Wednesday, March 27, 2013

another Wednesday

I'm grateful for Spring Break, which is just around the corner.

My busy school schedule has been keeping me from crocheting as much as I'd like, but in these last few weeks, I'm thinking my schedule will get back to normal.

Slow progress...
Last week I was working on fingerless gloves to go with my slouch hat, but on Monday, I decided that I just wanted a scarf. So I'm making up a pattern as I go for an infinity scarf that almost matches the hat.

I'm tired of the crazy weather, and am hoping that spring will finally come our way. Not much else around here.

Linking with Tami & Ginny!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

The musical finishes this weekend. Saturday performance is at 7 pm, and our Sunday matinee is at 2 pm. And then I only have 4 days this coming week, with Spring (Easter) Break starting on Friday.

Even though I still have to work, not going to school will be a refreshing change. Going to spend Easter with E's family. His brother & sister-in-law just welcomed a new little girl to the family-- still trying to decide if I ought to attempt to make a last minute new baby gift. I'll have a few things to finish up over this break, but there will definitely be a bunch of crafting time too. I miss my time spent visiting everyone's blogs, so hopefully that will pick back up.

I'm getting so close to the end!!!!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

One Wednesday Closer

Getting closer to the end of my student teaching! Teaching the 3 branches of government and Renaissance & Reformation for the next few weeks, cut in half by Spring Break. Woo! Going to read some Shakespeare with my World History kiddos-- wish me luck!! :)

Working on the Pineapples for Everyone CAL, in Caron Simply Soft Paints. I just finished up the first skein, and am starting on the second. Hoping the yarn will be enough. Love the yarn, might be too busy for the pattern, but feels so soft!!

Pineapples close-up
My little hands for size comparison
I shared another project earlier this week, a slouch hat in Chroma & Bare (KnitPicks), and have since started to make a pair of fingerless mitts to match.

mitt & Hat
Not true to color
Hat in better light
This is closer to accurate color. 

I'm still trying to keep up on the Cold Sheep Along, as it runs through April. So far, I've crocheted almost 1500 yards! (My monthly best so far this year is 2070 yards, and I'm hoping to surpass that this month.)

(Anyone in the Midwest sick of the snow yet?!)

Head over to Tami's & Ginny's to check out more progress & happy yarn-y things!

Monday, March 18, 2013

slow but steady progress

As the end of my student teaching draws near, I get busy with wedding plans and house-cleaning. It should be properly called room-cleaning, but you get the idea. I spent a good few hours in my room on Sunday, sorting through piles and attempting to weed things out. I filled a decent sized bag with clothes and other miscellaneous items to be donated, and filled the wastebasket and had a stack of recycling. It feels good to move things around and out.

Listening to Chronicles of Narnia on audiobook still-- I just finished Prince Caspian and started Voyage of the Dawn Treader over the weekend. Listening gives me time to crochet, and I worked through another skein of Lion Brand Homespun, making my Giant Granny blanket almost half the size of my twin bed. I'm mixing it up, project-wise, though mainly sticking to crochet, as it uses up more yarn (And I knit SO slowly!)

Granny expands
4 skeins of LB Homespun so far

 Sunday evening found me in front of the TV with my mom & sister, watching Once Upon a Time. I've missed so much of that show that I'm not quite sure what's happening, but it's entertaining at least. That was followed by an episode of Sherlock. Both shows gave me plenty of time to sort out a slouchy hat! I've seen a number of different ones on Rav, but I figured that I knew what I wanted so should just make it up.  After frogging several times, I came up with something I liked. And stayed up way too late finishing it. And wore it to school Monday morning, even though it still needed an end woven in. I'm going to test it in a few different yarn weights before thinking about publishing it. (IF I publish it...)

Slouch Hat
My ears are warm!!

 I feel like I am finally making a dent in my stash, as somehow, my room feels more organized. We'll see if it stays this way.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Just in Time!

Good Morning!! I am up bright and early for my last (?!) student teaching seminar of the semester. I only have 4 more school weeks of student teaching left!!! Woah, that flew by. Spring is on it's way and summer is lurking around the corner.

Edges look wonky, but that's just because I needed it to fit on my 2 boards. 
Finished just in time to deliver to E for his mom for St. Patrick's Day is Snowdrop #2. I took it off the blocking boards 2 nights ago, wove in the ends, and wrapped it. Even with my new camera, I could not get a photo that I liked of it, so we're left with the blocking photo. I love these Chroma green colors, perfect for St. Paddy's Day!! So silly that Knit Picks discontinued Elfin.

I didn't use the entire ball fo Chroma, just because I was in a time crunch and needed to get the project done. I'm pleased though, as it's the perfect scarf length. I really hope FMIL likes it.

More FO's today over at Tami's!!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

You Can Do It! CSAL

Many projects at once!

 The Cold Sheep group on Ravelry is hosting their 11th You Can Do It! Cold Sheep A-Long. I've mentioned the Cold Sheep group here before, as they have been really helpful to me in regards to de-stashing and keeping my yarn purchases to a "necessary" minimum. Now, "Cold Sheeping" isn't for everyone, but I find the CSAL very motivating for finishing projects.
beginning Pineapples
Pineapples for Everyone
I am not a monogamous crafter. (There, I admitted it) My three "on-the-go" projects this week are the Pineapples for Everyone Shawl (Marie at Underground Crafter is having a CAL, with prizes), a commissioned hat (due for a birthday in April) and my 2nd Snowdrop shawl. I also have 2 stay at home projects, one is a blanket. I think having so many projects to work on can be both overwhelming and helpful. Overwhelming, because I have no idea where to start, but helpful because it usually means I have something small to work on.

giant granny
Giant Granny

Back to the CSAL. I find that attempting to reach a goal with a bunch of other Ravelers is much more fun than reaching a goal by myself. There are milestones for your first 500 yards, and then in 1000 yards up to 5000 yards. And you can get up to 5 entries to win prizes! It's super awesome, and definitely an encouraging environment.

Sorry for the dark image. 
I'm reading a new book this week!! One of my co-workers got to it first, and says it's really good: A Natural History of Dragons, A Memoir by Lady Trent. Even though I don't quite have time to be reading fiction books for pleasure, I think I'll be able to squeeze it in this week, with my teaching schedule of all sorts of standardized tests (which leaves me with only 2 proper classes of students at the high school-- no chance of getting out of teaching the middle school hooligans). And with the testing, I'm hoping it also means more time to crochet during the day... Maybe, just maybe.
It's really Wednesday again. So I'm linking up with Work-in-Progress Wednesday @ Tami's, and with the Yarn-Along over at Ginny's.
((This post was intended for Wednesday, March 6, but time got away from me, and I'm sharing it today instead.))

Monday, March 4, 2013

Love my State

You know you live in Michigan when...

Forty degree weather means rolling down the windows and not wearing a coat.

I just love spring and summer, and I really want to switch over to a spring/summer wardrobe full of bright colors and sandals and painted toenails. And it's only March 4.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Another Adventure with Clay

I made another yarn bowl!! I also added polymer clay handles to a few of my crochet hooks, just to see if I liked the feel of it. Both were successful, though the yarn bowl was a bit stubborn and didn't want to bake!
new hooks
5 new hooks!

I finished up the big 1 lb. block of polymer clay (CraftSmart brand) and all the leftover blue and silver from my first yarn bowl, along with another package of pink that I bought a month or 2 ago.

in action
"I" is my favorite of the hooks. 
There are definitely flaws in both the hook handles and the yarn bowl, but I'm still pleased with my work. For personal use, everything works just fine. I think my biggest problem this time around was my lack of tools. It's important to keep clay & food utensils separate; as this was a spur of the moment activity, I had nothing out and ready.
Even with all the flaws, I'm still glad that I tried something a little different, and that it was mostly successful.

And this little adventure also made me assess my hook preferences. I've found that I definitely like Boye better than Bates, but I have a decent number of both due to family 'hand-me-'rounds" and thrift store purchases.

You might noticed that some of my photos are date-stamped. I just got a new camera this past week (after complaining about my old one, and getting the go-ahead from the fiance) and I've been testing out the various features.
2 yarn bowls
New bowl on the left. 
the insides
I use a regular bowl to give me an idea of the size, and I covered it with tin foil, giving bowl # 2 the wrinkly interior. 

Friday, March 1, 2013

A Finally Finished Citron

After over a year of knitting (Well, mostly hibernating), I'm pleased to share my finished Citron shawl. I've always loved the simplicity of the pattern, and had a tendency to get jealous of all the other bloggers that I would stumble across who had the patience to finish one of these.

My sister was not thrilled to be used as a model

Late in 2011 when I found out about a great sale on bare lace weight yarn (Sanguine Gryphon, which I think has now split into 2 different companies), I knew I had the yarn for this pattern. I dyed it myself with McCormick food coloring and vinegar (blogged about here) and cast on early in 2012.
She kept adjusting it.
After getting about 3 sections in, the rows started to be too long for my lack of patience, and my berry Citron went into hibernation. I was compelled to bring it back out after the 10 minutes a day "challenge" on the Cold Sheep board on Ravelry. The idea is that if you spend at least 10 minutes a day on one of "those" projects that drive you insane, or whatever, then eventually it will get properly finished.
I thought it popped with the color of her sweater
My original plan had been to use up the entire 800 yard skein of yarn. However, with my patience still on edge, and after realizing that the original pattern was a fine size with only 5 sections and a ruffle, I just stopped. I did end up using about 510 yards of the yarn... so now I need to find something else to make with it. I think a over-dye may be in order.
close-up of pin
I had this 'around', and it just happened to work REALLY well
I'm still working out the kinks with my new camera
I'm wearing it with a make-shift shawl pin-- a hair stick poked through a crocheted flower from Barbara at Made in K-town. (She has the pattern for free on her blog)

Linking with Tami's FO Friday, after a few weeks of quiet.