Wednesday, December 16, 2015

WIP Wednesday Update - Advent Calendar Knitting

And my Advent knitting continues!  I am enjoying this very much although I am falling behind...

Right now I am complete up to the end of Day 12 (half done).  With the end of the semester, grading final exams, and entering final grades I am a bit swamped!  Throw into the mix serving on two search committees at work, going through several phone interviews, and meetings I am a bit swamped.  And Christmas shopping (thank goodness for online shopping!) and preparing for the holidays, well I am - wait for it - a bit swamped!  Spending a bit of time each day working on some of my Advent knitting gives me a nice break, although doing two Advent projects was likely biting off more than I could chew.  I still hope to finish both before 2016 arrives!

Sock progress:

Scarf progress:

Unblocked, crinkly, and upside down...

Monday, December 7, 2015

Advent Calendar Knitting - Days 4, 5, and 6

More Advent knitting!!  I am having so much fun with this!  It certainly is a nice way to set aside some down time each day.  I haven't had a chance to update in a couple days so I am updating with my progress over Days 4, 5, and 6.

Day 4 - Sock A - We chose our color based on when we first joined Ravelry.  I joined in October 2007 (wow 8 years already!!) and the color for that year was red.
Day 5 - Sock A - Chose a color based on your favorite charity.  Two of my favorite charities (Doctors Without Borders and Samaritan's Purse) use red as their color - and since I just used red I needed to choose something else.  So I closed my eyes and grabbed a scrap stash and got a variegated lime green yellow. Lime green is a color for Mental Health Awareness - another good charity!!
Day 6 - Sock B - Today we were asked to watch a bit of the Norwegian Independence Day Celebrations and Ball. The first gown we saw was to be the color we use - I was late and didn't get to watch the live streaming version but clicked one of the links posted and watched for a ballgown. The first one I saw was a bright blue - I had just the scrap in my box of scrap stash!

Here is what my socks look like now:

Onward!!  I have five skeins of yarn that I bought for this project and I was not sure if it was going to be enough.  So I decided if one skein of yarn lasted through the end of Day 5 I would be safe since there are only 24 days.  So I ended up playing yarn chicken with my skein and I managed to win by 4.5 inches!!  So I am happy to know I will have enough yarn!!  Here is what my scarf looks like at the end of Day 6!

Friday, December 4, 2015

Advent Calendar Knitting - Day 3

The third clue for the sock was released the night before last.  Our color choice was selected by picking two colors we were wearing and then using an online guide to find a color that came from combining them.  I was wearing my pjs - bright pink with white and black sheep on them.  I selected the pink and white - combined just tones down the pink.  I have some extra yarn that is a bright and light variegate pink - perfect!!

The third clue for the scarf was also released and I happily knit through that!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Advent Calendar Knitting - Day 2

Yesterday was Day 2 of my Advent knitting.

Scarf: Today we added another 20 rows

Socks: Today we worked on the second sock.  I cast on, knit the toe, and then completed the clue.  This clue was fun - you entered a date (most people are using their birthdate) and then convert the numbers into binary code - use the base for the 0 and your color for the day for the 1.  To choose the color we had to convert the binary code into a hexidecimal which was then converted into a color.  I ended up with a dark tealy green.

Advent Calendar Knitting - Day 1

Yesterday was Day 1 of my Advent Calendar knitting and I am excited!!  I can not wait to see how these two projects grow!!

I got my tea brewed and settled down to knit for a little while before it was time to head to work and then came back to knitting in the evening once I got home.  I did manage to get my Day 1 completed on Day 1!!

Scarf: Here is my progress after Day 1

Socks: Here is my progress after Day 1

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Advent Calendar Knitting - Preview

I managed to get myself signed up in time to take part in TWO Advent Calendar knitting adventures!  I must be crazy!!  The first will be a cable and lace Estonian scarf and the second will be a pair of colorwork toe-up socks.  I am so excited to get going.  The scarf is an off-shoot from the Sock Madness knitting group and the pattern is Cables and Lace Advent Scarf 2015The socks are Sock Scrap Yarn Advent Calendar.  We will get daily pieces of the pattern each morning beginning December 1st.  

For these projects I have the following yarn:

1) Scarf - Frog Tree 

The true color is more blue. I hope to capture the color better later!
2) Socks - scraps galore!!

Some of my sock yarn scraps!  I probably have more...
We also have one early clue for each.

1) Scarf - the initial cast on including the first six foundation rows.  Here is what mine looks like:

Yes those are toothpicks pinning the edges down :)  LOL
2) The socks had the instructions for beginning the toe.  Since I just found the sock group yesterday I have not had time to complete the preliminary part.  I'll get that done today!

One of the goals of these projects is for each of us participating to spend a little time each day to relax and do something just for ourselves during this often hectic time of the year.  My plan is to spend some time each morning (preferably) with a nice cup of tea and my knitting.  I imagine it will allow me about 30 minutes each day to relax and enjoy my yarn.

Monday, November 30, 2015

WIP-it Down Thanksgiving 2015 - Wind Down

Yesterday was the final day of my WIP-it Down week (well, week plus a couple days)  I am back to work today, but yesterday I managed to get a fair bit done even though the morning and early afternoon were tied up with Church stuff.

My plans for yesterday were to:

1. Frog my Advent Scarf and reclaim the needles, yarn, and beads for something else.  This was done and now I have my needles freed up!

2. Tuck in the tails on my Sock Scrap Blanket and maybe add a few more squares. - I got the tails all tucked in but that was all.

3. Finish my Herding Cats Mittens and get the pattern written up so I can get it out for testing. - This I did not finish...

4. Add more squares onto my charity afghan.  This I also did not get to.  I did not sleep well the night before and was too tired and fuzzy to focus on much...

I would say that this WIP-it Down week was a great success!!  I finished several projects that had been languishing away and made some serious progress in several other projects.  Now I can keep up with these and hope to arrange another WIP-it Down week soon!! Maybe in mid December once the school year is over?

Sunday, November 29, 2015

WIP-it Down Thanksgiving 2015 - Day 10

So yesterday this was what I accomplished:

1, All my yarn is now photographed.  I still need to get it posted into my Etsy store.  That will have to wait for a bit.  I need to double check that my pictures are a good representation of the true colors!

2. I got some good pictures of the two samples and the ten swatches for my book idea.  I got the patterns for the two samples all written up and got the first draft of the proposal written!  I want to let it sit for a day or two and I will go back to it in a few days to proofread it before I send it away!  Wish me luck!!

3. I got some more work done on my Herding Cats design.  I just have to bind off and finish the thumb.  I may work at finishing this off today since I am so close!

Day 10: Today is the final day of my WIP-it Down week (well, week plus a couple days) Tomorrow I am back to work, but today (after we get home from Church) my plans include:

1. Frogging my Advent Scarf and reclaiming the needles, yarn, and beads for something else (this has not been touched in ages - check the date in the picture - July 24th 2013!!).  It is time to let this project go.

2. Tucking in the tails on my Sock Scrap Blanket and maybe adding a few more squares.  I have quite a few tails already tucked in but I have several more that need to be tucked in.  I have not done anything with this project sine July or so.  Time to shake the dust off it!

3. Finish my Herding Cats Mittens and get the pattern written up so I can get it out for testing.

4. Adding more squares onto my charity afghan.  I got some work done on this one earlier this week and I want to get some more squares added on today!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

WIP-it Down Thanksgiving 2015 - Day 9

Yesterday I managed to get a lot done on my Herding Cats Mittens!  Here is my end of day progress picture:

Day 9:  My WIP-it Down Week is nearing an end :(  Today is my last full day to play around with my WIPs and I originally had nothing specific set for today. I have a few things I want to accomplish today.

1. I have numerous skeins of fingering weight yarn that I hand dyed which need to be photographed and posted into my Etsy store.  I want to get this done today!  I'll post another link to my store tomorrow once I have it updated.

2. I have an idea for a book that I want to pitch to a publisher.  I have knit two samples and I also have several swatches (ten of them actually!) complete.  Today I will get decent pictures of the samples and swatches and I will work on getting my first draft of the proposal written.  No pictures here as this will be kept private until it is (hopefully) accepted for publication!

3. I managed to get several projects WIPped down this week and I think today I will pick something that is closest to completion and will focus my last day on that project (after I get 1 and 2 on my list done).  So that means I will be working on my Herding Cats Mittens.  I have 42 rounds complete and am five rounds from finishing the thumb gusset increases.  Then I have about 10-20 rounds to complete on the body to complete it (plus finishing off the thumb). I am hoping that I can finish the mitten today so that I can get the pattern finished off and then get the pattern up for testing.

Friday, November 27, 2015

WIP-it Down Thanksgiving 2015 - Day 8

Yesterday I made some decent progress on my newest sock design.  I got the chart all settled and corrected.  I also managed to complete the leg (a full repeat of 32 rounds), plus finished the heel flap, the heel turn, picked up the gusset stitches, completed all the gusset decreases, and got a little way down the foot!!  It was a good day and I managed a lot of knitting!!

Here is my progress picture:

Day 8:  Today I plan to work my Herding Cats mitten design.  This is a companion piece to my other Herding Cats designs (Herding Cats DK Cowl and Herding Cats Hat).  These mittens (fingerless and full) are done in double knit and I also need to get a pair done up in a stranded version.  I love this design!!  Once the mittens are complete and out for testing I need to get onto the Herding Cats sock design that is in my head.

So far I have the cuff plus 15 rounds complete.  Let's see how much I can accomplish today!!  Here is where I am at as the day begins:

Thursday, November 26, 2015

WIP-it Down Thanksgiving 2015 - Day 7

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!  We have a quiet day planned at home with just the two of us.  Hubby will be sleeping part of the day as he has to work the midnight shift beginning at 10pm tonight.

Yesterday I was able to get both charts for my latest sock design settled.  I also managed to get part way down the foot.  I knit 54 rounds so that is good, although I had hoped to get more done (but am happy with some progress)!

Here is my progress picture:

Day 7:  Today I will work on the third in my Four Seasons design set.  Vivaldi's Spring!  I have one repeat of the chart complete so far and we shall see how far I can get today!  I do have to rework the chart as there was a small problem that I located while knitting.  I will get that all settled and then will keep cruising along the leg and beyond!!

Here is my starting point:

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

WIP-it Down Thanksgiving 2015 - Day 6

Yesterday I got a fair bit of work on my Autumn socks.  I began the day with the cuff on the second sock complete and by the end of the day I had the leg almost complete (only about 12 rounds to go and I will be ready to begin the heel flap).  Here is where I am now:

Day 6:  Today I plan to work on my new design Vivaldi's Summer Sock design.  This is another in the four pattern group - one pattern for each of the Four Seasons by Vivaldi.  I have one leg, heel flap and heel turn complete.  Today I will pick up the gusset stitches and start moving down the foot.  I also need to get the second chart done up to mirror the first chart.

Here is where I am at the beginning of the day (not the best picture but...):

I'll show you where I get to by tomorrow morning!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

WIP-it Down Thanksgiving 2015 - Day 5

Yesterday I managed to get the borders on 16 squares and then I also got them all sewn together and added the border!  Here is the finished afghan:

Day 5: Today my focus project will be my new design called Vivaldi's Autumn.  One sock is already complete and the second is my focus project for today.  So far I have the cuff complete on the second sock.  I need to double check the chart to make sure I have the design properly mirrored.  Then it is time to print it out and see how much I can get knit in one day!!  Here is where I am now:

I'll post an update picture tomorrow morning to show you how much I did!

Monday, November 23, 2015

WIP-it Down Thanksgiving 2015 - Day 4

Considering that Sunday is usually a busy day in our house I managed to get a goodly amount done on my WIP-it Down projects!!  Here is what I managed to finish yesterday:

Five squares that need more to finish:
Yesterday I managed to crochet four extra criss cross squares so that I could round out the five flower petal squares I had made some time ago.  Once those were crocheted I was able to stitch them all together and add a single crochet border.  Another project complete and another baby blanket to add to the donation pile!!  Here is what it turned out like:

Day 4:  Today we will be out quite a bit of the day so I won't have as much time to work on my original schedule.  So my new plan is to spend the spare time I do have today adding borders to the 16 baby yarn squares to get them all to the same size.  Once those are all bordered I will sew them together and add a single crochet border to the whole blanket.  I posted a picture of the squares a couple times already in earlier posts.  Hopefully tomorrow I can post another completed baby afghan!!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

WIP-it Down Thanksgiving 2015 - Day 3

Here is what I managed to finish yesterday and where I am at the beginning of Sunday.  I hope to knock more of this down so I can report some more FOs (finished objects) soon!!

Saltines and criss cross squares:
I managed to get this one all done!!  I tucked in several tails, stitched the nine squares together, and crocheted a plain border on it.  It is now set aside to be donated to some charity (TBD later).  Here is what the FO looks like:

Little baby yarn squares:
I spent some time organizing these to decide just how to assemble them.  I have a total of 77 little squares plus three half done squares.  I needed to add the two rounds of off-white to those last three and I was good to go!  I think making an 8x10 square afghan will work out nicely.  This should give me an afghan that will be around 36x45 inches before I add the border.  I managed to get 24 squares attached (three of the ten rows complete!).  Here is a progress picture:

Day 3: Keep plugging along with the crochet afghans!

Five squares that need more to finish:
Today I plan to crochet four extra criss cross squares so that I can round out the five flower petal squares.  Once those are crocheted I plan to stitch them together and add a single crochet border.

Little baby yarn squares:
These will need a single crochet border worked around each square to even out the size of each square before I sew them together.  Some will probably need two or three rounds to make them a bit bigger to match.  Then they will need sewing together and an overall border.  In this picture you can see just how different the square sizes are.  This shows the largest and smallest square.  Without an extra border on each these would not sew together nicely and the finished product would likely be all ripply and never lay flat.

Let's see where I am by the end of Day 3!!  I'll post an update tomorrow morning!!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

WIP-it Down Thanksgiving 2015 - Day 2

Yesterday I managed to get all the things on my list crossed off!  Happy times!  I located the yarn I needed to get some work done on the crochet squares that want to become afghans, I took pictures of my starting point on my miscellaneous crochet squares, I got my sock design edited and published (here it is!), and I have another sock pattern up for testing over here.  A good, productive time was had!!

My plans for Day 2: I need to finish up a bunch of crochet squares and get some afghans complete.  I have three (make that four) groups of squares ready to be joined and finished - time to get them done and donated somewhere!!

Here is my starting point at the beginning of the day Saturday:

1. Saltines and criss cross squares (the criss cross squares were done in the past years and the saltines are left overs from other projects - likely several years old...):

2. Little baby yarn squares (no date on this picture, but I am sure these 
have been around for several years - possibly 5+ years...) :

3. Little bright squares (notice that this picture was taken in 2013...):

4. Five squares that need more to finish (also apparently untouched since 2013 as well...):

Let's see where I am by the end of the day!!  My first project will be #1 - that has the highest likelihood of completion during the day!  I'll post an update tomorrow morning although Sunday will be an afghan making day as well so I will hope to get even more done.

Friday, November 20, 2015

WIP-it Down Thanksgiving 2015 - Day 1

Friday!  I had a class to teach this morning and now I am home to get this WIP-it Down Week started!!  I don't need to be back to the office until next Monday :D   Today I need to get things organized and I will be ready to go for the week ahead.

Today's plans:
- I need to locate and make sure all is set and ready to work on each day I have earmarked for things.
- I plan to fix up a pattern I had tested recently and get it published on Ravelry.
- I have another pattern that is almost ready for testing. I need to finish writing up pattern and then need to get it posted.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

WIP-it Down Week (Thanksgiving 2015 edition)

I have a week off work for the Thanksgiving break and I plan to get caught up on some crafting projects.  Some things need to be finished, some need to be frogged, and some are current projects that I want to work on, and this week I plan to spend each day with a particular focus.

My schedule will be (this is also subject to change!):

Friday afternoon - I plan to get my things organized and ready to go!!  Today I need to finalize a pattern for release! I also need to finish writing up a pattern to get ready for testing.
Saturday - I need to finish up a bunch of crochet squares and get some afghans complete.  I have three (I think) groups of squares ready to be joined and finished - time to get them done!!
Sunday - very little extra time to craft, but I will likely continue with the afghans unless I miraculously finish them all!!  haha
Monday - Herding Cats mitten design
Tuesday - Four Seasons sock design - Autumn
Wednesday - Four Seasons Socks design - Spring
Thursday - Four Seasons Socks design - Summer
Friday - TBD
Saturday - TBD
Sunday - again not much time...  Frog my Advent Scarf and reclaim the yarn and beads for something else (this has not been touched in ages (seriously it's been over a year or more!!).  Tuck in tails on my Sock Scrap Blanket

Monday - back to work...  Boo, but I need the money to keep me in the lifestyle I have become accustomed to!

Each day I will post what my plans are and will post a "before" picture.

Back tomorrow!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Planning for a WIP-it Down Week

I am trying to plan and organize myself for a WIP-it Down Week during Thanksgiving week.  I have the full week off work and plan to spend a fair bit of time relaxing and recharging my batteries!  I have several projects that are at different stages of completion and what I plan to do is spend each day focusing on one project - all day on each project should get me closer to finishing some of these WIPs!!  Now to plan out what order to work on things!!  How many more days until the break starts??!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Name Change

So it has been some time since I posted here last...

I am joining up with NaBloPoMo Challenge (quite late as you may have noticed!) and plan to try to post every day for the rest of the month.  I need to get out a calendar and need to start mapping out some topics for the rest of the month.  I already have some ideas for the Thanksgiving break since I will have the week off from work, but I need to start mapping out some other ideas.

Also, I have changed the name of my blog to reflect my designing interests (along with my crafting and other interests as before).  My new blog name is Karen Buhr Designs :)  and I plan to try to be a bit more regular in my posting here (but you have heard that before!!)!

Here is to completing the month!!  (and continuing into the future!)

Thursday, April 9, 2015

H is for Hobbies

Today I want to chat a bit about hobbies.  I have many hobbies and I find that these grow, fade, or change over time.  I have spent many hours working on various hobbies over the years: counted cross stitch, crochet, knitting, painting, genealogy, travel, reading, dying yarn, and many more!  I do find that some hold my interest for far longer, while some fade over time.  Either way, they are all wonderful ways to unwind and relax!!

G is for Greeting Cards

I missed posting this yesterday!

Lately I have had an interest in hand painting greeting cards - it seems such a fun and relatively quick way to express my artistic curiosity!  I have several cards up for sale on Etsy and here are a few samples: