Project 52: Week 8


Also known as the week of the sniffles!  I missed last week's Project 52 posting, since I was apparently incubating a head cold that presented itself a couple of days ago.  So in keeping with my runny nose, I present to you a project I worked up recently:

more dandy crochet work on the button loop

a giraffe in need deserves Puffs indeed

take a tissue, any tissue...well up to 15 anyway

The pattern is from Girl on the Rocks, and it's the cutest little travel tissue cozy you've ever seen!  I gave it to my grandmother for V-Day because she has carried Kleenex in her purse ever since I can remember.  She thought it was really cute and has put it to good use since.  I'd actually planned on making one for my niece and nephew after I was told how much they like those tiny tissue packages, and I even took some yarn on my business trip to work on them.  Well, let me tell you...I ran out of yarn!  It really was a good grief Charlie Brown kind of moment when it happened not once but twice!

Luckily I have a plan.  I am going to finish my nephew's *bright* green model with some equally bright turquoise yarn, and my niece's pink version will be finished in purple.  Each kid likes that color combo, so I think it'll be win-win for all of us.  I'd better get crackin' though--the other day my grandmother mentioned that my nephew has been carrying hers around like precious treasure!

Oh my, who would've thought I could devote an entire post to sweaters for snot-catchers?!  There is clearly too much medication clouding my brain.  But not so much that I can't plan to make one for myself...though at this point I'd need a cozy for an entire box!


Fingerless but not Flightless

Wow, I feel like I've been away forever!  In all reality I was on a business trip, so the early part of last week was spent packing (see insane list-making) for my visit to a very crisp Columbus, OH.  The weather was about 40 degrees lower there than here in TX, but I thoroughly enjoyed bundling up in my oh-so-soft alpaca scarf.  All the compulsive preparations kept me from posting some of my recent FOs. 

The weekend before my trip I completed some fingerless mittens as a V-Day gift for my mom, using the Mindless Mitts pattern from Ravelry (link is to my project page).  My only alteration to the pattern was to seam the mitts with the garter ridges moving horizontally, as opposed to vertically like the pattern indicates.  Doing so allowed me to show off the great striping effect of the yarn.

I think they turned out pretty nice and my mom was pleasantly surprised.  She's always freezing at the office, so hopefully these will allow her to work and stay warm at the same time!


Project 52: Week 6

With the impending holiday of looove, I have been feeling a little giddier than usual.  This is a new sensation for me as I've never been a big fan of VD (yeah that's what I call it lol), though I do really love all the brightly colored chocolates!  I think I'm just so excited about seeing R in a few days that I've got hearts and romance on the brain.  It's certainly more enjoyable than the fever its been experiencing all this week.  I don't even care that I'm seeing him courtesy of a work thing, I'm just happy to see him at all.

But anyway, on to the hearts...

so pink, so girly
Look at Ralph rockin' those hearts--I think he's just a little mortified.

I went with a nice, sturdy cotton yarn in pink.  This was partly due to my 2011 stash-busting commitment, but I also have to be careful about wearing anything with a high wool content on my neck.  Color me itchy otherwise...Now, I am not a huge lover of pink but I even I have to admit it looks good on me (I know, so vain right?).  But I do plan on wearing it so I figured it'd better be in a shade I somewhat prefer.  And since we all know how I feel about red, I opted for the other ordained color of the holiday.

The pattern is "Love Rocks!" from Vickie Howell, who used to host an awesome show called Knitty Gritty that I watched all the time before I went to internet streaming.  And, and, AND I had to crochet for this pattern too!  Well, sort of.  The only the required crocheting was the chain that connects all the hearts, but it still required a hook so it COUNTS!  The funny part is, I think I spent nearly as much time chaining as I did knitting the hearts (see Ravelry project page for details).  I really am that crochet-challenged--just reading the abbreviations makes my head hurt.  However, I had so much fun making these tiny hearts that I might have to make some giant-sized versions to use as decorations next year.  Or maybe a heart garland for the mantle...oh the possibilities are endless!

Well, I am off to obsess over my trip list (oh, I love a good list!).  I am still trying to figure out how much V-day junk and yarn I can fit into a carry-on.  I can get toiletries and clothes anywhere, but I can't just walk in off the street and buy skein of alpaca anywhere.  A girl has to have priorities.


It Came Upon a Midnight Clear

Well, more like a phone call from my sister at 3:30 in the morning.  Now, when my phone rings at that hour I immediately wonder what's wrong...In this case there was so much that was sooo right.  S-N-O-W.  Yep, I said it.  Last Friday, February 4th, actual snow came from the sky.  And even though it was mostly ice with only about a half-inch of recordable powder, I will victoriously take it.

worth the frozen fingers

nice penmanship!

it has to be snow if it's falling from the sky

crunchy little crystals
my yarn has never seen snow

others also ventured out to play

Since the city was shut down for half the day, I worked from home and enjoyed the crazy-frosty weather.  I also had the pleasure of finishing R's Valentine's Day scarf.  I can't believe I finally get to see him next week and wrap it around him myself!  That is going to be the absolute best. 

I also began work on a fun little something that I will wear for Cupid's day, and take on my business trip so I can show it to R.  It's pink and more girly than I'm normally into, but it was a quick and fun project.  More on that soon! 


Baby, it's Cold Outside (Week 5 of Project 52)

Remember that old song by Dean Martin?  Oh, I can hear Dino crooning in that creamy voice right now...and boy is it appropriate for this deep South-Texas freeze!

Here we have to wrap the exterior pipes and leave them dripping so they don't freeze and burst.  I hadn't checked on them for a couple of days, and I found homemade ice sculptures awaiting my return.  In the interest of not boring you to death with a gazillion photos of basically frozen water and leaves I made you a collage.  I get to satisfy the need to share my tiny patches of frozen tundra without making you scroll forever just to see them all.  Win-win in my opinion!

Of course, somebody finally decided to mug for the camera.  It was weird--kind of like Groundhog Day, but for gnomes.  Hmm.  That McGregor, he's such an odd fellow.  I would not be surprised if he starts popping up periodically.

sneaky little gnome

Two things I know today:  First, there is snow in the forecast.  Real, legitimate belief that it might snow here for the first time since January of 1985!  That tiny little frost in '04 doesn't count.  Second, I can't think of a better reason to hunker down and continue knitting.

Stay warm and safe everyone.


The Look of Love

Many people love the color red.  It's not a horrible color by any stretch--after all, it's the central shade of many holidays and pedicures.  Red is not the color for me...with one exception.
Red hair. 

It's even listed in my profile with dogs and chocolate.  Dogs and chocolate people, that's how you know I'm serious.  I love R's red hair; it's in a dead heat with his blue eyes (blue--now that's a color!).  So, in recognition of the impending St. Valentine's holiday, I present my sweetie's scarf-to-be:

I've been working on it like crazy so I can gift it next time we're together...only 2 weeks away!  I'm so excited I can't stand it!

The pattern details can be found here and my Ravelry project page is here.  The yarn is a wool/acrylic blend in a really unique red.  In some lights it appears almost a wine-like, but the sun belies its orangey-red tones.  Very interesting to observe the shade changes.  The pattern works up fast on size 10 needles (well, fast for a slow knitter like me) and it's going to look great after a bath and blocking.

And it will look even better on my beloved valentine!


Sunday Silly Sunday

Today I had a chance to catch up with two of my girlfriends, which was a real treat since we haven't all hung out together in for-ev-er.  Work conflicts and life changes have a way of doing that I suppose!  We met for a late lunch/early dinner and had so much fun catching up and kidding around.  Food and friends are always a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

me 2, me, me 3 (me 3 is really me!)

Admittedly not the best photo quality (thanks crackberry!) but that's our little goofy trio.  We all worked together starting about 7 years ago, and since JKP was the first to start at our job she signed everything "me."  When RMC came along, she started signing things as "me 2,"  so for obvious numerical reasons I became "me 3!"  I think it was our love of crafting that was the intial glue that bonded us together, but our overall silliness definitely cemented the friendship!

I hope you had a fun weekend!  Back with a little pre-cupid day post tomorrow.


Charles in Charge

Today is my grandfather's birthday--time to gift that coffee cup cozy I mentioned earlier in the week!  At first I was disappointed by the poor button selection at my local fabric store--I mean it looked like the locust has been through there.  I wandered around dejectedly before stumbling across these little gems:

They were perfect for my history-loving grandfather!  He's a big American history buff, and I just couldn't resist using them to finish off this project.  The original pattern called for threading ribbon through the eyelets...just a touch too feminine for this sailor.

I chose the blue yarn because my grandfather was in the Navy many moons ago, so between the buttons and the color, this item was made with the one and only Tex in mind.  Haha, I think I'm the only one who can get away with calling him by his old naval nickname!

On to the big reveal...I would say my grandfather liked his gift pretty well.  Again, he's not too easily bowled over by most things, but he immediately commented on the buttons, and passed the cozy to my grandmother for inspection.  He also gave it a good stretch and seemed pleased with the cozy's potential to fit a good-sized mug.  I will take that as proof positive of another trimuphant gifting indeed.  Three big birthday cheers for Tex!


Project 52 - Week 4

This week I offer up finished object photos of a project referenced in an earlier post.  I completed the knitting a couple of weeks ago, but have not sewn on the buttons for two very good reasons.  One, I didn't have black thread (it's in a plastic tote awaiting the move--what was I thinking packing the craft items first?!?).  Two, I was busy working on January birthday gifts and felt those were more important to finish.

In other words...just pretend the buttons are attached!

I couldn't resist taking photos of the buttons on both a black and white backgound.  I love how they change depending on the backdrop and how the light reflects off of them.  I'd better get sewing so I can wear my beautiful neckwarmer while the weather still permits!


Birthday Bookmark

Today is my grandmother's birthday!  Since she's a voracious reader, I decided she'd enjoy a new bookmark.  Besides, who needs pictures when you have a pretty piece of knitting right in front of you? 

I dropped her gift off after work and she loved it!  Even my grandfather was properly impressed, and he's pretty neutral about these sorts of things.  Yay me for another gift-giving victory!  And hooray for my grandmother--happy, happy birthday!!


Ain't Technology Great?

So the title contains a really poor contraction--but that's okay because I'm typing it on my brand new laptop!  I've been needing one for a loooong time, as my other one is 6 years old and moves at the speed of a creature from bygone ages.  My beloved recognized this dire need and helped me pick one suitable to my usage as a verrry early birthday present; he is the greatest sweetie ever!

My new buddy arrived on Friday and I spent most of yesterday setting it up, running updates, and getting to know my way around.  Cue music from 2001: A Space Odyssey...

oh my, aren't you a sassy thing?
Yesterday I did some incredibly menial house chores before settling into an afternoon of knitting, football, and movies.  Add in my sweet new lappy and that's a combination for fun!  Here's the cozy I'm working on for my grandfather, mentioned in Saturday's post.

aww, making friends already
I actually finished the cozy late that afternoon, and promptly soaked and blocked it.  Once I have the buttons sewn on and it's ready for its close-up I'll be sure to share.  I hope you had a wonderful and relaxing weekend as well!


Caffeine Anyone?

I'm a big fan of coffee and tea; I especially love the warmth spreading through my fingertips on a chilly day.  Except, however, when the mug is so hot it scorches my fingertips.  Enter the mug cozy, the savior of sensitive digits!

I've made a couple that fit around Starbucks cups for my friends, and the Patty for my own mug, but this time I need one for a birthday gift.  My grandfather's birthday is one week from today, and boy is he a tough gift customer!  He'd probably just as soon not get any gifts, but I feel like he needs "something."  He's a big coffee drinker--not a 10-cup a day kind of fellow--but he enjoys his morning java.  I found this pattern from Chronicle Books and have decided that he will have a cozy whether he wants one or not!

I'm try really hard to stashbust this year, so I'm using leftovers of a beautiful blue-green Berroco Peruvia yarn and size 9 Knit Lite needles.  These needles are pretty fun, and sure do make it easier to knit in the dark!
blue w/flecks of green

it's always yarn-thirty around here

Isn't it amazing the difference between bright indirect light and late afternoon outdoor light?  Colors take on a totally different depth, or in some cases even seem to flatten.  Special thanks to Anna for posting a great tutorial on how to make photos pop, and for being my first official Google Connect follower!  Once I get a new version of Photoshop I'll really be cooking with gas.


Hello Moon

Today I heard the most interesting comments from co-workers.  The first person said that she'd been having the strangest things popping up all week and she just knew it must've been due to the full moon.  I had to laugh because when I worked in sales I always thought customers acted so strange during the same time frame!  The next was something I overheard, which was that an entirely new zodiac sign had been created, something about the earth's rotation.  You know I had to pop into that convo--it's right up my random thought alley.

Both discussions cracked me up internally, because my ruling zodiac "body" is the moon, and because when I was a kid I was fascinated with that beautiful bulbous being (I wanted to be an astronaut).  Sometimes I make the oddest mental connections!  Anyway, all the lunar chatter reminded me of a shot I took on the way to work.

It's a pretty poor cell phone pic, but hey I work with what I've got.  Maybe I should've captioned it "good night, moon" since technically the moon is retiring for the day!  The reverse could also be true for the dusk photo below...Instead I will consider the captions as being more from the salutation perspective. ;)
good morning, moon
This is a nice bookend to my morning shot I do believe.  I love photos of trees, the silhouette of one can evoke so much when captured well.  I think my fascination with nature as art must be my inner Ansel Adams trying to break out.  Or too much time spent working at The Nature Company.
good night, moon
I've been playing with my camera quite a bit more as of late, trying regain my photographic sea legs.  After all, I want to keep my readers coming back for more.  And I want to create photos that really *pop* when I'm ready to sell my crafty wares online. 

So along with moon-watching, I plan to get some knitting done this weekend.  This week seems like it's been busier than the norm, and I'm ready to feel some wool along the needles.  I'll be back with pattern info and progress photos soon. 


For the Love of Instant Gratification

The other day I was thinking about how much I love taking photos, and how I often miss traipsing around with multiple rolls of film in my pockets out "in the field."  I've been eyeballing the Fuji Instax 25 lately, and thinking of all the fun I would have creating instant credit card-sized memories.  I can just imagine the crazy images that would result from hanging out with the dogs or on a trip with my beloved--what a fun miniature album that would make!  Anyhoo...I was digging around in the craft room and re-discovered a hidden garage sale find...

TA DA! Hello you sassy 635CL Cupercolor, complete with other people's polaroids!
taste the rainbow
the original rubber band?
sadly, the film
packs were expired

Luckily, I also found my old iZone!  And two or three sticker film cartridges!  This is going to be a fun weekend with the pups...hopefully things will "develop" nicely.  I love puns, they're the greatest. 

I'm gonna be in the zone...oh yeah.
I'm a dork, I don't deny it.  Admit it--it's an awesome thing.


Project 52 - Offering# 3 - Puppy Love

Since I missed posting part deux of my Project 53 offering, I'll skip straight to #3.  Let's just say I'm in love my with babies:

Gessel, my angel, the best-haved of all my kiddos.

Penelope, who thinks she is Amish and is therefore quite difficult to photograph.

George, truly a curious little monkey, also known as Pigpen.

Dozer, my newest tiny son, and a tremendously good snuggler.  He will give his siblings a run for their cute money once we're all together in Des Moines!

Ah, the unconditional love of these children never ceases to humble or amaze me.  It is my joy to be their mom, and to follow them in the endless pursuit of the world's greatest scent.


The Joys of Seven

Today my niece K turned seven.  I remember the day she was born, and how incredibly honored I felt when my sister asked me to be there for her birth.  I remember how she looked just like a gloworm when she was born, and boy did I get in trouble for calling her that so often!  I spent time with her everyday for nearly the first year of her life; she knew my voice just as well as her momma's, and she was my little snugglebug.

Today she lost a tooth at school, what a great birthday surprise!
Seven & toothless!
K & me


My grandmother had mentioned a while back that K often wore a scarf I'd made for her a few years ago, in spite of it being too small.  So, I decided it was time for a grown-up scarf that would complement my niece's pretty blue eyes and would also be long would also be long enough for her to grow into it.  I made Susan B. Anderson's Scrunch Scarf, though I worked it with 3 strands of worsted yarn held together, which tended to stretch out the candy pieces.
new scarf joy!
However, her excitement was evident when she opened her gift and she immediately threw it around her neck.  I love to see joy like that in a child's face.  

all smiles
Happy Birthday my little gloworm, you'll always be my best girl.