Colorado Echoes – Made to Order

If you weren’t over on Facebook this morning, I released Colorado Echoes to a flurry of excitement and quickly sold out of what stock I had.  It was a big hit to say the least!

I’m currently waiting for more sock yarn base to arrive – it’s in the mail – so I’m offering made to order skeins with a tentative shipping date of July 8th.  If you want to be one of the first to “visit” Echo Lake, Colorado and go on my Dream Vacation with me, order now and I’ll package and ship as soon as the yarn is dry!  Click on the picture for the listing.

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The Blanket’s in the Mail!

Seven months ago, on February 29th, I started a project.  That project turned out to be a massive undertaking .

It wasn’t a difficult pattern, in fact it was a pretty awesome one.  Rather than traditional granny squares, these were hexes and the greatest thing about them was that the final round attached the hexes to each other rather than having to sew each one together.  It was great.

The downside of the project was that as I was attaching the hexes, the blanket grew and grew, as blankets should, but it became unwieldy to work on…I needed an area to spread out on the floor so I could see what hexes should go where (I was attempting to not put the same color hexes next to each other).  This meant that I could no longer work on  it in my car while waiting at the school…or easily take it to the library for knit group…and, I often had trouble finding a child/pet free zone at home  in which to work on it…this meant I didn’t have much time to devote to it.  Plus, when it got down to June, July and August, it was just TOO HOT to sit bundled up under a pile of blanket…especially when I had all those ends that needed to be woven in and trimmed off.

Spring Flowers Hexagon Blanket

I ended up putting it aside for those 3 hot summer months, save a few times when I knew I could work on a few hexes.  Now, that wouldn’t have been bad, except I wasn’t just making this project for myself.  I was asked to make this for the daughter of one of my fellow January Jubilees moms.   I didn’t have a deadline and I actually feel really terrible that it took so long for me to complete it.

It was exactly 7 months to the day I started when I did the last stitch of the border and wove in those last few danging ends.  I am proud of myself for finally finishing it.  Here’s a slideshow of the finished blanket that I just put in the mail today!

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I really hope that the recipient loves it!  I gave it a wash and a dry and it fluffed up and is so soft!  I think when I finish some more projects that are currently on the hook, I might try to make some smaller baby blanket versions to sell in my shop.

Now, I’m working on 3 projects that all have a Christmas deadline!  I’m kinda stressing about getting those done.  They are also granny square blankets, but thankfully for 2 of the blankets are using the same pattern.  The squares are bigger than the hexes and I’ve done the pattern once before (Butterfly of Hope Afghan – rav link), so it’s not that difficult.  I just need to make 48 squares for the one (I’m almost halfway done with this one) and 24 for the other.  The 3rd one is a log cabin throw and is a little more intensive than the others.  Lots of color changing and I have to pay attention cause each section is different…Fingers crossed that I can get all 3 done before Christmas!

Socks, Socks and More Socks!

Once again I’ve been neglecting my blog in favor of spending time with my kids during the summer and crafting.  Just yesterday I took the boys to the Auntie Shannon’s house and we went swimming in her condo’s pool.  It was a lot of fun.  We actually haven’t been swimming all summer and both boys really enjoyed it.  Even Bug taught himself to go underwater and Fidget was enjoying jumping in when he was wearing his floaties.  Everyone was thoroughly tuckered out, including me.  I could barely focus on our roleplaying game last night and didn’t even have the focus to work on the vanilla pattern sock I’m currently working on.

We’ve also been spending a lot of time at our local library.  Every summer they have the “Summer Reading Program.”  Kids are encouraged to read so many minutes a week and they earn little prizes for their success.  The culmination is an ice cream social with a magician.   This summer the kids made dream pillows (Bug’s was a mouse in space wearing a space helmet so he didn’t eat his cheese house), worry dolls (Bug’s was a ninja), wind chimes using clay pots, and they even tasted jelly beans to vote on the best tasting.  Bug read over 25 hours!  He’s still reading, too, even though the program ended.  He’s got a stack of books that he personally checked out on his own library card!

On the crafting front, I’ve been mostly working on socks.  Since my last craft post I’ve finished 6 more pairs of sock, a Bullseye stuffy and got most of the Spring Flowers blanket done.  Here are some pictures of my complete projects.

These are a pair of belated birthday socks to myself.  For my birthday I went to the awesome LYS, Trumpet Hill, and picked out some sock yarn.  When I was there I was introduced by the wonderful staff, to Opal’s Van Gogh Sock yarn.  The awesome yarn designers took the colors from some of Van Gogh’s famous paintings and turned them into yummy yarns!  Since it was late in the month, Trumpet Hill was running low on colorways, so I picked out a skein of In Variation Nach.  I asked if there was a colorway of Starry Night, since it is one of my favorite Van Gogh paintings (we have a print hanging in our living room) and there was, but they didn’t have it in stock.  Fast forward a couple weeks and I saw on Facebook they’d received a new shipment of the Van Gogh yarn and when I asked, they said they had Starry Night!  Squee!  I rushed over that evening to pick up a skein and also came home with a skein of Vase with Sunflowers, too!  Of course I cast on the first sock as soon as I got home!

Van Gogh's Starry Night Socks

Van Gogh’s Starry Night Socks

Barbara (Knittin and Kittens) and I did a KAL (Knit Along) for these interestingly designed socks called Carousel Socks.  We both stumbled over this pattern on Pinterest and decided to give it a try together.  I’m glad we did.  These socks had very interesting construction and we ran into the same issues together, which made getting through the project a little easier.  We’ve both decided that while it was nice to learn a new technique, we probably won’t be making these again any time soon.  They are comfy, though and I do wear mine regularly.

Carousel Socks

Carousel Socks

Upon finishing the Carousel Socks, Barbara and I decided to venture into the world of Sideways Socks.  This was another pattern that had a unique construction.  We made some major modifications to the pattern after reading notes from others on Ravelry.  I’m glad we did because otherwise our socks would have come out being knee highs!  We also modified the heel to do increases and then decreases around the other side and Kitchener the seam at the top rather than cutting the yarn and rejoining.  I think we’re both agreed again that while it was nice to learn something new, we won’t be making these again any time soon!  lol

Sideways Socks

Sideways Socks

I’ve also been getting ready for a craft fair in September.  I’ve got some baby blankets and some baby bibs done, but want to have some socks as well.  I pulled out some worsted weight (thick yarn) and made these Broken Rib socks.  They will make great boot socks for someone (with a size 9 foot) here in the great northeast during the cold winter!  They are very thick, cushy and warm!

Broken Rib Socks

Broken Rib Socks

Another pair of socks for the craft fair are these Pink Camouflage socks.  These are a size 9/10.  I kind of like this colorway for myself, but I’m going to save them for selling.

Pink Camo Socks

Pink Camo Socks

I’ve also started on another pair of striped socks for the craft fair.  I have a feeling these are going to be identically striped socks…fingers crossed, anyway.  It’s the same yarn and colorway I used for the Carousel socks.  It’s called Harlequin.  I really like this color and stripes, so I may have to pick up some more to make myself a pair.  I currently plan to make this pair of socks a size 7/8 so I can have a variety of sizes.

Harlequin Socks

Harlequin Socks

I also finished a pair of socks for Darling Hubby.  His “Whether He Wants Them or Not” Socks.  Unfortunately, I don’t have a picture.  He’s worn them and they are ok.  He said they were a bit slippery and I noticed that they stretched a bit more than I thought.  I think that’s the yarn I used, which is a bit of a heavier sock/fingering weight.  It’s a learning experience.

I also finished a Bullseye amigurumi for Fidget.  He’s on a Toy Story kick.  He loves anything and everything to do with Buzz and Woody.  He has a big stuffed Woody and Buzz, little mini ones and even a talking Woody.  The one thing he didn’t have was Bullseye.  I searched Ravelry high and low for a pattern that I could turn into Bullseye and the wonderful April Draven made one called “Brown Pony” that was exactly what I’d been searching for.  Apparently it had to be renamed because apparently someone was unhappy with it’s former name.    I actually managed to whip this little guy out in 24 hours!

Woody and Bullseye

Ride Like the Wind, Bullseye!

I’ve also been working on the Spring Flowers blanket.  It’s been tough working on it since it’s been so hot…I just don’t want to sit under a hot blanket on an 80* day.  I’m getting to the finish line, though.  I’ve gotten most of the border done and then I need to weave in all those ends…I’m kinda dreading that!  lol

So, that’s it for now.  Kind of a big ol’ Finished Object Friday post…

FO Friday And A WIP Sneak Peek!

Considering at the beginning of this week I was shocked that it was only Tuesday I can’t believe that it’s already Friday!  I think it helped that Wednesday we got some snow.  We’ve had a very mild winter this year and I’m loving it!  The snow was predicted to start after noon, but it started a little after 11 while I was out buying yarn, of course..  We only got about 5 inches in our area.  It’s funny that this is only like the 2nd storm we’ve had since Halloween last year.  The first one, in January, we only got a couple inches and it didn’t last that long.  The weather is supposed to get warmer by Saturday (near 50*F), so our recent bit of snow probably won’t last long (and I’m actually ok with that!  lol)  My boys, however are gonna be kinda bummed.  We had a snow day today for Bug and after breakfast we bundled up and went out to play.  Fidget loved being dragged around in the sled.  I will say that snow is a good workout for me.  Before 8am I had the front walk, side walk and the bottom of the driveway shoveled out and all the running around in circles pulling both boys in the sled gave me some cardio!

Anyway, like I mentioned in my last post, I finished my Grey Hooded Cardigan.  Here are a couple pictures of it.  I really do love it!  It’s my new favorite!

And here’s one with the hood up.  I mentioned previously that with the first sweater I made with this pattern I had trouble with getting the front panel of the hood on easily and without a slight twist.  I felt it was unnecessarily difficult to sew on the extra piece.  Following the suggestions of fellow ravelers who endeavored to make this sweater, I picked up the stitches along the front of the hood (the same number as the final amount of rows for the front panel) and knit it to the width of the 20 stitch button area.  Then I inserted the cord and folded it over.  It doesn’t twist like the first one and gives it a slight flair, which is unique.

I don’t have a close up of the buttons, but they are a silver metal button that has what appears at first glance to be a Celtic design.  They really suit me and the sweater nicely!

I mentioned buying yarn, too.  I picked up some Caron One Pound skeins at Joann’s on Wednesday (Lavender Blue, Deep Violet, White, Sage Green, and Petal Pink) and I’m using some Rose and Cream from my stash.  I’ve started working on a Twin Sized Spring Flowers blanket for my friend Pammi’s daughter.  I’m really excited about it.  Here’s a sneak peek.  The pattern can be found here on Ravelry.

So far (in 2 days) I’ve made 7 white ringed hexagons and 7 cream ringed hexagons (only the white are pictured).  I really like how the cream looks…I’m leaving it up to Pammi whether we omit the white and go with the cream only or if we use both.  It would probably end up with diagonal stripes if we go with both, though that’s not a bad thing.

WIPS and FO’s – Sweaters

So, I’m still working on Fidget’s sweater.  I have only worked on it a bit here and there after posting last Wednesday.  I did manage to sew the one neck seam and pick up the stitches around the neckband and knit that for an inch or so, but other than that it’s just sat in the work bag.  I was hoping to get to it today (maybe during Fidget’s nap while watching Breaking Dawn part 1 that Darling Hubby bought me yesterday) but it’s looking like it might be tomorrow or this weekend.  lol  I’m hoping for a snow day tomorrow for Bug since we are supposed to get our first big snow of the season…I can’t believe that tomorrow will be the 1st of March and we are just now getting some snow that will last more than a few hours!    At least if March comes in like a LION it will go out like a LAMB, right?

On the other hand, I did pick up my hooded cardigan a couple times over the week.  I finished sewing the button holes Monday night and last night at Craft Night I sewed on the buttons.  It’s a bit bigger than the last hooded cardigan I made using the same pattern.  Mostly because I used heavier yarn and I didn’t do a proper “washed and hung” gauge swatch.  I just went with the needles called for on the pattern and my quickly knitted up, measured, and then frogged swatch.  It’s fine as I prefer my sweaters to be a little baggy.  It’s not like the sleeves are too long or anything!  lol

Hopefully by next week I’ll have another WIP to write about.  One of my fellow January Jubilee mommies approached me asking if I’d make a blanket for her 7 year old daughter.  I’m looking forward to the task.  I have to take some measurements of Bug’s twin bed and calculate dimensions and figure out how much yarn I’ll need.  I also have to find a pattern.  I’m thinking flowery hexagon granny squares in purples, pinks and white with some light green.  I’m excited to start it!

Donations Make You Feel Good

After my Hats Off post yesterday I went through all the hats, mittens, scarves I had in storage and pulled out a bunch to donate to those who need them.  In total I pulled out 3 hat/scarf sets, 3 scarves, 3 children’s hats, 4 adult hats and 3 pairs of mittens/gloves to be donated.  Many of those items were either knit or crocheted by myself or my mom…only a 4 pieces were store bought.  I washed and dried everything last night and Darling Hubby took the to the clothing drop box this morning.  Hopefully someone out there will be warm this winter here in NY!

Finding The Time

Finding the time to either blog, read or craft always seems to be the problem.  There are never enough hours in the day to do everything that needs to be done and do all the things I want to do.  Like knit or read (I’m currently on book 6 of the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon.  If you don’t know about this series you should go check it out.  Seriously!  It’s about a hot Scotsman and there’s some time travel, too!  Picture Chris Hemsworth (Thor) with red hair and a kilt!  Meow!  What’s not to love!?)

I was sick Tuesday and yesterday with a weird stomach bug, so things have started to pile up and I have no motivation to take care of any of it now, despite the fact that Darling Hubby’s game group (I don’t play anymore) is coming over tonight.  (ETA – I did manage to get everything accomplished before everyone arrived and I fed everyone dinner, too.)

There’s still a ton of things around the house that should be done like sweeping and mopping, dusting, folding the clean clothes…but if I spend all my time cleaning I’ll never have time for me or my family.  Sometimes I just want or need to sit on the couch and play on the computer or knit.

I did find the time to knit a little this past weekend.  On Friday I started a ScWiNoNa scarf for one of Bug’s 1st grade teachers for Christmas.  I was looking for something that was kinda mindless and easy and would work with the yarn I have. All of the patterns I tried wouldn’t work either because I didn’t have enough yarn or because the pattern was too complex for my liking.  The ScWiNoNa actually matches the slanted raised rows in the Divine Hat that I crocheted a couple weeks ago (I’m making a hat/scarf set for both of his teachers.)

I’m hoping to get this first scarf done within the next couple weeks so I can start on the 2nd one.  I’ve got to get them done before Bug gets out of school for Christmas break.  I’ve decided that I’m not making crochet or knit Christmas presents this year.  They aren’t always appreciated (which breaks my heart) and I just don’t have time this year.  I did make a couple necklaces as gifts, but aside from that everything will be store bought this year.

For now I’ve got a few minutes of downtime before I have to get the kids to bed…now to decide if I want to knit or read…