Friday, February 28, 2014

February: Monthly Update

  • The Seahawks won the Superbowl! So very very exciting!
  • We celebrated by step-dad's (2/2), my father in law's (2/11), and my son's (2/17) birthdays.
  • Snow day (2/8-9) - made snow ice cream (Elijah's first) and a huge snow man
Elijah insisted on having a carrot nose for our snowman, Thomas, but we only had baby carrots...
  • Bow beanie for myself - it was going to be rainy the day of our family pictures, and my hair does not do well in the rain.
  • Currently on the hook: a baby blanket for some friends who will be finding out the gender of their baby in a few weeks. The blanket is grey, and the border will be pink or blue depending on what baby is. Also thinking about a crochet or felt applique to match the nursery theme...
Note: I ended up spending some money (about $30) at Michael's this month beyond what my gift card was for. I needed a lot of yarn for the prayer shawls. It was not on sale, but I couldn't wait, and they only allow one coupon per day per customer (dumb rule, if you ask me). I still have quite a bit left on my Joann's card, so I'm still trying to make that one last as long as possible.

  • Read 4 books in the Love Finds You series
  • Read Because of Winn-Dixie (for class)
  • Read The Time of My Life by Cecelia Ahern - loved it! She writes so sweetly and whimsically.
  • Read The Courteous Cad by Catherine Palmer - third in a trilogy, predictable but entertaining.  There were random Pride and Prejudice quotes throughout the book which kind of annoyed me though. I can't tell if the writer was trying to do that Easter egg style, or if she has just read the book so many times that certain phrases come out in her own writing.
  • Currently rereading Outlander by Diana Gabaldon to get ready for the new book in June (yay!)
New Things:
  • Went to Salty's on Alki with some friends. We had an awesome dinner and great conversation. 
  • Tried putting with Elijah in the golf club area in Sports Authority. He just liked pulling up the little flags to get the balls out of the holes.
Healthy Eating:
  • My plan pretty much got thrown out the window this month. That's okay, there's always next month.
Next Month - going to try to work out a few times a week, finish this baby blanket soon after the gender reveal, and enjoy Spring Break - only 2.5 weeks away!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Grading...or not...

There are days at work when I go into the office after class with every intention of grading a stack of papers (or, let's be honest, a certain percentage of that stack of papers). I walk in, talk to no one, try to avoid eye contact and sit in the very back corner of the room. I'm not anti-social, just easily distracted. On a normal day, I welcome conversation with my coworkers - discussions about school policy, student anecdotes, requests for assistance - but some days, I just have to get some things done.

Today was one of those days. I walked into the office and straight to the back corner. I sat down and pulled out the stack of papers with a goal of grading five of them before I had to go pick Elijah up from daycare. I grabbed a pen...and then my eye caught my "super awesome idea" notebook.

Real quick, I told myself, I'll write down that idea I had this morning. The idea for the restroom sign people cut outs from vintage maps based on something that I saw on Pinterest. I'll just write it down and get to work on those papers. Then I thought to myself, it would be easier to print off those pictures here at work. Okay, real quick, I'll find the pictures I need and print them off. Those are perfect, it'll only take me a second to cut them out. Alright, I'll do it real quick.

I've now been sitting at the back corner desk for 50 minutes and I have graded exactly 0 of those 5 papers I intended on grading when I walked in here.

Shaking my head at, to use my last 20 minutes to actually do work :)

Check back later for what I do with those little restroom sign people cut outs.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Crochet Headphone Cover

For no reason other than it seemed cool at the time, I made these crochet headphone covers. My husband is a musician, and we have a ridiculous amount of headphones around the house, so I decided to personalize one of them.

This was made easier by the fact that the ear pieces come off of the head band.

Cotton(ish) yarn from Vickie Howell (I used cotton harvest, jade jersey, and cotton field)
G hook

I modified motif #5 from the book. I give you the rest of my pattern below.

The pattern for the motif ends on round 5, so I pick up at round 6.

Change colors
Round 6:  join into a sc in one of the ch 3 spaces, sc in the same space and in the next 8 stitches, skip 2 stitches, *7 sc, skip 2, repeat from *5 times, 8 sc, turn

The rest is worked in rows to leave room for the wire.
Row 7: ch 1, 7 sc, skip 2, *5 sc, skip 2, repeat from * 4 times, 7 sc, turn
Row 8: ch 1, sc in each stitch around (44 stitches)

Change colors
Row 9-10: repeat row 8
Row 11: repeat row 8, ch 5 at the end and sl st to create a loop

Fasten off and weave in all ends. Sew a button opposite the loop. Repeat for the second ear piece. Put on your head phones and enjoy!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Sunset and Shadows Prayer Shawl

This is the prayer shawl I made for my best friend, who just lost her sister. It is thinner than the one I made for her mom, but better suited to the San Jose climate, where she lives. The colors reminded me of a sunset - darkness creeping in, but brilliant flashes of color painting the sky as a reminder that the sun will return.

I used 5 skeins of Charisma yarn in "Mountain Majesty" and an N hook. It measures approximately 22" x 62". It is crocheted in a simple shell stitch.

Here is the pattern:

Ch. 51
Row 1: 2dc, ch 1, 2dc in 6th chain from hook, skip 2 stitches, dc in next stitch, skip 2 stitches, *[2dc, ch 1, 2dc] in next stitch, skip 2 stitched, dc in next stitch, repeat from * 5 more times (7 shells, 8 posts)
Row 2-35: ch 3, *[2dc, ch, 2dc] in next shell chain space, dc in next dc, repeat from * 6 more times, ending with a dc in the top of the previous turning chain.
Row 36: ch 3, 6dc in each shell chain space across, end with dc in top of the previous turning chain.

Repeat rows 1 - 36 on opposite side of beginning chain. Fasten off, weave in ends.

I had one extra skein of yarn left over after I finished the shawl (I had bought 6), so I made a simple infinity scarf that can be worn when it's not practical to wear the shawl. I used the same pattern as my hooded infinity scarf, but started with 66 chains and only worked 5 rows, before adding a sc border around both sides.

I also included a little prayer patch in the bag for my best friend for her nephew/soon-to-be-adopted son who just lost his mom. It's just something small to let him know that he is loved and that someone is praying for him. It measures about 14" square, and was made in the same way as a lovey, but with a more elaborate border.

Wrapped in Nature Prayer Shawl

I finished my two prayer shawls a couple of days ago...Here is the first one - the Wrapped in Nature Prayer Shawl. This one is for my best friend's mom, who lost one of her daughters last Wednesday. The colors remind me of sitting by a lake in the woods - calm and peaceful.

I used 8 skeins of Charisma yarn in Toadstool (the same color as the blanket I made a couple of weeks ago) and an N hook. It is a simple dc rectangle. It measures 26.5" x 62".

Here is the pattern:

Ch. 63
Row 1: In the 4th chain from hook, dc in each stitch across. (60 stitches)
Row 2: ch 3 (counts as dc here and throughout), dc across (60 stitches)

Repeat row 2 until you reach your desired length. Finish off with one row of sc. Fasten off and weave in ends.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day!

I had a cute scarf planned to show you today, but on Wednesday night, I got a phone call that my best friend's little sister had passed away, so all Valentine's Day crafts got tossed out the window. I've spent the last two days working my fingers off on two prayer shawls - one for her and one for her mom - to give to them by next Tuesday, the day of the memorial. Thank goodness for bulky yarn, large hooks, and a craft that helps you do something meaningful when you feel completely helpless. Words feel empty, and my best friend is still in California at the moment, so this is one way I can be there for her - by making something to wrap her in prayers of peace and hope.

I've never made a prayer shawl before, but I've been sucked into this book every time we go to the bookstore. Never thought a crochet book would make me cry, but this one does every time! This was the first thing that came to mind when I heard the news. They are turning out quite well, and I will show them to you when I've finished.

This event comes nearly two years to the day that my brother passed away. Both our families are very close - we're best friends, our moms are best friends, my best friend's sister was close friends with my step-sister for a while and she lived with my parents for a year while she was in high school - so it comes as both a shock and brings back a lot of bad memories from a few years ago. As we're in the trenches, I would appreciate your prayers for all involved. Many thanks!

Friday, February 7, 2014

New Lovey Designs

I went  a little nautical with some loveys for a coworker who wants to give them as a gift. I'm pretty happy with the way they turned out. What do you think?

The loveys are available to purchase in my etsy shop. As always, custom orders are welcome!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Wow, that's a lot of scraps!

I spent some time messing around with my scrap yarn bits today...


Most of these pictures will be printed and used to make an example art project for my students. The assignment is to make an art project related to your hobby. I'll show you the project when I've finished it.