FO Friday – Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

I finished my blanket! Woohoo!

This isn’t the best picture, but our house isn’t exactly clean right now. So… yeah. 😃

It’s just the right size for our couch but we may use it in the bedroom instead to throw on top of our comforter. It’s so soft and fuzzy!

It’s surprisingly heavy, too! I didn’t realize it when I’d move it from room to room (sounds silly, I know), but as soon as I wrapped it around myself, oh my goodness​!

Hopefully we get some cool weather again. We’ve had a crazy heatwave here recently. Soooo hot! 

Nothing else to report for now, but I should be working on some NEW stuff soon! Have a great weekend! 

The Not-So-Grouchy Ladybug

My son absolutely LOVES Eric Carle’s The Grouchy Ladybug.

the-grouchy-ladybug

I don’t recall ever seeing it growing up, but I read a lot of Carle’s other stories such as The Very Hungry Caterpillar, The Very Busy Spider, and Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? It’s a nice feeling to read a kid’s book for the first time along with your child. I think one of the main reasons he likes it so much is how it’s read – such as voice inflection and enthusiasm. For a while, we had to read it multiple times in a row (and at one point we may have even hidden it) but now we’ve moved onto other stories. We still read it at bedtime on occasion and he even quotes it once in  a while.

Needless to say, when a customer messaged me on Etsy about making a ladybug, I definitely took it into consideration. I figured that if I made one and didn’t think it worthy of my customer, I’d just give it to my son and say it was the Grouchy Ladybug.

Luckily, I was very happy with how it turned out!

20170130_071144

20170130_071232

20170130_071211

I sent a few pictures to my customer and she absolutely loved it! I was so happy that she liked it as much as I did. So, a listing was created, the invoice paid, and this cute, little bug was shipped out right away.

See? It never hurts to ask a seller if they’d be willing to do a custom order despite the fact that they don’t normally do them. 🙂

I’m planning on making another one to make sure my pattern is all there (I’ve been known to leave off instructions for various pieces) and will be adding it to my shop. I figure it might be a good idea to include some items that aren’t video game characters. A little variety never hurt anyone! I should have a listing for this little guy up in a few weeks at the most. I just need to finish up some Etsy orders!

I’m actually considering making a few more characters/animals from some of my son’s other favorite books/shows. I need to make a list of things I’d like to make. I’ve made one before, but I only got around to making a few. A lot of what I wrote down either intimidated me or didn’t seem as good of an idea as when I wrote it down. At the moment, the next item on my list is “Whacka” from Super Paper Mario on the N64:

whackaSource

My brother asked me about a month ago to make one for him and I’ve (sort of) looked into it. Sure, the body is easy enough, but what about the dirt/rocks?! Hmmm… I have some ideas that I may have to test run, but that’s all part of the fun! I just need to make sure I don’t tie off anything during the testing process so the yarn doesn’t go to waste if I need to frog it (I’m awful at that – I’ve thrown away numerous feet, etc). But this looks like a fun project – I love little Whacka! He’s so cute.

I’m always open to suggestions – video game characters or otherwise! Just leave a comment or send me an Etsy message! 🙂

As always, thanks for reading!

-Rachel

The Cilantro Cowl Adventure

Okay, so it wasn’t really an adventure. But it was definitely an experience! And the cowl was only coincidental.

In December, I was itching to do some crocheting OTHER than Christmas Etsy orders so I went searching the interwebs for something to make. Of course, I ended up with another cowl/scarf. I just can’t help myself! They are just so soothing and easy to make and I don’t really need to focus too much on it. What  a relief!

For this project, I finally used one of the skeins I picked up during the SD Yarn Crawl this past fall. I decided that it was time to use the gorgeous purple skein that I had always intended for a scarf! The yarn I used was Malabrigo Rios in Purpuras. It is 100% Superwash Merino Wool which I have never used before. Up until the Yarn Crawl, I don’t think I had ever purchased a yarn other than acrylic. This yarn is nice and soft, but I haven’t washed it yet so I don’t know how it will turn out.

The pattern I finally chose to work on was the Cilantro Cowl by Jennifer Dickerson over at Fiber Flux Blog. Since I used a purple color, however, my cowl is more like the “Red Cabbage” cowl. Haha!

Anyway, you may be wondering what kind of adventure could be involved with a cowl. Well, let me tell you: that was the night I found out were the water shut-off valve to our house was.

Oh. My. Goodness. What a night!

It had been raining on and off all day and night and it was also really windy. Not your typical San Diego weather. Around, ohhh, 9:30 pm or so, I was sitting on the couch crocheting and watching some Anthony Bourdain on Netflix (the show name escapes me at this moment, but it’s the one on CNN), when I heard the wind pick up and heard something slam. I figured it must have been the trash can so I didn’t concern myself too much with it.

However, right after the slam I heard noises coming from our water softener/purifier in the garage. We have it set to run once a week to do its business, and recently the power had been shut off so the times were messed up. I figured it must be running a cycle of some sort, which I knew was unusual for so late at night. So, I just kind of ignored it for a bit and went back to work. After a bit, the sound started irritating me because it was a little loud and the baby was sleeping so I didn’t want to wake him up. I went out and unplugged the machine thinking that would solve the problem, but I still heard the noises! Then I realized that the noise wasn’t coming from the machine, but from the pipes and in the wall.

On a whim, I opened the side door to our garage and stuck my head out. I could hear water, but it was more that just the rain. So, I stepped out a bit and looked back towards our side gate and I saw water seeping under the fence! I rushed to the gate and opened it up and stopped in my tracks. The stupid rubber/plastic shed that the previous owners had left behind had fallen over sideways in the wind right on top of the one, and only, water pipe sticking out of the house. Oh, and the pipe has freakin’ pvc pipes!!! Who does that?! With my superhuman strength (okay, not really) I pulled the mini shed off of the pipe half-expecting water to start shooting in my face in some giant geyser. Luckily (I guess), the water was pouring down from the pipe, but it was flooding the back corner of our yard. I called my husband in a panic asking him where the water shut-off was, but he wasn’t sure either and had to find out (we’re new homeowners, don’t judge us!).

While I waited for a return call (with a dying cell phone), I looked frantically around the house for a flashlight since we have ZERO lighting in the corner of the yard. During the year, I swear I see sooooo many flashlights, but this night I couldn’t find a SINGLE ONE. ZERO. NADA. It was so frustrating! After what seemed like forever, my husband called back and said the valve was under the water softener so I ran to shut it off.

Success!

But now I was soaked, cold, and upset. I should mention that I did end up getting sprayed in the face with water when I tried (in vain) to stick the pipe back in the, uh, pipe – I had no idea what I was doing! While this experience wasn’t the worst thing to happen, it was a big deal for me. It seems like these things always happen when I am alone and I am unprepared. After this, my husband texted me and said he was leaving work early (he was working nights). To pass the time until he got back, I went back to crocheting since I was too wired to do much else. Right as he returned home, I finished up the cowl.

Here is the finished product:Cilantro Infinity Scarf

It’s not very long, but that’s because the skein I used only has 210 yards. I wish I had had more yarn, but I also hate leaving projects unfinished and didn’t want to search for some more yarn. Plus, after a night like that, a finished project made me feel better! This picture shows the color best. It’s a very nice deep purple. The close-up shots make it look much light and washed out:

Cilantro Infinity Scarf 2

But here you can better see the texture and pattern. It’s a really simple pattern and fun to do with a mixture of puff stitches and double crochets.

Oh, and if you’re interested, here is a picture of the water pipe:

Broken Water Pipe

I guess you can’t really tell, but that area with the brown “ring” is the broken portion. It broke right at the end of the metal coming from the wall. We’ve since replaced the pvc pipes with copper, but have yet to get rid of the shed (we need to take it to the dump).

And that’s my adventure!

Mostly, I just wanted to do a post to let you know I was still alive. 😉 And since that cowl was the most recent thing I made, and had an interesting story attached, I figured it was a good enough post!

Do you  know where YOUR water shut-off valve is?

FO Friday – Monster Blanket

It’s been a little quiet around here. Not too much to report!

Right now I am working on a big Etsy order – 5 items! I hope to have them all done soon so I can ship them out. They’re going alllll the waaaayy to the UK! I don’t typically do international orders, but they asked so nicely. It never hurts to ask, ya know?

I also finished the monster blanket a while back. Here’s the best picture I have:

20151004_084022

Baby photobomb again!

Soooo much work! I don’t think I’ll be doing anything that big again any time soon. Did I mention I was going to be lazy and put fabric on the back in order to NOT weave in my ends? Yeah… and add some kind of border as well.

Hope you had a good week and have an even better weekend!

FO Friday – Luna Lovegood Scarf

Happy Friday!

It’s been a while since I’ve been able to participate in a FO Friday. I think my last actual post for one was back in June. For the record, I could probably do one each week but I never think of it. If I finish something, I tend to just post it on its own. This week’s project was finished the other day, but I hadn’t gotten around to blogging about it or editing my Ravelry project page. But now I have!

This week’s project was the Luna Lovegood Scarf by Jen Valure.

Luna Scarf 1

It’s sooooo long! I’m gonna have to wrap it a few times when I wear it. 😉

It took quite a while for me to finish, but not because it was difficult (although I had to rip it apart a few times from missing a stitch and reading it wrong) but because I didn’t really have the time. But it turned out great in the end!

Luna Scarf 3

The photos make it look like a baby blue, but it’s really not. I don’t know quite how to describe it – light teal? I don’t know. It’s called “Aruba Sea” by Red Heart. Maybe you have seen it at the store? Actually, now that I think of it, it’s a lot like the “Robin’s Egg Blue” crayon! There we go.

Fun fact: that used to be my favorite crayon back in the day.

It really is quite a pretty scarf. I guess it’s supposed to be a bit more, um, jagged(?) in the stitch placement and not perfectly aligned, but I didn’t want to worry about making the ends meet up by counting. To clarify, the scarf is made in two parts: you finish the one side, FO, then attach with a slip stitch back at the beginning to start the next side. Know what I mean?

Here’s a close-up to help explain:

Luna Scarf 2

See how it’s kinda mirrored? It’s made on both sides of the starting chain.

Yup.

So, that’s that – my featured FO of the week.

I did, however, finish another item today. I sold one of my Spheal’s the other day and just finished it a couple hours ago. I would have done it sooner, but it turns out I was out of yarn. AGAIN. *sigh* And, just like last time, I had to order more. I went to two Michael’s and Jo-Anns with no luck. I ended up ordering it on Amazon (AGAIN) and it got here Tuesday night. It would have been here Monday but it was a holiday. It was more expensive (of course) so I think I’m going to have to re-price (is that a word?) it to make up for it.

I’m also planning on adding my Mr. Saturn and Purple Tentacle to the shop at some point. Just need to take some nice pictures.

And that’s that.

What did you finish this week? Anything good?

Enjoy your weekend! ❤

Try, try again.

Sometimes, the projects you start working on don’t turn out how you expect them to.

Other times, you don’t even finish the project but don’t want the hassle of taking everything apart. I absolutely hate frogging (unraveling) any crochet work I’ve done (especially if it’s taken me a long time) because I just feel like it was such a waste of time and I even get a little angry/upset. Other times you just want to make it work so very, very bad.

For example, last week I was in the mood to crochet a beanie. No reason why – I was just compelled to do so. So, I grabbed a crochet hook (I forget what size) and a little skein of Lily Sugar and Cream yarn that I had picked up a while back. I just wanted to whip one up really quick so I chose to do a simple double crochet beanie. Quick and painless!

Or so I thought.

I didn’t finish it for 2 days – just for a quick and simple beanie!

I would have finished it that night, but if you’ve ever used Lily Sugar and Cream before, then you know that it’s a pretty small skein. I crocheted quite a bit (more than half) of the beanie when I realized that I wouldn’t have enough yarn. Because I didn’t want to make a run to Michael’s just for a small ball of yarn, I frogged it a bit and decided to make the beanie a bit smaller to allow myself more yarn. I did a couple of rows, decided I was done for the night, and went to bed. The next morning, I picked it up again and started working. It seemed to be working up well, and I even reached the brim, when I realized…

…I still didn’t have enough yarn!

Again, I frogged the beanie to the previous increase to give myself just a bit more yarn (one row of increases can make all the difference). I will mention, as I have in the past, that I do have a small head so this new size actually fit my head perfectly. I proceeded to crochet and made it to the brim area once again. Though I was unable to create a “proper” brim, I was able to do one row of single crochet which was the best I was going to be able to do.

Here it is:

Stupid Beanie

You stupid, stupid beanie.

This may have actually taken 3 days to do (I can’t remember specifically), but this is because I am also trying to manage a 13-month old and crocheting is quite difficult around him.

I am, however, proud of myself for finishing this beanie after all this struggle. Typically, I would just unravel it and toss the yarn into my stash and forget about it. But this time I really wanted to finish something – even something as insignificant as a beanie. The sense of accomplishment was what I was seeking and nothing – even that stupid, small ball of yarn – was going to stop me.

Now I know (and I probably knew before) that if I am going to make something with this brand of yarn, I’ll need at least two skeins.

Unless I want to lose my mind.

Those Slippery Slippers

Happy Monday! I hope everyone’s weekend went well.

Not too much to report at the moment, but I will be doing a blog post later on about a pattern I am currently testing. It’s being sent out in multiple parts and I’m still on the second portion (I think there are about 4 all together). When I get a bit more done I’ll start to share some photos!

The other night, I felt the urge to make some slippers. Why? I don’t know. I don’t even like slippers (perhaps I felt that if I made some, I’d be more likely to wear them?). So, I searched through the Ravelry patterns to find a good candidate to cover up my feet. I found 2 or 3 patterns and I even considered making a blog post sharing my top five choices. In the end, I chose a winner but decided against the post.

The pattern I chose was the “Lizzie” slippers by Lisa Gutierrez from GoodKnits.

Here are my completed slippers:

Slippers 2

And another (without my feet):

Slippers

And a close-up of the toe area:

Slippers 3

It’s a very nice pattern and pretty easy to follow. Like others who’ve finished this pattern, I did have a little difficulty in understanding the right slipper directions. Each slipper is one piece sewn at both the heel and the toes, but the right slipper is flipped inside out and sewn/crocheted opposite.

For these slippers I used Red Heart in “Real Teal” and “Buff” and a size “H” hook. They only took me between 1-2 hours to finish (closer to 1) so it’s a quick project to do. Even though they turned out okay, I don’t know how often I will wear them. Let’s just say that these slippers are quite… slippery… on our hardwood floors. I’ll need to put something on the bottoms of them if I decide to use them more often. Also, they make my feet look fat. Haha! AND… and… I’ll have to add a little strap to go across them to keep them on (slip-ons don’t stay on my feet very well).

That’s all for now!

Stay tuned for a post on my pattern testing coming up later this week. 🙂