Tuesday, June 25, 2013

They're here! They're here!

My tags are here!!

Check out Jennifer's Jewels on Etsy to get your very own!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Alright, y'all.  Its the middle of [most people's] the week! I'm currently in the middle of my weekend, but hey, if you aren't cool enough to only work Friday, Saturday, and Sunday like me, then you can just envy my 5 AM Wednesday craft morning.

When I woke up this morning at four am (starting to see a pattern emerging on my days off...) I started thinking about knitting.  Know why? Because I checked the temperature outside and here in lovely Central Arkansas it is a balmy 68 degrees at this time of morning.  LOVE IT.  No, seriously, I do.  But for some reason the warmth made me think about all of my fancy-shmancy knitting projects that are halfway (or not quite even) done just sitting in my craft room taking up space.

So, for this WIP (work in progress) Wednesday, I decided to photograph all of the projects that were out in the open and share with you!  I say that because I have no doubt that I'm hiding some more.  Actually, I just looked down and saw another basket with a blanket in it that didn't get it's picture taken this morning.

So, without further ado, lets get this show on the road!

I bought this wonderful Jewel Hand Dyed yarn at the Cascade Trunk Show at The Yarn Mart during the fall.  The pattern is a free download from the Cascade website.

Last summer, at The Yarn Mart, I took a sock knitting class!  I have always wanted to learn how to make socks.  We used the book Toe-Up 2 At A Time book.  I had so much fun learning how to make them!  I am using Shibui sock yarn.  I actually would pay to take the class again because I'm pretty sure I've forgotten how to do it...and I want to finish these socks off!

This is a random, not baby-friendly-at-all baby blanket that I started when I found out I was pregnant. I'm using Bamboucle (which is actually 45% cotton, 30% bamboo, 17% linen, and 8% nylon, so it actually is fairly baby friendly).  I didn't have a pattern, I just started winging it.  It was all B1G1 free in the adoption center at The Yarn Mart, so without having a plan...I bought it ALL!

This is actually is a baby blanket pattern that I've used for baby shower gifts in the past.  This particular blanket is adult-sized that I made for one of my very best friends, Sara, when she suffered from two strokes last January.  She is fully recovered a year and a half later, and I still am hoarding her blanket!  Only thing left to do on this one is to sew the fabric on one side. 

I am SO bound and determined to pick this bag back up.  It is from Sara over at Sans Limites Crochet and it is something called "Tapestry crochet" where you work the yarn just a little bit differently to create some awesome patterns.  She has lots of different ideas and tips over on her blog on how to accomplish.  I bought this pattern at her Ravelry store.

Here is another unfriendly-baby baby blanket.  I got the yarn (Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool) from the adoption center at The Yarn Mart.  It is beautiful yarn, but is 45% wool, 35% silk, and 20% nylon.  Not the most comfy cozy, or spitup-proof yarn out there, that is for sure.  I have no clue what the pattern is called...I actually have a random orange sticky note in the bag with the yarn that has the basic premise to the blanket scribbled on it.  I started it when I first got pregnant, and it hasn't gotten very far!!

This yummy cowl has been in the works for two years.  I got it to make something nice and warm to make on those cold football talegate mornings (Go Hogs!).  I got the yarn from The Yarn Mart, and it is Berrocco Vintage Chunky, and Shibui Staccato.  The pattern is free from the Shibui Knits website, and is called Array

Here is a random little football-themed hat for the little bug-a-boo.  Only thing left to do on this one is weave in the ends (I HATE doing that! So many hates just hanging around with loose ends) and sew on the "laces." Didn't follow a pattern on this one, just did a basic crochet hat with some color changes to mimic a football! The yarn is Caron Simply Soft.

Another hat from Sara over at Sans Limites Crochet.  I bought the Encore yarn at The Yarn Mart and the pattern can be found on her Ravelry page.  

Wow....this blanket has been in the works since....must I say it.....December of 2006!!!  Holy cow.  I don't think I'll ever finish is. I'm using Caron Simply Soft and the pattern is called the Alexi Throw.  The problem with this is the cabling takes forever!  It takes me about 30 minutes to do one row.  I get bored, it gets put back in it's basket.  

Here is another beauty from Sara over at Sans Limites Crochet.  I have made this checkerboard beanie more times than I can count.  Definitely one of my favorite hat patterns.  Yarn is Caron Simply Soft.  

This beautiful shawlette is named Trillian.  It is named after a character in Douglass Adams' wonderful book The Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy which happens to be one of my favorite books.  I am making it with some type of sock yarn...not quite sure what. I know that I got in on sale in the adoption center at The Yarn Mart.  I have been wanting to learn how to do continental knitting, and this is my first attempt.  However, I didn't decide to learn until about halfway through what you see pictured, so the tension in the yarn is WAY off.  

This is a pattern by Anna and Heidi Pickles and is called the baggy-weave sweater.  I got the yarn at The Yarn Mart and it is one of my favorites, Vintage Chunky by Berrocco.  Such soft, yummy yarn!  I think the problem with this is I have no clue where I left off, and don't know where in the pattern to pick back up!

Well, that is about it. I never did go back and photograph the other blanket that is in progress (it is a peach and brown checkerboard blanket that I am crocheting).  I figured it would be pretty pathetic to have FOURTEEN works in progress.  Like 13 isn't embarrassing....but I'm going with it.

I hope that you do not have as many WIP as I do!

I think my problem is that I get SOO excited about new yarn, and new patterns, that I just jump right in without thinking.  I get board, find a new pattern, and the cycle starts over.

I suppose I should use this energy to go pick something up and start knitting!!!  Although, it is now time to get the baby up and feed him!

Happy Wednesday, y'all!


Sunday, June 2, 2013

Anyone remember this post last summer?  I was finally starting to feel better and decided to MAKE my own laundry detergent! Well, it has proved to be a really great choice for our family.  I am so glad that I decided to do it.  That $31.68 has lasted us 10 months of laundry!  How wonderful, especially since we added to our family and laundry loads, and its even more important to pinch those pennies!

I have a front loading HE washer, and this detergent worked splendidly.  I never had any issues with spotting or the soap not dissolving (and I use cold water).

Lets look again at what most powdered laundry detergents have in their ingredient list:
1.  Borax
2.  Baking Soda
3.  Washing Soda
4.  Fels Naptha soap

Also, you can check out the original recipe that I created this with here.

The first year of doing this I really felt was trial and error, and I feel like I have the recipe down now!  I am very excited to share with you the differences in this batch!  One of the main problems I had last year was grating my soap.  What a pain in my you-know-what.  I was bound and determined to find a better solution this year.  And I did!  Let me introduce to you: Zote Laundry Soap Flakes!

Gone are the days of trying to grate 6 bars of soap!  Or if you were like me....trying to throw it all in the food processor!  That would have been fine, but I figured for easy clean up, why not throw the food processor parts in the dishwasher!!  Umm.....do you know what happens when you put regular [not dishwasher specific] soap in to the dishwasher?!  Because now I do....and though my kitchen tiles probably needed scrubbing anyway, the massive amounts of foam pouring from my dishwasher was less than ideal.  SO, long story short, I was very happy to find these at my local Walmart!

And, this year I didn't even need to purchase the 5 gallon bucket since I already had it!  Check out my grocery list for this batch:

1.  Two boxes of 2lb Baking Soda (or you can buy a 4lb box, which my store didn't have today)  $1.24 each
2.  One box of 4lb Borax $3.38
3.  One box of 3lb Super Washing Soda $3.24
4.  Two boxes of Zote Laundry Soap Flakes $2.64 each
5.  One box of 3lb Oxy-clean powder $7.52
6.  One jug of 55oz Purex Laundry Crystals $8.96

Total cost: $30.86

So, like last year, this number is pre-tax, and where you buy may be different than my local store.  But I'm pretty sure for ten months of laundry, $30.86 rocks!!!

Also, the most expensive thing is those dang Purex Laundry Crystals.  Come to find out, they aren't even fabric softener.  They are just smell good-yumminess to add to your laundry pleasure.  So, if I wasn't so in to smelly things, I would totally leave that out.  But I'm a sucker for Lavender, and definitely think it makes the laundry experience better.  So I will suck it up and spend the nine dollars!!  If you have allergies in your household, you can absolutely leave them out.  The Zote laundry flakes have a pretty pleasant smell themselves.

{The number seems very close to last years, and without the bucket, but obviously the economy changes and prices of items are always seeming to go up. So, I think this is pretty reasonable!}

Please, PLEASE go do this!  It is the easiest thing in the world and will save you so much!  Not to mention, you will save a little bit of the world by not having the waste of the big plastic detergent bottles!

The other tip I was going to mention was how I mixed it all together.  Don't try to throw all the ingredients in all at the same time.  You want to do it in layers.  I did about five all together that included all of the ingredients, properly stirred up before adding to the next layer.  This will ensure that your detergent is mixed up thoroughly and you aren't missing any ingredients when you scoop a tablespoon or two out!  Also, your spaghetti scoop kitchen spoon works VERY well for this task!!

Cheers to another 10 months of laundry soap!!

Well, Looks like its been about 5 months since I have been to the blogger world!  Why the long wait?  Well, this precious bundle of joy takes every second of my free time! And I love him for it!!

Cooper, 5 months old
My life has changed so much for the better!  It was worth every miserable second and every time of vomiting over the nine months to produce this wonderful human being!  It is so wonderful to watch him change and grow every day!

I'm also on here tonight because I'm going on my third night of no sleep.....I have a wonderful raging ear infection that is driving me batty!  My ear feels like it is about to explode and the ringing is unbearable!

I'm also coughing, and I'm trying not to keep my husband up for a third night in a row!  Poor guy has to work in the morning and I've been driving him nuts I'm sure.

Hope to get back to posting more. Haven't really been crafting much, as I've been spending all of my time with Cooper and at work.  But I have this AWESOME craft room and need to utilize it!!

Hope everyone out in the blog-o-sphere is doing well!!


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