Thursday, March 26, 2009

Could it be??

Could Spring really be on its way?

It has finally stopped raining and blowing torrential winds. A couple days there the wind was coming through every crack in the house. There seems to be a pause in the precipitation. It is only 30 degrees and last night it flurried. My son chose to see the bright side of things and declared that it wasn't snow...it was soft hail...:) Today, the sun is almost out. It's a brighter shade of gray than normal.

And I have about 15 robins in my front yard. Busy flipping leaves looking for nesting materials and food. There are probably more than 15 with the neighboring yards being swarmed as well. And yesterday I heard the song birds. I never realize how much I miss that sound until all of a sudden, one Spring morning, I hear them again. I'm so glad they're back. :)

Things are looking up, folks.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Pokemon Ash Ketchum Look-Alike

Everybody sing and dance for joy...Ash is done!! He was actually kind of a naughty boy and wouldn't get dressed. For like 3 weeks! But, I finally convinced him to put his clothes on and once he did, he worked the photo shoot like a pro! Attitude all over the place!
So enjoy the forthcoming pics and pattern!
**Disclaimer, This pattern has only been worked by me. This pattern is complete and problem free, to the best of my knowledge. If you run into any logistical problems, please let me know!**









Pokemon Ash Ketchum Look-Alike
by Elizabeth Mareno 2009
Skill Level: Intermediate
Materials Needed:
F hook
Caron Simply Soft (Light Country Peach, Black, Light Blue, Lemonade , Limelight, Red, White)
Fiberfill
Small amount of plastic canvas
Strong Large Eye needle for assembly (I use metal #13 and #16 blunt tapestry needles)
4 safety pins or stitch markers
Finished Size: 20" H
**Do not join rounds unless specified**
HEAD & BODY:
With Ctry Peach ch 2
1- 6sc in 2nd ch from hook (6) mark first sc of row.
2- 2sc in each sc. (12)
3- (sc in 1 sc, 2sc in next) around (18)
4- (sc in 2sc, 2sc in next) around (24)
5- (sc in 3sc, 2sc in next) around (30)
6- (sc in 4sc, 2sc in next) around (36)
7- (sc in 5sc, 2sc in next) around (42)
8- sc in each
9- (sc in 6sc, 2sc in next) around (48)
10- sc in each
11- (sc in 7sc, 2sc in next) around (54)
12-21- sc in each
22- sc in 9sc, 2sc in next, sc in 36sc, 2sc in next, sc in 6sc. (56)
23- sc in 10sc, 2sc in 2sc, sc in 36sc, 2sc in 2sc, sc in 6sc. (60)
24- sc in 11sc, 2sc in 2sc, sc in 38sc, 2sc in 2sc, sc in 7sc. (64)
25- sc in each
26- sc in 1sc, 2sc in 2sc, sc in 7sc, sc dec, sc in 2sc, sc dec, (sc in next, sc dec) 12 times, sc dec, sc in 2sc, sc dec, sc in 6sc. (50)
27- sc in 2sc, 2sc in 2sc, sc in 7sc, sc dec, sc in 2sc, sc dec, sc in 22sc, sc dec, sc in 2sc, sc dec, sc in 5sc. (48)
28- sc in 3sc, 2sc in 2sc, sc in 7sc, (sc dec) 3 times, (sc in next sc, sc dec) 6 times, sc in 2sc, (sc dec) 3 times, sc in 4sc. (38 )
29- sc in each.
30- sc in 2sc, (sc dec) 3 times, (sc in next, sc dec) 10 times. (25) BEGIN TO STUFF HEAD
31- sc in 1sc, (sc dec) 2 times, (sc in next, sc dec) 6 times. sc dec in last 2sc. (16) Finish stuffing head.
32-36- sc in each. **NECK**
37- (sc in 1sc, 2sc in next) 8 times (24)
38- sc in each
39- 2sc in each. (48)
40- sc in each
41- (sc in 2sc, 2sc in next) around (56)
42- sc in each
43- sc in 1sc, 2sc in next, sc in 24, 2sc in 3, sc in 26, 2sc in 2. (63)
**Optional- Cut length of plastic canvas into a tube to fit into the neck. Sew into place, then proceed with stuffing. It will help with neck stability when the head has hair.**
44-65- sc in each.
66- (sc in 6sc, sc dec) 7 times, sc in 5, sc dec. (55)
67- sc in each. Stuff body as you go.
68- (sc in 5sc, sc dec) 7 times, sc in 4, sc dec. (47)
69- sc in each
70- (sc in 4sc, sc dec) 7 times, sc in 3, sc dec. (39)
71- (sc in 3sc, sc dec) 7 times, sc in 2, sc dec. (31)
72- (sc in 2sc, sc dec) 7 times, sc in 1, sc dec. (23)
73- (sc in 1sc, sc dec) 7 times, sc dec. (15)
74- ( sc dec) 7 times, sc in last (8)
75- (sc dec) 4 times. (4)
Cut, leaving a long end. Weave through sc's and pull tight to close the end.
NOSE:
1- ch2, 4sc in 2nd ch from hook. (4)
2- sc in each.
3- 2 sc in each. (8)
4- 2sc in each. (16)
Sew to face.
ARMS: Make 2
ch2,
1- 6sc in 2nd ch from hook. (6)
2- 2sc in each. (12)
3- (sc in 1sc, 2sc in next) around. (18)
4- (sc in 2sc, 2sc in next) around. (24)
5- (sc in 3sc, 2sc in next) around. (30)
6-7- sc in each.
8- (sc in 3sc, sc dec) around. (24)
9- sc in each.
10- (sc in 2sc, sc dec) around. (18)
11- sc in each.
12- (sc in 1sc, sc dec, sc in 4sc, sc dec) 2 times. (14)
13-34- sc in each.
Stuff as you go. Cut with long sewing end. Flatten and sew to the shoulder around row 42 of head and body.
EYES: Make 2
with white, ch7
1- sc in 2nd ch from hook and next 4, 3sc in last ch, sc in opposite of original ch for 5 sc. (13) do not join.
2- ch2, turn, hdc in sm sp as join and next 3sc, sc in next, 2sc in 3sc, sc in next, hdc in 4sc, ch2, sl st to sm sp as last hdc, sc across the bottom. sl st to ch2.
Cut, leave a long sewing piece.
**Embroider black to the eye. Then sew the eye to the face.
EARS: Make 2
Left Ear: 1- ch2, 4sc in 2nd ch from hook. (4)
2- ch1, turn, 2 sc in each. (8)
3- ch2, turn, hdc in sm sp as ch, hdc in next 2sc, 2sc in 2sc, 2dc in 2sc, dc in last sc, ch2, sl st to base of dc. (13)
Right Ear: Repeat rows 1 & 2
3- ch2, dc in sm sp, 2dc in 2sc, 2sc in 2sc, hdc in 3sc, ch2, sl st to base of hdc. (13)
Cut leaving a long sewing piece. Sew to the side of the head so that the bottom of the ear lines up with the jaw edge.
HAIR: Make 4 large, 11 medium.
Cone: with black, ch2
1- 5sc in 2nd ch from hook.
2- (sc in 1sc, 2sc in next) 2 times, sc in last (7)
3- sc in each
4- (sc in 1sc, 2sc in next) 3 times, sc in last (10)
5- sc in each. **Stop here for Small Cones**
6- (sc in 1sc, 2sc in next) around. (15)
7- sc in each. **Stop here for Medium Cones**
8- (sc in 2sc, 2sc in next) around. (20)
9- sc in each.
10- (sc in 3sc, 2sc in next) around. (2511- sc in each. )**Stop here for Large Cones**
join, Cut, with leaving a long sewing piece.
**Stuff lightly. Finish stuffing while sewing to head. I made 4 large cones and spaced them out between the ears to have a point of reference for hat placement.**
HAT: with red
ch2
1-10- Repeat head directions
11-15- sc in each
16- Back Loops Only (BLO), dc in 1sc, hdc in 2sc, sc in 9sc, hdc in 2sc, dc in next, sc in rem sc.
17- Both Loops, dc in 2 st, hdc in 11 st, dc in 2 st, sl st in next sc
18- ch3, turn, dc in 2, hdc in 11, dc in 2, do not dc in ch
19- ch2, turn, hdc in sm sp as ch and each st across, do not hdc in ch2
20- repeat row 19
21- ch2, turn, hdc in sm sp as ch2 and next st, dc in 11, hdc in 2
22- ch1, turn, sc in 1st hdc, hdc in next 2, dc in 3, trc in 3, dc in 2, hdc in 2, sc.
23- ch1, turn, sc in each st and row end around hat.
Cut weave ends.
BLACK STRIPE:
1- ch9, sc in 2nd ch from hook and each ch. (8)
2-28- ch1, turn, sc in each.
**Cut, leaving a LONG piece to sew to hat. Sew to the center of the hat.
Hat Decorations:
ARCH: with blue, ch8, sc in 2nd ch from hook and next ch, 2sc in 3ch, sc in 2ch. Cute leave along end for sewing. Tuck the loose end and sew to the hat.
CIRCLE: ch2, 6sc in 2nd ch from hook. join. cut. and sew.
**Cut about 8-10 4" strips of black yarn, holding two strands together at a time-latch hook them at his 'bangs', then sew the hat onto the head.
**Optional for hat bill stability, cut a piece of plastic canvas and sew to the bottom of the bill.
Finish sewing the hair cones onto his head. Lightly stuff each cone, except for the small cones. Just so they hold their shape.
LEGS: Make 2, starting with shoes and white.
Sole:
1- ch10, 2hdc in 3rd ch fromhook, hdc in next ch, sc in 3ch, hdc in next, dc in next, 6dc in last ch, dc in next ch on opp side, hdc in next, sc in 3ch, hdc in next, 3hdc in sm sp as original ch, join to top of ch3. (24)
2- ch2, hdc in sm sp as join, 2hdc in next 2, hdc in 5, 2hdc in next, 2dc in 6, 2hdc in next, hdc in 5, 2hdc in 3, join. (38)
3- ch2, hdc in sm sp as join, 2hdc in 4, hdc in 8, dc in 2, 2dc in 8, dc in 2, hdc in 8, 2hdc in 5. (56)
Cut.
Upper Shoe: with black, attach with sl st to post of hdc at join (back) of sole, w/WS of sole facing you. Use seperate balls for each color. (2 black, 1 red)
1- sc around joining post, sc around next 16 posts, chg to red, sc around 22 posts, chg to black, sc around 17 posts. join. (56)
2- ch1, turn, sc in 17, chg to red, sc in 22, chg to black, sc in 17, join. (56)
3- ch1, turn, (sc in 5, sc dec) 2 times, sc in 3, chg to red, (sc in 2, sc dec) 5 times, sc in 2, chg to black, sc in 3, (dec, sc in 5) 2 times, join. (47)
4- ch1, turn, sc in 15, chg to red, sc in 17, chg to black, sc in 15. join. (47)
5- ch1, turn, (sc in 4, dec) 2 times, sc in 3, chg to red, (sc in 4, dec) 2 times, (sc in 3, dec) once, chg to black, sc in 3, (dec, sc in 4) 2 times, join. (40)
6- ch1, turn, sc in each with black. Cut red permanently.
7- ch1, turn, sc in 9, dec, (sc in 3, dec) 4 times, sc in 9. join. (35)
8- ch1, turn, sc in 12, (dec) 5 times, sc in 13, join. (30)
9- ch1, turn, sc in 12, (dec) 3 times, sc in 12, join. (27)
10- ch1, turn, sc in 10, (dec) 3 times, sc in 11, join. (24)
11- do not turn, ch1, sc in each. do not join, chg to skin color.
LEG: 12-30- sc in each. Join. Cut.
Finish stuffing and sew on to bottom of body.
PANTS: with blue
ch66
1- sc in 2nd ch from hook and each. (65)
2-4- ch1, turn, sc.
5-(front of pants) - do not turn, ch1, sc in 1st sc of last row (connecting the two sides), sc in each sc around to ch1, join. (65)
6- ch1, sc in sm sp as join, sc in each sc, join.
7-17- repeat row 6
18- LEFT LEG- ch1, sc in sm sp as join and next (mark 2nd sc), sc in 31sc, ch1, sk 32sc, join in marked sc(skipping 1st sc of row). (33)
19- ch1, sc in join and each sc around, sc in ch1, join in 1st sc. (33)
20- repeat row 19, do not join.
21-42- do not ch1, sc in each sc around. join in the very last row. Finish off.
18-RIGHT LEG- (with back of pants facing you) join with sc to 1st open sc, sc in next 31, sl st in open sc and ch 1 of left leg, join to 1st sc of rt leg (previously skipped) (32sc, 2sl st)
19- ch1, sc in join and each sc, sc in 1st sl st from last row, sk last sl st, join. (33)
20- ch1, sc in join and each sc. do not join. (33)
21-42- repeat left leg.
FAUX POCKETS: with blue, make 2
ch10
1- sc in 2nd ch from hook and each. (9) (RS)
2-9- ch1, turn, sc in each.
10- ch1, turn, sc in BLO (9)
11-12- ch1, turn, sc in both loops (9)
THese last two rows creatd the flap.
CUt leaving a long sewing piece. Sew to side of pants leaving the flap free.
Pants finishing: At the opening of the pants, attach blue to an edge with sl st, then ch 6, and slip st in the same edge creating a loop. Cut and weave ends in. Sew a button to the opposite side for closure.
SHIRT: starting with blue
ch69- join to make a circle, make sure that you don't twist it.
1- ch1, sc in each ch. Join. (69) Cut.
2- on opp side of starating ch, join with black in the open loops. Sc in each ch, join.
3- ch1, sc in join and each sc.
4-14- ch2(does not ct as hdc), hdc in sm sp as join, hdc in each around, join with 1st hdc. (69)
15- ch2, hdc in sm sp as join, hdc in 19, (place marker), hdc in 13, (pm), hdc in 21, (pm), hdc in 13, (pm), hdc in last hdc, join with 1st hdc. Cut black and weave ends.
16- with back seam facing you, rejoin with black in the hdc marked to the right of the seam with ch2(not hdc), hdc in sm sp as join, hdc in each to the next marker, hdc in marked st, leave remaining hdc unworked. (22)
17-18- ch2, turn, hdc in sm sp as ch2, hdc in each hdc across, lv ch2 unworked. (22)
19-20- LEFT SHOULDER- ch2, turn, hdc in sm sp as ch2, and next 4hdc. (5) Cut
21- RIGHT SHOULDER- with wrong side facing you, sk 12 hdc, rejoin in next hdc with ch2, hdc in sm sp as join and next 4 hdc. lv ch2 from prev round unworked. (5)
22- Repeat row 20. Cut.
23- With front facing you, working from back, sk 12 unworked hdc from row 15, join with ch2 in next marked st, hdc in sm sp as join, and next 10hdc. (11hdc) leave remaining hdc unworked.
24-25- ch2, turn, hdc in sm sp as ch2, hdc in each hdc, leave ch2 from prev row unworked.
26- turn, sl st in 6hdc, ch2, hdc in sm sp as ch2 and each hdc to end (5) Cut.
27- with front facing you, rejoin in the next open hdc with ch2, hdc in sm sp as join and each hdc to next marker, hdc in marked hdc (11hdc) lv rem hdc unworked.
28-29- ch2, turn, hdc in sm sp as ch2 and each hdc, lv ch2 unworked. (11)
30- ch2, turn, hdc in sm sp as ch2, and next 4hdc. (5) cut.
Turn shirt inside out. With right sides facing each other, sew shoulder seams. Turn shirt right side out.
COLLAR: with blue
1- join in the bottom of front opening with ch1, sc 45 sc evenly spaced around neckline. Join with sl st to 1st sc.
2- ch1, sc in 2sc, hdc in 3sc, 5dc in next sc, dc to shoulder, hdc across shoulder, dc to next shoulder, hdc across next shoulder, dc to next corner, 5 dc in corner, hdc in 3, sc in 2. Join.
3- ch2, sc in 3, hdc in 4, 5dc in next, (dc in each dc, hdc in each hdc) to opposite corner, 5 dc in center dc of 5dc from prev row, hdc in 4, sc in 3, join.
4- sl st to corner, (sc, ch2, sc) in corner, sc to shoulder hdc's, dc in each hdc and dc around to opposite front, sc in each to corner, (sc, ch2, sc) in corner, sl st to end. Finish off.
SLEEVES: with back facing and white.
RIGHT SLEEVE:
1- join with sl st to last open sc from row 15, ch1, sc in sm sp, evenly place 25 more sc in row ends and open sc. Join. (26)
2-3- ch1, sc in each sc.
4- ch2, hdc in sm sp, hdc in each sc. (26)
5- ch2, hdc in sm sp, hdc in 3, 2hdc in next, (hdc in 4, 2hdc in next) 4 times, hdc in last st. (31)
6-11- repeat row 4. Cut weave ends.
LEFT SLEEVE:
1- join with sl st to first open sc from row 15, ch1, sc in sm sp, evenly place 25 sc in row ends and open sc. Join. (26)
2-11- repeat as for right sleeve.
V:
1- with yellow, ch30, sc in 2nd ch from hook and next 13ch, 3sc in next ch, sc in rem 14ch. (31)
2- ch1, turn, 2sc(increase) in 1st sc, sc in 29, inc in last sc. (33)
3- ch1, turn, sc in 16, 3sc in next, sc in 16. Cut leaving a long sewing piece.
Sew to shirt front.
GLOVES: make 2
with green
1- ch5, sc in 2nd ch from hook and next 3 (4)
2- ch1, turn, BLO, sc in each.
3-20- repeat row 2. Cut with long end. sew ends together to make a circle.
Working in row ends of one side of cuff with black.
1- join with sl st in row end, sc in sm sp as join, sc 24 more evenly spaced around. (25) join.
2- ch1, (sc in 4, 2sc in next) around. (30). join.
3- ch1, (sc in 5, 2sc in next) around. (35) join.
4-5- ch1, sc in each, join.
6- ch1, (sc in 5, dec) around. (30) join.
7- ch1, sc in each, join. CUt. weave ends.
That's it. Good luck. And Happy Pokemon hunting with your new Trainer!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Did Somebody Say Cake???

Sorry, not real cake (i wish)...yarn cake...:)

Remember my lovely birthday present from my hubby and kids? Granted, my link isn't the exact one..apparently Knitpicks has changed it to a less expensive, yet, more versatile model. Well, all that aside, I really haven't used the darn thing much. I thought...OOOO...a ball winder, that'll be EASY! Right?

Not really.

There is actually a knack you either must be born with or you just have to practice alot. I was the latter of the two. This last weekend, as I was demonstrating the ball winder to a fellow knitter (with much trepidation about how my cakes would turn out) I FOUND my perfect technique! Hallelujah!

Everybody do the happy dance. :)

1st up we have the first ball of 6. This is how many of my early cakes turned out. THIS I could have achieved by hand*...no ball winder needed for this beauty. *Remind me to tell you a story about balls wound by hand when I'm done with the cakes....


2nd is another of the typical cakes. Very loose and airy. Huge...feels like it'll fall apart if you jostle it too much. I used a pen to give you a visual reference.


3rd, my cakes are getting better. This is the exact same yarn brand as the yellow. Notice how much more compact they are getting? It's still messy looking, though. Not neat and uniform.


Last up, we have perfection. 3 beautiful, perfect, little cakes. Same amount of yarn, same brand as the last two pictures, yet, oh so much more pretty to look at. I am actually excited to use them! LOL


I would love to run around showing all of my family my beautiful, little cakes...however, they would not appreciate it. Not like you will. :)

*Ok, true story about hand wrapping yarn. I am sitting at a powerlifting tournament a few weeks ago. I always take my crafting with me. I had either not started my project, or I had just finished a project and was wrapping the left over yarn up (which is the most likely of the two scenarios). Anyway, an older lady a row down and about 5 people over suddenly says "Can I tell you? You're doing that wrong." (I've been wrapping my yarn by hand for almost as long I've had children, and I've never had a problem with it.) I said "Ok." So she proceeded to tell me how to do it so that it can be a center pull ball. It was interesting, even if it seemed impractical and too hard to pull off (ie: How do you keep the yarn taut enough to keep it from unraveling while you wind it?). I thanked her for her advice. I, then, finished wrapping my ball of yarn the way I usually do and put it away. I laughed when my friend was like "that was sorta ballsy", cuz I know that if I had a better way to do things and I saw somebody doing it the hard way...I'd say something. :)

Ok, on to my book reading. I've been reading this book for what feels like forever. I have 2 more books of hers to read ,yet. Thankfully, only one of them is as thick as this. This is, by far, THE longest book I have EVER read. Interesting story, even if it is repetetive at times. They could have edited out about 500 pages and had the same impact. But, she was revolutionary for her time and her writing is as timely now as it was back then. I can hardly wait to read "Atlas Shrugged". :)


So close, yet, so far away.......

Friday, March 06, 2009

Ever had...

...Something happen that has the potential to shake your faith to its foundation...and yet, you know that you are ok, cuz God will never let anything happen to you? In the end, you will be alright?

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

New Favorite Food Blogs...

Thanks to Amanda...one of the six people who 'follow' my blog....I have found two new favorite food websites.

A Year In Bread.

and

Farmgirl Fare.

One is strictly bread, the other....mmm...inspires me to cook more! Both organically and naturally.

I've included them in my "Favorite Reads" for you to access them when this post is no longer on top.

Weight Loss and WIP's

I've had a rough two weeks with weight loss. I am beginning to come out of the doldrums now.

In my search for "joy in the journey" I came across some really funny, food related pictures. I'm sharing them with you...and maybe you'll find some joy in them too.


"How to weigh yourself and get the most accurate result. I can't believe I have been doing it wrong all these years! We must get the word out!"


"Why does it take two weeks to take off three pounds and only two days to gain 'em back?"


"Stressed is Desserts spelled backwards"









"Haz how many calories?"

"Don't step on it...it makes you cry."
"Welcome to the Weight Loss Forum. To lose one pound, double-click your mouse six million times."
If you want a few more funnies..go here. You won't be sorry. :) But, make sure you come back and finish reading this post!
Here's what I've been working on in the last two weeks to keep me from snacking all night while watching tv. A Mitered Blanket from Mason-Dixon Knitting. This one is actually, right now, just going to be a sample for a new-ish baby yarn in my store. These are just pics of the palette I'm using. I have to make 24 squares.
And then sew them together.
Wish me luck.






And yes, those of you who have looked that closely at my stitches, I DO have a twist in my 'knits'....I blame it on the fact that I knit like I'm crocheting. It all functions the same in the end..it's just not as uniform as you 'good' knitters!
And did you notice the Risk game? Love me some Risk. We've been playing that same game for almost a year now. We put it away for about 6 months. But, now it's back out and we only play it on Thursday nights. I really have no idea how long it's going to take to finish. But, just for the record, I'm currently whompin' everyone!
Oh Yeah!