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.


Holy Fuschia Batman!

Have you ever seen a yarn that simply said "I belong to this pattern, please buy me"?  No?  Well let me tell you, I have.  More than once actually, but that's besides the point.  The yarn I'm referring to in this case was a beautiful multi-colored bamboo cotton by Great Adirondack Yarn Co and it was instantly destined to become my My So Called Scarf.

And it did...oh yes, it did.

so pretty, so colorful
But what happened next was not cool.  I soaked my lovely completed scarf so I could block it and then gleefully wrap it around my neck for the world to see.  And then came the un-coolness:

sink stained, my hands were *bright* pink

2 of 4 holes throughout the scarf
I spent a good half-hour trying to rinse all the magenta dye from the yarn, which was all for nought as I discovered the holes in the fabric after I laid it out on the towel.  Thank goodness I used an old one, as it was bright pink the next day!  Talk about disappointing though...all that hard work going straight into the trash.
However, from a glass half-full perspective I learned not to buy this yarn again and that I really loved the pattern!  I will have to look for another yarn that begs to be made into that scarf once more.

P.S.  All apologies for missing last week's Project 52 photo posting--hopefully today's post made up for it a little.  My beloved came to visit for the long weekend and it was so lovely to just spend time curled up watching movies and enjoying each other's company!  People who live together sometimes (I think) take for granted how special all the "little moments" are...I relished every single one this weekend.  Even going to the grocery store in the cold drizzle was special to me! 


No Mocking Allowed

So this year I decided to work on completing my UFOs before getting all crazy starting new projects.  Wellll, sort of.  I'm only allowing myself to start something new if it's a gift for someone else, which also allows me to work on my self-imposed stashbusting guidelines.  I also made a personal commitment to de-stash, though I am allowed to buy new yarn if it's truly imperative to completing a gift.  I think that's fairly reasonable, and I know all the crafters of the world totally get what I'm saying!

I do have to say though, I was really (REALLY) good about using existing stash this last Christmas season.  I didn't buy anything new, but rather used approximately 10 skeins of yarn.  That's a lot for me to part with in one shot, especially when it's just so pretty to look at!  However, I was so pleased with how everything turned out and all of the recipients truly appreciated their gifts.  For me that's what makes all the crafting worthwhile--knowing that the items are going to folks who understand the time and love that went into the FO.

Anyway, I've currently got Pulverde's Mock Brioche, Mock the Cold! in Berocco Peruvia on the needles.  I keep hearing other bloggers talk about the need to crank out something for themselves after all the holiday knitting, and I can identify.  Finishing this WIP will not only keep to my commitment to finish things off, but will also allow room for a little selfish knitting.  I feel somewhat like the holidays aren't quite over, as I did a few post-Christmas gifts, knit two items for upcoming birthdays, started a little something based on a random comment, and still have a third January gift to go.  I'll be thrilled when I can complete this sassy little neckwarmer and have something to go with all the black I wear to the office!

And then I can indulge my start-itis...pray it doesn't become a full-fledged infection!  Because let's face it, there's a lot of yarn out in the world and way too many favorites piling up over at Ravelry.  Way too many.


Project 52 - First offering

So this year, my goal is to post a new picture each week.  Since I'm a shutterbug that shouldn't be too hard! 

I finished this scarf for myself this week, but I made Ralph model it for me.  He's not a fan of wearing scarves for girls but he does it because I've been bossing him around since I was three.

New Year, New Journey

Do you ever have the feeling that your life is destined for great things, happy times?  I do.  Always have since I was a kid.  Maybe it was because my dad always told me that I could be whatever I wanted and I think on some level I've always believed it.  I think a large part of me believes I can profoundly affect the lives of people for the better, and as a young person I thought I could save the world.  However, as I've gotten older I've discovered that perhaps doing something meaningful for those close to me is just as important as saving the planet.

So, to that end this blog is dedicated to the people and things I love most.  I hope that you enjoy the ramblings, the photos, and the crafts.  And the journey too, can't forget that.