Sunday, October 30, 2011

YoP #2

So I completed my Chevron Lace Cardi and shared it in a FO Friday post on here (thus I won't repost it, don't worry) and I made more progress on my snowflakes throw this week. Being that it was snowing outside was the perfect motivation to do another row on it. It goes surprisingly quick since it's join as you go.

I do have a somewhat dilemma though. I'm dying to continue my Betty's Tunisian Tee because I love the pattern so far, love the way the final product looks, however I don't think I'm too keen on the yarn I'm dong it with. I'm using Caron Simply Soft which is fine but being that it's Tunisian, it's a little thicker. I've decided I think I'm going to frog it, use the Simply Soft with some other skeins I have for a blanket or throw and save the Tunisian Tee for some yarn that I find when I go to Maryland Sheep & Wool next May :). Therefore, I'm replacing it on my list with a Saroyan. I have a yarn I'm very much looking forward to making this with. To me, the colors in it just seem like nature-ish colors with the red being a nice contrast as well.

I feel like I'm lacking pictures this week because the peacock shawlette had to be frogged and started over (it's looking lovely this time around so far), and for whatever reason I couldn't find the motivation to do my ONE remaining fingerless mitt. It was just an off week apparently.

Peacock shawlette is about 8 rows in (many to go) and the Snowflake throw is through two rows now (4 more to go!). Ideally the throw should be done in three weeks which will be perfect time for me to start a new project and work on it in the car over Thanksgiving!

I am starting my 3rd square for my Vortex throw this week so that'll be interesting to see how the colors start working up there!


CALs (done by end of 2011):
1. Chevron Lace Cardi (completed 10.23.2011)
2. Betty's Tunisian Tee (frogged and replaced) Saroyan
3. Snowflakes Throw (in progress, 2/6 rows done, 3rd row in progress)
4. Vortex Throw (in progress, 2 squares done, 2 to go)

1. Pinecone Top
2. Lacy Cropped Cardi
3. Custom Tank Version #1
4. Cap Sleeve Top
5. Custom Tank Version #2
6. South Bay Shawlette

1. Clapotis
2. Ballet Camisole
3. Peacock Shawlette (in progress)
4. Sagrantino Shawl
5. Summit Shawl

Now I somehow need someone to tell me to STOP adding things to my list :-P. At least everything listed already has yarn assigned to it that's in my house already (no more needs to be purchased).

Speaking of adding though, I am thinking about a few small things to have nice little FO for the week's update instead of the "Um, I did another row of snowflakes on my blanket?" posts. Have to keep it new and refreshing! So I think for every large project I have up there, I'm going to look into my queue and bookmarks for smaller filler projects to feel more productive (and add to my "when I need a quick gift") stash.

What are your favorite small, quick projects? I've seen plenty on others' YoP lists!

Squee Sunday #1

I'm glad to keep participating in all the random blog post days from groups on Rav because honestly it keeps me motivated to blog and motivated to keep working on projects so I have something to share! I've already said I had a million projects going on squee today? I convinced the hubby that we needed a giant ripple blanket for our bed and he's good with the idea! Big squee in my book for being able to buy more yarn :-P.  I think I'm going to end up getting this kit:

Normally I don't go for the kits but for the current price and being that it had the ideal color choice that we wanted, it worked out. I"ll have to buy a few extra skeins eventually (it's Herrschners Worsted 8, I love that yarn and it's a great bargain) but this will get a good start for sure!

Herrschners is also my BFF this week because they sell the Caron Simply Soft Light! I was bummed to not find it this week on my trip to various craft store (most likely because it's still too new I assume) and finding it sold out on a lot of sites but Herrschners came through and has stock!

I figured I had every right to squee about something that's not physically in my hands just yet since it will be soon and I couldn't contain my excitement! Figures my first Squee Sunday post is about yarn hahahaha, that's how exciting the week has been.

Make sure to click the link above and check out what others are squee-ing about today on this lovely Autumn (with snow on the ground) Sunday.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Let is snow *er* slush?

I have to say I'm rather jealous of those who received a nice amount of snow in the northeast. Here about 30-45 min from D.C. we got a slight dusting but enough to make it pretty out. It was disappointing to know that an hour further west it was a complete winter wonderland!

Spent my day inside working on my Dusty Snowflake Throw (what can I say, the weather inspired me to work on it) but took a break for the always addicting rounds on Pinterest, Etsy, Ravelry, all that good stuff. I was very good and didn't buy anymore since I have enough projects going on but couldn't pass up sharing a small tidbit of the cute things I stumbled on.

(1) Really I have no idea what I would do with a giant owl but owls are cute and the pattern is free so I kind of want a reason to make a giant owl! Who doesn't?
(2) I'm wanting to do a crocheted snowflake ornament tree in my house somewhere and I have to say Martha Stewart's idea with the backings on them is a nice touch. Plus, who can turn down free patterns.
(3) I've been eyeing this boots pattern for awhile now. I'm dying to make some for my baby girl! They're just too cute for words!
(4) This little family would be a perfect winter decoration on my mantle if I didn't know for certain that two particular orange tabby cats in my house would see them as toys. PearCreekCottage has the individual snowmen in their store front but also offers the family as a whole...soo cute!
(5) How cute is this hat with the giant statement snowflake on the side of it! YarnBlossomBoutique sells the pattern for $4.99.

Friday, October 28, 2011

FO Friday #1

I was really excited to finish my Chevron Lace cardigan earlier this week! Still haven't found the perfect closure for the top but I'll know it when I see it!

I also managed to finish off a shawl that I had been "technically" finished for awhile but needed to block it and do a few final touches.

Quite the quick post for me today but I've got to run out and do my weekly grocery shopping! We always go on Fridays and today in particular isn't going to be fun because there's snow (!) in the forecast for our area tomorrow and that turns everyone to mass chaos around here (which is unnecessary of course)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

My first WIP Wednesday post

Thought since I read everyone's WIP Wednesday posts on Rav, I'd finally join in!

In all technicality I have 8 WIPs going right now and haven't done so bad working on 50% of them the past week! Might as well go down the goes...

Even though it's not much yet, I'm excited for the outcome of this one so I'll start out with the Peacock Shawlette I cast on tonight. I'm normally not much for knitting for long periods of time but somehow this one has sucked me in today and I'm addicted!

I thought I'd be disappointed making a peacock shawlette out of something not so much peacock colors but I'm quite fond of this color combo so we'll keep the fingers crossed! I'm only about four rows in and like I said, doesn't look like much yet but let's just mention it's an accomplishment for two reasons: a) I've managed to keep the CORRECT number of stitches each row and b) I haven't thrown it across the room yet!

I also have my Tunisian tee still going for the CrochetMe CAL. The goal is to have the second base triangle done by Halloween so that'll be my priority this weekend! Here's the first base triangle complete. Excuse the curling in the top corner, it'll work itself out once blocked, finished, etc. I'm making the tee a little thicker so right now it curls more.

I'm also 50% complete with a set of mitts I started. I love the color and the fit of these and finishing the second one should take no time at all!

Now for the big project: my Dusty Snowflake throw for the Red Heart CAL. The goal was to get another row of snowflakes done which I kind of did but didn't meet. I completely forgot I needed to add filler snowflakes in so I added those and then started doing up the second row of seven snowflakes. Each one is just shy of one complete round and a joining round so really a short bit of time and that second row will be done. If I can somehow manage to do it in the next day or so and be ready to start the third row this weekend, I'll be even happier!

That's what's on my hooks and needles this week. I did manage to finish something so I'll even have a quick post on Friday as well, Yay!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Year of Projects!

Being that I wasn't able to join this back on July 1st, I figured now would be just as good a time as any! I've joined in on the Year of Projects group on Rav to complete my list of projects by June 30th of next year. I had already lined up a list for myself when this had started and then began blogging again so here goes!

I'm more of a crocheter than I am a knitter so I have my main list of crochet items but them sort of a mini list of "I'd love to knit these but may throw the needles across the room in frustration before they're completed". Also known as, I'm a slow and still learning knitter but I'm hopeful. Plus, I've got four in-progress CALs that I'm determined to finish by the end of the current year:

CALs (done by end of 2011):
1. Chevron Lace Cardi (completed 10.23.2011)
2. Betty's Tunisian Tee (in progress)
3. Snowflakes Throw (in progress)
4. Vortex Throw (in progress)

1. Pinecone Top
2. Lacy Cropped Cardi
3. Custom Tank Version #1
4. Cap Sleeve Top
5. Custom Tank Version #2
6. South Bay Shawlette

1. Clapotis
2. Ballet Camisole
3. Peacock Shawlette (in progress)
4. Sagrantino Shawl

Lots and lots of garments of course! 16 projects in 8 months? Helllooo at least 2 projects per month, ideally. We'll see! Update coming later tonight or tomorrow on my Chevron Lace Cardi that I went on a random streak with and will most likely be done tonight or tomorrow! Can't wait!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Chevron Lace Cardigan

I started my pink Chevron Lace Cardigan this past week and have made pretty good progress on it so far.

Above is the first five base rows just to show the nice pattern starting to form.

Below is where the project stands now. I'm about one row below the sleeve chains and now that I'm looking at the picture, it looks like I'm making a baby garment but I'm not, I promise! This thing whips up quite quick and it wouldn't surprise me if I finish be before October is through even with all of my other projects going on!

I also managed to finish square 2 of 4 for the little one's Vortex blankie. This one is out of  TLC Cotton Plus which I forgot is so soft and perfect for blankie! I want to make a top out of it so I'll have to see what I can find. Square number 3 will get started around November 1st as I'm aiming to do one per month to finish it by the end of the year.

Last, I'm just as obsessed as the next person with sock yarn. I've got this skein of Serenity Sock Weight that to me is screaming to become some fingerless mitts.

I'm an ok knitter but I absolutely stink at double pointed and circulars for whatever reason so after fighting with dpn for about a half hour, I basically put them away, went back on Ravelry and found myself a crochet pattern instead. I need some good beginner projects to work on my use of dpn and circulars because otherwise my knitting is highly limited.

Anyone do anything for I LOVE YARN Day last Friday, the 14th? One of the groups I'm a part of on Ravelry had a little contest for crocheting up these five little cuties:

They were very fun and quick to whip up, I very much enjoyed using some stash yarn for things.Thinking that tomorrow's blog post will be my (and the rest of the world's) obsession with granny squares as of late. I've found great projects for the queue lately that I'm anxious to complete!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Stash Showdown

Went upstairs and had a quick 15-20 minutes to take a gander at my stash that doesn't have projects yet and came up with a few ideas.

I somehow have four random skeins of Lion Brand Homespun that all coordinate. Pretty sure they coordinate because this is my "home color family" also known as the group of colors I gravitate to all the time for projects it seems. These four colors are screaming to become a striped bag of sorts, just need to sort through patterns and find the perfect one.

Then I ran across my lovely combination of Bernat Satin and what I believe is a big of Red Heart and Vanna's Choice. Once again, the blues, greens and a rose. Haven't decided what this group will become.

Why not just continue with the blue theme why don't we? Years ago when a million different fashion yarns hit the market somehow I seemed to think it was "cool" to purchase some and years later I'm lucking out that they're all the same color family. These random beauties will be parts of various granny squares for a bag I have in mind along with some left over Caron One Pound that I'll have in Navy.

I'm in love with this yarn and have no idea what to do with it. I could buy a few more skeins and make a top which may end up happening but I got these two skeins at the local Michaels for 50 cents a piece so spending $5/skein seems to not make the bargain as exciting. Possibly use a 50% coupon and at least make it worthwhile somewhat.

Then there's the two skeins of this ribbon yarn I have that may very well be discontinued if I remember right. I'm in LOVE with the color but no clue what to do with it. I have a ball of black shimmery ribbon yarn as well that could alternate in stripes for a cute scarf?

I started my Tunisian tee today and I have to say for a first attempt at Tunisian crochet, it looks mighty amazing :) Will post more once my two base triangles are done.

The first motif for my convertible crochet shawl. The glitter doesn't show up very well and the square isn't blocked yet but you get the idea. Hoping to finish this one in time for the hubby's company holiday party this year if we decide to go.
Might as well finish the post with a FO! Whipped the little one up some winter mittens yesterday. All that's left to do is find some cute ribbon to thread through the wristband. Thinking I'll find something with some sparkle to add the girly touch :).

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Crochet in the news

My mom called me today to share that the local paper ran the following article today:

Homeless Pair Knit, Smoke, Find Serenity Outside Union Station

It's really a great article to read about this lady and her daughter, both currently homeless who spend many of their days between stays at local shelters greeting and chatting up local commuters. I glanced at the first few comments on the article and quickly refused to read many more because well, you guessed it, DC area people felt the need to judge just because they are homeless however, a few did point out the positives in what these ladies do.

  • They do commissions for locals. People give them yarn, they knit it up and make some extra cash.
  • Knitting (and crocheting) are very much stress relievers and nothing is more stressful than being homeless, having practically nothing and not knowing what the next day, or even the current day, holds.
  • Many studies have shown that the best way to avoid depression is to force yourself to have positive interactions with people. Isn't that what they're doing? People who are willing to engage in conversation back with them are bound to have a positive influence.
I know businesses need start up money but man do I wish these ladies would know what kind of money they could make selling knit/crocheted items to those busy commuters. People around here are so obsessed with money and "things" that they could sell about anything for twice what it would normally be priced at a craft fair. With both women hoping to apply for disability because they are unable to do other jobs due to health concerns, a craft business would be right up their alley!

In other news for the day, I have to say most of my progress in the past few days has been made on the baby gift that I can't quite share just yet! It's 50% done and I hope to share the pictures of it after the recipient has received it soon :).

Everything else:

  • Snowflake Throw: 3 motifs done just yesterday so I'm ahead on that
  • Tunisian Tee: I need mucho concentration time so that's a "when the hubby is taking care of the baby" project, no true progress there
  • Ropes & Ladders Scarf: Nada
  • Knook Leaf Table Runner: Completed my third leaf this morning
  • Knook Scarf: Had to start over because I attempted to work on this while taking care of the little one and it didn't quite work. I counted wrong, accidently skipped a wrong stitch, went to drop the stitches to create the open lines on it and ooopss, a giant hole appeared and it was beyond fixable besides a total restart
  • Vortex Baby Throw: This is a slow progressing project and by the end of the week I should only have the corners left to complete on the second square
  • Convertible Crochet: Not sure I mentioned I was working on this one. I'm doing it in Red Heart Shimmer in Lime. Will post pictures of my motifs tomorrow, it's one of those motifs that you absolutely have to block first in order to get a decent picture.
  • Dare I say I'm most likely taking on another cardigan in addition to all of the above? O:) I told you I'm a sucker for CALs and I can't turn down one that I have the yarn for! The Chevron Lace Cardigan
Sorry for lack of pictures this post, I'll make up for it by blogging two days in a row ;) so expect plenty of pictures tomorrow! I'm also going stash diving because I'm curious as to the color combos I have so yes, plenty of pictures to come!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Project set-up time!

So my lack of a blog post the past few days has been due to our crazy busy fall activities that all seemed to bunch into one weekend this year! Friday was our yearly trip to the apple orchard to pick some fresh fruit then to the pumpkin patch to clip a few pumpkins right from the vines! It was the little one's first trip to the orchard/pumpkin patch and although she won't remember it since she's two months old, we had a great time and we've got pictures to prove it!

Now that I've had time to spew off the off-topic items, onto how much crocheting/knitting I actually did get done the past few days. I'll start by saying it was certainly a lot more than I thought I'd get done in 2 days!

As promised, here's my leaves that I knit using the Knook. There are two done and who knows how many to go for the table runner. They knit up insanely quick once you get into the flow of the pattern. I can't wait to felt them all in the end and see how they turn out!

While that size Knook is being taken up by that pattern, one of my other Knooks is currently holding my Open Lines scarf designed by Lisa Gentry whose Ravelry group I'm a part of. She also designed the previously mentioned Vortex design I'm working on. Both these projects are current CALs in the group and it's a blast chatting with those ladies everyday! Here's a peek at the open lines scarf in the works:

Also started up the first few rows of my Tunisian Tee for CrochetMe's CAL that starts this week. No picture yet on that because well...3 long rows of Tunisian crochet in mint green isn't that exciting just yet. I'll give it a week or so to get further for pictures.

Red Heart's CAL for the Dusty Snowflake Throw starts up this week as well and I whipped up a motif tonight for a good start. I have to say, I LOVE the look of this throw but I was definitely not looking forward to weaving in a million ends as usually happens with bigger projects.

Here's a quick peek at my first motif completed, ends all woven in as I went since that was my newest crochet skill I learned. I'll have to share the link for that video when I find it again. Have to say I felt like an idiot when I realized you could conceal these as you went so you weren't doing the boring work of weaving them in at the end of the project!

I always have to start these projects on the weekend when the hubby is around so he can watch the little one while I get over the dreaded "trying to figure out a new pattern and START the project." Plus, it gives me time to see which ones are easiest to work on during the week when it's me and the kiddo.

I also have to finish project "a" of a baby gift and complete project "b" of the same baby gift by next weekend (that's the goal at least) so I'm not sure how much progress will be made on these projects until I get the baby gift finished up but we'll see!

I'm also in two other groups currently picking their next garment CAL which may get me in trouble if I decide to take one of those on as well :-P. Anyone know of any other interesting "alongs" going on? I love checking them out!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Vortexing along, Knook along, you name it

Guess I should start by saying I'd love to respond to comments on here so you don't think I'm ignoring you but apparently Blogger doesn't let me unless I want to post a new comment or I'm just completely missing it and having a "blonde blog moment" :-D. I tried switching to another comment moderation system and it made all current comments not visible anymore so I quickly took that off...ugh the frustrations of setting this thing up!

Anyways, onwards to crochet!

My absence of a post yesterday was due to me being obsessed with my beloved Knook. I successfully Knooked one leaf for my table runner. Several people said it only took them an hour to get one leaf done but somehow it took me a tad longer. I'll attribute that to several things: (a) I was basically reading the directions for the Knook and applying to the the pattern all in one (b) I kept messing up in the beginning.

Eventually you'll get a full leaf picture but that'll have to wait until I complete a second one because although my first one has a leaf shape, I pretty much messed up the increases in the beginning to the pretty little design isn't quite there. Why didn't I rip it out and fix it? Well, I'm making them out of wool to felt, therefore you won't see my stitches and therefore as long as it was remotely shaped like a leaf I was determined to feel accomplished on the project for the day.

Either way, my stitches on the Knook do look quite pretty and I'm pleased with them despite the rough start.

I'm also officially halfway done on my second of four squares for a Vortex baby throw. The full afghan is nine squares but really I don't have time to do nine and four is what I happened to have yarn for in my stash :).

Between yesterday and today, the progress went from this:

all the way to this:
I have to say I forgot how much TLC Cotton Plus is one of my favorites. It's so so soft!

There was also progress on my "mystery baby project" that I can't share here just yet and can't wait to share it when it's finished!

I was hoping for a small bit more progress but unfortunately I had a pattern for fingerless mitts out this morning, worked up the entire thing only to find out that somehow they worked up to fit the hands of a monster, nowhere near my small hands. The results of finding that out? Project frogged, will try again later!

Must make a trip to the craft store tomorrow and I don't know that I'm looking forward to it. I was telling myself to stay away until I used up more of what I had BUT I'm returning my second skein of Starbella because well, I'd rather exchange it for my second skein of Red Heart Soft in white for my snowflake afghan. I also have to see about getting 2 skeins of Red Heart Shimmer in Lime for another project because Herrschners has decided to be annoying.

Placing an order September 18th saying all items in stock, receiving a box missing the above mentioned Red Heart Shimmer had me confused. After visiting the website I found out that color was all of a sudden back ordered until 10/03. No big deal, I can wait, right? Except the next day the site said back ordered until 11/02. Um....that won't really work for what I want to do with the yarn, I sort of need it this month to finish my project in time.

A quick e-mail to Herrschners asking why my order said it was in-stock, I never received it, never was notified it was back ordered or anything solicited the usual customer service response of "We're sorry, sometimes customers don't receive the back order notification." I'll give them credit for responding quickly but certainly they must know that knitters and crocheters have plans and if you mess with them well, we do work with needles and hooks, why would you mess with those plans, right?

Thus, after my long rant, I'm crossing my fingers for 2 skeins of shimmer in lime tomorrow. Only time will tell!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Finish projects, prepare for more!

Managed to finish up my tie front top yesterday. Can't say it's my absolute favorite pattern, I think I'd like it more as a wrap tie rather than tie so I may experiment with this pattern again at some point.

The other disadvantage, this was supposed to be a stashbuster project so how come I have this left :-P

Finished up my shawl as well that I'm doing with one of my groups on Rav. I haven't blocked it yet but here's a small sneak peek!

Ahh...the release you feel when you complete projects! Completing also means there's room for more wips! Started working on a baby gift for a friend. I'll post the finished product at the end of the month as I don't want her to by chance see what it is! For now, this is all you get:

Well aware this particular post is turning into a picture post but eh, we all need one of those once in awhile, right? I was already ecstatic that my Knook was to be delivered tomorrow when I get a knock on the door today annnnddd: 

This of course led me to realize that *gasp* I have a Knook Along starting this week and I need to wind my yarn! So that got done too :)

I'm planning on making the leaves in the pattern above not out of cotton but out of wool. Then the plan is to felt them and connect them into an Autumn table runner :). Keyword in that sentence is "plan."

So I have a binder that I put patterns in after I've completed them. I have a folder on my laptop that includes all the knit/crochet patterns I want to do. The downside to the binder is I just seem to slap them in a page protector and close it until it's time to put in another one. I really need to organize it...especially when you spent the summer doing 16 projects and will have another 3-4 done by the end of this month ideally.

How do you store your patterns/projects after you print them and complete them?