Thoughts on July

 I am well aware that it’s now August but everytime I sat down to write this post my mind went blank. So today I vowed to get it done.

1. July was productive and unproductive all at the same time (seems impossible but that’s how it felt). I started a few new projects (productive) but I have finished them yet (unproductive), we planted some flowers and shrubbery in the backyard and the side of the house (productive) but we haven’t laid the garden tarp or the stones (unproductive), we still haven’t tidied up the guest bedroom and office after our family left at the end of June (unproductive) but we did manage to visit a whole bunch of other family that I haven’t seen in 2 years (productive) and the list goes on and on and on.

2. I’m torn between knitting/crocheting items to stock my Etsy Shop or going crazy and knitting/crocheting handfuls of stuff for my friends baby (the beginning of September is coming so fast!). I had my mind set on about 5-6 different items but that list has shrunk to 4 (not much smaller but still). I’ve finished a small cute sweater, I’ve started a blanket and I’ll soon start a little elephant (named Stampy of course) and lastly I’m making a baby sleep sack (with arms). I’m very excited about that last one as it’s the only baby item she said her and her mother couldn’t find anywhere (a sleep sack with arms)(and her mom is an avid shopper – one of the best). All the baby sacks I’ve seen don’t open at the bottom but I’ve been debating having one that closes with buttons (would this not be better for diaper changes? Clearly I have no baby in this house and her response is always “whatever you think is best”, so any advice/input would be awesome!).

3. I’m slightly obsessed with amigurumi Monsters but large ones, nothing itty bitty. I took Stacy Trocks Craftsy class Amigurumi: Design your own Monster and loved it. I went through all the lessons in one day (I couldn’t stop watching) and I’m on my fourth monster already. I’ve only completely finished one. I’m trying to decide on arms that will look best for one and how to get droopy and hanging eyes for the other (it better be possible). The fourth one I’ve just started so hopefully I can get that one in my F.O. pile.

4. We spent a week at my parents cottage doing absolutely nothing. And I mean NOTHING! We didn’t ride the 4 wheeler or the Sea-Doo or go swimming. We did have a bonfire but only on the last night we were there (and if my brother wasn’t there I don’t know if we would have had one) and we didn’t even roast any marshmallows or have spider dogs. The only thing we managed to do was go fishing. We ended up catching 9 fish in total (pretty good for our small lake) and most we released back and a few we ate the next day. It wasn’t even that the weather was bad (it only rained once), the sun was out it just wasn’t as hot as it’s been the last few years. My parents also bought the cottage next to the one we have now. They’ll fix up the new one (a lot of fixing) and when that’s complete they’ll sell the old one (apparently giving the old one to me and my brothers is out of the question). So we did go next door a lot to help them begin the planning process and to give them ideas.

5. My mother in law had surgery at the beginning of July. It all went well but there are a few follow ups in the coming weeks. And I know I speak for everyone when I say I can’t wait for this scary ordeal to be behind us.

6. My cousin also passed away at the beginning of July. She was a great person and although she had a disability, I never once heard her complain about it or let it get her down, not even once. She was very loved and will be greatly missed!

Sorry there aren’t any photo’s, I didn’t take almost any in July. But next week I’ll take and upload all my WIPs and FOs for you to see.

I hope your summer has been great so far!

Happy Knitting (and crocheting),

Ashley

 

Where did June go?

June went by in a flash. One morning I was waking up and prepping for a bunch of house guests, the next it was Canada Day. Needless to say I wasn’t all that productive. Except for a handful of gifts, there was no productivity in this household on the knitting, crochet, blogging and Etsy shop front.

In my spare bits of time I managed to finish 3 projects. Well I finished 2 and started and completed another. The first is a baby sweater for a friends little one who’s arriving in September. The pattern is “In a Nutshell”  and is found here on Ravelry. I still have to sew on the buttons and I’m dragging my feet because it’s just so darn cute and I’m not ready to part with it yet.

Blocking the cute baby sweater (more pics when I've attached the buttons)

Blocking the cute baby sweater (more pics when I’ve attached the buttons)

The next bit of productivity was the Muti Dress (pattern found here). This dress was a pain in the you know what. Don’t get me wrong, now that it’s completed I love it. Love it so much that I want one for myself! But boy she was a struggle. I had to rip the lace neckline back at least a dozen times. I keep blaming the dress but I fear that it was my fault. I was to stubborn to use stitch markers from the beginning and after what I can only describe as an internal hissy fit that ended in tears (yes in tears, I was running out of time to finish this present) I gave in and used dozens of them. All in all I’m so happy I did.

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Isn’t she lovely? I wanted to add a handful more pictures but this is me using self restraint!

With my last ounce of June productivity, I created this “toutou”(what we frenchies call stuffed toys) for my god daughter. The photo’s not the best, I was rushed to finish it. A little girl was being called to bed and wanted to cuddle with her new friend in bed. Regardless, Patches (her name) is still super cute.

Patches

Patches

That’s all I’ve accomplished last month. So I’ll leave you tonight with a pretty picture of a flower.

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Happy Knitting,

Ashley

WIP Wednesdays

This weeks been pretty hectic and I haven’t had much time to work on some of my old projects. But I’ve been anxious to start working on a gift for a cousins 1st birthday in June and one for my childhood friend who is due in September. Let me start by saying I’m beyond excited for my friend, I’m just not sure if I’m more excited that she’s pregnant or the fact that I get to knit handfuls of cute baby wear! I’m sure it’s both :)

I found the All in a Nutshell pattern on Ravelry. It’s an adorable top down sweater with squirrels around the neckline. Now it’s been a long time since I held a new born (my god daughter is going to be 8) but it looked like it would only fit a doll. So I took it apart and now I’m knitting up the 9-12 month size. Ideally I’d like for the baby to be able to wear the sweater during the horrible winters in Northern Ontario. This size seems like it’ll also be too small but I’m going to finish it anyway and if the baby only wears it once for half a second, it’ll be worth it!

In a Nutshell baby sweater

In a Nutshell baby sweater

In a Nutshell baby sweater - close up of squirrel pattern.

In a Nutshell baby sweater – close up of squirrel pattern.

Next I found this Muti Dress on Ravelry. I’ve had to unravel it completely about 10 times already and it’s been in a few time outs! Our cousins 1st birthday is at the end of June and at this rate I’m having serious doubts that I’ll complete it. It has taken complete silence, following the written and charted pattern, a handful of stitch markers and diligent counting after every repeat to not make an error and I’m only on row 14. This lace pattern is also repeated at the bottom of the dress and I’m dreading it. If I make a mistake near the end, when I’m almost finished, I might just loose my mind. The yarn I’m using is Stroll Fingering by Knit Picks in Duchess Heather. Isn’t it beautiful? It almost makes up for the hundreds of errors I seem to be making.

The Muti Dress

The Muti Dress

Those socks I was working on, they’re way too small. Small as in would only fit a child and I was knitting the adult size. So now I have to find a new sock pattern to try out that will hopefully fit an adult foot. I haven’t even touched the rouge baby blanket in about 10 days. I keep looking over and thinking “soon, soon I will get to you!”. As for the crochet blankets, they’re done and photographed and all that’s left is to list them in my shop.

What on your needles?

Ashley

Yarn Weight and Length: Converting Yards to Grams

A while back I had the chance to rummage through my Memere’s stash. Not the best selection of yarn (after all she was living on a pension) but regardless, it was yarn and it was free. And who doesn’t love free yarn! All of the yarn I chose (except for 2 skeins of Bernat Baby Softee) are no longer available today. The label only told me the gauge, needle size and grams. No yards or metres. I knew approximately how much was in the skein. For that size skein and for sports weight it’s approximately 200-300 yards give or take 20 yards. The more I thought of my approximation, the more I realized I need small projects because I would be up a certain creek without paddles if I ran out of this yarn. So I stashed it away telling myself that I’ll find the perfect project for this yarn.

Then few weeks ago I had an Etsy customer ask me how many grams of yarn were needed for one of my patterns. All that went through my mind was, grams??? No no you want yards and I gave you that info! But it turns out that the U.K. way to determine yarn needed is through grams. (I’m also guessing that that’s the old way of doing it since my Memere’s yarn only had grams given). So I scoured the internet for some easy conversions. Easy to find it was not! Hidden deep in old conversations on one of my knitting forums, I found this:

Lace: 8.8 yds (9m) / gram

Fingering: 4.4 yds (4m) / gram

Sport: 2.75 yds (2.5m) / gram

DK: 2.5 yds (2.25m) / gram

Worsted: 2.2 yds (2m) / gram

Heavy Worsted: 1.65 yds (1.5m) / gram

Bulky: 1.1 yds (1m) / gram

Super Bulky: 0.8 yds (0.75m) / gram

Now with some easy math (math is not my strong suit, so if I can do it so can you!) I can finally  figure out how much yarn I have.  So here’s how I calculated it (for worsted):

2.2 yds = 1 gram

multiple the yards/gram by the amount of grams you have in your ball of yarn.

2.2 x 113 = 248.6

And tada! in this ball of yarn I have approximately 248.6 yds of yarn. I’m approximating because I doubt it’s 100% accurate.

Bernat Smarty Pants - Only weight given

Bernat Smarty Pants – Only weight given

Happy Knitting,

Ashley

WIP Wednesdays

I’m loving crocheting baby blanket. I mean LOVE! I’ve already finished 2 of them (in blue and light teal) and now I’m working on 2 more. This purple and white one is almost finished. I only need one or two more row sections of the purple before I can work on the border. But I ran out of the purple yarn. So it’s currently sitting in my WIPs basket until I get to pick some up.

Purple and white crochet baby blanket.

Purple and white crochet baby blanket.

The next is a pink and white one. I started this guy yesterday because I couldn’t finished the first one. And my current obsession is telling me that I always need to have one on the go that I can work on. I can usually knock one of these bad boys out in a week maybe a week and a half (if I don’t run out of yarn). You should be seeing these soon in my shop.

Pink and white crochet baby blanket

Pink and white crochet baby blanket

My hubby asked me a few days ago if I’d given up on knitting (I haven’t started a new knitting project in a couple of weeks). Feeling disloyal to my favourite craft, I started knitting a baby blanket. I only have half the garter border finished because I just had to get back to my crochet blanket (oh, why am I so obsessed???). But it’s a lovely wavy-ish pattern that uses cables even though it doesn’t look like your using cables as you can see from the swatch.

Swatch of the knitted baby blanket that I've started.

Swatch of the knitted baby blanket that I’ve started.

Finally, I started a pair of socks. The pattern is Sock it to me! from Patons. It’s not a vanilla pattern (which I didn’t want for my first pair) and it’s not too complicated (cables and bobbles, etc). Although cables and bobbles aren’t really complicated, they are easy for me to screw up. So for this project I wanted simple knit and purl stitches along with easy increases and decreases and I think this pattern fits the bill. The yarn I’m using is Footloose by Diamond Luxury Collection in Dusty Blue.

First pair of knitted socks

First pair of knitted socks

What’s on your needles (or hook)?

 

Ashley

Mikey’s Mystery Crochet Along: Final Clue

I was right! It’s a giraffe!

Crocheted Giraffe

Crocheted Giraffe

The last clue was the body. It’s probably a good idea that it was last because it would’ve totally given away what ruminant this was.

I’ve sewn the head on a little bit sideways but from this angle he looks cute. And the legs are sewn on so-so. They’re not sturdy at all (maybe not enough fiberfil). And when I place him on the ground his legs sort of shift outwards until they slowly stop.

From the front it looks very awkward. I think for my next giraffe I’ll use a smaller hook size. This one is too “hole-y” and if you look close enough you can see the fiberfil on the body. It’s driving me crazy! It could be a tension problem but I like to think I have great tension so it must be the hook size! :)

What was your favourite crochet along?

Ashley

Mikey’s Mystery Crochet Along: Clue #3

The next set of clues are out and surprise, surprise, they weren’t the body. But even so, I still think this little guy is going to be a giraffe. This week we created 12 spots and a tail. There’s also details to finish embroidering the face but I’m waiting until I finish putting this toy together to complete the face.

12 spots and a tail

Spots and a Tail

One more week to go and I can finish this bad boy!

Happy Crocheting,

Ashley

Mikey’s Mystery Crochet Along: Clue #2

I was really hoping that clue #2 would be the body so that I can really dig my heels in and call this ruminant a giraffe. But now I’m not so sure. Clue #2 were the legs and the ears.

Legs and ears for a yet to be determined ruminant

Legs and ears for a yet to be determined ruminant

I’m trying my hardest not to search every corner of the web to figure out what this could possibly be. I’ve even been avoiding any comments sections on the Red Heart Crochet Along web page. I don’t want any spoilers!

The only thing I did search for was were types of ruminants. Because who can remember what they were? Clearly I wasn’t paying attention during the animal unit in science class! So thanks google for the refresher!

So these are my completed pieces. Doesn’t the head remind you of a bad guy? You know the one where he has a mask over his mouth and tiny little eyes? I can’t for the life of me remember who I’m thinking about but I know it will come to me at a very inappropriate time (as always).

Completed Pieces

Completed Pieces

I think I’ll stick with a giraffe until I’m told otherwise. How’s he looking so far?

See you next week for what I hope are the directions for the body!!

Happy Crocheting,

Ashley

Mikey’s Mystery Crochet Along

Mikey's Mystery Crochet Along with Red Heat

Mikey’s Mystery Crochet Along with Red Heat

I’ve always wanted to take part in a crochet or knit along and this past weekend when I spotted one from Mikey with Red Heart, I couldn’t pass it up. Every Tuesday for the month of April they’ll be releasing a section of the pattern to crochet. So you won’t know what it’ll be until the final week of April. Of course they gave us a clue; it’s a ruminant. This means it can be cattle, sheep, antelopes, deer, giraffes or their relatives. So far we’ve created the head.

Profile of the mystery animals head.

Profile of the mystery animals head.

The head of a mystery animal.

The head of a mystery animal.

I’m really hoping that we’re creating a giraffe although I really have no idea with this head. I watched Mickey’s YouTube video for the head and his looks 100% better than mine. My tension looks much looser. And the eyes, ugh the eyes. I should have bought the safety eyes. They look cuter on crochet animals than using black yarn.

I’m using Red Heart Super Saver yarn. I had the most in pale blue in my stash so that’s what I’m using. I’m not sure yet which colours I’ll use for the 2 accents. Most likely it’ll be whichever colour I have closest to me at the time.

Red Heart yarn and the mystery animal head.

Red Heart yarn and the mystery animal head.

We get our next set of clues/part of the pattern tomorrow. I’ll post later on in the week the second part of the mystery animal.

What type of ruminant do you think it’ll be?

Happy Crocheting,

Ashley

WIP Wednesdays

It’s been a while since I’ve had an update on my current projects and in all honesty there aren’t that many. There are many projects I want to knit and crochet but when I’m crocheting I feel like I should be knitting and when I’m knitting I want to be crocheting. This leads to progress being very slow. But there are still a few items.

First I found a crochet pattern for a basket (it can be found here). They’re great instructions. I’m still (what I consider to be) a newbie crocheter and these instructions are easy to follow and understand. I was hoping for a larger basket, but this smaller one will be great for my first basket project. It’ll also be pretty easy to make it larger by adding extra rounds to the base and extra rounds to the side. I’ve been adding (by accident) extra HDC in each round so it’s slightly lopsided. I’ll probably unravel it and restart.

Navy Blue Crocheted Basket

Navy Blue Crocheted Basket

I also started crocheting a baby blanket. It’s made with double crochets as the body and a single crochet border. I only have the border left to finish and I want it to be about 3″-5″ wide. I chose a white and teal because that’s what I had in my stash. But next time I’d like to use at least 3 different colours. And the best part is that it crochets up a heck of a lot faster than any knit baby blanket.

Crocheted Baby Blanket

Crocheted Baby Blanket

Finally, I’ve been slowly working on some knitted Easter eggs. I purchased the Palette Spring Sampler from KnitPicks. The colours are perfect for the eggs and I have 20 colours to choose from. I’ve create a few simple ones (only using a few colours as stripes) and I’ve started a few using an intarsia design in the centre. Hopefully I can have this pattern along with a handful of designs available soon.

Knitted Easter Eggs

Knitted Easter Eggs

What’s on your needles (or hook)?

Happy Knitting,

Ashley