Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A productive weekend

I'm a day late in posting this. As it turns out every once in a while you're impatient for a short week to be over with and the days actually fly by! I don't know where yesterday (Monday) went but I was definitely busy and the next thing I knew it was 5 p.m.! I'm not really complaining about this, I desperately want it to be time to go home and see my family. For those of you who don't know (probably all of you...) it's been about 6 1/2 months since I was last home which is a ridiculous long time for me to w/o making a weekend trip up to visit. I also haven't been home for Thanksgiving in 6 years, none of my family has seen my ring in person and Jon and I will be looking at some venues over the weekend - I have PLENTY of reasons to be excited to go home!!!

I would say that the entire weekend was devoted to working on Christmas presents, which it kind of was, but unfortunately most of Saturday was spent having nothing go right and really getting nothing finished. I did make some progress on Sunday, though maybe not necessarily on the projects I should have been working on but I'm happy with what was done. Sunday also brought 3 hours at the Wheaton mall shopping for clothes for Jon for Sunday and I spent a good chunk of the evening getting my clothes packed.

Below are pictures of what was completed/worked on from Friday afternoon through Sunday evening:

These are a Christmas gift using Marie Anne's pattern and Bernat's new Jacquard yarn, which by the way I am totally in love with!

I really love the idea, the pattern and like I said this yarn. I'm looking forward to one day making a pair for myself....probably come January. I think they will be perfect for my extra chilly office to make sure I can keep my typing at 80 WPM all day!

This will eventually be a hat and it'll be going to the same recipient as the fingerless loves. Hobby Lobby was not joking around when they named their yarn "I Love This yarn" because I really do love this yarn! It's much softer than Red Heart and provides many more colors. I've stocked up on quite a bit of it both online and when in a store out of town but this is my first experience using it. I look forward to experimenting with it more! Again, probably not until January.....

Harry Potter mania has been upon us. We borrowed the first 6 DVDs from our neighbor to prepare for Deathly Hallows Part 1, which we went and saw on Friday night in IMAX. Such a good.movie! I didn't "buy into" Harry Potter in college because I didn't want to get sucked unto the hype. I'm totally into it now and am loving it.

Saturday night was spent watching more of the DVDs at home and I worked on these:

I actually finished one on Saturday night and I believe my eyes were closed before my head hit a pillow on the couch. It had been a looooooooooong day of crafting and some troubling bumps in the road (like realizing that you bought 1 yard less material than you needed to making a Birthday present for your favorite, and only Momma....) Those snowman pants will not be a Christmas present.
The 2nd slipper was started on Sunday evening. I'm very close to having it finished, just never enough hours in the day! I can't relocate the patter online right now (I printed and brought home me with last week), I'll be sure to post the link when I get them finished and post that picture.

Like I mentioned, sewing was my big challenge on Saturday, but on Sunday morning I did get these finished:

They are AMAZING. So comfy and warm I can't wait to wear them while I'm home for Thanksgiving (it's too chilly for me in WNY after 6 years). I will be buying more fleece material very soon - who knew I would finally find something other than no-sew blankets to make with warm fuzzy fleece!!

I'm still plugging away on my spa clothes for Christmas this year. The best thing yet is that FINALLY found my acrylic G hook!!! I'm back at a pace I'm happy with at about 1 hour per cloth (I get distracted and look up at the TV shows I'm always catching up on during my night and weekend crocheting so I find this acceptable). Now that I'm happier with how everything is going I'm starting to come up with additional ideas of colors and gifts so I think I'll be crocheting with cotton a bit longer!

You've seen 4 of these before....I still haven't taken care of the ends on 99% of them, because I hate weaving in ends, but this may be the last time you see some of these as I plan on starting to give some away as housewarming gifts, etc. but new pictures will be coming of new colors and finalized gifts, etc over the next month.

There was also a 2nd pair of pants, flannel capri lounge pants to be exact, that were made for my Momma's birthday. Unfortunately I didn't remember taking a picture of them until after they were wrapped and packed! oops! I guess I'll just have to take a picture of them on her this weekend! I also made 2 matching pillow cases in the same material, just a different color background....one for her and one for me. Again forgot about the picture taking, they are currently wrapped with the pants. I'll take pictures this weekend and share.

Please don't judge any misspellings or typing/grammar errors. I'm still at work 15 min after I should have left trying to finish this up since I wanted to post it yesterday. I'm heading home now instead of proofreading and getting myself packed for my weekend at home!!!!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Procrastination at it's Finest

There are many things I should be doing right now....important work things, but it's Friday at 11:20 a.m., I'm already hungry for lunch and am slowing loosing my motivation to get the work completed that needs to get done today...seems to me like the perfect opportunity to take a break and write some more about those darn spa cloths :-)

As you can see here I've made some more progress on my 3rd spa cloth (whose colors I am TOTALLY in love with by the way!) The last couple of nights after work haven't given me much time to work on these so I chose this morning before leaving for work. It's always at the worst moment that I crave time with some yarn, a hook, coffee and some good morning TV. Once again I chose procrastinating on getting ready for work over getting to work early.....and I came so close to getting this done! After yesterday's bomb threat in Logan Circle making me an hour late for work, I thought it best to set this down and pout as I walked away to go finish doing my hair and get dressed.

I'm still struggling with how long these are taking to come together. I've decided to blame it on a combination of the metal hook and the fact that cotton has no stretch to it. I'm used to working with yarn that works with me, not against what I'm trying to do. This isn't even my first project using this stitch so I won't blame that. Oh well, maybe I'll come across an acrylic G hook this weekend! Or maybe if I spent more time focused on what I was crocheting vs. also catching up on DCR'd TV I would go a bit faster.

May try to time myself tonight if I can before we head out to see Harry Potter (!!!). Tomorrow I need to focus on that sewing I mentioned the other day (that still hasn't been started), try on clothing options of our Engagement pictures <3>

Have a great CRAFTY weekend!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Spa Cloths - harder than they should be?

What is it about a final project that only measures 8"x8" that has to take so long? Seriously if I was making a scarf, I would get SO MUCH MORE done in almost 2 hours that just a little square with trim. But, that's how long it took me to make just one of these last night....almost 2 hours!

100% cotton yarn is very soft, but it seems as though the process of crocheting with it is difficult for me. I am remembering this from past experiences and am now wondering why I thought it would be a good idea to have around 10 of these on my Christmas gift list to get made....maybe I just need to spend some more time trying to find a non-metal size G hook because I am starting to think that maybe my acrylic one would be better, maybe not, but I'm willing to try anything at this point to make the process go buy faster than 2 hours per cloth....your comments and suggestions are welcome :-)

I think tonight I'm moving on to sewing for a bit. I have some gifts for my Momma's birthday that I need to get done before heading home for Thanksgiving in 1 week! YAHOO for a nice long weekend at home (with the family AND wedding planning details!!!) - it is after all my first time home for Thanksgiving in 6 years!

Monday, November 15, 2010

C'est Fini

I'm always so excited when I complete a large craft project. When I have all of the ends woven in as well I feel as though it's cause for celebration!

Yesterday I completed my "Baby Girl Hexagon Blankie" that I started last Tuesday!

The picture is a bit blurry because I was standing on the couch this morning to get a clear shot of the full blanket...apparently I wasn't a steady as I thought I was ;o) The blanket is actually about 3 feet across, definitely something that the baby can grow into....which I felt was important. Everyone makes blankets and buys clothing for the newborn which don't last very long. This blanket is big enough to be a lapghan for me (minus the bottom of my legs/feet sticking out) so I think that she'll be able to enjoy it as a toddler as well!

I whined and complained through the last 4 rows and 2 rows of the border on this one. I hate that when you make one big hexagon or square the larger it gets, the loooooooooonger it takes to get all the way around again! I then of course cried and pouted through the weaving in of aaaaaaaaaaaall those ends too. Again I'm going to ask why it is that I insist on making these projects with all many ends to weave in at the end? I'm seriously considering paying people in cookies to do this part for me! It was getting late (only around 8 but since it's dark at 6 these days it seemed like it was about 10) and I had been working on this non stop ("NO BREAKS!" Heather says) since about 2. I'd had it with crafting for the day but knew that if I stopped it would be forever before those ends were taken care of....seriously the lapghan of the same colors in a ripple is still sitting on the chaise mocking me waiting for the ends to be dealt with! I knew it was now or never and just kept going until there were like 4 more and then I had the energy to finish it up!

I just may force myself to weave in the ends on the pink ripple tonight and maybe try and finish up those fingerless gloves so that I can start fresh with something new during Glee tomorrow night!

Oh if only I didn't have to finish putting my closets back together tonight!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Fast and Furious Hexagonal Love

Yup I've found myself a new love....crocheting hexagons! LOL never knew something as silly as a Granny Square with 2 extra sides would be so exciting, but I'm definitely enjoying myself on this project. It could also be because I'm still using the pretty shades of pink and Lamb from the lapghan and I'm still having a bit of a love affair with the combination. Between the extra pink I still have and the sales going on this week on Vanna's Choice I just may have to stock up on my some Lamb for a project for ME (that won't get touched until after the holidays)!

I had some disagreements with some of the first hexagon patterns I looked at so Monday night's attempts to start the "Baby Girl Hexagon Blanket" did not go too well....everything was ripped out and I started over with a new pattern last night.

I had it ready to go by 8 so that I would bring my work with me for the watching of the new episode of Glee! Good Tuesday night indeed. Glee was super great (again, finally!) and I got lots of rounds done on the blanket.

Yes, yes I know the first couple of rounds go so fast that you look like you're working at lightening speed and the next think you know it's like you hit a brick wall and how some how crocheting backwards.... I gotta say though, 10 1/2 rounds on a new pattern w/ color changes in 1 hour, while trying my best to focus on a new TV show was pretty impressive.....at least I think :-)
This is "fast and furious" because my day has FLOWN by and I want to get home to get the Mt. Everest sized accumulations of laundry started ASAP. My official WIP post is gonna have to be a WIP-it Thursday this week!! hehe
I mean, the sooner the laundry's done the sooner I get crochet again right??? And besides, I can always put the clean clothes away tomorrow....or this weekend ;o)

Monday, November 8, 2010

A Solid Weekend of Crocheting

I honestly believe that I spent about 95% of my weekend crocheting. Miss KaitiMae and I had a wonderful time together as well. We went out for a few meals with Jon and walked around downtown Silver Spring on Saturday afternoon, but most of our time was spent on my couch being crafty and watching movies....basically my idea of the PERFECT weekend! We even made Christmas cookies on Saturday night and had a Christmas movie marathon with Jon (White Christmas and Elf for those who are wondering). I crocheted all the way through White Christmas and we all sort of laid down during Elf which meant we all passed out and we watched it again on Sunday morning while crafting!

My goal was to finish up the lapghan (WIP it ripple in cream and pink that I posted about last week). I did this by around 2:30 yesterday...yipee!! It's probably around 36" long and I'm still in love with these colors. I'm actually going to make a 2nd blanket with them and a 4th color (lighter shade of pink). I'm thinking a hexagon baby blanket, but that'll depend on whether or not I can get the hexagon shape started!
There are no pictures of the finished lapghan yet because I haven't even started to weave in ends yet. Seriously, I hate weaving in ends........about 3/4 of the way through I announced to Kait how I couldn't understand why I keep picking these patterns and projects that leave me with so many ends to weave in! I will work on them this week and I refuse to photograph it's beauty until actually completed. Right now it's folded up and sitting prettily on the end of my chaise (where I sit and do my best crocheting) looking at me with big sad puppy eyes over not being completed. Ok, I know, the lapghan does NOT have eyes, that would be incredibly creepy, but you get my point.

Since I didn't want to weave in ends yesterday and I'm shy the lighter pink I want to use on the hexagon (AC Moore trip already planned for tonight after work) I decided to start on a new project. This time I went a bit smaller and got to work on my first pair of fingerless gloves. I really love the idea of these and found a great yarn for someone special this holiday season that I also believe with get great use out of a pair! I made one and it's extra purty :-) I started the 2nd and very quickly got frustrated when I noticed that the pattern doesn't look right. The entire time I was crocheting the first I was a bit panicked over having to replicate this a 2nd time to make a pair and have them look the same. It was around 6:40 last night at this point and I realized it was already dark out (the downside to gaining an hour of sleep Saturday night) and I had probably been crocheting for around 20 hours total since getting home from dinner on Friday night. I just couldn't bring myself to rip it out and start over/figure out what was wrong. I instead laid my head down to watch TV and pretty much passed out by 7 for the night.

I now need to get a small list together of things I need to pick up this evening for my next round of projects, but will first leave you with my final 2 thoughts of the day:

1. This yarn is rapidly becoming a new obsession of mine. I'm using it for the fingerless gloves and it's very soft and the colors are extra yummy. I plan to stock up on more colors soon (though I may wait until Thursday after work when I start getting 20% off my purchase for Veteran's Day sales at Michaels). Oh and by the way, to every store that wants to bring in business with Veteran's Day sales, please remember that not all of us work for the Fed Gov't, school systems or a bank and we don't get that holiday off! I know that if I were patient I could wait and do all craft story shopping on Thursday, but as you all should know by now I'm not a patient person and I don't want to wait! This means I'm punishing myself with 2 trips to VA this week...oh well at last it's a week where I get out of work early.
2. As I continue to work on Christmas presents and post things about them here, I'm going to leave it to every ones imagination who these projects are for. Some that are obvious I will most likely not post pictures of at all for fear that they actually do read this and it will ruin the surprise! and I do love a good surprise. Maybe a recap post after the holidays of ALL Christmas presents made this year is the way to go!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

WIP - Election Night recap

I made the trip to AC Moore on Monday evening for more Vanna's Choice Baby (Lamb) but thanks to a ridiculous night of DC traffic it was 8:30 before I got in the door and changed out of my suit...just to find out that I had NOT taped DWTS!!! I sat down quickly and started watching and eating what was left of my dinner - I really wanted to get started on crocheting! At this point I should have had an hour and a half of uninterrupted crocheting before Jon was home from class. It seems that boy has a 6th sense about needed attention as soon as I'm focused and putting work into a yarny project...
Turns out that little was crocheted before he was home (2-3 lines tops) because I ended up dropped everything into my lap as soon as the dancing commenced. Some weeks I only glance up from my project but for some odd reason this week I just couldn't bring my eyes away from the TV as soon as they were dancing again, good or bad!

Thanks to Election Day and Election night results with friends yesterday evening, I had myself a good long chunk (like 3 hours) to crochet away. Once I was home and the apt was picked up to a point where we wouldn't be embarrassed by anyone coming over, we quickly had dinner, I got myself a drink and started crocheting.

Somewhere around 10:45 after a drink and a glass of wine I was too sleepy to keep going, it's still a work in progress so it's my WIP this Wednesday. Here is the picture I stopped and took this a.m. before leaving for work:

I only have 3 more things to say on this today:

1. I LOVE THIS BLANKET! Just becoming obsessed with how pretty the colors are together...

2. I seem to find working on this in the mornings IMPOSSIBLE since saying that I would starting doing that. The temperature in my apartment has finally regulated itself with the change of seasons and it's a nice cool temperature in my bedroom every morning and all I ever want to do it wrap myself up in the comforter and stay there forever! Today was the worst day yet this week....I could have stayed there forever (or at least until I was ready to crochet!)

3. My lack of morning crocheting and need to clean in the evenings means I am longing for the weekend so I can reunite with my new favorite project that I'm going to have a hard time giving up this Christmas season!

Oh and Kait's coming to visit so yea! There's that to look forward to as well :-)

Monday, November 1, 2010

I can't believe I let that happen...

I'm a planner. I make lists, I cross things off said lists and I would never start a big project (say crocheting a blanket) without all the yarn needed...

That was all before this weekend. I have had the yarn for this picked out for at least a year now and did not have time before the holidays last year to even start the project with delusions of being able to finish in time. I've gone back and forth on what stitch I wanted to use and how I wanted to use the colors, etc. I finally saw a pattern online that I liked and I made the executive decision to use the pattern with my chosen colors to make a lap blanket for Grannie.

I am in love with this yarn and have been stock piling it for a long time now. Perfect color for a blanket for Grannie along with a similar shade of pink that's solid and a cream...I decided to save some money by using a Pound of Love of cream yarn vs. the beautiful Lamb baby Vanna's Choice that I'd have to buy. I started crocheting on Saturday evening and even after my "color specialist" (Jonathan) gave me the thumbs up on the Pound of Love shade of tan-ish cream, I was not happy with it by 3 stitches in. It was a bit too stiff up against the soft Vanna's choice that is coming out extra soft and snuggly thanks to my dc stitches and a K hook. I ripped it out, went into the study and found the one only skein I had...and it wasn't even a full skein, I'd used something of it for something else that I can't remember! As soon as I started to work stitches with Lamb it was just perfect!

I should have gone to AC Moore yesterday morning. Sundays are hard because we go to the grocery store early and I wanted to get some work done around the apt. With most stores like AC Moore closing around 6 on Sundays, it's so hard to make it there in time, it's usually around 6:30 when I want to go!

I've never had to stop crocheting because I ran out of yarn :-( it was very sad...

ISN'T IT PRETTY?!?!? I'm in love and will be sitting here all day wishing I was home working on it. I will be racing out to AC Moore tonight as soooooooon as I can get my butt out of this office chair to stock up, racing home and enjoying every minute I can put into this!