Thursday, August 30, 2012

A Smile A Minute!

Last week’s trip to Central NY, included time at the New York State Fair!  Each year that Mom and I get to attend, the trip becomes more and more about seeing the friends we have made from all over the country, and spending hours at a time chatting with each of them!

Here are just a few shots to recap our time in Syracuse

Walking across the bridge from the parking lot to the fairgrounds

Mom and I

Lake at the National Park within the Fairgrounds

2012 Butter Sculpture - Olympian themed

2012 Sand Sculpture

Also appropriately Olympian Themed

I’m also proud to say that 50% of the yarn I packed was used over the weekend!  Not 50% of the actual yarn, but I used 2 of the 4 skiens to make 2 gifts for some very dear friends from Oklahoma City.

Here are Carma and Nancy at their booth with the Single Loop Cowls that I made them (something light weight, but offering of some extra warmth, as needed, for the short winters in Oklahoma)  We discovered this year, that Carma and Nancy first attended the NY State Fair to sell their hand crafted gold jewelry just one year after I first went with my parents to compete in the State Level dance competition!  I couldn’t tell you what year the first pieces of jewelry were purchased, but it was with in the first year or so that we found them, and I’m almost positive it was a “name” necklace with my birthstone!  We now spend many many hours at their booth every year catching up, seeing what’s new (both with them and their jewelry), and ordering new jewelry.  This year they’ve branched out into making more jewelry with silver – like the beautiful bracelet with blue jade that I’m wearing to work today!

To say that Mom and I love them and their jewelry would be an understatement!  They are amazing woman, and truly are “ARTISTS”!

Anyone who is reading this that lives in or near Oklahoma City, or plans to visit the area, you should DEFINITELY go to A Jewelers Art to see, and maybe even buy, a piece of their artwork!  You won’t be sorry!

Back to my Single Loop Cowls – here at are at the hotel right after I finished them:

Each was made using THIS pattern, but with a single strand of worsted weight yarn, and a K hook.  I forgot to measure them, but when looped, they come just down to chest….I’m guess that they are between 30” and 36”.  This is the first time that I’ve made cowls with a twist in them.  I’ve seen many pictures on patterns online this way, but never fully understood why you would do this.  I started playing around with a finished one before sewing it together and realized that putting that twist in means that it lays perfectly about 99% of the time w/o having to futz with it too much!  Will definitely continue to “add a twist” in the future!

Tonight I’m headed home to pack for our weekend trip to Myrtle Beach!  Lots of travel projects and yarn coming with me this weekend as well – hopefully a fun update next week will come of it!

Safe travels to anyone who is traveling this final official weekend of the summer!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Olympian Crocheting

As Olympians challenge themselves every 4 years; whether making the Olympic team, a new personal best, World Record, Olympic Record or most medals won by a single Olympian, I found myself on a crochet journey over 16 days of being glued to my TV screen.  A journey that I am sad to say is not yet complete.

I started crocheting THIS blanket about a week prior to the opening ceremonies.  The night of the Opening Ceremonies, I sat crocheting with excitement for the upcoming two weeks of sporting events that are rarely televised other than once every 4 years.  I really loved how the stitch looked, and true to my overachieving, day-dreamer tendencies I found myself thinking of ALLLLLLLLLLL the amazing things I was going to crochet, finish and blog about during the Olympics.  I mean, I was going to be sitting here there every night for 16 days – the possibilities seemed endless.  Just 12 hours later - the morning of July 28th, after a good 3 hours of crocheting during the Men’s Road Race in Cycling, reality set in.  In all honestly, reality banged on my front door and all but bitch-slapped me because I was OUT OF MY MIND to think that this “simple baby blanket” of single crochets and skips was going to be easy……

Here was my progress around July 25th or 26th.  “Isn’t this going to be the most amazing baby blanket ever”, I kept saying to Jonathan while I lovingly ran my hand over the unique, blush texture”

Here we are after the first weekend of the Olympics - somewhere around July 29th, and a solid, additional 5-6 hours of crocheting.  That Monday morning I felt horribly defeated.  I’m a fast crocheter.  With the number of hours I’d already put in by now – I’ve had other blankets DONE, or at least close to done (not looking like I just started).

The following week I started to lose steam.  We also spent the weekend of August 4th celebrating our 1 year Wedding Anniversary, so I had slightly less time to crochet that a usual weekend

I still plugged along though whenever possible - here’s where I was on August 4th

For those who are wondering, the blanket is being crocheted with a Caron One Pound in Cream and my favorite K hook.  I did make my base chain 34” vs. the finished product of 30” listed on the pattern – this meant I was aiming to crocheting “up” 34-inches…..somewhere around a completed 20-25” things really started to feel like I was crocheting backwards.  I’d crochet and crochet and crochet, chain-1, turn, and crochet and crochet and crochet for HOURS, daily and I STILL hadn’t made it to 34”.  By the second full week of the Olympics it became obvious that not only was this blanket going to be the only thing I crocheted during the 30th Olympiad, but it finishing it by the Closing Ceremonies was worthy of a Gold Medal!
Funny side note:  One night after work while we were watching the Olympics that I announced to Jonathan that I would NEVER make this baby blanket again!  Jonathan immediately sounded  offended and hurt that I wouldn’t want our child to have the nicest, warmest, snuggliest blanket that I could make him/her.  I promptly reminded him that there are other patterns out there – our future children will not be without.  Since then I have given some thought to the possibility of being a more patient woman when I’m pregnant (probably not likely), or having 9 months to work on it vs. 1 month, or as my Mom reassured me, my baby blanket that she crocheted me is hopefully still safe in her craft room and I could use that ;-)

Here was my progress by 8/12 – I took this photo the morning of the 13th to show “ALL” that I did during the London Olympics.  I also had to purchase a 2nd pound of yarn the morning of the 12th – I believe that all but about 2” of what you’re looking at above is a full pound of yarn!

I’m still working on it.  I finished the 34” – I’ve fully crocheted the first two rounds of the border – I’m less than ¼ of the way through the final scalloped round of the border – I’m exhausted.  I’d planned to finished crocheting on Saturday so that I could block it on Sunday.  Then I just wanted to finish before it was dark on Sunday to block.  By Sunday evening I was going to be happy with blocking it by Tuesday evening.  I’m leaving tomorrow night around 10 p.m. to go to Syracuse for the weekend, (I’ll be leaving straight from downtown after work to have dinner with Jonathan and then be dropped off at the airport) I’m not touching this cream monster until I return next week. 

Yes, it’s beautiful – I still love how it looks but I’M.SO.OVER.IT

Oh, and it has to be ready to be gifted on Wednesday the 29th.  I know.  I’m a bit of an idiot for refusing to touch this blanket until I return next week – I will no doubt be up until after midnight on the 28th finishing the border, weaving in ends and blocking, and then up long before I should be to weave in my ribbon, photograph and wrap….but you know what?  I just don’t care anymore.  I’m sick of staring at Cream

I currently have a couple of scarves that I’m working on – as something easy and mindless.  I’m about half way through the first one, thinking about making them both cowls – will post photos when they are finished – they are my travel projects for the plane tomorrow night and the hotel over the weekend!

On a happier, silly note – note only did Jonathan and I celebrate our 1 year wedding Anniversary back on the 6th, but today is our “8 year datin' bananaversary"!  

Here is the “oldest” photo of us that I can quickly find – New Year’s Eve 2004 – just 4 months after we started dating

Our Wedding Day – August 6, 2011

I believe this is the most recent photo of us to date – May 20, 2012 – spending this much time with the same person really is the fastest way to look back and say “wow!  We were babies!!” 

That’s okay though – here’s to more years and Disney trips together than one could possibly count!




And that concludes today's photo tour