Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Soooo many thing in progress!!

Things have been super crazy busy around here lately!!  I have been making up samples for my summer camps so that the kids (and their parents) can see what they will be learning in class.
 We drove to Oregon last week (it was the kid's spring break from school) to see my dad so I had a TON of crochet time.  9 hours there and just about the same back.  My dad lives right be the coast so I got to sit on the beach and crochet - oh, my!  Soooo relaxing!  I started a half double crochet hat.  This one is done and I will share it on Friday.
 This crochet work is being done on our way back.  It is going to be an Ugly Bunny Pincushion.
 In other news, my husband started and finished this project in one day!!  Now it's up to me to do my part.  Can you guess what it is?
 These I got for free from behind a liquor store very near to me that just changed owners.  There are three of them and they were sitting outside the back door of the store.  I went in and asked if they were trash and if I could have them.  The owner said sure!  WHOOPPEEE!!!  We are going to paint them and use them as fabric and yarn storage for my summer camps.  Can you imagine how yummy and accessible the supplies will be displayed in these??!!  I am so excited to finish them!
This is a very small ripple blanket is also a sample for class.  From teaching knitting after school this year, I have been totally amazed at what kids can learn and how quickly they can master skills that were somewhat difficult for me.
And...this is the book I am reading right now.  It has tons of great information that I hope to incorporate into my gardening this year.

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Friday, March 15, 2013

Baby Layette

Thank you so much everyone for your well wishes on my new art school that I posted about in my last post!  It means so much to me.  Everyone I know virtually and really have been so supportive, and ready with a kind word when I feel down or feel like I'm not going to be able to this whole thing fly, that it warms my heart and keeps me going.  So thanks so much!

Onto other things...I haven't been able to create a whole lot lately but the kids have a new little baby cousin coming soon and I just had to make something!!  I love cute baby clothes!
 This sweater was so easy to make up!!  Front and back are basically the same, sleeves are the same, put it together, sc around the neck edge and TADA!  A wee little baby sweater is born.
 These pants were a little more tricky, but I powered through and completed them.  I hope they fit.
 The hat a booties really just crocheted themselves!  They went so quickly!  I love this newborn baby hat pattern and I think I will be making more of these in the future - an hour of time from the start to the finish and it was done.  Aren't those baby booties just the cutest?!
This is the whole layette all together.  It's called:  Mint Green Newborn Set and is available for free on Ravelry here.  I can tell you that the pattern is well written and super easy to follow.  The texture created from the combination of crocheting into the front loop and the back loop is really interesting and very pretty.

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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Brand New Endeavors!!

I have started my own school!!!

I have enjoyed so much teaching knitting after school, and the demand has been so high, that I decided to open a school and teach summer camps.

 My own crafting has taken a back seat a little bit because this has been quite a challenge to get started.  Getting the word out has been the hardest so far.  But I have been working diligently on that everyday for over a month and now am about 35% full.  I'm totally over the moon!!  The only morning camp session that has no students is the one that teaches crochet.  I actually thought that would sell spots quicker than macrame or weaving, but this is not the case.

I can't do anything without bringing my knitting with me and this is a new project.  It's a sweater for the 13 year old - he picked the pattern and he picked the yarn.  I love both and it's going relatively quickly.

Wish me luck on my new school!!

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Friday, February 8, 2013


Ok, so I don't have a "true" finish this week.  Most of my projects are long term, bit (to me) things that I am working on slowly, a little at a time.
 What I do have is my husband's sweater.  I knit this for him awhile back when I was a new knitter.  I didn't know that it was very important not to split the yarn, so I didn't really pay attention and went on my merry way.
 The result of this is that periodically those split yarns will break and cause a hole that needs to be mended.  I am not all that good at mending.  It used to scare me to have to mend a sweater, but after much google searching and you tube watching, I am fair at this skill.
 I did mend it and he is now wearing it again.
You can see that it pulls in a little, I still need more practice, but it works :o)

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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Hexis again!

I am back to knitting little hexis

although I am going about it VERY slowly.  My students are amazed that these are so small and they are also amazed at how they are knit.  I can see them wanting to keep going and learn new things!!

I have been reading the Narnia series to my kids a chapter a night, every night.  We are now on the third book and they look forward to it.  I look forward to it also - a time to snuggle and enjoy them.

Please click on the links on the sidebar to see the other fabulous things crafters are up to.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Finish, Goal Check-In, and New Goals

The capri sun tote bag for my 17 year old daughter is complete and she couldn't be more pleased!
 It is made completely to her specifications - 4 foil bags wide by 3 tall.
 Nice sturdy zipper to close it with.
 For some reason, I just love the inside of this bag!
 From the side.  I placed the foil bags on the side, to give a little bit more width to the bag.  They do not quite go all the way to the top, but T is fine with that.
 For some reason, blogger decided to put my photos up not in the order I designated so sorry if this post appears a bit disjointed.  I did not finish sewing together the squares for this blanket.  I started them but ran out of time.
My new start for February as soon as I get it on the loom.

 This is the warp for my new scarf.  It measures 3 feet and there are 122 ends.  The scarf will have fringe, 4 inches of even weave followed by a row of leno lace and then several rows of danish medallions and another row of leno lace.  The center of the scarf will be a twill and the other end of the scarf will match this first end.  WHEW!!  I hope it all works out.  This will be the first time I have figured out the whole thing from start to end - the math for the warp, the design, the colors - everything.

 These are the squares.  I only got a few of them sewn together, but at least I worked on them!
 This loom I had hoped to tune-up in preparation to get it warped.  I would like to make a table cloth for our table and this one is wide enough to make a piece of fabric that will not need to be pieced.
 This is the yarn that I have chosen to crochet my sewn squares together with.  I love the lime green!
Here is a WIP that has been languishing around for literally years and years.  It is call Summer Breeze Bag (I think) and it was part of a KAL in a Yahoo Group I had been in.  All I need to do is sew it together - I am thinking to use something to make the sides a bit sturdier, so will be experimenting this month.

I did not complete my goals for January:

Make up one mug rug:  No
Sew squares for quilt:  I did get a few of them done
Tune-up floor loom:  No
Warp table loom with own scarf design:  I did design the scarf and measure the warp
Finish Capri Sun Tote for oldest daughter:  YES!!!

New goals for February:

Finish Summer Breeze Bag
Get scarf warped and started
Tune-up floor loom
Sew all the squares together for the quilt
Make up one mug rug

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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

New crochet stitch - new blanket

In spending too much time on Pinterest :o) I found this little stitch that I totally fell in love with.
 It is a sc, dc, dc all in the sc of the previous row.
 I started a chain that I had done the math and thought I would wind up with a blanket that would be approximately 4 feet wide. wound up being 6 feet wide (obviously, I need to go back to 1st grade!) so now I have decided that is the length - I have made it 2 feet wide so far and have about 2 feet to go.  It is truly eating the yarn though.  I have used a one pound ball of yarn and 2 other normal size balls of yarn that were in my stash and then purchased another one pound ball of yarn of which I am about one quarter of the way through.  It is going to be one heavy, warm blanket!!
 Both my husband and my daughter want a bright turquoise edging so this is what I chose.  I am not quite sold on it yet.  What do you think?
 This is my progress so far.  My oldest daughter asked if it could be all white, and I had said, "Sure!"  Now, after hours and hours of time with this monster, I am sort of regretting that decision.  Just a little color, please?????
This is the current book that I am pouring over.  It is really well written and easy to follow.  I am planning on trying out some of these ideas in the new scarf that I am trying to make from start to finish on my loom.  So far, I really like the Leno Lace so that will make it into the scarf, but I'm not sure what else.

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Monday, January 28, 2013


I have been thinking a lot about exercise - or to be accurate, the lack of it in my life.

I make sure that the kids are out everyday running around.  The older ones have sports teams and they also bike to school.  High school is 3 miles away for the two older ones and the middle school is 1 mile away for the middle guy.

I feel I have been a good mom in encouraging them to lead a healthy lifestyle that includes lots of outdoor play and exercise.

But, when it comes to me, I have not been so good.  There is always something that needs to be done or taken care of.  Or something that I would really like to do after my daily chores are complete (like knitting or weaving - both very sedentary activities).  Instead of exercising.

I also volunteer at the schools frequently and am now teaching a knitting class once a week.  I find that I am not having the same amount of energy that I once had.  I am getting older, but I think I should feel a bit better than I do right now.

I read the blog, Half Soled Boots, I find her blog very interesting, funny at times, and just plain ol' "real".  I love that.  Recently she set a goal for herself to run a 10K and started with a program called couch to 10K.  I did a google search and found a lot out there on this program - even different lengths of time for walking and running.  I finally settled on this one and have been out twice.  Today will be the third day.  I actually walk a little longer than the schedule requires because I have a nice 2 1/2 mile route around the neighborhood that I like.  So today I will do Week 1, Session 3 (I did not wait to start on a Monday - I started last Thursday, then went on Saturday and now need to go today).

This is my new goal :o), for me and only me!  Let's see if I can keep it up!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Kitchen Towels!!

My kitchen towels are finally off the loom, washed, ironed and ready for use.  I am so excited!!

There was another little warp problem right at the end.  One of the warp threads jumped off the roller at the back.  I have no idea how that happened, but I just attached one of my handy dandy little weights to the thread and merrily went on my way until I had finished.

This is the waffle weave in the very center.  I love how this looks - it's the whole reason that I picked this pattern.

This is a closeup near the end - you can see, near the middle up there where one of the blue threads somehow missed when I was weaving.  Every one of the towels (and there are 4) have a little "extra" design element like this one.  Not the same design element - there are floating threads both warp and weft, missed stitches, and a portion of one towel where I forgot the pattern for the waffle weave so it is short one weft thread every pattern for a bit.  But all in all, I am very happy with these.

I hemmed them by turning under the ends twice.  First though, before I cut them apart, I zig zagged the ends to keep them from unraveling.  I'm pretty sure they would have stayed, but I still live in fear that as soon as I take them off the loom, the are going to somehow spontaneously explode and all I will have is a pile of thread.  Silly, I know....

Doesn't it look lovely hanging on my oven.

We are using them, but for right now, they can only be used for freshly cleaned hands.  No wiping up spills on the floor yet :o)

AND... don't laugh ... I am making more tesselating fish!  I finished my blanket awhile back and I was missing making the fish, but didn't want another blanket.  Then it hit me!!  We need more pillows!!  I got out my sock yarn (the yarn I am using for hexis) and started knitting up these cute little fish for the front of a pillow!!  Aren't they just the cutest??!  I think I'm going to try for something that is about 18" X18", but I'm not locked into that.  I am going to play it by ear and see how it goes.

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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Next Christmas Stocking

Right before Christmas, I finally finished my oldest daughter's Christmas Stocking.  It was truly a labor of love that took me years to complete
 I have now started the second one for our second daughter who is a freshman in high school.
 I bought all the stocking kits at the same time (all seven of them), with each specific recipient in mind.  This one I chose because of the wildlife and the outdoors theme.  I thought it fit her perfectly and boy does it sure fit now!  This one appears to be much easier.  The stitching is not as dense and there are quite a few half stitches.  Maybe I can get this one done this year.....
This will be what it will look like when finished and she loves it!  Right now I am enjoying sitting down each evening and working on it for about 40 minutes or so - this is such a great way to unwind while the hubs and I watch one of our favorite shows.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Family Time

Family Time

This is something I have been thinking about a lot lately.  As the kids have grown, it has been harder and harder to carve out those moments where we are all together at the same time without any distractions.

School is great - but it takes up huge amounts of time

Sports are so healthy and good for the kids - but with practices and games they take up huge amounts of time

Music/Orchestras/Private Lessons - the kids love them and have so much fun, but again the time commitment (especially when multiplied by 4) is also astronomical.

I love that my kids are so involved with things that are healthy and that they love.  I love that they have friends and like to bring them over to hang out and play.  All that I love, cherish, embrace and am grateful for. means that we are going in many different directions and are going there fast.  We have to be on time - sometimes driving back and forth across the city several times in one afternoon.  We briefly touch base (and not with all of them) at dinner before homework.  Some of them have sports practice or music practice that takes them away during the dinner hour.  How did it get this way?  When they were little, I vowed that the dinner hour would be sacred and we would have dinner together EVERY night without fail.  Great idea, but it doesn't work right now.

Then there is all the screen time - computer (for homework only during the week), TV (ditto to the computer), phones, DSs, iPads(only the 9th grader has one and she got it from the school-ARRGH!)

Family Time - I have made a commitment to having more screen free family time this year.  This is my only New Year's resolution and I am working hard toward it.

 To that end, we got away to Monterey over the New Year.  This kids were not allowed to bring any electronics with them - not even their phones.  My husband and I brought our phones for emergencies, but stayed off of them.

Instead, we went hiking as a family.
 We visited the Monterey Bay Aquarium and because there was no texting, the kids got truly involved with their surrounding and other things that were going on.  The questions they asked of the docents were amazing and the way the kids interacted with each other was great.
 We played games every morning before breakfast.  We had to learn how to modify SkipBo to accommodate 7 players!
 The oldest truly appreciated her surroundings and took time to enjoy them instead of "report" them.  It was nice just walking next to her and having some great conversations.
 Learned new things from siblings.
 Acted crazy, dancing and singing to ring in the New Year - all together, focusing on our family.
 We enjoyed street music.
 We enjoyed crafts and drawing and writing.
 Holding parrots.
 More games.  We played games everyday.  We read out loud to each other every day.
 Breakfast out - we all played word games and guessing games while waiting for our food to be delivered.
 More hiking and exploring.
And more hiking and family time.

Since the first of the year, we have gotten out hiking, played more games, and spent more time reading to each other.  Just spending more time together.

I am sharing over at 5minutesformom.  We are sharing things that we are working on and organizing.  Family Time - that's what I am working on - meaningful interactions, less distractions.  This will be our theme for the year.