Tag Archives: crocheting

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

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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Filed under baby hats, Crocheting, Knitting, NICU

WIP Wednesday

I’ve been busy working on baby hats for the NICU unit this past month.  My girlfriend is going to see her sister next week, so I wanted to have some hats completed for her.

DSC_0068

 

Here are most of the completed hats. I try and make different sizes and some for boys, girls or unisex hats.

DSC_0070The baby bear hats are one of my favorites. The color in the picture above is the actual yarn color, but this picture shows more of what they would look like on the little one’s heads. The yarn is super soft Bernat Pipsqueak. It is machine wash and dry because new mom’s don’t have time to handwash clothes 🙂

 

I made a few with hearts because Valentine’s Day is coming up soon.
DSC_0066 DSC_0065 DSC_0064

 

And a made a few plain hats and girlie hats. Each one takes less than an hour to make.

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It is a great way to put good use to your stash (you know you have bits of yarn left from other projects just crying out to you. There are ones of free patterns on Ravelry and other places on the internet. After you make a few, it is easy to follow the basic shape and create your own patterns.

Next month I will have a bunch of bunny hats ready to sent to the NICU unit for Easter Morning. I have a bag of ears done and a few of the actual hats already.

Project updates:

My sweater is still as it was – sleeveless.

I’ve finished the baby blanket for the gal at work. She chose the colors, I used my go to crochet pattern from Bev’s Country Cottage, Baby Shells. It is quick, easy and always turns out well. Again I went with an acrylic yarn, Knit Picks Brava worsted for easy cleaning.

Bennie's baby blanket 2

Bennie's baby blanket

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Filed under Charity, Crafts, Crocheting, Knitting

Goodbye 2014 – Hello New Projects

Lately it seems as though I’ve been focusing more on the “write” in the writeknit of my blog. I have been knitting and crocheting also, but haven’t shared on my blog. So, here goes:
Once a year I like to look back and take stock of all the projects I’ve completed the previous year. Sometimes the days slip into weeks that turn into months and it feels as though I haven’t accomplished much when the new year rolls around. I suppose there really isn’t a burning need to actually accomplish anything, but somehow it matters to me.
If you are a knitter, crocheter or other fiber artist, projects can be quick, take months or languish in a tote bag waiting to be finished. For instance, I have a wonderful fast knitting bulky sweater 3/4 complete. I started it January 2014. It should have been done months ago, I only have the sleeves and top ribbing to complete. But…I don’t like how the sleeves are working up. I’ve made 1/2 a sleeve twice, but still not happy. It is on my project list for 2015 to complete. Actually, I hope to work on it this weekend. We’ll see how that works out – “the best laid plans” and all that. Maybe I should just sign Happy Birthday to it since I’ve been working on it a year 🙂
Brown sweater Jan 2014
I also have an afghan that I started in March. I had lofty plans of completing not only one, but three of these for Christmas. HA! It is a great take along project (squares) but I don’t see myself finishing the first one anytime soon. It will be on my list for this year, but honestly, I suspect it will be bumped to the bottom as it was in 2014.
No pictures of these – I’ll hold off on sharing until after they are gifted.
Enough about what I didn’t finish – here are the projects that were completed. Other than the sweater, I started off simple and easy. I needed another dishcloth so I made one mid-January. It is nice to whip up something you need on a wintery afternoon using stash yarn.
dishcloth
I got some fabulous yarn for Christmas, a silk and cashmere blend, and made myself a scarf. I love the color and it is as soft as a cloud. The pattern was Feather and Fan Short Scarf by Kelly Faller (free on Ravelry) that I modified making it narrower and longer than the original pattern. I love it 🙂
Purple scarf 2014
For my Great Aunt and Cousin I completed lace scarves out of wool for my Aunt using knitculture.com‘s pattern Silkwing Scarf. For the life of me I can’t remember what pattern I used for my cousin’s scarf, it is a cotton/nylon blend. But it is soft and warm and allergy free so I was pleased with the results. 
 Deb scarf Christmas 2014
Baby blankets are always a part of my yearly yarning. This year was no exception. Two of the gals at work commissioned specific blankets for new members of their families. Both chose the same pattern ( Shells Baby Afghan by Beverly A. Qualheim ) when I gave them the options. This is my “go-to” pattern. It is quick, easy and crochets up really nicely. It can be made over a weekend if you are in a pinch, but don’t count on getting much else done 🙂 I also used this pattern for a new grandson of my good friends. I also used this pattern for a blanket for a little girl I knew that moved away, grew up to be a beautiful woman with a little girl of her own and a boy on the way. This is my way of sending a hug to Texas for her little boy who will be arriving soon.
The last 2 blankets I made were for twin boys – grandsons of a friend at work. This pattern was a simple granny square, made a bit smaller as they were born early and big blankets would have swallowed them whole. 
cooper
 
Hats, hats, nothing but hats! My middle son’s friend saw a baby aviator hat and fell in love with it. My son asked me if I could make one for her son-to-be. I searched Ravelry and found Christins from My Sweet Potato 3 ‘s pattern for a Pilot/Aviator hat. It turned out really cute. Little Cooper even had pictures taken in it by the photographer at the hospital. It made me happy to make this new mom happy 🙂
Then I saw something about the NICU Challenge. You  agree to complete 12 baby hates to donate to a local NICU unit.                                 Nicu hat #6
Nicu hat #9Perfect way for me to give back a little bit to some of the smallest humans. Baby hats knit or crochet up quickly. By the end of the challenge I had 17 hats ready to go. After emailing my local hospitals (without response) I remembered my best friend’s sister is a NICU nurse in a neighboring town. We connected and I sent them with her for the babies. An interesting side note, she asked for some bigger sizes also as they not only care for preemies, but full term babies with medical problems.So I made an array of sizes and styles. Like prayer shawls, good wishes and prayers for each child and parent are part of each completed hat. If you are interested – get more info from http://www.sunsetfamilyliving.com/2014-challenge/  Nicu hat #11Nicu Bear Hat
​On to 2015! Because I love making these little hats, I am going to continue making a few a week all year. I found an adorable bunny pattern,  Easy Bunny Hat ​ by JT Creations. When I sent a picture to the nurse that works in the NICU she asked if I could make 20 so the babies can all be dressed like bunnies on Easter morning. I’m loving the picture in my head of them all in bunny hats! Bunnies all around!!
Nicu bunny hat
Today one of the girls that had me make a baby afghan for her new nephew has another nephew on the way and asked for a blanket for him. So that will move to the top of my list as soon as she decides on the colors she wants me to use.
​I’ve ordered some beautiful yarn to make a scarf for myself. It should be delivered soon, so I am excitedly looking for a pattern that is perfect for the yarn and me.  ​I might finish one of the afghans started last year, but not too confident about that.  I found a great source of wool from local harvest. I’m thinking a warm every day cardigan. We’ll see how that works out. The best laid plans in January are often pipe dreams by December 🙂
You can track my projects on Ravelry. I’m writeknit.

 

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Writing 101 day 1

Hum. I started blogging on 12/29/11.  My plan was to get into the habit of writing every day. After a short bit, I decided maybe every day was too ambitious. Three times a week would be good. Then it became once a week. Then once every few weeks, then months went by. So much for writing every day.

Eventually I split my blog into two. One of them focused on my love of books, writing reviews and updating my progress in getting published. Technically, I have been published. Magazine articles, an essay/short story memoir, short stories in ebooks… all very exciting to me. Possibly very boring to readers of blogs. Maybe some can identify with the troubles writers encounter and yet keep on writing.

In My Words (lauramhartman.wordpress.com) is that blog. Almost all of my posts are book reviews, which is the best of both of my worlds. Reading then writing about what I have read. I’m finding fantastic new authors, discovering established authors and a few that I don’t ever want to read again.

All the while I have been working on various writing projects of my own. My focus the last year has been writing children’s picture books. I’m in a fabulous, wonderful, funny, bright online crit group that has given me so much help with my writing I feel guilty. They are an amazing group of Chicks 🙂

I guess it is funny that I am working so hard on story books, when all of my adult short stories involve murder and mayhem. But my Jekyll and Hyde personality can both be satisfied with these two genres so I am rolling with it.

My latest story is going to be for a bit older group. Young readers 8-12. I’ve been writing bits of the story in my head (doesn’t everyone???LOL) and will soon get it to paper.

My other blog (writeknit.wordpress.com)  is all about knitting, crocheting and other crafty things. I started working on the Knitting Guild’s Master Knitter program about the time I started the blogs. I am not sure I really want/need to do that anymore. I knit to relax. Sometimes I really push myself with a hard pattern or difficult yarn. So the jury is still out on the program.

Again, I’ve been totally lax in my posts on this blog. Since the first of the year, I’ve completed 2 lace scarves, most of a sweater (for myself – what a concept!) and began working on some afghans for Christmas gifts.

Anyway, now that I’ve rambled for 20 minutes, I’ve completed my first challenge for WordPress’ Writing 101 course. I would have added the widget, but for the life of me I can’t figure out how.

Thanks for listening – I’ll be back tomorrow.

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Projects, lots of projects!!

What a busy, busy year and it is only October!!! I’ve been MIA from my blogs for too much of the year, but life got in the way 🙂 In May I foolishly stated I’d be back to blogging before July. Evidently, I was more confident about the number of waking hours I would have free than I actually did. In addition to our youngest son and his wive’s move we also moved our middle son into his first home and my dad from downstate to a new house really close to us. Between packing and moving and fixing things that need to be done in the three new homes, writing sort of got pushed off my plate. Hopefully I can pick up the pace he last quarter of the year 🙂 Enough  of why I haven’t been posting, on to the projects I’ve been working on between unpacking and painting.

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I finished the dragonfly socks I was working on. Love the way they turned out. (Finished them on the road to our son’s home – it is a long drive 🙂 )

The next project was small, I purchased some fresh lavender from Local Harvest (google them, really grreat stuff available) so I made a really cute little knit sachet out of left over sock yarn. I’m going to sew small sachets out of muslin, fill with the lavender and give for small Christmas gifts. I am currently working on one out of Knit Picks Stroll tonal yarn in oranges. It is left over from the leg warmers my son’s girlfriend asked me to knit for her. she picked the pattern and I just finished adding the buttons today.

Allison's leg warmers

I finished 2 baby blankets for Allison’s cousins’ babies. I found the pattern for the puppy granny square, but made it bigger, added a shell border and thing they turned out really cute. I am thinking of making a kitten one next. Maybe a fish in the future…so many possiblities. They worked up really cute and easy. I used my goto fav yarn for baby blankets, Knit Picks brava. In case you thing they have me on the payroll, I’ve looked around and the Brava yarn is the most economical to use and really works up nice.

DSC_0011 DSC_0012I finished an afghan for a woman at work whose Mother started it several years aga, but steadily forgot how to knit as dementia ravaged her. She had over 1/2 of it done, using an unusual mix of 3 strands of different types yarn used together. After completing the second strip and knitting the third strip, I crocheted them together. My co-worker was extremely happy and was going to surprise her brother with the finished blanket, for whom her mother originally started making it for.

I’ve started on a new Christmas joke vest for my middle son. The crazy snowman vest I made him a few years ago doesn’t fit anymore because he’s lost quite a bit of weight. This one isn’t quite as crazy. I’m just about to begin the pattern rows, so hopefully pictures will follow soon.

20130915_204926Courbette_first section done_adding secondFinally, here is the shawlette I am working on to test the pattern. It is working up so beautifully, I love it. I almost have the second section done, and hope to start the third this weekend.

So much for what I did this summer – how was yours?

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What happened to May???

Mercy! I didn’t realize I’ve been missing from my blog for an entire month. I’d like to say it was because I have been super productive doing all kinds of projects, but I haven’t.

I did make a trip to Maryland with the hubby to see our youngest son and his wife. They bought their first home and they needed Dad’s expertise and advice on a few projects. I did finish the baby blanket for Donita’s little girl while in the car, so I felt pretty good about that.

This blanket took way too much time. I started it with a beautiful variegated yarn, but quickly realized I didn’t have enough to finish.

Giana's blanket_0 Giana's blanket_2Giana's blanket_1So I started a second time with a perfect pale pink. It must have been in my stash for a while, but the band said there wasn’t a dye lot. So I bought more of the same color, got about 2/3 of the way finished and realized there WAS a difference in the color. I had to frog the whole thing back to the beginning of the second color and start a third time using only the newly purchased yarn. I guess third time was the charm, because I do love the way it turned out.

I’ve also completed a cowl that turned out pretty cool. The pattern, Mind the Gap will be offered on Ravelry by Remily Knits and is in my projects (writeknit) if you want to see more details. I used worsted yarn instead of a lighter weight, but love the way the long color change worked out.

Mind the Gap_finished

 

Last but not least, I am currently working on a pair of socks with yarn I got from my cousin for Christmas. The pattern is Dragonfly and has a pretty easy repetition of the pattern. I am going to adjust it a bit, because I don’t like patterns on the foot of my socks. It just feels too lumpy in my shoes and annoys me. I know, kinda like the princess and the pea, but that is just how I am.

Sock_1 Sock_2

Last but not least, I am still working on the possum yarn shawl. It is about 2/3 of the way done, but I need to concentrate when working on it now so it is more difficult to find the time to work on this project.

Happy Knitting!! I hope to be back here with an update before July 🙂

 

 

 

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Fun with Fiber Weekend

Here it is Sunday night already. What makes the week go so slowly and the weekend go so quickly?

Friday I finished the latest baby blanket and made the cutest little care label for it. I uses Brava yarn from Knit Picks http://www.knitpicks.com/yarn–fiber-en/yarn-color/yellows/brava-sport-yarn.html it is affordable and reliable. The texture is soft and cuddly and machine wash/dry care make it perfect for babies. I’ve made this pattern before: Baby Blanket #4659 by Bernat Design Studio, which is a free Ravelry pattern. The writer made it much more complicated than necessary, read the notes from other crocheters, and follow the advise of repeating the 3 pattern rows and ignoring the different number rows after 1-3. That being said, it is really a cute pattern and I really love how the shells turn into hearts. Dr Lorie's baby blanket completed

 

One of the craftiest gals I know, K2 gave me an awesome “knitting label kit” for my birthday. It included stamps, custom labels, inks and cording to attach them. Here is the one I made for Lori’s baby’s blanket.

labels

On Saturday I finally got back to Culture Stock in Aurora, IL for the weekly Knitting Circle (actually a Fiber Circle as there are knitters, crocheters, cross stitchers and needlepointers ((if that is a word?)) ) there. It was fun reconnecting with them because I haven’t been there in months. If you live close, you have to check out Culture Stock (https://www.facebook.com/CultureStock?fref=ts ) it is a great place.

I’ve been working on the possum yarn shawl, making fairly good progress. Here’s the latest pic. I pulled out one side because it is getting to large to see the whole shawl.

Possum shawl progress

Regarding the TKGA Master’s I am really behind. I have such lofty goals in January…

Future fiber fun – the class list is out for Stitches Midwest. I will either go on Saturday or Sunday, I am just not sure which day yet.

 

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Master’s Monday finally and again

I have no excuse for not posting for way to long. This will be short and sweet.

As for the Master’s program, I have done zip, zilch, nada. If thinking about it counts as progress, I am in! Hopefully next week I’ll have a teeny bit of progress to report.

While I have your attention, I’ll update you on my WIP and the list of this years projects.

helix scarf on Indy

My helix scarf out of the Bison yarn is done. Indy is graciously modeling it.

Purple socks 1 almost done

And 1 of the purple socks is done, the second should be done by the weekend because I only have the ribbing to finish. I love using the magic loop method so I don’t have second sock syndrome which often plagues my projects. Check out Liat Gat website with the instructions and patterns. (http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/beginner-toe-up-socks-for-magic-loop) I like to use 4 needles to make the cuffs because they go quicker for me that way.

One of the baby blankets for baby CJ is complete and was done in time for the baby shower last week.

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I liked the pattern for CJ’s blanket so much that I am going to make it again for the other baby shower scheduled for June. This time I am going to use cream and royal blue and adjust the pattern so it is only 36 inches wide instead of 40. Overall, I am looking forward to making it because it works up so cute with the shells looking like tiny hearts.

I’ve ordered some beautiful yarn from Maluhia Farm.( http://yarnhawaii.com/www.yarnhawaii.com/HHWC_Welcome.html). I’ll post a picture when it arrives.

I tried to purchase yarn while in Hawaii, but my timing was bad so I ordered from Jan online. As soon as it arrives, I’ll make up my mind as to what it will be used for . I am leaning toward a cowl. maybe socks,  or a scarf.

How are your projects coming along this year?

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Filed under Crocheting, Hawaii, Knitting, Knitting Techniques, Ravelry, TKGA Master's Program, Uncategorized