Sunday, September 26, 2010

When It Rains, Turn on the Sprinklers

I have a long list of projects to finish between now and January. The craft swap stuff is going well and I'm doing pretty good on the blankets. But then there are two baby blankets to be made (for babies due in October and January), a lingering blanket that must be done by Christmas, and a pair of socks that I had hoped to make by Christmas, too.

Oh, and I need to finish the Crochet Masters Course in the next week.

So what do I go and do?

I sign up to receive yarn from Lands End for the "Warm Up America" project. I've got to crochet 51 squares by December 1!


And that's after the yarn shows up!

But it is for a great cause and it will be a true donation to charity once I get the squares mailed in. You remember the hats I took out to donate? Yeah - they are still sitting on my shelf, waiting for an envelope.

If you're interested in making squares, check out the "Warm Up America" site for details. You can knit or crochet the squares using acrylic yarn. And you don't have to commit to 51 squares like I did.

If you are a CGOA member, check your email for information on how to sign up and receive yarn to make the squares. It's a 51 square commitment per cone of yarn requested but you can spread the work around with your guild or group members.

Wish me luck! I'll need it!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Another Lovely Weekend

Two more off the list - I went to the Maryland Renaissance Festival, which given the multiple artisans at the festival, I'm counting this as a craft fair, and I finally tried tai chi.

The festival was awesome as always. I bought some beautifully crafted leather goods from Holy Cow (a great name, don't you think?) - a belt and pouch for my festival garb. (Sorry, no photo at the moment.) While the little pouch will hold my wallet and phone, I'll have to find or create another bag in which to hold my crocheting/knitting. There were many times during the day I wished I had brought a small project on which to work. Those were times when there wasn't a frosty ale or giant turkey leg in my hand. :)

I had my first - and what will be my last - tai chi class on Saturday. The instructor's teaching style just doesn't meld with my learning style so I'm going to get a partial refund while I can and try to invest in a good tai chi DVD. All in all, not a failure as I did find out that I would enjoy learning tai chi, just not from this particular instructor.

My hooks were also quite busy last week and through the weekend. The secret projects for the craft swap are well underway and I am actually hopeful that I'll be done in plenty of time to mail them to the recipients.

Oops...I hope these are not famous last words and I'm forced to stay up all night, multiple nights, to complete the projects. It wouldn't be the first time I've procrastinated to the last possible minute.

Speaking of procrastination, I'm still far behind in completing my crochet Masters course. But really, I work best with an unrealistic deadline for such things. This weekend looks like it will be my self-imposed final, final, FINAL deadline to get my rear in gear and complete it.

How lovely was your weekend?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Completed Projects: Two Knitted Baby Hats

Two for Tuesday - two completed projects from the last couple of weeks.

The first hat is similar to the blue hat I recently completed, but I did use a different pattern. You'll see there is colorwork done to make the green part look more like leaves.

Red Berry Hat 1

As always, details on Ravelry.

This was my first ever attempt at colorwork with knitting, beyond the basic color changing. I had a number of twisted stitches to correct as I was trying to carry the yarn behind the color I was working with. I'm not sure if this an issue only for continental knitters or not. I did get the hang of it, but there were a few twisted stitches that made it through (don't look too close and it's fine).

The second hat was completed in record time for me. I started it during my morning commute on a Wednesday and completed it during my commute home the next day.

Multicolored Knit Hat 1

As always, details on Ravelry.

I absolutely LOVE the way this yarn works up. The colors and self-patterning are great. I'm tempted to get another few skeins of this in order to knit up a matching baby sweater.

But first, I must complete some other top-secret projects before my October craft swap. This also means that there probably won't be many (if any) completed project posts put here on the blog since the main readers are members of the swap. Maybe I can get away with a few 'sneak peek' photos?

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Hats and Sox

Another item crossed off on my Year of Lovely Things list - Sean and I went to an evening game at Camden Yards to see the Red Sox take on the Orioles. Even with the number of Sox players on the DL, it was an excellent outing. I managed to get only a few funny looks as I worked on another baby hat.

Sox and Hat 2

This hat isn't for anyone in particular. I just needed a small project to take with me on my commute. I should have selected a pair of socks to work on (still 2 more to complete in order to cross it off my crafty resolutions list) but the last two hats knit up so quickly, that I was looking for some more instant (or at least quick) gratification.

This hat will differ slightly from the blue version I just finished. That hat used the umbilical cord hat pattern from Stitch n' Bitch and for this red version I'm using the Berry Hat pattern (can be found here). This pattern is also super easy - only minor counting and color changing involved when you get to the last few rows. Otherwise it is just knit, knit, knit all around. Less likely to lose your place when you have to look out for foul balls heading your way.

What has been your experience with knitting or crocheting in public? Good, bad, indifferent?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Completed Project: Berry Baby Hat

Started on vacation and completed in just four days...

Berry Baby Hat - Blue 01

As always, details on Ravelry.

This yarn was purchased at the 2010 Knit and Crochet Show. I'm still debating whether or not to add a leaf or two to the top. I might but it will be whenever I get around to it. This hat doesn't have a recipient in mind yet - but I'm sure that it will soon enough. I'm thinking it may be perfect for my friend due in November. A lot of us (including the Mom) think it will be a boy - but maybe I'll make a red one just in case it's a girl.