Sunday, March 30, 2014

Spring!!!

As I write this, it is 51 and sunny outside! That might sound chilly to lots of you, but for us it is like a heat wave. The day before was a cold and dreary low 30s and I had on a wool coat. The ongoing cold caused a lot of sore throats, runny noses, and coughing to invade our house, but I'm hoping we are on the other side of that experience. To usher in spring I pulled out the spring/summer dishes, put away all the heavy blankets downstairs, and pulled out all the spring decorations.


After YEARS of forgetting to get these out, I finally remembered a little box that my MIL gave us years ago that was labeled "Patrick's Eggs." Inside were these three little ceramic eggs and a Jelly Beans container. Aren't they adorable? I put them out and Patrick started telling me more about his Great Aunt Mart who made the eggs for him and helped him paint the Jelly Beans jar. He has such fond memories of her and how special she was to him. How she, along with her husband, took him on a road trip during which he ate over 40 shrimp at a seafood place. (A momentous occasion for a little boy.) He still has his journal that she had him write in during the trip and a little buckeye that she gave him. 





I realized that my spring decor has grown to include a lot of my watercolor art. My favorite pieces from class are all of flowers and spring/summer scenes. (I'm not a big fan of the animal subject matters we've done. Although, I am excited to try the bunny next month!) The paintings are nothing that anybody else might think are that great, but I'm just amazed that I could even give them a go at all! It is a medium outside of my comfort zone for sure, but I love going each month.


Spring Rain


These dual flowers were our March study. I added the splatter to them and liked how they turned out.





I'm not sure that I ever blogged about the February study. Carol was visiting and took the class with me and we had such a fun time with this little beach scene. It used the same salt effect as the spring rain girl. I especially liked how my bird's shadow turned out. Of course, I spent all of 30 seconds on that part!


And, of course, my bright crocheted block blanket just yells SPRING to me.

As for those hundreds of bulbs I planted out front when I was sick with the cancer without knowing why I felt so bad? Well, they still aren't up! That is the part of spring I am more than ready to see!!! Bring on the flowers! We did venture out to plan out a new fence, deck, and trees for the front yard. Time to make the yard inviting again after a hard, cold, and snow-filled winter.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Newsboy Hats

A few weeks back I was asked to make some newsboy hats for some little guys. This little crochet newsboy hat is one that I have crocheted before and enjoyed. It uses a worsted weight yarn and I used a US G hook. A big plus for this pattern is that it is sized from newborn to adult male. I still need to make matching ones for Patrick and I...maybe that should be what we wear to the pumpkin patch in the fall!


This lovely blue is Knit Picks Brava Worsted in Peacock. I'm not a big acrylic fan, but I love Brava Worsted. It is much softer than other acrylics and doesn't squeak on my hooks and needles. You can't beat the price and the range of colors is fantastic. It also now comes in different weights. Such a perfect yarn for kids projects and for garments that need easy care.


Pattern link: Classic Newsboy Hat by Adrienne Engar


Another 300 yards from my stash and 4 buttons from the button stash! That brings my total yardage from stash for 2014 to 4,659 yards. Most of those were hats and another small projects. Nothing like quick satisfaction!


Monday, March 24, 2014

Easter Bunnies

While I'm on a money saving mission and to use up stash yarn, I also still want to spoil my niece and nephews when I can. Three of them are still pretty little and enjoy some simple silly toys so I settled on making them a little bunny for Easter to go along with their card. I remembered this pattern from last year and dug it out of my Ravelry links.


Easy Easter Bunny by Janette Williams

I used an US H/8 hook and various scraps from my yarn stash.


For pink/purple bunny I used scraps of Plymouth Superwash Merino Solids and Cascade 220 Superwash.
For blue bunny I used scraps of Berroco Vintage, Cascade 220 Superwash, and Knit Picks Tonal Worsted.
For green/orange bunny I used scraps of Cascade 220 Superwash and Knit Picks Tonal Worsted.
Super easy and fun pattern to work up. Bunnies are pretty small, maybe 5-6 inches from bottom to ear tips. 


The little tails were fun to make and I made them extra fluffy!


This is the first time I ever used safety eyes. They are a black front and you punch it into a holder that clicks closed to hold it in place. So much easier than sewing on buttons and great for those 3+. I hope that the kids like these little guys and enjoy their bunny shaped soaps that smell like apples and strawberries. 

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Groovyghan Is GROOVY!

It's finished! Another afghan is born! And, just like clockwork around our house, the first to use said afghan are the doggies. Spoiled little furballs that they are...


Pattern: Groovyghan by Tracy St. John
Yarn: Berroco Vintage and Miss Babs Yowzw Whatta Skein!
Hook: US H/8

A note about yardage: The pattern called for 3 skeins of Vintage for each of the 7 colors. I only used 2 of each color. I did not modify the pattern at all. (I actually had a little bit of the second skein left for each color except the red, which was used up a bit more on the border than the other colors.)


"It's mine, right?"


"I mean, RIGHT? I am going to sit on it just to make sure."

Thursday, March 20, 2014

My Crazy Socks

I finished up my crazy socks just in time for what is (hopefully) the last winter weather of the season. The knitting wrapped up on the socks on a 60+ degree day, but fret not because this is Indiana and the next day held some single digits so that I could wear said socks. (Dear Mother Nature, I'll happily store away all of my knits for a good 9 months if you will warm it up around here!) The socks are adorable and are more socks cousins than an exact match.


I love how they turned out! The yarn is Berroco Sox in color 1464. Because my feet are so small, I have enough leftover for some beekeeper's quilt pieces and maybe a cute baby hat.


As noted in a previous post, I have a stitch count I use for my socks and one I use for PK. When I get to the heel flap, I use an algorithm and the same for the gusset and toe. I really like the slip stitch heel flap because it holds up so much better in the long run. 



Socks were knitted on US 2 DPNs. Way back when I first learned to knit my gauge was loose because of how I hold my yarn. Over the years, it has become very even and I can now use DPNs whereas before I got even looser on DPNs. There is something about this process that I prefer over all the other ways to knit socks. It feels a little more primal to me and for some odd reason I like that!


Colorful cozy toes!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Happy Birthday, My PK!

Happy Birthday to the best man I've ever known. I hope you have a great day and a great year, but I couldn't let it pass by without sharing some throwback photos of my PK!


He loved baseball from early on...


On the telephone even then!


Taking out his "little" sister for her 21st...


Our engagement photo from way back!


First dance...


Just starting our lives together...




Monday, March 17, 2014

Patrick's Finished Socks

About a week ago we went out for the Saturday and had a blast. There was whiskey and beer purchased for PK, jams for our bagels, and dips/pretzels for NCAA watching. We went to our favorite small market for some gourmet sandwiches for lunch and some yummy local meats for breakfast the next day. It was followed up with cupcakes at a local bakery and an agreement that no foods we had that day had any calories! Ha, if only! It was a day full of simple things, but things I couldn't have dreamed of doing six months ago. We laughed our heads off when I screamed like a little girl when the carwash guy startled me. I sang along to the radio, and we just enjoyed being with each other.

Unfortunately, the temperature started to drop...again. Argh. We headed home and settled in for an afternoon and evening watching the last round of regular season NCAA games. As we were watching the games, I finished up the last 10 rows of Patrick's socks, tucked in the ends, and onto the happy feet they went!


There isn't a pattern to link to for you as I really kind of do my own thing when I knit socks. I have a count for Patrick's foot and one for me. Then, I do what I want until I get to the heel flap. From there, I follow some counts in a book for the flap and turn, then I pick back up on whatever I want to do. I typically end up doing straight St st, but sometimes I'll put in a texture stitch. I just sort of wing it.


Yarn: Rhichard Devrieze in color Frank Lloyd
US needle 2
I only used 2 of the 4 skeins I bought. Darn! I'll just have to make a pair for myself.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Reverie Beret...Qui Qui

During my outing to the LYS with Carol, we spotted this cute shop sample and checked out the tag for the pattern. Of course, we then acquired yarn for said hat! I selected a colorway from Claudia Hand Paints that I thought would go very well with my wool camel-colored coat. It was a fun pattern to knit and I started one night and finished it the next day. The spiral yarn over pattern is very easy to remember so you can mindlessly work along to the top of the hat.



Pattern is FREE from Knitty.com: Reverie Beret
1.5 skeins of Claudia Hand Paints in color Donna's Favorite
US 3 needle


I'm already trying to decide what to do with that partial skein! Most likely it will make an appearance in my beekeeper's quilt.


Modeling the hat...Okay...off topic, but I fully admit that I edited this photo to remove the bags under my eyes. Lord, I thought I was getting enough sleep until I saw the photos of this hat. Thank goodness for retouching! I so hate modeling for these photos because I only see all my insecurities. My long nose, crooked not white-like-I-would-love-them-to-be teeth, dark bags, double chin, and on and on. Yet, when I think about everything that my un-perfect face and fluffy body has been through over the last five years, I'm just happy to be able to knit, live, and be happy. At least, that is what I try to remember when I look in the mirror, at the scale, or at photos. I try...then I open the photo editor! 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Donations for Relay

It's always flattering to be asked to donate items for a charity auction. The idea that you get to help others while sharing your passion is a powerful concept. Last week I put together a Flossie hat, Tressie Cowl, a collection of Brownie Knits patterns, and a book/yarn combo for an upcoming charity auction in my community. I do hope that someone likes them and puts some good bids down to help raise money for cancer research.


A Flossie Hat


I used Madelinetosh Vintage Tosh in color Well Water on a US 7 needle.



Tressie Cowl


I used Dream in Color on a US 7 needle.




All organized in bright spring colors and headed to new homes of people who support all of those who have cancer interrupt our lives. 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

His and Her Socks

I've been knitting a pair of socks for Patrick and one for myself. As I finished up one sock each, I had a little chuckle at how drastically different our feet are. I mean, it looks like a kids sock and an adult sock!


Pattern: I did it on the fly...hope I can remember it for the second one!
Yarn: Patrick's sock is Rhichard Devrieze in color Frank Lloyd
Gina's sock Berroco Sox
US Needle 2

I picked out this skein of Berroco Sox for me after drooling over the leg warmer photo I put on the front of my journal. Don't they put you in the mind of each other? It was enough to satisfy my brighter color desire. And, they are nice and cozy in the ongoing chill.



Sunday, March 9, 2014

Groovyghan in One Piece

The Groovyghan has reached the seamed together stage! Woohoo!!! All those ends are hidden and the pieces are all put together. Next up is the ripple edge and then it is ready for snuggles and naps.