Monday, January 31, 2011

Central Ohio Binky Patrol

Happy Monday Knitters,

One of my new year's resolutions is to knit/crochet more for charity, so today I thought I'd share the charity I chose for this month.  In the Itty-Bitty Knits Group, they support a charity for each month that you can donate your knitted and crocheted items to.  The one for this month is the Central Ohio Binky Patrol.  They make blankets and other items for children in need as well as donate hand-made baby booties to pregnant teens to help remind them to make good choices during their pregnancy.  It is a great cause, and you can find out more information and how you can help by checking out their website The Central Ohio Binky Patrol or their Ravelry page hereThe baby booties project really spoke to my heart, so I've made a couple pairs to send off.  My sister has made some baby hats, and I hope to make one or two to send along as well.  It's so great to be able to help out someone in need.  I hope you all check out this charity, it's a great one! 

Happy Knitting!! 

Friday, January 28, 2011

Finished Objects Friday - Jan. 28

Hello Knitters,

I'm going to try doing a "Finished Objects Friday" on the blog while I'm working through all my WIPs.  I thought it would be a good place to corral them all together!  I'm going to show a picture of the project and then link to my project page if you'd like more information.  That will help make the posts not too long.  I hope you enjoy today's installment!

Newborn Boardwalk Socks

Baby Girl Tube Socks

Mom's Socking Stuffer Socks

Valentine Heart Tape Measure

Well, that's about as far as I've gotten, but it's progress none the less!  I'm working away on more WIPs (right now it's the confused moose), and hope to have lots to share by next Friday! 

Have a great weekend everyone :)

Happy Knitting!

(P.S. They are calling for -30 C here tomorrow....all I can say is brrrr..)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Maile Sweater

Hello Knitters,

First off, I want to thank everyone for all the great support of my goals for my WIPs and for the wonderful comments about my first "WIP Wednesday" post.  You all are so kind!!  I wanted to reply to all the comments, but for some reason the reply button is only working for the first comment.  I hope to get that fixed over the next few days.  I was up late last night trying to figure it out, but didn't get very far before I had to go to bed.  Maybe when I'm more awake I can figure out what I'm doing wrong. 

Anyways, I got a picture of my Maile Sweater although the colour is showing up more blue than it actually is.  I knit mine out of Knit Picks Stroll Tonal in the Blue Violet colourway.  I'm so happy with both this yarn and the pattern!  I highly recommend them both.  I'm currently working on a pair of matching booties and then I hope to find a hat pattern to go with it, or maybe a bonnet would be super cute. 

I'm not sure if any of you watch the Winter X Games, but they started today.  I'm a big fan of them and am looking forward to watching them this weekend, and I'm very excited about all the knitting I hope to get done at the same time!  I've made myself a list of projects to work on, so wish me luck!! 

Well, that's all for today.  Have a great evening everyone!!

Happy Knitting!!   

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

WIP Wednesday - Jan. 26

Hello Knitters,

I am taking the advice of my friend Suzanne.  She suggested that I do a "WIP Wednesday" on the blog to help keep me accountable, on track and motivated to finish my WIPs.  I know how much I enjoy reading other bloggers "WIP Wednesdays" so I think it will be fun to do my own!  I hope you all enjoy reading it too.

To start off, I thought I'd share all of my WIPs (these are all that I know of, there may be more hiding somewhere) to start off with and then each week I will share the ones I am currently working on and how they are coming along.  I'm going to list them from the oldest to the newest.  Some will be linked to my Ravelry project pages and others have yet to be added to Ravelry. 

1. Green Little Boys Vest
2. Drop Stitch Scarf
3. My Grey Cabled Slouchy Hat
4. Mom's Rainbow Socks
5. Red Guernsey Style Tote
6. Dotty Chicken
7. Pig with Wigs
8. Confused Moose
9. Daisy Baby Cardigan
10. Crochet Wedgwood Baby Blanket
11. Mittens Mousey
12. On-Hold Socks
13. Tea Party Monkeys
14. Gentian Mystery Socks
15. Mystery 220 January Colorwork
16. Pink Crochet Sneaker Baby Booties
17. Galapagos Shawl
18. Green Apple IB Swap Hat

Ok, WOW that's a lot of WIPs!!  I do have to say that some of these I started over two years ago.  However, my recent case of "startitis" didn't help matters any!  I'm going to be doing my best to work through this pile and get things a little more manageable.  Thanks so much for reading my first installment of "WIP Wednesday"!  Have a fantastic week everyone :)

Happy Knitting!!

P.S.  I just finished weaving in the ends of the Maile Cardigan - so pictures tomorrow if the weather cooperates!!

Friday, January 21, 2011

New Rules

Hello Knitters,

Last night I had a bit of a breakdown.  I've been feeling pretty overwhelmed by my knitting the last few weeks.  If any of you have me as a friend on Ravelry, you have probably seen the rapid increase of new added tell you the truth, that isn't even the half of it.  I have plenty more projects I've started that I haven't even added to my project page.  I know, it's not a good thing, and to be honest, its quite embarrassing....but I've been getting to the point with each project where I don't want to continue for some reason or another - be it a problem, or mistake, etc. - that I just put it aside and start something new.  This was all fine and dandy for a while, but then I started to get overwhelmed by all the half-finished projects piling up.  Mom had been noticing this and mentioned something to me last night, which brought out the truth.....I was feeling like my knitting was taking over and becoming a burden, not a joy.  Mom suggested that I make a plan in the morning of how to deal with it so that I could get back to feeling in control of my knitting and getting joy out of it instead of dread.  So, with her help, I made a plan and I'm going to do my best to stick to it.  I thought I'd share it with you all to help keep myself accountable and give you a heads up on what will be going on in my knitting life over the next while. 

My Plan of Action to Get my Knitting Back on Track
  1. I can only have 3 current WIPs going at once.
  2. When I finish one WIP, I get to start a new project (but I can only have one new project out of the three, unless I have deadline knitting) and the other two projects have to be from the WOHPs (Works On Hold Projects).
  3. I have to work from the stash unless the project calls for yarn I do not have - this does not include my Jimmy Beans Wool gift certificate I got for Christmas from my sister, that I still get to spend on whatever I'd like, it also does not apply to when the new spring Knit Picks yarns come out, or any vacation or special occasion yarn purchases.
Sounds like a plan to me!  I think it's a great way to get things back under control.  And once I'm through all my WIPs and WOHPs, then I can knit all new projects, but I'm still limiting myself to only three WIPs going at one time.  That way things don't get back to how they are right now again.  I'm so glad Mom brought this up last night, I feel like things are going in the right direction now!  I'm excited to see how fast I can get though all my projects!  At the moment I have 17 projects that are on the go, 1 that needs to be frogged and 8 that I want to start.  Sounds like I lot, so I guess I better get cracking!! 

By the way, I finished the knitting part of my Maile Sweater today!!  I just have to sew the sleeves up, weave in the ends and put on the buttons.  Pictures will be coming soon!!

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!! 

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Sunday Swing Socks

Hello Knitters,

Yesterday I finally got to pick up my Knit Picks order, which means I got my sock blockers!!  It's neat to be able to get a better picture of the socks than when they're on my feet.  These ones are my Sunday Swing Socks knit out of Stroll Hand-Paint in Cartoons.  They're not the most beautiful socks ever, but I think they look fun and cheerful - great for a dreary winter's day.  The pattern, which you can find here from Knitty, was really a great one.  It worked well for tv knitting - it's not so complicated that you can't look away from it, but it's not boring either.  They fit great and are nice and comfy.  I'm looking forward to getting a lot of wear out of them.

This is a close-up of the stitch pattern
Another thing I picked up while out shopping yesterday is a pair of 9-inch circular needles to try doing some socks.  These ones are made by Clover, and I can't even begin to tell you how excited I was to find them.  It's taking a lot of willpower to not cast on for a new sock right away!  I have to first finish off some of my other WIPs before I can do that.  Have any of you tried such small circulars for socks before?  If so, please let me know if you liked/disliked them!  I'll be sure to let you all know what my experience is with them.

In Itty-Bitty Swapper news, I found out who my partner is this morning!!  I'm SO excited to start figuring out the rest of the projects I'm going to make and the "goodies" I'm going to put into the package!! 

Well, I hope you all have a fantastic evening!!  I'm off to work on some secret projects ;-)

Happy Knitting!!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

When in Doubt, Cast On

Hello Knitters,

As if I don't have enough projects on the go right now, I had to start this last night.  I really don't have a good explanation why.  Here's the best that I can come up with: all of my other projects have gotten to the point where either I'm stuck and need to really concentrate to get them moving again, or I've lost interest in them and have no motivation whatsoever to pick them up.  I was feeling very ....shall we say "unsettled" about my knitting, so I thought to cure this I would start a new project.  Isn't that the way to cure anything??  My friend Rae Lynne was saying how she was feeling a similar way and to help her get her knitting mojo back she cast on for a quick and adorable little project.  You should really check it out, it's so cute!!  She is one amazingly talented knitter and photographer.

I'm hoping that this little knit will help get me out of this rut and back to my regular knitting self.  I'll keep you all posted on how it goes. 

Happy Knitting Everyone!!

Monday, January 17, 2011

A is for Apple

Hello Knitters,

Over the weekend we were told what the theme is for the newest Itty-Bitty Group Swap.  It's called "Let's Start at the Beginning," and since A is the first letter in the alphabet, that's the letter we are starting with.  The theme is "A is for Apple."  I think this is such an inventive way of doing a swap!!

The projects we are required to make are:  The Apple Washcloth by Susan, the Apple from the Finger Foods pattern, and the Apple Hat from Spud Says!  We are also required to make one more thing that has to do with the "A is for Apple" idea, and include a few other goodies for our swap pal. 

I started almost immediately on the apple washcloth and the apple finger puppet.  I had suitable yarn in the stash so it worked out great!  Usually I have to order the right yarn and wait for quite a while before I get to start a swap project, so being able to cast right on this time was very exciting :-D  I ended up starting and finishing both the washcloth and the finger puppet on Saturday.  I had all day to just knit and do what I wanted so that's what I did. 

Here's my finished washcloth. 

The pattern was very fun and fast to make.  I haven't made a lot of washcloths, but this one made me want to make more and more! 

You seen my apple finger puppet at the beginning of the post, but it has a little surprise you haven't seen....

Since I didn't have any brown sock yarn, I knit the inside with Stroll Hand-Paint in Cartoons.  I think it makes the project a little extra special :-D 

Well, that's as far as I've gotten on my swap knitting.  I thought it would be ok to share these with you all since everyone participating in the swap has to make them, but for the extra little bits, those I will keep a surprise so as not to spoil anything. 

I hope you all are having a great Monday!!

Happy Knitting :-D

Friday, January 14, 2011

Another Mystery

Hello Knitters,

Last night I was enjoying my mystery sock so much that I decided to search Ravelry for other mystery KALs.  I came across one that I think is pretty neat.  It's called Mystery 220.  They are a group that does a mystery KAL for every month, using 220 yards or less of yarn.  What a great thing to help me work through the stash!!  With being only 220 yards or even less, the projects will be on the smaller side, making them much more manageable for me when I'm busy.  Plus, I really like the mystery part, and you don't have to join in each month, only when you have the time.  It's so much fun to be making something and have no idea what it's going to turn out to be!!  For the month of January, I joined their colorwork KAL.  They also have a bead KAL, but learning to do colorwork is one of my New Year's Resolutions so I thought it was the right one for me.  I can't say too much about the project, only that it involves hearts and I'm doing mine out of Knit Picks Wool of the Andes in Fedora and Rouge.  I've gotten to the end of clue 2 and am just waiting for clue 3 to be released - which I think should be either later tonight or sometime tomorrow. 

Now that I've gotten as far as I can go on this project, I think I'll jump back to the socks and try to get them a little farther along. 

There's also a new swap starting over in the Itty-Bitty Knits Group!!  I'm so excited to see what our theme is and who my swap partner happens to be :-) 

I hope you all have a great weekend!! 

Happy Knitting :-)

P.S. For those of you wondering, we finally got water!!  We've had to bring in a water tank and hook it up to the house.  Apparently this is how we will have to work until spring when the ice melts off the lake, but I'm not complaining!!  I'm just so thankful to have any water at all :-)  The Lord sure has been working in this situation!!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Mystery Socks

Hello Knitters,

Today Mom and I were going to the city to pick up a few things before the weekend, but when we got up this morning we ran out of water and found out that our water line is frozen.  Since we live so close to the lake we get our water out of it, and since we don't have much snow to insulate the ground I guess it froze up.  We had someone come in to look at it this afternoon and he's been trying to thaw it out, but so far - no water :-(  Hopefully it will be back on in a few hours but if not the repair man is coming again in the morning.  Needless to say, our trip to the city got cancelled. 

So I've spent my day working on a pair of Mystery Socks by Lisa Stichweh for Hazel Knits, only I'm not using Hazel Knits yarn since I don't have any.  Instead I'm using the skein of Scarlet Fleece Grassy Wool that Mary Rose sent me in my Itty-Bitty Secret Santa swap package.  It's beautiful yarn and such a delight to knit with!!  The pattern will be released in 5 parts, right now only clues 1 and 2 are up.  I'm working mine up on dpns and not magic loop, but I'm going to work one up until the end of clue 2 and then start the second one and get it to the same place so that I will finish them both around the same time.  That way I don't just make one and put the other one off....  I think I need another set of 2.75 mm dpns to start the second one though.  This is my first pair of "Mystery Socks" and I think they are quite fun!  I like the element of surprise :-)  Next time I think I'll try to get the recommended yarn so that I can participate in the Hazel Knits Group KAL....that is if I knit through my stash a bit more first! 

I hope you all are having a wonderful week and taking some time to do some relaxing knitting.  I'm going to go and make some plans for the stash....

Happy Knitting!!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

BICO and Matching Hat

Hello Knitters,

I made this Baby It's Cold Outside jacket and matching Pom Pom Hat for a new little one arriving soon.  This was my first time crocheting a baby jacket so I'm petty happy with how it turned out....lots of prayer went into it!  The pattern is super fast to make and pretty easy too.  I'd make it again for sure!!

The hat is the Dream Catcher pattern from the Spud and Chloe blog.  When I decided to make a matching hat, I knew to look no further than one of Susan's awesome patterns.  The original one is made in stripes, but I just did mine all in the variegated yarn.  I like how it turned out, even if it doesn't exactly match the jacket. 

I've recently been bitten by the sock knitting bug and have been working on a few different pairs over the last couple of weeks.  I ordered some sock blockers on the weekend, so I'm going to wait until they arrive to take pictures of them.  I'm trying to use up some of my sock yarn stash so that I can make room for the new colours that will be coming out in the spring! 

Well, I think I'm going to spend the evening going over the pattern for the afghan squares then maybe watch a movie and knit.  I hope you all have a great evening too.

Happy Knitting!!

Monday, January 10, 2011

New Things

Hi Knitters,

Now that it's a new year, I thought it would be appropriate to make some changes to the blog.  First off, I'm going to retire "Ten on Tuesdays" and "Miniature Mondays", at least for the time being.  A few of the new things I'm adding are:
  1. A Knit Meter - I've decided that this year I want to keep track of how much yarn I actually knit through.  This will not include any crochet projects, just knitting ones. 
  2. My Mom and I are starting a small crochet afghan group and I will probably share my progress each week.  The afghan is going to be made up of 12 different squares and we're planning on doing one each week.  I haven't made a full-sized afghan before so this is pretty exciting for me!  I think it will be a great help to have the group support so that I don't give up half-way through as I've been known to do before....
  3. One of my New Years Resolutions is to craft for charity, so I'd like to share my progress to help keep me on track.  Right now I'm thinking I will blog about a charity each month that I'm contributing to and the projects I make for it, since I'd like to make it a monthly thing.
  4. A yarn review every once in a while.  This year I want to try more new yarns and I thought it would be fun to share my opinions. 
I think these are fun little additions and I hope you all enjoy them too!!  Have a great week everyone :-)

Happy Knitting!!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

My New Year's Resolutions

Hello Knitters,

To help keep myself accountable, I thought I'd post about my New Year's Resolutions.  I always start each year with a bunch of grand ideas of things I want to accomplish, but by the time February and March roll around, I've already forgotten them or have lost interest.  So this year, I thought it would  be a great idea to share them with you all so that I'm more likely to stick to them or at least attempt to.

My New Year's Resolutions
  1. Do more charity knitting and crocheting - I'd like to aim for at least one or two projects each month.
  2. Knit and crochet more for fun and not out of a sense of obligation - I've found over the last year that I haven't always enjoyed my knitting as much as I should.  I think making projects that I don't really want to because I feel I have to, as well as trying to rush through a project to get on to the next thing without actually enjoying the process of it has been the problem.  This year I want to be more mindful of my knitting and try to enjoy the process as well as the finished object.  In my mind knitting and crocheting should be a relaxing thing not something I can't wait to finish so I can have a break.
  3. Work from the stash to get it down to a manageable size - It has gotten a bit out of hand over the years.  I have a lot of yarn I bought when I was first learning to knit that I'd like to work through.
  4. Be more discriminating when buying yarn - I'd like to replace some of the stash yarn I go through with better quality yarns and I want to make sure that when buying any new yarn it is for a specific project or something I know I will use in the near future.  No more stashing away random balls for no particular reason.  I have to be strict with this if I'm ever going to get the stash under control.
  5. Have Christmas and birthday presents finished well in advance - last year it seemed with each gift i was down to the wire on getting them finished and it didn't make for relaxing knitting to say the least!!
  6. Learn to dye yarn better - This is something I enjoy doing and would like to get better at.
  7. Try out some new techniques and more complicated projects - Fair isle, intarsia, a pair of Latvian mittens, more detailed shawls, fancy socks and a cardigan for me.
  8. Blog regularly - I'd like to post at least 3 times a week as much as I can.
And a few more personal ones are:
    9.  Grow in my walk with the Lord.
  10. Learn to slow down and enjoy life.
  11. Journal, draw and sketch more.
  12. Become more organized. 

So that's my list and I'm sticking to it!  :-)  Have you already made your resolutions?? 

Happy Knitting!!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Some Christmas FOs

Hello Knitters,

There are still a few FOs that were Christmas gifts I haven't shared yet on the blog.  The first one is the Baby Doll Set from Itty-Bitty Toys.  She was a bigger project to make, but so worth it!  I made her for my cousin's daughter C and she loves her :-D  Nothing makes a knitter happier than to know her handknits are well loved and enjoyed.  I used Knit Picks CotLin and made her a red Christmas dress and hat.  Here are a few pictures:

My Mom did all the seaming and the face since I was in a bit of a rush to get her finished, that's why she looks so cute!  :-) There are more pictures and info on my Ravelry project page.

Another Christmas gift was Darling.  It's a cowl pattern I designed for my sister.  She has a very classic style so I wanted something that would go well with her wardrobe and would be something she'd want to wear.  This pattern was the result.  It's a super quick and easy knit.  I used Tahki Yarns Tornio in black, which is an awesome yarn with a good squish to it.  You can find the free pattern on my sidebar if you're interested in making one of your own.  I released it on Ravelry just before Christmas, but didn't mention it on here since I didn't want to ruin the surprise for my sister.  Here's a couple pictures:

These are some little amigurumi food that I crocheted for my dietitian.  I thought she'd find them cute :-)

And lastly, this is a flower broach I crocheted for a gift.  My Mom thought it would look nice with crystal in the center to make it sparkle.  The picture isn't the best because I took it at night before I gave it away.  It was super fast to make. 

I also knit my Mom a cute neck warmer, but I have to get a picture of her wearing it still.  All in all, I think my Christmas knitting went very well.  There are a couple of things that didn't get finished, but that's ok.  My plan for this year is to have everyone's gifts all done (or mostly) well before December.  We'll see how that goes I guess, but it is a plan :-)  Have a great Tuesday everyone!

Happy Knitting!!

Monday, January 3, 2011

A New Year

Happy New Year Knitters,

I hope you all had a fantastic holiday season!!  I did :-)  I got to spend some fun quality time with my family and even snuck in some much needed rest.  I wanted to post over the holidays, but time just seemed to fly by.  I have a few FOs that I haven't shared with you all yet, and I hope to have them together for tomorrow's post.  Today I just wanted to quickly write to say hello, and that yes, I am still here and am hoping to be back to blogging regularly very, very soon. 

Happy Knitting!!