25 May 2015

A moment and a thank you

Today is a day when we pause and remember those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.  Over the years, I fear the meaning of today has been lost.  It is not about BBQs and beers.  It's about honoring those fallen heroes and thanking them - and their families - for keeping our country safe.

We are the land of the free because of the brave.  Thank you so very much for protecting me and my family.  You, and your family, paid a very dear price for me and I am truly grateful.  May you and your comrades rest in peace.

23 May 2015

He's so sweet

My  husband was at work the other day and during the course of the conversation, the young lady he was speaking to had made mention of her crocheting.  My dear husband got all excited and told her that I too am a crafter.  She shared photos of her work and he shared my blog with her.

When he was telling me about this last night, I was just smiling from ear to ear.  I know that many of my talented friends have spouses who don't truly understand what it is that we do.  They know it makes them happy and they support that aspect of it but they don't understand why playing with sticks and strings delights us.  I can't say that my sweet Pokey truly understands it all either but the fact that he is so supportive - he truly is my biggest cheerleader - and appreciative of my work, it just melts my  heart.

Others joke about hiding recent purchases and such from their spouses but I'm different.  I share all the fabulous finds and even though he may not think there is anything 'delicious' at a certain yarn base or colorway, he gets a giggle because I do.

So hello, newest person who was directed to my little space in the world.  I hope you are enjoying our town and my little crafty space.  Be sure to say hi over on Ravelry and I wish you a day full of yarnie goodness!!

22 May 2015

Can't forget Kiki

Project Page: Kiki's Sweater
Y'all have been hearing a lot about Emily and all the things that I've been working on for her but we can't forget about Kiki.  She is Emily's big sister!  I know with all the hustle and bustle surrounding the excitement of a new baby, sometimes the babies who are already here feel a little left out.  Well, Nana could not let that happen so as soon as I completed Emily's blanket, I cast on a sweet sweater for Kiki.  There is only about three more inches of work that needs to be done on it but I've really enjoyed this pattern - a lot.  To the point that I am going to make Emily a matching sweater and possibly - if I have time - one for their mama as well!

Once these baby things are completed, I think I need to refocus some attention back on my own babies... someone is starting to get a wee bit jealous that I have not crafted a thing for her in weeks.  Apparently aunties feel a little left out as well.

17 May 2015

Sunday Snaps

Project Page: Emily's Blankie
I finished this yesterday and shared a photo of it with my future daughter-in-law and my son.  I was immediately told that this would be Emily's coming home blanket!  I was so moved, I admit to having tears of joy.  My granddaughter is going to come home in September, wrapped all snug in a hug from her Nana.

I do love this blanket.  I made it in my future daughter-in-law's favorite color, as she loves greens and blues.  I thought it would be a nice spot in Emily's sea of Hello Kitty pink.  The yarn is so soft and the blanket came out the perfect size.  I do hope that it becomes a cherished lovie, just like my girls love their blankets from my mother.

I highly recommend both the pattern and the yarn to everyone.  While neither are free, the pricing is not bad.  I was able to do the entire blanket in one skein of JoAnn Fabric's Rainbow Classics.  There was 615 yards of yarn in the skein that I purchased.  I had picked up two at the time because I was not sure how big it was going to be so now I have a bonus skein for my stash.  The pattern is currently being used for a KAL over at Berroco's Ravelry group.  There is a prize involved if you make it with Berroco yarn.

It works up deceptively fast, though I will admit that the edging took me three days of crafting!  I'm not talking an hour each day either.  I'm talking the first day I put in about five hours on it, the second day was also five hours, and the third day was about 3 hours if you don't count the blocking.  So for as quickly as the blanket works up, the edging will take you some time... but it is all worth it.  I think it would be fun to work this up in different weights - fingering would make a lovely shawl, worsted would be a great lapghan, and the bulky that it calls for creates an awesome baby blanket.

Oh, and just so you know - I was not solicited or paid by any company for this 'review' and this post is simply me sharing my latest FO and gushing over the materials.  All of this is my own opinion and love of a recent project that I wanted to share.

I turned this in to HPKCHC's DADA classroom since it required such strenuous and aggressive blocking.  I do hope they like it.  I know the yardage will get me some bonus points for the most noble house of Slytherin but it's nice to get recognition from the professors for your efforts.  We'll see... either way, I'm so tickled with it and the fact that it's already loved by those I made it for so my blessing are aplenty already.

15 May 2015

Yeah... no

The Knitting and Crochet Blog Week theme for today is to do something different.  It is vague and has no real direction.  Y'all know I can't handle ''possible maybe" situations.  Either plan it out or don't but don't give me a crap shoot.  I don't do that. I honestly just can't do that.  It needs structure.  It needs definition.  It needs meaning.

So with that, my OCD self is going to give a big ol' TBNT to today's topic... but I'll gladly read y'all's.


14 May 2015

The heart of it all

I spent a lot of time pondering which of my project bags I was going to share today.  Doctor Who, Hello Kitty, Minnie Mouse, Peter Rabbit, Owls... I've got so many fun containers for my crafts that my head was spinning.  That's when it hit me.  I knew exactly which  bag to share with y'all today - my notions bag!
This little precious piece of nylon cherry material was purchased for a dollar at JoAnn Fabrics roughly seven years ago.  I know this because my husband loves to go through the POS aisles of any store.  He has a thing for rummaging through discounted bins and finding treasures.  He was the one who found this bag and bought it for me.

I remember him standing there, with the goofiest grin on his face, holding up his purchase and telling me exactly what I should use it for - holding all my 'bits and bobs for my knitting'.  I giggled and told him he did an amazing thing, finding me the perfect bag.  I didn't have the heart to tell him that it was a make up bag and not craft oriented at all.  Shows what I know - it's been the perfect 'bits and bobs' bag!!

This treasure that he found holds treasures sent to me from my friends too.  Yes, they are crafting tools but they hold special meaning to me.  Those scissors came from one of my dearest Ravelry friends.  That girl and I share a bond that I don't think will ever be broken.  The sweet UK designed clip top purse doesn't hold coins, it holds all my stitch markers.  It came to me as a complete surprise from one of my amazing readers - along with several other things that make me smile when I glance around my office.  The adorable polka dot pouch up there was a gift from a swap several years ago and it holds all my needles - sewing, embroidery, cable.  Every needle in my universe is in that precious little pouch.  That tape measure was part of a prize pack from one of my favorite bloggers and I guard it with my life.

So you see, while this may be a misdirected make up bag, it is the heart of me and my crafting adventures.  It, and it's contents, are tokens of love that I deeply cherish so it is only fitting that I am never without it. 

My 'bag of choice' may change with my project but my cherry notions bag is truly my treasure.


13 May 2015

A study in pink

I have been trying to figure out a particular item simply from looking at a photograph.  Normally, I would buy the pattern and go to town.  The only problem was, there was no pattern.  So I did what many of us have done in the past - studied the item or image and attempt to deconstruct it.

Originally, I had followed it to the tee - including stitch count - but it looked entirely too small.  Granted, it's been over ten years since there was a newborn in the house but I'm pretty sure she was bigger than what the original image envisioned.  So I frogged it and started over, doubling my beginning ring.  Now it looks like you can tuck a baby in and they will be most comfy.

I need to get this done because it will be my granddaughter's first Halloween costume!  You have no idea how touched I was to have my son ask me make it for them.  Naturally, I used it for my Knitting and Crochet Blog Week theme for today, Experimental Photos.  I took all the pink objects from my desk in my office and photographed them.  I spend so much time with a camera in my hands, I wasn't really sure what to do... I was honestly without inspiration.  That rarely happens so I decided to just do what I wanted and trust it would all work out in the end.

It may not be the most moving photo but I think the composition is good, the palette is fun, and the subject matter is close to my heart... those are basically the only elements you need in order to make a nice picture.  Now, I've got to get back to my crafting or that little girl is going to arrive before I've gotten anything finished!


12 May 2015

I'm an open book, really...

Today's Knitting and Crochet Blog Week post theme was entitled "It's All About You" - meaning I'm supposed to write some riveting expose on myself.  Trouble is, y'all know everything about me because I share it all.  Let me see if I can come up with five things you might not already know...

1. I have a very sarcastic and dry sense of humor.
2. I am horribly flighty at times.
3. I absolutely love the fashions and fixtures of the 1950s.
4. I have more purses than shoes.. and possibly clothes.
5. My monogram spells a curse word and no one will make me anything.

So there are a few little things you might not have known... but chances are, if you've been hanging around my part of the world for a while, you may have known that stuff too.  Oh well, I consider it a great thing that I didn't have any skeletons to share.  Life should be an open book, smudges and all.

11 May 2015

I'd be squishy, that's for sure.

Today is the first day of the Knitting and Crochet Blog Week.  I've participated in the past and thought I would have a little fun with it this year too.  Get the old juices flowing and such.  Today's topic is called "If You Were Yarn".  Yep, that's the title of it... so here we go...

If I were yarn, I would definitely be squishy soft.  I would be that comforting texture that you just love to rub against your cheek, feeling warm and secure.  I dare say I would be economical because goodness knows I would want to be loved by all... even the yarn snobs who secretly love the acrylics.  As far as a color goes, I would be the happiest, most cheerful color you could imagine.  Something that just makes you smile, you know?

So that's me as yarn - soft, squishy, affordable, and happy.  Guess I'm not far from being a yarn to begin with, am I... and because every post needs something visually fun, take a look at my blanket progress...
I've got seven rows of branches done!  Two more repeats and then the lace edging.

My precious Hobbit gave me sock yarn for Mother's Day yesterday.  It's the perfect color for me too.  Can't wait to use it!


10 May 2015

Sunday Snaps

Most of my crafting time this week has been devoted to this... a baby blanket for my future granddaughter, Emily.
The majority of the time that I can take a moment and sit, I've got this covering my lap.  It may not look like much because it is bunched up on my needles but it is huge!  This photo was taken about three days go so it's even bigger now.  I'm almost to the scary edging - I'll have to toss in a two dpns into the mix, working new live stitches into the bind off of these.  It will be interesting!

06 May 2015

I broke up with her

It was time. I had no other choice.  I broke up with my doctor.  When you spend almost a year being ill and nothing is getting done or improving, the ability to reach them is near impossible, and the service from the office is horrid at best then it is time to break it off and find someone who will help... and that's exactly what I have done.

I have used all my resources and will meet my new doctor on the 21st.  Not as soon as I would like but I am hopeful that I will be listened to and changes will come soon.  Sometimes, just that glimmer of hope is enough to help you through until your next appointment.  This practice has very high ratings in regards to quality of service and efficiency so that is good.  The woman I spoke to on the phone was funny and very helpful.  I was able to get Pokey registered too.

Yes, I have high hopes that things will begin to take a turn for the better this month.  I really do.  Most people view break ups as sad and mourn what once was... not me.  I feel as though a weight has been lifted, some of the worry has left me, and a feeling of renewed hope has taken it's place.  My only regret is that I didn't break up with her sooner.  I wouldn't have tolerated such events from a retailer providing a service so why in the world should I accept it from my healthcare professional?  While I value my yarn and all the fun crafty things that go with it, I do think my well-being is more important so I should give it as much respect as I give my crafts.

Onwards and upwards, and praying for answers - and solutions - before the month is out!

03 May 2015

Sunday Snaps

I know I don't normally do collages on Sunday but hey, some stuff has been going on and I was feeling collagey today... so that's what I did.

On Tuesday, I made a gorgeous Garlic Citrus Turkey for supper for no other reason than it was Tuesday.  It was so delicious and looked so great, I had to take a shot of it.  It was super simple - onion powder, garlic salt, orange peel, lemon peel, Worcestershire sauce (on top and in cavity), and a bit of pepper.  Added about half a cup of water to the bottom of the pan and just popped it in a 350 oven for 20 minutes per pound, laying foil over the top (loosely) after two hours.  It was magnificent.

On Wednesday night, I found a pattern in my email inbox and fell in love.  I had to make.  I literally went out that night and bought yarn with my pocket money and the pattern with my revenue from my Variable Star Shawl pattern sales.  It is a completely new adventure for me - knitting with charts!  I've never used lace charts before but I figured it out and am now up to the second chart and plugging along.  I am so very proud of me.

Friday marked the start of Spring Term for the Harry Potter Knitting and Crochet House Cup so I was eager to get something posted - my Detention!  I finished that beautiful shawlette on Monday, took it off the blocking pins on Thursday night so I could weave in the ends Friday morning.  I do love it and the success of that is what prompted me to feel confident enough to attempt the baby blanket for my soon to be here granddaughter, Emily.  My little jellybean is due in September but this blanket is going much faster than I anticipated so I will definitely have it done in time.  I also started a Hello Kitty sleep sack upon my son's request - that alone made me swell with pride.  My son actually asked that I make his daughter something!!  That has never happened before so I jumped at the chance.

Yesterday, Hobbit and I went up to see my folks.  Pokey had to work so we went just the two of us.  We had fun.  It was chillier than anticipated so we didn't go swimming but we did watch "Paddington" and then went to visit the Appleton Museum.  The girls had fun and I got to spend time with my family so I was content.  On the way home, I broke out in hives from my chin through my decolletage.  Complete works followed shortly after - sneezing, tummy issues, watery eyes.  Needless to say, I fell asleep early.

Today I am almost human... well, I'm less splotchy so that is always a plus.  The rest will wind down in time, I'm sure.  I've got a pile of wash to get done today and then I'm going to just relax and play with my yarn.  I have no plans today and I like it.

I hope y'all have had a great week and were able to get some time to do the things you love.
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