Thanks bunches!

Well, since Molly somehow sneaked in and posted here on my blog, now everybody wants in on the action! Max really, really wanted to write today’s update, but I just couldn’t let him because I have so many important links to share this week. I didn’t want him to forget one and have to come back to and fix it all later. But just so he wouldn’t feel left out I promised to post a nice photo of him and tell you all what a handsome boy he is becoming. At 12-13 weeks, the 3M’s are really growing fast, and getting into absolutely everything! Thank goodness they still can’t jump up on the counters. Oh, how I rue the day… Anyway, here’s a sweet pic I took of Max and Molly the other day while they were lounging in the sun on top of some of our instrument cases. He really is getting so big and so handsome. I can hardly believe that he is the scraggly, squirrelly little boy we brought home two months ago. He has changed so much!
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Now, let’s see, on to the updates…First off, a couple of big “thank-you’s” are in order. I want to thank Lynn so much for giving me the “Brillante Weblog” award. This is the first time someone has been so sweet as to pass a blogging award my way, and I really appreciate it! Pop on over to her blog to check it out!
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My second “thank you” goes to Andrea of Knits and Knots, who was kind enough to do a review of my blog as well as a little email interview with me! This was another first for me, and I thoroughly enjoyed participating. She asked great questions about crocheting and designing, as well as life in general, all of which made me think about why I love doing what I do! She has done lots of other great reviews as well, so visit her blog to read them all! Thank you, Andrea!

Molly mentioned last week that we had family coming in, and we did. Hubby’s parents and brother came to visit us at our new house, which was very nice. They only were able to stay overnight, but we’re hoping that we’ll get to see them more often now that we are only 5 hours apart instead of 15! The 3M’s were a little shy at first, just because of all the new voices and extra pairs of feet in the house. But they warmed up to everyone pretty quickly and seemed to enjoy all the extra shoelaces to chew! My MIL and BIL wanted to pick some blackberries, so Monday night we went out and got about four cups or so. We could have gotten more, but I didn’t want to take them too deep in the woods because Mom forgot her tennis shoes! But I went far enough in myself to get my first case of poison ivy. Ugh! From now on, when I come in from the woods I must remember to scrub myself down and get all that yucky oil off because I really don’t enjoy being itchy!

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And look what came in the mail last week! Well, actually, the light brown yarn on top was in my stash, but the cream and rose colored ones found their way to my mailbox all the way from a nice lady in Texas who was moving and wanted to get rid of some yarn. I had been commenting on the Haekelbeutel Bag CAL over at Crochetville, saying how much wanted to join in but just couldn’t buy any yarn just now. Well, now I can! Thanks again, Judy! So now I’ve been making my squares for that, and I’m really enjoying it! I can’t wait to see what this bag will look like when it’s finished. I’ve really been impressed with some of the designs other people have done using Inga’s pattern as a basis. I’m not using the basic square in her pattern, though. Here are my squares:
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I’m crocheting these using the first 5 rows of the Spinner block from my 200 Crochet Blocks book by Jan Eaton. I haven’t gotten to use this book nearly enough, so any excuse I can get, I take! I only wish there weren’t so many typos in it. I downloaded the errata from Interweave Press, so I guess one night I just need to sit down and pencil it all into the book itself. I was really confused on the first Spinner square I did for this very reason…there was a major error in round 3 that had me making the wrong number of stitches. Good thing I caught on before I cut my yarn!

Anyway, that’s the stuff that’s been keeping me busy over the past week. Now I’m off to begin testing a square for someone over at the ‘Ville. This is my first time testing a pattern, and I’m excited. It’s just one 12 square, so I figured that would be a good place to start!

Have a very happy week! Back with more soon, I hope!

Cocoa

A daisy a day…

I actually tried to post this yesterday, but flickr was having issues with uploading my photos…so this is a day late, but I guess that’s okay.

 scrap basket2

I’ve been catching up on all my favorite blogs, and it’s making me wish I had more time and inspiration to get crafty. But the whole moving process sort of sapped my creative energies, what with all the packing, cleaning, unpacking, more cleaning…and then beginning to remodel. I think alot of my crocheting and sewing in the coming year is going to be more functional and practical than just for fun. For example, the project I have on my hook now….

blue rag rug

This is a mini rag rug, and it’s about half finished. This is not going to be a rug for the house, however. It is meant to be a cat mat, actually! DH and I are about to adopt 3 kittens from our pastor’s family, and I’m getting their beds, litter boxes and toys all ready for them before they come. I was trying to find a way to avoid spending a bundle of money on beds and such, when I found an old mini rug I’d made and used as a chair pad along with an unfinished rag rug. They were both just the right size for cat beds! But since there will be three kitties, I needed another one. So, I’m working up one more mini rug.

Other crafting projects that will be on the agenda this year: curtains, curtains, and more curtains! The valances that came with the house are just UGLY (IMHO), so as we finish remodeling each room I’ll either have to make new ones or go purchase some. It all depends on cost, though. Material is so expensive these days that it is becoming more economical just to buy stuff…and I hate that.

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Oh, by the way, this is my craft table. Doesn’t it look just pitifully boring? I haven’t decided on a color for this room yet…whatever it is will have to be color DH and I both can live with, since this room doubles as our office. But I need something light and happy, something that will spark my creativity! I also am thinking of putting up a large cork board on the wall over my table. That way I can hang photos, magazine clippings, patterns, swatches…anything that will inspire me or help with current projects. What do you think I need to help make this area more inspiring? Have any ideas for me? (Cheap ones…I’m on a tight budget here!)

Thanks for stopping by today! Here’s a daisy for you, just because….

daisies1

MIA no more!

It has seemed like an eternity since I last posted, maybe because it has been! Well, I’m back now, though I will say that the next few weeks will probably be much like the last few…”postless”. But I have a very good reason which I am finally free to share. :o)

You see, since my dear hubby’s graduation from seminary, we have been looking for a new position and a new church in which he can serve the Lord. Finally, just two weeks ago, he was voted in as music and media pastor at a church in Illinois! So, after 3 1/2 years here in Texas, we will be moving back north, closer to family and all four seasons! Needless to say, our apartment is filled with boxes and packing materials, everything strewn about in chaotic piles. We have only 3 Sundays left at our current church (which is sad, indeed) before we move. You can imagine all that has to be done in this small amount of time! So you will have to excuse me for not blogging much over the next month or so. Although I’m sure the computer will be one of the last things packed (and one of the first unpacked), I don’t think I will have much time to sit and write during the moving process. But I will be back soon, I promise!

I do have one small project to share quickly…a baby round ripple for a friend at church. Her baby girl is not due until August, but since we are about to leave I knew I’d have to get it to her early. So I quickly dug through my stash, before packing it all up, and found two and a half skeins of this old Kolor Match yarn that used to belong to DH’s grandmother. If anybody knows what decade this stuff is from, I’d be interested to know. It was made by Caron, but obviously isn’t carried in stores anymore. The yarn is 100% acrylic and feels just like Red Heart Super Saver. I’m counting on it softening up once I wash the blanket! Anyway, here’s my progress as of last night:

Beth's Blanket WIP1

Well, I must get going and do some more packing/cleaning/organizing. Have a great couple of weeks! I’ll be back soon!
 

Summer Crochet Now Underway!

Well, it’s time to begin looking to warm weather crochet projects now. I obviously started making my Spring Trench Coat not a moment too soon, because it is warm enough now to wear it as a morning jacket on my way to work. But it’s much too warm to wear it all day! I have a hard time finding crochet patterns for summer tops that I like…I haven’t figured out if its the modesty factor, the fact that I’m not a size 2, or that there are simply not alot of nice free summer top patterns out there! It’s probably a combination of all three, actually.

I finally decided that my next long-term project would be flexiblefashion.net’s Triangular Summer Top. It will only be worn around the house, again because of the lack of modesty. (Thank goodness I don’t need to be modest around my hubby!:o) But I look forward to the finished product. The pattern is simple from what I can tell so far. This is my first project in thread, which might have been a bit ambitious for me as it is going to take forever! But I am enjoying it anyway. I learned that I have to hold thread differently than I hold yarn in order to get the right tension. I also learned that I really need to get some sculpy clay and make some nice big handles for my small steel hooks. This is killing my hands! Anyway, here’s a little peek at what I have so far….

Triangle Top WIP1

Button, button, who’s got the button?

I went to Jo-Ann’s Fabrics today…big mistake for someone on such a small budget as I! It is impossible for me to just walk in to that store, get what I came for and walk back out. Somehow I get sucked into all that gorgeous fabric, those endless sales bins and aisles of crafting paraphanalia. Oh, it was so hard to leave with only four little buttons! But I did it…my hubby will be so proud! :o)

Trench button det

I looked at some of those fancy bone “tooth-shaped” buttons I was talking about before, but decided against them quickly because they are quite pricey, and only one was left! I also contemplated some fun wooden buttons from the Phillipines that were shaped like lopsided kidney beans. But they seemed a little too unusual for a traditional-looking coat like this. They had some wooden buttons that look identical to ones on a poncho my mom has leftover from the 70’s…very cool, but not quite what I had in mind (and a bit pricey, too). Finally, I found these great faux leather buttons, and I was happy. They are pretty classic looking, but not vintage, and the price was right. Now I just have to finish sewing the seams so I can decide where to place them! I can’t decide whether to put them all on one side (photo on left) or to place 2 to the left for a decorative look (photo on right).

Trench button opt2            Trench button opt1

What do you think?

Busy as a Bee

That’s me! I have been busy at work over the past week, and trying to be busy crocheting over the weekend. This week is my spring break, but I will be very busy around the house cleaning and catching up on all those little things that slip by in the daily rush. I hope that between all the cleaning and such I will have time to finished this coat I’ve been working on!
Trench with collar
As you can see, I have finally made more progress on the Spring Trench Coat, finishing all the major crocheted pieces yesterday. I’m actually done with all the crocheting, unless I decide to make a belt to tie it closed. The pattern suggests a belt, but I am seriously considering finding some large buttons to go with it instead. What do you think? Perhaps some of those that are shaped like a tooth, in a dark brown color…do you know what I’m talking about? I don’t know what they are called.
Trench Sleeves
 Anyway, I finished the sleeves yesterday, but I may have to add a little length to them once I assemble the coat. I must have longer arms that the normal girl my size because I often have trouble with sleeves being just a hair too short for me. I forgot this when crocheting the sleeves, however, and did not add any extra rows as I did the pattern. So I may add a cuff or just a few rows of sc if I don’t like the length. Last night I stitched the shoulder seams and crocheted the collar, and I really like the way it is looking so far. I had to frog the first row of the collar few times before I figured out how to space my sc’s for the foundation row. The pattern calls for 62 sc evenly spaced, but there aren’t that many stitches across the area you are supposed to stitch. So it took some trial and error (as well as a little math….ugh!) to figure out where to put the extra stitches.
Trench Collar
I really would like to get this finished up by Thursday, which should be quite simple since I pretty much only have to sew seams now. Wish me luck! I’ll be back with pics (hopefully with me wearing it) as soon as it is finished!

Sneak Preview

Well, I thought I’d have some crochet progress to show you on my Classic Trench Coat, but I didn’t have time yet to take photos of what I’ve done on it lately. I have just one sleeve to go before I begin assembly, so I’m definitely nearing the end! I do not seem to have the discipline to completely finish one project before beginning another, however; so Friday afternoon I just had to start something new…
SP7
I have been wanting to get out my sewing machine and use some of the fabric I have stashed around here, and this project has been in my head for some time. It’s not quite finished yet (I still have a couple of ribbons to secure), but I’ll give you a sneak peek anyway.
SP1
If you are a cat-lover, you’ll want to keep your eye on my Etsy shop over the next few days. This item should go up by Tuesday night, if I can get some good lighting and photo shooting time (I hope, I hope)! I’ll be sure to get a mini-post up on here as soon as I put it up for sale, too!
SP3
 If I get my way, I’ll be making a similar item during my spring break, using more of my fabric stash. So my next few posts will probably be sewing related….but don’t worry….I am still crocheting up a storm when I don’t have time to get out the sewing machine! :o) Well, now back to stitching… Happy Sunday evening, everyone!