Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Something to be Thankful for...

Beyond my health and well being:

Family, friends, creativity, and freedom to express that creativity.

Speaking of expressing...

Here is a set of thanksgiving cards that I designed and put together in the hopes that they'd get sent out before thanksgiving week...guess not.......

This is made using a green pre-cut rectangle of green from the Joann's "Stack of Scraps". This stamped with a random stamp I picked up from Goodwill (You can find it on ebay here)

The center is stamped with a Joann's Dollar stamp picked up from our local store, as well at the Thank You from the Fiskars Baby Shower stamp set. The red strip is a scarp from a card-stock set from Wal-mart. The blue and yellow toned squares are also from the "stack of scraps".

Another moment of creative expression is my holiday cards, these will only be sent out to family who will be out of town, or not close enough to visit on Christmas...

This is created with some plain white cardstock from Wal-mart (found in the office section) The dark red, dark blue and light blue cardstock is from Joann's, Core-dinations textured cardstock. The stripe paper in the ornament is from a patterned paper pack from Walmart, a Colorbok set.

The ornament is cut at 2 in from the "tag" setting on New Arrivals Cartridge.

The inside is mostly blank, with the word "Celebrate" stamped in simple black.

I am also working out a set of knitted, crocheted, and woven coffee cozies. These are all Christmas gifts.

Also, I am in the process of knitting up another simple loomed cowl.

Last year, I made this one:

this is made on the large yellow loom from the Knifty Knitter set, just a simple e-wrap knit tube. I knit until it is either 2 ft, or I run out of yarn.

Will put up pics of the cowl in a couple of days. When I finish it.

Also, I found a scarf at a local grocery store, it was a large gauge crochet scarf in Velvetspun lavender. I unravled it, and am making a garter stitch scarflet...

Again, picks when it is finished.

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Great Garter Head Hugger Knitting Recipe

I told you I'd post it, and so here it is:

This is knit using size 13 straight needles, but you could use circulars. I chose Lion Brand Hometown USA in Sante Fe Tweed, any super bulky yarn would work.

Cast on 6 stitches

Row 1-2: knit across

Row 3: knit 3, yo, knit to end, (this row has created your button hole)

Row 4-5: knit to end

Row 6-7: knit 2, m1 (use your preferred method of increase), knit to end

Row 8-12: knit to end

Row 13-14: repeat row 6

Row 15-18: knit across

Row 19-20: repeat row 6

Row 21-31: knit across

Row 32-33: knit 2, k2tog, knit to end

row 34-38: knit across

Row 39-40: knit 2, k2tog, knit across

Row 41-44: knit across

Row 45-46: Knit 2, K2tog, knit across

Row 47-49: knit across

Row 50: Cast off

Finishing: Attach a button to the headband at the cast-off end to use for securing the ends together.

Embellish with whatever, buttons, flowers, pins, leaves, or leave it plain...whatever!

Ravel it here!

I wanna see pictures, so please let me know where I can see your progress!

Finishes, and Baby Showers

I have an endless list of holiday knitting, but woke up this morning from a dream about knitting designs...

But that is for a later moment. For now, I need to update you on some finishes, some gifts I have been waiting to blog about until they were given, and some decent weather to photograph some of my finishes from last month.

So, here is all is!

We will start off with Fynn and his baby shower gifts. My friend Taylor is expecting her first child. She and her fiancee are a very non-orthodox couple. They requested that nothing be "typical baby". The nursery theme is pirates, and the baby shower was themed Jungle.

That got me thinking, every new parent I know has a blanket that they really like to put on their baby's crib or to wrap them up in when they are running about town with their little one. I wanted the blanket I made for them to be a representation of their personality as much as a gift for the baby.

Here you have it:

Yep, that is right, those are pirate skulls on a hand embroidered baby quilt...I wish I could have gotten better pics of that, but the pic I got of the skulls up close were a bit too blurry to save.

I also gave with this set, a handmade card (should have gotten pics of that too), as well as a granny square blanket crocheted out of Joann Sensations Rainbow Boucle in Blue (self striping) and a matching hat, as well as a couple of outfits, and I will be taking washcloths and burp cloths to her in the hospital when she has baby Fynn, I didn't finish making them before the shower.

Next, I have been trying to get some photos of some of the finishes I have done, the main one being the climbing shells scarf that I did over a month ago.

With school and the weather being so annoying, I couldn't get anything decent.

This was my first attempt:

Not so great, right?

How about this one?

I decided to try something, I decided to go into the bathroom, turned on the light, used the mirror to see my digital screen and used the auto setting on my camera... That way, your camera isnt fighting the light facing you, it is only using that light.

 Next thing I wanted to show... I have seen those adorable ear warmer headbands that have fun buttons or cute flowers offset to one side or the other, they wrap under your hair and cover your ears for those cold mornings, and frosty nights walking the dogs or heading to school.

Here is my rendition:  The Head-hugger!

Really simple garter stitch with big needles and super bulky yarn... I will post a recipe for this design in my next separate post...

You will also be able to find it on Ravlery. It is SUPER warm, and I got so many compliments today at school.

I am about half way through my diagonal garter baby blanket with eyelet border, but didn't get photos yet, and I think I might do another version of the Back-2-School with Flair scarf in Lion Brand Homespun, also, I may have found an adequate yarn replacement for the suggested, but discontinued Moda Dea Dream I used on the original for this pattern...

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Pretty New Toys!

Yes it is! I just bought myself the Cricut Expression, now all those lovely ideas floating around in my head will have a method of being expressed.

My first REAL project was a challenge over at My Pink Stamper  where she has challenged her readers to create a "winter" themed card, scrapbook page, or gift.

Here is my submission

This was done on generic Walmart Cardstock, Colorbok brand. The JOY and the reindeer are done on Create A Critter. The JOY was done at 2.5 in, and the reindeer was done at 2 in. I added silver glitter in the snowflake of the O and I used a Bic Mark-it permanent marker to emphasis a shadow effect on the left side of the letters.

The inside is blank for personalization.

Let me know what you think!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Gifts to a dear friend

are always the best kind, and even more so when they are handmade.

My friend Kristi is expecting her first child, (and she says only child), on Halloween. She and I drifted apart through my attending college and her starting a family, but came back together during this joyous time in her life.

She is expecting a little girl, so I did what I do best...I started crafting!

 Here is the score:

 6 burp cloths, hand-sewn, 4 matching blanket, 2 accenting blanket
 1 sewn blanket at 45 in x 48 in, Flannel on 1 side, and quilted pink plaid on the other.

 1 store bought jumpsuit, and 1 handmade card...
1 Crochet granny square blanket in Sensations Boucle Pink

Of course, I forgot to take a photo of the card and the blanket in detail before I gifted it, but I might yet get pics of baby Lily wrapped up in it all.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Progress and plans...and some stuff about studying

This week, I have had too much to do and not enough time or energy to do it in.

Thursday, I started showing signs of a headcold.

Not to be put out of commission, I slammed a vitamin C pumped smoothie and went about my day...I worked through the discomfort and feelings of fire in my sinuses, and now I am without voice, or energy. I really should have taken the day off and slept...

Yesterday, I had a baby shower...the day before, I realized that the fabric I bought for the shower gift was still un-sewn and in it's original bag...whoops.

So I sewed like crazy through the baby blanket, fought with my sewing machine, and finally finished. I had a ton of extra fabric from the blanket, so I found my stash of terrycloth and made 4 matching and 2 coordinating burp cloths.

I would post pics, but my memory card reader has disappeared...

While I was in the next town over, I got an invite to another baby shower...on the same day as the one I am planning. So I have moved my friends shower 1 day back, and will be in the next few weeks, crafting for 2 showers at the same time.Starting with the Granny Square Blankie for Gavin

All of these crafty activities have forced me to put my own projects on hold, as least for a few weeks. I have been commissioned to make up a scarf and 2 hats for my neighbors grown son and his fiance. Those should be easy, once I get the motivation...

And in all of this, I have to remember that I am a college student and must keep up on my homework...speaking of, have you ever noticed that college professors get very jaded after a while...I was assigned an entrepreneur to research and write a report on, and it turns out she only did 1 thing worth reporting on...and I had to BS my way from a 2 paragraph paper to a 2 page paper...

I have put my Cropped Cardigan on hold for the moment being, simply because there is not enough time in the day to do it all...

Friday, September 10, 2010

Back-2-School with Flair Scarf - personal design

This is a wonderfully warm and fashionably acceptable scarf...for any occasion.

Great for beginners to work on increases, decreases, and double crochet.

More of a recipe than a pattern, but bear with me.

With a J hook,

Foundation: chain 38

(flair 1)
Row 1: dbl in 2nd chain from hook and in each chain across, chain 2 turn

Row 2-5: dbl in each stitch across, chain 2 turn

Row 6: dbl2tog in each across, chain 2 turn

Row 7: repeat row 6

Row 8-112 (as many as to row 125 for longer scarf): dbl in each stitch across, chain 2 turn

(flair 2)
Row 113: 2 dbl in each stitch across, chain 2 turn

row 114: repeat row 113

row 115-119: dbl in each stitch across, chain 2 turn

row 120: dbl in each across, bind off and weave in ends

Wear without anything, or make a scarf pin with a hair-tie and button. (I if you want a tutorial on this technique, just leave me a comment, and I'll put one together.)

Wanna track this project on your Ravlery

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Fall is here...but I wasn't ready

Today, fall came. Just like that. Abrupt, sudden, and cold. A bit drizzly too.

Yesterday, I found some beautiful yarn I had stashed during culinary school, when I had no time to work on it, but I knew I wanted it for something. Then I stored it and forgot about it.

Mom and dad asked me to get my stuff out of their storage, and so I am slowly going through things. I found some unknown silk/bamboo blend in black and tan. I found 3 mixed skeins of Red Heart Light and Lofty in blue, turquoise and black. 2 skeins of eyelash yarn, and 2 wonderful balls of Moda Dea Dream Solid in Raspberry. I fell in love, and want more, so I just looked on ravlery and etsy to find as much as I can of this discontinued yarn. (if you have any you are willing to part with, I'd like to discuss a trade or purchase if able...)

Here is what it inspired me to make (remember the cold wetness of the day...) I started a scarf...a soft long fuzzy layering scarf.

This photo does not represent the color correctly.

Here is one of the photos from Ravlery of the yarn.

What do you think? Is the weather turning your hands busy with warm winter projects?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Took a break from the world...

So Friday was my husband's 23rd birthday, and so we took a spontaneous roadtrip. Camped out at the beach in Rockaway Beach, Oregon...went to a craft fair, looked at some houses, and got to be kids again. We built a dam in the river that came off the mountain and across the beach, and we took a nap in the sand. Had a nice glass of wine and a mini-bonfire the last night we were there. And then it was back home and back to work.

When I got home, I decided to pick up some yarn to work on a blanket for a friend. She is having a baby boy in December.

She is swaying right now between a pirate theme and a dragon theme. I did a granny square motif, with a 10 round square in the middle alternating every 2 rounds between the 2 colors, and then I did solid colored 5 round squares around the border. All that is left is to stitch it all together, pictures to follow.

Also working on a little girls blanket in pink and yellow in a chevron pattern...it is adorable...I will put pics up when I get more of it done.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Owen is almost here!

Update on craftiness!

Don't have much time, but I felt the need to let you all know just how much progress I have made.

I skipped class today to deal with a headache, and to work on these. J's shower is Sunday!

This needs another 10 rounds of dbl and the ribbon, 8 rounds will be of teh blue, and the last 2 of the green (which looks blue here...)
This just needs to be stitched together, the blue is the back, and the frogs and other animals is the front. His name and the birth year are handstitched in black embroidery thread.

Let me know what you think!

Monday, July 26, 2010

A moment to reflect...

While I have been on blog hiatus, I have come to some rather alarming conclusions, and a question.

I am running out of steam on this blog, I feel no one is following and am starting to get discouraged. If you find the information I write about useful, or have a friend who would enjoy this blog, please let them know about it. There is no sense in writing if no one is reading, I have a diary for that writing and a husband for that whining.

Please leave comments, I love to hear advice, opinions, and ideas...it helps me stay on track. It has been nearly 3 months since I seriously blogged, and I fear it is because of the lack of correspondence.

Secondly, the concerns:

1. I am crazy to have taken a summer term at school.
2. I lose track of time WAY too easy when the weather is hot...
3. I have 2 baby shower gifts to make, and shower is in 1 1/2 weeks...
4. The economy is way too far in the hole to make ANY money at local craft markets...
5. I really want to knit, but the feeling of yarn in my hands with this humidity is making it really unpleasant.
6. I have finally gotten a decent start on my book.
7. I miss blogging, and having time for inspiration
8. A glass...or 3... of wine makes getting things done nearly impossible.
9. Putting together a desk when it is so hot out you can see heat wave coming off your car is miserable.
10. A hail storm with 93*F temps makes floating the river to cool down all but impossible...

Now that I have put those thoughts down...on to the fun stuff.

I have figured out how to repackage my stitch markers to protect them better when they ship out. They are now nice and neat in these cool little tins, great for gift giving! (You can find them on my Etsy, link to the left)

Also, the baby shower gifts...about those...

First, I am crocheting a park blanket, this will not get immediate attention or use, as I know that it will be a short while before baby can go to the park, but eventually. It is designed as a granny hexagon, and will have blue ribbon strung around the edges to that it can be pulled like a drawstring, and used to carry toys. Since this is Jamie's 3rd little boy, there are plenty of toys.

Here is what I have so far!

The second gift is another blanket, but a crib or stroller blanket. Jamie hasn't got a theme, so I went with something that every little boy is sure to love, for years...turtles, frogs, and lizards!

Not so far on the construction side yet...working on that soon, need to get my studio sorted so I have table space...

This is the layout I plan on using. The green tone is the fabric with the animals, and blue is the fabric with the swirls...

As for my spinning, I planned on doing Tour de Fleece, but with classes, and Saturday market, I barely had time to keep up with my homework, let alone spend any time spinning, but this week I will MAKE time.

As for my previous post about Beau, he is still parked...but we figured out what was wrong with him! YAY...just need a mechanic we can afford, and he will be ready to hit the road!

Also, I am working on a diet, not any special diet, just replacing some of my cooking ingredients with healthier ones, and replacing at least 2 dinners a week with vegetarian meals. While I have not been working on this diet long enough to see results, I will try to keep you updated. I am starting at 185 lbs. I have not been this heavy since middle school, and hope to never be this big again.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Update on old Beau

Beau runs and drives...but is missing 1 break at this time. Figured out that the grease seal in the rear axle blew out, spewing grease into the brake drum causing it to seize up. Sprayed some engine cleaner in, scrubbed out the grease (after we broke the rust seal on the drum to tear it apart) and pin-pointed the problem. Now we just need to find a mechanic that is able to fit us into the schedule to press the axle and install the new seal, then we will be good as new. While we are out and about doing that, we will be replacing the brakes all around, and working on the paint. first to sand him down, then to paint him up...

We're thinking Ford racing blue and super shiny chrome.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Long time WIP...and money suck.'

This is a photo of my newest project.

His name is Beau, and he is a 1970 F100 Ranger XLT, 360 V8 with a manual 4 speed.

Hubby and I picked it up for $200.00 with some mechanical work that needed to be done.

When our Buick finally went, rest her...treads...(she is now retired)...we gave ourselves a $600 budget for a replacement vehicle.

Mom bought us the truck because she and my dad took over the resto process of my old '59 Ford Flatbed without including me, and felt bad about it.

So that gives us $600.00 to fix him up and get him into running shape.

Now, the work that has to be done:
Back end has locked up, might be brakes, might be rear differential.... if it is the brakes, the cost is $100-150 and 3-4 hours to rebuild the system...if it is the rear differential it would be $250 and a weekend....family has the rear end from a '72 that they found, I can get it for $100.00 and a weekend of work.

Bumper, Hood, and grille replacement...all part have been located, estimated at $150.00 for all three. Then just the time to fix it.

After that, we need to replace all the gaskets and seals in the engine, replace weather stripping in the back window and the aftermarket sunroof (have you ever had a pickup with a sunroof?).

Then the painting fun begins. He has a bit of surface rust, need to sand it down, primer it and epoxy the paint to seal it until we can take it to a pro paint shop NEXT summer.

We are doing all the metal bits we can in the engine compartment in high heat Ford Racing Blue engine paint, all the tubing, pipes, or hoses will be in shiney braided steel cord, and the body will be in a deep ford racing blue as well. We are restoring the chrome, and getting a picture of an English Setter, or a Brittany Spaniel and a couple of bird hunting shotguns crossed painted on the tailgate with the name Beau.

My former neighbor had a catahoula cur named Beau boy Blue that was as loyal and faithful to his owners and friends as a blind man is to his stick. He was the best huntin' dog I ever worked with, and he was finally put down a few years ago when he couldn't see well enough to find his way in the house any more. He was 15. He had gotten his name because of his left eye, which was blue on top and brown on the bottom.

Being an older model truck, there are no computers to deal with, no conserving space in the engine compartment, so to do an oil change you have to take off the tire...he isn't going to tell you any lies, and he will be with you as long as you want him around so long as you take care of him. Strong, loyal, faithful, and honest, just like of boy Beau...

Can you tell I am both a car/truck person, and a dog person?

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Ignorance about Terroists

I have a friend, she is a fellow Phat Fiber contributor. She is a wonderful artist, and a very supportive business friend. This week she has been the target of ignorance, accusations, and insult. All because of where she was born and raised. Galia of Galia Spindle Designs was the target of hateful behavior today because of what the Israeli Government and Military did yesterday with the raid on the Gaza Flotilla . Galia is neither involved in the government, or in the Military, she served her required time in the Military and has moved on to support her family. She is an independent artist who works hard to help support her loved crafts of spinning and knitting, and giving her family happiness. Today, she was banned from her forums on Ravlery because she posted a comment helping a knitter with a knitting problem. The moderator deleted her post, and banned her from the forum because of "her being a terrorist". Furthermore, there have been sale cancellations in her Etsy store because the customers "don't want to support" the terrorists.

This ignorance has left a bitter taste in my mouth. It is like telling a man who was born in a homeless shelter that he isn't allowed to buy a house or go to school because he was born poor. It doesn't sit well with me, and shouldn't with the rest of the world.

Do your part to help Galia, and other going through this situation because of their government.

You can find Galia's spindles and buttons here.

Let her and others like her know that the world isn't FULL of ignorance, stupidity and hate. Let her know that there are still some caring and intelligent people in this world left to support those of us who are just trying to make an honest living.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

WIP Wednesday

So here it is, May 26, 2010...that leaves me with just under 7 months to get everything done for Christmas...I know...early to start thinking about that...but I don't want to be the knitting zombie I was last year...I won't face the formidable IT from the Yarn Harlot's life...

And, besides, I have a large family, and not enough needles to have several patterns on the needles at once, like most folks do. Nope, it will be just 1 or 2 projects at a time.

But I spent an insomniac's morning going through my family lists, figuring out who would want what kind of gifts. I have decided, looking from ravlery, that all of the adult women (with the exception of my mother) will be getting large-ish felted tote bags for their various goodies. My mom won't carry a purse or tote bag if her life depended on it, so she will be getting something different...not yet sure what... The adult guys will all be getting bulky wool slippers, as most of them have hard-wood floors in their homes. I will be lining the slippers with leather soles to make them slip resistant...

All of the young adult women (cousin, sister, and niece brackets of family tree) will be getting ear-warmer headbands, and fingerless gloves. All of the young adult men (cousin, nephew brackets) will be getting beanie caps and candy, they are so hard to craft for. For the little ones, (10 or younger) they will each be getting hats and fingerless cable gloves. The 2 littlest ones (under 4) will be getting sock monkeys.

I don't have pics yet, because I don't have yarn yet...but the projects can be found on my ravlery...

As for right now, on my needles as we speak......................I have Wisp in baby blue mohair/acrylic for my birthday, I am hoping to have it finished by Saturday.