25 January 2016

The plague and lots of knitting

That's what I've had for the entire start of the year - the plague. Okay, not really but sure has felt like it. What I thought was a harmless winter cold manifested itself in the most horrendous case of bronchitis known on the face of this Earth. Thankfully, pneumonia didn't rear it's ugly head even though it tried.

My awesome doctor was able to prescribe me medicine without having me toddle in since I had just been there in December. Three prescriptions and a chest x-ray later, I'm starting to feel more human - and I've been on this mess for a week already. The side effects are fabulous - puffy red face, insomnia, tummy challenges, irritability, and personal summers that could melt all the snow that just fell up north. It's been seriously lovely... on the honest up side, I have gotten a lot of crafting done during my sick days and insomnia nights.  Take a look...

My DK weight version of the very popular Vermonter hat.
My mourning hat to pay tribute to the late, great Alan Rickman... Always.
Slippers that I need to get off in the mail to a dear friend that I've known for 30 years.
I crocheted this shawl while I spent two days in my blue chair watching the entire Harry Potter movie series.
I made this cowl when I couldn't sleep because nothing says relaxation like neon colored squares that look like flowers.
Yesterday, I made this hat. It took me 18 hours - I was up since 4 am - and took it out that night to the grocery store.
You'd think I'd be crafted out but oh no, I've got more going on. I have also been working on the miles and miles of stockinette associated to Pokey's sweater that I promised him I would make. I have 11 of the 14.25" needed before the next bit in the directions.

I have to say though, I took it to knitting group this past Saturday and when people asked what I was making, they all made the same facial expression when I said it was a sweater for my husband. Men can love purple. It's okay. I think he will look amazing in it and he was the one who chose the color!

I really do think this sweater will be amazing when I'm done... I just need to get past this huge portion of boringness.
And last night, when I was done with the bunny butt hat, I started a new hat - because hats are awesome and you can never have enough. I actually won this pattern years ago but I was afraid to try it because it was lace and scary.

I'm 75% through the first pattern repeat of this hat. I really like how it still looks delicate on such a heavy worsted yarn.
So, the long and short of it is that the plague is horrible but the medicines they give you are apparently imbued with phenomenal crafting powers - and I'm using them to the best of my abilities.

Now if you'll excuse me, it's time for another dose.

07 January 2016

25 Stylish Knitted Slippers‏ Review

I was actually asked to do this review a few weeks ago but life got crazy and I haven't had a chance to do it until now... and the reason I have time now is because I had to take time off work because I've got the plague. The one thing I love to do when I am too ill to do anything else is generally read or knit - and today, I sat down and read the most amazing knitting pattern book. It's entitled 25 Stylish Knitted Slippers ‏by Rae Blackledge.

I love slippers. They are the perfect gift for anyone, for any occassion. They keep you snuggly warm and can be super cute. Rae's patterns embody all of these. This book makes it easy to find your favorite style too, as the chapters are broken down by style - Felted, Fun and Fantasy, Everyday, and Boots. There is even a chapter devoted to awesome techniques and tutorials.

Did you know that running a strand of cotton through the toe seam and cinching around the slipper would keep it at the proper size and detur them from curling during felting? Me neither, but that is just one of the fabulous tips you will learn with this amazing book. This book is so much more than a collection of adorable patterns - it is a great tool to improve your crafting as well.

I can't decide which I am going to cast on first - the bunnies or the fox. They are both so cute and a ton of fun. The patterns are written out with such details, you are sure to succeed in whatever pattern you chose to knit first. I think those bunny ones will certainly chase this plague away so I do believe I am going to get started on them right now. Curious what other patterns she has, well just take a look -










These aren't the only ones available, there are plenty more tucked between the pages of this gorgeous pattern book. I had to stop myself from posting every single one, they are all wonderful.

So if you want to do some selfish crafting in the New Year after spending the past few months crafting for everyone else, grab a copy of 25 Stylish Knitted Slippers... or if you want to make something special for those you hold dear, grab a copy of 25 Stylish Knitted Slippers... or if you are looking to learn something new and expand your crafting knowledge, grab a copy of 25 Stylish Knitted Slippers.  Basically, you simply need to own a copy of this book. There is no logical reason not to - it's amazing.

31 December 2015

2016 Promises to Try


I don't think I made of list of promises last year, which is interesting but odd. I have been wanting to sit down and do this for a couple of weeks but things have been insane around here. Ever since Thanksgiving it has been one thing after another. Thankfully, it seems to finally be winding down.

So, my promises. Remember, these are not earthshattering things but more or less things that I want to do to better myself. They can be health oriented, hobby oriented, spiritually oriented - whatever I want to improve upon this year. Here goes...
  1. Lose weight. Yep, I went there straight off the bat. I want to lose 50 pounds. It's not a lot but I think it is a realistic goal - and honestly, any loss would be celebrated by me. I still need to talk to my doctor about how to do this but it's on the radar and I've got 52 weeks in which to do it. Having Diabetes has made this a challenge but I'm not giving up yet.
  2. Read at least 4 new books this year. I will be the first to admit that I put pleasure reading by the wayside first when it comes to things that need to be dropped in order to make time. I don't like that about me because I do love reading so I'm going to make time to do this for myself.
  3. Sew clothing for myself. Oh yeah, I really want to do this one. I love to wear skirts and dresses but for some reason, in order to purchase a skirt or dress for myself I need to take out a small loan. Cute dress for Hobbit or Peanut runs me about $25 but the exact same dress for me is $65 or more. Not sure why but whatever... so to combat this, I'm going to learn to make my own.
  4. Knit an adult sweater. It's been taunting me. I want to do it. I'm scared to do it. I will do it - well - I will try to do it.
  5. Knit a colorwork hat. I want to knit a colorwork hat. I have wanted to do this for a bit now but again, I'm scared to do it... and again, I will try.
  6. Sew a purse. Not a tote or project bag but an actual purse. This will become a reality. I love purses and to make my own would be awesome.
  7. Improve our credit rating. Pokey and I want to buy a house and we have a few hiccups on our report. Nothing major but we are just shy of where life would be easy for us. We've been working on this for a few years now and I want to make this the year that it's all straighted out and we can buy a home.
There you have it. My promises to try. We'll see how I fall out 365 days from now. I hope you have set some realistic things for yourself to achieve this coming year. As long as you promise to try, you have succeeded. So what are you going to try in 2016?

30 December 2015

Taking (crafting) Stock

So I was feeling rather unaccomplished this past year, as far as crafting goes. I normally make a ton of stuff but with all that went at work (promotion and then working two roles for several months), family issues, and general health challenges I just felt like I was flop. I gathered up all my projects for an end of year review blog post and found that I wasn't as bad as I thought - not as good as I normally am but not as bad as I feared.



I counted them up - there are 52 projects here. That's one yarny project a week for the entire year. That doesn't even take into account my recent sewing adventures!

Sometimes, when you feeling down, all you need to do is take a good honest look at what you've done. Chances are, it's more than you think.

03 December 2015

Something different

I have been toying with trying a podcast for a while now but was just too chicken. Welp, yesterday during my lunch hour I gave it a go. For some reason, the audio and video get out of sync later on the video but I may have a solution moving forward.

So here it is, my first ever attempt at vloggin'... podcasting... taping myself and feeling awkward... there, that's the best description of it right there. As my mama says - be kind.. and if you can't be kind, just be quiet. I know y'all will always be kind though, we crafty folks are always supportive - even of failed projects because they are also learning experiences.

29 November 2015

Sunday Snaps

We spent the afternoon decorating the house for Christmas.
We had a very productive day today. We got up and spent the morning at church. We heard a fabulous message regarding the Advent and Hope today. Hobbit really got a lot out of it - her goal is to read the book of Amos this week because Pastor Brian made mention of it in relation to this week's message.

After church, Hobbit and I ran to the grocery store while Pokey dressed the turkey and put it in the oven. Once we put the groceries up, we had lunch at Panera and dropped Hobbit off at Girl Scouts. They were decorating Christmas trees for the people at a local nursing home. She said she really loved spending the afternoon with the elderly residents and has narrowed her 'career choices' down to three - Engineering, Law, and Geriatric Medicine. I love how her passions and mind works some times.

Once I picked her up from Girl Scouts, we went home and decorated our house. She seemed to get really disappointed when I made mention that I was going to do it while she was away but save the tree for when we were all together. She sniffed at the idea though didn't say anything but seeing her disappointment, I waited. That made her super excited when I told her the news. So we decorated our house. She has a tree in her room that stands 4' tall and we have our family tree that stands over 6' - it's tall enough to hit the ceiling and we can't put a topper on it.

The outside did not get done but I'm sure my husband will do it next weekend - because we bought brand new lights for the porch area that are old fashioned big colored lights so he's excited to put them up, he was just really worn out today. I'm not complaining though, as he has been ten days without any type of nicotine - ecigarette or regular - so if he's a little worn out, that's okay. Tomorrow is another day.

I hope you have had an equally blessed day and are looking forward to a week full of cheer.

25 November 2015

Thankfulness

So many blessings this week, it has been difficult to choose which I wanted to write so I figured I would just be me and write about them all.

This past week, Hobbit has been up with my folks. They drove up to Williamsburg and Jamestown, Virginia to make the same memories with her that they did with me so many years ago. I hope she had a wonderful time - judging by the photos I saw, she did. I know what you're thinking, why don't you call and ask her... well, because she's spending time with my folks and I don't want to infringe on their special time together. I will see her tomorrow and hear all about it.

This past Friday, I took the day off from work - I actually worked 4 ten hour days so I could be off on Friday - and Pokey and I spent the day at Disney's Hollywood Studios. We had a wonderful day enjoying some of our favorite attractions at our own pace. Taking Hobbit is always a treat but some days, we like to go at a little slower pace and this was one of those days. I have a ton of photos up on my Instagram account. Actually, if you start at the first one, I believe I documented our entire day at the park so you can stroll along with us - right down to knitting and reading in queue.

This week at work has been full of interesting things. I am finally down to just one job, working the normal hours I was initially told I would be working, and doing the job I was promoted to do. It has been fantastic! I have a feeling of normalcy back in my life. No more fretting over getting it all done, finding the hours, shuffling the priorities and reshuffling again. I have really enjoyed this week - and it was a short week considering I am done until Monday... another thing I'm thankful for, definitely.

Our little knitting group that my friend and I have been trying to get going looks like it's finally going to take off. We have tried different locations over the months and it appears as though this last one is the ticket. If you are in the area and have some free time on Saturday mornings, please come and join us! We're up to seven members now, Hobbit included.

We're fixing to head into a break month of all of my Ravelry tournament themed knitting groups - HPKCHC and Disney Adventures. It's been a crazy term/series but with work life settling down, this upcoming term/series should be fantastic. I've put in my request to be in a specific area of the Cup so we'll see if the blessings continue.

Speaking of more blessings, Pokey and I tried a new church this past Sunday and it was glorious. Very welcoming, not too big, powerful message, and we both agreed that we want to keep going. I truly believe we may have found our church home. Pokey wants to start their Men's Bible Study which meets before church so I'm guessing Hobbit and I can try out the Women's group that meets at the same time.

Sounds like Pokey is home with supper so I'm going to go. We've got to eat and get settled in for the night. I'm so proud of him - he's trying to quit smoking and hasn't had a cigarette or e-cigarette for the entire time that Hobbit has been away! Praise God for that for sure.

I hope y'all have a wonderful time with your loved ones tomorrow and I'll talk with you soon.
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