Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Monkey Blanket Update...

This was the state of things on Sunday.

Monday I sewed and crocheted the strips together and Tuesday worked on the border. Now we have a blanket.

I think it turned out great. I liked the yarn and the pattern. The granny square hides any imperfections a beginner crocheter has. I started a monkey face. I'm debating whether to leave it as is or add the faces. All in all, a sucessful project in my book! And Monday night I also finished the other cushions. Here is a far away view of my front porch.

Joy #1 has recently asked for a shrug or caplet to go with a new sundress. I think that will need to be my next project. She is so tiny it will be like knitting baby clothes. :)

Monday, April 28, 2008


After 5 years of use, I tossed out the cushions for my wicker furniture. They probably should have gone last year but I gave them a good washing and they held out one more year. I use my front porch all the time. It is one of my favorite things about my house. I don't even mind that the screens are constantly in need of repair or the flaking paint on the concrete. But let's not get side tracked. This post is about cushions.

I have been shopping around for cushions and have not been pleased. Even Martha Stewart's collection this year isn't tempting. After little contemplation I decided to make my own. I need ed heavy duty fabric that was in my price range and cute!

I went with a shower curtain. I have 3 cushions to cover and needed at least 6 yards of fabric. Joy #1 and I found this great curtain at Walmart. I love the fabric and it is heavy! I covered the buttons with fabric too and used 2 firm bedroom pillows for the "cushion" of the loveseat. I am very please with the project and will finish the 2 other cushions tonight. And best of all total cost $20.95. Awesome!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Sock Monkey Blanket

I am not one to be idle when it comes to my needlework. I still haven't ordered my yarn for my next knitting project so instead I perused ravelry and decide to go forward with a crochet project. I decided on the Sock Monkey Blanket. I practiced the granny square this morning and once I got the yarn, jumped right in. I have 3 squares completed and have memorized the stitch pattern and like the yarn.

The yarn was available at my local Walmart and even though it is acrylic, it is acrylic that I don't mind working with Bernat Softee Chunky. Much better than Vanna's choice! I don't know how long it will take me to make this project but I expect about a week. WOW! One week for an awesome monkey blanket! I'd take me a month to knit one that's for sure. I'm definatly seeing the benefits of crocheting. My first love is the knit stitch but with the right pattern I can see making more crochet items as gifts since they go quickly. Time will tell. And these granny squares are becoming quite addictive.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

One Skein Scarf

Pattern: One Skein Scarf from SNB Happy Hooker

Yarn: Vanna's choice, pink - I bought this yarn when it came onto the market just to try it out. Well, I've tried it out and if you don't mind acrylic you'll like this yarn. This is the first time I have knit out of acrylic since 2005 and I am not a fan. It was ok for this project but ehh probably not again.

The crochet has been fun but there just isn't much out there I'd like to crochet (no matter what my Raverly queue says). I'll still practice some more but I'm looking forward to my new knitting project.

Monday, April 21, 2008

The Happy Hooker

A few months ago I bought the book Stitch N Bitch Crochet. I learned to knit using the Stitch N Bitch books and thought it'd be the best way to learn crochet. When I got the book I tried out the stitches. It all made sense and reminded me that my mom taught me to chain and hook once when I was 10. I didn't ever make anything and wasn't all that into it at the time but it still stuck somewhere in my brain. It was cool to play around but I wasn't inspired to make anything at the time.

Then yesterday I was searching for a project to start after finishing the socks. I don't "stash" yarn. I have left overs or yarn bought with a specific intention but not enough to just pick and go. (Remember, I'm a project knitter.) My next project will be the pinwheel sweater but I have yet to order the yarn. So, what to do, what to do. Oh right, I could practice crocheting. I grabbed some pink cotton and decided it could be a wash cloth. I casted on, hmm chained on? and single crocheted until I felt comfortable and had a wash cloth. Success!

Next, I flipped through the SNB Crochet and found the one skein scarf. It looked doable and forged ahead. I'll tell you once you can get past the first row it is a breeze. I worked on it while watching Masterpiece theater (my only TV indulgence) and will probably finish it tonight.

I love knitting and doubt I'll trade it for crochet, however; I'd love to make an afghan. A ripple afghan to be precise. I already know there is no way I could knit an afghan. I'd be bored and not enjoy it at all. I would enjoy crocheting an afghan though. So until I get around to ordering more yarn I think I will indulge in a little crochet.

I love this picture. Isn't she a nut!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Sloth: An indepth look into my mind

Yesterday was a day of rest. Almost a shameful day of rest. Both the kids were gone all day and I did pretty much...nothing. It's like I went from full steam ahead to stalled on the tracks. I either do 16 things at once or absolutely nothing. People always comment on how I get so much done during tax season; how I continue my personal work load and professional work load and add 4 new projects in the mix. I find that when I am working at high productivity levels I can't turn it off. It's not amazing and probably crazy. I'm certain its healthy because I only have one small breakdown towards the end of February and then I'm done. This year my break down was shedding some tears thinking, "Hmm I'm crying and don't know why. My brain is totally together,no one has upset me but yet my eyes are shedding tears." Yes, I could actually reason in my brain and not be upset in my mind at all but there I was crying. Weird.

Now I am functioning on the total opposite end of the spectrum. I have all this time to do whatever I want and I sit on the couch, watch movies on my computer, and knit. I should of been outside working in the yard. Getting that raised bed made or cleaning out the front porch, but no. My one saving thought was,"Hey, I'm not wasting my day. I am knitting." And so I knit almost an entire sock yesterday. I had 3 inches from the cuff when I started knitting on it Saturday morning. Now it is finished.

I really need to snap out of this lull because I do have things I want to do and sitting on the couch isn't going to get them done! Maybe I should invite someone over for dinner to force me to clean my house. That always works! 3 days of unproductivity should be enough to recover from 2.5 months of supercharge right!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Built By Jennifer

Today I finished a book, sewed a shirt, and shopped a bit. Pretty good day. This shirt is a Built by Wendy pattern Simplicity 3835. It is my practice shirt and I think it came out great. Very comfy. I thought I would start out with the shirt and then progress into the dress. There are so many variations of this pattern that I think it could keep me busy at least through June. Next up another shirt in non-practice fabric and then a dress!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Extensions & Socks

This is all I have done today. Work extensions and finish up my sock. April 15th is never as bad as April 14th for me. On April 14th I try to get in as much as I can; finish up as many returns as I can. On April 15th, I don't even try. If it isn't done or isn't one click away from being done it goes on extension. So today, I contacted people, made plans for their extensions and knit on my socks.

My dear friend Andrea brought me a mid-afternoon surprise. Tea and a lemon cupcake from the local tea shop and we visited for awhile. Much better than yesterday! Yesterday I was overwhelmed! Today I was good company, and tomorrow I have the day off. I have so many things that I want to do that I haven't the foggiest idea what I will do. But I know what I won't do! That is any kind of work involving numbers and a computer. Thursday I will be refreshed and ready to tackle those extension. :)

Monday, April 14, 2008

Can We Be Done Already!

Hurry up tax season and be over so I can make this!
Until I have free time again I'll have to surf flickr and view "everybody" elses shirts and dresses.
1 more day...

Friday, April 11, 2008

Show and Tell

I am so excited that I have seedlings. Marigold seedlings and in just 4 days too. The other plants are still germinating although I spotted a hollyhock and a couple of oregano this morning. I am really enjoying this process! And it is so easy too. It was just what I needed to get myself motivated to get my yard the way I want it. I can't wait for tax season to be over and the weather to warm up!

I finished knitting my cardigan and now it needs buttons. I bought buttons for it yesterday but the are just a hare too small so I am going to try and find something else today. The sweater fits well. It is a basic top down raglan with garter stitch details. I'm sure I will take some proper photos once I block it and buy buttons.

And here are my flamingo socks I started Saturday evening. They are coming along even though I have given very little attention to them. I'm using Lorna's Laces shepherd sock in flamingo colorway.

Well, back to work. Happy Friday!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Catch of the Day

Joy #2 and I made it out to the small lake for the first time today. He caught 2 catfish and I soaked up the sun and knitted. My poor cardigan is going to take forever. I started a new pair of socks using Lorna Laces shepherd sock colorway flamingo. I'm almost to the first heel. I'd have pictures but the camera battery died right after Joy #2 caught fish #2. I forgot how relaxing it is to just sit in the sun and enjoy the day. I look forward to many more Sunday afternoons like this one. The next two weeks will either be a killer or a nice coast at work. Hard to tell at this point. I am really looking forward to April 15 th though!

Saturday, April 5, 2008


CinnamonGirl got me motivated.

This morning after my morning appointments I got my seeds and potting soil. I have been saving my egg cartons all winter long just for this!

I "started" basil, rosemary, parsley, chives, oregano, cilantro,hollyhocks, and marigolds. Since we are participating in the CSA I'm not going to need to plant many vegetables. I do hope to start a few more plants but Joy #2 will have to help me decide what else. I have 4 egg cartons left!

Now I have to start planning what to put them in. This summer is going to rock!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Short Stories (acutally I'm lengthy)

I hesitate to share this story with you all but I think I will be safe. The unnamed boy of the story does not read the blog so I won't worry about upsetting him.

There is a boy who lives close to his school. His mom lets him walk home from school everyday and asks him to call her at work to let her know he has gotten home. Usually he calls around 3:45 pm and asks to go play in the neighborhood or something. A time is agreed upon that he will be home and off he goes. Within the last week the boy starts coming home unusually late. The first few days he was calling his mom after 4 pm. His excuse was that he was hanging around at school. That's normal, ok.

Then one day he doesn't call at all. The mom calls the house and the phone rings and rings and no one answers. Hmm. The mom doesn't worry too much because the boy is prone to playing outside and his big sister is hanging out across the street. If anything major happened she would be aware. When she got home that evening the boy was home and she asked him what happened? He said he came home, forgot to call, and was outside for a bit. The mom fussed at him but he assured her he was just in the yard.

The next day the same thing happened. The boy didn't call after school. The mom called home and it rang and rang and she never got a hold of him. When she got home he wasn't there either so she starts calling around and verifies that he did make it home and he was somewhere in the neighborhood (2 block radius). She yells outside for him but gets no response and decides that he'll come in when it gets dark and goes on about her business. Pretty soon it is dark and there is still no boy. Hmm. She does not think of foul play but thinks he is flat breaking the rules (as he has been the past few days). Another phone call and a neighborhood parent informs her that he took her boy to the skating rink with his son for the schools skate night. She is fuming but he will be home soon and boy was she going to let him have it!

Finally, the boy comes home at around 8 pm. The mom accosts him and really fusses at the boy. The boys acts like this is no big deal and swears that he called and called and the mom did not answer so he went ahead and went skating. The mom at this point puts him on lock down. She says, "I will pick you up from school and you will come to my office until I'm finished working. You aren't acting responsible so you will not be allowed to stay home."

The next day the mom goes to pick up the son from school. She waits and waits. Waves to the boys friends as they walk by wondering how much longer the boy will be. Soon everyone has cleared out and gone home. The mom realizes that the boy has either slipped past her or is still in the building. She drives on down past the school and lo and behold there is the boy standing with a group of kids. He sees her and runs over to the car. When she asks what he was doing he says he is getting ready to walk home and he forgot she was coming. She fusses at him AGAIN and proceeds to take him back to the office with her.

Day three into our story the mom and her boy talk about the school pick up before he heads out. The mom has an appointment at 3 pm but will come and get him from their house as soon as she is done. If it is raining the boy says that he will ride with neighbors. Good all is agreed. Before long it is 3 pm and raining. The mom's appointment doesn't show so she decides to go get the boy. She parks in the usual spot and waits. The boy's friend come by and ask for a lift and she obliges. The boy's friend says that he doesn't think the boy is coming this way. He said that he saw him going out from school the other way. "Oh really!" the mom says and she drives her car in the direction the other boy says her boy went. Not a block and a half away from the school there is the boy. Walking home with some kids in a direction that is the super long way home. As they pull up the mom realizes what has been going on! The boy, her boy was walking a girl home. He was carrying her books and everything! The mom was aware of the boy liking this girl. They had talked about her in passing but at that moment everything clicked. The boy had been walking the girl home everyday after school and in turn making himself late! The boy wanted to go skating because the girl was going and if he was lucky he'd get to hold her hand while skating.

Now the mom got it. His weird behavior was all over a girl. Once they dropped off the boy's friend the mom and son drove to the mom's office. They chatted about what the boy had been doing and came to an agreement. The boy could take the long way home, call the mom and then she would come and get him and take him to the office. He wouldn't be allowed to be home alone but she would let him walk the girl home. What made the mom become so soft?? He was carrying the girl's books. That sight was enough to make the mom's heart swell.

Edit:: 4:00 pm on the dot got a call saying, "Hi mom I'm home." We're back on track.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Another Cuppa Joe

Finished Object: French Press Cozy

Yarn: Knit Picks Shamrock (MacNamara)

Makes me want to have a tea party!