Thursday, April 26, 2012

3KCBWDAY4 - A Knitter and Crocheter For All Seasons

I hate to say that even though I live some place that has all four seasons (even though our Spring and Fall is only a few weeks long sometimes), I tend to only and knit and crochet items meant for the cold months.      It's not a conscious choice.  I think it's because most of the patterns I come across that I like are meant to be warm and cozy.  I'd LOVE to find patterns for Spring, Summer, and Fall items though.  So if any of you have any that you like I'd love to see them.  Send them my way!

Part of the problem is I tend to associate knit and crocheted items as warm cozy things.  A beanie, a cuddly afghan, a soft scarf.  I guess the baby booties I've been making lately can be more of an all-season thing for little ones that need to keep their feet warm.  And at one time I developed my own crochet headband pattern so that I could teach it to my twelve year old niece {go here to check out her cute blog, she's always creating something.}.  Maybe that needs to be my goal, to knit/crochet something for every season!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

3KCBWDAY3 - Yarn Wielding Heroes

So the topic for day three of Knitting and Crochet Blog Week is our Knitting and/or Crochet Hero.

Honestly, this one was a little harder for me.

As far as crocheting goes, I'd have to say it's the ladies at my church group who so patiently took me under their wing and gave me my first crochet lesson.  We were having an activity where we were learning to crochet beanies.  I was probably the only one who showed up with 0 crocheting experience.  So when they handed me the pattern it looked like complete gibberish to me.  There were all of these abbreviations - YO, SS, DC, CH - what in the world did all of this mean!  Then one of them showed me how to do a double crochet.  It went something like this, <A very patient lady> "Yarn on, put your hook through the stitch, yarn on, pull it through, yarn on, pull through two loops, yarn on, pull through two loops." <Me> "How many stitches was that?"  <Patient Lady> "One."  <Me> "One!  All of that was only one stitch!"  You can imagine how the rest of the evening went.  But I persevered and thanks to their help and a lot of youtube videos I finished my first beanie and never looked back.

As far as knitting is concerned, I've mainly taught myself and utilized the internet a ton!!  Whenever I get stuck on a pattern, I start searching the internet for explanations or videos.  However, I guess I can thank some ladies out there in Blog Land for giving me the inspiration to pick up the needles again.  I tried teaching myself over a year ago, and it didn't stick. Then I was introduced to Blog Land.  Through my blog stalking I started to see some ladies knitting projects and they gave me the desire to pick up the needles again and give it another go.  So in a way those ladies are my heroes in that their projects inspired me to try again.  I would say mainly they are Shannon from luvinthemommyhood and Rachel from Stitched in Color.  So thank you to those ladies for tantalizing me with their projects so that I had the will to try again!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

3KCBWDAY2 Photography Challenge Day - Knitting and Crochet Blog Week

If you're a Zumba instructor like me or have ever been to a Zumba class then you probably find the above picture hilarious!  For those of you who don't know what Zumba is, it's a cardio class based on Latin and International Rhythms.  Basically you dance an hour away and burn a ton of calories!

Well for Day 2 of the 3rd Annual Knitting and Crochet Blog Week the topic is Photography Challenge.  The photos just have to include something from our craft, and are not going to be judged on the skill of the photographer <phew!> but by the creativity and imagination put into the photo.  <You, the reader of blogs, are the nominators.  So if you like my entry below, head over to Eskimimi using this link to nominate me please!>

So what does the Zumba image have to do with all of this?  It's my inspiration for today's challenge.

What do you think? What's life without a little humor, right?! :)

Monday, April 23, 2012

Blog Hop!

Blog Hops - Gotta love 'em!

A Rainbow of Colors?

I'd like to think that when it comes to my yarn stash you would find a whole rainbow of colors.  Unfortunately when I opened my yarn drawers before writing this post I found something quite different.  Apparently I really like blues, reds, blacks, and neutrals.  It could be worse, right?

If other colors appear in my supply it tends to be in multi-color yarns.  Camo, red/green/white, red/blue/green/yellow, etc.

My completed projects definitely show this as well.  So many of them include red or blue with some sort of neutral or black/grey combo.  Need proof?

From my red, black, and white collection there's the red and black fingerless gloves, my Cranberry Cloche, and the Long Stocking Cap.

Then from my blue and neutral collection we have the Pretty Puff Slouchy Hat, the knit scarf for my niece, my Striped Knit Beanie, and my Crocheted Flowers.

Looks like I'm in need a of a color challenge!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Knitting and Crochet Blog Week

Tomorrow officially starts the 3rd Annual Knitting and Crochet Blog Week.  If you're not sure what I'm talking about check out my earlier post for more info.  So for the next week you will see a post a day from me that has something to do with knitting or crocheting.  I have to admit, some of the topics are a challenge for me so this could be a stretch!

If you're a fellow yarn wielder you should join in on the fun!  It's not too late!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Newborn Cap and Booties

Just finished a gift for a pregnant friend!  A little birdie told me she wanted a long stocking cap for her baby.  I found a crochet pattern through and went to work!  I was good this time and used yarn I already had in my stash.  Gotta love it when I manage that.

I decided to use some Peaches & Cream Twist yarn that had blue, yellow, red, and green in it.  They're not finding out the gender of the baby so I needed something neutral.  I thought the yarn was fun when I saw it in the store and I'm glad I found a good use for it!

The pattern was an easy one to follow, the only thing that could be improved upon is it doesn't specify if your chain 2's at the beginning of each row count as a stitch.  Other than that, it was easy-peesey!

Then I decided I wanted to learn to cable knit.  As I was looking for a simple pattern to try out I came across these cable knit baby booties on Ravelry.  So of course I had to make some to go with the stocking cap!  What else would you expect?!

I have to admit, I cruised until I reached the cable part.  Then it was like, "Huh?  What?  I leave some stitches unworked?  What do I do with them?  Turn before I reach the end of a row, what?"  My true colors as a beginner knitter really showed.  So I looked online for basic instructions on how to knit a cable.  I found some on Knitting for Dummies.  Come to find out it wasn't the cable part that was tripping me up, but the shaping of the bootie.  

So I gave the shaping part a go, managed to do it, but it didn't look so hot.  I unraveled the whole bootie and started over.  I'm glad I did!  That practice run did nothing but help!

All that's left is to sew my tag onto them, then they can be delivered to their new home.  The baby is not due for a few more months so I'm ahead of the game on this one!

(Sorry the pics aren't better.  The weather in my part of the world just hasn't been cooperating this week!)

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Greeted by Spring

Well we're back from another great trip to the Oregon Coast.  I miss it already.  If you'd like to see some beautiful pictures from past trips to Oregon you should check out this post.  (That is of course if you haven't already.)  Sometime in the upcoming weeks I'll share pics from my trip, but for now look at what greeted us when we pulled into the driveway at 1:45 am this morning!

Spring started to pop-up while we were gone.  I love it!

All of this...

and this...

and this...

My Flowering Pear trees are actually flowering this year!
Is why I probably won't be posting as many projects on my blog over the next few months.  Much more of my time will be spent outside spraying weeds, mowing the lawn, pulling weeds, planting vegetables and flowers, playing in the sandbox with my little one, get the picture.  I love my sewing machine and my inside projects, but it's so hard to ignore the beautiful sunny days.

She definitely enjoys spending time outside.  I think she would live out there if we would let her.  Several times a day she brings me her shoes and says "Bye bye?  Go?  Bye?"

She thinks the cats are her playmates and the dog her equal.  One day I heard her giggling her little head off.  When I looked to see what she was doing she was sitting on the dog.  Surprisingly he was dealing with it quite well.

I hope Spring has found you wherever you are at!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Family Moment #3 - The Oregon Coast

For the last few days I've been enjoying some down time on the Oregon Coast.  It's SO BEAUTIFUL here.  My family has been taking trips here since 1998.  We've been to Oceanside, Netarts, Florence, Newport, but I think our favorite is Yachats.  Such a peaceful little town.

Here are a few pictures from past trips to let you know what you're missing.  :)

These first two pics were taken many years ago before I had a family of my own.  That's me putting two nieces and a nephew through Super Hero Training.  They had been cooped up inside for too long, but didn't want to go out in the wind so I had to find some way to entice them out.  Hence the blankets around our shoulders and Super Hero Training.

That little girl in the red is now almost 13 years old.  My how time flies!
You definitely don't go to the Oregon Coast for a warm beach experience.  You go to experience the beautiful mountains sweeping down to the ocean.  To see the waves CRASH into the rocks.  To explore tide pools and gaze at the blue water searching for whale spouts.  

That's the little town of Yachats you can see in the distance.

Some of my favorite pics of me and my hubby were taken on the Oregon Coast.  My sis-in-law was there with us and had her camera so we put her to work.  She's FANTASTIC.  I think they turned out so well because she just set us loose on the beach.  We played, she snapped.

The only down side was his facial hair.  He's in the military so he rarely gets to grow much.  So when we are on vacation he likes to have fun with it and experiment.  He had some crazy chops going on for these pictures.

This was just after he had threatened to dunk me, then saved me.

The last trip my husband and I made it on was when our little one was just 2 1/2 months old.  It was a different kind of trip for us, but still fun.

It's hard to see, but this is her little footprint next to her dad's.  Her's is on
the left of his.  Look next to his little toe and down. 

 This is probably what I'm looking at while you're reading this post.  I hope you have some place you enjoy going to just as much as I enjoy the Oregon Coast.  Talk to you in a few days!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Knitting and Crochet Week at Eskimimi Makes

Have you heard about Knitting and Crochet Week 2012 at Eskimimi Makes?  If not you should definitely check it out!  She hosts a whole week of predetermined blogging topics.   This is this first time I've participated in it, but it looks like it is going to be a week full of inspiration, entertainment, and stretching yourself creatively.

It is April 23rd-29th and topics include things such as  Colour Lovers and Your Knitting or Crochet Hero.  The week is complete with prizes and organized tagging to make sure your are connected to the others participating.

And one of the best things...the rules are flexible.  Want to write a post ahead of time and schedule to publish on the correct day?  Go for it!  Want to start brainstorming ideas now?  Of course!  Want to challenge yourself and do it all on the schedule day?  ARE YOU CRAZY??!!  Just kidding!  :)  Pick your poison!

So hop on over to Eskimimi Makes and sign up!

I'm excited to take part in this and hope some of you will join me!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

A Decorated Blog Post

Have you ever had one of those blog posts that surprises you with the attention it gets.  I have one in the works.  My Clam Shell Pillow has been getting more attention than I would ever have imagined.  Not only is it my top viewed post, but it has been featured on five different blogs now.  Maybe that's nothing for some of you, but for little ol' me, that's pretty big.  So THANK YOU everyone for making it so.  It wouldn't be like this if it weren't for all of you!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Color Wheel Quilt

It's been a while, but here's another project from my Curves class taught by Rachel of Stitched in Color.  The very last projects were celebratory quilts - what a great idea!  This post should mean I've completed at least one project from every week of the class.  Yay!

My emotions with this quilt went from excited, to unsure and feeling a little circus-y (yes, I realize that's not a real word), to hopeful, to loving it!!

When I first started picking out materials from my stash for this quilt I thought I would be giving it away.  It looks like the family that was going to be on the receiving end of this one is going to be getting something else.  I don't think I can part with this cheerful quilt.

This curves were definitely precise curves, meaning there was a concave and convex cut that had to match up (with the seam allowance) and be sewn carefully.  Yes there was some unpicking, but it was worth it.

My husband and I tried to take pictures of this one last week,
but the wind was not cooperating!
I debated quilting patterns.  My first idea was to sew circles in the color wedges and lines (like rays emitting from the circle) on the white.  Then I was worried there would be too much stop and starting.  So then I resigned myself to sewing just the straight line rays.  THEN I convinced myself to sew just the circles.  There was still quite a bit of stopping and starting, but I figured to go for it anyway.  I think this quilt is going to spend the first part of it's life hanging in my sewing room as a decoration anyway so it will be saved from constant washing for a while.  See the circle in the very middle.  I think I sewed and re-sewed it at least 5 times...  Sadly, my first attempt was my best.

I even love the back.  I love the dark blue.  Sometimes it's fun to not have enough of one color for the back, because then you get to be creative all over again on the same quilt.  See my little tag on the side.  I made it using this tutorial.  So easy.

I hope it added a little sunshine to your day!  I know it did mine!

Check out the other projects from the Curves Class!