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Sunday, January 27, 2013

Christmas gift recap! [FINALLY!]

Ahhhh, finally I have the time to present all of my finished Christmas gifts!  This past Christmas I decided to make as many presents as I could.  I get such enjoyment out of making gifts and it's also a good way to save some money!  I believe that I made something for each person on my list--definitely a successful holiday!

I knit a cowl with carved wood buttons for each of my bosses.

For Sean, I knit a scarf and hat set and also made a Sheldon the Turtle in Giant's colors!

I added the year to to bottom of Sheldon's shell so that Sean will always remember which Christmas I gave him Sheldon.

For my cousin Kyle, I crocheted a rocket pillow.  He told me and my mom that this was one of his favorite Christmas gifts--which means a lot to me, coming from a 6 year old, especially when he got different video games and electronics from Santa and our family!

For my mom, I finally finished the ripple crochet blanket that I started 2 years ago!  It was worth the wait--she loved it!

I also made a vest for my mom....but it came out a little large and looked like armor on me!  I think she ended up giving it to a friend who it fit better.

And as usual I edged a couple of dishtowels for my mom and even monogrammed one too!

I also made my mom a snowflake fridge towel and one for Sean's mom as well.

I also made another fridge towel for Sean's mom as well as two crochet-edged towels!

And....I made a bunch of crocheted ornaments for Sean's mom as well. She loved them all.

For my Aunt Cathy and Uncle Dan's cats I crocheted 3 cat toys and stuffed them with catnip!  They were a big hit.

And last, but certainly not least, I finished Matt's sweater!!  It looks so good on him and he loved it!  I'm happy I was able to finish it and give it to him this year!

It was definitely a busy holiday craft season, as I'm sure you can tell, but it was wonderful!  I love giving handmade gifts to my loved ones!  I'm already thinking about next Christmas--because, you know, it's never too early to start!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Busy busy busy...

The title of this post definitely describes what my 2013 experience has been like up to now.  I feel like I'm going a mile a minute and none of those minutes have allowed me to do any blogging :-/, boo.  I'm sorry if you all feel like I'm ignoring you--because I'm definitely not!

I have been thinking about blogging....I just haven't been able to sit down at my computer and write the entries and post the pictures...but here's a little bit of the posts I'll be posting soon!
  • Ta-da moments of my Christmas crafts
  • A crochet pattern for infant sandals
  • Ta-das of the 2013 FOs (of which there have be 12 already!)
  • Some chatter about CraftiniMarini
  • Perhaps a small poll about items to sell on Etsy
So, what have I been doing when I've been so busy?  Well, I worked on all of the analysis for the simulation portion of my dissertation and wrote up and submitted a draft of that to my advisor!  I've also been working on a bunch of special request projects for my friends--mainly hats and baby items.  And I've been making yoga mat bags to hopefully sell at my yoga studio!  Busy busy busy!  I do feel very accomplished (especially with my school stuff) the blogging part will come.

As always, you can follow me on Facebook: CraftiniMarini
Or on Twitter: @CraftiniMarini
Or on Instagram (which I update VERY frequently): Jessicle322
Or email my new CraftiniMarini email!

I do promise a more interesting post in the very near future!  But until then, why not let me know how your 2013 has been! Have you done anything extra special?  Crafted something great?

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Welcome 2013!

Happy New Year!!  I hope that everyone had a safe and enjoyable transition into 2013.  We kept it nice and low key here--annual Chinese food dinner with my mom and the Twilight Zone marathon after.  Sean and I did have a little bit of trouble staying awake to see the ball drop--but we did it!!

I'm not one for "resolutions" for the new year.  I guess that is because so many people talk about breaking their new year's resolutions...and why would I want to set myself up for possible failure?  I like to try and think of things that I want to become more aware of in the new year.  I've come up with a small list of things that I'd like to cultivate and increase my awareness of this year:

1) I feel as if the culture that I live in is one of quantity, rather than quality.  It is as if we always need to have the latest thing or multiples of different products (case and point my yarn stash...which I'll get to later).  I'm going to try and be more aware of the goods that I buy and what I actually need and can consume.  I started cultivating this awareness over the past year and I found that I was able to decrease the amount I bought at the food store without going without what I I really think that this can translate to other aspects of my life.

2) I often find that I work really well under pressure.  However, I can be strung at times, and when I'm under pressure I think that this comes out even more.  So, I'm going to try and take my tasks and break them up into many smaller pieces, make a list of these pieces, and then tackle them one at a time.  The first half of this year is going to be very busy for me--I'm trying to finish my dissertation and graduate in May.  I should rephrase that.  I'm finishing my dissertation and graduating in May, so I really need to be on the ball for time management and stress management.

3) I'd also like to cultivate being less timid.  As you might have noticed in #2 I was hesitant to be firm about my graduation plans...I need to stop that self doubt and be firm at what I'm going to do :).

ANNNNND now for the yarn related goals!

4) I never knit a fair isle or other knit color work piece in 2012 (or ever), so I want to get that in this year :).

5) Decrease my stash.  No really, I need to decrease my stash.  I have so much yarn, it isn't funny.  I love just about every skein (there are some weird ones I got random places that I'm not too fond of LOL, but most of it I love).  I'm very determined not to buy any more yarn this year.  There are only 2 conditions that I will allow myself to buy yarn. The first is if a custom CraftiniMarini order requires me to buy a specific yarn.  The second is if it is for a very specific gift that I cannot use anything in my stash to make.  Other than that, I will not be buying any yarn.

Want to see why I'm so set on this?

Well...this is my stash....

Here is a different angle...yep, it takes up just about my entire living room floor.

There are some of those large ziploc bags filled with vanna's choice and another filled with other random worsted weight and bulky weight scraps and half used skeins...

I knew that I had a lot of yarn, but I didn't actually realize I have THIS much yarn!  You can see how happy it makes me, however :).

I have a good amount of Knit Picks yarn in my stash.  A lot of this I've purchased with specific projects in mind--a few sweaters including brava bulky in tranquil for Aidez, some comfy sport in sweet potato for Deco by Kate Davies, some wool of the andes in Lullaby for Girl Friday, comfy worsted in whisker for Hey, Teach!, and some comfy worsted in Lady Slipper for the Jetsetter Sweater; a blanket using comfy sport with knit squares of different colors (gray and blues, greens, and purples) or maybe hexagons; some dishy to make market bags; and 5 colors of felici sport to make zig zag baby blankets.  The rest I'll need to find projects for....

It was definitely fun to take out all of my yarn and photograph it (and boy was I glad to have Matt there to help me!), but that I had to make sure I organized it nice and neatly!  I was actually able to organize it better than it was before.  I have a shelf in my room with fabric draws where I store the majority of my stash, two floor bins for yarn, two large plastic tubs in my closet, two large bags in my closet, and a few other smaller boxes (also in the closet).  Before this photo opt, I had other bags filled with yarn, and skeins randomly stashed in my closet...but after, everything had a home!

Here you can see my neatly organized set of yarn draws.

And my two floor bins (and knitting needles).  I like how I have a bunch of my stuffed animals guarding some of my yarn (they are also sitting on a bunch).  I didn't take a photo of my closet, but those storage bins are tightly packed, but nice and neat too!

6) To facility my goal of stash diving, destashing, and going "cold sheep" I'm also planning on working projects off of my Ravelry queue.  I think I have 6 or more pages of projects I'd like to complete, so I'd like to work on some of those during this coming year.

I think I can do it! I also hope to post some more patterns on my blog and try and be as active a blogger as I can manage.  Obviously, my priority is my dissertation, graduating, and getting a job :).  These rest will be full of yarny details when possible!

Happy 2013!!!