Category Archives: Crocheting

WIP Wednesday – Time to Tidy Up

This week I finished the yellow and blue blanket, and tucked it into a Ziploc bag to keep it clean and dog hairless until someone needs a blanket for a baby boy. blue and yellow blanket completed 6.7.15

My possum shawl is coming along. Starting last week I went on summer hours at work, so instead of an hour for lunch, I only have a 1/2 hour. That is fine with me because I get off earlier. But that cuts my work knitting time in 1/2, so I’ve been doing 2 rows a day. It will be done soon, but probably not this week. No pics, it really hasn’t changed much since last week.

Now on to the big project related to yarn this week. I clean out my ridiculously messy yarn/sewing closet. For the last six months, instead of putting the yarn away that I’ve ordered, I have just been chucking the boxes in the closet. It was making me crazy, but apparently not crazy enough to tidy up.

sewing room 2 before sewing room 1 before

You can see it was out of control. I fully expected to open the door one day and have a yarn monster attack me with a shiny set of addi turbos. Since it was a rainy weekend, I decided it was time to find the floor in there again. I pulled everything out of it except the file cabinets and went to work. The cabinets have sewing and knitting patterns in them as well as my knitting magazines. Mea hung around until I loaded up the bed the rest of the way with bins of yarn.

sewing room 1 Mea

After emptying all of the yarn bins, I organized them by fiber or type such as baby yarn and cotton. The special yarns I’ve ordered I keep in Ziploc bags hung by pants hangers, sometimes with the project pattern with it as well. That way they don’t get lost in the shuffle.

sewing room 2 after sewing room 1 after sewing room 3 after

Now  I can see what I have and there is room for both dogs to follow me in to look for yarn for my next project. They think they should go wherever I go, so both were exceedingly happy that the floor was no longer cluttered with yarn. I am banning myself from yarn shops unless there is a specific color or type of yarn that I absolutely have to get that isn’t available in my stash.

The only job I have left is organizing the separate patterns I have downloaded or pulled from magazines. I purchased some plastic expandable folders and am sorting them by type. As soon as I am finished they will go into the files with the magazines. I also want to add all of my books and magazines to Ravelry, but that is a job that might not be done until fall.

As for this week’s projects, I am going to work in my shawl and maybe even finish it 🙂 and make a “no-sew” tutu for my cousin’s little girl.

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Filed under baby blanket, Crafts, Crocheting, Knitting, possum yarn, Ravelry, shawl, stash, WIP Wednesday, yarn

WIP Wednesday – Finishing Up

This week I pulled out the blue and yellow baby blanket to finish. I decided it needed to be done before the weather gets warm since it is almost crib size and pretty warm when I am working on it. I only have one yellow row and four blue rows left, then the border. I might get it finished tonight during the hockey game (GO HAWKS!).

blue and yellow blanket 6.3.15

My shawl is coming along great. I’ve started the last section of lace, but of course each row takes quite a while to knit since every other row increases by four stitches. By the time I took the pictures tonight the sun was going down, so the first one of just the top few rows show more of the true colors than the other, but I like the look of the lace in the second pic so I added it. I am excited to finish it because it will be perfect to take with me to the movies and restaurants this summer when the AC is turned down to meat locker temperatures.

6.3.15 possum shawl good color6.3.15 possum shawl color right

The last thing I did this week was repair a sweater for a woman I work with. It was kind of tricky.I couldn’t crochet it because only a small section of stitches unraveled when a piece of the yarn broke. By using a sharp needle, I was able to “crochet” with it by basically doing a chain stitch where the single crochet needed to go, and weaving the thread through the open stitched at the bottom of the shells. The hardest part was weaving the ends as the yarn is fragile and didn’t want to go easily into the backs of the stitches so they would not be seen. I think it turned out pretty good. Hopefully Barb will agree and she’ll be able to wear her sweater again.

Barb's sweater before

You can see the edging off in this picture.

Barb's sweater after

This is the same edge after the repair.

I am thinking about my next project, since I might finish the shawl this week and will finish the baby blanket. The blanket will go in my stash closet to wait for the next baby boy to be born.

Which brings me to my MIP (Mess In Progress) that I call my stash closet. I absolutely need to clean that mess up. Somehow it got way out of control and it is making me crazy. If it rains this weekend, I just might tackle it. If you don’t hear from me next Wednesday, send in the Mounties or at least a St. Bernard with a flask of a nice red wine to rescue me.

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WIP Wednesday – In the Pink!

This week’s projects just might tickle someone pink. The pink baby blanket is finished and hopefully keeping little Shannon warm these cold spring nights.

pink blanket 2015 #3_2

I really love the pattern, You can find it here: http://www.bevscountrycottage.com/cp4.html It is called Shell’s Baby Afghan by Beverly A. Qualheim. It is especially cute in pink. Maybe that is because I have three sons so there wasn’t any pink in our laundry basket. 🙂

pink blanket 2015 #3_3

The color in this picture is more true than the first picture.


After finishing the afghan, I made a couple of pink polar bear hats for the NICU unit at Central DuPage Hospital. I think they turned out really cute. This is a pattern that I’ve used before, it works up quickly and is really cute.

NICU spring challenge Pink Polar Bear 4.26.15

The only adjustment I made was on the second hat I didn’t knit the entire suggested length of 14 inches, because I didn’t want it to be as large as the pattern calls for. Here is the pattern link, and I highly suggest using the Bernat pipsqueak yarn that is as soft as a cloud and works up beautifully, http://www.yarnspirations.com/li-l-polar-bear-hat.html

NICU spring challenge Pink Polar Bear 4.29.15

Since it is late, I suspect I will take some white Bernat yarn to work tomorrow to work on another baby hat. This weekend I may start a new project. I am itching to make a lace shawl for cool summer nights, but just can’t find a pattern that is what I want. I could finish the second sock – but that can probably wait until our summer trip to see our son and daughter-in-law. The drive is about 10 hours, so it is a good time to work on socks.

I have the sweater started last year calling to be finished, but still am not happy with the sleeves the pattern calls for, and have torn them out twice already. It won’t take long to finish once I sit down and get busy figuring it out, but don’t know if this weekend will allow the time.

I guess the WIP next week will be a surprise for all of us – me included! 🙂

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WIP Wednesday – Yup, on time this week :)

Happy Wednesday everyone.

My only needlework this week has been the pink blanket, started last week to replace the blue and yellow blanket after the baby was a girl instead of a boy as planned. I’m about 2/3 of the way finished, hopefully it will be done by the weekend.

pink blanket 2015 #3

Then I’ll be working on the NICU hats for the Spring NICU challenge. They work up fast, so I hope to do several next week unless my plans are disrupted, which happens more often than not.

I’m getting an itch to start a shawl for myself out of one of the great fingering or lace yarns in my stash. I’ve been looking at a patterns, but nothing is really catching my eye. I don’t want on that is very complicated since I usually knit and talk to my friends at break and lunch.

Do any of you have a favorite shawl pattern you would suggest I use? Let me know!

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WIP Wednesday: The Baby Blanket Saga

Welcome to WIP Wednesday – which has apparently slipped to Thursday again this week. The reason (excuse) is Wednesday was my middle son’s birthday and went out to dinner to celebrate. By the time I got home, I vegged in the chair without even opening my computer. Maybe it was the delicious Chinese food we had for dinner or maybe not, but whatever the reason, here I am now.
This week I completed my first sock and promptly sealed it in a ziploc bag with the yarn, instructions/notes and needles so I can pick it up the next time I travel. Which I hope is soon. But mostly for the travel, not the sock, which won’t be needed until fall when it gets cold enough to wear my boots again.
Eden Silk Sock #1
The good news is I got about 1/2 to 2/3 done on the baby afghan for the gal at work. The bad news is she told me on Monday that her friend had a girl, not a boy like she anticipated. Hum, before ordering a blue and yellow blanket would you make sure said child is going to be a boy or  get a more gender neutral color ordered? She suggested just “adding a few rows of pink”. Nope, can’t have anyone think that was MY choice.
 blanket 2014 _2
So over to Hobby Lobby with the hubby Tuesday night to get a wonderful baby pink color. I’ve just discovered “I Love This Yarn” that comes in a 7 oz skein of acrylic worsted weight for only $3.99 each. It is really nice yarn, soft, yet sturdy enough to show the stitches nicely. It isn’t as soft as Brava from Knit Picks, but is almost 1/2 the price and I don’t have to wait a week for delivery. Acrylic is my choice for baby afghans because machine wash and dry is a must for baby items. And I don’t have to worry about wool allergies since I rarely know the recipients.
 blanket 2014 _3
I’m only a few rows in, because break yesterday was nonexistent due to a meeting (what the heck?) and I only got to work on it during lunch. But I think it is cute and very girly. I almost wrote that I should have it done by next week, but we have out of town guests coming in on Friday night, an anniversary party on Saturday and a BBQ on Sunday. Soooooo, not much time to crochet. I’ll be conservative and predict I’ll be 1/3 – 1/2 done by next Wednesday and hopefully be further along.
Regarding the blue and yellow blanket. I am not tearing it out, because I think it is really cute and I am already about 6 hours in. I’ll finish it after the pink one and save it for the next baby boy that arrives.
So this week the only project I am going to concentrate on is the pink blanket. I’ll let you know how that works out next Wednesday. Or Thursday. LOL And maybe get one of the bear hats going….

 

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Filed under baby hats, blanket, Crocheting, Knitting, socks, Uncategorized, WIP Wednesday

WIP Wednesday on Thursday

As you can see this is being posted on Thursday. Things have been hectic, but interesting to say the least. I’ve had an odd combo of crafting projects this week, but I’ll start with the socks I talked about last week. I am almost down to my toes, I figure about 4 rows and I’ll begin the decreases for the toe shaping. If I find an hour to work on them before the weekend, I will be ready to cast on the second sock, but honestly think it will be completed over the weekend instead of before. Here is a pic of the yarn I am using, it is heavier than the usual sock yarn I use, but wanted this weight for next fall to wear inside a pair of short boots that I absolutely love 🙂

DSC_0079


gray sock April 15 2

I also worked on fusing two tablecloths together. Sounds like an odd task, but let me explain. Back in the 80’s I was a stay at home Mom with 3 little boys. I used to read the magazines I received in the mail from cover to cover soaking in advise, tips and recipes. I read about starting a family tradition of signing a white table cloth on each holiday, then stitching the names to create a family heirloom of sorts. It seemed like a great idea until the stitching took longer than anticipated. I stitched some, my grandma stitched some, my aunt stitched some – and we still couldn’t keep up! So we switched to fabric paint. This was a good idea – or so we thought, until it started to flake off in the washing process (we actually eat with it on the table at all holidays) so we had to go to plan “C”. Now I purchase colorful Sharpie markers so that problem has been solved. Until….the younger generation started lobbying for a new tablecloth. All of the ex-girlfriends and a couple of ex-husbands were a point of contention. I was not willing to retire the tablecloth with the signatures of loved ones that are no longer with us. My grandma, mom, aunt and mother-in-law to name a few as well as the adorable signatures of the kids as they learned to print then write. So my plan was formed to make everyone as happy as I could. I purchased a second tablecloth, fused them together and will (hopefully before the next holiday) stitch a border on to even up the edges and secure the new side with the old side. Here is the pick I sent all the “youngsters” in the family to show them I was listening 🙂 They all seemed happy with the compromise.

tablecloth

The last thing I worked on this week was SOAP! I have been lusting after all of the beautiful soaps on Pinterest. My board Suds and Scrubs has tons of pins, I am obsessed. My friend Leslie got me the supplies I needed to make a simple batch of lemon soap for my birthday last week and I was dying to try it.

soap mold

The first thing that needed to be done was dry shredded lemon peels. I now have 4 naked lemons in my fridge, but the peels were fabulously fragrant after drying in the sun.

lemon for soap

The recipe was amazingly easy, soap base, essential oil, lemon peel and food coloring (note to self – one teeny speck of food coloring is more than enough). This was a super way to begin as it was easy and pretty fool proof . I made it in 2 batches, one with food coloring, one without.

setting soap

And the finished product that I am very pleased with for my first soap adventure. I am thinking soap for everyone at Christmas!!! LOL

finished soap

Now for the irons I have in the fire. The second sock is a given. I signed up for the Spring NICU challenge, so I have  newborn size baby hats to make. Read more about it here: http://www.sunsetfamilyliving.com/spring-2015-nicu-challenge-join/  I am not too concerned about getting them done, since I’ve already donated the 20 bunny hats this month, but want to complete at least 10 more. The nurse I know that works in the NICU I donate to said everyone fights over the bear hats, so I think I will focus on them.

Lastly, the gal at work that I just finished the baby afghan for in February needs another one.  I swear everyone she knows must be pregnant – with boys!!! I don’t know how happy she is going to be that I have to charge her more than I have been. I have been only a few dollars over the cost of the yarn, and honestly need to have a bit for all the hours involved.

Have a wonderful week – mine looks to be busy 🙂

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Filed under baby hats, blanket, Crafts, Crocheting, family, Knitting, NICU, Soap Making, socks

WIP Wednesday

Happy Wednesday everyone!

I’m happy because little Xavier is doing so well – he is up to 3 pounds! He’ll be in the hospital for a while, but before you know it he will be home with his mom & dad 🙂

His blanket is finished, and will go in the mail by the weekend. I used Knit Picks Brava worsted yarn and modified  this pattern: Puppy Dog Granny Afghan Square by Rhonda Guthrie. I’ve made this several times. It works up really nice.

Xavier's puppy blanket with Mea

Mea likes the new blanket 🙂

Xavier's puppy blanket finished

This pic has shows the whole blanket.

Xavier's puppy blanket face

Here is the detail of the dog’s face.

My next project will be started tonight. I’m in a sock making mood, so I’m putting down the crochet hooks for a while and picking up my knitting needles. I’ll let you know which pattern and yarn I’ve decided on next week. I’ll use something from my stash – which is bulging out of the closet where it lives. Hopefully I’ll make good progress this week while riding in the car on our mini road trip.

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WIP Wednesday

Not much going on this week. Had a cold that settled into my lungs with the added fun of a sinus infection. Now that I’ve whined, I can happily say I’ve completed the 20 bunny hats for the NICU unit. Sorry these pics aren’t the greatest, my hubby left his camera at my dad’s house, so you get my cell phone attempts. Ignore my crazy shadows 🙂

bunnies 4

Springtime and Bunnies seem to go together

bunnies 5Next week I hope to have Xavier’s blanket done. Then I’m starting a pair of socks to take with me when we travel to see friends. Nothing better than a road trip with my hubby, best friends and some socks otn to keep me busy 🙂

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WIP Wednesday

Happy Wednesday!

This week was extraordinarily ordinary. Work, family time and date night with friends on Saturday made for a great balance. I love weeks that include a bit of fun as well as work. I only made one NICU hat this week. I didn’t use a pattern, just made it up as I worked.

DSC_0007_01

I set the bunny hats aside for a week or so to allow time to complete the blanket for my friend’s grandson. He is up to 2.4 pounds and doing well. His blanket is coming along. It looks kind of odd now with the circle in the center, but when the ears and face are complete, the puppy blanket is really cute. The pattern is on Ravelry, Puppy Dog Granny Afghan Square by Rhonda Guthrie.

Xavier's puppy blanket

 

 

At this stage it is kind of hard to picture, so below are a couple of pictures of one of the last ones I made. They work up quick and easy. Hopefully by next Wednesday, I’ll have a picture of the completed project to share. Keep your fingers crossed! 🙂

DSC_0012

DSC_0011

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WIP Wednesday

I’ve had a busy couple of weeks crocheting and a little bit of knitting. First and foremost, I’ve been working on a herd of bunnies for the babies in the NICU unit on Easter Morning. My friend that works in the unit requested 20 hats for the babies. Right now 13 are complete. I spent about 4 hours last Sunday sewing on ears and little bunny faces. I think they turned out pretty cute – there are yellow, green, pink and blue ears so the nurses can choose accordingly when the match bunnies to babies 🙂

Bunnies 2 bunnies 3 bunnies

I also made a couple of hats for my hubby and a friend. Both have been shoveling too much snow this year, and with the cold temps, they needed wool hats to keep their ears from freezing off.

Jim Hat Ray

Last but not least, I am starting a baby blanket as soon as this post is posted for a friend’s first grandbaby. He was born on Saturday, 3 months early. He is doing well, but will be in the hospital for quite a while. I want to have his blanket done and sent to PA in time for his homecoming. Hopefully I will have a picture of it for you next week.

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Filed under baby hats, Crocheting, Easter, Knitting, NICU