Tuesday, May 28, 2013

As Summer Draws Near

My weekend was super packed, so I didn't get as much crafting done as I would've liked. However, I am getting there. Making lots of lists really helps me stay organized.

E just went through all my boxes, packed up and resting at his parents' house, and I have close to 35! More than half are books, with craft & yarn coming in second.

Books:
  • been listening to The Fellowship of the Ring on audiobook- I can clean or craft while reading!
  • reading a bit of Sherlock Holmes on the tablet- I love Project Gutenburg!
  • Helena, by Evelyn Waugh- future mother-in-law teaches English to several of the home-schooling families because her knowledge of literature is extensive. This book was on a list in one of the homeschooling programs, and the moms wanted her to teach it. The students didn't like it so much. She's asking me for a second opinion.
  • study guide for the Social Studies MTTC- need to take this last test to be able to properly teach.
WIP baskets
Sampler started on the left, ripple with barely any progress on the right. 
Crocheting:
  • Wedding ripple blanket- less than ten rows still, and a bit more than 75 days to complete it.
  • Wedding roses- they are looking amazing, mostly assembly left.
  • Rectangular Sampler- started this one to use up a bunch of leftover yarn from other projects. 
  • Stephanie's Wrap- still half hibernating, brought it out in hopes I can finish it before the end of June
  • U of M afghan- mom forced this one out of hibernation so I can finish it before I move out. I am protesting, since it was never really my project to begin with.
Knitting:
  • poncho- so close to halfway!
  • Caliometry- need to start this for a friend, hopefully to finish before the fall.
Because the school year ends next week, the chances of me getting any more subbing jobs is unlikely. So, the projects listed above are definitely going to be getting more attention, especially the books. I really want to get more of my history books read, just in case I need them for teaching related reasons.

Linking with Tami & Ginny for the regular Wednesday link-ups!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Returning with FOs!

Been MIA for quite a few days- just got caught up in life, and projects, and wedding stuff.

I'm attempting to be more brief, as a way to keep reader and writer engaged and not over-taxed with my chatter. I'll let my pictures do the talking.
FO Hats!
3 new hats!
Flowered hat
Mustard hat with cranberry rose
Close-up of Border
Baby blanket for nephew Josiah, expected in September.
Entertainment
Keeping myself entertained while I crochet!
The bouquet is a hat
Bridal Shower- the ribbon bouquet is a hat, future mother-in-law laughing at my silliness
Prayers
My future mother-in-law asked that the guests pray over me. 
Oriental Lily
It's been raining a bit here, but some beautiful flowers are out in my mom's garden!


So, I've been busy. The hats & blanket were finished this last week. I'm about halfway through the first season of the West Wing. I'm listening to The Fellowship of the Ring again, because I like the reader, and the content is so fun!

My first bridal shower is done with, and it was a lot of fun-- E's aunt and cousin did most of the work, and the food was amazing. Luckily, I have another month or two before the shower hosted by my sister  & aunts.

Linking up with Tami's FO Friday!!!! 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Crafting Differently

Normally, I blog about yarn and knitting and crocheting. This week, I'm trying some ideas I found on Pinterest.

First: tile coasters.
The instructions I followed are from this blog. The blogger is clear and has a lot of pictures, making it easy to follow along. I was originally inspired by this pin, but, obviously upon further looking, it links to an Etsy seller. So I sought out DIY instructions, leading me to the previosly mentioned blog.

My Materials (Using Something Like Susie Homemaker's list and altering it):
  1. 4 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch tiles --from Menards-- 12¢ each-- might've been on sale
  2. Sheets of felt in desired colors-- you won't really see this, I had green, maroon, & black on hand. If you pay more than 30¢ for an 8x11" sheet, you are being robbed. Michael's has them for 26¢ (I think).
  3.  Scrapbook paper-- My sister and I did our fair share of scrapbooking, like 3 years ago, so I have one of those really big stacks that orginally cost $20, with a 40% coupon or something. If you don't have that, Michael's has open stock paper- a 12" x12" sheet will cover 9 tiles. Get several coordinating prints for variation! (Shouldn't cost more than a few dollars)
  4. Decoupage -- The blogger uses Mod Podge, which is too expensive for me, so I substituted-- 2:1 white glue & water. Mod Podge is just paste anyway.
  5. Hot glue gun-- if you're a crafter, you don't need to go out and buy this, so I don't count it in final costs.
  6. Scissors and ruler OR Paper cutter--- I am investing in a paper cutter after this. Scissors and ruler were not precise enough-- I actually took my scrapbook paper to work to do the cutting part. Joann's has a Fiskars for $25.
  7. Sponge brush-- Hardware store, 69¢
  8. Clear Acrylic Spray-- my mom had this already. Triple coat glaze, Krylon. probably $5 if purchased new.
Gluing Felt
two piles of felt covered tile!
Gluing paper in progress
Preparing to glue
Paper glued
First coat of glue

Note: cutting felt during the season finale of Castle is not a good idea. My edges were crooked. I personally cut a bit bigger than needed, just in case. I trimmed them after I glued. I do my best hot gluing before bed, which means I don't get impatient about the next step.

Note: Magazine pages do not work, they are too thin.

16 tiles $2.04
2 sheets of felt $.60
Paper $1.00
Sponge Brush $.69
Total $4.33


Second: polymer clay charms
Inspiration: this pin, step-by-step here.
Gifts for bridesmaids, to be made into keychains.

Polymer clay costs around $2.99, depending on the brand, and whether or not you have a coupon.
I used leftovers from my yarn bowl projects for all of these.
Stamps I had on hand.
Jewelry findings I had on hand. Eye pins are under $5 for a pack of either 50 or 100. Same for the jump rings. The key rings are a bit more expensive- $5 for a pack of 10, 1-1/4"
Acrylic paint borrowed from sister.


after baking
First batch of charms!

Letter close-ups
Close-up

Thursday, May 9, 2013

A Garment in 72 Hours

Even though I am both a process and a product girl when it comes to crocheting & knitting, today I'm definitely endorsing the product end of the spectrum.

Last week, after finally assembling the afghan for my parents, I felt inspired to tackle what seemed like another large project: a garment for me. Over the last 18 months, I have been challenged through various Block-A-Month crochet-a-longs, which have expanded my technique and helped me to become a more adventurous crafter. I have also gotten better at knowing what I like and don't like, and am now more than willing to frog a project if it is not suiting my needs.
sweater shot 2
3/4 length sleeves & 2 buttons
The garment that I choose to make: a crocheted cardigan. I knew this would be a good choice, because it would not take as long as a knitted cardigan (I knit a lot slower than I crochet) and also because I had just recently lamented to my sister the lack of colored cardigans in my wardrobe.
button
my pair of buttons are nearly an exact match to the stripe I added
The pattern I picked is a free one: Chevron Lace Cardigan. This pattern was recently brought to my attention again through Knit and Crochet Blog Week, where we were asked to think about projects that would reflect the characteristics of our chosen house. My chosen house, the House of Manatee, reflects the calmer, steady nature of crafters, and I felt like it fit my most prominent crafting personality. I further explain this here.

Back to product versus process. I enjoy crafting because it makes me feel less useless while watching television. It makes me feel productive. I also enjoy wearing the items I make. This project was definitely a product. The process was quick, meaning I had the desired item (a colored cardigan) in a few short days. I never thought it would take me so little time to make myself a sweater, and I am totally thrilled. I dyed the yarn for it simply ages ago, blogged about here.
sweater shot
Perfect length, perfect weight
After debating about buttons with several different people, I found the ones I wanted.

It didn't really need blocking, so I wore it on Monday. Outside in the sun, the wool was definitely a bit too heavy. But in my air-conditioned workplace, it was perfect. I had a lot of compliments on it, which calmed my worries about it being a completely awful garment.

This sweater also used up close to 700 yards of yarn, pushing my total yardage used this year over 5 miles!!! (I know I have added to my stash this year, but I still feel awesome!)

Linking with Tami to share the love of a finished sweater!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Sick of Petals!

Yes, today I am definitely tired of petals, but not in the way you may think. While thoroughly enjoy the warm spring weather and the flowers that accompany it, my hands have been busy making little flowers for hats and hairclips, and they've about had it!
flowers!
In the midst of my moving and cleaning operation, I sat down to take stock of my craft show wares. Hovering comfortably between a dozen and 20 of each of my main items is a safe place to be in May, especially when I don't start attending craft shows until September. However, I wanted to bring all of my totals up to 2 dozen before tackling the quicker projects or the better selling projects. So I grabbed a few small balls of yarn and some hooks, and spent a lot of time making flowers- which I use both as embellishment on hats and on hairclips.

Joining in progress
Add caption


Even though I over-dosed on flower making, I have not had my fill of new books yet. I'm still reading Jasper Fforde, this week One of Our Thursdays is Missing. Kathy Reichs just recently released her third Virals book called Code, and I finally have it in my hands. A few months ago, one of my students was reading it, and I was insanely jealous that their small-town library had a copy in before my library even ordered it! Along with those 2 books, I finally have a copy of Around the Corner Crochet Broders, to finish my parents' autumn colored afghan. I've browsed, picked a couple, and now just need to establish a stitch count before adding on the border. If nothing works out, I'll wing it, but having the book reassures me and makes me feel like 'at least I tried'.

Joining up with WIP Wednesday and Yarn-Along!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Feeling Unaccomplished

This past week has been a busy one. I worked every day except Friday, the weather has been unseasonably warm, my room went from messy to clean to messy again, I switched over to summer clothes, packed my winter clothes and read at least 2 new books. However, because I have neglected my blog, I somehow feel unaccomplished.

Unaccomplished is definitely not a good state of being. It is also incorrect. I finally finshed putting together the afghan for my parents, and am waiting for Around the Corner Crocheted Borders to come in at the library so I can put the finishing touches on it. Two more infinity scarves were added to my stash for the fall craft shows, and I'm halfway through a third. I have my next half dozen or so projects planned, while still having too many WIPs.
  1. Baby afghan for C's September baby-- will probably be a Christmas gift
  2. Wedding afghan for me! (I told E we would get a blanket...)-- I have 100 or so days to finish this on time... The last one took me 6 months. I think I'm cutting it close
  3. Fjaril cardigan-- the Cold Sheep CSAL just finished up, and I won a prize. I picked out this cardigan, and excited to expand my knitting skills- Probably going to use Knit Picks Palette in Whirlpool after frogging my Blue Pineapples shawl that just wasnt working
  4. Chevron Cardigan-- a less ambitious project than the Fjaril, because it is crocheted, but still will be one of my first proper garments. I dyed the yarn for this project over a year ago, and it needs to get out of my stash and into my wardrobe before I move.
  5. Infinity scarves by the dozen-- A few weeks ago, I posted about a great deal I got on some Lion Brand Homespun Thick & Quick. I want to use it up as quickly as possibly, so I'll have more merchandise for my fall craft shows, and so I won't have to transport the excess yarn when moving.
  6. More hats! Scarves have been my primary focus, but I still have quite a bit of yarn for hats. I need to use it!
  7. Shawls for the mothers for the wedding. I have no yarn, no pattern and no plan, but I know I want to make something. (Ones for the bridesmaids are out, as they wont appreciate it)-- I'm thinking of Knit Picks Stroll Tonals, but am currently undecided- I would need to buy yarn, which I dont really want to do....
Yeah.... These plus my WIPs will definitely keep me busy... I should stop worrying about feeling accomplished and just start knitting :)

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Changing Progress

I definitely dropped the ball on KCBW. Those weekend blogging days kill me, plus my fiance was over... I definitely could make the list longer.

But I am making some visible progress in the cleaning & moving of my possessions to my fiance's home-- less than 4 months now!
Blocks in a Bin
You can see a bit of the border/join here
Due to that steadily nearing deadline, I have been compelled to work on several of my larger projects. The afghan I was supposed to have done for my parents' anniversary/Christmas/etc is finally in the finishing stages. I had 6 groups of four blocks each, which I joined using the JAYG method from Edie Eckman's Connect the Motifs (LOVE this book!), and decided that it probably should be a little bit bigger. So I made 6 more squares, and am joining them together the long way, to go in between the sets of joined squares.
5 new blocks
The new squares I added
Joining in Progress
Joining the last group
I'm not sure what I'm going to do with the extra yarn-- I believe JoAnn's takes exchanges, but I'm not sure how long ago I bought the yarn, etc. (It has been within the last year).
New Colors
New colors: Olive, Sweet Pea, Sapphire, Aqua, Baby Aqua
Even with all the other stuff I am doing, I had to give myself another project, as about a month after getting married, I will properly be an aunt! My fiance's sister is due a few weeks after we get married, and I really want to make a baby blanket. So of course, I have the yarn already... 

On the book front (finally!!) I am reading Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next series, which is really funny and fairly decent.

Linking with Tami & Ginny!