Sunday, April 29, 2012

Crafting Balance - 3KCBWDAY7

Welcome again to the Knit and Crochet Blog Week, Day 7!  As we round out the last day of the Knit and Crochet blog week, we are asked to talk about our crafting balance.  

Details and Image care of eskimimi makes
What an interesting topic to round out the week.  In general, I am a newbie to the crafts. I re-learned to crochet in 2008 and have completed several projects.

Scarves, Squares, Blankets and Amigurumi!

But last summer I was enchanted by a knit hat and really haven't looked back.

When I started this hat, I didn't know how to cast on, knit, purl, knit in the round or do color work but the challenge of knitting was something that forced me to keep learning.

Since that time I have made another hat, started half a dozen other projects, finished socks....


You know as I look at my WIPs and things that I have planned, I have turned into more of a knitter than a crocheter. I love both equally but it really depends on what projects capture my attention.

I really love both, I feel a connection to my great-grandmother when I crochet. I feel challenged when I work on knitting crazy socks and garments. I know I will balance both as need as I craft into my future.

<3 Heather

Check out other great pictures by searching for 3KCBWDAY7

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Improving Your Skillset - 3KCBWDAY6

Welcome again to the Knit and Crochet Blog Week, Day 6!  Here are the details about today's topic.

Details and image care of eskimimi makes

So I actually had a bit of a realization lately.  I was surfing through some beginner knitter forums on Ravelry.  I looked at the threads and topics and realized, that I was no longer a beginner.  In my knitting, I have knit in the round, fair isled, knit socks and cables.

I know I am not an expert by any means but I think that this is a a practice and I need to be challenged by new patterns and new techniques.  After I get some of my WIPs done, I plan on starting some socks from the toe up as well as more patterned socks.  I also want to do more color work.  I love these crafts because there is still so much to do.

<3 Heather

Check out other great pictures by searching for 3KCBWDAY6

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Craft Your Perfect Day - 3KCBWWC

Welcome again to the Knit and Crochet Blog Week, Day 3! Today's topic was to talk about your knitting and crochet hero.  I really don't have one so I decided to take a walk on the wild side and do the Wild Card topic.Here are the details about today's topic. 

Details and Image care of eskimimi makes
So what would be my fantasy day.  I really think that I spend some days on the weekends just crafting so that doesn't really count.  I think instead I will think outside of the crocheted square and hop in a Blue Police Box and go about 20 years in the future.  Yes that is what I will do.

Image from Wikipedia

April 25, 2032

Today, I decided to take a day off. The kids are at school, the husband at work and I just needed some me time. I am forgoing things on my to list. Laundry, dishes, vacuuming, dusting and cleaning can all stay on hold. Instead, I get in my hover car and fly over to the local yarn store and purchase ye old wool nylon blend sock yarn.

I browse and squeeze all of the yarns and eventually pick up a lovely emerald green yarn to make socks. I make my purchase. Grab a health tonic and hover back home.

As I get to my craft room. I pull out the boxes and totes with my knitting supplies and get to work winding the yarn and casting on. As I get settled on the window seat in the room, I pull out the extra pair of hands and start reading a book. These animatronic arms attach to my body and through electric impulses from my brain turn pages like my real arms and hands which are currently clicking away on the first sock. All the while watching vintage episodes of the 2013 Stanley Cup Finals where the Pens beat the Canucks for the cup.

As the time passes, I enjoy a relaxing afternoon doing nothing and everything at the same time.

<3 Heather

Check out other great pictures by searching for 3KCBWWC or 3KCBWDAY3

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Photography Challenge - 3KCBWDAY2

Welcome again to the Knit and Crochet Blog Week, Day 2! Here are the details about today's topic.

Details and image care of eskimimi makes

So without further ado, I present the Yarn Loving Penguins!

Meet the Penguins!

Now these guys decided to take over my blog today.  I really had no choice because look at how much fun they are having swimming in yarn.

It all started on an expedition to find the lost mojo of the Pittsburgh Penguins.  Alas, I met these fellas a little to late for my beloved hockey team but they did endear me to their native habitat.

Welcome to our home!

The snow covered earth was cool and bright but these guys would not be deterred.  They reassured me that my Penguins while amazing were not meant to win the Stanley Cup this year but with a healthy lineup next year the sky was the limit.  Funny how the sky is the limit for a flock of flightless birds, but I digress.

After a brief reprieve, I sat down to observe the penguins and pulled out my WIP.  They loved my yarn and proceeded to steal it to nest.  They jump and dove through it as if they were in the ocean.

I've got my Eye on you!

Some of the penguins got embarrassed of others actions and proceeded to give the exuberant bunch the evil eye.  I reassure the penguins that it was okay and soon found out that they were born as stitch markers but were released to the wild.  Finding yarn is a rare occurrence and some were just more excited than others.

Since I didn't like the blue boucle yarn, I decided to leave it with the penguins.  They were so happy that everyone soon was in the yarn pool.

Think my crazy penguins are neat, consider nominating me for the Photography Challenge!

<3 Heather

Check out other great pictures by searching for 3KCBWDAY2

Monday, April 23, 2012

Color Lovers - 3KCBWDAY1

Hello!  It's Knit and Crochet Blog Week 2012!  This week will feature topics related to knitting and crochet from various bloggers around the world.

Today's topic is Color!

As I looked over my stash I realized that I really like all of the colors.

I love using bright primary colors for baby blankets!

My WIP LEGO Baby Blanket 

I love crocheting blanket squares in as many colors as possible!

Vanna's Choice Spring Ahead Swap

I love buying yarn in so many colors it makes my head spin!

Look at all of the pretty colors!

While, I have only been knitting and crocheting for about 4 years,  I have noticed some trends in my yarn purchases.  I tend to buy saturated colors.  No pastels for me.  I don't look good in pastels so why make something that I can never wear?   I also noticed that I do buy a lot of green yarn.  Green is my favorite color, so why should't I buy my favorite color.

I love this yarn!

But I also love Orange!  I made my first socks in a lovely peachy orange yarn that was great to work with and the socks are so comfy.

Don't these look like a sunset?
So what does it all mean? Why do I like color so much?  I think it's because there is color everywhere.  I remember in art class our teacher telling us that the clouds are not white, in fact they are everything but white.  At that moment I really started to look at colors in a new way.  I notice the undertones, the highlights and the shades that make every color unique, that is why I like color so much.

Yes, I may like bright and saturated colors but really I am just trying to capture a bit of the world around me and bring it inside when I knit or crochet.

This was taken in Washington at a Tulip Festival
Who doesn't love a rainbow?  Or a field of flowers?  Or bright blue skies?  Or breathtaking sunsets?

So I use what I love and I love colors that make me happy.  Because there can always be a little more happiness in the world!

<3 Heather

Please visit eskimimi makes for more information about the blog week or search 3KCBWDAY1 for other great posts!

Hockey Heartache

If your visiting the site for the 2012 Blog and Crochet Week, check out my post on color!

While I don't typically post twice in one day, my  heartache for the Pens loss and series loss to the Flyers is fresh and needs airing out.

Picture of the Consol Energy Center Scoreboard from 2010 Training Camp

Last Monday, I posted about my hockey hangover but at the time there was still hope with another game to be played.  In that time, the fans picked up the team by its boot straps and BELIEVED in the 23 guys that make up the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The Pens went on to Win 2 more games and yesterday afternoon, they had a chance to tie the series and push it to 7 games.  Now, let me say that winning 4 in a row either in a sweep or in a comeback is hard work but I believed.

As I have said in the past, you have to have hope when your a sports fan.  That really is the wonder of being a fan is that miraculous comeback that you can tell your kids about 20 years from now.  I believe in our team and even though they are going to play golf instead of another series, I would still rather have them than the Flyers.

Now with some time from the loss, I have this thought.  If we played another series of 7 the Pens would win, and if we played another series the Flyers would win.  These 2 teams are so evenly matched that really it's a coin flip.  Does this make the frustration and heartache any easier?  No, not at all but someone has to win and someone has to lose.

I also think that while the Flyers did win, I feel that the Pens beat themselves more.  Their defense was lacking.  Their penalty kill which was one of the top units in the league, let in to many goals.  They stopped playing Pens hockey, let their emotions rule the game for 3 games and had a slug fest.

I will still keep track of the scores and watch games here and there because I am a fan of the sport not just my team.  I hope the St. Louis Blue make it to the Cup Finals from the West and will probably be who I will  cheer for.

As far as the Flyers, Dan Bylsma said it best yesterday after the game, "I want to congratulate the Flyers and their organization on the series win, but I can't wish them luck though"


</3 Heather

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

WIP Wednesday - Method to My Madness

Hello all, it has been a particularly busy week this week but I did manage to cast on some new items and get a good progress on other projects.

Progress Picture for 4/18/2012

The following projects are what has been worked on recently.  Starting with Cabled Square, Gryffindor Scarf, LEGO Blanket, Falling Water, Gryffindor Beret, and White Centered Granny Square Blanket.  (Missing is the Hummingbird Sock)

Really looking at that picture is very intimidating and I wonder what I got myself into.  But I do have a reason for some of my madness :)

The Cabled Square was really just a test knit for cables and I was using Lily's Sugar and Cream Cotton but realized that I loathe knitting in cotton.  Crochet is perfectly fine but I just hate knitting with it.  So I went to my stash and pulled out some Vanna's Choice Lime I had in my scrap box and got to work.  That's when it hit me.  I need to make another 12 inch square to finish my Spring Forward Block Swap from the Vanna's Choice Fan Club on Ravelry, and here I am making a square!  Granted it's only going to come out at 9 inches but I can add a border and get that blanket done!  Oh happy day!  (See there are methods to my madness)

Doesn't look like much now but I think it will look great with the rest of the squares.

I didn't really make much progress on the Falling Water Scarf and the Gryffindor Scarf.  I know that scarf is going to be a labor of love but I wanted some instant gratification for the Gryffindor set I am planning (Scarf, Hat and Wrstlets) so I cast on the beret.  (See another method to my madness)

Sorry the picture is blurry.

I made a lot of progress on the Lego blocks.  I finished off the skein of Turquise and moved onto the Lime Cotton Ease during the Hockey Game on Sunday.  I was so excited to see them all laid out for once.  Don't the colors look nice together!  I just can't wait to add the Maise.  I ordered the remaining yarn I needed so that should keep me motivated to get more blocks done.

It's really coming along.

Last but not least are the White Centered Granny Squares.  I mentioned my big yarn purchase on Friday but these little guys were the start of my test crochet to see if it would work to my liking.  I am really excited to make this blanket as I have never made a colorful blanket for my self.  I think it's time don't you?  (See justification is just another method!)

These are so striking and so soft in Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran

I do realize that all the little bits of time that I put into all of these different items would probably equate to a finished object by now but I like my methods because while I do want to craft everyday, working on the same thing can get a bit boring. (See there in is the main reason for my madness)

Do you like variety while crafting or are you a very linear project kind of crafter?

So are you mad for WIPs?  Check out some more on Tami's Amis and Frontier Dreams

<3 Heather

Monday, April 16, 2012

Hockey Hangover

This weekend was very depressing.  I love hockey and the playoffs are a great time to be a fan.  This playoff season has been a bit of a challenge to maintain my enthusiasm.  The Pens have not been the same team they were during the regular season.  It's annoying and now we are down 3-0 in the Series to the Flyers. (yuck)

Watching the Big Screen on the Lawn at the Consol Energy Center

I did at least get to hang out with friends this weekend to watch the games.  Friday, I was at Jenna and Mike's house for the game.  The most amusing part of the night was when their dog, Stanley knocked over the tray tables that had pop and food on them.  It was a big mess but everyone was just to stunned to try and prevent it.

Sunday, I met up with Jenn and we watched the game on the lawn.  This is a tradition back to the 2008 playoffs where the Pens organization shows the game on a big screen outside of the arena so the fans can get together and watch it in a big group.  I got us decent seats but the game was still out of control.  I did manage to make 5 more green Lego blocks during the game.

Needless to say, I woke up with a hockey hangover.  Have you ever had that feeling?  In Pittsburgh, we take our sports seriously and if the home team loses the whole city feels a little blue the next day.  Seriously, you do not want to be around us after a Steelers loss.  But, in the midst of just being blue, my favorite radio morning show reminded me about hope.

We still have a chance and that my friends, sparked the hope that I have as a fan. Hope is such an important emotion.  I have always been a silver lining and glass half full kind of gal, so to give up on my Pens was more of a visceral reaction to the game rather than the team I love.

Really.without hope, why bother being a fan?  I love the Pens.  The players are good people, the organization is pretty awesome to let us fans gather and cheer on the team (for free!) now the team just has to feel our good vibes and win the next 4.  Is it possible?  Of course it is.  Do it Pens!  We believe in you, so believe in yourselves and play your game of hockey.

Let's Go Pens!  #Pensin7

<3 Heather

Friday, April 13, 2012

Week in a Day 2

Alas, no finished object this week but it has been an interesting week.  Work has been really busy and after work has been even busier!

I started a Photography class on Tuesdays.  I have always loved taking pictures and with blogging have really made an effort to take more pictures to share.  The amazing thing is that with a lot of luck I have taken some really visually astounding and interesting pictures.  But I want to take them all of the time, so I decided to take the class to learn about photography and learn my new camera.

Taken in April 2010, at a Tulip Festival outside of Seattle
Our first assignment is to take pictures of our house using the different camera settings.  I don't like the lighting in my apartment, so I will take the pictures at my Dad's house.  The other part of the assignment is to find pictures that just take our breath away in magazines and bring them in.  I think this is the hard part because I don't have many magazines around my apartment.

Tulip in the Yard, April 2012

In my Grad class on Wednesday, I found out that my presentation is due on 4/18/2012 and not 4/25/2012 like I thought.  (Cue the sad trombone music)  At least I didn't freak out, I will get it done this weekend and then work on my paper that is due on 4/25/2012.

On Wednesday, the Pens lost to the Flyers 3-4 in overtime.  I don't think the loss would sting as bad but they Pens were up 3-0 in the first period and just didn't show up for the remaining 2 and overtime.  There is another game tonight, so hopefully they bounced back.  I do want to mention that I think our goal tender, #29 Marc-Andre Fluery played a really good game and that score could have been a lot worse if he wasn't on top of his game.

It's a Hockey Night in Pittsburgh! And I did make and decorate this cake.

There is another game tonight, which means it's a great day for hockey!

Thursday,  I got my Knit Picks order!  I ordered a Yarn Swift and Ball Winder, plus a scarf pattern called Richmond Lace Infinity Scarf and Knit Picks Chroma Fingering in Azalea .  I was so excited that I tested out the swift and winder last night and it is really addicting.

I also made a large purchase from Deramores.  I bought 8 balls of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran for a blanket I want to make.  I chose some muted blues, pinks and purples for white centered granny squares. I am basing my blanket off of the one made by Jacquie at Bunny Mummy.

Here is one of the colors for the blanket that I already bought

I also got 23 skeins of Stylecraft Special DK for some unknown project.  I admit to lusting after the yarn in all of Lucy at Attic24 so I figured why not get some and I can figure out the details later.  I am thinking of a ripple but it might just end up with more white centered squares like above.

Lastly, today I got the rest of the Lion Brand Cotton Ease from Joann Fabrics online store for the Lego Blanket.  They had a sale and free shipping so that is one less thing on my to do list.  I started the green blocks last night and they turned out great.  The colors are really looking good together and I should have taken a picture but I didn't.  Sorry. But, you will see them on Wednesday!

Well, that is all for now.  I plan on working on my paper this weekend but I also plan to get some reading done for pleasure.  I have neglected my TBR pile and it's ready to topple over on top of me.  I will let you know what I think of those books.

For actual finished objects, check out Tami's Amis

<3 Heather

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

WIP Wednesday - Block Party!

Here we are again at WIP Wedneday.  This past week was a bit hectic with Easter but it turned out nice.  I made a really great dinner and pie for the family and had a great time with my dad during the weekend.

In other news, today starts the NHL Playoffs.  As I mentioned around the Super Bowl, the hockey playoffs are one of my favorite times of the year.  Hockey is on every night and multiple games are being shown, plus the excitement and level of play is just at a paramount.  My blood pressure is rising just thinking about it!  The best part is that this is a blank slate and what happened in the regular season goes out the window!  Seriously, this is the best part of hockey season.  Can you tell that I am a fan?

Jenn and I at the first game at the Consol Energy Center last year

For those that are unaware, the race to the Stanley Cup consists of 4 series where teams meet in a best of 7 match up.  There are 16 teams between 2 conferences that between April and June are narrowed down to 2 for the finals to win the cup. The Penguins meet the Philadelphia Flyers in the first round and it is set to be an intense match up.  I am so excited and can't wait for the game tonight!

Given everything that was and is going on, I managed to get some crocheting done. ;o)

Progress Picture for 4/11/2012
The following projects are what has been worked on recently.  Starting with Falling Water, then the Gryffindor Scarf, the Hummingbird Socks, and Lego Blocks.

The most work for the week was done on the Lego Blocks for the Lego Baby Blanket.  I have to get 81 done but I finally started to get into a rhythm and have cranked out 8 blocks in a week and a half.  I am almost done with the skein of blue and will move on to the green.  I am really glad to see the little pile of rectangles start to grow from a lot of red to a nice balance of red and blue.

Look at the lovely little stacks of bobbles!
I want to keep pushing to get to the finished product on this one because I think it is going to be amazing.

I feel like this is a great little project to keep going while working on my paper and studying for my exam and watching hockey. I tend to do one or two at night so when I get sick of studying I will pick this up.

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

<3 Heather

Friday, April 6, 2012

Time May Change Me!

Welcome, please don't be afraid.  I changed the layout a bit.  What do you think?  I like simple lines and this just feels fresher and cleaner than the last template.

As so you know, I like looking at new images.  I change my desktop about every other week.  So no reason to be alarmed if it changes in the future.

Zoey wants t know what you think!

<3 Heather

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Spring has Sprung

There is a green that only occurs once a year,  When the trees and flowers wake up from their long winter naps and come to life.   The green that nature presents starts out almost yellow and gradually turns into a lush and prefect green as it soaks up the rain and sunshine that spring provides.

Aside from suffering from allergies, I love spring.  I love the renewal of the season and anticipatory feelings that anything is possible.  Dreams and wishes seem real and all you have to do is fulfill them.

This past weekend, I got a chance to take some pictures of the flowers around my dad's house.  I still need to do some massive weeding but the bulbs and lilacs are coming into bloom.

I love the smell of Lilacs
 I am afraid the weather got to our lilacs this year.  We have had quite a bit of warm weather earlier than usual and then a few hard frosts in between.  Our lilac bushes are usually bursting with color and smell but not this year.

I had to hang off the side of the deck to get this shot.
Another thing about spring is all of the bulb flowers that just pop out of the winter ground like little zombies and then bloom into lovely daffodils, tulips, hyacinth, and crocuses.  I may have said in the past that at some point in my life, I want to go to Holland for their tulip festival.  Riots of color and patterns that bloom in the spring.

The sun created really pretty shadows while I was taking pictures.
My mom loved Tulips and there are various blubs planted around the house that are so cheerful and colorful.  I think I may have to get some more bulbs this fall and pollute the front garden so next spring is just a riot of color.

I loved the inside of this tulip

Really isn't that the magic of spring, these beautiful flowers are popping out of no where but the days are warm but there is a crispness and coolness that reminds you that winter was just in the air.

What are you doing?
But then again, to Zoey it just means more birds to chase and more sun spots to snooze in.

What do you love about Spring?

<3 Heather

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

WIP Wednesday - And the Scarves Have It!

Hello again, it has been a busy week this week but I did manage to get some work done on my WIPs. Here is the compilation picture.

Progress Picture for 4/4/2012
In the picture above are the projects that I worked on last week.  Falling Water Scarf , Gryffindor Scarf, and the Hummingbird Socks.

I am really pleased with what I got accomplished this week but with Easter coming up and finals (test and paper) for my grad class coming up.  I think my crafting will have to go on hiatus, but we shall see.

This scarf has faux cables through the magic of SSK and K2tog!
I have been epically frustrated with the falling water scarf because it just didn't seem to be turning out the way I expect.  I am using Space Cadet Creations fingering yarn I got at the Knit and Crochet festival and I just wanted to show the tonal color and the sparkle to the best of it's ability.

Well, this guy went into time out and when I picked it back up this week everything just seemed to click and I was able to see the pattern emerge from the yarn.  So happy that I stuck with it, as this is going to be a beautiful scarf.

About another inch or so to go until the heel flap.
I have added a couple inches to the Hummingbird sock and can't wait to get to the heel flap but am comfortable with the pace I am keeping on this sock.

The Gryffindor scarf really is my go to project right now, particularly when watching the Penguins or any TV program.  The Pens won last night against the Boston Bruins, but I had to switch over to another program because I felt like I was jinxing the game.  I did get about 9 rows done on the scarf.

I am going to the next game on Thursday.  It's against the Rangers and I am so excited.  Not only am I going to the game, but I am volunteering through work to sell raffle tickets for the Flight 93 Memorial before the start of the game and through the first period of play.

You will also notice that I have some stitch markers in the compilation picture.  After receiving and purchasing some awesome markers, I thought that I could make some.  Really I just love how they hang from your work and are more attractive that the plain old plastic ones.

Aren't the Bumblebees and Lady Bugs adorable?

I still have some finishing work left to do on many of them but the above is just a sampling of what I was able to create. Really I know they look complicated but after about 15 minutes of work I end up with a handful of these colorful gems.

I do want to plug my own handy-work a bit, my good friend Samie at Not Your Gram's Afghan is doing a giveaway for her blog-aversary.  Not only do you win 2 skeins of King Cole Riot and a pattern for the Spring Ripple Scarf, but you get 5 stitch markers that I made!

Stitch Markers for Samie's Giveaway!

Go check it out and register to win!  *And may the odds be ever in your favor!*

Check out other WIPs at Tami's Amis!

<3 Heather

* First person who comments below with the source material of the starred text above will get a set of stitch markers in their color of choice!  Good Luck!

Monday, April 2, 2012

2012 - March Recap

I feel as though I just worked on getting the February mosaic done but I am really pleased with everything I got done this month.  The weather had been finicky but in general spring has come in full bloom.  I can't wait to show you pictures of flowers and spring here in Pittsburgh.

  <3 Heather

PS Check out my good friend Samie's blog for her blog-aversery giveaway!