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Thursday, June 28, 2012

FO: Bedroom pillows

This spring I decided to get a new quilt for my bed because I was tired of the other one that I had. I ended up finding *THE PERFECT* one at Kohl's.  Purple and gray with leaves and vines stitched along in.  I fell in absolute love with it!  However Kohl's did not have any shams to go with it, except for the European kind which I didn't want.  So I was left with a bit of a do I make my bed without shams?  I decided to buy the quilt anyway.  My friend Matt was with me when I found it and he liked it a lot too!  After purchasing it we went to 2 or 3 different stores to try and find shams to go along with it, but had no luck.  We took it home and put it on my bed.  After thinking about it for a while, I realized that I had pillows on my couch that would match the quilt and easily let me bring in other colors to match it!  However, I felt that these pillows (the two butterfly ones and the paisley one) didn't quite "finish off" my bed.  Soooooo I decided to crochet myself two more pillows to go along with them.  I decided that these pillows would tie in the green, blue and cream in the butterfly pillows with the green, blue, cream, and purple in the paisley pillow.  I used a pattern from a Sarah London book (it's really just a granny square) and use the remaining yarn from my "bring-it-on baby blanket."  I was actually surprised at how much yarn these pillows used up!  Not only did they take up 4+ skeins of Naturally Caron Country, but they also took one skein of Naturally Caron Spa and some Simply soft that I had that matched.  I'm really happy that I got to use up stash to make these...and I love the look of my bed!  Next up is to make a matching throw.....I've already the yarn from Knit Picks (Comfy Sport!!!)....mwah-ha-ha ::evil yarn lover laugh:: ;).

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

FO: Bring it on Blanket!

Back in March I finished knitting this blanket.  It was the first blanket that I've knit.  Originally it was intended to be a gift for one of my friend's new baby, but I completely fell in love with it and love love love how it looks in my living room.  So...selfishly....I kept it for myself.  Shhh, don't tell!  The pattern is from Pickles and called the Bring-it-on baby blanket.  The awesome thing about this pattern is that it is knit on larger needles, so it goes pretty quickly, and the lace pattern is beautiful!  I used some Naturally Caron Country yarn from my stash.  (It always feels nice to use up stash!  That's one of my goals for 2012....) I had blue, purple, green, and white yarn (all of my favorite colors).  This blanket is so soft and stretchy.  It is the perfect size for a lap blanket and I've been getting a lot of use out of it when I watch TV!  This is a pattern that I highly recommend!  If you decide to make it, I'd suggest using a yarn that can be blocked so that the laciness can really open up nicely.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Bestest's Birthday Gifts

My best friend Matt celebrated his birthday this past weekend.  I usually have to think long and hard about what to get/make him because I always want my gift to be perfect (because he is so dear to me :))! Luckily he really appreciates the gifts that I hand make for him.  So this year I decided to go with a "comforts of home" themed birthday gift.  Included in the gift was a crocheted tea light holder, a cotton basket to hold items on his dresser, a crocheted basket/bag, and a pair of slippers!  

I completely fell in love with the tea light holder and will definitely be making another one!  I used an empty Smucker's jam jar and crocheted over it using a silver yarn.  I just love how the candle light shines through the crocheted sections.

I crocheted a cream colored basket for his dresser (or wherever else he'd like to put it).  Matt is so organized, so I figured that a basket like this would come in handy for him.  It can be folded down to hold shorter objects too.  AND it is washable!

As you know from a previous post, I'm sort of obsessed with these bags/baskets.  I figured it would be useful for something in Matt's room.  It was cute that he recognized it when he opened his gift! (Way to go Matty!!!!)

And finally I made him a pair of dark blue slippers.  I really love this pattern--not only are they comfy, stretchy, and warm, but the pattern is completely ingenious and I love knitting them!  I definitely have to make a pair for myself sometime soon.  Perhaps I'll make a few of these for Christmas gifts too!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Astronomical dish towels

Today I had the honor of attending the retirement party of one of my dear undergraduate professors, Dr. Mary Lou West.  Dr. West taught physics and astronomy and was basically my advisor for the concentration of my minor.  She always made any class she taught fun AND always always always got the students interacting with the subject.  The party was a lot of fun and I got to see a few professors that I haven't seen in a while.  One of my favorite things about Dr. West is how she always wore something to do with astronomy (or physics)--a funny or interesting shirt, or perhaps a quirky pair of earrings--but every day something different and interesting!  As part of my gift to Dr. West I made a pair of astronomy-themed dish towels.  I picked out blue towels and crocheted appliques for them!  She absolutely loved them!!

Here are the towels!

A close up of the sun and...

...a close up of the moon! (Note the whimsical nose on the moon ;)).

And here are a few photos from the party.  Dr. West is featured on her retirement cake!! (along with the planets!)

Dr. West and I proudly showing off the towels that I gave her.

Dr. West with one of my good friends from undergrad, Nathaniel!  We both were in many of Dr. West's classes!

Being a student of Dr. West's was one of the best parts about being an undergraduate.  Thank you so much Dr. West for all that you've done for your students.  You are truly an excellent teacher and friend.

Friday, June 22, 2012

FO Friday: Baby P's blanket and bunny

One of my close friends from school (Brian) and work and his wife (Sue) are expecting their first baby in the next few weeks.  I've known Brian since about 2006 when I started graduate school, so of course I was going to make something for their new addition.  Since the baby is due in July, I decide to make a light weight stroller blanket using Felici Sport.  I really fell in love with this blanket AND yarn.  The original pattern, which you can find here listed as "Zig and Zag Pram Blanket," was written to use up odds and ends of sock yarn--meaning lots of different colors, etc.  While looking at the finished versions of this on Ravelry, I came across someone who made the blanket using Felici Sport from Knit Picks, which stripes by itself, and I fell in love.  I decided that I must make a version of that blanket!  It was surprisingly easy to make as well (and quite cost effective, since it only took 4 balls of yarn).  Prior to blocking I was afraid that the blanket would be too tiny because it was less than 2 feet across and less than 3 feet long...but after blocking it really opened up and became the perfect size.  ANNNNND it is oh so soft!  Along with the blanket I included a knit bunny blanket buddy bunny.  I love this pattern because it makes such a cute gift!  I used really soft yarn and it is a nice size for cuddling.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

WIP Wednesday

So, I'm not an impulsive person.  Ask my Mom and my friends.  When making decisions, ESPECIALLY when making purchases, I take my time and never rush into a decision.  (Shopping with me can sometimes become annoying, I imagine, because I put so much thought into my purchases...but c'est la vie.)  Well, the other day I surprised myself with my impulsiveness!  I was in A.C. Moore browsing the yarn (and picking up a few skeins of Vanna's colors which were on sale for $1 each--can't beat that!) and I came across a bag of gray yarn that was SUPER soft and a bag of super soft purple yarn in the "mill ends" section.  I quickly fell in love with them and decided that I'm going to make Sean (my bf) and I a blanket that is just "us"--he loves gray and I love purple.  Sickeningly cute, I  know.  So into my basket they went and I checked out.  I also started the blanket that night!  (It's called Impulsive btw in my Ravelry projects).

I'm using the granny stripes pattern from Lucy of Attic24.  I've used this pattern before for baby blankets and it has always produced lovely results.  I'm not sure how many I chained, but the blanket is just about the width of my full-sized bed.  My original plan was just to crochet until I had finished the two bags of yarn, but when Sean saw my progress he was so excited to use the blanket to cover up with that I decided to go and see if another bag each of the colors existed (which they did).  So now I'm going to crochet until the two bags of yarn is gone.  This should hopefully make a blanket long enough to cover an adult (rather than just be a lap blanket).  I had been crocheting this on the train during my commute, but since it is getting larger I haven't taken it the past few days.  However, it is really growing quickly!!  Here it is in it's current state!  I'm really excited!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Dish towels!

In an attempt to decrease the amount of yarn that I have stashed (aka "destash") I'm trying to find little projects to knit and crochet (quickly) that will be useful and help me use up my yarn. (So I can ultimately get more..shhhh).  Well, I found a wonderful pattern to make dish towels!  At my mom's house we always had a towel hanging on the fridge.  Sort of a "clean hands only" towel to use rather than always drying your hands with a paper towel.  Usually these were an actual towel that had a crocheted top section to allow it to be buttoned around the fridge handle.  I've tried knitting a towel like this before, but the pattern I picked was mostly stockinette stitch which ended up curling when it was on the fridge and it didn't seem absorbent or soft etc.  So recently I came across this pattern.  Funny enough, my mom noticed the first (curling) towel I had knit and fell in love with the idea of it.  So, I decided to knit her one using the new pattern that I found.

This is the result:

I used some cream colored yarn that I had and a sage green colored yarn to accent it with (it looks a bit darker in the picture than it is in person).  My mom's kitchen has both colors in it, so I figured it would go nicely and if she really hated it, it also matches my kitchen.  Well, she loved it!  It is very soft, does not roll, and is absorbent!  Sooooo, I decided to knit one for myself as well :).

There are definitely more of these planned in my future! I think a set of these would make a nice addition to a house warming gift!


For the past week I've become sort of obsessed with a pattern for a crocheted bag.  Yep, a crocheted bag.  The pattern is from Purl Soho and published in the Purl Bee blog.  You can find the pattern here.  This bag/basket is GENIUS!  It has a marvelous construction and is amazingly stretchy.  I seriously cannot believe how much stuff I can fit into one basket!  I have visions of storing all sorts of things in these baskets!  Watch out friends, I bet you'll be getting these for gifts! :)

Here are two I've made this past week.  I used up some of my Red Heart Super Saver stash that I had around.  They take about a skein and a half to make the entire bag and can be made in a day, I imagine.

So here is the first bag that started the obsession.  I put a bunch of different yarn that I had in random bags in my bedroom into it.  

I just cannot believe how much I could fit into that bag!  8 skeins of Vanna's colors, 6 skeins of Cotlin, 4 skeins of Felici sport, 2 skeins of Felici fingering, and 1 skein of Chroma worsted...and I'm sure I could have fit more!

I really liked how the colors flowed into this bag.  I'm usually not a fan of crocheting with variegated yarn, but this just really worked for me!  Also, the beauty in this pattern (if you're using variegated yarn) is that you cannot see where the yarn change was made.  The pattern doesn't really allow for a uniform pooling of colors, which is great for using up multiple skeins!

Here is the second one.  There is definitely room in this bag for more! I think I have over 26 skeins of comfy sport in it and I know it can take more!

I seriously love love love these bags!!! :)

Sunday, June 3, 2012

I am titanium!

Hey blogland....long time no see. I've been quite the busy bee lately with school things--my dissertation proposal defense is tomorrow!  I do hope to get some crafty time in soon. I've big dreams for the Ravelympics! :).
In other news, I've acquired a new accessory for the time being....hopefully it gives me luck tomorrow!