ravelry


I can’t think of a title right now. A . will have to do.

The weekend was very nice, but I’m not feeling very good right now and it’s casting a shadow of yuck all around me. I’m trying to figure out why my tummy hurts when I haven’t eaten anything yet! (And no, I’m not hungry!) Ugh.

Enough complaining though. Saturday was Paul’s birthday. It was a really laid back day; we didn’t do much of anything. I got up early and went to the store to get a few things to make him a nice breakfast. While I was cooking breakfast I made him his favorite cake:

pineapple upside down cake

He was never a big fan of pineapple upside down cake until I started making it for him. He’s the same way about gravy and mashed potatoes. It’s just a little ego boost! After we ate I gave him his gifts. He had a feeling about the ds, but he was really happy with it and surprised with the Transformer games and accessories I got for it. He spent a good chunk of the day playing around with it. I hadn’t gotten much sleep the night before, so he went to his parents house while I stayed home and napped. They gave him a gift card for Hastings, and while he was there he helped them completely rearrange their living room and move a new couch in. Not how I’d like to spend a birthday, but he didn’t mind it.

Sunday was just a boring, lazy day. Yesterday we had a barbeque and invited his parents over. It gave me the perfect excuse to get Paul to help me move our ugly old couch out of the living room, “To make more room!” It’s currently residing in the start of our hallway, but it’s covered with a blanket and looks much better there. I now have a huge amount of space in our living room, patiently awaiting a new couch. Hopefully one that will be coming within the month!

Paul went out to the garage yesterday to get the charcoal and noticed that one of the little birdies had died. He disposed of it’s body. It made me sad, but to counteract it, Paul told me that he saw one of the other little birdies flying precariously around the garage. I hope the others make it!

Over the weekend I had time to finish the left front of my Central Park Hoodie. I’m up past the ribbing on the right side now. I think it’s going to take me about a month to finish the entire sweater. It’s been about two weeks now, give or take. I’ll try to get some pictures tomorrow, I need to track my progress! I found a couple more sweater patterns that go up to my size yesterday, so I’m going to get around to queuing them sometime today. I’m wondering if I’d look good in a vest? The kind you wear a long sleeved button down under? Hmm…I just don’t know. I guess I’ll have to do a search for pictures of plus sized girls in vests. I’ve never worn one before!

Day before yesterday I put my hubby to work on fixing the window in the back door. It’s been broken out for awhile now, and the board we had over it was loose and letting hot air in. I had him screw a board over the top and the bottom window and now it’s not only nice and dark back there, but not a wisp of air is coming through. It’s not pretty, but it did the job.

He had to go into the garage to cut the board to fit and when he did, Moxie came bolting out of the garage carrying something. She dropped it and we noticed it was a baby bird! Paul and I both freaked out a bit, got it away from her, only to have Gutter try to take off with it! After wrestling it away from him, Paul picked it up and took it back into the garage to see if we could find it’s nest. We let the wrens nest in the garage because we don’t keep anything important in there and they help keep the bugs down. We looked around a bit before realizing that the poor thing didn’t have a nest, but the mommy wren had plopped them right down on the garage floor against the wall!

baby birds

Paul carefully put the little thing back with its siblings and we disposed of a fifth one that had moved away from the group and died. We finished up quickly in the garage and left them alone in hopes that mommy wren would come back and take care of them.

I decided to check on them this morning and get a picture of them and they’re doing great. They look pretty plump so mommy is obviously still taking care of them. We don’t go in the garage too often, so hopefully they’ll get big and strong and continue the fight against black widows and water bugs in our yard!

Anyways, here are the beads I talked about yesterday.

matte czech glass beads

I’ve really been enjoying incorporating beads into my knitting. Several years ago my Aunt Noreen taught me how to add beads to my crochet. She’s amazingly talented and has a good 75 years of crafting under her belt. For some reason though I loved the look of beaded crochet, I never enjoyed doing it. It was too bothersome to string the beads on first and then crochet because I would inevitably add too few beads or colors in the wrong order. I’m loving adding them to my knitting though because I can place them one at a time without pre-stringing them. These are on the large side, about the size of a pony bead.

matte czech glass beads seed 2

These ones are 2/0 seed beads; small but not tiny. I love the colors so much! The beads are kind of frosty looking, the package of the smaller ones say they’re matte. I’m not super educated on beads or beading, so I don’t know the difference. I got the beads at the swap meet in Golden Valley. GV is about 10 or so miles out of Kingman and though it’s building up fast it’s still pretty small. The lady that owns the bead shop thingy is set up year round (It’s an actual building in the open air swap meet…there’s a few long term buildings) and she’s open four or five days out of the week. She’s got this little bitty shop, but it’s stuffed to the ceiling with beads and beading equipment of all sorts. I love it there! She’s got 6/0 seed beads by the hank and she’s very reasonable with her prices. She’ll even split the hanks in half or into single strands; it’s awesome! I’m not sure what I’m making with my beads yet, but they’ll be going in to some sort of knitting.

caron heathers deep plum

Here’s my yarn. Nothing special, but I took a picture for my ravelry stash and decided to share. I love the color so much! One thing I love about Caron Simply Soft is that it may be acrylic and it may be cheap, but it’s so soft and I love knitting with it. The only complaint I’ve really got is that it tends to pill. I think it may be because it’s pretty loosely plied, but it’s not a huge problem.

I’m off to knit now, and do more laundry. I’ve been going nuts washing up everything in the house and getting it organized. It’s amazing how I’m always complaining about not having any clothes, yet when I go nuts and do all the laundry and put it away instead of throwing it on the bathroom counter, I’ve got a decent amount of clothes! Funny how that works.

I took Paul to work again today so I could run errands. In the 15 minutes it took me to get from the airport and back she’d murdered Bonnie.

bye bye bonnie

I’d used this bento to house some Strawberry Chex last night for some late night munchage and I guess the smell was too alluring. I’d only used this bento twice 😦

Oh well…moving on.

My yarn arrived in the mail last night but I was too lazy to take a picture. The color is not quite accurate, it’s a little lighter in person. I’m in lust with it and I can’t wait to make something FOR MYSELF with it. I haven’t decided what just yet though.

knitpicks shadow vineyard heather laceweight

I also actually finished something too! Remember that afghan I posted about months ago? The oddball block afghan? Here’s the link, refresh your memory. Remember now? Good.

I started this a long time ago but I was trying to structure it too much. I started with the first block and I got about 3/4 of the way through it and put it down. Someone uploaded the patterns for the blocks on Ravelry and it flicked my interest on again. I picked the 19th square to start on and finished it just this morning.

oddball sampler afghan square 19 little boxes

If you look, you can see where I jacked up the pattern. On the right, the very last repeat of blocks, I didn’t change the colors so it’s the same as the blocks below. Oh well. I seriously doubt it’ll be that noticeable when it’s sewn together with all the other ones. I was just way too pissed at my mistake to fix it and I think I’ll just call it a signature instead of a knitting flaw!

Here’s the back too, so you can see how wickedly neat my stranding is 😛

oddball sampler afghan square 19 little boxes back

That’s about it. I’m going to go vegetate on the couch because I have run my ass all over this town today.

Happy belated Easter/Ostara/Spring Equinox to any who celebrate! Not having kids, we don’t really do baskets or egg hunts or any of that fun stuff, but I decided to dye some eggs last minute yesterday. They’re colorful, cheery and make me happy!

easter eggs

Nothing special, just plain old liquid food dye, but they turned out pretty. I used some neon food dye for the first time and granted, upped the amount of dye/vinegar ratio in the water, but I was very pleased with how vibrant they turned out. They were even prettier before I dumped them back into the carton for storage.

While shopping for egg stuff I came across these adorable monkey containers:

monkeys

They only stand about 3″ tall or so and I thought they’d be perfect for my bentos! I figured I could use them for dips, yogurt, fruit/veggies, etc. They’re so cute and they’re really easy to clean since there’s not too sharp of corners or crevices inside. I love cute stuff 😀

On Friday, I decided that I wanted a new book to read. I’d written a list of a few books I’d heard about recently that I wanted to try to find. Of course, I left the list at home and didn’t remember any of the titles or authors so I fell to my standby–craft books! I decided that I wanted to find a book on miniatures that delved a little more in to information on scale and covered several topics. I was super excited when I stumbled across this book:

miniatures book

It covers a lot of history on miniatures and is full of pictures. They’re black and white, but still impressive! There’s a whole spread on Queen Mary’s “doll house”, and I only put that in quotes because I think it goes so beyond just being a doll house. It’s a true work of art. Besides all of the rooms being hooked up to light and water, every piece was painstakingly made to scale over a three year period by experts who studied the original pieces in the mansion. Absolutely breathtaking.

The book is a little on the old side, (Copyright is 1975) so there are a few supplies that are no longer available, BUT, there are things comparable out there and I’m sure I could hunt some of it down if I decide to make anything from the book. They have a chapter on woodworking, one on textiles and even a chapter on how to make scale pieces from found objects. Awesome! I was even more excited about picking it up when I found out that it was a used book and the price was only $8.50 ($8.99? One of the two) The other miniature book I’d had my eyes on was smaller, had less information (though it was in color) and they wanted $25 for it. Score!

To go along with all that miniature talk, I thought I’d flash a picture of a work in progress:

mini wip

I’m not going to say what it is, just that it’s made out of a ping-pong ball and that it’s really effing hard to divide a half sphere in to even pieces! Hopefully I’ll have the piece that has yet to be revealed finished by the end of the week so people can figure out what the hell it’s supposed to be!

Finally, some knitting content…

I’ve been using a lot of my spare time the past few days knitting. It’s starting to get warmer, so why am I breaking out the wool?! I mean, once it starts getting hot around these parts, that’s it…it’s frickin’ hot and we don’t get much in the way of cool days until usually the end of October. Well…it’s because I got bit by the shawl bug. That’s right…this giant bug made out of lacy wool swooped down and smacked me with a load of stitch markers and told me I must knit a shawl. To please the shawl bug I got out some of my prettiest recycled wool and cast on not one, but TWO new shawls.

cozy wip

This one is called Cozy, from Knitty. I’ve been looking at this pattern for about three years now but there was something that I didn’t really love about it. Then I saw one that a lady on ravelry had made and I fell in love with it. The pictures on Knitty’s site just do not do the pattern justice. This is a rectangular stole. It calls to cast on 85 stitches, but I cast on 115 because I wanted it longer. I think once I finish it and block it out that it’ll be really big and it’ll open up the pattern well.

The second one is called Kiri (Link is to a .pdf file). It’s a triangular shawl with a leaf repeat and I think it’s absolutely gorgeous. I can do lace pieces with charts, but unless I’m completely focused I screw them up every time. This pattern has the option to knit the shawl using a chart or written instructions – I chose to use the written! I’ve decided that all lacy patterns look like caca until you’re finished with them and can block them. Once the piece is spread out you can really see the details.

kiri wip

Okay, I think I’d better go before I post so many pictures it takes a year for my page to load. I didn’t do any bento preparation this weekend so today’s lunch will be thrown together last minute.

I’ve noticed I’ve been a little lax on posting the last week, but it’s mainly been because I’ve been working on stuff and trying (trying being the key word here) to do a little housework.

I’ve been knitting away on a cardigan for myself called Mr. Greenjeans. I’m calling mine Mr. Tweedjeans since I’m using some of that monstrous mountain of tweedy yarn I posted about awhile ago. I didn’t mention the sweater before because honestly, I’ve had a lot of false starts on sweaters for myself lately. This pattern is a top down raglan and I’m past the waist right now so I think it’s safe to say I’ll probably finish it. There’s still quite a ways to go, but I’ve done the most tedious part…the bust! I put the sweater on waste yarn and tried it on and was surprised to find it was kinda big on me. I was expecting it to be a little snug. No complaints though, I like large comfy sweaters much better than ones that are snug and constricting.

I took a break on the sweater to make an instant gratification project.

cupcake

I’ve always loved little crocheted and knit food items.  They’re cute.  This little guy took me less than 30 minutes to make, not counting the time I played around with the sprinkles and trying to get creative with the photo.  If anyone remembers the little alien I made awhile ago, this cupcake pattern is from the same designer.  Hannah Kaminsky is so darn creative.   I put a few drops of strawberry scent in the fiberfill before I finished sewing it up and it smells so good!  I queued a bunch of different knit and crocheted foods on ravelry so I’m sure I’ll have more to show soon.

On Friday Paul and I went to Laughlin with my parents and had seafood buffet.  I’d never been in the Avi casino and it was pretty nice to get out of the house and DO something.  I ate a ridiculous amount of crab (and little else!) and afterwards we played slots for a couple of hours.  We took a little over $100 with us to fool around with, with no intentions of walking out with anything.  I never expect to win anything, that way I’m not disappointed when I don’t.  We blew through it pretty quickly.  In the 11 or so years we’ve been going to Laughlin together we’ve always used our last $20  in mad money on dollar slots.  This time was no different and we were happily surprised when I hit $140 over the course of three different slots.  We basically got a free dinner and a few hours of entertainment for free 😀  Yay!

Paul took a vacation day so he’ll be home today.  We’ll probably spend the day lounging and I may or may not get around to painting a couple of cabinets in the kitchen.  I’ve had this idea for a random geometric thing for awhile now.  We’ll see if it works out.  If I don’t do it today, I’ll get around to it soon I think.

Who needs flowers and chocolate when they can be surprised with something as adorable as this?

kuromi

Paul knows me beyond well.

kuromi knits

Kuromi was fascinated with the knitting magazine that rode home with her. Her little devil tail was twitching with excitement at the prospect of helping me knit!

She was so excited to start learning that she got in to my coffee!

kuromi coffee

Adorable, yes?

Kuromi is a Sanrio character I wasn’t familiar with, but she’s SO cute! I love her little coif.

In other crafting news, my charms are finally done! I had to give them a few days between coats of paint to dry and then I had to cut all the head pins down to size. They turned out really great for a first attempt though!

charms

From left to right: An adorable little fortune cookie, a Bob-omb (from Mario) – you can’t see his little wind up key but it’s there! Then there’s a Mario mushroom, a delicious cupcake with purple frosting and sprinkles (with a cherry on top!) and lastly, a sour lime wedge.

I coated these with three coats of mod podge for shine and to hopefully preserve the paint. They’re pretty light so I could probably get away with hanging several from my ds, but I’ll probably just switch them out regularly and more than likely I’ll wind up giving some away.

I’ve been consumed with cute stuff lately and had this idea for little expressive faces:

expressions

I made 12 of these little guys and they’re about 3/4″ in size. I thought I’d given them all different expressions, but it looks like I got two pissed ones in there lol. Whoops! These are set up like charms too so I could use them as such or use them in jewelry. I haven’t decided yet. I just love them.

A couple of weeks ago, Hammie surprised me with the 2008 Stitch ‘n Bitch Pattern a Day calendar. There’s all sorts of nifty knitting info in it like history, Stitch ‘n Bitch groups from all over the US, patterns, etc. Every morning it’s like opening a gift and when I wake up and get some coffee in me I flip to the present day. Today’s pattern is a raglan with buttons down one raglan seam and I have to make it! I already foresee a few mods but it’s such a cute (there’s that word again!) sweater. I probably won’t make it right away, but I’ll see if ravelry has it in their data base and queue it. I haven’t even looked through my new Interweave Knits yet (Kuromi’s been hogging it) so I’ll probably wind up with even MORE projects I want to start.

Well, I guess I’ve rambled enough. I’m looking forward to the weekend, anyone else?

This weekend was a whirlwind of crafting.  Toss in a little grocery shopping, some cleaning and I’m ready to go back to bed lol!

I was going to write a post about how I had to wait to take pictures because my husband stole my camera batteries for his remote control car and decided that in the time it would take me to write and complain I could get pictures.  Turns out though that I didn’t even have to do that, because my batteries were a little more juiced than I thought!

Picture 196

I made these last week, but never posted them.  Our dishcloth weekly knitalong on ravelry was the Feather & Fan dishcloth.  I decided to take it one step further and make a dishtowel to go with it.  I’d never done a dishtowel before with the little hanger on top so I just sort of winged it.  I cast on 60 stitches for the towel (54 pattern stitches and 3 border stitches on each side) and just worked the pattern until it was about 12 inches.  For the towel topper:

Row 1: K2tog across.

Row 2: Knit.

Row 3: K2tog across.

Row 4: Knit.

Row 5: K2tog three times, K 3, K2tog three times.

Row 6 – 36: Knit.

Row 37: K 3, BO 3, K 2

Row 38: K 3, CO 3, K 3

Knit five rows, BO.

Ugh.  Sorry if those simple instructions take up so much room.  I hate the way wordpress does that.

Anyway.  I was supposed to meet up with my bestest friend on Thursday afternoon, but the cold that Paul’s had was once again trying to thwart me.  I called Shan and bailed and slept most of the day.  That night, around midnight or so I caught her on messenger and we decided to go to our old haunt and have some coffee and crochet.  I’m a smoker, and when our town implemented the smoking ban on restaurants I stopped going to our local truck stop.  We used to be found there at least once a week (like clockwork!) to visit and drink copious amounts of coffee.  It was sucky not being able to smoke there, but it was worth getting some visiting time in with my best friend and starting the afghan we’re working on together!

We picked an absolutely gorgeous project if I say so myself!  It’s called Prairie Star and you can get the pattern here.  You crochet the motifs together as you go and it’s a fairly quick afghan so far!  I suspect that it’ll take longer to see progress as I go lol.

Picture 197

Shan’s doing hers in blues and purples and I’m going a little earthier on mine.  I’m starting to re-think the dark burgundy in the center, but I think it’ll turn out okay.  It needs a little “pop” anyway.  It’s really easy to memorize the motifs after a few, you just need to keep track of where the different colors go.  It’s starting to get big enough now that I need a lot more room to work on it and I’m not even halfway finished!  I can’t wait to see the end result though.

Here’s the Orno Abaci scarf I’ve been working on:

Picture 199

I don’t think it looks like much right now, but it’s quite impressive looking in person.  It’s knit on the bias and I really like the way it’s a straight scarf but it’s stitches are diagonal.  I’m just starting to get in to the color changes that are closer together so I’m feeling good about it now that I’m seeing some progress.  It’s SO soft and squooshy.  I think it’s a scarf I’ll actually keep and wear!

This weeks dishcloth knitalong is the Tribble

Picture 198

It’s a fairly quick little scrubby and it’s fun to see it come together.  It’s exactly like the Tawashi, (which I think I posted a picture of previously) except it’s knit instead of crocheted.  Someone on ravelry posted that she’d put nylon scrubby fabric in the center of hers to keep it puffed out and I think I may do the same with some of the ones I’m making.  It’s a great little pattern for using up extra scraps of cotton, which I have a lot of laying around!

I also did some sewing this weekend!

Picture 200

My mother in law and I keep missing each other for various reasons, so I decided to just start working on my sewing.  Yes, it’s really that pink (which brings to mind Princess Peach, Barbie and bubble gum) but I’m planning on doing some stencilling on it when it’s all finished.  I’m not really using a pattern, but a tutorial I got off of Craftster.  It’s dead easy and coming out very nicely.  It’s the first project I’ve ever put a zipper in (eek!  It was kinda scary).  The t-shirt I used to cut out my pattern was the largest I had and so it’s big even on me.  It’ll be nice and comfy though and I’m looking forward to wearing it when I can’t get warm in this damned house.  I’m taking my time on it and sewing it together slowly.  The body is completely together and now I’ve just got one pocket, the hemming and the actual hood to put on.  I should be finished with it in the next couple of days.

I even took time to mess with my altered book this weekend.  Nope, I didn’t sleep much.

Picture 201

I started working on this page awhile ago, intending it to be for journalling, but I didn’t get very far.  I pulled out my ephemera and rifled through it to find this classic beauty.  The little tag is from Home Depot, I stole obtained a bunch few of the countertop samples awhile ago and they’re great for all sorts of crafts.

I didn’t work on my sweater this weekend at all.  Or my dad’s hat.  I’ve been trying to give all my crafts equal opportunity, but some win out over others.  They’ll all get done eventually though!  I’ve been thinking a lot about tags for my wearables and I’m still stuck.  I don’t really plan on selling my finished objects (most of which I couldn’t even if I wanted to because they’re other peoples patterns) but I’d like a more finished look when I’m giving gifts.  I need a name and Chaotic Crafts just doesn’t seem to ring to me.  Still pondering, I’ll figure it out eventually.

I’m hoping to get the motivation to go through my dining room and kitchen cabinets today and clean them out.  We’ve got so much crap that we don’t use that I want to get rid of.  Maybe then I’d have room for the stuff I want to keep! 

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