A little bit about me.

I love tutorials. If I follow a tutorial, even if I don't do it perfectly, I always link to theirs. All photographs are mine, are never taken from the original tutorial, and are never as good as the original.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Baby Moccasins

These Baby Moccasins are just the most adorable things. I used the pattern from The Purl Bee for Whit's Knits Baby Mocs, with a few changes. First, I used the yarn I had left over from the Drops Baby Cardigan that I finished a while ago, Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick and Quick. I used the color 'fisherman' for the body of the moc and 'blossom' for the accent color. I bought a bunch of the blossom for a blanket that I haven't started yet. Since the wool yarn is much thicker than the pattern calls for, I used my size #8 dpns to knit with (this yarn actually calls for a #13, but the pattern is written on #2 and #4). You can see where the gauge would be severely off.

In case you're interested in doing it my way, with a 4 stitch gauge instead of a 6 stitch gauge, e-mail me for the changes I made to the Purl Bee's pattern.

Posted by Picasa

This post will be linked at:

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Nestie Exchange Ornaments

A while back, I entered a Secret Santa Handmade Ornament Exchange. After going through a bunch of patterns on Ravelry, I decided to go for the Alpaca Sox Mini Socks. I chose this pattern for several reasons - the first being the raves and comments from the other users on Ravelry's forum. I've learned that whenever there are a ton of questions about a pattern, there is usually a misprint or some other issue with the pattern. Second, I'd never knit a sock before, and this pattern used mostly familiar stitches while introducing only a few new ones. So I could feel familiar, but still learn something new without being completely lost. Finally, there really isn't a gauge for this pattern. I mean, nobody's going to wear it, so it didn't really matter what kind of yarn I used.

I used the Lily Sugar n Cream yarn in four different colors, including the two Twists. I like the Lily yarn for project like this, it's easy to handle and cheap.

Items purchased:
4 balls of yarn (JoAnn's)
Size 6 double pointed needles (Michael's)

What did my Secret Santa give me? I got these adorable snowmen ornaments representing my family. I love them! I'm not going to 'out' my Santa, because she doesn't have a blog herself. But you know who you are! Thanks!

Posted by Picasa

This post will be linked at:

Sunday, December 12, 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

These wreaths are all over the place, so I can't really take credit for the idea. But I can take credit for my way of doing it! I started out with a wreath form and two differed sizes of Styrofoam balls, yarn and a bunch of ornaments.

Wrapping the Styrofoam balls takes a lot more yarn than you'd think. I used my entire stash of red and green yarn. It's also harder than it looks - I thought this would be an easy one hour project, but it probably took an hour just to get the balls wrapped up. After figuring out the first one, the rest just followed course. You want to be careful not to use too much yarn or your Styrofoam balls are going to get really big really fast.

Next comes my friend, the hot glue gun. Hot glue your yarn balls to the wreath form, then start with the ornaments. I used the largest ones first, then the medium sized, ending with the smallest ornaments to cover up any holes. The ornaments need to be glued in several spots to make sure they're secure.
Hang your wreath on the door and enjoy!

Posted by Picasa
Items purchased:
Styrofoam balls, 2 sizes (Dollar General)
Red ornaments, various sizes (Dollar General)
Wreath form and hook (AC Moore)

Items owned:
Yarn from stash used
Hot glue gun and sticks
Green ornaments, two sizes

This post will be linked at:

Monday, December 6, 2010

Felt Advent Calendar

I've been doing the Advent Calendar Sew-Along with Homemade by Jill, albeit a little (okay, a lot) behind her schedule.

Overall, I'm okay with how it's turning out. I'm going to wait to bind the edges until I get a sewing machine, and the ornaments sure turned out cute. You can definitely tell which ones I started out with though - I learned how to blanket stitch for this project, and the ones I completed at the end, although more complicated, look nicer because of the confidence of my stitches.

The pockets should be embroidered with the numbers. I'd finished about 1/3 of the sewing when my OCD took over. I didn't like the way the stitches looked, especially on the curvier numbers, like the 3 and the 8. I ripped out all of my stitches, thinking my handwriting looks better than that! And the bell went off. I had to go to JoAnn's to pick up some buttons for the baby cardigan, so I swung by the crafting aisle and picked up a white fabric paint pen. In about half the time it took me to sew those 1/3 squares, I had all of the squares painted and sitting to dry. The only way the pockets could look better is if I had used a better quality felt.

I think this white mitten is my favorite.

Or maybe the peppermint.

Posted by Picasa
I don't normally work with felt, or embroidery floss. Everything from this project I had to buy from scratch, which is why mine aren't as colorful as I'd like.
Items purchased:
2 bags assorted felt - red, green, white and black (Dollar General) - these are not recommended. I used these on the pockets, which are kind of flimsy. There is a definite difference in the quality of this felt and the ones I bought elsewhere. I might re-do the pockets at another time.
2 large pieces of felt - white, green (Michael's, AC Moore)
Assorted smaller rectangles of felt - brown, yellow, glitter white (Michael's, JoAnn's)
Green, white and red embroidery thread (AC Moore)
Red beads (AC Moore)
White paint pen (JoAnn's)
Red and green ribbon (Michael's)
Items owned:
Dowel (left over from Thanksgiving Tree project)
Black embroidery thread

This post will be linked at:

Pictures are also posted on the Homemade by You flikr page.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The House of Night Series by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast


This is technically a review of seven different books, so for record-keeping, these are 102 through 108. The House of Night series is a young adult series consisting of: Marked, Betrayed, Chosen, Untamed, Hunted, Tempted, and Burned. The eighth installation to the series is due to be coming out shortly.

YA books are like candy for me. They're short and sweet, often plot-driven and fast moving. A 300 page YA book takes no time at all to read, and the conflict often begins on the first page, instead of beginning with character descriptions - which, although often necessary, always drags for me.

In the first book, the main character Zoey becomes a vampire. In this reality, vampires are accepted in society and are 'chosen' from humans to become vampires by a goddess - no biting involved. The series follows Zoey as she enters a vampire school (the House of Night in Tulsa) and has adventures of her own. There are two main antagonists, who often work in conjunction with one another. A character that I absolutely hated at the beginning of the series became my favorite by the third book.

Things I liked about this series:

-Zoey is portrayed as beautiful and smart. This may seem like an insignificant thing, but in the majority of YA novels right now, the main female character is either average or on the downside of average, and attentions bestowed upon her are seen as gifts or like she somehow doesn't deserve them.
-Zoey is quick to make friends, and those friends are very different from one another. They kind of remind me of the kids on Glee.
-There is a homosexual relationship that isn't highlighted. It just... is. I find this refreshing, these boys are treated just like the other characters, and that's how it should be. Usually these relationships are placed in the text as part of turmoil or to make a point. This relationship isn't used in that fashion, or in any fashion, really.
-The mean girl. Seriously, she's got the best one-liners.

Things I didn't like about this series:

-Zoey cries a lot. A LOT. It's annoying.
-The centering on religion. Zoey's stepfather belongs to an ultra-conservative Christian church, and she believes that all Christians are horrible. Much of the books involve worshipping the goddess that marks humans to become vampires and worshipping the elements. I'm not incredibly religious, and some of the comments left me feeling a little funny. But, it's fiction. It's a made-up religion.
-The boy drama gets old. Without giving away too much, there's an inappropriate relationship between a student and a teacher, and it just didn't seem to add a lot to the story. It was more for shock value than real value. But maybe that's just me.

Each book gets somewhere between 3 and 4 stars, on a scale of 5.

This series is available from Amazon.com, but I got mine from my local library.