Thursday, January 24, 2013

My first trip to a real yarn shop!

My transformation into yarn addict is complete. I visited our local yarn shop, Stitch Your Art Out. It was absolute yarn eye candy. Everywhere. I could have died.

There's the sign! It seemed to beckon us inside, where we could browse the yarn in the warm cozy interior, sheltered from the bitter winter cold.

If my Pinterest adventures have taught me anything, it is that you aren't truly initiated until you've touched craft store yarns. My goal was to hold the legendary Noro in my hands. And I did. And it was GOOD.

There was more! Walls of yarn, as far as the eye could see! My daughter was so inspired she ran around taking pictures, going on and on about the things she would make (once she actually mastered crocheting, which is an ongoing struggle).

After much deliberation, I finally settled on 4 skeins of yarn - two of the planned Noro and two skeins of something I'd never heard of - Berroco Comfort Yarn. I was pleasantly surprised by its soft, smooth texture and gorgeous, vibrant colors. Now to start on my new project, these adorable owls! I thought these little guys would be a great way to stretch my fancy new yarns. I can't wait to see how they turn out!

With an important work deadline behind me, I have a few days to focus on creating pretty things. You just watch me run!

Monday, January 21, 2013

I made this hat, and I can't believe it!

For the first time I can remember, I am actually keeping my New Year's resolution. It is easy to do when you choose something you believe in. I promised to create something new every day of the new year. Over the past few weeks I have written, learned to sew, studied crochet tutorials, and curated quite a few Pinterest boards. I have organized a Thirty-One fundraiser to support a friend's effort to get a service dog for his daughter with autism. And I made a hat. And actual HAT.

There it is! I chose this pattern for a few important reasons:

The pattern was easy to understand

The pattern was accompanied by a video tutorial to help me understand the pattern shorthand that has always stymied me.

The project helps me learn

This project required the use of stitch markers to keep track of the round crocheting that has often troubled me. It incorporates a new stitch, the Front Post Back Post Double Crochet, and starts with the Magic Circle, an alternate way of starting crocheting in the round.

I get to create something I can use

I have always wanted a slouch hat and, since moving to a town with very cold winters, I needed a new hat to keep my head warm while walking around town.

I absolutely LOVE the pattern I used! I found a very helpful tutorial video created by crochet maven April Draven. She offers this pattern for free here, on her blog.

And the best part? It took me a few hours over two days, and I ended up with something I really, really love! These pictures, taken with my phone, don't do it justice, so hopefully I will soon be able to replace these with pics from my DSLR.

Oh, and this is meant to be a slouch hat, not a Dr. Seuss hat. I didn't have the nerve to model it for my blog, so more pics will have to wait for a better hair day.

Tomorrow I plan to share my progress making my first ever crocheted bag!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Happiness is making goals...and ACHIEVING Them!

I decided to let the new year inspire me in 2013. After all, I've made so many positive changes over the past year and a half, and I am very proud of what I've accomplished in my personal life. At the dawn of 2012 I didn't have any goals except to be happy. As often happens, my most important accomplishments arose from challenges. As life - and the people in my life - threw obstacles in my path, I was forced to summon the nerve to make tough choices and stand up for my family. It was difficult and painful at times, but the people I love held me up when I faltered. And here I am, beginning 2013 with the big obstacles behind me and the opportunity to design my future in front of me.

My year-long resolution for 2013 involves creating something new every day of the year. I will continue to redefine what it means to create as I learn and grow, and I am over the moon with excitement about my plan. This morning, as I pinned inspiration for my creative journey, I decided to take this one step further. After all, why should I have all the fun?

Enter Daughter. She thrives when she is organized and has a plan, so I decided to give her a New Year's assignment to inspire her creativity in 2013. Her instructions:

1) Make a list of 5 BIG THINGS she wants to accomplish in 2013.

2) Make a list of 3 things she wants to do in the month of January.

3) Make a list of new things she will need to learn to complete numbers one and two.

She is soooo excited! She grabbed her clipboard and has been writing furiously for the past hour. I can't wait to see what she comes up with!

So it looks like my precious daughter will be taking this journey with me! I am thrilled to travel this path with her, because everything is better when you share it with your kids!