Monday, April 30, 2012

The start of a new week

Yep, it's Monday again!  Man how is it that the 5 days before the weekend drag along and the weekend just flies!
On with the show.  Wrapped up the week long blogging challenge and now it's just me again!  I did a few things this weekend, finished up the Sgt. Frog hat for Katlyn, worked on the striped scarf some and made a list of things to do.  Of course I always make a list so that I remember what I want to get done on my weekends, but this time I added projects:
Sgt. Frog hat....checked off
Striped scarf.....worked on, but not quite done
Pincushion.......pulled out some mini skeins to use those and in a project bag!
Swatch made for baby blanket..........not yet, but I will get to it soon.
Sgt. Frog done and hanging out on the doggy treats
The pincushion is something I really want to do, sweet and simple and I can keep it out on the table.  Funny that I don't have one.  The baby blanket is for a friend of my daughter's that is having a boy in October, so I have some time there, I just need to come up with a nice solid stitch that I can applique onto, but I don't want to do just single crochet for the whole thing, how boring!  Let's give it some texture too!
The makings of a pincushion
Got all updates done and out of the way now and once I get these projects wrapped up I can start on a garment....eeek!

Listening to:  Remedy by Seether

Sunday, April 29, 2012

3KCBWDAY7 - Crafting Balance

Today is the last day of the week long blog topics, it's been a pretty great experience and I have found a bunch of new blogs to enjoy!
Today we are working on crafting balance, as in do I have any! I do not, not even a little bit.  I seem to have a mental block on learning to knit.  I do want to really I do, but I always find an excuse not to.  Yesterday's excuse was I really should just finish up the projects I have surrounding me instead of starting something new, which are of course always on going.
I am also a bit intimidated by knitting.  I mean where do I start?  What yarn should I use?  What size needles?  I really am pretty clueless when it comes to knitting and everyday this week I have seen so many gorgeous things done on other blogs and while I really want to do them too, I think that is holding me back as well.  I mean seriously, how am I ever going to knit such a beautiful sweater/sock/shawl???  Mercy my insecurities happen in my own house even!  sigh....I will keep trying to get the courage up to pick up the needles but in the mean time I will stay unbalanced.  I do love my crochet!
I love the quiet of Sunday mornings
Again I have picked up this Sgt. Frog hat for Katlyn, I am reworking the earflaps and then I can whip up a star and be done with it!

the flap that I am redoing yet again!
I did learn that my weaving in of the ends is quite masterful since I had no flippin' idea as to where or how to find the ends to rip it all out!  Grrrr, oh yes I think I forgot to mention....she hated the earflaps AFTER I edged them and wove the ends in!

It's getting longer!
The scarf is nearly done, only 5 more stripes to go and then on to blocking!

So that wraps up the entire week of daily blogging, I did run across some new blogs and will actually be hanging out reading many more today since Katlyn will be off spending the day and night at her Cousins house.  Nearly done with the laundry and then that's pretty much it for the day, I can kick back and crochet while doing some blog reading!
Remember, if you want to find other bloggers doing today's topic of this week long challenge just type in 3KCBWDAY7 into Google.

Listening to: Mary Jane's Last Dance by Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers

Saturday, April 28, 2012

3KCBWDAY6 - Improving your skillset

How far down the road to learning your craft do you believe yourself to be? Are you comfortable with what you know or are you always striving to learn new skills and add to your knowledge base? Take a look at a few knitting or crochet books and have a look at some of the skills mentioned in the patterns. Can you start your amigurumi pieces with a magic circle, have you ever tried double knitting, how's your intarsia? If you are feeling brave, make a list of some of the skills which you have not yet tried but would like to have a go at, and perhaps even set yourself a deadline of when you'd like to have tried them by.

And away we go with today's topic.

I am a crocheter, I think I can crochet pretty much anything I set my mind too.  The only thing is I like simple, so I don't really challenge myself all that much.   I learned to crochet from a babysitting when I was 11 and as I got a bit older branched out to my first baby blanket.  Don't recall with I chose this pattern to do and since I still have the blanket to this day, I know I didn't make it for anybody, but I did learn from this.  I learned how important it is to count your stitches!!  The sides are quite interesting needless to say!
Now when I was taking a crafting class in high school, my teacher let me choose my own project and I again chose a ripple.  I picked out a rainbow of yarns (literally a rainbow, this was 1979 after all) and counted ever single stitch is that blanket, without fail!  I worked on this for a while, but it really was a huge monster and I think I ran out of yarn at one point.  Anyway when my oldest son was born in 1989 I found it again and gave it a much quicker finish then I had originally intended for it and was able to use it for his twin race car bed!  It's still being used today, I pulled it off the couch for the picture taking in fact.  It's a great watching TV blanket.  So I definitely improved my skills with this blanket.  
Max checked out what I'm doing

Would have been ginormuous had I completed it!
I have of course done many other things since these 2 blankets and as we do, we learn with each item. I have learned over the last few months that I can work without a set pattern and that makes me happy.  I think up next is going to be making clothing items.  I have always stuck with accessories and household items and now it's time to venture out of my comfort zone!  I have been looking at Doris Chan patterns over the last few days and think I will start there! 

I have also read so many new blogs this past week and have really enjoyed seeing everyone's work!  I am in a serious need to learn knitting, I really want to make socks! 

So there it is, out there in the universe, clothing items and knitting....the things I shall be learning!  Now I better get this striped scarf done for Katlyn so I can get to learning! 

More blog reading on today's topic can be found by typing in the code 3KCBWDAY6 onto Google.

Listening to: (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction by The Rolling Stones

Friday, April 27, 2012

3KCBWWC - Perfect Craft Day

So today I am skipping over the whole "Something Different" topic today since I really am not feeling all that creative.  Pretty sure all creativity has disappeared from my head!  I am hoping that this being Friday, the weekend shall bring it back!  Now on with today alternative post of my Perfect Craft Day!

I'm thinking that my perfect craft day will have to start out shopping....horrible as that sounds to me, because I loath shopping UNLESS it's craft shopping!  So I would head out to my favorite yarn store because there's nothing more perfect than that.  They have comfy sofas and tea and friendly staff to chat with and of course yarn that is simply delicious.  Normally when I go to my favorite yarn shop, I have people in tow (which I don't mind), but I am not able to just hang out in the store loving each yarn type and color for as long as I would truly like too.  On this my perfect craft day though, I will be hanging out and learning to knit!  Something I really want to try and where better to learn than a shop full of yarn!  I get to pick out yarn and have someone visually help me with this whole creating with 2 sticks thing....yep my kind of day and perfect.

It may be short in words, but honestly a few hours of yarn shop happiness by myself is all it takes to make my perfect day absolutely perfect!

how could hanging here not be perfect!

Well that's my day, now back to the reality of my job....sigh

If you would like to see some great creativity of other bloggers for today's topic of "Something Different", just type the code 3KCBWDAY5  into Google or for other "Perfect Craft Day's" use this code 3KCBWWC

Listening to: No More, No More by Aerosmith

Thursday, April 26, 2012

3KCBWDAY4 - A Knitter or Crocheter For All Seasons?

So today's topic is about seasons?  Specifically, "How does your local seasonal weather affect your craft?"

I live in Southern California, the seasons don't change all that drastically but boy when it's a rainy day I am super happy to snuggle on the couch under a crocheted blanket and hook away.  I pretty much crochet year round and don't notice a huge difference in the things I make seasonally.  I do not make clothing other then accessories so I can't say that I lighten up too much, though I suppose I don't really think much about making up fingerless gloves in the middle of 106 degree temps, but they are a small project so maybe.....
I did think that this would be a super easy topic to cover, but it seems as if I am floundering, here it is 11:48 in the morning and I have typed up a whole lot of nothing!

I guess that the weather outside will certainly dictate if I have a heavy blanket working across my lap or not, but  as far as the fibers I choose the weather will have nothing in that decision.  I can use any fiber in any weather.  I  do have different projects going and if it's hot I may pull out the granny square blanket that I am working on for Brooke since a small square doesn't need to sit on my lap.

Whereas Sam's blanket has gotten a bit bigger and blacker then just individual grannys.  

Speaking of black (or any dark yarn actually) though not weather related, definitely daylight related.  I can't work on Sam's blanket at night, simple DC's but I have such a hard time seeing the stitches I would rather sit in the sunlight and work on it! 

So there you have it, I might change slightly but overall I will still start a big ripple blanket in the summer, whether I let it sit in my lap or not is another story!

So day 4 wrapped up, not all that pretty and completely got away from me, but complete!  If you would like to enjoy other blogs on the same subject, just Google 3KCBWDAY4 and a nice long list of them will await!

Listening to:  Wings of a Butterfly by HIM

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

3KCBWDAY3 - Your Knitting Or Crochet Hero

So today's topic as you can see from the title is about my Knitting or Crochet hero.  Wow, this could be tricky I think.  I don’t really have one specific person.  I do visit a few different blogs and always manage to find a thrill in how people’s work and colors choices can make similar items look so different.

I love Twinkie Chan!  I love her fun style in everything she makes, from super cool scarves to cupcake coffee cup cozies.  And of course she’s adorable!
How sweet is this!
Lucy at Attic 24 is wonderful!  I have made a few of her patterns and love all her stripy goodness and enjoyment of color!  Her blog is just such a happy spot to stop by!
Delicious colors!
Stix On A Beach  her color choices never fail to amaze me.  She finds inspiration in old movies and vintage wrapping paper!  Wonderful!

Just lovely!
Me! MaDonna! can't forget about her!  She is quite the fashionista and inspired my most favorite cold weather accessories!  Fingerless gloves in a variety of colors and textures and I am forever grateful to her for the simple fact that after whipping theses gloves together with no pattern, I found that I can actually work well without a pattern!  Yep I said it, I am a pattern follower and was (still kind of am) a big chicken about venturing out without a pattern, but have since gotten a bit better and made a couple pair of the gloves, a Bender beanie and some amigurumi.
Again adorable!
Thanks you ladies for all of your fantastic works and inspirations, you all rock!

Now of course there are many more wonderful blogs out there and I spend entirely too much of my work day surfing around to these blogs....shhhh!  I have found other blogs simply by clicking on links found on the blogs I do follow and that can set off a whole chain of blog reading!  And I won’t even get started on the wonders of Ravelry!  So I think you can see I don’t necessarily have one hero, but many of them!

Thanks for looking and you can find others participating in this week long fun challenge, by entering today's tag 3KCBWDAY3 into Google search! 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

3KCBWDAY2 - Photography Challenge Day

So today's challenge is a photography challenge, I thought yay, pretty easy...I take tons of photos and love to have fun with them..........apparently I lied to myself!  I got nothing, nothing I tell you!  Ok I do have pictures, but clever...hardly.  So I will go with some start to finish shots, I even got a bit fancy with the bunny ones!

I dyed the yarn with Kool-Aid, pink lemonade and lemonade to be exact for a prettyish pink/yellow combo.  You can see in the top picture I have added the kool-aid to the yarn in the crock pot, about an hour later the draining and rinsing stage and the laid out neatly on a towel getting ready to hang for drying and at last the finished product!  A bunny for Brooke!
Kool-Aid dying to bunny
Next up a short series (4 whole pictures) from idea to completion of a hat for my son.  I drew a silly little sketch so I didn't forget what I wanted to do and started the beanie part...and now skipping along...ta-da done hat and Son wearing hat :)
My fabulous drawing!
hooking in the car!

all done and ready for shipping
and he loves it :)
Next up just some pictures at home, I have a lovely collection of knitting needles and not a clue how to use them, but they look nice on the bookshelf where I keep some of my yarn!

one of these things is not like the other
getting creative with focus
more creativity here...right?
A quick picture of Katlyn's striped scarf on Sunday morning, rolled up it's much easier to work with, especially with a crazy puppy running around!
third time around for the colors
This last picture is just a large vase I have hanging about for collecting the bits and pieces I cut off after the weaving in,  pretty colors to look and and functional when a need for stuffing small items arises!
ahhhh the memories!
And there you have my photographs for today!  Thanks for looking and if you want to see more photos from others participating in this week long fun challenge, simply perform a Google search for the tag 3KCBWDAY2  Loads of pages come up!  I'm off to do just that right now!

Listening to: Left in the Dark by Barbara Streisand

Monday, April 23, 2012

3KCBWDAY1 Color Lovers...

And so it begins, Day 1 of my first ever Knitting and Crochet Blogging week.  It kicks off with colors which works well with me right now since color is a huge thing in my head lately.

I love colors every one of them, though I always choose red as my favorite I find I have a revolving love for each color!  I am currently infatuated with yellow (Katlyn says I am bee!)  Yellow has such a bright and cheery feel to it that just makes me happy.  Really there needs to be more yellow yarn in the worlds too, not an easy task to find it in anything other then worsted weights.  Ok moving on....
I am finding myself lately admiring how different the greens of the trees are.  I spend anywhere from 30 to 40 minutes, Monday-Friday driving to work in a tangle of traffic.  I learned a long time ago it does not help getting angry over that fact, so may as well suck it up and smile a bit.  I take surface streets to get to work so there are plenty of trees to see and they are all different.  Ok not all are different but there is a very wide variety on the streets of Southern California.  It makes for some fantastic colors while the sun dances on the leaves!  There is such a range of colors and I am always finding inspiration in these leaves.  Just this morning I saw a beautiful silverish green on one tree and a lime green on the tree next to it....hmmmm I do like lime green and with silver that could be interesting, maybe not but can’t hurt to try it out.  It is Springtime right now and the colors are popping and I am jotting down all kinds of color combos to try out.
I do find that I have a large selection of blues and greens when I look and my yarn stash and I do tend to get drawn to them when at a yarn store.  Since making Toni’s Monster I am finding that I get very excited for bolder colors whereas the past I have stuck with more neutral colors.  Neutral being a nice dark green or black or navy.  Even when I look in my closet at my scarf collection, they are pretty neutral colors, nothing just grabs me with color.  Don’t get me wrong I still love and wear them, but I find that the rainbow scarf I made jumps out and demands my attention.

a variety of green
green, silver, blue
My love for orange tends to flop around a bit, I guess it’s just one of those colors.  It goes great with so many other colors but I don’t have a large selection I noticed in my stash.  My orange selection is made up of Chicago Bears orange mostly, which I always pair with Chicago Bears blue (unless it’s for Katlyn and then it’s Denver Broncos orange and blue) I do love that nature reminds me that orange is gorgeous when the poppies bloom!  
Purple is probably my hardest color to love, weird I know.  I don’t have much on hand and don’t automatically reach for it at a yarn store.  I would lean more to the maroon end of the purple spectrum when given the opportunity.  Put it together with lime green and it rocks or in a rainbow of colors, but I generally don’t think I use that must of it.  
Red as I said is my favorite color and it has been for as long as I can remember!  When I was picking out my first car I really wanted red, but my Dad said it was a hard color to maintain due to the oxidation of the paint and I would be sorry in the long run, being a good girl ;) I took my Dad’s word and went with yellow.  I still to this day want a red car!  Red goes with every color, and has such a wide range of colors that it really is it’s own neutral.  I can pick up red yarn and pair it with so many things and that’s great.  
So I think that pretty much covers every color and my love for them all...wait what about pink?  Haha, I have loads of pink in my stash, all different shades of pink in fact.  Pink and black is one of my favorite combinations and am making a hot pink and black blanket for my Niece right now (well it’s in progress).  If I didn’t love red more, I would have a very girly pink bedroom!

against a blue sky
purple and lime love
red goes with anything
the happiness that is pink
Color doesn't just end with my yarn, I have pink hair as well...yep I do, have had it since 2008 and it never fails to make me happy, except when it's time for maintenance :)
Now I hope you've enjoyed my love of color exploration.  As I said at the beginning, this is a great topic for me since I have been very aware of colors these days and finding such love in big bold colors!  Tomorrows topic will bring even more pictures!  Stay tuned!

Listening to: Believe by Staind


Saturday, April 21, 2012

Oh happy day

So Southern California heat is not the most conducive for crocheting at times!  This scarf is a smallish project but nearly all wool and that can be a challenge when one is sweating!  This morning has been fine as it's still relatively cool, only 84 degrees right now....but last night after being out in traffic on the ride home from work, even inside an air conditioned car it was hot, hot, hot!  I came home, dropped off Max and checked to see if Katlyn wanted to go to JoAnn's with me (she didn't) and then went on my merry way to JoAnn's to get some straight pins for blocking this scarf.  I of course had coupons with me and with coupons it means I usually can get a good deal on the yarn I want (not really supposed to be buying for myself, but I did have coupons!) Actually the 2 yarns I did buy are for gift making so kinda doesn't count...right?  I bought another skein of Treasure in Portrait to make a handbag for my Sister's birthday, the colors should work for her.  Black, gray, a bit of brown and pink.  
40% off :)
Now the Cotton Ease I bought because I really want to try and make this Dolce & Gabbana bag that I saw online for $1252.00!  Seriously?  I saw it a few weeks ago and thought I'd give it a go, but couldn't find the right brown in cotton, everything was just too chocolatey.  I even bought a skein of Shine in Mongoose from Knit Picks thinking it would work ok, but it seems like it's a bit too floppy for a bag, now maybe it's not, truth be told I haven't used it yet....but I do like the color of the Cotton Ease Taupe better, it's more the muted tone I was looking for.  
muted tone and 50% off!
See the difference in tones
Original D&G bag
The buttons are perfect for a fingerless glove idea I have and only .97 cents!  The pins were 50% off too  without a coupon, now they had the cute flower topped ones and I actually had butterfly topped ones in my hand because they were cheaper then the flowers and cute, but then I found a wall of pins and these were cheaper and had 120 pins in a pack whereas the butterflies were only a 50 pack and I like these balls just fine!  I picked up the ribbons for adding beads to the bags, they were only .50 cents each, so all in all I'd say I did good, everything for less than $13!
Buttons clearance .97 and pins I needed and some ribbons
Now here the scarf as of this morning, outside of the patio for some lovely lighting! Almost through the second round of colors and it's getting pretty long. I will have Katlyn try it on when I complete all of the colors again.   
yeah, sunshine makes for much better lighting
Friday's office update
Starbucks has mini cherry pies people!  Just thought you should know!
Mini Cherry Pies....yep
So I think that's it for me today!  I think I will go find a cool place to hang out like the dogs are doing except Max is on Katlyn's bathroom floor and I don't want to hang out there!

Listening to:  American Woman by Lenny Kravitz

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A challenge

I ran across this blog challenge for Knitting and Crochet Blog Week 2012.  Thought it might be  kind of fun to try, I've never done it before so we will see!  There are daily subjects so I will need to put my thinking cap on it should be fun!  
If you want to take part or find out about Knitting and Crochet Blog Week, more details can be found on Eskimimi Makes or by clicking on the banner on the right.

Now on to crocheting, yes I did get more of the striped scarf done, no I didn't get all 16 colors on it yet!   I am up to the 13th color though and will indeed get all 16 done tonight.  I had to unhank one yarn that Katlyn picked out and that took some time and then the meeting so by the time I got sat and crocheting it was after 9 pm and then Kid decided he was going to do laps around the house throwing his toys in the air and just being a bit crazy and for the record, the lap around the house included my lap!  He got tripped up by yarn more than once!   Puppies!!  
Yep, crappy florescent lighting shot again! 
So that's it for me today. I really just want to crochet, why can't that be a job?  Oh yes and just because the picture came out so well, I present you with Sheldon!

Listening to:  Don't Know What You've Got (Till It's Gone) by Cinderella

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Quicky scarf update

Quick like a bunny this will be, I changed the fringe on my rainbow scarf and I like it so much better and even Katlyn said how much better it looked.  The only picture I got was a really bad phone shot yesterday afternoon whilst in the middle of switching the fringe but I think you can see what a huge difference it makes!  I will try to get a good outdoors shot with the colors showing off better than in office florescent lighting!  
fringe redo
 I got a little bit more done on Katlyn's striped scarf last night, was having issues with finding something to watch while working on it so I kept setting it down to look for good crochet viewing material.  Up to 10 colors now and hopefully can get the last 6 on tonight, though I have an HOA meeting at 7...maybe it will be quick meeting!
10 colors
 Just a closer shot of the last 5 colors on.  The bottom one (under the orange) is funny in how it photographs, it looks blue in the above shot and a bit purpleier in the below shot, it is actually a deep eggplantly purple, so kind of a cross between the 2.  I can see that this is going to need blocking, not that I have ever in my life blocked a scarf so it should prove an interesting learning experience!  
So there it is, a very quick update of the scarf progress!

Listening to: Don't Misunderstand Me by Rossington Collins Band

Monday, April 16, 2012

A Very Colorful Monday

I get inspired by the sunshine I think.  Even though it was a pretty wet week last week, I know that the sun will come out and that it will show all of the new colors of nature.  Profound, I know!  So as I had said previously I wanted some new color in my scarf collection, so we ventured to JoAnn's in search of some wonderful yellow yarn. such luck!  No one makes a yellow yarn apparently except in plain ole worsted weights!  Dang, I already have those, I was hoping for a nicer, bulky yarn full of yellow and texture.......nope.  sigh, fine oh fine.  I found one yarn that was bulky and a bit of yellow though I remember it having more yellow (or so I thought) Premier Yarns Deborah Norville Serenity Chunky in Golden
looks a lot brighter in the picture.
I have used this yarn before and thought I had leftovers but since I couldn't find it I figured I used it all and would get more.  Again I really remembered it being more yellow then green, but it is still very pretty and it was on sale for dirt cheap so I grabbed a skein and took it home to find that it didn't "fit" well with the colors I had in mind for an all out rainbowy scarf.  Started stash diving and OF COURSE came upon the unfinished skein of the above mentioned yarn!!  I did mention that it was dirt cheap, right? Anyway moving along, I have Katlyn sitting on my bed while I pull out colors to make this scarf.  She yayed or nayed as I chose and at last colors were picked!
The green is very limey as opposed to being grassier
So here we are cruising along with a very colorful scarf.  I started Friday night and finished up Saturday night.  I love it and it brings a smile to my face.  It really is too long, but I like my scarves on the longer side so it suits me fine.  The fringe after careful review is going to be redone and will probably get done while here at work.  I am going to go with solid fringe to match each row instead of the mix up of colors I have now.  I over think everything and fringe is no exception!  All of the yarn I used was yarn I have had on hand for quite some time.  I loved the lime green and even though it's not a rainbowy color it needed to be included and Katlyn agreed and we tossed the grassier green aside.  Now the yellow I ended up using was just Simply Soft in Lemonade, it's nice and bright and worked in fine.  I don't have the other labels with me for this post and will post that later on.
Enjoying the sun!

Another view
Ok so my bright colorful scarf is done and Katlyn decides while looking through the yarns on Friday that she wants a striped scarf thought the stripes running horizontal and about yay wide, yeah she held up her fingers for measurement!  So I put on a movie (Sense and Sensibility) and started her scarf!  Doing a half double crochet, 25 stitches wide.  I move the used colors to a basket and then pull another randomly (just so long as it's not the same color group) she wants random and no repeats on the 16 colors she chose and then I will start them over, again choosing randomly and continue until the length that she wants it to be.  Now most of the yarn she chose is Knit Picks Wool of the Andes so it's fairly easy to keep a neat line, but the red one is Sublime and it's a bit thinner and then the orangey one is Vanna's choice and bulkier!  So far it's working out, I just have to be very consistent with my stitches, though thinking about it, I could change out hook sizes as I change yarns (again with the over thinking).  We'll see how it goes, so far it's going fine.  Weaving in the ends every couple of colors as well so it's not a giant mess of ends when I'm done!

There are a lot of red squiggly lines in today's post, I'm guessing spell check is not liking my made up words!

Listening to: Tie Your Mother Down by Shinedown