Wednesday WIP’s

This past week I made progress on 2 of my WIP’s from last week. I also started 2 new projects. There is one project in particular that I didn’t work on last week that I need to make some serious progress on in the next 2 weeks, so I’m hoping to be able to get in some good time with it.

Previous Works

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1. Bath Mat (Bernat Handicrafter Cotton, “Off White”)
*Got some more rows put onto this one, it’s officially half done now. There is light at the end of the tunnel.

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2. Christmas Lovies (Knit Picks Brava Worsted)
*Last week I showed you 2 that I had finished up. A red and white one, and a green and white one. This week I managed to get one with all the colours and started another red and white one.

New Works

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1. Summer Library Bag (Bernat Handicrafter Cotton, “Crown Jewels Ombré”)

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2. Cairbre Cardigan (Knit Picks Wool of the Andes, “Oak Moss” and “Teacup”)

The plan for this week is to finish off both of my 2 new projects as they are for a competition on Ravelry called Nerd Wars. I also need to do some major work on the Batman Blanket that I showed in my post last week. I’d like to get the bath mat to at least 75% done and to pick up the Kitten Poker socks again and make a little bit of progress on them. I haven’t touched them since my needle broke and I had to try to save what I could of the one sock. I’m hoping we will be brave and give them another go.

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Wednesday WIP’s

Every Wednesday I’m going to share my current works in progress. I’m hoping that taking pictures of them every week will help me to see my progress on things that are taking longer, where seeing progress on a daily basis is tough (like losing weight or growing your hair out!)

I will only share the things I’ve actually worked on at some point since the previous Wednesday when I photographed them. If it doesn’t appear it’s because I didn’t make time for it.

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1. Bath mat. (Bernat Handicrafter Cotton, Off-White. Deep stash, 2012)

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2. Lovey’s. (For my Etsy shop/Craft fairs this fall and early winter.)

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3. Kitten Poker Socks. (Knit Picks Stroll, Cork. Stashed 2013.)

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4. Mrs. Bakery Bear. (Knit Picks Wool of the Andes, Lake Ice Heather. Stashed 2013.)

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5. Batman Blanket. (Knit Picks Brava, assorted colours. Bought for project 2014.)

So those are the 5 projects I’ve been working on the last week. Hopefully by this time next week I will have some more done on them, maybe even some completed! Yay!

Current Custom Orders In Progress

I’m currently working on 2 custom orders. I try to keep Sunday for personal crafting and family and chores, but I thought I could show you all where I’m at with both orders. That doesn’t really count as working, right?!

The first order I’m working on came to me because of a custom order I had just finished and shared in my InstaGram feed. It’s for a moose hat but with slight differences from the original one. I enjoy that because then it’s not quite the same hat twice in a row!

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I think it’s going to be adorable and I know the mother is going to love it.

The second custom order is something a bit different. It was for a fox photography prop for a newborn baby. Not with a diaper cover style bottom though, just with one of those little blankets that drapes over them.

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So far so good! I was really happy with my yarn choices. I think it gives a softer, more vintage style to the piece and won’t look so harsh on baby or in photos.

I have tons of personal works in progress and works that I wish were in progress. The life of a crafter is never dull. I’m hoping to make progress on some of them today and then finish a few things up over the course of the upcoming week too. I need to keep a better eye on how many things I have on the go! I always just seem to forget about certain projects when I’m taking a mental tally before starting something new, go figure!!

Crafting for Kids

This year I decided to vow that I would make more of the gifts for Christmas. I also vowed to do this last year but just never got around to until it was too late to even bother!
I’m happy to say that I have started work on one of the gifts I hope to give to my daughters. They share a very cute pink, white and blue striped room. I even made faux wainscotting and put that on the bottom of their walls. However they have no cute, girly decor or accents in their room.
Enter:

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This photo shows some of my current progress on the Once Upon a Time Sampler from Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery.
I haven’t ever successfully completed a cross stitch, though I have attempted and failed more times than I’d like to admit. I just didn’t “get” it, much like crochet actually. After trying and quitting many times over, something finally just clicked!
So far I am very happy with how it’s turning out and I look forward to the first of each month when the new patterns come out. I am currently behind, but I didn’t decide I wanted to actually try this until mid February. By the time I had my supplies hunted down it was only a couple days before March. I’m hoping to complete the patterns for both February (partially done above) and January this month. And then March and April next month. Any spare time in either month I will devote to trying to finish the framing and squares so that I can just worry about the monthly pattern.
When it’s all done I will be framing it to hang on their bedroom wall, since it won’t be done until December it will be a perfect Christmas gift for them. I may have to come up with my own custom frame too since I doubt any of the stores here will have one that fits it properly.

March Goals!

I’ve decided that in order to have any semblance of a plan of attack, I should have a list of goals each month. Then at the end of each month, I can go back and look and see how much of what I wanted to do actually got accomplished and where I didn’t necessarily flourish.
My first goal of the month is to sit down tonight and get my last couple listings wrote up so that I can say I officially opened my Etsy shop on March 1st!
I have a list of UFO’s that I need to complete, all in various stages of “doneness.” 1. Horse hat 2. Gumball Hat 3. Herringbone Neck Warmer 4. Scarf for homeless.
I have a list of new items I need to make for my Etsy store, I went through this morning to see what items I needed to order yarn for and I have placed that order so I can get those items dealt with. This includes some Amigurumi work, baby booties, leg warmers and some fun neck accessories.
I have 4 items that I would like to cast/hook on this month that are personal projects. Knitabulls is hosting a stitch surfer sock KAL in March. Technically I haven’t finished my first pair of socks, but I think with all the help and her tutorials that I may just be able to do it. I love the way they look and have been dying to own a pair. This is my lofty goal…so I’m hoping to get them cast on and off, but we will see once I browse the tutorial videos. I also would like to hook up another couple dishcloths to add to my gifting dishcloth stash. The last thing I’d like to cast on this month for myself is the Hanois Cowl on Ravelry. I ordered a very pretty skein of hand dyed yarn from my friends shop on Etsy, ChaoticYarns. I think it will look great in this cowl and there should be enough yardage left to also make myself a pair of fingerless gloves or wristers to match.
I would like to actually get some sewing in this month! I need some project bags and have had the fabric to make them for months now, so it’s time to buckle down and get at them. I also need a new hook and needle roll, so it would be wonderful to be able to stitch those up too.
I got the linen and embroidery threads to do my Once Upon a Time Sampler last week. This morning I woke up to have the March square in my inbox, so my plan for March is to finish both the March and February squares so in April I can work on January and Aprils. I have some of the “framework” stitches in, but I think I will try to work on the frame section that goes with whatever square I’m currently working on. I will be framing this and gifting it to my daughters for Christmas as their combined Christmas gift, so very excited to see how it turns out and to make progress on it!
I am going to try to exercise 3 days a week this month, plus start a morning “get energized and stretched out for the day” routine. I need to clear the treadmill off before the end of the weekend because my first run will be Monday.
Along with exercising my body, I have a goal to read 2 books this month. One a self help style book, called “The Success Principals” by Jack Canfield. I have it on Kobo so I can read from my phone or iPad. I also want to read “Bossy Pants” by Tina Fey. I bought it in paperback well over a year ago and haven’t stopped to make the time to read it yet.
So, those are my main goals this month. Being able to accomplish them will require me to be more vigilant in other areas of my life, like house keeping and meal planning. But I think it will all work out, and I am going to work hard to make it all work out. Stick with me, and watch my journey through March unfold!

This Week in Stitches

I haven’t really had a ton of time in the last little while to do a bunch of crafting. I’ve been busy trying to clean and organize the house and get caught up on a bunch of housework so that I can spend time doing crafts! Yay! Here’s a quick look at things I managed to work on this week.
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A custom order knight hat with removable face mask. I have seen some of these floating around on different sites but being the difficult person I am, I had to struggle through and make my own pattern. The Mohawk on top and the face mask both were done with yarn held double to make it a bit more stiff.
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I made this set of amigurumi owls as a custom order as well. Again, I made the pattern up as I went. Having never made an owl before (I’ve only made amigurumi monsters) I was a little terrified. I am very happy with the outcome and heard they were a hit with the recipient.
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The start of a newborn owl hat to match a set of booties that I had already completed and are awaiting me to sew on buttons. The hat needs it’s owl face and then the set will be ready to be photographed and sent off to the person gifting it.
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The pictures above are of my old yarn stash. This is stuff I bought when I first started, most of which isn’t quite the quality of yarn I would use to make items to sell. However, this stash still needs to be used, so I’ve determined this year I will try and work my way through it as much as I possibly can. I went through and decided that I will be making scarves for the less fortunate out of a good majority of it. This year a few people in my town got together and knit scarves for the homeless in our area. I wasn’t able to work any up, because I was overwhelmed with life, but they will be doing it next year as well. They will be accepting donations all year long, so I figure I might as well start. I think this year they managed to have 70 scarves or so and apparently they were all claimed within 2 hours. With all the stash yarn I have that I need to use, I’m aiming to be able to make at least 20 scarves myself. They will mostly be garter or simple patterns as this is going to be my distracted knitting or things I can quickly put down if kids need my help. But I may be able to try out new stitch patterns and techniques as we go!
I also have some that I set aside because it’s variegated and aimed more at kids. This is going to get knit up into newborn and preemie baby hats and I will drop them off at the local hospital. It feels amazing to have a purpose for these skeins of yarn that would otherwise go unused by me. I wouldn’t be able to just toss them either though, as I’d feel guilty I had wasted money on all this yarn.
Now, as for the cotton, well that is going to be made into kitchen accessories and gifted to adults as needed. It’s not a nice enough cotton to get away with using it for anything but kitchen goods or facial scrubs/reusable makeup remover pads.
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The first of what I hope to be many scarves for the homeless and less fortunate. Because everyone deserves to be warm!
In other news, the baby is sick right now, he has a cold and is teething like crazy. It’s kind of aggravating because he’s a pretty clingy baby to begin with and when he’s sick he becomes even more so. He did get a good nap in in his swing this afternoon for an hour and a half, so that was nice.
I almost have the house back in order. I’ve been busy trying to get it to a point where if I do about 45 mins of work a day it will stay clean. Leave me more time to work on orders and work on ready to ship stuff for Etsy. I am horrible with time management so it’s one of the things I’m working on this year. I know in my head that it makes more sense to spend half an hour a day working on dishes and laundry or sweeping than spending all weekend doing it, but knowing and doing are two completely different things!
I’ve also been on a bit of a hiatus from buying yarn. Self imposed because otherwise I’d drown myself in it. I haven’t bought any yarn this year so far. I’ve given myself very strict rules for when I do have to place an order for supplies to continue creating custom orders and supplying my Etsy store with cute handmade goods. I haven’t had to place that first order yet though. When I do have to place it it is going to be a test of all kinds of willpower. We will cross that bridge when we finally get there. But, since it’s Valentine’s I should probably get busy figuring out what’s going on for supper and this evening.
Enjoy your weekend crafters 🙂

Try It Tuesday!

This week I’m debuting new features for the blog as I’m getting organized in life and also more busy. Each Tuesday I’m going to try something that I’ve been wanting to try, but not “had the time” for. It could be anything. A new experience. A new craft. A new recipe. A new technique. Whatever it is, it will be something from my “want to do” list.

This weeks “try it” is daily journal type books for my kids. The intention is that every day they will write or draw something. It may be free choice or I may ask them to go along with a topic. I didn’t want these journals to be huge because sometimes they may be doing this between supper and bedtime. I didn’t want to give them too much free space or they would be there forever!
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I had a pad of photo mats for scrapbooking and I decided when folded in half it was the perfect size for their little journals.
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Then I folded some blank paper and cut it along the centre score lines so that there were 4 pieces and each piece folded in half lengthwise. Doing this to 2 regular pieces of printer paper yielded 32 blank surfaces for drawing. Perfect since there are 31 days in the month.
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After I had them cut I stacked them inside the folded cover. Then I stapled through to hold the papers in and numbered them from 1 to 31! Easy peasy! And the kids love them. They are drawing today’s picture right now. It’s kind of like art journaling for kids. As the month progresses I may do an update and show some of their artwork off. We will have to wait and see.

Weekly WIP’s

While tidying my living room last night I realized that I have things on needles and hooks in basically every corner of the room. I have decided to show you pictures of where my projects currently are in hopes that it will kick my butt into gear! I don’t want to be in the same spots next week, and I would like a few of these to become finished objects of course.

1) Christmas dishcloth:
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I started this with great intentions and had left it by my arm chair so I could work on it when my little Rémi fell asleep. Worked wonderfully until I decided that the love seat was a better spot to sit while feeding him! Then it was no longer in a convenient spot and haven’t worked on it since.
2) Chevron & Feather Scarf:
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I set this aside purposely but I do really want to finish it. The reason I set it aside was because the thinner yarn is also more slippery and so it’s hard to work on when the baby falls asleep on me as I found I kept dropping stitches.
3) Infinity Circle Scarf:
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This needs to be frogged and restarted unfortunately. The gauge is more off than I thought and I just can’t leave it.
4) Sunshine Blanket:
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This is a blanket for my little guy. I got it to this point and then it became too large to work on without bugging him.
5) Giraffe Hat:
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All I have left to do on this hat is another horn and both ears and it will be done!
6) Basic Baby Hat:
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This is the first not square or rectangle knitting project, and my first use of double pointed needles. I wanted to learn on something smaller and mindless. I’m quite enjoying it.

I’m hoping that by this time next week I have at least 4 of these projects done. I am trying very hard not to cast/chain anything else on, but there is never any guarantee!

Playing Catch Up

Ok, legitimately I think every day I play catch up. Nothing is ever caught up on right now between the house being torn apart for renovations and me being completely useless for housework with the end of this pregnancy. I feel like every day things just get farther and farther behind. It’s horrible for my anxiety issues!! I did, however, manage to accomplish a few things and that makes me happy because, well, because it’s better than nothing!

1. Dishes! Finally washed the dishes that can’t be out in the dishwasher. Really, Camille did it, but I dried them, so it counts.
2. Washed my laundry so that I actually had appropriate clothing to wear and also to pack in a bag for the hospital when that time comes. This is actually the first time I’ve ever packed this bag ahead of time. With all 3 previous pregnancies I rushed around having contractions and trying to pack the bag before I died of pain.
3. Found sunscreen (SPF 50 even) so now I don’t have to worry about my poor ginger children frying to a crisp when they play outside all day. Probably wouldn’t hurt for me to put some on too. They get their ginger from someone…me…and I’m already rocking quite the tan lines this year.
4. Finally sewed and trimmed up the reusable breast pads I’d had cut out for weeks. They needed to be ironed. I didn’t want to iron, so they sat. Today I made damn sure to do it.
5. Cut and upcycled my daughters 2 pairs of jeans. They were too short for her, but still fit in the waist. I turned one pair into this skirt:

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And the other pair got hemmed up into shorts for her, but then I thought they were too plain. I remember seeing these pocket bows on Pinterest and Instagram so I decided I would give them a shot:

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Now I’m sitting here trying to figure out how to make the most of my evening. The kids are in bed (seriously fresh air all day is the best thing ever!) and Camille is finishing building a deck at his parents. In all likelihood I should finish seaming that granny square baby quilt, but I don’t know that I can bring myself to do it right now. I’m off to ponder some more, and probably eat chocolate chips. It happens.