Friday, January 31, 2014

Day 31: update on days 26 through 31!!!! (get ready for the pictures!)

My sleepy cat
awaiting new puppy
It's been a busy week!  After a cortisone shot in my carpals, a visit to my PCP and a thumb spica splint, the week has been challenging for crafting.  My right thumb has mostly felt like it's being constantly stabbed with a red hot poker.  Still, it's only a thumb and three out of 206ish bones, so I'm not about to let this sideline my life.  Unless I have an audience, in which case I whine LOUDLY about the pain.  I don't have much room for whining amongst my co-workers, being third down on the whine list behind a fractured humerus and a torn ACL.  But I make it work.

Moogly Blog CAL
I'm house sitting for my parents.  They are currently being tortured by Florida weather.  It made it above freezing today in Central New York; I still haven't heard from my parents if they survived the heat wave or not.  I imagine they are safe; air conditioning is standard south of the Mason Dixon line.

This week has been fairly mild.  I've worked on my 2nd block of my 1st ever crochet along via Moogly Blog.  I don't know what the final size of the blocks will be, so I am glad these blocks have directions for adding rows if necessary.
Pippin passed out under the blanket

I've been crafting on the soft sided waterbed I have affectionately named the chrysalis.  It's so warm and comfy!  Do NOT interrupt my chrysalis time!

I made a blanket for the unofficial mascot of my office, a morkie of a co-worker.  He finally has a name, and it's Baxter.  This is a picture of him sitting on the blanket I made, on my desk.  He's a whopping 2 lbs, 15 ounces.  He's growing out, not up.  He's SOOOOO cute!  I love that he likes his blankie!

This reminds me that I haven't crafted anything tonight.  Time to get crafting!  Yay for remaining resolute!!!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Update: days 21 - 25. A.K.A. what to do when life tries to hijack your resolution.

First, let me say that I have not lost any resolve.

Second, let me say that my body is arguing with me on this point.

I haven't been very kind to my hands this year.  I've made a habit of playing games on Rich's iPad, which has left me with some repetitive motion inflammation in both hands/wrists.  I haven't played on the iPad since Tuesday.  It's Saturday, and they are still fricking hurting like heck!!!

This is my plan.  I downloaded block #2 of MooglyBlog's CAL for 2014.  I have my yarn at the ready.  I am taking NSAIDs twice a day along with avoiding anything which might prolong the irritation due to overuse or improper use.  I am organizing all of my craft supplies as best I can, in preparation for the first inaugural "Let's Get Together & Make Jewelry" party, hosted by me.  I'm planning three baby quilts.

Today I happened to wonder if I need to think about having a baby shower for my baby brother, who is FINALLY pregnant with a boy after ten years and three girls, the youngest being six year old twins.

I will not waiver from 365 in 2014.  I may make adjustments and accept that I may need to alter my plans depending on the circumstance, but I will not give up on my quest.

I plan to work on the 1st crochet afghan square later today if I can do it without aggravating my wrists.  I will continue to post updates.  Wish me luck!!!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Update: Days 18 - 20; an undo and a redo, and better cat proofing through macrame

My 1st block for the afghan CAL
First: an update on the Crochet A-Long I'm working on.  We're still on the 1st block; block #2 won't come until this Thursday.  If you're interested in checking out the blog hosting the CAL the link is here: Crochet A-Long hosted by MooglyBlog

I kept going backwards with this block.  I must have re-worked round nine three times before I decided I would tear out and count previous rounds.  I made a mistake so far back I ended up starting the block all over again.  One of the downsides to being cocky is I haven't been counting stitches at the end of each round--even though the pattern does give this.  I'm on round 16, and there are only three rounds left.  I will finish this today, with a bit of breathing room before Thursday and the introduction of block #2.

My cat, Pippin.  He LOVES yarn!
Now, some of you may be wondering about what I may need to cat proof.  It turns out my lovely cat Pippin lives to chew on ear bud cords whenever he's given the opportunity.  I have problems with insomnia, so I have tried falling asleep with ambient noise and binaural beats programs via my iPod.  After I lost the second set of ear buds to chewing during the night, I decided I needed to take action, as I don't intend for ear buds to be single use only.

I've discovered that if I crochet around ear bud wires, this prevents Pippin from getting at them.  My first set was covered with chenille yarn, but the ear buds themselves weren't very comfortable to wear to sleep.  I did buy a new set (above) and decided in lieu of crocheting with yarn, I would macrame with c-lon cord.  It will be lighter, and the ear buds themselves are very comfortable for sleeping.

So, that's about it.  Saturday I re-worked the CAL square, yesterday & today I've been macrameing my ear buds.  When both are finished, I will post updated pictures.
Happy crafting!!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Day 15 through 17 recap: 1st ever CAL! (Crochet A Long) :D

Tamara with MooglyBlog has decided to host an afghan Crochet A-Long.  I appreciate the fact that she's giving the entire year to make the afghan.  Only one new square to crochet every two weeks.  This gives me the chance to participate in a group thingy and still have time to work on other projects.  It's a very realistic goal for me, and I get to use some of the yarn I bought for a blanket that I never used.

MooglyBlog Crochet A-Long

I started this yesterday, and have worked on it today at work (this explains the blotter & keyboard in the picture).  I've made it to round 10 and have unraveled round 10 twice.

Friday, Janaury 17: going the wrong direction!

I kept re-working round ten, and with my third try just now (at my desk at work, during lunch) it occurs to me that there must be a mistake somewhere.  Not the pattern, but what I've done in the previous rounds because the count isn't coming out right.

Sure enough, it looks like I screwed up WAYYYYY back in round five or six!  Oh well, I will unravel and rework it until it's right.

Did I mention I'm glad I have two weeks to make one square?!?

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

HUGE recap: days eleven through fourteen!!!

Prepare for LOTS of photos, because I've been busy!

Day eleven: traveled from Liverpool to Utica for Rich's official pinning ceremony.  He's received his promotion, so he's now a sergeant and a NCO.  The drive is just over an hour, and since Rich is driving, I have plenty of time to work on crafts.
Trek bracelets
Working on Trek bracelets

Before you question, NO, I was not driving while crocheting.  Rich had some down time at the armory, so I took the opportunity to work on some gifts.  These two bracelets crocheted with cotton yarn are in a pale turquoise color, my niece's favorite color.  She's almost 10, and on 1/11/14 the family celebrated her birthday since my parents are leaving for Florida before her actual birthday.  This is the Trek bracelet pattern link.

crochet cotton bracelet & earrings
Sergeant Walters!
I kept going with the crochet cotton, and after much hemming and hawing, came up with this set for her.  I was unsure about the size vs. the clasp, and reworked the bracelet more than once to come up with something that met my satisfaction.  I made matching earrings as well.  This is the crochet flower bracelet pattern.

After such a productive day, we went to my parents' house for the birthday celebration.  As it was also my oldest niece's mom's birthday celebration, I made her a matching bracelet also.  She didn't care for the huge clasp, so I made her one with the smaller heart clasp while the cake and ice cream was consumed.  My 10 year old niece has twin 6 year old sisters, who both at different times silently sidled up to me while I was crocheting the bracelet.  Neither would say anything, but I knew what they wanted.  30 minutes and a smaller crochet hook later, we ALL had matching bracelets (I kept the big clasp bracelet for myself).
bracelet power unite!

Day twelve: Sunday.  VERY tired this day.  Worked on the cowl for about 10 minutes.  Well, more like five.  I kept my commitment, and that's what matters.  No pictures, no need.

Day thirteen: Monday.  I am cat sitting for friends.  They have two cats, one of which is in remission from intestinal cancer.  I brought the cowl with me, and spent about 45 minutes at their house.  The cat in remission still needs medication twice a day, and both cats are on wet food only.  After giving meds, feeding both cats, scooping the litter box, I sat for long enough to remind both cats that humans still exist, and I finished the cowl.  This is the cowl pattern.
I didn't take a picture of it.  It's a bit big around, but that's because I added extra stitches, thinking I have a fat neck.  Turns out I really don't.

Also on day thirteen, discovered a realistic CAL, a Crochet ALong hosted by  Tamara is taking the full year to construct this afghan, which for me is realistic since I have so much else going on.  MooglyBlogCAL link  I have a good amount of yarn on hand from when I had planned a blanket with 13 or so colors, so I see no problem working up this afghan.

Day Fourteen:  BLOGGING!  I found my yarn for the 1st afghan block.  I don't think I will get very far with the block, but blogging and planning is enough to satisfy me.  Happy crafting!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Day 7-10 recap: reclaiming yarn and cowling

    It's official; the shawl is no more.  The tangle on the right is what I spent day eight working on.  Unraveling the shawl was problematic.  I've managed to reclaim the 3rd skein of yarn and have used that to start a cowl, which turns out is essentially a really large sweater for an anaconda.  The pattern can be found here: Ravensprings cowl  I've worked on this since Wednesday evening.  I've made a lot of progress.  My goal is to have something long enough that I can pull it over my head when needed, in lieu of a hat or wrapping myself up in a scarf so I look like the Randy from the movie A Christmas Story.  That's about it, a somewhat dull few days of crocheting.  Still, I enjoy it and I'm looking forward to seeing the final product.  If I don't like it.....well I'll simply unravel (again) and find a different pattern to try.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Hookin' on Hump Day (a bit early, or a bit late)

I enjoy this link.  I encourage you to look at them.  Good  sources of patterns and information!

Day seven: earrings = mission accomplished!

Day seven!  Made earrings to match the bracelet I made yesterday.  Just for scale, the left picture shows the project against a ruler in millimeters.  Yep, it's that small.  I may need a magnifying glass and/or reading glasses to keep this up.  The bracelet was well received.  Looking at the earrings, the middle isn't the same.  Snap, I may make a 3rd earring to try to match one of the already made ones!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Day six: working on some new projects

Day six is a day of new projects.  The crochet thread I bought goes well with a bracelet pattern from PetalsToPicots: flower bracelet.  This one is for a co-worker who could use a bit of happiness in her life.
I'm going to make earrings to match.

This bracelet is for another co-worker.  This is for her daughter.  The picture is pretty crappy.  The yarn is a dark denim blue.  The pattern is from Felted Button:
Trek Bracelet pattern.Crocheted with cotton yarn, it has the flexibility to enlarge or shrink depending on the situation.  All together, it's been a productive evening, and I can say day six has been a success.  If I can keep from freezing on my way to work tomorrow, I have two items to give away which makes me smile.

Day five recap: I tried to knit.......

Day Four recap: shopping with intent to craft

Day four: Saturday, January 4, 2014.  My mom's retirement party!!!  This is great because it means she has more time to devote to crafting!!!  On our way to the party, I stopped at JoAnn Fabrics.  Rich and I had discussed me crocheting a basket to keep our winter scarves/hats/gloves in, instead of them being thrown on the shelf inside the door.  I showed him a pattern from MooglyBlog: Birch Bark basket, and we went yarn shopping.

the crate of holding
size 10 crochet thread
Well, we opted to buy a pre-made basket (50% off and already made), and I bought a basket to hold my current crafts......and I bought two different yarns.  I couldn't help myself!  I don't even have anything planned for the crochet thread but I loved the color combination!

crochet cotton for coasters

The sales were just too good to avoid.  And did I mention I had a $25 gift card that I got for Christmas?  Yep, I didn't use it all up.

I didn't actually create anything Saturday, but I did repair my niece Harmonee's necklace.  Sometimes planning to craft is as enjoyable as crafting.  Actually, sometimes it's moreso, because during the planning phase you can pretend you will finish your craft on time!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Day 3: day 2 recap, and a day of regret

airborne snowflake!
quick knitted snowflake

 Day 2: 1/2/14.  I still have Christmas patterns on my mind, so I decided to try to whip up a knitted snowflake with a Red Heart yarn pattern.  It calls for regular yarn but all I could find in white was cotton.  It doesn't look as fluffy as I'd like, and I did it in 10 minutes so it's not perfect, but at least it took care of day 2.

As a bonus, I gave it to my coworker who LOVES snow and she liked it so much she hung it up at work.

Day 3: What a bummer.  I've been avoiding it for weeks now, but I have to admit that I don't have enough yarn to make a shawl big enough to be enjoyable.

Almost 3 skeins!
I'm quite sad.  I REALLY like this pattern: Kristen shawl, Fiberflux blog.  It's beautiful, and it's a simple pattern.  As I said yesterday, I've already purchased a 3rd skein of this yarn to try to finish it, and it's not going to be enough.  So, what to do, what to do?

Ah hell, I'm going to tear the whole thing out and make an infinity scarf: Gelato infinity scarf. This is also from the Fiber Flux blog.  It's a great blog, and I've made a few items from her site.

I think the pattern is at least very similar, if not the same.  I know I'll have enough yarn for this.  I did crochet a few stitches before I made up my mind today.  I'm bummed.  At least I have an idea of how this will look when it's worked up.

Now to figure out how to wind the yarn without a swift or a winder.  They're really expensive and I don't buy enough high end yarn to even come close to warrant purchasing either one.  So now I know what day 4 will have in store.....stay tuned!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Day one recap

Top: I must organize:
Bottom: eyelash scarf
So, 2014 begins.  Rich & I spent the last night of 2013 at home watching movies.  I chose Tombstone with Kurt Russell & Val Kilmer.  Rich chose Pathfinder with Karl Urban.  It was a nice quiet night at home.  We stayed up until well after midnight.

The Christmas tree didn't come down until 1/1/14.  After that process, I had room to reorganize the projects & yarn I want to keep at hand, because I find that I am much more productive when it's literally right next to me.  This picture is only a small sample of what I have for goods.

Malabrigo yarn in Rios
After making some sense out of chaos, I settled in & worked on two things.  I finished weaving in the ends of an eyelash scarf I had finished a month ago (duh), and when that was done, I worked on the crocheted shawl I'm making with Malabrigo washable wool.  My parents bought me two skeins while on vacation in New Orleans, but I quickly realized I needed at least one more so I placed a call to The Quarter Stitch in New Orleans and ordered one more.  It wasn't the exact same lot number as my original two, but the yarn is so heavily varigated that it looks fine.  Here's the pattern I'm using:
So, this is how I ended 1/1/14.  I'm one for one with my resolution!  Yay for consistent crafting!