Friday, November 30, 2012

Something Blue

I laugh, because I am more than 8 months away from my wedding, and I nearly have my "something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue" figured out. (sorry, no yarn today)

Fun Toggles
Necklaces that my mom requested.
A week or two ago, we were out running errands, and stopped at the bead shop on the way home. It is everything I wish for in a LYS, except it sells beads. Sarah and Vicky remember my name, and always greet me with a pleasant smile and "hello". Their shop is less than 5 minutes away from our house, but both my sister and I have not been beading as much as we did when the shop first opened.

Necklaces
A full view of the neckalces that Mom requested.
Tessa was looking for chain to finish a beading project, and I was looking for anything to spark my interest for bridesmaids' gifts. I knew I wanted to make a piece of jewelry for each of my girls, but the debate was what sort of jewelry, and in what colors. They are wearing blue dresses (if anyone frequents David's Bridal, the color is horizon. And don't get me started on them. It is a relationship of convenience) but have a choice of necklines/styles. Tessa's dress is a floaty one-shoulder, which totally rules out a necklace. But I also knew that Tessa dislikes bracelets. So I thought earrings. But one of my girls doesn't have pierced ears. My sister than decided to tell me that bracelets would be fine...

As we were getting ready to check out, Mom spotted a style of necklace that she really liked (we were shopping for necklace ideas that day too), and that reminded me of a set I had made to wear to another wedding. So it was decided. Swarovski crytsals in a deep blue and clear, on bracelets, made to look like they were just floating. 
Bracelets

The rest of my day was spent making these bracelets, then running out of beads, having to go back to the store (the beads were on sale that day) and finally finishing. I made 4 matching bracelets for the bridesmaids, then my mom said she liked it too, so I made 2 for the moms (his and mine), and one for me. I still have enough beads for something for my 2 flower girls, but I haven't decided what to make yet. And my hand was starting to hurt from using the pliers.
More ideas?
Possible ideas for Flower Girl bracelets

On the second trip to the bead store, I noticed that they sold jewelry boxes, and I knew there was no way Mom had 6 little boxes at home, so I got some of those.

All in all, I think I spent under $10 on this project, mainly because I had the beading wire, all the findings, and the tools on hand. The only thing I purchased were the Swarovski crystals and a package of sterling silver round beads (2 mm) for filler.

Linking up with Tami's Amis for FO Friday-- there should be some yarny goodness!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Busting that Stash

Since I last counted 2 Thursdays ago, I've finished 9 more infinity scarves. A huge variety of colors, only because it is absolutely impossible to guess what will sell well. And because I am not a "storing-up" kind of girl, I usually make all my scarves in the few weeks before or between shows. I'm a terrible procrastinator, I know.

And Blogger is being really silly about photo uploads, so I have to send you hither and yon to look at my photos-- my "Cold-Sheeping" project page!

My yardage countdown:
In: 0 yards (WOOOO I had self control this week!)
Out: 1665 yards (9 scarves x 185 yards each)
Total lost this week: 1665 yards.
Total yardage lost since I started counting: -1022 yards!

Wow, that makes me feel better about this whole counting thing. When I can see progress, everything is better.

I'm also super excited because I've actually finished a few other things this week!
I finished a Christmas present for my aunt, a circular rug-- 3 strands of yarn held together- 2 of them white cotton, 1 yellow acrylic.

Rug
And I've started my brother's scarf, using these two yarns:

New project

Linking up with Tami's WIP Wednesday and Ginny's Yarn Along!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Holiday Stashdown Challenge Week 28

I had a terrible evening yesterday. I'll be honest, I was stressed out beyond all belief, and even though the day started out just fine, it got bad. My school finally issued me my student teaching placement for January, but then decided that I have to fill out a huge stack of paperwork. I was not pleased. My fiance spent at least an hour on the phone with me, trying to convince me that it would be ok. Basically, I spent the rest of the evening listening to those silly videos that teach you things that anyone with common sense would know, but the schools require it anyway. It's nearly all done, but it required a stack of nearly finished projects and a glass of "apple pie" to keep me sane. --- Proof that yarn is therapeutic. 

On a positive note:

I am so close to being back on track!!! Marie's progress (and finish!!!) last week really inspired me to press on and finish some thing up. I'm not quite there yet...
More craft show items!
But still, I have made enough progress to feel super proud of myself. I have one craft show this coming weekend, and one the second weekend in December. I am nearly done with  scarves for this coming one, but knowing my habits, I will be crafting up until the night before.

As for Christmas gifts, I have spent some time this past week attempting to finish something other than a craft show item, and I am pleased to say that I am nearly done with my recycled cotton rug. The last measurement read nearly 24" across. I didn't really have a size in mind, but I'll probably go until I run out of yarn-- and I'm getting close to that point. I do have more yarn in both colors that I'm using, but I'd rather not make this a giant project.

My plan is to have all my gifts done the week before the 25th, if not before.

Friday, November 16, 2012

FO: Felted Sweater Slippers

Courtesy of my sister!
I found a cool pattern while blog-hopping yesterday, and decided that I really need to make felted sweater slippers!
Fabric paint to make no-skid bottoms

Pair 2 in progress!
The first pair looks a little wonky. I will definitely be keeping them for me, just because I can't handle giving gifts that are "below" standard. But I was winging them a bit more than I should've. The pattern was more of a guideline for that pair.  My second pair is turning out a lot better, but is also not finished yet.

I'm also part way through another scarf, adding two more to the pile for this week. I really need to get on with the scarf making, which I realized last night, halfway through making the second pair of slippers. So I switched back into scarf mode, and will probably be in that mode for the next week or so. My last big craft show is next Saturday, and out of town, so while I will have travel time to crochet, I'd rather not risk it. I do have one more in December, but it will definitely be smaller.

I'm linking up with Tami's FO Friday this week!! Check out all the cool FOs that people are sharing :)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Stash Bash-- off the Wagon

New Homespun- Hiding in the trunk of my car!
I've fallen pretty far from the Stash-bashing Challenge that Tricia started earlier in the year. Just this week I bought 13 skeins of Caron Simply Soft for a wedding afghan (mine!) and 9 skeins of Lion Brand Homespun for craft show items.
Yes, this is hiding in my car too.
But I have been making something close to progress in the moving out at much yarn as I bring in. I've made these four scarves since Sunday. They are all in Homespun- from top to bottom: Cherry Blossoms, Painted Desert, Olive, Mixed Berries.
Now, they don't quite cancel out all the yarn I brought in this week, but it is a start.

In: 9 skeins @ 185 yards= 1665 yards
Out: 4 scarves = 740
Total: + 925 yards in stash. (not counting the wedding blanket)

That's all I have right now. And yes, the yarn will stay in my car for a bit. Probably until I have used 5 more skeins, then the new nine can replace the empty space in my yarn bag :)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

No Knitting Progress...

I am making wedding progress, though!! We've set a date, we've set a budget, and we've locked in the church and the hall. And I have to say, having a big family is definitely a good thing when planning expensive things like weddings. Two of my uncles are already locked in for photography and music-- for FREE!! It's just such a blessing to have that support as E and I plan our wedding.


I've also picked out my wedding "projects". I'm crocheting all the personal flowers, as well as crafting some of the other reception decorations. I also just purchased a bunch of ivory colored blank cards to  rubber stamp & decorate for thank-yous.

On the "legit" crafting front, my knitting has slowed down to 2 major projects, the poncho I keep showing (it's not worth a new pic this week) and the sweater that is still not on the needles. Numerous crocheted infinity scarves still need to be made for my craft show next weekend.

Annnnnnndddddd I can't get my internet to allow me to upload pictures. Maybe later this week...
Linking with Tami & Ginny!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Holiday Stashdown Challenge Week 27

So, I'm so off track with the Challenge. Again. Or maybe it's still?

Anyway, I have a craft show Thanksgiving weekend, and because I did really well last weekend (Nov. 3), I wanted to be prepared for this coming one. It does put me a few weeks behind, but I know what I need to be making for my people, so that will go really quickly. My merchandise was just really depleted at the last show. I have 10 or 11 days to get everything ready. After that, it will definitely be back on track for me with gifts.



I have been making stuff though, I promise!! I just wrote the other day about all the yarn I "consumed" in a week of crafting. That was impressive, to me.

But, pre-Christmas sales are always my downfall. Yesterday I stocked up on Homespun for the craft shows, as well as enough yarn for a wedding blanket for me and fiance, plus a few extras.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Really, Truly Attempting.

I have no idea what my total stash measures at. There is yarn all over my room, maybe half of it loosely kept track of in my Ravelry stash. Lion Brand Homespun yarn moves so quickly through my stash, it's hardly worth tracking.

But I am going to start to attempt. Wednesday, I bought 4 skeins of Homespun. At 185 yards per skein, a total of 740 yards. One skein was used up nearly immediately, half of it in a commissioned scarf. The rest was used to start my Ripple Mania CAL piece, a blanket of Homespun leftovers. Also used up this week was an older skein of Lion Brand Tweed Stripes, in colorway Orchid-- another scarf. 144 more yards gone. My Pearl Wrap was finished, using up 1.5 skeins of Knit Picks Stroll Fingering (693 yards). It still leaves 231 yards remaining, but I can figure something out.

In: 740 yards
Out: 185+ 144+693= 1022
Overall: -282 yards this week!!

WOOOOOO I think that is some form of progress!

Ready to Wear!!

My wrap is ready to be worn!! I decided against blocking it, only because I don't have the space in my tiny bedroom, and it's too cold out to expect it to sun-dry. And the weather is promising to be nice this weekend, so we might even get outdoor pictures!!

Here is one of my un-professional indoor pictures:



And then there's the weird book I'm reading for my history class. A Guided Tour Through the Museum of Communism. It's a novel. I haven't read a novel for class in ages. So it's not too bad.

But anyway. My wrap took 1.5 skeins of Knit Picks Stroll Tonal in the Pearlescent colorway. Not sure what to do with the other .5 skein. Suggestions?

Linking with Tami for FO Friday!!!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Isar Scarf, Revamped

I've been working on a wrap for a formal event I'm attending this coming weekend for several weeks now. I bought the yarn as a treat for myself, and I'm super glad I did. It's Knit Picks Stroll Tonal in Pearlescent. I was looking for a pattern that would show off the tonal quality of the yarn, but still be lacy enough to be considered formal. I found the Isar Scarf almost accidentally, but I love the look of it. I widened it, obviously, and changed the dc 2, ch1, dc 2, to dc 5. I'm on the second skein of my yarn, but haven't measured it since I finished the first skein.

Other than that...
Shawl is hiding in the back
My knitting is a poncho that I mentioned a while back. I've finished 2 "wedges" though you can't tell in this picture. The pattern calls for about 20. 1/10 of the way done!!

I'm reading Looking for the King, by David Downing, which mixes Arthurian legend with a story about WWII-era Oxford. And no story in WWII-era Oxford would be complete without the Inklings! When I was blog-hopping a few weeks ago, I came across a blogger reading this book, and as soon as I read that it had Lewis and Tolkien in it, I knew I had to read it. I love the format of the book-- the chapters aren't too long, and are nearly independent of each other. Not to say that the story doesn't flow- it totally does- but more like each chapter has an ending so if you really needed to, you could put the book down. The only reason I've been putting the book down is because I am swamped by schoolwork. Having just finished James A Owen's Dragons of Winter, which has the Inklings as main characters, I was thrilled to find them in another story, with a bit less fantasy in it. Even though I am not finished, I would still recommend this book to fans of Arthurian legend, or fans of Tolkien & Lewis & the Inklings.

I frogged my Oaklet yesterday. :-( I really liked the pattern, and the yarn, but I didn't think my yarn was going to make it to the end of the pattern. And I wasn't thrilled with the shape. So it's back to the drawing board with this yarn.
It was ALMOST done!

I'm still attempting to participate in Marie's Holiday Stashdown, as well as her Ravelry Ripple CAL, but OMG school is going to kill me.

Linking up with (and visiting!) Tami & Ginny!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Holiday Stashdown Challenge Week 26

I am procrastinating. I'm waiting for an email back from my caterer of choice, and hoping and praying that she has the weekend of my wedding free so we can book her. Wedding stuff gets me in a tizzy, and my parents are trying to prevent me from overloading, but there are about 5 things that need to be done super far in advance: set the date, book the church, find a pastor, book the reception hall, find and book the caterer. So this is the last thing on my list until we need to start marriage prep. Then the list is divided into "What needs to be done before May?" and "What can be done after May?" I officially graduate from college in May, but will be student teaching from Jan to late Apr. So we have time over Christmas break to get some stuff done, and everything else will be done slowly, or will have to wait until school's done.

But ya'll didnt stop by to listen to my ramblings about wedding planning. I'm supposed to be Stashing Down!

I had a craft show on Saturday, and my stock was seriously depleted. And I have been working on mainly that sort of thing.

My rug for my aunt:


It hasn't moved in a while.

Right now, my goal is to finish projects for my nearest and dearest, which means I still have:
Hat for Bro #1
Scarf for Bro #2
Rug for Aunt #1
Fingerless gloves for Aunt #2
Scarf for Mom
Hat for Fiance

It seems like a long list, but my hats are half done, and the scarves are both simple patterns. I've also taken the afghan off the list, because it keeps getting pushed to the back. I want to finish it, but it will be last on the list.

Honestly, right now, I am attempting to finish a wrap for me, to wear to a formal event this weekend. It's a little silly, as the weather is FREEZING and I'll still have to wear a coat, but once inside, I want to have a cover.

Anyway. I keep saying that the "regularly scheduled" stuff will come back, and I really think it will, but it will be slow. I only have 4 and a half weeks left of the semester, and have several huge papers to write, so crafting will be less. I hope you still stop by, cuz you never know when I'll have a few free minutes!

Friday, November 2, 2012

FO: Yarn bowl

This is going to be a long story about my Yarn Bowl adventure. If you want to just skip to the end to look at the finished product, I won't be offended. I just like telling stories.

I am a coupon shopper. And I go to craft stores fairly frequently. A few weeks ago, our Micheal's store spit out 2 50% off coupons with our receipts. So naturally, when we planned on going shopping last Friday night, we wanted to use the coupons. I had been mulling the idea of a yarn bowl in my head for some time, even more so after Liz Corke shared about the one she made (I think it was all the way back in March). So with our coupons, I bought oven-bake polymer clay. Liz used Fimo, but I liked the colors that Micheal's had in the Sculpey clays (no, I am not being paid to endorse).
My 3 clays
I ended up splurging a bit and bought the Micheal's brand (CraftSmart) 1 lb clay in white, since I had no idea how much clay Liz used to make her bowl. With the 2 coupons (my mom bought one of the clays) I paid under $10 for all 3 clays. (I could go into a rant here about Micheal's odd coupon policy, because it drives me nuts, and they will only accept one coupon per order, even if you have more than one item...) Anyway. Polymer clay. I bought the CraftSmart because I figured that they are all polymer clays, and all bake at the same temperature, so why does brand matter, right?

Making "lace canes"
Of course, I got home and immediately got to work. I spent some time looking up how to properly use polymer clay, and found that it needs to be "conditioned"- basically, you need to spend some time working with the clay to make sure it is smooth, etc. I got a little creative, because I remember when we were younger, we had a book on how to make a variety of things with polymer clay, and I remember thinking that making beads was the coolest. So I made a lace cane with my blue and silver clays. I used about half of both the blue and the silver, and my hands were the weirdest color. Then I hacked into the big pound of clay. I started by cutting it in half, but that was too much for my small hands, so I broke it down even further. I experimented with several ways to shape the bowl, but I really wanted something to guide me. But, by that time, it was getting late, and I knew my boyfriend was coming over the next day, so I covered everything up and went to bed.

Saturday, the goal was to go to Goodwill and find something oven-safe to shape my yarn bowl around. (I got a little distracted, as you can read here.) I didn't get back to my yarn bowl until the evening, while we were watching the Emperor's New Groove (OMG, such a fun movie). Basically, once my bowl was shaped around my thrifted dish, I was able to add the lace cane in pieces for color. It isn't perfect, and I would probably try more contrasting colors if I ever did this project again.



Also a note, you probably are smart enough to cover your bowl with foil or something, but I forgot that step. After baking, it was kinda stuck. But I persevered, and managed to get it off the next day.

More Notes: Make the yarn "slot" more curved. I used the handle on my thrifted bowl as a guide, and it was not big enough. Also, make the bowl taller. I totally neglected this bit, and while the bowl mostly serves its purpose, it could probably be taller to better hold a ball of yarn.

Overall, it was a fairly successful experiment, and I have at least half the clay left (of all the colors) to try this again another time. I will probably get more adventurous in my color choices if I buy more clay. And I would definitely suggest using a coupon to buy a big block of neutral colored clay, especially if you want to use colors as accents, like I did.

Joining with Tami's Amis for FO Friday!
Our engagement date and initials


Yes, I am trying to show off my new piece of jewelry.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Busy with Scarves and Hats

I have another craft show this Saturday, so I've been as busy as a bee working on items to sell. It was really funny, because I had this realization 2 nights ago that I only had a few days left to the show, and I felt really under-prepared. However, I've been able to get my act together, and can share what I've done over the last few days.

Hats:
Some snowflakes too!
 Scarves: 9 infinity, 3 straight (these have been finished for a while, actually)

 
I think I have a decent mix of items to sell, and I'm not even done yet!! I don't want to over-do it too much, as I do have 2 more shows after this one, but I seriously enjoy this :)