Sunday, April 29, 2012

My crafty life - 3kcbwday7

Today is the final day of Knit and Crochet blog week and it has been a lot of fun so far. Today's topic is about balancing your craft.

As I mentioned yesterday, I only know how to knit. I'm not sure why it grabbed my attention first but it did. I would eventually like to learn to crochet, however. I think up until this point I hadn't put a lot of thought into it because I felt like I still had so far to go with my knitting. Now that I've gotten over many of my fears of trying new things with knitting, it might be the right time to learn. I have it on my goal list for this year!

I think once I learn more than just the basics, crochet will be a lot of fun and will be well suited to me since I do like to make toys. I know there are things I've wanted to make before and have been disappointed that it was crochet not knit. However I imagine I will still gravitate towards knitting. It certainly is interesting to think about.

To see other crafters' thoughts on the subject search Google for 3kcbwday7.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Knitting Skills - 3kcbwday6

Today's topic for Knit and Crochet blog week is about improving my skill set. I've been a knitter for about five years now, maybe a little longer, but it has only been in the last year or so that I've started to increase my skill set. Let's put it this way - before last year or so I knew how to knit, purl, knit 2 together and change colors at the end of the row. I couldn't even figure out how to switch back and forth between knitting and purling on the same row. I always added yarn overs when I tried.

At the beginning of last year I decided I wanted to learn to knit in the round. I had the perfect opportunity when I found an Android to knit for E's birthday. (He's the little guy that was in the picture on Tuesday - the Android, not E.) That seemed to be the moment that I got over a lot of my fears of trying anything new. I ended up really increasing my skills last year. I learned how to do an i-cord, pick up stitches, kitchner, do a three needle bind off, start with a knitted cast on and the kfb stitch. I also participated in my first knit along (and had to figure out M1R and M1L to do it).

I'd consider myself to be an intermediate knitter right now; I still have a long way to go before I'd consider myself advanced. I need to know how to do cables, colorwork and at least a few more types of cast ons and bind offs. I'd also like to do something that requires an accurate gauge like a sweater. Some of these are on my New Year's Resolution list for this year - practice cable knitting, knit a pair of socks, learn at least one new cast off, learn some sort of colorwork, and try short rows.

I also plan on adding a whole different skill set too; I plan to learn (relearn?) how to crochet this year. I took a class a few years ago and made a scarf that was all single crochet stitch but unfortunately I have pretty much forgotten how to do it. I'd love to be good enough to do a granny square blanket or add a pretty crochet edging to my knitted blankets. Plus I want to learn amigurimi - based on my love of knitted toys, I think it would be fun.

Basically I'd love to be able to go on Ravelry, pick any pattern in the database and be able to make it. No small challenge, right?

To read about other knitters' and crocheters' skill sets, just use Google to search 3kcbwday6.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

My knitting hero - 3kcbwday3

Today's topic for Knit and Crochet Blog Week is your knitting hero. I wasn't sure I had a knitting hero at first. I don't typically pick a pattern based on the designer so that was out as a criteria. But the more I thought about it, the more a couple of designers came to mind.

I'm from Arizona so I don't get a lot of use out of sweaters, gloves, hats and things like that. Don't get me wrong, there is an opportunity to use those things but the window is a whole lot smaller than many other places. And knitting a blanket in July when it's 110 degrees out is not the most fun.

That's why Susan B Anderson and Rebecca Danger are my knitting heroes. Knitting toys is a lot of fun. I had no idea when I first started knitting that you could make toys! And both of these ladies are amazing toy designers.

Susan Anderson's toys are great. I have a copy of Itty Bitty Toys and her instructions are so easy to understand. The bear I made for my niece for Christmas was the bear from that book.

I'm working on another bear for a coworker who is expecting. I also really want to knit the hippo because it is so stinkin' cute.

Rebecca Danger is awesome too! I love how creative she is. I absolutely adore her monsters.

I'm also dying to knit Jerry the Monkey and Basil the Brontosaurus.

If you want to learn about other bloggers' knitting and crocheting heroes, just use google to search 3kcbwday3.


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Photo Challenge - 3kcbwDay2

Today's challenge for knit and crochet blog week is to take a creative photograph. I'm certainly not the most creative person out there but I think Droid fans will get a kick out of this.

Of course an Android has got to use a Droid phone!

To find other Knit and Crochet Blog Week posts from today, just search Google for 3kcbwday2.


Monday, April 23, 2012

Knit and Crochet Blog Week - Day 1 3KCBWDAY1

Knit and Crochet Blog Week is here! This is my first time participating and I'm so excited. The goal is to blog about dIfferent fibery subjects each day. Today's topic is color.

I've been knitting for about five years. Just recently I was trying to remember why I picked up kntting and I realized it was because I wanted to make a pillow for my mom. I had no idea how complicated it would be since it was multicolor and had charts. (I still have a hard time reading charts even though I know how to knit.) I tried to find the right colors based on the pattern but obviously I never knitted the pillow. Smartly I decided to start with something easier.

Most of my projects follow the same method. I decide to make something, find a pattern that suits it, then pick the yarn. Color is usually the last choice. It tends to be dictated by the project, like doing a ladybug in black and red, or by the recipient's taste, like doing my friend's blanket in colors that match her nursery. I don't really even have much of a stash to draw from. Seriously half of the yarn I have in my stash is yarn my grandma gave me when she was decluttering. I tend to buy just what I need and I let the project dictate the color.

The monster I made for C is a good example of my typical method.

I knew he wanted a monster so I had him pick the pattern he wanted. I didn't have him decide on a color until he picked a pattern.
I can think of two examples where I did pick the project based on the color. The first was the monster I knitted for my nephew. My BIL is a huge Chivas fan so I knew whatever I did I wanted it to be in those colors and I picked a pattern to highlight the colors.
The other was my drawstring bag. I found self striping yarn at the store and I've always wanted to try it so I bought it without any project in mind. In fact it sat for a while until I could figure out what to do.
It was fun to think about color in a way I hadn't before. I always figured that it would be more of a driver in my projects but it appears I go for the patterns first.
To check out other knitters and crocheters thoughts on color, just google 3KCBWDay1. And if you want to participate head over to Eskimimimakes for the instructions.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

House decor

When I first joined Pinterest one of the first things I pinned was a great decorating idea from this website. For the longest time I wanted to create something like it for my house. I finally got my chance to make it this weekend.


Most of the decor in my house is pictures of the kids, E and me so I was looking for something that would go with the pictures but be a little different. This was the result:


It was super easy to make! I used scrapbook paper to trace each family member's hand, then cut them out and glued them down. I wrote our family name at the top of the blue page (it's out of the shot of this picture I took). I love my new picture and it captures a nice moment in time - before too long my hand will be the smallest in the family.

Linking up to the Sundae Scoop on I Heart Naptime


Saturday, April 14, 2012

WIP Wednesday on a Saturday

I totally missed doing a work in progress update on Wednesday this week. I've been so busy at work that I've barely had time for anything else. On top of work it was Easter plus C's, E's, my mom's and SIL's birthdays. Fortunately we have a bit of a lull this weekend (I hope) which will give me a chance to catch up around here.


I have managed to sneak in a little bit of crafting this week. I've got two knitting projects and one cross stitching project going. First up is the socks. I'm going super slow on these; I'm still on the ribbing on the first sock. But there is some progress.

My second is the brown bear for my coworker. I've been paying a little more attention to it since I will rapidly run out time if I don't. I've got the bottom of the body done but nothing else and I only have two months to finish.

My last craft project is my cross stitching. I hadn't done cross stitching in years (cross stitching was my first crafty love but fell to the side when I learned how to knit) but I started again when I knew I would want something besides knitting to entertain me on the plane ride to Hawaii.

Right now it's a little dull looking since I've only done the pale blue but it does get more colorful. I think it will go on my desk at work or in the kitchen when I finish it. It's been fun to get back into cross stitching.


And even though this isn't a craft project, another thing I've got going is my basil. I planted it a few weeks ago and it's actually growing! I'm going to have a caprese salad and some pesto when it's ready!


Sunday, April 8, 2012

Gummi candy!

I wanted to make some treats for Easter and I have some really cute bunny and chick molds so I decided to make some gummi candies. I found a good recipe from Skip to My Lou. It's so simple - just three ingredients! To make them all you need is a box (3 oz size) of flavored jello, two envelopes of unflavored gelatin (1/4 oz each) and 1/3 cup water. Add the water to a small sauce pan. Add in the gelatin and stir gently until it is mixed in. The mixture will have the consistency of jelly at this point.


Let it rest for 5-10 minutes. Put the pan over medium heat and stir for 2-5 minutes until the mixture is liquid - no lumps! (All four of my batches barely took two minutes.) Let it cool for a minute and then pour into the molds.
After 20 minutes remove them from the molds. They pop right out! I did dust just a tiny bit of powdered sugar on the backs before I pulled them out to make them less sticky. The gummies absorb most of it but they still ended up sticky and they tasted the same.
I made strawberry, orange and lime. I think the strawberry was my favorite. Yummy!

Check out Wayward Weekend and I heart Naptime for other great crafts.