Wednesday, January 21, 2015

New Year-New Challenge! Socks! Socks! Socks!


   It seems to me that last year was the year of the baby knits! I spent more time making baby items than anything else since my family seems to enjoy breeding (2 great-nephews born a day a part!). Then when it came to holiday knitting I was completely overwhelmed and rushed! I did not get time to learn new techniques which, if you are a hobbyist you may know, is sort of the point of having a hobby!
     So this year I have issued myself a challenge: master sock knitting! Do not get me wrong. I can knit socks. I have made several pairs of perfectly beautiful socks, however, they are all based on the same pattern. In the past, sock knitting completely intimidated me to the point that I felt I would never enjoy this staple knitted item. Even the vocabulary was scary: gusset (um...what?), heel flap (why would one's heels need to flap?), turning a heel (what in the world does this even mean?), pick up stitches (Huh? I already have stitches on my needles!), and the scariest of all: Kitchener stitch! (What in the world is this? I KNOW the Knit stitch, the Purl stitch, and I can even do Yarn Overs...but KITCHENER??? WHAT!?!?!?) All of this kept me away from knitting socks. Until one day I came across the pattern that changed it all: Incredibly Easy Socks on! ( is the BEST free knitting/crochet site in the WORLD!) Something clicked! I could do it! I made socks!
Knit on size US 3 needles using a mystery sock yarn from Joann's Mill Ends bag
     After completing my first pair of Incredibly Easy Socks I made another, and another, felt confident enough to try variations, and even found another pattern on to try: Catherine! But no matter what pattern I found, I have learned that I keep coming back to the Incredibly Easy Socks basics: the heel flap, turning the heel, and the toe decrease, even the dreaded Kitchener stitch. In other words if there are more than 64 stitches in the pattern (Incredibly Easy Socks have this many) then I am at a loss. Instead of the regular Catherine pattern I ended up making a modified version. From cast on to the end of the 8th repeat of the pattern, it is the standard Catherine pattern. However, when I got to the heel I once again reverted to the Incredibly Easy sock pattern.
They look really wide but this is PRE-blocked!
This is knit on size US 1 with mystery yarn from a Joann's Mill End bag

     I want to get over this. I want to be able to make any pattern for socks. I want to be able to look at a pair of socks and feel confident that I can follow the pattern to the letter. Eventually, though, my goal is to be able to create socks without a pattern! In order to do this I need to be able to master sock knitting.
     My challenge this year: knit one pair of socks a month for the entire year! I have already set this in motion. I bought pretty yarn. I bought smaller needles. I searched for hours on to find different sock patterns. I joined a group on to help me with the challenge. And...I have already knit my first pair! On top of that I have cast on 2 more different pairs already as well!
     Please note that I have been knitting socks for about a year but I have NEVER got beyond the Incredibly Easy Sock pattern. I LOVE this pattern! I do not want anyone to think that there is something wrong with only knowing one pattern for socks because there isn't. I could knit this pattern forever but in order to grow as a knitter, to enjoy my hobby more, and to learn, I feel compelled to expand my knowledge!
         *See links below for patterns!

Another Incredibly Easy pair

Another pair of Incredibly Easy socks!

A LONGER pair of Incredibly Easy socks!

Incredibly Easy Socks

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Happy Halloween 2014 Crafts!

     My best friend and I have been spending the last few weeks creating! Jamie is a wonderful artist with an eye for color that is amazing...I wish I had half her talent! I, on the other hand, am an idea person (and a person who is mildly obsessed with Google!) who loves to craft. For Halloween this year my sister is hosting a Haunted Trail/Halloween Party. One table is going to be decorated while the other two will hold food and drinks. I decided that we needed to decorate this ONE table to the best of our ability. The scene is going to be MYSTICAL! The table will have a black tablecloth, an oval mirror, a "SPELL" book, candles, and various other pieces. Also my sister is going to have the 1st annual Costume Contest...which needed trophies! Jamie and I have had so much fun making these items that it didn't seem like hard work at all!!!!!

     Since this is going to be outside, in the elements, and with children running around, we didn't want any "real" candles burning. The red eyeball and black skull "candles" are made very simply! We used toilet paper rolls with hot glue covering them. Jamie used her amazing eye for color to bring this to life! The eyeball and the skull were bought at the Dollar Tree...we cut them in half and just used hot glue to put them on. We made several with various amounts of hot glue and several different colors! Jamie and I had a blast bringing these to life!
Red eye candle--made from toilet paper rolls!
Black skull candle--made from toilet paper roll and hot glue

Mock up of table scene

     The above picture is a "mock up" of how the table is hopefully going to look. The mirror was purchased at Goodwill-2 for $5-and made over! I will be posting a close-up of these mirrors on my next blog. The frames are plastic but hold paint really well! The "spell" books are hard backs my sister purchased at a thrift store. For one dollar she got to put as many books in a bag that would fit. I glued the books shut (except one) and spray painted them black. The open book will be made over more to look like a "spell" book. I will post AFTER pictures later. The "lighted candles" are plastic battery-powered candles from the Dollar Tree. They were a shocking white so Jamie painted them black so that they would not stick out too badly!

         Below are pictures of the trophies needed for the costume contest. The first one is a baby doll from the Dollar Tree. I took off her clothes, "shaved" her hair (cut it and pulled out strands with nail clippers), and spray painted her gold. At first I thought this was enough BUT Jamie decided it needed to fit the mood SO I removed her head, added a gold skull (leftover from the toilet paper candles), and hot glued it to a plaque. The plaques for all three trophies cost less than $4....hand and rat plaques were $.75 (because of damage) at Micheal's Crafts and the baby doll plaque was a piece of wood Jamie had.
Cute baby trophy-BEFORE

Cute Baby trophy-AFTER

Scary Costume trophy

Overall Best Costume trophy
      The hand trophy is also from the Dollar Tree! It was a plastic severed hand that I spray painted gold and hot glued to a plaque. Dollar Tree also had a black rat in its Halloween section. I spray painted that gold as well and glued it to a small plaque. Later (not in this picture) I added red rhinestones to the eyes and red to the lips.

             Stay tuned for more Halloween pictures!!!!!

Monday, September 22, 2014


Hi All!!
          After a year I hiatus I am happy to announce that I am BAAAAACK!

   I am excited to get back to blogging, sharing my knitting, and connecting with everyone on Blogger. Over the last year I thought a lot about changing my blog, but how? I thought maybe my look needed an overhaul. It didn't. I wasn't happy with any format changes so everything will LOOK the same. I also thought about changing over to another blogging site but could not commit. I love Blogger! Another change I thought about making, and this is a BIG one, is how I write on my blog. Is my voice clear? My message? What am I trying to do with this blog? Reading over past posts I find that I like my voice and my message. Could I write better? Sure. But then I would not be true to myself and to this blog. Is my message clear? YES! My message is ME. I write about my life, my passions, my thoughts. That is enough for me! upcoming blogs I will be writing about what I have always wrote about: whatever I want because it is MY BLOG!!!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Knitting up a storm lately...but BOYS ONLY!!!

     I have been on a knitting binge lately and I am not sure if I can stop! I know this doesn't sound like a "real" problem but it kind of see, right now my family is on a baby kick. I have written past posts about how many babies are being born this year and how we are having a "run" on boys. Four of my nieces are adding to their families this year: 2 are already born, one is due any day now, and the last one will deliver in Oct/November. I believe that every baby should have at least one handmade baby item in their lives so I spend time finding patterns, buying yarn, and knitting something for the baby before the parents have their baby showers. I give every new baby in the family a handmade gift. I am certain by now all of my nieces and nephews ARE SICK of getting the same type of gifts but I do NOT care-handmade items are needed!
     So far my nieces that have given birth had boys (Marvin and Tyler are exactly 1 month apart!) and my soon-to-deliver niece is also having a BOY! The last niece is finally giving the family a GIRL which is the first one in 3 years! You would think I would jump at the chance to knit little frilly girly items but...BUT...(and here is the problem I mentioned at the start!) I CANNOT STOP KNITTING BOY ITEMS!!!! In particular I cannot stop knitting boy items for the soon-to-be-born great nephew! As of right now I have knit: an afghan, a deer hat, 2 deer stuffies, 2-5 hour sweaters for boys, and 2 camo baseball hats! Today I found myself looking at booties/socks for him AND looking for orange yarn to make him ANOTHER baseball cap! I have to start knitting for the little girl being born soon and I CANNOT seem to cast on anything!
     The baby afghan seems to be the favorite among all the family. I made alternating light and dark brown squares with "Deer heads" in the center. Instead of sewing these together using a mattress stitch or some other way of connecting squares I, instead, delved into the scary art of CROCHET! I find it extremely difficult to manage yarn with one hook and prefer to have TWO sticks in my hands when maneuvering yarn. However, my niece decorated her nursery in camo so I needed to incorporate it into the blanket somehow. Thanks to my sister, Lisa, (and YouTube), I learned how to use a crochet hook to connect the squares. Once I got used to only using one hand, the connecting of the squares went fairly easily and I even felt confident enough to add a border! Check my Instagram for close-ups of the squares!
Camo and deer head afghan-sorry so blurry

Deer stuffies

Dark brown deer stuffie
Light brown deer stuffie
Camo baby baseball cap

Side view of camo baseball cap

Smaller version of camo baseball cap

Camo baseball cap-newborn size

Camo baseball cap in larger size

Deer horn hat

Large 5 hour baby sweater in brown
There is also a camo version of this sweater but in my excitement I forgot to take a pic and my niece keeps FORGETTING to send me one! BRIE!!!!!!!

The following patterns were used in this post (all found on
* Baseball cap is from: Baby Boy Brimmed Hat by Janel knits
* Stuffies are from: Deer Bean Bag by Katie Startzman
* 5 hour baby sweater is from: Baby Boy 5 Hour Sweater by Gail Bable

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Back-to-school teacher gifts...

     Many of my great-nieces and great-nephews are starting school this year for the first time so I felt that the teachers needed a little "Thank you" gift. When my great-niece started school I made her a Back-to-School Crayon wreath (please check my blog posts!) and it was really well received from her teachers! The problem I faced with this years Back-to-School gifts was the fact that instead of one child starting school for the first time...there was 4! Two preschoolers and two kindergartners! I did not want to spend a ton of money on the gifts so I scoured the Internet for an alternative to the Back-to-School wreath...and I found: "Bird's Nest Bracelets." I found a great tutorial on Pinterest that showed step-by-step how to make these adorable pieces:  Mommy Made...pop over there and see how easy they are to make!

I decided to make these bracelets because necklaces are not for everyone...after giving two to my great-niece, Sadie, to give to her 2 preschool teachers I received this in return:

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Last Thankful Thursday of August 2013-8/29/2013

Today I am


    For my last Thankful Thursday I want to focus on being thankful. Really appreciating all that I have and all that I am. I have written and re-written this post several times...and still it seems difficult to express how I feel. Do I love my family? my life? YES and YES. Do I appreciate all that I have? All that I have lost? All that I will gain? YES, YES, and YES. But I want to express more to this that I am really grateful for the quiet moments as well as the loud moments...instead of using my words, though, which lack the ability to say what I feel, I scoured the Internet looking for those wiser than I! Here are a few of my favorites:

  • “One of the main reasons that we lose our enthusiasm in life is because we become ungrateful..we let what was once a miracle become common to us. We get so accustomed to his goodness it becomes a routine..” 
    ― Joel OsteenYour Best Life Now: 7 Steps to Living at Your Full Potential
  • “Rest and be thankful.” 
    ― William Wordsworth
  • “Do not indulge in dreams of having what you have not, but reckon up the chief of the blessings you do possess, and then thankfully remember how you would crave for them if they were not yours.” 
    ― Marcus AureliusMeditations

And finally a quote I hope to live by or at least aspire to live by:
  • As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. – John F. Kennedy

     I have asked myself if I will continue on with Thankful Thursdays or move on to something else over and over again. I am not sure. I like looking at the small details of my life and trying to share what I care about but on the other hand I do not want this to become difficult or feel forced. So for now I will let Thankful Thursdays rest...I will not stop being thankful or grateful...but for now I am excited to think about what this next month holds! Wordless Wednesdays, maybe? Throwback Thursdays, perhaps? Tutorial Tuesdays? Or some other alliterative alternative? Stay tuned....

  • References:
 Osteen, Wordsworth, and Aurelius quotes found on:
Kennedy quote found on:

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Thankful Thursday...Aug. 22, 2013

     This is the 3rd installment of Thankful Thursday! If you made it this far: THANK YOU!

*image from

So I decided that today's Thankful Thursday is going to focus on: THIS BLOG!

  • My blog. I am thankful to have an outlet where I can write my ideas down, let out some of these crazy thoughts that jumble around in my head, and the best part is that someone reads this! When I started this blog I had visions of becoming a world renowned, cutting-edge blogger who traveled the world talking about how YOU TOO CAN BECOME A FAMOUS BLOGGER! Ok, so not really. I thought I would keep a record of the different crafts that I liked to do and maybe have some place that I could exchange ideas with other like-minded bloggers. I started this blog with gusto but like most bloggers I began to fade in my blogging posts.  Life became hectic, things got in the way, and sometimes I just didn't have anything to say. BUT for some strange reason I have been compelled to come back to this blog and just say HI. I know that this blog is not huge. Or that people have never felt the need to wake up and read my blog but I love having a place of my own in this huge Internet world where I control a space. Its not world famous but it is mine!
  This week's post is short but I dedicate to all you bloggers out there who write to share, to feel in touch with a vehicle as large as the Internet, who sometimes need 5 minutes to yourself because the kids have you going crazy or work has you stressed out so you blog, or even those who cultivate a blog like a gardener tends their space-working hard and pulling weeds each and every day! I dedicate this Thankful Thursday to the occasional blogger, the obsessed blogger, and the one's in between! Thank you!!