Friday, February 24, 2012

Finished Object Friday - Green Merlot Hat

Oi, this week has been really busy.  I had an exam to prep for and take on Wednesday and now I am preparing for a conference I am presenting at tomorrow.  I have a presentation to write and other tasks to get done.  I enjoy busy weeks and I hope to share that with everyone more as well as all of my crafting goodness. 

We are here again at finished object Friday and while I haven't made a ton of headway on some of the WIPs I talked about on Wednesday and I started another one last night [oops :-) ].  I do have a project that I finished very early Saturday morning (like 1 AM early).  You may remember this post from the beginning of the month and I updated a bit throughout the month as well but now it's done. 

That's me.  Don't you love my new glasses?
I planned on taking another picture cause I was having a good hair day yesterday but time slipped away from me and I have 4 WIPs going on and stack of books calling my name so I didn't get a new picture.

This hat was a really easy knit and I will definitely make it again but I think I will cast on more stitches to make it a bit bigger and looser.  It's supposed to be slouchy but it's more form fitting than slouchy.  [Or maybe I have a bigger head than I thought ;-)]

Aren't the buttons adorable?

I may have mentioned but green is my favorite color.  I love spring or kelly green.  It tends to be flattering and brings out the green in my eyes.  I also have wristlets in  my queue to go with the hat but I want to get some other stuff done first.  I do have the yarn though and I think it compliments the hat well, don't you?

Sour Apple from Candy Skein

In other news, I do hope to expand my content a bit. Here are some details on what's to come (don't you just love lists?)
  1. I am going to try and capture what I am reading.  I read so quickly that taking pictures about it will really require me to be on top of things. 
  2. More cooking and baking.  I must remember to keep my camera with me at all times! 
  3. I hope to talk more about my memories and upcoming adventures.
  4. Pictures.  I have a new camera and I need to get out there and find awesome stuff and capture it
Until next time, here are some awesome finished objects from other bloggers found on Tami's Amis' Blog  Check them out!

<3 Heather

Green Merlot Hat:

My additional details and notes are found here

Patten - Merlot (can also be found on the Author's Website)
Needles - Size 8/5 mm with 16 inch cables and Size 8 double needles
Yarn - King Cole Merino Aran Yarn in Green (Note this did make my bamboo needle tips green as well) Used about 75 g of yarn
Duration - Little more than 1 month (Set aside to finish baby blanket so probably 5 nights work)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

WIP Wednesday - Socks, Vests and Legos, OH MY

We are here again for another WIP Wednesday!  I love these days because not only do I get to share with you my progress but I get to check out what everyone else is doing and get inspired for more WIPs.  It's a lovely cycle.

I have a couple WIPs today, first here is an update on my sock from last week.

My First Sock!

I have another half inch done.  I love the yarn it is so soft and smooth and I really like how the 2X2 Ribbing is working up but I have been neglect of my sock at this time for another project.

As I wrote about on Monday, Sam and I took a knitting class to learn how to make the Karina Vest. We mainly took the time to swatch on Saturday but I worked on the pattern this week.  I started the ribbing but screwed up the knit 1 purl 1 pattern and ripped it out and started again.  Here is the work I have done so far:

Karina Vest
It really shows up pink in this light but it's a lovely orange Berroco Vintage Chunky in Pumpkin and it is so soft.  I just can't seem to put this project down. I still have a ways to go but I did the first 2 sets of shaping decreases and I checked my gauge and I am still right on track!

Next, I wanted to show you the new baby blanket I am working on.  I found this pattern on Pinterest and fell in love.  Really go check out the site and then come back.

Alright, welcome back :)  I mean how adorable is that lego blanket.  I have a friend who is due in a month and asked if she would like me to make the blanket.  I got an enthusiastic yes, so I went out and bought the yarn and set to work.

Aren't they adorable!  I did have to make a couple before I got the gauge but I really can't wait to get more colors to show you.  Alas, this had been on hold until I finish my exam today but I hope to get like 2-4 done a night.

Here are all of the WIPs, notice anything missing from last week?

You will have to just wait and see what I have in store for you on Friday!

As always, check out other WIPs at Tami's Amis

<3 Heather

Monday, February 20, 2012

Sam and Heather's Most Excellent Knitting Adventure!

I feel like this intro needs some air guitar #enernenrenrnerne#.  Anyway, goofy mood aside this week in Sam and Heather's Most Excellent Knitting Adventure takes us to Knit One in Pittsburgh, PA for a knitting lesson.  We both bought Living Social deals for a 2 hour advanced beginner's class in knitting.

our table during our lesson

Now, when we bought these I had finished the Penguin Hat and Sam hadn't tried knitting before so when I went to get the yarn for myself and Samie's Christmas Gift I asked what we needed to know for the class.  She said, we need to be able to knit and purl, cast on and bind off.  I passed along this information to Sam and she went wild with dishcloths and more dishcloths to be ready for our lesson.

Anyway, after several reschedules we finally had our lesson (During an intense hockey game too.  Alas, what I do for my knitting.).  We were early so we worked on some of our other WIPs but then we were able to get started. First we had a lot of yarn to wind.
Samie and our instructor Wendy!

We got to learn how to load the Swift

And the Yarn Winder!  I got pretty good at it

Anyway, once the lesson got started we started our gauge swatch and we all learned 2 things.

  1. A gauge swatch help you to do the math to make the pattern work out.  
  2. I cannot knit and hold a conversation.

Exhibit A
As you can see there is a hole in my swatch and I have a ridge in the material because I knitted where I should have purled.  I can watch hockey and talk to my dad while knitting but I can't talk to other knitters.  But really I am happy to understand the importance of a gauge swatch because we had some serious edits to do on the pattern for it to fit right and the swatch helped to understand the math.

There were other beginner classes going during the time we were there and they were learning how to knit a scarf.  I am super happy we chose the advanced beginner class.

Overall, my lovely Pumpkin Berroco Vintage Chunky yarn is amazing!  It is so soft and cuddly.  I am really excited to get this pattern going but I have an exam on Wednesday and all yarn craft must come to a stand still while I study.  Never fear, I have posts in the works for everyone!

I realized today, as I wrote this that I made homemade lasagna for my dad this weekend and didn't take any pictures for the blog.  Bad Blagger!  I will try and remember for next weekend!

Until next time.  Air Guitar out #nrterenenrennenr#

<3 Heather

Friday, February 17, 2012

Finished Object Friday - Oh My Goodness, It's Done!

That is how I felt this week when I finally finished this project.  I started it back on Halloween and really everything kind of went down hill in November so I didn't get much done.  After my mom died, I really just didn't do anything until late January early February.  The bad thing is that this blanket was made for my friend Sarah's baby who was born on December 13.

As I got back into crafting and started this blog, I set a deadline for myself of February 3rd but that came and went.  I guess better late than never!

V-stitch Baby Blanket

I am so happy to share this with you as really this is the first blanket I have ever finished. I started another baby blanket and hated the pattern and didn't finish it.  The baby will be 8 months old.  Gah.

So this blanket is Little V-Stitch Blanket from Lion Brand.  It calls for cotton ease but when I took the mom to be to the store to pick out the colors we didn't like the cotton ease color pallet so I made this out of Lily's Sugar 'n Cream in the Jewel Ombre.  It has teal, light green, lavender, and dark purple all running through it and the pools of color came out great.

I love the colors in this thing.
I plan on washing it before I gift it to my friend.  I think it will soften up a bit in the wash and I have been sick so I don't want to pass along those germs to the new baby.

In other news, I thought this might be a double finished object Friday because I am so close to finishing a hat but I went to a local yarn store last night instead to do some reconnaissance for a project in the queue. I also got confirmation of a pattern for another friend's baby so there is a lot of stuff in the works in Amaryills world.  So exciting!

Check out other amazing and awesome finished objects over at Tami's Amis Blog

V-Stitch for Ella Baby Blanket:
Hook - US 9/I or 5.5mm
Yarn - Lily's Sugar 'n Cream in Jewel's Ombre (4.25 skeins)
Duration - 3 months but it was start and stop work during that time (probably 8 evenings worth of work all together)

For the details on Ravelry and my notes during the project check out the project page here

<3 Heather

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

WIP Wednesday - My First Socks!

I am so excited to share a new WIP with everyone.  Last night I finished the baby blanket and am finally able to focus on my other projects.  I know I have said I have craft ADD but I needed to get that baby blanket done so I wouldn't let myself work on other things.  Granted, I did read a bunch to avoid working on it from time to time but you will all get to see the finished product on Friday.

Today however, I give you my first socks!

Isn't the color pretty!
 I really love the color its Shalimar Yarn Breathless in Tequila Sunrise.

My first socks!
I only have about an inch done but they seem to be coming along nicely.   I am using Silver's Sock Class to learn how to make the things.  I am worried that I will have one sockitis but I will cross that bridge when I get to it.  Perhaps sharing with all of you will keep me going on this project.

You may have noticed that I am knitting on size 2 needles with a 9" circular cable.  I like this method so far, as I am a little leery about double pointed needles and magic loop seems a little scary to the untested.  I will let you know how this goes along but I am liking the results so far.

I have to admit, I am annoyed at myself with the ribbing.  I can knit at a decent pace when I knit continental but I haven't mastered purling in continental so I am throwing and the progress is a little slow going.  I guess good things come to those who wait, so this will really test my patience.

In other WIP news I am working on my Merlot Hat and it made some nice progress last night as well granted DK does work up faster than fingering.  It was strange going from Size 2 needles to Size 8, they felt so clumsy in my hands.

Oh how I love this green!
As always check out other WIP's Tami's Amis Blog!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Month of Craft - Day 8 thru Day 12

Not only did I get out the Knit and Crochet festival this past weekend but I caught up on taking some pictures for the Month of Craft Project.  I have had a great time with this challenge and am really trying to take the pictures now instead of using older pictures that I have.  Anyway, here are days 8 thru 12.

Day 8 - Challenging

Celtic Cables Dishcloth

So I found my WIP for Cables to be challenging.  Not that making the cables was challenging, just the need for concentration and paying attention is challenging.  I used cotton and it really didn't have much give but I plan to attack this pattern again and try to get it to stand out.  Also I accidentally did 2 rows twice and that was when I decided to frog the pattern.  I know now I need to make notes and journal while doing these projects.

Day 9 - Your Hands

Working on Silver's Sock Class
I got a couple new gadgets (post coming shortly!) so taking this picture was a lot easier than the "you in action" prompt from Day 1.

Anyway, I have to comment that I love nail polish.  I usually either have a manicure or at least my nails painted, but I am guilty of letting it chip away for a while (GASP!)  Anyway, I am pretty handy at painting my own nails and can even do a decent job on the dreaded right hand.  This nail polish is from Essie and the color is called Lion Around.  I love it.  I tend to gravitate toward deep colors and stay away from pastels but this one is just the right amount of color to make me happy.

As noted on the caption, I am working on Silver's Sock Class in Tequila Sunrise from Breathless by Shalimar Yarns

Also, the purple band is from the Knit and Crochet Fest.

Day 10 - Your Craft Bag

My mom made me a craft bag.  I really like it and it holds a couple of projects and my bag of needles and hooks.  I mentioned that I wanted a bag and the next weekend this was made.  I didn't quite like the bag at first but it really grew on me.

I realize now that I didn't always appreciate all of the little things that my mom did for me.  I look around my apartment and see the curtains, pillows, and blankets she made.  I see the lamps she found for me when I moved to my first apartment and the appliances I got for holidays and birthdays.  She was kind of awesome and I really did have a great mom.

Day 11 - A WIP

Noro Plaid Project

I have craft ADD and have like 6 WIPs going on but I couldn't help but grab this one for the photo because the colors are so vibrant and beautiful.

Day 12 - A Crafty Gift

I made this scarf for my Friend Jenn but never got it to her.  Now that St. Patrick's Day is coming around again, I hope to get her this scarf.

So what do you think?  I personally can't wait for my recap at the end of the month to show you all of the pictures!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Pittsburgh Knit and Crochet Festival

We had a snowy weekend here but it was perfect for a day spent shopping for yarn and wool.  Samie from Not Your Gram's Afghan I went to the Pittsburgh Knit and Crochet Festival.

Of course, I went with a budget but really that went out the window when I saw all of the artizen hand dyed yarn.

I found a few lovely and adorable patterns.

Unwind: Yarn House Soft Owl Pillow

The Wonderful Wallaby and Cozy from the Toe Up, Crochet by Faye
Crochet by Faye had some really lovely stuff at her table.  I wanted to buy all of her books and try all of the patterns.  Really her stuff was adorable and youthful and she's from the Pittsburgh Area.

Look at some of the beautiful yarn we saw from Ball and Skein.  

Samie and I realized we really needed to get out of our color comfort zones.  I love bright greens and blues and Samie loves pinky purples so we made a decision to look for yarns we could not get in local stores in colors we don't generally gravitate toward.

So we both found some lovely yarn from SpaceCadet Creations which is also based out of the Pittsburgh Area.

 All of the yarn was beautiful and I loved all of the greens but I settled on a lovely rose color.

Overall, here is a shot of everything that I got at the festival.  I really think these are some brands that I plan on using again and again.  And really these are lovely yarns that I can't wait to make lovely things with them.

I really wished I could show the multitude of pictures from the day but visit Samie's site to check out what she had to say about the day.  Samie's Post

Also please make sure you check out the sites I listed for the yarns I bought!  Listed below is a compiled list.

<3 Heather

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Month of Craft - Day 3 thru Day 7

Hello all, things are kind of slow here this week, since things are kinda busy right now at work.  Anyway I thought that I would update you all on my progress on the  Month of Craft Photo Challenge.  I realized today that I haven't been true to the challenge and have been using some pictures I took in the past rather than snapping pictures each day.  Opps!  I will try and correct it in the future but for now here is what I have.

Day 3 - An Old Finished Object

Penguin Hat
You probably recognize this from a previous post but I couldn't help but reuse it and share it again.  Plus, I no longer have it in my possession.

Day 4 - Inspiration Outdoors

Skagit Valley Tulip Festival, April 2010
Again I used an older picture but I love this picture and I am so impressed when I pull something off so amazing with my little old point and shoot.  I was visiting a friend in Seattle, Wa and we made the 60 mile trip north to check it out.  It was almost the end of the season but it was still amazing and beautiful.  One of my travel goals is to get to Holland for their Tulip Festival.  Plus in finding the links to share, I also found festivals in Ottawa and Albany in May.  I may have to plan a trip.

Day 5 - Notions

Penguin Stitch Marker

Okay, so of course I love Penguins and this one was just darling.  I took this picture on my new camera and applied a few edits for brightness.  F 5.6, ISO 100 and Shutter 1/200.

Day 6 - Color

Taken at Pike Place Market, Seattle Wa, April 2010
Another old picture but it's so hard to find color during such a dreary time.  Anyway I have a ton of orange stuff queued up that really this is a huge inspiration.  Again they are tulips and I took a ton of pictures of the bouquets they had for sale because the colors were so rich and lush.

Day 7 - Materials

Yarn for Granny Square Blanket
So I bought this yarn about a year ago because it was on sale and I had just gotten back into crocheting.  I was really into it and loved the colors and planned on making a huge blanket.  That blanket still unfinished.  Love the yarn and the colors but it wasn't a captivating project.  Anyway, this is a picture from when I took pictures for my stash on ravelry.

Tomorrow's prompt is "challenging" and perhaps I will photograph my cables tonight.  Maybe there is something else that will catch me eye.

While I do feel guilty about using old pictures it still excites me that I get to share these old ones with you.  Some day I will share other pictures from my travels but  that is another blog post.

<3 Heather

Friday, February 3, 2012

Change of Plans

Hello all, this post was supposed to be a FO of a baby blanket I am working on for a friend's baby.  I started before the baby was born but didn't get it done in time for the birth so now I just want to get it to the baby before their first birthday.  Truthfully, I enjoy all of my crafts but I have such ADD when it comes to projects.  I work best with clear deadlines and expectations to meet them, but having plans to write posts is a great motivator.

This is an in progress shot of the blanket.
I am really annoyed with myself for not finishing but I did work on something so the night was not lost.  I started to learn how to do cables and while completely scared of the things, I am realizing they are really easy.

I really got the confidence after reading this post and this post from Misadventures in Craft that I found a washcloth pattern to practice cabling.  Really she has a point that if you don't have preconceived notions about doing the "hard" things in knitting or crochet they really aren't that hard.  Challenging yes but not that hard.

It's hard to see in the white but there are the cables :)

It's definitely flawed but I am so happy that I can finally see the pattern.  One thing I was surprised about was that working with the ecru was like working with black, after awhile I was so frustrated because I couldn't see the pattern forming.  This morning it looked better though. I shall update the progress as I knit along til I get a FO.

In other news, I decided to participate in the Month of Craft Photos on Flickr.  I figured that I have a new fancy camera and would be taking pictures for the blog anyway so what could it hurt.  Below are the daily prompts and my first 2 shots.

Daily Prompts
Day 1 - You in Action
Day 2 - Craft Tools
So there you have it, 2 days down and 27 more to go.  I am really excited to work on my composition and make great exposures.

Hope you have a good weekend!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Are you ready for some FOOTBALL!

There are a few most wonderful times of the year.
  • Christmas (Obviously) 
  • Hockey Playoffs (Hello hockey is on every night for like 2.5 months)
  • March Madness (I love college basketball)
  • Back to School time (Schools Supplies are my kryponite)
  • And...

I can really care less about who is playing (that's a lie because I love the Steelers but what can I do) but I love this weekend.  Good food, good friends and lots of awesome commercials.  

Anyway, I thought I would reminse about Super Bowls past.  Back in 1995, the Steelers went to Super Bowl 30 and we had a party to celebrate.  Mom was in charge of the food and the decorations but after we lost we told her she was not allowed to watch the big games because we think she jinxed us.  She really didn't care because she hated football.

Then in college, the Steelers were doing pretty well.  Here is a picture of me watching the AFC championship game in my dorm room.  My roomie Lucy so kind took a pic while I was swearing at the Patriots.

And being caught on camera...

Then the next year, we won the Super Bowl but the playoff games leading up to the super bowl were insane.  I mean I couldn't watch I would run out of the room into the bedroom and have my roomie tell me what was going on.  Mind you, Lucy had no idea what was going on, so I would run back out.  I think I wore a hole in the carpet.

When we did win, the whole college town rioted and of course I was in the thick of it, luckily Lucy took pictures of people burning a couch on our lawn.

Of course I ran out without a coat and it was snowing
Meanwhile, I was making my way to the heart of campus with all of the screaming fans.  It was one of the best memories of my life until the groups started wrecking havic and destroying things.  I realized it was time to go.

A couple years later, the Steelers went back again and some friends had a party.  It was fine but by the end I couldn't take it and I left before it was over.  My rationale was that I listened to the entire season on the radio in my car, so I needed to get there to reverse the jinx I was creating.  As soon as I started the car, the Steelers scored.  Granted my friends still make fun of me for "peacing out" before the game was over.  I also didn't partake in any riots but it was a good time.

Last year the Steelers were in the Super Bowl again and another party was held and again I left early.  Can't really remember why now but I did.

Granted, I do watch the other one's but they are mainly low key events with some food and people but alas, there are not pictures from these later Super Bowls.  

Hope you have a good weekend and don't do anything I wouldn't do!

<3 Heather

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

WIP Wednesday - If anyone orders Merlot, I'm leaving.

I could not help quoting Sideways when talking about my current WIP the Merlot Hat.  I hinted at it in earlier posts but wanted to talk about the details of this project.

Samie from over at Not Your Gram's Afghan bought me Green King Cole Merino Blend Aran for Christmas and I chose to make a hat with it.  After scouring for a while on Ravelry to find a nice hat that I could knit and would work with my yarn I found the Merlot Pattern.

Overall, the pattern has been easy to follow and making the twisted rib was interesting and challenging enough to capture my attention.  The rib is really nice and more present that the basic rib that I did for the Penguin Hat.

Anyway, I am now working on the Make Ones to get the hat to be a bit slouchy.

Overall, I have been neglecting my knitting in favor of reading a ton and I really need to get a baby blanket done as well but I couldn't help but cast it on.  And really, I like this Merlot so there is no need to leave.

Also don't forget to check out the other WIPs at Tami's Amis

For more details please visit my Ravelry project page here

<3 Heather