gift

Hawaiian adventures

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Earlier this summer, one thing led to another and I ended up spending a week of vacation in Hawaii. Yep, one beautiful week in a pacific paradise. Let me explain how things came to be.

Honeybee and I are/will be Ohio-bound a bit more this year for family reasons (family reunion in July, his sister’s wedding in October and Christmas). Consequently, all his vacation time this year was dedicated to spending time with his family in the midwest, and not much was left for anything else.

I’m lucky enough to be allowed a bit more vacation time but since I he doesn’t have any more, I didn’t really know what to do with the left over week I had. I finally opted to place that week off on my birthday, so from August 27th do September 2nd but for the longest time I thought I was simply going to stay home. Somehow though, the thought of being home alone on the week of my birthday while Honeybee was working was making me a bit depressed, so I started looking for places to go or things to see. And finally, one week prior to my vacation, I stumbled on a 600$ plane ticket to Hawaii. Yep. That’s what happened.

I am still amazed at what I saw and experienced there, and to this day I still do not understand why the entire population of the US still hasn’t moved to Hawaii yet… Because I would if I could.

In other news though, I did take advantage of my week off to finish a cutie little white cotton blanket for little baby Damien who will get baptized in October. I used 3 full skeins of Berroco Modern Cotton DK, and it’s just so luscious and soft I could bury my face in it all day! I might write this pattern out in the next couple months with different yarn weight/gauge and size options, so keep an eye out for that.

Between the vines

That’s it for now folks, cheers 🙂

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Spring revival

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Ok, 4 months is a long time. I have to admit, I really (REALLY) have been neglecting my blog… But then again I guess I’ve been neglecting a lot of things, because in those 4 months, I haven’t used my spinning wheel or my loom, only used my sewing machine for minor clothing repairs and barely made any progress on the WIPs I’ve had on the needles for months.

There could many different reasons behind this general disinterest I have been experiencing towards both crafting and the blog, but I think it’s mostly a mix of bad case of winter blues and a much needed break after completing such a big (and kind of stressful) project as a wedding dress. Add to that the fact that I also fell back into an old love of mine and picked up a couple good books to read, and there you have it – almost nothing to show for the last 4 months.

Actually, that’s not entirely true either because I DID finish one project since January, and that is the Star Anise hat that I started in December for my sister in law.

Anise hat

I also have a couple sweaters on the needles, namely here the Dessine-moi un mouton I showed you in July last year and the striped Snowflake I started early in January using some Berroco Folio I had in stash in color “tan” and “raspberry coulis”.

In other news, my honeybee and I also spent 4 days visiting Washington DC last month, and we had a blast! Although we were a bit late for the cherry blossoms, we still had a lot of fun visiting parks, memorials and monuments and visiting the US Capitol and the weather was just GORGEOUS the whole time we were there. For those interested, here’s a little photo recap of our fun-filled vacation in DC.

DC1 (1)DC2DC3

So that’s it for now folks, and I surely hope next time won’t be in another 4 months! Cheers!

Monsters in the closet

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My very best friend just recently had a baby so I’ve been on a rampage gathering all sorts of baby-related patterns and things, and let me tell you that it is candy for the eyes! There are so many cute, adorable baby things out there, it’s like a knitter’s paradise!

You may (or may not) remember that I finished a gray baby blanket earlier this spring, and you may (or may not) remember that my honeybee gave me Rebecca Danger’s Big Book of Knitted Monsters for Christmas. Well wonders happened, and I put together a little gift for my friend including those two little beauties here:

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This is the very first time I’ve ever knitted a plush toy, and it was so much fun that I can foresee many-a-plushie for me in the future. The yet-to-be-named little monster (or Hugo the couch potato monster, as referred to by the author) was an easy, quick and fun knit, that provided lots of instant gratification and allowed me to combine two (otherwise unusable) small 50g skeins to create a unique, playful and soft toy for someone’s special little person. In this case, I used a little over half a skein of blue Malabrigo Silky Merino yarn and ¾ of a skein of gray Louisa Harding Grace Silk & Wool yarn, leaving some room for (maybe!) another smaller monster in the same color palette. Who knows?

Looking through the book, I fell in love all over again with all those adorable monsters and I can tell you that there might soon be an Angus the Attic Monster, an Irving the Icebox Monster, a Dot the Dress Up Box Monster or a Bea the Basement Monster in the works. Hurray for babies (and plushies)!

2015 in numbers

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2015 came to an end, which means it’s time for me to look back on what I accomplished and set new goals for the year to come.

2015

In 2015, I used 9372 yards of yarn in a total of 17 projects. Out of those 17 projects, 16 were knitted, 1 was crocheted and 0 were woven.

These numbers are telling me that I used 8.9% less yardage than last year, but I’m still satisfied by my performance since I made more project (17 compared to 16) and that most of them were knitted (16 compared to 11); and as most of you know, knitted items generally tend to use less yarn and more time than crocheted ones.

Now let’s review the resolutions I posted here last year and assess whether or not I was able to achieve my goals in 2015. Drumroll….

  1. I want to learn how to relax more.
    This one is a work in progress, and although I think I was able to make some time for myself this year, I think I still need to make a few more changes in my everyday life to make it more zen.
  2. I want to start less and finish more.
    Ok, maybe I didn’t ACE this one, but I think I did a pretty good job. I still have 3 WIPs on the needles and a couple projects hibernating in my closet, but at least I was able to go through my WIPs, frog the ones I knew wouldn’t go anywhere and concentrated my efforts in projects I was actually interested in and finished them. In my book, that’s a good thing, so I call this one a success.
  3. I want to knit from stash.
    Last year I promised myself I would try to knit from stash as much as possible, and buy yarn only for specific projects I didn’t already have suitable yarn for. Hm. Let’s look at the numbers and see. This year, 51 skeins (12 209 yards) were added to my stash. Thrown out just like that, it’s 8 skeins (2837 yards) more than what I actually used in the entire year, but let’s break it down and see what the REAL damage is. Out of those 51 skeins added to my stash, 7 of them (1736 yards) were gifted to me. Let’s be real, although I didn’t want to buy yarn, I certainly won’t turn it down if it’s offered to me for free – so those shouldn’t be counted. To that number, we also have to subtract 35 skeins (7018 yards) that I bought for specific projects that were started or even completed in 2015, which I was allowing myself to do so that’s also all good. Considering all that, the damage really isn’t that bad. Turns out I bought only 9 skeins (3455 yards) of yarn “just because”, which is a definite improvement compared to the 64 skeins (15076 yards) of yarn I bought in 2014 that are still collecting dust in my stash. Although it doesn’t look that way at first, I think I think I did a pretty good job on this resolution this year, and I definitely want to keep it going in 2016. I also want to add an additional challenge, and try to USE more yarn than I actually BUY/GET. Wish me luck!
  4. I want to weave more.
    Ok, this one I miserably failed. I did buy some more weaving yarn, but I failed to use my loom even once this year. Why? I think I simply had to much to think about considering I wrote 2 new designs, made most of my Christmas presents and renovated 2 rooms in the house. A failure is not the end of the world though, and I will give this resolution a second chance in 2016.
  5. I want to keep this blog going. 
    Well, this one I sure did. I’m still here! And let’s hope it will continue in 2016, because I really enjoy sharing my little stories with you guys!
  6. I want to publish more designs.
    In 2015, I DID publish my Sea Breeze Sweater pattern, and I have another sweater pattern currently being tested and a basic headband pattern all written out, ready to be tested. Yes!

Looking back, I guess I didn’t have a “perfect” craft year since I couldn’t achieve all the goals I set myself in the beginning of the year, but I feel very satisfied and accomplished, and I think that’s what matters the most.  So cheers to the new year! 🙂

Oh, and I can also now safely post the last few projects I made in 2015 that were meant to be gifted on Christmas. Exciting!

There’s my mom’s Casu Cowl
Casu Cowl

My brother’s girlfriend’s Anise Hat
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And my sister-in-law’s infinity scarf, no pattern used – but maybe another design coming? Who knows!
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And you guys, what’s your 2015 recap? Any resolutions for the new year?

WIP tour 2015 departing, all aboard!

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I have been pretty busy craft-wise in the last few weeks going from knitting and crocheting to sewing and weaving, and that translates as quite a few WIPs in the works right now. Since I haven’t blogged about any of my current projects so far, I thought it would be interesting to share with you what I’ve been up to lately.

The first WIP I want to share with you is a cute pair of lace socks I’m making using some Cascade Heritage yarn I had on hand. I improvised this design using a basic feather and fan pattern for the cuff and a simple eyelet pattern for the foot. It’s a very simple and fun pattern to knit, so when I’m done with the second sock I think I’ll publish the pattern on Ravelry for others to enjoy too 🙂 Let’s share the love! FotorCreatedSince I made the lace socks for myself, I also had to make some socks for me Honeybee – you know how it goes! And since he’s a little picky about colors, I didn’t have anything in stash that suit his taste so we went yarn shopping last weekend in Burlington. He set his heart on a yarn I had never worked with before, Kroy FX sock yarn in Cadet Colors. Although I do find the yarn a little thick for a sock yarn, I must say I do like the color variations a lot. And somehow, it seems to fit the cable pattern I came up with pretty well. Another possible free sock pattern? Maybe. We’ll see 🙂 20150209_005250388_iOSLast month I also started a test-knit for Paula Ladd, a very nice button up cardigan with a mock cable pattern called “Evelyn“. It is a bottom up cardigan, which I don’t knit very often because experience has taught me that I generally run out of steam before reaching the the yoke. I pulled this one through though, and I finished the body today. Now I can move onto the sleeves, Yay! Although it has been slow progress, I’m still pretty pumped about it and cannot wait to see it come to life in the next few weeks!

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I also took some time in the last month to make a few sets of placemats for friends and family using some fabric I had in stash. It turned out pretty good, and something is telling me I might make some more this month! FotorCreated2Last but not least, I have 3 friends of mine who are pregnant or recently gave birth, so I have been a little baby-crazy in the last few weeks. Lots of things to share in the picture below! The gray rectangle on the bottom is a baby blanket in the making, using some Bernat Baby Coordinates yarn I had in stash. This pattern looks so cute! On the right is the fabric I’ll be using for a special home/dec project for a little girl’s nursery. On the top left is a few 2/8 cotton bobbins for a couple baby wraps I’ll be weaving in the next few weeks and on the top right corner is the cutest book I found for crochet toys… I think I’ll try my hand at it in a couple weeks time. hehehe 🙂

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That’s it for me, what have you guys been up to lately?

A little guessing game – Christmas Giveaway!

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I have been working a lot in the past couple weeks on handmade Christmas presents for friends and family, and fortunately for me things have been cruising along at a very nice pace. I started my Christmas preparation a little late this year so things really could have gotten ugly – I am so very glad it didn’t, and I’m crossing my fingers that things will keep cruising until the very end!

Since most of those projects have not yet been gifted (heck most of them aren’t even finished!) I can’t really show you guys real progress pictures, but I guess we probably CAN play a little guessing game. Here’s a close up of 3 projects I’m currently working on for Christmas. If you think you can guess what one (or more!) of these items are, like or share this post and leave a comment below telling me what your guess (or guesses) are. Out of all the entries received by December 25th, I’ll give away a little surprise to one lucky winner.

Good luck all! 🙂

FotorCreated