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

To see many other projects and ideas, click on the buttons on my sidebar.

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.

Click on the links on the sidebar for other WIPs.

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.

Click on the side bar to see more fabulous projects!

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.

Friday, January 18, 2013

New bags for new knitters...and a little more

I didn't get a whole lot done this week.  I was preparing for the first class of my next session of knitting.  I had 6 new students and 9 returning students.  Whew!!
 I made 7 bags and since I have two new boys, I made 2 of them with capri sun handles instead of ribbon.  The class was on Wednesday and it went really well.  The returning students were very excited to show me what they had been working on and the new students were very quick to learn.  One of the boys (a kindergartener) had the most trouble and I was worried that he was going to be frustrated.  So I asked his mom if he could meet me Thursday after school for a little bit so I could work on him one on one.  She said yes and after about half an hour, he is knitting!!  You should have seen the lightbulb go on in his brain - he was practically vibrating with excitement!
 This is something new I picked up while we were in Monterey.  Wherever we go, I just HAVE to visit the LYS and see what is there.  The Twisted Stitch was a little sparse.  Not very much yarn.  The owner was very nice and she was working on several lovely project, but did not have the yarn or the patterns for any of them.  Ditto for most of her samples.  I knew that she most definitely could teach me something and I always want to support the LYS.  She was working on a very pretty white on white shawl - I started asking her all about it and she told me who she was making it for and since I had never seen the stitch, she explained all about that as well.  I then asked if she had any appropriate yarns in her shop, that I would like to experiment with that stitch.  She helped me to pick two yarns - a very fine lace weight - and a chunky variegated yarn - and I learned a new stitch!!  "Scribble Lace" - I'm not sure it can be considered true lace as this is  the garter stitch, but it is pretty and when it gets a little longer, the weight of the chunky yarn will pull down and open up the rows of lace weight yarn.  It should be very pretty.
I finished this little circle loom hat for a new little cousin born to our family.  She is just the cutest little thing - 5 months old - and so smiley and cuddly!!  The proud parents let her be passed around to all the kids and boy could you see the love and admiration just rolling off of them!!  Kudos go to the new first time parents for letting 7 children play pass the baby - although I kept a close look out to make sure nothing went amiss.

Sharing with FO Friday, Fiber Arts Friday, Creative Friday, I've Made Friday, Keep Calm and Craft On, Fluster's Creative Muster, and Patchwork Times.  The links are all on my side bar.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


This is from our trip to Monterey over the New Year.  We had such a great time.  It was relaxing and nice to just be together.  No type of screens/phones were allowed - we talked, hiked, played games and generally just hung out.  It was fabulous!!

Now we are back into the swing of things - school, homework, music lessons, sports, etc, etc, etc.  Makes for busy times.

I came across a blog today:  Pigtales and Quilts and she is running a fun blog party to set some goals for each month.  It is called the 2013 Monthly-To-Do-List and I thought I would join along for some fun to see if I can actually set some realistic goals and follow through.  So without further ado, here are my goals for this month:

1.  Finish the tote bag referenced in my last post

2.  Warp my table loom with a scarf designed by me

3.  Tune up the floor loom and get it ready to warp

4.  Sew squares for a blanket that has been on the back burner for a bit

5.  Make up one quilted mug rug to learn some quilting tecniques

Since this is already the 16th of the month, I'm not quite sure I'm going to make it, but I think if I work diligently it might come to pass.  Let's see!!  Head over to Pigtales and Quilts if you'd like to join and see what others are trying to accomplish.

WIP for the 17 year old

I have joined a group called:  2013 the year of the finished project over at a blog called "Never too hot to stitch"  Once a month you pull out a project that has been languishing in your WIP bin or your UFO bin (in my case, I have lots in both!!) and give a little detail about it.  Then you try to finish it in that month and post again at the end.  I think this is a GREAT idea!!  It's kind of giving everyone a hand up to get those WIPs accomplished.

 Here is my first one.  This is my oldest daughter's favorite CapriSun flavor.  She will not drink any other flavor.  As you know, if you have been reading this blog for awhile, I make little tote bags out of these used pouches.  Oldest daughter is a little picky and doesn't like a lot of things.  If I make her something, it is always something she has picked - design, color, fiber, etc.
 After I had made quite a few of the little totes, she asked if I could make her a larger tote bag with handles and a zipper.  I said, "YES!!".  Then she asked if it could be made out of the Lemonade flavor only.  I said, "Sure."  Now you would think that in a house filled with kids this would not be a problem, but we don't drink juice very much.  I keep a case of Capri Sun from Costco in the back cabinet for Friday nights when the kids have gobs of friends over.  And, because usually on Fridays we do have gobs of friends over, I thought, "Oh, it's going to take no time at all to collect enough Lemonade Capri Suns to make her bag".

Not so.  You would think that with all the attention to detail that I have to pay to do cross stitch, weaving and lace knitting, that I would have realized that the big cases of Capri Sun from Costco do not, in fact, have the flavor Lemonade in them.  And it took me quite awhile to realize this.  I don't think I would have ever noticed if my daughter hadn't pointed it out to me.

I had to actually go to the grocery store to buy them.  Well, since we don't usually drink juice (and even when friends are over, my kids have to have their glass of milk first), I kept forgetting to get them.  So this poor little front (or back) panel of T's tote bag just lay on the top of my sewing machine - it's been there for months.  It gets moved when I need the machine for something else and then gets put back.  I even now have all the pouches that I need to complete the tote, but still it sits.

This will be my first WIP for the new group!  After all, T will be going away in a few short months and she should have a tote bag she likes!!  Wish me luck - it really shouldn't take all that long!
I just had to include a picture of the 11 year old at her cello recital.  Doesn't she look serious?  This was not her first recital, but her pieces were quite challenging and she had worked so hard on them.  She was very  nervous that she would make a mistake (of course she did - most of them do :o), but she did great and we are so proud of her!

Check out the sidebar for the links to Tami's, Ginni's, Sara's, and my new group 2013 the year of the finished project!!  Great things happening out in blogland!

Friday, January 11, 2013

It's A Wrap!

The wrap is done!  I really liked working with this yarn.  I loved the thick and thin feel - the smooth and fuzzy and then of course that little strand of glittery ribbon yarn every so often was delightful!
 I swear, I kept knitting and knitting away, just to get to that one little strand of ribbon yarn.  I think there was only one per ball.
 The yarn is Red Heart Boutique Magical and if it was not so distinctive, I would go out and get a whole bunch more to knit up more scarves!
 The color changes were fantastic as well.
Started:  12 November 12
Finished:  January 1st 2013
Dimensions:  63" X 19 3/4"
Needles:  US 8
Yarn:  Red Heart Boutique Magical
Color:  1406 Hocus Pocus (great name!!)
Lot:  1809
I used a little over 4 balls.
It's my own pattern - Cast on 75, K 6 rows
10 rows stockinette
6 rows garter
then repeat until it's long enough and end with 6 rows garter

Look on the sidebar to see more fun projects.