Posted in Completed Projects, Current Projects, Gardening, Sewing

Christmas FO’s and a Trojan

Wow, how have I not posted since the beginning of December and it’s now the end of December? Where did all the time go? I suppose the holidays get to you like that. We’ve been pretty busy with various get togethers over the entire month, but I think things have finally slowed down. I kept coming to a block when I wanted to blog since most of the things I’d recently finished or was working on, weren’t things I could blog about yet. Now the gifts have been given and I can finally post about them!

The first gift I finished was a beret for my sister Kaylee.

Kaylee with her beret!
Kaylee’s Beret

Kaylee’s Beret

Pattern: Moss Stitch Beret (PDF) (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: November 8, 2009
Completed: November 10, 2009
Yarn: Shelridge Farm Soft Touch W4 in teal, 1 skein
Needles: US 3 and US 7 bamboo circulars and US 7 DPNs
Notes: I knit to 6 inches before the decreases instead of 5.5 inches like the pattern called for. That was an accident, but it worked out fine. Otherwise, I followed the pattern exactly and it was a pretty quick knit.

The second gift I finished was a bucket hat for my sister Caitlin.

Caitlin is stylin' with her hat
Caitlin’s Bucket Hat

Caitlin’s Bucket Hat

Pattern: A Better Bucket (Ravelry Link) (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: November 10, 2009
Completed: November 11, 2009
Yarn: Shelridge Farm Soft Touch W4 in pink, 1 skein
Needles: US 7 bamboo circulars and DPNs
Notes: I knit this as written except the cast on. I didn’t really understand the cast on that was talked about in the pattern, so I just did a provisional cast on and it worked out fine.

The third (and final) gift I finished was a pair of socks for my mom.

348/365: Socks
Mom’s Sunday Swing Socks

Better photo of the yarn color.

Pattern: Sunday Swing Socks (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: November 14, 2009
Completed: December 14, 2009
Yarn: Three Irish Girls Finley Fingering in Seacoast, 1 skein
Needles: US 7 bamboo circulars and DPNs
Notes: Only change I made was to knit to a smaller stitch count on the foot. I decreased down to 14 stitches on the sole (16 on the top) for a bit more snug fit. I kept working on other things while working on these, otherwise I think they would have been done a lot sooner!

I finished my Long Sleeve Leisl, too, but it doesn’t have buttons yet and I haven’t taken any finished pictures of it (or Multnomah), so I’ll post about that later on.

I finished up a little Trojan this weekend for Matt. He’s now on Matt’s desk, but I took a few pictures before I sent him off.


Trojan – side view

Pattern: Trojan from Creepy Cute Crochet (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: Not sure
Completed: December 26, 2009
Yarn: Various Bernat acrylics
Needles: F, G, and H crochet hooks
Notes: I don’t remember when I started this, but I put it aside for a long time because the first head I crocheted didn’t come out the proper size for the helmet. Body and helmet are done in a G hook, head in an H hook, and the red part on top of the helmet was done with an F hook because it would have been too long otherwise. I think he turned out great!

Right now I have a total of three projects on the needles: a shawl for my grandma’s birthday, the scarf for Matt, and the Porom hat. I just finished the first half of the shawl for my grandma’s birthday.

362/365: Half of a Shawl
Hardenburgia Shawl

I made some changes to the border to make it flow better. I’ll go more into detail on that when I finish it. Matt’s scarf doesn’t really look any different and I haven’t taken pictures of the Porom hat yet.

The holidays kept us pretty busy visiting family, but it was good overall. Hope your holiday was a good one!

Posted in Completed Projects, Cooking

Mrs. Cactus (More thoughts on the year to come)

My first FO of 2009: Mrs. Cactus!

Mrs. Cactus

Pattern: Mrs. Cactus from Amigurumi World by Ana Paula Rimoli
Started: December 28, 2008
Completed: January 4, 2009
Yarn: Bernat Berella 4 – brown, orange, tan, and white
Hook: G/4.0mm
Notes: I think I’m getting better at this crochet/amigurumi thing. The finishing went much better this time around, too. Quite pleased with the overall result!

Mrs. Cactus will be joining Mr. Cactus tomorrow where she will live happily in Matt’s office.

These things are addictive and incredibly cute. I love making them! I now have 5 amigurumi books in my collection. The Borders store closest to me closed January 3rd and they were having a 40% or more off everything in the store sale, so last week I went to see what they still had left. The knitting/crochet books were pretty picked over, but I did get 4 books, including two more amigurumi books. One I’m not totally thrilled with the patterns in it, but it does explain crochet charts which completely baffle me. I bought Creepy Cute Crochet (checked out from the library and LOVED), Amigurumi Animals, Folk Shawls, and Color Style.

I have been working on my Spring Forward socks and they should be done by the end of the week. Tomorrow I’ll be going to Michael’s to hopefully get the yarn for my sister’s replacement Christmas gift – a Harry Potter scarf. It has to be acrylic and Vanna’s Choice has the perfect colors. That will be my project of focus for a while. I don’t think it should take too long to knit, really. It’s done in the round, nothing too fancy, just color changes every so many rows.

In yesterday’s mail I received the buttons I ordered from The Button Shop. I LOVE THEM. Seriously. I will so totally order from them again, the next time I need some buttons. They are beautiful! I ordered them Tuesday (late Tuesday night) and received them Saturday. Pretty fast, if you ask me :o)

4/365: Buttons

The front, darker ones, will be used for the Gable sweater. Not sure what the other ones will be used for yet, but I loved them, so ordered them. I’m sure I’ll find a use for them soon enough!

I also got the two pair of socks I ordered from Sock Dreams. No pictures yet, but I do like them quite a lot. I got really long, over the knee black ones and knee high rainbow striped ones. I have no doubts I’ll be ordering from them again! Ordered mid-day on Wednesday, arrived Saturday.

I’ve decided on another thing I’d like to add to the pile of “Things I’d Like To Do This Year.” I want to use my crockpot more and try out more recipes. So, to combine the two, I have decided to cook something in the crockpot once a week. One new recipe a week. I’m sure there will be more than just new crockpot recipes throughout the year, but this is an easily achievable goal and will continue to encourage us to eat at home. This weekend we made cabbage soup. It came out alright, but I have decided I don’t really care for celery in crockpot soups. Celery was in the last soup we made and in this one. I just don’t care for the flavor it gives everything!

Let’s see, then… what’s my list of “Things I’d Like To Do This Year” in list format?

  • Read at least 12 books this year
  • Take one photo per day (Plurk Craft 365)
  • Blog more (personal and here)
  • Do more colorwork knitting
  • Knit something that requires steeking
  • Knit more sweaters and lace
  • Wear socks that I’ve knit
  • Try one new recipe per week using the crockpot

Hm. When I put it all in a list like that, it kinda seems Big and Scary. Really, though, it’s not. My knitting group started a book club at the end of last year, so that definitely encourages me to read more. I have my Plurk friends to encourage me to take photos every day. More photos = more blogging. I already have yarn coming to me for colorwork fingerless gloves AND a colorwork sweater that requires steeking! I have two lace projects on the needles. I have a bag of socks I’ve knitting and haven’t worn. There are PLENTY of recipes on the internet for crockpots and I have books/magazines with recipes, too. So, yeah, in a list, it might look Big and Scary, but in reality, all of these things are things that I can reasonably do! :o)

I finally got caught up with people’s blogs and it’s left me feeling like there’s something I need to DO in 2009, but no clue as to what that might be. I’ve been thinking on it most of the night, considering what goals or projects or whatever might be calling me. So far, I have no idea what it might be, but I have a feeling that this year will be just as good, if not better than 2008.

Posted in Completed Projects, Current Projects

2008 in Review and 2009 Begins

After looking at the knitting I completed in 2008, it really feels like I should have more knitting to show for it! There were a number of things I started and frogged (and don’t think I ever even posted about). Seeing a number of knit-bloggers post about their fibery accomplishments for 2008, I decided to do a little wrap up of all the projects I completed in 2008.

– 7 pairs of socks
– 4 hats
– 3 amigurumi’s
– 2 shawls
– 1 scarf
– 1 sweater
– 1 cowl

19 projects. Really?? I swear it seems like I knit so much more, but there was a month or two that I hardly knit at all. I felt a bit of a knitting slump a good part of the year. I’m sure this has something to do with it. Ah well, I did FEEL like I knit a lot and I did do much better with not finishing items I wasn’t totally happy with. I think that led to a lot of frogging of projects I did spend a fair amount of time on this year, but I am quite pleased with all the things I DID finish this year!

I don’t do resolutions at all. Mostly because I never stick to them. Sometimes I do goals, but I don’t always stick to those either. This year I am going to make one goal: read 12 books this year. I know it will probably end up being more, but a book a month for me seems pretty reasonable and attainable. I just want to read more and not really sure why I’ve been slacking so much with it most of this year. I started out reading quite a bit, then just fizzled out. I think being part of the book club off-shoot of my knitting group will really help with this!

Aside from the one goal I’m giving myself this year, there are other things I want to work on. This year I’ve decided to do the 365 project. I did it once before and got pretty far with it, but then there was a lot of personal stuff going on and I didn’t finish it. Since I have a wonderful new camera Matt gave me for Christmas, I want to learn how to use it more, learn how to take better pictures, and learn more about photography (which I’ve always had an interest in). I’ve joined up with some Plurk friends to do the Plurk Craft 365, which does have a focus more on the crafty bits of life (but doesn’t totally have to be, either). I think that will help me blog more, which is something else I’d like to focus more on this year.

I also have some knitting related things I’d like to do this year. I really want to do more color work. I keep admiring all the wonderful fair isle projects in Ravelry and that other people are working. So, in this coming year, I’d like to do more with color. I want to try steeking as well. I want to knit, and wear, more socks this year instead of just knitting them and letting them sit in the Things I’ve Finished bag. I also want to do more lace and more sweaters.

I’m already getting off to a good start with the knitting related things I’d like to do this year. I ordered from Knit Picks today. I almost didn’t order anything simply because I feel bad spending money on myself when I’ve been working hard to get my debt paid off. But, if I continue to not “treat” myself to anything, I’ll begin to resent paying off debt (even more) even though I know it’s a good thing to be doing. At the end of 2008, I was really beginning to want to buy everything I wanted and just forget about paying off debt because I was behind (my own fault), felt like it was going to take forever to catch back up and get back on track, and feeling rather “deprived.” I’ve decided, that this year I will pay off my debt as I’ve planned, and I’ve budgeted in “fun money” for me to spend on whatever I want. I’ll be on track and not feeling deprived. I suppose that goes down as something I’m accomplishing this year, though not something I really intended to write here. But anyhow… I got side tracked with all that. Right… Knit Picks order…

I am dying to make the Rainy Day fingerless gloves from the Fall/Winter 2008 Knit.1 issue, so I’ve been looking all over for yarn that would be suitable and not cost me a small fortune. Knit Picks seemed to keep winning out with their Palette yarn, so I decided to order it. With Knit Picks, it always seems to be better to just order enough stuff to get free shipping. I was trying to decide what else I wanted to make, keeping my “more color work” decision in mind. I went browsing through Ravelry and all the projects made with Knit Picks yarns. I came across the Little Birds cardigan that someone was making with Knit Picks yarns and I absolutely loved the colors, so I added the needed Palette yarns to my cart as well. Still being under the amount for free shipping, I decided to replace the DPNs I lost (but really liked) and finally get one of the Chart Keepers they have (lace and color work being what I really want to do with my knitting this year, I figure this will be quite handy). Yarn is on the way for TWO color work projects and I’m really excited about it!

I want to knit a sweater so badly and while I do have one sweaters worth of yarn in my stash, it’s just not speaking to me at all. It doesn’t want to be knit into anything yet it seems, so it just sits there. I think I may have decided on a project I want to knit with it, finally, but I’m still looking for the right pattern that really speaks to me. In the mean time, as soon as the yarn arrives, I will be swatching for the Little Birds sweater! First major project of the year and I’ll be tackling steeking AND color work. EEP!! Someone hold me!! Just a wee bit scary!


I meant to post about this yesterday, but completely forgot. For Christmas I got a new camera from Matt (as mentioned above and in my last post).

I took a picture of my new camera with my old camera:


It’s a Cannon PowerShot SD880 IS. I got that little camera bag behind it from Circuit City so I can carry it around with me everywhere. It fits nicely in my purse making it much easier to take pictures wherever I might be. It was a totally unexpected gift, but I’m incredibly thankful for it! My HP camera was really on it’s last leg and I was always worried that it was going to die any second. Have I mentioned how much I love Matt? It’s a LOT. He’s definitely a keeper ;o)

From my family, I received two Build-A-Bears – a Hello Kitty and a Moose. I love both of them and they will fit nicely with the rest of my collection (if I ever find space to put them somewhere besides a box). I also got a Best Buy gift card and cash. I bought a new jacket and dress at Kohl’s with the cash and still have money left. The jacket is a really nice 3-in-1 kind. It’s light grey and pink. I really needed a better winter jacket and this one is definitely a good fit. Of course, since I bought it, it hasn’t been that cold, nor has it snowed!


Currently I’m working on a pair of socks. I’m doing the Spring Forward pattern from Knitty.

Spring Forward Socks

Yesterday I finished crocheting Mrs. Cactus from Amigurumi World. The only thing not pictured here is the flower.

1/365: Mrs. Cactus

Hopefully my yarn will arrive before I try to start any more projects!