Category Archives: crafting - Page 2

Project Ideas

After seeing this yarn on WendyKnits blog, I must have it. It’s destined to be a pair of socks for John, since he loves gray so very much, and since the yarn is wonderfully noted as superwash.

Schaefer Yarn - Heather - Ash colourway

Schaefer Yarn - Heather - Ash colourway

I’ve got ideas for matching mother-daughter February sweaters a la Elizabeth Zimmerman. I’m thinking of using either Malabrigo or Three Irish Girls yarn but just can’t make up my mind. 3IG may win out, with all of Sharon’s beautiful yummy colourways (and the fact that I’m already in her Sock Yarnista club). Aren’t these going to be just darling?

FlintKnits February Lady Sweater

FlintKnit's February Lady Sweater

BrooklynTweeds Baby Sweater on Two Needles by EZ

BrooklynTweed's Baby Sweater on Two Needles by EZ

A few faves

Burt’s Bees Milk & Honey lotion

Super creamy, with no offensive ingredients, leaves my skin feeling super silky soft and hydrated, with a wonderful but not too heavy scent.

Denali Dreams handmade soap in Kodiak Brown (patchouli blend)

This soap is just luscious.  I first found this at Denali National Park last July when my sister-in-law and her family came up for a visit.  I love this stuff!

Silverhook dark roast

Roasted in Anchorage, Alaska, this is an organic coffee that I just adore.  We brew it rich and strong and it kickstarts our days.

James Avery silver jewelry

My modest collection started when my mother-in-law gave me a small pendant a couple years ago.  I’ve enjoyed adding special pieces to it since then.  We added two more prominent pieces on our last trip to Texas — our wedding bands.

Doc Martens

Yep, I’m kickin’ it old style.  I love my Docs.  I want a pair of Doc Marten Mary Janes, as well as a pair of 20-eyelet boots.

ShiBuiKnits Sock Yarn

This stuff is soft, squishy, and a pleasure to knit with.  I’ve made a pair of socks for John that came out comfortably warm and even stood up to an accidental wash and dry cycle.  There are other, truly decadent sock yarns that I love to use, but for a workhorse sock for John, I think this is the winner (for now).

Lip balms

I have no less than a dozen lip balms at any given time, and am compelled to always have one on me.  It’s either in my jeans pocket or in my purse, but I have to have at least one.  I go get another if I don’t have one.  I hate having dry, chapped lips.  I’ve made my own lip balm too, though I gave most of it away for Christmas.  It was good stuff; I’ll have to make more.

Water bottles

I always have to have one of these with me too.  I drink anywhere from half a gallon to a gallon of water a day, and my water bottles have become like grown-up lovies for me.  If I don’t have one, I feel like I’m missing an appendage.  My favorite one at the moment is my purple one from Ozark Trail.  I had wanted to buy a Sigg the last trip to Texas, but forgot.


Bright and beautiful, these flowers light up my world.  Mama knew this, and would often get me sunflower-adorned things.

Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore

Sarcastic, witty, satirical, irreverant, and absolutely hilarious.  This has to be my favorite book ever.  I lost my copy, so I’ll have to get another one just so I can re-read it again soon.  If you know me, and appreciate my sense of humor, then I am sure you’ll love this book too.

Baby Update, crafts, JR, and such.

I am 16 days away from my due date.  I am as big as a house, and uncomfortable all the time.  I am ready to get this child out of me.  She is not yet ready to come out though.  So be it.  She knows when she’s supposed to be here.  I do not.  I will wait.

JR knows that something is changing with me.  He constantly wants to be climbing on me, and I just can’t deal with it.  I just want personal space.  Poor little guy is in for a major shock when he suddenly finds himself sharing mommy and daddy.  I hope he handles it well.  I think he’s going through another growth spurt; he’s eating constantly. He’ll get to play with another little boy this Friday when we go to town; we’re going to have M watch him for a little while so that JR can get used to her and her son L.  Hopefully he’ll have a good time and get comfortable with them.

We have almost everything we need for Milla’s arrival, except that I still need to sew together the ring sling and prep all of her diapers.  My BFF Melanie is set to come up the last week of the month (also when John is having his sinus surgery).  It’ll be great not only to hang out with her, but to have her help with the kids while John is out of commission.  Besides, I don’t think I could handle having anyone else around the first month or two that Milla is here.  If it were anyone else, I would feel like I would have to play hostess, whether that’s the case or not. I’m just not going to do that, so I’m glad that it’s just Melanie and John who’ll be around after baby comes.

As for my crafting, I’ve got socks for John on the needles using my pattern.  I’m using this beautiful ShiBui Knits Sock yarn that I picked up last weekend at INUA Wool Shoppe.  Isn’t that the cushiest looking yarn?  I know I’ll be getting more.

I’ve decided that I want to make myself a snazzy, stripey sweater with my 1200+ yards of Patons that are back in my stash using this pattern.  It’s not exactly what I want, so I will probably heavily modify it as I go.  I have several other socks planned too, so you should just keep an eye out for me on Ravelry to see what I’m up to.

Let’s see… what else.  Oh, I’m going to go insane if I have to watch The Wizard of Oz one more time this week.  It’s JR’s new favorite movie.  It was cute, the first dozen times.  Now I want to rip all the stuffing out of the Scarecrow, then pull the Lion’s tail.  We’ll see who has a heart now, Tin Man.

Hanks and Skanks

My awesome husband and I jokingly refer to skeins of yarn as “skanks.”  We talk about them in terms of how “skanky” a yarn may or may not be.  It’s been the backdrop of much silliness and such.  We’re dorks like that.

This past weekend, the aforementioned awesome hubby bought me an early birthday gift: a yarn winder.  I was absolutely delighted.  I spent Saturday night winding approximately 4000 yards of yarn.  Some of it was in a tangled heap that, without the winder, was going to be tossed out.  Some of it started out as projects that were doomed to failure, then left to sit (and get tangled with other yarns).  Some of it was new.  Almost all of it is wool.  Much of it is leftovers of other projects, and now I must find a pattern I like enough to let me incorporate the many colors together.  I’m thinking a stripey vest or such.

Some of it is new sock yarn, destined to become a brilliant pair of black merino socks for my hubby.  It’s squishy and beautiful and if it knits up as well as it feels like it can, it may become my go-to sock yarn.  (It’s ShiBuiKnits Sock Yarn in charcoal, for those of you who may be curious about these things.)  I also wound a gorgeous cake of Malabrigo sock yarn in “Stonechat” for myself, and can’t wait to get it on the needles.

Anyway, all the talk of yarn had hubby wondering the difference between hanks and skeins.  I told him that skanks have already been balled.

Thus endeth the potty humor for the moment.

Beyond Simple Scarf

Beyond Simple Scarf

Download this pattern as PDF

Approximately 220 yards worsted weight yarn (240-ish with fringe)
Size K crochet hook

Ch 142.
Row 1: DC in 4th ch from hook and each across. Ch 3, turn.
Row 2: DC in each st across, including top of beg ch 3. Ch 3, turn.
Row 3-9: Repeat Row 2.

Edging: Ch 1, sc around piece, working 3 sc into each corner. Join to beg sc, finish off, weave in ends. Add fringe if desired.

Preschool Activities for Everyone!

This sweet, amazing woman blogs about activities for you and your preschooler! She always has great, fun-filled learning activities that I’ve certainly enjoyed doing with my son. Her name is Allie, and her blog is No Time for Flash Cards. Check her out, and have some fun with your kidlets!

Simplicity Socks

Simplicity Socks

Download this pattern in pdf

Approximately 400-450 yards fingering weight yarn
Size 1 double-point needles, set of 4
Size 2 double-point needles, set of 4
Sewing needle of some sort (I’m using a dull-point tapestry/embroidery needle that my sock yarn fits through)

Super Simple Socks (I suggest making at least 2):

With smaller DPNs, cast on 64 stitches over 3 needles (20-24-20). Work K2-P2 ribbing for 1.5″ to 2″, depending on your preference.

Switching to larger DPNs, work in stockinette stitch until entire piece measures 7-8″.

Transfer your stitches to have a total of 32 stitches on each of 2 needles. Turn your work so the wrong side (purl side) is facing you.
1: Purl across.
2: *Sl 1 st purl-wise, k1* across.
3: Sl 1 st purl-wise, p across.
Repeat rows 2-3 for a total of 28 rows.

Turning the heel:
1: Sl 1 st purl-wise, k 17, k2tog, k1.
2: Sl 1, p 5, p2tog, p1.
3: Sl 1, k 6, k2tog, k1.
4: Sl 1, p 7, p2tog, p1.
5: Sl 1, k 8, k2tog, k1.
6: Sl 1, p 9, p2tog, p1.
Continue in this manner, working one additional stitch before decreasing, until all stitches have been worked.  You will have 18 sts remaining.  End with knitting across all sts.

Pick up 16 sts across side of heel.  Knit 32 stitches from leg.  Pick up 16 sts across other side of heel.  Knit 9 stitches from first needle, and transfer remaining 9 sts to next needle.  (25 sts on needle 1 – 32 sts on needle 2 – 25 sts on needle 3).
1:  Needle 1: Knit across to last 3 sts; k2tog, k1.  Needle 2: Knit across.  Needle 3: Knit 1, ssk, knit across.
2:  Knit all stitches.
Repeat rounds 1 and 2 until a total of 64 stitches remain (16-32-16).

Knit evenly until you have worked 5.25″ from picked-up stitches at gusset.

1:  Needle 1: Knit to last 3 sts, ssk, k1.  Needle 2: K1, k2tog, k to last 3 sts, ssk, k1.  Needle 3: K1, k2tog, k across.
2:  Knit all stitches.
Repeat these two rounds until a total of 16 stitches remain (4-8-4).  Knit 4 stitches from needle 1 onto needle 3.  Graft stitches together.

Catching up

because I haven’t written in a bit.

The day we were flying back from Texas, I went into false labor. We had just gotten to my sister-in-law’s house, and I realized that my “stomach ache” was turning into something quite different. I had a gut-wrenching, can’t-stand-still-can’t-move-well-can’t-breathe-well contraction. Out of nowhere. Then, like 3 minutes later, I had another one. And then another one. We decided to bag it and go to the hospital seeing as how I was just 32 weeks along and could barely breathe through them. We left a confused JR with my in-laws, and drove off into the unknown parts of Ft. Worth to find a hospital. After getting sort of lost downtown, and me having 9 or 10 super strong contractions in an hour’s time, we got to the hospital’s ER entrance. Everything stopped. Not another contraction.

I talked to the on-call OB who stands in for my OB when he’s out of town, explaining that we had a plane to catch and that it’d been over half an hour without any activity. I signed a form to get out of being seen at the hospital, and we headed back to my in-laws’ house. We loaded everything up, said our goodbyes, got to the airport, dropped off the rental, then were given the runaround by TSA agents who were clueless about where the Alaska Airlines ticket counter was located. After walking like 1/2 a mile through and around the airport just to be sent back, it turned out to be right next to where the damn agents were standing when we asked. We checked in, checked our bags, got some Taco Hell, and made it to the gate just in time to board the plane. Whew!

The flight was fairly uneventful, and we switched planes without a hitch in Seattle. It seemed like it took forever to get to Fairbanks, and we were so ready to be off the plane when we finally landed. Holy crap was it cold though! It was -43*F when we landed. That was heartbreaking, given that it was 88*F when we left Texas. My nose started bleeding as soon as we hit the baggage claim area, it was so dry.

John left to get the truck from the parking garage downtown, we stopped at Safeway for groceries, then drove 100 miles to get home. Oh, the relief to finally be home!

John had to leave insanely early the next morning for work. JR and I were still sick (and still are) so we took it easy the first day. I had (and still have) so much cleaning to do though as we trashed the house in our extreme hurry to get ready to leave in the first place.

Thursday I woke up super early and went on a mini-cleaning spree. I scrubbed the downstairs bathroom, cleaned the living room, did the dishes, the laundry, the diapers, swept and mopped the kitchen, and decluttered the countertops, all before noon. I managed to get dinner in the crockpot (which was super yummy: beef short ribs, slow cooked in barbecue sauce) and had it ready to be served when John walked in the door that night. So tender it was falling off the fork!

Friday I was up early again (gotta love pregnancy insomnia), and had showered, eaten, made and drank coffee, checked all my usual websites, and straightened up the kitchen before anyone else even woke up. We went to town that day for our usual shopping trip. I went to Joann’s and got some cool new knitting supplies (thank you Bec) as well as a baby elephant and hippo for JR that he adores (they’re Schleich, and I love them). We ate at Chili’s because I was craving buffalo wings like nobody’s business, which was so not worth the final ticket price we paid for dinner. Doubt we’ll go back (John had a ribeye, I had shrimp & chicken). I discovered later that night taht I must be allergic to shrimp.  Nice.

Then we picked up a doggie coat & booties for our wussy indoor dog — and before you make any snide comments, those things are totally necessary for creatures in -40* and colder weather. We went in search of a new winter coat for JR too, though kept coming up short. FYI, Big Ray’s had a sign saying they were open until 8 (it was 7:15) and they turned us away. Frontier Outfitters is entirely too floofy, too. Sears was dead, and we speculate that they’ll be going under soon. Then it was off to WalMart for some random crap, then Freddie’s for groceries, then finally back home.

Saturday I was going to try to get together with M (who is this sweet woman that we’re trying to get to watch JR when I go into labor), but I started feeling even sicker and decided to nap with JR. John went back into town to pick up my meds and a handful of other things we’d forgotten (as he’s working this coming weekend and so won’t be home until next Thursday night).

Yesterday was a mellow day, thankfully.  John cleaned up our files downstairs, JR played, and I worked on a fun new knitting project (the Noro Striped Scarf).

Today, John headed back to work.  JR and I have just been hanging out for the most part.  I’ve scheduled John’s sinus surgery/pre-op/cat-scan, and also renewed my belief that Chief Andrew Isaac Health Center majorly sucks.  We got our home heating fuel delivery, and we’re now settled in with some simple snacks to watch the Fiesta Bowl (Hook ‘Em Horns!).


I finally got some crafts done.  I got really ambitious a little while back, and signed up for all manner of crafty things that needed to get done at about the same time.  Now, normally, I would have been able to get them all done in about a 2 week time span, which was what I was looking at.  Then I got sick, then my dog was a little shit, then I got sick again, then one thing after another happened… so on and so forth.  The crafts went unfinished.

I finally got a lot of them done and packaged tonight.  I have one box going to my friend Kiza (a pair of wool longies and a pair of baby legwarmers), one box going to my friend Brianna (two pair of longies and two hats), and a craft swap to my friend Laura.  I’m especially relieved about the craft swap — I was supposed to mail on/by the 10th, and that date came and went.  I went to mail it the following Friday, and while I went in to the store, my damn dog ate it since I had left it in the cab of the truck and she eats everything, the stupid mutt.  I was devastated (and more than a little mad at the dog) because it was a one-of-a-kind.  So I had to start over from scratch with new materials, new ideas, etc.  Well, it’s finally done, and going in the mail tomorrow.

I started a lime green hat for my friend Kalli.  The yarn is really squishy, and this will probably be the last time I ever work with it.  I’m hoping to have it done within a couple of days, so long as my hands cooperate.  I’m making it for her in exchange for this great box of colorful fabric she sent me, and since I received the box a little while back, I feel really bad that she doesn’t have her hat yet.  Soon, Kalli, soon.

I got the Christmas gifts done for my brothers-in-law and their kids.  I’ve started on the gifts for my sisters-in-law, though I’m still drawing a blank on my parents-in-law.  We’re going to TX in a couple of weeks, so I need to churn something out fairly quickly.  I need to ask Jenn also if we’re still doing a round robin winter solstice/Christmas gift swap… hm.

I also need to make a doll for my friend Trinity’s daughter, Annalie, though I really don’t know if I’m going to knock that out and get it to Germany before Christmas.  I’m hoping.  And there’s stuff I’m supposed to make for my other Germanita, Karo, but that too may have to wait until after Christmas.  I’m hoping I can get things done fairly soon though.

Then there are all the things I want to make for myself, for John, for JR, and of course for Milla since it really won’t be long before she’s here.

Anyway, first things first, I need to finish the laundry.

NaNoWriMo, Revisited

I might not be able to do it after all.

I was getting really excited about trying to write a novel in a month. Really excited.

Granted, I had zero plotlines or characters in my head, but I was sure they’d come to me. It was going to be refreshing delving back into the literary world, or at least entertaining the idea.

But looking at my ever-growing list of things that need to be crafted (for Loin Cloth and as gifts) before Christmas, I don’t think I can do it.


Maybe I’ll write a poem or short story instead.

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