Saturday, December 31, 2011

Ringing in 2012 with Crafty Goals!

As I sit here enjoying the last 3 hours of 2011, I'm looking forward to 2012 in so many ways! I can't do much of a recap with what projects I did this year as I just started blogging it all in September so I likely don't have pictures of everything! I do know that since I had two months between my last day at work and when the little one was born, a LOT of crocheting and knitting was done then!

Being that I really don't have pictures for this blog, I'll keep it short and to the point. Here's my 2012 crochet/knit goals!

  1. Finish my Year of Projects List (even moreso, finish it BY June 30th...the deadline)
    • There's 14 things left on it...whew, we'll see how it goes!
  2. 6 Afghans in 2012 (All except one of these are started at least)
    • Block A Month Afghan for our house ( 6 x's a big one!)
    • Block A Month Afghan for a Christmas present ( 4 x 4 lapghan)
    • Ripple Blanket for our bed (Queen sized, another big one!)
    • Ripple Blanket for a Christmas present ( 48 x 62 )
    • Carseat sized Snowflake blanket #1 ( 5 snowflakes x 4 snowflakes...can't remember exact dimensions)
    • Carseat sized Snowflake blanket #2 ( 5 snowflakes x 4 snowflakes...can't remember exact dimensions)
  3. Make one item each week to add to craft show stock
  4. Make a list of things to make for the little one (list is still growing and not complete yet)
    • A bigger winter hat
    • More baby leggings
    • Bigger mittens
    • Skull Jumper
  5. Learn at least 3 new techniques whether it be within knitting or crocheting or even with the Knook.
I'd say only five goals seems simple but it appears to be a loaded list but I'm sticking to it! Even to the point where I'm using those handy little calendars to make monthly/weekly goals as a guide to stay on track!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

YoP #8

Going to keep the update short and sweet this week with it being the holidays!

Finished up my Snowflake throw if you didn't see it the other day. Here's a quick shot of it!

And the picture below is the one I mentioned Friday where I posted it and now all of a sudden I have three more of these to make!! Yikes!

I did some small revisions to my list based on some things (and patterns) that have come up. Here's the rundown as it stands:

Small Projects: (4 of 7 completed)
1. Granny Square Cowl - Make with stash odds and ends for lots of color (COMPLETED 11.9.11)
2. Divine Hat - Moda Dea Eclipse in stash (COMPLETED November 2011)
3. City Girl Cap - Vanna's Choice in stash
4. Sensational Lacy Scarf - Crochet Thread in stash in several different colors
5. Lace Fingerless Mitts - Patons Stretch Socks in stash
6. Crochet Button Slippers - Green/Yellow boucle in stash (COMPLETE December 2011 but haven't shared the final yet)
7. Crochet Mile a Minute Scarf - Simply Soft Ombres in stash (COMPLETED Dec 2011 but haven't shared the final yet)

CALs (done by end of 2011): (3 of 3 completed)
1. Chevron Lace Cardi (COMPLETED 10.23.2011)
2. Snowflakes Throw (COMPLETED Dec 2011)
3. Vortex Throw (COMPLETED Dec 2011)

Crochet: (0/6 completed)
1. Pinecone Top
2. Lacy Cropped Cardi
3. Custom Tank Version #1
4. Cap Sleeve Top (in progress)
5. Custom Tank Version #2
6. South Bay Shawlette

Knit: (1/7 completed)
1. Clapotis (next to be cast on as soon as I'm caught up on a few things)
2. Ballet Camisole (in progress and flying along swimmingly!)
3. Peacock Shawlette
4. Sagrantino Shawl
5. Haruni
6. Saroyan (COMPLETED Nov 2011)
7. Walnut Grove

The top of my list looks great, the bottom not so much. The ballet camisole is nearly finished and I'm hoping to get it off the needles soon so that I can join in on a Walnut Grove KAL that starts Jan. 1 and runs through Feb. 14 so that'll get me another completed and another started. The crochet part of the list doesn't bother me as I crochet fast so really I was making sure I get the knitting out of the way and/or started first.

Hope everyone's having a fantastic holiday!

Squee Sunday!!

First off, I hope everyone's had a fantastic holiday! Among other non-crafty things, I have to share my squee about the crafty goodness I received for Christmas!!

My parents got me a...

Talk about scrapbooking goodness!!! I'm so excited to play with this die-cut machine! It also gives me motivation to do what I've been meaning to do to my desk...clean it! Hubby and I are moving my desktop computer up to our spare room which we use as an "office" so I can use my desk for all my crafty things. As of now, most of my crafty things are up in the spare room which doesn't work well considering I spend most of my time down in the Rec Room where the desk is! Thus...the upcoming switch. The possibilities are endless with this machine and I can' even decide where to start! It comes with four cartridges already too and my younger brother gave me a storage case for the cartridges (on top of an A.C. Moore giftcard :) yay).

I'll also have to make a trip to Michaels as I have a giftcard there too and may use it (on top of a 40% coupon) to get a set of interchangeable needles.

Hubby made sure I won't be bored with:


I love amigurumi and I don't make enough of it, it's too cute!!

Plus, I had asked for this and totally forgot I had asked!

He also noticed (more than myself even) that I constantly talk about a certain attachment I wanted for my KitchenAid and....tada!

Know what it is? The book below he also got me might help!

That's right, we'll be making some homemade ice creams and sorbets! I cannot wait to try this thing!!

Ok, done squeeing about my random crafty/cooking goodness. I feel like such a little kid!

Friday, December 23, 2011

FO Friday #8

I have been horrible with blogging this week but the upside on my end is that all the presents are wrapped and done!

Also managed to finish the Snowflake Throw which was supposed to be my last blanket for 2011 giving me a clean slate to start my two planned blankets for 2012 but more on that later. First, onto the good stuff, the finished goodness of snowflakes!

I posted a picture of the hubby holding up the finished product on Facebook and that apparently made more work for myself :-P. I now am making three more of these things for friends. Ok, more like two because I'm making smaller carseat sized versions for a friend's two youngest so those two will total about the size of one blanket. I'm also making a full sized one for another friend to give to his wife. I'm excited to try this pattern with different colors! For the two small carseat sized blankets, one will be camo and the other will be pink camo which I'm looking forward to seeing! The other full sized one is going to be a green which will be pretty. All staying with white on the snowflakes.

So in the meantime while that yarn is on its way to my door in a package, I've been busily working on my ballet camisole more. There's a KAL that starts Jan. 1 and of course it requires the size needles that my camisole is sitting on. Now surely I could just go buy another set of that size but I'm being good and finishing this one first instead!

Also looks like my Caron Simply Soft will be going towards a Haruni shawl so we'll see when I can start on that too!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

YoP #7

In case you missed it, I did manage to finish one blanket this week, my Vortex! Little one has been enjoying its swirly goodness as she rolls around on the floor :)

I didn't share a progress picture of my ballet camisole last week so here's an update!

I have two more inches to go on the body before I start the upper back and front so not much longer! I ended up making a lot of progress on it this week because I decided after I finished my Vortex Wednesday I'd take a good few days and just focus on this.

This week's goal is finishing up that snowflake throw that has one more row to be attached! It should take me no time at all so those two blankets will be finished and I'll be able to start my next two blankets.

Once I finish the snowflakes, I can start something else off my YoP list (or catch up on my cap sleeve top which I should do).

One is a ripple blanket for our queen size bed and the other will be my blanket I'm doing along with the Crochet Block A Month group so it'll be this time next year before I share those :-P.

Friday, December 16, 2011

FO Friday #7

I finished my Vortex baby blanket this week! It took me way longer than I should have really but I had decided in September when I started that one block per month was plenty on top of my other projects :).

Little girl appears to love it, she grabbed on before I was even done!

Yes we both had festive Christmas PJ's was one of those days.

I was going to share my button slippers but really that's nothing compared to the loveliness shown above so I'll save those for another Friday.

Next week's goal is the last row of motifs on my Snowflake throw so I'll have another big FO next Friday.

And you know what that means? I finished two blankets before Christmas meaning the new year is free to start the two other blankets I have planned!

Don't forget to help pick my next shawl project on my blog's homepage on the left :) Which would look great as a solid black "go with everything" shawl?

Thursday, December 15, 2011

A picture is worth...well, you know how it goes

So as I sit here thinking of the pictures I need to take for my upcoming blog posts, I'm disappointed at yet another dark, overcast day resulting in a lack of natural light. My last several posts I haven't been happy with pictures at ALL but haven't had a chance at much natural light so I think I'm going to dive into making my own little "cheap" photo studio in my house. I had found this blog which is a great idea but still relies on natural light so it's still iffy in solving my problem.

I do use large cardstock in the background of pieces when I can but still, relying on natural light (although it is the best light for photography) isn't always an option!

I've seen several mini-studios made using a large cardboard box which is great for showing off little projects but still not that fantastic for those bigger projects like wearables and blankets!

I am waiting for the above book to come out for some inspiration. It's already available to purchase on a few other sites but personally with Amazon being so much cheaper AND my family has Amazon Prime so we don't ever pay for shipping, I'll wait a few more weeks. I love photography and I have a great camera for it but pictures are so important to me on a blog post and I could do with much improvement there I think!

With that said, anyone have their own mini makeshift photo studio for blog pictures? Share your photo taking trials and tribulations as well as successes!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

YoP #6

More progress than I thought this past week and hopefully EVEN more on the two blankets this upcoming week!

Made it through quite a few more rows of my Ballet Camisole but no picture this week because that way next week's picture will make the project look that much bigger ;) It has very much become my evening knitting with some hot chocolate. I'm such a kid, not much of a coffee drinker and have to be in the mood for tea but I never turn down hot chocolate! I do need to make my mug a cozy but I hate covering up the Mickey Mouse ears!

I did finish off the 3rd Vortex square and started the fourth one a few days ago.

4th square in progress!
Three squares patiently waiting to be put all together

Ended up doing my button slippers in a red Soft Yarn as the boucle wasn't co-operating much when it came to crocheting so I'll have to see about a small knitting project for those skeins. Someone disappointed but I still love my red slippers! I'm saving the full reveal for Friday!

Today is my day to work on snowflakes so obviously I don't have an update picture. Honestly I'm hoping my next update picture is that it's finished. Nothing like being SO close to finished on two bigger projects that I can't make myself sit down and just finish one!

OH! And before I forget, I for the life of me cannot decide which shawl to use my Caron Simply Soft Light in black on so on my blog's homepage (on the lefthand side) is a poll. Pop in your vote and help me decide! If you vote "Other" make sure to leave a comment with your suggestion here

Friday, December 9, 2011

Poll Time!

So I need some input. I have several skeins of Simply Soft Light in black that I bought because of how squishy they are and how in love with Simply Soft I am. I'd like to use them to make a nice black "match anything" kind of shawl but I don't know which one! There's a poll on the left side of my blog's home page with my possibilities so far, help me decide! There's also an "other" option to choose if you have a favorite that might look great in black :). Free and paid patterns are considered, I just can't choose on my own! I do prefer a knit one (surprising for me since I usually prefer crochet).

Here's the links to the ones in the poll already:

Walnut Grove
Alma Ella

**If you choose other, leave a comment here with a link to the one you think I should do instead! I'm open to all suggestions :)

FO Friday #6

Showing off my three quick Calorimetry headbands I knit over the Thanksgiving holiday that I finally got around to buying some buttons for this week!

Using up some of the Bernat I used for my Saroyan

It's driving me nuts I don't remember what kind of yarn this is. It was in my stash randomly without a label.

Lion Brand Amazing :) Not my favorite colorway they make in it but I still like it!

Also whipped up that wreath I was talking about on Wednesday this week. Took me about 20 minutes :)

Pictures were rather hastily taken this week as I'm writing this Thursday evening while the hubby is home to occupy the little one but we all know how that goes. They never really COMPLETELY watch the little one, Mama still has to keep one eye looking that way :-P.

Also there's a poll on my blog's homepage on the left side. Take a moment a give me your input on how my skeins of Simply Soft Light in black should be used in a shawl :) It's much appreciated!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

WiP Wednesday!

Posting a little bit later in the day but that's due to a trip to the craft store with my mom this morning!

Here's how the rest of my week is going (hopefully):

*Needing to complete two hats by next Tuesday (should be easily done in about a 1/2 day)

*Finally picked up some things for a quick winter wreath. I thought about doing some Christmas colors but wanted to leave it up for the entirety of the winter season so I decided on a different color scheme.

*Also picked up the things needed to make my 3.5 year old niece her Christmas present. A cute little girly purse with a little sparkly bling of course! I had to keep it somewhat small and portable since they'll be flying out from the west coast. Hopefully she'll love it!
Here's the yarn and lining fabric
Here's the must have bling for the bag!
*Still have to do one more of my crochet button slippers. As excited as I was about using the boucle I got from Target, I think it's better suited for a knit project as it's not agreeing with a crochet hook so I've switched to a Red Soft Yarn instead.

*COMPLETELY forgot the Advent Scarf started for the month so I'm already a week behind on that! Hopefully tonight I can catch up! I'm excited to participate, I just think someone needs to create a crochet version next year :-P That I could keep up with even better!

This is all on top of my Year of Projects items still in progress (which are going very well but you can't have an update until...Sunday (or maybe Friday if there's something finished ;) you'll have to wait and see).

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Squee Sunday!!!

Oh how behind I've been in my Sunday Squees but just off the top of my head I think I have plenty to share!

Starting with the most recent, hubby was surprised he was nominated THREE times at his job's annual holiday awards banquet and even better he won one! It was the one he wanted too. Nothing like winning an individual achievement and getting to claim it in front of 500 people in a ballroom! So proud of him :)

Little one has figured out rolling from her back to her tummy AND has mastered the art of eating cereal and not spitting it back out :-P.

We also took her to see Santa last weekend at the local firehouse! It's a $25 donation to the volunteer fire company, get you one 5x7 print (additionals for $4 donations), and your very own 15 minute scheduled appointment for Santa. So basically we walked right in, never had to wait in line with a baby around a germ-filled mall with cranky children AND we got 15 minutes with just us and Santa AND our Santa visit is tax-deductible AND the mall doesn't give you an AWESOME fire truck in the background of your picture!

I thought we'd only get one print of her and Santa but the photographer was nice enough to snap a family shot of the three of us so we have two fantastic Santa prints!

YoP #5

I'm 6 rounds and four corners away from finishing my 3rd Vortex square. Going to see about getting that done today while the laundry runs.

My ballet camisole is coming along nicely. It was the perfect project to use my yarn from Tess' in Maine. I have a few more decrease rows for the lower body but it works up pretty quickly,

Think I'll whip up my crochet button slippers this week as well. I have some comfy boucle for those that oddly enough I got at Target in the dollar section!

So good progress this week I think. Snowflakes till have a small bit to go but I'm at least opimistic that'll be complete by Christmas. I've been slowly working on my Cap Sleeve Top as well but not worth a picture for progress right now :).

Friday, December 2, 2011

FO Friday #5

First up, my Knit It Tonight Cowl from Caron's site. I had originally planned on doing the lighter turquoise with a purple Simply Soft that I had but with Simply Soft super cheap last week at Michael's, I spotted the darker shade and had to have it. I do still have about a half skein of the darker shade, half skein of purple and a small amount of the lighter turquoise left so those three will likely be used for another small, quick project of mine. These quick projects have really been keeping me motivated on the larger projects I have (although I'm anxious to finish my one blanket so I can start the queen sized one for the master bedroom)!

I also realized I never even got to take a picture of myself sporting the cowl! Hubby saw it and said "I'm trying it on, give it here" so I may have to make that second one quickly if I want to have one for myself! We also amused ourselves by showing the dual use of a cowl:
She was just plain confused when we put it on her thus the blur in the bottom of the picture from those little feet kicking away. It was still amusing though!

I did do three small projects (all the same pattern) last week during the car ride but I haven't made it to the craft store this week as I had planned in order to pick up buttons to complete them so they'll have to wait until next week!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

WiP Wednesday #5

So starting with the WiP that I don't have a picture of, I desperately need to complete my third square in my Vortex blanket. Being that tomorrow is December 1st and I'm supposed to be starting the fourth and final square, number 3 needs to be worked on TODAY! Crossing my fingers for that to get done!

The Snowflake Throw is still slowly coming along. I was doing well with one row per week until we went out of town last week and that row didn't quite get completed (only 50% of it did) so I'm very slightly behind but it's on the list for the weekend.

All in all, not too bad. Now it's time for some pictures!

My quick project of the week that will be completed today and ready to share on Friday! I may or may not have time for one more quick project of the week depending on how that Vortex square goes. I completed three small projects last week while out of town. Happy to know I can knit in the car seeing as I can never read in the car AT ALL. Just need to make a quick trip to the craft store at some point for some buttons and then those three will also be ready to share Friday!

I cast on my Ballet Camisole this week as well. I know some people get bored easily with the projects that are just so repetitive in stockinette stitch but I have to say this is my go-to project during the day when little one is playing on her own but I still need to keep that one eye on her.

Trying to keep the hooks and needles happily busy this week and next week before holiday baking kicks in! I also have to whip up 8 quick little cat toys for our two furry friends Mac and Cheese. After all, they can't have empty Christmas stockings this year!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

YoP #5 - Not the update I had hoped for

First off, Happy Thanksgiving to my fellow U.S. friends. I was up at my in-laws for most of the week and missed out on blogging (and missed out on making much progress but more about that in a paragraph or two). I was quite bummed that usually I'm just about finished my Christmas gift shopping/making by Thanksgiving but that was before kids. This year, it was Thanksgiving and I had barely started but that has since been remedied!

Well, first off let's start with this news about my YoP list: I finished my Saroyan and I'm in love with it! I was hoping to have it blocked before I left for the in-laws house but it wasn't quite dry so it had to stay at home but was a nice surprise for me to come back to yesterday!

Isn't it lovely? Honestly I'm tempted to make another because of how quick it was!

Now, for the tragedy of the week. Remember my Peacock Shawlette that I was so excited about? This one with the unique colors in it?

Well, about 40 some odd rows in I decided it'd be a nice project to take with me to work on over Thanksgiving holiday. Apparently I was wrong. I happily took it out of my bag and began knitting away when several rows later I noticed that there were several random stitches added and a few stitches dropped as I went along. Long story short, the rows that aren't pattern rows are to be purled and it appears I took out the project thinking I was on a purl row when I wasn't so I purled two rows straight and then on one of the following pattern rows I somehow didn't follow the pattern very well (this is why I don't knit and talk, I should know better at this point).

Without a lifeline anywhere and me being quite rookie on fixing my own knitting mistakes AND knowing that I have started and restarted this thing at least 4-5 times, I decided that I was going to have to forfeit the project, frog and save it for another time. I'm not taking it off my list because it was my own stupidity that caused on the confusion and I do want to complete it, I just don't think the holidays are a good time for me to do my first knit lace shawl. It was rather sad to unravel it all :( but I'm optimistic about the next time I start it.

Poor yarn looks so sad now.

I think I'm going to cast on my Summit Shawl or Ballet Camisole this week. Eventually I'll cast on both and work simultaneously as I think the Ballet Camisole is a prety repetitive pattern so I'll need some variety going too.

Next time I'll know to listen to myself and take the simple project to work on while I talk. If I had done that, my 3rd vortex square would be complete instead of behind! Darn holiday madness kicking in!