That GIANT Knitting Project Continues: Ten Stitch Blanket

My current knitting project is one that has been on-going for several years. While that does include numerous starts and stops while working out in as well as at least one good hibernation period but still, that means I’ve been working on it a long time.  If you follow me on Instagram, then you have probably seen pictures of it mixed in with the usual mix of cats, concerts, more cats, the occasional dog since we do have two, flower photos, and whatnot. Though It is a long term project, it has never gotten words like “doom”, “evil” or “wretched” attached to it in moments of extreme aggravation.

The pattern, Ten Stitch Blanket, is from Frankie’s Knitted Stuff and created by Frankie Brown. I first learned about it from Nikabee who had found it as a free pattern on Ravelry. For those who don’t know, Ravelry is a fantabulous site for knitters & crocheters with things like patterns for free and to buy, forums, and within your account section, places to organize your projects, needles, yarn stash,etc. This pattern was a stash buster and great for leftover yarn from prior projects. This was what Nikabee was doing and the blanket was looking great.

I, of course, then wanted to make one too. After working on knitting projects for others for awhile, I wanted to do something for me and something that was a giant project. This wasn’t going to be my first blanket since the first finished project I did ages ago was a teal blue mashup double bed sized afghan. Yes, for a newbie knitter that was a bit insane but it turned out great in the end.

The current insanity I’d be tackling with this project would be my yarn stash. Oh my. I haven’t put my yarn all in one place but I know there is a lot. While I did give away about a dozen skeins years ago that had been living in the trunk of my car (yes, I’m serious and fellow knitters understand) there has been yarn somewhere in pretty much every room in the house. Darth Husband just shakes his head and walks away for the most part.

Then the boxes came.

The BFF’s mom and grandmother were crafty ladies and after they passed away they left behind oodles of crafty items including yarn. I had the opportunity to get some yarn that was leftover and of course, by some I mean I ended up taking all that was left. All meant two good sized boxes with one once containing a small file cabinet.  Darth Husband was thrilled and by thrilled I mean the combo of the raised eyebrow and the “WhereTF is that going to go?” face.

The boxes were shuffled about for awhile and after my explaining how much it would cost to replace aforementioned yarn, Darth Husband begrudgingly mellowed out the WTF face and even helped me vacuum bag the majority of the yarn. What was left out was the 50 skeins for the ten stitch blanket.

Yes FIFTY since I’m clearly insane. The thing is, giant projects are relaxing to me and this is exactly what I had been needing knitting wise. No deadlines. No one paying me for a project. Just me doing something for me. Now, it has gotten big enough to be at the point where it registers as a blanket to the cats, non-knitters seem quite impressed, and Nikabee has asked me more than once when I’m planning to stop working on it. We shall see but that won’t be definitely won’t happening anytime soon.


Weekend Crafts: Easy Print Framing

I bought this Tad Carpenter letterpress at last year’s Renegade Craft Fair from the Vahalla Studios booth.  I love adding handmade elements and art to our house. I had planned to post this a long time ago but misplaced the pictures!

This was a really easy craft for me but I have friends who are not crafty so hopefully this will inspire them.

Rather than using mat board, I took out the “super stack” of scrapbook paper that I got on a super sale at Joann Fabrics a few years ago. I don’t scrapbook but the paper can be used for almost anything.

This was going in our hallway which is painted Honeydew by Behr (a great light but bright green) so I wanted something to go with the green. The blue/green stripe was the best choice and an easy one. Stripes mean lines that can easily be followed!

I have a Fiskars paper cutter that I absolutely love and used for all the cutting and measuring. Even though I cut a decent straight line, I didn’t want any wonky lines messing up the stripes.

I used the old mat as a template with a version of the old “measure twice cut once.” Luckily that mat was thick enough where I didn’t have to worry about it bending. The cut marks went on the back side of the paper so there is no need to erase.

One piece cut and ready to go inside the frame.

My template worked well and it fit without buckeling. Clearly, it was too short and needed more paper added.

I cut the second piece to the same width while paying attention to the stripes.

There will be a line where the two papers meet. Where this is, however, will make it more or less visible.

The backing of the frame fit tightly so I knew I wouldn’t need something major to hold the art in place. If I was framing something heavier or had more space between the glass and art, I would have used something stronger than scotch tape.

A quick flip and some minor adjustments later, everything was ready to be put in the frame.  I included the old mat and a little bit of cardboard which helped keep the shifting to a minor amount.

The space is an odd one with limited natural light and has goofy shadows from our lights. (This was the best picture I could get.) However, since it is not a photo or a detailed design, it really works. It also makes me smile every time I walk past it.

When in Doubt, Blame the Season for a New Craft Project

Even though I have various projects already on my plate, I am itching to add another. Pinterest is like an all-you-can-eat buffet of ideas. All I need is 10 minutes and I want to do at least 5 new craft projects even though I really need to finish one I’ve been working on.

Nikabee told me about a great wreath she found via Pinterest. I did a little research hoping I could find the original post. I had a feeling it was a blogger: Monday make it: Spring Baby Grass Wreath from Capture the Details. Patty’s instructions are great and I can’t wait to get to Hobby Lobby to wander for over an hour to get the materials. (I have also added Capture the Details to my Reader since just browsing has me going “OOOH! I NEED to make that!”)

Battling Murphy’s Law of Crafting

Sidenote: I am typing this over a large orange and white cat dozing on my lap.  He has shifted enough now to allow for me to type with both hands.

I have always been an artsy/crafty person.  While I did try sports, it never really stuck. I As a kid was much happier to have new coloring books or art supplies than sports equipment. Oddly enough I won my roller blades in a local coloring contest. My rabbit was just THAT awesome to have me end up with the black, neon green, and purple contraptions that caused me to waddle like a duck prize.

I wish I had more time to work on my projects as well as get my room in order. My 70s-tastic small kitchen set is still needed to be reassembled but I have a plan.  I think with any sort of art and/or craft project planning is key. Another key for me is a backup plan.  If I don’t have a backup plan, things turn into the instance when I decided to wait until a specific yarn went on sale. I ended up losing a good 4 months of knitting time since I was waiting. Once I decided on another yarn, then the first option of course went on sale.

I lucked out with last week’s sales papers. Holiday ribbon was half off at Michaels and I was able to get a decent number of two patterns.  I have a project in the works that specified the length of ribbon needed. Did I buy just that length? Of course not! That means tempting fate and ending up something silly like a foot short.

Now reading the packaging would have been beneficial since I ended up getting wired ribbon for one. If you have never purchased craft ribbon, wired ribbon has an extremely fine wire running through the edge/stitching so it can bend, hold shape, or in this case stab my in the hands every 42 seconds. Luckily it’s too minor to actually tear up my hands. I have now named it “The Stabby Ribbon” and am currently giving it a break to act as a cat bed write this post.

Nonetheless, the project is working well.   There will most likely be some sort of cell phone photo since I still can’t find the camera charger. The latest guess is that it may have fallen out of my bag during the horrendous return flight home from Philly. I am currently stalking ebay to find a decent real Canon charger.

It’ll be nice to finally get my Fall photos off that thing!

If you are a crafter, do you buy extra materials for a project or are you the person running to the local craft supply store to get ONE more thing to finish?

Fashion Friday: Just Add Handmade

I’m a firm believer in finding jewelry in non-traditional places. By traditional I mean chain jewelry stores, the mall, and chain stores. While I am not saying that you can’t find good/fun/nice stuff there, there are so many other places to try.  Online venues like Etsy, craft fairs and markets and even little shops when you are out-of-town on vacation lead to great finds that are DIFFERENT.

I like finding pieces that are different because they make me feel good when I wear them. The likelihood of me seeing someone wearing the same thing is very small. If this does happen though there is that sense of” COOL! You know about this great (whatever) place as well.”

While Nikabee and Iwere wandering about the most recent Renegade Craft Fair,  there was a booth that literally made us both go OOOH! and we had to go check it out. It was beautiful mosaic jewelry by Staci Sterenberg.  I immediately saw these earrings and grabbed them.

I had to protect keep them out of the hands of anyone that might want to take them far far away from me.

Yes, I am being over dramatic but it was the reality of the situation. I HAD to have them and obviously did buy them.  The color scheme is one that I wear pretty much every season (lighter side in warmer weather and darker in cooler) and so I knew I’d wear them quite often. I have worn them numerous times and gotten numerous compliments about them.

One thing that many people have said was about them being so different. DING DING DING! We have a winner since different is what I like!

You can find her creations as Staci Sterenberg Mosaics on Facebook and as RestnPieces on Etsy.

NOTE: I recevied no compensation for this post. The earrings were paid entirely with my own money.  I just absolutely fell in love with them immediately and will definitely buy earrings from her again.

Almost time to get my craft (fair) on!

Tomorrow Darth Husband and some of the guys will be parked in front of the football game. I, in non-football widow fashion, will be wandering about in a state of craft fair bliss.

Nikabee had gone several times in the past, including when she found my awesome button but for one reason of another I have never made it. We totally lucked out that this Sunday we could both make it.  I will definitely be bringing my camera!

Have you ever been to a large-scale craft fair?