Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Getting back to the swing of things

Now that the holidays are over, I can finally get back to designing! Thanks to my procrastination I got way behind on the Christmas gifts I was knitted and several of them didn't get made. I was busy knitting even on Christmas day to get the last one done. I was stressed more than I should have been.

A Christmas gift we received was a one night stay at an indoor water park resort for the day after Christmas with DH's family! So right after Christmas we had to pack and load up the kids. I had never been to such a thing, and normally it wouldn't be my idea of fun, but we ended up having a great time, with the exception of when my smallest DS got flipped over in the wave pool in his float (he was wearing a life vest too) and smacked his head on the pool floor, since we was in the really shallow end, and had to be taken by ambulance to the ER. He had a huge goose egg on his forehead, but no concussion. Everyone at the hospital was really nice and got us in and out in an hour. Luckily, the swelling went down really quick, and he was feeling well enough to play the next day, but we did make him take it easy.

When we got home yesterday afternoon we were all exhausted. The weather had also turned nasty and I didn't even attempt to make it to my knitting night. The best thing about my trip is that for two days I didn't knit a stitch! I didn't even think about knitting! So today, I'm ready to wind up some yarn and get knitting, and get things ready for the big contest announcement I'm going to make on New Years Day!

Oh, and the best thing I got for Christmas? A Keurig coffee maker! Seriously, best. thing. EVER! The Hot Apple Cider is my favorite!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Holy Crap! 7 days til Christmas!

Well, what can I say, I'm not ready! I have waaay too much to do and I won't even come close to getting it done. I'm really disappointed but there nothing I can really do about it. I still have 2 gifts to finish, and 4 more to make, and the pressure is on. I'm a bit worried. More gifts went on the chopping block than I had hoped.

The good thing is that, with the exception of gift cards, my shopping is done! About a third of everything is wrapped! And, I'm only waiting on one last gift to be delivered!

I had lost a bit of my Christmas spirit. The Christmas cheer that I usually have during this time of year just couldn't be found. That was until yesterday. My bestie took me out for a girls day and treated me to lunch and we finished up our shopping, and it was exactly what I needed! I feel so lucky to have a friend who knows me and cares about me enough to know exactly what I needed to bring me out of my rut.

So now, it's full steam ahead! There's no time to waste!!!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The countdown begins! - 25 days til Christmas

I woke up this morning to SNOW! Our first snow of the season! It was also a rude reminder that I am waaay behind on my Christmas gift making. Out of 16 gifts: I have 1 done, and 4 started. There's only 25 days until Christmas, and some gifts are needed before then.

I just made myself a cup of hot cocoa, got some Christmas music going, I'm going to fill out all of my Christmas cards and get them ready to go, and then seriously bust my butt and try to get some gifts going. I don't know if I will be able to pull it all off, but I'm sure going to try! They are my family after all, and I feel most of them really appreciate the gifts I make them.

I hope to find time to update my progress! The countdown is on, let's get going!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Victor the Thankful Little Pup

Michelle of Dancing Dog Dyeworks and I have teamed up for a Black Tuesday special, and I am having a Black Friday special!

On Tuesday Novemer 22nd at 9:00 am Pasific (or 12:00 noon to us Eastern people) Michelle will be updating the Dancing Dog Dyeworks shop, and for everyone who makes a purchase will get a free copy of the "Victor the Thankful Little Pup" pattern! (limit one per household)

Can't make it to the update? No money for yarn? Don't worry! I will be releasing the pattern on Black Friday on Ravelry for a special, one day price of $2! After Black Friday the pattern goes up to it's regular price of $4.

Victor is only 5 1/2 inches tall and it the perfect little companion that has a big personality! He's made with worsted weight yarn, and would be a great Christmas ornament too!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Retro Lemon Studio group on Ravelry!

I am SO excited to announce the Retro Lemon Studio group is now up on Ravelry!
I had been thinking about doing it for a little while, but I'll be honest and say that the thought of branching off into my own group was a bit scary. I never thought I'd be a a designer, or having people who wanted to join a group just for my patterns. It's kind of funny when I think about when I first started designing patterns. I had just been playing around working on something one of my kids requested, and the next thing I knew, it actually looked like it was supposed to!

I have so many early patterns no one has ever seen, and I'm not sure they all will be, but hopefully as time goes on some can be re-worked, and the ones that are ready will get their debut. I can't tell you all how much the love and excitement over my patterns has ment to me!

So, join in the Retro Lemon Studio group and show off all of your Molly's, Fidget's and more! Or, if you need to ask a question about a pattern, or just need to talk in the off topic "sit, knit, & chat" thread, I hope to see you there!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Molly is now available on!

I was so excited when approached by Knit Picks to submit my Molly the Traveling Turtle to the Knit Picks IDP (Independent Designer Program)! I had been thinking about it, but since there was already a cute turtle pattern on KP, I wasn't sure there was room for Molly, but I was assured that the patterns were different enough that they could both be on the website.

Then came the acceptance email! I was over the moon! I couldn't get the PDF and photos ready fast enough! But first, I had to make another sample. I loved the original Molly I made with tweed yarn, so I had to make a Molly with KP Wool of the Andes Tweed. Luckily, I had some left over from my Terra shawl.

After seeing MissCookie's Molly on Ravelry made with Chroma, I was inspired to give it a try. Let me tell ya, Chroma makes some super cute turtles! I had to include a Chroma Molly in my samples. I used some Wool of the Andes for the limbs.

Today, I got the most exciting email of all! Molly the Traveling Turtle is up on the Knit Picks website and for sale! And, at a special price of $3.99! Due to the fact that Knit Picks gives the designers 100% of the profits from the pattern, and the common price for a toy pattern on KP is $1.99-$3.99 I felt it important to price accordingly.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Christmas Favorites

Christmas is my favorite time fo year, and there's not thing I love more than homemade decorations! So, when given the opportunity to participate in a couple knitted ornament swaps I was all over it. I soon discovered that I couldn't find exactly what I wanted for a pattern, so I decide to get crackin and make my own ornament patterns!

My Christmas Favorites pattern is a collection of my favorite types of Christmas decorations. There are four patterns in the collection: Let It Snowman, O Christmas Tree, Caroling Christmas Bird, and Run Gingerbread Man.

One of the best things about the pattern is that all of the ornaments are made with Worsted Weight yarn! They work up so quick and easy! They are perfect for giving to teachers, tying on to gifts, or just keeping them for your own tree.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Perfect fall shawl

It was one of those patterns that as soon as I saw it, I knew I had to make it! The Terra shawl by Jarod Flood is simple but elegant, and while I love light lacey shawls, I also love warm worsted weight ones. Half my battle was finding a yarn that would be perfect, since at the moment the Brooklyn Tweed yarn is a bit out of my price range. Then, Knit Picks released their Wool of the Andes Tweed! It was ment to be.

I have some of Knit Picks City Tweed which is really soft, so I expected the new WotA Tweed to be a bit scratchy, boy was I wrong! When I pulled it out of the bag it was so buttery soft, and as I knitted with it it was a dream! I can't wait to make other projects with it!

The shawl worked up pretty quick and it was pretty simple. I always like to learn something new with a pattern, and at first I didn't think there was anything new for me, but it called for Elizabeth Zimmerman's sewn bind off, which I had never done before. It took a little longer than a normal BO, but it's really stretchy and something I'll definitely use in the future.

I wore it to my knitting group last night and got lots of compliments and and it kept me nice and warm for the cool evening. It's the perfect fall accessory, and my new favorite!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Fidget kits come out today!

Get ready to catch one if you can! My adorable puppy pattern Fidget the Dancing Dog will make her premier today! At 3:00 pacific time Dancing Dog Dyeworks will start to update their Etsy shop and the first wave of Fidget kits will be included. I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am!

I was asked by Michelle of Dancing Dog Dyeworks to please come up with a pattern to represent their real life, lovable pup Fidget! I was so excited at the opportunity and could wait to get started. When asked what colorway I wanted to make her out of, I only had one response "Fidget"! The colorway came before the pattern, and I felt it was a perfect tribute to the Dancing Dog herself.

Of course, Fidget will be adorable in any of the many wonderful DDD colorways! When you have your kit and your Fidget is all knitted, you'll still have enough left over to make a Molly the Traveling Turtle!

If you miss out on them this time around, don't worry, they'll be back! I can't wait to see everyone's Fidget on Ravelry!

Note: I have gotten some people asking about buying the pattern separate from the kit, and to have to say no. I have an exclusive agreement with Dancing Dog Dyeworks through October of 2012, they have the exclusive rights to distribute the pattern in a kit only.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Say hello to Molly the Traveling Turtle!

I released my new pattern today! I'm so excited to bring you Molly the Traveling Turtle! She's available on Ravelry as I type.

She was inspired by a friend of mine's daughter who is turtle obsessed! Combined that with my road trip to Pittsburgh, and out comes one cute and lovable softie!

She looks great in tweed, variegated, and solid yarn! I'm planning on making a whole bale of turtles to give as gifts for Christmas! (yep, I googled what a group of turtles is called- a bale!)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Road trip with my bestie - our Pittsburgh adventure!

What do you do when your best friend calls you up and asks you to go on a road trip to Pittsburgh the night before she wants to go? Well, if you are me, you panic.

I will admit I am not a very good traveler. It makes me nervous to get stuck in heavy traffic, and to not know my way around a big city that neither one of us has ever been to. I told her I would talk to the Mr. and get back to her. So while I ate dinner I probably came up with 101 excuses of why I couldn't go, and my husband shot down every single one. Reluctantly, I called her back and told her I would go.

Yesterday morning Megan picked me up and we were off! I was trying to say clam, and when we were on the road and there was very little traffic it helped set me at ease. With a quick stop for gas and breakfast we were on the interstate in no time. With it being fall the scenery was beautiful!

Megan and Me right before we got on the road.

We were so excited to see the Pennselvania state line! The country side was beautiful! And, I was amazed at how hilly PA is! The one thing I was NOT prepared for was the tunnel! all I can say is that several choice words came out of my mouth while going through it.

The whole point of the trip is that Megan and I both have always wanted to check out an Ikea. We were SO excited to get there and we had such high hopes. Needless to say I don't think we'll go back. Don't get me wrong we loved their products, but the shopping experience wasn't what we expected.

First off as soon as we got there, we had to use the restrooms which was NOT impressive, and could have used a tidying. Then we're given a little card and pencil at as we find something we like we're supposed to write it down and go find it ourselves in the warehouse. Before we went to find all of the items we wrote down we ate at the cafe which was gross, and we didn't even finish our food. We were regretting not going down the road to Panera. Long story short we had a hard time finding the things that we wanted. The shelf I wanted most of all ended up being discontinued, even though it was still out for display saying it was available, and they wouldn't sell the display model because it would be "too difficult to remove from the display". Wow. Several things Megan wanted were sold out. This is NOT the way I want to shop, it was too much work for what is supposed to be fun. I bought nothing that was on my list.

The night before we left my Megan found a cute little bakery in the city that specialized in gourmet cupcakes and after our terrible lunch, we figured we deserved one. So, back on the road we went! It was so exciting to be heading into the big city and see all of the bridges and buildings!

But, wouldn't ya know we get lost. The directions we printed off the Internet we a bit confusing and we couldn't find the road we needed to turn on to to find the bakery. By the time we back tracked, stopped for directions, and were heading the right way it was getting too close to closing time to make it.

The last place we wanted to go before we headed home was to find a LYS! Thanks to googleing "Pittsburgh yarn shop" we got directions to Knit One on Murray Ave. As soon as we walked in we were greeted by a super nice employee who made us tourists feel right at home! She showed us around, let us try out some fun novelty yarn, gave us some great suggestions, and even gave us some helpful direction on how to get back to the interstate.

The atmosphere was warm and welcoming! The shop is full of bright colors, and plenty of yarn that I had only seen in magazines or on Raveley! Their color selection was AMAZING! there were couches everywhere and fun st see people just sitting and enjoying their knitting.

I wanted to get at least one skein as my "souvenir yarn" and I ended up finding a color of Noro I had been wanting, some Cascasde 220 Superwash in colors I hadn't seen in person before, and even and skein of Universal Yarns that I knew my daughter would love! I could have spent a small fortune in there if in had more money! Best knit shop I've ever been to so far! If you ever find yourself in Pittsburgh, you must check out Knit One!

Before we left the city we stopped at Starbucks for some coffee, and then it was back to the interstate. The way home went pretty smooth with the exception of being caught in some constuction which set us back about a half hour. Before we knew it PA was behind us. We decided to stop for a sit down dinner at Bob Evens where the food was delicious! We even got dessert to make up for missing out in the cupcakes. I was so excited to be home and tell everyone about my day, and to hear about theirs.

We've decided we'll defiantly go back to Pittsburgh, even if to only visit the knit shop, and hopefully make to the bakery. We'd really like to explore the city more and see what other shops there are. Thank you Pittsburgh for all of the super friendly people we met from the gas station where we stopped to get directions, the knit shop, the guy at Starbucks, and even the employees at Ikea. We had and epic trip!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Introducing Owl Puffs!

Over the weekend my daughter and I were playing with yarn and I ended up making a little softie that I thought would end up looking like an owl. My daughter thought it was so round and cute, and she came up with the name Owl Puff.

I was so excited with end result that I made some more, and decided that I needed to write up the pattern and share it! I decided to make it a freebie, and I hope people will be excited to see my future patterns!

You can find the pattern on Ravelry! I can't wait to see everyone's Owl Puffs!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

My week off!

I would love to say that I'm Blogging right now from a tropical location, sipping on a margarita, but I'm not. I'm at my table sipping on a cold cup of coffee (i'm too lazy to warm it back up) with lots of chocolate toffee flavored creamer. I had decided last week that this week would be my week off.

Off of what you say? Anything new! I can not start anything new for myself or designing a new pattern, but I have let myself order new yarn. I decided this would be my week to finish up projects that have been put on the back burner. They've been projects that I had the greatest intentions of finishing long ago, that got set aside in my knitting basket because something else was more "important". I don't like having too many WIPs, and it has felt rewarding to finish some of them up!

I also decided that before I let myself get too distracted again that it was finally time to get a Christmas gift list in order so I can start working on them. I am excited to say that I have my list all made, patterns picked out, yarn ordered, and I even blocked the gift for my bestie this morning! It's a late start on Christmas gifts, for me anyways, but I think I can pull it off.

I think this is exactly what I needed! I hope to jump back in to my overly ambitious projects starting Monday. Before then I hope to get at least 3 more projects done!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Best in Crochet and Knit at the Fair!

It was that time of the year in my neck of the woods this past week, Fair time! Where I'm from, the Fair is a pretty big deal. Many of the local knitters, crocheters, and quilters have been busy this past year just for this one week. I'm not normally a person who like to compete with fellow crafters, especially since I feel there's a place for every craft, but you can bet I like to challenge myself to come up with something special when it comes to entering the Fair!

It was a bit sad this year entering since this is my last year. You see, the Fair is an amateur competition and I want to release my own patterns, and I'm pretty sure they would no longer consider me to be "amateur".

So, imagine my surprise when I won the "Best of Crochet and Knit" ribbon! It's the BIG ribbon! I was about in tears! The funny thing is that it was a sweater of mine that won it, a sweater I almost didn't enter! I was frustrated that the sweater came out too long, and sightly too big, and was working on it up to the night before I had to turn it in. I guess it shows that you never know what will win.

The pattern is the Lore Hoodie from Vampire Knits by Genevieve Miller.

They cover items in plastic to protect them, and the lighting isn't the best.

All together I won 7 ribbons, besides the BIG ribbon. 3 First Place for: knit sweater -pictured above, knit accessory (a shawl), and crochet hat.

2 Second Place for: knit socks, and crochet scarf.

And, 2 Third Place for: toy (a knit owl) and sewn apron.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Friends helping friends for Breast Cancer!

A very dear friend of mine Michelle and her daughter Mickey are walking a 5k for the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk for the American Cancer Society, and with everyone in some way being affected by cancer, especially breast cancer, I want to do what I can to help!

Mickey (left) and Michelle (right) -used with permission.

$2000 is needed to be part of the walk, and donations are needed. I normally use this blog to talk about crafting, but this cause is something I feel strongly about and I know many of you do too. So, I'm asking my blog friends who would like to help to please DONATE! Donations are made through the American Cancer Society and the payments are completely secure!

Even if you can only donate $5, or even only $1, every dollar helps! Save the boobies!

Thank you!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

One word- Hexipuff!

If you're on Ravelry you've more than likely seen or read something about Hexipuffs! All of the buzz is about The Beekeeper's Quilt by Tiny Owl Knits. As soon as I saw it, I immediately thought of the quilts I remember seeing at my grandma's house, and being a lover of all things retro I knew this was going to end up in my queue. I didn't think I would start it so soon, but I've been overwhelmed with other projects that I needed to walk away and do something simple and fun.

So, who would have thought a pattern for small stuffed hexagons would have hundreds of knitters in a frenzy, including myself? We're swapping puffs, swapping mini skeins, and even joining mini skein clubs to feed our Hexipuff craving.

I started yesterday evening and already have 5 done as of this morning! There is such a feeling of accomplishment when you've just finished stuffing and binding off another little puff! The pattern is so quick and easy to follow and remember, and the best thing is that you can take it with you anywhere. I'm trying not to think about the fact that it will take 1000's of Hexipuffs to make a quilt big enough to fit on my bed, which is my goal, but I think I'm more worried about not having enough scrap sock yarn to make them all- and no, that's not all of the left over sock yarn I have in the pic, I have much, much more! But, then again, it's always nice to have an excuse to buy more yarn.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Socktastic Summer & Monster Mania 2 - August

I completely realize we're two days into September, but the Monster Mainia 2 for August didn't show up until the 31st.

It's sad to see Socktastic Summer come to an end, but it went out with a bang! I LOVE this months coloway! Summer Sangria is a gourgous deep reddish burgundy, which actually matches my hair at the moment. I had a really had time trying to get a true color photo of the yarn, so it's not quite as dark as in the pic.

Monster Mainia is amazing this month! The combination of blue, green, and purple are bright and bold, and really compliment each other. I think I already know what I'm going to make with it. There's only one month of MM2 left and I'm really going to miss it when it's over!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

It all happens at once

The last week has been one of those times in my life where everything is happening all at once! I've been so overwhelmed that I don't know top from bottom some days. I'm not saying it's a bad thing. I have so many positive things, and only one negative -being some car trouble, but even that's getting fixed. I just wish I could squeeze in a nap.

Yesterday I sent out the most important box of my life (I'll talk more about that another day), I'm finishing up a test knit -hopefully today or tomorrow, my first released pattern will hopefully be out by the end of next week, and I have to get my fair projects finished up! Plus, with school and sports starting up I feel like my time has been spread extra thin.

My fall schedule is filling fast and my projects are lined up, so I'll take a deep breath and hold on tight, and just try to enjoy the ride!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A trip to the zoo!

Two days ago for our last family outing of the summer we went to the zoo! It was a beautiful Sunday and we couldn't have asked for better weather, even if we did get a quick sprinkle of rain. We made it through the whole park and we can say we saw it all! The kids were on their best behavior and we had the best time!

Here are some of my favorite photos! I just love taking pics of animals, even if they don't always like to cooperate ;o)

Monday, August 15, 2011

It was a monster of a party!

So, I've been a bit MIA (again), but this time I have the best excuse ever! I was getting everything ready for my kids' Birthday party, which was Saturday! All 3 kids have B-days so close to each other that we always have one party. Sometimes it's hard to pick a theme that everyone agrees on, but this year all of the kids said they wanted a monster party. The hunt for all things monster was on!

I was able to find monster invitations at Wal-Mart for 97cents a pack! They also had matching plates, cups, and paper table clothes. They were not in the same section as the name brand characters, they were in a different section of the party/craft area.

And, while out doing some B-day shopping I found some monster wrapping paper at Target! They also had gift bags and a pinata! I got cupcake paper for my daughter. I remembered to take a quick pic before the unwrapping began!

I have to admit that I hate when my kids come home with a goody bag. They are usually filled with junk and most of it ends up getting thrown away. Instead of goody bags I made sewn monsters, from the Max the Monster pattern by Rebecca Danger, for each kid to take home! I had a basket for girls, and a basket for boys. I made 2 extra for each basket so that no kid was stuck with the last one and not like it. They were a HUGE hit!

Of course we had cakes! My sister-in-law is an amazing cake decorator! We emailed her pics of the monster the kids wanted on their cakes and here's what she came up with! They tasted even better than they looked!

The fun didn't stop there! After the party goers went home the Mr. and I had a couple couples over for a dinner party. It was an amazing day! The weather couldn't have been better, the food couldn't have been better, and the company couldn't have been better! The day was a complete success, but Sunday I was wiped out and I slept in!