Thursday, 17 December 2009

More Christmas Knitting

I've been knitting away for Christmas. Sometimes a financial situation requires resourcefulness when it comes to gifts. Since most people really like hand made items, I don't know why I don't do it more often!

I've been wanting to make fingerless gloves since the first time I saw them on some of the knitting websites and in some of the knitting books I have. As of today I officially have 3 pr. completed and 3 pr. in various stages of completion. I've done each pair a little differently, but all of them are variations on the same theme. I just combined all of the information from a number of different patterns and made adjustments according to the yarn I had on hand. Except that this particular pair required that I purchase some purple yarn, since I didn't already have purple in my stash. But purple is my co-worker Vicki's favorite color, so whats a knitter to do?!I've also knitted a few of these pretty washcloths to gift and I ordered some handmade soap from Angie over at Maple Valley Off Grid Farm. to give with them. She and her family are living on a beautiful Amish farm and really getting back to the old way of doing things. When you're through reading this post, be sure and jump on over to her blog and take a look. They have a great love for God and a much more simple, if busy life.And then I was inspired to make some home made body scrub/bath salts, which I'll post about later.

As I was going trough some of the knitting that I'd done a few years ago, I came across some of the felted bags I made and forgot about. I thought they would make great gift containers, so I put the gloves, a knitted washcloth, the soap and a jar of body scrub in this one (it's red and purple, but the picture looks a little off color), and gifted it all to Vicki. She was thrilled and I was thrilled that she was thrilled!

Vicki is on her way home to Ohio (wearing the fingerless gloves I'm sure) and I'm off to continue knitting.

Have a Merry Christmas.

My next post will be after Christmas because I'm off work until then and I won't have access to a computer!

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Repurposed Front Door

You may remember this picture from when DH was removing the old front door to gain access to our newly enclosed front porch. As you will see below, it now has a new purpose.Since the newly enclosed front porch connects to the dining room and kitchen area and since the wall between said rooms was removed, we have had to rearrange our kitchen. Tee Hee Hee! Ain't it ashamed?!!!

So, since DH has time off from work until after the first of the year, I've made him a list, errr, I mean we've come to an agreement on the projects that he can work on, using materials that we've already purchased. One of the projects is MY NEW PANTRY!

We borrowed some space from our side entry that we are now using as our main entry door. He bumped out about 3 feet and built a new enclosure that runs the full length of the current kitchen. I'll post more pictures of that part later. It's completely huge and completely awesome, or will be when we get it all finished.

So far we've put in a few shelves to accommodate some of the lesser used items and some narrow shelves to store canned goods, etc. That has only used up about 1/3 of the total space so far. The plan is to get a small, chest type freezer to put at one end. Above the freezer will be a shelf or two for items needed for the freezing process: bags, containers, butcher paper, etc. In addition, I plan to place some hangers for wrapping paper and ribbon, scissors, gift bags, etc. so that I have a place to wrap gifts. I will be able to use the top of the freezer as a work surface! It will be wonderful to have a designated place for that!

There is also a plan for pegs to hang my reusable shopping bags, bins for my recyclables, shelves for my wine glasses and perhaps a few bottles of wine, baskets for my veggies and who knows what else. I'll just have to see what I can squeeze in there.

So, yesterday DH took the old front door and installed it in the entry to my new pantry! Once he gets it all trimmed in it will be painted, I'll order a "PANTRY" sign from Upper Case Living and put it on the horizontal piece just below the windows and I'll frost the windows with either some paint or some cool paper I found.

I REALLY need to consult Layla at The Lettered Cottage for some suggestions. I think I'll purchase one of her consultations for myself for Christmas! If you haven't already, you need to check her out. She has amazing talent! Any suggestions for pantry design are welcome.

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Christmas Knitting

It's been a good while, maybe 2 years, since I last picked up my knitting needles. There's been so much other "stuff" going on that I just had not had the time. But,that all changed when my DD saw some self striping sock yarn in Hobby Lobby and said that she thought it would make cute hats for her girls. So I bought a few skeins of sock yarn and that's all it took.

Coincidentally, at work we have started a new program with The Circle Center, which I will explain at a later date, and one of the first things we had to do was choose something that we needed to work on. I decided to work on "focusing", which I often have a problem with, as you will see. And I always wondered where my DS got his ADD!?!
If you are a knitter, you know that knitting is a good thing to help with focus. In fact, with many patterns, focus is an essential part of completing a project successfully.

Well, sock yarn is what is called "fingering weight", which means it requires small needles. And I needed circular needles to keep me from having to sew seams, which I always try to avoid. So I made a trip to Haus of Yarn, my local yarn store and bought some size 2 circular needles. Well, OK, 2 size 2 circular needles. One is 16" and one is 12". Who knew that there were 12" circulars out there?! I HAD to have them.

Then I decided I needed a good book for knitting with sock yarn and I remembered seeing this book the last time I was in a yarn store?!
So I asked if there was a similar book with patterns just for kids, and this is what they showed me:
Well of course I had to buy BOTH of them, you know, just in case I decide to make some things for me too. And I HAD to buy 2 skeins of Lana Grossa sock yarn because you CAN'T go to a yarn store and not buy yarn!
So I knit up 2 precious hats from the yarn I bought at Hobby Lobby, which I of course didn't take pictures of, for my DD's 2 girls. THEY LOVED THEM!
Then a big light went off in my head - hey - I could knit Christmas presents for other people too!
I know, sometimes I'm a little slow.
So I pulled out the Lana Gross and started knitting a scarf, in the round. But knitting a scarf on size 2 needles takes a LONG time, and I quickly got bored with it. But I had gotten far enough that what I had already knit was about the right length for a child's hat, so I made it into this cute little hat for one of the smaller members of my family (shh, don't tell). Then I decided little people need little leg warmers too, so I winged the pattern for the tiny little leg warmers to go with it.
Then I realized that I had LOTS of yarn left over because these two things only took part of one skein and I have 2. So I've started these leg warmers in a slightly larger size for another one of the smaller members of my family. They are working up great on my new 12" circular needles. They are just knit in a K2 P2 pattern, which goes pretty quickly and I just found out that they only have to be about 7" long - so that should take just a few nights of after work TV knitting!

But if you think that's all I've been knitting - remember the focus thing? Yeah, well, just maybe I've worked on a few other knitting projects too. You know, because I get bored doing the same thing all the time and need options!

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Nothing Crafty Happening Here

I've been neglecting my poor little blog the last few weeks. Truth is, I've been on the injured reserve list, after slipping in the mud and landing on my fanny in the process of feeding the chickens. The fall sent me to the emergency room for a large number of xrays because I heard cracking as I hit the hard ground.

I had a fall at work a few years ago and broke my left hip. Ended up with 3-4" screws in my hip. Not fun. But, I found out that I have osteoporosis, so the cracking sound really scared me. Luckily nothing was broken and I didn't knock my screws loose - although some would say that I've always had a few screws loose!

So, since there hasn't been any craftiness happening, I thought I'd post a few pictures of our property after a big snow, to get you in the winter mood.

These were taken a couple of years ago from our bedroom, looking through the French doors. The snow only lasted a few hours. As soon as the sun came out it all melted away. A friend of mine who is an artist used the first photo to paint me a beautiful picture for my birthday, which is now hanging in a special spot in my house so we can enjoy the memory of the beautiful snowfall.

I hope you enjoy them.

Now that Christmas is just a few weeks away, I've started knitting again. I'll post pictures soon.