Sunday, December 28, 2008

When Life Gives You Apples.... Make Applesauce

Recently, I was given a lot of apples. And by a lot of apples, I mean a garbage bag full of them. Here is a picture of some of the apples. Mmmmmmm. I was racking my brains about what to do with all of these apples. I figured I would have to freeze some of them. I will make an apple crisp for New Year's Eve. But I wanted to try something new, so I searched the internet for applesauce recipes and found one that used pretty basic ingredients. Then I modified the recipe a little bit. Here's what I ended up with:

16 apples, peeled, cored and chopped
2 cups of water
3/4 cup of white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons of cinamon

Put all the ingredients in a large pot and cook on medium heat for 20 minutes or until apples are soft. Mash the apples (I used a potato masher, but I really think a handheld blender thingy would have worked really well. My mom raves about hers. ). Voila! You have applesauce. Yummy :)
By the way, that applesauce is posing in one of my new Pyrex bowls, which I got as a Christmas gift from my almost sister-in-law. They have lids and are great for food storage.

Friday, December 26, 2008

So Much for Goals....

Back in November, I wrote a post about my new goal of finishing all of my UFOs before starting anything new. Well, I finished my baby gift for Sarah, and I started to finish my granny square purse and stuffed frog, but still working on both projects. Just the fact that I said "started to finish" makes me realize what a lofty goal it is for me to complete all of my UFOs. Anyway, so much for goals. Yesterday, I cast on for a new felted purse. I am creating my own pattern for this one; it has been living in my head for a long time, and I am finally letting it out. I also picked out a sweater pattern, and today I bought some yarn to knit the sweater. Yes, I am officially starting two new projects while at least 4 others sit on the sidelines in various stages of completion :P I will post pictures of all new projects as soon as there is something worth posting :)

Hope everyone is enjoying their holidays. I know I am; I got a Wii for Christmas, and I can barely stop playing long enough to get any knitting done :D Its so much fun!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Vine Bracelet and Wire Ring

Saturday night, I was inspired in my sleep. I dreamed of a bracelet that looked like a flowering vine. When I woke up, I realized that I had some green floral wire, colorful leaf beads and flower beads. I immediately cut some wire and started twisting. Here's what I ended up with:
Here's an action shot of the bracelet. Just ignore my dazzling tan :)
With the leftover wire, I made a ring, kind of a bird's nest ring.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Snow Day

Sunday night, it snowed; it looked like about an inch of accumulation. Here in the Willamette Valley, that means a snow day. No school. It always seems weird to me, since I used to live in Wisconsin, where we never had a snow day. In my four years of high school, I had one snow day, because with the wind chill it was 60 below zero outside. I hated the snow when I lived in Wisconsin. Now, it's such a novelty, I don't mind it so much. Usually, on a snow day, I will make a snowman. However, today the snow would not cooperate, so I am posting a picture of the snowman I made 2 years ago, on a very mild snow day.

Notice how little snow is left in the yard after making a little snowman. He looks happy to hear that I had a snow day today :)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Berry Hill Fingerless Mitts

So, my classroom is really, really cold. The heat comes on in the morning, and then for the remainder of the day, the fan blows cold air through the room. It actually creates a breeze in the room. Needless to say, I am always bundled up in extra clothes. I wear sweaters, scarves, gloves and sometimes even my coat. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to hand out papers when wearing gloves, so I decided to knit some fingerless mittens to keep my poor little hands warm at school. I found the pattern on Ravelry, and I love the pattern stitch in these mitts. It was very easy and it looks really cool. I used Red Heart acrylic yarn. My aunt gave me a bunch of it that she couldn't fit in her suitcase last time she visited. I guess even yarn is cheaper in the States :) The yarn is a dark green color. I knit in the round with size 3 dpns. And here are the pictures.......the right hand mitt......
And the left hand mitt.......
When I started the increases for the thumb, I followed the pattern exactly, but discovered that the method for increasing used in the pattern created little holes in the fabric (as seen below). After two increases like that, I changed the way I increased. In order to create a more solid fabric, I increased by putting the needle between the two stitches and making a stitch. This worked much better than the way outlined in the pattern.
This was my first time using a sewn bind off technique. I really like it and think I will use it more often. It allows the bind off edge more give. I usually bind off much tighter than my cast on edge, but this bind off edge is really comfortable. All in all, I love my new fingerless mitts. They allow me to do everything I need to do while keeping my little hands nice and warm :)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Gift for Sarah's Baby Aaron

My cousin Sarah gave birth to her first baby just a few days ago. I really can't believe it, because I remember babysitting for Sarah when I was younger. Time flies. When I first found out she was pregnant, I immediately started knitting a blanket. I didn't know Aaron was going to be a boy, so I chose a nice shade of green to knit. After the blanket was finished, I crocheted a hat to match. Then I knit some booties. It was harder than I thought to knit two matching booties, so I now have an extra bootie. Finally, I bought some blue yarn, after Aaron was born, and I knit a little teddy bear. He has a grommet in his ear, with a ribbon passed through it. The ribbon has a snap closure, so the bear can be secured to a stroller or a car seat and not get lost. Cute, huh?

All of the items were knit in Cottontots, 100% cotton. It is so soft :). I found the patterns for the blanket and the bear on The hat is from 24 Hour Crochet, and the booties are from an issue of a knitting magazine I randomly bought myself. I can't wait to mail it to her.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

What a cute face!

My frog finally has a face. The features are all made from i-cord knit in acrylic. I think he looks great :)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A Relaxing Day

I had the day off work today, and I had a wonderful day. I picked up the house in the morning, then spent the remainder of the day reading, crocheting and watching decorating shows. I finished my book The Witch of Portobello by Paulo Coehlo. Awesome book, it sucked me in. Overall a perfect day :)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

My New Goals...

My new goal is to finish some of the many projects I have started. I also decided to do some charity knitting.

Here is my first chemo cap. It is knit from a really soft and fuzzy green acrylic yarn, with black eyelash yarn accent. I used a diamond lace pattern that you can't see very clearly.
chemo cap 1 2008

Here is a close-up of the lace pattern. Not a great picture.
chemo cap 1 2008

I have decided that the first project I want to complete is my granny square purse. I completed the body of the purse tonight. Here is one side of purse.
granny square purse body
Here is the other side. Note the opposite colors in the squares.

granny square purse body

Now I just have to make a strap, make a lining, and weave in all the thread ends!!

granny square purse body
Whew!! There are a lot of ends to weave in.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Ayer, vi a un gato morir :(

Warning: this story is a little graphic, but I have to get it out.

Yesterday, as I was driving to the store, I saw a cat get hit by the car in front of me. The driver did not stop, and the cat flopped and twitched around the road in front of me. I had to stop to see if I could do something, at least check for a tag and call the pet owner. Well, the kitten had no tags. He lay on the road twitching silently, one eyeball hanging out, his mouth filled with blood. I sat with him 'til he died, and then I cried. I got back in my car and left the little kitten, not knowing what else I could do. His image now haunts my thoughts.

Saturday, November 8, 2008


Congratulations, President Elect Barack Obama. Keep on inspiring this nation.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Birthday Girl

It's my birthday today.....32. My honey took me out for dinner to a chinese restaurant and bought me some dishes that I have wanted for a long time. He's so sweet :) I had an awesome day :)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Etsy Advice?

I have been thinking about the possibility of selling my crafts for a long time now. Since I started knitting again, I have been building up a huge amount of random finished objects, and I can't possibly use them all or give all away to friends/family. There is a large outdoor craft market here in Oregon, The Saturday Market, and I thought about selling there. There is a membership fee and a selling fee, but they are both pretty reasonable. But since the fee is annual and runs March to March, I don't think I want to even try it until next Spring. That brings me to Etsy. I hear a lot about Etsy on the blogs I read and on Craftster and Ravelry. I even found this cool advice book, The Etsy Seller's Handbook, which is a little overwhelming because it has so much information (found on Sew You Want To's blog). I just don't know if Etsy is for me. What I really want to know is this: Is Etsy worth it? Can you sell items at a price that is fair to the crafter? Do you have to put more money in than you get back? Does updating your Etsy page become like a second job? Any help or advice is welcome.

Monday, October 13, 2008

2 Bags and a Snake

Here is some of my latest work. I have been busy :) First, my market bag. I crochetd this bag using used plastic grocery bags. I cut the bags into strips and then crocheted them together. I based the bag shape on a paper grocery bag shape. It really does not photograph well, unfortunately.
Here is another shot, filled with groceries. Still did not photograph well :) I do like the colors that came through from the different grocery bags. I will definitely do this again, but will try a different bag shape.
Here is my progress on my granny square purse. I call it autumn sunflowers. This is most of one side of the bag, all sewn together. I am about halfway through the other side and am excited to see how it all turns out when finished.
I am also working on a stuffed rainbow snake. It started out as a skinny scarf with a ruffle on the end. I started knitting with an unidentified yarn that I inherited from a friend of a friend's grandma's stash. Whooh, that's a mouthful :) The yarn didn't look great as a scarf, and my fiancee suggested that I try making it into a snake. So I extended the ruffle to become the head, and I decreased the other end to become the tail. I started stuffing it with polyfil, but it doesn't have the feel that I want, so I think I will add some beans?
Anyway, what do you think of my creations??

Monday, October 6, 2008


I was chosen as one of the winners in the Oddballs' sock challenge on Ravelry. I'm not sure what my prize will be or when it will arrive (its coming all the way from Australia), but I am very excited and proud :)

Monday, September 29, 2008

Beautiful Socks

I finished my socks last night, and I love them. They are so warm and comfy. I cannot wait for the cooler weather, so I can wear them. And the colors are fabulous. Some of the stripes even match up perfectly, completely by accident :)
I used the Hedera pattern from Knitty. The lace pattern was pretty easy to memorize. I did drop a few stitches and have a few difficulties, but I think I fixed all the mistakes. I knit the socks with Read Heart Heart and Sole sock yarn in Congo. I was really pleasantly surprised by the yarn, considering it is Red Heart, but really I would have a hard time justifying buying some of the sock yarn I see in stores. $20 a ball....that's a little more than I want to spend on a pair of socks! I used size 3 dpns to knit the socks.
These were really fun to knit and so portable. I am really proud of my first socks.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Cool Movies

I love to watch movies, but I always wait to rent them on dvd, as I cannot justify the outrageous prices at the theater. This weekend, I saw The Forbidden Kingdom. I love Jackie Chan and Jet Li, so this movie was an obvious choice for me. It was awesome. I really enjoyed it. Great fight scenes, interesting storyline. Love it!

The week before, I saw The Fall. Wow!! This movie is so visually stimulating. I loved it. The storyline is great, and the characters are all so interesting. I tried to knit while watching, but I could not. So much visual interest....the colors....the effects.....the optical illusions. Love it!!

Friday, September 12, 2008

The Beginning of the Sock

I officially started my sock the day before yesterday. Here is my progress so far. I love the colors!! And the lace pattern is really cool, although you cannot see it in this picture :)

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Pissed Off!!!

So I am getting ready to knit a pair of socks for a Ravelry challenge. I bought the yarn, I printed out the pattern, and I thought I was ready to go. Unfortunately, the dpns I have are the wrong size. My two local knitting supply stores are Fred Meyer and JoAnn's. No LYS. Neither of them carry the size needle that I need! I am pissed off once again. This town is a very annoying place to live as a knitter. I have a very limited selection of yarns and a very limited selection of needles. The closest LYS is over a half an hour away in another town!! Urgh!!! Now I don't know when I will start my socks :(

Friday, September 5, 2008


Well, I have completed my first week at school, and I am exhausted. But I love it. :) I am excited about the year ahead.

I have decided to try a sock challenge on Ravelry, and I will be beginning my first sock tomorrow. I am assured that it will be easy, fun, and possibly addicting. Like I am not already addicted to knitting!

This school year, I will be doing some charity knitting, and I am encouraging my students to join me. I am hoping to get some of them to participate and help me knit/crochet squares for a blanket for Project Linus. I am also hoping to start a local craft circle. This week, I will be making a flier to post around town. I hope that there are like-minded people in town who will join me at a cafe once a week to knit, crochet, bead, or whatever. Fun, fun, fun :)

Monday, September 1, 2008

Crochet Success

Ta da!!! My amigurumi chicken is finished. Here is a picture of him sitting with his little chicky friends. The pattern called for pipe cleaner legs, but I crocheted his little feet. I used felt for his eyes and bill.

The crochet is a little loose. He is by no means perfect. I think I may have used too big of a hook? But I still think he is very cute :) He is my first completed crochet project. Yippee!!

Then, I decided to try some granny squares. I call them Autumn Sunflowers. I got the pattern from a Better Homes and Gardens book. I think they will end up as a very cool project when they are assembled into something. Right now I am thinking of a granny square bag. Hmmm....

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Trying to Crochet :)

So, I decided I wanted to try to crochet again. I started last night. I found a pattern for an amigurumi chicken to make for my honey. Why would I make him a chicken you may ask? Well, he is an artist and he recently painted a picture of a chicken. Also, he recently found a package of small, fuzzy, easter chicks and placed them all around my craft room. So, I thought it would be funny if I made him a chicken :)

Anyway, I pulled out my Complete Guide to Needlework and opened to the crochet chapter. I picked up my yarn and my crochet hook and started following the diagrams. Unfortunately, every time I made more than one stitch, they all became just one big loop. I stared at those diagrams all night. Nothing worked.

Today, I decided to give it another shot. I pulled out the book, my yarn and my hook, and started over. This time, something clicked. OMG!! I was crocheting!! I didn't want to stop in case I would forget how to do it again. It all seemed so magical. This is a picture of how far I got. The body is complete. It took me about 2 hours. I still have to make wings, feet and beak, but my chicken is almost complete.If you look closely, you can see that my stitches start out very loose and get tighter as I continued :) That is, if you can focus clearly on my horrible photo ;P I will try to take a better pic tomorrow when it is brighter. I was just so excited that I crocheted something that I had to post immediately. I can't wait to finish all the details. Hopefully, it will look a little like a chicken :D

Sunday, August 17, 2008

More about the purse

I realize that I may have told a story about why I made the purse for my sister, but I never wrote about the details of how the purse was made. I will reveal those details now. I used Sugar n Cream cotton yarn in white and size 6 needles. The purse is about 9 inches wide. I used three different stitches to create the texture: garter, simple seed, and a basic lace pattern that I then threaded the ribbon through. I experimented with pre-made handles, because I was running out of time (I stayed up til 1am the night before the wedding putting finishing touches on this creation). I always work best when I am racing against a deadline :D I had also considered wide ribbon handles and knitted i-cord handles. Anyway, I am proud of the purse. I did not use a pattern and I made it up as I went. It served its purpose well, too.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Bridal Emergency Kit

Well, I just got back from a little vacation. I drove from Oregon to Illinois for my sister's wedding. It was a busy vacation, and that is why I have not been posting recently. But now, I am back. My fiance and I were both in the wedding. I was the maid of honor, and he was an usher. Our cat traveled with us in the car. Here is a picture of her sitting under the car seat. Her head is sticking out. Isn't she cute?

She was a pretty good passenger, all things considered.

Anyway, my mom found this list of things to include in a bridal emergency kit online and suggested that I put one together for my sister. So I decided to go one step further and I knit a small purse for the kit. I chose white, since she was wearing white, and green, since that was the color of the bridesmaid dresses. I also made the bridesmaids' jewelry, which you can see in an earlier post ( Here is the bridal emergency kit......

I attached the beaded flower that I had made earlier. Read about that here:
And here is a picture of all the goodies inside. Some of the items are harispray, tissues, hairpins, sewing kit, breathmints, hand wipes, chapstick, hand lotion........ It was pretty stuffed. If I had to do it again, I would make sure to include band-aids. The possibilities are endless.Anyway, the wedding was great. I am originally from Ireland, and a lot of family made the trip to Illinois from Ireland. It was fun to see them all, but I am glad to be home :)

Monday, July 28, 2008

Magazine Storage Boxes (and bookends) :)

I have been trying to organize my craft room all summer long. I found this great project on Craftster, and I used it as a guide. Here is the link: Here is my version. The first two pictures are of the storage box for my knitting and crochet magazines. It is painted and has a decoupaged picture on each side; one for crochet and one for knitting. Here is the crochet side:
Here is the knit side:
I also made a storage box for my beading magazines. For this one, I tore out pages from my favorite bead catalog, Fire Mountain Gems, and decoupaged them on the box. Voila....
I really like how they turned out. My craft room should be organized by the end of summer :)

Friday, July 25, 2008

Beaded Flower

I made a beaded flower!! I tried to make one of these a long, long time ago and only managed to get halfway through one petal before completely giving up. Well, now, years later, I sat down with the intention of finishing a complete beaded flower.....and voila, here it is, beaded in my sister's wedding colors. The center of the flower has three of the yellow-green pearls used in the bridesmaid's jewelry and the silver seed beads are also from that jewelry.
Here is a side view with the wires ends still exposed. I will attach the flower to a pin back and use it as part of a final wedding day gift for my sister. I'll post pics as I progress with the flower and gift.
I am just so excited with how well it worked out. And you'll never believe it, but when I went to JoAnn's to buy some pin backs, all jewelry making supplies were 50% off. I was able to contain myself and only buy what I needed (the pin backs), although it was tempting.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

I-Pod Sleeves

So, I was looking through some old photos on the computer, and I found these. Thought I would share them.

I knit these I-Pod covers around Christmas 2007. The pink one is a pig (believe it or not :) ). I knit it with pink acrylic yarn as part of my sister's Christmas gift. She collects pig-related things, and I love to find the strangest pig-related gifts I can. For her last birthday, I knit her a pig washcloth, and a few years ago I found a candy dish of a pig with wings. Anyway, the I-Pod cover I knit in the round and added the features later. It even has a little curly tail on the back. Too cute, I know :)

The orange I-Pod cover I knit just for fun from some leftover yarn. Its a thick and thin wool in orange and purple. I really like it. I also knit a felted purse with this yarn.....I'll post it sometime soon. The I-Pod cover was an experiment to see if I could create openings for the screen and the controls. It worked out pretty well. I do wish the openings were a little bigger, but the funny thing fiance started using it on his I-Pod, and he loves it. He loves how the wool is so thick it actually offers some protection if the I-Pod is dropped. Its like a padded case. It has not left his I-Pod since I knit it :)

Friday, July 18, 2008

Green Baby Blanket

So, I've been working on this baby blanket since the beginning of summer. I have two pregnant cousins and a pregnant co-worker, so I thought it was time to start knitting baby things.

I have to admit, I almost gave up on this blanket. Some of the stitch transitions are looking a little looser that I would like, but I had already gone so far that I did not want to give up.

Then I spent two nights watching horror movies. This is one of my favorite times to knit as it helps me to not pick at my nails and bite my nails during those tense moments in the movie, so I did a lot of knitting and made a lot of progress. Now, I am on my third ball of Bernat Cottontots yarn and I am happy with my blanket.

One of the movies I saw was "The Ruins." Whether or not you have seen this movie, I must recommend the book first. I read the book before seeing the movie, and it is so much better. In the movie, they switched all the characters around. I can't figure out why, unless the movie makers were sexist and made me a little crazy. You should really read the book. Great book.

Anyway, this is a close-up of the blanket. I am using knit, purl and seed stitch. The blanket is reversible and is knit in Sweet Green. For some reason, it photographed as a different color in these two pics. The first is a more accurate representation of the color. Hope you like it :)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

I <3 Craigslist!

So, my fiance is a little obsessed with Craigslist. Since he knows how much I love to knit and bead and stuff, he always keeps his eyes open for good crafty deals. Recently, he found me this amazing deal.

A bunch of free knitting needles of varying sizes (and some wooden crochet needles, not pictured)....

And a whole box of free needlecraft books and magazines from the 50s through the 90s (2 pictured below).
I am just a little excited about my new stash :) And its even better because my honey found it all for me and encouraged me to get it. If that is not love, I don't know what is.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

And the earrings.

Here is a pic of the earrings to match the bridesmaid bracelets. I used the same yellow-green freshwater pearls and the silver seed beads, but I also added these cool, sparkly discoball beads (they don't photograph well apparently). I used silver plated findings. I think they are really fun!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Bridesmaid Jewelry

My sister is getting married this August, and she asked me to make some jewelry for the bridesmaids. She chose beautiful green bridesmaid dresses, and we were lucky enough to find these awesome yellow green freshwater pearls at Fire Mountain Gems. They match the dresses perfectly :). She wanted bracelets and earrings. Here is the first bracelet. It is a simple stringing of the greeen pearls separated by some silver seed beads. We chose silver seed beads because the bridemaids will be wearing silver shoes. I am really happy with the first bracelet. I have also finished all of the earrings, but do not have a picture yet. I will post it as soon as I have a pic. I found some cool silver disco ball beads in my stash that I used with the pearls in the earrings. They look great ;)

The second picture shows the bracelet without the model.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Remote Control Caddy

Here is my remote control caddy. I am not sure what to call it, so I am calling it a caddy. After the felting this past weekend, I sewed the main pouch into three compartments for my three main remote controls.

I just knit an extra wide scarf. I reversed the stockinette stitch for the bottom part, so that the folded pouch would have a right side out also. Then I felted. The other end just folds over the side of the chair and under the seat cushion. And voila!!

I am so happy I did a felted gauge swatch. It worked out perfectly, and my measurements and estimated change in size due to felting were also perfect. It fits all three remotes, and the felting makes it sturdy enough to hold their weight.

You can see my kitty got into the picture, too. She just can't resist a photo opp. :)

Monday, May 26, 2008

Wonderful Knitting Weekend!!

A few weeks ago, my honey asked me if I would knit him some gloves. I answered, "Of course," although I was very nervous about the prospect. I had never knit gloves before. I did knit mittens once. They did not turn out so well. They are so large that they slip off my hands, and one of them is considerably larger than the other. Yeah, you could say I was nervous about knitting gloves....I mean gloves with five whole fingers!!

But, apparently I have gotten better at knitting since I tried those mittens. I mean, these gloves turned out awesome. I used a yarn from JoAnn Fabrics. My sister gave it to me as a gift. Debbie Mumm Traditions yarn in Chocolate Raspberry. The yarn knit up really nicely. It is so soft and the color change is really neat. And, perhaps the most surprising of all.....the gloves are both the same size, and they fit. Success :)

This weekend was also felting weekend. I threw all my felting projects in the washer with some awesome Kookaburra soap and off we went.....Here are all my felting projects drying in the sun. Well, actually there was no sun, but they dried outside.
There's 4 cat toys waiting to be stuffed with stuffing and catnip, a small purse that needs to be shaved a little, a remote control holder pouch thingy of my own design, and a bright green frog waiting to be stuffed.

Hopefully, he will look more like a frog when he is finished. I plan to use some felt to make his bulging eyes look more like eyes. He obviously needs to be stuffed, and I plan to sew his feet and hands so that they look more webbed-like.

Altogether, it was a wonderful knitting weekend :P

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Felted Cat Toy

This is one of my favorite things to knit. I created the pattern myself. Its super easy, and I can knit a bunch of them in one night. Basically the toy is carrot-shaped. It was originally supposed to look like a mouse, and the first one I knit had an attempt at embroidered eyes and mouth. I even knit little ears. Then I realized that my cat doesn't care if the toy really looks like a mouse or not. She just wants it stuffed with catnip, so I stuff with a mixture of polyfil and really good catnip.

Man, does she love this toy!!!

She prefers natural yarns, and she really likes when I felt the toys, so that's what I do. I knit the toy on straight needles and just sew up the seam before felting, leaving a little spot for stuffing. Then after felting, I stuff with polyfil and catnip, sew it up and leave the ends of the yarn dangling like a tail. Those ends can also be used when playing with the toy, making it much more fun.

Maybe I did use a little too much catnip. Kitty looks wasted!!! :P