Tuesday, December 28, 2010

i'm still alive!

Kind of.  I don't feel very well and am desperately trying to get better so I can go to Philadelphia for NYE. I don't have any finished projects, but I have two WIPs to show off!

Firstly is a baby blanket for my step sister who is expecting a little girl sometime early next year.  I used the squares from the Lil' Monkey Afghan in the Happy Hooker but adapted the pattern to how I wanted the entire thing to look.  The problem is, I've run out of my white yarn with only TWO sides to go until the end!  I hate when that happens.  So I'm saving a finished product picture until it really is finished, and I'll just show some pictures of squares! 


The second project is yet another blanket, this time a stashbuster!  These are my favorite kinds of blankets, they turn out amazing.  

This is the first stashbuster I made, earlier this year.  I finished approximately 21 different skeins of yarn making it!  It's a little larger than my bed which is full sized.  There is some fun fur, some sequins, some wool, and some crazy stuff that I don't really remember in that blanket.  The large granny square worked well because of the different yarn weights.

Now my stash is all similarly weighted, so I'm going to do a hexagonal motif stashbuster, using 5 different motifs from Beyond the Square!  It is going to take forever, but hopefully it'll be worth it.  Here's progress...

Pretty soon, I'll have a big post to show off my spinning, I've gotten 3 good sized skeins so far on my drop spindle and have two sets of roving dyed to try out when I get my wheel! Gah I'm so excited.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

new things.

I haven't posted in forever, mainly because I just completed my first week as a government employee and I'm still figuring out how to work, get enough sleep, go to the gym, and still be able to craft things.  It's a tough process.

However here are some finished Christmas presents!

Two hoops, one for my grandfather and his wife, and one for my grandmother.

Friday, December 10, 2010

reindeer cupcakes!

I don't have much to say, just wanted to post a picture of what my mom and I got through with.  Our family Christmas party is tomorrow so today was spent preparing.

I give you...

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer in cupcake form!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

elliot & rivers.

Today, I really, REALLY miss my cats. So I'm going to post about them and hope that this cheers me up. First I will tell the story of how they came to be...

In May 2007, I moved to Murfreesboro, TN to finish college and lived in an apartment by myself, in a state where I knew nobody. I eventually called my mom and asked her if I could get a cat, so I wouldn't be alone all the time.
This is how I acquired baby Elliot (who is now simply called "Eli" unless he is in serious trouble). He was adopted from Petsmart's Adoption Center when he was a little, tiny kitten...

Saturday, December 4, 2010

look at all this fiber-y goodness!

Yesterday I went on an adventure to Flying Fibers in Landisville, PA. The store is about 25 minutes away from my house, and one of the only stores of its kind near me. I was pleasantly surprised by how easy the shop was to find, and how wonderful the staff was! I discovered that classes are offered at the shop on a variety of topics including spinning on a wheel, knitting, crocheting, cables, sweaters and more. Once I get more competent at drop spindle spinning, I may take a class on wheel spinning, just to learn.

The selection of roving was amazing as well, the variety is listed on their website.

I cannot wait to go back! Yesterday I got...

4.6oz of Shetland

4oz of Jacob

Blue Faced Leicester (I don't know the amount, it was pre-priced)

On another note, my mom has decided to NOT wrap all the spinning related gifts I'm getting for Christmas (she says she's going green), so i was given all of this yesterday and today!

ONE POUND of undyed natural wool roving from Smokey Mountain Fibers

2oz of hand dyed firestar from WC Mercantile

1oz of hand dyed firestar from Rhinofluff! (previously called Traveling Rhinos)

I also got a crock pot, specifically for fiber dyeing! Gah, I'm so excited.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

leonidas the lion!

Meet Leonidas the Lion! He's a crafty little lion that, right now, is exceptionally fond of his seat of honor on top of my dresser.

I added up the amount of time it took to make him today (a friend had asked me) and I'd say 35 hours maximum. Aka enough time that, if my friend doesn't appreciate Leonidas, I'm going to kick him in the shins and keep him to myself!

I really would recommend Delicious Crochet patterns to anyone that enjoys making ridiculously cute things! The patterns are very in depth and include many pictures to guide you along. So go get some!

I've started my dinosaur as well!

Rawr! :D

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

christmas crafting

I have been on a ROLL when it comes to Christmas crafting. And by that I mean the one project I'm working on, well it's going much quicker than I had expected.

Now the things I have left to do are as follows NOTHING!:
  • Finish Leonidas the Lion
  • Finish embroidering the money cat and finish the hoop nicely
  • Embroider another money cat on different fabric and possibly paint it
  • Embroider a hoop for my grandmother (design has yet to be picked out)
  • Crochet a T-Rex
Not toooo bad considering I have a whole month to do it!

I spent this weekend sick, and learning to spin.
These are the first skeins I've done:

Some more dyeing was done as well! (This spun into the more green of the two skeins pictured above)...

That's pretty much all I have right now. Here's progress on Leonidas...I really hope the person he's for doesn't look at this post!

I just purchased another pattern from Delicious Crochet, this time the T-Rex pattern. After working through Leonidas, I'm excited to start on this new one!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

turkey cupcakes!!

My mom and I just got finished making these epic cupcakes and they turned out freaking adorable.

I just used regular yellow cake mix and pre-made chocolate frosting because I have no idea how to make cake from scratch.

I feel like making these is fairly self explanatory, but I'm going to post some tips that I learned through trial and error because I made a lot of these. Look proof:

  • Make large cupcakes. Most recipes tell you to fill the baking cups about 2/3 full. No way. I'd fill mine until there was about a quarter to half inch from the top. This causes them to spread, giving you a larger space to make turkeys with!
  • Let the cupcakes cool for a long time. Seriously. I let these sit for about 2 hours before I even started preparing to frost them.
  • Have a healthy supply of toothpicks out. I used a bunch smoothing out the frosting that formed the head.
  • Frost the cupcakes first by using a knife. It doesn't need to look perfect, it's going to be covered up anyways :) Make a ziploc bag pastry bag to make the little head.

Happy Thanksgiving y'all!

Monday, November 22, 2010

dying roving!

Today was my first time dying roving! It was an exciting process and I am super stoked to start spinning tomorrow.

I ordered a spinning kit from Maine Woods Yarn & Fiber that included approximately 2.5oz of undyed roving and a bottom whorl spindle.

Here are some process shots:

Soaked in vinegar water, laid out and ready to be dyed....

Some food coloring added. I used the regular food coloring you get at the grocery store...

Cooking :)

Cooling and drying...

Somehow this turned out exactly how I wanted it too. I wanted the roving to be predominately greens and oranges with a mish mash of colors surrounding it. It's almost dry so I will start spinning tomorrow.

For now it's Monday Night Football time! Go Chargers!


Yesterday I experimented with making lip balm. Again. This is the second time I've tried this and I'm not sure I enjoyed the process anymore this time around.

I did have adorable tins to use though! I save these up for projects such as this.

I also don't have a grater. I used a vegetable peeler to grate my beeswax block. Not the most efficient and I do not recommend it if you are as impatient as I am.

I didn't follow a recipe, more or less read a lot of different recipes and made my own. The main components were beeswax, jojoba oil, and almond oil. I had raspberry, orange, and cinnamon flavor oils and passionfruit guava scented oil and lavender scented oil. I used the same lipstick to color all three, just used different amounts.

The only problem I had was with the lavender scented oil. I didn't realize that the dropped topping the bottle didn't work at all, so when I went to use the oil, I literally POURED the oil in. Needless to say the lavender is overpowering. Big fail.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

I entered the Happily Handmade Pouch Giveaway and you should too!

**just realized the title was spelled wrong! good job to me!**

Soap Deli News is having a fantastic giveaway this month that everyone should enter!

One adorable handmade pouch, made by Bird Trouble is being filled with YOUR CHOICE of three Shea Butter soaps from Rebecca's Soap Delicatessen.
The pouch is approximately 8"x5" and features a tattooed girl.

Follow the link to learn how you can enter!

Happily Handmade Pouch Giveaway

Thursday, November 18, 2010

some finished things..

The other day I began working on my Christmas list. I've made fairly decent progress. But first, I got caught up baking! My mother signed me up to make cupcakes for Thanksgiving so I figured I'd better practice a bit before dinner!

These are carrot cake with cream cheese frosting that I dyed with food coloring. They turned out so much better than I expected! I love the yellow, it turned out very bright.

After cupcakes, I got back to work on my list. I finished a scarf for my Dad's girlfriend and some Penn State colored dishcloths/pot holders for my grandmother and grandfather!

I ended up with 48 motifs making the scarf about 74" long. I love it!

I made four of these, two for each grandparent. I personally don't care for Penn State but my whole family goes nuts over them!
I have begun my work on Leonidas the Lion. I can see this taking forever. This is all I've done so far, hah...

Monday, November 15, 2010

i am being ambitious!

I am being ambitious and have begun working on my Christmas presents BEFORE Thanksgiving. I am usually the person who is scrambling around two weeks before Christmas having to endure holiday shopping and traffic. I purchased my Dad's present online earlier today, began making his girlfriend's present and also started my Grandmother and Grandfather's presents.

I decided to make my Dad's girlfriend a nice scarf, seeing as though I don't see her too often, a super elaborate gift would just be awkward. I searched everywhere for a pattern that I considered nice enough and finally found one on Ravelry. Thankfully it was free and is surprisingly quick and easy to crochet. The pattern can be found here however, I don't know if that link will work unless you log in to Ravelry. It is the Queen Anne's Lace Scarf.

I'm using Bernat Mosaic in Medusa to make it, and it makes such a nice fall scarf. The colors are great. Here are some in progress pics...

I can't figure out why this top picture is so dark. Maybe my hand blocked the flash. Gah. Either way, the colors are more truly represented in the bottom picture!

I also began some star shaped, Penn State colored dishcloths for my Grandparents but no pictures of them yet! Hopefully tomorrow I will finish the scarf, complete a dishcloth and begin working on Leonidas the Lion, a pattern I just purchased from Delicious Crochet!

Friday, November 12, 2010

it's about that time!

It is time for winter hats (at least at night, during the day not so much)!
I am challenging myself to create hats from patterns that I have created. It is very much a learning process and very much a write down EVERYTHING you do process. This is the first pattern I have completed, however I am still planning on altering it to make a more tighter fighting hat and eliminating some of the increases and decreases. I personally prefer my hats to have extra space because I always tuck my hair into them, but most others I know prefer a tighter fit.

I used Patton's Chunky Wool and some scraps of black for the stripes. I also love the texture created by crocheting around the post. This was a new technique that I learned specifically to make this and I am so stoked that it was easier than it looked!

This is the back of the hat flattened out:

And here is the back of the hat actually on my insanely too small, child sized even though it said adult, head mannequin that can't even hold up the weight of the hat! I had to use scissors to anchor it. Gah.

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!