Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Self Discipline is tough!

The last time I sat down to write here, I stated that I had about 10 knitting projects already started....turns out, the number is closer to 16.  Yikes!  I am committed to finishing a lot of them this year, I truly am.  Which made yesterday really tough, as I got a shipment of new yarn from!  Here are pictures of what I received:

100% wool yarn, destined for various felted projects,

Holiday colored self striping cotton yarn, for tea cozies,

4 different baby yarns for hats and booties,

and 8 skeins of Homespun, plus size 50 needles, for an afghan pattern I'm dying to try!
I am standing firm in my resolve to finish my baby's birth picture first, followed by completing three knitting works in progress before I start the afghan, however.  Let me tell you, I haven't heard yarn call me as loudly as I did yesterday!  I was cross stitching in the family room, and the yarn, tucked safely into its project bag, called me from the living room all day long.  I did indulge a little big at bedtime last night, as I modified the pattern to make the finished afghan slightly larger.  That's not cheating, is it?
And here is the latest progress on the baby's picture:

I'm not sure now if I will finish it by this weekend or not, as I will be hosting family here on Friday for a Ravioli Making Party, and then on Saturday for my Katie's fourth birthday, but I will keep you posted!

Monday, January 18, 2010

A finished project, and goals for 2010

So, on Saturday, I finished the Bunny Blanket Buddy that I started earlier in the week.

It came out pretty well, although the face is a little bit scary!  As it turns out, I had made a mistake about an inch after starting the head, and didn't catch it until I began stuffing it.  If it had been a gift, I would've redone it, but for my own child, I can live with it.  Now that I've completed the project once, I know where I can make small changes next time.  For instance, next time, I will embroider the face before I add the stuffing, as I think that will give me a little more control on the poor creatures expression!  I gave the finished product to Maddie, and as you can see.....

...she slept next to it, while hugging her sock from that day.  Sometimes, you just can't win!

For my next project focus, I'm working on finishing Maddie's birth sampler.  I started it last year while pregnant with her, and am determined to have it hanging on her wall before her first birthday, which is in 2 months.  I should be in good shape there, as I'm over half way done.  Here is a picture from where  was on Saturday night:

And here is a picture from where I am tonight:

The finished dimensions are 11" by 14".  After I'm done the charted part, I will chart all of the personal information.  Then, I can take the piece shopping with me to choose mats and a frame.  I've already ordered the mounting board, so I should be ready to frame it when the order comes in!

I've decided that for 2010, I am going to focus on not only starting new projects, but finishing them, and finishing works in progress as well.  A rough estimate has me with 10 projects on knitting needles, 2 projects in quilting hoops, 1 project that needs to go back into the quilting hoop, 3 finished and 1 unfinished quilt tops, and at least 4 counted cross stitch projects in hoops.  I also have 16 felted cell phone holders to sew snaps and buttons on, and yarn purchased for countless projects in my head.  Wish me luck!

Friday, January 15, 2010

The Importance of Following the Directions

I thought that today I would have a picture of my latest finished knitting project to show you. Instead, I get to share with you the valuable lesson I learned today...the importance of following directions to the letter, especially if you are doing something for the first time.

On Monday, I decided to start a new knitting project, using some Lion Brand Velvet Spun yarn that I picked up on a whim, for no other reason that it was on the clearance rack. I found a pattern on the Lion Brand website for the Bunny Blanket Buddy, which you can find here. Here is a picture of it though.

By Monday night, I was up to the point of starting the head of the project, and feeling pretty confident that I would be done by Tuesday night.

However, mom life won out over my desire to sit and do nothing but knit. My project wasn't finished, but my laundry was! It wasn't until last night that I was able to pick up my knitting needles again. By bedtime last night, I had finished the head and ears, and had nothing left to do but stuff and finish, a 20 minute job, tops. Visions of knitting these as baby gifts for every new addition born to friends and family danced through my head.

I sat down this afternoon to finish up, confident that this project would be done in 30 minutes or less. The written instructions didn't make sense, so I decided to do it my way. Mistake number one. I didn't like how it wound up looking, so decided to take the stitches out and start again. I snipped a stitch.....the wrong stitch....and watched a hole appear in the bunny's ear. Mistake number two. Nothing to do now but rip it all out and start again. Sigh.

The yarn I'm using is very fluffy, and as I ripped out rows, it shed like crazy. By the time I got to a point where I thought I could "rescue" the project, my family room was covered in downy yellow fluff. The family room I vacuumed this morning. Another sigh. As I was picking up stitches, all of a sudden, the written directions made perfect sense. Had I followed them to begin with, I would've been done in 15 minutes. Exasperated sigh.

Hopefully, I will finish this project by tomorrow, and will be able to post a picture. The visions of lovely baby gifts are back, and some good came out of the experience. I learned the importance of following directions the first time, and my own baby will get a new lovey. But I think I will switch to counted cross stitch for a while.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Getting Started

Last night, I was laying awake until the wee hours, and for some reason, it seemed like a good idea to start a blog. So, this is it, my first attempt at writing for other people. Who knows if I have anything to say, and who knows if anything I say is worth reading. I guess we'll find out!

I guess the first order of business ought to be an introduction. Perhaps you might decide we have something in common, and stick around. I am currently a stay at home mom to 6 girls, which you might have already guessed. Let's get the usual out of the way first. Yes, they are all mine. No, we weren't trying for a boy. No, we are not having any more. No, we are not Mormon, traditional Catholics, members of a cult, or related to the Duggars. No, we don't have or want a tv show. Yes, I love my life, and wouldn't trade my girls, even the teenagers. There, if you have any questions I didn't cover, feel free to contact me. Our girls are 15, 14, 5, 5, almost 4, and 10 months. We have 3 girls dogs. Our house is very low on testosterone, so please feel free to send your sympathy to my husband and our male cat.

Needless to say, life with 6 girls is a little challenging at times. Besides caring for them and taking care of our house, I am an avid reader and love crafting. I always have at least 3 books in the works, and probably twice that many projects going. My current crafting passion is knitting, but I have previously worked on quilting, polymer clay, paper crafts, and counted cross stitch, to name a few. These are my sanity savers, and can sometimes push more mundane things like laundry and mopping floors to the bottom of the list. My philosophy on this, however, is that if it needs to be cleaned today, it will still need to be cleaned tomorrow. That's not to say our house is dirty, just that some times, it looks.....lived in.

If you are still here, thanks for sticking around. I look forward to getting to know you!