Friday, October 29, 2010

Crochet Hook Case

A year ago I really didn't know (or remember is more accurate) how to crochet. But for some reason I decided to pick it back up. And since then I've been hooking up a storm of granny squares and the occasional amigurimi. And so I've found myself going more and more often to my jar of hooks to try and find the right size for this or that project.

Realistically making a hook case would be more of an organizational project than a craft one. Nearly all of my hooks being hand-me-downs from my Grandmother's piles of stuff I have no idea what sizes I even have. It actually seems like I'm rather lacking in more "normal" sized hooks and I'm definitely overwhelmed by little teeny tiny lace (or something...I've never used them) hooks.

So pretty much this project would help to add in some organization to my crafty life.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Knitting lace.

Way back in July when I started planning Christmas gifts I decided that I wanted to spin enough lace weight alpaca to make my Mother a big scarf/shawl. It seemed like a pretty crazy goal, but at the time I was quite gung-ho on the spinning thing and for some reason seemed to think that the knitting part was practically a throw away.

The month past, and while I did accomplish a good bit of spinning, I didn't meet my goal. So when October came near everything was a bit iffy, but I decided to proceed with Mother's scarf/shawl reducing the repeats in efforts to still have enough remaining yarn to make a scarf for Bran's sister.

Then I proceeded to struggle with the 3rd row of the pattern. It took much longer than it should but after a while i figured it out, and i was off.

I've not done much lace knitting at all so it was something different. The project certainly didn't look like much while on the needles. But I found that when I stretched it out things were shaping up rather awesomely.

Unfortunately awesome or not things seemed to be crawling along at a snails pace. But then after about two weeks of plodding along suddenly I found my groove with the pattern and I started going more quickly. I also started to realize just how much size was added when the knitting was stretched. It was awesome.

And so late last Friday I found myself at a point where I could cast off! The next day (after a traumatic laundromat visit) I made my own blocking board. and on Sunday I stretched the whole thing out 20" by 60" and let the sucker dry. 

Inevitably there are a good many inconsistencies in the project. There are a few spots where you can see that I used a batch of coarser, not quite the same color, fleece. Really I need to get over it and just throw that stuff out next time (I hate waste!). At the end of my first skein I seemed to have gotten particularly fine with my spinning, then the next skein started off a bit more bulky. And lastly I'm not sure if I was just knitting more loosly or if the yarn changed, both are quite possible, but the start of the scarf is much tighter than it was when I casted off. Blocking helped this last issue some, but really the end didn't take nearly as much stretching, so who knows....

Plus I am quite worried that as Mother uses it the crazy hand-made item could easily loose shape. I was reading knitting horror stories about such things with alpaca yarn....that would be sad.

But for now at least I can enjoy marveling at this simple beauty.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

3-D Paper Snowflake

The first project on my list (alphabetically) is a 3-D Paper Snowflake. I think I found and bookmarked this tutorial 2 Christmas seasons ago. 

It seems quite simple, yet very pretty. I'm not quite sure why I've never gotten around to it beyond that the holiday's tend to attract super-duper craft overload.

So this year maybe I'll try to use it as a break from all of my other projects. After all snowflakes are easily one of my favorite seasonal decorations. Ever since bizzardizing my college dorm rooms (all 3 years I'm proud to say) I have continued the tradition of cutting and hanging snowflakes en-masse.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

252 Squares

On Thursday October 14th at approximately 9:15 (while watching Grey's Anatomy - yay) I finished crocheting the last of the 252 little Granny Squares for Bran's Christmas Present (Mario Blanket). I began constructing squares while on the beach in Ocean City MD back in June 117 days ago. And so I am proud to say that dispite having sometimes stuck with it and sometimes ignored it, I did in fact keep up to my average goal of 2 squares per day. In fact I exceeded it nominally yea!

Unfortunately beyond the ability to take awesomely ridiculous pictures of piles and piles of squares I'm not feeling much accomplishment. Instead I'm just dreading the joining process. Ugh.

According to my Christmas Present creation schedule I don't need to join any of these squares until November. But now that they're finished I am itching to start it (or at least figure out what on earth I'm up against). My current thinking is to join all of the horizontal rows together and then join the long vertical rows. But we shall see.

A more pressing question is what to do with all of the ends? I probably should have been hiding them as I went but I am lazy....

This thing had better be the most awesome thing ever.

It is also possible that I'll not be posting anymore on this project. See Bran is pretty much the only person that I know reads this blog. And I'm planning on hiding the project out of his sight now to make the finished product more spectacular. So we'll see.....Maybe I'll just do verbal descriptions with no pictures.

And one last quick thing! I'm also totally at a loss as for what to use as a good take along project. These squares were so easy to grab and work on absolutely anywhere. Now I'm going to be back with projects that actually require my attention while I work on them. Tricky.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Crafts To-Do

As seems to always happen in the fall I'm so Christmas present-centric that I get really tired of those projects. And well the last few years all of those projects have been yarn crafting.

But when I'm not at home furiously knitting, hooking, or crocheting I spend good bits of time drooling over other awesome projects I could do.

And so I have decided to add a list of "Crafts To-Do" to this here blog. Basically it will serve as a nice concise list. And also a reminder of things that I really ought to get my butt in gear and accomplish.

I plan to describe and explain my list over the next few weeks. (hooray blog motivation!)

PS: Inevitably this list does not incorporate any of the numerous UFO's (Un-Finished Objects) that I have laying around. Nor does it include my extensive Ravelrly (Knitting and Crocheting) queue.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Waiting Game.

I officially feel like the most spoiled 24 year old world ever.

It all started a month or two ago…..

My Aunt sent me an email with an idea. See my Uncle seems to enjoy buying houses, and he has the money for it. So with the market being so low they were thinking about investment properties. And they figured that instead of dealing with a renter that they didn’t know why not buy out near me then rent to me. They would even do rent to own with me if I decided I wanted to own the property after a few years.

This was pretty much ridiculously generous of them and since that initial email I have spent quite a good bit of time drooling over properties online.

Last week I finally started to visit some of the houses. I absolutely fell in love with one neighborhood which included two houses. So on Saturday my Aunt and Uncle traveled out here to view them. They’re both foreclosures that need some help. The first needed way way too much so was ruled out.

But supposedly my Uncle will be placing an offer on the second.

I am like so ridiculously excited about the prospect that the uncertainty is killing me now as I wait to hear what, if anything, is up.


And to top it all off, while they were here my Uncle said that he’s planning on only charging me what I’m currently paying in rent. Needless to say this had better cover all of his costs (mortgage, taxes, insurance). But I’m not completely certain that it will.

Seriously this is beyond generous of them!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

You better watch out....

I am already thinking very much about Christmas.

It started way back in July I believe when I typed up a plan for what I needed to accomplish each month in order to have a bunch of crafty presents. 

But inevitably, as most things go, I think that once again I’m being overambitious and I’m feeling behind. 

Sometimes I feel like I still have tons of time before the holiday’s and I shouldn’t be freaking out yet. But then I count the months and realize I’m at 2.5. Yikes! 

In other news I can’t help but plan how I would want to decorate “my” new house for Christmas. But that is boatloads of speculation so….maybe.