Wednesday, January 26, 2011

RIP and another snowstorm

Over the weekend my mom and I lost a close friend who was near and dear to our hearts.  Cindy passed unexpectedly on Saturday evening so it was a shock for all that were touched by Cindy's kind heart and warm smile.
Her son made this wonderful tribute to his Mom which was shown at the viewing last night.  Thure did a wonderful job and I cried and laughed through all 6 minutes of it.

We love and miss you Cindy!!

We are gearing up for another snow storm here in DC.  We've had no where near the snow we had last year but this one looks to be the biggest yet.  They're calling for snow totals anywhere from 3-8 or more inches of snow depending on where in the metro are you are, and where the "snow bands" end up sitting!  Coming from WNY and those of you reading this in WNY are thinking "that's not a storm!!"  Well it is in DC.  Most drivers down here can't handle rainy conditions so all hell really breaks lose when it snows!  This morning we had gotten around 3" over night, but it has started to rain on the snow early this a.m......they schools shut down for the day.  Between what was still being treated on the roads and the pending doom of the evening commute tonight they didn't even do a 2 hour delay!  Around 11 a.m. OPM announced that the Federal Government is urging people to leave work 2 hours early and many offices have already made the decision to close down at 3 p.m.  This means we have also been given this option and I plan on taking them up on it and am leaving at 3:30.  They're calling for around 2" per hour starting at 4 with 1/4 mile visibility.  Not something I want to commute 8 miles uphill in!  Leaving work early and the fact that there is a possibility that the city shuts down tomorrow means everything has to be packed up and brought home with me today.  Laptop, paperwork, contact phone numbers, etc.  I'll spend more time packing it up to take it home and setting everything back up once in the office again that I will spend on my computer at home I fear.....

Safe travels to all those on the East coast who will need to drive over the next 36 hours!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Too busy to keep up

Sorry to disappear again....between work, wedding dresses, wedding planning and spending time with Mom at night I haven't had time to take pictures of any of my work since last Friday!

I have done some crocheting, though not as much as I would have liked, I am making progress on a big project that I have yet to share with all of you....there's a great story that goes with it as well so I'll share everything once I have a finished project picture to share too!

Hope everyone is staying warm out there.  We are finally thawing out from the ice storm here in DC yesterday and are bracing for our next round of wintery mix/snow that's coming tomorrow night.  My fingers are crossed for a snow day!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Still Relevant

I'm a day "late".....I took these pictures yesterday morning but never had a chance to post yesterday.  I did ZERO crocheting last night after work or this morning before work so these pictures are basically like the past 24 hours never happened (and given the way things have been over the past 24 hours, I'm really ok with that) I'm not pregnant, I'm only late in posting this post!

First of all, here is the cream Infinity scarf I was talking about earlier this week.

I've been wearing it all week and it's very warm and of course soft because it's BAMBOO!  I'm also sort of using this as a "guinea pig" against my new red pea coat.  Something about a red dress that I wear at Christmas time always turns the gel on my nails red, which translates into a pink-tipped French manicure.  I had my nails done again at home and after wearing the coat at Christmas I noticed my nails doing the same thing again!  I'm scared to carry a good purse that's not black right now until I know where else I'm transferring far so good - the scarf is still cream!

As I promised myself, I did go straight home on Wednesday night and ripped out my bad work on the mittens.  I sat watching the Memorial Service in AZ and ended up with these before it was over:

I usually take my pictures quickly in the morning before work, so having something completed to take a picture while someone was home (i.e. Jon) to take a picture of me wearing the mittens was very fun for me!  I love these and can't wait to make another pair!  The pattern (which I posted on Wednesday) actually calls for a solid color of a bulky yarn so I think I'm going to try that next with the size hook the pattern suggests.  I'm lucky to have narrow hands or these wouldn't have fit me.  I also had to add quite a few rows to compensate for my abnormally long fingers and hands, and due to the fact that I wanted them to come up past my wrist a bit.  I may have to switch back to my cream coat this weekend JUST so I can wear these to and from the car LOL...after all red and pink together are a bit of a NO-NO in my book!

I still have 2 skeins of the pink jacquard yarn, but after multiple attempts to come up with a way to crochet a scarf and/or hat with it, I've given up and realized that I need to knit something to truly benefit from the built in pattern of this yarn.  That being said I thought an Infinity scarf in Stockinette stitch would be something different that the norm.  Also a challenge because I've yet to master circular I found a pair, sat down and thought that I would for sure be able to start this.....I cast on and knit one row before I was stumped.  I was too lazy to get up and get my new knitting book for more instructions so I quit that after 1 row and moved onto something crocheted instead.

This is my favorite yarn in the whole wide world!!  It's soft, the colors are yummy and it carries a great deal of weight and warmth when worked up.  I made a skinnier scarf out of pink and green for my mom a couple of years ago and then made the same style out of just pink of me.  While I love it and it's very warm for such a thin scarf, I'm just not really into the whole "thin scarf" craze anymore.  I bought 5 skeins of this on sale from JoAnns online the other week when I had free shipping.  After working with my favorite lighted K hook and Marie Anne's pattern, which has quickly become a favorite of mine, I had this:
Just like Marie Anne says in her post, you really can make a lot of different looks with this pattern just depending on what yarn and size hook you use!
I was unsure about it at first but the more I've crocheted the more I LOVE IT!  This is at the end of one skein (which explains the short little tail up by the hook).  The only problem with my favorite yarn would be that the skeins are so small and it's definitely not cheap yarn for the oz. you get.  It should only take me 4 skeins to make a scarf (still undecided about sewing it together to make an Infinity) which will leave me with one remaining skein in the same dye lot to make a hat to match!

Even better yet (could it get any better than a pretty pink Bamboo scarf?!?!) this pink matches perfectly with the Jacquard mittens so I have a fun mix and match set.....well multiple sets actually :-)

I plan on doing some serious crocheting over the weekend and through next week while my momma is in town!  Jon's headed to Belize and it's a great time to bring out lots of projects and get started on all the ideas in my head w/o worrying about the mess I'm making.  I'll also have Mom there to help me decide what looks good, etc.  We're also off to do Wedding dress shopping (!!!) this weekend so most of Sunday and Monday will be spent at the bridal shops picking out mom's dress, my bridesmaid dresses and god-willing finding my dress (seriously !!!!!!!)

Hope everyone has a wonderful crafty weekend where they can stay indoors and STAY WARM!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Sorry to have disappeared since the start of 2011 (really before Christmas since I was home) but between the holidays, travel and then trying my darnest to get caught back up at work I've had NO TIME to ramble!  I've still been crocheting, and taking some pictures, just no time to tell you all about it!  Most of my crocheting has been happening in the mornings vs. at night after work.  My late hours in the office last week meant I had no energy after my evening commute.  It also seems that after getting up 30-60 min. early most mornings in December I now can't get out of that habit!  I've slept in a couple of days this month but usually when I do I half pout as I leave for working looking fondly at my yarn on the couch and then I spend most of my day at work  (the spare seconds that I can find) looking at patterns online, reading about all the wonderful crafting you are all up to and ordering yarn online (which is RIDICULOUS!  the last thing on the planet I need to do right now is order MORE yarn!!)  So, I get up and crochet in the mornings so that I can get my "fill" and am more productive in the office.

This morning I finally pulled these back out for the first time since I worked on them at Christmastime
This is my first attempt at mittens, crocheted or otherwise and they were going along really well my last night/morning in Busti.  Unfortunately I didn't get a chance to finish them before we had to drive back to MD so into a bag they went along with a print out of the pattern and chicken scratch notes on a paper towel of all things.  In the time between returning to MD on 1/2 and this morning (1/12) I never once get them out of their plastic bag...I barely even thought about them.  I had moved onto this knitting/new challenges "obsession" and wanted to challenge myself with something new.  Yes, mittens were also a new adventure but I just have had too many ideas rolling around in my head of projects I want to make, things want to try/revisit and things I want to keep for's just too much all at once!
This of course means that when I opted to try and work on these this morning the chicken scratch paper towel "note taking" was hard to decipher and by the time I left for work I realized that the 10 or so rows I'd crocheted up past the thumb gusset were wrong and will have to be pulled out tonight.  I just need to make sure this actually happens tonight while it's all still fresh in my head.  Besides we got about 2" of snow last night and it would be nice to enjoy a lovely winter item such as jacquard pink mittens while the weather's still right!

My other "work in progress" (which is actually non-existent now...) is a knitted, yes you read that correctly KNITTED ribbed scarf!
This no longer exsists.  While the Vanna's Choice yarn does still exsist but it's been frogged and wound back into a ball that was thrown into a bag of yarn that (still) needs to be put away.  On Friday night (after a date night downtown, where I came home with this to help fine-tune my new obession, I got distracted while watching Jon play Mario Kart and inadvertently added a stitch.  I've read in the book how to rip out a couple of rows or drop a stitch to fix this sort of problem, but unfortunately I couldn't actually FIND where the added stitch happened.  So it was frogged.....all of it.  It was wound up to be put away due to company on Sunday.

I still have plans to make this scarf and it's going to be knit and ribbed (I first attempted a crocheted rib back on like 1/3 but was unhappy with what I was getting), just not with this yarn.  It'll also be "Guilder blue", but I'm waiting on an online order from Hobby Lobby to arrive with some more yarn to try for this instead.  This order had to happen because I ran out of yarn for the one below!  It's also much longer than that now.  This is what I worked on over the weekend while watching the breaking news reports from AZ.  It looks great and I can't wait to start wearing it, but it's too short right now.  So the Hobby Lobby order was placed on Saturday afternoon with this, the blue and some other goodies which were shipped out this a.m......hoping to have by this weekend but given the crazy East Coast weather right now I'm not holding my breath.

I also started (and finished) an infinity scarf for myself (started it when I ran out of the yarn above)  I don't have a picture because I got all the ends woven in this a.m. and threw it on as I walked out the door.  I can't remember the brand of yarn used either, but it came from Hobby Lobby (not ILTY) and is a Bamboo blend in cream.  I used the same pattern as the black Infinity I made for my boss' birthday.  I wasn't 100% sold when I started it, and kept asking Jon what he thought.  I think it's a success though because it's hanging with my coat in the office today and 3 people have stopped and asked me if I made it, told me how pretty it was and told me I should sell them because they would totally buy one!  I guess it's not too shabby after all :-)  This also tells me that I really need to get my b-u-t-t in gear and get an Etsy site up and running!

So that's all for now - I'm going to try my best to keep updating and blogging more than once a week as it makes my posts shorter.....I like to write here on my lunch break, but I have to actually take my lunch break for that to work!

Join in the fun!! (click on the picture below to see what the rest of us are working on....)  What are you working on?

Saturday, January 8, 2011

I'll add it to my to do list

I sat here this morning procrastinating on the unpacking I should have been doing by working to finish a scarf I had been crocheting during the Christmas season rush (that I ended up not giving as a gift).  I did finally get up and do some unpacking, but then sat back down to have a lunch time snack.....this was when I started seeing news reports about Congresswomen Giffords of Arizona.  I turned on CNN about an hour ago and I'm still sitting here watching while they continue to get conflicting accounts as to whether or not she has been killed and I picked up my crocheting for something to do with my hands during such a sad and horrible time.

Then I ran out of yarn.  I can't remember if I 2nd skein was purchased so now I must dig through my stash and see what I've got before ordering anything else from Hobby Lobby I don't need....sigh

My thoughts and prayers are with Congresswomen Gifford's family, friends and her staff today...

Thursday, January 6, 2011

What an amazing pick me up!

first of all - My WIP post for yesterday is still a WIP..... :-(  work has been so busy this week that my head is literally going in full 360's for around 10 hours straight in the office.  By the time I got home last night I did not have the brain fuction necessary to type (I could barely kick Jon's butt at Mario Kart! ;-) haha)

This morning has been about 15x busier and just at the moment I thought I was on the verge of tears I happened to notice that I had one new notification on Facebook.  Taking a 30 second break to stop myself from breaking down I saw that a good friend had tagged me in a post!  I love it when people think of me on Facebook so you can imagine my surprise and delight when I was tagged in this!  Thanks to the exhaustion and stress from work lately I seriously almost burst into tears at the nice things Sarah had to say about me!  Sarah and I first met waaaaaaaaaaay back in the day of Marching Band competitions (even though we were from different high schools) and a mutual love of someone from my HS who we'll refer to today (and forever really) as "younger".  I never knew Sarah was a sewer or knitter until probably 6 months ago, but I have really enjoyed reading her blog and seeing all that she's been up to! 
I have a hard time believing I'm the age I am and not still 16 but either way, I'm always surprised to find someone my age who enjoys crafting as much as I do....turns out there are actually quite a few of us!  I've crafted my entire life and for a very long time it was something I was embarrased about.  These were of course my Jr./Sr. High years and I was embarrased about pretty much everything.  There came a point when I was in college that I said "fuck it" to a lot of people over a lot of things that people never seemed to really like about me.  My personality, and my crafts are who I am.  In the almost 9 years since I've graduated from High School and even more in the almost 7 years since I graduated from college I've realized there are amazing people out there who I now call my friends who like me for just the person I am!  Sarah was always one of those people though, and now we have even more in common than our High School days!  I love reading Sarah's blog because each time she knits something new I know it's probably a pattern and technique she's never tried before as a new knitter and she does AMAZING work!  I haven't seriously knit in about 4 years now so each time Sarah posts a picture of something else she's mastered it's made me realize that I'm giving up far too easily on something just because it's "harder" and "takes longer" than crocheting!  Thank you Sarah Trostle for challenging me to be an even better crafter!

I mentioned the other night that I had some tricks up my sleeve.....I was going to share them with you in my WIP post this week.  I hope to write this post during my lunch break this afternoon but I'll give you a hint - the 2 projects I'm currently working on include a pattern I've never tried before and a pair of knitting needles ;-)

.....stay tuned!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

It's finally here!

What a day and what a night!  First, I didn't get to this last night because I was SHOT after my first day back in the office.  This morning I got all my Christmas pictures uploaded but of course couldn't email them all to myself to deal with on my lunch break at work and I didn't have time to create a slideshow before leaving for work (I was of course late as usual!)  Tonight I got online and tried to figure out what website to use and was happy to see I could create a slideshow in Picasa....I always get nervous about uploading my pictures on too many websites.  After a good hour and a half of cropping, sorting and adding captions (all while multitasking and looking at Honeymoon locations with my <3 Honey) I was really disappointed that I couldn't seem to "share" what I had done.  After a small temper tantrum I reread Picasa and found how to share on Blogger (duh, of course this would be an option, it's all Goggle!)

So I hope you all enjoy what you see!!!  Please leave me a comment if you have any questions about the things I've made or are curious about a pattern, etc. I'd be more than happy to share!  Positive feedback is always welcome as well :-)

Monday, January 3, 2011

Feels good to be back!

Don't take that the wrong way - it doesn't necessarily feel great to be back to work (the first day back is always the hardest and today has been no exception!) feels great to be back to blogging!  I took me my entire lunch hour plus a few breaks from playing catch up to sit here and catch up on all my blog reading that I missed over the past 11 1/2 days!  Makes it sound like my parents live in the stone age for me to have not gotten on Blogger for so long but they really do have Internet in Busti, NY!  The issue is 2 fold....1 - with everything going on with the holidays and the crash that came once I was done crafting for the holidays there wasn't enough brain power for me to type and be witty, and 2 - thanks to how dad set up his last computer (telling Time Warner that he only has one computer....) I am now unable to connect to the Internet with anything more that "limited connectivity".  Yes I could call Time Warner and deal with all that comes with wasting half your morning on the phone with an Internet provider, but it just didn't seem worth it!  I would get on Dad's laptop if I really needed to look something up or print something out and did all emailing through my Droid....I also used the "Incredible" for any last minute random Google searches that needed to be done.....what did I ever do before I had the Internet at my finger tips either right there in my purse or sitting next to me on the counter?!?!

The holidays were wonderful (I'm very thankful to say "as always") and I was the closest to being ready for Christmas as I've ever been!  Seriously I was done with my last gift around midnight on Christmas Eve/Morning and when I was the first one up at 6 a.m. on Christmas morning I decided to make a last minute Santa gift for Jonathan and started crocheting a hat....Dad got a note that he would be getting one as well.  All I knew while I sat there waiting for the coffee to brew was that I didn't know what to do with my hands and I've crocheting so many years over breakfast and gifts at Grannie's late morning that I didn't think I could just "sit" there!  Cutting things off the to do last back around 12/18, wrapping before we drove home and driving through the night of the 22nd (vs waiting till the 23rd) certainly helped, but I already said to one person this morning, I'm starting in August this year!  Ok, the wedding is August 6th followed by a 2 week honeymoon so that's TOTALLY NOT going to happen (way to set yourself up for failure already Holly....) but you get the idea.  I think what would be best is that I keep making things and store them away now while the wedding planning is still in low to middle gear.  Only problem with that is that I'm on a bit of a fix of making things for myself.  Again, this is also 2 fold.  First of all I've made so much for so many people recently how could I possibly think of something else to make them right now?  Secondly, I haven't made something for myself in a very VERY long time and I think I most definitely deserve it!  I have my first pair of crocheted mittens over half way done and I started a crochet ribbed scarf last night....the scarf was frogged this morning and 5 dedicated minutes were put into getting back to where I was.  Hope to have pictures of both of these to share in the next few days.  The side note here is that in using a new pattern to make something for myself I will probably pick out a color to use the same pattern to make a gift for a friend or family member....

Oh and speaking of pictures, many were taken of all Christmas gifts that I made in 2010.  My plan when I get home for work tonight is to upload them all and create a slide show to share with all of you showcasing what kept me so busy since October and so stressed the final 2 weeks before heading home.

I also found this afternoon to be constructive as I was FINALLY able to fix the Blogger layout issues I've been having since November and my gadgets are back where they belong again.  I've also changed to a lovely "wedding themed" you can see the picture on top is new as well, keep an eye out for some additional changes to that this evening as well - both these at home projects are assuming that I don't crash and pass out on the couch as soon as I walk through the front door!

Happy 2011 everyone - it's going to be a wonderful crafty year!