Thursday, March 31, 2011

Where are they now? Blog Post #4 of Blog Week!!!

Whatever happened to your __________?

Write about the fate of a past knitting project. Whether it be something that you crocheted or knitted for yourself or to give to another person. An item that lives with you or something which you sent off to charity.

     Haha!!! This is a great prompt for tonights blog post!!! This question was answered for me tonight by my niece about the fate of a baby blanket I made for my great-niece, Kylie, who is now 7 months old (I made it for her baby shower gift) Here is how the conversation started:
Brie: Ummmm, Aunt Cathy, about that baby blanket you made for Kylie...
Me: What about it? Did she pull it apart? (this is a fear of mine when gifting something to a baby-that they pull the yarn out and make a choking hazard out of it!)
Brie: (looking puzzled)- Nooooooo....but I....its kind of messed up...
Me: What happened? Didn't I make you two with the left over yarn from the first one?
Brie: Ok, I had to throw it away because I threw up on it after my very serious dental surgery. (Actually, I added that last part because as her aunt I KNOW SHE JUST HAD DENTAL SURGERY BUT AS A READER NO ONE ELSE KNOWS)
Me: You threw it away? You couldn't wash it?
     At this point her mother, my sister, jumps in and tells me that it was not something that would come out but that Kylie still has the other one so its not that bad! Because I know how bad my niece has had it since her very serious dental surgery, I am not mad. PLUS, Kylie loves her blankets. When she was an infant, my niece lined her bed with the blanket (ummm...number 1 blanket...number 2 came later when Brie asked if I had any spare yarn left so that she can have an extra for when the first blanket was looked into the future there!) I have seen Kylie using the blanket to learn how to crawl-which she is the QUEEN of doing- and I have seen her cover up with the blanket when she was suffering through teething (she has two bottom teeth now!)
Kylie-looking cool with her shades!! 7 months old!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Tidy Minds, Tidy Stitches- Blog Post #3

How do you keep your yarn wrangling organised?

     When I read today's prompt for the 2nd Annual Knit and Crochet Blog Week 2011, I started smiling right away! First, I have to admit I was a little confused as to what the question was asking: what is this "organized" that the question asks? How does one define this particular word??? Soooo, I thought about it and I think I came up with a satisfactory answer. "Organized" is what people who do not keep all their yarn in hundreds of bags, thrown in the back of their car, and stashed all over their bedroom does with yarn!
     I have never been a neat knitter. When I knit it looks like a small child has run through the house with a pair of scissors and a skein of yarn--yarn droppings everywhere! Pieces of paper with indecipherable scribblings of k12, p8 litter the floor, the couch, the bed, the car-everywhere! One day some futuristic person will find my house/car in an archelogical dig and will run to the nearest expert to try and decipher exactly what the small pieces of scribble mean!
      "Boss! Boss! I found these items on-site', a breathless archeology student yells as he comes up from a giant pit in the middle of Virginia, 'I think it is some dead language! We have to get this right away to the top translators of the world! What do you think "k18p3k15YOk10ptbl" means? Why are there check marks, circles, lines, smiley faces, and X's all over? Is this a warning?"
     The tired female boss-lady who has been overworked for the last 4 months on the site of the dig looks sadly at the young, eager student and thinks two things at once. The first thing is "No one should be that eager and young!" The second thing is "It is a good thing he is cute-because he is as dumb as a post!" Slowly she tries to explain: "Calm down!' she snaps because people that are that eager are also hard of listening, 'Let me see those scraps! This is not a dead language! This is not a cryptic is the scribble of a knitter trying to follow a pattern! It's not interesting! It is just laziness from a messy knitter!!! Don't bother looking for her needles, her books, or her projects!!! They were buried with her!!" As she said this, the tired female archeologist slowly smiles to herself and thinks about her stash of wool at home....sigh....a few more hours until knitting time....a few more hours.....

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Skill + 1UP--DAY 2

Here is my 2nd post for the 2nd Annual Knit and Crochet Blog Week 2011!!!

Look back over your last year of projects and compare where you are in terms of skill and knowledge of your craft to this time last year. Have you learned any new skills or forms of knitting/crochet (can you crochet cable stitches now where you didn’t even know such things existed last year? Have you recently put a foot in the tiled world of entrelac? Had you even picked up a pair of needles or crochet hook this time last year?

      Over the past year I would not say that I have really learned anything special, just improved on what I knew. This time last year I was making a baby blanket for my great-niece-to-be, Kylie Rose, but being the over-achiever that I am I also knit booties (3 actually because they came out 2 different sizes), a hat, and my first ever baby cardigan. Since then I have spent a lot of time making toys-they are my newest passion. Because it is Easter time a lot of my items have been bunnies but I have also done 4 Stegosauraus, (Stegosauruses? Is one a Stegosaurai? Hmmm...) a caterpiller, 3 bunnies (ummm I have one on my needles as I post this so 3 and a half???), a bunny nugget, a half of sheep (no I am not a sicko!! I am just having problems deciding whether I like the pattern or not!) a couple of mice, an entire Snowman family and a few I cannot quite remember. I have learned a few things making toys about myself as a knitter.
      I can't make faces. No matter what I try I can't figure out how to make a face on anything. When I do make a face they are twisted or fall off or just look...weird. I have given up! If I can't find a way to find pre-made faces then my toys will be face-less. Oddly, enough it is not a creepy thing. All of them have eyes so that helps (I use beads or buttons! No sewing on of these either!!!) Another thing I have learned is to use really inexpensive yarn to practice the pattern on...sometimes the pattern is off or the gauge or just me (see half a sheep comment above!) but either way I never use expensive (in other words I use RED HEART) yarn to make a test first. Too many twisted up, forgotten, wrong looking patterns to waste good yarn on for my taste!! Cheap yarn first and then the more expensive yarn for the final product!!!
     Future goals for my knitting: to learn to use circs and dpn's, make more toys, and just enjoy knitting more!! It is supposed to be a hobby, right? Not an all-encompassing obsession?? Just a hobby....

A Tale of Two Yarns-Day One

This is my first official 2nd Annual Knit and Crochet Blog Week 2011 submission! (Sadly, I am a day late but still posting anyway---just going to cheat and do 2....shhhhhhhhh......)

Choose two yarns that you have either used, are in your stash or which you yearn after and capture what it is you love or loathe about them.

*Ok, so this topic is a little weird for me because I am not picky about yarn. As long as I can afford it-I use it. However, there are some differences I have picked up. For example, if it is cotton, my fingers will know. The fibers rub against my skin and it makes it feel almost like an Indian burn. WAIT!! Does everyone know what an Indian burn is?? Please trust me when I say it is not supposed to be a racist term! I was born and raised in Virginia so somethings are still stuck in the Dark Ages of PC terms-so if I offend, please forgive me. Anyway now that my apology is done I will try to explain an "Indian burn" ummm.....ok! I got it! Take both of of your hands and cup them onto a volunteers wrist (side by side) and then turn each hand in different directions-fast! The result on your volunteers wrist will be an "Indian burn!" SO this is what happens when I use cotton--my fingers feel as though they are getting "Indian burned" as I am knitting. Of course, this doesn't stop me! I will still knit the occasional dishcloth (I sent 2 to Afghanistan when my niece was stationed there last year) or the occasional absorbant baby toy. It is just not my most favorite yarn in the world.
* My favorite yarn would have to be any baby yarn that doesn't split too much. I think this is mainly because I knit A LOT for babies. I can't help it! My family keeps reproducing at alarming speed! A couple of positives to this is that 1) I have learned to knit faster, and 2) there are always cute babies being born. The negatives are 1) I always seem to be knitting baby items, 2) once you knit for one family members baby-then ALL of them want something handknit (tee-hee! shhhhhh...I actually think this is a positive but was going for symmetry in my list!! LOL!!!)

SOOOOOO phew!! I have completed my first official 2nd Annual Knit and Crochet Blog Week 2011 post....I did it! A day late but here it is!!!!


Friday, March 25, 2011

Excited about 2nd Annual Knit and Crochet Blog Week 2011!!!

      I am so excited about participating in the 2nd Annual Knit and Crochet Blog Week 2011! I have already started thinking about how to respond to the prompts that Eskimimi made and cannot wait to read what others have written! I got an e-mail today about the week and how to use the tagging system that Eskimimi set up. It seems that she came up with the tagging system so that other bloggers can find each other on Google easier-purely genius! It took me a minute to figure out what exactly how to work the tagging system but I think I got it now and I am raring to go!!! I know that I am no where near as a great blogger as others out there and I think this is going to give me a great opportunity to learn from others.
     Ok....enough about my excitement! Now to talk about something realllllly important: my newest yarn find. Last weekend I took a trip to the Metro Richmoond Zoo with my sister, my 4 nieces, 1 nephew, 3 great-nephews, and my great-niece. It was a great trip! I haven't been to a zoo since I was little and I have never been to the Richmond Zoo. It is not as big or as nice as the Norfolk Zoo (which is where I used to spend every Saturday when I was little) but they have a nice set-up nonetheless. My buddy for the zoo was my then 2 year old nephew, Tay (he just turned 3 on yesterday) and he was amazed by the animals (and a little scared) We got to ride on something called a "Safari Train" where animals were roaming free as we rode in a customized golf cart. One even put her nose right into our section!!
      After spending 4 hours wandering around the zoo, I decided I had to see the gift shop before I left. Small but great! As I was checking out I spotted my lucky yarn find! Inside the glass case, in a bowl, sat 3 skeins of gray yarn. The sign stated that it was made from animals on-site! I have never had yarn made from real animals (I am more of an acrylic type of girl!) and since it benefited the animals-I bought a skein. For $8, it is by far the most expensive yarn I have ever owned. I took it home and undid the hank to make a ball--it is huge!! Almost like a double skein!!! I am now making a project with it that I will be posting during Blog Week 2011!!!
      As of yesterday, I had no idea what kind of animal contributed to my yarn. However, my sister called the zoo and found out that it is actually from 2 different kind of sheep-black and white-which is why it is gray-silly me-thought it was dyed! Sooo mystery solved! Yay! Another surprise came when I started knitting with the yarn! Beautiful flecks of solid black and solid white speckle the yarn. I thought it was just gray but now it is turning into a nice almost varigated yarn! NICE!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

New Blog Banner!!

       I have decided to join Ravelry's Knit and Crochet Blog Week! Last year I did not get a chance to participate but I am excited to join this year! From what I understand, Eskimimi, has come up with what I consider to be blog prompts: she gives bloggers a subject to write on for everyday of the week! I am hoping this will make me more committed to blogging! I love to blog, honestly, but sometimes forget to put posts on. You know how life is-sometimes it moves so fast its surprising and other times it moves slow that you can practically feel every second that passes. I am the latter type of blogger. When time slows down, when I can breathe for a moment, I blog. Unfortunately, this doesn't happen as often as I would like so I am a sporadic blogger.
       So.......for the week of March 28th I will be blogging using the prompts provided by Eskimimi. I really want to thank her for organizing everything and for the logos that she made! I hope I can work as hard on my blog as she did to come up with the prompts!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Bunnies....Bunnies.....Bunnies! Multiplying everywhere!!!!

      Because Easter is upon us, and my sister likes to collect eggs, I have started knitting bunnies. It started with a simple Bunny Nugget pattern I found on Ravelry and has blown up into a full blown bunny obsession. I have now made 3. I got the pattern from the Lion Brand website to start and have changed it around to be something more suitable for what I wanted. The first bunny I made using just the Lion Brand pattern was not very bunny-ish. I never really finished him but gave him to my sister anyway-despite not having a face. I made this white "test pattern" bunny using Red Heart White yarn.

     The second bunny I made I used a gray Vanna Choice yarn and changed the pattern slightly so that it was easier and more complete for me to work with. I loved it! I added a little pink nose and mouth as well as button eyes. These buttons are not the flat kind but little round bead-type buttons. When I showed him to my sister she asked me not to make arms and legs, so......he is limb-less. Adorable though!!!

Gray Bunny----->

     Then came Ruby....I was inspired to make Ruby because I had yet to make a girl bunny and every boy bunny needs a girl. Once again I used the modified Lion Brand pattern, just like the gray bunny, but this time I used pink Pound Of Love yarn. She is soooo adorable it is unbelievable! Instead of making the bottom of her feet pink like the rest of her body, I used Ruby Red eyelash yarn to make "high heels", "hair bow" that goes around her ear or her wrist, and a feather boa. Also in the making is a small basket made out of the same Ruby Red eyelash yarn. She is smart and sassy!!

Ruby in construction------->

<---Ruby's "high heel"


     Once I am done with making Ruby's basket I will post another picture with her wearing her snazzy Ruby Red feather boa! The baskets are adorable too and I have already made 3 or 4...another great Rav pattern!!!