Friday, July 29, 2005

I've been to heaven....

and it was spectacular!

After hearing from Jen that there was a yarn store only a 5 minute drive from my house, I quickly decided that it was only necessary for me to visit. So late this morning I put Owen in the car and we made a quick dash over there.

I promised myself before going in that I would only spend $11 (the amount in my wallet). I made Owen promise to hold me to it, and he did. He's a very strict 21 month old when it comes to money. Something about his college fund, or at least that's what I've heard him mutter under his breath. This was a much easier thing to say before having entered the store. Once I actually went inside, I almost swore again, but not the promising kind either... but only because I was having a hard time imagining having to leave any of the beautiful skeins of yarn behind!

Noble Knits, the LYS of which I'm talking, is wonderfully charming. There is one seating area in front and another with a large table to work on that is more toward the middle. When I went in there were 3 people chatting happily and knitting away on projects at the table. Yarn covers every inch of wall, as well as a few displays on the floor. I found the Denise interchangeable knitting needle set, as well as a huge assortment of crochet hooks and knitting needles. Owen found a basket full of button jars and amused himself with shaking the jars and examining the samples glued to the tops. He was not as admiring of the yarn as I was, but I forgave him for that on the condition and mutual understanding that whenever we came to the store that he would be a good boy and not make a mess. It's a deal.

I was able to hold myself true to my word and only spent $10.33. My purchases were a pair of steel yarn needles and a skein of Noro in Spring Garden. I fell in love with the color and texture of the Noro immediately and was so excited to find that it was 25% off! It's like candy. Seriously.

My computer is giving me issues with posting pictures again, but I'll have one up soon I hope!

Thursday, July 28, 2005


I've been working on projects for the Pine Ridge Reservation and finally put together everything I've made to see what I had and what I still needed to make to round things out. It was quite a pile!

2 blankets
9 hats
4 scarves
1 shawl

I'd like to make one more blanket and another shawl. After that I think I'll be ready to send out the package to Minnesota. I'll be sending it out before I leave for Missouri on August 6th.

The hats have been a lot of fun to make and so easy! Plus, they have the added bonus of being super fast. It's a bit of instant gratification because I can finish one in about an hour if it's a child's hat and two hours for an adult.

I emailed the area coordinator for Project Linus, but haven't heard back from her. I'm hoping to hear what size blankets our area is in most need of. I don't want to make mostly baby blankets if they really need something for a teenager or older child.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Adventures in Knitting!

The other night I started knitting a scarf. I think I have tension issues. I think I have questions.

For one thing, I was looking through my book and come to find out, I'm doing a stockinette stitch. I didn't know. Here's what I thought was supposed to happen:

Cast on stitches
Knit one row
Purl one row
Knit one row
Purl one row.... etc etc etc

Tadaaa!!! Scarf!

Apparently, I'm wrong. *confused!* Anyone out there want to give me some purls of wisdom?

I've fixed my tension a bit. It's not nearly as tight as it was, which makes the knitting process so much less stressful! Yay! I'm probably not doing it the "correct" way, but let's fix one issue at a time.

I ended up starting a new scarf with some cute variegated yarn, got about 4" done and then switched to some cream yarn. Oh, yes! I'm mixing up the colors, people!!! (I'm enjoying this, can you tell?)

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Love it!

Owen and I went into Joanne's yesterday. I thought it'd be a nice diversion and I hadn't been in the store in months. (Read that as: I had time on my hands and realized that I didn't know what the yarn selection was like at Joanne's.)

The fabrics are all on the right side of the store, with the fleece all on the back wall as you walk in. I have to call Mona because fleece is on sale right now for 30% off! Score!

Everything else is on the left side of the store and the yarn takes up one very small half of an aisle. I was not impressed. However, they do have a clearance section for yarn that Michaels does not. It's not a big section, but it is a section!

I nabbed a couple skeins and was on my way out when I noticed that Owen had found some yarn for himself. He had one skein in each hand of this furry stuff and was rubbing it on his cheeks. Well it was just the cutest thing ever!

So I bought them.

I figure I'll make him a little green furry blanket to befriend and when our friends are over we can freak them out and pretend its a muppet or something!

Monday, July 25, 2005

My first shawl!

Okay, this picture was taken at 12:45am and I have been awake for 20 hours right now, so forgive my appearance and just admire my shawl.

This was made from the yarn I had originally intended to make a blanket with, but it looks so much better as a shawl. Honestly, I'm tempted to keep this thing for myself... but I won't! I can definitely see why people love shawls, though.

My next projects (the scarves I mentioned in the post I made about 5 minutes ago), I plan on doing by knitting. Oh yeah. I knit. I'm not going to do anything fancy, but will use the projects to get really comfortable and proficient with knit and purl. (Long term goals... I'm eyeing the clapotis.)

Picture time *grins*

I've finally taken pictures of the stuff I made for Leah and will be mailing out tomorrow. Hooray! The large blue blanket is made from Bernat's CottonTots and is 100% cotton. This will wash up great and be so soft! The multi-colored blanket and hat is a Red Heart yarn that I can't remember the name of right now. It is the first item I made with Sport Weight yarn and I really enjoyed it.

This will go out in the mail tomorrow and I plan to send out the package for Pine Ridge Reservation before we leave for Branson, MO on August 6th. I finished my first shawl tonight and I'll be adding at least one more shawl, as well as a few more hats and scarves to the items I've already made. (1 blanket, 2 hats, 2 scarves.)

Thinking of charity, I talked with 2 ladies at my church who are on the Womens' Ministries council and they are so interested in doing a work day for Project Linus sometime in the fall. I gave them the website address and they asked some good questions. I think that this could be so good!!!

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Leah's package is finished!

Hip hip hooray!

I completed the second baby blanket yesterday afternoon, and with that the package is ready to be sent off to her. :) I think the first blanket is the prettiest and the second is the softest.

I'm now ready to finish the shawl I started with the frogged yarn. I have about 10 more rows to complete and then I'll try it up against Bryan again. (He's a fantastic model!)

Pictures later!

If I had a hammer... or an extra set of arms...

In my inbox was an update from Lion Brand and it mainly talked about giving your finished items to charity. I guess they've had a lot of mail about it and decided to address it in an update. In the update was a letter from someone about Project Linus and I just about cried my eyes out.

Of course I vowed to give them blankets! How could I not!!!

I guess I just find it all overwhelming. There are so many people in the world who need help, who need someone to love them, who need to feel one shred of comfort for just a few minutes.

I can't help them all and that thought is enough to bring me to tears. I want to help them! I want to make a blanket for every infant, child, teenager, mom, dad, grandpa, and grandma that's out there!

Only, I just have 2 hands. And I have a son who needs me. And I have a husband who needs me. And I have a church that needs me. The list goes on.

So I suppose I'll just have to face that I won't be able to make the world a blankie. But I can make one little person-sized blankie at a time, and pray over it and hope that it puts a smile on someone's face.

Thursday, July 21, 2005


I have tried to knit on several occasions in the past 3 years. Only once out of, say, 9 times have I ever been able to cast on stitches. Most of the time, I couldn't even do that and threw the needles in a basket and put the basket in a closet. (A very adult way of handling the issue, yes.)

I decided to give knitting another chance. I am, after all, a patient and forgiving person. I also threw away the kit I was trying to learn with. I'm almost 4% certain that they were the cause of my knitting issues.

On Tuesday I stopped by Michael's and found the needle mentioned in the last post, as well as a stitch counter, and a cutting pendant. I was on my way out of the isle and toward the counter when I passed a kit. It had the beforementioned needle as well as a stitch counter. Ooh. It also was a teaching yourself to knit kit that had 2 sets of knitting needles and other knitting paraphanelia. For $9 I couldn't pass it up.

Tuesday afternoon, during Owen's nap, I took up the kit and opened it. To my amazement, I casted on!!! To my even more amazement... I knitted and purled!!! *faint!*

The curse is broken and I am now a knitter. *struts* You have permission to view my awesome work as pictured above.

I also couldn't help but post the picture of Owen. This was from Monday afternoon when we were leaving the pool at Pepa's house. I had originally intended to capture the low-riding trunks that framed a very cute butt. I think I like this even better. :D

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

My list of things to buy

I really need a needle to weave in ends. I've been trying to use whatever hook I used for the project, but that's time consuming and difficult.

Also on the list is a pair of knitting needles. I have no idea what size, type, anything. Perhaps I shall consult my friend, Jen, and see if she can give me any advice!

Knitting for Dummies. This is a part of my plan only if online tutorials don't help.

Sewing for Dummies. Oh yeah.

By the way! I made my own button last night!!! Oh my gosh, I'm so proud of myself. I was looking at paying someone $15 to make one for me, and I thought, "Brianne, why don't you try it out on your own and see if you can do it." That was at midnight. By 12:30, I had a button!
You are Merino Wool.
You are Merino Wool.You are very easygoing and sweet. People like to
keep you close because you are so softhearted.
You love to be comfortable and warm from your
head to your toes.

What kind of yarn are you?

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

They're gone

I'm sad

I see some therapeutic crocheting in my very near future

Monday, July 18, 2005

Starting over!

I have given up on the double yarn blanket I was making. The thing was so stiff it felt more like a rug than a blanket. There's no way I could give that to someone! Bryan said to finished it and then wash it with a lot of fabric softener. Uh. No. Instead, I had him help me unravel the whole thing and wind the yarn back into balls. (Poor guy.)

The more I'm using different types/brands/weights/fiber types of yarn, the more I start to realize what I like working with. This is a good thing! For example: The yarn I used for the blanket I scrapped today was a cheap acrylic worsted. The yarn I used for Leah's baby blanket was a nice cotton sport. Different yarn, different stitches, different results. I'm learning and it's good!

I think I'm going to make two shawls with the yarn we scrapped today, however, they won't be doubled. I found a couple of shawl/wrap free patterns online and will use them as a basis for what I'm making.

Last night I finished Leah's baby blanket! I have 2/3 skein of white left and 2 1/2 skeins of blue. Totally enough to make another blanket for someone later on. The blanket turned out nice. I ended up just doing 2 rows of white edging in sc instead of doing something fancy. I was afraid that a fancier edging would detract from the work I did on the inside. :)

After we finished balling up the scrapped yarn, I started on another blanket for Leah. (I can't stop myself!) It's a light sport acrylic, variegated in blue, green, yellow and white. It's a cute yarn and brighter than the first blanket. I was at Mom's when we did all this and she suggested possibly doing a shell stitch for this one. She showed me how to do it and after playing around with it for 30 minutes, I finally found the right combination of dc's, chains, and skipped chains to make the blanket not warp and frill. Apparently, this time it was 4 dc, no chain, skip 2. I'm working 6 rows of shells and 4 rows of sc. I'm just starting my second set of sc rows and it looks so good! :D

Okay, must go to bed. Tomorrow is moving day for Mom and Dad and I must have some sleep in me to make it through the day.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Working around the problem

I spent a good deal of time on the computer this morning trying to fix whatever is wrong with it and making it difficult to upload pictures. In the meantime, I emailed pictures to myself and am going to post them here from Mom's laptop! Not just a pretty face, you see!

Okay, first picture... the new items added to my stash yesterday. A woo hoo! The "Things" basket will be next to my favorite rocking chair and will hold my current projects. :) I love the bright colors that will be a little girl's blanket. With all the babies due in church in the next 6 months, surely one of them will be a girl!

Second picture... the adorable crochet baby set that I'm going to try my hand at. It'll be my first attempt at clothing and I'm excited about it, if a bit nervous as well.

Third picture... my attempts at painting at Clay 'n Latte. I'm definately not comfortable with painting. The whole time I'm painting I find that I'm holding my breath. The plate in back was from a couple of weeks ago and says, "You Are Special!" The light switch faceplate has Owen's name on it and is painted to match his room. The cup and saucer seem to have jumped out of Central Perk and the inside of the cup says, "Relax".

Final picture... more of my family! This picture was taken on July 4th of this year at the Oceanside pier. From left to right: Heather (sister), Bryan (husband), Owen (son), Spencer (future brother-in-law). What you don't know from looking at this picture is that Spencer is reaching behind and pinching Bryan's butt. We have a few pictures with this happening and Bryan is getting better and better at making no reaction to it until after the picture is taken.

Last night I left my crochet bag at Mom and Dad's thinking that I'd be back in the morning, but it did not happen! So, while Owen napped I started on the hat and bootie set. The hat needs one more row of sc and will be finished! I've been working on the blanket tonight and it is nearing completion. I'm very pleased with it! YAY!

Okay, enough for now. Bryan's getting our stuff piled up and ready to go... he's the master of subtleties! lol


Leah's baby blanket is almost 1/2 complete as of this evening. I'm using a baby blue soft yarn that is 100% cotton and to die for. (So tempted to make one for me!) The pattern I'm doing goes a little something like this:

Row 1: ch 112, turn

Row 2: sk 2 ch for turn, sc in remaining, ch 3 for turn

Row 3: dc in all, ch 3 for turn

Row 4: dc in 2 dc, ch 1, * dc in 3 dc, ch 1*, * to end, ch 3 for turn

Row 5: see row 3

Row 6: see row 4

Row 7: see row 3

Row 8: see row 4

Row 9: see row 3

Row 10: see row 4, but ch 4 for turn

Row 11: tr in all, ch 4 for turn

Row 12: tr in all, ch 3 for turn

Row 13 to almost end: begin pattern again at Row4

Row 2nd from end: dc in all, ch 2 for turn

Row end: sk 2 ch for turn, sc in remaining, tie off

I kind of made this pattern up as I went along and I'm pleased with it so far. It's not a heavy blanket, and since her little boy was born this month, he won't need anything heavy right now. I'll also be sending her a hat and matching booties as well. I've never made booties before, so that will be an adventure!

The other blanket I'm making right now isn't going as well. I'm doing a double yarn afghan, using Mainstays yarn in off-white and "fall splendor" (they look great together!), using an N hook. (Yeesh!) It looks great, but the thing is not soft. Honestly, it'd make a better rug than blanket at this point. I'm hoping hoping hoping that with washing it will soften up some. Well, at least it is warm!

In other crafting news, Mom and Heather picked up our stuff from Clay 'n Latte that we made last Friday. My cup and saucer turned out okay. The colors were a little different than I orignally planned, with the blue being darker and the gold being more green. Overall I'm pleased. :) Owen's light switch faceplate looks okay. Bright and matches his room, and that makes me happy.

I added to my yarn stash today! I picked up the last 3 skeins of yarn I'll need for Leah's baby blanket, and found a couple other things that I "absolutely needed!" I found some great light boucle in blue and green variegated that will make something fabulous. That'll be fun to try working with! I also found purse handles in black mango wood. They are beautiful and I must now find the perfect purse to make. I'm thinking this may be a great gift for some lucky lady this Christmas! I did show some self-restraint when it came to this next item: there was a great craft tote made specifcally for people into knitting and crochet. There were three outside pockets with a loose velcro top for holding skeins of yarn, as well as pouches for other paraphenia such as hooks, needles, scissors, stitch markers, etc. The price was $39.50 and it looked perfect except that it was a very ugly orange that I couldn't see myself carrying. Mom said that there is a huge craft store in Springfield and when we visit them next month we'll stop by. Yay!

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Abbreviated posting

Well... I keep losing my posts. My computer is having issues and I'm very frustrated!!! It's not Blogger, it's my computer. Grrr.

In any case, here's the condensed version of my post.

This is my family. Dad is in the back, Isaac in the left front, Owen in the middle, Jared on the right. I like them a lot.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Trying new things

Leah's baby blanket is coming along nicely. I'm probably about 30% done right now and will need to pick up 3 more skeins of yarn to complete it. I purchased white to do detailed edging with. Yay! I'm using an F hook with it and it's the smallest hook I've used yet. Challenging, but I think I like it better!The large chunky blanket I started last Saturday is going well. I love the color combinations and how the variegated yarn changes. This blanket is also at almost 30% completion. I'm trying to get Leah's stuff done first since she's in more need right now.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Adding to the stash

Okay, finally the list of what I purchased at Wal-Mart!

1 skein Red Heart Soft Baby in Laddie Print (My first skein in sport weight!)
3 skeins Bernat Cottontots in Little Boy Blue
2 skeins Peaches and Cream in Sea Mist
1 skein Red Heart Plush in Spice
2 skeins Mainstays in Soft Beige.

The Soft Beige I'm using to do the double yarn afghan that I'm working on right now. It looks so good so far!!! :D The Spice will be a scarf for Mom. The Sea Mist will be a summer hat for Owen. The Laddie Print will be a baby hat for Leah's baby and the Little Boy Blue will be a baby blanket for him, too. :D Yay for me!

Owen's calling, so the pictures I took will have to come later!

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Clay 'n Latte

Mom was really hoping to get in another session at Clay 'n Latte before they leave on the 19th. We tried to figure out a day when the four of us could go again, and thought that yesterday would work for everyone, but apparently Heather chose to do stuff with Spencer instead. (Methinks this is how life will be like.) So Isaac and Owen stayed with Dad while Mom, Jared and I went to paint stuff!

Mom had a harder time finding something to paint. She searched the store for about 35 minutes before settling on a bowl. I guess there was a cake stand she saw last time that caught her eye, but it had sold and there wasn't a replacement in the back. Then she eyed a serving platter, but that was reserved for someone and there wasn't a second one. I could tell that she was really disappointed, but painted happily. Jared found a small square plate and copied a design from a model plate painted with a snowman. He's really a very talented painter! Mom says that Jared will go into her room and watch cartoons on it. When a cool picture will come up, he stops it with Tivo and then draws the picture. A very cool idea if you think about it.

Jared did great on his plate and Mom totally wants to steal it. :)This time around I wasn't as pleased with how I did. I found a faceplate for Owen's light switch in his room. (The book one that was in my room in high school doesn't quite fit a kid's room.) I painted it yellow and wrote in blue words "Owen Edward". There are red and green dots on it. Honestly, it looks cuter than it sounds. I'm a little concerned about how the words will turn out. That project took about 10 minutes. Then I found a cup and saucer that looks like it belonged on the Friends set. (Love it!) I painted that in muted green, blue and gold tones. I'm very happy with it, up until it came to the more intricate line work in puffy paint. That I'm not happy with at all. I wish I had drawn in on the cup before painting, but that always etches the paint off and that I don't like either. I'm hoping it turns out well and that it won't be a big deal.

I've taken a couple of days off of crocheting. My hands needed a break and I had other things that needed to get done. I seem to be a person who, once a project is started, I have a drive to get it done to... sometimes... the exclusion of other things. That's how it is with other things too, not just crafts. fanihi posted a great pattern for a hat she made and I think that may be the next project I start on. :) After that I'll tackle an afghan. I got some great tips for them at one of the communities here and now I have the afghan itch!

Monday, July 04, 2005

Picture time!

Okay, I got PhotoBucket to cooperate long enough to download the picture of the hat and scarf set I made! :DThis is my handsome brother, Isaac, modeling the set at the El Pollo Loco in Vista. :P

Yay!So I've now finished another cloche hat (this time, adult sized), but I'm not using the right type of yarn so it still required some resizing. I'm just starting a little mini purse that I thought would light up some little girl's eyes. It's made from Lion's Chenille in black and will look very classy. :) I've already noticed how difficult this is to work with and don't know that I'll be buying it. (Mom gave me this skein.)Now that I have the crocheting down a little more, I think it's time to roll up my sleeves again and pull that sewing machine out of the closet and see if I can learn how to use it!

Sunday, July 03, 2005

I'm so proud

Friday night we went to Wal-Mart and I picked up quite a few skeins of yarn for the charity projects I plan on doing. Of course we bought more stuff than originally intended... but such is life.I love the colors I picked out. I tried to get a variety of tones and some variegated yarn, which I've never used before. :) Once I figure out why PhotoBucket is kicking me off, I'll post a picture of the stash I bought.... and I'll post a picture of my very first hat!!! :D YAAAAAAAAAAY!!!!!!!I worked it in a bright rainbow variegated yarn and used a pattern in my Crocheting For Dummies book. I had to modify it slightly because I wanted the hat to be child-sized. Finally, after 5 hours, and much re-working, I finished it!!! I'm so stinking proud of it. :D I made a child-sized scarf with the remainder of the skein (2 projects, one skein, I love it).I rock.