Tag Archives: 2012 holiday stashdown challenge

Holiday Stashdown Challenge, Week 31

(Join along with me any time if you need a head start or moral support for your holiday crafting.  You can read more details here.)

I think I’m officially finished with holiday crafting for this year.  (I say “I think” because you never know how I might be feeling about starting a last minute project!)  But if you’re still trying to get in some last minute gifts, I will take this moment for a little shameless self-promotion.

In the past few months, I’ve had several patterns published that make great last minute gifts.  For the ladies in your life, you might want to crochet the Chevron Shell Cowl or the Ribbed Mobius Cowl.  If you’re a knitter, the Givin’ Me Fever Pom Pom Hat is a funky option.  All three work up quickly and the patterns are available for free on Kollabora.  (And if you don’t have the appropriate yarn in your stash, you can buy the yarn on the same page as you can find the pattern.)

If you’re looking for a fun gift for anyone, why not join in the Chubby Sheep CAL.  Crochet one of these cuties with us through January 31 for your chance to win prizes while (virtually) meeting other crafters!  You can download the free pattern here.  There’s even an option to convert it into a Christmas ornament, if you’re in the holiday mood.

And if you haven’t already, you may want to check out my giveaway for Crocheted Granny Squares (Twenty to Make) by Val Pierce, courtesy Search Press, here.

How’s your holiday crafting coming?  Are you working on any last minute projects?

Holiday Stashdown Challenge: Weeks 29 & 30

(Join along with me any time if you need a head start or moral support for your holiday crafting.  You can read more details here.)

I didn’t post a holiday crafting update last week.  Most of my crafting time lately has been used up on several secret design projects, but I did pick up some quick holiday projects, too.

I’ve been working on some ornaments.

This tiny sweater is actually finished now.

I made another one of these cute sweater ornaments, and I also started two of these granny tree ornaments.

I'm looking for a coordinating brown yarn for the trunks.

And… I decided I wanted a fun, no thinking project to work on in between my designs.  I’ve been eyeing Queen Anne’s Lace scarves for a while, but didn’t want to use the brain space to try and figure out the free patterns I found.  I decided to plunk down some cash for a well written pattern that explains everything: Anne by MK Carroll.

The investment was totally worth it because I can crochet away without trying to interpret the pattern.  The pattern is written and also charted with the written pattern side by side again.  I’ve just started this scarf, and it will be for my best friend from high school, CG.  I don’t plan to give it to her until her birthday in March, though.

My plan is to make this long and narrow, kind of like a boa.  CG is an artist and dresses with a lot of bold colors, so she could actually pull off that look.  I’m using this great yarn I bought during my trip to Philadelphia.

How is your holiday crafting going?  Feel free to share your holiday crafting journey in the comments!

Holiday Stashdown Challenge, Week 28

(Join along with me any time if you need a head start or moral support for your holiday crafting.  You can read more details here.)

With all of my “must make” holiday gifts finished, I’m now free to turn to the fun stuff!

You may have seen my previous posts about the great swaps I’ve had on the A Swap A Month group on Ravelry.  Sadly, the group began unraveling a few months ago when it was discovered that the moderator was a naughty swapper herself.  Some of the members have reformed into the Strangers in Good Company group.  Our first swap is an ornament and card swap for Christmas, so I’ve been scouring the web for awesome ornament patterns.

I found this adorable sweater ornament pattern by Jessica Spencer and had so much fun making these that I think I will create an ornament gift tag for each of the Christmas celebrators on my gift list.  (I mentioned before that my winter holiday gift list includes people who observe a range of holidays.)

I made a camouflage version and a cherry chocolate version.  These is also a wonderful way to use up little yarn scraps.  And, unlike when making a real sweater, I don’t really mind that the sleeves are not the same length for both arms.

How is your holiday crafting going?  Feel free to share your holiday crafting journey in the comments!

Holiday Stashdown Challenge, Week 27

(Join along with me any time if you need a head start or moral support for your holiday crafting.  You can read more details here.)

Alright people, I think I need a drum roll for this.  I’ve actually finished all of my “must make” holiday projects a week ahead of my self-imposed November 19 deadline!

The final project.

I’ll admit this isn’t the greatest picture, since it is pretty hard to photograph a scarf that is 7.5″ wide by 79″ long, but you can find a few more attempts on my Ravelry project page.  This will go to my uncle, who is about 6’5″.  I used the Pebble Stitch pattern from my 30 Purrfect Stitches for Pet Blankets pattern e-book.  (Side note: I donate all profits from the sale of this ebook to an animal welfare organization at the end of every month.)

This scarf started out it’s life as my second attempt to crochet a sweater.  I was about 75% finished with an XL Double Feature from More Crocheted Aran Sweaters by Jane Snedden Peever.  (You can read about why I unraveled it here.)

I used two strands of yarn held together and kept crocheting until the yarn ran out.  It is a little shorter than I planned, but I still think it is a good size.

And now, on to the lists…

The Finished List! (~3,350 yds from stash)

1) Cabled hat for Dad – Cascade 220 Superwash (from stash) ~220 yds – A Hat Fit for a Fella pattern by Shana Kreikemeier

2) Cabled hat for JP – Malabrigo Rios (from stash) ~145 yds – my own design

3) Bruges lace scarf for OB – madelinetosh tosh sport (purchased at Knitty City for this project) – 270 yds – Sparkling Wave Scarf pattern by Tatyana Mirer

4) Ribbed beanie for cousin PR – Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick and Moda Dea Tweedle Dee (from stash) – 122 yds – my own design

5) Stuffed toy for little cousin, CJ – Caron One Pound in black and white (from stash) – 210 yds - Lala the Panda by Stacey Trock
6) Ribbed beanie for cousin MR - Moda Dea Tweedle Dee (from stash) – 129 yds – my own design

7) Bruges lace scarf for my friend, JS – Bitsy Knits Squoosh (from stash) – 270 yds – my own design

8 ) Bruges lace infinity scarf/cowl for one of the ladies in my dad’s family –Austermann Step (from stash) – 276 yds – my own design

9) Bruges lace scarf in boucle yarn for another one of the ladies in my dad’s family – Bernat Soft Boucle (from stash) – 204 yds – my own design

10) Self-striping Bruges lace scarf for another one of the ladies in my dad’s family – Red Heart Boutique Eclipse (from stash) – 170 yds – my own design

11) Christmas stocking for grandpa – lots and lots of white and red yarn – 193 yards from stash and 113 yards of Craft Smart Value Solids bought from Michaels for this project – I used this pattern for assembly and 17 different hexagon designs

12) Scarf for Dad’s partner – Bernat LanaCascade 220Lion Brand Fishermen’s Wool, and Tahki Yarns Donegal Tweed (from stash) – 299 yds – my own design, available as part of the Ripple Mania crochet-a-long

13) Crescent shawl for one of the ladies in my dad’s family – Cascade 220 and Patons Classic Wool (from stash) – 212 yds – Terribly Simple by Caitlin ffrench

14) Pebble stitch scarf for my uncleFilatura Lanarota Chaco (from stash) – 900 yards – Pebble Stitch pattern

The Maybe List

I’m not too sure if I will get to any of these, especially since I have a few secret projects for publication with impending deadlines that I just found out about this weekend.  If I get some down time, I will probably make a few of these projects.

1) CG, my BFF from high school - Something with this yarn that I bought with her in mind.

2 -3 ) My sister and my mom - Still not sure if and what I would make for these lovely ladies.

3) MC, my special guy - I’ve been thinking about a pair of house slippers if I have time.

 

How is your holiday crafting going?  Feel free to share your holiday crafting journey in the comments!

Holiday Stashdown Challenge, Week 26

(Join along with me any time if you need a head start or moral support for your holiday crafting.  You can read more details here.)

After a few weeks without anything interesting report, I’m happy to say I finished two holiday projects.

I made this crescent shawl using stash yarn and one of the buttons I inherited from my grandmother.  The pattern is Terribly Simple by Caitlin ffrench (also available as a free Ravelry download).  I probably would have made it larger if I made it for myself, but at this size it was a perfect storm project.

 

 

I made this ripple scarf entirely from scrap yarn, too.  I got a lot of crafting done last week since I was at home from work for three days due to the storm, and then had a four hour round trip commute on Thursday and Friday.

Now I seem to be back on track with my holiday crafting, and hopefully I can keep up the momentum.  I’m hopeful about completing the rest of my holiday projects before my personal deadline of November 18.  I also bought larger cards for my snowflake project, so I hope to have a few cards ready in time for the winter holidays.

The Finished List! (~2,450 yds from stash)

1) Cabled hat for Dad – Cascade 220 Superwash (from stash) ~220 yds – A Hat Fit for a Fella pattern by Shana Kreikemeier

2) Cabled hat for JP – Malabrigo Rios (from stash) ~145 yds – my own design

3) Bruges lace scarf for OB – madelinetosh tosh sport (purchased at Knitty City for this project) – 270 yds – Sparkling Wave Scarf pattern by Tatyana Mirer

4) Ribbed beanie for cousin PR – Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick and Moda Dea Tweedle Dee (from stash) – 122 yds – my own design

5) Stuffed toy for little cousin, CJ – Caron One Pound in black and white (from stash) – 210 yds - Lala the Panda by Stacey Trock
6) Ribbed beanie for cousin MR - Moda Dea Tweedle Dee (from stash) – 129 yds – my own design

7) Bruges lace scarf for my friend, JS – Bitsy Knits Squoosh (from stash) – 270 yds – my own design

8 ) Bruges lace infinity scarf/cowl for one of the ladies in my dad’s family –Austermann Step (from stash) – 276 yds – my own design

9) Bruges lace scarf in boucle yarn for another one of the ladies in my dad’s family – Bernat Soft Boucle (from stash) – 204 yds – my own design

10) Self-striping Bruges lace scarf for another one of the ladies in my dad’s family – Red Heart Boutique Eclipse (from stash) – 170 yds – my own design

11) Christmas stocking for grandpa – lots and lots of white and red yarn – 193 yards from stash and 113 yards of Craft Smart Value Solids bought from Michaels for this project – I used this pattern for assembly and 17 different hexagon designs

12) Scarf for Dad’s partnerBernat Lana, Cascade 220, Lion Brand Fishermen’s Wool, and Tahki Yarns Donegal Tweed (from stash) – 299 yds – my own design, available as part of the Ripple Mania crochet-a-long

13) Crescent shawl for one of the ladies in my dad’s familyCascade 220 and Patons Classic Wool (from stash) – 212 yds – Terribly Simple by Caitlin ffrench

The “Still to Make” List

1) My Uncle M – A hat.  Since I made my dad’s partner a scarf, the yarn I was planning to use for the hat is available to make something for my uncle.

The Maybe List

1) CG, my BFF from high school - I’m not as worried about time for this one, since we usually don’t meet until after the holidays anyway.  I would still like to make something with this yarn that I bought with her in mind.

2-3 ) My sister and my mom - I’m at the point where I may not make anything for these lovely ladies.  I made my sister a bedspread last year (ok, I finished it in March, but it was for Christmas, 2011!) and I’m working on a bedspread for my mom’s birthday in February.  If I have time, I think I’ll make house slippers or finish this shawl for my mom.

3) MC, my special guy – If I have time, I’ll make him a pair of house slippers or a new hat since he has pretty well worn out the one I made him a few years ago.

How is your holiday crafting going?  Feel free to share your holiday crafting journey in the comments!

Holiday Stashdown Challenge, Week 25

The last few days have been really hectic due to Hurricane Sandy.  As of this writing, my family and I are safe and we are among the lucky folks who still have power.  To be honest, I haven’t been thinking much about holiday crafting for the past few days :).  Since revising my list last week, I’m feeling very secure because I only have a few projects left to make.  I took a little break from pressure crafting after banging out a series of projects on commission last week.  And, of course, with the storm, even if I did make something over the weekend, I wouldn’t be able to photograph it outside, so I decided to just take some time for myself.

How is your holiday crafting coming along?  Feel free to share your progress and links in the comments!

I’m  blogging daily throughout October.  Visit I Saw You Dancing for more Blogtoberfest bloggers and CurlyPops for Blogtoberfest giveaways.  Search #blogtoberfest12 on Twitter.

Holiday Stashdown Challenge, Week 24

(Join along with me any time if you need a head start or moral support for your holiday crafting.  You can read more details here.)

I’ve made some progress on my crocheted snowflake cards in the past week, but I haven’t had time for blocking or starching.  I found that most of the snowflakes are larger than the cards I already have, so I’m going to buy bigger cards (half fold size rather than quarter page size).

I also reviewed my Holiday Stashdown Challenge list again.  As we get closer to my self imposed deadline, I made some decisions about what I can still reasonably accomplish.  Interestingly, since I have actually destashed quite a lot this year, I’m short on yarn that would be ideal for some of the people on my list.  (For instance, I don’t think my uncle would look great in the more feminine colors that remain now that most of the grey yarns are used up.)

So here are my thoughts on the rest of my list.

The “Still to Make” List

1) My dad’s partner – A cabled hat in this skein of Cascade 220 Superwash I won in a giveaway.  I have a stitch pattern picked out but need to finish my gauge swatch and then cast on.

2) Another scarf for one of the ladies in my dad’s family.  I have a back up plan here – I found a scarf that I made a few years ago but never wore which I can gift if I don’t have time to make something new.  I don’t want to leave her out since I already finished scarves for the other three women in my dad’s family.

3) My Uncle M – A hat.  I may need to buy yarn for this but I should still have time for a quick crocheted had in bulky yarn.

The Maybe List

1) CG, my BFF from high school - I’m not as worried about time for this one, since we usually don’t meet until after the holidays anyway.  I would still like to make something with this yarn that I bought with her in mind.

2-3 ) My sister and my mom - I’m at the point where I may not make anything for these lovely ladies.  I made my sister a bedspread last year (ok, I finished it in March, but it was for Christmas, 2011!) and I’m working on a bedspread for my mom’s birthday in February.  If I have time, I think I’ll make house slippers or finish this shawl for my mom.

3) MC, my special guy – If I have time, I’ll make him a pair of house slippers or a new hat since he has pretty well worn out the one I made him a few years ago.

Bumped off the list

1) My cat – I just made him a new cat blanket so I’m not too worried about holiday gifts.

2) JM, one of my high school BFFs – I don’t think he will feel sad if he doesn’t get a homemade gift, so I decided to save myself the pressure.

3 – 6) Aunt K and Uncle T, and RP and CA, my colleagues and work buddies for the last four years  - We don’t always exchange gifts, so I decided not to add the handmade burden for this year.

7 – 8 ) Mom’s dog and Dad’s cat - These two were always a long shot!

 

How is your holiday crafting going?  Are you reconsidering your list or just getting started?  Feel free to share your holiday crafting journey in the comments!

I’m  blogging daily throughout October.  Visit I Saw You Dancing for more Blogtoberfest bloggers and CurlyPops for Blogtoberfest giveaways.  Search #blogtoberfest12 on Twitter.

Holiday Stashdown Challenge, Week 23

(Join along with me any time if you need a head start or moral support for your holiday crafting.  You can read more details here.)

In the past few weeks, I’ve mentioned my lack of excitement about holiday crafting. It’s ok, I’ve been going strong since March, so it was inevitable that my interest would fade.  I think I’ve found some things to reinvigorate me, though.

Over the summer, I received a review copy of 100 Snowflakes to Crochet: Make Your Own Snowdrift—to Give or to Keep by Caitlin Sainio, courtesy of St. Martin’s Press.  (Actually, they sent two copies, which is great because I get to keep one and there will be a giveaway for the other copy starting on Saturday.)  I was never that interested in snowflake crochet until I found Snowcatcher’s blog and her Snowflake Monday free patterns.  (You can find my interview with Deborah Atkinson from Snowcatcher here.)  Snowflake patterns are great, but I kept thinking to myself, “What would I do with all these snowflakes?”  Caitlin shares some project ideas in the book, and I was instantly drawn to the snowflake cards.

This is something fun that I can do for the holidays right now.  It doesn’t take too long and it makes a very personalized gift.  So I decided to start on a few in Galler Yarns Parisian Cotton.  (Side note: I always thought I didn’t like crocheting with thread, but now that I’ve found a thread I like and some comfort hooks, I realize how wonderful it can be!)

These are my test snowflakes.  I’m trying to finalize my hook size and decide whether I should make them double stranded or not.  I plan to attach them to red and light blue cards.

I’m also working on an eyelet ripple scarf for another one of the ladies on my dad’s side of the family.

A little ripple teaser.

I’m hosting a ripple CAL in my Ravelry group that starts tomorrow :).  If you like crochet ripples, you may want to join us!

How’s your holiday crafting coming?  Feel free to share an update or link in the comments!

I’m  blogging daily throughout October.  Visit I Saw You Dancing for more Blogtoberfest bloggers and CurlyPops for Blogtoberfest giveaways.  Search #blogtoberfest12 on Twitter.

FO Friday and I Love Yarn Day!

I’m excited to be participating in another I Love Yarn Day on my blog!  To celebrate, I’m sharing some charity projects and showing off some of my recent yarn acquisitions.

Finished charity projects

I’ve been working on some charity projects with stash yarn for the Hats 4 the Homeless drive at the Lion Brand Yarn Studio.

Men's hat and child's hat.

I had plans for more creative (read: flashy) hats, but then I remembered these guidelines on the Bridge and Beyond blog about donating handmade hats to homeless people:

Choose colors that don’t show the dirt, that are appropriate for the group you’re donating too.  Wild colors, bold stripes aren’t a good choice for homeless people…  Homeless [people] don’t like to call attention to themselves with wild colors.  Dark colors work for everyone, kids, teens, women, and men.  Light colors limit who can benefit from your warm hat.

With that in mind, I pulled out the charcoal yarns and went work.  I made both hats very bulky and warm so they will provide a little extra protection in harsh weather.  I’m also planning to make some scarves before the drop off deadline.

Yummy yarn stuff

When I wrote my post for I Love Yarn Day last year, I was already thinking about thinning out my stash.  This year I’ve been participating in Surmount the Stash and I started my own Holiday Stashdown Challenge, and I’ve made a lot of progress towards reducing my stash and increasing the proportion of natural fibers in my collection.  I’m not even going to enter the I Love Yarn Day contest where you can win 365 skeins of yarn.  Last year, I wouldn’t have been able to pass it up.  So what changed?

One of my best friends and I took part in the 23 Day Frugal Living Challenge with Frugally Sustainable in January.  As New York natives working in the public/non-profit sector and watching prices rise astronomically, we are always worried about our finances.

My frugality is still a work in progress – there is much that I haven’t changed yet – but I have been pretty good about keeping a 30-Day List.  Last weekend was the North Jersey Fiber Arts Festival and the New York City Yarn Crawl, and I’ve been planning for months to go wild.

The yarn and roving I bought at the North Jersey Fiber Arts Festival.

From top to bottom: Yarn Monkey Productions SuperSaki in Aella and in Anastasia, Studio Donegal Soft Donegal in Charcoal and Dark Red, and Ivy Brambles Romantica Merino Lace in Night Sky and Hand Dyed Merino Roving in Harvest Festival.

I only had time to visit three of the ten yarn shops participating in the New York City Yarn Crawl last weekend.  (After all, I was in New Jersey for two days for the Festival!)

My first stop was (of course) my favorite NYC yarn shop, Knitty City, where I picked up two skeins of madelinetosh tosh vintage.

On Monday, I visited Downtown Yarns, my favorite stop for knitting needle shopping.

Believe it or not, I actually went there hoping they would have some super jumbo circulars, and I was not disappointed. (These are US size 50!)

I found this lovely skein of Dream in Color Everlasting Sock right next to the needles.

 

My final stop was The Yarn Company.  I’ve done a fair amount of browsing in the shop since it came under new ownership and the vibe is much better than it was in the past.  Other than a few skeins of sale yarn that I bought when ownership switched over, I had never found the “right” yarn for me when visiting.  It is in my neighborhood and I appreciate the work the new owners have put into rebuilding the store’s reputation, so I decided to stop by during the Yarn Crawl.  And I wasn’t disappointed when I found this lovely skein of Miss Babs Yowza-Whatta Skein! in Violets in the Grass.

Don't be fooled. This skein is 560 yards.

I have ideas for these yarns, but honestly, I almost never make exactly what I planned when I’m buying the yarn!  (Does this happen to anyone else?)  By the time I get through the things I’m making now and the projects I have deadlines for, I’ll be interested in making other things.  At least now that I started using Ravelry’s stash feature (thanks to this tutorial from FreshStitches), I can easily scan my stash before starting a new project.

For more I Love Yarn Day excitement, check out the inspiration webpagePinboards, and Facebook page, and follow @iloveyarnday or search #iloveyarnday on Twitter.  And for more Finished Objects, visit Tami’s Amis.

I’m  blogging daily throughout October.  Visit I Saw You Dancing for more Blogtoberfest bloggers and CurlyPops for Blogtoberfest giveaways.  Search #blogtoberfest12 on Twitter.

Holiday Stashdown Challenge, Week 22

(Join along with me any time if you need a head start or moral support for your holiday crafting.  You can read more details here.)

I admit that I’ve taken a little break from holiday crafting.  I may have burned myself out on crafting for others, because I suddenly feel a need to create for me.  After reading through  Granny Square Crochet by Catherine Hirst, I fell in love with the Dot in a Square motif and made myself a little placemat with stash yarn.

I also started a scarf (or possibly infinity cowl) for myself last week.

After being super motivated to make holiday gifts all year, I seem to have lost my holiday gift making mojo.  I have 6 “must do” projects left – two men’s hats, a woman’s scarf, and three undecided gifts for some of the very important people on my list.  I don’t know if I’m getting performance anxiety or if I’m just running out of project ideas.  It might also be that since the temperature dropped 20 degrees over the weekend, I’m more interested in making my own accessories!

How is your holiday crafting going  - have you stalled or are you just getting started?  Feel free to share your holiday crafting journey in the comments!

I’m  blogging daily throughout October.  Visit I Saw You Dancing for more Blogtoberfest bloggers and CurlyPops for Blogtoberfest giveaways.  Search #blogtoberfest12 on Twitter.