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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Greetings

Happy New Year! As a Hoosiers Fan, everyone around here is celebrating! Stay safe and best wishes for the New Year!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Happy New Year!

We have a busy weekend planned. I'm hoping to get started on my week 1 project http://www.caron.com/projects/ss_party/sspar_flower_power_scarf.html I'll be using yarns that are left over from other projects or from my stash. I'll be starting by Monday. I'll post pictures when I start. We are helping a friend move this weekend in addition to celebrating the New Year and planning for 2012. Here's wishing you a Happy New Year and a great crochet day!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Sale season

Headed out to Jo-Ann's today. I really don't need any more yarn, but it's all on sale plus starting today there is a coupon for an additional 10% off even sale prices! It's a great excuse to go explore and find a good deal on a yarn.
This is the slow season for my clown business, this is when I start really missing making balloons and face painting, I miss seeing the kids' faces light up! But it's a great time to plan and learn new things!
We've had a rough day with our son, getting back into a routine can be as difficult for an autistic child as being out of it. I'm very grateful that the Christmas weekend went well, just hoping for no more meltdowns this week! This just shows me that I need to be more diligent about sticking to our routines.
So off I go to run errands, try to clean this house, look for new balloon designs and discover some cool new yarn that I haven't found before.  Have a great crochet day!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Changing Plans


I've been working on the scarf and I actually ended up finishing it. It's nothing like how I planned or how I'd started it. I ended up starting over and keeping it just in the shells and lace pattern. I also narrowed the pattern from what I had originally planned. I did a 4 shell pattern across instead of 5. The 5 repeat was making it to wide and I didn't think I'd have enough yarn from one skein to finish. It ended up being 7 inches wide and 66 inches long.  I'm happy with the end result and love having the freedom to change things when I'm not happy with how it's working out. If I had it to do over I might do some things differently, this wasn't the ideal yarn for this pattern, I like the yarn but wonder if there is a better way to use it. I also think that the shells and lace pattern gets a little lost in the striping of the yarn. I look forward to using this stitch pattern with another yarn in the future to see how it compares. I've not started my goal yet, but feel good to have already completed a project this week. We have a busy weekend ahead and I really need to get some cleaning done around here. Also, being off from school has our son out of his routine and I need to work at getting him back to it too. I may not be on here for a few days. Happy New Year and have a great day! Terri

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Snow Day!

We had a little snow this morning, only 2 inches. But I decided to declare it "Pajama Day", we don't need to go anywhere so we aren't! This has given me some time to clean up after the long weekend and spend time crocheting and searching the internet for everything from my husband's textbooks for next semester (yikes!) to crochet items on Pinterest. I just got started on Pinterest, it's a little overwhelming. I enjoy finding new things, but I don't like getting sucked into a rabbit hole that has no bottom. I tried to find one pattern that I thought was just lovely and never did find it :(. I need to put dinner in the crockpot and unload the dishwasher. Have a great crochet day!

Monday, December 26, 2011

The day after...

Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas! Ours was very nice and peaceful! I couldn't have asked for more! I even finished the baby blanket I've been working on! For the edge I did a row of double crochets all the way around in the rose color and then did a 5 double crochet shell with single crochets between. I'm excited to give this away! Although part of me wishes I could keep it too!
I've begun a scarf pattern. I was trying to create my own design, and let's just say that will take more time and work! I found a very pretty shells and lace stitch that I'm working into a scarf. This is the foundation of the pattern http://www.ehow.com/how_2284142_crochet-shells-lace-stitch.html I did three repeats of this stitch and then I'm double crocheting to half way. Then I will repeat from the start with the shells and lace stitch for 3 repeats then double crochet to half way again and then join the two pieces. If I continued stitching, one side would be upside down. Since this design has what I consider to be an obvious right side up, I think this is a simple solution, and by joining in the center I can do a nice seam that will be barely noticable. Because I haven't officially begun my 2012 challenge I still need to have a goal for this week. My goals for this week are to finish the scarf and write lesson plans! Those two things in addition to all the everyday things of life will be enough! 

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

I'm going to be away from the computer for the next 2 days. Although my crochet hooks will be in use! Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Wrapping up!

As we finish getting ready for Christmas it's caused me to become reflective of the past year and looking forward to the new year. A year ago I would have laughed out loud and called you a liar if you said that we would begin homeschooling, my husband would go back to school, I'd weigh 40 lbs less and be on the road to losing more, teaching crochet and jewelry to other homeschool kids and I'd be trying to keep our lives running during all of this! I'm amazed at what the Lord has done during 2011 and that we are actually surviving it all. I'm thankful for Lysa Terkeurst's bible study "Made to Crave" to work on the "want to" part of eating better and exercising and The 17-Day-Diet for the "how to". Exercising has been a challenge since walking is what I actually do and the weather isn't cooperating. I'm praying to get some extra money for a membership to the YMCA to help with that problem. Netflix has some good exercise videos but it's a challenge to make myself do them at home some days, there's just so much else that needs done that it's easy to put exercise on the bottom of the list. If you had told me that I would want to blog and maybe even have something to blog about I would have thought that was hilarious. I don't know that I have any amazing insights to share but I hope to encourage other people to carve out a little time for themselves to enjoy a craft or hobby that they enjoy. One thing I've learned (or relearned) is that I can't take care of all of my obligations if I don't first take care of myself, spiritually, physically, mentally & emotionally. My goal of completing one crochet project a week is a step in that direction! Merry Christmas! Terri

Thursday, December 22, 2011

What I'm working on now & List of January Projects

 What I'm currently working on:


Currently I'm working on baby blanket. I'm working the diagonal stitch using Vanna's Choice yarns in Antique Rose & Dusty Purple with a J hook. I'll give instructions for the diagonal stitch in another post. When it's complete I'll do a border. This is my favorite blanket pattern and it's amazingly versatile.

My Plan for January:

Week 1 - Flower Power Scarf
 http://www.caron.com/projects/ss_party/sspar_flower_power_scarf.html
I won't be buying new yarns for this project. I have a huge stockpile to use this year so I'll be selecting yarns from it.

Week 2 - Longmeadow Cuff
 http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/longmeadow-cuff
Stockpile yarns will be used. I'm looking forward to completing a broomstick lace project. Plus, I think these will be great for walks in the chilly weather!

Week 3 - Star Towel Holder. Link to follow. I'm excited about this one, it's a great alternative to the attached towel "toppers".

Week 4 - Caron One Skein Wrap. http://www.favecrafts.com/Crochet-Sweaters/Simple-One-Skein-Wrap-from-Caron. I may take advantage of Jo-Ann's Big Yarn Sale after New Year's Day to pick a special yarn since this is a wearable project. Or I might dig for a hidden treasure in my stash :)

I hope you will join me as I try to stitch some sanity into my life! I'm off to do lesson plans, bake bread and make Christmas cookies and this is a slow day :)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas presents wrapped!


I've almost finished wrapping my Christmas gifts! Here are pictures and instructions for my Broomstick Lace inspired bows.
Materials needed:
Yarn of choice
size J crochet hook
large knitting needle (I used a US35) or dowel rod
Hot glue gun
scrap cardboard

Begin with a chain approximately 40 chains long. Loop the end over knitting needle or dowel rod.


insert crochet hook into next chain and pull up loop, slipping it over the knitting needle.
continue pulling through a loop on each chain until you get to the end.




Cut yarn about two inches from the end. Tie the two ends together. Carefully slip all of the loops off of the knitting needle.

Cut the last loop and knot it together. Your loops won't come unraveled at this point, but they can still be pulled through. So handle it carefully.
Cut the cardboard slightly larger than you want the finished size. Hot glue the loops to the cardboard along the "chain" at the bottom. You can either do a circle or a "ribbon candy" pattern (zig zag). Be sure to keep all of the loops upright and out of the glue.


Glue the ends under. Then trim the cardboard. Then tape or glue to your package.


Enjoy!
I'd love to hear any comments or suggestions you have!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Giving Back and Broomstick Lace

The last couple of days have been crazier than usual around here. Between errands to run, gifts to make, food to bake and volunteering I haven't been able to crochet :(. I plan to change that in just a few minutes. I want to finish this post and then try a Christmas gift "bow" I saw. The original instruction were basically wrapping and then sewing the yarn. Since I've been experimenting with Broomstick Lace, I think I can get the same effect with much less effort! I'm going to try out my theory and then share with you the results!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Gift Giving

Tis the Season....every where I turn there is a reason for a gift exchange. I appreciate it when there is a set budget, but when that budget is $1 it makes it tough to give something that isn't entirely junk! When my son said he needed a $1 gift for his youth groups gift exchange I groaned. Then we went to Goodwill, it's not easy finding $1 items there anymore, but I found some little jars. I had made my own taco seasoning earlier in the day and thought it looked pretty cool, almost like sand art, before I mixed it. So I decided that I could do a seasoning mix and not mix it in each of the jars. Never one to be able to leave well enough alone I found a "Snowflake" crochet pattern and decided that my little jars would look even better with a snowflake on top! I have my camera and will take pictures of the completed project and post the recipe tomorrow!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Missed Opportunity.

I finished a baby blanket, wove in the ends right before giving it to the new Mom. She loved it! Then I got home and realized that I hadn't taken a picture of it! Yes, I missed an opportunity, but the good news is that I will see them again and I'm going to ask to take a picture so that I can share it with you! Being new to blogging I haven't quite gotten the hang of thinking in terms of my blog. I'm glad that it didn't take me too long to think of the picture, so I'm headed in the right direction.
We had a rough morning this morning, my son, who is on the Autism Spectrum, was just in a bad mood. I began to share his mood too :( So our planned celebration of my Husbands end of the semester was not as enjoyable. It was nice to take a few minutes during our co-op to share my gift of crochet and work on another blanket and relax. Our moods improved, and the tense left my neck and shoulders. There was a time that I would have run to cookies or sweets. It's great to channel that need into a productive direction instead of a self-destructive one. I need to exercise, grocery shop and then relax some more this evening and work on my crochet projects. Seems like a great reward for getting stuff accomplished today!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Hectic Holidays!

I've spent most of the day trying new bread recipes. I had one huge success and one that was good, but not exactly what I was looking for. After getting in my Pilates work-out for the first time in weeks I'm taking a break and CROCHETING! I'm trying to finish another baby blanket and continuing work on a scarf. I've decided to not look for a scarf pattern but to try and come up with my own. This is a first for me! I'll keep you updated on how that goes...

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A trip to Hobby Lobby

Went in to Hobby Lobby with a coupon in my pocket! I wasn't planning on buying yarn, I was actually looking for supplies to make a tea wreath for my Mother for Christmas. I bought all that I needed for the wreath. Then since I had a coupon that my son could use I wandered over the the yarn department...all that glorious yarn. I found a beautiful "I Love This Yarn" in Riverbank which is greens, blues and browns. I have a brown coat and a teal blue coat and was just struck with the need to make a scarf that will work for both! Now to find a fun pattern that is a little different from my other projects. I've been looking at broomstick lace patterns and want to include some of them in next years goal projects. I've enjoyed finding new sites and blogs on crocheting! My local Hobby Lobby had a sign looking for Instructors. I'm considering and praying about talking to them about teaching crocheting. I know someone who went to another retailer for classes and there were so many students that it was just a lecture. Thankfully she knows my Mom and my Mom had showed her the basics so she was able to keep up. Now she's doing amazing projects! I love seeing people come to enjoy their new found talents and skills. Well I'm off to look at patterns for a scarf to make with this yarn! I'll post tomorrow about what I've decided to do. Terri

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

What I'm working on now.

Currently I have two projects going. The first is a baby blanket. The second is a hat. Here in Indiana it's gotten cold and in order to walk outside as much as I need to I need a hat. I don't like to go buy things that I know I can make myself. Since I have a huge stash of yarn I don't have any excuses for not grabbing some yarn and making my own hat! Here's a link to the project I'm doing: http://megan.cc/CrochetBriocheHat/ so far I'm really enjoying the project, it's very different from what I normally work on. I love exploring the web and finding new patterns and projects. I'd love any suggestions you might have. I'll be posting pictures of my current projects and some of my recent projects. I'll also be sharing what I plan on making the first several weeks of 2012!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Welcome Everyone!

My name is Terri. I'm a wife, mother, homeschooler, part-time clown, trying to eat healthy and an avid crocheter. With everything on my plate I've decided to challenge myself to complete one crochet project each week during 2012. It's hard to make time for the things I really enjoy doing, but to stay sane in my crazy life I need to make it a priority to take a little better care of myself. Part of getting "healthier" with diet and exercise is also to make time for my hobbies. I love to make things, I enjoy all types of crafts but I especially love crocheting, it's something I can take with me when I need to be on the go or enjoy while watching t.v.! I began teaching a group of homeschool girls this past fall and I really enjoyed sharing and seeing their excitement. I hope to bring that same excitement to my blog! I will have something for everyone whether you are a beginner or an expert! Join me in this journey!