Sunday, October 23, 2005

Mimi's mini Martha poncho

I've been fondling the same yarn every time I go to Hobby Lobby. I finally committed myself to using it for a jumper for Mimi. When I went to pick it up, there was only one skein left (and my Hobby Lobby is not the best about restocking...).

Sooo... since I couldn't leave empty handed, I picked up some 'Yarn Bee' Italia yarn in colors that my wife likes to dress our two year old in. After I brought it home, the yarn told me that it wanted to grow up to be a poncho.

Although I have several friends who aren't so fond of Martha Stewart, I think she is pretty amazing. I searched the internet for a small version of Martha's freedom poncho. Although the pattern I found looked good, there were legions of errors in the text. No matter though. After I understood the basic concept, I just went with it, and feel that it turned out well. I'll be sure to post a picture later of Mimi wearing it.

BTW - Martha, in case you are reading this, feel free to drop me a line sometime, okay? ;)

Tuesday, October 18, 2005


Strange how happy it makes me to work on the poncho again. I was starting to stress that the Bartlett yarn would never come in to my LYS. But here it is, and the dye lot matches just fine. If you've never used Bartlett before, I highly recommend it. I'm sure I've said this before, but what's wrong with a little perseveration?: They don't wash all of the lanolin out of this yarn so even though it isn't the softest wool around, your hands feel great when working with it and it smells fantastic. You can order straight off of Bartlett's website.
Oh Elise, you may actually get your poncho before the cold weather hits!!!

Monday, October 17, 2005

hobby hell

I haven't found time to work on any projects recently. The only 'fix' I get is at work when I run my craft group for adults with mental illnesses. I love my job in that I get to be creative and try a lot of art projects (without spending my own money), but even those opportunities have gotten fewer and farther in between. There has been too much 'real' work that is squeezing out my discretionary time. I need to do something about that.

This past week, when I'm home, I'm either covered in kids or too zoned out to function past survival mode. I think part of it is the changing of seasons. Part of it is just mental exhaustion. I'm overdue for a real vacation... I think a month or two in Puerto Rico would fix me up...

You know, over the years, I've dabbled in sooooo many hobbies, that it surprises me when one actually sticks. No one thought I would stay with the crochet. Even though I neglect it for months at a time sometimes, I am always happy to find it again. I think one of the things I love about crochet is that I'm only limited by my own creativity and skill which is built on experience.

As for some hobbies on the back burner:
Sorry banjo. I was overjoyed with you and Dan still owes me 10 lessons to pay off the washer and dryer I gave him. I promise I will dust you off this winter and give Dan a call. Maybe I'll break out some bluegrass today to get me in the right mind-frame.
Sorry novel. I visited my first chapter this week. It is like we barely recognize each other anymore. I have so many stories in my head (at least one for each personality...) but I need to work on my original novel no matter how horrible it turns out.
Good news candle making supplies that I collected for a few years but never used: I'm having a few friends over for a candle making party in two weeks!
Oh my beloved hiking boots. You know you were more than a fleeting fancy. I love the great outdoors and love hiking (and dressing the part). However, with two toddlers (formerly two babies), I've felt somewhat homebound during my free time. However, I'm feeling the effects of being sedentary for TOOOOOOOO long and am in the process of making a plan to get out of this rut. I promise we still have a bright future together.
Oh dreams of woodworking... at least I didn't buy the equipment before flaking out...

Damn. I think it is time to win the lottery. I would be very happy to be a full-time hobbyist. Maybe instead of writing a novel, I should write the novel so that I can focus on fun (and buy more yarn).


Tuesday, October 11, 2005

weekend trip/knitting lesson

We had a nice trip up to Indiana Dunes State Park this past weekend. This was my first time visiting a 'great' lake, and I was amazed how much it reminded me of the gulf. It was too cold to swim, but a nice enough day to play in the sand. Can you see Chicago across the lake?

We stayed in a nice Inn in the town of Porter. Oh, how I miss the pool and hot tub! :(

I found a very interesting looking yarn shop in Valaprasio (sp?) on the way home, but of course it was closed on Sundays. Next time...

Thanks to Cathy who showed me how to cast-on and begin knitting today. Knitting feels very alien to me compared to crochet, but I think it will be fun to play with. I've got a lot of practicing to do before I feel comfortable. Guess I will start with the obligatory scarf...

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Infatuation with stockings....

I'm about to jump out of my skin waiting for my Bartlett yarn to come in so that I can finish Elise's poncho. I need a few more skeins of 'Bark'. It has been well over a month since I ordered them. I want to support my LYS, but I'm close to ordering the rest on-line...

Since I couldn't work on the poncho, I swung by my local Hobby Lobby last night just to 'browse'. I became intrigued with some of the "Yarn Bee" brand yarns (Hobby Lobby's brand). I kept coming back to the "Infatuation" line. I know I've been singing my praises of wool recently, but this stuff (100% Nylon) feels like down! So browsing turned to buying when I realized this yarn that is normally $8.88/skein was marked down to less than $6/skein. This is a picture of the stocking I'm working on. I remember now why I shy away from such frilly yarn... it is sooooo hard to see the stitches. I'm feeling my way through it though.

Monday, October 03, 2005


I've wanted to try this stocking pattern for quite a while. Many of the patterns I've seen on line look too 'crafty, but I really liked this one.

I actually got it off of Bernat's site ( You have to join, but it is free and they have several free patterns. However, I used some Cascade 220 Peruvian wool yarn that I picked up at my LYS yesterday. I let my 7 y/o son pick out the colors. The photo isn't quite as purple dinosaur as the real stocking!

This is a larger stocking (probably around 20" long) and a fun pattern to work. I started last night and finished up this morning.