Saturday, September 22, 2012

Cables Oh My!

Well I created an infinity scarf for myself about a week ago and wanted a matching hat. I wanted cables so I found this pattern off of ravelry called the Chunky Cable Hat by Modern Lace Tin Can Knits and instantly fell in love. I did not have a chunky yarn on hand but I used the yarn I had anyways. Well since I have been on vacation I couldn't afford to buy any premium yarns, so Red Heart soft yarn had to do. Overall the hat turned out great, some areas looked a little loose but overall it looks great in person (I never say this about my own knits). Only one problem the hat was a few inches too short. I immediately placed it on my toddlers head and it fit perfectly. Needless to say, she will be looking good this winter.

I would also like to mention that this was my first project that I have completed with a cable design. Next obstacle lace.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Candy Corn Hats

When I think of fall several things come to mind; the leaves changing color then falling, Halloween, the harvest before winter, and Thanksgiving. So as many of you know I love to crochet and knit, and wanted to find something to make that my daughter could wear during this fall. So as I was searching through the many Ravelry knit and crochet patterns I found a pattern designed by Sarah Sagaser that was called the Candy Corn Hat. I fell in love with this pattern because it was super easy to knit with circular needles, and within the pattern it had clear directions how to make this hat for babies, younger children and adults. When I made this hat I used Vanas Choice Color Mustard for the yellow part and Red Heart Soft Yarn for the orange and white parts. What's nice about this pattern and yarn combination is that the hats have lots of room for stretching the ribbing of the hat is almost like an elastic feel.

As soon as I posted this hat on my facebook page I had an overwhelming response of people who wanted me to make them this hat. Many family members and friends that is. I do sell this hat in my etsy store for 10 dollars.

If you are going to a birthday party or need to make a last minute gift for a friend this is the pattern. Its super easy and took only about two hours to whip out. Plus it doesn't require that much yarn. 

Hope you feel inspired! 


Friday, September 7, 2012

The Black Shard By Victoria Simcox Giveaway

The Black Shard 

By Victoria Simcox

Approximately 267 Pages long, about 1 to 2 pictures per chapter. Middle School Age Read 9-13.

In the Black Shard a sequel to the Magic Warble Kristina and some of her school mates are taken back to Bernovem...into a thrilling and often dangerous adventure. 

Kristina's stay at the summer horse camp has been horrible, all because of two people; Hester and Davina who make her life miserable. When a cruel prank from Hester goes terribly wrong, the three girls find themselves back into the magical land of Bernovem. In Bernovem Kristina is very excited because she gets to see her friend Prince Werriem. When Prince Werriem invites her to sail with him on his ship to his homeland Tezerel, putting it simply Kristina cannot refuse. 

Reunited with her gnome, dwarf, animal and best of all her friend Werriem, things appear that they couldn't get any better for Kristina. But when Werriem becomes fascinated with an unusual seeing stone known as the 'Black Shard', Kristina becomes haunted by this ghost like hag. Struggling against suspicion, guilt, illness, and ultimately the one who wants to posses her soul, Kristina will see that it is her weakest moment  that she will encounter more strength than she has ever known. 

Authors Biography
Victoria was born in Scarborough, Ontario, Canada, to an Austrian immigrant mother, and a Dutch immigrant father. She now lives in Western Washington with her husband, Russ and their three children, Toby, Kristina, and William. Her other family members are a Chihuahua, named Pipsy and two cats, named Frodo and Fritz. Besides being an author, Victoria is a home-schooling mother of twelve years and an elementary school art teacher of eleven years. In her spare time, Victoria enjoys managing her two older children's Celtic band. She also loves writing, reading, painting watercolors, hiking, good movies, and just simply hanging out with her family and friends. 

Victoria Simcox Author of Sequel The Black Shard

Three lucky readers will have the Opportunity to win a digital copy of the book The Black Shard. This is a fun read that can be downloaded to a Sony reader, ipad etc.

Winners will be notified shortly after giveaway has ended. Winners must respond within 24 hours to claim their copy. 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

A Simple Day In Oregon

I believe as parents, many of us find ourselves trying to live through our children. Making up for the things we never had, or got to do, our live our dreams through them. When I became a military spouse I left my life in Oregon Mountains to follow my husband wherever he was stationed. I love being an Army wife, and find it fun and adventurous but at the same time I miss my simple life that I once had. 

Ember and I have the opportunity to travel from our home in Germany to back home in Oregon. The majority of my family lives in the mountains and most of my family lives a simple lifestyle.Because we are staying with my grandmother the nearest city is at a minimum of 30 minutes away. Those of you who have a toddler finding things for them to do can be challenging. Especially when toys are limited. 

My daughter Ember loves helping and gathering things. Since my grandparents have fruit trees growing throughout their property I decided to have her gather snacks for her and her great grandparents. We first went to the plum tree and ember gathered the 'good' plums. I thought this was a fun thing for her to do; and its the same concept as Easter egg hunting. 

Ember Plum Hunt
So after a few minutes gathering plums we walked to the other side of my grandparents property to the apple trees. The apples are not completely ready but I allowed Ember to pick a few for her snacks. Someday when my husband and I retire, we will buy a house with land, have my own apple trees and will bake apple pies for my husband!

The apple tree is blooming.

If you look hard enough there are many things you can find to occupy your child time. When I was a child my sisters and I  use to take the seeds that bloomed from the old dandelions and would blow them into the air thinking it was our wishes. So I pass this little old custom on too my daughter. Its fun to watch her get excited as the wind carries the seeds in the air. 

The dandelions are blooming everywhere.

Then we finished off our day with her jumping around on the trampoline. 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

4th Times A Charm?

Some of you may know that I have been trying for 3 months now to make it back home to Germany. I made the 3 hour trek to McChord Washington. Because we had arrived earlier than expected we made a detour and ate at the Denny's restaurant. I had a nice lumberjack breakfast which included; 2 pancakes, two eggs, 2 sausages, 2 slices of bacon, 1 slice of ham, and their famous hash browns. It had been a while since I ate out and it was well enjoyed. 

We arrived early to the air port and got put on check in/ sign in list and waited for the roll call. It was not until about 10 minutes before roll call two families showed up, one with 4 members and the other with 5 members. To make a long story short, I got bumped off the list and once again didn't get to make the flight. Since the last 3 flights were cancelled this was somewhat disappointing. Maybe I am wrong, but I went on this trip with little expectations that things were going to go my way. 

Ember my little princess took the news better than I thought she would. The last 3 times were filled with crying for about an hour, tantrums, and missing her daddy. It breaks my heart to tell her she can't go bye bye on the air plane because she doesn't understand why. But this time she did fine, didn't whine or throw a fit. 

As we were making the 3 hour trip back to Oregon, I decided that after being up for 36 hours I could not stay up any longer unless I had some caffeine. So we stopped by this local Star Bucks cafe and if you know anything about me, I love anything with pumpkin spice. The day I went to Star Bucks was the day where they launched their Fall flavors. So I ordered a grande white mocha with a splash of pumpkin spice, and a pumpkin cheese muffin. Delicious! Not only that, the Washington Seattle coffee mug was there. I already had the Portland, Oregon mug so I was happy that my collection was starting to grow. 

I just love these Starbucks city mugs! This is the second mug that will  be added to my collection. Some of my friends have about 30 different mugs from different cities that they have been to. How many mugs do you have? I take pride of my coffee and tea time. 

Although my morning started off crummy the scenic view of Mt. Rainier , Mt. St. Helen's, and Mt. Hood is breathtaking (Sorry I don't have any pictures). There was an abundance of different types of timber, natural lakes, and rivers such as the Willamette, and wild flower blooming everywhere. There was a slight breeze in the air. The temperature was not too hot but not too cold. The sun shone just enough on the skin to warm the bones. This is a place I would like to call home someday. 

It is now noon! I have made it to northern Washington and back decided where I want to possibly live someday. Its easy to point out the negatives, but when you search for the positives, your day will shine much brighter! 

Take care


Saturday, September 1, 2012

How To Make Your Own Knitting Needles

There are so many instances where I have traveled or went on a vacation somewhere and wished I had bought my knitting needles. Well I currently live in Germany  but I am on a extended vacation in Oregon. To make a long story short I had this urge to knit but no needles. I didn't want to go out to the store and buy another pair of knitting needles when I had about 50 different types at home. I once heard of people making their own knitting needles but I never put much thought or effort into making a pair until I became desperate. 

Making your own knitting needles is relatively easy. The process begins by searching for that perfect pair of twigs that you can form into needles. My grandparents recently trimmed the tree limbs of their silver maples. Since the branches had been recently trimmed the wood was still fairly fresh and NOT dry, so I chose a pair of twigs that I liked. Dry wood cracks and breaks easily so that is why it is important to choose a more fresh wood. The second part of the process, is removing of the bark from the stick. Since I was impatient I just roughly sanded over the bark and bumps on the stick with an emery board (sand paper can work as well). Once everything was fairly smooth, I then took a pencil sharpener to form a tip. For double pointed needles form a tip on each end. Once you have formed the tips it is important to take the sand paper or emery board and smooth out ALL rough edges. Then if you would like your needles to last longer take the time to treat the wood. Adding a clear nail polish will help protect the wood from chipping and prevent snags. 

When I first started knitting with my homemade knitting needles, I  used a finer and more soft yarn. I discovered that the yarn easily snagged. I am sure that this could be fixed if you treated the wood, or actually took all the bark off. Then I tried an acrylic yarn like Red Heart Super Saver and it didn't even snag, and the knitting process was easy. 

Making your own knitting needles is one way to cut back on craft costs. However for some projects where gauging is important homemade needles may not be ideal. These are unique and you can add character by gluing ac-corns at the ends, buttons, and thimbles. If you mastered the art of making knitting needles out of sticks then you can make special gifts for friends and family.

My way of making knitting needles may not work for everyone. I see much room for improvement. This is one of those types of projects where you can make it unique and your own. 

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