Can’t wait for a new year!

2011 has been good to me in many ways, but it’s also been crazy! If it wasn’t for these two little ones, I’d probably be questioning my ability to hold it together.

 

We moved.

I started a new job & Nathan ended his job to stay home with the kids.

Our car was recently stolen. (No resolution, still just waiting to see what happens.)

We’re trying to sell our old house (Under contract, waiting to close.)

While lots of the events above are terrific, they still add up to a lot of stress!

In fact, I took this online stress test and scored over 300 points.  That’s a lot of change.

SO, as the year rolls over to 2012, I hope for a peaceful, quiet, uneventful 2012.

 

Cascade Ecological Wool “classic” boyfriend cardigan

Firstly, let me apologize for being such an infrequent poster! My “nice camera” died and I’ve been trying to see if I can have it fixed or figure out how to download all of the stuff to reset it, but haven’t had any luck.  The local shops don’t deal with digital stuff like this, and Canon wants to walk me through a whole troubleshooting process before they’ll let me send it in.  Canon has nice late hours, but I go home from work, get my kids in bath & bed, and it’s too late to call.  This has been going on for WEEKS.  Camera’s 4 years old and I may just end up writing it off and ordering a new one.  It’s a shame how disposable electronics seem to be these days!

Eco Boyfriend Cardigan

Any way, I’ve made yet another Boyfriend Cardigan.  Since my camera’s broken, I wore it to work today and Jenn Tomaszewski (talented Customer Service Expert and Photographer) took a few pics.  Looking back at the photos felt like I was in the 360-degree mirror on What Not to Wear.  I will likely not wear this ensemble (shirt, skirt, tights) again.  BUT, the sweater looks good.

Eco Boyfriend Cardigan

I made this one out of Cascade Ecological Wool, which is a great substitute for the O-wool that I made the original with.  (I actually have a sweater’s worth of Gorgeous O-wool in Saffron that I’m planning to knit a THIRD Boyfriend Cardigan with.)**

Eco Boyfriend Cardigan

The only mods I made were to add bust darts, use contrasting wool on the trims, and to add a few more buttons up the front.  I LOVE how this came out.  Every time I wear it, I get SO many compliments!  It’s got a really nice, rustic look that I’m finding myself really drawn to this winter.

I’ve been trying out eco / organic wools on my last few projects because I have eczema on my fingertips, and I think that the dyes & stabilizers in non-eco wool are really making it worse.  Some yarns are so bad that my hands are bleeding after just a few hours of knitting.  I can use both O-wool and this Cascade Eco Wool without much issue.  I’m on the lookout for yarns that are truly wonderful & gentle on the hands, so if you have any suggestions, please comment and let me know!

**NOTE: This is a teaser for the upcoming Shapely Boyfriend Knit-Along that I’m planning for after the New Year!

Play food…my newest obsession!

So.  You know how sometimes you get a craft idea in your mind, and until you can fully realize this grand crafty plan, all else falls to the wayside?

This is me with play food today.  I mean I can’t stop thinking about it.  It all started when looking at old pictures of my sister and I and finding this one of us having a tea party:

My sister is on the left and I’m on the right.  I think that I’m about 7 years old in this pic, and that’d make my sister about 2.  That’s just about Olive’s age now.

And the wheels start turning…

We LOVED playing tea party and restaurant and pretending to cook.  Both of my daughters love to help mix and pour when I’m cooking for real, so wouldn’t they just LOVE to have their own pretend food and a tiny wooden kitchen to cook it up in?

There are SO MANY wonderful play food resources on the web.  I particularly love this felt food thread on Craftster…the food – maker seems to have started off small and soon amassed a most impressive fake food stash.  I can seriously see this happening to me.

felt oranges

By SesameSeedDesigns on Flickr

Felt Food - Breakfast - Pancakes, bacon, eggs and sausage

By lisajhoney on Flickr

An orange slice here, a felt breakfast there…until soon we are over our heads in felt groceries.

And, lest you think I’m *not* going to knit any food…just look at this adorable set from Cheezombie on Craftsy:

SO CUTE!  Check out my Craftsy blog post for even more links to even more play foods.

I’ll keep you posted as I find more patterns and even get to crafting some foods myself.  Do you have any favorite play food links?  Please leave them in the comments on this post, I can’t wait to see!!

I’m Craftsy! Are you?

As many of you long-time readers know (hi Mom and Dad!) I’ve recently joined the team at Craftsy.com. Those of you who are new to reading my blog might not have known that, and some of you might not even know what Craftsy is!

I first met the folks at Craftsy when the parent company, Sympoz, invited me to teach online knitting classes with them. I was actively experimenting with my own online knitting course website, and was absolutely thrilled to be “called up to the big leagues.” I filmed my first intro – to – knitting course back in March. Later in the spring, I filmed two more knitting courses, and then soon joined the company in Denver, CO as Manager of Marketing and Community.

It’s a fantastic job. I work with bright, creative people and am doing what I love every single day. We even have “knitting lunches” and go to craft nights together! I write for the Craftsy blog (you have to check out this post from one of Craftsy’s founders about our ongoing charity campaign) and am currently working to help grow Craftsy’s Designer Workshop Program. (Sign up for a chance to take my online One Skein Shrug workshop…it’s free for a limited time.) I also get to help with event planning, organizing charity work, and get to work closely with lots of fabulous indie designers. Have I already said that I love my job?

So back to What Craftsy Is…

Craftsy is a project-based online community. We offer online classes on a whole range of crafty topics from quilting and sewing to knitting and crochet. All of the courses are shot in HD video by a professional production crew (SO much better than what you find on YouTube or even in Ning-based classes!) When you take a Craftsy online class, you have access to it for life AND a 100% money-back guarantee. So you can watch it over and over, asking questions directly to the instructor (who is always a well-known designer / professional in the topic area) as many times as you want to for as long as you want to…your class NEVER expires! If you find out that you should have taken a more beginner-level class than what you signed up for, they’ll just switch you into a different one. Same if your class is too easy!

We just started a new thing called Designer Workshops, in which crafters can work through projects along with the designer and a whole bunch of other crafters via a detailed photo tutorial. Participants can ask questions directly to the designer & chat with fellow crafters along the way (like a pattern tutorial only with a really active forum and direct access to the designer.) Both the courses and the workshops get GREAT reviews, so if you’ve ever wanted to learn to sew, quilt, crochet, knit socks…or learn to make any of many-many more crafty projects…give it a shot! It’s really fun!

 

Craftsy’s “Projects” section is a great look-book of projects across lots of different crafts! It’s a really nice place to post pics of all of your projects, all on one site. If you quilt AND sew AND knit, you can post pics of all of your projects and get lots of love from the Craftsy community. If you sell either patterns or finished projects, just join Craftsy and you can list them for sale for free (Craftsy takes NO cut of any pattern sale!!)

BTW: We’ve seen amazing things happen for designers who’ve been featured on our blog or in our newsletter…list something today and let me know when you see a spike in sales!

Anyway, there’s so much going on at Craftsy every day that it’s really not hard to believe that we’re the fastest-growing crafting community on the web, with over 350,000 members already.

I’m so happy to be part of Craftsy, and I really think you’d get a lot out of it, too.

Shapely Boyfriend: Stitch corrected counts for yoke

Here are some corrected stitch counts for the Shapely Boyfriend Cardigan. These don’t change ANY of the knitting that you do, just correct the stitch counts in the yoke. I sent these along to Amy, and the pattern should be updated shortly, but in case you’re eager to get going:

Text SHOULD read:
Repeat the last 2 rows 15 more times (33 total rows worked). 180 180, 180, 188, 188, 192, 192 sts.

Begin front increases:

At the same time that you’re working the raglan increases, you’ll also begin increasing at the front neckline. Stop where indicated for your size and continue below at “Separate Sleeves from Body”.

Row 34 (RS): k3, LLI, (k to 2 sts before marker, RLI, k2, sm, k2, LLI) 4 times, k to last 3 sts, RLI, k to end.

Row 36: (k to 2 sts before marker, RLI, k2, sm, k2, LLI) 4 times, k to end.

Size XS only: 198 sts. Go on to “Separate sleeves from the body”.

Row 38: (k to 2 sts before marker, RLI, k2, sm, k2, LLI) 4 times, k to end.

Size S only: 206 sts. Go on to “Separate sleeves from the body”.

Row 40: k3, LLI, (k to 2 sts before marker, RLI, k2, sm, k2, LLI) 4 times, k to last 3 sts, RLI, k to end.

Rows 42: (k to 2 sts before marker, RLI, k2, sm, k2, LLI) 4 times, k to end.

Size M only:
224 sts. Go on to “Separate sleeves from the body”.

Row 44: (k to 2 sts before marker, RLI, k2, sm, k2, LLI) 4 times, k to end.

Size L only: 240 sts. Go on to “Separate sleeves from the body”.

Row 46: k3, LLI, (k to 2 sts before marker, RLI, k2, sm, k2, LLI) 4 times, k to last 3 sts, RLI, k to end.

Row 48: (k to 2 sts before marker, RLI, k2, sm, k2, LLI) 4 times, k to end. –, -, -, 258, 262, 262 sts.