Saturday, January 30, 2010

first knit of 2010: Thermis

Just in time for today's snow (that the meteorologists predicted was going to miss us!)  I finished my Thermis neck warmer.  It was a fun pattern to knit...with plenty of variety to keep things interesting. Kris has some great patterns over on her blog.
I like the style of this neck warmer with the buttons.  You can wear it buttoned up or leave it unbuttoned if you're feeling toasty.  I will most likely make some more of these; I think they would make great gifts.  But I will knit the next one shorter. 
The finished length is pretty long.  From top to bottom it measures 10 inches.  So instead of doing 20 k1p1 rounds I would shorten the bottom band to about 10 rounds.  Of course if you like full coverage you wouldn't need to tweak it at all. 
 But in the event that I get caught in a white out...I'll be protected. 

Here's the knitty gritty:
Pattern: Thermis neckwarmer by Kris Patay
Needles: size 6, circular
Size: small
Yarn: Patons Classic wool in cognac color # 77532, I used one skein.  {Just a note on the Patons yarn:  This is a great yarn that knits up well and has a soft hand to it.  And on top of that it's super value priced }
Mods: I followed the pattern exactly.  I even used the sewn bind off that the pattern recommends.  However, I didn't like the look of the finished edge, so I ripped it out and recast off with a larger needle using a traditional cast off and I like the finished edge much better.
weather note:: We currently have 4 1/2 inches...and are under a Winter storm warning...oh well...I'm ready!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Snappy Fabric Cuffs

I've had these snappy fabric cuffs waiting to be finished for almost a month now.  Kristyn and I each sewed them when she was here in December.  We used my walking foot and got to experiment with some different quilting patterns.  Some are geometrical and some a bit more free flowing.  They've been sitting on my desk just waiting for the snaps. 

The pattern is in the book Sew Darn Cute!  I'm pretty frugal when it comes to sewing/knitting/craft books.  If it doesn't have at least several patterns or projects that I want to make in it, then I'll just check the book out of the library.  But this book...had more than several projects that I'm wanting to make!  And Jenny Ryan does a great job with directions and tips that make the project very doable.

These bracelets were fun to make and the snaps just put them right over the edge.  I ordered the snaps and the snap setting tool from The Snap Source.  They have so many color choices to choose from.  Once I sat down and read the directions for attaching the snaps it was no trouble at all. 

I wore one of the cuffs on Saturday.  My mom saw it and wanted to know if it was the new thing.  Who knows?  But it sure was cute and snappy looking!  Mckenzie is having her basketball team over for a birthday sleepover on Saturday and she's requested these for each of the girls as party favors.  Guess I'd better get busy!?! 

Friday, January 22, 2010

Just poppin in...

It's been one basketball game after another around here...I'm not kidding you...we had 7 games this week alone.  (so far we're 3 for 5) Whew!  It's been fun, but between basketball, blogging about basketball, a special 8 year old's birthday, school and family...I've just not had time to be here in this space.  Hopefully next week I'll be able to show you some snappy new stuff that I'm finishing up.  In the meantime, enjoy your weekend!  We'll be at basketball games tomorrow. (of course you probably guessed that!)

Saturday, January 16, 2010

{Project Life}

My 'craft of choice' used to be scrap booking. I spent time making extensive layouts and compiling pages of memories. I would buy scrap booking magazines and comb the aisles looking for the perfect embellishment. It was a great sense of enjoyment for me. But we as a family hit that season of busy-ness in our lives where I just didn't seem to be able to find the physical or mental time to crank out the pages for our scrapbooks like I used to. I enjoyed taking photos so the pictures didn't stop...I just wasn't finding time to scrapbook them. And I didn't want the years to go by without storing and recording all those photos in some way. So about 2 years ago, I noticed Leslie's 'one day at a time' photos on flickr. Every day she had a new photo from her daily life. It was fun to see what she chose to capture each day. This seemed to me to be a great way to 'scrapbook' our life and not get hung up on making major layouts and spending tons of time embellishing pictures. And so last year I embarked on my own Project 365. Every day I chose at least one photo that I had taken on that day (most days I took plenty more to have some choices) and I posted it out on flickr. These pictures were just little bits of our life gathered and collected day by day. It's been amazing how taking pictures each day has stretched me and caused me to find the beauty in the normal, the amazing in the ordinary and the memories in the routine. I've been able to see bits of beauty and art in the grocery store and while waiting in traffic. It's been a journey of enjoying exactly where God has me planted ~an eye opening experience of seeing the blessings in the daily. Recently, Becky Higgins, scrapbook extraordinaire, launched Project Life. Project Life goes along perfectly with my 365 project as it is set up to house a photo a day for an entire year. It also come with cards for jotting down the journaling that goes with each day's photo. If you are already taking a photo a day this is a great album for keeping a 'hard' copy of your photos and if you're not participating in 365...what are you waiting for? It's so eye-opening, you should give it a try. I've already started on's going to be a great year. I'm sure I'll grow even more as I walk through this year taking pictures of our life day by day.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

the good, the bad and the crafty

The new year has gotten off to a very busy, crazy start. We've had a bit more snow and the temps are frigid; but our wood stove has been keeping us toasty. My mom had a heart procedure on Wednesday and despite a bit of a scare as she was coming out of anesthesia; she is doing great. My kids have all been fighting colds and sinus infections; but they're on the mend. My computer bit the dust; but we think the information on it is recoverable. (thanks to my wonderful husband!) I am currently using his computer so things take me a bit longer and I don't have all my 'stuff' accessible just yet...but it appears that all my 'stuff' is safe. That's much better news than the dell man, who wanted to reboot my hard drive, told me on the phone. (my advice is: BACK UP your stuff NOW!)

So, since the current conditions here have been less than's a peek back at some projects that Kristyn and I worked on when she was here in December. Many of you asked what we'd been up to; so here's a quick peek at our crafting blitz!
She was here for a mere week and there was so much more that we didn't get to....(darn those kids and their snow pants!) It was such a great time relaxing and recharging. I hope you're finding some time in the daily-ness of life to recharge yourself as well. (and go back up your computer stuff!)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

small changes = big differences

I'm joining with Hip Mountain Mama and a bunch of other bloggers who've committed to make one small change each month until Earth day on April 22. Each change is to be geared toward making a difference in taking care of our environment. Now, I don't consider myself to be extremely green or 'crunchy'. (I still use aerosol hairspray....maybe that will change by April) I also recognize that environmentalism can be a hot button topic of political means and that's not where I'm headed....but I do think that it is our responsibility to take care of the Earth and leave it in better shape than when we found it. I'm here to tread lightly and simply and to do all that I can to glorify the One who gave us this earth. I know that living green is really trendy right now....everyone seems to be going green. So, I'm not trying to be trendy, just a good steward. I was talking it over with the kids and my little guy said, "I'm not an earth expert mom, just a Lego expert." Well, I'm not an earth expert either, but I do want to do my part in reducing, reusing and recycling. So our one small change for January is to not buy pre-filled water bottles. We'll take reusable water bottles and containers and fill them ourselves. This will be more than a small change for us as we typically take 5 deer park water bottles with us when we head out to a ball game. Multiply this by 3 games a week and we've used 15 bottles. (we do recycle them...but still, that's a lot of plastic) John was one step ahead of me because for Christmas he gave me this really cool drink cup. It's heavy duty plastic, BPA free and it can go in the dishwasher...and on top of all that, I love drinking my water from it! So I'm good to go! The kids all have plenty of water bottles for their games and when we head out. I think we'll find that we are not only keeping some plastics from the landfill....I'm also thinking we'll be saving some money too. So that's our small change for January....what do you do to help take our earth? I'd love to hear what you've implemented and what's working for you. I've got 3 more months of changes that'll be coming up and I could use some ideas!

Saturday, January 2, 2010


We've been on holiday....for about two weeks. It's been wonderful, as we've spent time with family and friends enjoying the down time. This year John took off the week between Christmas and New Year's and our great friends the Robbs came to visit.

Here are some snippets of what we've been busy with:

::holiday baking (cinnamon rolls for Christmas morning) ::unwrapping presents::tormenting the dog with holiday apparel (isn't she cute?)::enjoying family (Maggie taught my mom how to play the never heard such laughter!)::waking up to surprise snowfalls:: enjoying friends ::creating and crafting::male bonding
:: starting the new year off quite sweetly (thanks Uncle Mark!) :: saying goodbye to a wonderful vacation and great time with friendsI'll be back next week with some small changes that we'll be starting for this new year! Hope you've been enjoying all the little moments in your days! Happy New Year friends!