Sunday, April 27, 2008

T-Minus 6 5 Days

As of today (4/27) there are only 6 days until MS&W 2008...but there are only 5 days until my girls arrive here in Maryland. I am giddy with anticipation! There is so much to do before their arrival. Each weeknight will be packed with MS&W related activities so you may not see a post between now and then. But after the weekend, I hope to have many photos to share, including one of the sheep-themed cake I'm planning to make. I'm hoping that the vision in my head can be realized with buttercream frosting.

We're hoping to make a stop at the Ravelry meet-up (Saturday, May 3: in the Rabbit Building from 11:30 - 1:00), so if you spot me with my bag, please say hello. I'd love to know who reads my crafty ramblings.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Crocheting (and Knitting) Commuter

On Saturday morning, I had the wonderful opportunity to sleep in as long as I wanted. It was the first time in two weeks I was able to do so. The trip up to Cooperstown the weekend prior dashed all hopes of a sleepy Saturday or Sunday (or even Monday) morning. The trip out to California during the week messed with my sleep schedule, too. (Not terrible jet lag, but definitely annoying.)

A glorious Saturday morning indeed - I was sleeping so soundly and peacefully... until the FedEx guy rang the doorbell. It was 10 am so I wasn't too upset about getting up and it did mean I would not have to drive out to the FedEx facility to pick up the package during the week. So I was up and wide awake but I had no desire to do the housework that needed to be done. No - instead I was drawn into the craft room where I decided, out of the blue, to try and knit socks.

Knitting 01

I got out a pair of circular needles and some fabulous yarn bought back in October. I was amazed that I remembered how to knit. No refresher from the book - I just knew it. It was pretty cool. And I managed to figure out how to correctly use the circular needles (also pretty cool). Voila!

Knitting 02

My gauge was looking good, too.

Knitting 03

While I was having fun knitting away, I realized the actual patterns in the book I was using were written specifically for double pointed needles...which I don't own. And being knew to knitting socks, I wasn't ready to have to translate double pointed needle directions to circular needle directions. You veteran sock knitters out there - it may be an easy thing. But for me at the time, I wanted something easy so it would encourage me to keep going.

I frogged the sock I started but I wasn't upset. It was great knowing that I could use circular needles and I had finally tried learning to knit socks (see resolution #3). I decided to check out my Knitting-A-Day calendar (which I only seem to update twice a month) to see if there was an easy pattern to try. Ta-da! Jacgue's Easy Beanie on Wednesday April 23rd! (which is today - though I started the cap on Saturday)

My first attempt was frogged. I cast on all 85 stitches and 3 rows when I dropped a stitch and couldn't find the loop to fix it. Instead, it unraveled in the middle. The ball of brown wool was rewound and I put down the needles for another day - in this case, the next day - Sunday. I cast on and zooooooom! I was knitting at a decent pace with nary an error. Here's my progress to date:

Easy Beanie 01

Easy Beanie 02

Who knows if the hat will fit when I'm done with it. I didn't have size 6 needles so I used size 7. But I don't care if it fits - I'm just excited to finish my first knitting project. :)

Monday, April 21, 2008


...I'm knitting...

Photos of this crazy development later this week.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Completed Project: Eight Pocket Two-Tone Carryall Tote

It only took me another freakin' month since my last post to finish it, but here it is - FINALLY!

Two Tone Tote 06

Two Tone Tote 07

Pattern: Eight Pocket Two-Tone Carryall Tote by Lion Brand

Hooks: H (5.0mm) and G (4.0mm)


Size: ~ 16" x 12" x 3"

Close ups of the inside:

Two Tone Tote 08

Two Tone Tote 09

Modifications: My gauge was bigger than what the pattern called for so I used an H hook instead of an I, and a G hook instead of an H.

I added a lining to the inside of the main bag, one side of the exterior pockets and on the handles. In reality, it’s a 4 pocket tote bag because the three pockets on each side are not seperated. But that’s okay - it’s still functional. :)


Tuesday, April 8, 2008

How Sweet It Is

I guess I should start an explanation of the hiatus...

Life has been a bit crazy. The cake class was awesome, though time consuming. Whipping up batches of frosting and baking cakes during the week threw my schedule out of whack. But, as you will see in just a moment, it was well worth the effort.

Second - the recipient of the Purple Dream blanket got engaged! She's now (officially) my future sister-in-law and I was honored to be asked to be in her bridal party. So plenty of time and phone calls have been devoted to strategizing and advising this young couple in all things wedding-related. I guess that is what you get when you throw a kick-ass wedding of your own - everyone wants to know how you did it. :)

Thirdly - I was very busy plotting and scheming to guilt convince the infamous KMP into making the trek up to Maryland for Sheep & Wool. SUCCESS! Though she hasn't bought her plane tickets yet, she did say she was coming. The other girls have been told about her attendance, a van has been rented, the schedule has been tentatively planned, and Sean is prepared for the general chaos and silliness that will descend upon our humble abode.

As for crocheting, all projects have been stalled for the above mentioned reasons. So this post is for showing off the last two cakes I made for my Wilton class at Joann's.

The first one I titled "Field of Flowers"

Flower Cake 05
Flower Cake 08

It was going to be little patches of flowers but in order to make it look a bit better (i.e. less 'patchy'), I just stuck flowers all over the damn thing and added leaves to fill in where I needed. I took this one to work and it was a big hit. Then again - any free food full of sugar tends to get rave reviews. (Case in point: Sean's office LOVED the St. Patty's Day cake, too.)

This final one I titled the "Petit Chou-Chou" cake. In French, "mon petit chou-chou" translates into an endearing term of "my little cabbage flower". Since my Wilton roses looked more like little cabbages, I thought the title was appropriate.

Petit Chou Chou Cake 01
Petit Chou Chou Cake 06

Hopefully, with some practice, these will become beautiful roses some day.
Petit Chou Chou Cake 08

Because we're going to the Baseball Hall of Fame this weekend, I couldn't sign up to take Course 2. I'll have to scope out the schedule starting in June to pick up the next class.

Til next posting...whenever that will be...

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

I'm here...

I've completed two cakes and the cake decorating class itself.

I'm done with the two A's for the A pillow but I have to weave in some ends, assemble and stuff the sucker.

The tote bag remains unfinished, sadly folded up in the craft room.

But I've been busy with planning a big old surprise for MS&W weekend - which should be revealed sometime this week or next. Stay tuned...