Friday, September 30, 2011

Autumn is really starting in Florida!!

Hello Lovely Blogland Friends,

Another long week has passed and the weekend is here! As usual, I hope to spend my weekend crocheting away. Autumn does not always make an entrance here in Southwest Florida but this weekend we will experience our first bit of real autumn goodness. The humidity is dropping and the temperature is not supposed to reach 90 this coming week -- which means the temp is dropping. The temperature is supposed to be in the 60s during the early morning hours.

Earlier this week I showed you a sneak peak at the Infinity Scarf I started. Well, the scarf is still not finished, but I did make good progress. The first picture is one whole skein of the yarn. Hopefully the whole scarf can be made with 2 skeins and based on my calculations it should be just right.

Starting on the second skein... (same color yarn -- Arcadia)

Remember, I am using Lion Brand Amazing yarn in the color "Arcadia" and so far I really like the color variation in the yarn.  I am surprised there was so much blue in the beginning of the yarn because the rest of the colors change sooner.

I also started making squares in blues, greens and yellow for a baby boy blanket I am calling Blue Dreams. I loved my stained glass white blanket so much that I decided to use the same pattern for a baby boy blanket.

I think an 8 by 10 block will be just the right size for the baby to cover with in his stroller/pram for the winter.

As you can see I have not been waving in the ends as I go like usual. I am not sure what came over me, I just kept making squares and did not have my small hook near by to weave them in. So I will have to spend a few hours weaving them in this weekend. Surprisingly I am not dreading it, the ends weave in nicely on these little squares since they are too compact.

I hope you are able to have a happy hooky weekend. Enjoy the change in weather and autumn colors starting to appear if you are up north. For those of you down under I hope you have some spring fun.
xoxo Susan

Monday, September 26, 2011

Ran out of yarn!

Hello Friends,

I hope you had a great start to your week. My weekend of finishing WIPs was lovely, until I ran out of yarn for my granny stripe blanket. The blanket uses up quite a bit of yarn for each color switch. Each color includes 2 rows (down and back), so using scraps is not an option with this blanket. I went through as many rows with colors I had and then I had to stop because I did not want the color pattern to look like I ran out of some colors.

I did take some photos of the blanket so far..

I really like this blanket. I named it English Meadow when I began to make it because I choose the colors to go along with the Vera Bradley English Meadow pattern. Since it was before the pattern was released, my colors may be somewhat different shades but I still enjoy it.

Since I ran out of some blues and greens, I decided it would be alright if I worked on a new scarf that has been waiting for me to make for oh so long. My friend Sarah told me about the infinity scarf. A scarf that can be worn multiple ways, I think the idea was that it could be worn an infinite number of ways. The scarf needs to be long enough to wrap around your neck twice which makes it look like a cowl. So I bought some special yarn to give it a try (well special for me, I usually stick with Vanna's Choice and Vanna Baby which I love, but usually buy it on sale for $2 or $2.50). I used a 50% off coupon at A.C. Moore and bought Lion Brand Amazing yarn. The color I purchased was Arcadia. It was difficult to choose as the colors are hard to see in the skeins.

The yarn can be a little tricky because it is fuzzy. If you mess up and need to unravel some stitches, this yarn sometimes will not un-do.  I will post some more photos of this and the pattern soon. Here is a sneak peak photo of the scarf...

I am very happy with the way the scarf is turning out so far. I hope your day was great!
xoxo Susan

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Statistics for Stained Glass Blanket - White

Good Morning Lovelies,
I was hoping to post this much earlier this week but you know how that goes. Time slipped away.  This morning I am all ready to get working on finishing up some WIPs. This is my weekend of working on WIPs!

I was able to get outside and take some outdoor photos of the blanket in natural light but my lens would not stop fogging up from the humidity so I do not have as many presentable ones as I hoped.

Foggy Photo from Humidity

Here are the stats on the blanket:

Size: 47 inches by 29 inches
Yarn: Lion Brand Vanna's Choice and Vanna Baby
Number Colors: 22 colors plus white = 23
Estimated time to complete:  21 hours and 33 minutes (1280 minutes)

I better get to work on my WIPs so I can have some finished pieces to show you by the end of this weekend. Have a fabulous weekend and Happy Autumn!
xoxo Susan

Monday, September 19, 2011

Stained Glass Blanket Showcase!

Well lovelies,
Here it is!!!!!
I would tell you a story about the blanket, but I think the photos speak for themselves. I have the blanket covering my legs as I write this (not because it is cold here but because with the air conditioning on I usually need a blanket for my legs at night when I stay up late on the computer... reading blogs!).

Before the border

Working on the border

Border complete!

 The finished blanket with border. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE IT! I teach on Monday evenings so by the time I came home from work and finished the border, it was very dark outside. All of these photos were taken inside. I will try to get some outdoor ones tomorrow morning. These photos turned out super great considering they are all indoor lighting.

More on the border and other statistics tomorrow for those who like that sort of information. I changed it slightly from Angie's border.

I hope you enjoyed the photos as much as me. I am not sure if I will be able to part with this. A special thanks to Angie at Le Monde de Sucrette for making this blanket and sharing the pattern. This is my favorite blanket I've made so far.

I hope you had a fabulous start to your week,
xoxo Susan

Sunday, September 18, 2011

A little something to hold you over...

Hello Loves,

I was really hoping to have my stained glass blanket complete, but you know how it goes. I am making good progress but it is not quite done yet. I do not want to spoil the ta-dah moment, I am not going to show you any more photos of it until it is done.

Luckily, I do have something to show you to "hold you over" while you wait. First, I made some homemade brownies. Making baked goods from scratch and not from a box mix has been one of my goals for this year. Brownies were one of the goodies on my list to make.

I used the recipe for Chewy Cocoa Brownies found on the Toll House Cocoa container and it turned out pretty good. It was very easy to make.
1 1/2 cups of granulated sugar
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter
2 Tbsp water
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup Nestle Toll House Baking Cocoa
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup chopped nuts (optional, but I used them)
Preheat oven to 350 degree F. Grease 13 x 9 inch baking pan. Combine sugar, butter and water in large bowl. Stir in eggs and vanilla extract. Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt in medium bowl; Stir into sugar mixture. Stir in nuts. Spread into prepared baking pan. Bake for 18 to 25 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out slightly sticky. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Cut into bars. Makes 2 dozen brownies.

The brownies turned out very yummy. So yummy that J and I gobble them up in only two days.

Now a real crochet "hold over". I know I said I was not going to work on anything else until I finish the stained glass blanket, but....

I was looking through photos of crochet projects and saw some diagonal pieces. After reading through some different variations of the pattern, I decided to try it with my own version of the pattern. Sometimes patterns do not make sense to me or logically works differently in my head, so after a little bit of trial and error, I was able to get this going. I am thinking a blanket (smaller one).

I hope you had a fabulous weekend. I have a very busy work week ahead so I must be off to try and finish this stained glass blanket before the week begins.
xo Susan

Friday, September 16, 2011

Weekend Wonderfuls and Stained Glass Blanket

Hello Friends,

The weekend is finally here! I am very excited for some crochet time this weekend. My weeks go by much too quickly leaving my little time to crochet during the week. Luckily the stained glass blanket is a nice one to work on a little at a time. The little squares take about 5 minutes each to make, this includes weaving in the ends. So if I have a quick 15 minutes, I can make 3 squares.

Right now I am almost done with all of the squares for a 16 by 10 square blanket (160 total). As you can see, I started to connect the rows prior to completing all of the squares. I was not sure about the size, so I wanted to see how it looks assembled. My next posting should be of a completed stained glass blanket!!!

Well, I did have some time to stop at shop for some yarn this week. The funny thing about de-stashing, which if you remember, I started my stained glass blanket because I fell in love with the one Angie made and because I wanted to de-stash. Staying true to the rules of Feng Shui, when you make room for new yarn, you will fill up the space with..... NEW YARN!

I stopped by my local A.C. Moore store and found all of the Stitch Nation yarn on clearance for $3.00 each (regular $4.99 so approximately 40% off). At first I just bought six, three colors, two of each color. Then after bringing the yarn home and touching it and making a "swatch" of a new pattern I wanted to try, I had to go back for more.

So I went back, and bought more yarn. I purchased some of the Bamboo ewe, and some alpaca love. Please be warned though, if you have an A.C. Moore store near you, the yarn may not be on clearance (at least not yet). One of my co-workers went to a different location and found the yarn was not marked down at the other store. If the store near you does not have it marked down yet, it will probably be soon, so keep checking.

As you can see the bamboo ewe is 55% Viscose from Bamboo, 45% Wool

The alpaca love is 80% Wool and 20% Alpaca

So the bamboo ewe and alpaca love were both at A.C. Moore. You are probably thinking, wow that is a lot of yarn, enough to keep me busy for a while. But, I did not stop there. I had a coupon for Hobby Lobby and I remembered seeing a neat looking yarn there several months back. On my way home from work today I stopped by Hobby Lobby and found some of those neat yarns in the spring/summer colors were marked down too.  They are from the brand Yarn Bee and the Snowflake Wool. I really like the way the yarn reminds me of snowflakes. I am not sure what to make with these ones yet. I plan to go back and get some of the newer colors too (with a coupon of course). I am sort of a yarn frugal. I've slowly been spending a little more on yarn, but most of my projects I use Vanna's Choice by Lion Brand, and I wait for the yarn to be on sale for 2/$5 or $2 if I am very lucky. I really like the feel of it too.

Well, I have enough yarn to keep my very busy this weekend. Since I am now fully stocked up with yarn, I bet Vanna's Choice will go on sale for $2 this Sunday, just my luck, haha. I hope you have a yarn and hook filled weekend.
Have a fabulous Friday evening,
xoxo Susan

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Stained Glass Blanket, Starting to Connect

Hello Friends,

Thank you for stopping by. First though, I need to thank Eileen over at Crochet Attic for the Blog Award. I am so grateful to be awarded something for my blog. I know I am supposed to say some things about myself and pass the award along. I am going to do this in my next post, so bare with me. Knowing people enjoy hearing and seeing what I am making is very nice. I have been blogging for almost 8 months and I am so glad to have met so many wonderful people both crocheters and non-crocheters from this experience. I learn so much about the every day lives and culture of people across the my own state, country, and worldwide. So thank you very much Eileen!

Since my last post, I've been slowly trying to connect my pieces of stained glass (not really stained glass, but you know what I mean!).  Since I am not sure how big I will make this blanket I am connecting some rows so I can gauge the size. Right now I am making rows of 16 squares.

I started to connect some of the squares, using Angie over at Le Monde Sucrette's zig zag connecting pattern. This began over the weekend and I did take a break to go to the beach with J. We visited Sanibel Island, FL for a lovely day at the beach.

The zig zags will look better once the opposite rows are connected. Right now in between each square there is a space because they are only connected on two sides rather than four.

Organizing the colors so two colors do not show up right next to each other is always tricky. You would think with such a variety of colors, this would be easy, but I am always amazed at how tricky this can be.

Driving home from work tonight the sun was setting with beautiful pink colors across the sky. I tried to capture this on camera but could not get a shot that looked like it did in person. You can see a little bit of the colors in the sky.

So far I have four rows connected. I spread these out on our living room coffee table on Sunday and they are still there. Luckily J has not even commented on them being in the way or asked when they will be connected and removed from the table. He is so wonderful!

One of my friends is expecting a baby in the beginning of November and decided not to find out the sex of the baby. So, I am not able to make a girl or boy blanket which makes me anxious. I decided I did not want to make a yellow one, or even green because if it is a girl I like to have everything look extra girly. So, I was thinking maybe, just maybe this might make a gender neutral baby blanket? What do you think?

Using all of these lovely colors has me already thinking about my next project. I do not want to get too far ahead of myself, I want to finish this project before starting another one. I hope your week is going well and you are able to sneak in some crochet time :)
Have a fabulous day,
xoxo Susan

Friday, September 9, 2011

Stained Glass Blanket Update

Hello Lovelies,

Welcome to my new followers, and welcome back to my not so new followers. Thank you all for stopping by to see what I am up to. Another busy week has passed and the wonderful weekend is here to enjoy. I was able to make some progress on my stained glass blanket but not as much as I wanted. This weekend I plan to finish all of the squares and start putting some lines together. I cannot wait to see how it looks put together.

Right now I am making 7 to 8 of each color. I am still not sure exactly how big the blanket will be. I know I want it to be at least 10 by 16 for a total of 160 squares. I may add some additional colors. I think there are two or three more colors I am not using that I could add from the Lion Brand Vanna's Choice and Vanna Baby that would go well with the blanket.

Here are all of my colors so far...

I am hoping my next posting will have some rows of squares connected!!! My weekend will hopefully be filled with reading and crocheting, I cannot think of anything that sounds better than that!
I hope you had a fabulous Friday and are ready for a relaxing weekend too.
xo Susan