A VERY pink Sea Princess

It’s done! I can’t believe it, but I finished the Sea Princess sweater early.

And, like so many of the knitting challenges I’ve taken on before, it wasn’t nearly as hard as I thought it would be. (Really, you’d think I would have learned by now.)

I was really overwhelmed & nervous about the prospect of having to use charts for almost the entire thing…especially the cables. The only charts I’ve done before were for washcloths (non-cabled washcloths, mind you). Once I got into though and figured out a way to keep myself on track , the charts were super easy. The cumbersome part of this project was actually flipping between the charts and following the written directions at the same time. The trick? A 3-ring binder and post-its.

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Being able to flip through the 3 charts and keep the directions out & off to the side made it much easier to work. And also easier to pack back up when I needed to. (Not so easy to keep the cat off of though…seriously if you put a piece of paper down, you may as well be providing an engraved invitation for her.)

So, much to my surprise, I managed to finish this sweater about 2 weeks earlier than I anticipated. And it’s a good thing too! All of a sudden, it’s decided to be spring here. After a wishy-mostly-washy March, it’s supposed to finally be warm all week. At lease the Kiddo got in one good wear before it warmed up.

I guess it’s good that we have more little girls in our extended family.

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Happy Birthday Nerd Wars!

Nerd Wars is 2!!

And I’ve been playing for 20 months of those 24…holy cow!

What is Nerd Wars? Well, here’s how I explained it on the first day of the first tournament I participated in:

Nerd Wars is a tournament of fiber arts geekery on Ravelry.  People divide into teams based on their chosen nerd-doms and create projects related to that nerd-dom for points in a number of challenges.  Each tourney is 3 months and there is 1 round per month with 6 challenges in each round.  The prize for winning?  As I told the Hubs, Nerd Glory.  So really, it’s all just for fun.”

But it’s so much more than that.  I’ve long since given up on any fantastical notion of taking time off from playing because I couldn’t bring myself to walk away from the people. I’ve gotten to know and genuinely care about the people I play with…especially my teammates on Team P.I.

I’ve gotten to expand my geek horizons (much to the hubs’ chagrin, I think). Doctor Who – how have I not watched this before? Dresden Files – detective stories with a wizardy & supernatural bend…hello, awesome! And I have quite a few more in the Netflix queue just waiting for me to get to them (grr…Haven! Why are you not on Netflix?).

Best of all, I’ve improved and expanded my skills. I used to only knit and I was rarely brave enough to attempt anything more than a baby hat or a scarf. Now I’ve done shawls, socks, stuffies, and even an orange cozy. Plus seeing all of the possibilities for great projects out there, I finally decided to get off my butt and learn how to crochet. Not only did I open myself up to a whole new world of patterns, but being able to both knit & crochet gave me the confidence to put myself out there and open up my own little hat business.

Nerd Wars, you are awesome and I am so glad to be a tiny part. Happy 2nd birthday! Have some cake!!!

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Umm…it’s $100 yarn

Oh Nerd Wars! You just keep giving me reasons to love you. I’m never going to have time to learn how to sew.

So, the powers that be in the super awesome yarn-crafting game that is Nerd Wars have created something new and exciting. Nerd Wars Yarn!!!

I usually stick to the cheaper stuff because well, it’s less expensive and also because I’m usually making things for small kids that need to washable and hearty. Really nice hand-dyed yarn is kind of lost on a 3-year-old. But when I saw the announcement about the Nerd Wars Yarn Club, I squeed out loud and immediatly sent a link to my hubs (my birthday is coming up after all).

And here’s how the subsequent conversation went:

Hubs: “Umm…it’s $100 yarn.”
Me: “Not really, it’s a yarn club. So it’s actually 3 things of yarn (plus some other stuff) totaling $100!”
Hubs: “But it’s $100 yarn.”
Me: “No it’s not. It’s really $22 yarn plus shipping for 3 months in a row!”
Hubs: “But it’s $100 yarn.”
Me: “Nevermind.”

Then I talked to my mom and she said, “Well, I want to spend about $100 on you for your birthday. What do you want?” So I told her the story about the Yarn Club and she said, “Go and order it!”

So yay! I’m getting the Nerd Wars Yarn Club for my birthday!!

Tournament the First – Squotient in Ball Pit Colorway (in honor of Team Bazinga) – photo credit: Ewereka Yarn

 

Make ALL the Hats!

Well, I did it! I took on the challenge and I completed it. On my second attempt at a Nerd Wars Dissertation (read “very large project that takes 3 months to complete”) I actually finished. (Get ready folks, this is a long one.)

So, what did I do exactly?

I made 9 hats in various sizes – 5 knit and 4 crochet. Want to see?

A couple of the patterns were free, a couple I already had in my personal library, and a couple I had to purchase. Not unexpectedly 3 of the 4 knit hats are Susan B. Anderson patterns (I LOVE her stuff!).

Anyone who has seen some of my previous posts will not be surprised to see yet another Pumpkin Hat. It’s a HUGE go to for me when making baby gifts…especially when I don’t know the baby’s gender. So, I had that pattern and the Pink Paper Bag pattern already because they’re both in Itty Bitty Hats. The 2 Pom Pom Hats are also Susan B. Anderson. The pattern for them is the Dream Catcher Hat and was free.

The other knit hat – Princess Crown – was also a free pattern. Despite it’s lack of cost, I’m not entirely sold on this pattern. It came out okay, but I didn’t really enjoy the process. There were A LOT of stitch markers involved. It’s possible that I was just grumpy because I was short on time so I will give it at least one more shot before I decide whether or not  I like it.

As for the crochet patterns – I bought the Minnie Mouse and the Cloche patterns from Lizzziee on Etsy (along with 3 other patterns) and I couldn’t be more happy with them. The directions were so easy to follow – which was a big deal for me since I’m pretty new to crochet.  The other hat I made was Hello Kitty and it was from a free pattern. I was dubious at first, but when I got it all finished I was super pleased with the result.

Minnie, Rainbow Pom-Pom, and Princess Crown are for my kiddo. She’s all set for winter and playtime now. Pumpkin has already been gifted and Blue Pom-Pom is a gift as well. Hello Kitty has actually been sold. I’m saving the 2 Cloche hats and Pink Paper Bag to sell at a craft fair.

And more awesome – I already have an order for a Minnie Mouse and I have 3 more Hello Kitties to make for birthday gifts.

Best of all…I finished a dissertation and I’m really proud of myself!

Project Use Up All The Cotton – Week “I gave up counting a LONG time ago”, Projects 5, 6, & 7

I know, I know…it’s been a REALLY long time. What can I say…darn life! I seriously did not expect this summer to get away from me like it has. Yeah, yeah, excuses excuses. On the up side, I’ve actually gotten quite a bit done…some non-cotton items and a couple of things that are in cotton, but are not part of this project. Plus 3 more PUUATC things and here they are:

There’s an Owl Coffee Cup Cozy:

I really enjoy how this came out & I’m thinking a few more will make great holiday gifts for my kiddo’s preschool teachers. I’m always at a loss for what to get them, especially because there are usually at least 3 teachers to give gifts to and we don’t have a huge budget for that stuff.

A Zig-Zag washcloth:

I added this one to the small arsenal of wash/dishcloths I’m amassing in my kitchen. I like that they are re-usable and soften up over time. Right now I’m the only one that will use them though. My husband has yet to convince himself that it’s okay to use a knitted washcloth. He looks at them like little treasures that he’s afraid of ruining…which is sweet because he respects that it takes effort to make these things, but he’s missing the point – they’re supposed to be used. Ah well, some day.

And a Broomstick Bookmark:

This came out really cute. I’m not sure if I’m going to make more though. I love giving book gifts, but my family has finally hopped on the e-reader bandwagon, so a bookmark is less-than-helpful as far as a book-related gift goes. They would probably be happier with Amazon gift cards so they can get more books. On the other hand, I’m considering doing a few craft fairs next year and if I do, I’ll totally put a few of these out for sale. I think they’ll do really well.

Project Use Up All The Cotton Totals:

Project 5 (Owl Coffee Cup Cozy) – 16g
Project 6 (Electric Cloth) – 33g
Project 7 (Harry’s Broom) – 6g

 215 grams down, 871 grams of yarn to go

I’m still here!

I haven’t fallen off the planet, I promise. I’ve been furiously knitting and trying to keep track of a preschooler’s summer at the same time (seriously…the Kiddo’s schedule has changed just a little and it’s thrown my entire world into a tizzy).

So real quick – here’s what I’ve been making lately:

My mission, should I not wuss out and refuse to accept it

I believe I’ve previously mentioned my affinity for the creation of small hats, yes?

As I was looking at my list of items to create for gifting purposes, I realized that I have a fairly significant number of hats to make in the next few months…no fewer than 6 without having to think too hard. And then it dawned on me…dissertation! (A dissertation is a project/series of projects made during a 3 month period of time during a Nerd Wars Tournament.)

I attempted (and failed to complete) a dissertation in Nerd Wars Tournament 3, but I believe that was because my plans were FAR too ambitious. This time the challenge I will set for myself should be much more achievable, particularly because I already know how to knit hats and some of the patterns are ones I’ve done before.

The Basic Plan – Knit or Crochet 9 hats in varying sizes and patterns between June 1 and August 31

Here’s where the challenge comes in:

  1. I actually have to function in real life and not yarn-craft all day.
  2. I will also be participating in other Nerd Wars challenges.
  3. I want to do this all from my current stash and not buy any new yarn. (This is a personal challenge and will not be included in my dissertation proposal.)
  4. I’ve knitted plenty of hats, but I’ve never crocheted any. This one could get interesting

So, that’s 3 hats per month. At the moment, I’ve selected 3 patterns which will be used for 5 of the hats. And all 5 of these hats have gifting destinations. I’m just not sure about the other 4 yet. Hmm….