Monday, December 22, 2008

Finally, I'm DONE!!!

My mother-in-law Marie is a very nice woman. But she's not the easiest person to buy for. She has EVERYTHING (I'm sure we all know someone like this). Every year since Ken and I have been married I've made her a small gift for Christmas. The first year I made her a quilted wall hanging of the Nativity. Last year I crocheted her an afghan. In January of this year, I decided to make her a counted cross stitch of a Thomas Kinkade painting because she loves his stuff. I used to do cross stitch a lot when I was younger. Well, I found out I don't really like to do it that much any more. After about 2 hours of working on it, I couldn't bring myself to make another stitch. Hmm. Then we got really busy with the baby and before I knew it, it was autumn. I had no clue what to make her. I was making quilted table runners for my sister gifts so I thought I'd make one for Marie. I did. Nope. I didn't like how it turned out. Then I got busy making stuff for swaps and getting ready for the holidays. And then it hit me. It was December and I still didn't have a gift for Marie! Eeek! I thought I could probably get away with not making her anything because of Madelyn and no one else makes her stuff. But that wouldn't be right! I found some really pretty patterns of scarves on ravelry so I thought I'd make one for her. But again, I didn't like it. I tried 3 different patterns only to rip them out and start again. I decided to pull out the table runner and work on it. I ended up appliqueing trees in the center square. I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. Whew! And I only have 2 days to spare!

Merry Christmas everyone!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmasy Secret Pal Loot

Just when I was bogged down with everything I still need to do for Christmas, I got a second package from my secret pal the other day. It came at a perfect time, reminding me that I need to take a break and breathe! It was in just a tiny box, but there sure was a lot crammed in there!
I love this pretty purple yarn. It has a sparkly multi-colored yarn mixed in. I have two whole skeins of it! Now I'll have to spend even more time on ravelry looking for patterns to use with it! (Like I need an excuse to be on ravelry!! :o) ) The little album is made out of cd's! It's very cute and it will be perfect to remember Madelyn's first Christmas! The chocolates are very yummy and already are gone. Thanks secret pal!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Secret Pal 13 Question 2

Part A:
Are you doing any holiday knitting?
Yes, I have done a lot of knitting actually. Most of it was for various swaps that I was in, but there were a few gifts for my mom and others :o).

Part B:
Have you finished?
I was all done...and then I decided to start knitting a scarf for my mother-in-law TODAY! I only have 1 week to complete it, plus finish up all the other Christmas stuff (wrapping presents, baking cookies, etc.), plus take care of Madelyn. What am I thinking? It's a really pretty pattern that I found here, but I'm not that good with lace and I can't read charts, so I had to print the word pattern in different colors for each row because I kept mixing the rows together. Ugh! I only had to frog it 3 times now, and I think I might have figured it out enough to actually knit it! I don't think I'll have it done in time for Christmas...I guess time will tell..........

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Tis the Season

I finally got my house completely decorated for Christmas...well, almost completely. We're having a few friends over Saturday night for a party so I thought I better get cracking on some decorating and baking. Here's one batch of cookies that were good enough to win a cookie bake off. I won a beautiful cookie jar and a cookie plate. They're called chocolate peppermint cookies and I found the recipe here. They remind me a lot of thin mint girl scout cookies, only maybe better because they have peppermint crunchies on the top!

I still have one more batch of cookies to make today but they can wait until my hubby gets home from work. Madelyn needs some mommy time.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Secret Pal Loot and Question of the Week

I'm sorry that this post is so late, secret pal. I've been super busy with finishing up my Christmas presents.

I received a package from my secret pal last week. I was soooo excited! In it were 3 bars of goats milk soap from Hidden Haven Homestead. I've never tried goats milk soap but I've always wanted to. It suds up really well and I love the scents my secret pal picked out. Thanks, Secret Pal!
Here's my answer to the first question of the week:
What are you most thankful for?
I have soooo much to be thankful for that I don't even know where to begin! I'm thankful for my husband Ken and our beautiful daughter Madelyn. I'm thankful that I'm fortunate enough to be able to be a stay-at-home mom. I'm thankful for every day that I wake up. I'm also thankful to be able to do what I love...making tons and tons of crafty things!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Butterfly Hat and Handwarmers

I have been patiently waiting to do this post. I sent out my back tack package last week and my partner Emily received her package. Now I can finally write about a few of the items that I made her. I knit her this hat:
I know, I know, you really can't see the butterfly stitch in this picture, or any picture for that matter. The yarn I used made it difficult to photograph. But believe me, you can definitely see the butterfly stitch in person. I found the pattern here on ravelry. I tried to find a pattern for matching hand warmers using the same stitch. I couldn't find them anywhere! So, I had to come up with my own pattern. Here it is. It knits up really fast and the whole set only took 1 ball of yarn.

Butterfly Hand Warmers

1 skein of Patons Classic Wool Merino, dark gray mix colorway

size US 5 needles and size US 7 needles

yif = yarn in front
yib = yarn in back
s = slip (when slipping stitches, make sure to spread them out, so that your floats are even and don’t bunch up)
make butterfly = With your right needle pick up the 4 floats by inserting the needle under the floats from the bottom up, then insert the right needle into the next stitch on the left needle. Knit the stitch and the 4 floats together.

Cast on 40 stitches onto smaller needle. Work 2x2 rib (k2, p2) for 4 rows. Switch to larger sized needles. Knit in stockinette stitch for 2 inches, ending with wrong side row.

Rows 1, 3, 5, 7: [k5, yif, s5, yib] repeat to end.

Rows 2 (and all even rows for pattern sequence): purl.

Row 9: [k7, make butterfly, k2] repeat to end.

Rows 11, 13, 15, 17: [yif, s5, yib, k5] repeat to end.

Row 19: [k2, make butterfly, k7] repeat to end.

Repeat this sequence once more.

Work 2 rows of stockinette stitch (knit 1 row, purl 1 row). Switch to smaller sized needles. Work 2x2 rib (k2, p2) for 4 rows. Cast off, leaving a 8 inch tail. You will use this tail to sew up the sides. Put right sides together and sew about 2 inches down (this will be the top of the warmer). Leave about a 2-3 inch hole for your thumb. You can adjust the size of the hole to fit you. Sew up the rest of the warmer. Taa daa! All done! Now all you have to do is make another one and you are finished!

I hope you like this pattern. Let me know if I left anything out or if anything doesn't make sense. This is the first pattern that I made so I hope it works out well for you!