Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Flickr Favorites - Sock Yarn

When I first started knitting I couldn't imagine using sock yarn and the tiny needles that went with it. I was happiest with super bulky yarn, or at the very least, bulky. At that time tiny needles only equated to a seemingly tedious project in my eyes.

As time went on I got over the super bulky phase of my early knitting days (none to soon either) and fell comfortably in with the DK and Worsted weight yarns. But still, I thought about all those knitters out there who seemed to be in love with sock yarn, sock knitting, and yes, there seemed to be people out there who enjoyed knitting with lace weight yarn too!

During a sunny September day 2.5 years ago my grandmother (and only fellow family knitter) and I decided to go to a local Fiber Festival, and see what yarns were around. To our surprise the majority of yarns for sale were the dreaded fingering weight yarns. She had I had talked before about the possibility of knitting a pair of socks, just to see what all the fuss was about, and at that moment it seemed like a great idea to buy some sock yarn. In the end we each purchased about 4 skeins of yarn and regretted it by the time we got home.

The yarn lay untouched until the following spring when I declared that she and I were going to have a "Summer - of - Sockathon" whether she liked it or not! I picked out some patterns on ravelry and off we went. It was a simple cuff down pattern, and both of us were mildly interested enough to continue. Not being able to wrap our heads around toe-up socks (and for the record, I still can't) we searched high and low for fun looking cuff down sock patterns to fill our spring and summer knitting.

I quickly got bored with socks though, as I am not one to want to knit the same thing twice. (proof of this lies in my special basket of single knit socks) I looked around for alternative uses for sock yarn, and that is when I discovered shawls.

Oh how I love to knit shawls!

The lacier the better in my opinion. At the top of my list of favorite knits are the
Swallowtail, Ishbel, and Forest Canopy Shawls. At the moment I am working on the Clothilde and Arabella shawls with plans to make another Swallowtail down the road.

Next up on my list of things to learn?
Garment knitting. (eek)

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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Flickr Favorites - It Started With a Tree

Not too long ago I decided I wanted to plant a tree in front of our house.
When we moved in all we had were overgrown mismatched shrubs planted here and there, and I hated it. The weekend was warm and sunny so I decided to rip out every shrub and make way for a garden and tree.

The tree will be a dogwood, with white blooms (a gift from my grandparents)
Around the tree will be white tulips and miniature daffodils (a gift from my mom)

We are going to make a little stamped concrete path to where we house the bicycles, and plant little yellow crocuses on either side of the concrete.

In front of our little porch will be Zinnia's and Poppy's in bright summery colors.
I can't wait!

Out back we are building a raised bed vegetable garden that will (hopefully) provide us with green beans, cherry tomatoes, bib lettuce, and cucumber lemons. This garden has been a long time planning. When you live in row houses, unfortunately, you can't just put anything in the ground that you want. Thankfully, in our "backyard" they don't mind gardens.

When it is all complete I will be sure to post proud pictures. They will be my first real flower and vegetable gardens after all! (And I should be getting back to them right now)

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Monday, March 22, 2010


There's a new member to the monster crew.
His name is Thadeus, and he likes to be called Thad for short.

He's definitely a special crew member as he is the first, and only current member to have "fingers."


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Flickr Favorites -Self Portrait

Last week Mitsy challenged us to come up with a flickr favorites self portrait. I thought the idea was great and was excited to give it a go. So here we go, a flickr favorites about me:

1) Yarn.
Knitting and Crocheting is something that I do when I need to de-stress. The past 2 years in particular have been more stressful than I could have ever imagined, and letting the fibers run through my hands while I hum along through projects has been the best relaxing hobby I have ever picked up. I'm a knitter/crocheter for life!

2) Crafting.
I am a huge do-it-yourself fan! Whenever I see something I immediately ask myself, "could I make it?" and 9 times out of 10 I usually do :)

3) Travel.
My parents always took my brother and I on small trips when we were growing up. And in college I took my first big trip to France and England. I had just transfered schools and changed majors. I didn't know anyone in my class that was going on the trip, save for one person, but the trip changed my life. 8 countries (and one amazing trip to Alaska) later I'm happy to announce that this year I'll be visiting my 9th new country, Ireland!

4) I like to help.
By nature I like to plan things and offer assistance whenever I can. But, on the flip side, I seem to have a very hard time asking for help when I know I need it.

5) I'm an Animal Lover.
In particular, I love dogs. We have a 7 year old Lhasa Apso mix, named Nicholi (who is a rescue) and a 2 year old Cockapoo named Piper. I am biased, and I do think I have the best dogs in the world. :)

6) I love games.
I learned how to play my first game with my grandma and my mom when I was 3 years old. I love card games, board games, outdoor games, etc. My very favorite game is pinochle, and I've been playing it since I was 8 or 9.

7) I love dresses.
I don't actually wear many dresses, but I love them. I wish there was a store that made dresses specifically for short people so I could wear more of them. (and by short I mean someone who is 5'1")

8) I love flowers.
I think a vase full of tulips has to be one of the cheeriest sites sitting on a kitchen table. I love visiting botanical gardens, and am SO lucky to live near a pretty awesome one. I highly recommend visiting during their Orchid Extravaganza. It's beautiful!

9) My first love: Handmade Pottery
The first ever art class I took in college was a beginners ceramics class. I fell in love with the medium and ended up getting a dual degree in that and digital media. I long for the day that I can take another pottery class, and am a huge admirer and collector of handmade pottery.

Well that is quite a bit right there!
I'm sure I could've added more, but perhaps Mitsy will one day make a "self portrait 2" challenge, and I can continue then :)

If you'd like to play along head on over to Mitsy's blog and sign up!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Under the Sea - Update!

It's been quite some time since I have done any more work on my 'Under the Sea' series of animals. I had a customer looking for some interesting underwater animals starting with the letter 'M' and I ended up doing this:

This Manatee is the 13th addition to the 'Under the Sea' family:

I really like how he came out, and hope you do too! You can find him here.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Flickr Favorites - Picnic

Everyday feels a little bit more like spring. The sun is shining a little brighter. The grass is getting just a little greener, and the snow is all but gone.

It's not quite time yet, but I am gearing up for one of my favorite spring/summer activities:

Daily picnics in Valley Forge.

We have a favorite tree to eat under, and a favorite time of day to go. We use the same blanket, basket, and dishes. There is little change to our picnic routine other than what sandwiches I make for the outing. The dogs love it too because they can run around on extended leashes and chase the various bugs and sticks that they find.

I guess for now we'll have to be content with walking out there everyday :)

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Thursday, March 4, 2010

Garden Squares II

I just can't get enough of that scalloped edging!

Well I have officially finished my second Granny Squares afghan. This one is for my mom. They aren't the colors I would've picked out (shh, don't tell her that!) but I actually think it turned out pretty nice!

Here are the official details:

1) The Pattern for the Summer Garden Squares can be found here.

2) If you like the scalloped edging that is finishing my blankets you can find that pattern on Lucy's (Attic24) blog here. You will need to scroll half way down the page, past the crochet bag instructions, to the "Shell Edging."

3) There are a total of 40 squares in my blanket. Each square is made up of 5 rounds.

4) I used a size 5.5mm/I hook.

5) The yarn I used was:

Caron Simply Soft -1 skein (315yds) in Country Blue

Lion Brand Vanna's Choice Solids -3.25 skeins (552.5yds) in Linen

Red Heart Ltd. Eco-Ways - 2 skeins (372yds) in Lichen

Red Heart Ltd. Eco-Ways - 2skeins (372yds) in Aquarium

Red Heart Ltd. Eco-Ways - 2.25skeins (418.5yds) in Chamois

In total I used 2,030yds of worsted weight yarn for this blanket, and it cost me right around $27.50 to make.

I think that covers most of the details! Now I am off to make my third (yes third) Granny Squares blanket for my Grandma who has decided her living room needs a pretty crocheted afghan too! I couldn't hardly tell her no though as she has knit me two living room afghans :)

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

More New Cards!

With life slowly getting back to normal I've finally had some time on my hands to create new work. First I did the Monster Crew for my print shop, and today I've added three new cards to Olive and Ruby:

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Flickr Favorites - Love

I love the way the sun can brighten up not only the day, but my mood in an instant.

I love the way cheerful colors make me smile.

I love fresh flowers on my kitchen table.

I love sitting in a quiet room crocheting with my dogs sleeping at my side.

I love buying bright happy fabric and then begging my mom to sew all the things I want, but do not have the talent to make.

And when I'm feeling down I'm going to look at this list and remember the things that I love, because they are really simple little things that make me so happy.

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