Crafty Mama


I’ve been thinking about the cycle of things lately. The seasons flowing into each other, the sun coming up earlier and setting later, the stars marching across the night sky in perfect order. The seeds that we planted are coming up in force right now and the flowers are blooming under the bright blue sky. The summer resident birds are coming back and the symphony some mornings is almost unpleasant. There have been blackbird courtships and male quail showdowns under the feeder in the evenings.

It’s finally Spring and I’m really trying to shake off Winter.

The simple fact is I prefer to hermit my life away. I like the solitude, the quiet hours and no strict schedule. I like the freedom of not being a slave to the clock and not running hither and yon for one activity or another. I like Winter for this reason. I can say I’m snowed in and people don’t question why I’m not out with the masses. During Winter, it is completely acceptable to curl up on the couch with a quilt and a good book. (Who am I kidding? – most days it would be the laptop!)

Spring demands that I be busy. There’s things to do, places to go and people to see. I’ve got a garden to tend, cleaning to do, adventures to plan and fresh air to breathe. Don’t get me wrong now, when I’m out and about I love it. It’s the getting out the door that is the hard part. I would much rather be home, watching my own flowers grow and laughing at the birds in the backyard.

And while I’m doing that, you can put money that I have my knitting close by. It allows me to keep my hands busy and at the same time, hang out with the rest of the family. In the last month, I finished T-Man’s hat and he loves it. I liked this pattern and it really knit up quickly.

Camo Eyes

I also started and finished a shawl, from the yarn that refused to become a hat. I would have made it bigger, but I was getting tired of working on it and wanted to use it already.

Simple Cotton Shawl Closer View

I’m onto the second sock of a pair, that has been hanging out waiting for me to get excited about it again, and then I’m going to start my first sweater.

I’m still working out how to take my knitting camping with me and keep it clean.

How is it Wednesday already? Well, I know actually. Monday was lost to the dentist in the morning and laundry in the afternoon. Yesterday, we did school and Hubby played Rock Band in the afternoon.

G-Bunny turned 9 with success on Saturday. We gave her some cash and headed to the Alderwood Mall for the day. Her idea of a great day is shopping, so we followed her through the various shops and I only needed to be pulled out of 2 kitchen stores. One was Williams Sonoma, as I am powerless to resist all the shiny cookware there! T-Man and I gathered recipe cards and oogled the $990 copper stock pot. Yikes!

We had our first Cold Stone Creamery ice cream and decided it was over-rated. We all had fun at Borders and I found a 2009 Packers calendar for $1. Good deals are out there! G-Bunny shopped and spent her many dollars on things she really wanted. And then we went to Build-A-Bear. Hubby hadn’t been the one and only time we’ve gone before, so it was a miracle he survived! We escaped the mall just as it was getting busy, with our two new bear family members and had a great lunch/dinner at Olive Garden. Yum!

Sunday was our 12th wedding anniversary. We spent it recovering from the mall… Seriously. I did eat my cheesecake for breakfast and we had leftovers for dinner. I think we were both full from the Olive Garden!

I finished another hat, so G-Bunny and I have matching hats now. T-Man took this photo yesterday on our front porch.

Matching Huricane Hats

Our weather has been windy and rainy, which limits the outings we can enjoy. We have been enjoying not having a schedule to keep this weekend and just hanging out at home. That changes after this weekend again, when I head off to Alaska for a few days.

Nine more days!

I have been busy knitting the last couple of weeks and I have some things to share.

I finished T-Man’s fingerless mitts while we were traveling two weeks ago and finally cornered him for some pictures. He wears them almost constantly, which is great praise from any kid. He picked out the orange yarn and I talked him into adding the green ribbing color, to match the hats I had already made. I modified the pattern I used before, in order to fit his smaller hands and they knit up fairly quickly. He has asked for (and will receive) a matching hat and scarf to complete the set.

Palm-view of Mitts

I started a new pair of socks on that same trip, which are still in progress. I need to pick up the gusset stitches and knit the foot on this one, then make the second sock. I need some undisturbed time to concentrate on the counting, which hasn’t happened in the last couple of days. I can’t watch TV and turn a heel without messing something up. I’m also knitting them on bigger needles, but with fewer stitches than my last pair in hopes of getting a better fit.

P.A. Sock in Progress

Since I have been watching movies and TV shows off the DVR, I needed another project. It was this hat. It was very fast, just two days from start to finish. It’s from the same yarn as my socks, but the bummer is that it is too small for me. G-Bunny has yet another Oops Hat for her growing collection. I need to get some size 7 circular and double-pointed needles before I knit it again for myself. The pattern is the Hurricane Hat and searchable/linkable through Ravelry if you are there.

Hurricane Rosie and G

I’ve knit a couple of dishcloths this month too, although I don’t take pictures of them. I gave my SIL a stack out of my kitchen drawer when they were here, so I need to make a few more to replace them. I also knit her one while we were at her house. I bought some bright sunny yellow cotton for my next batch (to welcome spring) and I am feeling the pull to try out some different stitch patterns with them. T-Man also picked out some cotton and I will help him knit a couple dishcloths of his own. He’s tired of knitting little swatches and I don’t blame him.

Monday (President’s Day) I convinced the entire family to stop at Country Yarns. Hubby and I had stopped in on a Wednesday night and had gotten a less-than enthusiastic welcome, but when I checked the hours, I realized we were probably there during a private lesson. I really wanted to try again during normal hours and I’m so glad I did.

I got two new sock yarns:

Persimmon Happy Feet Ocean View

a nice red merino on sale (which will be a new cowl):

Future Cowl

a pink and white wool (beret and mitts for G-Bunny):

Cameo Quatro 220

and a deep purple mystery yarn from the 70% off basket. It was in the basket because the shop owner couldn’t find either end to the skein. I unraveled the knotted mess and wound it into two balls while watching Righteous Kill Tuesday night.

Mystery Bargain Yarn

I need to do some investigating into the fiber content before I decide what to make with it, but it was a great deal. I also picked up a new set of #2 dpn’s, since I’m having a hard time picking up stitches with the addi’s I bought a while ago. These ones look to be pointier, so we will see. I also might go down to their Knit Night sometime and see if I can’t make some new fiber friends.

Happy Knitting!

The first attempt at a hat for Hubby, that I wrote about here, turned into this.

Fern, Part One

This color is so good on her and her eyes just pop. This is the side view.

Fern - Side View, Part One

I gave her The First Fern and she has worn it everyday since. She even added a snowflake pin to it.

I cast on for another try immediately and four days later, I had Fern, Part Two.

Fern, Part Two

It fits Hubby perfectly and I’m so happy that this one worked out.

However, I can’t seem to coordinate Hubby wearing the hat and the camera with a working memory card in the same location, at the same time, in order to get a picture. So, I did the next most logical thing. I waited a couple of weeks until Hubby took my car to work, leaving his hat in his car for me to find during the morning school run and did the model shots in the bathroom mirror myself.

Fern II Side View

And this is the top view. I found out it is much harder to take a good picture of the top of your own head that in should be.

Fern II Top

And I leave you with my favorite one and what I will upload to Ravelry for now. Happy Knitting!

Fern II Eyes

I knit a hat for Hubby over the last couple of days (while conveniently avoiding cleaning out the garage) and I finished it last night about 9:30 pm. He has been watching me make steady progress and getting more and more excited to see it coming together. He had brought home the yarn just before Christmas, his own choice of color and we decided on a hat.

Unfortunately, I was totally winging the pattern (how hard is a hat??) and I made it way to short. I started to panic as I saw the skein of yarn disappearing faster than it was reappearing on the needles, so I started my decreases and finished it off.

It barely fits me, nevermind looking completely ridiculous, due to the scale between the ribbing width and the (lack of) crown height. I totally bummed because it snowed again last night and I was really hoping to send Hubby off to work with a swanky new hat. Instead, he wore the newly finished fingerless mitts (that are too big for me) and I’m going to try the hat on one of the kids.

If that doesn’t work out, I may just felt it into a bowl.

I realized yesterday that we are only two short weeks away from Christmas! Yikes!!! I’m still in denial…

I am working on getting my Ravelry (CraftyMama11) page up to date, so I took pictures of some of the finished knits I have overlooked. I do the same thing for my quilts and it’s handy to pull up the photo and pattern, plus my notes about a project when I have questions.

This is my Dropped Yarn Over Scarf, free pattern from Curly Purly.

Dropped Yarnover Scarf

And here it is in action:

Dropped Yarn Over Scarf In Action

I’ve knit both the kids pairs of socks in the last couple of months. I used Wool-Ease for their socks, so I can machine wash and dry them with the rest of the laundry. G-Bunny’s are a light pink heather and T-Man’s are an oatmeal heather color. I also won’t feel bad about tossing these in the garbage as they wear them out, or in T-Man’s case, outgrow them.

G-Bunny ankle socks
T-Man Socks

I finished the thumb on this mitt Tuesday night while watching America’s Funniest Home Videos with the kids.

Fingerless Mitt

I am trying to decide if I really want to make a matching mitt or if I want to just scrap the whole thing.

One finished mitt - My Hand

I don’t really like the fit, but I’ve been wearing it for the last little bit and it’s keeping my mouse hand nice and warm. I love the yarn, but it’s too dense the way I knit it and feels bulky. I’m still undecided.

I finished these socks too.

San Juan Socks

Hubby had the last two days off, so I knit a lot, while he played on the computer or Rock Band with the kids. I’m still pushing for a laptop of my own.

Llama Cowl

This will be a cowl (based on this pattern) out of some llama yarn I have had for a couple of years. It’s coming along, but I’m not as in love with the yarn after knitting it. I’m hoping it will be worth it in the end because it is super soft. I’m switching between two yarns, creating a wide stripe pattern because I don’t have enough of either one to make it the size I want and I’m just going to keep knitting until I run out. I’ve learned quite a few things with this project, like that I prefer double pointed needles over circular needles because my wrist can’t take the unsupported stress for hours at a time.

The Christmas Countdown is coming along too.

Day 8: The Christmas Origami kit I pulled out is REALLY complicated and I didn’t have the energy to oversee the frustration, so we all watched Santa Clause, including Hubby. (If you watch NUMB3RS, you’ll really get a kick out of Bernard.)

Day 9: The popcorn and cider/ hot chocolate snack was a hit and we watched Santa Clause 2.

Day 10: My normally crafty kids didn’t want to “stamp a card for a friend, write a note and mail it” because they thought it was school in disguise. They painted with watercolors instead.

Hubby and I had our Date Night, while the kids were at AWANA. Since we are wild and crazy, we went to the yarn store (very disappointing), to eat at Jack In The Box (new antenna balls!) and to the pet store to look at the puppies and kittens. We also got gas for Hubby’s car.

Day 11: The kids didn’t want to make Foamie Ornaments, so I made one by myself. The kids were into a made up game of “High School” which was very entertaining for me.

Day 11 Bonus: I baked some of my favorite Christmas cookies and discovered they are really good with my coffee this morning.

Day 12: Tonight is movie night, Polar Express, as long as the forecasted snowstorm leaves the power on. I’ll be the sleeping lump at the end of the couch.

I’m not really sure about having another Movie Night this week, but I do like the break. Hubby has one day off between now and Christmas, so I’m conserving energy where I can. We still need to buy some gifts for the kids, which Hubby will end up doing since the kids are always with me. The pros and cons of Home Schooling – I know exactly what they want and need, but can’t keep it a surprise if I shop with them.

Have a great weekend!

I took the weekend off. I am now caught up on all the DVR’d shows and I’ve been knitting on my current pair of socks.

Remember this pair from the summer? I love them. Well, I love wearing them, but hate hand washing them.

Moving Sock

I want more socks, so I started a new pair right before our trip to the San Juan’s. I’ll finish them sometime today. The recipe is the Yarn Harlot’s Plain Vanilla Sock from her Knitty Gritty appearance.

I have a few mods in mind for my next pair, but these will be just fine. They are knit from Heart and Sole with Aloe (Red Heart) on size 2 dpns. The colorway is Razzle Dazzle. I got it at Hubby’s store, possibly on sale, even though full price ($4.40 ish) is great. It is 70% superwash wool, 30% nylon, so I’m hoping I get a lot of wear out of them.

Dec Socks

Anyway, back to the Christmas Countdown. We finished Day 4-6 of the Countdown ahead of schedule, but were foiled on Day 7 when we had a town-wide power outage for a couple of hours. We couldn’t have a Wii Bowling Tournament without power. So, that got postponed until last night. G-Bunny was the Family Winner, but Hubby threw the contest to let T-Man advance. I bowled close to my best score and it still wasn’t good enough!

Here are the pics from the last few days.

Day 4 was the inside decorations, like the mantle, nativity sets and my collection of snowmen.

Mantle

Nativities

Snowman Shelf

Day 5 was to put up the tree and hang ornaments.

Finished Tree

Day 6 was to decorate the porch, which we did on Day 5 because Hubby was off of work.

Porch and Yard

I haven’t gotten any pictures of the finished product yet. The ribbon I wrapped around the pillars fell the first night and we need one more cord to light up the stars. I’ll post a pic as soon as I have a good one.

However, I did get pictures of our neighbor across the street putting up his lights. We’ll call him the “Loser.”

Closeup of the "Loser"

The other neighbor across the other street was doing this. We’ll call him the “Winner!”

The "Winner"

And the “Loser” again?

The "Loser"

Maybe this is why our cable rates are so high?

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