Can’t Put It Down

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Ever get into such a knitting fervor that you can’t put your project down? Like you are so determined to get to the end of a project you will forgo going to the bathroom, nourishing your body, or doing any of those other things on your never ending “to do list?” That is how I felt yesterday. I was in the groove. . This project was suppose to serve as an in between project as I waited for my new sweater yarn to arrive. Yet, that more and more I knitted the more I got into what was developing. Part of the excitement is that I saw a project on Pinterest and I couldn’t find a pattern for it. So I decided to trial and error it and see what happened. Well lucky for me great things happened and it is looking good. I also am using size 13 needles and super bulky yarn so it is a quick knit.

Well the downer is today is Monday and I have to work. No more focusing on my fiber for 8 straight hours. Allegedly, I have to make an impact on the young minds of the future (haha). I don’t know how well that will go.  All I can think about is  my lunch break  so that I can pick up my needles and bang out another 3-4 rows. Is this bad? Do I need some sort of intervention? I am feeling the Monday blues and only knitting will cure them.

Choosing a Sweater Pattern

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6:00 pm last night:

I am at a standstill in terms of a knitting project. I just can’t make a choice. The positive is that I have widdled it down to …SWEATER! The negative is that I have about 5 patterns in my queue (not that bad right?). How is a girl to decide? Is there an app for this?

7:30 AM the next day:
After mulling this over I created a little rubric to knock out some of the choices. First I will present you with my queue options (all patterns are located on Ravelry):
1) Eyelet yoke sweater by Courtney Spainhower
2) Pixelated Pullover by Jennifer Beaumont
3) Elsie by Deb Hoss
4) Miette by Andi Satterlund
5) On the beach by Isabell Kraemer

My Pattern Selection Rubric:
1) Time it will take: Let’s be real, I am starting the sweater making a little late (it’s mid-October already?!). In saying this I can’t pick a project that is going to take months and months. At the rate I have been knitting lately I will be luck if I finish by December.  That knocks out things that require lots of seam sewing, tons of cable or lace sections, patterns where I will have to recalculate quite a bit, and anything that has an intended yarn weight under DK.
Pattern (s) Knocked out: On the beach- It requires sport weight and too much math  and Elsie- knocked out just for now. There looks like a lot of sewing involved

2) How often will I wear it?: After working many hours on something I want to be able to get some serious wear out of it. This being said a simple pullover or cardigan would be my best bet for right now. This way I can wear it with several pieces of my wardrobe.
Pattern (s) Knocked out: Pixelated Pullover- I LOVE this sweater, but I could only wear this every so often (aka not a staple wardrobe piece).

3) Fit: I have a atypical body shape. I am super petite (under 5′) with a short torso and a muscular build. Therefore, I really don’t like to pick patterns that are boxy or drapey.

Pattern(s) Knocked out: None. All the remaining patterns seem like I can adjust if needed.

So it is down to two Miette and Eyelet Yoke Sweater. Maybe I can just use Eney, Meeny, Miney, Moe…

How do you choose patterns to make?

Easy Halloween Decoration

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Halloween is only 2.5 weeks away. Check out my Snapguide to make this easy Tin Can Black Cat to get you in the Halloween spirit.

Level: Easy (children may need assistance as hot glue is involved)

Materials: black paint, foam shapes, pipe cleaner, hot glue gun, tin can, sharpie.

Time: 35 minutes (accounting for paint drying time)

Weekend Wrap Up

Happy Monday! How was your weekend? Ours was fun filled!

It was Fleet Week in San Francisco. Think  sailors, tanks, and lots of airplanes. We took in the Blue Angels  airshow where the fighter jet pilots performed amazing stunts.  I don’t know how these pilots do it. I certainly do not have the guts to aim a vehicle straight for the ground going 200+ miles per hours while spinning! I knew they had done these stunts a 100 times, however, I still felt super nervous something was going to go wrong.

On Sunday a group of us headed to Sonoma to do some wine tasting. The weather and scenery were gorgeous. We visited Cline Cellars, Jaccuzi Winery, and Mayo Family Winery. Cline Cellars continues to be one of my favorites. The staff are friendly, the grounds are beautiful, and the wine is superb. If you go try the Ancient Vines wine :).

Since we were having so much fun a very tiny amount of crafting occurred. Hopefully I will get some knitting done this week. Enjoy your day!

 

My First Crochet Pattern!

Halloween is upon us and I can’t wait. I haven’t decided on a costume, but my crafting brain has been in overdrive. My first project… a Crochet Ghost Bag! This would be a perfect candy dish to have in the office or on the coffee table.  If you desire add a handle and make it a children’s trick or treat bag.

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BOO!

 

Crochet Ghost Bag

Level: Beginner

Pattern begins with constructing the bottom of the bag (rectangle) and then transitioning into creating the bag in the round.

Ch: chain

hdc: half double crochet

hdctfl: half double crochet through front loops

st(s): stitch(es)

* *= stitch pattern section that should be repeated

Materials: about 50 g Worsted weight yarn in white, small amount of black yarn, US size 10 or J crochet hook, yarn needle, stitch marker if desired.

With white yarn and size 10 hook:

Ch 20 sts.

Row 1-8: 1 hdc in each st (20 sts)

Beginning to shape the round bag section.Slight increases will be made in the corners of the bag.

Row 9: 2hdcfl in first st, 1 hdcfl in each of next 19 sts, 2 hdcfl in next st, 1 hdc in the next 8 sts, 2 hdcfl in next st, 1 hdcfl in each of the next 19 sts, 2 hdcfl in the next sts, 1 hdcfl in the next 8 sts (60 sts)

Row 10: 1 hdc in each st around (60 sts)

Row 11: *1 hdc in each of the next 18 sts, skip 1 hdc, 1 hdc in next st, skip 1 hdc, 1 hdc in next st, hdc 7 sts, skip 1 hdc, 1 hdc in next st*, skip 1 hdc, 1 hdc in next st, *repeat 1x from * ( 52 sts)

Row 12: 1 hdc in each st around ( 52 sts)

Row 13: Skip 1 ch, *1 hdc in each of the next 17 sts, skip 1 ch, 1 hdc in next st, skip 1 hdc, 1 hdc in next st, 1 hdc in next 5 sts, skip 1 ch, 1 hdc in next st*, skip 1 ch, 1 hdc in next st,  *repeat from * (48 sts)

Row 14:1 hdc in each st around (48 sts)

Row 15: Skip 1 ch, *1 hdc in each of the next 15 sts, skip 1 ch, 1 hdc in next st, skip 1 hdc, 1 hdc in next st, 1 hdc in next 5 sts, skip 1 ch, 1 hdc in next st*, skip 1 ch, 1 hdc in next st,  *repeat from * (40 sts)

Row 16: hdc in each st around (40 sts)

Row 17:  Skip 1 ch, *1 hdc in each of the next 14 sts, skip 1 ch, 1 hdc in next st, 1 hdc in next 7 sts, skip 1 ch, 1 hdc in next st, *repeat from * to end

For the rest of the rows: 1 hdc in all sts until piece measured 5” in height or you until the piece has reached your desired height.

Using scrap yarn create two eyes and a mouth for the ghost.

Eyes (make 2)

Round 1: Ch 5 sts.

R2: sc 5 sts

R3: sc 2 in same st, ch 5 (6 sts)

R4: *sc 1, sc 2 sts in same st *repeat 2 times more. (9 sts)

Mouth (make one)

Follow pattern for eyes until R4.

R5: sc 9 sts

R6: *sc 1, sc 2 sts in same st *repeat 2 times more. (13 sts)
Sew on the eyes and mouth with your tapestry needle.

**Please note that this is my first time writing a crochet pattern. If you discover errors please leave a comment so that I may correct them. Thanks!**

 

Fall Craft: Squirrels

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It is a difficult task trying to teach about fall when it is 80 degrees outside :(. Yet fall is one of my favorite times of  year, so I decided to take a different approach this year. I chose to focus on animals and how their actions relate to preparing for winter. Most of my students are city kids, so I decided to start with squirrels rather than deer or bears.

I stumbled upon this cute book Nuts to You by Lois Ehlert.  After reading the story the students made squirrels to put in my “speech tree.”

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How many squirrels can you find?

Here is how to make your own squirrels:

Materials needed: liquid glue (think Elmer’s), construction paper (I used black, dark brown, and white), poster board or cardboard, a pencil, scissors, and feathers.

1. Create a template of  squirrel parts using the pencil and poster board.

2. Cut out your template pieces.

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3. Trace your template pieces onto your desired color of construction paper. You should make 1 head, 1 body, 2 arms , 2 ears, and 2 legs per squirrel. Cut all of your pieces out.

5. On your background paper glue all the pieces together to form your squirrel. Add eyes and a nose to the face.  The feather will serve as the tail.

Additional add ons can include yarn whiskers, an acorn or some seeds, or googly eyes.

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Want more activities? Click here or here

Enjoy!