Friday, January 28, 2011

♥♥♥Things I'm Loving ♥♥♥

I can't get enough of this tea lately:

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The description on the box says:
"1001 Nights is a mystical blend of pure, high mountain-grown tea from Ceylon caressed with the cut blossoms of roses, orange blossoms, and sunflowers, then bathed in the sweet liquor of red, ripe, strawberries for a drink that delivers otherworldly delights."
Indeed! 
It is awesome and if I wasn't afraid of insomnia I would probably drink it all day long.

Valentines Day is coming, so lately I've been obsessed with Heart Shaped Crafty Things.  (I don't know why I just capitalized the first letters of that phrase.)

Heart shapes

The funny thing is, I actually hate Valentine's Day, too many middle school memories of being a lonely dork and watching all the cool chics get the loot.  But paradoxically, I actually ♥LOVE♥ heart shaped things.  I don't know why.  I think it's a shame that they only get to come out and play during Valentine's time.
BTW- Notice the anatomical crocheted heart?  LOVE IT! (To see the original Flickr links and see original artists for each photo, you'll have to click on the mosaic to take you to my flickr page. I did not make those hearts, they're just some of my favorites. But I may try and crochet a few sometime soon.)



    
Things I'm loving...

It's dark chocolate, need I say more? Loooooove....♥♥♥

This blog has been occupying a great deal of my time ever since Andrea introduced me to it.  It's iCrochet and it's nothing but pictures of crochet projects submitted by other bloggers so that we can all converge and stalk each other's blogs and drool over each others projects.  I love it and I could seriously spend hours on there!
Thank you, Andrea for the heads up!

I've been obsessed with crochet lately.  I do knit also, and I love to knit, but crochet was my 1st love and I find I always go back to it when I'm just wanting to really enjoy what I'm doing and be creative and not have to worry about whether I'm doing everything correctly.  It's also great for destashing which I've been really working on lately.  I had a sort of a... ahem....yarn problem there for awhile. (heehee ☺)
In particular, I've been loving the shawls.  Here's a quick peek at what I've been working on:

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Now head on over to Paisley Jade and share what you're lovin' lately!

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Sunday, January 23, 2011

Granny Square Reveal!

I can finally reveal the project I've been hinting at for the last few posts!

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Tada! It's my first full sized granny square blanket ever! Isn't that crazy that I've been crocheting for so long and never made a granny square blanket?! That's like Crochet 101!
(Well, I made a baby blanket for a friend a few years ago, but I don't have any pictures of that one, and it was probably pretty funky looking because I don't think I had figured out how to join them very well, yet.  So like most crafters, I just pretend that the stuff that I did that sucked doesn't exist. If I can get away with it.)

Okay so, stats:
Yarn:  This was a true stash busting project using various acrylic yarns that I had in my stash.  Some that I have no idea at all where they came from or why I bought them.  (And yes I still have A TON more stash yarn left.)  The yarns that I know of are Lion Brand Wool Ease, Caron Simply Soft, and Red Heart Supersaver. The main color that all the squares were edged with is Caron One Pound.  I have previously pledged once before never EVER to buy Red Heart Supersaver again, so let me just renew that little vow here and now.  HATE it.  And unfortunately, I still have quite a bit more left in my stash.  Why did I buy it in the first place?


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When I was making the ripple in the picture above I bought some Red Heart because, well, it was so cheap and the colors are so pretty, and even though I knew Red Heart is like the Vienna Sausages of yarn, I just figured that it wouldn't be all that bad.  Heh.  Well, it is. It's that bad.  It feels like cheap carpet, it wants to "catch" on the hook while you're working with it, it actually squeaks it's so plastic.  The only good thing about it is that it softens up and actually feels pretty nice after just one trip through the washer and dryer.  Also it will last forever.  I mean it does not die.  This blanket could be found somewhere, completely intact in an empty field after a nuclear blast had removed all life from the earth. But I digress...

Size:  Throw sized about 59" by 39".  I wanted it to be something that could be put comfortably on the couch  and not overpower everything, but be big enough to curl up under.  It ended up being perfect because I used up almost every single bit of the Caron One Pound.

Joining method:  Crocheted together on the back side using slip stitch.  Sorry, but didn't take any pics of the back side before sending it off to it's owner.

Blocking method:  Just washed it on gentle in cold water and dried it on medium.  I've found that is the best way to block acrylic. Below are some pics before blocking. 

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Ian loved this blanket.  I had a hard time keeping him out of the pictures.  
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I see many, many grannies in my future.  But more on that next post.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Just a hint of what's coming and some questions answered.

A sore wrist from crocheting non-stop is keeping me from completely finishing the project I'm working on.  I can't wait to finish it and finally get the pics up.  Here's a hint...


Close up G-square

But it's going to be a few more days until I can show you the FO.  Are you excited?

Andrea- To answer your questions:  The crocheted socks are maybe a bit thicker than knitted ones, but I wouldn't say they are quite as thick as hiking socks, though they could definitely be used for that, depending on the type of yarn and hook you use.  But I wear them with everyday shoes all the time with no problems.  They are fabulous and wonderful and I hope you make a pair because everyone should experience the fabulous wonder of crocheted socks.

Yes, I did finish that ripple blanket!  In fact it's one of my favorite FO's ever and I can't imagine why I only posted that one tiny picture of it.  I must have been thinking that I would post more later then totally forgot about it.  Here's some pics of Ian with the blanket when he was still a baby:
Ian and the Ripple

Favorite blankie

Cozy Ripple

This blanket has actually become his favorite blanket ever.  (And by favorite I mean that if he sees me put it in the washing machine or dryer he cries and reaches out for it like his heart is breaking.) I actually made it before I had even conceived him, just because I wanted to try a ripple blanket and I had a bizarre amount of stashed mercerized cotton yarn. My plan was to make it and just have it around waiting for the next time I needed a baby shower gift, but once I finished it, I loved it so much I ended up keeping it.  Then I got pregnant myself not long after. 

Every time I see Ian grab it and hug it to himself or find him in the morning with it wrapped around his middle, (soaking up the pee from the leaking diaper) I feel such a rush of pride that he picked *my* blanket out of the truly unbelievable selection of blankets he has available to him to be his Favorite Blankie.  

(I actually made him 2 blankets.  The other one is knitted and it's pretty cool, but he doesn't care about it at all.)  

Ian's blanket close-up

Glad you like the banner! I really loved it at first, but no one ever seemed all that impressed with it, so I was actually just the morning before seeing your comment thinking of changing it to be a collage of all my favorite FOs. (Kind of like your banner? heehee) But since you like it so much, maybe I'll keep it a little bit longer.  ;-)  

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Inspiration pics

Lately I like to stalk people on Flickr and see what they're up to. Here's some of my favorites.  Apparently 2011 is going to be all about color for me.  (Big surprise, huh?) 
Do you see Ian hidden in there? He is always an inspiration.   

Favorites 1-06-11

1. Forever Blanket, 2. Stripe Bag, 3. Two Toned Granny Square 002, 4. , 5. crochet hand crocheted violet colorful shawl, 6. Blue ribbon blanket, 7. Finn's blanket, 8. Untitled, 9. False Start Cardigan

So far I'm liking 2011!

Monday, January 3, 2011

How did I not know about this?

I've seen these Dryer Balls in the grocery store claiming to eliminate the use for fabric softener or dryer sheets, and every time I saw them I was tempted to buy them. But something always stopped me because I guess I just thought, "If it seems too good to be true..." Plus they are kinda pricey. Then the other day I was randomly browsing around the internet and happened across this all natural wool version of the same thing.  So of course I thought, surely there must be a way to make these at home and lo and behold I found this super simple tutorial on how to make your own!

I haven't tried it yet, but I plan to eventually and when I do I will blog about it.
Of course if anyone else wants to try it and leave me a review in the comment section that would be cool too... (hint, hint... shameless vying for comments)

(BTW- I'm actually really glad I didn't ever buy those ones I saw in the grocery store because word on the street is that they don't really work, or if they do work they leak harmful chemicals into your clothes while eventually ruining your clothes and/or the inside of your dryer.  Also they can be loud.  Soooooo not good.)

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Hello 2011!

Hello all and Happy New Year!
I didn't make any resolutions because I never do because, honestly, really. Does anyone actually ever follow through? And why should you give yourself one more thing to feel guilty about not doing it? Which segues nicely into what my New Year's Resolution would have been if I had made one...

I need to blog more. Yeah, I really do. I had this vision of me blogging my little heart out when I started this blog, but well, really, I just don't have all that much to say. But this year, I really will make more of an effort to keep up and keep engaged. Even if it's just to post a cool picture now and then. Even if I only have 2 people who read it.



Here's a little sneak peak at what I'm currently working on...
Stacked Grannies with a view

I can't show any more than that because it's a gift for someone. I don't think she reads my blog, but you never know.
People can be sneaky.