Thursday, March 31, 2011

2nd Annual Knitting and Crochet Blog Week - Day 4

Where are they now?   2KCBWDAY4

This is one topic that I will have fun with!!  In general I am very happy to think about what has happened to some of the things I have made for others (and myself). I have made several afghans for myself and the hubby loves them :) If I let him we would have a dozen afghans on the bed with us and he would be a happy, warm camper (while I would melt!)  In the winter we usually have two of the afghans I made on our bed to keep us warm (along with flannel sheets and a quilt). They certainly do come in handy during the cold winter months!  And my hubby loves and uses many or the finished products so he looks the other way when I buy yarn (most of the time)
Before wearing

These slippers were my first attempt at felting.  I am not sure what I think of felting in general, but the hubby wore them to death (and he is still wearing them!). 

After lots of wear!

Maybe I should make him a new pair??  Or should I learn to darn?? What do you think?? I suspect the holes are way too large to darn - plus I have none of the yarn left over...

Here is an afghan I made for a young lady named Felicia:
 There is also a wonderful story behind this afghan, how it came to be, and what it led to.  A few years ago there was a fund raising silent auction at our church to raise money to help with medical expenses for a church member.  I decided to donate a custom made afghan to the winner. I made a small swatch (about 12 inches square) with two colors using the Lion Brand 5 1/2 Hour Throw pattern.  I listed that whoever won the item in the auction would get a custom made afghan - they could chose the two colors and size and I would make the afghan for them.  A young lady (about ten or eleven years old at the time) seemed very interested in the item and kept checking to see if her bid was still in first place.  Well, with only a minute or two left on the auction someone outbid her and she lost.  She was very upset and sad by this.  I was disappointed too as I saw her reaction and felt very bad for her. I knew she also was going to be having surgery within a month or two of the auction so I went about secretly finding out her favorite colors and I made her an afghan (I also made the afghan - queen size in blue and white - for the woman who won the auction) and gave it to her to have for comfort after her surgery.  She was so pleased and loved it :)  Fast forward another year or so and she asked me if I would teach her to crochet the same pattern so she could make a baby blanket for her gymnastics instructor who was expecting.  I absolutely was pleased to teach her to crochet!  A little while later she was asking me to show her how to make an afghan in a pattern book she had bought for herself.  And her twin sister and Mom joined in for the lessons too.  So a young girl loses out on a silent auction and I would like to think that because of this she herself became a crocheter.And she tells me (and her Mom confirms this) that the afghan I made her lives on her bed and gets used all the time :)  This story always warms my heart!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

2nd Annual Knitting and Crochet Blog Week - Day 3

Tidy mind, tidy stitches   2KCBWDAY3

WARNING! Lots of photos and a long post here!!  And this has kind of turned into a "flash your stash" post!  But it will serve me well later when I want to see how much stash I have used up!

I must admit that my yarn organization system is not quite what it should be.  My yarn is "somewhat" organized.  I have yarn in several plastic tubs, stuck into several corners, tote bags, and closets. Here is a picture of all of it still mostly unorganized (this is a "before" picture of sorts):

I suspect I might need more plastic tubs, but that would involve admitting that I might have more yarn that I know what to do with... I just wish I had a room that I could devote to my crafting...  But in a two bedroom apartment that is not going to happen yet (maybe some day!)

Now that the yarn is somewhat more organized here is a rundown of what's in there (and here are the "after" or more detailed pictures).
The tubs include:
1) Mostly acrylics (Red Heart and Caron) that I will use up making some pet snuggles for the Humane Society.

2) More acrylics (mostly Caron Simply Soft) for pet snuggles or something else (I can't part with yarn that I can justify using). The yarn up front is wool that I will use up for something for myself - mittens maybe?

3) Mostly mix fibers and small numbers of skeins.  I am not sure what I will make with most of this...  Maybe scarves and mittens or some socks? This tub requires some more thought about what to do with it's innards.

4) Even more acrylics and mixed fibers... These are different weights - worsted down to fingering.

5) Mostly fingering weight and DK - socks and shawls will come from here!

6) Mostly baby yarns - I need to get some more ideas for some small skein baby-type projects to use this up.

And the rest:
7) All the yarn for Lindy and Adeline's Around the World afghan - these are in two big bags in the office closet (seven colors times 4 skeins each) This yarn will be mostly used up by August 2011 when I need to have the afghan ready to give away. It currently lives in my closet in two large bags.

8) All my suede.  What am I going to do with this??  Sometimes a good sale is a bad thing...  These are stuffed into this bag and stuffed into a closet.

9) More sock yarn is stashed in this plastic storage container.

10) These two containers include most of my current, ongoing projects...  The tote is mostly full of squares made for my Learn to Knit Afghan and also has the rest of the yarn for it in there.

I suspect this is about as organized as I am going to get. Oh well, I know where things are and they will eventually get used up. I just need to resist the sales of yarns I do not truly love nor have a clear idea of what I can use it for!!  The only thing not photographed is a small bag of cotton that I plan to give away to someone who makes dishclothes for our church.

If you are still reading this, this blog topic made me drag out all my yarn. I took everything out of the containers they were in and photographed everything.  Now I have a nice record of my stash busting progress over the next while :)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

2nd Annual Knitting and Crochet Blog Week - Day 2

 Skill + 1UP   2KCBWDAY2

WOW my skills have grown by leaps and bounds over the last year and my knitting addictions have grown exponentially as a result!  A little more than a year ago I would have rated myself a beginner knitter and in the past year or so I have greatly increased my skills and enjoyment of knitting. Unfortunately I have spent less time crocheting.

In a nutshell the skills I have learned over the last year include lace and socks.

I have learned to knit lace shawls!  I have not yet conquered using lace weight yarn (except for the scarf that is partially complete and hibernating since I find the lace weight trickier to work with!)  Here are two examples of shawls I made in 2010:

I have also learned to knit socks! This was something that was on my New Years Resolution list made January 1st 2010 and one of the few resolutions I actually kept!! 

In knitting socks I have learned and tried several techniques.  These include: top-down socks, toe-up socks, double point needles (both four and five dpns), magic loop two at a time top-down (not my favorite technique...), two circulars (I think this is my favorite way to make socks!!) both top-down and toe-up, but only one socks at a time (so far).  I have discovered that I prefer using two circulars to make socks, that I am indifferent (so far) to whether I make socks top-down or toe-up, and that I am truly addicted to knitting socks!!  Since I cast on my first pair August 10th 2010 (and finished those October 25th 2010 - I picked up speed a lot since then) I have completed 11 pair of socks and cast on number 12!!  As you can tell - addicted big time!!  Rather than posting lots of sock pictures here is a link to my RAV page with all my socks.  Here is a picture of my very first socks:

Monday, March 28, 2011

2nd Annual Knitting and Crochet Blog Week - Day 1

A Tale of Two Yarns   2KCBWDAY1

Favorite yarn...  You mean I need to pick just ONE??!?  That will be tough to do.  I have many yarns in my stash that I dearly love.  Many I have not yet crochet or knit with yet so I can't give an opinion on how much I love (or maybe didn't love) working with the yarn.  So I narrowed it down to something that I loved in the skein, something I loved knitting with, and something that feels wonderful now that it is all done!

One yarn that I bought a while back and finally found something to make with is this:

It is Plymouth Yarn Baby Alpaca DK Paint and it is such a soft lovely yarn! I bought it at Webs last summer. I made it into a pair of socks that I can wear around the house.  They might be OK in a pair of runners (haven't tried that yet) but I doubt they would fit comfortably into other shoes. It was a dream to knit with and feels so incredibly soft!  Here are the socks that this yarn became:

Least favorite yarn...  This would have to be the yarns that fall into the "fun fur" category! It's not a single yarn but a category of yarn... I once bought a BUNCH on a Black Friday sale for something like 50 cents a skein and then I couldn't figure out what to do with it...  I actually went back to AC Moore to buy more while it was still on sale...  Here is what some of that batch looked like (a nice fuzzy variety):

I wasn't knitting much at that time (still a pre-beginner) so crochet was my option.  Unfortunately I found this stuff impossible to work with...  Finally after researching what others had done with this, I tried using a second strand of yarn along with it and made myself a giant fuzzy afghan (after of course going out and buying even more of the stuff because now I needed to have enough to finish the afghan!).  The afghan is actually nice, warm, and fuzzy AND fits a double size bed.  Perhaps not the most pleasant crafting experience making the thing, but the end result is not too horrible (well, that is open to debate, but I kind of like it although I would NEVER make another one!) 

One day I may learn (maybe, but don't hold your breath) that I do not need to buy all the yarn I can get my hands on just because it is on a good sale! 

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

More snow...

Woke up to a winter wonderland this morning...

Saturday, March 19, 2011


We had our first BBQ last night!!!  Maybe pushing it a little bit :)  Spring really feels like it is on the way!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Spring is here :)

I drove home from work today with the sun roof open!!!  YIPEE!!  Spring might just be here!  It reached 51*F today :)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

WIP it Wednesday (March 16th)

Another WIP it Wednesday report!
1) From last week's post I completed my E is for "Express Lane" socks!
Before (from last week)

After (completed)

2) I completed my 12 Days of Christmas March square, but still need to block it and add the crochet border.
Here is what it looks like now:

3) I did not get around to doing anything on my Learn to knit square...

4) I started my F is for "Frank's Little Cables"

And I am pulling a couple old projects out to shame myself into getting some more work done on them!

5) Raspberry Stole
I started this ages ago and it is in a hibernating stage now.  I need to get back to working on it! Note the date this picture was taken...

6) Mindless Afghan
This is an afghan I am working on to use up all my sock yarn scraps and leftovers.  It truly is mindless and easy to do!!  It's at about 9 inches now.

Pet Snuggles

I am making some pet snuggles each month with my extra acrylic stash.  I plan to donate them to the Humane Society near my place for them to use with pets awaiting adoption.  I joined up a group on Ravelry that is making snuggles for pet shelters.  I thought it was a great way to use up my scraps and to do something nice :)  In January I made six snuggles (the pictures are posted here), in February I made five snuggles (the pictures are posted here), and so far in March I have made two snuggles.  They are all approximately fifteen inches square and are classified as small snuggles.

The pattern I am using is pretty basic:
Using a 6mm crochet hook and two strands of worsted weight acrylic yarn together Chain 44.  Double crochet in the 4th chain and in each subsequent chain.  At the end of the row ch 2 (or ch 3 - I need to use ch 2 to keep my rows even - ch 3 doesn't work for me...) turn and dc in each stitch across.  Continue this until 22 rows are complete and finish up.  Easy peasy!!  Or adjust your stitch count to get to a good size.  For me - these instructions give me a 15 inch square :)

Here is a picture of my first March snuggle:

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


As promised here are some pictures of squares I made over the past while.  The first several are from the Block a Month CAL (Crochet Along) on Ravelry.  These are all the March squares.  Once I have them attached to the January and February squares I'll post those pictures.  This CAL involves three sqaures being selected each month.  One 12 inch square, one 12 inch filler square, and one 6 inch filler square.  What I have decided to do for my BAMCAL is to make the 12 inch and two 6 inch filler squares each month in various shades of purples and the 12 inch filler square plus two 6 inch filler squares in teal and aran (all extra Red Heart Super Saver yarn from my stash)  All the purples will be joined together into one afghan and all the teal/aran into a second afghan.

The 12 inch square.

The 12 inch filler square.

Two 6 inch filler squares.

Two more 6 inch filler squares.


I am already slacking in my blogging...  I will post some pictures later today of a few squares I have crocheted recently!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Another pair of socks complete!

So I have finished my E socks!  I finished them yesterday but did not get in here on time to post a Finished Object Friday post... 

Cast On: March 5th 2011
Cast Off: March 11th 2011
Pattern: Express Lane
Yarn: Berroco Comfort Sock
Needle: Addi 2.5mm 40 inch (two circulars)
Link to my Ravelry project page

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

WIP it Wednesday

I have three projects that are partly done right now.  First up are my E is for "Express" socks - my next pair in the alphabet sock series.  I actually night get these done before it's time to start the next pair on Saturday!! Here is the progress picture:
E is for Express Lane

The second project is my 12 Days of Christmas Afghan.  Each month I make one square and add it to the rest so that by Christmas I will have a complete afghan :)  This month: three french hens (not the turtle doves as I originally posted...):

The third project is a LONG lasting ongoing project.  I started making all the squares from Barbara Walker's Learn to Knit Afghan book.  I began this a few years ago and am currently up to square 47 (out of 64).  Maybe this project will be done by the end of 2011...  Here is my progress on square number 47:

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Notebook Round Robin

I signed up to join a notebook round robin on Ravelry and today I mailed off my notebook!  There are 18 of us in this round robin and what we do is send a composition size notebook to the person on the list below us.  The person above me has sent her notebook to me. I have a couple weeks to write some things in her book and then I send it on to the person below me.  Eventually my book will go to each person on the list and I will get it back many many months from now after everyone has had a chance to write something in it. This sounds like so much fun!  I started my book with a description of myself and what I do (along with a bunch of stickers).  I can't wait to see what others add to my book!  I also am eager to start writing in the first book I receive :)  What fun!!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Rainy day

The weather here has warmed up some ad we are having a rainy spell right now. It rained quite a bit yesterday and it is really coming down today.  This should melt away a lot of the snow :)  Spring might just be on the way!!

I have started another pair of socks - my very first pair of toe up socks!  I am working with two circulars and it is coming along very nicely!  I also learned to do my first ever short row heel.  I am curious to see how it feels when worn.  I'll post a couple pictures of my progress soon.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Another pair of socks complete :)

I have finally finished my B is for "Be Mine" socks!!  These took me a long time to make.  They were my first attempt at doing socks two at a time and my first attempt at using magic loop.  Add to that a relatively difficult pattern (cables and such) it took me forever to complete.  But finally here they are (and I LOVE them!!!)

Cast On: January 19th 2011
Cast Off: March 4th 2011
Pattern: Be Mine from 2-at-a-time socks  that the hubby gave me the book for Christmas!
Yarn: Louet Gems
Needle: Addi 2.5mm 40 inch (trying two at a time and magic loop)
Link to my Ravelry project page

Friday, March 4, 2011

52 Weeks 52 Letters - Week 2

Week 2 of the 52 letters in 52 weeks challenge and I have a birthday card and letter going out to my Mom this morning.  The first two were easy with the two birthdays so next week I will have to do some more thinking about who the letter will go to.  Mom's card was also one that I made myself - I am starting to get interested in making cards and this one was fun to make.  Stickers are fun :)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Finished my socks!!

Project: D is for "Duckies"
Started: February 18th 2011
Finished: March 2nd 2011
Needle: 3.25mm dpns
Yarn: Plymouth Yarn Baby Alpaca D.K. Paint
More details on my Ravelry Project Page

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

WIP it Wednesday

I have two projects that I really want to get finished!  First up are my Duckies socks.  One sock is complete and I am moving down the foot on the second one.  My plans are to have this one a finished object by the end of the week (maybe even by the end of today!!)  Here is my progress picture:

And second is my Be Mine socks.  These are also moving along the foot and are two at a time.  These have been ongoing for WAY too long!  Here is a progress picture:

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

February Finished Objects

February 2011 Finished Objects:  (I plan to continue the numbering from the previous month so that I have a total number of FOs at the end of 2011)

9) February 12 inch BAM-CAL square - finished February 1st 2011
10) C is for "Campfire" socks - Finished February 7th 2011
11) February 12 inch filler BAM-CAL square - finished February 9th 2011
12) Four February 6 inch BAM-CAL squares - finished February 9th 2011
13) Second Day of Christmas square - finished February 11th 2011
14) Baby Tree of Life Afghan - finished February 25th 2011
15) Five pet snuggles for the Humane Society (February 2011 finishes)

January Finished Objects

January 2011 Finished Objects:

1) Snowstorm socks - finished January 2nd 2011
2) Blue/Green Vanilla (plain stockingette) Socks - finished January 13th 2011
3) Six pet snuggles for the Humane Society (January 2011 finishes)
4) A is for "At the Catch" socks - Finished January 14th 2011
5) January 12 inch BAM-CAL square - finished January 29th 2011
6) January 12 inch filler BAM-CAL square - finished January 31st 2011
7) Four January 6 inch filler BAM-CAL squares - finished January 31st 2011
8) First day of Christmas square - finished January 31st 2011

I managed to get a fair bit done in January :)  Three pair of socks and a bunch of various squares.

In like a lamb, not a lion

So March appears to have come in like a lamb so does that mean it will go out like a lion??  It is 23*F here now and nice and sunny.  The bad weather yesterday is all cleared through now!