Thursday, June 30, 2011

Choo Choo Train Blanket

Woohoo!!! Today we are announcing our newest pattern: The Choo Choo Train Blanket. As always, we have added the pattern to Ravelry and the Etsy shop. You can click either highlighted link here. In the future, you can always find the pattern links for Ravelry on the Pattern and Patten Support page of the blog.

This super fun blanket uses lace techniques to create the choo choo trains. Pattern includes written instructions for setting up each section and trains are charted. The blanket is worked from the bottom up and is addictive!

A great size for a baby or toddler blanket. A perfect throw for a child’s room or a train collector’s room.

One of the things I really like about the newish to me Craftsy site is the questions they ask you about patterns. Here are my notes for this one:
What was your inspiration?: I was inspired to write this pattern after completing my Petal Baby Afghan design. I wanted to design a boy blanket that used the same panel/lace concept. Not long after that I watched my nephew Jack playing with amazement at a train table. I thought, "I could chart that out!"
What are you most proud of?: I really worked with the YO/decrease combos to get as much movement as possible in the trains. Although this means the knitter needs to pay a little more attention to the instructions, the end result give a motion feel.
What advice would you give someone starting this project?: As noted in the pattern, not all wrong side rows are just purls. Make sure you pay careful attention the first set of trains and then the rest is cake. Choo Choo!!!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Flower Power Wednesday: Additional Pattern Suggestions

Happy flower power Wednesday! I haven't been able to crochet all week due to knitting and physical therapist commitments., I plan to use my allotted craft time to work on some flowers. I'll be making some up from the 100 Flowers to Knit & Crochet book that I acquired on vacation. As I type this, I am armed with my basket of cotton yarn in bright colors, a hook, and the book!

I also was thinking about trying to figure out a way to get the look of these flowers that I have in my back yard flower garden. Aren't they fun? They remind me of all the beautiful flowers I saw in South Africa and Turks & Caicos.

Finally, I thought I'd share some patterns that were recommended on the Ravelry board (in case you are only following along here):

Six petal flower
Flower center circle

These are all free downloads from Lion Brand and thanks to visi0ngirl for the suggestions!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A Lovely Anniversary Gift

For our 10 year anniversary, we agreed to pool and save our money and put it toward a super fun trip later this year. Well, PK sort of held to that. :) He surprised me with a ring from my friend Kristy's shop. It was custom made for me and shows the dates of our 10 years together, a piece of red yarn from my stash, and a saying that loosely translated means, "One rope together." So special!

 Kristy and her sister's shop is named after their grandmothers, I believe. They do great pieces and are SO reasonably priced. To inquire about pieces and trade shows, you can use the yahoo address shown here.

Of course, my hubby is full of creativity and I am often spoiled with his poetry! (I feel a little guilty sharing this one publicly given the wording of the poem, but my desire to share his beauty with the world has won out.)

Monday, June 27, 2011

Knitting Lately...

Outside of all the summer happenings that we have had of late, I have been knitting...some. Sometime in April I managed to hurt my neck and shoulder. I thought I just slept on it wrong and it would get better. It didn't. It kept getting worse and worse. I tried not knitting for a week thinking that was didn't improve. FINALLY, I have a physical therapist who has pinpointed the issue and we are gradually working out the kinks. It has, however, cut into my knitting time. I can only do a few hours a day and I have to make sure it is elevated so that my head stays straight. Not the most comfortable position!

Additionally, I have also been working on a project for someone else and can't reveal it, but I will say that it involved the things in this picture and it took up my 2 hours a day for a week. Thus, my lack of projects to share with all of you. (Exciting stuff, though!)

Instead of knitting, I'm enjoying reading a few new knitting/crochet books. The long awaited Little Red in the City is just amazing. I love the look and feel of the pages--each one is a treat. The projects are great, but the mass amounts of knowledge all compiled into one reference section is the best. This book is a must-have if you are only going to have 4-5 knitting books. Ysolda is an inspiration.

I have some Cascade 220 that I think would look great as this sweater!

I also have been flipping through these two "new to me" books. Lots of info in the Sweater design book and I am planning an afternoon of crocheting flowers from the knit/crochet flowers book for my Anthro Throw.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Happy 10th Anniversary, PK!

I am absolutely astounded to think that we've been married for 10 years. Wow...that flew by. It has been a fantastic time and I love you more and more every day, PK!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Flower Power Wednesday: Unique Sheep Influences

I am a member of the Unique Sheep Crochet Block of the Month club. As I was working on my May and June blocks, it occurred to me that the center of these blocks would make great flowers for the Anthro Throw CAL. After blocking them all out, I took a few pictures for you all to see. You can sign up to get the monthly patterns/yarn via the Unique Sheep website and then you could use the flower portions in your Anthro CAL. (I can also tell you that the yarn/patterns from Unique Sheep are well worth the money!)

Monday, June 20, 2011

What's Happening...A Lake, Friends, A Birthday Party...I'm Tired!

We've had a busy few weekends for our household, which usually consists of mowing the lawn/cleaning the house/taking in a movie! A few weekends ago, we hung out with friends at Greg's lake house. It was so good to see my besties and get to spend some dedicated time with them. It made me remember all the fun times we've had over the years. There was a time in my life when I spent every weekend with Carol, Tonya, and Greg and they really got me through some changing years of life. I had the camera, so I missed out on being in the swimsuit pictures. Aw, shucks!

It was a weekend full of laughs, memories, and a little drinking. :) It took me a few days to catch up on my sleep and do a few things that week before we went out for our next weekend adventure. We drove down to French Lick/Paoli to visit with family and help to celebrate my little nephew's birthday. Can I just say that I love this little man and his big blue eyes? He enjoyed the icing on his cake...a lot!

We stayed at the Big Locust Farm B&B in Paoli behind the Peaks. (It was such a nice place to stay, the food was great, the owners were very nice, and the prices are great. If you are planning a trip to the area, I would recommend this as a place to stay over the hotels.) This was a view outside out window. I so wished that we had a little more time so that I could sit and knit on the porch! In our room there was the pretty filet crochet piece pictured above. I have this technique on my list of things to try out and this piece of inspiring!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Hoosier Hills Fiber Fair 2011

I wasn't going to venture to any fiber fairs this year (in an effort to NOT spend money)! However, we were going to a grad party near the Hoosier Hills Fair this year and I couldn't justify not driving the extra 10 miles, right? :) So...we ventured over and looked at all the fun items. I stayed super controlled and only bought yarn to make a Wispy Cardigan, as I already had this on my list.

Patrick cracked me up when he said, "Maybe we should just call this the Knitting Notions fiber fair since that it is usually what you buy each time." He's right. I really like their stuff. So much so that I didn't have a single skein in my stash because it had all been used! Don't you just love this Tea Rose color? I think it will make a beautiful summer cardi.

I also unexpectedly stumbled on this pattern. Aren't they adorable?!?

Monday, June 13, 2011

Stash Organization and Project Planning

After getting the treadmill and putting it in the yarn studio, the room looked more like a gym. That just wouldn't do, so after two weeks of pondering how to arrange the room, I finally figured it all out and we moved things around. Now it looks like a yarn studio with a treadmill in the corner. MUCH better.

I took the opportunity to re-organize my yarn stash. Added a few skinny bookshelves to house more yarn (the store closing sale sent me into a panicked buying frenzy). I LOVE how colorful and fun it looks. I was shocked to see how much Dream in Color I've collected over the years. I put my favorite vendors together and then other sections are organized by fiber content. All the books are in the ottoman.

My next goal it to scan all of my patterns into PDF so that I have everything on my iPad and can reduce the number of binders I have. I also think I might scan in patterns from magazines and books so that when I make the projects, I can just carry around my iPad or iPhone.

As I was organizing the stash, I was rediscovering yarns I had forgotten all about. One of these was some Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool from Nancy. I thought that I MUST find a project for this yarn. After some searching in Ravelry, I settled on the Molly Ringwald sweater from Knit Scene. I think it will be really cute and I can wear it as a tank vest or over a shirt.

I also have several other projects all planned out now. During the store closing sale/last days of working there, a lot of us went crazy saving the yarn! A few of my upcoming projects are from the feeding frenzy!

 Alp from Feza...I think this will become a tank. I plan to just cast on and knit. Do my own thing...

 This Summer Linen will probably become a skirt...maybe the one below from Knit Scene?

 The ever popular Central Park Hoodie out of Melon Dream in Color...

This Malabrigo lace will be a Featherweight Cardigan...

I also picked up some Blue Herron yarn to make the Daisy skirt. I've loved this pattern forever and I WILL finally make it and the Sasha skirt after some more running!