Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Tuesday Time Out Party!

This week, I'm co-hosting the Tuesday Time Out Party with Reasons To Skip The Housework!  Feel free to link up here or there, the party will show up on both of our blogs!  
Have fun!

Striped Fingerless Gloves

So after I finished my striped beanie, I picked up my knitting needles again.  I wanted to make some fingerless gloves for one of my nieces.  I told myself I had to use a free pattern and yarn I already had in my stash.  So thanks to past projects and ravelry.com I was able to meet both of those requirements.

I challenged myself this time and tried knitting in the round using several double pointed needles.  It was definitely trickier than using a circular needle!  I managed it, but my stitches between needles seem to be a little looser.

This niece has a fun personality all of her own, and the red and black definitely suit her.  She loves Tim Burton, is an amazing artist, and has a fantastic imagination.  

I did a fair isle pattern for the cuff and fingers, then a basic striped knit pattern for the body.  I need to stop doing so many striped patterns.  I DO NOT like weaving in all of those ends!

Now on to another pair for her sister!  I'm hoping to try a cable pattern this time.  Am I crazy?

Saturday, March 24, 2012

My Knitting Learning Curve

A year ago I decided to teach myself how to knit.  I don't know why I got the idea in my head, but the next think I knew I was ordering "Funky Knitting" from my sister's book order.

It makes me laugh because it says things like "Rockin'" and "Too easy!"

I thought I could figure it out if this book was meant for 8-year olds.  Right?  WRONG!!  I started with just a swatch to practice casting on, knitting, and purling.  I though I was doing okay, till I started to notice  missed stitches.  Then I somehow managed to increase without meaning too.  I also knit some rows when I should have purled, and vice versa.  This is what my attempt looks like.  Yikes!!

It took guts to share this photo. :)
About that time someone taught me the basics of crocheting.  I put the knitting needles aside and ran with crocheting.  It was SO much easier too me!  There was still a learning curve.  I still remember the first time someone showed me a double crochet.  It went something like this..."Yarn on, put your needle through the stitch, yarn on, pull through, yarn on, pull through two loops, yarn on, pull through two loops.  There!"  My response was an incredulous, "All of THAT is just ONE stitch!!"  It got better though, and I love it.

A month or so ago I decided to try my hand at knitting again.  I picked my funky book and clumsily held my needles.  Things went much better this time though.  I realized what I was doing that was causing the increasing, I became more comfortable with the needles in my hands, and I definitely felt more confident.  This was my first completed project.  A little purse, for my little cutie.  Not much, but I was happy with it!

Sorry for the blurry photo.  Maybe photography should
be the next hobby I pick up so learn how to take a decent photo.
Next I branched out and decided I'd try a scarf for a niece.  After reading the instructions in my book and a youtube tutorial I gave the rib stitch a go.  I definitely made some mistakes, but things got increasingly better the further I went, and the mistakes fewer.  I wasn't counting rows though, so the stripes ended up being different lengths.  Oh well!  It gives it character, right?

Isn't she such a cute model!  I like her sass.  I crocheted the
headband for her a year ago when I was trying to
develop a headband pattern.

Then I decided to get really brave and knit a hat for myself.  I wasn't sure that I wanted to try the 5 needle thing so I bought a circular needle.  Okay, actually I bought like five circular needles in an attempt to get the right size and length.  I should have researched that part better first.

Trial and error wasn't over yet though.  I think I started this hat at least five times!  A few times were with the wrong cable length, then I had too small of yarn, then I didn't have enough stitches to fit my head.  One time I even got five inches done before I realized it was too small.  Oh boy...  But after all of that trial and error it's finally done!

 I even learned fair isle knitting, Continental and English style, and how to switch from a circular needle to five double point needles for this project.  I was so happy!

This photo was taken during a no make-up, hair not done
moment.  I'm either incredibly secure, or too tired to care.
And I was purposely trying to have a cheesy grin.
It's a little long and bulky, (did I say "little" check out the picture above!) but I'm hoping it will tighten up a bit in the wash.  But it's so soft and warm!  I love it!  And so does my little one!

I'm pretty sure she was telling me her new
favorite word right here.  The dreaded N-O.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Spring Bunting

Back in December I made a decorative ladder and had it all decked out for Christmas. Loved it! In fact I loved it so much I decided to leave it up and find ways to decorate it throughout the year. So in January I made some fun photo letters spelling out "FAMILY" and they are now hanging on it.  However, every time I pass it I can't help but think it needs something else.  So in February when I made my scallop bunting it finally occurred to me that some sort of bunting would be a fun addition.

The project was added to my ever growing "to do" list (thank you blog stalking and Pinterest).  Every once in a while I'd set out different fabrics and play with them.  I'd leave a grouping out on my work table for a few days to see if I liked them together.  Then last Friday I stopped in at a quilt shop and found an adorable fat quarter (it's the flower print).  It went with one that I already had at home, so of course I had to get it!  It didn't take very long for me to realize that this was going to be the fabric grouping I wanted for my bunting.

I still had several projects I was mid-way through so I didn't have plans on doing it any time soon.  However yesterday morning when I woke up at 6:30 (ugh!) and couldn't go back to sleep, I decided it was the day!  So I spent an hour and a half working on it before my little one woke up.  During that time I managed to make a template, cut out all of my fabric, and get all my triangles sewed together.  Yay!

Once nap time came I set to turning and pressing the triangles and sewed them into the bias tape.  I love when I have a project I can start and finish in one day.  Only, I didn't REALLY finish it one day...

Today I excitedly went to hang my bunting, and came upon a problem.  I went across the ladder once, good.  Then I went to switch directions and go back, and UH OH!  By sewing all of the triangles on facing the same direction it didn't allow me to change directions as I crossed back and forth on the ladder.  Some of the triangles would be backwards.

Sure I would have never had this problem if I had made the triangles double sided.  But I wanted some of the cute prints left over so I used a neutral color on the back.  Grrr...

I ended up unpicking four of the triangles and turning them the other direction.  Problem solved and it only took me about 20 minutes to fix.  I guess that's minor compared to other mistakes I've made!

And I love this addition to the ladder!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Blog Hop!

Some great ladies are putting on a blog hop! Please join in the fun and meet some new bloggers! ---------

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Treasure Box


My responsibility in my church is to teach music to the 3-7 year olds.  As you can imagine it's quite a treat.  :) They are so much fun and definitely keep me on my toes.  It's always fun to ask for volunteers to be my helper or play a game.  You can imagine that about 90% of the 30-40 hands shoot up and nearly pull the kids up out of their seats.  I try to only pick on those who have been reverent and participating, and I TRY to not call on the same kids all of the time, but it's a lot to keep track of.

I don't remember where I got this idea, but I'm sure I read it somewhere online.  I've created a Treasure Box containing coins with the names of each sweet little child on them.  I'll use it to pick helpers whenever I need one.  However, they'll only get to help if they have been listening and participating.

I plan on introducing the box to them by talking about how treasure is something that is valuable and that is worth a lot.  I'll then talk about how they are valuable to God and how they are "treasures" to Him.  We'll read Isaiah 13:12 - "I will make a man more precious than fine gold..." and Doctrine and Covenants 18:10 - "Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God."  (Not familiar with the Doctrine and Covenants?  It's considered scripture for those of us that belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  You can learn more at www.mormon.org.)

This little box wasn't difficult to put together.  I was planning on building one myself and had even found a few tutorials online.  Then I found this unfinished box at Hobby Lobby for about $3.  That was a no brainer!  I used stain that was left over from my chair refinish and Pro Deo sign.  That stain is now DONE!  It was sludge at this point and I was barely able to scratch out enough for this box.  My wonderful friend cut the letting out for me on her Cricut.   For the coins I purchased 1" wood discs online, spray painted them gold, then printed out the kids names on 1" clear, round labels.  Wa-lah!  I had my treasure box complete with treasure.

Hopefully the kids like it on Sunday!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

My Linky Followers is about to Disappear

That's right folks!  After I started using Linky Followers my stats went out of control.  I wish it was legit, but the total page views listed in my Blogger Dashboard do not match up with views on individual posts/pages or with my Google Analytics numbers.  Due to these discrepancies I've decided to disable LF.  So if you are only following me through Linky Followers, please join me through GFC or Blog Lovin' so you can be kept in the loop!  I'd hate to loose you.

Thanks for following!


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Sunflower Skirt

Guess what?!  This post has nothing to do with the Curves Class that I've been participating in.  It's been a while!  But...many of you have been asking what this "Curves Class" is, and a few have even thought it had something to do with the Curves fitness chain.  :)  I totally understand the misunderstanding.  The funny thing is I actually teach Zumba at my local Curves.

But the Curves Class I've been talking about it one taught by Rachel at Stitched in Color and it's all about getting more comfortable with sewing curves.  Improv curves, precise curves, you name it.  And it's been a FANTASTIC class!  As you can see from my posts there have been a lot of fun projects in the class and I've probably only done half of them.

Anyway, back to this post.  This is a skirt I made last Fall, but never blogged about.  Pam's ongoing Link Party at Threading My Way inspired me to blog about it.  She has several ongoing link parties for specific topics, you should check 'em out!  She featured my Dandelion Daydream Apron just a little while ago.  So kind!

This skirt was a pretty simple project, but it was at the beginning of my attempts to sew clothing so simple was a good thing.  I wanted something cheerful and springy.  The bright yellow sunflowers definitely met that requirement!

The material I chose for the upper band was quite see-through so I added a layer of yellow material underneath it.

I had a funny experience with making this skirt.  When I start a project I tend to get very focused and don't like delays that keep me from finishing them.  With this skirt the hem fell into that category.  No one else was home when I was ready to hem it, but I didn't want to wait for help with marking the hem.  So I researched different ways to mark a hemline while wearing the skirt yourself.  Needless to say, none of the methods worked so well for me.  :)  I ended up waiting till my husband was home and could help me.

I'm so happy the weather's turning warm so I can pull this cheerful skirt back out of the closet!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Guest Post at Craftbotic

Hey all!  I'm guest posting at Craftbotic today about rag quilts.  Go on over and check out Rosie's great blog!


Hi, my name is Rosie, and I am launching a new blog called 'Craftbotic' this weekend and am very pleased to be host to wonderful crafters like Brittney! 
I jumped at the chance at Brittney's offer to guest post on my new blog. I am thrilled to be her first ever one and know that people will adore her gorgeous rag quilts.  I share a few similarities with Brittney, we both have our men in different countries, we are both new to blogging and we both are going on a giant craft learning curve.  I think Brittney might be winning on the ability front, but it's all about the fun, right?!
So what else can you find apart from another super tutorial? Well, for the rest of March there will be a party themed link-up that will run for the next 3 weeks. Please come and link up your top outfits, nibbles, decorations, gifts and theme ideas....if it is about celebrating, it is very welcome.
I hope that you will enjoy your time at Craftbotic. Join me on my journey into a wide range of new crafts, join in my book club, laugh at my attempts to get bikini fit for the summer and any of the many other random projects I seem to come up with along the way (including running 5km dressed as a superhero!). 
See you soon!
Rosie xx

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Sweetwater Reuinion Fabric

So I am crushing on this line of fabric in a major way!  I just ordered a charm pack and a bundle of 12 FQs of Sweetwater's Reunion from Pink Chalk Fabric and it came in the mail today.  I LOVE IT!!!  If I could, I would order a yard of every print in the line.  Have you seen this line?  It's so fun and such beautiful colors!

The problem with ordering the charm pack is it exposed me to some of the prints I wasn't aware of before.  So if any of you have an extra $125 lying around feel free to order me the fat quarter bundle from the Fat Quarter Shop.  :)  I won't complain.  If only I were one of those amazing quilters that get sent fabric for free to promote it and try it out.  Someday!

Seriously though, have any of you ever crushed on a line of fabric like this before?

(This is not a sponsored post.  Just me sharing one of my fabric loves!)

Spring Book Cover

Another finished project!  And yes, it's from my Curves class. :)  I did, however, manage to work on a non-Curves project today.  Eons ago I posted about a log cabin quilt top I made.  Well I started quilting it a few months ago, got about 1/5th of the way done, and decided I didn't like the quilting design I was using.  So I've been slowly unpicking the stitches over the last few months.  I finally finished unpicking!  So maybe in a month or so I'll be able to share it as a finished project.

Anyway, back to the curves project.  It's a cute little cover for a composition notebook.  I've managed to do all of my curves projects with fabrics I already have on hand so far.  This one was a little bold for me with the colors, but I'm falling in love with it as I use it.

I love this project idea.  There are so many quilt blocks you could turn into covers.  I'm already thinking these puppies will make great Christmas gifts.

Even better this project fulfills a need I had.  I saw the idea of keeping a journal for each of your children, to record thoughts for them, stories from when they were little, and notes for them.  I LOVED the idea and have been wanting to buy some cute journals for it.  But I love these handmade books even better!  It gives an added personal touch to an already personal item.  I've already started writing in this one for my little girl.  One of the first entries is Daddy's First Lullaby telling her about the first time her daddy sang her a lullaby, because she DEMANDED it of him.

The solid yellow I used was a lighter weight cotton, and I wish I would have used quilter's cotton.  It was prone to stretching and wrinkling very easily.  And once I put the notebook inside of the cover I realized the black spots on the book showed through much of the material.  However, I was able to easily fix the problem by gluing yellow construction paper on the cover.

I confess I've already made a second one.  I did the main block in postage stamp style.  I like the idea, but it's a little busy.  I added prints all around the postage stamp block and it's TOO much.  So I plan on taking it apart and trying again with some solid borders around the stamp block.  Hopefully I'll be happy with the finished product and willing to share.

Check out the other projects from the Curves Class!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Funny Family Moment #2

I couldn't resist posting about this one.  Warning: graphic content dealing with diapers. :)

Unfortunately my daughter has developed the habit of putting her hands down her diaper.  We correct it, we distract, but they still end up down there.  Sometimes when my husband corrects her she whines and turns to me like, "mommy, daddy's being mean!" To her disappointment I back up her father.

Today I knew she was stinky and just about to change her when I saw she had her hands down her diaper again.  I RUSHED to change her then.  Nothing worse then the mess spreading because she gets it on her hands.

Well when I went to change the diaper I found a surprise in it.  A 2 GB thumb drive.  Apparently she's taken to stuffing things in her diaper now!  What am I going to do!

Drunkard's Path Hot Pads

These Peas Taste Funny

That's right, it's another Curves Class project.  They're pretty much all I've had time to work on lately, but I'm enjoying them and learning so much so that's okay!

This was my first attempt at precise curves, meaning piecing a concave and convex curve together and allowing for the seam allowance in the cutting.

With the first quarter circle I sewed I pinned it.  Then I got brave and did the rest without pinning.  Of course there was some unpicking and resewing, but it went well for the most part!

The funny thing is the most time consuming and frustrating part of this project was not the curves.  It ended up being the binding!  I am usually a stickler for hand stitching the last step of my binding, but I decided for something like hot pads I could break that rule and try something different.  So I tried to finish it off with a zig zag stitch.  My sewing machine had been acting a little funny, but was still working.  However, when it came to a zig zag stitch it completely rebelled!  My zig zag was coming out as a straight stitch.  

After cleaning out my machine and determining that the problem was more than I could fix I borrowed my mom's back-up machine.  It worked great for the first one.  Then when I went to finish the second one the next day it was having problems!  It wouldn't pull the bobbin thread up and my top thread kept breaking.  I re-thread the needle, I re-thread the bobbin, I turned the machine off and on.  Same result.  After pounding my head on the table a few times I set the project aside and began cutting material for another project.

When I had calmed down (I'm a embarrassed to say I got really frustrated) I went back to the hot pads.  Turns out the bobbin casing wasn't quite in right.  Earlier I noticed the plate was loose so I took it off, took out the bobbin casing and dusted things off a bit before putting it all back together.  Apparently I didn't get it put back together right.

Once that was taken care of I cruised!  I turned it over to admire my work only to realize the zig zag completely missed the binding on the back!!  Oh man.  I left the project for the day at that point.  This morning I woke up refreshed, unpicked again, and zig zagged my heart out.  Finally a finish I could be happy with!

I like them both.  The red and black has a bit of a retro look to me, but I think the black/white, black/yellow/grey combo is my favorite.  What fun additions to my kitchen!  I already have plans to whip up a few of these for gifts.

Remember, the name of my blog is Third Time's a Charm, and there's a reason for that. :)  I ofter learn lessons the hard way. 

Check out Rachel at Stitched in Color.  She's the one teaching the Curves Class.  And check out the other projects I've blogged about from the class!