Apr 10, 2015

New dress for the Spring

This dress grabbed me and I really want to have it ready for warm weather and maybe some trips to the shore over the summer.

I subscribe to Red Heart's newsletter and sometimes I'm really impressed with the patterns that they put out and this one looks really great.

It's open and airy, has a simple but hopefully, flattering shape, and is FREE.

I started it with the hook recommended, but of course, my gauge was off and I went down a size. Unfortunately, the stitch height it slightly short, but that I can deal with. I'm slightly worried that blocking will really make it to big, but we'll see.

Project page here.

This is where I am so far. Just beginning the increases for the skirt.


Apr 7, 2015

Project Round Up

I have finished those Anna and Elsa dolls that I spoke about here. No formal pattern was written up really. I did write something for Anna's cape, but it's not edited and I'm not sure it's really that fantastic.

I've made a baby blanket for my dear friend who has recently become a new mommy to a cute little baby boy. I'll also dug deep and made a pillow with his initial sewn on with buttons. You can see the project details here.

I'm obsessed with granny squares, but not the traditional ones. So I've started producing some 5" squares in baby weight yarn for the guest room bed to get a decent sized blanket on it.



I jumped on the band wagon to make the Cowl Neck Poncho....but...I'm not sure yet how it will turn out. I don't have too much left on it, maybe just a few rows...but it's not coming out exactly right and I'm not sure if blocking will do the job either. So I've kind of stalled on it until I decide to frog or finish and try to block. It's acrylic, so once I block it...I will kill it. Project details here.

I finished a crazy shawl pattern that I was dying to make for my sister. She is really into dragons and so this pattern was just perfect. I talked about it briefly in the fall. I pulled it out and restarted twice before I finally got something remotely close to the gauge in the pattern. Considering that you have to count to more than 600 for the starting chain, it was a valiant undertaking. Project details here.


I finally completed a baby blanket for Lily that has been hibernating since Spring last year. It just needs the ends tucked in and a decent blocking. I love the way it came out and it's bigger than just a regular baby blanket, so she can use for a number of years. This pattern is somewhat made up by me, using a stitch for the green from mypicot. Project details here.

I made a cowl for a friend of mine and she just loves it. I can't tell you how happy it makes me when I make something for someone and they actually use it. I was careful to send her a list of patterns that I could and would make along with some yarn suggestions from my stash....I had to hedge my bets that she would like, you know....Project details here.



I made a sweater for myself in the early fall. It was a fairly easy project and it's a really nice addition to my closet for the fall and spring weather. Project details here. Apologies for the sad looking cell phone shot...I never remember to get a picture with my real camera.


Mar 23, 2015

Spring Renewal

As the weather here in the Northeast US continues to warm, new beginnings seem to abound. Although the New Year celebration is more of refresh for starting a new year, I feel like the Springtime offers longer sunshine days, warm happy outdoor activities, and a realization that you can always begin again.

Life with two children has been bewilderingly challenging (sorry 'bout that) and I find myself forever scrambling to keep up with just the regular daily grind. That means my blog, crafting, reading, game playing, socializing, and general sanity have been compromised.

I have a plan.

Mr. LIH and I have worked to figure out how to make things just a little bit easier. We each plan to take a day off work to cook meals for freezing for a month. This should leave time for me, after work and/or in the evenings for all the above mentioned hobbies, AND exercise.

I miss writing patterns, crafting, having quiet time for reading without feeling guilty because there isn't anything healthy to eat for dinner and now we're going to have pizza or chinese food.

See you all soon! When I visit again, I'll write about what crafting I have been up to.

Oct 17, 2014

More Than I Can Chew

Every year, the company I work for donates dolls to the local shelters. They purchase the dolls and then ask that employees dress them and give them back for donation. It's completely voluntary and since those 18" dolls give me the creeps, I usually avoid the whole shindig.

Well, this year...I've decided that I really should participate. I really like to create things and I can crochet dresses for people, so why not dolls...why not dolls, indeed...

I wanted something relevant to a little girl so I decided to do two dolls, Anna and Elsa from Frozen. I searched on Ravelry, but I couldn't find anything that would really work...so that means that I will have to make something up.

Now this is good news for Ravelry and other pattern sites because I will write it up and offer it for free, but I don't have a lot of time to do this so...we'll see how it all goes.

Wish me luck...

Oct 14, 2014

Excited

So this Saturday is Rhinebeck and I can't wait to go. My sister-in-law, a fellow fiber lover, will be coming along with me.

It's not so much all the buying options, but just seeing how many people are into what I'm into. It makes me feel like less of a weirdo. Some people think it's strange that I knit and crochet because I'm not a little, old granny hanging out in a rocking chair knitting up booties. Despite the recent "blow up" in popularity of the fiber world, it still remains quite a small blip on people's radar.

In other news, my Marshall sweater is chugging along quite rapidly. The pattern is easy and mindless so I 'm plowing through the body of it now. I haven't taken any photos of my progress because, even if I did, I probably wouldn't take them off my camera for days and days anyway.

I've stalled on the shawl. I think it's because I've pulled it out 3 different times, so now I have to kind of grin and bear it to get through the first bunch of rows before it will become fun again.

And since I have no content driven photos, here's a picture of something pretty.



Oct 8, 2014

Brush off the dust

I know in my last post I said that we had found our stride. I think that I might have been lying. 

Sometimes, that feeling of being in control is hovering just out of reach and it's covered in a slippery coating that is impossible for me to hold on to. Other times it's so far away that I don't see it at all. The worst part is that other people seem to have figured it all out, but I feel as though I'm not even close. Between guilt for working full time and being too tired to play with my kids at night and feeling rundown, it's as though I'm burning my candle at both ends and the middle is rapidly approaching. I almost have a feeling of impending disaster. Is this normal? If I could just put together some kind of strategy, maybe things would smooth out. At the moment, that is my priority; figuring this crazy life of mine, out.

I try to draw inspiration from people who have more challenges than me, because, truthfully, my life is good. I have a house, a family, a good job, and live in a safe area. Everyday, I work to remind myself that I have these things and even though everything is unbalanced, it's all good...

Step one, really, is to let go of the pressure. Let go of the self imposed, idealized versions of my life. I can't be super woman; I can't have a job, run a household, read all kinds of intelligent books, design patterns, write my own book, and care for my children, perfectly. That's the rub...perfection.

So, while I struggle to find my stride, maybe I will find time to log it all in here, and maybe I won't.

In my snippets of free time, I have been crocheting and knitting like mad. I've started a sweater as a Christmas gift and a shawl. The sweater is coming along ok, I had a few gauge issues, but I think I've worked it out. The shawl is still not working right. I used to knit/crochet very tightly and it was an annoying thing, but now it seems I'm the exact opposite and my gauge is way off. The sweater worked by going down a needle size, but the shawl...gosh...driving me nuts. You can see my tribulations on my Ravelry project pages.

And just because she's cute, here is a picture of my daughter.




Aug 19, 2014

Time

Hello.

I think we have found our stride.  It seems that things have finally smoothed out.  I can breathe again and little E can walk again.

Lily is GROWING.  I forget how fast it all goes, but in so many ways, I'm thankful for that.  Newborns are hard work.  She has been sleeping through the night for almost two weeks now and that's like a little miracle.  She holds her head up on her own now, miracle two.  Soon it will be baby cereal and sitting up.  Even though I'm in a small rush to see her a little more independent, it's an amazing thing to watch her personality emerge.  Everyday is something new.

I have had some time for crafting.  I've started this top.  UGH...it fits terribly so far.  In the pictures it looks so great on people, but not me.  I still have a few more inches to add and maybe it will carry the bulk away from my midsection.  If not, I may add a few more inches to try and get a better fit.  I would hate to pull it all out and it might not be me but maybe my choice in yarn.  We'll see.  It might look better in a drape-ier weight and material.

The pattern itself is sort of well written.  I feel like, it could have been edited better.  I think if you're a beginner, or even a not-so-confident intermediate crocheter, I would avoid this one for now.  Here's my project page.

One thing that I've been sort of chugging along on when I have any free time is a garter stitch blanket made in this yarn.  It makes such a cozy, easy to care for blanket and I had four skeins of it left over.  Whenever I have a free moment, I pick it up and add a few stitches.  So far, I've managed to get through two and a half skeins...

A few days ago I cut off about fifteen (FIFTEEN) inches of hair from my head.  I was so tired of it and now...it alllll gone.  Here's a sort of strange and forlorn picture of my ponytail.  And the second is a less forlorn but possibly just as strange Before and After picture of me.