Friday, November 9, 2012

Friday Four: November 9, 2012

Four Patterns Sitting in My Ravelry Cart

  1. Hugo the Baby Unicorn – I am not a big unicorn freak or anything, I just think this is one of the cutest things I have seen. I think it would be an awesome baby shower gift!

  2. Acorn the Baby ElfTis the Season! I would love to knit several of these little guys up and attach to gifts. Perhaps next year as this year’s holiday knitting is already far behind.

  3. FANGula the Vampire – Who is not the least little bit attracted to vampires? Excluding my mom. I am not a Twihard, not even close. But I can imagine this little guy being my very own Damon Salvatore.

  4. Stain Glass Socks – I am not a sock knitter. But I could be with this pattern. I am not a huge rainbow fan, but I really like the look of these socks. I like the look so much I want to knit a pair! Like two socks!

Do you have a basketful of patterns on Ravelry? Do you do like I do and build up a cart and then decide later which ones you really want to purchase? What’s in your cart? Hit the comments and let me know.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

A Quickie

As I was sitting in front of my television last night, I had the iPad propped up on my lap and was perusing patterns. Now I don’t need any new patterns. I have more patterns than I will probably ever knit. I have a heavy investment in my library (I am sure some of my pattern stock’s net worth could have helped the dow). But I am always looking.

As I sat there, I thought to myself, “I should be knitting, not looking at patterns”. I felt sort of guilty that I have half a bear body in my project bag and was looking at NEW patterns. A total, WTF? moment. Feeling that guilty was going to weigh on me all night and I was going to go to bed with the knowledge that I did nothing. I am already behind and taking two hours to surf Ravelry was one of the dumbest things I could do.

Well I couldn’t go to bed with that hanging over my head, so I grabbed a pattern (thank god for iBooks holding PDFs (especially when I am out of black ink and am too lazy to replace it)), some cotton, an H hook and set to work on a special request Christmas present for Miss Bella. Now Miss Bella is a fickle sort of girl. She is apprehensive when it comes to strangers. She just flat out doesn’t trust them. And by them, I mean us. She barks and barks at us on Christmas morning. Oh, did I forget to mention that Miss Bella is of the canine persuasion? Well she is. A few years ago, when I learned how to crochet and realized how fast you could churn out little stuffies, I decided to make all the children in our lives toys to play with. I made Miss Bella an angel fish. She apparently fell in love with it once we left. She disemboweled it (like most critters do), but they kept the carcass and she just loved it to its demise.

It has been mentioned many times how much she loved her fish. So I got to work on another one for her. I feel so honored that she loved it so much (because let me tell you that my boys have barely touched what I made them!). It is over half way finished! See what I mean about crochet going so fast? An episode of General Hospital and the body is complete. I have to do the fins and assemble and a Christmas present is done!

Do you have a go to fast project? Do you make presents for the critters in your life? What do they like? Hit the comments and let me know.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

A WiPy Sort of Wednesday

For once I actually have some work in progress photos to share. I am pretty excited about that.

First up, here is half a scarf.

I feel like I can’t work on the other half until I get some Christmas knitting done.

So, with that logic, here is a Christmas present on the needles.  A Brrr Bear.

This is going to go to my aunt, the bear collector…provide I get working on it!

And that is really all I have. I finished a project recently that I plan on posting soon and I have yet to cast anything else on. I realize I am running out of time and so I have had to cut things from my list.

How is your holiday knitting going? Are you, like me, expecting to find an extra month to get it all done? Hit the comments and let me know.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Instant Gratification: Raspberry Acorn

I was in need of some instant gratification today. I felt I needed a little something that was finished to kick start my crafting again. And I knew just the project to get me going…

The Lily Acorn cloth. A perfect quick little project. It didn’t hurt that it was one of the cloths picked for this month’s KAL/CAL over at the dishcloth exchange group on Ravelry.

I have crocheted this before using the colors called for in the pattern. This time I went stash diving and came up with some Raspberry Swirl and Chocolate.

What do you turn to when you need instant gratification? What’s your favorite cloth pattern? Hit the comments and let me know.

Monday, November 5, 2012

The Perfect Session

I was thinking the other day about when I get my best knitting done. I was wondering because I haven’t been getting nearly enough done and I was trying to figure out what I had to change so I make sure I capitalize on the time and get it done.

Here is what I have come up with:

  • A good program to watch (I tend to do most of my knitting while watching television)
  • A comfortable place to sit
  • Beverage (knitting works up a thirst)
  • Blanket/socks/warmth!
  • Pattern/project bag/notions (I can’t tell you how many times I have sat down only to have the pattern across the room!)
  • Dogs who are sleepy or outside (they always seem to know when I have settled in and just HAVE to go outside)
  • A relatively empty bladder!

I think those are the basics to a good knitting session. I don’t think I could do a book on tape unless I had a mindless pattern to knit. I would get lost between the book and the pattern. Maybe some good music if I was without television.

So what are your must haves to a perfect knitting session? Did I miss something crucial? Hit the comments and let me know.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

FP: Heather's Hudson Hat

Project: Heather's Hudson Hat
Pattern: Hudson Hat
Yarn: Knit Picks Comfy Worsted – Seraphim
Needles: US 9
Size: Adult
Made For: Me

I actually made something for myself. That never happens!

Once the weather started to turn and I was leaving the pool with wet hair, I thought it was time to knit myself a hat to wear home. I had the yarn already (purchased for a blanket that didn’t happen) & decided that it would be perfect. It would be warm and it would wash easily. So I set out in search of a cute pattern.

I ended up looking at a lot of hats and settled on Heidi May’s Hudson Hat. I set about casting on and started thinking that 76 stitches was not going to be enough for an adult head when the pattern called for 72 for a child’s head. I don’t think a four stitch difference is adequate between a child and adult. I cast on 80 stitches and started knitting. At around the half-way point I decided to look at some other adult hat patterns to see if I was wasting my time. I didn’t want to knit a hat that wasn’t going to fit. I found that they called for between 80 & 84 stitches. Since I don’t like to frog and start over, I decided to just keep going. If nothing else I could donate it to some hip teenager. Are teenagers still hip?

The hat came out beautifully. As I mentioned, it took me some time to find the buttons. Actually I believe it took me little time to find the buttons and a vast amount of time to just sew them on. In any event, the hat is done and is beautiful.

The pattern has since been updated to account for the size difference. I like the pattern and I can see myself making it again. I think it would be adorable for a mom and daughter to have a matching set.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

On Finishing

Why is it that sometimes it takes us longer to do the finishing work on a project? Like blocking a shawl, sewing on buttons, assembling a toy? And sometimes it doesn't.

I finished a hat several weeks ago. It took a couple of evenings to get it done, it was a fast project. And at the time it was needed because the weather had cooled and coming out of the gym with wet hair was going to be bothersome. I deemed it finished. Then I was filing away the pattern and noticed that I had forgotten the buttons. I debated internally with myself about whether buttons were needed as it was more of a utility piece than a fashion piece. And then I found a scarf pattern and since I still had enough of this particular yarn to knit the small scarf and it REQUIRED a button, well I just had to do the buttons on the hat. A trip to the button jar yielded not enough matching buttons to do the pieces justice. So I was off to the craft store to seek out the perfect set of buttons. I left the store with two sets (and several more items I did not need), the final choice to be determined once I saw them “on” the fabric.

I made the choice right away and put the buttons IN the hat and set it on my desk. I finally sewed them on last night. A project that took two evenings to knit, finally finished four weeks later. Is it common or is it just the procrastinator in me?

On the flip side, I finished up knitting a cute little stuffy a few nights ago, had to make yet another trip to the craft store to get some felt, but started the finishing work right away. It took almost as long to do the finishing as the knitting of the pieces took. I was excited to see it come together. I could have easily put it off once I was half way through the finishing work with how long it was taking and how little the pieces were. But I forged ahead.

So why didn’t I do that with the hat? It might be one of those great mysteries. Perhaps we don’t do the finishing work because it took us so long to knit the project (shawls, blankets, sweaters). Perhaps it is because the full project is not complete (my scarf mentioned above is half knit). Perhaps it is because the finishing is tedious (buttons, weaving of ends, assembling of toys). Perhaps we are procrastinators. Or maybe we just don’t want to be finished. I highly doubt it is the latter. Whatever it is, the satisfaction that comes from completing a project far outweighs any reason for NOT finishing it.

Do you take your time finishing or do you want that instant gratification? Hit the comments section and let me know.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Friday Four: November 2, 2012

It is that time of the year where I start thinking of all the missed opportunities. All those days I didn’t do any knitting and all those projects I didn’t get done, or even started! So for today’s Friday Four, I present…

Four projects I wish I would have gotten done this year

  1. Hitchhiker – it is still on the needles. I started it twice, once in April and then again in June and while it is a very simple pattern and has the appearance of going quickly, it failed to capture my interest. I do plan on adding it to the January To Get Done List.

  2. Jersey Project – I started out really strong. Then it got tedious. I felt like I was just knitting little jerseys and I rather do anything that knit those. In the end, it was just easier to not do it and to gift some of them. I still have a lot of them, but I don’t have that desire anymore.

  3. Color Affection – It was the project everyone was doing. EVERYONE! I have the yarn, I have the needles, I have the pattern, I lack the drive. I vow to get one done though.

  4. Koigu Scarf – I was going to do one of those linen stitch scarves where you cast on a bajillion stitches and knit it width wise. My lovely sister even cast on those bajillion stitches for me. Then I put it down and when I told myself I had to go back to it I couldn’t figure out which side was which and I frogged it. Then I cast on a chevron scarf with the Koigu and started that. It still sits in its little project bag.

Did you get everything done you wanted to this year? Do you have four (or more!) projects that you just didn’t get to? Share them with me, hit the comments section.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Dr. Frankenstein

I have been working on a little stuffy. I love to knit toys. It is so much fun to watch them come alive.
Now that I have said that, let me say that when it comes to finishing a toy, well I am little less enthused.

The little guy I am finishing up now has a lot of finishing work. A. LOT. The knitting went relatively quickly. But this finishing? This finishing is taking nearly the same amount of time to do!

I finished knitting his little bits on Sunday. I was ready to begin the finishing work on Monday, but had to make a trip to get some felt because, as is my life, I could not find any white or black felt in my house. So I made a trip to Joann’s on Tuesday, got white felt, picked up some dark green because I had an idea, and they were out of black. Wait, what? Out of black? At Joann’s? The day before Halloween? Seriously? Yes, seriously. Our Joann’s is a sad sad excuse for a craft store. I will leave that there.

I had to figure something out. I needed something black for his pupil. I briefly considered sticky back felt, but then I thought about dragging a sewing needle through that and that idea was quickly beheaded. I thought about just doing google eyes, but this is going to a wee one and that is not a good idea. Then I saw the answer. I could sew down, with a force as great as Sandy, some black pom poms and it would be fantastic and still safe-ish.

I also decided that I needed thread, some needles, a fancy pants needle threader and for some reason Mentos. Nearly $22 later I was set. Wait, $22 for felt?

I settled in and started cutting out tedious pieces of felt. It sucked my will to live. After an hour of that, I pushed it aside and set about sewing on his limbs. I sewed two tiny feet, two arms and a tail and it took me nearly two hours.

Last night I continued with the rest. After another two and a half hours I am still not done. But my eye idea worked out great. There is no way the wee one is getting those poms off. I will say that this guy is looking adorable and is so close to being finished.

I must admit that as I was working on sewing this guy up I was hit with the feeling that I was akin to Dr. Frankenstein. Here I am with all these pieces, sewing them together to create a creature. How fitting for Halloween right?

I can’t wait to introduce this little guy. Just another couple of hours of finishing and a photo shoot and he will be ready! 

Friday, September 28, 2012

Friday Four: Volume 1 Issue 1

A feature I do over on The Day Before Tomorrow and The Fat Journals, I thought I would start one here as well.

Four Christmas Projects I Have in Mind

 Three Brr Bears - I love Susan B. Anderson's patterns and my aunt loves bears, so it is like Kismet.  I plan on doing the medium sized bear using Knit Picks Comfy in white.  I was so excited to find the 4th ball I needed in my stash last week.

Fireball - I have had this in my queue for some time, just trying to figure out how to make it for myself who to make it for and I think that little Dane would love to snuggle this.  Or at least I hope he would love to snuggle it.

Gosling - I never know what to get for the girl who has it all, but I think these are beautiful and since it is chilly in the office, I think they would definitely get used.  I am thinking of diving into my KP stash in some luscious Comfy.  So soft, so warm.

Shhh...It's a Secret - Sorry I can't provide a link.  This is a top secret super special big sister gift.  And she is a blog savy girl and I don't want to surprise ruined.  I hope I get it done in time!  I will be sure to  link it up and post photos after Christmas (or her birthday just in case I don't finish for Christmas).

What's on your holiday knitting/crocheting/crafting list?  Do you fill it with complicated, long projects or keep them short?  Do you stress about getting things done in time?  Do you delete things once Thanksgiving rolls around?  Leave me a comment and let me know what you're up to this Holiday Crafting Season.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The One with Finished Projects

I figure since I still have this blog, I may as well use it right!?!?  Right!

I haven't done a lot of crafting this summer.  Really not a whole lot in 2012, but I feel like I am back on track and thought I would share a few things I finished up over the summer (now that we are officially into Autumn/Fall).

First up, a few baby shower items for my friend all the way in Pennsylvania!

A little owl lovey that I think is so adorable.  I love the Cotton Ease colors for baby items.  I adore the little "ears".  I hope little Ryker loves on him!

My most favorite cloth to knit.  The multi-directional cloth using the Maize & Stone Cotton Ease colorways. I wanted to do another with the colors flipped, but I ran out of Stone and could not find any on my little day adventure.  The garter combined with the Cotton Ease makes it so squishy soft.

A hippo bib, because what little boy doesn't need a hand knit hippo bib?  Seriously the most adorable hippo.  I kind of wanted to make a ton of hippo squares and make a blanket out of it.  For me!

And a giraffe to boot.  I love the seed stitch border, even if I had knitting it.  It makes it pop!  

I worked up this granny corner cloth for a September KAL.  I like that the colors came together okay.  Originally I thought the variegated had that shade of blue in it, but it didn't.  Still I love the look.  I thought, while working on it that since it goes so fast and is super portable, you could easily make up a bunch and then piece them together.  Of course I still have hexie's waiting to be pieced and finished!

I did it!  I finally finished a blanket.  This is probably best described as stroller sized (it is folded in the photo).  I was aiming for receiving, but may have missed the mark.  I was pretty much done increasing though and to save my sanity said it was wide enough.  I used the old grandma's favorite pattern for this.
The cotton is so squishy with the garter stitch.  I wish I could make a huge bed out of cotton and garter stitch.  Of course I would never get out of it!

Another Milo.  This is a six month size and is for Ryker.  He was born on September 10th.  I just mailed it off this past week.  It took me a while to find a long-sleeved onesie to go with it.  It is machine washable, which I know his momma will appreciate.

Now it is time to get in the spirit and get some Christmas knitting done!  I can't believe that there is only one week left in September.  That is crazy.  I have a couple of projects planned, patterns picked and yarn on hand.  Now to just get that motivation needed to get it done!