My sister and I sometimes like to get the kids together and do a seasonal craft. Last week we got the kids together to do something Christmassy. She found a fun craft for them - growing their own candy canes.
First we took peppermint candies and added them into cups with "dirt" (crushed up Oreos) to cover them.
Then we sprinkled them with magic dust (colored sugar)
And waited for them to grow
The next time we saw them, they had begun to sprout (add in broken candy canes)
A couple days later they were fully grown!
The kids got such a kick out of this activity! And it was easy to do too.
Before Christmas I finished another stocking - this one was for my other grandma.
I'm more pleased with this one than the last one I did. My tension was a little better on this one than the last one. Plus I think the pattern is really cute - it's A Fair Isle Christmas. The great part about the pattern is the ability to mix and match. It comes with three main patterns and three borders so you can pick and choose but all of the combinations look like they would be cute together. I used up more of the stash acrylic and size 7 dpns for the project.
I also knitted a few ornaments this season to go with gift cards for C's teachers. Unfortunately in all the hubbub I forgot to take pictures. Now I'm finally moving on to something for me. I'm back to my socks - I had ripped them out and moved down to a smaller needle size. It's going a little smoother now. Hopefully I'll get pics soon.
Merry Christmas! We had a very nice Christmas here in Arizona. Our church had an absolutely amazing service filled with songs and focusing on how we can be lights in this world. Very uplifting and a great start to the weekend.
I think the boys both enjoyed Christmas this year. They got to see all of their cousins and I think they enjoyed their presents too! We also had a fudge making contest at my mom's - I won! I made a white chocolate peppermint fudge with chocolate chips. It was delicious. I also made my peanut butter balls, a peanut butter cream cheese ball and s'mores scones for my Christmas baking.
Unfortunately because I was having so much fun I didn't get too many pictures but here is a couple from the weekend.
J and me
Yes he is in shorts in that picture
The award winning fudge and my peanut butter balls
And a little treat for me (Opal sock yarn in their Van Gogh color way - this one is Starry Night)
I managed to finish the turtle before the baby shower yesterday. Granted I finished it at 1:30 in the morning before the shower at three that afternoon. I am really thrilled with how he turned out.
The pattern is Sheldon and I used Caron Simply Soft on size 5 needles. Most of the pattern was basic toy construction but there were definitely a few things that challenged me. I had to knit an i-cord and do some basic crochet. Actually this was a great chance to practice my crochet which was one of the things on my resolution list.
I'm tempted to make one for myself - I just love how cute this patten is!
Wow it's been way too long since I've posted anything. Life really got in the way for a while. Lately the only free time I had was devoted to knitting. I ended up having a few of my deadlines moved up. The baby shower I am going to was moved up two weeks. So now instead of needing to finish a stuffed animal by the last weekend in November, I need it by a week from today. Aaaaarrrrrrrrgggggggghhhhhh! I did find a cute pattern though - I'm knitting a Sheldon.
The other project was one of the stockings. Long story but I decided to knit it for my grandma's birthday instead of Christmas and her birthday was last week. I did manage to finish it so it's my finished object this week.
This is only the second time I've done color work so I'm fairly pleased with it. I did knit a little bit tightly so it pulled a bit. I also got slightly turned around after turning the heel and ended up as a ridge of purl stitches. I decided not to rip it back as it sort of looks decorative. Can't wait to try the next one and see if it comes out even better.
It's Friday and I actually have a finished object to share! My dinosaur is finally finished.
The pattern is Terrence the Tap Dancing T-Rex from Rebecca Danger. He was done on size 1 needles in sock yarn I picked up from Joann's when they had their massive clearance sale a while back. The construction is so interesting - only the arms and legs are sewn on at the end. He was pretty easy to knit and I appreciated not having to do too much sewing. I did embroider his eyes and mouth though because he is going to be a baby gift. I plan on giving him to a coworker with a copy of Dinosaur versus Bedtime.
I still need one more stuffed animal in the next six weeks or so. (Why are so many people due at the same time!?) However I put toy knitting aside for my next project; I'm knitting Christmas stockings for each of my grandparents. I'm using a chart for the first time so wish me luck!
I've been slacking a little on the blog updates - I can't believe it's been two weeks. Things are busy at work and of course the boys always keep me on my toes. I have managed to snap a few pictures highlighting some of our everyday life though.
I got a new stapler for my desk...
...and a new lamp too! For some reason I'm way too excited about these items.
Somehow in the last few weeks J has started to lose the toddler look and is starting to look like a big kid.
I love this photo of him!
C is still so creative. So far we've had story time (this was the cast of characters)...
...interesting potato head characters...
...and Buzz Lightyear trying to get out of a precarious position.
One more picture - I thought this was beautiful and just had to show it off.
My dinosaur is still coming along and is now to the point where he actually looks like a dinosaur (as evidenced by my two year old picking him up and roaring). I actually had to try something new for this project. I had to knit part of three rows on waste yarn so I could pick up the stitches for his tail. Aside from making a total mess of the waste yarn as I was pulling it out, it went pretty well. I do have a few places where the stuffing is showing through that will need to be stitched up but the tail is safely attached. I almost wish I had picked up a few extra stitches to take care of the issue though.
Now I've moved on to the limbs. One thing I didn't take into account when I started the dinosaur is that pattern on the yarn meant that I would need to start each arm and each leg at the same point in the yarn so they match. Ooops! But I think I'm back on track now.
In addition to the dinosaur, I've started on my cardigan. It's a gorgeous pattern called Serina and I'm using my Joann clearance yarn. Okay well started on may be a bit generous. So far I've purchased the pattern and I'm actually swatching before I start. Hopefully by this time next week I'll have moved onfrom the swatch and have the actual cardigan started.
E and I have been trying something new with C by giving him a chore chart that spells out expectations. Nothing is too major - it's things like pick up your room and brush your teeth. We also added "be nice to your brother" for good measure.
C is very motivated by stickers so he gets a sticker for each item he completes and once he earns a certain number of stickers he gets his reward. It seems to be working well so far; if he messes up on something like being nice to his brother he still tries to behave so he can get his other stickers.
I did run into one issue - I can't find sticker charts in the store! I know they exist but rather than drive all over the place, I decided to create my own. It was pretty easy. I set up the table in excel and then pasted it to PowerPoint to add the title and stars. To accommodate the stickers I made each box 0.45" by 0.45". Each section was shaded in a different color to distinguish it from the other sections. I also left a few lines in case we need to add anything before we run out of charts.
It was fun to design my own chart. It's great because I could customize it with our specific rules. Plus it was easy to do!
The dinosaur I'm knitting is still a work in progress but he's finally starting to look more substantial. The only thing that's getting to me is the seemingly endless rounds of garter stitch. In reality it's only about 50 rounds with 60 some odd stitches each before i start decreasing so it shouldn't be too overwhelming but I think my knitting mojo has flown out the window. I hope it's just because I'm tired and can't really think about knitting by the time the little ones go to bed. I've been trying to "power through" 2-4 rows a night while I wait for my mojo to return. (By the way is it weird that I hear Austin Power's voice in my head every time I type the word mojo?) Ahem, anyway here is the dino so far:
I think he will be cute when he is done, although I hope the striping pattern of the yarn isn't too busy. Maybe by next week I'll have the body done.
Today is Friday, which means it's time for FO Friday at Tami's Amis. I actually have a project to share is week - my washcloth from the Ravellenic games.
I managed to finish it last Friday before the end of the games. I also completed something off my 2012 Resolution list by learning how to knit cables. This was also my first experience with lace. I found the lace harder than the cables but after a few false starts I really got into it.
It's really great to learn so many new techniques. Between this and the color work I learned recently, I feel like I have to eliminate fewer and fewer projects due to skill level when I am searching for a new project. I can't wait to learn more!
C's last basketball game of the season was this past weekend so I made sure to keep my camera handy to capture some of the highlights. Well at one point during a lull in the action J decided to snap a few pictures. Well let me be more specific - 23 pictures. A few highlights:
And for good measure, one that I took of the basketball player:
I've moved onto my newest project, Terence the Tap Dancing T-Rex. He is one of Rebecca Danger's newest patterns. Her designs are always so cute but this guy is especially fun. I've been quite antsy to work on him but put it off to the side so I could make sure I finished my project for the Ravellenic games on time.
I decided to knit him with some of the sock yarn I bought at the big sale Joann's had a few months ago. Funny enough I bought 8 skeins of sock yarn and so far I'm only setting two aside for socks. I'm using size 1 needles to get the fabric tight enough to keep the stuffing inside; this is my first time using needles this small!
My plan is to pair it with Dinosaur versus Bedtime and give it at a baby shower I've got coming up soon. I can't wait to see how he turns out!
Well I'm officially the mom of a kindergartener now. C started school this morning. He did great! Ran right up to his teacher and started talking to her. He barely noticed when we left. I'm so proud of him!
The Ravellenic games started this weekend. I joined Ravelry two years ago (hey wait I just realized it is my Ravelversary today!) so I missed out on the last games. I knew I really wanted to participate this year.
Part of the purpose of the games is to stretch yourself as a knitter so I decided to try a couple of new techniques. I picked a dishcloth called Cables 'N' Lace, so no surprise the techniques I'm trying are cabling and lace work. (Cabling is also on my resolution list.) My lace experience to date has been eyelet rows, so nothing tricky, and I've never even touched a cable needle before this. I figured a dishcloth would be just the right size to start with.
So far it's been going okay. I've had to start over a few times so far but surpringly most of the times have been for really simple things that shouldn't be tripping me up. My first mistake was skipping the line in the pattern in between the cast on and the first row of lace that said to seed stitch six rows. So I ripped out what I had done and started over. Then somehow I ended up ribbing instead of doing a seed stitch. On my third try I managed to make it through the seed stitching part and onto the lace part. Four rows in I dropped a stitch and couldn't figure out how to fix it. Back to the beginning of the lace section. Attempt four seems to be going better (knock on wood) but I can understand why lifelines are important in lace.
Here's what I've got so far. I still need to finish the first repeat and do five more. I'm really hoping I finish in time. For now I'm just going to keep chugging along, watching the Olympics and knitting.
For more lovely projects (hopefully going more smoothly than mine!), check out Tami's Amis!
It seems like we have been getting quite a few dust storms in Arizona this year (and even some rain!) The dust that these storms produce is intense - it basically is a wall of dust that moves across the region. I managed to get a few amazing photos of the most recent storm. Check out how the mountain disappears; these were taken in a span of 5-10 minutes.
Well today is Friday and I have a finished project to share. The surprising part is what the item is. I figured, based on how far I had gotten by Wednesday, that my finished object would be the cat KAL. However after I finished sewing the limbs yesterday I just couldn't motivate myself to do any more sewing for the face. I really wanted to knit! So I decided to cast on something from my long list of planned projects.
I chose the coffee cozy for the color work challenge. I figured it was the project that I had the best chance of completing before the Ravellenic games. What surprised me is how fast it worked up. I managed to finish it in just a few hours.
This was my first experience with stranded knitting (or anything like it). My previous forays into color were limited to changing color at the end of a row, which is really no different than starting a new skein when you run out on any project. I don't know why I let this intimidate me for so long. It was actually really easy. Plus I crossed something off my resolution list!
For more finished objects, check out Tami's lovely site!
It's time for another WIP Wednesday! This week I am remarkably close to finishing the MysteryKnitAlong. I definitely know what it is now - and spoiler alert on the off chance someone is reading this and also participating in the KAL - it's a cat!
I've actually finished with the knitting part and have moved on to sewing. I should finish him this weekend since I only have two limbs and some embroidery left (plus I'm off two extra days this week - yay - so I have more time). Plus I know what I'm going to do with him now. Turns out two more of my coworkers are pregnant (one with twins) and I sort of set a precedent of giving a stuffed animal and story, so this project will be perfect for one of them. Now I just need to find a good kids book involving a cat.
Aside from that I don't have any other projects except for the hibernating socks. Now that I'm done knitting the cat I can get back to them. I also have a few other things planned. I want to participate in the color work challenge that the Simply Notable group is doing on Ravelry. I also plan on doing a dishcloth for the Ravellenic games; this will be my first experience with cables and lace. I'll also need to get two more stuffed animals done. Lastly I have plans to knit a Serina cardigan. It will be my first try at a cardigan. I'm super excited because I found some great yarn at a Joann's clearance. It's the brown and blue yarn in the photo below.
And on an unrelated note, I just realized my 2nd Blogoversary was this week. I really can't believe two years have flown by since I started this blog. My youngest was only six months old when I started. Now he is two! And my oldest will start Kindergarten shortly. It's hard to wrap my head around this, but it's been a great outlet for me. Here's to another year!
For more great works in progress, check out Tami's Amis
I finished my second tutu yesterday; this was the tutu for my niece's doll. I thought since I've been talking about tutus a lot this week I would post a tutu tutorial (wow that's a mouthful).
These tutus are so simple to make. The only materials needed are tulle and a piece of elastic. For the tulle I just used the spools that you can buy in most stores.
The first step is to measure the waist. Since mine is a surprise for my niece, poor J had to step in as my model. I figured I would need just a little bit of negative ease so I sewed it about half an inch shorter than I measured. In this case I cut 20" and overlapped it by half an inch to sew it down.
The next step is to cut the tulle. At this point you will need to determine how long you want the skirt to be. Take that number and double it. Then check the width of your elastic and double it. Add the two numbers together. In my example I wanted a 9 1/2 inch length and my elastic was 3/4 inch. So I cut each strip to 20 1/2 inches (9 1/2 + 9 1/2 + 3/4 + 3/4).
Now take the tulle and fold it in half. Place the folded end of the tulle inside the elastic waist, pointing towards the bottom of the tutu. Take the unfolded end and pull it over the top of the elastic and through the loop. Repeat until the elastic is covered. I find it helpful to stretch the elastic slightly while doing this to make sure everything is covered well.
The doll tutu was very similar. I did cut the pieces of tulle in half lengthwise since it was a lot shorter. My doll is 10 inches around and I wanted a 4 in length so each strip was 9 1/2 inches. Otherwise the process was the same.
Today I managed to finish one of Benny's legs for the mystery knit along.
I'm pretty excited because it involved some sock construction techniques that I had only done once before on the knitted lion. I do find it a bit strange that I've turned a heel twice now, yet have never done it on an actual sock. I'll just call it practice. Ahem, anyway it's not nearly as intimidating as I thought. As long as I trust the instruction it's like magic! I only ended up with one teeny hole. I think the second foot will go quicker and then I can move on to clues 3 and 4. With any luck I'll only finish a week or two late.
My other finished project this week was the tutu. As I promised on Wednesday, here is a picture.
It was so easy - the only sewing involved was sewing the elastic together. The tulle is just tied on. My niece (and sister) will love it!
It's time for another WIP Wednesday. I can't believe it's Wednesday again already. I'm still working on the mystery knit a long. Well it's not really a mystery anymore. The final clue was released this week. Unfortunately for me I'm only on clue 2 of 4.
This is Benny's leg (sort of). I still have a lot to knit on it plus I need to do the second one. So I've actually managed to get even farther behind. Oh well, I'm just going to keep plugging away. I should finish him in the next couple of weeks.
I did, however, make progress on another (non knitting) project. I'm making a tutu for my niece and her doll for her birthday. This weekend I finished hers so I just need to do the doll's. I'll try and post pictures this week.
I also managed to squeeze a small update to the look of my blog. I added social media icons. I found a great tutorial here. You can check them out in the upper right hand corner. I love them!
It's Wednesday so it's time for another work in progress update. I'm still plugging away on the mystery knit a long. I did manage to get the body finished before clue number 2 was released, but now I've fallen so far behind. Last week was the week to knit the limbs and I just did not have the time to dedicate to the project.
As you can see there is only one arm there. I'm about 20 rows into the other arm, with the feet still left too. On top of that I still have the head to complete. I think part of the reason I got behind was I kept screwing up. First I joined backwards and when I went to fix it I twisted myself up so badly it wasn't worth tinking. The next time I managed to completely pull it off the needles when I was abou ten rows in. I really hope the third time is the charm so I can catch back up.
It is possible to live on the surface of the sun. Oh wait it's just Phoenix in June.
Two year olds are very dramatic. This weekend J told me "Mommy, I'm melting"
Never try out a new recipe for the first time the day before you would like to give the results to somebody, especially if it is a recipe from your own head and not something others have tried before.
Related to that, never try a new recipe at midnight after everyone is asleep. It's a given the smoke alarm will go off.
Marshmallows burn really quickly if you use the broil setting on the oven (we're talking less than 30 seconds)
If you decide to make something different the next morning you will realize you are out of a key ingredient about halfway through the cooking process. This will also occur after your husband goes to the grocery store and asks if you need anything.
If you tell your five year old before his first basketball game that his team name is the Tigers, he will growl at his opponents.
Based on the amount of flopping and traveling that C committed in the game, he may have a future in the NBA. However if they consider things like passing, dribbling or shooting, then I would consider it a long shot.