Sunday, January 31, 2010

Another death...

Hot chicks in the snow.

One of the red heads.
And our little blue dog.
Not a good combination

Sad boy

And we've got a very sad boy.
Crying, tears...the whole works.
Thankfully not quite as bad as the first time.
They understood a little better this time that dogs will be dogs.
And that chickens aren't too bright.
But the chicken feathers flying around the yard are not helping matters.

Sweet sister helping her brother

Lil' Mermaid did better this time around
She put her arms around her brother and cried with him.
She told him it would be all right.
She told him we'd get some more chickens in a few months.
She came up with an idea to make him feel better.

Working on Hot Rod's present

A chicken paper doll.
For her brother to keep.
I love my kids.


The dearly departed

Bye red chicken. Cluck cluck.

All Seven

My Seven

I actually attempted and finished my first crochet along. On time too! I signed up to participate in the Let's Make Seven CAL and I did it! Plus, I made some blocks in between. And there are definitely more in my immediate future. I want to thank Badskirt and One Flew Over for the idea & the encouragement.

Still not totally sure what I will do with all the blocks...hotpads & potholders for sure. Possibly some pillows...Ross wants a blanket out of some of them. Guess we'll see what else I come up with. For now it's just fun playing with them.

Wanna see them again? Okay.;-)
All done....

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Organizing?

Not all of it....

I call it organizing.

A basket of fun sock yarn

Ross calls it playing.

Some of my faves

Sheesh. Semantics

Wool on top

I'm getting there.

Cotton in the middle

Slowly.

Organizing the yarn

I can't help it if I get distracted. Can I?

Thursday, January 28, 2010

More hotpads and a swap in there too!

Dishcloth Swap #1

I am participating in my first swap on Ravelry. It's with 12 Dancing Dishcloths, and everyone participating is assigned a month where they receive all the dishcloths. So I can practice more crochet stitches with relatively small projects and make somebody happy. Plus, when November rolls around I get all the packages! Yippeee! Perfect for a mail lover like me.

So, this first swap went to Tara in Texas. Originally I was going to send her this ripple dishcloth:
Folded dish cloth

But, I didn't have on-hand the hook called for so I went with a larger hook on this striping cotton I have been wanting to try. I am not too happy with the results. The openwork part of the ripple looks messy to me. And it was getting way too big and distorted looking. Arrghhh... I love how the yarn striped and the color in person is very pretty. But I could not get a good photo of it during our cloudy days. So it looks very washed out in these photos.

New dishcloth pattern

I should frog it, but Ross convinced me to just use it in our kitchen and so I went back to a recent square from 200 Crochet blocks that I just absolutely loved and felt would make a good dishcloth:
Another Twistin' Granny Block

Yep, another twistin' granny block. Again, sorry for the washed out colors (the other photos show it more true to color). Then I added a little flower tawashi I had made months ago and a tiny handmade card and...voila...the package was sent off.

Yep, I went with the granny

Oh yeah, and before I forget, here is my new favorite hotpad/potholder pattern:

Motif #14

Besides making grannies, I am all about the FPdc these days. When I saw this pattern in another beautiful motif book, this one by Edie Eckman, I knew it would turn out something fun. It's motif 15 and I added another increase round of the orchid color and then a sc final row of the natural (all Lion Brand cotton with a G hook). I love the retro look of it and I think I will make a bunch more in other cool vintage colors.

Well, whaddya think, more crochet craziness these days? I swear in between all of this I am feeding the kids and marginally keeping the house clean. The laundry however....ehh.....

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Last of the Seven...and a few more

Marigold Corner

Phew! I finished all seven of the Let's Make Seven CAL featuring blocks from Jan Eaton's book. And I even added some more in there. Several people have decided to do all 200 blocks or at least all of the blocks done in rounds, but I am not sure I will go that far. However, I definitely have more blocks that are tickling my fancy. Below you will see a few. But first, here's my last of the seven.

Marigold #209 Block

#209 Marigold
Used Lion Brand Cotton in worsted weight so this flower is honkin'! I mean, HUGE, BIG, GIGANTIC!! But that's okay. It will make a very durable hotpad.

Marigold Flower

My first time doing a 3 dimensional flower where I worked behind the petals. That was different but not as hard as I thought it would be. I really like the colors that I used. And I am actually excited to try a few more of the 3D type of flower blocks in the book. Not to shabby, eh?

Marigold Close-up

One of the layouts int eh book that really caught my eye was this two page spread with #117 Granny in the Middle and #121 Coral Seas. I really liked the retro-ness of the colors. First I attempted the Coral Seas block. I think I matched the colors pretty well (although in the photo the seaspray color is looking more gray than in real life). Used Lion Brand cotton again and Peaches & Creme for the coral color. I left off the last two rows because it was getting disproportionally big. I will add a hanging ring in the corner.

Close-up of Coral Seas block

My second attempt at a mitered square if you count the granny combo I did here. I was worried that the square would really end up out of whack and crooked, but it turned out pretty good with some light blocking.

#121 Coral Seas Block

#117 Granny in the middle was pretty easy and straight forward. Again, I went with a similar color combo to the book, a bit brighter perhaps. Okay, a lot brighter.

#117 Granny in the Middle

I like this one for a cool retro dish cloth. Gotta love a versatile granny. All Lion Brand cotton (except for the coral color in Peaches & Creme) in worsted weight.

It's a bright granny

So there we have it. The last and a few more. I think we can justly assume that there will be more from this lovely book. Stay tuned for a pic of all seven blocks when I get my camera battery charged!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Weekend Crafting

Weekend Crochet

Still a bit of a dreary weekend. But we enlivened it with some colorful crafting and a new craft experience.

Almost finished

Disc-disc potholder/hot pad pattern from Chicken Betty.

Two trivets/hot pads in motion

I should probably try and finish one before I start another one, eh?

The Woodburner

Then we have the little man and his crafty project that he has been nagging at us try for days and days. He got this wood burning set from Grandma and Grandpa W for his birthday. Everyday he has asked us to try it but we just haven't had a good stretch of time where one of us could sit down and really dedicate a big chunk of time to him and this project. The wood burner tool takes a while to heat up and cool down, and obviously can be very dangerous - not a craft he can do on his own or unsupervised.

First woodburning practice

But he did amazingly well with it, especially for his first time. He is so much like his father, it's crazy sometimes. Ross traced the images onto some scrap pieces of wood. And Hot Rod did most of the burning himself. Not too shabby, eh? Better than I can do that's for sure.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

What a little man

A Happy Viking?
Our first born, our little man, how in the world can you be seven years old already? I can still remember holding your little 6 pound body while your sister had to board a helicopter bound for the NICU. For 9 whole days we had you and only you to snuggle and love on and to keep us busy and keep our hearts light. That's when you earned your first nickname of Velcro Boy. And really, that still fits you.

You seem more confident than you really are.
You have always had a curious mixture of boy toughness and deep sensitivity.
Sometimes I think you wish you were an only child, but yet you don't like being alone.
But I know how deeply you love your "little" sisters.
You take being the oldest child quite seriously. In fact sometimes, I think you worry about it.
You like to be first at things, but not necessarily the best.
You are pretty open about trying new things.
You amaze me with your deep insights sometimes.
You try so hard to help people,that frequently you get "talked to" about over-helping.
You have a very kind heart.
You are actually NOT as competitive as I thought you would be.
It is very hard for you to sit still for a full school day.
You crave diversity in learning.
You are a great cheerleader for your friends.
When you are alone with Peelu, you are a fabulously patient big brother.
Your mind works so fast and thinks of so many different things at the same time.
I think you are a smidge closer to your twin sister than she is to you.
You're a bit of a brown-noser. But we think it's funny. :-) And your intentions are good.
You are so much like your father in the way you learn things, your diverse interests, your curiosity, your helpfulness, your insane knowledge about things...
You are also quite like your maternal grandfather too - overly helpful, kind heart, quite the rule-follower, stands up for what you know is right.
You also have a bad temper like your Mama. Eek!
But you care so much for people that you frequently cry and become sad when you know that somebody is hurting.
You can be quite determined - hence learning to walk at 9 months old.


You are my little old man.
Wise beyond your years about some things, and oh so sensitive.
And a bit afraid to grow up.
And that’s okay, because I am a bit sad for you to grow up too.
But you will always be my little Velcro Boy.
And I can’t wait to see the man you will become.

Ohhhhhhh girl.....

My new Seven year old

You just turned seven years old. How did that happen? I can still remember when you were born, all 3.9 pounds of you. You were so teeny tiny, but already such a fighter. And so much stronger than we ever realized. And yet you keep proving that to us every day. There are so many things I love and treasure about you that I could fill up a whole day reciting them. So as you turn 7 years old, here's just a few of my favorite things about you, right here and right now.....

You will try anything once.
You are very athletic.
You love to help others.
You love, love, love to learn right now.
You're like a sponge, absorbing everything you can, and so proud of yourself when you can share that information.
You have very diverse interests.
You are much deeper than oftentimes I give you credit for...your silly smiles and goofy behavior hide a deep and thoughtful mind.
You can play with the boys but have many girlfriends as well.
You are quite independent, which is fun considering that you are a twin.
When you were younger you didn't talk much. Now we can't get you to stop and you talk a mile-a-minute.
I think someday soon that you will pass out because you forgot to take a breath during one of your 5 minute long verbal bursts.
You are definitely the "middle child", even if it is only by 5 minutes.
You are rather dramatic these days.
You have a competitive streak that surprises me.
You are a problem solver.
Your creativity and imagination sometimes leave me staring at you in wonderment.
You write and illustrate amazing stories.
You are far goofier than anyone knows.
You have a very strong character.
That is why you can walk to school in crazy hats, snow boots, plaid tights, a striped skirt,a tie-dyed shirt, and one side pony-tail in your hair.

You are beautiful.
Outside and inside.
Inside is what makes me the happiest.
And inside is where your light comes from.
For that, I am very, very thankful.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Scarves for three little maniacs

Christmas Scarves

I forgot to post some photos of the scarves I made for the maniacs for Christmas. Of course my lofty goal last year was to make the majority of our presents handmade items. That didn't happen. But I was determined to make some Christmas presents for my family. At least I achieved a little bit of that. And here's some of the proof:

Cute Big Girl Scarf Photo #1
First I started working on Lil' Mermaid's scarf since it was the most intricate. I used the Garden Scarf pattern by Michelle Ameron from The Happy Hooker book. Heehee. I'm sorry, I just crack myself up every time I say that name.

Close-up of Garden Scarf #1Close-up of Garden Scarf #2Close-up of Garden Scarf #3Close-up of Garden Scarf #4Close-up of Garden Scarf #5Garden Scarf for Lil' Mermaid

Lil' Mermaid wears it all the time. It was way easier than I thought, once I figured out the joining method. I couldn't understand the pattern for quite a while. Then I fiddled with it and the light bulb came on. I was rather proud of myself. :-) My first time doing treble crochet stitches too. I used Patons classic wool and Lion Brand wool. It does stretch quite a bit. And if I made it again I would maybe use a less stretchy yarn. But it is easy enough to block.

Cute, warm boy and his new handmade scarf
Next, I worked on cute boy's scarf. This one was so dang easy!! No pattern, I just did some dc until it was wide enough and then dc back and forth from there. Hot Rod picked out the colors and how long he wanted it to be.
Another shot of the super comfy scarf
Up close of Hot Rod's Xmas scarf
Hot Rod's super comfy scarf

This was my first time using Lion Brand Wool-ease Thick & Quick. I know I have been talking about how much I have enjoyed working with wool and cotton lately but I have to say, wool-ease is pretty nice. It's 80% acrylic and 20%wool. But it is so soft and comfy and WASHABLE! Which really, is very important sometimes. I find that as I am making more gifts that most people do not like having to specially wash things. And if it's for a kid, especially a teenager, it's really best if the item is washable. So, for me, I am really digging this wool-ease. Plus, this Thick & Quick worked up FAST!! I think it maybe took me two hours total time. Seriously. I am considering some blankets and throws out of this stuff!

Cute scarf Photo #4
And finally the scarf for the littlest maniac. Peelu wanted a rainbow - of course, she is her Mama's girl after all - so I pulled out half of a ball of that Red Heart Sper Saver in the Primary Colors colorway that I used on my Tahoe Hat. Okay, THIS is not my favorite acrylic, however it does have it's uses and it does soften up quite a bit when washed. But I LOVE this colorway. The hues of the colors in the yarn just make me smile.
Peelu's Rainbow
Pretty much the same thing as Hot Rod's just a simple dc pattern back and forth. The rainbow colors were the focus here. And just long enough for her to wrap around herself but not so long that her brother and sister can use it to tie her up with....
Cute scarf Photo #3

It's pretty cute, right? She's pretty cute too,huh? Oh okay, here's some more photos then.

Cute scarf Photo #4Cute scarf Photo #5Cute scarf Photo #1

All around success I think with these scarves. And let me tell you, we put them to good use walking to and from school during the year.

Handmade Love