Knitting Goals 2017

I wasn’t planning on making knitting/crochet specific goals but the more I thought about it the more I liked having my progress documented. Knitting goals (and crochet goals) provide direction when I’m stumped on what to make next. 

Surprisingly, that happens a few times a year. I want to make so many things and I don’t know where to begin. These goals keep me on track and help me to avoid ‘knitter’s block’. 

This year I want more than 5 goals just in case I get bored with the usual 5. I plan on making 8-10 goals. This may seem like a lot but in all honesty I never fully finish all my goals. I know this and I’ve proven it in the last few years. My hope is that with more goals I won’t get as bored and I’ll be more likely to accomplish more than 2. 

Knitting Goals 2017

  1. Create 6 baby blanket patterns: I like this goal and was so close to completing it last year. I would really like to accomplish this one in 2017.
  2. Crochet a set of small monsters: For James’ monster themed first birthday I create a bunch of small crochet monsters to give out as favours. Everyone loved them! Ideally, I’d love to create about 15 and sell them as a pattern set or even an ebook. I would even love to be able to sell finished monsters for some customers throwing a monster themed birthday. For now though, I will stick with creating a monster pattern set or ebook.
  3. Knit Christmas stockings: I started knitting stockings before Christmas and I’ve managed to finish 2 so far. I have one for James and one for Crosby. To complete this goal I have 2 more stockings left. One for me and one for Keith. I have a talent for starting projects like this and once I’m near completion I loose steam. My hope is to actually finish these for next Christmas. I’ll talk more about the patterns I chose in another post because they are awesome!
  4. Learn brioche knitting: I follow @dreareneeknits on Instagram (check out her blog here)  and she has a collection of the most beautiful brioche knits I’ve ever seen. And they’re all her patterns. I’d love to be able to knit some of these items. First I have to learn brioche. I’m giving myself 12 months to learn. And hopefully I’ll be able to knit some of her beautiful patterns.
  5. Make 2/3 throws: Another personal goal. One I want to make for my parents cottage. They finally picked out new furniture with a colourful chevron pattern. I can finally pick a neutral yarn and make then a comfy throw. We’re also getting some new couches for our house and I’d love to make a few knit throws. They add such a cosy feeling to any room. These will most likely get pushed to the bottom of the list but I’m looking forward to having them. 
  6. Create hat and blanket set: I’ve been crocheting some smaller baby blankets for bassinets and strollers. I’m left with a decent amount of yarn and I want to make newborn hats to go along with these blankets. They’d be perfect for newborn photographs.
  7. Crochet a Christmas tree skirt: I’m keeping this goal from last year. I wanted so badly to accomplish this one. Our tree will be in a new house next house and I think that will give me the push I need to finish this goal. Especially if those stockings are finished, I’ll have much more motivation to finish the skirt.
  8. Make myself a Sweater: I’ve been creepily eyeing sweaters to knit from We Are Knitters for quite some time. Surprisingly I don’t have any knit items for myself. Sure there are some scarves here and there but no sweaters or blankets. So this year, I vow to make myself a sweater. And I will love it.

These goals don’t feel unsurmountable and they are all do-able. I will get them done this year!

Happy Knitting, 

Ashley

 

2017 Goals

2017 goalsIn hope of having a more productive year, I’ve decided to continue with yearly goals. My 2017 goals will be slightly different than previous years. I used to exclusively make knitting goals, however I’m going to branch out a bit. That means goals for my blog, Etsy shop, family life and of course knitting and crochet. 

I’m looking forward to having a more organized plan for this business that I love so much. With a rambunctious toddler, I will have to make the most of the time that is available. As they say, I have to work smarter and not longer (is that the saying?). 

2017 Goals

  1. Spend more quality time with my familyThe key word here is quality. We spend a lot of time together but I’d really like to do more as a family. More activities, more outings, more family trips, more memories. This family stage were in now won’t last forever and I want us to make the most of it.
  2. Different types of Knit and Crochet baby itemsI sell a lot of blanket patterns and blankets but I need to branch out to more baby items. I’ve started with some toys but feel like I have to include hats, mittens and sweaters. This year I’d like to add those to the shop. My hope is that I’ll be able to create more items because they take a fraction of the time as baby blankets. It’s a broad goal so I will need to be more specific in the coming weeks. I might branch out on this goal in a later post.
  3. Update and professionalize the blog. This blog takes a backseat to almost everything else. If I’m short on time, it’s always on the bottom of the list and remains unchecked. This year that needs to stop. I enjoy writing about my crochet and knitting experiences. Sharing keeps me connected to this community that I love and it can no longer take a backseat. Ideally, I’d like to make this blog more professional, having a static front page as well as a shop section where you can purchase patterns directly from this site. Again, it’s a fairly broad goal and will most likely take time to accomplish.
  4.  Creating a set of Crochet Monsters. We had a monster themed party for James’ first birthday and I created a bunch of small little crochet monsters to give to family and friends. They were about 4 inches tall and took an hour of so to create. I’d love to do this again but create an ebook with all the patterns. Maybe also create some custom orders for people throwing a monster themed birthday. 
  5. Organize my Etsy Shop. Not so much organize but make the shop more cohesive. When customers see my images I want them to know it’s my shop. This means my logo and images all have to be cohesive. It will take time to accomplish this goal, that I know, but I think it will help me feel more organized.

My 2017 goals are much different and I’m looking forward to trying to accomplish them. They are very broad and I’m slowly starting to narrow down each goal and how to accomplish them slowly on a month to month basis. My hope is to feel more organized by the summer. Wish me luck ūüôā

Happy Knitting,

Ashley 

Craftsy Partnership: Knit Kit

Guys, I’m so excited to share some news! I’ve partnered with Craftsy to offer a Knit Kit. It’s been a few months in the making but it finally went live. I’m so thrilled to share the news.  KnitKit_SquarewithinaSquare

Craftsy has a new knit kit available featuring one of my patterns! That’s right, they chose one of my designs ahhhh! When you purchase the kit, you receive my pattern and enough Sprightly Yarn to finished the blanket. You can find the kit here.

The pattern they are using is the Square within a Square Baby Blanket. This is a super fun and easy knit. The repeats are simple and easy to memorize. Once you get the hang of the pattern, you can knit and watch your favourite show at the same time. I love projects where I can multi task and not loose track of my repeats. 

It’s difficult to sit quietly and work on a complicated pattern and I’m so happy that this isn’t one of them.

This was the first time I used Sprightly Yarn. It’s a super soft acrylic yarn that comes in a range of beautiful colours. The stitch definition is amazing! Use Sprightly on any pattern where you want to showcase the pattern.

The best part of Sprightly is that it’s affordable. As much as I’d like to break the bank buying expensive yarn, that’s not feasible at this time. I’m sure there are a lot of knitters in my boat. That’s what makes this yarn great. 

I can’t wait to see all the lovely blankets everyone knits. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #mockingbirdknitspattern so I can see and share your beautiful blankets. 

Happy Knitting, 

Ashley

 

2016 Goals – Review

2016 was an interesting (well crappy) year. Our family has gone through a major loss and finding our footing with the new family dynamics has been difficult. For this reason I never planned to do a 2016 goals review. However, I did make goals at the beginning of the year so it’s only fair that I talk about how close I came to accomplishing them. 

2016 Review

  1. Create 6 new blanket patterns to add to Etsy and Ravelry: I was able to finish 5 blankets. I had to take a few knitting breaks with the chaos of the year but five new blankets is still a success. In October and November, I had a few custom blanket orders to complete, so without those I would have definitely been able to achieve my goal. I did start a sixth blanket but I’m only a few rows in and don’t want to include it this year. Maybe next year. The 5 finished blankets are:  New Pattern Three Stripes Baby Blanket review review
  2. Create a simple baby sweater that customizable: I did not even come close to completing this goal. I started trying to size baby sweaters and somewhere along the way it fell to the bottom of the list. 
  3. Crochet a Christmas Tree Skirt: Guys, I didn’t get this one done either. I couldn’t find a pattern that suited what I wanted and as much as I tried I couldn’t come up with my own pattern. 
  4. Slippers for the Cottage: My plan was to scrap this goal and create a nice throw for the cottage.  I wasn’t able to complete either goals. My parents didn’t get their furniture until a few months ago and by then I had some custom orders I had to fulfill. Maybe next year. 
  5. Knit a nice pair of socks: The one goal that I actually managed to complete. I was so excited about finishing a pair of socks that I immediately cast on another pair. I’m still only 10 rows into that pair. Am I doomed to be a one pair of socks knitter? I guess well see what 2017 has in store for me.  Socks

Looking back, I wasn’t very successful with my goals but I do feel like I was able to get a lot accomplished. Next year, I’m going to go in a different direction with my goals. That post is coming in the next few days.

Happy Knitting, 

Ashley

2.5 hour Crochet Baby Blanket

dcbabyblanket_brownwithgreenborder-copy I love crocheting and knitting baby blankets. Not that you didn’t know that already. Sometimes a knit blanket can sit on my needles for a few weeks. In order to give myself a blanket break, I also work on a few smaller projects while it’s in progress. However, this blanket can be finished in a fraction of the time. I’m not lying when I call it the 2.5 Hour crochet baby blanket.

I’m not the fastest crocheter or knitter and even I can finish this blanket in a f. I need to take multiple breaks with a one year old in the house. It’s a very basic pattern using only double crochets for the body of the blanket and single crochets for the border. The best part is that you use bulky yarn and a very large hook. And in 2.5 hours, you have yourself a baby blanket.

It’s not a large blanket but it’s perfect for the stroller. And to be honest, that was the only time I used a heavy blanket with James. It gets cold here during the winter in the great white north. So a thick, cosy blanket while taking the baby for a walk is ideal.

Also, had I thought of this blanket earlier I probably would have used it during his newborn photo shoot. It fits perfectly into a wicker laundry basket which is the perfect size for newborn photographs.

You can find the PDF here.

2.5 Hour Crochet Baby Blanket 

You will need:

  • N Crochet Hook
  • Approximately 350 yards of Bulky Yarn. I used Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick. You’ll need 3 balls for the main colour and 1 ball for the border. NOTE: you won’t use all the yarn for the border and you only need the 3rd main colour ball for 2 rows, so I usually by 5 balls for the main colour and make 2 blankets.
  • Removable Stitch Marker. This is optional and only necessary if you plan on¬†taking multiple breaks. The stitch markers will keep your place and keep your work from unravelling.
  • Darning Needle and Scissors. To cut the long tails and weave in the ends.
  • Finished Size:

Instructions:

  1. With your main colour chain 40, turn.
  2. Double crochet in 4th¬†chain from hook, DC in each chain to the end. (37 dc’s worked) Chain 3, turn.

Repeat row 2 24 more time or until desired length is reached. NOTE: if you plan on making this blanket longer, you will also need more yarn.

On the last DC, change the yarn to your border colour (mine is green). To do this, use the border colour to make the last yarn over and pull through both the remaining loops.

With the border colour, chain 1, turn.

  1. Single crochet into each stitch all around the blanket. When you get to the corner stitch, work 3 single crochets into the corner stitch. While you work the single crochets on the sides make sure you space them out evenly.
  2. As you reach the beginning of the round, sl st into the first st and chain 1. Do not turn.
  3. SC in each stitch, working 3 sc into the corner stitches.

You can repeat rows 2 and 3 as many times as you’d like to achieve your desired border thickness. Remember that you will need to adjust the amount of yarn you need if you plan on making a bigger blanket.

On the last stitch, sl st and fasten off. Weave in all your ends and block.

That’s it. Now you know why I call it the 2.5 hour crochet baby blanket.

2-5hourblanket crochet_brownwithgreenborder_3

 

Happy Crocheting.

Ashley

Bumpy Road Baby Blanket | New Pattern Available

Bumpy Road Baby Blanket I’ve finished the third baby blanket. I’m calling it the Bumpy Road¬†Baby Blanket. It was lovely to knit. The repeats were easy enough that once I had them memorized I could knit and watch tv. The ultimate goal. ūüôā

At this point (with James) I’m a sucker for easy (or easier) patterns. Simple stitches where my mind doesn’t have to think, remember rows and continuously count stitches. And this baby blanket fit the bill perfectly.

The Bumpy Road Baby Blanket can be found here. The pattern can be found on Etsy, Ravelry and Craftsy.

Bumpy Road Baby Blanket

Yarn: Caron One Pound in Rose. Or your favourite medium to heavy worsted weight yarn, preferably acrylic or an acrylic/wool blend. You will need approximately 850 yards (777 meters). Note that I used the entire ball of Caron One Pound (812 yards) and had very little to spare, so make sure you have at least 850 yards.

Needle Size:¬†10¬†US (6 mm).¬†I prefer to work blankets using 40‚ÄĚ circulars, but straight needles will also work

Gauge:¬†Approximately¬†15 sts and 24 rows = 4‚ÄĚ

Finished Size:¬†36‚ÄĚ(91.4 cm)¬†wide¬†x 35‚ÄĚ (88.9 cm) long

Also Need: Stitch Markers (2) and a darning needle.

NOTES:

Blanket is worked in multiples of 8 + 6 stitches. This does not include the border. When you include the border it is worked in multiples of 8 + 22.

PM refers to place marker.

tbdbabyblanket_pink

Happy Knitting,

Ashley

James | One Year Old

I can’t believe it, I now have a toddler.¬†That’s right, my baby is now a one year old.¬†A year ago I was holding my sweet little newborn. Today, that same newborn is taking his first steps. A year of keeping this precious boy safe and healthy while watching him grow has gone by in¬†the blink of an eye. It truly does go by so fast.¬†one year old

I’ve said this before and I’m sure I’ll say it again. The newborn stage was NOT my favourite. But as he grows older I find myself longing for my 2 month old who would spend all day napping on my chest. Or those cute and tiny outfits that you swear would only fit a doll. But more and more I see a little man standing in front of me and not a baby.

A One Year Old James

  1. He still has no teeth. I know I shouldn’t worry but I want one of those little suckers to pop through already.
  2. He has started walking. Only a few steps here and there but it’s a beginning. Life will become much more hectic once he begins running around, so I’m okay with¬†letting him take his time.
  3. We are weaning him off formula slowly, and starting homogenized milk.
  4. I’m petrified of given him peanuts and peanut butter. Everyone I know that has had a allergy has been quite severe. I’m holding onto the fact that no one in our families has a peanut allergy.
  5. He spends more and more time playing with Crosby. Surprisingly Crosby is starting to enjoy it and will hang around James longer than usual.
  6. We haven’t transitioned to one nap yet. He’s done one nap twice in the last 2 weeks, but boy was he ever cranky on those days. His second nap is usually 30 mins max. so I’m sure we’ll be fazing it out soon.
  7. We are starting to notice his temper. If his toys aren’t turned on when he wants to play with them, he lets out this grunt and shakes his arms and throws the toy. If anyone has any advice on how to nip this anger issue, I’m all ears! jamespreppy jamesonswing jamesinstroller jamesincakeimg_0868img_0885img_0921jamesandcrosbyjamesandcrosby2

 

Ashley

Maria The Monkey – New Pattern Available

Meet Maria the Monkey. She’s my newest pattern and stuffed animal available for sale. Maria the Monkey

I finished her a few weeks ago but was only able to sit down and write out the pattern last week. I think she is just darling. The pattern can be found on Etsy, Ravelry and Craftsy. The finished Monkey can be found on Etsy.

Happy Crocheting,

Ashley

James at 11 Months Old

Today my baby is 11 months old. I can’t believe it. I know I’ve been saying this at every month but time does go quickly when they are young. In the blink of an eye my little newborn turned into an always moving 11 month old.11 Months

James at 11 Months Old

  1. He can climb the stairs. He loves climbing the stairs. He’ll even cry in front of the baby gate in hopes that I’ll let him go upstairs. It’s great when I want to tire him out before naps or bed time. Just let him clim the stairs a few times. However there’s only so many times momma can climb the steps before her legs give out.
  2. He still isn’t walking. Surprisingly, he has no interest in walking either. He’ll take a few steps while I’m holding his hands but once he notices how slow we’re moving he drops to his knees and speed crawls away. That’s right speed crawls. Like nothing I’ve ever seen. I have to be in a slow jog to catch up to him.
  3. Teeth have yet to make an appearance. He acts like he’s teething. The drooling, the whining, the chewing on everything. Yet still no teeth.
  4. He’s at least 30″ tall and this doesn’t include his impressive arm reach. We have very few surfaces left that are James free. Actually there’s only the kitchen counter and kitchen table that he can’t reach. And every day he finds something new that I have to move out of his reach.
  5. He loves Crosby more and more everyday. He’s always looking for him and pointing at him and smiling. He tries to play with him throughout the day. For the most part Crosby plays with him too. James can be a bit rough, more hitting and less petting. I know¬†he’s too young to grasp the concept of ‘gentle’ yet and no matter how much I show him how to pet the dog (with his own hands) he still likes to hit him, or pet him very rough.¬† Crosby has been perfect, sitting there and taking the abuse. When the dog gets fed up he walks away. I love this and am so proud of Crosby.
  6. He still eats and sleeps like a champ. I always feel like I’m going to jynx these habits by talking about them, especially his wonderful night time sleeping habits.
  7. He’s more interested in toys. He would play with his toys before, but now he can sit for 10-15 minutes and play with one of his toys. I’m quite please that he’s able to play independently even if it’s a short period of time.¬†IMG_1585 IMG_1449 IMG_20160818_085018 IMG_20160815_133458 IMG_20160812_130854 IMG_20160809_140845 IMG_1590

I can’t believe this is the last monthly birthday post. The next will be when he’s a year old. My mind seems to be baffled by the fact that I have an almost one year old. I better enjoy his last month as a baby and truly cherish James at¬†11 months old.

Ashley

2016 Goals Updated

Surprisingly I’ve been able to work on some of my 2016 goals this summer. I’ve been able to accomplish more this year than any previous year. It’s been quite motivational when I see the progress I’ve made. It’s slow progress but progress none the less. I have to remind myself that these are yearly goals and I still have 4 months to complete them. So here they are.

2016 Goals

  1. Create 6 new blanket patterns to add to Etsy and Ravelry
  2. Create a simple baby sweater that’s customizable
  3. Crochet a Christmas Tree Skirt
  4. Slippers for the cottage (approx. 8 pairs)
  5. Knit a nice pair of socks.

Completed Goals

  1. I’m working on the third baby blanket. The Three Stripes Baby Blanket (second blanket) can be found here. I frogged the other blanket I was working on. The beige blanket with the diamonds. I didn’t like the look of it and I wasn’t feeling it. As strange as that might sound, my heart has to be in the project or it will never get finished. It’s doubtful that I’ll be able to complete 4 blankets in 4 months but I don’t plan on giving up.Baby Blanket Goals
  2. I’ve had this goal in my head for quite some time. However, I can’t justify sitting down and working on a simple baby sweater when I’m working on other projects and have a severe lack of time. I did manage to start a somewhat simple baby sweater. I may use this sweater as my simple baby sweater. However, it won’t be customizable. This shouldn’t be a problem because I will have future years to work on a project of this nature.
  3. I’ve found a few patterns that I like for a Christmas Tree Skirt. I plan on taking a few ideas from different patterns and meshing them together for a skirt that I love. I still have my crazy must-have list for this project and I believe it’s attainable. I simply need to sit my butt down and get these ideas out of my head.
  4. My mom still has to choose¬†a wall colour for the¬†family¬†room at the cottage. Until then, I won’t plan any blankets. Oh, in case you’re wondering I’m changing this goal. My parents have been¬†fixing up their new cottage¬†and¬†I’d rather make them a nice throw for the family room.
  5. When I first wrote out these goals I thought for sure this would be the one that I wouldn’t¬†complete. I’ve always wanted to knit socks but never found the time or a suitable pattern. Surprisingly in the last goals update I had found a pattern and started a pair. I can happily say that I’ve finished these socks. They’re done.First Pair of Socks

I’m happy to say that my goals are coming along nicely.

Happy Knitting,

Ashley