This post is serving two-fold. First, my twitter feed from my blog posts seems to be broken. It has posted automatically up until Jun 30th... and it hasn't picked up anything since. So - this is a test. This is only a test....
And of course, the part that is not a test - I want to share my current SIPs with you. For those of you who don't know, SIP stands for Socks In Progress. Wednesday's have traditionally been used to share Works In Progress, or WIP Wednesday - but since this isn't my only WIP, ... here is my SIP on Thursday. *smiles*
I have been on a sock knitting kick since... well, when I learned to knit socks. For any knitter that has not attempted socks, I would highly recommend it. They are small, portable, and somewhat quick as long as the design doesn't get too intense.
These are plain vanilla socks I made for a co-worker. I didn't get to work on them straight through but if I squished all the time together I probably finished them in about a week (week and a half-ish).
I think the most amazing thing that happened is that as I worked them, the stripes just lined up - and the yarn isn't really what I'd call "self striping" - but I think the sock was narrow enough to allow it to create small dark blue stripes.
Sadly, the photo doesn't do the color much justice because it has a little green in it, some grey, some orange, and of course, the dark blue.
As many of you know I have been fiddling with the needles a lot recently in addition to the crochet that I have on the hooks. Because of this, I have had a few different "wins" as far as getting things off the needles.
With that said, I wanted to share with you my completed "Summer Flies" shawl.
It did not take long at all to knit up - a few days, 5 at the most. In fact, it was such a fun knit, I cannot even tell you how long it took. I would start a section and in no time (it seemed), I'd be finished with that section.
I knit it on size 9 needles using Patons Lace with Sequins. Yup - it even has a little sparkle to it.
I would recommend this pattern for any knitter. I cannot believe I had a good time knitting it.
I simply wanted to share with you, dear readers, that I FINALLY finished the socks for my mother. I had been working on them for well over a month!
It wasn't an overly difficult pattern and they weren't extremely long (sorry, Mom, you aren't really that tall hence your feet aren't that big) - I just went really slow with the pattern because well... I'm a slow knitter *laughs*
I'm very glad they are done and I'm ready to cast on my next SIP project (socks in progress). This time - they WILL be vanilla socks. *smiles*
The funny story behind these socks is that I mailed my mom her first pair of hand knit socks a few months ago. I knew that once she wore them, she would begin to expect more - and I'm perfectly ok with that. I like doing things for my mom. She is definitely 'craft worthy' as far as I am concerned.
I figured that she would just expect a pair of socks at every gift-giving holiday (Christmas, her birthday, Mother's Day, etc). The surprise is that the next time I saw her, she went to Hobby Lobby with me when I had to pick up something and purchased sock yarn for me and said "make me more socks out of this yarn" - handing me the purple and grey yarn (shown above). I smiled and said "absolutely" and was happy she really enjoyed her first pair. Moreso than I thought she would.
Is there a person that you feel is extremely craft worthy that you'd like to mention? Funny story about someone requesting a certain item? Let me know in the comments! (link to any stories you have posted as well - I will have to approve the comment BUT that's ok!)
Like warm fresh-baked cookies, newly cut grass, and some perfumes - we all hold memories in the tangible. When someone else's tangible memory is left with me for repair, I always get a knot in my throat and butterflies in my stomach.
I go into the work with the disclaimer "it isn't going to be exact" and "it won't be 100% like it was before" but.... there is always a but "but it won't unravel and I will do my best to get it to match.
This last job was no different other than it has been YEARS since someone asked me to repair their tangible.
I guess I have trouble thinking that posting an image a faux breast (or two) is considered adult material but I guess in some people's minds a boob is a boob is a boob.... so here... here are my two boobs - well, for the sake of what they really are: FOOBS!
And they aren't mine - they will be headed to their new home within the next couple of days.
This is my FO Friday post... I would apologize to you in the form of "I am sorry if this offends you" but... really - why would it? If you are offended by the idea of a knit breast changing someone's view of their personal appearance, then for that I am sorry you feel that way.
While going through my Feedly, I came across a post from DIy's Hooks and Yarns - a button giveaway - and it reminded me that I have not shared any images of my new button tin.
First, for the giveaway, you must leave a comment by Tuesday. I'm not one to generate my own competition (because quite frankly, I would LOVE to get those buttons), but I also want to share the blog with you and generate some traffic to Debi.
I have decided to expand the blog a little bit without changing the name. I do a lot with yarn that isn't just crochet. Now, while the blog will continue being primarily crochet - here goes a nice knit post.
I have come up with a pretty solid "vanilla sock" - a repeatable process, if you will. So, after making a few pairs using my recipe, I decided to make a fancier sock.
This sock is being knit with base inspiration from this pattern I found on Ravelry: Waffle House Sock by Brooklyn Handspun.
Just a quite note so everyone knows that I have flipped over to Feedly. I'm very disappointed that Google is removing Google Reader, but we all must move along and try something new. Me.... I'm headed to Feedly!
I can't say that I'm "back" in the sense that I'd be posting every day, but I do know that this morning I had a couple ideas for new patterns and got that urge to write. I actually went over to Wordpress and registered a free blog over there. I haven't written anything for it but it does have a more "generalized" title. There is just something about Blogger, about being on a Google site, that just makes me feel "blah" - perhaps its time I just bought my own URL and did my own thing.
I'm pondering the switch - I just know it will be a lot of work because I have SO many patterns being linked to this site. This means I need to copy all the patterns over to the new site AND notify all the web directories that link to my patterns that the URL has changed.
Is it worth it?
I do know that I have a couple ideas for patterns that won't be a free pattern. One is a booklet of sorts that I want to have more than 5 patterns. It is important for me to feel like someone gets their money's worth when it comes to buying patterns. I can't tell you how many times I see a pattern and the price is 5or 6 dollars - While I wouldn't mind having the pattern, I just don't see it as worth paying that much for. Maybe its because I'm super cheap, but yea - I want to make sure people feel as if they are getting their money's worth when they buy a pattern from me.
Hmmm maybe that's why I have only put one up for sale :P
Well, just know that I'm alive and well - I'm still playing with yarn.
OH, I did finish the wingspan (finally) and I'm about 3/4 of the way done with the Navajo blanket..... and I have knit several pair of socks!
Honestly, I think that my sock making deserves a category of its own. I have come up with my own "vanilla sock" pattern - I want to write it up and get it posted, but because of my above statements, I do think it would be a "for sale" pattern BUT I want to make sure that I explain how you can easily modify the sock and create your own patterns. I think only then would it be worth buying.... otherwise it just needs to be posted for free.
Ok ok.. enough of my whining/update. *smiles*
I think the fact its raining kinda puts a damper on my mood. Time to smile and work on my mom's sock.
It has been quite a bit since my last blog. Honestly - I was a bit scared to even look so I figured .. don't. All I know is that its been entirely too long and I owed an explanation, even if relatively enigmatic.
I will not be blogging as regularly as I had at the beginning of the year. It is hard for me to admit that I basically have just broken off more than I can chew. Between work, marriage, family, actually crocheting/knitting, trying to get my weight in check, health, (and the list goes on and on) - I really just don't have time.
Part of my identified issue is that I really made this blog too specific - its crochet only, or at least I try to keep it that way most of the time. Right now, the things in my life are not crochet related so I don't really feel I can just slap it down into cyberspace - specifically THIS cyberspace.
On top of that I'm a bit miffed with Google as a whole. First - the reader is being taken away although I did get some feedback that Feedly seems to be good. I will most likely be switching to that. BUT in addition to that, Google Adsense has accused me of "cheating their system" and removed me from the Adsense program. I know it doesn't seem like a big deal but it bummed me out because 1) I'm not and 2) its punishment for getting more views and promoting my site locally. It is not the primary reason I blogged but I admit, it is the primary reason I put the majority of my patterns up for free because I knew that I would get some revenue from them to pay for my time and it wouldn't have to come from the reader base.
But - shame on me, eh?
I am not saying I will never return to blogging. I enjoy putting pen to paper (virtually) and know that I'll return soon enough - but perhaps I'll give my site a whole big make-over and make it more generalized so I don't feel so bound to any single topic (or two).
I rarely use stitch markers for crochet - I keep some simple plastic ones on hand but have also been known to use a paper clip, a safety pin, and little scraps of yarn. But now that I've been knitting more, I am finding need for something a little more sturdy - something not too thick like the plastic but something that isn't going to slip off.
After looking online, I decided to take a stab at making my own. This is what I came up with.
Squirt also took a stab.
The marker made with hearts was made by Squirt. She did a really good job - I was hoping she would make me more but she seemed to lose her momentum. The "eyeballs" across the top are mine. I kinda grouped them in the progressing stages of figuring out what worked and what didn't.
Squirt had trouble getting the loop around the ring snag free - and getting the ring closed all the way. Even I had difficulty in squeezing the ring all the way closed - but it works and its really cute. I'm glad to have a token like this from her.
The blue eyes, that are by themselves, I tried them in the same manor that Squirt tried - and it didn't work out too well for me. I had trouble getting the wire looped around and snag free. The middle "group" - the single pair of green eyes, was done a bit differently - I used a doubled up piece of wire around a smaller jump ring.... but in the end, I still shouldn't have used the thicker wire.
So that brings me to my last group, the group of three, that look a lot better - I think this will be my method.
Perhaps in the near future, I'll do a give away of some of my eyeball markers! (but let me make sure they work out ok first)
Have you ever tried to make your own stitch markers (beyond bending a paper clip just the right way) ? I'd love to see what you've created!
I took a risk last week and ordered from Knit Picks - ya know, first order after the security issue with them putting customer info where it shouldn't have been. I figure now is the best time to order - I bet they are really watching themselves. I bet they are more secure now than they ever have been.
Anywhoozles - I needed a yardage counter and of course, its nothing you can buy in town.... per norm.
So, I wanted to share my order with you all.
You can see the yardage counter so we won't talk about that again.
I got two circular needles - US 2. One is the nickle plated kind and the other is that stripey wood/bamboo - what's that called again?
I decided to try the two circular method of doing socks so I wanted to get nice circs that were different visually - I like the nickle a LOT.
Then, those items aside, I got 8 skeins of sock yarn - 6 of the skeins are Felici yarn and the last two are Stroll. They are really squishy! I can't wait to make the socks. I think I'll be making one pair for each person in the house. I'm really excited but put them aside for the zauberball.
I will keep you all updated on sock progress with the yarn from this order - but just know that right now, I'm spending a lot of time just squishing it and gazing at the pretty colors.
Whelp, here it is... we have moved into March (and definitely like a lion). It's just crazy how fast this year has gone by. I know years ago my dad said that the older you get, the faster it goes. It was hard to grasp when I was a kid because it seemed like forever until my birthday came... and forever until summer break... forever until Christmas.... so on and so forth.
But now, here I am, in my 30s and feeling the sentiment of my dad's words.
With that bit of randomness out of the way, here we are... Wednesday. I haven't done a WIP Wednesday post in a few so I figured why not. I have a couple things actively going (not the Navajo.. DOH!) so I figured I would share my progress in the creative images taken by the Man....
First, I want to apologize for not posting anything in the last week. As always, things have gotten a bit hectic although I'm trying to reign it all in now. I usually try to have several posts scheduled at certain intervals since I know my writing tends to go in spurts - I update a lot then go through a week or two of drought - I do try to be sensible and not post everything as I write it, spreading it out a day or two in between the posts just to ensure my blog doesn't end up like an ole ghost town.
So what is pushing me to post today... well, this is going to be a no frills, no pictures kinda post - and its definitely not about crochet.
As many of my regular readers know, I'm struggling to lose weight. I am working towards the completion of my life-ghan, an afghan that represents each pound loss. In the end, my life-ghan should be 100 squares strong... 100 pounds lost.
Do you have a special yarn buddy? A friend that like to stay close to your side even if you are focused on your yarn?
My yarn buddy is my dog Andrew - shown here, this is the kitchen chair that I frequently sit at when I'm working on my blog or sometimes when I craft (and want to use the computer or watch TV from a good vantage point).
Often, Andrew will come lay at my feet, hoping I use him as a foot rest (and rub his sides with my feet) and ocassionally, he hangs out under my chair.... This was him last week - he was under the chair, relaxing, catching some shut-eye on the rung of the chair I was sitting in. The Man was able to catch a picture of him before Andrew got up and followed me to the other room.
Andrew is definitely my yarn buddy. I love him so.
I normally do try to stay somewhat on topic but I feel it is important to share this information with my readers, especially knowing many of you shop online at the same places I do.
Recently, it was discovered that the Crafts Americana Group, or CAG, accidentally put a file which included buyer data (name, address, credit card numbers) in a location that was not secure. This means the site was not hacked, but if a person with ill-intent were looking in the right place, this file would have been made available to them relatively easily. You can read the announcement made by CEO Matt Petkun here: http://www.knitpicks.com/cfBlog/post.cfm/message-from-our-ceo-matt-petkun
With Valentine's Day looming, I made a decision to make something small and different for the man, the kids, and my coworkers. I saw a cute pattern for crochet fortune cookies on Ravelry and made the decision THAT is what I was going to make.
For the Man and my kids, the fortune cookie was just a small piece to their Valentine's Day - for my coworkers, I left them a crocheted fortune cookie and a piece of chocolate.
Being that I'm an all around animal lover, I really found some of these patterns something I'd be very interested in making, especially the cat scarf.
I just wanted to first give Tamara a huge "THANK YOU" for featuring my pattern as one within the collection. I really do appreciate this sort of acknowledgement from other bloggers, crocheters, and artists. And on top of that, I'm glad she pointed out that it really is a great item for donation to animal shelters.
So, please - if you have not been to the Moogly Blog before, I encourage you to go check it out.
I know I have briefly mentioned a recent trip to a nice yarn store with several of my yarn group friends - a mini yarn crawl, if you will.
While at this yarn store, I saw this yarn.... and I want it.
I really really REALLY want this yarn.
So I want to ask you all: have you used it? what did you think of it?
It was a rather pricey yarn, as far as my budget is concerned, so any input prior to my purchasing this yarn would be helpful. I know that one of my friends purchased this yarn in the purple gem-stone type colorway shown on the right - I want the browns/greys.
It definitely seems like I have been knitting more than crocheting; however, in my defense I say that the Navajo has really beaten it out of me - ya know, the desire to hold a hook. And then, when I do pick up a project, like the Have a Heart Shawl I recently reviewed, I don't dilly dally - I get in and get 'er done.
So, my most recent project completed was not a crochet project - it was knitted socks.
I did a review on Monday for the Magic Crochet Wrap - and unfortunately, with such a bad result from that pattern, I was in need of another - you see, I wanted to make a wrap, poncho, or shawl for my youngest daughter. She'd been wanting one for a while ... and when the Magic Crochet Wrap didn't work out - I was on the hunt again.
I decided, on a fluke, to go back through this bin of "freebie flyers" I pull from when yarn shopping. I came across the freebie for a Red Heart pattern called "Have a Heart Shawl." It was cute - and I was in need.... so this was the pattern I chose.
It shows as a free pattern from Coats and Clark although you can grab it on Ravelry for free (here).
This is one of those very difficult reviews because I did not have a good experience but based on the reviews from others who have made the wrap, it seems like its a 50-50 ... either people loved it or they just thought it was so-so.
Of course, these things are all very subjective - but then again, a review is pretty much just that, right? An opinion?
I did end up finishing the crochet wrap that was originally started for my youngest daughter, Squirt (which was too big for her AND Rabbit... making it default to yours truly). I'm not liking it. I don't know if its the yarn choice or what, but the finished project is really stiff. Now - keep in mind that as I was working on it, the resulting fabric seemed to flow fairly nicely - it wasn't until I put it on that I realized just how stiff it really was.
BUT this post isn't about finished objects gone bad, its about my works in progress, or WIPs.
I think everyone who has read my blog for any length of time knows that I strongly encourage people to step out of their comfort zone - try something new. I personally like to try something at least daily (even little things count) - but when crafting, I think you should take this plunge every few months.
I admit - I'm inspired and awe-struck by much of the work that the ladies and gent of my knitting group produce. I have some some SERIOUSLY amazing pieces created from tiny little baby clothes to fantastic afghans - the lace work is no exception.
I admit, I like to delve into Pinterest a little. I don't spend 500 hours a week looking and searching and pinning - but I do end up looking at pins near the end and sometimes, I pin items I really like looking at or may enjoy.
Honestly, up until this last week, I hadn't really entertained the idea of actually going back and making things.
I don't know what did it, but for some reason, I was making chicken noodle soup and it was going to take a little longer... and I thought "oh, why not?" and went straight to my food board.
It really feels like I haven't made tons of progress on any of my projects and honestly, I've had a hankerin' to cast on some socks.
What is wrong with me?
Regardless of what is wrong with me, I've really been juggling some projects as of late - some of them I think I should have finished weeks ago and others surprise me on just how much progress I've really made.
I wanted to step back a moment and really give some credit I hadn't given before... which is kinda surprising.
The credit: to my brother.
My brother is an AMAZING artist. In fact, I'm pretty sure I've posted some of his artwork on my blog before when we both entered a local art show (here, not where he lives *laughs*).
Well, on request, quite a few months ago - my brother created me some images. The image is a ball of yarn with some knitting needles in it, a ball of yarn with a crochet needle in it, and then a ball of yarn with both items. Hmmm there may be just a ball of yarn in there too... somewhere. I asked him to draw them up and he had them done pretty much the same night.
And then he provided me with the image that all I need to do is drag it to photoshop and add the right words - he made my life SO much easier.
You will see these bits of art on my blog. I'm using them with titles of my blog series and I also featured one on a bag I made at Zazzle called "So Happy Together" - ya know, since I knit AND crochet.
I used his images for my iYarny buttons and banners used both on this site AND on Ravelry.
Its really nice to have simply because I have the original and I can tag them in whatever way I like.
So really, this is just me taking that moment to really THANK my brother for his artwork. I love all of the images.
He's a superstar in my book (always has been... even WITH the "twinkie deals" he never followed through on when I was little LOL).
This 'series' is going to be about me and getting my life back.
Let me explain.
I'm not a small woman. I am well over 100 pounds overweight, although because I'm also very large-framed, I would say that me being as big as I am isn't like a small-framed woman being 100 pounds overweight. I am still relatively active and healthy - which is a blessing in and of itself. I have a family that loves me and a job that does not seem to discriminate against me because of my weight.
Those of you have read my blog for a while: do you remember my posting a picture of several books and some granny squares I got from my brother - things he had stored in his garage from my grandmother? No?
You have no idea how excited I got this morning when sat down for my "morning blog read" before work and saw that Kathryn of Crochet Concupiscence had posted that I had a chance to get a copy of her newest book, Crochet Saved My Life, for free on Kindle.
I have blogged multiple times about how important I feel it is to challenge yourself or adventure into new waters - to learn something new. I like to learn something new, even if its a piece of information, every day. With something like crochet, one should be willing to adventure off into something new at least once a year - to be able to practice it and get comfortable with a new technique or style.... or tool.
I have been eyeballing cro-tatting for a while now and that is definitely going to happen once I can find the right hook. Obviously, I could find them online easily but I figured I'd just piddle around local for a while until I couldn't take it anymore. IE, around April.