Thursday, March 31, 2011

Sunny California - Day 1


As promised, I've got some crochet to share with you all today!  I cannot remember when I started working on this project, but it's been a while.....way back at the beginning of March I think.  I needed something quick and colourful to work on, and this project seemed to be just the thing.   

For those of you who may not know, this is a Lucy Bag.  It's just so much fun don't you think??  Very Spring-like!!  I had been feeling a bit down due to the snow and cold we were experiencing at the that's what explains all the "colourful" colours.  I used Bernat Softee Chunky with a little Bernat Supersaver thrown in.  I really actually like how it turned out in this yarn and I think it's better suited for me since then I can use it as a beach bag, or whatever and not worry about it getting worn out and ratty looking.  At this price, I can afford to make a new one when the need arises. 

I do have another crochet project on the go, but I don't have any good pictures of it yet.  I will try to get some when I get back home.  I did work on something special on the plane ride here, but I will share that tomorrow since they're not quite finished.  With the no "pointy-things" allowed in your carry-on, I couldn't bring the yarn needle that I needed to weave in some ends and sew a few things on.  Hopefully I can work on that tonight some time and get it photographed. 

In the meantime, I thought I'd share a few pictures that I took along our journey yesterday. 

These pictures were taken at the Detroit Metro Airport.  This is a really neat fountain that we sat by while waiting (we arrived in Detroit around 3:00pm and our flight wasn't until 7:16pm).  The water would "jump" about and I found it highly entertaining.   There were also some real live birds that flew around inside and they would occasionally go up close to get a drink, but they were too fast for me to take and pictures. 

I was also intrigued by this red tram that you could ride on to get you from gate to gate.  It would just zippy on by all the time!  I finally got this shot while it was waiting for some passengers to board.  And I actually got to ride on it too!!   We took it down to our gate since we were at 38 and needed to get to 6 - that would have taken us quite a while!! 

This was a really big plane that I was hoping was ours (very wishful thinking on my part!).  It does look lovely though doesn't it??  We actually flew on a seven-thirty-seven, which is very little compared to this!!

Now last night when we checked in, I realized that staying in my parents room with them was just not going to work.  The hotel lists their room type as a suite, and I guess I had a different idea of what it was going to be.  I was going to sleep on the pull out couch, but things just seemed a little to cramped for my liking.  So instead, I got my own room for the week!  I can honestly say that I'm thoroughly enjoying it!  Last night they only had one available room, so I got to sleep in their double-king suite, and it was GORGEOUS!!  What a treat!!  Today I've been moved to my real room for the rest of the vacation and it is a single king suite like my parents, and it's actually very, very nice and more size appropriate for me.  I took a few pictures, although they don't show how nice it really is:

Here's the super-soft and comfy bed!

This is my little sitting area - I'm blogging from the desk you can see in the left-hand corner there.

And these are my pretty bouquet of flowers that I had to buy at Trader Joe's this morning. it feels like my home-away-from-home!  Lovely.

Now I am on my way down to the beach to get a little sun.  Have a fabulous day everyone!!

P.S.  Thanks for all the sweet comments about my package from Susan!  I have really been enjoying it immensely!!  More on that tomorrow......

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Itty-Bitty Easter Swap Package from Susan


Oh me, Oh MY!!  Yesterday my Itty-Bitty Easter swap package came in the mail!!  Above is what I seen when I first opened the box.  It was from the AMAZING Susan B. Anderson!!  To say I was beyond excited doesn't even begin to explain it.  I thought I would faint!!

Here is the whole package all laid out on the table.  Just look at all that YARN!!  Oh how excited I am!!  I spent a good portion of last night dreaming up what these skeins could become.

Shall we take a closer look?? 

First off, this swap had the requirement of including a kit for one of Susan's Bunny or Chick patterns, and so Susan included a kit for me to make a pink and a blue bunny hat from her Crochet Bunny Hat Pattern!!  This is so great since I'm really into crochet right now (more on that in a few days....).  The colours of the Spud & Chloe Outer are Ballerina and Bubble - such cute names eh?  And the yarn is super duper SOFT!!  This is my first time ever seeing Outer in person!!  It's so squiiiiishhyyy!!!

Susan also included a kit to make a Petal Shawlette out of a lovely shade of blue Manos Cotton Stria - I really like shawlettes since they're so quick and easy.  You can see the one she made last summer hereand here, it's so gorgeous!!!!  She also gave me the pattern for Hop, which I have been wanting since the Itty-Bitty Easter Swap last year!  I want to make this right away for Easter!!!!

Another requirement was to knit either a bunny or a chick.  Susan did both!!  Aren't they the cutest little pair you ever did see??  They're sitting on my desk right now keeping me company. 

The last requirement was some chocolate treats.   There are some super delicious Harry and David milk chocolate truffles, Brennan's Cellars-Wisconsin Amish Handmade Delights in Caranberry Dark Chocolate Tastie Caramels, Jelly Beans and Wild Fruit Gummi Bears that are the freshest I've ever seen!!  Yum, yum, yummmmm.

I thought we should do a little more in-depth discussion of the yarn!!  Who doesn't like to talk yarn?  This is a lovely pile of Tahki Cotton Classic - which I have been wanting to try for years!  Elly sent me some pink skeins in the last swap and since I haven't gotten around to using it yet, I'm thinking I will combine them all and make a blanket for myself!!  Wouldn't that be lovely??

Oh sock yarn, you make me so hap, hap, happy!!!  I've been wanting to try all of these yarns for the longest time!  In the middle of the bunch is a skien of Dream in Color Smooshy Sock yarn and the colour is called GoGo Grassy - love the name!!  The shade of it is perfectly gorgeous!!!  Then at the top is a skein of Knit One Crochet Too Ty-Dy Socks in Butter Blue - it's such a yummy colour too!!  There is also some Crystal Palace Mini Mochi in a Rainbow colour and a pastel/muted earthy tones.  These I probably wouldn't use for socks because they're just so soft and lovely, but I'm sure I can find a pattern for something else that is worthy of them. 

Squeeeeeee!!!  More yarn!!  This picture shows (starting from the left) three skeins of Blue Sky Alpacas Multi Cotton in pinks, blues, and greens - these are SO SOFT!!  Then there is (from top to bottom) a skein of Spud & Chloe Outer in Cornsilk (which I'm going to save for some hay bales for the farm), a skein of Sweater in Grass (oh I'm making plans already!), and two skeins of Spud & Chloe Fine in Bumble Bee (love the name again!!) - I'm thinking these skeins are destined to become a pair of Ribbed Socks for Bigger Feet for me, what do you think??

This is a stunning notions pouch from Art-by-Ana, and is made out of fabric from one of my favourite designers Laurel Burch.  I find this fabric so inspring - to me it reminds me of the changes in the seasons and the connection between the sun and the moon.  It's so beautiful!

You can see more photos on my Ravelry project page if you'd like.
Wow, and double WoW!!!  I am so overwhelmed by all the generosity and thought Susan put into this package for me!!  Words cannot even begin to express my thanks.  Susan, if you are reading this, THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart!!  I am so grateful for everything!!!  I feel so incredibly blessed!!!!!!!!

Now I'm off to finish packing, we're leaving in the morning and we fly out tomorrow evening.  I really do not enjoy the process of packing though, but I keep reminding myself that soon, very soon, I will be in the land of palm trees and sunshine......that helps!!  I'll be back again as soon as I can with some crochet projects to share.....

Have a fabulous day all!!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Petite Purls Spring 2011 Issue


I know I'm a little late on this one, but the Spring 2011 Issue of Petite Purls is live!!!  As usual, I thought I'd share my favourites with you all.

It's so nice to see the issue come out this week since I've been feeling a little un-spring-like lately.  This turned out to be just the pick-me-up that I needed!! This paragraph from their editors letter made my heart skip with joy:

"What does Spring look like to you? For us, we have been craving fresh air, fresh flowers and grass, yearning for early trips to the beach, maybe even some rain to get our gardens started. So we decided to offer you an entire collection of fresh greens, cool blues and crisp whites and creams."

If that doesn't just getting you thinking and dreaming about spring I don't know what will!!

There are so many cute patterns in this issue, and some especially make my heart sing - like the Turnaround Skirt by Jennifer Casa, who is also their Renaissance Mom for this issue (check out her interview here.)  You must go have a look at this one.  It's a sewing pattern, but is so adorable and the perfect thing to use up all those gorgeous fabrics in my stash.  What I really like about it is the fact that it can be bright and fun or more serious just by turning it inside out.  There are so many possibilities with this one!

Enough of my rambling.....Here are my "Top Five" picks: 

1. Flora -by Kate Blackburn - this is such an adorable little spring jacket that has a moss stitch (my favourite!) button band, oversized collar, and cuffs; along with super cute pockets with a flower motif.  It's knit from the neck down, which is probably my favourite way to knit a cardigan, and uses a nice cotton yarn making it perfect for the warmer spring days.  I do have to admit that the green colour totally won me over!  I'm a sucker for a good green.

2. Nova -by Signe S. Simonsen - knit out of Spud and Chloe Fine in gorgeous green and blue stripes (cricket and calypso), this bottom-up raglan style dress is so sweet.  It has a buttoned up front flap that, in my opinion, totally makes the dress.  It reminds me of something from the 60s. 

3. Thinty -by Inna Aleksandrova - is a ruffled skirt that's knit from the bottom up in one piece (no seams, yay!) that has two tiers of cable rib ruffles.  The fun thing is that there is a matching skirt you can make for your little one's doll too!  I really like the detail of the optional crochet flower - it adds such a cute touch.

4. Little Sister -by Linda Permann - this is a crocheted hat that has a big fabric flower sewn on the side.  I'm a huge fan of shell stitches, so this was an immediate favourite!  It's sized from baby all the way up to adult, so you can make one for all the darlings in your life.  It's crocheted using Cascade Ultra Pima and the coral colour is just scrumptious!!  This also happens to be the "cover" photo.  It just looks like the essence of spring itself!!

5. Pearls and Diamonds -by Julia Vaconsin - another crochet pattern, this is a short-sleeve cardy that uses the bobble stitch to add that little "something extra."  It uses Blue Sky Alpacas Skinny Dyed Cotton and the blue shade in the photograph is simply stunning. 

Something else that caught my eye was the Wrapped with Love: A Handmade Gift Bag by Anne Weil.  These are such a fun and super cute idea.  After spending all that time and effort knitting or crocheting something, it's only fitting that it should be presented in a gorgeous handmade gift bag.  The simplicity of this design really spoke to me and the applique is such a great idea.  And if you'd like to know, my favourite is the polka dot elephant.....I've always liked elephants.

I could keep going on and on about all the things I adore, but you must simply check it out for yourself, it truly is a lovely, lovely issue, and I know you will enjoy it.

Happy Knitting and Crocheting!!   

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

My Monday


Monday morning I got to spend a little time visiting with my cousin TL.  You may remember me talking about my visit with her last spring.  She lives a ways away from here, so we don't get to see each other much, but it's always nice when we do, and I look forward to it so very much.  This particular visit, we met up at the Pancake House.  I got to meet the newest edition to their family, the adorable little S!!  She is such a doll!!  TL and her husband D have three of the sweetest little girls ever, and I just love them to pieces.

The other extra exciting thing was that TL, being the ever lovely person that she is, had something special for me!!  Oh how excited I was!!!......(and I still am for that matter!).  It was presented to me in the lovely bag you seen in the above photo.  Isn't that just such a lovely bag????

Oh you just have to SEE what's inside!!

Here, take a peek:

She gave me a lovely emerald green heart necklace (I'm a May baby, so this is my birthstone), two yummy looking bath boms - the pink is strawberry and the brown is chocolate (needless to say, I can't wait for my next bath!), a set of tiny sock knitting stitch markers that have little Yorkies on them (since my baby Emerson Rose is a Yorkie), there was a chocolate bunny as well, which was snagged by my Mom and by the time I took the photos, she had already eaten the ears!  And last but certainly not least there is a fantastic, beautiful, soft, squishy skein of Tough Love Sock by Sweet Georgia!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  The colour is called Fondant!!!  Isn't it gorgeous???  I can hardly wait to finish up my WIPs so that I can start myself a pair of socks with this yarn.  Isn't TL just the most generous and lovely person ever???  Oh I sure think so!!

Here's a closer look at the Yorkie stitch markers!  So cuuuuute!!!!

So needless to say, I had a fantastic Monday morning!  Thank you so much TL for blessing me with such a wonderful gift, I'm so so so so SO incredibly happy that it's hard to find words big enough to express it!!  Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!!!!!!

What a great way to end this day, which was a bit long and tiring at points, by looking back at the fun day I had Monday.  I see sweet dreams in store for me tonight.  Now I'm off to bed to do a little hooky-flower-making before going to sleep.  Have a great night all.

Wishing you the bestest of dreams!! xx

Monday, March 21, 2011

My Own Granny Stripes Ta-Dah!!!!!!!


I'm back from a lovely weekend of "getting-things-done" and spending a little quality time with my family.  I hope you all had a great weekend too and that your week is getting off to a good start.  Today was a jam-packed day filled with lots of fun and wonderful (even including some woolly) surprises - but more on that tomorrow as I have some pressing business to share with you all today. 

I finally finished the Granny Stripes Blanket!!!  Whaaaaa Whoooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!   I've fully (well mostly anyways) enjoyed my time working on this project and am so happy with how it turned out.....words cannot express how excited I am. 

So would you like to see a picture???
Are you excited too??
I sure hope so........
It's been a long time waiting hasn't it???? 
Feels like ages to me!! 
Here it is.........

My very own Ta-Dahhhhhhh Moment!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

Now it's off to bed for me seeing as I have to work in the morning.

Thank you for sharing this thrilling moment with me!!

Good night, and see you again soon xx

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Mid-Week Report

Hello Knitters,

I'm so sorry again for not keeping up with my regular posting!!  Things are so busy right now that I haven't had much time to get online.  I've been baking up a storm over the last few days and I've had a ton of appointments as well.  Tomorrow is another day in the city with two appointments and then I should be done with those for a bit. 

I haven't had much time to do any knitting so I thought that for the time being, I'm going to put WIP Wednesday and Finished Project Friday posts on hold - since I have only one major WIP (the granny blanket) and no finished projects at the moment. 

I've been working a bit on a little something special to add to my Easter swap pal's package, but it's going to be a surprise, so no peeks until later.  I'm also waiting for an order to arrive and have a little more shopping to do that I hope to get to tomorrow while in the city and then the package should be done!  I'd like to get it mailed out sometime next week if possible.  I'm very excited for my swap partner to get it!! 

I'm also working as fast as I can on the granny stripes blanket.  It's coming along great!!  I was going to do some sewing this evening, but I'm feeling a bit tired and the pattern I'm working on requires my full attention, so instead I'm going to granny cluster away.  Maybe I'll even make it to the border by the weekend!! 

Wow, just as I was writing this our power went out for no reason and now it is thundering, lightening and raining outside!  I sure hope the power comes back on soon since it's starting to get dark.  My Mom is already getting the candles out.....  Gotta love living in the rural country eh? 

I should end this post now and try to save the battery on the laptop.  I hope you all have a fantastic rest of the week!

Take care!!

Monday, March 14, 2011

A Little Catch Up

Happy Monday Knitters,

I have to start by apologizing to you all for not keeping up with my blogging.  Things have been super busy around here lately, and when all is said and done, at the end of the day I've been too emotionally and physically drained to do much of anything.  I am going to try and do better this week.

To catch you all up: my first day of work last Monday was great - it was nice to get back into the swing of things.  I had forgotten how much I enjoy waitressing!  I don't work again till next week - I'm just filling in when they need me - but in the meantime I'm doing my baking which is keeping me busy.   It's going great as well and I find it very fun. 

Another new thing is that I joined the newest Itty-Bitty Swap.  It's an Easter theme this time around - bunnies and chickens to be exact.  Like I've mentioned many, many times, Easter is my favourite holiday, so I'm very excited about this one.  I've already knit up a Dotted Chicken for my secret swap pal, which is the picture at the beginning of this post.  I thought I'd share it since she doesn't know I'm her partner.  I had so much fun knitting this for her!!  I've always been a huge fan of chickens and cows!  You can see more pictures and info on my Ravelry project page.

Speaking of chickens and cows, my copy of Spud and Chloe at the Farm arrived today!!  I'm SO EXCITED!!  Susan's patterns are always amazing and fun to knit!!  I'm making myself wait until I'm done all my baking for today before I look at it - sort of like a reward for all my hard work.  I would like to knit the entire set using the Spud and Chloe yarn, so I'm thinking I'll need to start collecting it bit by bit.  If I could chose right now, I think I'd like to make the Mother Hen first and then the Brown Cow

Well, that's it for my update for today.  I should get back to the baking....the cookies are about to beep.  Have a great day everyone!!

Happy Knitting!!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Itty-Bitty Knits Let's Start at the Beginning Swap Package

Hello Knitters,

Today I got the best surprise in the mail!  It was my swap package for the Itty-Bitty Knits Let's Start at the Beginning Swap.  I just have to say a huge THANK YOU! to the wonderful and amazingly talented Eliana (Elly). 

Everything came packaged up in this beautiful bag that Elly sewed special for me!  It's just gorgeous and is a nice, big size that I always like in a bag :)  She made it specifically for my WIPs!! 

It has a sturdy bottom on it so it can stand up on it's own, which is great for when working on a project.

This is what I seen when I peeked inside!!  Squeeeeeeeeeeee!!  I see two gorgeous skeins of Tahki Cotton Classic and two balls of Regia sock yarn in lovely pinks and purples!!  (she added this for my sock knitting addiction! lol).  I'm so excited to knit with these yarns!! 

There was some yummy candies: two tins of coffee flavoured candies since I'm a big coffee fan :), a package of Now and Later apple candies, a box of Arizona Catus Candy, and a package of really good apple hard candies.

Close-up of the Cactus Candy

This swap had some required knitted projects: an apple hat, an apple finger puppet and an apple wash cloth.  These are the ones that Elly knit using really gorgeous yarns like Spud and Chloe Sweater and Fine, Mission Falls 1824 Wool, The SRK Collection Truffles, The Unique Sheep Sushi Socks, and the leaf on the hat is knit from her own hand dyed yarn!  They're all so beautiful!!

This is a skein of Elly's own hand dyed and handspun yarn that she made just for me!!  I'm so excited to find a special project for it!!  I'm amazed that someone would spin yarn for me!!  Isn't the colour fantastic?  It's so me!!  I'm so wowed by how gorgeous it is!!

She also made me some lovely shell stitch markers and a matching bracelet!  She also made a "message in a bottle" stitch marker that demonstrates yarn art: from fiber to yarn to knitted swatch - it's all in the bottle!!  Isn't that amazing?  It's so gorgeous!!  She also made me a little stitch marker pouch that matches the bag - you can see it in the first picture; for some reason I didn't get a close-up of it.  It's so cute!

Wow, I'm so overjoyed with everything!!  This package really brightened up my whole week!!  Again, thank you so much Elly for this amazing package!!  I feel totally blessed and spoiled!! 

Have a great week everyone :)

Monday, March 7, 2011

Granny Stripes Progress

Hello Knitters,

A couple of days ago in the comments, my friend Suzanne asked to see some close-up pictures of the Granny Stripes Blanket and the colours of yarn I'm using.  The weather is finally cooperating with me so I could take some "true-to-colour" photos, so here they are!

The yarn is a combination of Red Heart Super Saver, and Comfort, TLC Essentials and Bernat Super Value.  Nothing fancy, just your average acrylic.  These are the colours starting from left to right in the above photo: RRSS -0886 Blue, RRSS - 0381 Lt. Blue, Red Heart Comfort - 3231 Purple, TLC Essentials -2332 Linen, RHSS -0385 Royal, RHSS -0505 Aruba Sea, Bernat Super Value -53114 Denim Heather, RHSS -0885 Delft Blue, RHSS -0313 Aran, Bernat Super Value -00616 Peacock, TLC Essentials -2855 Navy, RHSS -0347 Lt. Periwinkle. 

I'm just random striping it while trying to keep the strong colours sort of equally separated, so there's no big math involved.  I wanted to make it as easy as possible :)

I know in my last post I talked about a sneak peek of what I'm currently working on, but I just haven't been able to get a good enough picture of it yet.  It's nice and sunny here today, so maybe I'll get one yet! 

Happy Knitting and Hooking!!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Something New on the Horizon

Hello Knitters,

Thank you everyone for all the Blanket love from yesterday's post!!  You all are so kind!  I got a good amount done on it yesterday and I hope to continue to do so over the next little bit.  However, I did purchase some yarn today for a project that I want to start over the weekend - that is if I don't start it later on tonight.  You all know how irresistible new yarn can be....  So I'm going to put the blanket on hold for a little while and make something that just might be for me :)  Yay!  I'm very excited about this one - and I might have a sneak peek to share with you all tomorrow since I have no Finished Projects to post about. 

Have a wonderful evening everyone.

Happy Knitting and Hooking!! 

P.S. I've got Ravelry working again for those of you who were wondering.  There were so many posts I missed!  It's great to be back :D

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

WIP Wednesday - March 2

Hello Knitters,

I've only got one WIP this week - the Granny Stripe Blanket.  I've been spending all my time devoted to this lovely thing.  It's such a pleasure to crochet away on it.  I'm also really happy with how the colours are coming along.  I took the above picture today in the lovely sunshine we had this afternoon.  It's not quite big enough yet, but hopefully soon!! 

Sorry for the short post, but it's getting late and I need to get up early in the morning for a quick trip to the city so I should be getting to bed.  Have a great week everyone!

Happy Knitting and Hooking!!

P.S. Just to let you know, I'm not able to get on to Ravelry and reply to posts, upload pictures, or read or send messages for some reason.  So if you've sent me a message and I haven't replied, then that's why.  Hopefully things will be back to normal soon.