Monday, February 16, 2015

Storms, Shovels and Papers . . .

But no knitting!  I got nothing.  Just bogged down with school work, non-napping toddlers and a whole lotta snow . . . . 
So as I work on my project and gather sources for an essay, think of me cuddled in the corner of the table, sipping tea as the wind howls outside my door . . . 

Monday, February 9, 2015

Winter Blahs

Here in the Maritimes, we have been "blessed" with, not one, but TWO winter storms within the span of a week.  I managed to get out to work during the first storm (ever had a flash freeze?).  We endured Arctic temperatures only to face hours of heavy rain a few days later (Yeah, that's right: a day of rain!).  That may sound pleasant except that the water had nowhere to go (Can you say "flooding"?). This was, of course, followed by freezing temps and more snow.  Did I mention it was a lot of snow? It's not even the good kind of snow that packs for snowballs and snowmen.  It's the fluffy stuff with lots of ice mixed in for good measure.
Buried Car
Needless to say there was lots of shoveling.  And sad to say that my car is literally frozen to the pavement!  I kid you not!  Thank goodness I have no need of it, but still . . .
Faux-Thrum Mitten In-Progress
So how does a gal get through?  With mittens!  Feelin' mighty happy about starting my new mittens.  They look very fluffy and feel very cozy soft.  Just what a gal needs to get through the winter blahs . . . . .

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Back to Knitting?

Pile o' Grannies
I have a lovely pile  o' squares waiting to be attached . . .  Alas, they must wait.  The problem is not enough time:  I need to put aside time to pin the grannies into place and then uninterrupted time to seam.  
And even though I've got short snippets of time to make more grannies, my motivation is slowly slipping away . . . Seriously, I need a new project--something small and preferably something knit.  I'll admit it.  I miss knitting.
Briggs & Little, Bernat Super Saver and Bernat Roving
So I rummaged through my stash and found some plain, neutral yarns (don't the colours feel like a winter's day?).  For the longest time I have been itching to replace my Faux-Thrum Mittens from Dec 2010/Jan 2011--which honestly seems like eons ago!  One of the mittens was the first prototype, so it never quite looked right with it's wonky thumb.  The second mitt looks and fits better, but I wish I had made the thumb longer.  Besides, they have gone through the dryer so many times and look a little worn (the Bernat Roving has pilled a little).  On top of anything else, I was never terribly pleased with my colour selections.
Screen Capture of Other Mittens from Ravelry
By the way, when I was checking out my notes, I was quite surprised that other knitters had made my mittens too!  Wow!  That's really gratifying. :)

Wanna make some mittens too?  Check out the free mitten pattern here (or you could click the link called "Free Mitten Pattern" at the top of the website).  Hope you'll join me.   ;)

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Baby's Here!

Lovely little boy
Just in the nick of time!  My nephew arrived on Thursday and he's a healthy--albeit sleepy--little boy.
Completed hats, bib and booties
I hope he'll get some use of the booties, hats and bib (although I wish I had made more bibs).  His parents appreciated the gifts.
Finished baby booties
Although everything was completed when my nephew arrived, I was still finishing off Friday evening--mostly weaving in those pesky little ends.  I'm somewhat pleased with the booties, although they look a little big.  Maybe when I use the same worsted weight yarn (it was Bernat Handicrafter Cotton), I'll use a smaller hook (instead of using 5.0 mm, maybe 4.00 mm would been a better choice.).  I'm a loose knitter, so I may very well be a loose hooker (that doesn't sound right, but you know what I mean, LOL).

Off to finish some readings for my classes.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

2014 in Review

Not sure I had a great crafting year.  It felt as if my productivity had greatly decreased.  Did I even make much this past year?  It hardly seems so.
Finished Projects from 2014
Yes, there was a pretty hat, some baby things, a costume and a few outfits for brown-haired Barbie.  Yet, there should have been more.  After all, I usually had a hook in my hand, working on something . . . .
In progress Rainbow Bedspread
In my defense I started something a wee bit too big.  Yup, the lovely rainbow bedspread in all its colourful glory.  And that, dear friends, has taken up a fair amount of my time.  The small projects go quickly and you can make lots of them.  As for the big projects . . .well, they take up more time, don't they?
Another view of bedspread
I've got another row of squares ready to get attached.  Too bad I've started my classes for the winter semester--and I'm already up to my eyeballs in homework!  Still, that bedspread makes me very happy. :)

Here's to a more productive year in the wide world of crafts! :)

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Winter is Here :(

The tree in the front yard
Yup, winter is here in full force, complete with sub-Arctic temperatures and plenty of snow.  I'd love to say that winter is not without its charms, but honestly I despise the cold days, the even colder nights and the short days.
Snow-covered road out front
The sidewalks are slippery and so are the roads.  And the frigid temperatures make it difficult to get out with the wee ones.  Anything colder than -25 C is wee bit too frigid--too easy to get frost-bitten cheeks.
The shed in the corner of the yard
What's a gal to do?  Just cozy up with her hook or needles and while away the time . . . at least until the semester begins. ;)
Something interesting in the garden
Hope it's not too cold or too snowy where you're at.  May your basket be filled with fun and interesting projects.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Babies and Small Things

Some small things were finished and some small things were started.  Yay!  Crafting on a regular basis energizes the spirit, invigorates creativity, and gives a sense of purpose.  And finishing small projects provides a break from bigger projects as well as enough motivation to push ahead on those bigger projects (I'm looking at you, Rainbow Bedspread.  Someday you will be finished).

Meanwhile, I can derive satisfaction from these simple, but pretty, baby items.  This free basic beanie pattern can be found here on Ravelry.  And truly it is a good basic pattern.

Basic Beanie
Sadly the final item seemed rather small--as in freakin' wee!  The above photo doesn't really give a sense of its size until you compare it to something else--like a doll.
Above is my 18" American Girl/Maplea wanna-be and the beanie fits her melon perfectly. Me thinks this is proof that the beanie is too small for a baby--although it might fit a preemie--and I used the 0-3 month size (Worth noting that since my SIL is well into her 8th month, the baby should have a bigger head circumference). To be fair, the pattern included instructions for bigger sizes up to adult size, so I would have found the right size.  Instead I tried my hand at something else.

This second beanie pattern came from Baby Crochet by Lois Daykin.  It was the same book from which came the rainbow baby bib.  Unlike the bib, these instructions were easy to follow and I had no issues with it, other than minor modifications.  Since the original pattern called for yarn thinner than worsted, my mods included:
1) using a 50 st chain instead of the 60 st chain called for in the pattern.  Thankfully this mod did not mess up the decrease rows.
2) using five 30-st chains for the tassel instead of the twenty 30-st chains called for in the pattern (although I need to trim my ends on the tassels a little more).
I also started some booties.  It's a free pattern from Bernat (aka Yarnspirations--whose website is currently being "updated" so I used the Rav link above.  It will take you to the appropriate link at Yarnspirations--once their website is up and running again).  Since the pattern is one I've made before (see here and also here.  Or you can check out my meager notes on Ravelry), I know two things: the directions are easy to follow and the final item is of acceptable size and dimensions.  It's win-win. ;)
With variegated yarn, there's always the danger of bad pooling, but it's not too bad--at least on the side visible in the photo above.  

Whatcha think?  What's in your project bag?
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