December 29, 2014

Hat Addiction

So I've developed quiet a collection of hats over the fast few months.  I started with the request of my niece Alex, through to a gift for a friend and along the way, 4 hats for me at this point!
 Cabled Hat from Knit Simple magazine.  I made two of these, one for Alex and one for me.
 Cozy Cabled Hat using Loops &Threads Cozy Wool - the pattern was on the ball band.
 Low Brow Cowl and Hat - this has gotten a LOT of wear since it was finished.  

Hide Your Hair Slouchy Beanie by Heidi at snappy-tots using Red Heart Boutique Treasures in Watercolors.  I find it to large so I've bought another skein to crochet it a smaller size.  I loved this yarn and for the very inexpensive price, I was impressed.  I found a cowl to crochet to match so I hope to knock that out too.  I will donate this one so someone can put it to good use.

And finally, another Cozy Cabled hat that I completed last night.  Just in time for the arctic weather that is arriving overnight.  We've had a really mild December so this will be seasonal weather but a still unwelcome reminder that we're just at the start of winter.
Oy do I have a pointy nose!  LOL

December 28, 2014

Christmas 2014 Recap

Belated Merry Christmas greetings to those of you who celebrate that holiday!

For the first time in the almost 10 years I've lived in Maine, I actually spent Christmas in Maine!  Usually I got to family in NH but they were leaving very early on Christmas day to head to FL so we decided to get together when they come back and that worked out great for me.

On Christmas eve, one of us was busy doing last minute wrapping.  This was the pile of things that needed to be taken care of:
And this was how Beau spent his Christmas Eve!  Lazy hound dog.....
I had all the ingredients we usually have for Christmas morning, cinnamon rolls and a breakfast casserole.  Being on my own, it allowed me to try out a new recipe from Southern Living magazine - Cheesey Sausage and Croissant casserole.  It was good!

I also had the makings for Mimosas on hand which are traditional in my family.  Quite a nice way to get some Vitamin C!
And after that I settled in to open a few gifts.  A friend came by around noon and we went out to lunch at a local Chinese restaurant and then took a long walk in the ridiculously warm weather (53!!) with the dog.
I hope that wherever you were and whoever you were with, you had a nice day.

It's a rainy day here today so I'm planning to sort out what my stitching plans are and do some knitting which I will share tomorrow.

December 23, 2014

Just in time finish

Last night I put the finishing touches on the finishing for my niece's stitched gift.  Do you ever know instantly how you're going to finish a piece as you start stitching it?  That was how it went for me with this piece.  I had a picture of what I wanted the finished piece to look like in my head almost immediately and I'm happy to say, it came out perfectly.

When I started this piece, I wasn't jazzed about the DMC colors called for but as it got closer to being fully stitched, I was very happy with how it turned out.  I think stitching it over one was the key to making me fall in love with it.  I love the little owl!

I took a series of photos to show the finishing stages:
Gathering the materials
Ready for trimming
Ready to make cording - 3 colors!
Boarder trim complete
Cording close up.  The three DMC colors were used in the project and I'm really happy with how the colors blended in the cording.
With the hanger attached
I debated whether or not to sew or glue on the cording and decided to go with glue. Usually glue + me = disaster but this time, I took the finishing in stages to minimize accidents and my own frustration and everything turned out happy.  I hope my niece likes it!

That is my last handmade gift so I can turn my thoughts to 2015 projects and boy, do I have a lot in mind!

December 16, 2014

Those Christmas carols lie...

They tell us it's the happiest time of the year when in fact it's the complete opposite for so many people.  Working in the health care field, I often get to witness that for many, many of us, it is in fact a very sad and horrible time of year.  Today was an especially hard day and I am struggling to focus on the positives of the holiday season. 

Please, please, please be kind to those you encounter this holiday season because your kindness can be unbelievable important and impact decisions you never know are being made all around you. 

Now that I've totally rained on your holiday spirit, I do have some positive Christmas gift progress to share.

I've finished the stitching on my neice's gift.  I'm very ambivalent about the fact that there is a sort of bottom border and that it doesn't care around the rest of the piece.  I debated completing it but just wanted to move on the the finishing part so I'm leaving it as is.  Unless your comments make me change my mind before I tackle the finishing this weekend....   I plan to finish it as a little wall hanging piece with cording around the edges.  Nothing too fancy or fussy I think.

And I've also managed to finish a hat for a friend.  This took one skein of a super bulky yarn I found at Michael's and I have to say I think I'm going to grab another skein and make one for myself.  It is very snug and warm and was very easy to knit.

I hope wherever you are, that you are finding joy in your holiday preparations and celebrations!

December 2, 2014

Sunday Stitching

I actually have some stitching to show!  I spent a large part of my Sunday sitting on my hiney in front of the TV watching stupid holiday movies on the Hallmark channel and then watching the Patriots lose.  The good part of the day was I was able to get some stitching done on what I hope to be a Christmas present.

Now that it's December 2nd, I really need to pick up the pace.  There's one more line and a small border and then I need to figure out how I want to finish it and get 'er done.

November 30, 2014

Holiday Weekend

I hope everyone who celebrates Thanksgiving had a good day on Thursday.  We lost power at 9:30pmon Wednesday at my sister's due to this:

Luckily I got up early on Wednesday and was there before it started snowing.  It was pretty but treacherous.  Thank goodness they have a generator because they did not have power back until late Saturday afternoon.
This was the view out of one of my sister's windows. The snow was wet and heavy causing a lot of broken branches and downed power lines.  Operating off a generator was interesting.  We fried our turkey as usual and luckily everything worked out well.
This is a photo from one of the times the generator ran out of gas and before my BIL refilled the tank.

I headed home on Friday so that I could attend the tree lighting in town on Saturday.  This was my first time being around for it and it was cold, cold cold! 

I walked down and left right after the lights went on.  Many stayed to chat with Santa and ice skate at the pavilion in town.

It was a nice start for the holiday season. My decorations are out and I'm paging through magazines for the perfect cookie recipe!

November 23, 2014

Sunday Summary

I don't have any cross stitch progress to show you but I have made some crochet headway on both my wrap and Special Olympics scarf projects.

I'm just kind of making my own pattern for the scarf using half-double crochet.  I an not a fan of the red and orange together so I decided to band them together with the green and have been happier with the way the project looks.

And I managed to put a few more rows into the wrap pattern while I was doing laundry this weekend.  I'm only working two days this week so I hope to get time to work on both projects during the Thanksgiving holiday and over the weekend.

After a very cold and windy week, we had a wonderful, sunny day in the 50s so I took advantage and spent quite a bit of time outdoors.  Beau and I took a very long walk and then I vacuumed my car and switched the floor mats for the winter weather version.  I hope wherever you are, you enjoyed your Sunday!

November 12, 2014

Special Olympics Scarf Project 2015

A small article (it was likely the picture of Red Heart yarn that did it) in one of the local papers that come free in my mailbox every week caught my eye and had me reading about a project for the upcoming winter Special Olympics that will take place in January.

The goal is to receive 500 scarves for the participants to wear during the games.  There are specific colors to be used and today, my box arrived from Joanne Fabrics.  I'm by no means a fast knitter but I do hope I can get at least one each done and mailed out in time.

This link will take you to the flyer that lists the specific colors they are asking for.  I'm sure it would be even more special if they received scarves from outside Maine.  Hint, hint, hint!

November 9, 2014

Growing on me

I've been able to devote some time to my cross stitch project and it's starting to grow on me now that I have more colors put in as Laura commented.  I think the fact that it's over one also charms me.

In addition to growth on this project, I started another yarn project.  My fingers were itching to start something new so I dug through my stash and decided to start this very simple crochet shrug I'd downloaded from Lion Brand a few years ago.
I bought the yarn it called for in the color way shown so I'm using Lion Brand Tweed Stripes in the Woodlands colorway,  It feels really good to be working from stashed yarn that's been in my yarn storage for at least 4 years! 
It's the perfect project for watching TV as it's single crochet in the back loop until you reach the given size and then it's just seamed together.  Perfect for watching The Voice tomorrow night!

I hope you had a great weekend and that your Monday is a smooth one!

November 4, 2014

Needle has met thread and fabric!

Well, I finally picked up my needle and did some actual stitching on Sunday.  I was very productive on Sunday and that extra hour meant I had no excuse for not doing some work on what I hope will be a Christmas present - this year.

Here is where I started.  This was supposed to be a graduation gift but I'm moving a little slow - as usual. 

And here's where I left off on Sunday evening.  Not bad progress.  I'm using DMC and stitching over one on some 30 ct. I had in my stash.  I don' t love the colors but I was in a hurry to get going and just used what was called for rather than dig through my stash to find something I liked better.  Now as I look at it, I wish I hadn't been so lazy.  However, I'm not frogging over one so it's either going to be finished as is or I'll scrap it and start over. 

I also took a picture of my PS All Hallow's Eve which obviously didn't get completed in time for Halloween this year as I had planned.  But there's always next year!

I should stitch on it some more this evening but my fingers are itching to start a new knitting project.  If I manage to decide which one to start, I might have something to show later this week.

November 2, 2014

Winter has arrived

This is the current view out of my office/craft space window unfortunately.  It won't stick but it still has a psychological impact.
It's a good thing my knitting needles have been busy.  About a month ago, I visited Casco Bay Fibers in Freeport for the first time to look for some yarn for a hat one of my nieces requested.  I found a beautiful gray in Cascade 128 but also fell in love with this tealy-green yarn from Skacel called Simplinatural by HiKoo. 

The shop had a sample Lowbrow Hat and Cowl made up and I made the mistake of feeling and trying it on.  I didn't realize the price per skein until I hit the counter but by that time, I was sold.  This was a great yarn to work with and the two pieces are cozy and perfect for the weather.

Just yesterday afternoon, I finished the cowl to match the hat I completed earlier.  And the cable knit hat I made for my niece didn't take the second skein I thought it would so I knit one for myself for dog walking.
I hope you remembered to set your clocks back an hour.  I'm going to take advantage of the extra hour to do some cross stitching which as been in very short supply around here lately.

September 11, 2014

Heading toward the finish line

I have some progress to share on the two major things I've been working on over the last month or so.  First up is my Lotus Blossom tank.  My goal was to complete it in time to wear it this year but I don't think that's going to happen. 

The major knitting was completed at the end of August and then last weekend I finally got it blocked. 

Now I need to join the pointy ends and finish the armholes and neckline and then it will be totally complete.  However, the weather has turned decidedly fallish so I doubt I'd wear it this year unless I put something under it. 

And then there is my PS All Hallow's Eve.  I've made a bit more progress since I took this photo but not enough to take another picture.  I would guestimate I'm about 3/4 of the way through.

August 19, 2014

Seasonal signs

It was 45 degrees when I got up this morning.  We've had a much cooler August that I ever remember with temps in the 70s and very few making it into the 80s.  It feels strange and it's got everyone worried it will be an early winter.  Even if I do managed to finish my Lotus Blossom tank by the end of the month, I think it might be too cool to wear it!

There are lots of these dropping all over the place and I'm really starting to see the leaves of the maples turning on my way to work.  Can I just say I'm not ready for that yet?

However, I am getting ready for my favorite fall holiday!  I picked this up on my way back from Cape Cod a few weeks ago in the hopes that it would get my stitching mojo going again.  I love Halloween stitching.  It didn't work immediately but last week I picked up a UFO and started stitching again. 

This is PS All Hallow's Eve where I left off the last time I was working on it (can't remember when that was!).

And here is where I am after some weekend stitching. Tonight I need to give my knitting some attention but this one is tempting me to keep going so it can be framed and ready for Halloween - this year!

On another note, some of us are a bit under the weather.  Beau had an emergency vet visit on Friday because he couldn't sit down and was carrying his tail like it was broken.  Turns out I'm the worst pet mom ever because he had several different issues going on that I was clueless about and required some medications and the dreaded collar to prevent him from further aggravating the hotspot on his tail. 

He looks so pitiful and I didn't last long with him making him wear the collar.  He's doing much better but I think his feelings are quite hurt at being made to look so embarrassing.