Friday, April 29, 2011

Busy days, but a new WIP!

Hello Lovelies,

This week has been quite busy for me. The end of the semester grading and grants to review prior to going to the on-site review next week. I've spent at least 6 hours each day reviewing grants on top of my other responsibilities. Needless to say, I am exhausted. But, I did do some procrastinating, which I am regretting right now, and started a new WIP.

After perusing around I decided I wanted to try making a cardigan. You can never have enough!
My friend Carolynne started to make the Chevron Lace Cardigan with the pattern from and assured me it was an easy to follow pattern (I am not very good at following patterns). So, here is the beginning.

Start of the Chevron Lace Cardigan
This sweater works in one piece with this ring being the top of the sweater at the neckline. I am using Bernat 100% cotton so I will be able to wear this summer. It gets so hot here I will not need it outside, but sometimes I like to have something to cover my shoulders if I have a summer dress on when I go to work. Summer dresses with sleeves are hard to find these days.

I am not sure how much progress I will get to make before I leave on Sunday to review grants on site. Hopefully I will have plenty of other lovely photos to share while I am on destination for the grant reviews.
I hope you have a fabulous Friday
xoxo Susan

p.s. Kate looked so beautiful at her wedding, didn't she?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Granny Spike Finished!!!!!

Hello Friends,

Thanks for stopping by to check out my work :)
I finished the granny spike cushion/pillow this evening and I am happy with the outcome. This is my first finished cushion and I love it! The pillows at the craft store are quite expensive, so I went to K-Mart (sort of like Walmart for those of you who may be familiar with Walmart but not K-Mart) and bought a solid colored pillow in a neutral color, this one was a light beige and that is what I was used for my cushion part. The pillows ended up being on sale, Buy One Get One 50% off (not a great sale but better than nothing). The original price was only $5.99 so I was able to get two for around $9 which is much less than half the price of the ones sold at the craft stores (i.e., Jo Ann Fabrics). Plus the fill or stuffing inside of this one was much better.
My photo shoot share
 I used the dusty green color to connect the four squares together. Connecting the two sides of the pillow was a little tricky. They were not exactly the same size, but I worked with it and it looks like they fit just fine. I connected the two sides of the pillow togther by using a single crochet. I think one of the reasons the sizing was tricky is because the spikey part makes certain parts of the square mis-shaped. Bunny Mummy warns about this, and I tried to keep the stitched loose in the middle but I think no matter what the sides will not be even. Luckily when you are using it for a cushion it doesn't really matter! Note: I did use half double crochets for the corner stitches.

One square side

Four square side

The button enclosure (just one side)

Same opening just flipped over

I put it on J's side of the bed to see if he would notice. He noticed it right away and loved it!

Other side of the cushion
Well, I was able to finish it before the month of April ended. Now, what will I work on next....?
I hope you have a fabulous day.
xoxo Susan

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Light House and Working on the Granny Spike

Good Morning,

This is a very busy week of reading and grading for me. Our students graduate Sunday, and grades are due a week from tomorrow. Yesterday was so busy I didn't get to sneak in any crochet time. But, today should be a little better so I should be able to sneak in at least a half hour to finish up one side of the cushion. Thank you to all of you lovely ladies who said such nice things about my granny spike beginnings.

Front and Back of Cushion

Finished Side
I still have a couple rows to add to the one square side and then I will see how it fits. I ran out of the light blue color yarn so I decided to skip it on the one square side. I like the color, but it is quite bright and almost reminds me of Easter, which fits the current time! I figured it would give a nice change from one side to the other.

I also wanted to share some lovely bits of Florida from our weekend trip on the east coast of Florida. There was a lovely lighthouse at the marina we left from and the pelicans were anxiously awaiting fish scraps to eat.

The sunset on the drive home taken from the car window
Next week I have to travel somewhere for a work related task and I can't wait to share photos while I am there. Hopefully I have time to get outside and take some photos while I am there.
Have a fabulous Tuesday. I hope to get outside and enjoy the beautiful weather -- well, get outside to work for a little today.
xoxo Susan

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

Good Morning Bunnies,

Happy Easter! I hope you are able to spend your day exactly the way you want. We had a busy weekend and are really looking forward to a relaxing Sunday. After I left work on Friday, we drove over to the east coast of Florida to Juno Beach and the town of Jupiter. We spent the night at a Hampton Inn and got up early Saturday morning to go on a full day fishing charter.

The boat we took - "Showtime"
We were hoping to get some dolphin fish, called Mahi Mahi so people do not think they are actually eating dolphin at restaurants and the supermarkets. We did not catch any dolphin fish, but we did get one sail fish which was quite a thrill. J was the lucky one who was reeling it in. We also caught some other fish like amberjack and black fin tuna
The sail fish J was reeling in
J's Sail Fish! Luckily the fish released itself on the way in. These fish are difficult to release yourself without damaging the fish.
When my turn was up a fish jumped on the line in no time. I had to reel it in which was quite the task. This takes some time and strength to keep reeling in the line. I caught an amberjack.

Reeling in a fish! They didn't even ask me to hold it for a photo - haha

The flag the boat puts up when a sail fish is caught

One of J's catches
A hotel on the way back into the harbor

We had a lovely time!
So now you know where I have been and what I have been doing since my Thursday post. I did finish two more squares for my granny spike cushion/pillow.

Four squares for one side of the cushion/pillow
I have some grant reviewing to work on today but hopefully I can get the last big granny spike square made today. A little bit of rain fell as a wrote this post, but I can already see the blue sky from my window.Hopefully I will get outside for some hooking on the lanai.
Have a fabulous Easter Sunday!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

New WIP - Granny Spike Cushion

Hello Lovelies,

Many of you are finishing up the work week today, I hope you are relaxing with some good food and wine by now. We do not have tomorrow as a vacation day, but we do have our end of the semester celebration lunch. So I am not enjoying food and wine yet.

I am hoping to finish the month of April with one more project, a granny spike cushion. I am using Jacquie's pattern from Bunny Mummy. I loved this pillow since the first time I saw the photo, so now I will have one to look at each and every day.

I am going to do four squares on one side and one large square on the other. Right now I just have two of the four squares complete. The colors are not exactly what I had in mind, but we will see how the final product turns out.

Earlier today I stopped by a Jo Ann Fabric store and they were having a 50% pre-Easter sale today until Saturday on all of their buttons. I plan to use Bunny Mummy's tutorial for a button closure on this cushion, so I picked some up on different colors.
Each day and evening I usually spend a good amount of time doing work. All of the courses I am teaching this semester are online, so this stretching my schedule to pretty much mean "all days, all the time" which I do not mind too much BUT I need to take this evening off and I plan to spend it hooking away.
xoxo Susan

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Circle of Friends Baby Boy Blanket

Hello Lovelies,

I am sorry it took my so long to get these photos up. This pattern was a joy to make, and I plan to make many more bably blankets with this pattern. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to bring this one in to the office to share with my Thursday Crochet Lunch Group, so the photos will have to suffice. I took the color idea from this one and made it a boy version. As soon as I hear of a baby girl on the way, I will do it with the girl colors!

Just the yellows left to square

I left off the final row of the pattern (row of sc around)

The perfect size - at least I thought so!

Folded up and ready to go!
I used Vanna's Choice yarn for this blanket. The green and yellow are from the baby Vanna's Choice. The colors were: Silver Blue (light blue), Dust Blue (darker blue), Duckie (yellow), and Sweet Pea (green). The Vanna's choice yarn baby line isn't any softer than her regular line so they can be mixed together. The white from the baby and white from the regular don't appear to be different either. I have used some of each on projects before and can't tell a difference. Well, I did start working on something new last night and can't wait to share the photos soon!!
I hope you have a fabulous afternoon.
xoxo Susan

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Last One - Vera Bradley Pattern Fall 2011 Safari Sunset

Good Morning Lovelies,

I did finish the baby blanket but I am running short on time so I won't be able to show you the photos until tomorrow. You are going to love it!
So, I am going to give the sneak pick at the fourth Vera Bradley Pattern for the Fall 2011 release. The final one is called Safari Sunset and some people say it is similar to the Kensington a few years back (old fall brown pattern).

Safari Sunset Pattern

Inside Pattern and Border
I like this pattern, but I don't think I will be purchasing this one... unless of course it looks super great in person.
Well there you have it, sorry for such a short post. I will be back later on this evening with my Circle of Friends Baby Blanket photos.
xoxo Susan

Friday, April 15, 2011

A Thursday Crochet Lunch Group Finished Project - Jackie's Country Blue Granny Stripe

Hello Lovelies,

I was hoping to post this earlier today but the day just got away. You may remember me mentioning a Thursday Crochet Lunch Group, consisting of Carolynne, Jackie, and me (co-workers of mine). We planned to get together on Thursdays during the lunch hour and crochet and/or talk about crochet and our current projects. Well due to so much going on and bouts of sickness, we really only met one time. During our second week, Jackie was very sick, which was bad news, but the good news was after spending a day in bed in which she could barely move, the next day she was still sick but she was able to crochet the day away. AND she finished her first big project!!!!

Jackie is not a blogger (not yet anyways) so she said I could share her beautiful creation on here with you. I am calling this one Jackie's Country Blue Granny Stripe because the three blue colors were all variations of the Caron's Country Blue color (regular, dark, and light) - I know I am so creative :)

Jackie's Beautiful Blanket

This was her first granny stripe and she did a marvelous job

She used Caron Simply Soft Yarn, 100% Acrylic, purchased on sale for $1.99 (HUGE DEAL!) at A.C. Moore.  Her colors were: 1. Country Blue, 2. Dark Country Blue, 3. Light Country Blue, 4. Pistachio, and 5. Off White. I think they look divine together! The yarn really is "simply soft" I just wanted to spread it out on the floor and lay on it. Of course I didn't do this, but it was so soft it made me want to keep touching it. She used Lucy's pattern over at Attic 24 (link to pattern in on my Patterns Used page, scroll up, under the title "Florida Crochet Garden" next to "Home" tab).

I can't wait to see her next blanket. She is making another granny stripe because after seeing this one, you can imagine the requests from her friends to make more.

Well that's all for tonight. I must get back to the baby circle of friends blanket - this was my Thursday Lunch project, which hopefully will be ready to show final photos this weekend.

My mom's learning to crochet progress: I stopped by Ft. Myers Beach where my parents have been vacationing the last few days and my mom said she hasn't worked on her crochet, but she will get there. Her next door neighbor in Buffalo who taught me to crochet, Kathy, said she will work with her when she returns home. Kathy was a great teacher, so I know she will be in good hands and maybe she will be writing her own blog by the summer!
xoxo Susan

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Baby Blanket Almost Done and a New Crocheter

Good Morning,

After a short crochet hiatus, I am back and it and plan to get this baby blanket finished up by the end of this week. I want my mom to be able to bring it up to Buffalo with her so I do not have to mail it for the baby shower. Speaking of my mom, we started her crochet lessons on Tuesday evening. She is doing a great job so far. We tried right handed but she needs to crochet left handed. So I have been able to work on my left-handed crochet skills (I guess you never know when it can come in handy). I think she is right on track with where a beginner crocheter would be. I started her with chaining and then a single crochet. Maybe I should have waited a day but I also taught her double crochet too. She kept hooking along after I went to sleep and when I checked her progress in the morning it looks like she started single crocheting anyways.

My mom learning to crochet!

All Circle of Friends DONE

Just need to finish the sqaures

Layout of the baby blanket
I hope to finish most of the white squaring tonight and then put it all together tomorrow and do a border on Saturday! I won't be able to bring the finished version in to the office for the girls to see because my parents leave on Sunday and it will be gone. I really like the Circle of Friends pattern, probably because I made the circles all one color which means only one color to weave/sew in ends. If you look on or flickr you will see some people make the circles themselves more than one color which looks nice, but more ends to weave.
It is a beautiful day outside, I am off to work all day inside but hopefully I can pop out for a little bit to enjoy the lovely weather.
xoxo Susan

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Harry Potter World - Universal's Island of Adventure!

Hello Lovelies,

Well as you probably guessed by now we went to Universal Studio's Island of Adventure specifically to visit Harry Potter World. Harry Potter World takes up a part of the Island of Adventure park and I think in the future they will end up expanding the grounds in which Harry Potter World covers because clearly everyone at the park was there to visit HP World.

First, we entered the wrong park. We entered Universal Studios, which is actually a separate park from Island of Adventure. I usually research everything excessively to make sure I know what is what before we go anywhere, but I have been trying to calm down. Well, this was a good example of why my extensive researching is necessary because we entered the wrong park and we did not buy 2-Park passes (they cost more than the one day, one park passes). We had no interest in seeing any other parts of the park or the regular Universal Studios park. I am sure the regular park is nice, just not what we were looking for.

Luckily, after realizing HP World was not on the map for the park we were in, we went to guest services and they gave us new passes to leave the park and enter Island of Adventure. This was after we frantically power walked to the exit/guest services area. Alas, we made it to the park and into Harry Potter World.

Entering Harry Potter World

Me and My Mom Getting Read to Enter HP World

Enjoying Butter Beer - this was quite tastey, like a very buttery cream soda

Ollivanders Wand Shop

Hogwarts Castle

Hagrid's Hut/House

We enjoyed visiting the places re-created from the movie. On the main ride inside the castle, the wait was 45 minutes long. However, you can go as a "single rider" which means you will be sat with people who need a 4th person for the "row" of seats. We didn't mind if we were separated from each other, so we went with the single rider line. We did not have to wait more than 2 minutes! The ride is a simulation ride so you are completely blocked off from the people next to you. The only reason you would want to be with your own party of 4 is if you were planning to buy the photo of the four of you on the ride. If you are not planning to buy the photo and do not want to wait for 45+ minutes to get on the ride, go in the single rider line and have 2 minutes. My mom went a row ahead of me and J was a row behind me (my dad opted to stay at the hotel pool instead of visiting the park).

The shops were neat to see but extremely small. I am not sure if Universal was just working with the space they had or if they really didn't think Harry Potter World would be so popular. This week is actually a "low" week for vacations compared to next week and the previous few weeks of spring break vacationers, but there were still lines to get into the gift shops such as the candy store the Weasley twins had and the wand shop Ollivanders. This part was disappointing, and really made me wonder why Universal made them so small. Harry Potter could easily take over half of the park. The HP World section of the park was packed with people, while the rest of the park was not crowded and had lines with about 5-10 minute waits, which usually was just the amount of time to walk through the area to get to the starting point of ride.

Well enough rambling on for today. I hope you have a fabulous day!
xoxo Susan