Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Blanket of Many Colors...

Ok. I never make afghans just for the 'fun of it'. Is there such a thing? EEk.

No, if I make an afghan it's for a gift or because someone requested it. Someone special.

So it shocks me to the core of my being to know that I just cracked out an afghan for the 'fun of it' in the last couple weeks. I made this afghan pattern for my MIL eons ago. Then I made one for my mom. Then I think I either lost the book or lent it to someone. Either way, it was no longer in my stash of books. I kept looking at my mom's just wishing that I could make that afghan again...I know, sick... Well, anyway, I happened to be looking through the new pattern books on one of my favorite vendors on ebay (here is my other fave vendor for patterns and wools)and lo and behold....there it was. My pattern. I didn't care WHAT I had to pay to get that was mine. Turns out I didn't have to pay that much and now I have my pattern back! Yay, me!

So I decided....stash only. Using up my stash. No purchasing yarn. Just stash. Yeah, that lasted about 2 days. I bought 4 skeins to finish it up because I wanted to throw a variegated in there and I wanted the red to continue throughout. Somebody saw it one day and said "Oh, are you making a Mexican blanket?" I'm like..."Um...Yeah....A mexican blanket." It had never occurred to me that my color choices totally looked like a mexican blanket! But, there it was....

So now it's called my Mexican Blanket. With lots of color.

Center medallion.

Gettin' worked on.

Finished in a fold.

Laid out, close up.


Colors used were Gold, Carrot, Ranch Red, Rust Heather, Green fleck, Cornmeal, Fall variegated, Off White, Heather Gray, Oxford Gray, Warm Brown, and Williamsburg print.
Everything but the Oxford Gray and the Rust Heather is just basic Red Heart. The Oxford is Wool-Ease and the Rust is Bernat Super Value. Just in case you were wondering! :)

Book is by Leisure Arts. I believe the name is "Afghans for All Seasons". Could be wrong?? I hate it when I can't remember the names! This afghans name is "Fall Splendor".

K. Tah!

Adorning the Appendages...

What is today's subject?

Adorning our appendages.

Up here in the "Frozen Tundra", which has been romantacized by football officianados around the world as 'real football' but in reality just translates into 'frostbite fast' or 'frostbite slow', we need our appendages adorned. Even indoors. So here are a few things I'm working on or have finished.

First up we have mittens. Basic mittens in a family of sizes. This is the first winter I even attempted mittens. I'm still getting the hang of the 'length' thing for the fingers. Mine seem terribly roomy. This particular pair is for me. My gloves decided to die during our last -30 stretch. Well, we've hit the next stretch and I'm still running around in a pair of fingerless mitts that I swiped from the gift box out of desperation. When I get cold...I just tuck my thumbs inside..LOL I have one mitten done. I should really just start wearing the blasted thing. But, for fear of looking like a complete moron, I will just wait until I get the second one done. :)

I did make 4 pair of these in the smaller sizes for my brother's kids for Christmas. I think they all fit them...? Maybe one pair was a little roomy. Anyway. I love the pattern. It's easy.

Now to feet. Here we have the only picture I got of the 7 pairs of slippers I made from this pattern. It's called Ribby Knit Slippers or something like that in the Holiday Gifts from Interweave Knits...(it's the next picture). They are super easy. The pattern calls for Bulky yarn, and I didn't have any immediate access to any bulky yarn, so I used one strand Wool-Ease Chunky and one strand Wool-Ease Worsted. Then just used the worsted for the ankle sock part.
The ones in the picture are Tony's. One night he said "Pleeeeaaasssse make me a pair of slippers. I don't care if they match. I don't care if you just use a bunch of leftover thread. Just pleeeaaassse make me some slippers." How do you say no to that?? So I had some coordinating colors and used those up making him some slippers. He loves 'em.

This is how easy this pattern is. I made them in one night. Holy easy pattern, Batman!

There are a couple of sweaters in here I'm salivating over too. I think I'm going to have banish my 'I'll never knit clothing' rule. Cuz these are just too cute.
Next up are doggie slippers. Mack's feet hurt really bad when it's below zero. And he takes so long to get down to business that he ends up either laying down or trying go big potty like a tripod. Either way, he needed something for his feet. Well, this one was just a prototype. I have since revised them and they don't tie above his elbow anymore. They just fell off his feet like that. As a matter of fact, I think there is still one in the back yard. The others tie right above his ankle and don't fall off as easy.
When I put them on him you would think "Oh, the shame....." cuz he gets all submissive and lays down on his back like "Do I have to wear these things AGAIN, mommy??? What are the other dogs gonna think???" Except there aren't any other dogs and he can take as much time as he likes gettin' done because his feet don't hurt him. These were made out of 100% wool for the water repellant factor. He is absolutely hilarious to watch walk when he's got these on.
And Last but not Least...we have the Desert Booties. I made these for giving away. One is just your basic acrylic. The other is sort of a terry-cloth acrylic. HATED knitting these with the terrycloth one because it was nearly impossible to see the stitches. Otherwise...awesome pattern. Good stuff.

Ok. Next subject.....

Friday, January 16, 2009

Big Girl Backpack

Ok, here it is (finally) for all of you who have requested this pattern. I do apologize at how pokey I've been getting it posted.

Big Girl Backpack

by Elizabeth Mareno 2009
WW yarn- scraps work great- about 1/2 skn.
H hook
Yarn needle for assembly
row marker

**do not join rounds unless stated**
Row 1- sc in 2nd ch from hook and each ch across (36) (do not ch1), work down the opposite side of the starting ch, sc in each ch. (72sc)
**from here you start working in a circle, so mark your first sc of your first row and keep moving it up as you go.
Row 2-42 sc in each sc around.
Row 43- ch3 (cts as dc and ch1), (sk sc, dc in next sc, ch1) around to last sc, join with 2nd ch of ch3. (36 ch1sp)
Row 44-ch1, sc in sm st as join, sc in each sc and ch1 around, join with first sc and finish off. tuck in ends. (72sc)
TIES: make 2
ch101, sl st in 2nd ch from hook and in each ch across. Fasten off leaving long end for sewing.
Assembling ties: First tie, weave over and under through dc. Sew ends together, pull on opposite end to hide. Do the opposite for second tie.
STRAPS: make 2
Holding 2 strands throughout, ch5
Row 1- sc in 2nd ch from hook and each ch across (4sc)
Row 2-47- ch1, turn, sc in each sc.
Row 48- drop one strand, ch1, turn, sc in each sc and row end around, putting 3sc in each corner.
Strap placement: Approx 3sc from edge, 3rows down (top) and 3 rows up(bottom) sew ends into place using a whipstitch.
"CHECK" Pattern:
Follow basic pattern through row18, 19th row (sc 2, chg color, sc 2, chg color) repeat around(carry the unused color in your sc all the way around, this will keep the inside of the bag neat). There will be one sc off at the end of the row.
Repeat this pattern for one more row, then switch to the next color for another 10 rows. Repeat check pattern for 2 rows, switching colors again for 5 more rows. Do the check pattern one more time, finishing with 3 rows.
Complete with the basic top, ties and straps.
This pattern is great to have fun with! Use lots of scraps and make it striped. Or mess around and see what kind of pattern you can come up with!

I need some help!

Ok, people. I have some super patterns to post, but I'm lazy. I would like to just put a link to the .pdf of the pattern instead of retyping them do I do that???

Somebody help me, por favor!

Monday, January 05, 2009

Yarn Ball Winder


I can't believe I forgot to tell you! My hubby and kids got me a ball winder from Knitpicks for my birthday. It's pretty ok. I am still learning how to make my cakes tight enough and big enough without stretching the yarn. You should see some of them....oh my.

I've decided I love knitpicks. When I can no longer buy yarn at wholesale...KnitPicks is going to be my new favorite place ever.

Oh, and I bought myself like 12 cones of cotton from Elmore-Pisgah in December (jeez, I'm behind!). In the hopes of making lots of baby bibs, burp cloths, baby kimono's, dish cloths and towels...ya know all the Mason Dixon Knitting patterns I haven't tackled more than once and would like to make more of!!

Anyway, just had to share that.

My First Day

Today was my first day at my new/old job. I am now working for my girlfriend, again. I worked for her a few years ago, but when I opened my yarn store, I stopped. Well, with the yarn store up for sale and me needing to get off of my dad's payroll....I am now working there again. My real talents lie in the 'bookkeeping' and 'receptionist' end of business. Invoicing, A/R, Collections, Answering phones, etc. I am only working two days a week for now. Which is a pay cut, but God is my source, right?

Anyway, my day started as normal. Cup of coffee, journal, bible. Then it hit me that I am starting a new job. A real job. I have to pack my lunch. My kids won't be there. I can't knit or crochet. I have to relearn things. And slowly I began to panic, I began to stress out and then I began to cry. It's 7pm and when I think about how much my life is changing and going to continue to change, the panic starts to creep up my throat and tears spring in my eyes.

Why? What is there to panic about? I made it through my first day with flying colors. One reason I think I panic is that I don't like idle time at work, it makes the day go so slowly. Being new in the office I don't always just 'know' what to do. I hate constantly having to ask, what next? what next? what next? Thankfully today they kept me busy the whole day with invoicing and deposits and all that. But, in one day I caught up on all the 'behind' stuff. Now what???? Lord, thank you that my days will be full of activity! That and teach me how to pace my self so that I don't burn through all my work in the first half of the day!

Second reason I think I panic is that my kids are at the store with my mom and I am not. I don't have an issue that my mom is's that I'm not. I used to look forward to the days when the kids would go school at mom's and I was at the store by myself...and all of a sudden I'm having separation anxiety? None of it makes sense. I am usually very confident. I have nothing to fear. Maybe it's not so much the separation from my kids, but from my store? This little separation is probably God preparing me so that when my store sells I don't internally combust instead of just coming apart at the seams a little bit.

On to other equally depressing things...
Christmas at my brother's was not great. It was stressful and irritating. My parents didn't have a good time and Tony and I didn't have a good time. We will not be traveling to visit them during football season again. I'll let that explanation be enough.
Also, we weren't supposed to be buying gifts for adults this year, only the kids. Well, my parents and my brother/SIL cheated. They got Tony and I a new KitchenAid. We appreciate it, we love it...but they cheated. So, I guess we won't do that rule anymore, cuz my family can't honor it.

I'm wracking my brain to think of something uplifting to end this post with.

Stefani is doing a demonstration at her 4H Youth Leader meeting tonight about Leukemia. Which is cool. I think it helps her. She is talking about bone marrow aspirations, spinal taps, port o caths and her bravery beads. I hope it goes over well. Tony decided to just stay at the meeting with them I'm all alone.

I'm going to go knit. :)

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy 2009!!

Well, another year gone.

What to say, other than where did it go? And what did I accomplish/learn in it?

Answer to question #1- It landed in the 'landfill of yesterdays'.
Answer to question #2- Accomplish?...not sure, but I've learned alot.

On the hard side, I've learned alot of things I don't want to do again. I've learned patience for God's timing in my life. I've learned that I was at war in myself, flesh-man vs. spirit-man. I've learned that teenagers can be worse than 2 and 3 year olds, and they are freakin' hard to homeschool. I've learned, now that I'm on the verge of selling my store, that I absolutely love my job and I'm going to miss my store like I would miss a limb from my body. I've learned that everything I thought I wanted, turns out to be different when I'm faced with actually getting them.

Otherwise, I have had a terrific year. I'm learning how to live within the confines of a serious, adult budget. Ya know, the kind that actually puts money away for your future. I'm having a ton of fun with my mini-crocheting career. I have so many ideas for designs, and now that Christmas is over (after I finish 5 more pairs of slippers) I will be able to actually start producing some more new designs for all of you. That makes me happy. I've learned that I love knitting and I am becoming more and more intrigued by intricate patterns and I'm almost ready to start designing for knitting projects. That, too, makes me happy.

I've started my new year pursuing several marathons.
The Monk marathon on USA.
The Iron Chef marathon on the Food Network.
The Looney Toons marathon on Cartoon Network.

I never said the marathons involved exercise. :)

This year I need to buy a new camera. Mine has finally pooped out on me. The shutter won't open up anymore. I have used the absolute daylights out of it and it owes me nothing. BUT, now I need to buy a new one. So, now I need to get some pictures of Kody and Kyle's afghans with Stefani's camera. I totally forgot to take pictures before hand. I know, lame. I PROMISE to get pictures of the Fisher kids' hats and mittens and slippers I made them for Christmas. Turned out totally cute. The afghans turned out totally cute too. So once I get pictures of them, you can ooh and aah with me. :)

K. I'm going to go eat some supper my hubby has prepared and follow it up with some cherry pie.

Later gators!