Tuesday, December 28, 2010

I'm Back!

I hve been gone from this blog and the crafting world for some time now, and I even have a good reason. This summer, I had to have hand surgery. I had a MRSA infection of the joints and tendons of my index finger. They had to make two incisions and drain/scrape out the infection. Pretty nasty stuff. I tried to stay upbeat about the whole thing, but they never really could tell me if my finger would return to normal or not.

This picture in pre-op. You can kind of see the finger at the bottom of the picture. At this time, it was really swollen and red and hurt. The doctors never did figure out how I got the infection. No obvious puncture or wound on my finger where it could enter. Scary, huh?
My hand was wrapped up and splinted for about a month, and after that I still had a lot of recovery to do. My finger is still not the same. It is swollen, and I can't straighten it out fully. The wounds had to stay open to allow the infection to fully drain out, so one of the scars is pretty nasty looking, but I am content because finally I can knit and crochet again :)

Here is my latest project: Mr. Hankey, the Christmas Poo from South Park
Crochet hook: F
Yarn: Red Heart Super Saver in coffee, Sugar and Cream in white, and red acrylic
Pattern: found here on Craftster
I made the Santa hat myself, and the eyes and mouth were cut out of felt, then hot glued on.
Made for: Hubby as a Christmas gift.
I really need to add teeth or a tongue to the mouth, so that it is more visible. It's hard to see against the dark yarn. I have also been working on some more projects that I will post soon. You would not believe the computer problems I have been having :)

Sunday, February 28, 2010

New Project

I have started a new project that I have been thinking about for a while now. I will be trying at least one new recipe every week and blogging about the experience here. I may also end up sharing some of my favorite, tried-and -true recipes. I am a vegetarian, so all recipes will be vegetarian friendly. Check it out.

Tree Dishcloth

So, I've been wanting to knit a cloth for cleaning veggies, like potatoes and mushrooms. I thought a potato would end up looking like a blob on the cloth, so I decided to use a mushroom as the graphic. Unfortunately, I decided to try knitting without graphing the design.... and it ended up looking like a tree instead. Not very mushroomy at all :) Last time I knit without a graph. The cloth is knit with Red Heart yarn. It gets really nice and soft after some use as a dishcloth. Knit on size 8 needles.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Loving Frank by Nancy Horan

Yesterday I finished reading Loving Frank by Nancy Horan. My sister gave me the book as a Christmas gift a couple of Christmases ago. I am not sure why I hadn't read it yet. I think I thought it was going to be more of a biographical non fiction book and I thought it was going to be boring. Boy was I surprised! This book pulled me in immediately, and I found it hard to put down at times. The writing is so beautiful, and the story is compelling. The book is a work of fiction based on the real life of Frank Lloyd Wright and a woman with whom he had an affair. I will not give much away, but the ending was so emotional; I was very close to tears (and I am not a crier when it comes to books and movies). I highly recommend it.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Plarn Progress

I decided to try knitting the plarn with size 50 needles. One reason for the big needles is that the plarn is pretty bulky, even after spinning. Also, it is painter's plastic, so it is stiffer than plastic bag plarn. The larger needles make it easier to handle. I am knitting a market bag, so knitting with the larger needles will allow it to stretch nicely. I used up the bigger ball of plarn with the body of the bag and now plan to use the smaller balls to make the strap. Then I want to use a different color plarn to attach the strap to the body. So far I am pretty pleased with my progress :)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Cubs Golf Club Covers

My brother in law saw the Packers golf club covers that I knit for my mom and requested some Chicago Cubs golf club covers. I made them for him as a birthday gift. He has received them now, so I can finally post my pics. The covers are knit in a solid color and then the logo is added with duplicate stitch. This logo was a little more complex because it spelled out the whole word, but I was able to graph it and work it out. Here is a picture of the duplicate stitch in progress. You might notice that my knitting needle is a little bent. I don't know what happened, but somehow during this project, the needle bent :P

End that need to be woven in from the striping.

Finished golf club covers photographed with the envelope they were mailed in.

Close-up of the logo.

Aren't they pretty??

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Spinning Plarn

This summer, I started working on some plarn. I began with a large sheet of painter's plastic that I got on Craigslist. I cleaned and dried it (you can see it drying on the clothesline here). Later in the summer, I cut the plastic into strips. I have temporarily lost the pictures, but hope to find them and post them here soon. Anyway, today I started thinking about the large ball of plastic strips that I had just sitting in my craft room and decided to do something about it. I searched online for information about handspinning yarn and ended up making a drop spindle out of junk I found around my house. It's made from a towel rod, a lid from a cheese dip jar and a cup hook. Here it is with my first attempt at spinning my plarn. I think it's working pretty well.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Books I Read 2009

I read 33 books this year!! I could have read more, but I have been taking an online class that has eaten up reading time. Oh well, there is always next year :) Here are all 33 books.

The Moor by Laurie King
A Letter of Mary by Laurie King
No Plot? No Problem by Chris Baty
A Monstrous Regiment of Women by Laurie King
A Swiftly Tilting Planet by Madeline L'Engle
The Beekeeper's Apprentice by Laurie King
Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson
Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key by Jack Gantos
Educating Esme: Diary of a Teacher's First Year by Esme Raji Codell
Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys
Unnatural Exposure by Patricia Cornwell
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
The Ultimate Weight Solution by Dr. Phil McGraw
DarkTower I: The Gusnslinger by Stephen King
Sleeping with Fear by Kay Hooper
Replay by Ken Grimwood
Thr Princess Bride by William Goldman
The Bellwether by Connie Willis
Nancy Drew and the Kachina Mystery by Carolyn Keene
Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
The Bestiary by Nicholas Christopher
The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K Leguin
Bruiser by Ian Chorao
The Pilgramage by Paulo Coehlo
The Mummy or Ramses the Damned by Anne Rice
Blackwood Farm by Anne Rice
Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynn Jones
Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer
American Gods by Neil Gaiman
Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer
Cross by James Patterson
New Moon by Stephenie Meyer

Looking Back at 2009

Happy New Year Everyone!

It's the beginning of another year. Time to look back at resolutions from last year and make some new ones :)

Here are my resolutions from 2009. Wonder how I did......

1. Keep my checkbook balanced. I did pretty well with this one. I kept track of my spending all year :)

2. Continue the diet and exercise regimen I started in the summer. This resolution went really well until I started the whole house-buying process (which was around the same time that I started neglecting this blog). I am starting up again on Monday, January 4.

3. Knit myself a sweater. Ok, this is where it goes bad. I have made very little progress on the sweater. I am a little bit furher than when I posted here in March. I also noticed that I made a mistake back in the first few rows. I'm not sure how noticeable it is, but I may frog the whole thing and start over :(

4. Keep up with the block-a-month crochetalong that I joined on Ravelry. This one did not go well at all. I think I am currently working on the May blocks :(

5. Go to the local knitting group more often. They meet at a wine bar once a week; you just can't beat that :) I went twice :(

6. Do some charity knitting. I knit one hat, but have not donated it yet :(

7. Practice some new knitting and crocheting techniques. I tried cables. They are fun. Also I started crocheting with embroidery floss. I have been practicing lots of different patterns with the CAL blocks. :)

8. Make my crafts into a business, either throught Etsy, craft fairs, Saturday Market, or some combination. I participated in my first craft fair. Can't wait to do more :)

9. Find a second income to fund my crafts until they become a more viable business. I did find a second income by getting a job teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages in the evenings, although the original motivation was because of a layoff. Now that I have my first job back, I can actually use the second income to fund some crafting :)

10. Be happy with my life :) This one is easy. Just bought the house of my dreams :)

11. Almost forgot: Project 365. I will take a picture every day and post it to my second blog. This resolution went really well. Visit the blog and you will see all the great pictures my fiance and I took. However, in the last month, we fell behind. Our computer died; we moved; we missed about a month, so we will continue the project into the new year.

Overall, not too bad. Here are my resolutions for this year.
1. Knit a sweater.
2. Continue working on my diet and exercie routine.
3. Continue working on my craft business.
4. Try some new crafts, like fimo canes for example.
5. Write a novel in a month.
6. Do some charity knitting.
7. Enjoy my life.
8. Keep reading and keep a list of what I read.