Saturday, November 3, 2012

Slippers & Bags and a Month of Catchup!

Yikes! A month is a long time not to blog. I've missed it. I'll try to catch you up without typing a Charles Dickens length novel! 

I finished my Pleated Ballet Slippers. Pattern info here: Ravelry. In fact, I'm wearing them now and love them. What I love most about them is that I was able to use leftover yarn from an earflap hat I made in January. The yarn is Plymouth Encore Chunky Tweed. It's a great yarn to knit with and relatively inexpensive: $13 in yarn for two projects. What a deal!

Chunky Chula Hat by Plymouth Yarn Design. Info here: Ravelry.
And, since I used leftover yarn and the pattern was $7, the slippers were practically free. Or, so I told hubby. Gotta love knitter-economics!

Since we've last connected, I visited the city of St. Louis. Hubby and nephew ran the Rock n Roll Marathon there. St. Louis is a fun town and the weather was fantastic. Here are a few pictures:
6:50 a.m. Waiting for the race to start! 
Nephew Glenn at 13.1 miles. Looks like he's just out for a casual jog!
Hubby at the finish line. Beat his previous marathon time by 15 minutes!
Stumbled upon a Rams v Packers party in the hotel bar.
I started a new project on the way home from St. Louis. It's a 6 hour drive, so I had some knitting time. I'm making a market bag from sock yarn I inherited from my Grandma who passed about a year ago. 

Big Bang Market Bag. Pattern info here: Ravelry.
Speaking of bags, my 31 venture is going great. I am having much fun being a consultant. I'm meeting a lot of new friends, earning money, and carrying around fantastic bags. Check out the bag I bought to carry my projects. I mean as a 31 consultant I can no longer carry my WIP in Ziplocks bags, right? Disgraceful! Here's a picture of my upgrade:

Zipper Pouch. You can shop for this on my website:
I'm also earning free bags just for doing my job as a consultant. So far I've earned 5 free bags. Here's a picture of 2 of my favorites. I love the consultant exclusive plumb polka dot print!

Organizing Utility Tote & Retro Metro
Thirty-one gives back to the community and rewards its consultants generously with product. So happy I found a company like this to be a part of. Sorry for the preposition at the end of that sentence.

Okay enough 31 talk. Did I mention I love this company? Well, I better get knitting so I have something to type about sooner than a month's time. What's new with you? Run any marathons, actual or metaphorical? Finish any projects? Start any new business ventures? Holiday plans? I love reading and responding to your comments, so please type away! ~ Christina 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

DK Ribbed Sock Pattern

DK Ribbed Socks: Free pattern here.
We have a lot to catch up on. Up first and most excitingly: I finished my DK weight ribbed socks last night! The yarn has been in my stash for about a year. 

My stash
I keep my stash, minus dishcloth yarn which never counts as proper yarn stash, in this vintage crate from hubby's mom. I had to rescue it as he was going to pitch it. Can you believe it!? Back to the socks. I taught myself to knit socks two at a time. Very excited about this. I used a tutorial by verypinkknits, click here. She has great tutorials about pretty much everything knitting related.

Two at a time! Fancy filter via Instagram
Again back to the socks. I couldn't find a pattern I liked for this yarn. I didn't want anything busy because the yarn has a fair isle effect - that's fake color patterning for you non-knitters. I also NEED ribbing in my socks or I feel like I have to fight with them to stay up. Who needs to fight with their socks, right? I've knit enough socks that I know the basics: short row heel, gusset, toe shaping, etc. So, why not just make up a pattern? Here's what I did: I spent about an hour or so swatching to get the exact number of stitches I wanted and to figure out my gauge, which oddly was very, very, close to the gauge on the yarn band. When does that ever happen? Then I just kept track of what I did, typed it up, and viola! a pattern. I put it on Ravelry and am sharing it for free on my blog. Just click on the first tab under my heading. The pattern hasn't been test driven yet, so if you notice any problems please let me know.

Just click the first tab on the left called "DK Ribbed Socks"
I also put my free baby santa hat on a tab too. Since Christmas is coming...  but, let's wait until Halloween has passed to blog about it. Oh and the santa hat pattern has been test driven. Try to find the same yarn I used if you can. It's sooo soft and relatively inexpensive for a yarn shop yarn.

My first 31 party!
My next exciting news - I've become a bag lady! No pitter-patter of little feet kind of news here. Almost a month ago I joined Thirty-One as a consultant. My kids are older and don't need me as much, and I am a social creature, and I love parties, and I love bags, so this is a perfect fit. Too excited for that not to be a run-on sentence. I had my first two parties this week and am so excited about this company! How many times have I used some form of the word "excite" in this post, I wonder? Anyway, a friend was gracious enough to hostess my first party in her new kitchen. Above is a picture. There's not much of the kitchen showing as I was focusing on my bags, but it really is a fabulous kitchen. 

I have a 31 website where you can look at the catalog and see the monthly specials. If you want to do any shopping for the holiday I'm not blogging about until after Halloween, my contact info is on the site. Product can be direct shipped to you or if you live in West Michigan I can combine it with a party and save you a couple bucks toward shipping. Here's the site:

Basket weave dishcloth. Fancy filter via Instagram.
I also started knitting dishcloths again. I'm giving them as 31 hostess gifts. Who wouldn't want to spend a couple hours with friends and cocktails to get a beautiful dishcloth knit by yours truly? I know. Love this safety orange yarn I found in my dishcloth yarn stash, not to be confused with my proper yarn stash. I dug up my old pattern books so I can make different types of dishcloths.

Well, this post is getting long and it's a school night so I'll sign off. I'll leave you with a few pictures of beautiful Lake Michigan via Grand Haven beach. We spent a few hours there last Sunday hanging out with friends and watching a kite surfing race.

Lake Michigan at Grand Haven Beach

Lake Michigan at Grand Haven Beach

Thanks for reading and please let me know what's new and exciting in your life. New career ventures, knitting adventures, holiday plans... Please comment :) Christina

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Knitting In Motown

Knitting at Comerica Park
I had a great time in Detroit this weekend. Went to a Tiger's game with great friends, enjoyed wonderful weather, saw the sun... And, I had time to knit during the game. They really don't do much of a security check at the gate - so my needles made it in no problem. I was a little worried, even though some of you commented that knitting needles are allowed. Anyway, the Tigers played the Minnesota Twins and won. It was a shut out meaning the Twins didn't get a hit - well, they did hit the ball but the guy batting was out meaning it doesn't count as a hit. So even though the ball was hit, it wasn't a hit, or something like that. Right. Back to knitting.

I also managed to finish the mittens I've been writing a pattern for. Please disregard the preposition at the end of that last sentence. I finished the first one, see mitten on the right, but didn't like how pointy the top was. So... I went back the the drawing board and knit up a second one. I changed the decreasing/shaping and got a more rounded top, see mitten on the left.

Pattern info coming soon.
Then, I ripped back the first mitten, re-shaped the top... and, viola! They are both more round. Here is a picture before blocking. I do love the way Noro stripes. I purposely didn't match up the stripes. The mittens are currently taking a Eucalan bath. I will post pictures once blocked and share the pattern.

Time to pick out my school clothes for tomorrow, iron, and snuggle up with my Kindle. Hope you all had a great weekend. I'd love to hear about what you're knitting, crocheting, crafting, etc., and reading. Thanks so much for reading and taking the time to comment! ~ Christina