Friday, December 21, 2012

Finished Object Friday - Ravenclaw Beanie

Hello again!  Well it appears as though the world did not come to an end today.  Somewhere in Asia, it already December 22nd so I think we are good.  Anyway, even though my birthday is right around the Summer Solstice, the Winter Solstice is my favorite.  We are going through the shortest day of the year but tomorrow is a little bit longer, and the next day is longer.   How can you not be encouraged by a little more sunshine each day until June.

Anyway, I am dreadfully behind on Christmas.  Shopping is far from done, some baking is done, some decorating is done.  But all in all I have a busy couple of days ahead of me until Christmas and then it's off to Anaheim.

Well enough blather for one Friday, let's get down to yarn.

If you will remember, I made the Gryffindor Set for my Boss' daughter as a going away present for college.  Granted she was home on break when she got it but it was still warm out.  As a result, of my efforts I began to feel bad about not making anything for my Boss' son so when she approached him about it, he was super excited to get a Ravenclaw Beanie.

I love making hats because they are instant gratification when it comes to projects.  Round and round and some decreases and voila your done.  I am really pleased with this hat because it looks nice and masculine but is totally Harry Potter through and through.

Look ma!, a Ravenclaw!
While the move made the accessories in Blue and Grey, I chose to go book style and use a coppery/bronze color to accent the blue.  The picture is showing the color as more Royal but it's navy.

I already passes this along to my boss and he will get it on Christmas.  I hope he likes it!

There is a huge part of me that wants to whip up a Hufflepuff hat for myself.  I have enough Black and Gold. Keep your eyes peeled for another hat from this pattern.

Check out more Finished Objects at Tami's Amis!

<3 Heather

Now for the Details:

Ravelry Page - Hogwarts Beanie - Ravenclaw
Needles - Size 8/5.0 mm Circular Needles/Double Pointed Needles
Yarn - 
0.56 Skeins of Plymouth Yarn Encore Worsted in 848 - Navy
0.05 Skeins of Plymouth Yarn Encore Worsted in 175 - Jewel Gold
Duration - 15 hours of work
Pattern - House Hats from Charmed Knits

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

WIP Wednesday - An Oldie by a Goodie

Hello all,  this has been a busy week.  Now that the paper I was working on for my research project is complete and I got an A in the class.  Woot!

I am now focusing on Christmas.  I got the tree up at my parent's house and my apartment.  I have some presents bought but really need to get out and finish shopping.  Plus I have cookies to bake.  I am participating in my friend's cookie exchange and need to bake 5 dozen cookies by Thursday.  I have been cleaning up and baking commences tonight!  I am making Mexican Chocolate Snickerdoodle Cookies.  I found the recipe on Pinterest and new I needed to make these for the exchange.

Otherwise, I am moving along toward Christmas but I had quite a scare yesterday.  I am traveling to Southern California for an  Alpha Phi Omega (my college service fraternity) Convention on December 26th.

Me at a Leadership Training in 2007 for APO
While I was thinking about it, I managed to dig out my flight confirmation to email to my dad so he knew when I was flying.  As soon as he got it, I got a call.  "Honey, do you know this says your departing on November 26th?"

It indeed said November.  I booked the flight in July and missed that I booked it for November instead of December.  So last evening, I was on the phone with United trying to get my flight re-booked.  I was originally told, that it was going to be a $500+ difference.  I cannot afford that.  I then talked to some people about it and called back.  By this time, I was near tears and a gentleman operator answered the phone.  I think he didn't want me to cry and worked with his supervisor to get my a flight that was only $77 dollars different.  This was reasonable and I am so thankful.  As a result, I was late for my haircut but at least I can get to Anaheim after Christmas.

So enough drama and onto the yarny goodness.

STV Spiffy Iffy Peresphone's Return! Socks

Let's turn some heels!

I finished all of my gift knitting so now I can pull out some things that have fallen into the WIP pit.  I picked up my socks that I started for Sock the Vote and got to work last night.  I had the heel flap done and turned the heel.  I have to shift stitches around all over the place but I am back on track.  I realized I miss read the gusset and have to jump down and remove some decreases but I love making the gusset so these should be done soon.

Well, that's it for this weekend, now onto the paper!

For other WIPs check out Tami's Amis and Frontier Dreams

<3 Heather

Monday, December 17, 2012

Sleep in Heavenly Peace

Sometimes there are no words.  The shootings recently have sucked the life out of me.  I am....was excited about the Christmas season.  I don't remember much of last December and was really looking forward to a joyful season even without my mother.

But that changed on Friday.  As I watched the coverage unfold and the number of innocent defenseless children rise, my spirits waned.  I still want to have a good Christmas but I am praying for those families.  Praying for that community.

Lately, as I make my way through the second round of Holidays without my mom, I could feel her presence. Just an inner strength that wrapped around me like a hug that made everything okay.  On Friday, that presence left.  Knowing my mom, that she went where she was needed and is comforting those children in the afterlife.  She would be there with a smile and a hug to whomever would need it.

Oh boy do I miss her.  This entire weekend, I just wanted a hug.

As I listened to the children's choir sing Silent Night on SNL on Saturday.  I truly hope and pray for  heavenly peace for those children and teachers.

<3 Heather

Friday, December 14, 2012

Finished Object Friday - Owl Mitts

I can scarcely believe that I finished that paper on time.  I worked through the afternoon to about 8 PM to get that thing done.  In fact, I am still tired.

Anyway, in going with the procrastination theme from Wednesday the finished object in today's post was finished under the wire as well.

Every year myself and 4 other friends participate in a Secret Santa exchange.  A friend's husband has a program and he runs it each year so we don't have to draw from a hat (like we did when we started).  This year my recipient was Ashley.  She has great taste and likes cool jewelry and loves to craft.  I checked out her pinterest board and was inspired by the owls she had posted.

So I decided to make her mitts.  I used two patterns to create the design.  I made mitts for a modified version of the House Mittens from Charmed Knits and included an Owl Cable that was designed in the Owl Cup Cozy.

One is done!

So I cast on with plenty of time and got the first one done by the end of November.  I put it aside to get the Star Trek Cup Cozies done for my Nerd Wars Swap.  After the cozies were done, I had good intentions to get the next mitt started but I procrastinated and cast on the Wednesday before our exchange on Saturday 12/7/2012.  I got half way done by Thursday but didn't feel like knitting on Friday.  I made sure I got up Saturday to finish it but time kept ticking and I was almost done.  I finally cast off but had 8 ends to weave and eyes to apply.

So, I took to the back seat of the car and on the way to the exchange with Becky, I finished the Mitts.  And took pictures in the moving car.

Why yes this is taken in the car!

Check out more Finished Objects at Tami's Amis!

Pattern - House Mittens and Owl Cable Knit Coffee Cozy
Needles - Size 5/3.75 mm Double Pointed Needles
Yarn - FiberNymph Dye Works in the Cosy Base
Color - Purple Pandemic
Duration - 2 Weeks
Size - Medium

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

WIP Wednesday - Procrastination

Hello all, I admit to being a bit rushed today due to finishing my research paper for my class.  While I did set the final due date for the class, I shouldn't request an extension right? Yesterday was productive but I had hoped to finish the whole thing.  Anyway I have the intro, background, and methodology done so now to just write the results....that I need to complete. Sigh.

ETA: at 7:45 PM it is done and submitted!  Happy Day!

Anyway, I should have worked on it most of the weekend but surprise I procrastinated.  Check out what I got accomplished instead of my paper. : /

Hue Shift Afghan

Well, I got as may ends weaved in as I could and then I started the peach and pink square.  There isn't too much to see but I am glad to have gotten those ends weaved in.

Ravenclaw Beanie

We have stripes!
This has been such an easy and mindless knit that I really have gotten pretty far on it.  I have a few rows left then I can start the decreases.  Does anyone else find hat decreases fun?  I think because your nearing the end and it's a visible change after the rows of stockinette.

Well, that's it for this weekend, now onto the paper!

For other WIPs check out Tami's Amis and Frontier Dreams

<3 Heather

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

WIP Wednesday - One Hundred

Welcome to my 100th post!  Can you believe that I have posted here 100 times?  I really can't but then again, this year has passed by so quickly.  I am not going to do anything special with this post but I do plan on celebrating my Blogiversary on January 6th!  So stay tuned for awesome celebratory games and prizes!

In other news, I went to the auto body shop to get the damage appraised from my accident and they were able to clean it and buff it so that I may not need to get it fixed.  Still deciding of course but it's nice to have options.

My paper is still sitting in draft form but I have to get a move on and finish it this week and weekend.  I even took off of work on the 11th to make sure I have ample time to finish it before I submit it on 12/12.  Ah the joys of Grad School.  

So now onto the yarny goodness.  

It's very pink right now.

I have been busy weaving in ends on this project.  I had some holiday knitting and so this one is on the back burner until that's done.  I hope to get the rest of the holiday projects done this week (you know while I am procrastinating on my paper) and then get back to this.

Special thanks to Samie for taking the picture!
I wanted to work on something different from the garter stitches of the blanket so I pulled out my sweater.  I pulled the stitches off for the arms and cast on for under the arms.  I may have cast on a few to many (okay 50 but who's counting) so I am working on decreasing those to a more manageable amount. 

But I am so excited about this project.  It's nice to be able to put it on as I go and it's no longer an orange blob on my couch for pictures.

Next hat is in lighter colors!

So after I made all of the Gryffindor winter knits for my boss' daugher, I felt a little bad about not making something for her son.  So, he decided he wanted a Ravenclaw hat and I may make a set of wristlets too if I have enough yarn. 

I love this pattern as it's a no brainer.  Cast on, work the ribbing, work in stockinette until it's 5 inches then do decreases.  Easy peasy!  But navy is just as hard on the eyes at night as black so there is some challenge there.  

I am more of a book purist and chose the accent color to be a bronze yarn versus the grey used in the movies.  Hope he like it!

It's so soft and squishy!
I wanted to show all of you the progress on my crochet shawl.  I know most of the pictures just have the swatch I did but I have been doing a row here or there when the mood strikes.  Isn't the yarn just gorgeous?

Well, that's about it for this week.  I need to get a move on with the Owl Fingerless Mittens as the gift exchange is on Saturday!  Go Go Gadget knitting needles!  

For other WIPs check out Tami's Amis and Frontier Dreams   

<3 Heather

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

A funny thing happened on the way to bake cookies...

Hello All!  I  meant to post this yesterday but time got away from me.   I had a very interesting weekend and I need to share with you because scarcely believe what happened either.
All ready for the post office!

Saturday, started bright and early.  I had rented a moving van to take my old Mattress and Box Spring to my parent's house.  This set was a full and I had purchased a queen sized sometime this summer so the old set just hung out in my bedroom.  Really attractive I know.  So with the help from Becky, we loaded the van and took it home.  Now I no longer have to sleep on a lumpy twin on the weekends!

Later on in the day, I sent my parcel to my Nerd Wars Swap recipient.  I was so pleased that I had a ton of stash to make everything that the budget was spent on goodies!

After that, I went to dinner with my dad and this is where the weekend gets exciting.  During dinner, I get a few texts from my Best Friend Jenn.  She was having boy drama and I asked if she wanted to come over and make cookies with me. I use a recipe from PeppermintPlum's Blog.  The cookies are basic sugar cookies but they need sour cream to make them soft and fluffy like Lofthouse Cookies.  Yummy.

Anyway, we need sour cream so after I left dinner I stopped at the store to get the sour cream.  I bought the container and got back in my car and.....

backed into another car.  My first accident after 10 years of driving.  I really had no clue what happened at first. I was moving pretty slow but my back bumper is all scrapped up and the other drivers car was equally scrapped.  So we exchanged information and shaken, I went home.

I told my dad and then called my insurance company to submit the claim.  In the mean time Jenn came over.  I had no desire to bake at that point and neither did she.

We talked about her boyfriend problems include the new guy she met the night before.  She told him through text that we were baking and he asked for a picture.  At this point, we had no intention of baking so I did what any friend would do and threw flour at her to show that "She had been baking" and stood her next to the stand mixer with a spatula.

And we are stirring the fake batter!
So then he asks what the cookies are and when she mentioned sugar cookies (with sour cream.  We cannot forget the accident inducing sour cream) he asks what shapes we are using to cut them out.  Which means we need to create another picture.

Nothing to see here just some supplies for cookie making

So snowmen and tree were the shape of the day!  Then while they texting back and forth, Jenn and I were worried that he would want to see the final product.  Since there were no cookies to falsify, I googled and took a picture of a picture on my tablet.

Why yes we made thee....

The trick was to find the cookies that really did look home made and the lighting that was closer to something that could be obtained with a phone camera.

Really, we had a great conversation while figuring out these pictures and I felt like I was 16 again.  As much as relationships can be challenging, exciting or heartbreaking.  I am so lucky to have such a great friend in Jenn.  I hope that we are still doing goofy things like this when we are old and senile, because then we will have a better excuse for why we do this crazy stuff.

<3 Heather

Saturday, December 1, 2012

2012 - November Recap

November has been a good month.  It was hard at the beginning but for once I didn't feel like it just flew by at light speed.

I am so proud of my work on various project and really have had good holidays so far. I can't wait to share more baking with all of you and just take a bunch of pictures of all of the festive activities through Christmas   Plus I have a trip to Anaheim to look forward to at the end of December!

<3 Heather

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

WIP Wednesday - Knitting for Christmas

Hello all, I was rather busy last week and just didn't get time to share an update with everyone.  I didn't have to cook the Turkey this year but my WIP Wednesday was spent on my biggest WIP of all.  Laundry.  I like clean clothes but I hate doing laundry.  You spend all day washing, drying folding and hanging and at the end of the day, the dirty clothes start to pile up again.

So my day off was spent running to and from the laundry room at my apartment and waiting on the cable guy.  I got a new set of boxes and it allows me to watch what I DVR'd in my bedroom which is a lovely thing!

Anyway, Thanksgiving was great.  I made more Cranberry Squares and a Pumpkin Bread Pudding with homemade caramel sauce.  Yummy.  I forgot to take pictures it was tasty.  Also I couldn't just follow the recipe and I doctored the recipe with Pecans and and Bourbon soaked Figs and Cranberries.

We went to my mom's best friend's house for dinner.  Becky and her sister Francy are my adopted aunts and are very special people in my life.  My mom and Becky met when they were five and have been friends ever since.  It was really nice to spend the holiday with them and I could really feel that my mom was with us that night.

The rest of the weekend was pretty mellow.  I didn't partake in Black Friday shopping because nothing was really worth the crowds and hassle this year so I stayed home.  I did intend to work on my research paper for my Grad school class but I didn't and procrastinated on that until Monday....the day it was due.  Oops ;).

In my procrastination I did get some knitting done so let's see what I got accomplished.

Hue Shift Afghan

Ooo Shiny Stripes!
From the last update, I got four more blocks done.  I have to say that each new block is my favorite, though I really like the peach squares so the next row should be fun.  The pink had a huge yarn barf in the skein and thanks to help from Samie yesterday we were able to de-tangle the skein.  I think it cause I travel with this project so much that pulling it in and out of my bag has something to do with all of the tangles.

Anyway, I love this blanket and it's so soft and drapey that I can't wait for it to be done to snuggle underneath it.

Justice League Filler Squares

I finished the orange one but haven't cast anything else on.  It looks really nice with the finished Justice League squares but I am happy to have my needles back to work on Batman!

Owl Fingerless Mittens


I cast on another project this week.  I needed to get a move on this as it's a gift and I have a deadline earlier than Christmas so they need to get done.  I am using a combination of the House Mittens with my Fingerless Modifications and the Owl Cable Knit Coffee Cozy.

I am holding off on finishing the thumb because I  want to match the light purple yarn so it doesn't look like it was added onto the stitches.   The owl is a little hard to see in the picture but it's so cute.  I hope the recipient likes them.

So that's it for me.  I wanted to knit more for Christmas but my ideas never formed on what to make people.  I guess I am a pretty selfish knitter that way.

For other WIPs check out Tami's Amis and Frontier Dreams   

<3 Heather

Monday, November 19, 2012

2012 Holiday Baking - Cranberry Squares

So here I am watching the CBS comedies and staring at a blank word document.

Yes, I am procrastinating.  I have a draft of my 20 page research paper due on next Monday and I haven't really started it.  I know it's a draft and the final isn't due until December but I want to get a  good start.

So instead of writing that I am writing up a recipe from the family vault.  Yes, procrastination is my friend :)

Like many families after generations, there are foods that just have to be at the holiday dinner.  For some it's pie, others a cookie recipe.  At Thanksgiving, we have to have cranberry squares.

These squares are tart and sweet with a hearty oatmeal crust.  I never know if it's a cookie or a side but its always there and everyone loves them.

Cranberry Squares
In fact, a few years ago, my mom accused me and my dad of sneaking a piece even though we hadn't.  I went up to ask if I could have a slice before I went back to my apartment and she turns to me and exclaims, "You and your dad already had a piece didn't you!  You're thick as thieves!"  Now I know that may sound accusatory but as soon as I started laughing she did too.

We went downstairs and told dad and really it was the family joke.  I think my dad swiped a chunk the last time she made them and so I was lumped into the blame.

The recipe card

The topping
The crust

Grandma Lily's Cranberry Squares:

2 Cups of Cranberries
1 Cup of Hot Water
1 Cup of Sugar
1/2 cup of chopped nuts

3/4 cup shortening
1 cup of brown sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 cup rolled oats

Cook the cranberries, water, sugar and nuts until all of the sugar has dissolved.

Cream the shortening and brown sugar.  Add baking soda, flour and oats.  Pat into a 9x13 inch pan.  Pour cooled cranberry mixture over the crust.

Bake at 375ยบ for 30 minutes.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

WIP Wednesday - Pops of Color

Hello all, I trust that you have had a great week!  

Sunday was the 1 year anniversary of losing my mom.  The day definitely had a pall of melancholy over it but it wasn't as bad as I anticipated.  I had planned to make a pie as Pumpkin from PumpkinSpins suggested but I took a nap after church instead.  As I have mentioned in past posts, the act of making those pies just relaxes me and reminds me of all of the amazing women in my family that I have lost, plus they are pretty tasty.  So when Pumpkin made the suggestion earlier in the month I knew it was the right way to remember my mom, alas time got away from me.  

Serious baking this year!  Peach Raspberry, Cherry and Apple

So this coming weekend, aside from Light Up Night and volunteering at Pittsburgh Indie Knit and Spin, the holiday baking will get started.  My friends are having a Friendsgiving to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday with their friends.  I am really excited because I can't remember the last time I was at a big gathering for the holidays.  Anyway, I want to take a dessert so I will probably make cranberry squares (family recipe I will share next week) I need to make something else as well.  If you have any suggestions, please let me know :).

Alrighty, now to my yarn progress.  Again I am entranced by the colors floating through the Hue Shift Afghan and that is what got worked on the most.

I am in love with the pink pop of color with the red!
So I am behind as today is the 14th and I only have 8 blocks done but whatever, knitting is supposed to be fun not a chore right.  

I think after I finish this row I am going to block it with Toothpicks for a challenge in Nerd Wars.  Then the pressure is off to get all 25 squares done and I can get some other things done as well.

Overall, I love this project.  I love watching the colors blend and meld into a great pattern and can't wait to finish this block.

Other Projects:

I did get a couple rows done on the Orange Justice League Filler Squares but it's nothing to really photograph. I am also working on a gift for my Secret Santa swap partner from Nerd Wars. I hope she likes it! At lunch I am going to get some more supplies and try and find awesome other things to stuff the box with.

So that's my progress this week, how about you?

For other WIPs check out Tami's Amis and Frontier Dreams   

<3 Heather

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

WIP Wednesday - Shifting Hues

Hello all, I had a great weekend.  Friday was low key but lovely as my family and I attended an All Soul's Day Mass.  They rang a bell and lit a candle for my Mother.  As expected it was challenging but it wasn't as hard as I anticipated.  Following that we went to dinner for an early birthday celebration for my Dad.

Saturday, we went to the casino and while I did not win anything my Dad won $200.  Beginners Luck :)

I had plans to get my Sock the Vote Socks done but that didn't happen, given all of those plans.

In other news, I am happy to be on the other side of elections now and no longer have to watch all of the political attack ads on TV.  While I am truly humbled by our right to vote and decide on the leaders of our country, states, and communities, those ads drive me bonkers.

Speaking of bonkers, I realized I have far to many projects going on right now but here is my update.

Hue Shift Afghan

Lots of ends to weave in.  :(

I managed keep up with my one a day goal and have 5 blocks finished and the 6th started.  I am pleased with how soft and smooshy the Stylecraft is working up and it doesn't squeak on the needles like some other acrylic does.

I have had a series of oopsies that have delayed my one a day progress.  I had to rip out the yellow and purple square because I miscounted and I had to throw in a life line and rip out most of the bright pink and purple square because I put the decrease in the wrong spot.  Let's hope those boo boos are behind me.

One thing this is helping is that I have to pick of stitches or cast on so it's abating my startits.  I get the rush of beginning something with every new square.

Overall, I think this is moving along well.  However, in the Knit A Longs and the forums, there are rumblings that the 100 grams of Brava may not be enough yarn for the whole blanket.  With Christmas coming up, I will work until I run out and then order again.

I can't believe I am saying this but I am glad my purple row is done because I got annoyed with seeing those stripes.  I can't wait to start the blues and greens.

STV Spiffy Iffy Peresphone's Return! Socks, Ohh Shapely Boyfriend, and  Justice League Filler Squares are stalled this week what with the allure of the Hue Shift Afghan.  I do plug away at a few rows of the Sweet Azalea Shawl and the Diagonal Lace Socks but no new photos to share. I need to work on that.

So wish me luck and hope that I can get out from under my WIP overload, how are you all fairing?

For other WIPs check out Tami's Amis and Frontier Dreams   

<3 Heather

Thursday, November 1, 2012

2012 - October Recap

Wow, another month flew.  I enjoyed this month for the most part.  My best friend provided the funniest weekend I have had in a while and I have finally gotten into a groove with my new projects at work.  While there was some drama in the family, it has at least resolved itself.

As I approach the anniversary of losing Mom, I am reflective.  I miss her so much but I have weathered this year and know I can handle things from here on out.  I am so proud of my dad.  I was worried about him but I think he is going to be alright too.

I had a bit of startitis this month and while I finished and posted about my biggest project to date, the others were not completed.

Well onto my mosaic. 

<3 Heather

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

WIP Wednesday - Happy Halloween!

Hello all, it has been a while since I blogged.  This has been a hectic month between busy at work, crashed hard drives, and family drama I just haven't had be able to fit blogging in.

I hope that those of you who were affected by Sandy are safe and the waters are receding   Speaking of Sandy, we have just gotten a ton of rain and the rivers and streams are flooding but no where near the levels that NY and NJ are facing.  As a result though, they have moved trick or treating to Saturday which is my Dad's birthday. We have plans to go to the casino for an American Cancer Society fundraiser and I get to meet my bestie's new boyfriend.

Anyway, between now and then is All Soul's Day and there is a service at church that will honor those who have passed away between the last All Soul's Day and this one, which includes my mother.  Please keep us in your thoughts because it's going to be a hard day.

But in the meantime of all of these goings on I have made some progress in my knitting that I would like to show you.

STV Spiffy Iffy Peresphone's Return! Socks

I have heels!
Well I am making good progress on the socks.  I love the pattern and doing socks 2 at a time is great because I know when I get to the toe the pair will be finished.  Anyway, I plan on getting the heel flap, turn and gusset done by the end of the week. The it's a mad dash to election day to get the foot finished.

Shapely Boyfriend

Raglan Cardi!
I know it may not look like much bu this is a top down raglan cardigan.  If you recall, this used to be my Karina Vest that I blogged about earlier in the year. I really was not feeling the pattern and ripped it out and started this cardigan.  I will need more yarn but I will cross that bridge when I get to it.  However, I am so amazed at how the leaning increases have been able to produce.  There is some serious Hogwarts magic that occurs when you knit.

I have to admit, that when I think about the name, the voice in my head sounds like Long Duck Dong from Sixteen Candles....Oh Shapely Boyfriend!!!!!

Justice League Filler Squares

Orange you glad I didn't say Banana?
So I am working on making a blanket with 6 Justice League Characters as an homage to an episode of Big Bang Theory.  I have Superman, Green Lantern, and Aquaman done but needed a mindless project for a car trip.  So I started on a filler square.  This one is half way done but I should be able to finish it soon.

Hue Shift Afghan

Two Little Blocks
I couldn't help but start this project.  I had some stylecraft stashed and  matched up the colors to the kit as best as possible and started.  Unfortunately, my gauge was wrong and I dropped a stitch so I decided to count this as a swatch and then restart the blocks on 11/1/2012 for the next round of nerd wars.  This blanket is made in 4 sections and if I make one square a day I can get a section done before the end of the round.  :)

Hue Shift Afghan from Knit Picks
So that is what's going on in my neck of the woods, how about you?

For other WIPs check out Tami's Amis and Frontier Dreams   

<3 Heather

Friday, October 12, 2012

Finsihed Object Friday - Superman Square

Well, it's not a bird or a plane, it's a Superman Square.  I have been working on several super hero squares throughout the year and I finished another one this week.  In the past, I made Aquaman and Green Lantern and this is the third in the series for a Justice League Blanket.

These squares play into my idea for a Justice League Blanket.  The blanket is made of 6 squares for super heroes and 6 solid color squares.  I really need to get on making those solid color squares.

While, I designed the previous squares, this one had an existing chart and so I dove in.  Really I started this guy for Tournament 5 of Nerd Wars but didn't finish it and was annoyed by the color work so I ripped it out and started over and resubmitted it for Tournament 6.

To say that I was annoyed by the colorwork did not begin to explain the pain this square was.  The black edging and little spots of color left holes in the square.  I had to go back and mend the holes to pull them together.  I think this is just the challenge of using 4 colors for detail and it may not have been as bad if I did it with only 2 colors.

I think it photographs well and it should be okay in the blanket but I had such high hopes after the other squares I made.

Check out more Finished Objects at Tami's Amis!

Pattern - Superman Logo Chart
Needles - Size 7/4.5 mm with 24 inch cables
Yarn - Comfort Solids & Heathers, in Primary Red, Primary Blue, Primary Yellow, Liquorice
Duration - 1 Week
Size - 60 stitches by 60 stitches
Gauge - 5 stitches per inch

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

WIP Wednesday - Kryptonite

Hello all, as I was about to write "I have been quite busy lately" I realize that is more the normal than being bored or boring.  While I haven't done anything considered exciting, work and life keep me pretty busy.

I went home to my parent's (I still never know the proper noun to use now) house this weekend to visit with my Dad and Gram.  She has been staying with Dad for a 2 months now but it's weird to see someone else beside my mom around the house.

Anyway, Dad and I met up with my mom's best friend and her sister.  Aunt Becky and Aunt Francy are not  related but are as good as family.  My mom and Becky met each other since they were five.  She is super awesome and I always love hanging out with them.

Honestly I can attribute a huge portion of my Nerdiness to them.  Aunt Francy had me watching Mystery Science Theater 3000 and other science ficition shows as a child.  My favotite was when MST3000 did Gozilla vs Mothra!  Bring out the butter!

So between that and cleaning and sewing my weekend was pretty jam packed.

So following the weekending, I really cranked it into gear with my knitting.  Nerd Wars is on and I am determined to get a few things done each month.  In the mean time, I am also moonlighting as the team's blogger.  Check out my posts here.

Aside from being focused on some projects, I have to say that I am trying to get to bed earlier to get up earlier.  So far, not so good.  Ten, Eleven and Mid night come around and I am just so close to finishing my project that I just go a little bit more.  Crafting is really my Kryptonite.

So let's look at what's keeping me up late:

Superman Square

Will Superman save me from the Kryptonite?
After being ripped out once, I am really just ready to get this thing done.  I have some follow up work where there are gaps and holes but it's coming along.  I think it looks nicer in picture than in person but then again I see the holes that haven't tightened up yet.  This should be done tonight.

Diagonal Lace Socks 

So this is my car project.  I have to go through a detour on my way home from work.  What is a 15-20 minute trek to work become 45 minutes on the way home thanks to a bridge backing up.  So I sit through a few lights and am at a complete stop between so I use the time to knit.  Now I wouldn't cast on in the car or do the gusset and heel but the foot and cuff sections are perfect.  To see what it looks like completed, here is the other sock.

Sock #1
So that's what has been my focus this week, what have you been up too?

For other WIPs check out Tami's Amis and Frontier Dreams   

<3 Heather

Friday, October 5, 2012

Finished Object Friday - Gryffindor Knit Set

Gryffindor,Where dwell the brave at heart!

My fellow knitters, I should have known.  Really I suspected but I was naive to the amount of Gryffindor spirit required to embark on a journey of House Color Coordinates.  I honestly thought if I worked on it a lot it wouldn't take too long.  I started at the beginning of March and just this week finished the entire set of Gryffindor items.  

The Finished Set

I made the scarf, hat and wristlets in stunning Burgundy and Gold for the daughter of my boss.  She was graduating high school and going to college and I initially thought to make the items in her new school colors but she wanted Gryffindor Burgandy and Gold.  I wanted to make these items as a reminder of a new adventure in college and to have a piece of Harry by her as she faces the triumphs and challenges of this new experience.  Needless to say, she is already at college but winter is coming and these are just in time.

As an avid Potter fan, I had always wanted to make a set but I myself identify with Hufflepuff.  I am honest and hard working and just want everyone to get along.  The Hufflepuff colors are black and gold and here in Western PA, those colors mean a different thing entirely (Let's Go Steelers!).  I wanted to make something iconic from the films and so making the Gryffindor Set for someone as deserving as Katherine was a treat.

So here are the different parts of the set,

The Gryffindor Scarf!

The scarf (and subsequent pieces) is modeled after the stripe pattern in the later movies particularly Movies 3 and 4.  I think it has a very adult feel and would work well for a college student.each section has 29 rows of K1P1 ribbing in burgundy followed by an 8 row stripe pattern. There are 14 sets of stripes and 15 burgundy sections which equal 547 rows of knitting.  To go further, each row has 60 stitches, totaling 32,820 stitches.  That all results in over 6 ft of yarn!

This was a beast in fact, knitting the end of it during August was a bit uncomfortable because the hot summer and the warm wool blend.  I got it down that in one knit night on Thursday (round 3 hours) I could get one section complete.


I made the fringe a combination of both the burgundy and the gold because I felt that it really set off the scarf nicely.

The Gryffindor Hat!

I really liked working on this hat (perhaps because it only took 2 weeks).  In the entire set, this was by far the most mindless.  Perhaps it was due to past experience with knitting hats or just the nice round after round of stockinette.  Unlike the scarf where I kept meticulous notes of rows and can then calculate the stitch count, this was more of a wingged effort.

I cast on 128 stitches which was more stitches that it called for to make a large and slouchy hat.  I worked the ribbing for 10 rows and then in stockinette until the body was 6 inches from the cast on edge.  I made the same 8 stitch patter and then did the written decreases after 8 inches from the CO edge.

The result is a lovely but modern version of the beanie from the movies.

The Gryffindor Wristlets!

The pattern was actually mittens but in the age of smart phones and touch screens, this would not be a practical item for our college bound grad.  Instead I modified the pattern and made fingerless wristlets.  I am so please with this pattern that it might be my go to for any fingerless wristlets going forward without the Harry Potter Pattern.

I have to say that when I initially looked at the pattern the thought of dropping off stitches onto scrap yarn and then picking them up again was a bit daunting but I think after socks nothing is unusual anymore.

I did however make a boo boo.  I made the first attempt but placed the increases on the thumb seam instead of the crease between the pointer finger and thumb.  When I went to make the second wristlet, I realized my mistake far to late.  I finished the wristlet and then cast on another one.  These in total took about 4 evenings of work.  Not bad considering the 45 hours needed for the scarf.

I plan on writing up my modifications on the rav page if you are interested in seeing where I deviated.

So there you have it.  My completed set, I am please as punch at the result and my boss (AKA Katherine's Mom) is so pleased with the result.  I am sure she will be too...hopefully I will get a picture!

Check out more Finished Objects at Tami's Amis!

<3 Heather

Now for the Details:

Ravelry Page - Hogwarts Scarf: - Gryffindor
Needles - Size 7/4.5 mm with 24 inch cables
Yarn - 
3.5 Skeins of Plymouth Yarn Encore Worsted in 999 - Burnt Sienna
0.5 Skeins of Plymouth Yarn Encore Worsted in 1014 - Butternut
Duration - 45 hours of Work
PatternHouse Scarves - Year-3-4 from Charmed Knits

Ravelry Page - Hogwarts Beanie - Gryffindor
Needles - Size 5/3.75 mm Double Pointed Needles
Yarn - 
0.88 Skeins of Plymouth Yarn Encore Worsted in 999 - Burnt Sienna
0.05 Skeins of Plymouth Yarn Encore Worsted in 1014 - Butternut
Duration - 45 hours of Work
Pattern - House Hats from Charmed Knits

Ravelry Page - Hogwarts Wristlets - Gryffindor
Needles - Size 5/3.75 mm double pointed needles
Yarn - 
0.62 Skeins of Plymouth Yarn Encore Worsted in 999 - Burnt Sienna
0.05 Skeins of Plymouth Yarn Encore Worsted in 1014 - Butternut
Duration - 45 hours of Work
Pattern - House Mittens from Charmed Knits