Saturday, November 30, 2013

My Craft Room

This past summer, I was able to turn our spare bedroom into a Craft Room.  Yay!
This room has had a lot of purposes in the 21 plus years we've lived in this home. 
When we first moved in, this room was a multipurpose room: gym equipment, book shelf, computer, sewing. 
Then it was a nursery.  I sewed everything in a cute bear theme. Sweet!
Then it was a toddler room.  A blue race car bed and black and white checkered flags as a border up by the ceiling.  I sewed a black and white checkered comforter for the bed and black and white checkered pillow shams.  Fun!
When he got older and bigger, Zach moved into the "guest room" where there was a proper bed and a chest of drawers.  At that time, this spare room again became a multipurpose room.  We called it "the family room" but mostly it was storage and a place to play Wii or watch tv. 
The desk in the photo above used to be in Zach's bedroom but we moved it to the Craft Room and put the big tv on the top shelf. It's a great use of space and still great for tv watching and Wii playing.  I like the fact that the pale wood in the futon and the desk actually match.  I lucked out!
Opposite the tv, there is a futon and a nice big window. This is the sunniest room in the house. Sandy loves this room; so do I. 

Lots of storage on the desk.  Don't mind the messy-ness under the desk!  The big cupboard is full of Wii stuff.  The little drawer is full of thread and bobbins.  The fabric on top of the sewing machine cover is dog bone shaped pillows ready to be stitched.

This closet is packed full.  The chest of drawers is full of yarn.  Imagine that!
A little bit of storage behind the futon.  A bunch of completed pillows in the back corner and some yarn and project bags in the foreground.
The window has a nice shelf. I have a little Christmas tree on there next to the old handmade cradle my Dad's dad made.  It's hand painted with flowers, too.
My Great American Afghan is displayed in my Craft Room.  A bit of messy-ness next to that.  A few pillows which just need to be stitched shut and my BIG bag of poly-fiber fill for stuffing the pillows.  Maybe my Craft Room should be called "My Pillow Factory".

I always have this crew to keep me company as I sew, stuff, stitch...

My husband helped me hang up these lights on the underside of the shelf (just below the tv).  These lights are battery powered and are "under cabinet lights" (we found them at Sam's Club).  You screw a metal plate into the wood and then the lights have magnets that cling to the metal plate.

So there you have it... my Craft Room. I sure am enjoying it!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Monday, November 18, 2013

Bathroom update

Awhile back, I showed you our GREAT great room update. We've lived with some pretty ugly wall paper for 21 years.  I did not bother me when we first bought the house. The house was brand new and it was decorated with lots of wall paper.  The great room, the master bed room, and both bathrooms.  The sad thing about the wall paper was that the person who hung the wall paper neglected to do ANYTHING to prepare the dry wall before hanging the wall paper...
no paint
no sizing
no primer
just drywall

So when you go to remove the wall paper, wall damage is the end result. 

This is the second bathroom in the house.  There were actually three different wall papers in this room with the border running the perimeter of the entire room a few feet off of the ground.  The first picture shows the pattern on the upper half of the room. The second picture shows the wall paper which was round just the toilet area on the lower part of the wall.  I neglected to snap a photo of the wall paper on the lower part of the wall in the remainder of the room. It's basically a smaller scale version of the splashy flower pattern on the upper wall.

So these are just my before shots... just a teaser for you! 

I'll show you the AFTER pictures in a few days!  I want to take some daylight photos for you. Besides everyone is sleeping now.

More later.  :)

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Mini Mitten Mania

Mini Mitten Mania!

Finding a little bit of time to knit... here and there...

These are a few of the pairs of mittens I've made in the past few months... some were gone before I could snap photos...

It takes nearly an hour to make one little mitten.... but they are so much cuter in pairs, don't you think?

All of these were knit with left over bits of sock yarn on small 2.75 mm needles. 
I like how each pair has their own "personality". 
Happy Knitting!

OMG! I never showed off these socks! Neopolitan Socks

So, I started this pair of socks in late July 2013, when I was visiting my folks in Oregon. I shared a little picture of them in THIS POST. I am calling these Neopolitan Socks since the colors really remind me of Neopolitan Ice Cream. I finished these socks and gave them away to a friend and I never showed them to you! How did that happen!?
For these socks, I used Marilyn's 52 stitch "Simple Sock" pattern, which calls for 52 stitches per round. Marilyn is the Chief Knitting Officer (C.K.O.) at Grandma's Beads and Yarn (my local yarn shop... which I LOVE!). I used 2.75 mm needles and it makes a perfect fitting sock with Plymouth Yarn's sock yarn called "Diversity". This colorway (I had to look it up) is called "Palm Pink". Like I said, as I knit these socks, I thought of... Neopolitan Ice Cream. Nestle' Strawberry Quik mixed into milk. Raspberry Sorbet. Pink ballet slippers. Rose Milk Lotion (do you remember that lotion?) I have not seen Rose Milk Lotion in years!
This is the second time I've used Diversity yarn for socks. I used the red, white, and gray color combination called "Pizazz" awhile back for some bold striped socks. I was surprised the stripes in these socks are more random as compared to the red, white, and gray socks. 

I have a lot. A LOT. A lot, lot, LOT of other socks in progress right now. It's a sickness really. For some reason, I feel compelled to cast on a new pair on each of my sets of double pointed needles and there they sit, a bunch of socks in progress, all in varying stages of completion. Would you like to hear about them?  

 Wasabi Peas Socks: Stopped by the store called "Tuesday Morning" earlier this summer to see if they had yarn and sure enough they did. I am knitting some green/off white speckly yarn in a pattern called "Mosinette Socks". There are 60 stitches per round on size 2.50 mm needles. The texture is created by alternating five rounds of stockinette stitch and five rounds of moss stitch. Simple to memorize and fun to knit. As I knit these socks, I think of Wasabi Peas! Have you ever had that snack? If you have had Wasabi Peas, then you will probably see what I mean. You have to try Wasabi Peas by the way. They are tasty! I think I set this sock aside because I wish the heel flap would have had more rows (for a deeper heel) and I am worried about how the sock will fit... so I am not thrilled and I don't want to unknit all of the heel portion. 

 Disappearing Act: My first pair of fair isle socks. One sock done except for the afterthought heel. Started stock number 2, made a mistake, and am ignoring them... they are in a time out.

Neon Ribbed Socks: Got this Manos del Uruguay brand yarn while visiting my Mom and Dad a few months back. Souvineer (AKA: total SPLURGE $$$) yarn! Mom took me to a BEAUTIFUL knit shop in Beaverton, Oregon, called "For Yarn's Sake". The yarn line is called "Alegria" (which means "joy" in Spanish... I like that!). The colorway is called "Locura Fluo" ("locura" translates to crazy or mad but I could not figure out what "fluo" translates to... if you know, please fill me in!). I was totally overwhelmed in this store. Had nothing in particular to shop for but I was determined to buy something. I ended up with two hanks of sock yarn. I don't regret my purchases despite the fact that I already have a dresser drawer FULL of sock yarn. I just wasn't quite sure what to make with the Alegria yarn. I tried a scarf pattern I have been wanting to make but I did not care for how the yarn was pooling in that pattern. Decided to make socks... you know, socks with sock yarn. Novel concept I know. Using 2.50 mm needles and 64 stitches per round in k3, p1 ribbing. Planning to follow Susan B. Anderson's pattern called "Ribbed Socks for Bigger Feet" which is one of my favorite sock patterns. The ribbing makes the socks fit very well. 

 Cupcake Socks: More splurge yarn from "For Yarn's Sake" called Biscotte and Cie "Felix" in the colorway called "Cupcake". Love it. Knitting these socks up on 2.50 mm needles, 64 stitches per round, planning to follow Susan B. Anderson's pattern called "How I Knit My Socks". 

Watermelon Socks: Finally used the gift certificate my mom sent me for Christmas (Knit Picks... woo hoo!). I bought some Knit Picks Stroll Hand Painted Fingering yarn in a colorway I am pretty certain is called "Watermelon". When I got the yarn, the colors kind of disappointed me... but just the other day I found a really cool looking sock pattern called "Ampersand" and I had sock needles available, so you know... I just had to cast on and give the pattern and yarn a whirl. Using 2.75 mm needles for this pair. 

 Hot Tamale Socks: So I discovered I have two pairs of 3.00 mm needles so I had to cast on some socks in Bernat Sox in a colorway "Hot Tamale" (this name does not fit this yarn and you know how that bothers me... it looks like baby/nursery colors... not Hot Tamale... bit I digress). Despite my dis-satisfaction with the colorway name of this yarn, I am knitting both socks at once on two separate sets of needles... my favorit thing to do to avoid Second Sock Syndrome. Rapidly approaching heel flap on both socks, which are being knit with 52 stitches per round (Marilyn's Simple Sock Pattern again). 

 So, I know I have another pair of 2.75 mm needles sitting idle at home, plus my friend Belinda has borrowed another pair of 2.75 mm needles, and I know I have a really small pair of sock knitting needles (Size 0?) and a really big pair of sock knitting needles (Size 3?) at home in my drawer. That means I can cast on maybe 3 more pairs of socks, right? 

 OMG! What's wrong with me?

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Brief Berry Bliss Socks

Brief Berry Bliss Socks. 
Yes, you can make a pair of socks with a 50 gram ball of sock yarn.
Red Heart brand sock yarn "Heart and Sole with Aloe"
Colorway:  Berry Bliss

I brought home a LOT of sock yarn from my mom's stash after I visited my folks in Oregon a few months back. In the sock yarn, I found three balls of Red Heart brand "Heart and Sole" sock yarn with Aloe. These are 50 gram balls and none of the three balls were in the same colorway. I decided to see if I could squeeze one pair of short socks out of just one ball of yarn. It worked!

The colorway for this particular ball of yarn is called "Berry Bliss". I used my kitchen scale to weigh the yarn. I started winding the yarn into a ball and wound the yarn until I had exactly 1/2 the yarn (25 grams) in the first ball. Then I wound the remainder of the yarn into a second ball; this ensures the pattern repeat will go in the same direction. Then I examined both balls of yarn, pulling out a little slack, until I could find the color/pattern repeat. I used size 2.75 mm needles and cast on 60 stitches for these socks.

When I am trying to make matchy-matchy socks like these, I like to use two sets of needles so I can stop and start the various parts of the socks at the same color changes. For the cuffs, I did k2, p2 ribbing for 15 rounds and then I did 5 rounds of stockinette before starting the heel flap. I ended up picking up and knitting 17 stitches on both sides of the heel flap. I ended up adding a few extra rows to the heel flap because I was using the color changes as a guide more so than the number of rows in the heel flap. I love the way these socks turned out. I gave them to a friend as a surprise Birthday gift! I look forward to casting on two more pairs of short socks like these. They do go fast!

Thanks for all the beautiful sock yarn, Mom!