Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Saturday, April 7, 2012

FO Friday: Lotus Hat (+family love)

My aunt was released to hospice care and had a couple good days. On Wednesday she was screaming at Kobe for missing a rebound. But by Thursday afternoon she was having trouble breathing and it looked like she was on her way out. I raced back to LA and spent two days with the family. Thankfully, I had the left over yarn from my Hottie Cozy in my purse and enough left for a neat hat. I had saved the pattern in my phone, so it was perfect.

My cousin was happy to model it for me. You can see my aunt's awesome friends and family in the kitchen. We were surrounded by so many amazing people. It turned out the hat looked way better on my cousin. So now it's hers. :)
My aunt passed away the next day with all her children, grandchildren, me & my sister (her great-nieces) and a couple old dear family friends all around her. It was beautiful and sad and amazing. I miss her dearly but I feel her presence every single day.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

FO Friday: Hottie Cozy

So I was reading My Life In Stitches by Rachel Herron. I was toward the end, sitting in my bed and my toes were freezing. Lo! The final chapter was about such a problem, which was solved by a hot water bottle- known in the Herron household as a "hottie". There was even a Hottie Cozy pattern! And HEY! I have wool that I have no idea what to do with!! I bought a water bottle and I started knitting. It was a perfect project for long hours in the hospital waiting room while my aunt was in the ICU. Mostly mindless knitting in the round with just one little cable to keep you aware of what you're doing. Awesome.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

FO Friday: Waves of Love

This is an OOOOOOOLD WIP. I started it at a family craft rave Thanksgiving weekend 2010! I don't know why those sleeves were too much for me, but I got to them and just stopped. I finally decided to rip the sleeves and do them in solid black. It worked out well.

I gifted it to my so handsome cousin, Ameer, who turned one year old. These were the school colors of my alma mater.... since Ameer's daddy & I went to the same high school, this was perfect!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

FO Friday: Pookie

My dear Ravelry friend Michelle sent me the Pookie pattern with one stipulation: she wanted one of her own. :) Her wish is my command.

How cute is that little hat? I love him. Michelle has named him Hank and he seems very happy in his new home.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Jelly Roll Race Quilt!

I broke in my sewing machine!

I've been obsessed with this pin for a few weeks. It seemed easy enough- buy a Jelly Roll (precut quilting pieces measuring 2.5" by 44"), sew ends together to make a long strip, fold strip in half & sew down the long edge, repeat fold/sew a few times & voila! Quilt top!

I headed to Fabric.com in search of a Jelly Roll that would make a good quilt for the soldier. I'm headed up north to visit him in a couple weeks and needed a housewarming present. He's very encouraging of me & my crafty ways. Plus, his mom is a seamstress, so a quick quilt seems like a great idea. I searched and fell in love with Bali Pops Blueberry.

I got it a couple days ago and in the few hours I wasn't at the hospital visiting my aunt, I made this:
Not too shabby! Now I just need to get some batting & backing fabric from Joann's tomorrow. I thought about doing a "frame" kinda thing around it to make it bigger, but it's a pretty decent size so I think it's fine. Not like Queen size, but a good wrap-around-yourself-on-the-couch size. 

Yay! What have you been making lately? Any quilt finishing tips for me?

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Yarn Along: Nipple-y Hat

Joining Ginny again!

I just finished reading Rachael Herron's group of essays, A Life in Stitches. I. Loved. It. Rachael is funny, smart, lovely and her stories are inspiring and heartbreaking. I was so into it that as she spoke of different knits she's made, I ran to Ravelry to stalk her project page and see for myself what she made. When she talked about wrapping her arm around her ailing mother I sobbed uncontrollably. It was beautiful.

Now that hat.... It might look done and, yes, technically it is since I've bound off. The yarn is "Orange" by Pierrot Yarns in the Pink/Beige colorway. I didn't actually pick the color. This came in a surprise value pack I bought a couple years ago. I'm really hating the beige in there. 

Plus.... there's this:

The beige with the pink i-cord... am I the only one who thinks that looks a little nipple-y? No likey. So I'm thinking I'm going to try over-dying with Kool-Aid. I've never actually done this, so if anyone has any tips, I'd be very happy!

What are you working on this week?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Yarn Along: Vite Cowl

Yarning Along with Ginny

I fell in love with Vite Cowl but, of course, I'm on a stash down and didn't have any super bulky yarn, so I had to improvise. I'm holding THREE skeins of Knit Picks City Tweed DK together. The yarn is soft but not too fluffy. Holding it three together makes for a nice squishy cowl so I'm really happy. I also felt pretty awesome bringing home size 13 needles. I even found 14 inch ones because the 10 inchers seemed out of proportion and those kind of things bother me. This led to an interesting conversation with my father.

Dad: "What on earth?!"
Me: "They're very large knitting needles."
Dad: "For knitting very large things?"
Me: "Well.... for knitting with very thick yarn. Or... you know... to prepare myself for the zombie apocalypse."
Dad: "Oh. Are they silver?"
Me: "You're thinking of vampires."
Dad: "I thought vampires were a wooden stake through the heart."
Me: "They are... but also silver bullets. I think zombies you just cut off the head or something."
Dad: "Cut off the head? Wouldn't they just be headless zombies chasing you around anyway?"
Me: "Hmmm... maybe."
Dad: "Well maybe they won't chase you because you knitted them a very warm hat with your gigantic vampire killing needles."
Me: "Yes. Of course."

The First Book Of Modern Knitting has nothing to do with the cowl nor zombies. I really love the Azalea Design and plan to make a baby blanket out of it. It's one of those projects I plan to hold on to for my sister's first... or maybe my first... or in this particular case I might also be willing to give it up as a baptism present should anyone pick me to be a godmother. In any case, I keep reading through it, loving all the designs and contemplating my stash to see if there's something I can use to make it now or if I'll treat myself post-stash down to the perfect yarn for it. We shall see.

What's on your needles today?

Friday, February 17, 2012

FO Friday: Another Hippo

Last Wednesday I showed you a WIP. Unlike a few other ones, this one actually got finished!

The eyes look a little weird and bugged out, but I'm hoping it looks cute ON the baby. :) I finished it last week but still haven't managed to get to the post office and mail it off. Momma's studying for the BAR, so it's not likely I'll see her to give it in person anytime soon. But maybe the small surprise to warm her little one's head might give her a happy break from torts and... um... sidebars? Sorry... all my lawyering knowledge has been gleaned from How I Met Your Mother and the OJ Simpson murder trial.

It has, of course, been Rav'd.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Secret Revealed... Sadly

So yesterday I told you I was working on a secret project and couldn't say why. Here's the story:

Two of my best friends have been trying to adopt for a while. They are moving in July because S is finishing his residency and will have a permanent position in Oregon. They got a call last Thursday that there was a baby up for adoption. My friends were one of four possible placements. The head of the agency was really pushing for my friends, but ultimately it was up to the County to decide.

Well... this morning the County decided that because they are moving the baby should be placed with another couple. It's sad, but we have to believe that it just wasn't meant to be.

So... the secret project. I try to make baby blankets whenever someone really close to me is having a baby. I've know what I would make for these friends for a while, and even bought the yarn for it. But it didn't seem like it was happening anytime soon, so I hadn't started. Last Thursday, with the agency saying my friend were their first choice, I went ahead and started, hoping I'd have enough time to finish the blanket by the time the transition process was over & my friends had the baby in their home.

Here are some of the squares I finished:

I like the little elephant motif because my friends' house if FULL of elephants. I've actually made about 5 more so far. It's been a good exercise in keeping my tension correct while working with two colors. I definitely need some more work on that. I'm tempted to throw this in the "hibernating" pile, but I think I'll slowly keep working on the squares. They take about 2 hours a piece even though they're tiny because I'm so bad at colorwork. At least I have time now to undo ones that aren't perfect and I don't feel so pressured. 

Because I have a friend at the adoption agency I know that the baby ended up with a very nice couple who are actually similar in a lot of ways to my friends. I know he's with the parents he was meant to be with and that my friends will eventually be able to bring home a baby that they are meant to have.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Yarn Along: Secret Project

I have a secret project going. It's one of those "Oh my gosh! I didn't think this would be needed so quickly!" kind of gifts. I wish I could say what it was and who it's for and why I'm so excited I could burst, but I can't. 

Thankfully, I had already purchased the yarn in anticipation of one day maybe needing to make this particular gift for someone very special. 

We find out tomorrow if this gift is actually needed. Stay tuned for possibly very exciting news.

Friday, February 10, 2012

FO Friday: Chadwick the Catholic Caterpillar

Last Thrusday Rebecca Danger (of Knitted Monster fame) posted that her newest pattern was available.

Now, I've had The Big Book of Knitted Monsters for a while and haven't made jack squat from it. So why, when I saw this little caterpillar, did I HAVE TO make him in one weekend? I don't know. Something about him called to me. So I grabbed whatever Knit Picks Shine Worsted I could find and I went to town on my dpns.

It hurt. I knit super tight on dpns for some reason (perhaps my intense fear of laddering at the joins) and this did NOT make for happy fingers come Sunday night. But you know what? I cast on sometime Friday and, despite having a very busy weekend, that little caterpillar was stuffed & finished before the Super Bowl.

And I love him.

He's really not so little. Minus his antenae he's over 15 inches tall and about 9 inches around. But he's cute, right? I posed him on a bookshelf, because Rebecca calls him "the Shakespearean Caterpillar" and so I thought he'd be literary. But as it turns out the books behind him are rather Catholic (ok... save a couple Latino Lit and Six Sigma for Managers). Thus, my Chadwick is Catholic. 

I made him with no intended recipient in mind... but one may have come into being. It's all confidential and may not happen... but there is much hope and much prayer.... and much knitting. Hopefully I'll have fun news to share next week.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Yarn Along: Hippo Hat & Gonna Be A Movie Read

LOOK! I'm posting early for Ginny's Yarn Along!

I'm making a hat for my little friend G. She turned one year old today, so I'm a little late, but I'll call it a Valentine gift. :) Designing as I go, but I hope it looks like a hippo face. I don't know what's wrong with me lately, but I had to redo this hat 3 times before I got a size that I liked. Frustrating.

I ordered The Knitting Circle after I read that Katherine Heigl is going to be in the HBO movie. I don't always love her movie choices, but I do love Katherine. I'm LOVING this book. It's speaking to me in ways I didn't expect and making me think about my knitting and mourning in new ways. While reading it I realized after Mom died I started crocheting LIKE MAD and then taught myself to knit and haven't stopped. Now it's a really weird day if I don't knit or crochet for at least a little while... and often it's for hours at a time. 

Meanwhile, the support the people in the knitting circle give each other is reminding me a lot of my "home" Ravelry group. The Organized Knitting Club may only meet online, but we've bonded really well. It's a pretty awesome group and it's been so great getting to know them while also using my stash and feeling more productive. YAY!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

January 2012 Finished Objects


Thanks to the OKC Stash Down I have been a busy little knitter this month. Check it:
ELEVEN finished projects in one month! I'm pretty excited about that. Granted, one of them was a UFO from last year and most are small, but they're done and I pretty much love all of them!

Here's the run down:
Top Row:
Winter House Cloth- One of many I plan to make for Christmas gifts this year.
"Pebbles" Hat- The pattern name is actually "Republic Hat" but this was made to go with a Pebbles vest. It matches really well with the band of garter at the bottom & the little buttons. Perfect.
Dizzy Hat- A very sweet girl from the OKC sent me this Debbie Bliss Rialto from her stash. She apparently doesn't know I'm stashing DOWN this year. I felt a huge compulsion to use the yarn as soon as it got to me so it didn't go into my stash! Luckily, the yarn is AWESOME. Very springy, so it's super easy to knit with. I made this little hat for myself. It's tiny but I like the way it looks sitting on the back of my head :)
Insomnia Baby- Also thanks to the Stash Down I have a compulsion to use up every bit of a skein. So this little gnome was meant to take up some left over Malabrigo. I still have some though...

Middle Row:

Grandma's Favorite- An experiment for the Christmas cloths. I'm still not sure how I feel about this pattern but I have a TON of Dishie to use up, so I forsee another go at this one later in the year.
Elise Shawl- This was originally going to be for a swap but I was really unsure of the color for my partner. I like it but I'm not sure it looks good on me. This is sitting in the gift stash until I figure out what exactly to do with it.
Radicowl- I LOVED crocheting this and love wearing it even more. I get tons of compliments on it, too. I can totally see making more of these in the future. It's just SUCH a yarn eater, being crochet and all.

Bottom Row:

Pebble Vest- I've made this vest more than once. It's a great, quick baby knit but it is definitely newborn sized. Made this for a friend-of-a-friend who is always super excited to see me knitting & crocheting.
Zinnia Rialto- This is a baby hat that used up every last inch of the Debbie Bliss Rialto I was gifted. I LOVE the way it turned out. This is staying in my gift stash for a very special baby.
Hat Fit For A Best Friend- I've already blogged this. It served its purpose, keeping Clay nice and warm on his trip. :) I washed it for him to avoid accidental felting & it held up pretty well.
Another Zinnia- I frogged not one but TWO baby knits for my high school BFF's newest arrival. I gave up on cute sweaters as time was getting short and just went with this little hat. I'm pretty pleased with it. I kind of love that it's both knit & crochet. This may become my go-to girl gift.

I'm really loving how productive the Stash Down is encouraging me to be! I should have a LOT more finished projects this year and hopefully have some gifts ready for birthdays and Christmas without having to rush.

What have you worked on this year? Any accomplishments you'd like to share?

Friday, January 20, 2012

FO Friday: Hat Fit For A Best Friend

Clay is one of my best friends. Not just like the title "Oh... he's my BFF". No, like when you talk about things a friend should be- Clay is one of the best.

He's also a little bit of a nerd. He likes rocks and movies about cavemen. He wants to learn to can his own fruits & veggies. His dream vacation for as long as I've known him was Iceland. Iceland. Who desperately wants to go to Iceland? Well- he got his wish last year when his partner booked a trip for them and I was so excited for him.

Another big dream of his was to go to a wilderness survival training. This year I decided that would be his birthday present. I researched several in the area and found one with good reviews that didn't seem to be a secret militia training ground or something. Basically, I printed the brochure and said "this is your birthday present" because there weren't gift certificates or anything and I wanted to be sure he'd want to do it and that he picked a date himself. He's going this weekend and is so excited it's ridiculous. 

But it's going to rain... possibly SNOW... yes... SNOW in Southern California this weekend. 

So, in order to give his (admittedly large) ears some protection, I made him a hat. It's nice, soft wool that will keep him warm even when wet. I made it a little longer than normal so it covers his whole ears instead of just the tops like the pattern calls for. 

Ha! Doesn't he look cute? It's an awesome pattern with some cool decreases. Every other knit ridge disappears about an inch from the center, then the others do until you have just a little star at the top. The variegated yarn makes it a little hard to see put here is Clay graciously letting me photograph the top of his head outside Chipotle.
For info on the yarn & link to the pattern as well as my notes- check out my Ravelry page.

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

WIP Wednesday- The Wall

I've missed a few weeks, but it's Wednesday and time for Ginny's Yarn Along.

So that means I'm supposed to show you what I've been working on, right? Ok. Are you ready?

Are you sorry you asked? 

I've hit something of a wall, people. I wish I could be like The Bloggess & steadily blog through depression, but my weeks of relatively silence suggest otherwise. I have, instead, tried to knit my way through it but my propensity toward crafting ADD has gone into overdrive. What you see above is multiple WIPS, some new, some old and some about to be thrown the eff out. And yes, they are all laying on my tile floor because that's pretty much how I feel about them right now. I may or may not have kicked some of them into place. They may or may not still be laying there as I type.

I'm not reading anything. I'm just getting through my own day. I know that I feel a sense of accomplishment when I finish a project, so I'm hoping I have SOMETHING to show you by this weekend. 

In the meantime, I'm taking a very basic Intro to Sewing class on Saturday with some friends. I'm excited about this as my father gave me a very beautiful sewing machine THREE Christmases ago, which is still in its box! Sewing projects are more "immediate gratification" so I'm hoping that will help me get moving on some FINISHED projects. 

What are you working on? Do you recognize any patterns you've made in my pile o' WIPs?

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Twenty Dozen

Happy New Year everyone!

As you know, it's been a rough few months around these parts. My sister was in a coma for a week. Meanwhile, we found out that my godfather's father (who is the closest I've had to a grandfather in almost 2 decades) has Stage 4 cancer in his lungs, kidneys & liver. This is especially hard because A) his son passed away suddenly 3 years ago... less than a month after learning HE had similar cancer and B) his wife has severe Alzheimers... so she's had to be told about the cancer several times already. In lesser news, my manager has been fairly evil about my time off due to my sister's hospitalization and my father is still not working. So, 2011... not exactly my favorite year.

Then last night my sister re-tweeted this:
with the comment "Hey, this. Literally."

And that's when I decided to stop thinking of 2011 as "the year my sister almost died" and think of it as "the year my sister almost died... but totally didn't". 

So, yeah, other things aren't resolved and it looks like 2012 might be kind of a rough year, but there are things I can focus on. Things I can manage. Things I can grasp & control so my ENTIRE world doesn't feel upside down.

Enter Ravelry.

I've been a not-very-active member of the Organized Knitting Club for a while. This year they are doing a lot of Knit-Alongs, swaps and contests. I'm participating in two: The Unfinished Objects KAL, where we finish up all those projects we've had laying around; The Yarnless Swap where we buy patterns for each other to use with stashed yarns; and Stash Down Contest where prizes are given for various accomplishments including using the most stash, adding the least amount of yarn and finishing the most projects.

If you've been around a while, you know I often say I'm trying to reduce my stash.I have failed miserably. I think this is mostly because I didn't have tangible goals or a real idea of what I was working with. Thanks to the Organized Knitting Club I have real motivation for stashing down and they've given me tools to see what I have to work with. For the Swap I've gone through my stash and matched it up with patterns. The yarns I don't know what to do with are marked as such and hopefully my partner will help me find a pattern for them. I've searched the house & my car to find all the WIPs I have everywhere to add them to Rav so I can finish them up. (You can see what I have entered so far on the right tool bar). Finally, I'm hell bent to win at least ONE of the contest categories for the Stash Down. I entered every last skein I had in my stash and came up with just under 60k yards! Eeek! That's really eye opening. 

Hopefully these things coupled with my competitive nature will help me get my stash under control and get ahead on baby & Christmas gifts for this year. So far I only know one person who is currently pregnant, so I'm hoping I can turn my stash of baby yarns into a stash of baby clothes! 

What are your crafting goals for 2012?