Thursday, December 1, 2016

12 Projects of Christmas

On Tuesday I posted the results of my Autumn Bucket List. I think I did pretty well considering that I knew I put way too much on that list:) Today I have another list that will bring me into the Christmas/Holiday season.

1. Crochet Stars: I started these stars several years ago and I still love them, just haven't found the time to get more finished. I really like the colors of this yarn and it is sooo soft. If you haven't noticed already, I use this particular yarn quite a bit. I haven't decided if these will become ornaments or a garland.

2. Project Peace: This is a KAL hosted by Christina Campbell of The Healthy Knitter. This is a free cowl KAL designed to promote peace around the world. Lots of fun, the Ravelry Group can be found HERE. Also, Christina will be blogging daily tips for making your life just a little more peaceful.
The very beginnings of my Project Peace cowl
3. Make a hat for me: I started this one a couple weeks ago. I'm not a hat wearing person, mostly because I have a LOT of hair and always have it pulled back in a ponytail or messy bun. Since this is a slouchy hat, I'm thinking that my messy bun might fit in it so I don't have to wear my hair down. We will see. It is the Sockhead Slouch hat.

4. Spruce up wreath: I made this wreath maybe 15 years ago or so. It's made by shaping 3 wire hangers in circles, each just a bit smaller than the next and then my hubby took short pieces of the wire and soldered them together. Then take short strips of any color fabric and tie in knots. In years past I have just left the berries on it and called it good, but I think I want to add to it this year and make it a bit more festive. This will hang on my front door. 

5. Make a cowl for me: This one I also started a couple weeks ago. I'm really loving the yarn and the pattern is just started to show for me. It is the Tidal Sands cowl. 

6. Crochet Lap Blanket: I started this one a few weeks ago as well. There is no way I could get all this done if I hadn't started a bit early. As it is, I'm going to be lucky to get half of it done:) This one doesn't really have a pattern. Just a basic bobble stitch, going in groups of 3 stitches. I didn't even count how many stitches I 'cast on', I just counted by 3's. This one is going to take some time to finish!!

7. Christmas Decor 'JOY': I don't have a picture for this one. Basically this will be taking the paper/cardboard letters you can find at craft stores and painting and/or decoupaging with decorative papers and setting them up. I found this idea in an old magazine.

8. Stitch/Finish Ornaments: Also no picture for this one either. I haven't picked out what I want to stitch yet, but will be going through stitching stash soon to get it started:) FUN!! I also want to 'finish' off a couple of stitched pieces I already have done into ornaments. I will need to be selective with this as we down-sized our Christmas tree this year and so only favorite ornaments are allowed on it now:)

9. Make knitted hat for daughter: I found this 'cat' hat a couple weeks ago and just knew my daughter would love it - yes, she's 17. yes, she is a bit silly!! :) She just loves cats and she has a kitten right now that is black, so the hat will match the kitty. It's is a super simple - and FREE, pattern. I've only worked on it for a couple days and it is just about done already. This will be a Christmas gift for her.

10. Make a crochet hat for daughter: Above I spoke of how I am not a hat person. Well, my daughter on the other hand, is. This is In Bloom Beret and I have already made her one in another colorway. I will make this one just a little bigger as the last one needed just a bit more body to it to hide all her hair:) This will also be a Christmas gift for her.

11. Finish stitching 'She Feeds Them Well' by The Scarlette House and 'finish' into a wall hanging: This is the piece I've been working on FOREVER now that will be a Christmas present for my mother in law. She is a crazy bird lady - well, not really crazy, but she sure loves her birds, and flowers too:) This is the most recent photo I have of this...

12. Wall Decor to be changed out with the seasons: Not sure how to explain this one. Really it's just a concept in my head for now. It started out as wanting a way to hang our stockings - our 2 stockings as we lost one years ago;) I had thought a box that I could paint and decorate with hangers on it. Something like THIS. But we really don't have a good place to put it. SO I thought maybe a wall hanging of some sort. Then I remembered a project my daughter did for 4-H fair this summer. It was a rustic board that she attached a wire basket and hangers to. PERFECT. Except it is all the wrong colors for Christmas and it is a little too 'rustic' for my hubby's taste. ***Note: my hubby works in tooling and has worked in the wood shop for years and years. Their wood tooling has to be exact to within 3/100ths of an inch, so he is REALLY picky when it comes to wood projects:)

So then I decided that yes, I want something very similar to what dd had made, but I want to be able to also hang a stitched piece to the top of it so it can be changed out with each season. I really do have a pretty good idea of what I want it to look like and have shared these ideas with hubby since he will likely be the one to build a good part of it. Of all the projects on this list that I personally want, this one is a favorite, but it will depend on if hubby has time/patience to work on it:)

That is it for the 12 Projects of Christmas. There are a few that I'm pretty sure won't get completely done by the end of the month, but even if I can just get the Christmas gift items done and make a good dent in the rest, I will be happy.

On a side note... My daughter was looking over the things I didn't get done for my Autumn Bucket list and she remembered that I *promised* to watch a scary movie. UGG!!! She says I'm not going to get away with not watching one with her. 😖 I should have hid the list from her!!! :) 

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Autumn Bucket List

My daughter just said my Autumn Bucket List failed. She is super encouraging 😁 I prefer to see it as 'at least I got some of it done'.
My final update...

Under Family and Friends,
We didn't go very many places. I originally wanted to go for a picnic, to an Oktoberfest or chili cook-off, and to a pumpkin patch. Between the dr appointments I ended up with this Autumn and my dh getting sick, plus the fact that we are all homebodies and when it comes down to it, we'd just rather stay at home (must remember that when making future lists:), we just didn't. We did go to the homeschool hayrack ride/hotdog cook off, which was fun and we visited my parents and I got to spend some time with my friend:)
Daughter at hay rack ride event
Around the Home and Just for Me
I did buy an Autumn candle, went for many many walks and took pictures, did a little decorating, washed all the jackets and coats and cleaned out a few cabinets instead of cleaning out the closets, so not too bad:)  The 'Just for Me' items mostly got left off due to lack of funds, but that's okay, I was just hoping. :)

Crafting
Instead of making one I bought an Autumn sign for the front door, which drove my family nuts as it clanked against the door every time they opened or shut it. I could have put some felt on the back of it, but where is the fun in that??? 😏I made a couple bags, finished stitching what I wanted on Bittersweet Lane and finished the knit and crochet hats for my daughter. I still have learning to knit socks on my list. I found an on-line program that comes with the yarn and supplies as well as videos on how to knit socks that I want to buy, but I need to wait until I have the money for it, maybe for Christmas:) I also still need to block my knitting items that are waiting for me to do so.
Bittersweet Lane from Blackbird Designs
In the Kitchen
I probably had the best luck here, because, well, yum!!! I did spiced lattes, both coffee and tea, pumpkin yogurt, lip gloss and pumpkin hazelnut cheesecake (seriously, make this one!! We made it gluten free by using gf graham crackers). I also made apple cranberry muffins and canned hot pepper jelly. I ended up making a batch of Serrano pepper jelly and jalapeno pepper jelly and finding that we prefer the Serrano pepper jelly even though it takes longer to make - with the peppers being so much smaller and kind of a pain to cut up.
All-in-all I'm happy with the progress I made this Autumn and since I took some pictures of my progress, I will remember some of the things we ended up doing:) I have a list for the Christmas season just about ready to post, so come back on Thursday to see 'The 12 Projects of Christmas'!! Hopefully I'll get some of those done in the next month:)

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Yarn Along

I'm joining in on this week's Yarn Along hosted by Ginny from Small Things. For this KAL we post what knitting/crocheting projects we are working on as well as what books we are currently reading. Here is an over-view picture of what I've been up to this week...
Reading: Well, there is no book in the picture because I haven't been reading:( Hoping to get back to that real soon.

Knitting/Crocheting: But you can see that I've made up for the time not reading by playing with some yummy yarn:)
Knitted a few more rows on the Tidal Sands from Anne Hanson. I just joined in on a Ravelry KAL hosted by The Sampler Girl that is about knitting all the cowls and hats, so this project and my next project fit in perfectly...
This is a super simple slouch hat and my first hat to be knitted in the round. While the yarn isn't the softest in the world, I love how it is knitting up all striped like this and I love the blue/gray/brown colorway. This one will be for me!! Since I joined up with this KAL, umm yesterday (which doesn't officially start until Thursday), I have found a few more cowl and hat projects I want to do for myself as well. We will see just how many sets of needles I can fill up!! :)
I've been working on some crocheting as well. My daughter did like the In Bloom Beret that I made her (photo HERE), but not so much the color. She had picked out that yarn AND was told that she probably wouldn't like it once it was done, but I made it anyway. That's okay, it gave me a chance to practice this pattern and this one will be a surprise as I haven't shown her the yarn yet. This will be a Christmas gift to her.
A while back I was crocheting what was to become a bag, in this yarn, with the same pattern, but decided that it was too heavy for a bag. So I ripped it all out, bought a bunch more of the yarn and am now making it into a lap blanket for the living room. My husband has been after me to make an afghan for years now. He has fond memories of the one that his parents always had in their living room. If you even fell asleep on their couch, you'd wake up with it draped over you:) Hoping to have this done by the end of the year, but we will see!!!

I did get the first set of needles I was waiting on so I could start on my hat, I had hoped that I had what I needed to start on another hat for dd. It's a simple hat that has cat ears. She is going to love it!! But I need a size 8 needle on a 16 inch circular, and so I had to order some more needles (another hat I want to do for myself would also require needles that I don't have, so I ordered those too.) Wish we had a yarn shop close so I could shop for those things locally. Anyway, all this should keep me busy for a while:)

Off to see what others have been up too!!

Monday, November 21, 2016

FNSI - A Bit Late

I joined in on Friday night, for the Friday Night Sew In, hosted by Wendy over at Sugarlane Designs. Our internet out here in the country is iffy at best, and I haven't been able to get on to blog about my progress this weekend, but it looks like it's working now!! Thank goodness we can get mobile coverage out here so I can still get on the internet on my phone:)

Last month I finished a bag I had been working on for over a year and this month I decided that I wanted to work on a couple smaller project bags for my knitting/crocheting projects. I started off with some fabric and got it all cut up, I even coffee dyed some of the fabric to match better...
I wanted some grey and white fabric as a liner for the red bird fabric, so I 'HAD' to go into town to pick some up!! :) I got the exterior pieces sewn together that will make up a couple zipper pouch bags, but that's as far as I got with those.
I still had the panel that I messed up on with the last bag I had made, so I cut it in half, loosely following directions from two different bags and made a small drawstring bag out of it...
I even crocheted some DMC thread to match the green for the drawstring. The bag is pretty small, but already has a knitted hat project I'm working on in it and I think it'll work well for other small projects like socks - when I finally learn to knit them!! :)

That was about all the sewing I could take for one day, so I called it an evening. Hope to get the other two bags done for next month's FNSI!! :)

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Yarn Along - with a FINISH!!

Not just a 'I got all the knitting done' finish, but a 'I actually wove in all the ends and sewed up all the seams' FINISH!!! Wow, that really feels good:)
It's time for another Yarn Along post (after a couple weeks of laying low), hosted by Ginny from Small Things. For this KAL we post what knitting/crochet projects we are working on as well as what books we are currently reading. 

So here it is for this week...
Reading: I finally finished 'Friday Night Knitting Club' from Kate Jacobs (book 1 in this series) and have just started on 'Knit Two'. These have been such sweet light-hearted stories that I am enjoying very much.

Yarn: I finished crocheting 'In Bloom Beret' by Britney Waterhouse for my daughter. I haven't had her try it on yet, so I haven't tied it off and woven in the ends, but I hope to get that done today and maybe another picture with her wearing it.


Knitting: I FINISHED  Patsy's Bonnet!! Super happy with this project, mostly because I learned something new (using dpns AND making icord, which was easy and fun!!) and my daughter loves it!! She even had one of her friends ask if I could make her one:)
Knitting: Next project in line is one for me!! This is Tidal Sands by Anne Hanson. I'm making the medium size, though I must have originally planned on making the largest size as I bought enough yarn for that. I think though, that the medium is what I really want. This yarn is SOOO soft too. A lot of times I use cheaper acrylic or acrylic blend yarn, some of which are rather nice to work with. Even so, it's a treat to use a nicer yarn every now and then.

I have lots and lots of yummy yarn plans for the holiday season!! I can't wait to start casting on ALL the things!! ~Waiting on needles to arrive in the mail or I would have already cast on!!~

Monday, November 14, 2016

An Over-Due Update

It's been quite a couple of weeks here!! A few weeks ago my hubby started not feeling well, he was in pain actually and it turns out that he has shingles. Now this man of mine deals with pain quite a bit better than me (by this I mean I don't deal with it well at all and he chooses not to get numbed when getting a filling at the dentist), but he says this is the worst pain he's ever been in. It's been 3 weeks now and the sores are all gone, but the pain hasn't left at all. He's not one for going to the Dr or taking meds (he still won't take the pain pills, but he is taking Tylenol fairly regularly and that is really saying something for him), but he is suggesting that EVERYONE get the shingles booster!!  :)

Then last week I went in to have my right thyroid removed. This is after the Dr noticing swelling, having an ultrasound done and discovering a cyst, and having a biopsy done and the results being inconclusive. None of these things are out of the ordinary and it very rarely turns out to be cancer. However, with losing dh's dad last spring to cancer, we wanted to be absolutely sure that this wasn't (also my dr said these type of cysts usually continue to grow, and while not a problem right now, would probably need to be removed in the future). The surgery went really well and the results came back that it was not cancer:) After a few days of dh holding down the fort I was feeling well enough to start back in on running our daughter around to her various activities once again.

After these past few weeks dd and I decided that we really needed a 'home day' and so today we skipped out on her homeschool co-op class, slept in a bit and are just puttering around the house. It feels so nice to do so!!

During this time the weather has finally changed over and it feels like Autumn!! It took a while this year, and I have to say that I was enjoying the warm weather for as long as it would last, but it is nice that the trees have now changed over and everything is getting the cozy feeling that I love about Autumn. I even got a few pictures taken of the changing season...
At the park 

My daughter's church one Sunday morning

While babysitting the kittens (to keep them out of the way of a tractor)
I've also been able to spend some time on my stitching...
'She Feeds Them Well' by The Scarlett House is really coming along and I'm optimistic that I'll be able to finish this for my mother-in-law for Christmas (hopefully not delusional-y optimistic!! :).

Bittersweet Lane by Blackbird Designs - I'm getting to the point of needing to decide how far I'm going to go on this one. I know I want the house and the pumpkin, but I'm unsure how much, if any of the boarder I want. I don't think I want the planter on the roof either. Will need to be making these decisions soon:)

I've been knitting/crocheting a bit too and will have an update on that for Wednesday. Until then, I hope you all have a very pleasant week!!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Yarn Along

Yarn Along is hosted by Ginny from Small Things. For this KAL we post what knitting/crochet projects we are working on as well as what books we are currently reading. Here is an over-view picture of what I've been up to this week...
Reading: Truth be told, I haven't gotten even one page further in this book than last week:0) Still one I want to read, just haven't had time this week for it.

Crochet: I just started 'In Bloom Beret' designed by Brittney Waterhouse for my daughter yesterday. This is another project that I promised to do for her last autumn. It always takes me a day or so to work out learning something new again, so I've been playing with the pattern a bit and think I have the hang of it now:) This one should prove to be a pretty quick project, which is good since she's already decided that she wants a second one in another color. (**I just have to say what fun it is to have my 17 year old actually requesting that I knit and crochet things for her!!**)

Knitting: I got the 'bonnet' portion done on Patsy's Bonnet!! It will still need the string (i-cord) and flower decorations attatched.
I took the above picture just to show that at this point in the project I was semi-happily using dpns. That could not be said for the majority of this project!!! I think I'm going to need lots more practice with dpns before it becomes a comfortable practice:)  
I was trying to show the shape of the 'hat' here, but I'm thinking I will try and get my daughter to model it for me once it's all done:) 

That is all for this week, what are you working on?