Monthly Archives: December 2011

FO Friday: Gift pocket bear preview

I finished this sample of the Gift Pocket Bear at some point last week but it makes its F.O. Friday debut today.  (I can’t decide if this is a “he” or a “she,” so I’m going with “it” for now.   What do you think?)

I took these pictures at my sister’s apartment on Christmas Day.

Here it is, holding a Starbucks gift card.

Here’s a detail of the granny square pocket.

This is the third crochet pattern that I’ll be releasing for free as part of my collaboration with Galler Yarns.  It’s made using Flore II, a fuzzy mohair, wool, nylon blend yarn.  I used 106 as the main color with 015 (black) for the muzzle, and then scraps of colors from another project I’m working on for Galler Yarns for the granny square pocket.

I’m just writing up the last parts of the pattern and will start testing it in January on my Ravelry group.

For other Finished Objects, visit Tami’s Amis!

WIP Wednesday: When will the Saints come marching in?

I suppose it is no surprise to anyone that I didn’t finish the double Irish chain granny square blanket, in the colors of the New Orleans Saints, in time for Christmas.  I’m at the point in the project where I dread looking at it.  My fingers ache just imagining the 375 grannies involved in creating it.  If it wasn’t for my sister, I would hide it in the closet forever.

Ok, I’m exaggerating.  But only a little.  I thought I would have more time to work on it during the holidays, but I was sick for two days and didn’t crochet at all (gasp!).

Why yes, dear reader, I am standing on a chair in the cafeteria to take this picture. Thanks for asking!

It’s getting harder to photograph in decent lighting since it is pretty large now.

This chart shows my progress as of this morning. The gray areas are completed, so I’m about 60% finished with the squares.  (But only about 10% finished with weaving in ends.)

For more works in progress, visit Tami’s Amis.

Yarn stash club

This post contains affiliate links.

As you know, I’m joining in with Revelations of a Delusional Knitter‘s Surmount the Stash 2012 challenge in hopes of reducing my yarn stash to more manageable levels.

After writing my original post for this challenge, I came across this post by mk carroll, who suggested the idea of making kits from your stash yarn.  She herself was inspired by this post by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee (a.k.a. the Yarn Harlot).  The idea of having pre-assembled kits of hook, yarn, and pattern at the ready for me to grab in the morning is pretty exciting.

I’ve never been a “morning person” – yes, even as a kid, my parents struggled to drag me out of bed in time for school – and I’ve been known to be downright annoying when I’m running late for work, but I still have to find “that yarn” before I leave in order to have something to do on the subway ride.

I’ll also confess that while I’m still in the middle of what seems to be the world’s largest blanket project, the idea of other – shorter – projects is quite appealing.  Last night, I started imagining my own yarn stash club, and here is my first set of ideas for kits.

This is, of course, in addition to all my plans for dwindling my acrylic stash through charity crafting.  I know I want to make more granny squares in 2012, so I decided to create some order in the pattern chaos there, too.  I plan to start with the newest book in my granny collection, The Granny Square Book: Timeless Techniques and Fresh Ideas for Crocheting Square by Square by Margaret Hubert.  I scanned through it and found a set of 14 relatively sturdy looking grannies in 3 colors or fewer – just perfect for charity crafting with stash yarn.

Now all I need to do is finish the bedspread for my sister and those three design projects, and I’ll be back on track for pleasure crocheting (and knitting).

Gift ideas for next year

I saw this display in a local wine shop window…

…and it got me thinking about gifts for next year.  I didn’t gift any wine this year, but I think I will have to next year, just so I can work up a pattern for a wine cozy hat and scarf set.  What a fun use for scrap yarn!

Back in the day, I used to get started on holiday gifts in August.  I dread shopping, so visiting a store after “Black Friday” is out.  I made a fair amount of handmade gifts, so I needed some lead time.  In the past few years, life has gotten more hectic and the number of gifts I made declined.

I’d like to make more holiday gifts next year, so I hope to borrow some inspiration from many of the blogs I follow where people have been making holiday gifts in earnest since August.

My Handmade Holiday Gift List… and Giveaway!

I was inspired by this post by Stacey at FreshStitches to share the handmade items that I bought as holiday gifts this year.  I try to buy handmade and/or support small businesses with most of my holiday gifts.  (All pictures are from the Etsy shop or website where the gift was purchased.)

My first stop for handmade shopping is usually Etsy.

This great Kindle case is from Gothic Creations.

I thought this was suitably masculine for the recipient. When I received a Kindle Fire (!) as a gift, I ordered myself a custom case from this shop, too!

I wanted a peppercorn mix to go with some spice grinders I bought, and Gusto Spice had the selection I was hoping to find.

Mmmmmmmmmmmm. This mix is definitely the best smelling gift I bought this year.

I always look for unique t-shirts for the men in my life, and every year, my first stop for t-shirt shopping is BRANDED.  This year I bought a Tree of Life shirt…

…and this shirt inspired by Night of the Living Dead.

I paired that shirt with a zombie Christmas card from Kawaiistarz.

I like to do some of my handmade shopping in person, too.  Last weekend, I visited two craft fairs.

At Brooklyn Craft Central, I stopped by sono ei‘s table and picked up some super cute cherry birthday candles.  The candles adorned my sister’s birthday dessert on Tuesday night.

At the Lyceum Holiday Marketplace, I bought another t-shirt, which I had previously seen in an Etsy treasury, from Jes Switaj.

I saved on shipping by buying this at the Lyceum instead of on Etsy :).

I hope that those of you who are celebrating holidays this time of year are enjoying giving and receiving handmade gifts :).