Monday, January 12, 2015

First Project of 2015

With 3 blankets in the works (or is it 4?), I have no time to start anything new.  I'm serious. No time. Zero time! And at the rate I'm working on those other projects, I won't have time for anything new until mid-2017.

Because crafter ADD is a thing.

But honestly, all that has never stopped me before. And while I was clicking around Ravelry back in December, I stumbled upon a CAL (crochet-a-long) over at Agrarian Artisan for a really simple, patchwork style blanket.  Just a lap throw size.  And a stash buster, as well.

How could I say no? (Because addiction to starting new projects without finishing them is also a thing.)

So I grabbed a few skeins of yarn and got crackin'. The blanket is composed of granny squares - 5 different motifs - and my goal was to complete once set a day. 10 granny squares a day. I could do that, right? Super quick!

Well, that WAS the goal. And I stayed pretty on task - which for me is kind of a big deal.  I might have had a few days where boredom got the better of me. Maybe a couple days. Just one or two. Or 5. Whatevs.

Let me backtrack a moment and talk color. Do you like it? Can I be honest with you? I don't. Somewhere I had seen the combination of navy blue, cream, green and peach and I LOVED it. But then I took those colors and added gray. And it seemed fairly ok until I started throwing some squares together and figured out that I pretty much hated it.  By that point, though, it was too late to turn back and better finished than sitting in the WIP pile for the next 2 years, right? Right.

Biggest sigh ever.

Well, moving on. I followed the CAL instructions for the most part. I joined the squares with gray (WHY? Why would I do this when I didn't like the gray in the first place?!), slip stitching in the back loops and did a simple gray border in the same manner. I ended up with 48 squares all together - a 6x8 square lap throw.

Wanna see?

 Do I love the finished project? Hm. I don't hate it. Is that answer enough?

I can say that 2 days after finishing it, I am warming to it. It's sitting on my couch and the kids have broken it in for fort all's well that ends well, right?


Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Looking Back

Well, it's that time again - the end of one year and the start of a new one.

New Year's is a funny time for me. While most people usher the new year in with a bang, I tend to get quiet - reflective - and oftentimes a bit sad.  I dwell too much on wasted opportunities, lost friends and all the little things I've left undone.  Like this little blog. Oh, how I've neglected you!

With the exception of this dusty blog and a few too many WIPs to bring into the New Year with me, though, I can't say that this year has been bad. Quite the opposite, actually!  This has been a year of figuring it out - myself, my business, my life and what I want out of it.  There have been a few hiccups, but all in all, it's been good.  And it's certainly been crafty...

There have been blankets!

Oh my, have there been blankets. If you've read any other blog posts in here, you've probably already figured out that I'm a bit blanket obsessed. And since I rarely make or keep anything for myself, a lot of those blankets have ended up in my Etsy shop. Some have sold and some remain, and I may never figure out what anyone is actually looking for...but I've had so much fun experimenting!

There have been LOTS of stuffed toys and amigurumi!

One thing I have learned in this past year is that folks love a cute stuffed toy.  I do, too!  It's been so much fun seeing bunnies and bears come to life on my hook. And since I'm a tad impatient, they've been great 'quick' projects in between those blankets.

And finally, there have been far too many WIPs!

Work in Progess. *sigh*  One of my goals in the later half of this past year has been to start the new year with a clean slate. I purged and frogged some projects that were never going to get done...and I piled up all the blankets and stuffies yet to be finished.  But in the end, I couldn't crochet fast enough.  Though, to be honest, it's certainly a pretty pile of unfinished projects to start the new year with :)

As I sit here with my never-ending cup of tea, I still find myself reflecting and over-thinking the past 12 months.  (What can I say, I can't help myself!) But I've also begun plotting and planning the year ahead.  I have so many hopes!  Fewer unfinished projects, fewer worries, fewer gloomy days, fewer excuses. More yarn, more happy, WAY more blog posts(!!!), more painted fingernails and flowers and maybe even a blanket or two for myself to keep!

This will be a good year.

Have a happy one!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

What's On My Hook? and a Destash Update

Quiet seems to be the theme this summer. It's quiet around here lately. I'm quiet.

And maybe a little uninspired? Possibly.

I'm going to blame that on this '90 day yarn destash' that I swore I'd stick to. Yep. This whole yarn-buying-hiatus is for the birds. I NEED NEW YARN!  But so far, I'm behaving and sticking to using only what I have in my possession.

Boring, isn't it?

But all pouting aside, I'm chugging along with what I have on hand. And so far, I have one project finished...and another new one started. (!!!)

Ok, so that finished project. It was a giraffe. Shocking, I know. (Note my sarcasm, as it seems that giraffes are all I am making lately!)

He's cute, right? A brighter yellow than I'd do for a traditional giraffe, with spots in shades of grape, hot pink, orange, grass green and electric blue.

And the new project I started looks a little something like this...

Do the colors seem a little Easter-y to you? I'll admit, I've had a change of heart on my color choices.  But my 4 year old reassures me that they're really pretty.  And I mean, if SHE likes it...

It's the Beatrice Blanket by Little Doolally, by the way.  I love how the stitches look like cupcakes. Don't they? Or am I just hungry?

As for this #90dayyarndestash - we'll say that I'm making it through the challenge. So far. But 90 days seems a lot longer than I originally (and far too optimistically) thought...

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Sunday, July 6, 2014

How Big is Your Stash?

Your craft supply stash, that is.

Are you a well stocked crafter (*cough* hoarder *cough), or do you buy your supplies as you need them?

I'll admit, I have a little bit of a problem when it comes to yarn. I buy it. A whole lot of it, in fact. And it's catching up with me as my storage is bursting at the seams...

My hubby has started making half-hearted threats (ha!) about it all disappearing one of these days.  (He wouldn't dare! Would he?)

But honestly, I could probably crochet for an entire year - Christmas included - without buying a single skein of yarn.  How crazy is that?!

So yeah, I have lots. I am a very well stocked crafter.

It got me thinking...wouldn't it be nice to use a good chunk of it?  To clear the closets and storage bins and baskets?  To lighten up this big yarn-y load?

And yeah, to make room for some new yarn...! (New yarn? I'm in!)

So for the next 90 days, it looks like I'll be on a self-imposed yarn buying freeze.  Not a single new skein will come through my door. I've seen similar challenges out there in blogland and I'm excited to see if I can whip up some awesomeness with the three tons of yarn that I have on hand.  (Which is only a mild exaggeration, no joke.)

And because I'm quickly turning into a crazy hashtagger (thanks for that, Instagram), I'm going to call it the #90dayyarndestash.

Sounds like fun, right?

Now I just have to stick to this whole 'no buying new yarn' thing...

*bites nails and looks around nervously*

Think I can do it?

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Tuesday, July 1, 2014


June was a mellow month.

Lots of time was spent flitting around with the kids...and lots of time was spent kicking back and adjusting to all the changes that come with the arrival of summer.

And where did that leave me and my neglected little crochet hook?

Well, I got a few things started. And I even managed to get a few things finished.

But not nearly as much as I would have liked.  A few special orders made it out. And a random project or two for the shop.

A mellow month, for sure.

I have big plans for July! New projects that will hopefully find their way to my hook between beach days and BBQs. And maybe a couple old favorites, too. I'd love to get a few giraffes added to the shop. A new ripple blanket or two, as well. I've been working on a few new bears and have been toying around with this adorable doll pattern that I picked up...

So, onwards!

And hello July :)

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Friday, June 13, 2014

Operation: Dream Catcher

"I need a dream catcher. But I need it to be a blanket. Can you do that?"

I love a wacky request. And I really REALLY love this particular wacky request.

You see, this adorably spunky little girl has been having nightmares. And yes, she has an actual dream catcher hanging above her bed...but the idea for this blanket was to give her something to wrap herself in when she felt insecure and scared. To lay over her bed to keep those bad dreams away, only allowing the good to filter through.  Which, of course, is a really fun concept for a little kid.

Why hadn't I thought of something like this earlier? 'Cause you know I have to make up one for each of my own kiddos...

But anyway, aside from looking like a dream catcher, there were other criteria. It had to be round, of course. And colorful. Lots of blues and purples, with pops of pink and orange. It also had to be cotton.

Could this work?

I guess I was lucky to simply have an amazing pattern to work with. Last summer, I was going through a massive search for unique blanket patterns and stumbled across the Anya pattern by Goodknits.  It's essentially a really big doily. But what I like best about it, is that it really lends itself to different situations.

Need a summer throw blanket for your home or cottage? Grab your favorite shade of cotton (or acrylic) yarn and boom! you're good to go.

Need a pretty baby blanket? Sport weight and a smaller hook!

Want a child sized blanket that's fun and funky? How about a different color for every round?

Which is exactly what I did for this blanket.

Now, to be fair, I've seen this done before - different colors for each row - so it's hardly groundbreaking on my part.  But it gives a really cool effect.  And while I was skeptical about using cotton yarn (I tend to use acrylic for blankets), I love the drape. I love the weight.

I only wish it took a better photo! (Says the girl who took about 9,000 pictures of this poor blankie!)

Now here's hoping that it does it's job. *fingers crossed*

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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The One that Almost Got Away

Some people find a project that they'd like to tackle and devote themselves to starting and finishing it, in that order.

I wish I was one of those people...

But I'm not.

Nope, I'm more the 'find a project, start it, find another project, start it, find another project, save the idea for later...' kinda chicky.

Which means that lots of really amazing projects and ideas fall through the cracks of my faulty mama memory. Or that seasonal projects don't get finished in the seasons they are intended for. Or that by the time my 3 year old gets the baby blanket I started for her - almost 4 years ago - she'll probably need it for her own child.

*shrugs* What can ya do?

And that was almost what happened with this guy.

You see, I came across this Little Muggles pattern awhile back. The elephant in that pattern has adorable little spots...but at the time I found it, I was in full bunny mode. Remember those?? Well, I was surrounded by yarns and coordinating fabrics and I was loving the combination of the two.  So it made sense that I could combine them for an elephant. Right? (Right!)

But, like many ideas that come my way, it got pushed to the wayside. And almost completely forgotten.

Then a bunch of things happened - a computer crash, a request for two custom giraffes, and a trip to the zoo on a beautiful day that didn't happen - and suddenly the pattern was right under my nose, once again.

So here ya go! He took me a little longer than he should have, since he was a nap time/bed time project. (I always hide the cute ones from my greedy littles.)  But I think he turned out fairly adorable.

And now I need to decide whether I'll sell him, give him away...or keep him ;)

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