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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Yes, Another Baby Blanket

What can I say, I'm a sucker for all things baby. This is a pattern I've been itching to try for a long time and finally the opportunity came knocking when a friend asked if I'd make one for her to give as a gift for a baby boy on the way.

This was my first foray into granny squares and I'm actually surprised because it wasn't as completely tedious as I was expecting. I did block all the squares before I attached them together which took a long time, but in the end that extra time was well worth it I think and I'm very pleased with the results. Perhaps this is the motivator I need to dig out the Snowflake Throw I've had the yarn for sitting under my desk for um, 2 years now?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Busy, busy.

Well it's been a busy few months for me. My last WIP is finished and long gone, as are two exactly like it, just different colours. There was such a fast turnaround in making them and giving them away that I don't think I even took pictures of them when I finished. Strangely though, I have a lot more yarn leftover than I did the first time I made them, which I can't quite figure out. Of course that just means I need to get my thinking cap out and figure out something else interesting to do with that yarn instead.

Regardless of how much yarn was or was not left over, they ended up being a lovely and much appreciated surprise for the mommies and daddies to be that received them and I consider it a bonus that this project used up some yarn that I had no idea what to use it for.

Another little project I whipped up quickly was a crocheted saw that I also didn't bother to take pictures of, which is sad seeing as how I made up the entire pattern all by myself! It took a few tries, but I finally came up with a winning pattern that did its job beautifully. To understand why exactly I needed a crocheted saw beyond using it as a toy for A, you have to understand my feeling about gift cards. I understand that for most people, they're the easiest/best/most appreciated gift option and I fully agree. However, wrapping gift cards is just so BORING. It's like, here's a card with a hunk of plastic inside that has magic money on it, Happy Birthday!

Boring. Boring, boring, boring. If I can't come up with an idea on my own of an actual gift a person would like, I have to at least present it creatively. You see, it was M's brother's birthday. He just recently bought a house and word on the street was that he wanted some tools, specifically a bunch of fancy saws. The last thing I am going to do is to go out and purchase a man tools, personally I think that would be like sending a man to choose my makeup. Not going to happen.

With some consultation from M's parents, we decided that a Sears gift card would be the way to go because Craftsman is apparently *the* brand of tools to have I'm told. Given my feelings on gift cards and what the gift card was meant to go towards, I believe you now understand the saw. Basically I ended up making two little saws and stitching them together, creating the perfect little pocket to hide the Sears gift card inside. In fact, it hid it so well, the birthday boy didn't even realize there was a gift card inside it, and he knows my tricks.

I have also been bad and bought more yarn, but that's another post for another day! Cheers!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

WIP Wednesday #8

Today's project is my favourite baby blanket to make that I've found to date. It's a Hailey blanket, which used up all but about 2 feet of a 1lb ball of baby yarn the first time I made it. This is the third or fourth time I've done this blanket and won't be the last time for the next month or two.

The fact that it uses almost exactly a 1lb ball isn't the only reason it's great. My other favourite part of this blanket is that it works up super fast. I can knock one of these babies out in about a week, less if I don't add on the fancy edging. In fact, I hope to finish this blanket minus the edging this afternoon, and then I will start on another one. It seems everyone at the company I used to work for has been drinking the proverbial water and that everyone is pregnant there, so I've got two more to do after this one!

So many babies, so little time.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

It's Been Awhile

Hello again readers!

I've been a bad, bad blogger for the past month. I somehow managed to come down with bronchitis back in April and it decided to stick around for nearly the entire month. Needless to say, not much of anything vaguely productive got done during April.

Despite being sick, I did manage to crochet a fair amount of stuff while laying on the couch all day, every day, so I have a lot of posting catch up to do. Are you ready?



1.... here we go!

3 out of 4 wabbits agree that these carrots are cute! These are a part of my new year-long WIP for A, though he'll get these before Christmas because he's still too little for his Godmama to shower him with chocolate for Easter and anyone that knows me knows that I can't just not give a gift.

If you want to make some carrots for a little one you know, the pattern can be found here for free.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Crochet Borders

While we're on the topic of crochet books, I may as well show off one of my birthday presents from back in March too. The wonderful M. who likes to spoil me endlessly picked up this book for me:

It has 150 different styles of crochet borders that you can put on your blankets. A few of them even incorporate some bead work. They range from simple to elaborate and any of them are perfect for dressing up a simple basic blanket. Prior to reading this book I always thought I was being fancy adding a scalloped edge to my blankets, but clearly I am wrong! I sense that if I were to do any of these borders there would be lots of frustration and ripping out, but judging from the pictures the end product is totally worth it.

Bottom line? I'm not going to create a new WIP just to do something from this book anytime soon, but this book definitely gives a lot of options and I'm glad to have it on my bookcase.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

New Layout

I finally got off my butt and made myself a header and changed the layout of my blog a bit, which is surprising because I spent probably 3 hours retouching photos of my most recent vacation today. Apparently my photoshop threshold is higher than I thought it was.

The header does feature a portion of my stash from the last time I pulled it out in August. I think back then I had around 50 pounds of yarn, all of which get crammed under my desk somehow (I still have no idea how I do it, but it works out).

Someday I'd like my stash to fit inside that pink tote. I don't think I'll see that day soon.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

WIP Wednesday #7

I just got another ball of yarn for another WIP I have, so naturally that means I've completely set it aside and I'm working on something else at the moment.

Can you guess what it is? Here' one piece:

It looks kind of like a flower, but it's not. Here's the other part:

Fat Shae seems to be wondering if it's some sort of new cat toy. I suppose it looks a little bit like one of her mousies.

It is neither flower nor mousie though. It's tastier than that (or would be if it was actually real!)

Ta-da! A cute little strawberry. One of many strawberries to come, because you can't just have one strawberry that would be silly. If you want to make some strawberries yourself, you can find the pattern here. The only thing I did differently was use a size E/3.50mm hook.

The strawberries are a part of my larger WIP for the rest of the year. As I mentioned yesterday, A. got a play kitchen for his birthday. For Christmas I've decided he is getting a giant box full of play food and other kitchen accessories made just for him by his Godmama, so if you're not interested in hearing about that, start running now! It's a good thing his mom and dad just bought a new and bigger house because I've got a lot of things planned for him!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

It's Play Time!

I "splurged" last night and decided to treat myself. Thanks to Swagbucks I spent a whopping 65 cents on this baby. Darn that $11.70 shipping fee!

Even though it only cost me 65 cents out of pocket, I still count this as a splurge because as a general rule I don't buy crochet patterns. I figure there's more than enough free patterns to keep me busy until the day I die available online for free. It's got to be good to get me to shell out the bucks and I'm really hoping that this book doesn't disappoint.

The reason I dug into my hoard of Swagbucks that I've been saving up for Christmas? Someone special got a play kitchen for his first birthday from mama and papa! I've been Googling like crazy for free play food and kitchen items that I can crochet for A. for his Christmas present this year now, and I stumbled upon a blog that mentioned this book when I was looking for a frying pan.

I'm expecting to get my $8.95 out of it based on the cover alone (on sale for $3.95 on the Annie's Attic website if you want one too!) I'll definitely be making the frying pan and spatula and egg, and will most likely do the baking set (in manlier colours naturally). And that tool belt set is just too cute!

Hopefully USPS isn't too slow getting my package to me. I personally have this theory that they have a secret room where all my packages go that I really want, until they feel that they've tortured me long enough and decide to deliver it. It's estimated to arrive between April 14 and April 21, so we shall see!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Little Miss's 1st Birthday Present

You've already seen the turtle buddy that I made for Little Miss's birthday gift. When I was making that, I was pondering making a matching sweater just because I had the yarn to do it. I did end up deciding to go for it, despite my complete lack of experience making clothes. Generally speaking I like to stick with flat things, though I do amigurumi, but the idea of sleeves and collars and what not kind of scares me. Especially since the flat things don't always come out right.

In the end, I think my first ever crochet sweater came out pretty well:

You can't see very well in that picture, but it has the most darling little buttons, perfect for a little lady. You can't see them very well in this picture either, but at least I tried:

All wrapped up and ready to be opened now!

Linking to:

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Completed Turtle Buddy

Not much has changed on this project since I posted it as a WIP, but here it is, officially complete now:

The blanket attached to the back doesn't seem to be much longer than when I originally posted this project but in reality it's a little longer than two feet, which makes it hard to fit in a photo. I had just enough pink yarn to finish the edge of the blanket, and the orange coloured yarn is now all used up between this project and a sweater I made for the Little Miss's birthday present, which makes me very happy. I think that I'm down about six balls of baby yarn now which I count as quite the accomplishment. Hopefully Little Miss and her mama love it!

Linking to:

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

WIP Wednesday #6

So I've been doing pretty well with my goal to not buy new yarn and use up what I've bought already this year, but I'm not going to lie, I slipped up a bit in February when we were in Florida. We were in Joanns and I just could not resist this new Bernat Pipsqueak yarn. It got even worse when I realized they had free patterns using it.

I couldn't help it, it was just so soft and snuggly feeling I couldn't say no. And so I walked away with a ball of green and blue and the free star blanket pattern they had available in store. Upon bringing it home I found out that it is unfortunately a total nightmare to do anything with. Seriously, people complain all the time that Red Heart Baby Clouds yarn is a nightmare, but this stuff was far worse.

This means we unfortunately say goodbye to the cute little star blanket that needed lots of counting and required you to know where the stitches actually were. From there I tried a simple ripple blanket and again, a no go. After much ripping out, I decided that stripes and a simple double crochet was the winning pattern for this yarn because it is really that much of a pain.

But of course, where's the fun in just a blue and green striped blanket right? That would get boring and quite frankly I had my concerns about running out of yarn before the blanket got to a decent size. Enter my dear friend Nikki, who like me is a bit Joanns addicted, and who unlike me actually lives near Joanns. She was kind of enough to pick me up another ball and ship it to me up in dreary old no-Joanns Canada and save me the drive down to Buffalo for yet another ball of yarn.

So here's how it's going, after pulling it out I don't even know how many times now. For some reason I had a lot of trouble getting it to be a width I liked. No idea what I'm going to do with it when it's done, but I'm sure I'll find someone to love it.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Crochet A Rainbow

As I am sure many of you know, on March 11, 2011 Japan was hit with a major earthquake and tsunami. Lives were lost, thousands are still missing, and families have been ripped apart by water and rubble. Japan faces an uphill battle to rebuild, further complicated by the nuclear plant situation in the country.

Back in January when Australia was devastated by flooding, Sarah London started her Crochet A Rainbow project to help provide those suffering comfort that remind them there is a rainbow after a storm. So far 460 people are participating and they've received 904 granny squares that Sarah has sewn into blankets to be donated to the people hit the hardest in Australia. Now she is sending blankets to Japan, with the first shipment going out earlier this week.

I encourage everyone to sign up and help Sarah Crochet A Rainbow to help change the lives of the Japanese people hardest hit by this disaster. This is stash blasting at it's most useful by far.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

WIP Wednesday #5

Sadly I've not found much time for crocheting (or blogging) in the last month. During February, the only things that I made have been some Swiffer Socks and washcloths, which I shipped off a few weeks ago and they're in their new homes being loved now.

Since the beginning of February I've gone on vacation to Florida, celebrated Valentine's Day, attended a wedding, went to my first Lady Gaga concert, landed a job interview, and stepped up to help with a memorial service. This is just what's happened so far too, there's lots more lined up to come for March. In addition to my own birthday coming up this Friday, A. is turning one, which is very upsetting because I am not prepared for him to grow up this quickly. Seriously, how can 9 months last so long and 12 months just fly by? There's also a special little girl in M's family that is also celebrating her first birthday the week after, and my mom's birthday is at the end of the month too. If this isn't enough, I'll be away for a week and a half in the middle of all these birthdays, and will likely come home with a nice case of jet lag too thanks to those pesky time zone changes.

Have I made enough excuses yet?

Despite all this time that's been quickly eaten up in my life, I managed to pull out some yarn and I'm actually getting somewhere with it. The best part? I'm using yarn I've had stashed away for probably about a year now, with absolutely no idea what to use it for!

And without further ado, I bring you the turtle buddy (please ignore my extremely wrinkly bed sheet):

I have to say though, thank God for my huge collection of Baby Clouds yarn. I've been so caught up in getting things ready for A's birthday that I forgot about the little miss who is also celebrating her first birthday, a big oopsie on my part. This yarn is fantastic (unless you try to use a tiny hook, in which case I'd describe it more as "migraine inducing" as it can be quite difficult to see where you need to stick the hook). However, if you've got yourself a nice little 10mm hook and a bit of spare time, within a few hours you can have yourself a soft and fluffy baby blanket ready to go, or in my case, a turtle buddy ready to go.

Though the turtle part is obviously done, the strange fan thing attached to her bum is not done. It will eventually become a blanket so the little miss can have a special nap time friend.

If you're looking to make a turtle buddy for someone special to you, the pattern can be found in this little book. If you don't feel like ordering it online, I purchased my copy at Zellers, though I'm sure it can be found at many a craft store too.

I've been considering making the little miss a sweater that matches her pal-to-be's shell too, but:
a) I've never crocheted clothes before,
b) I still quite often have issues making things that are flat,
c) the pattern says to use a 6.5mm hook which scares me with this yarn,
d) I don't have a lot of time to put into it.

I guess we shall see what happens once the turtle is completely finished!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

WIP Wednesday #4

You saw this coming.

Yes, today I'm working on more Swiffer Socks and judging from the pile of yarn I still have I may be working on this next week too. I'm almost halfway through them, but I will be doing some dish cloths too in order to use up the extra bits of yarn. I had hoped to be a bit farther on these, but with birthday partying on the weekend not much got done.

Friday, January 21, 2011

What I Did This Weekend: Part III

Here's the last and least exciting project of the weekend:

Remember these? I had just enough yarn left over from the Swiffer Sock to do a dishcloth and I decided to make a couple extras and use up another ball of my stash. As you can see they're not perfectly square, but frankly I don't care that much because they'll still get the job done.

This coming weekend will unfortunately be the exact same as last weekend (aside from making more birthday cake). I've had a couple friends email me asking for some Swiffer Socks and one request for a Swiffer Duster. This means I broke the no more yarn rule again and went to Michaels to buy more yarn, BUT I managed to only buy what I needed for these projects and not fall victim to the irresistible $1 a ball price.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

What I Did This Weekend: Part II

Any guesses about what these fluffy things are?

A cat toy? A piece of food that's sat in your fridge a bit too long? A lost sock escaped from the depths of under the bed? Nooooo.

It's a Swiffer Duster! Another item that means no more disgusting disposable sheets for me. I am so over opening the closet door where our cleaning supplies are and seeing these nasty disposables still being saved to use "just one more time" so we aren't just throwing out money.

These can be made with any little bits and pieces you have leftover too. There's an inner tube part that's made from a tiny bit of 100% cotton yarn, but the fluffy part of it is whatever you happen to have around that's bulky. This blue is leftover from one of my little spartan's hats.

And what makes them even better is that they trap more dust and icky things than the disposable ones do.

Mmmm look at all that delicious dust:

Did I mention it's "multi-purpose" too? Check out the Fat Shae petter 2.0:

If you want one of these for yourself, check out the pattern here.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

WIP Wednesday #3

The past few days have been extra busy around here. And sadly I haven't been busy crocheting anything. And I technically no longer even have a WIP to show you, since I finished it this morning.

Right now my kitchen is completely destroyed. Seriously, if anyone plans on cooking anything in there, they can forget it because there is no counter space whatsoever, and I'm pretty sure everything in there is covered with a thin layer of buttercream icing now.

This is what happens any time that I make a cake. The whole clean up-as-you-go thing just doesn't work for me so I end up with a giant mess to clean up at a later time when I am not tired from the lack of sleep that also tends to occur when cake is on the agenda.

Today's mess is due to the fact that I'm striving for the World's Best Girlfriend 2011 award. You see, today is M's 24th birthday (and the start of the not quite two months where he can say he has a hot younger woman on his arm). Since I have an entire closet full of cake decorating supplies, you can bet he's not getting some lame grocery store cake.

Unfortunately I only have a quick picture I snapped before I ran out the door to surprise him at work:

Ignore my ugly writing. Like I said, running out the door to surprise him at work and trying very hard to be there for break time so I don't interrupt too much working. Can you tell what he does for a living?

Monday, January 17, 2011

Eco-Friendly Swiffer Sock

Check out what I made this weekend:

Any guesses what it is? I'll give you a hint.

Got it yet? If for some reason you haven't, it's a Swiffer Sock.

I hate the disposable refills. Someone around here always seems to want to keep these gross disgusting clothes covered in God only knows what because they think that they can get more use out of them, so clearly this was a necessary project. Though the pattern used worsted weight acrylic yarn, I used some 100% cotton yarn because I have lots of little balls of Bernat Handicrafter Cotton Yarn (Lily Sugar'n Cream if you're American) and I'd rather use that up than steal from my stash of amigurumi yarn because that is one part of my stash I don't intend to "trash" at all.

As you can see, the completed project has a "duster" side that traps all the dusties in your house in its ruffles.

Isn't that awesomely handy? Much better than the disposables that last for approximately two swipes across the floor, then do little more than push dirt around the floor (in my opinion anyway). Bonus: if I end up in that situation, I just need to wash out the pad and I'm good to go again, though I plan to make a few extras for just this situation.

But do you know what makes it even better? It's reversible! Check it out:

After you finish up cleaning the floor all you need to do is soak the pad in some water with a bit of your floor cleaning product of choice, flip it around, and you're off to the races again. Once you're all done all you need to do is toss it in the laundry and wash. No more disposable cloths that don't even last for the entire kitchen floor for me, and a great project to use bits and pieces of whatever yarn you have leftover.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Valentines and Elmo

After much fighting, I FINALLY finished A's special Valentine's Day hat that I wrote about here.

Let me just say what a fight it was to actually make the silly thing. I've only had trouble with crocheting hats one time when I was making this Elmo hat:

The problem with this one is that I was making it for a near-3 year old that love love LOVES Elmo. Did I mention that this near-3 year old's head was unavailable to me for measuring, and that I was doing it as a surprise so I couldn't exactly ask Mom?

I believe I chose the child size for the hat for optimum long term use. Of course I didn't exactly follow the instructions for the hat, and used two strands of Vanna's Choice yarn rather than what was used by the person that made this pattern. This hat needed to stand up to Minnesota and North Dakota winters, so extra warmth was a must.

I'm so happy that the hat is working out and I'm actually keeping count of my rows and then I realize it: the hat will fit on my head. Ooops.

Long story short, I pulled out the entire thing, started from scratch with the toddler size, and it worked out. The hat fit, the near-3 year old loved it, everyone wins.

The Valentine's Day hat on the other hand, turned out to be a little monster in disguise. It looks all cute and adorable, but it really wasn't.

The first time I made it, it was too big and too open. The second time I made it, it was too small, but the openness of the hat was improved by working with two strands. The third time it was still too small. There was at least a fourth and a fifth time after that, but honestly I can't even keep track of all the problems I had.

After the sixth or seventh go at it, here's what I ended up with:

Cute right? The only problem is that it still ended up too big. I am quite confident this will be great for Valentine's Day 2012 or 2013, but for V-day 2011, not so much. But after starting over a half dozen times, I wasn't up for starting over just one more time.

I should also add that when I was making the heart I pulled everything out 2 or 3 times and that I spent more hours than I am willing to admit to myself untangling the two balls of yarn I was using. And I didn't just untangle once nooo, I had to untangle everything twice just because I love to make a mess and make work for myself (apparently).

At the end of the day though Mom will love it and think it's adorable and A. will wear it (someday) and be super cute.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Draft Snake Pattern Update

I hope everyone is already working on their five resolutions and trashing some of their stash in the process.

Before you all get too excited about them and finish all the projects I suggested for you, Vashti, the creator of the draft snake informed me that she's updated her pattern since posting it on her blog.

The updated pattern for this cute little fellow that will help keep your house draft-free, keep some cash in your wallet, and use up your scraps of yarn can be found here for free on Ravelry. com. The updated pattern includes instructions on how to crochet the forked tongue that you see in the photo.

Thanks again for a great pattern Vashti!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

WIP Wednesday #2

Unfortunately Christmas kind of messed with my ambitious (for me at least) WIP Wednesday plans. For most of November and December I switched from crocheting to sewing.

Have you ever seen fabric panels like these?

I went on a spending spree at Joann Fabrics at the end of the summer and again in September or October on these panels. After several hours of labour and love, they sew up into the cutest little story books, perfect for a special little boy's first Christmas. This Night Before Christmas panel by Mary Engelbreit is one of about five or six I made for little A., who coincidentally was 100% not interested in Christmas presents by the time I got to see him. Even though he's only 9 months old, he figured out it was a special day and decided naps were a waste of time, so he was getting pretty tired by the time his Godmama got there with presents.

On the bright side, his Nagypapa was pretty excited about the books once he figured out that they were a) books and b) I had made them from just a piece of fabric. I would say he spent a good half an hour looking them over and reading them several times.

While we're briefly talking Christmas, I may as well show you the special surprise that A. and I made for Mom and Dad, as well as Nagymama and Nagypapa, Nonno, Nonna, and both his Godmamas because we all just love him to bits. Plus I was not fighting with a 9 month old to do handprints and not reaping the benefits myself and well, I don't think I could get away with doing one for me and one for Mom and Dad and not everyone else.

Before you ask, why yes I am superwoman. I got a 9 month old to make half decent hand prints while he was awake, and with him eating minimal amounts of paint. Usually the snowman handprint ornaments are made with the child grasping the ball so the palm is on the bottom of the ornament and you just see the "snowmen," but overall I'm pleased with how this turned out. My only regret was not using white-white paint for the handprint and instead choosing a pearlized paint because I think that would have shown up better.

Of course the ornament came with a little poem too:

These are five little snowmen as anyone can see,
I made them with my handprint which is a part of me.
Every year I'm growing and I'll be grown someday,
But these five tiny snowmen will never melt away!

Upon opening it, Mom immediately thought I had broken into their house in the middle of the night and covered her baby boy in paint while she was asleep across the hall. Fortunately for me though Mom leaves little A. with his Nagymama fairly regularly while she goes to the gym, giving me an ample window of time to sneak in, handprint, and sneak out.

Needless to say it was quite the hit and I think it will be a very special ornament for the rest of their lives.

Hmm now why are we here again? Oh right. WIP Wednesday.

Here's what I've been working on lately:

This project has been on the back burner for a long time. I bought the yarn over a year ago on one of those days where Michaels had an extra 20% off your entire purchase and they actually put something on sale for a good enough price to make a trip worthwhile. I'll take $3.25 a ball over $8-$9 a ball any day.

When it's done it will be a Five and a Half Hour Afghan. Now you may ask, if it's supposed to take only five and a half hours, why haven't I finished it already? It's been pulled out at least two or three times entirely. In fact the first time I was nearly finished, but then decided it was too skinny and I didn't like it. I can't remember the other times I've pulled it all out but I definitely know I've done it more than once.

Other factors impeding completion are the fact that I've made this same blanket in 3 other colours for a birthday gift last February and two Christmas presents this year. It's quick and easy and makes a cute afghan so it's a perfect pattern to keep in your back pocket, though I think they lie when they say five and a half hour. I think it took me closer to about 12, but maybe I'm just slow.

Linking To:

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

5 Resolutions You Can Make

For most people, a new year means new resolutions. I will openly admit that I break resolutions about ten minutes after I make them for the most part. In elementary school the first assignment we had when we were back from Christmas vacation was always to write down our resolutions for the new year and every year I resolved to write neater.

Guess what? Not only is my writing still messy, but it's probably gotten worse over the years. Good luck if you ever wanted to borrow notes from me in university, all you're going to get is a few pages of chicken scratch comprised of my own unique blend of printing and cursive writing.

Needless to say, I've kind of given up on this resolution business. Especially now that my marks don't depend on it like they did back in the day.

However, those who are resolution inclined I have good news for you. Even though I don't really do resolutions, I can certainly help you out with yours! And another bonus, a lot of these ideas are good stash busters too.

Resolution #1: Get More Organized
You've decided. This is the year you're going to go through all your junk and finally get rid of it. You're going to go out and buy cute baskets and bins and actually use them. But wait, why buy baskets and bins when you can crochet some instead?

Side note: I can only dream that one day my stash will fit in this stash basket.

Resolution #2: Lose Weight
Sadly, while crocheting all night might keep your hands busy so you can't chow down on unhealthy snacks, it isn't a big calorie burner. This is proven by the fact that I've gained about 10 pounds in the past few months. For those of you that have resolved to slim down this year, what better way to inspire you is a cute bag to carry around your yoga mat?

Resolution #3: Save Money
Saving money is another very popular resolution to make because well, who wouldn't love some extra cash in their bank account? This project saves you money on two fronts: it uses extra leftover yarn from your stash, and it helps to keep your house warmer and save on those nasty wintertime heating bills that creep higher every year it seems. This little critter will use up any little bits of yarn you have left over and keep drafts from sneaking in under the door.

Resolution #4: Be More Eco-Friendly
We all know that if everyone in the world made some small changes our planet would be much better off. Obviously everyone in the world will not drop their habits and instantly change, but you can help this change happen. There are lots of crochet options out there to replace disposable items we use every single day. The best part? A lot of these things are quick to whip up so you can make some for yourself and your family and friends.

First off, raise your hand if you use paper towels for everything. Guess what? You don't need to. You can crochet yourself some basic dish cloths and save money and the environment.

Plastic bags are another bad guy. They take a ridiculous amount of time to actually biodegrade and everyone ends up with a huge mess of bags shoved in a closet at home that just take up space and never get used or recycled. Not to mention that the 5 cents a bag most stores around here are charging for a plastic bag adds up.

The solution? Reusable bags. Reusable bags that you a) don't have to buy from the grocery store and b) you can toss in with your laundry when they get dirty. (Really, what are all those stores selling the reusable bags made out of that heavier plastic thinking?)

Finally, how many of you are guilty of using lots of cotton balls or kleenex to remove your makeup at night too? Why not whip up some makeup remover pads and their storage bag. Just like with a cotton ball or kleenex these are still use and toss, only instead of tossing in the garbage, you toss into the laundry.

Resolution #5: Finish What You've Started
I'm pretty sure that this one comes up for a crafter of any sort. If you're anything like me, you have about a million projects on the go at one time. How about starting one more small project that will help you finish up all those other WIPs? A perfect size to grab as you run out the door to your appointment, use on your commute to work (so long as you aren't driving!), or to pull out of your purse when your friend is late for your coffee date and it holds all your crochet essentials.

So there you have it. 5 good resolutions. 5 good solutions. In the meantime, I'll still be working on writing neater.

Linking to:

Thursday, January 6, 2011

New Year, New Start

I'll admit it. I'm a bad blogger. I always start off ambitious and then lose momentum. I'm also bad at following my own goals for myself.

Yes, this means I caved to the Michaels Boxing Week flyer and bought more yarn. About 12 balls, with a plan for them at least. Hopefully I can use them up quickly.

Worse yet, I got a subscription to Crochet Today for Christmas. This was a good gift and a bad gift. You see, I am a complete sucker for making hats for little A., and clearly this Valentine's Day one was too cute to pass up:

He'll be having a blue and white version of this hat because you know, he's a boy. Thanks to some incorrect signage at Michaels, I got the yarn half off too and I should have plenty left over for other hats or who knows what other projects I'll dream up.

As for the good side of receiving the subscription, I found a pattern that will help me use up my oodles and oodles of Red Heart Baby Clouds yarn:

I love this kind of yarn. I was actually skeptical about it at first because I don't think it looks that nice when its in a skein, but once you start making it into an afghan it turns out so beautiful and soft and fluffy. Another plus about it? It's very bulky and works up quickly which I love. I'm definitely glad I grabbed some on clearance to try out. Little man got a blanket made from it when he was born, and most recently a friend's baby girl got a flower one made from this yarn too. Sadly, pictures of those blankets are on my old laptop that decided one day it wasn't going to turn back on and lazy me hasn't tried to recover data off it yet.

I also managed to find my pattern book made specifically for this yarn at my Grandparents house over the weekend, so hopefully I can get some cute baby things made up and I can make myself stop buying yarn and using up what I have.
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