Saturday, March 31, 2012

Favorite Baby Crochet

I have a lovey and talented Crafty Friend, Toni, who asked me about my favorite crochet patterns for babies.  Well, there are many, I must say, but I did manage to narrow it down to these few patterns and books. 

This book is new to me.  I found it in the local library and Wow!  I'm glad I did!  It is full of really fun and colorful baby things.

It is Little Crochet by Linda Permann.  There are some cute cardigans, bibs, blankies, and toys.  Yummy!

Here's a little glimpse from the back cover of the book.

This one is Crochet for Tots by Nancy Queen.  This is one of my truly all-time favs.  This shows girly items, but there are boy things, too!  I've made many things from this book and they work up easily and quickly and are so unique that they are instant heirlooms.

This is one of my favorite little cardigans.  You can see one of mine here

Isn't this set adorable?!  I have made the chapeau, but Sweet P. has outgrown it now.  This set may need to be on my list for this fall!

Oohhh, Candy Blankies by Candi Jensen...  I want, need to make EVERY blankie in this book!

See?  How fun is this one?  And you can make it any color combo your heart desires!  But there are soooo many blankies in here to choose from you won't be able to stop at just one!

This little book, Natural Crochet by Tina Barrett, focuses on projects using natural/cotton yarns.  It is full of sweet little projects like sweaters, blankies, pacifier holders, cute little diaper covers, a mobile, and even a sleeping sac.  But one of my favorites is this little shrug.  You'll have to scroll down, but it really is there! 

We have Soooo much fun going through yarn and pattern books!

And just in case you like to knit...  This is a goody, too.  Adorable Knits for Tots by Zoe Mellor. 

If you don't knit, then you will seriously want to after you drool over this book's pages!

I have to include a couple sites for you, too, as there are sooooo many awesome patterns available online. 

Ravelry is full of wonderful patterns, both free and for purchase.

Crochet Me is a site also full of inspiration and loads of how-to's if you get stumped.

My absolutely most favorite-est newborn blanket EVER is the Tiramisu Blanket by Alicia Paulson.  She has a beautiful blog and the link to the pattern is here.  Did I mention her blog is BeauTiFul?  Just scroll down and watch for the link on the right hand side of her blog.  OOooo, check out her Sunshine Day baby afghan, too while you're there!  (Drooling...).   Even if you don't crochet, just go visit her blog!  I promise you will want to move next door to her in hopes that some of her creative goodness will rub off onto you.  Ok, well, at least I do, lol.  Oh, and she does cross stitch patterns, too.  Her last kit is really tempting me.

Here is one of the sweet Tiramisu blankets that I made. (Just keep scrolling down...)   This one was actually made for Toni.

I hope this gives you lots of baby crochet ideas and inspiration.  Maybe even TOO much!

My Dear Hubby is patiently waiting for me to get outdoors with him to plan gardeny/landscapey things, so gotta go before he gives up on me!

Happy Weekend to you!


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Planning & "Planting"

Hello!  I've been studying and taking notes on some fabulous gardening ideas I really want to try this year.  I know, I know...  I said we would not be having a big garden here at the Hearthroom this year, but I can't stand to not have a garden.  See these sweet little peppers?  I bought them at the store this weekend, but I really want to pick my own this summer. 

Now we did put in a first year garden here last summer and it was a tremendous amount of work!  And need I say there were little people who deserved most of my time?  So a big, huge, over-the-top kind of garden is not happening this year, but yes indeed, some gardening is happening.  Well, at least the plans are happening.

This book is proving to be very motivating!  I just love new gardening ideas, especially when it incorporates "Edible" in my very-much-needed "Landscaping" plans.  Ooooo...  I just started into this book and I can't wait to spend more time drooling over her pages!  I truly do want to be able to grow as much as possible that will feed this family and possibly others, but it will have to happen in stages...  Over time.  Patience is a virtue, I hear....

However, this week, as I am excitedly carrying this book and my gardening journal from room to room, I have to admit that a virus has hit the Hearthroom.  Yep, I've been quite busy mothering sick little people and one Big Guy.  It's been awful, really, but everyone is now on the mend.  So I've had some time to sit and hold my babies and read and plan, but no real time to go outdoors into the sunshine.  So today I couldn't resist taking a few minutes to "plant" some instant color while I sat on the very neglected patio. 

Ahh, just a little color and a little whimsical fun for Momma.

Actually, as children slept I made an attempt to do a little yarn inventory to see where I am with finishing, ahem, and starting, some projects.  And the sun was bright and it was so warm out I just needed to head outside.  As my tulip bulbs are done, (I did actually plant them), and the hyacinths are through, I had these nice clean pots sitting about and one thing just led to another.

That's just how I think.  And I get such great joy from something so silly and whimsical. 

These are mostly the colors for the Ripple I've been working on. 

With a few other colors of different projects I'm secretly working on, hee hee...  You can probably already guess they involve granny-ish things.

So with all the gorgeous, face-warming sunshine from earlier today, I truly enjoyed being just silly for a bit and taking in the quiet.  It looks quite different out there now, as it's very dark and blowing like crazy!  Looks and sounds like a good storm heading this way.

A boy and his cat...

  Somehow, even though it's been a hard week here in the Hearthroom, we've been able to enjoy some of the unusually calm moments, too.

Hope you have too! 


Friday, March 23, 2012

Ripple Catch Up, etc.

My goodness it's been WAY too long since my last post!  I have been planning and jotting down and hooking along furiously lately!  Then I happened to be forced into a bit of a hooky break while we had a very fun family and friend long-weekend-visit.  We did have a great time, with lots of foolishness and food and fun.  It also happened to be St. Patty's Day weekend, so there was lots of green involved.

Much progress has been made on my Ripple!  I really can't believe it.  We have had our ups and downs, that Ripple and I...  But it is coming along in a very colorful, stripey kind of way.  I did manage to run out of 2 very important colors and I just found out that one of them is no longer available.  Poo!  Well, I'll work that out later.  This Ripple is worked in stripes of the same color pattern.  There are 16 colors and so far I have three repeats and am working on the fourth. 

What a stringy mess my Ripple is!  I have been VERY VERY bad about fixing as I go!

Do you see that fluffy green thing across the window there in the background?  Yep...  A St. Patty's Day leftover.  My dear Elite Running Friend just happened to leave it here.  The joke during the whole weekend was that we were finding green feathers EVERYWHERE!  We had a wonderful time visiting downtown Roanoke again during their St. Patty's Day festival and I do believe my friend was responsible for leaving a great trail of green feathers.  Although, there were a number of folks sporting the very same green boa, so I can't lean on her toooo much.

So I mentioned before how I had been totally smitten with all things square and Granny-ish...  So here is one such square that I really fell in love with.  And....  it's such a breeze to do and is really enjoyable.  I could hook'em up all night! 

This is a free pattern by Debbie Stoller at Stitch Nation.  It's called Weekend in Stockholm.  I did change the center flower by making it out of a double treble.  It just made it puffier - more like a dogwood leaf I think.  Hmmm...  Maybe I need a Dogwood Throw.  Another idea for the yarn journal!  Well,  I can't WAIT to make a throw in lots of my FAV colors with this one!  But for now, since I was on such a square roll, I grabbed these Colors On Hand and decided to make a small throw for Hubby's chair.  He's been asking for way too long about a throw for this chair because one very naughty kitty likes to take over the chair when Hubby isn't present.  So, Hubby, here is your answer!

And this is what Naughtiness looks like...

Poor Ginger just wants to mind her own business and take a nap on top of the kitty tower.  But, NOOOOO....  Axle has to be the bully and take over the top.

He looks rather pleased with himself, actually.

I mentioned that Sweet P. and I had been spending some time playing with paper, glue, and glitter.  Well one very fun item in particular I really don't want to show because I think it might be a gifty to someone real soon.  Don't want to spoil any surprise factor, so maybe I can show it later, but....

I can show you this!

This is a bit of what we've done.  I made these coffee themed cards for a swap on Splitcoast Stampers.  I used stamps by Unity Stamp Co. and inks and papers mostly from SU

I do love to have handmade cards on hand and my stash has been somewhat depleted since I've not been making much lately.  The swaps are so much fun because you get to see all the others' creative ideas!  And although I often say, gee, why don't I just sit down and make myself 8 cards?!  Well, because I always spend all my time with yarn, of course!  So doing swaps makes me produce these cards because I have a deadline.  Only then do I get them done!

We have been thrust full-swing into spring here in the valley.  Actually, some days I think we've been tossed right into the middle of summer with these 80 degree days already!  I do hope for a mild spring, but I'm getting a little worried about how hot it may be this summer.  Seems like the heat just can't wait to get started here!  Our yard is completely out of control, too, of course.  We MUST get some weeds under control and start beautification!  Wish me luck.  I'll have to take some before and afters to document the process.  Ok, come on motivation! 

Now, you know we move at a snail's pace around here these days, so it will take time, but it is absolutely necessary we get started.  So with Sweet P. climbing in mulch piles or tucked under my arm we will tackle one space at a time.  We will collect rocks and worms and Young Man will scare me with every spider he finds, but with a little determination and idea books from the library I AM READY! 

Hope to share some 'after' shots soon!  I do have to do something about my current obsession with Pocket Frogs, though....

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Roanoke Star

On a really cold and windy day we happened to find ourselves at the Roanoke Star. 

BELIEVE me when I say cold and windy...   I had to take a pic of the sign to tell me all the Very Important Details of such a star, as the uncomfortable grimace on Sweet P's face was very convincing.
You can also check out more about this star here

You can really see this star all lit up at night in various colors, but I had not been up to meet the actual star before this day.  It's really a neat place to visit and I look forward to going back this spring - when it's warmer!

It's always a fun perspective to look down over a city.  Isn't Roanoke beautiful all nestled down in these mountains?

Truly, it was pretty cold out, so it was much nicer hanging indoors with paper to play with.  Yes, Sweet P. and I have been busy... See how quickly those hands are moving?  Quite BUSY with many papers and glue and lots of glitter.  Wow, it's been fun and messy!  I can't wait to come back and show you what we've been doing. 

 I've also worked in loads of yarn time lately.  That ripple is really growing along now.  I'm at a point where I need to order more yarn.  I surprised myself by running out of one color, so I need to go take inventory and see what else is needed.  Oh, and then I went on a Granny Square Frenzy!  Goodness me, I just wanted to find one square that would be suitable for use in a valance and once I got to searching, well....  I was hooked (literally) by soooo many that I've got LOADS of Granny Plans!  I was so excited I started trying squares out of whatever old stash I could find.  You know how I get excited...

See you soon!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Yarn Drapery and Flowers

After showing you the Curli-Q Flowery Scarf I finally finished, I mentioned I had thought of another idea for the little beauty besides having it all wrapped up around my lovely pink tulips!

Aren't these sooo beautiful?!  Absolutely spectacular!  And I LOVE to see them every time I walk through the house. 

These were actually a Valentine gift from all my sweeties.  I love flowers, but the kind that can grow and bloom and I can keep around for ages are the BEST!

So, on to my idea....  I'm sure it's been done many times before, but....

It just occurred to me how sweet it would be as a window topper!  So here is my very crude, rough trial of such idea.

I think it's lovely and WonDerFul!  Except that I would need to fashion it in a way to cover hardware and maybe make something fuller to give better coverage.  Oh my poor brain!  It's on yarny-flower overload with more ideas.

But you can see the simplicity of the idea and how it could work.  It's enough to get me excited anyway.

So then I felt the need for some spring slippers.  Well, actually I have had the need for some slippers as my old ones had expired and the floors are still cold here in the Hearthroom...  But I felt the need to make them spring-y.

I had this great spring green colored yarn to use.  Nothing says spring better than green, right?

And nothing says spring flowers better than a vivid pink, well, except hyacinth purple, but pink is what I had on hand.

The pattern that these are based on is Crochet Loafer Slippers in Vanna's Choice Heartfelt Gifts, but if you know me, I added and changed and embellished until my heart was content!

I added two rows of bobbles across the top of the foot and the scalloped edging around the sides.

And made little flowers in a deeper green with button centers to embellish my ties... 

So now if only wearing all this green on my feet will eventually reach my thumb!  Then maybe I will have a frilly and fabulous garden full of blooms this year!

Do you ever have those days when you just feel down or low?   When you're just kind of worn out from the everyday.  It's the everyday stuff of life that I truly love, my mundane tasks of keeping and loving this home and nurturing my littles and playing with pets...  I could go on...  But some weeks seem to go on and on without a break and tend to wear me down.  It seems I can go and go and take a lot and then run out of steam all at once.  It's inevitable.  I had a few of those low days and realized that is when I turn to my actual paper journal... Pen and paper journaling really help to get it out there and over with.  Well, it sorts things out at least.

So it just occurred to me that I wasn't posting here while I was feeling low.  I guess I have a tendency to believe that no one wants to hear me whine, lol!  So I keep it to myself in my paper place.  It's better off there, truly, but it just seemed that it wasn't very transparent of me not to put it here.  But oh I do have those days.

While I was doing the pen and paper journaling I was feeling very lifted up by the prettiness of these papers.  And I was realizing that as much as I am totally aware that one needs breaks from the routine and needs rest occasionally, I'm still not very good at requiring it of myself until I'm already over-done.

I found these papers while Young Man had a VERY important hiking/birthday event to attend last weekend.   Hubby and I went for a stroll in downtown Roanoke.  I happened to find this Cath Kidston stationery in one of the shops there called Chocolate Paper.  It's fabulously cheery stationery and it's from a superbly delicious shop!  Oh, the change of scenery was so good, as was the time with Hubby and Sweet P.  Well, Sweet P. made it a bit of a challenge to be in a shop named Chocolate Paper, if you can imagine, but over all it was WonDerFul.

So, I'm all sorted out for now, lol!  And I'm excited to say I have this lovely, uplifting paper to share with the family and friends I write to.  But for now I just continue to look at it and feel inspired by it.  I'm thinking of  covering a journal with some of it. 

And on to other hooky projects, of course.  I need to go check my Hooky Inspiration Journal and see what grabs me next!  I really do need to make some curtains, but am thinking about making some valances for Young Man's room.  I just need to make sure they look very guy-ish... 

I'll go work on that!
Happy Yarn Time!

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