Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A Crochet Bouquet

Hello Lovelies,
How I have missed blogging. Reading your blogs and writing my own. Hopefully (keep your fingers crossed), I will have some time very soon to get on to my regular crochet happiness. The academic year has started off with a bang, and things may be starting to fall into place. Just when I think things are in balance, something happens to throw it off ... and majorly off. Lots of late nights and tired mornings, but life is good so I cannot complain. My new sewing machine arrived a few weeks ago and I still have not been able to try it. This weekend I hope to get it threaded and hem some pants.

We have had some cloudy days which makes it feel like autumn is coming. I enjoy the cloudy days here in Florida, I've been lighting my autumn scented candles and feel like I can see the leaves changing colors (except of course my trees are palm trees!).

Well, lets get on with what we really care about, CROCHET! My new book Crochet Bouquet arrived and I was able to make two of the flowers so far. I used a hook that was a tad bit too big, because the daffodil is quite large.

Of course I couldn't find my yarns in the orange shades to make a proper daffodil/narcissus flower. I like this book, but I also think I need to get 100 Flowers to Knit and Crochet. I really want to make one of Alice's garden tea cozys over at Crochet with Raymond.

Prior to the school year beginning, I started to knit. I had to watch some videos to remember what to do. My mom taught my a very long time ago when I found her old knitting needles in my parent's basement. I never made anything but I used to be able to knit a few rows. I still need some more practice but hopefully by Christmas I will be able to make the "body" part of the tea cozy. Unfortunately, I have not been able to practice for many weeks now. Maybe this weekend will be perfect for some knitting practice.

I hope you are having a fabulous week! What are you working on?
xoxo Susan

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Another Vera Bradley Sneak Peak Winter 2012 Rhythm & Blues

Hello Lovelies,

Here is the third sneak peak Vera Bradley pattern to come out for the Winter 2012 collections. This one is called Rhythm & Blues. I think this is a nice pattern, not sure if I will make a purchase in this pattern but I am satisfied with it. Seeing it in person will be the deciding factor. I did see two of the patterns for Spring 2012 already -- they are just coming out faster than I can process. I do really like the two that I saw and promise to provide a sneak peak of those too.

Truthfully, aside from the Tea Garden, which I really like, I think the Spring 2012 ones are better than the winter ones. This has been happening a lot lately! Which is good, I am so disappointed when a line is released and I do not care very much for any of them. So, this is the third one of the four, remember a few weeks back we saw Floral Nightingale.

I am hoping to get in some crochet time this evening. I ordered the book Crochet Bouquet and want to try making some new flowers!!
I hope your weekend is going well.
xoxo Susan

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

My First Crochet Cowl

Hello Friends,

I cannot believe I have not posted in almost a week. Time is flying and each day I come home I am so tired I do not have energy to crochet. Just a couple more weeks and things will calm down a little. The weather is still hotter than hot here in Florida. We got word earlier today that Hurricane Irene will not be heading our way (I am on the west coast of FL), so no Hurricane Days for us, which I am completely fine with.

Although we will have very warm weather for many more weeks (and months), I made my first cowl a couple weeks ago and finally uploaded the photos to share. This was a very fast project, I used the pattern from the yarn label - Lions Brand Thick & Quick (1 Skein). The pattern was called the Openhook Crocheted Cowl.

This really was Quick & Thick yarn. I was done in no time. If you are looking for a quick project you can whip up and get your momentum going, this one might do the trick!

Well, there you have it. A cowl. I bet when the Quick & Thick yarn goes on sale, I will buy every color and make one in every color. Hopefully my mom likes it because I would not have much use for them down here. This will be a must bring when I travel up north for Thanksgiving.

I hope you are having a fabulous week,
xoxo Susan

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Vera Bradley Winter 2012 Tea Garden

Hello Friends,
I am long over due for a post, and I have not had time to take photos of my newest creation. Please check back to see the new cowl I whipped up!

For now I will share another speak peak at one of the Winter Vera Bradley patterns coming out for Winter 2012. I say 2012 but technically winter begins in December of 2011. So I suppose if I wanted to be accurate, I would state 2011-2012.

Today I am sharing Tea Garden. This was the name of one of the older patterns, but this is a NEW version of Tea Garden.

I must say, I usually am not completely in love with the larger patterns, but I really do love this one. I just noticed the Spring 2012 patterns have been "speak peaked" so I will hurry up and get the other two Winter ones out soon.

I hope you are having a fabulous week. More to come soon!
xoxo Susan

Friday, August 12, 2011

Mango Mania

Hello Friends,

This was an unexpectedly busy week and I have a lot of catching up to do in blogland reading. I will be stopping by your blogs this weekend to see what you have been up to. This week was my first week back on contract for the fall semester. Fall! I cannot believe the fall semester is here already. I enjoy all of the seasons but I especially love the fall colors, scents and feel. We do not really have an autumn season where I am in Florida so I have to simulate the season change with fall scented candles and colors.

Before we get into the fall feel, we need to enjoy the summer fun. J and I went to the Mango Festival in our home city. We were slightly disappointed in the festival overall, but it was nice to see some mangos.

 There were not a lot of mangoes a the festival. This was about it. One tent with some mangoes around. We did get some good BBQ pulled pork sandwiches!

The temperature was in the high 90s and the heat index was well over 100 degree so we made it a short stop. Here is a pony I snapped  a photo of on my way out.

The majority of festivals and outdoor events in Florida do not occur in June, July or August because of the heat. Unlike places up north, we usually enjoy outdoor festivals September through May, the other nine months of the year. Unfortunately, the mangoes are ripe and ready to go during the hot summer days, so the Mango Festival will always occur during the scorching hot days of the summer. Hopefully next year our backyard mango tree will produce some mangoes for us!

Have a Fabulous Friday,
xo Susan

Sunday, August 7, 2011

A few more owl hats

Good Morning,

Today is my very last day of summer break. Where did the time go? This past week I tried to do as little work as possible but there are always some things that just need to be done. Overall I was able to relax and have a week of leisure.

I was able to make a couple more crochet owl hats...

This completes the collection for my college friend Jessica. She ordered two for her daughter and one little pink owl for her new niece who was born just last week. I would not have been inclined to make the dark gray owl and purple but Jessica suggested the colors after seeing a similar one and I must say, I really did love the color combo. The dark charcoal gray with the deep and bright purple really popped.

The pink owl looks extra bright in the photos but it is really a soft light pink color using Bernat's Super Soft Baby yarn. We don't want the new born to have rough yarn next to her skin. 

I am not sure what the day holds for us. The sky looks cloudy already, which means we may be in for more rain than the usually quick shower and sunny day. Maybe the pool, or some tennis, or both!

Have a great Sunday,
xoxo Susan

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Hungry Caterpillar Crochet Baby Hat

Hello Friends,

I hope your week was great and you are ready to enjoy the lovely weekend ahead. Here in Florida we've been having some rain showers but mostly sunshine and warmth. Well HOT weather but it feels good on the bones and body.
One of my friends from college contacted me about making a hat for her daughter to wear for her 1 year old birthday. She found a hat resembling the Hungry Caterpillar from the children's book and wanted to have one made. The theme for her first birthday is the Hungry Caterpillar so naturally a hat would look great! I was very flattered she asked me to make the hat, especially because she could have just ordered the one she saw on Etsy.

I got right to work and was pretty happy with the final result:

The hat she found on Etsy did not include earflaps. She wanted to have earflaps added because she thought they really made the hat look extra cute! I was a little worried about getting each antenna right as I have not made anything quite like them before, but I was able to make it work!

 Because I am not the best at following patterns without a diagram, I have made all of my hats so far from my own pattern. Each yarn has slightly different thickness, even the same brand but different colors have different thickness so sometimes there is adjusting throughout the making of each hat.

I also made some more pink ones. Those closed eye owls still look so cute to me!

 I am a little torn on which type of owl "ears" I like better. The streamer ones which are much easier to make and put on the hat or the triangle like ones here. I guess it depends on the person buying the hat or wearing the hat.

My summer projects are mostly smaller items because it is too hot to have blankets to be draped on my while I hook away. As soon as things cool down I will get back to work on my granny stripe. Once the school year starts back up I am not sure how much time I will have to make hats that people order so I am trying to make them now so I have stock of them. Once the snow starts falling up north, people will be wanting more hats.

Today I purchased a new sewing machine, it should arrive sometime early next week. Please keep your fingers crossed that I have much better luck with this one. I will be sure to share it with you once it arrives. I also purchased a new crochet book, so some new flowers will be popping up very soon.

Enjoy the wonderful weekend.
xoxo Susan

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Japanese Flower Scarf

Hello Friends,

The sun is shining, the birds are chirping and the Japanese scarf for my mom is done! Although posting the photos now will ruin her surprise when she receives the package, I know she will enjoy just as much. Thanks to all of you who commented to tell me that the scarf is wide enough with just one row. I connect my Japanese flowers as I go and had already connected two flowers to the second row. Removing them was not a lot of work, and it was definitely too thick for a scarf with two rows. Good thing I posted a progress photo a couple weeks back so I didn't waste a lot of time making two rows!

11 Japanese Flowers
  When I first thought I was done, I put the scarf on and realized the dark rose colored flowers on both ends were even with each other. I should have planned better to eliminate this from happening. I decided to add one more flower to off-set the colors.
Looked like it needed one more flower

12 Japanese Flowers
 I added a flower with light pink petals to make the scarf 12 flowers long.
The finished scarf for my mom

I am a little worried about the connection between each flower. When wearing the scarf it appears as if there is a lot of pulling happening at the petal connection. I guess I will see how it behaves when winter comes and my mom wears it. The flowers look quite big. For those of you who are interested here are the stats on the scarf:
  • 12 flowers long
  • 7 different colors
  • Lion Brand Vanna's choice yarn
  • I used a G hook, 5.00MM
  • Length 75.5inches/191cm
  • Connect-as-you-go petals
I promised my mom two scarves so I will be making her another one. I think I am going to use hexagons for the next one, but I have been eyeing some smaller flowers that may be perfect for it!
Have a fabulous day,
xoxo Susan