For any crafter, Christmas is a busy busy busy season. (Who am I kidding? Christmas is a busy season for everyone.)

But it's compounded when "husband's birthday season" stretches until the end of October. And then "daughter's birthday season" overlaps (poor kid has a Dec. 1 birthday). And now "very good friend's adoption comes through with one week notice season" is here, too! Yikes!

For my daughter I have almost finished an outerwear and accessories set in pink. I bought a ball of the JoAnn's brand Rainbow Boucle in tonal pink to make her a poncho. I still had yarn left. So I made a cute fringed scarf. I still had yarn left over. So I made a cute "bucket" style hat, with the boucle and a strand of Caron Simply Soft in white, with the brim in 3 strands of the boucle.

That process was something new for me... I wanted to have the thickness of multiple strands, but wanted the color change to stay exactly the same. I pulled of a length of yarn from the ball, and pinched a spot about a yard from the project. I put that loop on the hook with the point where I was working, and inserted into the next stitch. I pulled up a loop of the now three-strand boucle and pulled it through all loops. With the last stitch, I again treated the folded yarn as an extra loop, and there were no problems with unraveling or weaving. It worked great! I really liked the effect a lot!

But I still have yarn left! I am making a belt (just a simple long skinny rectangle, with one end sewn around two small D-rings), and hope to make some mittens, using either a strand of Caron or the 3-ply effect, if I can find a good pattern.

That is on hold while I work on the baby items for my friend and her new baby (being picked up tomorrow!), as the baby shower is on Saturday. With a regular pregnancy, you have a lot more notice!! I am making an afghan from Afghans for All Seasons (shocker, huh?)(but actually it's Book 2, from the library) called Baby's Joyful Arrival. It is a chevron pattern with popcorns and peepholes and is very beautiful, but a bit tricky in the beginning, I thought. My husband has already said we should buy a present and keep the afghan!

If I have time, I hope to make a coordinating hat and edged socks, but Saturday is very close, and work, Thanksgiving, and planning a "Baby's First Birthday Party" are occupying quite a bit of time!

Wish me luck!

posted by Unknown on Monday, November 21, 2005 @ 2:28 PM


Blast From the Past - Hubby's Second Afghan

Thrilled with the first afghan I made him, my husband (then boyfriend) asked me to make him another afghan for his (now our) family room. He poured through my afghan books, and even checked out ones at the store, and decided on this one called (I believe) Idyllic from Afghans for All Seasons, Book 3. (I really love this book. It's by Leisure Arts. Get it!)

He picked out the colors and yarn (the dark brown is a Red Heart Super Saver, the tan is Caron Simply Soft); in the book the afghan is pictured in light and dark purple with the contrast reversed (that is, the popcorn design is in the darker color). He bought me an extra hook to keep the project at the house. During the year + that it took to make the afghan, we got married and got pregnant.

Pattern Detail -- >

I worked secretly on this project (which he had thought I had abandoned to "nest") while he was at work, and also designed a pillow cover (of which I made 2) to go with it. The pillow garnered me a 3rd place ribbon at the Chesterfield County Fair. Needles to say, he was very surprised, and happy (and a little sheepish that he had thought I was just sitting around at home, being pregnant and doing nothing!).

<-- The back of the afghan has a subtle pattern

The afghan is worked with a (sc, ch) repeat, which gives it the "V" pattern within the rows.

While I think the afghan turned out nicely, I won't be in a rush to do this one again!


posted by Unknown on Wednesday, November 16, 2005 @ 1:06 PM


Michael's Yarn Event - from Boo! to Yay!

To make a long story short - I won a speed crochet contest at our local Michael's, AND I just got a call that I won a Kniffty Knitter set in a raffle! But short stories aren't as fun because they don't tell the whole story...

This past weekend Michael's had a "5 Hour Yarn Event", supposidly with a speed knitting and crocheting contest and all sorts of other stuff.

After church my husband was taking me out to lunch at a restaurant in the same parking lot as Michael's, so I went to see if I needed to register ahead of time for the 2 pm contest. They said they had cancelled it and were just going to raffle off the prizes! Boo!

I was very disappointed, but planned to come back because I did need some yarn for a project. After lunch, and right at 2 pm, we got back to Michael's. My husband told me to enter both of us in the raffle, and another woman was asking about the contest (also for crochet). We started talking - she had made a special 20-minute trip to Michael's because of it, I had hubby take me to lunch to stay in town after church. Another woman at the table found it interesting, too, and the Michael's staff said, "OK, we'll have a contest." And I won!

It was exciting, but I thought just for fun, since they had already earmarked the prizes for something else. So I bought my yarn and headed out. Iran into another lady from the contest and asked me where my bag was, and Ifound that I had won a large yarn craft tote, filled with yarn (2 RedHeart Super Savers and 2 balls of a novelty yarn), pattern leaflets, wooden knitting needles, and (inexplicably) "Crocheting or Knitting for Dummies" starter kit (said my husband "Why would they put that in a prize pack for someone who won for *fastest* crocheter or knitter? Doesn't that kind of mean they know how to do it?").I ohhed and ahhed over my tote the whole way home, and then, just a few hours later, got a call saying I had won a Knifty Knitter set in the raffle! Hot dog! That was on my Christmas list (but now may be used to make Christmas presents!!).

All in all a wonderful day of crafting!

posted by Unknown on Monday, November 14, 2005 @ 10:25 PM