Woohoo..I learned to knit (sort of)


I shared my knitting needle thrift store haul in an earlier post. Actually my grandpa had picked them up thinking they were crochet hooks. He’s actually done this twice and I’ve yet to get thrifted crochet hooks. This was totally fine with me since I always said that would be motivation to learn. I saved them for two years and would look at them every now and then.

Well, today I worked up the courage. I usually go with written tutorials, but they weren’t making any sense so I went to YouTube and clicked the first tutorial that popped up. I watched Absolute Beginner Knitting by Expression Fiber Arts about 5 times, and probably started my first row of stitches about 10 times. I was happy when I had semi successfully made 3 rows of stitches. The real inspiration for spending two hours on the couch for one teeny tiny swatch is socks. I’m so jelly of the pictures of knitted socks that keep popping up everywhere. And I already have a ball of sock yarn waiting..I just need some more practice first (and to figure out the weird thing that keeps happening with my slip knot..can it count like a stitch in crochet? Hmm..).

Woohoo!

Post-Christmas Stressfree Crafting


I found a unique Pom Pom color mix at my local craft store last week, and I’d been debating what to do with them. As I was looking for something easy and simple to do this evening, I had a bag of cinnamon pine cones from Christmas (I never put out) and remembered seeing pictures of Pom Pom pine cone ornaments. As you can see, I didn’t hang them on a tree but found a perfect spot on my new knick knack shelf I bought at a craft show last month. I’ve been trying to fill it with the perfect arrangement of pretty little things and these pine cones make the perfect addition.


This would be a great craft for your kiddos. I used a hot glue gun, but I’m sure any type of craft glue would work. Or if you’re an adult like me looking for a simple, yet very adorable, craft after all of your sweat and labor over Christmas gifts, this is for you!


Materials:

-Pine cones from the store or your back yard. I got my bag of cinnamon scented from Walmart over the holidays.

-Smaller Pom poms (so they can fit in the gaps). My assortment came from Pat Catans and say 10 mm.

-Hot glue (or regular Elmers should work for little ones)

-String or ribbon if you wish to hang them

Directions: Simply glue the Pom poms in the gaps of the pine cone. (Yes, that’s it). Make sure the pine cone is facing the way you want it to before gluing. I did mine with the flat part on the bottom so they could sit up on their own. I liked sticking the poms all in the gaps before gluing so I could plan a nice assortment. If you are hanging yours, tie a piece of string or ribbon tightly around the thick “stem” at the top or wind around the top of the pine cone before tying. 

A Week of Snow Days

I still remember the feeling of waking up as a child and being told it was a snow day. One of the great things about being a teacher is having snow days. I get very nostalgic on these days, probably because I still get that same rush of excitement I got when I was a child. Here in WV we had a whole week of snow days last week. Although I did start worrying about what my paycheck would look like, I did get to spend a lot of time with my yarn–working on long lost projects and starting new ones.

I had learned most of the basic amigurimi skills and made small ornaments and such, but I had never made an actual stuffed amigurimi animal. I sat down determined on one of my days off. Looking through my many pins I found an adorable little lady bunny. It didn’t take me too long to make the pieces, and I was feeling really good. Then I got to stitching the parts together. It took me two days, having many problems with the nose and eyes and feeling like she would fall apart, but I have to say I am very pleased with my first amigurimi animal. I think I will name her Lola and may have to give her a small embellishment on her dress. 



If you would like to make your own head over to Zan Crochet for an easy to read free pattern!

When I Learn to Knit

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I have only been crocheting for a little over a year, so I don’t think I’m quite ready to learn to knit yet, but I know I will be sometime in the near future. When that time comes I will be prepared thanks to my wonderful grandpa. He’s a treasure hunter like myself and was the one who showed me the joy of finding a bargain. We used to shop yard sales all the time when I was young. Every time I visit he always has a pile of treasures for me. At Goodwill the other day he found me a whole load of knitting needles, yarn, and thread for $3!!

Along with the needles came a box of various tan and light pink yarn, which can be washed and used. Somebody bought yarn for a project and never finished?? Until the day I learn to knit these lovely vintage needles will be shown off in a mason jar. 🙂

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What does a crocheter…

…do with an income tax check? Well, go to the craft store, of course, for yarn and other crafty things. I set myself a limit before going and only went over $20 so I’d say it was a successful trip. It is kind of a big deal for me to go to Hobby Lobby considering the closest one is an hour and a half away. We have a local craft store but it just isn’t the same as going there. My fiancée and I decided to make a day out of it, him shopping his hobby stores (remote control cars) and me shopping mine. It was a great day. I can’t wait to dig into my new purchases tomorrow. 🙂

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Best $3 Ever Spent

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I have a confession: I have a MAJOR weakness for the bargain bins at Target, Walmart, etc. When they put their Valentines Day stuff out I was in heaven with all the cute (and cheap) crafts and printed notepads. I found a Shrink Art bracelet kit for $3. I didn’t get my hopes up because we all know cheap doesn’t mean quality. I took a shot at coloring and shrinking the beads this evening and I was very impressed. It was so much fun watching them shrink in the oven! The only problem I had was getting the marker to stick in some places, but I will definitely be on the lookout for more of these kits.

Before:

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After:

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I decided not to make the bracelets the kit was intended for, but I did use some of the materials to make bookmarks with my three favorite beads. I still haven’t decided what to do with the rest…maybe make some stitch markers. Let me know if you have any ideas! 🙂

First Popcorn Project

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I posted about my first successful popcorn stitches a while back and here is what it turned into. The potholder pattern came from the Mollie Makes Crochet book and I think it has to be my favorite thing I’ve crocheted thus far. It was so fun to make, although a little time consuming. I love the way the colors turned out! I will definitely be using this color sequence in a future, possibly larger, project. I’m already picturing other color possibilities for this potholder…possibly the main color a light pink with white bobbles??

New “Dailies”

I have added a couple new fun things to my daily routine. The first is a five year memory book my mom got me for Christmas. When I was younger I had time to keep a journal with long daily entries but not so much anymore. That is why I loooove this memory book. You write one line a day each day for five years. I can’t look back on previous year’s memories yet since this is the first year I’ve written it it, but it will be neat to do.

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The second thing I’ve started is crocheting one square a day. I started out wanting to make a mood blanket for 2015 but then realized I sometimes do not like to look back on my moods. Although I’m sure my mood will influence the color choice for the day, I’m not going to have a color scheme pinpointing each mood. It will end up as a patchwork granny square blanket. I used The Purl Bee’s Classic Granny Square Pattern to make a six round, one color square. I chose to use a smaller hook since I tend to crochet loosely. I really hope to stick to it. This will be my first granny square blanket!

I have been enjoying the snow here in WV…it gives me more of a reason to stay inside with my yarn. My black lab Stella and I have spent all morning cuddling on the couch. (I think she’s enjoying it also 😉 ).

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Popcorn for Dinner

I’m very proud to announce that I have successfully made my first popcorn stitches. New to crochet, I will probably be trying “new” stitches for a while. One small step for crochet, one giant leap for Kelsey! These stitches are the start of a neat potholder from the Mollie Makes Crochet book. I will hopefully be sharing the finished product in a couple of days.

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Front or back? Please help!

I have been making progress on my Jolly Chunky Bag. I am really loving working with this chunky, oh so soft yarn for my first crochet bag. Even though this will not matter for a few more rounds, I cannot figure out which side will be on the outside of the bag (the side everyone will see). I have zoomed in as far as I can on the tutorial photos and read all about right and wrong side/front and back, etc. Some information says it is totally up to the crocheter which side will show as long as it isn’t a special stitch. If so, I will have a hard time deciding since I like both sides. On one side, the stitches are a little puffier, and on the other side the stitches are flatter and have a woven look. It is really bugging me since I don’t know which sides to put my loose ends on. If you have any advice that would be great!

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This is the “puffy” side.

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And this is the flatter side.

Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
—Kelsey