Friday, March 2, 2012

Completed Project: Greenway Variation for Julian

When I've got a bunch of baby blankets to make, I try to find a blanket pattern I really like, both for the look of it as well as the fun making it. This happened last year with the waves blankets (one, two and three). This year, I'm loving the Greenway pattern. After finishing Lennon's blanket, my hook was busy crocheting this one.

Variation Blanket 06

Variation Blanket 04

As always, details on Ravelry.

Using Knit Picks Brava worsted weight yarn in an array of blues, blueish greens and gray, I changed the striping pattern so I could buy the same number of skeins for each color. I was able to use just one skein of each color so I've got a second blanket waiting to be made.

The border was improvised using single crochets, half-double crochets, herringbone half-double crochets, and sometimes crocheting into the back stitch.

The Brava yarn that I used is a new line of 100% acrylic yarn for Knit Picks. I ordered it because the colors were exactly what I needed based on the baby's nursery. But I was very impressed with the quality of this yarn. I find it to be a bit softer than Vanna's Choice (of which I'm also a big fan) and you get more yarn for your money (219 yards vs. 170 yards).

Little Julian arrived last weekend and I hope he enjoys his new blanket.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A Good Sport

I was graciously adopted into Red Sox Nation when I met my husband, but I've kept my football allegiance my own. I've been cheering for the Baltimore Ravens since I moved to Maryland. This past football season was a rather tense one in our house since the Patriots were facing the Ravens in the conference championship.

While we had a non-monetary bet with one another (the loser having to do that week's grocery shopping), I had a "sweeter" bet with a coworker. Also a native of New England, he's an avid Patriots fan. Our bet was that I would make a cake decorated in the winning team's colors. The loser would have to wear the winning team's jersey and pose for a photo to place on their profile on Facebook.

The reason I was willing to put in all this effort to bake and decorate a cake was because it was part of the Wilton gum paste and fondant class I took in January.

Sadly, the Ravens lost so I had to make red roses instead of the purple ones I really wanted to make. Here's the finished cake:

Pats Cake 07

Pats Cake 06

Pay no mind to the less-than-smooth sides. I HATE covering cakes in fondant because mine NEVER turn out smooth on the sides. I had hoped that this being my second fondant class I would finally be able to do it, but alas - that's why that blue border is there, helping hide the issues.

The roses are gum paste, the letters are fondant and the Patriots logo is color flow.

You may wonder why I'd put so much effort into the other team's cake. Well - it's still my reputation on the line for making pretty cakes. I'm not going to waste time on a bad finished product.

I did wear my husband's jersey to work.

I posed for the photo.

It did end up as my Facebook profile picture.

It was even submitted to the Boston Globe.

I was a good sport, don't you think?

Though I do hope the Ravens win next year so I can make those roses in purple.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Completed Project: Lennon's Blanket

FINALLY!!! It's DONE!!!!

After missing 5 or 6 self-imposed deadlines, this blanket is finally done. It's bigger than a baby blanket for a good reason. The recipient is for "C's" new 4 year old grandson whose favorite color is green. Just because he joined the family at an older age doesn't mean he wasn't going to get his own blanket.

Lennon Blanket 01
It's Lion Brand Vanna's Choice Yarn made with a J hook. As always, all the details are on Ravelry.

It is so great finally completing this project - and it's going in the mail TODAY! Now I can start two other baby blankets before I have to start two more. What's in your queue for the New Year?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Road Trip

This year is off to a lovely start. I spent a wonderful weekend in Virginia with my chosen sister, Perches. Her new home is so delightful and welcoming, especially the backyard. Seamus was over the moon as he ran around the fenced backyard in the lush green grass. Some unpacking was completed, a cabinet or two organized, and so much food was enjoyed. 

I baked a cheesecake and a strawberry-cherry pie for Perches and her boys. Here's the pie, prebaked.

Cherry Strawberry Pie

That's a homemade crust, a recipe I learned from my DH's awesome grandmother. I'm happy to report that the pie turned out delicious, even for breakfast.

No additional photos to share because sometimes you have to live life as it happens rather than trying to photo-document it all. Other times you're too busy eating steak and cheesecake to remember to take photos of anything.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Year of Lovely Things 2012

The new list is up and I've already crossed off a couple of items. No photos of the banana cream pie I made over the weekend as I was not happy with the consistency of the custard. Luckily, the custard's flavor was wonderful and the crust of the pie was spot on.

I'm looking forward to move loveliness throughout the year! My first fondant and gum paste class is this week. Yay!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Year of Lovely Things 2011 - Recap

Many a lovely thing was experienced and accomplished in 2011. Below is the list showing I got to cross of 44 of 52 lovely things. If there was a post about an item, I included a link. For those other 8 items (in red), some may return on the 2012 list.

a small sewing project | a decorated cake | a gingerbread house | pies | craft swap gifties | reindeer candy canes | a "window" for my new office | mead | butternut bisque | a new appetizer recipe | a new entree recipe | a new dessert recipe | a playlist for the iPod

the new job | my birthday | Sean's birthday | our anniversary | a full moon | a solstice or equinox | freedom from the cast!

manicure | pedicure | bubble bath | facial

Knit and Crochet Show in Minnesota | Wisconsin to see family | MS&W | NC to see "C" and "D" | plan a mini-vacation | Red Sox game | renaissance festival | weekend on the Eastern shore

attend a concert | plant an herb garden | stare at the stars on a warm spring evening | take a crafty class | send snail mail | Skype with friends | organize the yarn cabinet | visit a not-previously visited LYS in Maryland/DC/Virginia | go to a museum | have family dinner | host/attend a movie-a-thon | take a mental health day | enjoy a snow day | take silly photos | try a new restaurant

to charity (a project, donations, or money) | blankets to my Girls | blankets, hats, etc to all the new babies

Friday, January 6, 2012

Emerging from the Shadows

Happy New Year, everybody!

It was a busy autumn and holiday season, hence the long hiatus from the blog. I wasn't as crafty as I had hoped to be during that time and I wasn't inspired to blog about much. I did think about it - and I tried to come up with some posts; but I blog for fun and when it isn't fun, I don't blog.

But the new year is upon us and with it, there seems to be some frenzied crafty energy swirling around me. Have you felt it, too? Here's how it has been affecting me:
  • A project that was stalled on progress, regardless of the work and time put into it, now seems to be crocheting itself.
  • I learned in December I've got three more friends expecting which brings the new baby blanket count for 2012 to four - one in February, one in March, and two in June.
  • In one day, I was able to find the perfect patterns and the purchase the perfect yarns for the first two blankets. The yarn arrived just three days later and it is now patiently waiting in the craft room.
  • In just the past few days, I've found three crafty classes to take during the first half of the year.
  • I've already written my list for the Year of Lovely Things 2012 (thanks to Perches who has also found her way back to the blogosphere)
  • The enthusiasm to blog has returned!

Let's hope this crafty energy sticks around for a while!