Sunday, January 26, 2014

Hats! And Finally a Reason to Wear Them

Down here in South Texas, it rarely gets cold enough to really wear sweaters, coats, and other winter gear. However, that changed last Friday when we experienced a freeze with precipitation. That's right -- we got ice! Which means, of course, no school for the boys and the city pretty much shut down. Brrr.

When I did venture out, I wore one of the hats that I made for myself this winter. Usually I don't wear hats because it's a committment of sorts -- my naturally-curly hair does not recover well from being squished under a hat. But this year, I said to myself, 'Self, sometimes a cute hat is worth squished curls.'

I found some cute hat patterns from some of my favorite designers. (Luckily, my no-new-yarn resolution does not apply to patterns. After all, how will I ever get through the stash of yarn I have without new patterns for inspiration!)

Both of the patterns I used above are available on Ravelry

Speaking of hats, another favorite designer Crystalized Designs has updated her Ethan beanie and is having a giveaway of the pattern to celebrate! It's such a cute beanie! I really love that it is so boyish!

Check out her blog post and enter to win! Good luck!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

The Addiction That is Pinterest

Pinterest. The reason I did not blog for 2 years.

Actually, I am pretty sure that is merely a coincidence. It is a fact though that in the last 2 years, I have been on Pinterest on nearly a daily basis. Why? It is an inspiring mix of food, crafts, ideas, locations, and products! And Benedict Cumberbatch! What's not to love?

I started with a couple of boards, one of which was simply called Yarn! I pinned and pinned like crazy, and then realized my Yarn! board was so big that I could never find anything. So I created sub-category boards:

Yarn! Accessories (hats, scarves, shawls, booties, slippers, jewelry)

Yarn! Afghans, Blankets, Throws

Yarn! Amigurumi (dolls, animals, any stuffed figures)

Yarn! Clothing (sweaters, tops)

Yarn! Housewares (pillows, rugs, baskets, kitchen items)

Yarn! Motifs, Embellishments, Appliques

Yarn! Purses, Totes, Bags

Yarn! Squares, Circles, Hexagons

Yarn! Tips, Tricks, Techniques, Stitches

Yarn! Wish List (yarns I covet. This is what happens when you resolve not to purchase more yarn -- you start pinning it instead!)

I also have a yarn-related board called Things I Make. Most of the items pinned there are available in my Etsy shop.

(I would love if you followed any one or all of my Pinterest boards! Right now I have more than 850 yarn-related pins and more coming. These are all my personal boards. I will be creating specific business boards for The Lavender Lizard real soon!)

Back to Benedict marks the start of season 3 of Sherlock (in the US), the super-awesome British television show of a modern Sherlock Holmes. (If you are already a fan of Sherlock, you may have noticed my reference to the show in this blog's title.) To celebrate, we are having Super-Size Sherlock Sunday, and we will be re-watching last season's The Reichenbach Fall (from January 2012!) and then tuning into the new episode on PBS. So I'll wrap this up by saying 'why do the Brits take so long between television seasons? And why only three episodes?' Tally-ho!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

New Yarn, Old Obsession

12 days into the new year, and my resolution to not purchase any yarn still holds. Although, truth be told, it has not been easy. At. All. Especially when I see yarn on sale.

One thing that has helped some was that I received a shipment of yarn (it was ordered on December 31, before my resolution began -- haha, so there!). Nothing like opening a box of yarn-y goodness to make your day:

Red Heart Soft Yarn in Lilac, Pink, Lavender, Guacamole and Honey (clockwise from top left):

 I also bought 3 skeins of a multi-colored shade called Plummy:

I originally thought I would make a blanket of African flower hexagons with this new yarn for my great-niece, but now I'm not sure. I love the hexagonal flowers; in fact, it is an obsession of mine. Proof of my obsession:

There are more than 100 motifs here. And they are all different! Which I guess speaks to my hoarding of cotton yarn as well as my obsession with African flower hexagons. Each hexagon begins with white yarn. For Rounds 2 and 3, I used an ombre (remember, they are all different), and Round 4 ends with a coordinating solid color. My plan is to complete Round 5 in white and then join all the hexagons into one mega-awesome, colorful, one-of-a-kind blanket!

So in the meantime, I am putting my obsession aside and I need to decide how to use my order of girly-girl yarn. Maybe stripes? Or maybe the obsession will continue. I still have some time to decide.

I also adore this sweater:
It was published in the January/February 2009 issue of Crochet Today. The little moose applique is so darling! I just checked the pattern, and I am pretty sure I will need to order the yarn to complete this because I don't usually buy baby-weight yarn. And the yarn that was used in the sample is discontinued. I guess this means that when I finally do break my resolution, at least it will be for a good cause!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Some Recent Projects

My favorite holidays to stitch for are Halloween and Christmas. I love a handmade touch to Halloween costumes!

This past year, my youngest son wanted to be a ghost. Easy peasy! White shirt and sweatpants plus a large square of white tulle with the finishing touch of a crocheted ghosty hat!

My 12yo wanted to be Calvin from the Calvin and Hobbes comic strip. The hardest part was figuring out how to make his hair yellow. The yellow hair paint did not change his dark hair color all that much, but we went with it. And to complete his costume, I crocheted a Hobbes tiger, courtesy of the free pattern by sukigirl. He loved it!

Here are some work-in-progress photos of Hobbes:

For me, I made this adorable little skull with a bow which I sewed on to a lime green t-shirt.

The yarn I used was a limited-production glow-in-the-dark fiber from Bernat that I bought years ago. It was perfect for this project!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2014 and Change is in the Air

2014 is here, and the new year will bring us so many changes. First, and most obvious, I am recommitting myself to this here blog. Sad to say, it has been too long since I have posted. With that change, I have updated the look and name and template (more updates to come), and I have written a list of goals to include regular postings and updates of both my crafting life and personal life.

2014 also brings about the 18th birthday of our eldest son, which leads then to graduation from high school and then the transition to college. He seems ready, certainly more so than me. I keep telling myself that this is my ultimate goal for my sons -- a happy, successful, independent life. One of these days I might start believing it. :)

Here's a photograph of my sons that was taken by my cousin, Meri of MeriBella Photography. She is uber-talented! We used this image in our Christmas cards.

2014 also marks the arrival of the newest addition to the family, my first great-niece! She is due to arrive in July, born to my oldest nephew and his beautiful bride. Finally! a little girl to crochet for! I already have a small list of items to make, and an order of yarn on the way!

And speaking of yarn, 2014 is the year of the stash-bust! That means I vow to purchase no more yarn until I use up a great deal of what I have already.

No, really, I'm not kidding...

Happy 2014 to all! May it be a prosperous, productive, and healthy New Year for you and your families!