Friday, August 31, 2012

One (or 2) shy of the Finish line!

I've mentioned multiple times in the past few weeks the hat order that I am filling for E's sister. Well, I can officially say that I only have one left!

Wednesday night I powered through cutting and fastening yarn, and Thursday I spent re-arranging flowers, so now Rapunzel is complete! I have all sorts of tight muscles in my neck, shoulders and back, but the finished product is so worth it.

(My second Toothless is still in pieces! Nearly done though!)

The one that is unfinished- a dinosaur- is only due to my lack of yarn for it.

So here are all the hats I made!!!
2 Yodas, 1 Toothless, 1 Rapunzel, 1 monkey, 1 pirate, 1 crown

Linking up with Tami for FO Friday!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

What to do?

I have three mostly full skeins of Bernat's Jr. Jacquards yarn in colorway Big Deal Teal. I have no idea what to do with it. Here's what it looks like:

Why do I have it, you may ask. Well, it's story time. Not too long ago, I was optimistic about both my knitting and crocheting skills. When I went grocery shopping with my mom (she shops at a Meijer-it's a Midwest thing) we always browse the general merchandise first. This yarn was clearanced out, and I said sure, pick some up for me. Over a year later, it is gifted to me for my birthday. (At my house, Mom buys us stuff ages in advance, so she never has to worry about birthday/Christmas shopping because she knows she has stuff that we picked out. It's a great system, except when things get lost in her closet, or when we no longer want the thing we picked out.)
See that fingerless glove? Yeah, for some reason I thought it would work in this yarn. It doesn't, at least in my mind. I really like the yarn, but don't know what to do with 3 skeins of it. Crochet totally ruins the point of it, but I am a much faster crocheter. The end point: does anyone have a suggestion for me?

I did find a few knit scarves that could be good. This pattern, or maybe this pattern-- or should I just do something baby-ish?

I really want this out of my stash, but in a good way. I want to make something that someone will appreciate!
Linking up with Tricia's Stash Bash!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

School interferes with Crafting.

The first week of school can be so chaotic. Trying to figure out the time it will take to get to class, making sure you are taking all the right classes- it's nuts. Monday, I ran around campus, trying to get papers signed, making sure I was still on track to finish my degree in time. It all worked out, but it was an exhausting day. Tuesday I had 2 classes, and was out at school for 6 hours. Even with all the chaos, it looks like I have a good semester ahead of me.

Because of the chaos, I have been trying to keep my projects small and travel worthy. I have been working on making Lucy's Star Decoration work for my purposes, and so far, so good. It's an excellent little project for little bits of leftover yarn.

The other thing I've started working on (despite my long list of WIPs) is a Rapunzel hat. This is part of the hat order for my boyfriend's sister. Her oldest daughter is 7, and very much enamored with "Tangled". I've seen numerous designs for this hat, and am attempting my own.

I'm reading quite a few things right now, as I am trying to balance my school work with pleasure reading. Still working on Lady Almina, as well as Theology of the Body for Beginners, plus working my way through the Granny Square Book to fill out my Autumnal Afghan more quickly. The other two books are for my politics classes. One for Religion and Politics, and the other for Comparative Politics. I am thrilled about neither.

I'm linking up with Ginny and Tami as per usual this week- be sure to venture over there!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Holiday Stashdown Challenge Week 16

This week, school started. My craft time has been cut into severely. I'm taking 15 credits, which is full-time. 5 classes, 4 days a week: Political Science x 2, Geography, History, and Economics. It should be a decent semester.

In an effort to finish projects that take longer, I have been mainly focusing on my 2 knitting projects- the shawlette for my sister and vest for my brother. Both of those projects are going well, but they keep proving to me that I am a slow knitter.

Love Cables
My crochet project, at least for the Stashdown, has been the Autumnal Afghan for my parents. I checked out The Granny Square Book by Margaret Hubert from my library, and have been picking squares from there to fill out the afghan more quickly. This really has not been a stashdown project because I've had to buy new yarn for it. It's a 7 color palette, so I started with 7 skeins of yarn, bought 4 more, and then 2 more after that. I'm thinking I'll make it work. I was hoping to have a few more squares done for today, but I only have one:
Paula's Pendant
Luckily, it's the only project that I've had to buy more yarn for. Everything else is about making the stash fit the projects and vice versa. To use up scrap, I've been making an adjusted version of the Star Decoration from Lucy @ Attic24. It's a great little pattern, fabulous for scrap-bashing :)

I've finished my snowflakes, but am going to see if they have success at the craft shows. (The yarn I was using has not been used up yet. I really want to see the end of it.)
That's all for me today! There are three goals for next week: to have one of my knitting projects completed, 5 more crocheted blocks, and 5 more star ornaments. Hopefully I can accomplish that around all my school work. Hop over to Marie's to see how she's been doing!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

New books, more hats

My top priority this week has been my large hat order. I know I talked about getting some bigger projects done, particularly my 2 blanket projects, but technically business comes before pleasure. So even though my 2 blanket projects are cluttering my room, I have been crocheting hats.

Currently, I have 2 adult sized bases complete, waiting for embellishment. I have one child sized hat nearly complete, also waiting for final embellishment. I have 2 baby hats nearly done, which leaves 2 more child sized hats with yarn available, I just haven't started hooking them yet.

On the book front, I've been scratching the surface of my history books for class this semester, but was side-tracked by a biography on my supervisor's desk at work. My mom, sister and I have been quite absorbed in the PBS/BBC TV series "Downton Abbey". Season 3 is currently in production, but won't be released in the US until January next year. We watched the first 2 seasons in rapid succession, and are now more slowly going through them again (now that we own them). The book that I just started reading is Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey: The Lost Legacy of Highclere Castle. Highclere Castle is the building that  provides the exterior for the fictional Downton Abbey. Written by the current Countess of Carnarvon, it discusses the woman who lived at Highclere during the same period as the TV series "Downton Abbey". I'm not very far in yet, but from what I can tell, the real story of Highclere Castle is just as dramatic as the story of Downton Abbey.
I'm still listening to Harry on audiobook- nearly done with the Half-Blood Prince already!
my Mish-Mash progress
Linking up with Work-In-Progress Wednesday @ Tami's and Yarn-Along @ Ginny's. I hope you stop by on Friday-- I should have a few hats completely done!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Holiday Stashdown Challenge Week 15

Stashdown is going quite interestingly, if I do say so myself.

In progress, I still have Underwater, the cabled vest, the autumnal afghan and the mishmash smorgasbord. On top of that, I am halfway through my largest hat order ever, and I have just received a possible request for a sweater. The sweater I am still very much on the fence about. My mom doesn't think I should do it, as it has taken me 3 years to get on the knitted cabled vest, and a sweater is much more fitted, etc. We shall see.
Pile of new sweaters
I'm so excited about my mishmash smorgasbord. I went about writing a whole post about it the other day, but now I'm feeling like it's a bit silly. In regards to this project, the Stashdown is *not* working. I was tempted by thrift stores, and came home yesterday with 3 100% wool sweaters, 4 wool blends, and 3 cashmere sweaters. They all went into the wash to be felted, and I spent the rest of my afternoon cutting them up into blanket sized pieces. With all my new wool bits, the first blanket should be finished quite soon. (I'm hoping to make at least one more, maybe 2)

Since I've been spending so much time on my mishmash Smorgasbord, I haven't really had time for much else, though I'm trying to whittle my list down. I am getting a decent bit of progress done on my knitting projects, mainly during evening TV shows. I really want to have a few items to share on FO Friday, but I don't know if I'm that good, lol.

Monday, August 20, 2012

The Summer Winds Down.

August is drawing to a close. Next week, my final semester of regular classes starts. This is the stack of books for 4 of my 5 classes this semester:

I'm trying not to be depressed about the end of my summer leisure, especially since I have had such a great summer. Here are some snapshots of my summer:

Out with my friends for my birthday
Bachelorette Party 

Me & my sister @ the Idina Menzel concert
Me & E at Allie's rehearsal dinner
Me and Allie (the bride)
My cabin of "Dragonflies" at summer camp

Me and my counselors at camp
I passed my certification tests too!! Found out last week, and forgot to share my excitement! Since those are done, I just have to finish my degree, and I will officially have a teaching certificate next summer!

Yes, the summer was definitely good :-)

Even though the summer is quickly ending, I will do my best to make the most of this last week-- read that as Mary is going to craft, A LOT.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Did I finish anything this week?

I'm not really sure if I finished anything that I haven't already shared. I've been a busy bee, working on various item for the first craft show of the season (for me) which will take place the weekend after Labor Day.

Ah, yes, I have finished a few things: one scarf and a handful of flowered hair elastics. See?
Oops! These are unfinished, but you get the idea, right?
However, even though I am focused on this craft show projects, I have still worked on other things. Like more squares for my Autumnal Afghan (up to 12/30 now!), edging more Smorgasbord squares (it's still not big enough), crocheting lacy snowflakes (I've made 4/16 so far) and working on my hat order.

Maybe I'll have a whole heap of things to share next week. I'm not really feeling locquacious today. I'm linking up with Tami's Amis for FO Friday, and you should see what other completed items people are sharing this week! :-)

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Bashing the Stash!

I love seeing Tricia's Stash Bash post every week, and try when I can to post one of my own. This week I actually have a few things to share, and I'm excited!

First off is a small crochet basket. I made it holding 3 strands of yarn together and using a large hook (either K or N, I cannot recall). I definitely want to make several more, and will be making them bigger than this first one. I just retrieved a bag of reclaimed acrylic yarn from one of my basement yarn bins (oh, the places we all hide yarn!) and will definitely use it to make more baskets. This one has a base of dc, increased to 36 stitches, and then hdc in a spiral until it is the size desired. I added handles by working 5 or 6 chs, skipping that many stitches below, twice, and working the number of skipped stitches into the chain when I came back around. There are probably a million patterns for something like this out on the web, but I'm just going from my knowledge of crocheting in the round.

My second stash-bashing project is also crochet, but on the opposite end of the spectrum from the basket: lacy snowflakes worked in a light fingering/baby yarn. All of the patterns today are coming from Beyond the Square Crochet Motifs. I have yet to decide if I will repeat any of them, but as this project is also part of my Holiday Stashdown, I will probably repeat a few. Plus, I discovered more white yarn in my stash that is not destined for anything else-- more snowflakes! :-)

That's all for today! Be sure to hop on over to Tricia's to get more stash-bashing ideas!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

So many projects, so Little Progress!

I have been a busy bee this past week. We had really bad weather most of the weekend- lots of rain and chillyness- so I hid away in my bedroom.

Audiobooks have been my really good friends all summer, because I can read and knit/crochet at the same time. This week, it's been Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Of the 7 books, I like this one the least of all. Harry did so many stupid things, and I think after the long wait (GoF was published in 2000, OotP 2003), it was a disappointing book to me. However, I still love Harry, as the majority of my adolescent reading was comprised of him. I'm more than halfway through the book, and have made progress on a variety of things, but nothing has made it to completion yet.

I'm still working on my hat commissions, having stalled on the adult sized hats. In all my time making smaller child and baby sized hats, I've forgotten how long it takes to make normal adult sized hats. Oops! I'm trying to finish the adult sizes first, otherwise I would probably be making more progress.

I started a pair of fingerless mitts with the Felici yarn I bought a couple of months ago, and I love the self-striping nature of the yarn!! They look like they are requiring a lot of effort, while in reality the yarn does most of the work for me! I'm crocheting with it, which requires a smaller sized hook than what I regularly work with, but I love the look of the tiny stitches!
During the last few days of the Olympics, I've decided that getting out one of my hibernating knitting projects, and I've nearly finished the back of a knitted vest! This is the one I've been working on for a number of years, and I've had issues finishing for at least 3 Christmases. It is meant to be a gift to my oldest brother. I'm hoping that this renewed energy will inspire me to actually get it done this year.

I also have a variety of smaller projects- simple scarves, headbands, flowers, and the like- floating around my room, in different stages of progress. I only just realized that my first craft show is the weekend after Labor Day, and I haven't made any of my regular wares. So in between bigger projects, I've started some flowered hair-ties and have made myself the goal of a dozen, all in different colors.

I have been doing some actual book reading, usually a chapter or 2 before bed. A few weeks ago while blog hopping through Ginny's link-up, I noticed someone was reading Theology of the Body for Beginners by Christopher West. My dad's been trying to get me to read more religious stuff, especially stuff written by JPII. While this is not really written by JPII, it is simplifying and expanding upon his work. So far, its been really interesting, and definitely eye-opening.

Other then that, my progress is mostly involving cleaning my room up. I have to make myself clean it every few months, or else it'll get out of hand. I'm hoping that by the end of the year, my mess will be more under control.

I'm linking up with Tami and Ginny today-- be sure to pop over there and check some other things out!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Holiday Stashdown Challenge Week 14

This week I added some finished projects to my Stashdown List, starting with a lacy-style cowl in Vanna's Choice Baby Cheery Cherry (which I bought on clearance a couple of months ago) with gold buttons that will probably be gifted to one of my aunts. The color really doesn't look baby-ish, and I bet it would be fabulous with a black or gray wool coat.

I also finished my Starlight tunisian scarf, 'By the Firelight', after working on it all afternoon yesterday. I still need to wash and block it, but it goes on my finished list, because I'll need a decent day to lay it outside to dry. I love the color, but I am not thrilled with the wool. I bought it in high school (oh my, *so* long ago, lol) when I had less experience with nice yarn. Greenfield Village (near Detroit) was the location of a field trip my senior yarn, and I bought the yarn there. It's a fun memory, but honestly, I've purchased nicer yarn since then.
On Saturday I cast on Age of Brass and Steam Kerchief in lace for my sister. She requested a triangle shaped scarf, similar to the Holden Shawlette that I made last fall. I wanted to try out a new pattern, and I'd looked at ABSK before, so I figured I should give it a shot.
The pattern is so simple! I totally love that it is simple yet pretty. Even though I hate counting, since the author is totally amazing and provided stitch counts, I'm taking advantage of them.

Brother #2, when asked in a backwards way, said that he would like a new scarf. I've made him a variety of hats, so I'm honestly not surprised that he doesn't feel like he needs another one. He decided on Ravenclaw colors (blue and silver) so now I just need to decide what pattern to use. I'll probably adapt the PoA movie version scarf into crochet- using hdc and dc stitches for speed. Because he asked for a scarf, that means I will have one less hat to make! Yay!

I'm making a bit of progress on the Smorgasbord blanket, but have not assembled any more of it yet.

I readjusted some items on my list because they seemed like too much work, especially considering my relationship with some of the people. I've reasoned that there is nothing wrong with a scarf.

Starlight Tunisian Scarf- stash yarn
Divine Hat for Sister- stash yarn
Non-Felted Slippers for Godmother- stash yarn
Neon Soft Waves Cowl- stash yarn
Cheery Cherry Lace Cowl- stash yarn (this was not originally on my list, but after I made it, I realized I could make it fit)
2 hats of 9 (custom order)- stash yarn

Thursday, August 9, 2012

A Different (but not new) Craft

My crocheting progress this week is mainly invisible, so it's not really fair to share it in my FO Friday post. I finished all of my Ravellenic Games projects (I only committed to 2) and have 2 of 9 hats finished for my big hat order. There are also 3 more hats on top of the large order, and I plan to have all of them done in the next few weeks so I can focus on school once it starts.

In an effort to clean in my room (again!), I was sorting through my jewelry making supplies. Did I ever tell you that I spent my last 2 years of high school making jewelry? I have lots of jewelry making supplies, and haven't touched them in a couple of months, as I put most of it aside when I got into more serious yarn crafting.  I had made up a half -dozen or more stitch marker sets the last time I had my beading stuff out, and all that was needed was assembly. So that's how I spent the majority of my Thursday afternoon. Look at all the pretties!

I made all but 2 of the sets that I had prepared, and would've gotten into a beading stride if I hadn't had the afternoon shift at work. The ones I made up were all using jump rings, and will fit on knitting needles up to US 10. I have plenty of beading wire to make snag-less stitch markers, but didn't realize that I was all out of crimp tubes. (This is definitely a reminder that I need to inventory all of my beading supplies in the near future.)

If there is any interest, I'll photograph and write up a basic tutorial for everyone :)

I'm linking up with Tami's FO Friday today, so hop on over to see what other people finished this week!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

When Work is Fun!

This week, I've been spending a bit more time on some of my hat orders instead of my holiday stashdown. These are projects that have been commissioned, and several of them are actually stash-busters! I am actually enjoying the challenge of making new hat designs, and some of them might stay in my notes for future use.

Girl monkey hat and boy pirate hat, both sized for a child 3-10.
What do you think?
I mentioned yesterday that I have been also working on my Smorgasbord blanket and I am finally starting to see real progress! I still have quite a bit of felt left to edge, but once that part is out of the way, the rest will be smooth sailing.

As for the hats, I have 3 dragons/dinosaurs on the list, so that's the next bit to tackle!

It is Wednesday, so I'll be joining up with Tami and Ginny! Check out all the exciting things going on!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Holiday Stashdown Challenge Week 13

 The summer is winding down and fall is just around the corner.  Does anticipation for the change in season help or hinder your progress towards your Holiday Stashdown Challenge goals?  

OMG, I cannot believe it is week 13 of the Stashdown already (though I did miss week 12...)! I am finally starting to feel like some progress is being made, though I haven't crossed as many people off my list as Marie has.

Right before I left for camp, I finished my Non-felted Slippers, which honestly has to be one of the cleverest patterns I've ever worked. It was definitely a quick knit! I think I will be making a few more pairs of these as gifts for the females in E's family.

Since coming home, I finished the Shell-Stitch Beanie I had started before leaving. Luckily I had a spare flower floating around, so I didn't need to whip something up to add to the hat. I'm also thinking of turning this pattern into a bag... I love the shell stitches- sturdy yet stretchy!

Vanna's Choice Baby Mint & Rose
I'm 2 squares behind on the BAWL/autumnal afghan, but I'm not worried since I'm nearly 1/3 done and its only August. And I've been focussing on the Smorgasbord blanket for the last day or so. Definitely seeing progress on this one, and I'm starting to get creative with colors and embroidery.
The first section is still the only section all sewn together. 
Finally, in answer to Marie's prompt, I think the end of the summer is helping me work faster, because I know as soon as school starts again for me, my crafting time will decrease. So, I need to get the bigger projects wrapped up, because they are not transportable.

And I don't want to go back to my list from the other week yet. Maybe when I think I've made more progress...

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Update from far Away!

Hey all!

This is a mass update for my Holiday Stashdown, WIP Wednesday and Stash-bashing with Tricia.
I'm away at camp for the whole week, but I did manage some progress during the Opening Ceremony of the Olympics! I've been walking around all week with a ball of bulky wool, knitting needles and a pattern in my bag. Not too odd, I know-- except for the fact that I hadn't cast on anything! I've been meaning to start this slippers all week, but hadn't gotten around to it. Friday afternoon (4 pm to be more precise) I decided that I would try to knit them (even though I am a less than proficient knitter) as part of the Ravellenic Games. Listening to Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, getting ready for camp and knitting some slippers-- sounded like a good idea for the afternoon.
My nearly finished slippers!
The slippers are for my godmother, who says her feet are the only thing that gets cold. The wool is KnitPicks Wool of the Andes Bulky Bare, which I then dyed. The ball of wool has been in my stash for over 6 months, waiting to be something. I love how these slippers turned out, the pattern is very clever! The second one still needs to be sewn, but I won't worry about that until I come back from camp. I also have some wool left, so I might make the cuffs longer (don't know why I didn't think of it before I bound off...)

As I'm not really here, this is all you'll get from me. I will be back on Saturday the 4th, hopefully in one piece. I'll be ready to tackle the last bit of summer, and will hopefully be energized to make more progress on my projects :)

(It's 8/5/12, and this scheduled post never posted... so I'm publishing it now)