticed I haven't been working on my knitting.  No knitting. No crocheting.  No embroidery.  I was denying myself all the things that keep me happy.  He was totally right.  My crafts keep me sane!  They help calm me down when I'm stressed.  I wasn't allowing myself to have any time to decompress and unwind.  Crafting is my therapy.  There are numerous scientific studies out there that prove it.  Everyone!!  Keep that crafting going!  The world could be a safer, better, happier place!

So, picking those needles and hooks back up, here is my first WIP in the project pile.  This blanket of sunshine is pure HAPPY!!  I'm using the pattern Chevron Baby Blanket from the very cool blog Eat, Knit & DIY.  Krista fills in the the bottom and top zig zags to make a straight edge but I happen to like the points that it naturally makes so I'm leaving them as is.  I'm also making this blanket big enough to fit a full size bed.  More to cuddle!  I have to admit, I am not a very experienced crocheter.  I learned the most basic of basics from my grandmother when I was very very young but I've only recently been diving into it with seriousness.  This, in my opinion, is a great beginners blanket.  Easy repeats.  Easy to stitch while watching TV.  

I'm using Caron One Pound acrylic worsted yarn.  I'm not a huge fan of acrylic but considering how much this sucker is going to get washed, it seems like that best choice.  This particular yarn is a little scratchy but it does soften up after a wash.  With lots of fabric softener.  I'm using the colors white and sunflower.  Doesn't it just instantly make you smile?  Sunshine.  That's what i want to see laying on my couch when I come home from a long day at work.  Pure happiness in the form of blanket.  

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

FOs To Share

Lately I feel like I've been knitting and crocheting so much, but when I signed in to blogger to update my progress I realized I really had nothing to share!  How many pictures of dish clothes do you really need to see!  I have been using them, by the way.  It's definitely different then using a regular sponge, but it makes me feel so happy using those colorful little swatches.  My Chevron Shawl is forever in progress.  I did knit several more inches, but I feel like it's not enough to really want to share yet.  I'm madly in love with Knit Picks Capretta because of it.  I highly recommend it.  So lusciously soft!  

Today I decided to show off a couple of projects that have been sitting around my apartment waiting to be finished and photographed.  First up is a cowl I first started talking about way back when in March of 2012.  I can't believe it was that long ago.  It's when I introduced Andy to the world.  Once I was done turning worsted acrylic into super bulky acrylic I knit it up into a chunky cowl.  It looked really cool except it was too chunky and stiff!  Sadly, it was not worn and was draped over a chair to get it out of the way.  It stayed on that chair for almost a year and a half.  That's when I realized something.  It looked great there!  

I placed the cowl in its permanent place and sewed up the top.  I still wanted the option to take it off and throw it in the wash so the bottom is just tied with some left over yarn.  Now it looks right.  I'm not sad for that cowl anymore.  It's a happy little chair cover now.  It has found its rightful place in this world.

It kind of makes me want to knit more things for my home.  Why should knitwear be confined to people!  Let it loose!  Hence my next project, the crocheted basket.  I finished this guy over a month ago but I haven't gotten around to felting it until last week.  I think I kept putting off the felting process because I've never done it before.  I was scared.  Finally I gathered enough courage to dump that sucker into a tub of hot soapy water and swished away.  Ten minutes in and I thought I clearly had done something wrong.  It looked loose and stretched.  Another ten minutes later it happened.  It started to felt.  I don't know how long I really sat there crouched in my bathtub with my felting bucket but it hurt.  I took a dinner break and then went right back to it.  Finally the holes started closing in.  A glorious fuzz has appeared!  I HAVE FELTED!!!  Truth be told, I probably should have felted it a bit more but whatever!  I'm impatient.  

Now this awesome basket holds my awesome Chevron Shawl and all its wool.  I'm thinking about adding handles and stitching the white brim down.  We'll see.  No rush.

Just to update you on the dish cloth craze, I have finally finished my last dish cloth.  Now I have moved on to crocheting a big mat for my drying rack.  I bought two drying mats from Target but they get stinky pretty quickly.  Plus they're beige and boring.  Cue the color!  Obviously I had to buy some more colorfully fun cotton Sugar 'n Cream!  I'm only a third done with the first mat.  It's going to take at least 3 balls.

My Patons wool is calling me to start another basket.  I hear it quietly whispering to me.  Who am I to ignore it.  Stitch away!!!

Is anyone making things for the house and not themselves?

Monday, January 27, 2014

Dish Cloth Addict

Hello.  My name is Paula and I am a dish cloth addict.  Seriously.  I don't know what's gotten in to me.  For the past 2 weeks I have been obsessed with making small dish cloths using Tunisian crochet.  I love the texture that Tunisian crochet creates.  One side is smooth while the other is rough and bumpy.

I intend to use these cloths for washing my dishes so I made them fairly small.  I have tiny hands and larger cloths flop around to much.  I like when they fit in the palm of my hand.  I certainly had plenty of cotton yarn to choose from already but I'm not excited by the colors.  I have a very bright and colorful kitchen so I wanted something that would compliment that.  I took a fast trip to A.C. Moore and picked up some fun multi colors of Sugar n' Cream.  I used what I owned already to do a single crochet border.  Each ball made 5 cloths.

I think Tunisian crochet might be perfect for making sturdy baskets too.  This was definitely a nice break from the never-ending Chevron Shawl.  Sometimes you have to mix things up!  I still have more cotton left so I'm not done with this craze yet.  Of course, minutes ago my niece asked to go to the craft store.  Let's see how much cotton I'll buy now!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

New Year, New Yarn

Happy New Year!  I hope everyone's holidays have been amazing. Mine certainly was.  Christmas was filled with family fun and warm cuddly yarn!  I was gifted a very large box from my parents, filled with yarn. It wasn't a surprise. I picked it out myself. Knit Picks got a lot of business from me on Cyber Monday. There sale was so good, I bought myself a nice little supply too!  And how could I pass up their one-day-only sale on City Tweed?

They were $2 a ball and the minimum for free shipping is $50 so, naturally, I bought 25 balls.  I don't believe in paying for shipping. It's such a rip off.  Why pay $10 to ship these goodies when you can spend that money, and an extra 15 bucks, and actually get stuff you can hold in your hands?  Think logically people!  Buy more stuff!  Everybody needs more stuff!  

After Christmas I dumped all my new yarn onto the couch and brought all my stash boxes over.  After about two hours I had managed to organize all my yarn and update my yarn stash spreadsheet. (Yes, a spreadsheet!  I'm very organized!)  My total sum of yarn has reached an all time high. I can't believe I can even fit it in my assigned yarn boxes!  Well, most of it.  The less desirable yarn is in my project rolling cart, waiting to be assigned to a mission. They have been with me for too long and they scream to be used!  So, now for that number.  I have 285 balls of yarn. Now, some of you might be thinking that's insanely too much, but some of you are probably laughing to yourselves because you know your stash numbers are WAY higher than 285!  I like you latter people better.  You justify my stash. 

Now, what do I do with all this yarn?  I thought I had set plans for certain balls but I've changed my mind on most of those projects. Things have to be just right. I don't want to waste my yarn on something I won't wear, or waste a good project on yarn that's not right for it.  It can be really stressful.   I do have a scarf picked out for my incredibly soft Capretta from Knit Picks.  It's the Chevron Shawl from Bernat.  This was the perfect marriage of super soft airy cashmere merino blend with a classic chevron lace.  I'm one yarn ball in to this project and I'm loving it more and more with each row.  It's definitely going to be a while before I get to wear this beauty. 

I already finished a big stash buster. I have quite a bit of Patons Classic Wool. I'm not really a fan of this yarn. I've accidentally felted every project I've knit with it.  So instead of crying over anymore failed attempts, I decided to go with it!  I made something with the intentions to felt.  A basket.  Who doesn't need a felt basket, right?  

I didn't actually felt it yet. Soon.  Very soon.

Another great stash buster? Ok!  How about a chunky cowl?  Everyone loves a chunky cowl! 

It's like a cozy neck brace!  It came in handy this week. With 8 inches of snow on last Friday and today's frigid -8 degrees, it came in good use.  No pattern to follow for this one.  It's a simple seed stitch knit until desired legth and then stitched together with a three needle bind off.  Easy-peasy.  Why am I standing in my kitchen with a cowl on?  Why not!?  Go with it!  

And what about Christmas knitting?  I knit up a Doctor-Who-inspired hat for my niece as a Christmas gift.  Great way to de-stash that Vanna's Glamour yarn! 

It's Tardis blue with sparkly star twinkles and a rose obviously for the Doctor's love, Rose.  I got my husband hooked on Doctor Who and he passed it on to his niece. She's only seen a handful of episodes but she's hooked!  She definitely has good taste.  She even dedicated a craft session to the show.  We each made our own paper Tardis and origami Rose. This is mine:

So much fun!  

I designed my own pair of socks. Did I mention that?  I'm so proud of myself.  One day I will write out the pattern. Until then, check these babies out!

Cozy!  I don't remember the yarn. It was something I had stashed for a long time.  I really enjoyed making them.  Socks are an interesting knit; relatively small and fast, and travels well.  I hope 2014 has a lot of sock knitting in it.  And maybe a sweater.  I really need to just do it already. I don't understand how I coud be knitting for so many years and still have yet to complete a sweater.  I've made attempts but they all ended with tears and lots of frogging.  

Now I will leave you with my awesome Ugly Christmas Sweater from Christmas Eve. It was a sweater my grandmother made a long time ago and embellished with felt, sequins and bows by me.  

Good night folks!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Christmas Count Down!

This is it people.  Christmas is right around the corner.  I always have this master plan to try knitting a few gifts but I never succeed. This year is going to be different.  I'm pumped!  Let's get this knitting party started!  I sorted through all my yarn and figured out what yarn to use for each project and then stuffed it neatly into my extra special Pee Wee Herman bag.  (Purchased after seeing Pee Wee on Broadway!  Highlight of my adulthood!) 

Everything is in there- yarn, needles, notions, etc.  I have navy blue and light blue acrylic to knit two baby hats.  One for baby C who is 14 months, and one for baby J who is 1 1/2 months.  It will be very simple, ribbed with a few stripes.  Next is a hat and cowl set in grey wool with cranberry, purple, and peacock blue stripes for my niece who is 10.  I love knitting for my favorite little people.  At the very bottom of this bag are a few projects for me as well. I can't forget about myself!  I have an off-white wool for a squishy warm shawl.  (I LOVE SHAWLS!!!!!!)  I also have biege tweed for socks and silver and dark turquoise heather for mitts.  

I do have some past projects to share but, of course, I am not prepared with photos!  Next post, people!  Happy Knitting!  

Friday, September 13, 2013

Lost In Space

Ok.  I fell off the face of the planet for a while.  Now, back to business!

During this 4 month blogging hiatus I actually did knit and embroider a few things.  Of course I don't have photos of them all but that's to be expected of me.  In no particular order, here are a few of my most recent finished projects.

First up, my skull patch.  I drew this pretty baby up and stitched it quickly.  It was the perfect project to carry around and sneak a couple of stitches here and there.

I don't know what I'm going to do with it yet.  I'm sure I'll find a place for it somewhere.

This was the little Fisherman's sweater that I made for my nephew.  Unfortunately, it didn't fit him.  At all.  The sleeves were way too big.  Now that the weather is starting to get a little cooler maybe I'll try it on him again.

Speaking of my little nephew,  here's an action shot of the booties I made him.  They finally fit him.

And also his little hat!  I don't remember if I showed this one and I'm too lazy to look at back posts so here it is!

So that's it for photos for now.  I have two blankets I still have to photograph.  I'm also currently working on a pair of socks.  These are special socks.  These are designed by ME!  I'm very excited about them.  I think I really enjoy sock knitting, which is good considering how much sock yarn I own!  I have lots of ideas for future projects but for now I need sleep.  Good night knit world.  Stitch tight.  Don't let the moths bite.  (See what I did there.......ahhhh??)  

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Big Plans, Little Time

There are so many things I need to do right now! I go through the list in my head, adding things as I think of them, and suddenly it becomes an endless book. A List of Infinite Tasks. I get overwhelmed just thinking about it. There are all these things I want to accomplish in my short time on this planet, and, yes, I am referring to my crafty things. One thing I have been itching to do is quilting. Well I can almost check that off my list! Check this baby out!

This is a play mat to put on the floor for my little nephew. He's just learning to roll and his tummy time mat is too small and slippery for him to get that fat little body turned around. He should have a much easier time on this fun jungle theme quilt! I still have to bind off the edges. Is that the right term? Bind off? My brain goes to knitting terminology right away. It doesn't know any better. Anyway, I can't wait to see that baby wiggle around on this!

I am forever working on this little man's sweater. I swear I'm almost done! It just needs a collar and to be seamed up. He will have it before winter is through! Next comes a hat for him. That will be a fast knit. And after that another baby blanket. He loves being wrapped up and cuddled and is currently favoring his great Nana's knit blanket. My mother requests another to be made. The yarn is already in my possession.

So away I stitch!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Rip Rip Rip.......

The new year has begun and I'm feeling inspired.  Let's get motivated here, people!!!  A fresh start!  WEBS has started a nice feature on their blog called 31 Days to get Organized and I'm ready to follow step by step.  God knows I need the help!  2012 has proved to be fruitless.  I feel like I haven't churned out enough projects and I think my terrible organization skills are to blame.
The first day of this organizational challenge is all about listing the good and the bad; what works for you and what needs improvement.  The things that work for me are my designated craft corner in my apartment, my filing system for my patterns, my inspiration bulletin board, easy access to my desk and printer, and I am a wonderful list maker!  I also organize my yarn in wonderfully large boxes and keep them stored on shelves from IKEA.  And now for the bad.  I have trouble finishing projects.  I'm sure a lot of us crafters have this problem (please tell me I'm not alone!), whether it's getting bored with something or just having the itch to start something fresh.  That leads me to my other problem.  I have too many projects going at one time.  I get distracted easily so having too many things going makes me overwhelmed.  Once I lose interest in a project I might as well frog it because I can never get back that rhythm.  That's also my problem with blogging.  I need to dedicate time working on this or I'll go missing for 3 months again!  Sticking to a schedule has always been a challenge for me in all parts of my life.
The second day of this challenge is going through your WIPs and deciding to keep or frog!  This is a scary task!  The time and emotions that go into making each project can really mess with your head sometimes.  I spent a lot of time on what I thought would be my first completed sweater only to realize today that the fit is all wrong.  In my heart I felt this coming.  This is my third sweater attempt gone wrong.  As sad as it makes me to tear this apart, I know it must be done.  Rip, rip rip........  Now as for my other projects, I have a baby sweater, two embroideries, a summer baby quilt, a baby bib, and a baby hoodie to embellish.  That's enough projects going!  No more!  As far as knitting goes, I think one project is all I can handle at a time.  Sewing projects will probably be handled one at a time as well.  Embroidery seems to be a little easier to pick up randomly.
The third day is an extension on the WIPs. They give great tips on how to handle all those projects and still stay organized.  I really suggest everyone reads those posts.  It is truly valuable information that can help you out!
Day four is about storing your WIPs.  I have my knitting and embroidery in separate project bags.  The sewing projects are just hanging out together but it seems to be ok.  All the filled project bags and sewing are stored in a big blue basin atop a shelf.  This seems to be working for me.  When I'm feeling crafty, down comes the bin.  Then I can decide what type of crafty I'm feeling.  Somedays I feel like knitting, other days can be sewing.  What ever strikes my fancy that day!  I love that all my craftiness seems to be needle related!
If you want to know what day five is then I suggest you click on over to WEBS blog!  Even if you think you have your organizing skills down I think it's a good idea to check out a different take on it.  Maybe you'll find something that could work better than what your doing!  And, gosh darn it, you deserve the best.
Can I just add I totally treated myself to an iPad mini with my Christmas gift cards.  Surprisingly that little device makes me want to blog and get organized!  It also makes me spend ridiculous amounts of money on electronics that I can live with out, but oh well!  It's so damn cute!
I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday and a spectacular New Year.  Here's to a brighter year!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Baby Monkey!

Ok.  It's a little late but my new little nephew is finally here!!  He's become quite the little star around here getting lots of attention.  I'm not just saying this because he's blood, but he is soooooooo freakin' adorable!!!!!!!!  He's a good little guy and we're over the moon about him.  I could gush about him for hours but I might make you nauseas.  

So, moving on to the crafty side of life, embroidered baby monkey onesie is complete!  I had such a sense of urgency to finish it 2 weeks ago so I busted out those last stitches.  It's a good thing I did because my sister went into labor that night.

See, I gave him smaller eyes.  Those big pupils were a little scary so the downsize was necessary.  I didn't want to scare the baby!  There were so many strings and lumps and bumps on the inside, I was nervous it might irritate sensitive baby skin so I covered it up.  I cut out a patch from a soft white cotton t-shirt and stitched around the little monkey body.  I did that after I took these photos but you probably wouldn't have noticed those little white stitches anyway.

I'm really happy I ventured off into embroidery.  It's so enjoyable to me.  It's an easy way to add personal flare to a piece of clothing.  Satin stitch can be a pain but I love the way it looks.  It's basically coloring with string!  How cool is that?!

Now, I know I promised pictures of my beautiful completed sweater, but I have some bad news for you.  After I bound off the shoulders and added the rib around the neck I tried it on.  And it fell off.  Really.  It fell off my shoulders  and down to my waist.  My boat neck was an epic fail.  So naturally I cried.  After wiping my tears, I stuffed it back in the bag and refused to look at it.  Yesterday I was brave and ripped out the ribbing and binding.  It's not a total loss.  Just a couple more rows to go and then the bind off.  I'm still undecided on the sleeves.  The pattern has short sleeves that fall off the shoulder.  I was thinking about picking up those stitches and making long sleeves.  Lets get that neckline right first.

Nothing else is on the needles at this point but I feel a baby sweater is near.  When Webs was having a sale I stocked up on Cascade 220 Superwash.  It's time for that yarn to see the light of day.  Wish me knitting luck on my boat neck.  I'm going to need it.