Sunday, May 31, 2009

Last Chance to Win!

I'll be picking a winner tonight. If you haven't signed up to win a surprise gift, now's your chance! Go here for the details. And check back tomorrow to see if you're a winner...well, everyone's a winner in my eyes. =)

A funny mirror from the Etsy shop SickonSin.

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Saturday, May 30, 2009

A Knitted Hug for Aunt Jean

I finished the shawl at the end of last week, just in time for the sun to start shining. Hopefully, the gift will bring a little sunshine to our aunt. Thanks for all the well wishes and prayers!

This was my first attempt at blocking lace. I didn't have all the right tools, but I improvised.

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Friday, May 29, 2009

Kristi's Baby Blanket...and Bonus Mouse!

Remember all the babies (and baby mamas) that needed gift blankets knit? (No? Go here.) Well, Shelley's turn was up next with Kristi's blanket. We had originally planned to all do the same blanket, but Shelley didn't think she was up for the round and round stripes of that pattern and decided to do a log cabin instead. And since she's very pregnant (her gift blanket will be coming soon), we tend to let her do what she wants. =)

She ran out of yarn to make the blanket as big as she wanted, so she quilted it with the knit top instead. In turned out REALLY sweet. And with the little bit of yarn she had left, she squeaked out a mouse. (Get it, squeaked...mouse...ah, I make me laugh.)

Want to make your own mouse? Pick up Lucinda Guy's Handknits for Kids!

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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Cancer Doesn't Give a Hoot...But I Do!

Not to be a Debbie Downer, but it sadly seems as though cancer is a theme for the month. An online friend from Ravelry's Knitters for Obama found out she has breast cancer. This is the woman who coordinated all the charity knitting for the Mattaponi Tribe. So a bunch of KFOers decided to knit her a surprise blanket to let her know we're thinking of her. We each had to knit (or crochet) an 8x8 inch square in green, blue, purple, or black. The design could be whatever we wanted. I decided to do a sweet owl, since I enjoy knitting them so much and they help make people smile.

Here are some of the other squares people have posted that will help make up the blanket. I can't wait to see how it all comes together. Everyone did such creative things!

Crocheted by aimeecrochets.

Knitted by doulaknitter.

Knitted by pezqueen.

Knitted by historyweaver.

Knitted by upstateknitter.

Knitted by colorfulknitter.

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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

My 300th Post!

Yahoo! I made it to my 300th post...and just in time for the Sew, Mama, Sew May Giveaway Day! I think this calls for some sort of celebration. Hmm...I've been so busy knitting the shawl, that I wasn't able to make something in time for the big day. But, I want to commemorate the event. So let's do a giveaway...a surprise giveaway (it'll be surprise for all of us!). Maybe it will be craft supplies, a book, something I make, a gift card, or who knows...the options are endless! Just know that it will be crafty related, it'll be fun, and it'll make you smile. With that said, let's get this party started. See below on how to play:

(Those are actually soaps! Find more like them by searching on Etsy...these sold after I posted them on my blog. ETA: To clear up some confustion, I didn't make these, although I wish I had since so many people love them!)

  1. Leave a comment (and your email address) with a creative idea for what I could include in the giveaway. Deadline has been extended to end of day May 31. (1 entry)
  2. Blog about this contest and leave me a link with where to find the entry. (2 entries)
  3. Twitter about my contest and leave me a link. (2 entries)
  4. Show me a craft you've made in the past month that makes you happy by leaving me a link to a picture on your blog or Flickr page. (5 entries)
Winners will be picked at random, and I'll post the winners on Monday. Good luck!

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Saturday, May 23, 2009

A Creative High

I don't know why...maybe it's spring with all its splashes of new colors and fresh smells or maybe it's the quest of looking for a house (aka...a needle in a haystack) or maybe it's because I just passed my one year Blogiversay...but I'm on a bit of a creative high. I'm still knee deep in knitting the shawl for Shane's aunt, but it's coming along beautifully (and with help from Judith, I was able to track down the type of yarn...Prism in Cabernet. Phew!) I have so many craft ideas running through my head at the moment, that I feel like I'm going to burst. Below are just some of the things that are inspiring me for a big bunch of different crafts. Hope they lift you creative spirits as well!

Digital print-outs used as irons from Kitschy Digital Blog

Amy Butler fabric from the Fat Quarter Shop

Wide-Eyed Dishtowel from Anthropologie

Wonderland Honey Bun Fabric from Mo Mo (Fat Quarter Shop)

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Friday, May 22, 2009

I Won!

No, not the Namaste bag (not YET, I mean!). I actually won cool iron-ons through a contest Chronicle Books posted on their blog and on Twitter. I'm stoked! The iron-ons were limited editions printed for Mike Perry's book, Iron Me On.

Below are two pictures from Chronicle's blog of OTHER people putting the transfers to good use (mine haven't come yet. Once they do, I'll post my own pictures).

Photo by Guinevere de la Mare

Photo by Guinevere de la Mare

To play, you had to be one of the first three people to email the Chronicle editor with the answers to these two questions.
1. What fashion line prominently featured James Jean’s work in its Spring 2008 collection?
2. What does the below print by Mike Perry say?

You can find the answers here.

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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Win a Namaste Bag...(But, Really, You Don't Want It!)

Way back when, I told you about the wonders of the Namaste knitting bag. It looks like a beautiful trendy purse, but then it's all cool and granny knitting storage on the inside. Love!

Well Diva Knitting is giving one in FREE! As in, I don't have to deplete my savings to buy my own! Er...if "I" am the one who actually wins it, that is. Because, you see, you too could enter. But really, you don't want to. I mean, it's a lot of work--all the pointing and clicking and typing. Don't you do enough of that all day? Trust me, you do. So let's pretend like I never mentioned any of this. Namaste bag? Huh? What are you talking about? Never heard of such a thing. Let's move on. ;)

Inquiring minds want to know what bag it shall be! (It may not even be pictured above.) I love surprises.

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Unintentional Sweater Sabotage

I feel totally horrible. For the past month or so, I've been getting together with red-haired Shannon (as named by Jessica who has three Shannons in her life) to teach her how to knit. She was a quick study. I actually taught her a few months ago, and she made a sweet little scarflette soon after. She then asked me if I'd help her knit a baby sweater. Side note: Shannon has 17 friends having babies. 17!!!! I'm not even sure I know 17 people.

Shannon and I have been meeting on Fridays at a local knitting shop, and I've been helping her understand how to read a pattern. I'd then send her home with "homework."

She was making all this progress and her stitches looked awesome. We broke her off to start the sleeves....and, well, here's where I feel horrible.

Can anyone see what's wrong with this picture? No?

Right there. Darn it to hell! Two sleeves on one side. And it wasn't Shannon's newbie fault at all. It was mine. I placed the markers for her, but placed an extra set. Never in my few years of knitting have done that, and then I do it to someone else on their first big project. I felt horrible!

Here's what the sleeve SHOULD look like. Just one...on one side.

And now this is what the sweater looks like. To make it up to Shannon, I said I'd pull it back and knit it to the point she had it WITHOUT the third sleeve. An honest mistake, but one I'd prefer to make to my own knitting...not someone elses!

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Monday, May 18, 2009

Sad News

Shane and I found out last week that his aunt has cancer. It really came out of nowhere, and unfortunately, it has already progressed quite a bit. We sent her flowers to let her know we're thinking of her, but we really struggled with the right special something to send. Nothing seems appropriate for the situation. All we really want to do is send her comfort for her pain and a hug for her fears, but no one has yet been able to bottle and market those just yet. The flowers should've already arrived, but I'm quickly trying to knit a shawl to send as well. I figure something pretty to wrap around her shoulders is the next best thing to sending a hug.

This shawl may look familiar, as it was something Shelley, Judith, and I had started for a co-workers wife at work. The bad news is it didn't get done; the good news is that co-worker's wife is doing much better now. I asked Shelley if I could buy this off of her (since she had paid for the yarn), but she donated it to me instead. Such a good friend. I've been knitting as quickly as I can and am almost through the yarn I have. I'll need to buy if only we could remember the name of the yarn?? I'm hoping the yarn store she bought it at will be most helpful with this question.

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Friday, May 15, 2009

Sneaky Weasel Giveaway

I need to get a gift for my niece Miss Hannah, who is turning 3 at the end of the month. I always like to include a book, so I've had my eye out but haven't found quite the right one yet. But when I came across Sneaky Weasel, with it's wonderfully great illustrations, I believe I may have found the one. Plus it's about a weasel who bullies others only to find out that no one likes him. He mends fences and there's a party at the end. He turns sweet but keeps an underlying streak of sneakiness still. I think that captures Miss Hannah just right!

  • First case in point: Her 5-year-old big brother Trent (Mr. T) was crying about going to bed. Hannah, still 2, turns to him and says "cry baby."
  • Second case in point: My brother, Miss Hannah's daddy, sat down to eat something. Hannah immediately popped up from what she was doing and said "Hey! That's my spot!" Without even thinking, my brother got up and moved.

In closing: Hannah runs the house (but don't tell her mom)!

Now the giveaway: head over here to win one of four Sneaky Weasel copies that Springtree Road is giving away. The contests ends on Tuesday, May 19. Go scoot!

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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Rum Stripe: Done!

She's all done! Yay! I have to admit that by about halfway in, I was bored with this top. It's a lot of knit stitches and no real pattern following. But then when I got to the top, I enjoyed working on it again. I screwed up the front and ended up having to pull back the straps and about six rows, but I was glad I did it because it turned out much better. I wore this to work yesterday, but I forgot to take pictures while wearing it....typical! =)

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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Knitting Projects on Deck

I'm almost finished with my Rum Stripe top, which means I'm starting to think about what projects I'll move to next. I never thought that spring/summer knitting could be so fun, but it is. And the projects don't require so much yarn either. Yay! Here are a few projects sitting in my queue. I won't get around to all of them, but they're great inspiration.

"Pucker" by Norah Gaughan

"6666 Tunika" by Schachenmayr nomotta

"Pleat" by Norah Gaughan

"Petal" by Olga Buraya-Kefelian

"Betty Minisweater" by Hilary Smith Callis

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Monday, May 11, 2009

Miss Jessica is now a Mrs!

This past weekend, Jessica and Dan got married. The day was beautiful, and everyone really had a lot of fun. Jess looked beautiful and the day went off without a hitch. Congrats to the newlyweds!

The girls: Meagan, Barbara, Jessica, me, Therese

Jess's crafty centerpieces. Cans covered in paper and ribbon, and filled with mums.

Jess and me.

Barbara and Jess.

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Thursday, May 7, 2009

Good Reads

I mentioned that I did some reading while on vacation. I used to do a lot of reading before I learned to knit, but now I find myself reading less and less. Sad, I know. If only I could learn to read and knit at the same time. That would be wunderbar! Well, I guess I still have audio books, but it's just not quite the same. That's why vacation was great, because it gave me a chance to get reunited with my love of reading. Below are two books I'd recommend along with summaries I found online (sorry, I'm just not in book report mode).

"If you've ever wondered what your dog is thinking, Stein's third novel offers an answer. Enzo is a lab terrier mix plucked from a farm outside Seattle to ride shotgun with race car driver Denny Swift as he pursues success on the track and off. Denny meets and marries Eve, has a daughter, Zoƫ, and risks his savings and his life to make it on the professional racing circuit. Enzo, frustrated by his inability to speak and his lack of opposable thumbs, watches Denny's old racing videos, coins koanlike aphorisms that apply to both driving and life, and hopes for the day when his life as a dog will be over and he can be reborn a man. When Denny hits an extended rough patch, Enzo remains his most steadfast if silent supporter. Enzo is a reliable companion and a likable enough narrator, though the string of Denny's bad luck stories strains believability. Much like Denny, however, Stein is able to salvage some dignity from the over-the-top drama."

"The Glass Castle is a memoir written by journalist, Jeannette Walls. Jeannette writes about her unique childhood, sharing her fond memories of her father and mother. She tells how they refused to conform to society's ideas of responsibility, leaving their children to fend for themselves for even the most basic of needs, such as food and shelter. Jeannette tells her story in a straightforward fashion that is not touched with anger or self-pity, belying events that often shock her readers with her almost innocent presentation of the facts. The Glass Castle is an astonishing memoir that will leave the reader both stunned by the tragic circumstances of Jeannette's childhood and awed by her strength."

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Wednesday, May 6, 2009

More Vacation Photos

Ning of Babalisme requested more vacation ask and you shall receive! (For those of you who are Facebook friends, sorry for the repeats...but I give a little more details here, at least.)

This was our Wednesday spot. I couldn't sleep well the night before, so I was up super early. I decided to take a walk bythe ocean and save some superb seats that were hard to come by once people were up and about.

Here's a real live snail stuck to a palm tree. I don't think I've ever seen a snail least not outside of a museum or pet store (wait, do they sell snails in pet stores?).

This was our Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday spot. It was still close to the ocean, but an easier seat to get. Here is pretty much where I slept, laid out, read, and drank. Ah...the good life. How I miss it so.

On Thursday afternoon, the storm clouds moved in. Lucky for us, they just made the sky look really cool and never actually rained on us...until Friday when they came back for a second visit.

A teeny weeny herbit crab. They were EVERYWHERE. Once we realized how many there were, it made us nervous to walk around. We didn't want to squish any.

Here's me and my beloved crossword puzzles. I love doing them despite not being great at them. Also, please take note of my sweater in this picture. Despite sunscreen, I kind of (OK, a lot) burned my back and shoulders, so I had to wear aloe gel at nights. But because the gel has menthol in it, it would make me cold, and thus the need for the sweater. Problem is, the gel rubbed off in the sweater. I wore it every night, and by the end of the trip, I was referring to it as the "medicated sweater." It has since been thoroughly washed and rid of it's medicated status.

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