crochet

Somewhat of a mission…

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Seriously though, I really am on a mission to finish this blanket! All the squares are done so it is just joining time and then the border. I was really good at weaving in my ends as I went along while making the squares but now I am just so excited to see what this blanket is going to look like when it is finished that I am just crocheting like mad and pretending that ends do not exist. I will pay for that later. I know.

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I kind of got to a point in this project where I didn’t really want to work on it because I wasn’t sure that it would turn out quite the way that I saw it in my head but It was too late to rip it out. It was a kind of annoying because I made myself a little rule that I couldn’t start any of the million sewing projects that have been bouncing around in my head until I finished this blanket so I just wasn’t doing anything at all. Well that’s a lie, I was cooking and baking lots. But now all is well, the squares are done and I think this is going to turn out nicely and then Raiden will be happy and I will be on to other things.

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Speaking of other things…we have been on the weirdest schedule here, caused by two things. Or three maybe. 1: Raiden is on spring break for two weeks so no school. 2: Jason is working super long night shifts so he leaves the house at 9:30 and gets home around noon the next day. 3: I am only working one day a week at the moment. Friday to be exact.

So here is the breakdown of our day. Me and the boys wake up in the morning whenever we feel like. Strangely I have been waking up before them and just kind of hang out quietly until they wake up. I think I am doing this out of necessity,  because this is about the only time I am getting to myself these days. They boys get up and then things such as breakfast and arguing with Raiden about the X-Box and coloring occur. We have lunch and then Jason gets home and we get him for an hour or two, depending on the time and he goes to bed at about 2 o’clock. Then me and the boys hang out some more, have a late snack and maybe watch a movie and then I have dinner ready for 8 o’clock when Jason gets up. The boys get to hang out with him for another hour. There is usually a temper tantrum thrown by one or both of them about how they want to go to work with daddy. He leaves and we all pile into bed and go to sleep and the next day it starts all over again.

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I don’t really mean to complain it’s just that in that whole little routine there is about an hour *maybe* that I get to myself. I just needed to get it out there. Really I know it is a good thing that Jason is working lots right now since it is almost time for him to go on break up and then he won’t be working at all so I will just suck it up and shut up now.

I ripped down the wallpaper in my entry way!

After I finish this post I am going to get started on some bread dough.

I am looking for a way to use up the stockpile of frozen overripe bananas in my freezer. Every time I make banana muffins I am the only one who eats them.

The sun is SHINING today and when I went outside to take a picture of my blanket I found some green things poking up in my flowerbeds.

But we are still using the woodstove.

I am debating if I should apply for another part time job…the deadline for applications is the 28th so I will think on it for a few days.

Or maybe I should get down to making things and have a stall at the farmers market again this summer.

I am babysitting my niece today *she’s the same age as Sylas* and she brought waffle batter and cantaloupe with her for  breakfast.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Three Things

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One: This cowl that I made with my Christmas yarn. Ravelled here. Do you like my wonderful photoshop job? I suck at editing my pictures unless it involves the quick edit buttons and a resize. But the sun finally peeked out from behind the clouds today so I was all like “Yay! Picture time!” By the time I got outside it was all dreary again and my pictures turned out kind of bleh, so I figured why not mess with this one a bit.

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Two: This beautiful needlework tapestry that I found at the gleaners the other day that is being sat on by the cat. Who looks sort of insane, which…he is. Seriously. That cat is crazy. I am thinking that this would look amazing as a tote bag, but I am worried that the stitches in the needlework are too long so they might catch on things and the whole thing would be ruined really quickly. I guess I could find a frame for it and hang it on the wall. Hmm. Decisions.

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Three: I was reminded (by a class list in Raidens backpack today) that Valentines Day is coming up so he needs valentines for his class. Now…we live 10 minutes out of town, and I know that to some people that doesn’t seem like a very far drive, but to me it means that I try to plan every trip into town and driving into town just for valentines between now and Friday is just not going to happen. So I decided to make them. Twenty little hearts with twenty little tags and then I will be done. So I am taking a break from my blanket to work on these. Right now I have three. Therefore this is item number three on my list of three today.

And I’m done.

A Cold Day in February

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Its cold. Like -12˚C cold. There is this crazy wind blowing too so I am sure it feels more like -20 out there. We have been burning through firewood like nobody’s business. Sylas and I are hibernating. I am ignoring the fact that I have to go to work later tonight. Most of my days lately are spent toting around this  basket of yarn and squares, hooking up rounds whenever I get the chance.

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This is going to be Raidens blanket. He insisted that I had to make him one, and I am a sucker for those big brown eyes of his… and Sylas’s… and Jasons… so basically I am screwed whenever the boys in my life want anything. But I am okay with that.

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I have 18 colors of Stylecraft in total and 3 shades of gray. So I have 5 more sets of colors to go after I am finished the one I am working on now, then I will join them all in the darkest shade of gray using the granny join as you go method from Attic 24. That is my plan at the moment anyways. 049

I also baked bread today, mostly because I wanted some buns to go with soup for dinner. I tried using vital wheat gluten for the first time. I haven’t tried them yet, but I am really hoping that it will make my bread hold together better so when I am making sandwiches for lunches they are a little bit easier to eat and less crumble-and-fall-aparty. Does anyone else use vital wheat gluten when they make bread? Do you get good results? Cold Day February

This kid. I have tried to donate those clothes to the gleaners like 5 times, they are way too small. I put them into the bag and he takes them out and we just go back and forth. They are some of his favorites apparently. He also likes to wear shorts all the time… but being my wonderfully quirky little son if he is wearing a pair of shorts they have to match his shirt. It is the cutest thing ever. Seriously. Also he just bit the corner off 2 pages of a board book. Yeah. He’s a monster.

Lets try this again!

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So the other day I got a notification from WordPress that I started up my blog a year ago. The sad part is that I haven’t blogged since April. I really just didn’t have the time. Working full time shift work, 2 messy boys at home (3 if you count their dad), and all the yardwork and preserving I had to do over the spring/summer/fall pretty much took up all my time. I wasn’t even making anything, and to tell the truth I was getting a little bit miserable.

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So I took a chance! I quit my job and got a new one working 2 days a week, normal office hours and I couldn’t be happier about it. Sure we have to be a little bit more careful financially, but with me at home most of the time now it is much easier for us to save money on day to day things. I have been able to sort things out around my house that have been waiting for a while, keep things a lot cleaner and most of all, I have time to do the things that I love.

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So now I do have time to blog, and I thought that I would start things off with a bang. I started this ripple blanket back in May and just finished it last week. I couldn’t get a clear picture of the whole thing because I had a little helper who things this is the snuggliest thing ever. Pattern is the Neat Ripple Pattern by Lucy from Attic24, using 10 different colors of Lion Brand Wool Ease. Ravelled here if you want more details.

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So that’s that. Now I am hanging out at home by the woodstove most of the time working on Christmas presents. Except for today, because Jason demanded a turkey dinner, and I have to run in to work to do a couple hours of training and Raiden gets dismissed from school an hour early and I have a parent teacher conference to go to which I can’t actually make it to so Jason has to go and he never really passes on exactly what was said and excuse the small rant.

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Gratuitous shot of blanket in sunshine of fallen willow branch.

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And just one more…

Have a great day everyone!

 

 

 

Ramblings ♥

To start with, I have been shamefully neglectful lately, not just about writing in my blog, but I haven’t been commenting on any either.  In case you are wondering I have been quietly watching.  That is just the kind of place I have been in lately.

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This was my view of the sunset from my front porch a couple weeks ago.  Beautiful isn’t it?  We are having somewhat of a debate if we should cut down that willow tree right now.  Looking at this picture I think I have just made up my mind up, it’s staying!

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Aren’t these the prettiest little leaves?  The previous owners of our house were quite old and weren’t able to keep up with all the yard work, and I thought I was going to have to dig this shrub up, there was so much dead wood.  But me and a pair of pruning shears persevered and after cutting away about twice as much as was left I saved it! It looks so happy now :)

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I built up the rock wall around my flower bed, got rid of a few plants and added a few.

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Grape Hyacinths… Sylas loves to pull these apart.  Well he loves to pull any flower apart really, but these are especially fun!  I do try to keep him out of the flowerbeds and am teaching him not to touch the flowers, but it is an uphill road.

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My Bleeding Heart is going to bloom soon! This is one of my favorite flowers, and I have 3 plants now!

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Tulips in my backyard flowerbed.  They are all yellow and blooming except for one lonely red tulip which you can see is still a bud.  I am amazed that these have escaped the deer, I guess Ariel is earning her dog food.

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The cherry trees have just starting to bloom, it is only three more weeks until the Blossom Festival here.  Here’s a fun fact: The main industries of the Creston Valley include agriculture, forestry and Kokanee beer. lol.

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Also, the gnomes have come out of hibernation.  This little fellow lives in my willow tree.  If I could live in any kind of tree I think it would be a weeping willow. What about you?

Wow.  I really am rambling today.  And I know what you are thinking, this is supposed to be a craft blog, not a gardening blog.  But truth be told, I have been so busy with yard work that I haven’t had much time for craftiness.

I bought a new sewing desk and a big plastic set of drawers to store yarn in so I can get my sewing/crafting/laundry room in order and be somewhat more productive, but it takes time.

I did finish up my Granny Zig-Zag Scarf and I am quite pleased with it.  It makes me think of lilacs. Here it is!

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We just got a new picnic table and I ended up with stain for it that I really didn’t want, I just wasn’t paying attention in the store. I do have to say it is great for photographing though!

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This turned out to be about seven feet long!  It is cosy, but since spring has finally decided to arrive I think it is just going to have to look pretty until next fall when it can start being useful.

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Attempt at an action shot.  I hate pictures of me though so I cropped most of it out and this is all you get.

Well that is enough for today I suppose… Right now it is absolutely gorgeous out here, but it was so yucky this morning that we lit our woodstove!  What’s the weather like where you are?

Wanna Pop a Wheelie?

Here is your warning in advance: I found it really hard to photograph this blanket.

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Here it is! My dirtbike wheel blanket for my nephew to be, which I have now named the Wheelie Blanket.  I am really pleased with how it turned out, and I am thinking about making a tutorial for the block for my own reference more than anything, but if someone decided to make one, that would be cool too.

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The finished blanket measures about 48″ x 48″

I used 4 skeins of Lion Brand Amaze in Glacier Bay, 1 skein of Bernat Baby One Pound in White and 1 skein of Red Heart Super Saver in Soft White….because I ran out of the other white before I was finished the border….

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My brother-in-law and his fiancée are coming into town today for Easter, so I can give it to them in person instead of having to mail it.  I really hope that they love it.

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On a side note, if my neighbors happened to be looking out their window they were probably thinking I was insane…tromping around the yard in my pajamas with and old headboard and taking pictures of a blanket.

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Ariel just thinks that she is not even going to look at me until I put that blanket down on the ground for her to lay on.

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This picture really shows how my whites didn’t match, so I had to crochet them in stripes to kind of make them blend a bit.  That totally looks like it was done like that on purpose…right?

Anyways, that is my Wheelie Blanket in all its full glory, except not, because the colors are so much more bright and pretty in real life, I could just not make my camera see that.

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Both the boys got a haircut the other day, well all three I should say because Jason got one too.  I cried a bit inside, I really like their long hair, but that is one thing that me and Jason will never agree on.

Once again the boys are in bed and I have a bit of time to myself until Jason comes home from work, so here I am!  Too bad I couldn’t get this nice little time frame to myself every night,  but I think I might run out of things to say.  Today is Jasons last day of work, break up starts tomorrow, so I have 2 months or so of bossing him around over stuff I want done around the house.  First off we need to get our yard in shape for Easter.  When we bought this place we absolutely loved the yard and all the trees, but we didn’t think of all the raking that would be involved.  It was July, what can I say? So when fall came we were completely unprepared.  Now all the snow is melted and we can see the leaves again :S So we need to get to work and get that cleaned up so we can have our first easter egg hunt here.

We also need to get our garden ready to plant.  And at some point I will need to attempt to trim some fruit trees.  Another thing we love about our yard is all the wonderful fruit it provides us.  But now I really need to educate myself about fruit.  We have apples, cherries, plums, pears, raspberries, blackberries red and black currants and a huge strawberry patch, and I really don’t know how to maintain any of it.  Oh well, I suppose I will learn.  That is what the internet is for, and I saw that our community college offers a short course on the care and maintenance of different fruit trees that grow in the valley, that might be something that I have to look into.

Anyways….on to the fun stuff!

Finished

I am very pleased to present you with my mandala, painted canvas and all.  Looking at this picture I think my backdrop could have done with a bit more blending, but it really doesnt look quite so blotchy in real life. I wanted something that would really make the colors of the mandala pop, and I think that red-orange-yellow really does the trick. It now has a happy home hanging on my bedroom wall, but no picture of that because I have the ugliest bedroom ever.  Seriously.  Think wood panneling, floral wallpaper accents and scallopped wooden trim. Ugh.

I haven’t been the greatest about updating my In A Spin lately, but here are the last 3 blocks.

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Block 17

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Block 18

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Block 19

Well… my knitting is calling me, so have a great night!

 

 

Mandala CAL Beauty Shots

I finished my mandala two days ago, yesterday I blocked it and today was its photo shoot! Would you like to see it?006

Maybe a little bit more?

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Okay…here is the whole thing.

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Finished mandala is 9.5 inches diameter.  It is made with a 2.5mm hook and sock yarn, except for the gray, which is dk.  More information about that can be found on my Ravelry page here. Since I had to go out and buy yarn especially for this I really am excited that I have lots left to play with.

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It was really wavy when I was making it, and I was a bit worried that using a larger weight yarn for the gray was not a great idea, but it blocked out beautifully.

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My only problem now is that I have this gorgeous mandala and I am not quite sure what to do with it not.  I would like to hang it, but it’s too floppy to be stuck on the wall as it. My ideas at the moment are to paint the back with craft glue and crochet a loop to hang it with and stick it on the wall or…paint a canvas in a wonderful complimenting/contrasting color and somehow attach the mandala and hang it.  Idea number two is slightly more ambitious, but I am kind of leaning towards that because I think it would make a super neat piece of artwork.

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So now that is done I can get back to work on my baby blanket.  I ran out of white yarn and when I went to get some more they didn’t have the same kind there.  And who knew it would be so hard to match whites? Not me.  Since I am working on the border I picked out another yarn that is pretty close, I am just going to continue on and hope that no one notices it, or if they do they think that it is on purpose.  Does anyone else ever do that?

Time to go watch the boys do yardwork :)

 

CAL Updates

So I have two CALs in progress at the moment and I thought I would do a quick update on both of them.

I started the In A Spin CAL in November.  It is just one block a week, which I have really been enjoying, Thursdays are an exciting day for me now.  I am kind of wishing that I had decided to make this colorful instead of just pale green, but I am just going to have to live with that.  Worsted weight yarn and a 6mm hook, which is a little bigger than most of the other people in the CAL seem to be using, but I really like how quickly the blocks work up.  There is 6 inch, 8 inch and 12 inch blocks just waiting to be joined together.  I’m not sure how long this is going to go for, but really, I could have a block a week forever and be happy so that is all good.

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Block 15

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Block 16

The other CAL that I have just started can be found here

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This is my first time attempting overlay crochet and I am really enjoying it.  It is definately more decorative than anything else, but all the mandalas that people are making are amazing.  This CAL started last week and runs for 6 weeks but I have already finished 23 of 31 rounds.  I really just can’t put it down, I love seeing the huge change to the overall look that every round makes.

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Rounds 1 through 10

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It is kind of hard to see but this is really thick.  Overlay crochet would make great hot pads….but if I did make one as a hot pad I would probably never use it because it would be way too pretty.

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Up to round 20

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It is starting to get pretty wavy and wonky, probbly because the grey yarn is bigger than all the other colors and that is kind of throwing everything off, but I am hoping I can block it flat.  Yarn details and whatnot on my Ravelry page here.

Who new that flourescent lighting and a white folding table would make a great light box?

Anyways, I am off to finish round 24 :) Have a great day everyone!

 

Surface Braid Crochet

Have you ever heard of such a thing? Well now I have, and look down…isn’t it pretty?

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This was another pattern test that I did,  *ravelled here*, and I found a link to a hat pattern with a great video tutorial of this stitch here.

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More years ago than I care to mention I had some sort of plan to make something. Isn’t that the way it  usually goes? So I bought a one pound ball of white Bernat Handicrafter Cotton. And six boxes of Rit dye.

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I spent a whole evening winding that cotton into approximately equal hanks, and standing over the stove and sink dying, and then waiting really, really impatiently for the hanks to dry.

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Thankfully by the time it was time to wind the hanks into balls Jasons Granny invited me over to use her swift and yarn winder.

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I did start a project with it right away, ended up frogging it and the first and only yarn that I ever dyed sat in a bag and waited for the right project to come along.

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And that is the story of how I had the perfect yarn on hand to discover this prettiful new stitch and make myself a wonderful hippie hat!

I went to Cranbrook yesterday and stopped in the yarn store.  In the back there were two ladies knitting, the lady who owns the store, and another older lady.  Well when I walked into the store wearing my awesome new hat the older lady said, very audibly “There sure is a lot of hippies coming in here nowadays .” It kinda made my day.

I was in the yarn store to get some yarn for a new CAL I joined.  Go check it out!

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