Saturday, December 31, 2016

Happy New Year

Happy New Year all! As usual, a new start brings with it hope and encouragement. I might have a new crafty start tomorrow. I am going to begin working on a temperature blanket. 

I've decided to go with the Painted Pixel Blanket by Susan Carlson. I've been drooling over this pattern for a while now and this temperature blanket seemed like a good place to give it a try. I might do the daily high, low, and average, just to make the blanket bigger. A throw size blanket requires 750 squares and is only 50 x 60. Adding another temperature set would give me a 60" x 72"  blanket. I've also decided to use temperatures from 2009.

Other things I have been working on while on vacation this week is the Tiger cross stitch.

 Before I go back to work on Tuesday, I'd like to finish the row I'm currently working on.

I also spent some time on the rainbow dresden plate quilt top. I just need to finish appliqueing the center medallions. This is where I stopped when my bobbin thread ran out. You sewy-people know what I'm talking about.

Finally, I finished the cowl that I started using some of the yarn from my Christmas present.

My sewing room cleaning has begun, but I'm sure you'll understand it when I say that I keep getting distracted by things in the sewing room. "Oh, I should really finish this..." etc. That's actually how the rainbow quilt ended up getting so much progress. I've managed to sort out a pile of yarn, fleece, and my cotton sewing threads that I no longer use and piled it in a box to donate. This cleaning thing will probably be a multiple week process and will hopefully come with some project completions and finding a new home for craft supplies that I no longer need/want.

My vacation time is flying by and I barely feel like I took full advantage of it. I get to enjoy a couple more days of calm and quiet before the 9-5 work grind takes hold again.

Have a blessed holiday!

Monday, December 26, 2016

Post Christmas Wrap-up

Greeting all. I hope you all had a nice quiet, peaceful holiday.

This past Friday I had a painting date with my favorite cousin. We painted snowmen at Painting with a Twist.

Saturday was Christmas at the in-laws. Most of my free time last week was spent scrambling to get a couple gifts finished up. The Slytherin scarf was wrapped up unfinished. After it was opened up, I took an hour or so to finish the scarf while everyone else was continuing to open their presents. I am very relieved to say that it is now complete and was well received. I don't think I've ever had so much trouble with a crochet project before.

I completed a couple crochet hook holders for the niece and mother-in-law.

For Christmas, I received a wide assortment of beautiful threads, yarns, cross stitch patterns, and associated accessories, including a *squee* YARN BALL WINDER AND YARN SWIFT! I don't have any hanks of yarn to test out the swift yet, but I've already put the ball winder to good use and now I have an excuse to find some pretty yarn in hanks. I mean, it would just be rude not to. It was a gift, after all.

Also, some original artwork courtesy of my niece!

Today is my first day to just stay home, relax, and play with some of my new toys. I couldn't resist starting a new scarf with some of the new yarn. The pattern is from my favorite how-to crochet book and is called Very Open Lace. I'm using a bulkier yarn than I think the pattern was intended for and its still coming out quite lovely. I've also discovered that I find it very easy to read crochet graph!

 My week was filling up much faster than I liked and I had to fight to preserve a few quiet days for myself and the hubs. Please remember to take some quiet time for yourself and your family this week.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Only One Week Until Christmas!

Are you ready for Christmas? All my presents are ordered, I'm just waiting for them to arrive in the mail so I can wrap them and stick them under the tree. The next week will be spent scrambling to get two or three projects completed in time to gift for Christmas.   

The new start is the Love is Patient mini cross stitch kit by Dimensions. It is mostly half cross and backstitch and will probably stitch up quite fast. This is meant as a gift for someone, but not a Christmas thing, so I have plenty of time.

The other project I am spending lots of time on is the scarf. The first one was shrinking, so I scrapped it after I figured out what I had done wrong. The restart is coming along much better, although I still find that I drop a stitch here and there and have to rip out several rows of work. 

Old scarf, now scrapped
New scarf - not perfect but much much better.
I seem to be having trouble with the color changes but on a whole I'm much happier with the new one. I estimate this is approximately 1/3 complete.

 I find that alternating between types of projects reduces hand fatigue, so if that is a problem for you, consider taking on a second hand crafting hobby.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

The Amazing Shrinking Scarf

Well, its been a little hit or miss but I think I finally figured out how to keep this scarf from shrinking on me every few rows. I've learned a bit an

Now that I have a few things figured out, I think a restart is in order. I'm going to frog what I can and try to do a hdc foundation chain. The pattern is 40 hdc across: twenty rows of green, two rows of silver, three rows of green, two rows of silver, repeat.  I have 11 days to finish this. 

I did promise pictures of my Black Friday Herschnerr's Loot. I was trying to pick colors that would be good for men, because most of what I've crocheted so far are definitely feminine. These should make some nice scarves and hats. I attempted a couple of patterns but ended up frogging them. I will give them another try in the near future.

My cross stitching corner has been temporarily dismantled, possibly until Christmas break, so I ended up in my sewing room the other night and found a stack of 2.5 inch squares. I stitched them into rows of four. I'm not sure what these are going to become yet. I'll have to wait and see! There aren't really enough for a good sized quilt.

Happy crafting all. I'd be interested to hear about your holiday projects.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

WIP Wednesday

When I've had a minute or two, I've been working on this green and silver scarf. Its gauge is much smaller than any I've worked on before. I'm using a pattern from Ravelry, the HP POA Scarf with a couple modifications. Mine uses a 4.0 mm hook, 40 stitches for the foundation chain instead of 30, and I'm doing a front loop half double crochet to add a bit of texture. The color is Grass in Palette yarn by Knitpicks. I'm starting to get the feeling that maybe I didn't order enough yarn and I'm debating ordering a couple more skeins just in case. Anybody have an idea how much extra yarn is needed for switching from a worsted to a fingering weight if you want the same length scarf?

The stitching on this thing is so small that I'm using my magnifying light to stitch it. When I need a break, my two color C2C scarf is getting a little love.

Happy WIP WEdnesday to you all!

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Post Thankgiving Break Report

 Hello again all and I hope you had a lovely holiday. It was crazy around here. The house was filled with most of my favorite people and aside from the minor miscommunications that happen when there are so many people around, everything went very smoothly.

I didn't get as much crafty time as I had hoped but I have no regrets. I spent Friday having date day with the husband, Saturday with my cousin practicing martial arts and watching cheesy movies, Sunday and Monday with my niece, and Wednesday studying for my written Modern Arnis test. The rest of this week was spent practicing for my first rank in Modern Arnis, which I earned yesterday at the test!

While my niece was here, I started this hat and scarf set. The scarf is just your basic V-stitch and crocheted up very quickly in one evening. It used about 425 yards.

The hat was supposed to be a ribbed beanie but the pattern did not come with a gauge and so it ended up being way too big, so I converted it to a slouchy hat and finished it off last night.

Total yarn usage was approximately 650 yards for both. I have two and a half skeins left of this purple and three and a quarter-ish of another purple, so I am combining them to make another set, trying something new with the color changes, a feature that I typically avoid in my projects.

This is a corner-to-corner, and I'm stitching two rows before switching to the next color. Rather than cut off the ends and weave them in later, I'm leaving them attached and slip stitching them to the next row as needed. Its warping the scarf slightly, so I think I need to loosen up the slip stitches a bit and I'll have to add a border all the way around to make it look pretty in the end. A ruffly border should cover up any mistakes.

You may have noticed that I didn't mention Tuesday at all - because I spent Tuesday at home, all by myself, working on The Castle by Teresa Wentzler.

Starting Point 
As of 12/4/16
I did minimal online shopping over the Holiday weekend. I ordered some yarn to restock the charity scarf/hat basket, which will be just about emptied upon completion of the newest project, and a little more yarn for a Christmas present. I will share photos of my new loot when it arrives, some of which should be waiting for me when I get home from work tomorrow. I also did some Christmas shopping, leaving me with only one Christmas present to acquire. Goodness, I love not having to freak out right before Christmas.

The only other thing I acquired over the weekend was a new cross stitch pattern from Tilton Crafts.

Tauriel by Tilton Crafts
Tauriel is one of my favorite characters from the Hobbit movies.

Please let me know how your Thanksgiving weekend went! Did you indulge in the sales? Were you too full from dinner to do anything? What was your favorite part of the weekend? Did you finish your Christmas shopping?

Have a blessed day.