Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 Year in Review

2015 Review

I accomplished quite a bit in 2015.  The above collage doesn't even have everything in it!  

Here's a quick breakdown of the crafting:
  • Clearly you can see 2015 was the year for stuffies!
  • I participated in 2 very cool swaps - had fun making up packages for recipients and received some great packages myself!
  • I participated in the Danger group Traveling Monsters.
  • I spun only a little, but I got pretty good at supported spinning and I learned ply on the fly on the Turkish Spindle and even made a video tutorial.
  • I started Sophie's Universe and learned a ton of crochet.
  • I passed Level 1 of the Knitting Guild Association Master Hand Knitting Program.
  • I released 4 knitting patterns!  I came up with a logo and new pattern template for my designs.

In life, I was hired at another department (911 Police Dispatcher) and make more money and its an easier and more pleasant place to work all around.  I really do like my job and its the first one in my life (even at the other dept.) that I've never come home and complained about.  

I purchased a new (to me) truck. That's bigger, has leather interior and everything WORKS (like heat and 4-wheel drive - which no longer worked in my old one, which also had an anti-freeze and gas leak and the bed was rotting off and ... and ... the problem list went on and on).  

Although I loved it dearly and it never left me stranded - it was time for it to go to that big junk yard in the sky.  RIP little black beast.

I got to see my sister Jess who was up from Florida (my dad retired a few years ago and the girls are much younger than me and they moved down with my dad and step mom).

And later in the year I got to see my sister Ashley who was up from Florida!

I got to see one of my childhood favorite movies enhanced and on the big screen.

And I met the author of the book and got my book signed.

My best friend, Nikoh, had to have 5 teeth removed.  We adopted him when he was 7 months old - he's now 7 years old.  He's always had bad teeth and they were starting to become an issue with him not eating and obviously bothered and in pain.  He recovered wonderfully and he's (only a little) more of a pain in the butt than he always was.  He's a very smart cat and gets into EVERYTHING ... including opening the bathroom door while the bathroom is occupied .. by me.  I understand the oral issues - I myself had a seriously degraded  molar that required a root canal earlier in the year and my front tooth broke and needed to be fixed up a few weeks ago.

2015 Reading Challenge

2015 Reading Challenge
Angela has completed her goal of reading 26 books in 2015!

I finally got back to one of my passions on a regular basis - READING!  I read a ton this year.  It also helped that I got the new job - where I can actually read at work because its not such a crazy, busy place.  

There were of course trials and tribulations this year as well ... but let's not talk about those!  On to 2016!!!

Saturday, December 26, 2015

FO: Little Owl

I managed to squeak out a Christmas Gift at the last minute.  A friend's parents were in (New England) from Wisconsin and his mom knits and loves the handcrafted stuff ... she's also a fan of owls.

Yarn: Scraps of Cascade 220 Superwash, Cascade 220 and Knit Picks Swish
Needles: US 5 DPNs
Dates: 12/22-12/23/15

Here he is with the one I made previously.  Its a great little pattern and a super quick knit.  The wings and feet are picked up, so there's no sewing on.  The top and feet are kitchener stitch to close.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Sophie's Back!

Remember Sophie?  I was working on her some time ago ... then something bad happened and she went into time out.

Well the first step is admitting you have a problem, so I acknowledged it, finally and ripped out the offending round.  One thing I like about crochet vs knitting, is you can rip and nothing falls apart ... one thing I like about knitting vs crochet, is you can drop stitches and fix mistakes ... I guess you can't have your cake and eat it too.

First I had to figure out where I was in the pattern.  I checked Ravelry and I had said that Clue 3 was completed April 6th, 2015 ... oh I must not have been diligent about updating ... nope, I was ... this round was in the middle of Clue 4.

Of course the problem was at the beginning of the round ... this is the backside, if you look closely at what is left you'll see 3 treble crochet and 2 treble crochet (2 that are supposed to be 3 that resulted in the whole thing being off one stitch).

Next, I did not note what size crochet hook I used, but I know it was the lovely colored wood one ... apparently so lovely that I have since purchased more ... eekkk!  I'm pretty sure it was the 4.0mm.  Oi!

So, this round is fine, I know what color it was.  I had substituted yarn for this project, so also had to substitute colors.  I had this nice handy list I made when purchasing that listed the colors in the pattern vs the colors I bought.  HHmmm where is this list?!?!  I. Have. No. Idea.  Nada.  No clue ...

Sunday, December 6, 2015

FO: Happy Frog

Pattern: Happy Frog  by Emily Stoneking
Yarn: Left overs of Ella Rae Cozy Prints
Needles: US 3 DPNs
Cast On: December 2, 2015
Finished: December 6, 2015

This is a super cute and quick pattern.  The only issues - which had nothing to do with the pattern was sewing on the eyes, the safety eyes are so heavy they caused the little eye pieces to flop all over while I was trying to sew them down.  I coined a new phrase to indicate something is annoying and difficult while doing it, "Its like trying to sew eyes on a frog."

I also had fun singing "Blockin' the Frog, Blockin' the Frog" to the tune of Judas Priest's Breakin' the Law while I was pinning down the arms and legs.

While I was half way through the knitting, my husband went shopping one day and said he saw something he had to get for me and had a little present ... it was this other frog, LOL!  And I had not shown him the knitted frog yet - he had no idea I was currently knitting a frog ... LOL!

Monday, November 23, 2015

FO: Stripey Socks

Pattern: This is my own recipe, I used Judy's Magic Cast On, Fish Lips Kiss Heel and worked them toe up at 64 sts with EZ's sewn bind off.
Yarn: Dyed by me with food coloring.
Cast On: Sept 9, 2015
Finished: Nov 17, 2015

The knitting was done for some time, I just hadn't bound off the second sock for a few weeks.  They fit nicely and I love how the Fish Lips Kiss heel worked with the stripes.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Monster Mug

This little monster chunk is for a swap. I made him festive by knitting him a hat. The swap is on the Rebecca Danger group on Ravelry, so its a monster and a mug.

Here's a mug shot:

And here's a mug:

My swapee didn't want a holiday mug, so I found one with her initial!  The mug is filled with some of my favorite teas.

Thursday, November 12, 2015


Mini skeins of sock yarn ready for mailing for a swap.  I will get 10 minis in return :o)

Friday, October 16, 2015

Pattern Coupon Code!

36% off your purchase of any pattern(s) in my Ravelry store now until the end of October!

Monday, October 5, 2015

FO: Vladimir the Vampbot

Pattern: Louie the Lovebot by Rebecca Danger
Yarn: Cascade 220 Superwash
Needles: US 5 (3.75mm) 40" magic loop
Cast On: 9/20/15
Finished: 10/5/15

I altered the pattern to make a vampire for a Halloween swap on the Rebecca Danger group on Ravelry.

Including a knitted cape!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Back to Basics

Plain old vanilla socks ... but wait ... stripes, glorious stripes!

This is yarn I dyed up with food coloring back on July 14th.

First, I wind up a cake from the HUGE cone.  I did 60g this time, I never use all the yardage for socks, so I figured, why wind and dye all of it??

Then I make a REALLY big skein out in the yard.

Then soak the yarn to prepare it for dyeing and mix up the dyes.

Dye each section separately.  I try and measure and double check that sections are the same lengths (so my stripes are the same).  

Heat it up to set the dyes!

And let it dry!  Then I wind it back onto a kniddy knoddy so its a manageable skein.

And wind my cakes for knitting!

Honestly I don't know how yarn dyers knock these out all the time.  I know you can use a warping board, but you still have to warp it, so its gotta take the same amount of time to prepare the skein.  And you have to be OH so careful not to make a mess or your stripes won't be clean and separate.  I've done this several times now and it still takes at MINIMUM an hour per skein.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Moonin' Frog

Peepin' Tom ... NOPE! Moonin' Frog!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

FO: Undine Socks

Pattern: Undine by Valerie Johnson
Yarn:  Premier Yarns Deborah Norville Serenity Sock Weight Prints (Merino/Bamboo blend)
Needles: Addi Sock Rockets US 1 (2.5mm)
Cast On: August 21, 2015
Finished: September 7, 2015

These were a quick and fun knit!  

Friday, September 4, 2015

Spinning with beautiful tools

Mirkwood Nimrodel spindle and an amethyst bowl I got recently.  It works wonderfully as a spindle bowl.  This is for the Mirkwood SAL that ends at the end of the month.  I am a little behind here, so will be trying to spin a bit each day and hopefully finish this one by then!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Friday Felines Vol. 20 2015

"What the heck are you doing rolling around in the basket?!?!" - Me

Jumps upright.  "I'm helping you with the laundry!" - Willow

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Undine KAL

Want to knit some socks?  Come and join the Undine KAL with Wandering Cat Yarns on Ravelry.  Its FREE and it goes until Oct. 31st.

In my organize / reduce the stash efforts.  I found some stash yarn to use!  I wanted something in blues and greens to represent the Undine.  

Monday, August 17, 2015

FO: Worsted Ribbed Cap

Hat for Homeless Vets - if you are interested in knitting or crocheting a hat hop on over to the thread on Ravelry on the Just for Fun Crochet Q & A board.

Pattern: Encore Worsted Ribbed Hat (free)
Yarn: Plymouth Encore Colorspun Worsted (left over from sweater)
Needles: US 8
Cast On: 8-10-15
Finished: 8-17-15

I modified the pattern, just made it a bit longer so the brim flipped over.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Traveling Monsters Vol 8 & 9

The Traveling Monsters is almost at an end. It was so much fun, but I think this rotation went a little too long. March 30th - August 17th.  And this was split into two groups of 10 (there was another whole group that traveled).

 It is still fun, but after several, you kinda loose the excitement and run out of ideas. Plus in the summer I was working more because others were on vacation, so I didn't have much time to do anything exciting with the last two. 

Daisy came to visit, she is actually from MA, so she wasn't far from home. She has arrived safely back home this past Friday!

Fukashito was a fun one! He is from CA, so he traveled quite a ways to be here and was comfortable with the HEAT!  Fukashito (the Stash Ninja) helped celebrate my hubby's birthday.

All in all, it was a ton of fun and I can't wait for my little one to get home!!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Cleaning things up ...

I am working on cleaning things up around here.  I spent some time recently in the stash ... oh my, its a little scary.  I'll do a post on that another day.  

This is a WIP from 2010.  I did have a sticky with hash marks, so I had marked how many repeats of the chart I did.  Its a simple lace pattern at the body, so I was able to easily figure out what row I left on (I'm not even sure I was using charts back then).  Now I have highlighter tape on the chart.

There's still a ways to go on this one, but hoping to finish it up this year!  I also have to find the rest of the yarn, LOL!

Friday, August 7, 2015

Friday Felines Vol. 19 2015


The boss of everyone.  This is her face for "What is that?  Who's doing what?  Did I say that was ok??"

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

FO TdF Spinning

I made my goal with time to spare this year!

Finished the singles and wound them onto a plying ball.

Plied up a 2-ply yarn on a Turkish spindle ... it almost didn't fit on there.

154 yds 2-ply - ranges from laceweight to very, very fine fingering.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

FO: Destash Kitty

Yarn: Left over Plymouth Yarn Encore in Grey and Green
Needle: US 5 DPNs
Cast On: July 9, 2015
Finished: July 12, 2015

This was a super quick and fun knit!

Friday, July 17, 2015

Friday Felines Vol. 18 2015


He never ceases to make me giggle.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Tour de Fleece 2015 Update

Spinning is going well ... hoping to wind these off in the next few days and start plying!