I try not to make New Years resolutions. I never seem to stick to them and therefore they seem a bit pointless to me. But I decided I would try again this year. I'm trying NOT to make the standard "Lose weight" or "Exercise more" type resolution - I *know* I won't do it, so I'm not going to pretend.
I decided that this was the year I would try and make a difference in the world. Very lofty goal. Now, I know that I can't do much about all the troubles in the world, but I could do my best to try and help where I can. Having said that......here I go:
1. Volunteer more. I used to be a back-up Meals-on-Wheels driver, but once the kids came, it got hard to coordinate a schedule. I'm going to call and get back on the substitute driver list.
2. Knit for charity. I already participate in a "Odd-Ball" charity blanket drive. We knit baby blankets for an area hospital. This year, I plan on knitting hats and mittens: One of the Ravelry gals I knit with teaches 1st grade at a local school. It's a relatively low-income area and she said that many of her students come to school without hats or mittens. In Minnesota, it's just too cold on most winter days not to have a pair of mittens and a hat. My resolution is to knit 2 hat/mitten sets per month. I hope to keep a few area children a little warmer this winter.
3. Donate Blood. It's fast, easy, and almost anyone can do it. I actually just scheduled my first appointment to give blood. I'll be heading to a local blood bank this Wednesday at 9:40 to donate my first pint. (I have a moderately rare blood type so I feel like this is a small way I can give back to my community.) The max I can donate is once every 8 weeks, so this first visit counts for my resolution! My goal is to donate 6 times this year.
That's it. Nothing earth shattering, but these are all easy things I can do to try and make the world a better place. What about you, any New Years resolutions?
Barring any unforeseen knitting emergencies, I'm done with my Christmas knitting. I finished hubby's convertible gloves/mittens this morning. They had a lovely soak and are now drying. (And just an FYI - Reynolds Lopi is *nasty* to knit with. It's a nice bulky weight, but scratchy as can be. It did soften up with a soak, but it's still scratchy.)
And now that I'm done - I don't really even have the desire to knit. I plan on finishing my Jaywalker socks. They are a super bright yellow and orange stripe - super cute. But for the next day or two, I don't think I'll be knitting.
I got so bold as to think that my Christmas knitting was done (or nearly anyway.) In the last 3 days - 5 more items have been added to the list. Has anyone noticed that it's the 19th of December? Does anyone care that my wrists are starting to hurt? Apparently not.
So we got invited to my hubby's cousins house for Christmas Eve. Now - I'm not planning on knitting for the adults, but the kids *need* something. So I'm cranking out some hats for the boys and little bobby socks for the girls. The socks aren't knit - I just picked up a pack of 10 socks at Target and crochet a cute little trim with Fun Fur. They really are adorable - and the Fun Fur disguises all of my cruddy crochet work!
All is not lost - I've finished one hat already. And the socks only take about 30 minutes for a pair (and each girl will get 2 or 3 pairs - I haven't decided yet.) Then I need to make one adult sized hat, and I'm done.
And hopefully I haven't pissed off any more of the knitting gods.
I am almost done with my holiday knitting!! Yippee! I made a sweater for my mom, gloves for my dad, socks and a hat for my MIL, gloves for my FIL, gloves for my FIL's girlfriend, the Dragon scarf for my son, a felted crown and some cute little socks for my daughter, and convertible mittens for my hubby. (These are the only things that aren't finished. One is done and the second one is cast on.)
I've also started re-cycling yarn. It entails shopping at thrift stores for sweaters that you can take apart and reuse. I found a lovely plum colored merino sweater in a fingering weight. I think it will make a Clapotis for me. I also have about 700 yards of a red DK weight, and an unknown quantity of a blue wool/mohair/acrylic blend. (I haven't taken that one apart yet.) As part of my Christmas present, my hubby make me a contraption for measuring the yarn as I unravel it. It's just a 2-by-4 with a dowel on each end. The dowels are 18" apart, so each wrap is a yard - brilliant! He beveled the edges and sanded it smooth so the yarn doesn't snag on it.....I love it!! I also ordered a ball winder from Joanns while they were 40% off and got free shipping - brilliant again!
And since all of the holiday knitting was getting me down, I cast on a quick cardigan for me using my stash. Here is the cardigan, and I am knitting it in Chestnut Wool-Ease. I'm done with the body, and mostly done with one sleeve. It's been a very quick knit - even with the modifications I made!
I've been taking my dog to the dog park. What a riot. This park is just a large fenced park with wooded areas, grassy areas, a pond, and a small hill. Luna adores it and she gets lots of oportunites to meet other dogs. I'm supposed to have a permit to park my car in the lot and use the dog park, but I don't. I feel kind of bad about not paying, but I really don't have the extra $$ for the permit. I know that I will probably get a ticket someday, and the penalty for the ticket is to purchase a permit. I guess I'll just keep trying my luck.
So I was at the dog park yesterday and saw a group (2 sets of owners and 3 dogs) of huskies. They were so darn pretty. If it wasn't for all the fur, I'd love to own one. There was also a beautiful Great Dane there. Huge, and very sweet. I always wanted to have a Great Dane, but I think I'll have to wait until the kids are grown - that dog was HUGE!!
Since today was a super cruddy day (rain for now, but freezing later), I took Luna to the park down the street. Since no one was there due to the terrible weather, she got to run around to her hearts content. I just carried the leash and my umbrella and tried not to get wet.
The job hunt is still on, but it's been very slow going. There are just not a lot of jobs out there right now. It's been very depressing, but I'm trying to stay positive. I figure the economy can't stay bad forever!
And until my camera and computer can talk - still no pictures!
I have a severe case of "Finish-itis". I'm very close to finishing a few Christmas gifts, but I want them all done NOW!! I've been knitting up a storm, but nothing is done. *sigh*
I haven't touched DS's Dragon Scarf all week. I'm mostly done with the knitting, I just need to do the finishing.....and I hate doing the finishing. Seaming....yuck!
I finally got my replacement pair of size 1 1/2 DPN's to finish the pair of Knotty gloves from FIL's girlfriend. I'm making them out of some Knitpicks Essentials. It's a lovely soft yarn to work with, but it's black. If the lighting is poor and I've made a mistake (and I've made several), it's a p-a-i-n. But they are nearly done. I just have to finish 2 1/2 more fingers!!
FIL's gloves are nearly done too. Again....just 3 fingers to go.
I finally started a project for DH too. I'm making him a pair of convertable glove/mittens. You know, the kind with fingerless gloves and a flip top mitten thing. I think they will be really nice for him while he's at the hockey rink doing the score keeping. From what I understand, score keeping involves a lot of sitting around being cold. Not my idea of fun.
And I haven't started DD's Christmas present yet, but it should be a super quick knit.....I just need to get some time away from her so she doesn't see it! I have some pretty pink and yellow yarn and some lovely sparkly buttons, now I just need to knit.
Since I'm starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel, I'm planning out what I want to knit after the holidays! It looks like there might be a KAL (knit-a-long) of the Honeycomb vest on Ravelry. I really want to make this vest, so I might just have to get some yarn for it. Maybe I'll get a gift card for Christmas.....hmmmm...... And I'm thinking about the Paton's Must Have Cardigan again. I started one late last spring in black and it was just too difficult to work with. I think I'll try again with some recycled natural wool.
I made a fabulous pair of Chevaliermittens for my niece. They are to match the Foliage hat I finished a bit ago. (Her birthday is Dec 18, so she always gets an extra special birthday gift.)
DS's Dragon scarf is coming along. I've finished the main parts and am working on the "bits." The nostrils alone took WAAAYYY too long.
My SIL had a birthday over the weekend, so I made her a quick Snowman ornament. I didn't have any orange yarn, so I used an orange button for the nose. It was completely adorable, so I think I may be making a few more of those!
I've also been on a hat kick. My brother showed up at my parents house last weekend with a pathetically small hat. The knitter in me just couldn't let that go, so I made him a new one. The Thorpe pattern is quick and easy. I've made 3 now; 1 for my DD, one for my Brother, and one for my DS' school hat/mitten drive.
The gloves for my FIL are about 75% done. I'm making up the pattern as I go since I couldn't find a glove pattern that I liked. It's loosely based on the Ken pattern from Berocco. And FIL's girlfriend Knotty gloves are stalled. I lost one of my size 1 1/2 knitting needles.....grrrrr........waiting for my new pair to arrive. Hopefully today!
Still no pictures, and Ravlery is down so I can't even link all of my projects. I'll edit this post when Rav is back up.
ETA: Links are now on. Thank goodnes for Ravelry!!
Our computer is acting up again. Not sure if it can be revived. Thankfully, my DH hooked up the kids computer to the internet so I can at least get online. I don't think I can get pictures off of my camera though...still working on that.
For now, be assured that I am knitting up a storm! I'll be posting to my blog, but I'm not sure if I'll have pictures to share.
There is a new release of Doodlefactory stamps over at Starving Artistamps. It's a new Christmas set - yippee!! And since it's a bit late to get going on your Christmas stamping, they are offering the sentiment set for FREE. Yep - I said free!! Here's a picture of the new set:
Head over to their blog for a chance to win this set!!
I don't usually mass produce cards, but a friend called this morning with a request. She is the leader of a Daisy troupe and needed some Thank You cards. So here they are. Mass production with a little twist!
I used paper from my TSR kits. There is usually one paper in a kit that I don't use much of. This was the perfect project to use up some of those larger pieces. (There are 2 of each color scheme for a total of 18 cards.)
The "thanks" was cut using my Cuttlebug. It was kind of a pain to glue it down. I ended up using my Sakura Quickie Glue pen. Anyone else have something that works well? I don't like to use the Xryon because is doesn't adhere to these smallish letters very well (in my experience.)
On the knitting front, I was at a Ravelry knit night last night. We decided last month to have a knit-a-long for November. The project chosen was preemie hats since we could finish them in a single knit night. I did this one. I was worried that I wouldn't finish it in the three hours, but I did - with plenty of time to spare.
I've been working on my sons Dragon scarf, have a Fake Isles hat OTN for my MIL, and have a pair of Knotty's OTN for my FIL's girlfriend. Making good progress on my holiday knitting :)
PS - I don't think I've ever had that many links in one post - whew!!
I had to share a few pictures from Halloween. We had a great time trick-or-treating. Our neighborhood of about 50 houses was just about the perfect size for the kids. (Although DD got pretty darn tired and had to drop off some candy at home.)
Obi Wan Kenobi (complete with light saber that lights up and makes noise - an early birthday present.)
The blue butterfly fairy from Mariposa (Rayla)
Once we got home with the "loot", we combined it all into a big bowl. Now if the kids want a treat, they choose from the big bowl. I decided to try this to see if this method would work with the kids. So far it's worked great. And it's MUCH easier to sneak out all of the Snickers. (Mmmmmm, I just love Snickers!!)
And I spent a bunch of time knitting this weekend. My mom's sweater is nearly done - just a few more inches on one sleeve. DS's dragon scarf is coming along nicely. I finished the first body piece and started the second. After knitting the first with Red Heart Super Saver, the second piece using Vanna's Choice felt like butter!! But now I need to take a bit of a knitting break......my wrists are pretty sore.
....and not by choice!! The graphics card on our computer went ka-put, so I've been down since last Saturday. It's all better now, thank goodness.
I've been working on a few things. I finished the gloves for my father for Christmas, and the socks for my MIL. I still have a ton left to do, but it feels good to have a few things done at least!
Here are Dad's gloves. I loosely followed the Ken glove pattern (and I mean loosely.) I used a fabulous wool/llama blend yarn from a LYS (Shepherds Choice) - I fell in love with this yarn and simply had to have it. The pattern is written for a worsted weight yarn and this is a DK, so I just modified it to be knit on size 6 DPN's. I am thrilled with how these look!!
And here are the socks for my MIL. I used some stash Carons Simply Soft. I've made myself socks using this and I really like them. The pattern is rather easy, but the YO's can be tricky since they are at the start of each DPN. I still have some ends to weave in, but overall, I'm pleased. I also started a Dragon scarf for my son. He helped me pick out the yarn last spring, but I decided to wait to knit it until he would use it. I'm not loving his yarn choice (Red Heart and Vanna's Choice), but it's knitting up nicely, even though it makes my hands hurt. I'll have pictures soon, but he's home right now and I don't want him to know I'm making it!!
I'm not really a huge fan of knitting dishcloths. I know people love them, but I just *hate* to knit them. The current dishcloth obsession came from a meeting with my neighbors. They both wanted to learn to knit (Hi Shari and Michelle!) And nothing is easier than a dishcloth. After an afternoon of making caramels (super yummy) and teaching them both to knit, I came home and started knitting dishcloths. After Saturday and Sunday I had made 7. The obsession wasn't quite over, and now I am up to 11.
I think the main reason I don't like to knit dishcloths is the feel of the cotton. I usually use Lily's Sugar and Cream or Wal*Marts Peaches and Cream (sorry - it's not on their website). They are both pretty rough on the fingers. After Saturday, my index finger was pretty raw, but I persevered. By Tuesday I really didn't even notice it anymore. (But I'm not sure if that's really a good thing.)
There are tons of patterns for dishcloths. This is my favorite site. But this is the pattern I used. I have been knitting a few other things, but mostly dishcloths. I hope I run out of yarn soon!
I realized when I was posting yesterday that I never posted a picture of my super cool new Knotty gloves. They were fun to knit and I love how they turned out. (The picture isn't great, but the gloves are!!)
And another card. I seem to be stuck on this layout lately; I've made about 4 cards using variations of it this week! I like this one enough to actually make a few for the Christmas card pile. I might have to change it a bit though, the ribbon might make it too thick to send in the mail.
Details: Stamps - Snow Swirled from Stampin Up Paper - Cool Caribbean, Basic Gray, White (Stampin Up), Patterned paper - Basic Grey Figgy Pudding Ink - Cool Caribbean, Basic Gray (Stampin Up) Other - Silver Eyelet (Making Memories) Circle Punch (Creative Memories)
....just not blogging! I finished the Knotty gloves - they are divine! I'm now planning on knitting a bunch of pairs of gloves for holiday presents!
I finished my niece's hat for her birthday. She has one of those late December birthdays - poor thing! I made the Foliage hat. I really like the pattern, but it turned out a little bit big. I think - in general - I knit looser than average. I usually find myself going down a needle size. I probably should have gone down to a 6 for this hat - and I even have a 16" circular in a size 6! Silly me......but I'm NOT re-knitting it - it's just a hat!
I had a hard time getting anyone to model this hat for me today. Usually the kids fight over who gets to, but not today....go figure! (DD finally agreed, but the hat is huge on her!)
And I'm also making a Liesel scarf to go with this hat. I started it last night and got through 2 pattern repeats. I'm trying VERY hard to read charts when I knit instead of written directions. There are several patterns that I would like to make, but they only have charts. It's time I learned! Since I've knit this scarf before, reading this chart should be a little easier for me. (At least that's the hope!)
In other knitting news, I still have my moms sweater on the needles. I finished the body and was working on a sleeve when I decided to frog it back to the arm hole decrease. I had mom try it on and she was fine with the fit, but I wasn't. The sleeves were just turning out to be too tight and I thought the body could use more room (sorry to overrule you mom!). So I ripped it back to the arm holes and did two more sets of increases. The body was increased by 8 stitches and each arm by 4. I may also change the rate of decreases for the arms, but I'll have to wait until I get there again. I guess I prefer to re-knit something than to have it not fit. *sigh*
I've stated my dad's Christmas gloves. The first one has two fingers to go. I think it will fit, but I'll probably have him try the first one on before I start the second. (*double sigh*)
My MIL's second sock has not even been cast on. I know it will only take me about 5 hours to knit it, so I've been procrastinating.
I'm going to be knitting gloves for my FIL and his girlfriend. They are not really the type to appreciate a hand knit item, but I have the yarn and I have the time. It will save me from having to agonize over what to buy them. And you can always use another pair of gloves, right? I may make the Knotty glove for the girlfriend (in black - arghhh!!) and a plain pair in gray for FIL.
.....Or: How to make a complete mess of your kitchen in three easy steps!
I was supposed to go on a field trip to the pumpkin patch with my son today. Due to the inclement weather, I suddenly had a morning free. What better time than this to try overdyeing two balls of sock yarn!
Let me start this all by saying, I have never dyed anything in my life - except for tie-dyeing in Girl Scouts, but that hardly counts. I read an article on Knitty.com about how to use Kool-Aide to die yarn. I purchased some close-out sock yarn on Knit Picks a few months ago. I know you can't tell colors well on a computer screen, but this blue yarn was MUCH brighter than I expected. Today was the perfect day to change that!
The first step is to sock the yarn in some luke-warm water. Here is my obnoxiously blue yarn in it's first bath:
I opened my 4 packs of Black Cherry Kool-Aide for dying and added them to my pot. Then I started to heat the yarn/dye mix. I knew I was cheating my leaving the yarn in balls, but I was WAY too lazy to change them into a more dye friendly form. I started to mix the yarn as directly. I noticed that the color was getting very dark on the outside, but I was still seeing large portions of bright blue yarn. So I started to "open" the balls up a bit so the dye could get to the center sections. I think that was the last smart thought I had.
It didn't take long until I realized I had a huge mess on my hands. So I decided to just keep going. I figured the worst thing that could happen would be for me to throw away a huge heap of yarn that I paid about $2.50 for. So this is what I was left with. I kind of liked the colors, but man-oh-man was this a huge pile of yarn!
It took me about 2 1/2 hours to untangle all of this yarn. Yes - I did cut it. I think it would have been impossible not to. I did end up throwing a bit away too. The last portions of the second ball I wound were just too tangled. I plan on knitting these with the inside sections first so all the lovely colors will be showing since the outside sections are just too dark - and I only need about 150-180 yards per sock and each ball has 230 yards. All in all, I think this will make a lovely pair of socks.
And yes - my hands are stained and the yarn smells like Kool-Aide!
I had a very busy knitting weekend, and I have the sore wrists to prove it. I finished the second sock for my dad (2 days before the "deadline" - woohoo!).
I also continued my holiday knitting with this yellow sock for my MIL. The pattern is written for Wool-Ease, and I have knit it with that. But Wool-Ease is a little too scratchy for my taste, so I'm making these socks out of Caron's Simply Soft. Yellow is one of my MIL's favorite colors and I happened to have this in my stash. Sock #1 completed - sock #2 not even started.
And last, but certainly not least, I cast on these SUPER COOL gloves - for me. Yes, I know I should be finishing my Jaywalker socks, but I just had to start these. I picked the yarn up at The Yarn Cafe when they were closing. I have 4 balls of Rowan Yorkshire Tweed 4-ply (discontinued) in Feral - a dark chocolaty color - that I paid about $10 for. This should easily make this pair of gloves with some to spare. They won't really match my red and black coat, but who cares!! I guess that just means I need to buy a new coat - LOL!!
Yikes - after not having many projects on the needles for a bit, I now have a bunch! Sore wrists or not.....time to get knitting!
More holiday knitting is underway! This sweater will be for my mother. It's a very basic top down raglan and so far I really like it. The yarn is Joann's Sensations boucle in an old color called Berry (I think it's old. I can't find it on their website anyway.) I like the long color change - very pretty for this pattern. The yarn is a bit of a pain to knit with since it snags on everything and the ball/skein is huge and a pain to work with. (I never did manage to find the center pull, so I'm having to use it from the outside end - yuck!) But overall I'm pleased and I think my mom will be too!
(Don't mind the bits of red yarn - those are holding the sleeve stitches. And the black at the bottom was just so I could try it on for sizing. I'm thinking it'll be perfect!!)
And I have to admit that I'm not working hard on Dad's birthday socks. DD has a dance class today, so I'll bring them along then - they are much more portable than a sweater with a huge ball of yarn! I'm sure I'll get them done in time - there's probably only a few more hours left on them.
I've drawn a line in the sand. I will NOT be buying any of the new Stampin' Up In Color ink pads or ribbons. I did get and assorted pack of card stock so I could participate in the color challenges on SCS, but that's it!
Whew - it feel good to get that off my chest! Now, on to the card. Of course the color challenge used 2 of the new In Colors - Kiwi Kiss and Baja Breeze. I decided to use one of the dragons from the Doodle factory line at Starving Artist stamps. I just used my markers to blended colors to for the right shade and then watercolored the dragon. And the Detours line from October Afternoon is a perfect match for the In Colors - so if I need something I always have a few of those ;).
I'm not sure who this card will be sent to - I'm sure I'll find the perfect reason soon enough. It's always nice to have a few generic cards around.
In the knitting world - I just cast on the sweater I plan on knitting for my mom. It's a very basic top down raglan. It was designed for the huge skeins of Joanns Sensations boucle yarn. I picked a pretty plum/purple yarn. (I think it's an older color since it's not on their website.) I like it so far, but my circular needle is a little too long. I'm hoping that once I get a few more stitches added it will be more comfortable.
Dad's socks are coming along nicely. I turned the heel of the second sock this weekend, and I'm about 1/3 done with the foot. If I would just concentrate on these I'd have them done in no time, but I just had to cast on something new. *sigh*
I don't think I've ever knit anything this quickly before. OK - maybe a hat - but that's about it! (Note to self: search the internet for more patterns using a super bulky yarn.)
The new Fall Knitty is fabulous, but when I saw the Abrazo pattern it was love at first sight! I picked up the yarn last week and started it yesterday. Yep, that's right - yesterday! I did knit a lot yesterday, but it was a super quick knit. I finished up the first arm last night, but I wasn't thrilled with it. I asked the gals at the knitting group today and got a few suggestions. I ripped back the arm and re-knit it there.
This was knit with Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick and Quick in Charcoal. It's tough to get a good picture when the yarn is so dark, but I wanted to show you something! I'll have DH take a picture of me wearing it later today and try and post it too. I'm really pleased with how it came out. I might re-do one of the arms - I think it's longer than the other one......but I'm not certain yet. I'll have to do some measuring.
AND - I did the crochet around the arm holes and back of the neck. I'm so darn proud of myself! Kate showed me the basics of crochet at one of the Rav knit nights and I managed to do it. (With a little help from the internet, but still, I'm pleased.)
I offered to knit a wool diaper cover (commonly called a soaker) for a gal that is preggo and planning on using cloth diapers. I have never cloth diapered nor knit a soaker, so this was all new to me. I found a free pattern on Rav and went from there. This is a Curly Purly soaker - very easy and pretty darn cute too.
I didn't do anything fancy with it (I thought about adding some butt ruffles, but the math got to me *sigh*). I used 2 colors so I would have enough yarn left over to make my daughter a felted crown.......but more about that later!
I know it's a bit hard to figure out what that darn thing is supposed to look like, so I had one of my daughters dolls model it! (This is one of those dolls that is supposed to be very life-like in size, etc.) It will stretch quite a bit after the first washing, but I don't have any baby detergent, so I told the intended recipient that it will need to be washed. I hope she liked it!
I still have the socks for my dad OTN, but after finding out he will be out of town for his birthday - they went on the back burner since I have some extra time. I also started a shawl. Not because I wanted one or had a burning desire to knit one, but because I had some yarn that I just didn't know what else to do with. (Can I admit that I bought some Red Heart Symphony yarn? It has got to be the worst yarn ever - absolutely horrible to kit with.) It's a simple Turkish stitch triangular shawl that I think will end up as a holiday gift for my FIL's girlfriend. (And as horrible as it is to knit, the shawl is really quite pretty, soft and warm.)
And as a side note - I just googled Turkish Stitch and found a different stitch than this shawl uses. I'm sure it's one of those crazy knitting things where they call multiple stitch patterns the same name, but heck - that's confusing!!
...for me on more than one level. My DH and I were invited to our first bar mitzvah this weekend. Which meant I needed a card. This was tough on two levels - first, making a card for a young teenage boy, and second, making a card for a bar mitzvah. Other than a very rudimentary knowledge of the bar mitzvah ritual, I have no idea what is appropriate. I asked a few questions on a very informative thread on Splitcoast about Jewish card making.
I figured my JustRite monogram stamp would work perfectly. You can basically make it say whatever you need! How perfect was that? No more needing to buy a stamp for every obscure holiday! I took my color cue from the invitation, a golden yellow and red. I used the papertreyink Guidelines set to make a nice masculine background. Then I added a little black for some contrast, and there you go. My very first bar mitzvah card.
Details: Paper - Summer sun and Real Red from Stampin Up Stamps - Guidelines from Papertreyink, and JustRite monogram stamp Misc - Circle Nestabilities, Cuttlebug, Black grosgrain ribbon, brushed gold brad from Making Memories
I'm still working on the bike helmet ear warmers for DH. Nothing like waiting until the last minute - his birthday is tomorrow!
One more down! (Only about 20 more to go - yea!) I used the sketch challenge from Splitcoast combined with yesterdays color combo - Riding Hood Red, Green Galore, and Going Gray. Since I'm refusing to buy any of the In Color ink pads this year, I have to get a bit more creative. I did buy the paper, so that makes things easier at least ;).
And since I didn't have any black sparkly brads, I made my own. I dipped some brass brads into my black pigment ink, then dipped it into sparkly embossing powder. It did take 2 coats, but I like how they turned out. (But watch your fingers - it gets pretty hot!) I did the same thing to the snowflake brad to make it match.
I also used my "sparkle" sentiment. I never seem to know when to use this, except on a very sparkly card! I guess it fits in this case.
I did go to my parents house yesterday to have my dad try on "the sock". I am so glad I did because it fit! I finished the first one up last night and have started the second. I'm making them out of Lion Brand Wool Ease - it wears well and it machine washable. Two very important attributes for a pair of socks for my father. They didn't have the exact Maroon color I wanted - this is more of a cranberry, but it still looks nice and my dad didn't complain!
I'm not really following a pattern for these socks - I mean after you know the basics of sock knitting, you can make a basic sock. I am using a knit 3, purl 1 pattern for the leg and instep, which Yvonne (aka - the knitting goddess, in my opinion) suggested at knit night. And when she said that I nearly fell out of my chair since I had started this sock nearly a week prior! (But seriously, Yvonne is the most amazing knitter and woman. I want to be just like her when I grow up!)
I admit, the picture looks a bit odd. It's partially the angle and also the K3, P1. It makes the leg look super skinny, but it provides a fabulous fit!
I asked my sister what hat she though her older son would like - something with cables or a Hurricane hat. She said definitely the Hurricane hat. So I cast on last night and finished up this afternoon. I made it a bit long since Andy has *thick* hair. I hope it's not too long. I suppose he can always just roll up the brim.
And here is DH modeling it:
On a side note - do you all think cables are too "girly"? I asked my DH and he said they certainly were, so I asked the gals at my knit night. For the most part, they all agreed that cables are feminine. I'm amazed - I always thought of them as fairly masculine. You know, cabled fishermen/Aran sweaters and all. Oh well - it was news to me.
I've decided to take the socks I was knitting for my dad to him to try them on. Since I have quite a bit of time invested in them, it would best best to be SURE they are too small before I frog them. On the off chance that they aren't too small, I've saved myself about a week of knitting! I wish I could do it without having him look at his feet so they would still be a surprise, but I think that may be a bit tricky.
Just leave a comment on their blog for a chance to win them!
Third - the socks I started for my dad (in Maroon and gold - the U of MN colors!) are going to be too small. I'm not sure why I thought I was making them big enough, but I wasn't. I'm about 2/3's done with the first sock, so I'll have to frog it and start over. Blech.
Fourth - On a whim, I decided to knit something for DH for his birthday (next Friday for anyone keeping track.) He loves to ride his bike to work, but the weather in MN does not allow him to do that very often. I found the coolest pattern for knit ear covers for a bike helmet. Super easy and quick and I think he'll like them. At least I hope so.
Fifth - Miss C and I seem to be recovering from our bout with the flu. Nothing worse than having a sick 4 year old when you are sick yourself. Thankfully DH stayed home to take care of us. Which was good since I barely got out of bed all day.
And lastly - tonight is my knit night!! I think I will be on the receiving end of 2 charity blankets to knit. I just joined a group of knitters that knit blankets to donate. One person starts the blanket, knits a border then 4 inches, then mails it to the next person. The next person knits 4 more inches and sends it to the next knitter. The knitting needles are mailed with the project. Each blanket has a theme for continuity. I should be receiving the "Over the Rainbow" blanket in the mail, and the "Little Boy Blue" blanket from Kate at knit night. I'm excited to work on them. I'll post pictures when I mail them on to the next knitters.
Purple Onion Designs put out a design team call - finally!! I've been a POD fan for quite some time, so it was a given that I would at least try out for this DT. Wish me luck! Here are the cards I am submitting:
I think my favorite is the birthday card with the sparkly red frame. It just makes me smile!
....but another challenge card! I don't know how I would ever stamp if it wasn't for challenges! This is the card I created for the Color Inspiration challenge on Kristina Werner's blog. She comes up with the loveliest color combos for her inspirations.
I had some troubles with this color combo. The colors are just gorgeous, but it was tricky for me to work the Chocolate Chip in. Then I remembered the fabulous Chocolate satin ribbon I got from Ribbons and Bows Oh My a while back. I paired it with the very elegant Damask stamp from Purple Onion Designs. A little scallop punch, a few half-back pearls and everything just fell into place! Whew - crisis averted!
Here is my card for the color combo:
I love how it all came together!
On the knitting front, I ended up frogging the Jaywalker sock I started. I re-knit it using the smaller size. It's fitting MUCH better and the first one is almost done. I'm not sure if I'm going to have time to finish the second one just yet since my birthday/holiday knitting is started to be neglected! But here is a quick picture of the current sock....and I promise it won't end up being a one-sock-wonder! And no, don't adjust your monitor, they really are this bright!!
I love to read Amy R's blog. She has great ideas and sometimes even a sketch!! Here is my take on her sketch:
I've been making a lot of Christmas cards lately. I do make all of our Christmas cards, but I usually make 5-6 designs and about 8-10 of each design. But this year I've been making a lot of single designs. I love the cards, but they would be too much work to mass produce. Right now I have about 25 cards made - about 1/2 done - and only 3 designs have been repeated. And I have only made 4 of each of those designs!
Supplies: Stamps: Snowflake Spot from SU Paper: White, Sahara Sand, Cool Caribbean (retired) and Basic Grey all from SU; Patterned paper from Basic Grey Figgy Pudding line Accessories: Sakura Stardust pen (to add a little sparkle!), pop dots, sponge, CM circle cutting system and Nestabilities circle dies
On the knitting front, I've had to frog the socks I started for my dad's birthday. I was making them in acrylic and they were just coming out awful. I have since restarted using some Lion Brand Wool-Ease. The colors are not perfect, but they will be fine - I just need to let it go!
I decided to try the sketch challenge on the All That Scraps blog. It was just too cute to pass up! Here's my card:
I used the cute Umbrella bug from the Bitzy Bugs line. I just love the paper piece this umbrella. It just looks so darn cute. And what girl doesn't need a pair of pink rain boots?
Supplies: Stamps - CC Designs from All that Scraps, sentiment from Great Greetings from the Angel Company (retired) Ink: Black Staz-on, Misc markers from SU blended to the shade I needed ;) Paper - Sweet Blush from Papertrey Ink, Cool Caribbean from SU (retired), Blue Hill patterned paper from Crate Paper, Green Paper from The Paper company Accessories - Half Back pearls, Prima flowers, clear glaze pen (to make her boots shiny!!), Oval punch to make the mask to create her "puddle", sponge
It's gift knitting time of the year for me! I make hats for my niece/nephews for their birthdays, my DH's and dad's birthdays are in the fall, DS's birthday is in November and then there is all the holiday knitting! Well I'm happy to report that I've finished the first of the gifts!!
This hat is for my nephew Jason. My sister told me that his coat is royal blue, gray and white. I think this hat will look perfect! (My DS liked it so much he told me I could make one for him too!) I'm enjoying knitting for teenage boys, but I have to admit that it's a bit tough. They don't really want bold colors or crazy patterns, but my sister thought this would be a great hat for Jason. And I *love* this pattern. It looks fabulous and it knits up pretty darn quick - both great attributes of a good pattern.
(I should mention that this is the first year I've knit hats for my sisters boys. It started with my niece. She has a December birthday. I've always felt that she gets a bit screwed with the Christmas/birthday thing, so I started knitting her things. The first few years it was just a scarf, then I added hats. Then I decided that her brother had been a bit left out, so I knit him a hat for his birthday. Now I've decided I need to be fair and knit my sisters boys hats too. Shucks - another reason to buy more yarn!!)
It's another of the Fake Isle hats (I've made three so far.) Now I just hope it fits! I knit it in Harmony wool - which was a "house brand" wool for a LYS that has since gone out of business. It knits much like Cascade and I got it on a 2 for 1 sale, so it was a great deal.
Next up, a pair of socks for my dad for his birthday. I'm knitting them in acrylic (YUCK!) in the University of Minnesota colors. Dad wore out the last pair of socks I knit him fairly quickly so I'm going to try acrylic socks. I'm already hating it, but I think they might last longer. And besides, I had the yarn in my stash!
After three attempts, my Leafy T is finally done! Please excuse these rather horrid photos. There are still a few ends to weave in, but I wanted to document that I finally completed this thing. AND I LOVE IT!! So often I'm displeased with a garment after I finish it, but not this time.
Even though it was a complete pain to re-knit this, it was so worth it!! I'm hoping my hubby will take a picture of me wearing it tomorrow, but for now, may I present my Leafy T:
And now to get started on my birthday/holiday knitting....it's a long list!
I ordered some fun new stamps from starvingartiststamps a while back but hadn't had much time to play with them. Today - we got inky!! I ordered some great images to fill the 6-15 year old boy needs. It's harder to make masculine cards usually, and mid-range boys are the most difficult (at least to me!)
I made this one on Saturday while I was at Archivers cropping with my friend Danielle (Hi Danielle!) I think this image is absolutely perfect with the Cosmo Cricket Cogsmo line.
The second one I made for todays challenge on SCS. The technique was Stained Glass. I love how it looks, but the technique needs a little tweaking for me. Or maybe I just have a large learning curve on this one. Either way, here's what I came up with.
I think the reason boy cards are hard for me is embellishments. I never feel like I should be putting ribbon or flowers on boy cards. That really tends to limit what I can do.
I also got some stamps and sentiments from the Urban line. I haven't had enough time to play with them yet, but I think they will be perfect for creating birthday cards for the older boys in my life. (Yikes - my nephews are teenagers!!)