Friday, December 31, 2010

"Vacation"

We have been in Virginia with my parents for a little over a week, and have only 4 full days left before we hop on a plane back to Washington. It has been wonderful being surrounded by family and visiting with friends, especially ones I have not seen in years who were just in town for the holidays as well. Christmas was precious! I got a few crochet hooks, 2 pattern books, and a magazine (among other things). My mom has an ample stash of yarn that I didn't know about, and she opened it up for me to take my pick. We need to keep it light when we fly back, so I'm just going to make what I can while we're here. So far, I have made a pattern from each book and I am working on one from the magazine.
My first try at amigurami... From the book Cuddly Crochet.
Booties for my girl, from the book Precious Baby Booties. I have to get some buttons for them when we get back.
A star blanket for my girl... I'm on round 9 of 15. This pattern was in the Jan/Feb '11 issue of Crochet Today magazine. This Red Heart baby clouds yarn is SO SOFT!!! [Side note: I don't know why, but the blog is turning my horizontal pictures vertical.]

The little family and I had an early Christmas before we left. I got hubby a coat and ornament, and he got me an eReader! We weren't supposed to get each other ANYTHING, because we bought a car at the beginning of the month. I was very surprised... he knows me so well! I love it. =)
My son loved opening his gifts from us... He will get to see what Santa brought when we return home.

Back to events here in Virginia...........
The day after Christmas, we woke up to this:

We have had some of this:
I did more eating than baking... but my daughter and I sure enjoyed it!

And some of this:
A day in Colonial Williamsburg for my mom's birthday... Fun family times. :)

Unfortunately I have had to split my remaining time between schoolwork and crochet. I have to get on the ball with the school work, so I can finish my Masters a couple weeks before my due date at the end of March. I am putting both down today (schoolwork & star blanket), because last night my darling niece asked if I would make her baby doll some booties. I told her I would make them for her today! A sweet little request like that gets an immediate turn around. Oh, how have we been spending our evenings, you ask? Like this:
My family loves board games... Luckily, hubby does, too. We have played more Monopoly in the last week than I have played in the last ten years. And of course, the only thing I like about snow, other than the beautiful scenery:
SNOW CREAM!

January 2011 Goal: Begin selling on Etsy... I am going to start with my little white hats, because I can make them so quickly now. I really want to earn some side money to fund my hobbies. First, I want to get an external hard drive to back up my pictures and digital scrapbooking. Second, I want to either get my hubby's Xbox fixed or buy him a new one, and I would love a Kinect. After that, I just want to earn money to fund larger crochet projects (I have yet to make a full afghan) and my digital scrapbooking. I have done tons of it, but haven't ordered the first page yet. I have almost 100 pages completed, and at $3.50 a page, I want to try to order ten or so a month... So, HOPEFULLY I can make enough and sell enough on Etsy. Wish me luck!

This blog post must now come to an end, so I can work on those baby doll booties, star blanket, and the dreaded schoolwork...... before New Year's Eve festivities begin! (Can I make it to midnight? Last year, from the west coast, we watched the ball drop in Times Square at 9pm and went to bed... cheaters! hehe)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Granny + Hiatus + 2011

1. As a result of my husband working two late nights in a row, my daughter's second blanket is finished:
 
I like this blanket a lot... It's "different" from anything else I've made. It is more grown, less baby. I also love that it's a granny square, instead of rows going back and forth. [Pattern: The Handmade Dress]

2. A two-week hiatus is in store for me... The little family and I will be going to visit the large family for two weeks. CAN'T WAIT! I won't be crocheting until we get back in January... My Masters coursework is piling up, so I'll also be using this time to finish some things. After returning, there are some things I am very excited about! I'm going to make a few things to put on Etsy; see if I can make a little side money. Hubby and I have some "wants" and I would like to contribute to them. =) I hope I can contribute by doing something I love!

3. With the end of 2010, and the beginning of 2011, I can't help but think about how many things I have to be grateful for and how many things I have to look forward to. I've done more in 2010 than ever; both big and small. Highlights:
  • In just two months, I've made three blankets, two pairs of booties, two headbands, one dress, nine hats, two 7x9" pieces for Warm Up America, four Christmas trees, four snowflakes, and three stars. Considering before this year I had only made three blankets, so I'm pretty darn proud! =)
  • I GOT MARRIED! My son got a father, I got a husband, it was one of the happiest days of my life. The time since has been so precious and valuable. My son and I are so lucky to have such a good man in our lives.
  • We moved across the country. Absolutely the SCARIEST thing in my life, but that also gives me something to be proud of. I believed in something, I took a chance, and my life as become so ample, fulfilled, happy, blessed... There just aren't enough adjectives. Not a single day goes by that I don't miss my family back home, but I'm blessed for all the life we have nonetheless.
There are many more amazing things from 2010.... these are just a few.
Coming in 2011?
  • MY DAUGHTER!!!!
  • A possible move...
  • Possible career change/advancement for hubby... (within the Army)
  • Lots of yarn ;)
  • To find a crochet pattern for this:
It's a jumper on a Bernat label, but it's for knit. I have searched and searched and searched, but haven't found a similar crochet pattern that I liked. I really want to make something like this for my daughter!!


Merry Christmas!!!! Happy New Year!!!!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Brrrr... It's cold!

Today, we went here:
And then I enjoyed this:
I'm pregnant! I'm sure anyone who has been pregnant can appreciate how happy this made me.

Last night & tonight I'm working on this:
(Last project for 2010!)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A handmade touch...

I love being giddy and excited over the smallest things. I definitely thought making Christmas trees, stars, and snowflakes would be hard... Nope! This is what I did yesterday...
I tied yarn to the top, to make ornaments, and I'm going to give them to family when we get together for Christmas. :)
Christmas cheer!!!!

I also made hat #2 for my friend's girls' Christmas gifts.
They are absolutely adorable, if I do say so myself. ;)

Monday, December 13, 2010

Tangled up...

Over the weekend, I decided to start working on a Santa hat for my son. I was tangled up in all those pieces of yarn from the stocking I had started, and I had to get rid of them. I had no luck finding a pattern for a child's size Santa hat... I ended up finding a generic "how to" for a Santa hat on ehow.com (Who knew they had crochet patterns??), so I tried that. I got really frustrated making it... I can't stand single crochets throughout a whole project. I worked on it forever and felt like I wasn't getting anywhere so I starting making the increases sooner than I was supposed to and switched to a larger hook. What turned out wasn't pretty and it was too big, LOL. That's okay, it will be my boy's play hat!

The white part was supposed to be folded up, but because I had switched hooks, it was too big to fold up and it wasn't snug with the hat. Also, I used Lion Brand Homespun for it and the stitches just weren't tight enough. Homespun created another problem for me. I noticed that the end I started with was very frayed... Well, the ball on top was supposed to be a pom pom. I figured if I made a pom pom it would end up looking horrible, because all of those little ends would fray.
So, I decided to try to roll some yarn into a ball. It worked! I was able to secure the loose end with a needle and then secure it to the hat by running the white yarn through the top of the hat (from the inside), running it through the ball, and then back into the hat.I can't believe it worked!

Other than the Santa hat, over the weekend I:

made a 7 x 9 piece for Warm Up America,
made a Christmas tree [Pattern],
and a hat. [Pattern] This is the same as the white hat, but I used pink and will not be putting a flower on it. The pattern starts out with chain 60. To make it larger, you have to add on in incriments of 6.I chained 72. (The larger white one I made, I chained 78 for, and didn't make revisions at the end so the top turned out a little different). At the end of the pattern, I repeated the last *ch 2, sc in sc, ch 2, 3 dc in sc* one extra time. That helped with the top a lot, I just had to make a minor change to the next step. This hat is a Christmas present for my BFF at home's two year old, and I'm going to make a larger one for her five year old. Then, I'm making lots more little Christmas trees, and I'm going to attempt stars and snowflakes to attach to Christmas presents!! I love Christmas!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Motivation & rainy days...

I just wanted to share my motivation for my crochet projects. The best little guy ever:
 & the best little girl yet to arrive:

We have had quite a rainy week here in Washington... Rainy days = lots of crochet.

 I planned some more projects in my head, so I ran to Michael's with my 50% off coupon and got a skein of yarn to match two that I have, that I plan on making a granny square blankie with in the near future. I also got a skein of black to make little miss some rain boot booties. After all, she'll be here in late March, so she'll need something festive for those April showers. They aren't high on my list of projects, but it was on sale. ;)
I sat down and tore out the ugliness of a stocking I had begun...
I decided that I will make a Santa hat for my little guy. I don't want this yarn getting all tangled up, and I don't want it sitting around, so the Santa hat has begun. He also had fun painting a Santa hat of his own,
as we worked on phonics.. Proud to say that my three year old correctly sounded out the H and the A in hat. :)