Tuesday, December 30, 2008

trying something new

I decided to get a jump start on the New Year's cleaning (don't we all do that?) and enlisted the help of my hubby to clean and reorganize my office/craft room. Actually, it was mostly his idea b/c he was tired of looking at the mess LOL. Plus we wanted to make it more childproof so that the kids can come in here without destryoing stuff.

Here's what it used to look like: (I also had put up curtains after these photos, some teal and light blue ones that were shiny and gave the room an odd blue hue that I didn't like) My shelves were full of stuff that I didn't need and didn't use, half the drawers were empty and I had a lot of breakable stuff on the bottom.

I had my couch against the window with my desk in front of it, sort of in the middle of the room.

Now my shelves are much neater, we threw out a bunch of crap and put a lot more stuff that I rarely use but didn't want to throw out into the garage. Moved all the breakable and messy stuff to the higher shelves. Right now I have a lot of space on the bottom shelves, and will have more when I move my scrapbooks. I MIGHT put my yarn in here in rubbermaid containers, we'll see. I bought rubbermaid containers to organize my stash closet, and if I can fit it neatly in here I will. If not, it will stay in the closet, and I will put kids' toys in here or something. We're also going to put the toddler table and chair set in here under the window.

My desk and couch are now both along the side wall with my desk under my shelf. I can still reach the shelf, at least until my preggo belly gets too big, and it opens up the rest of the room. My hubby was such a trooper, he moved the furniture around all by himself several times until we were both happy with the arrangement.

These are my two favorite decorations in the room. Not a great photo, sorry, it was dark outside. The lighthouse is a stained/etched glass portrayal of my favorite place in the whole world, the lighthouse in Ludington, Michigan. Mom got it for me there last summer. The other one is a butterfly display that I got a few weeks ago in Branson Missouri at the Butterfly Palace, it is a white and black butterfly with 4 orange and black butterflies arranged around it. So pretty!

This is the view now from my door, compared to the first photo. The doors still open all the way but I usually keep the one door closed. As you can see, my dog likes the new wide open space, and I like not having her crawl under my desk to lay at my feet.

I also decided to be brave and try a new sock heel. I usually did short row heels b/c I don't like cuff down and I didn't want to have to do math. Well, my new sock wizard software that I got for Christmas takes the math out of it, and I wanted my husband's socks to have a heel flap so that they were sturdier in his boots. I had already started them and had the foot mostly done, so I just plugged in a couple different gauges until I got the right number of stitches (my actual gauge is about 7.5 sts per inch but the pattern with this # of sts said 7 sts per inch. Close enough) I also had made the foot a bit long so I had to modify the number of sts to add rather than frog back an inch (I'm lazy) but so far so good. Here is my first toe up sock with a gusset and heel flap!! (Dawn and Suna, aren't you proud? LOL)

And before you ask, YES, this is one single sock. I did 2 at a time until I got to the heel but since I was doing a new heel and heels can be complicated, I decided to finish them individually. These are cammo style socks for my hunter hubbyn and they fit perfectly so far. Sport weight yarn is so much faster! I made a pair for him last spring that were fingering weight on size 1/s, they took FOREVER. These are on size 3's and they seem to be moving faster than socks I make for myself even. He likes thte thickness too so I think from now on he gets sport weight socks. That's the only thing that stopped me from making socks for him before, was the length of time. I hope to have this one done in the next day or two so I can finish the other one. I'm working on that blossom shawl for myself and want to finish it before we go to Florida in Feb, so I have something for breezy nights. We're going on a short trip just the two of us (inlaws will keep the kids) so we can have some Us time before baby #3 arrives. I'm really looking forward to sleeping in and not having to come up with creative and nutritious meals for super picky eaters who think they need to eat 8 times a day. How sad am I?? LOL.
Have a wonderful and safe New Year!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

ugh ravelry

A friend of mine suggested yesterday that I should publish my sandwich pattern on Ravelry. I was very flattered that she thought it was good enough, so this morning I spent quite a while trying to do that. Well, I remembered WHY I don't upload things to ravelry very often. TOO DAMN COMPLICATED! I can't figure out how to get a photo attatched to the pattern, then when I went to the "one project listed" (my own) to see if I could somehow figure it out from there, the page said "no projects match your description". SIGH. I don't know if they are being moderated or what, if they have to be approved or something, but who knows. Oh well.
In other knitting (or in this case, crochet!) news, I did my first real crochet project. By real, I mean a complicated (to me) pattern from a book. I was surprised how quick it was! Anyway, it is the Angora Baby Bunny Cap from luxury Yarn One Skein Wonders. Only one slight problem;

It is supposed to be a BABY cap, but it fits my 2.5 year old. Granted she has a small head, but still. I don't think the baby will be wearing this one.

Other than that, I was very happy with how it turned out. No longer will I fear crochet!! It is a very pretty hat. I used the correct weight yarn and hook for the project but oh well.

I bought this yarn a few weeks ago at my LYS, it is georgeous Anne sock yarn. I had started socks with it and was about 4 or 5 inches into them when I realized I was ribbing all the way around--problem was that they were toe up! Oops. I was very upset b/c I really liked the pattern (A diagonal striped rib that I had turned into a sock pattern myself) so I wasn't sure what I was going to do or how I was going to stomach ripping them back. Then I saw the pattern for the blossom shawl in my new book. I thought "AHA!" there is a good pattern for this yarn. It was a huge skein, over 500 yards, so I knew I had plenty and since it is verigated but not self striped it would make a good shawl. Absolutely beautiful colors too, and soooooooo me! I'm 3 repeats in and am supposed to have a total of 14 when done.

See how pretty?? I LOVE this color!!!

I wanted to make a barbie dress for my daughter's doll. I looked and looked online and couldn't find a pattern I liked, so I decided I could design one. How hard could it be, right? I measured and re-measured the barbie all over, I even SWATCHED (and those who know me know how much I HATE swatching) then I did MATH (another ugh for me) and made this dress. I did not take a photo of the back however, because you would see all the laces and running stitches I had to do to keep the dress from falling off the doll. Hmmmm. I don't know where I went wrong, if it was the math or the swatching or what, but it was a bit big. But in the end it looked pretty good especially from the front, and I was proud of it. My daughted said "ooh pretty cinderella." played with it for a minute or less, then gave me the old dress for her and said "Now this dress." I said "what about the dress Momma made?" and she said "I no like it. Want this one." SIGH. Oh well.

At least she liked this, the pillow and blanket I made for her barbie house. I even matched the colors (as best as I could from my stash) to the rest of the dollhouse. Knit in garter stitch with a crochet border, one round of double crochet then a round of single crochet. The pillow was done in garter stitch with a single crochet border.

I have a pair of socks for my daughter (the Emily socks from knitting circles around socks in a hot pink and yellow striped yarn), a cammo pair of socks for my hubby in sport weight yarn, and a brown verigated scarf for my son all on the needles, plus this shawl for myself now. I also have to work on the baby blanket some more. I have like 8 squares out of 100 done. :-D

Hugs! Have a happy New Year!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas socks!

I finished mom's socks just in time for Christmas!! And I do mean just in time, I was adding the trim on the last sock 3 hours before my family arrived at our house! :-) These socks took me FOREVER. I think b/c I did stockinette, which I thought would go faster but it got boring. I finished them on our trip to Missouri, and I called mom to see how high she likes to wear her socks. She said ankle, thank goodness, while my hubby was in the background yelling "Say knee high, say knee high!!" @@. Anyway, I made them anklets and bound them off using a new method where the round before bind off you add extra stitches to make it stretchy. I added a new stitch every 4 sts, but I guess either that was too many or I bind off too loosely or something b/c they ruffeled at the edges. So, I fixed that by adding a crocheted ruffeled edge. The socks were funky to begin with, so this just made them extra fun. :-) they're not for her to wear to like work or anything, probably just game days but I thought they were cute. I have to call her in a bit and make sure she tried them on, she didn't try them on here. I think she liked them though, I hope. :-)
I had a wonderful Christmas, my hubby spoiled me. I got a lot of great knitting loot, and I didn't even have to ask for it. I guess I talk about knitting a lot, and even though he may look like he's not listening, apparently he is :-) I got a digital scale for sock yarn (YAY! No more having to wind it into a ball and then wind it again until the 2 balls are the same!), 101 luxury yarn one skein wonders, (which I had mentioned a couple times when it came out and he knew I had the others), the new knit picks 10" harmony straight needles (I did ask for these), the zippered knit picks binder for circ needles, the sock wizard software, and some new sock yarn, felicity yarn in a really pretty colorway from knitpicks (he knew I had bought that line before and he even called them to check and make sure I didn't have that particular color! What a guy!) He also got me some great bath and body works stuff and a ring. Wow.
My daughter got a barbie house for Christmas, and I'm a bit quirky when it comes to dolls. I have been since I was a kid. The bed that came with the house is all plastic and is molded to lookl ike there is a blanket and pillow but there isn't one. So being the nice Momma I am, I'm using my lovely new needles to knit her a little blanket for it. :-) I'll probably make a pillow too. Yes, I'm weird I know. My hubby still thinks the dollhouse is more for me than her, especially when he heard me tell her "No Meg, the couch doesn't go there, it goes here!" LOL.
We did find out that our new little one is a girl, so I'm going to be knitting some new pink stuff. Yayyy! I found a couple really cute patterns in that new book, including a lace crocheted hat that looks challenging but I'm gonna try it.
Hope you all had a Merry Christmas!!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Pattern for sandwiches

Hope you enjoyed the pattern for the cookies, here's the pattern for the sandwiches.

Materials: size 6 US straight needles, size 6/F crochet hook, worsted weight yarn in desired colors.

I used a mix of red heart I Love This Yarn and Caron Simply Soft. Good, cheap acrylic yarns are perfect for these projects.

For the bread, use desired color (I used white) and cast on 14 sts. Work in garter stitch (knit every row) until it is a square, I fold up the bottom corner diagonally up to the needle to see if it is even. You could also do the more logical thing and use a tape measure, but, well, I didn't think of that until I was done LOL. Once square, cast off and leave the tail very long for seaming.

For the filling: (cheese, turkey/ham/beef, peanut butter and jelly, or whatever you like on your sandwich). Start with slip knot. Next row, inc one by knitting into the front and back. Knit into the front and back of the first stitch on each row (increasing by one stitch each row) until you have 15 stitches. Bind off. Make however many fillings you want, I did one turkey and one cheese for the one sandwich, and one Peanut butter and a jelly for the other variety.

You can also crochet circles (just like for the cookies) for tomatoes, cucumbers (doing the outer round in a darker green for the skin), or whatever else you like on your sandwiches. I did one tomato and stuck it out the middle, you could do 2 and put them on either side. Whatever works for you.

Now, take the fillings and if you want you can use the tails to baste them together in the middle or along the back edge, since that will all be hidden inside the sandwich. Weave the ends and trim, then put them inside the bread so that the bread folds into a triangle around the fillings, with the tail end at one side of the fold (so you can baste around the outer edge without having to cut the yarn and start on the other side). Base by sewing thru the top edge to the bottom edge and back to the top, basically a running stitch or a backstitch, keeping the stitches behind the edge of the fillings so you can't see them. Once done, weave in bread tail and trim. Attatch crust color (for the peanut butter sandwich I picked a brown that was different than the filling) with a crochet hook and single crochet around the outer edge of the bread, avoiding the fold line. Weave in end and trim. DONE!

Friday, December 12, 2008

patterns for my knit food

I've had a few people ask me for the patterns for my knit food, so here it is. Not sure how much I will get typed up tonight, but the rest will follow soon I promise!

*note* these were adaptations from patterns I found online, I modified them for various reasons so as a. not to violate any copyrights and b. to fit the sizes I wanted, as well as making any changes I wanted to, like making the filling easier to fit in the sandwiches, adding crust, knitting the strawberry flat etc.

OK, here is the pattern for the cookies:

Basic pattern (used for the chocolate chip cookies, the bottoms of the frosted cookies, and both halves of the fudge striped cookies).

I'm not great at crochet patterns so bear with me.

Materials--I used various worsted weight acrylic cheap yarn. I Love This Yarn is a good one, Caron Simply Soft is another. Cotton seemed a bit harder to work with so I avoided it.

Crochet hook, I used a size F/6 but that may vary on how tight you crochet. You want a nice tight fabric so that they hold their shape.

Start a circle the way you normally do, I know everyone does them differently. I did a loose slip knot, ch2, then sc 6 in the slipknot. Join together with a slip stitch, ch1, then do 2 sc in every stitch for the round. I use a safety pin style stitch marker to mark the beginning of the round. Round 2, ch 1, *sc in first stitch, 2 sc in second stitch * repeat from * around. Next round, ch 1, *sc in first 2 sts, 2 sc in 3rd st.* repeat from *. This is where I stopped, but you can make them bigger by continuing this pattern, just adding one more sc stitch each round. Fasten off and weave in end. I left the ends VERY long so I could use them for seaming later. Clear as mud? Like I said, I'm not really a crocheter so it is hard for me to explain what I did but if you're confused feel free to contact me and I will do my best to help you.

Chocolate chip cookie: make 2 rounds exactly the same out of cookie dough colored yarn. Add chocolate chips by making french knots on the right side of the cookie, leaving the strands between knots on the back. Do this to both sides then oversew the edges together, with the wrong sides facing eachother.

fudge striped cookie--make one round in cookie dough color, one in a dark brown chocolate color. Use the tail from the cookie dough color to sew them together but leave the brown tail on the outside. Make backstitch lines across the cookie with the fudge color, keeping the ends of the yarn between the cookies and not all the way thru to the fudge.

frosted cookie: make the normal cookie, then make another in the frosting color with one less round so it is a little smaller. I used a yarn with sequins in it, but I did NOT like working with that yarn as the sequins kept getting stuck and made it difficult to make even stitches, especially for a novice crocheter like me. you can also sew beads on for the sprinkles after the frosting is made, or do french knots like on the chocolate chip cookie. Sew the frosting onto the cookie using the tail from the frosting.

OK, hope that is clear, if not please let me know.

I will post more later, it is getting late and this pregnant momma is TIRED. Oh, baby did not show us anything at the last sonogram, but we have one on Tuesday and I'm optimistic that we'll find out if it is a boy or girl then. I will be 19 weeks, and since it is a longer, more detailed sonogram than the last one hopefully we'll see something. I may drink something sugary and caffinated beforehand to make sure the baby is awake and moving. :-) So far though I feel great!

Happy knitting (or crocheting!)