Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Got Alpacas?

Thanks to Sean for sending this fantastic article from The Onion. If only it were true...

Congress To Raise Alpacas To Aid Struggling Economy

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Yarn Freeze

So I went from lack of motivation with too many projects on the hook to lots of ideas...and still too many unfinished projects on the hook. How did I remedy the situation?

I bought yarn.

But to be fair - I was only going to go to Joann's to pick up more Homespun to finish the purple dream blanket. But there was no sale to be had and I figured I could get a better deal online. I would also be able to buy this new yarn by Lion Brand for a baby blanket I need to make. While the Lion Brand site had decent prices (y'all know how to trick the system into giving you 15% off, right?), I found better prices elsewhere...which included really good prices on other brands of yarn and a flat rate on shipping. Before I knew it, I was hitting the "Place Order" button while my credit card winced in pain.

Upon reflection of what I had just done, I made a very difficult decision:

I am on a yarn freeze until MS&W in May.

The final pre-freeze splurge arrived on Wednesday from Knitting Warehouse. I laughed when I was tracking the package online - 10.6 pounds of yarn! Egads! It's a record for me.

Knitting Warehouse Yarn Order Jan 08

So let's start with what prompted this spree in the first place: the Homespun yarn in Grape to finish the Purple Dream blanket.

Purple Dream Blanket 04Purple Dream Blanket 03Purple Dream Blanket 02

When I took the photos earlier this week, the lighting in the room was awful and no matter how I tried to fix the flash, I couldn't get very good shots. These photos are fixed up a bit except the last one - that one is au naturale. The blanket has almost 8 skeins in it and 4 more skeins to go. And yes, that's the new papazan. It's so comfy!

Next in the order was 2 skeins in each color: Almond, Lemon Drop, Pistachio, & Blueberry.

This is Lion Brand's new Cupcake yarn that I'm going to use to make a baby blanket for my most-recently prego pal. They are keeping the gender of the baby a surprise so I need to make a gender-neutral blanket. This is the one I'm making (free pattern from Lion Brand if you sign in):

Cupcake Yarn Baby Afghan

As the Cupcake yarn is new and I was buying it without seeing or feeling it in person, I decided I needed to order a back up. Hence, I bought some Cotton-Ease in similar colors, though I picked a reddish-orange color instead of the pale yellow.

Two skeins each of Maize, Lake, Lime and Terracotta.
Cotton-Ease 02

The bright colored acrylic yarn is for little Brodie's crocheted alphabet project. Yep - I'm gonna make 26 little stuffed pillows in the hopes that it helps her learn her alphabet.

Two skeins each of Caron Simply Soft Brites in Watermelon, Mango, Lemonade, Limelight, Berry Blue and Rose Violet
Caron Simply Soft Brites

I'm using the patterns by Woven~n~Spun. No worries - the letters won't be as big as the "J" pillow I made.


Hmmmmm.....Where am I going to put all the new fiberliciousness? The yarn cabinet was full before the big purchase.

Craft Cabinet

At least I know I'll be able to find room for these... Prior to the ordering, I used some of my Christmas gift cards at Joann's to buy circular needles. I'm hoping that having them will get me motivated to learn how to use them. We'll see.

Circular Needles
Susan Bates sizes 2, 3, 4 & 5.

I also found these adorable wooden statues with which to decorate the craft room.

Faeries 02


All the new yarn must sit and wait for me to use it, for in addition to the yarn freeze, I'm also on a project freeze until the Purple Dream blanket is completed. It was to be a Christmas gift and then it was supposed to be done by MLK weekend. For the love of cheese, it must be done before Valentine's Day!

And did I mention the other projects hanging out?

I started both of these projects because they are easily transportable during my commute and I was trying to use up yarn in my stash.

An Oscar scarf made out of Olive Fun Fur I got for Christmas:

Oscar Scarf

The beginnings of yet another baby and/or kid blanket made with flower motifs:

Flowers 01

And don't forget, the yet unfinished Eight Pocket Two-Tone Carryall Tote and the Spiral Pentagram Motif Shawl.

So the yarn freeze will (AND MUST!) continue until MS&W in May.

I WILL BUY NOTHING until then.


Have a little faith in me, would you? :)

Friday, January 25, 2008

I am around here somewhere...

...and I've got a massive post in the works. I spent Wednesday night taking oodles of photos and cropping and uploading them all. The outline of the post is in my head but it hasn't all made it to the draft post.

The other thing that's kept me away from the blogosphere is that I am not allowed to start any new projects until I finish the purple dream blanket. I've still got 4 skeins to add to it and I spent last night's tv time with hook in hand, double-crocheting like the wind.

And with the huge yarn order that just arrived, it's difficult to focus on the blanket. But I will finish it!

And I will blog again!

In the meantime, have a fabulous Friday. :)

Sunday, January 13, 2008


I've got curtains to hang and laundry to fold and bills to pay and oh so many craft projects to finish, not to mention the ones I want to begin....

but I just... can't... get... motivated.

I'll be back once the creative bug bites me in the a$$.

Completed Project: Cotton Crochet Coasters

I finished and mailed out the coasters and coffee cozies I crocheted for the girls using the yarn we bought while they were here for Girls' Weekend in October. Unfortunately, in my haste to get the packages in the mail, I neglected to take a photo of the coffee cozies. So all you have below are the details and photo for the coasters. When I finally make my own coffee cozy, I'll post about it.

Coasters 04

Pattern: Motif III.23 from “The Harmony Guides Volume 7: 220 More Crochet Stitches”

Hook size: F (3.75 mm)

Yarn: a small amount of a 710 yard skein of
Bernat Handicrafter Cotton Ombres & Prints in Earth Ombre

Size: about 4 3/4" to 5" point to point

Modifications: I stopped the motif a few rounds before the end so it was coaster size.


Monday, January 7, 2008

Minimal Progress

For a new year that seems to be going by at lightening speed (the 7th already???), I don't feel like I've been that productive in the craft department. The weekend was spent organizing the craft cabinets. I'm quite happy with the amount of storage but the overall atmosphere of the room still seems a bit bare to me. Perhaps some photos on the wall or a coat of paint will help. A rug and some curtains will also be good additions. And there is a papazan chair I need to pick up from Pier 1 so I can really enjoy the room.

Of course, the time spent in the papazan must be matched by time on the treadmill. The treadmill arrived yesterday and I'm anxious to get on it. I haven't been this heavy voluptuous since sophomore year of college and I need to drop the pounds. If only I could crochet while I walk.

The coasters and coffee cozies are done and I'm hoping to have them off in the mail this week. I'm also hoping to post a final project report on them. Perhaps after some time on the treadmill I'll be able to do that tonight.

With the coasters done, I need to find a new project to bring with me on my commute. When I was reorganizing my yarn stash, I noticed the immense amount of leftover Homespun yarn I have from various projects. I may start making squares for a charity blanket - but if my new book arrives soon, I may have to start on a new shawl.

Hmmm...boring post. It's either the lack of caffeine flowing through my veins or the general malaise of a Monday. Here's hoping the rest of the week improves so I can post an interesting update.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

2008 Crafty Resolutions

Here is my list of crafty New Year resolutions for 2008 (in no particular order):

1) Finish the following UFOs:

2) Make, block and stiffen 25 snowflakes (and yes, the two I've already made count toward the 25)

3) Learn to knit socks on double pointed and circular needles

4) Organize my yarn, books and other crafty supplies in the new craft room

5) Make a shawl from the Amazing Crochet Lace book

6) Go to MS&W 2008 (this is a no-brainer)

7) Complete the following new projects:
  • Make at least 1 blanket for donation (charity TBD)

  • Baby blanket for Mindy Jr.

  • Crochet a rug from the yarn bought at the 2006 MS&W

  • Complete A-Z pillows for baby Brodie

  • Crochet Christmas stockings (but this one is a bit iffy)

Any other suggestions? Add a comment.

I'll update the list as items are completed.

Happy New Year!

Goodbye 2007....Hello 2008!

Greetings and salutations! It is with great pleasure I make time enough this evening to finally get a post on the blog. Though I love the holidays, they do take up so much of my time. I hope all had a good holiday (whichever one(s) you chose to celebrate).

But first - an update! for it has been so long since last I posted here.

First off - I did do a bit of spending with the Joann's gift card I received when I left my last job.

Joanns Spree 1

I needed new paints and new brushes as well as a decent pair of scissors. I spent too much on the pins and pin cushion but they were just too cute and fun not to get them. Not pictured are the supplies I used to make reindeer candy canes (bells, googly eyes, red pom-pom noses, brown pipe cleaners and candy canes) for my and Sean's offices. The bead supplies were for wine charms I made for Sean's aunt. They turned out okay given I've never worked with beads and wire before. I used earring hoops for the rings as they were a much more affordable option ($3) compared to buying memory wire and a memory wire cutter ($10+). I added the snowflakes for a seasonal touch. His aunt seemed to like them.

Snowflake Wine Charms 01

Snowflake Wine Charms 04

And I must say that Santa was just too good to me this year! As noted before, I got ye olde sewing machine for Christmas from my wonderful husband.

Sewing Machine 1

Sewing Machine 2

I haven't had a chance to use it yet or even to look over the instructions booklet, but I will - and hopefully this month - for I need to finish the tote bag. It has been hibernating since September and I do so want to complete it.

I also received some wonderful gifts from my mother-in-law and brother-in-law and his girlfriend.

Christmas 2008

Some crochet hooks, novelty yarn, Maran Illustrated Knitting and Crocheting, I Can't Believe I'm Knitting Socks, the fall issue of Interweave Crochet, and a gift card for Joann's.

And as it was the season for giving, I gave some more to myself. :)

Since I so loved the issue of Interweave Crochet, I sent away for a subscription. I also ordered from Amazing Lace Crochet as there is a shawl I'm dying to make with the yarn I bought at Stitches East. I also bought this knitting day calendar at 50% off:

2008 Calendar

The purple dream blanket is still under construction. I now have until MLK weekend to get it done, for that is the weekend the recipient is coming for a visit.

The coasters for the girls are done! Huzzah! And look - I even blocked them!

Coasters 02

They also got a bit of ironing and some starch, as well as some time drying in the sun.

Coasters 03

I started on the coffee cup cozies and I should have them done this week. Hopefully there will be a package in the mail for the Queen and the Mistress soon.

Another fun development to share - it seems that a random suggestion to turn the sunroom/dining room into a craft room has come to pass. HUZZAH!!!

Crochet Room 01

You see - we got new bedroom furniture and the cabinet you see in the photo didn't fit in the walk-in closet. It's a good piece of furniture and we didn't want to throw it out so it made its way into the sunroom. And while the office needed to be rearranged to accommodate the treadmill, my yarn somehow found its way into the sunroom, too. That, and my eyelash-batting request to Sean, was the tipping point for making it the craft room. It's still a work in progress as you can see the unpacked boxes on the right. There are plans to get a rug for the floor and perhaps a papazan chair from Pier 1 for the corner. Big, comfy chairs are mandatory for a craft room (in my humble opinion).

And with all the projects I have planned for 2008, I'll need a comfy chair in which to complete them. Another friend is prego so another baby blanket will be made. In addition to the tote bag, I have a number of UFOs to complete. I've got an entire list of crafty resolutions - which I shall track in a separate post. :)

Wishing you all a wonderful, fruitful, magical and crafty 2008!