Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009: The Year in Review

Well, here we are at the end of 2009. Time for a look back on the craftiness that occurred this year. First, a final tally on my my Crafty Resolutions list for 2009 - my last check of the list was back in September (and oh how optimistic I was about what I thought I could accomplish).

1) Finish the following UFOs:

2) Design more stuff and write more crochet patterns including: coasters, fingerless mittens, and pot holders.
Completed - at least the coasters part. Designed and up for sale on Ravelry are the citrus and watermelon coasters. I'm hoping to get more patterns on paper next year.

3) Try to sell a project - either on Etsy, at a craft fair, or word-of-mouth.
Completed - sold a fat bottom bag. She loves it and she's had lots of people ask her where she got it. I've got some bigger plans for 2010.

4) Learn to knit socks on double pointed and/or circular needles.
Completed - the first pair was given to KMP. I've also made some baby socks. All were made on DPNs and while I'm hoping to learn other techniques such as the magic loop method. Started a sock-a-long with "C" which is under way but has no deadline by which we have to finish. Stress-free knitting is always better.

5) Go to MS&W 2009
Completed - and it was a fantastic weekend!!!

6) Visit the new Lion Brand Yarn Studio in NYC.
Visited the studio with the Queen in October. I would highly recommend it for the experience (though you can get the yarn cheaper elsewhere).

7) Complete the following new projects:
  • Make at least 1 blanket for donation (charity TBD) - no progress on this one yet

  • Baby blanket for Decklin or Saoirse (due in May) - Completed for Saoirse's arrival in May.

  • Baby blankets for the other babies that are sure to be announced in 2009 - The starghan was completed and I'm going to crochet like the wind today to try and finish the overdue Afghan of the Sandman before 2009 officially ends.
  • Traditional crocheted tablecloth for future Sister-in-law - I was going to make this for her bridal shower gift but I could not find a pattern that I loved. Instead, I made the cake for her shower.

  • A shawl from the Amazing Crochet Lace book - Yeah, that didn't happen. I think I'm going to take shawls off my list for awhile. They aren't inspiring me like they used to.

8) Take another class at Joann's - cake decorating, sewing or quilting.
Actually took 2 more classes in cake decorating. All that is left is fondant and gum paste flowers. I have also come to the realization that I cannot take up quilting or any other form of sewing projects until we move into a bigger home. The craft room is packed and the cabinet is full of cake making supplies. There is no room for more crafts at the moment.


While not all items were crossed off the list, I still feel pretty good about 2009. It was a busy year outside the crafty activities, with the addition of Seamus to the family and my brother-in-law's wedding. I'm working on the list for 2010 and it's looking quite ambitious.

Many thanks to everyone for reading along with the blog this year. Wishing you all a healthy, happy and crafty New Year!!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Happy Holidays!

I had hoped to have about three other postings before today (the afghan I'm close to finishing, the flower crafts I've been working on, the new projects I'm getting ready to begin) but there's just been a lack of time for blogging. Considering we leave for the holiday tomorrow, I'll have to hope that some free time to blog will be available next week. My crafty time over the holidays is already booked with first finishing the afghan of the sandman (I'm finally on the border!) and starting another baby blanket that needs to be done ASAP. The little girl is due on January 4th though I'm kidding myself if I think I can make that deadline.

I leave you with a photo of our tree this year. Can you find the little sheep among the branches? Perhaps I should knit or crochet him a little scarf and hat for next year.

Holiday Tree 2009

Wishing everyone the happiest of holidays!

Friday, December 18, 2009


Since our first Christmas together six years ago, Sean and I still cannot wait until Christmas to exchange gifts. The very first year, we exchanged gifts the weekend after Thanksgiving. The tradition has continued though we have (most years) waited until December. Sometimes we make a big deal of it - wrapping everything and picking a special time to sit and open them together - and other times, we're too excited to give the gifts to the other person so we'll hand them the box to open when it arrives at the door. The later is what happened for me this year - and how could it not when the boxes arriving are from KnitPicks!

Sock needle holders, yarn cutting charm, blocking mats and the knitted bag kit in green (which thank goodness he ordered it a while ago because it's out of stock now).

Knit Picks Order

Don't I have a wonderful husband? :)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Doppler Effect

I was just preparing for, it's December 8th. I had a feeling back in September when I started crafting and shopping for the holidays that the season was going to fly by at warp speed. Sometimes I hate it when I'm right.


Usually I like it very much. :)

In the last week, I've been all sorts of crafty but not much to show for it on the crocheted or knitted front. The afghan of the sandman has been worked on but it still has so far to go. I know the finished product will be so lovely - but I just can't seem to sit down and plow through the final rows until the border. The project has been ongoing for too long. I've lost patience with it and just want it to be done. I also lost a crochet hook while working on it. No idea where it went even though I lost it in the living room. The couch cushions have been searched, the couch lifted to check the floor and even the chaise was shook to see if I could hear the little hook inside the frame. I have another hook of the same size but I do hope to find the other one. It was a beautiful shade of lavender.

I've also been working on the sock-a-long with "C". Not much progress there either since my time is focused on the afghan and I've been dozing on the train instead of knitting. Good thing we don't have a deadline for completion (a stress-free knit-a-long). I also have a fear that I'm going to run out of yarn before the pair is finished. I'm making a men's medium sock and the weight of the yarn, the size of the needles and even the gauge match the pattern. It's just that the first sock looks really wide.

I also decorated my first ever gingerbread house. I don't really love it - mainly because I was lazy and used the frosting that came with the kit instead of making my own royal icing (which would have been a better consistency to hold the piping detail). It looks festive but I would have liked to do a lot more detail work on it.

Gingerbread House 2009 02

This was a pre-baked kit that came with the frosting, tray, candy, gingerbread house, tree and scary looking gingerbread men. That's why my gingerbread man looks like an island medicine man with the crazy gummy headdress and multicolored beads all over. Just looking at him makes me laugh.

Gingerbread House 2009 01

I used some fondant to make the snow man. He's definitely not for eating (it's a solid ball of fondant) except for the candy attached to him.

I'm hoping to make one of these from scratch next year - bake the gingerbread myself so I can have open windows. There's a way to melt down Jolly Rancher candies and make them into stained glass windows. Then you can put a light inside the house so the windows have a nice glow.

And maybe - just maybe - I'll contemplate the idea to someday enter the National Gingerbread House contest held at the Grove Park Inn in Asheville, NC. Of course, this wouldn't happen for a number of years and I should first just visit it in person. Did somebody say road trip for next fall?

And lastly - here's a photo of the ladybug cupcakes I made for my boss' farewell party last week. She's the woman who inspired the ladybug coaster pattern.

Ladybug Cupcakes 02

Look at all those updates in one post! Whoooosh! Right past you before you knew it, just like the past few months. Let's hope the rest of December slows down a bit so the holidays can be enjoyed and savored rather than rushed and frantic.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Completed Project: Advent Calendar

Finished this before Thanksgiving - and it gets to be used today. Sean is looking forward to the Lindt chocolate and Ghirardelli caramel squares hiding behind the doors.

Advent Calendar 03

No rhyme or reason to the images on the doors. I just picked stuff that reminded me of the holiday season and tried to make it look good. It took much longer to finish this than I thought it would. Covering up the original paint job took a lot of coats of white paint. Here's the before photo:

Advent Before

Only took me a year to paint this - at least I got it done in time for the advent to begin.