Finished Object: Coline

My last hat of 2009 was Coline.  I saw it on {a black pepper} and the knit combined with her always gorgeous photography made this jump onto my list.  She has such wonderfully intricate sweater patterns that I would love to try but alas my knitting has now been relegated to things I can finish quickly (i.e. not sweaters) so I will have to settle for her rather extensive and lovely hat collection

Yarn: Queensland Llama Seta
Inspiration: Coline (Raverly Link Here)
Needles: Size 5 for the ribbing, size 6 needles for the rest
Yardage: approx. 176 yards (2 balls)
Modifications: Used Ysolda’s Cable Cast On.  Knit 1×1 ribbing using US5 instead of stockinette
Enjoyment Factor: 9

The Good:

  • Yet another stashbusting exercise.  This one was a little less of a stashbust as I had allocated this yarn for sale, but because I loved the yarn as a hat with my slouchy copycat hat I decided to steal a few balls before I put my final count of yarn up.  Good decision on my part 🙂
  • The pattern is very well written and produced a wonderful hat.  I just love how the inside of each bubble is a different pattern

The Bad:

  • I really wanted a slouchy hat and this pattern just seems a bit stiff for the “just keep knitting and it will become slouchy” pattern modification I have been doing to the hats.  Unlike the other hats I blocked this one rather hard to get the slouch and it seems to have worked out…sorta.

The Ugly:

  • I got nothin’

Sorry for the rather concise blog post on this one, but I am super tired and need to get to bed.  This going back to work after semi-retirement (a.k.a. 16 days off) is for the birds 😦

Finished Object: Stripey Slouchy Glittery Beret

This little slouchy beret was totally spur of the moment.  I was combing through my yarn stash and started winding some skeins of miscellaneous yarns that just looked messy.  During my hunt I found some leftover Microspun from at least 2 or 3 years ago and a skein of Glitterspun that I obviously had no idea what to do with.  Definitely part of the “what were you thinking” era of yarn buying.  Anyhoo…I had been wanting a black hat for a while but didn’t want to purchase more yarn.  Alone they were not enough to make a hat…at least so I thought…but together I give you the Stripey Slouchy GLITTERY Beret.

Yarn: Microspun and Glitterspun in Black
Inspiration: Stripey Slouchy Beret (Raverly Link Here)
Needles: Size 5 for the ribbing, size 6 needles for the rest
Yardage: approx. 100 yards of Microspun and Glitterspun100.8 yards (little less than 1 ball of both)
Modifications: Used Ysolda’s Cable Cast On.  Used smaller needles as I have no US7 16″ circulars.  Used a 4×4 alternating stripe pattern
Enjoyment Factor: 8

The Good:


  • The ULTIMATE stash buster.  Two yarns destine to the bottom of the stash bucket find new life in simple beret pattern. Who knew?
  • I finally have a black hat…whoopee.  It has been worn quite a few times already.
  • The glittery yarn gives it a little pizazz without getting too glam.  I specially like how the center ends with the glitterspun
  • Easy pattern….it is stockinette afterall

The Bad:


  • Microspun is not a hearty yarn so I don’t know how long this hat will live.  And OMG is it splitty!
  • It is a little more limp that I might have liked but that leads back to the lack of body in the microspun.  I had to use some shirring elastic doubled to ensure that the ribbing did not lose its elasticity.  However, this is not a bad idea for most hats.
  • I still have a little more of this dang yarn.  It might find its way to the trash rather than back in the stash…gasp!

The Ugly:


  • Black is very hard to photograph…LOL!
  • I dislike stockinette stitch only a little less than garter stitch.  The monotony is almost unbearable.  Too bad it produces such utilitarian garments.  Guess I just have to suck it up 🙂

Finished Object: Jane

This is the second hat in my Mad Hatter Phase.  I absolutely fell in love with the hat when I saw it.  Not necessarily the gorgeous photography or the simplicity of the pattern but THAT HAT!! I had to have it as it was exactly. Low and behold I had a skein of Old Gold in stash.  Bingo!  My copycat Jane was born

Yarn: Patons Classic Merino Wool in Old Gold
Inspiration: Jane (Raverly Link Here)
Needles: Size 6 for the ribbing, size 8 needles for the rest
Yardage: approx. 200 yards (little less than 1 ball)
Modifications: Used smaller needles as I have no 7 or 9 16″ circulars, casted on 90 stitches to compensate
Enjoyment Factor: 10

The Good:


  • Super simple pattern that was made better with the doubled brim.  I loved it in the picture but while I was knitting it I started having reservations.  I even considered cutting it and making it a single thickness brim but once done and on my head it was love!
  • Stash Busting once again!! Hat the exact colorway in stash.  It was meant to be
  • I like sewing/knitting into my caston edge.  I think it is super fun.  Glad I got to do it here.

The Bad:


  • Who likes paying for patterns?!  However, this one is worth it.  Not necessarily because it is complicated rather I just like the entire presentation of it.  Hell, presentation is a huge part of what made Apple so successful 🙂  For that alone this pattern had me at hello (btw I hate that movie and don’t really like renee zellwegerthat much either…lol)
  • The back sticks up a bit but that might have been due to my smaller needles making a stiffer fabric plus not blocking it.  I will get to that as soon as I don’t want to have it on my head…that may be a while 😀

The Ugly:

  • My pictures of my knitting lately.  Kinda creepy sans face…LOL!

Yet another successful hat done.  Two more to show and then on to the WIPS!

Finished Object: Slouchy Copycat Hat

Having loved the slouchy hat my sister bought me from Nordstrom’s last year, I knew that slouchy hats were going to be in my wardrobe for the winter months.  Little did I know that my prophecy was quite an understatement as I am in love with the slouchy hat look.  So much so that I have been in a hat making frenzy as of late.  This is the first  of 4 hats that have come off the needles this season.  This is truly an amazing feat as it nearly DOUBLES my knitted output for the year!! LOL!  Ah well, I will take it where I can get it 🙂

Yarn: Queensland Collection Llama Seta
Inspiration: Slouchy Copy Cat hat (Raverly Link Here)
Needles: Size 5 for the ribbing, size 6 needles for the rest
Yardage: approx. 185 yards (2.1 balls)
Modifications: Used Ysolda’s cable cast on method
Enjoyment Factor: 10

The Good:

  • I absolutely LOVED this pattern.  Quick and easy but with a look that looks a bit more complicated than it truly was.
  • Stashbusting!  Given hats do not make THAT much of a dent when you are a yarn hoarder, but once again I will take what I can get.  Two balls out of stash…hooray!  Especially since they are scratchy against the skin due to the silk strands so it made the perfect hat.

  • The ribbing.  I used Ysolda’s cable cast on and I don’t think that I will ever go back.  This cast-on produces a nice stretchy, neat edge to the hat.  Absolute perfection.

The Bad:

  • I did start this pattern with the cast on and needles called for but once I was into the pattern I noticed that the yarn, although worsted as the pattern called for, was just not working right.  So I tore it out, used the cable cast on, and went down to size 6 needles resulting in perfection!

The Ugly:

  • None

I will definitely be making this hat again in the future.  Of the 4 hats I have made so far I think this is the MOST perfect, but the others are good too 🙂

Finished Object: Clapotis

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Yarn: Knit Picks Shadow in Amber Heather (yarn held double)
Inspiration: The Infamous Clapotis
Needles: Size 6 needles
Yardage: 4 hanks (approx. 1760 yards)
Modifications: Added about 4 more straight section repeats, added fringe
Enjoyment Factor:
8
Knit Time: 4.5 months!!!  That is an all time slowest..LOL!

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The Good:

  • This is my second Clapotis ever.  The first one was a bust because the yarn was just wrong Wrong WRONG!  I don’t even know if I blogged about it.  This one is perfect!  The yarns is a great color, super soft and warm.  I also like that the yarn is a little sticky from the fibers so the stole holds in place when you are wearing it.

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  • The yarn was part of a yarn swap that we did last year.  I was so happy to get it.  I then found out it was my buddy Skylar’s yarn from the year before so it is nice to know it “stayed in the family” and brings good yarn karma

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  • It came out to be a very nice size.  The goal was to use all the yarn and I almost made it.  I could have done two more repeats probably but ultimately the left over was minimal enough for me to…hold your breath…throw it away! 😯

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  • I love the fringe!  I made the same fringe as on my Lady Eleanor because I like it so much.  It also weighs the edges and helps keep the scarf in place.  Plus I like the swish swish swish of it all.

The Bad:

  • The fringe took hours.  I knew it would be long but DANG!  It took even longer than the one on my Lady E because I used 4 strand of yarn 40″ long, the twisted them a bit as I tied them.  Afterward I blocked them to set the twist.  Good thing I like fringe 🙂

The Ugly:

  • How long it took to make.  4.5 months people!! That use to be a lifetime for me but now it is just par for the course.  Too much to do, too little time.
  • I hope you were not expecting much here.  I mean there are at least 11,738 finished Clapotis in the world and counting…how much ugly could there be?!

Finished Object: Gretel

Gretel

Yarn:Elann Peruvian Highland Donegal
Inspiration: Ysolda Gretel – Slouchy Size
Needles:
Size 5 needles for the ribbing, size 7 needles for the rest
Yardage: 2.25 balls
Modifications: None
Enjoyment Factor:
8
Knit Time: 3 weeks 😦

Gretel - Bottom View Gretel - Top View

The Good:

  • I finished my first crafty project of 2009!
  • I finally knit Gretel!!  I have been in love with this hat since the pattern was first debuted.  I then won the pattern as one of the prizes from the Elijah contest.  And finally during a bought of crafty hedonism I casted on and got to work on gretel.
  • The ribbing is fantastic.  It really does have lots of spring.  Given I still reinforced the ribbing with some elastic because I saw that in one of my RTW hats and it really does make it feel more secure.
  • Love the yarn.  It is super warm and so purdy with the tweedy speckles.  It is just the right amount specks and color of tweed for me to not associate it with lint out of a dryer 🙂

Gretel

The Bad:

  • Because of the yarn I used, the hat is kinda heavy.  Nothing terrible but I think the elastic makes me feel better about it not sliding off.
  • I was almost done with this hat when I discovered I was running out of yarn.  Sure I could have modified the design and decreased faster, but I have been prone to lots of crafty mistakes lately so I didn’t want to take the chance that I would not like the end result.

Gretel

The Ugly:

  • How long this hat took to make.  This is no reflection on the pattern but does illustrate my own lack of time.  In my past crafty life, circa 2007, this would have been knit in a day or two.  Hell… I knit a SWEATER in three weeks!! But alas 2009 may not be so kind to my crafty side but I will take what I can get 🙂

Lost in Crafty Hedonism

So my number 1 fan, also known as BFF or Jguyver, reminded me that I was slacking on my blog posts.  Given I had already been feeling the twinges of guilt from not posting for a while.  However, lately I have been very me focused to protect my sanity 🙂  Too much to do makes for a crazy Monique.

Said selfishness, or should I say hedonism, has resulted in lots of TV watching, quite a few pounds gained, and surprisingly enough…knitting!

Gretel

Yup people I have actually finished something.  Well, it was half finished since last week when I ran out of yarn.  I ordered it last Friday and it came today after being miss delivered to my neighbor so you will be seeing an FO soon!

While I waited, ate everything, and watched countless hours of TV, I also started a Clapotis! This is being knit double stranded with some Knitpicks Shadow that I snagged during our yarn swap last year.

Clapotis

I am normally not one to start something when I have a perfectly good project already on the needles, but I do believe that 2009 is going to be the year of the knitted accessories.  I am in need of that instant gratification that only small projects can give and I just don’t have time for the lovely sweater patterns I have been eying.  Besides I have other hobbies that have gone neglected as of late. Sewing for instance…

This weekend I plan on tracing and making a muslin for this beauty. BWOF 02-2009-112112 I have some deep purple cotton sateen calling out to this pattern.  There are so many great things in the February BWOF!  These are the issues that make me love BWOF so much!!

What Have I Been Up To?

Thanks for all the pick me ups on the last post.  I am glad you gals didn’t feel like I was slacking on the craftiness.  I know that is what you come for 🙂

So the new year has brought a bit of crafty confusion at here Chez Peacock Chic.  I used to pride myself on being a finisher.   I would start something and get it done quickly before starting on something new.  That kept this blog hoppin with finished projects for all of you to enjoy.

Now I am fully mired in startitis.  Too my crafts, so little time.  So I will give you a quick run down of what I have been up to with the hopes of actually finishing some of it sooner or later :O)

My Obama Girl Necklace

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I made this little necklace with my neice for inauguration day.  It was inspired by a post over on Threadbangers.  A little photoshop, some shrinky dink, and spray paint made it all come together in just a few short hours.  Her necklace was a hit at school that day.  Score one for Auntie No! (my nickname because I am notorious for saying “no”)

Embroidery

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After finishing up my crewel project I have been obsessed with embroidery.  Once I saw the japanese books over on Cauchy09’s post I went to the Kinokuniya in my area and bought two books!!!  These have more detailed embroidery projects so this is gonna be a while in the making, but it is fun.

Chinese Lace Pullover

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Yup, still working on this…little by little.  I already finished the front and this is the nearly completed back.  According to my Ravelry stats, I started this back in SEPTEMBER!! Normally this would bring out great fiber shame and I would have to commit harakiri on my knitting needles.  But really with work and all the other crafty temptations at hand, I am just happy to get this far.

Gretel

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I have been wanting to make the Gretel hat since I won the contest for Elijah.  Finally I just casted on and I am in love!!  This has definitely trumped all other crafts right now because I need to finish quick in order to wear it before the cold weather goes away in So Cal which is not far at all.

Anyway, that is the UFO round up.  Hope to talk to you gals again soon!

Peacock Collection: Camellia

All this talk about knit fabric, I am sure some of you are saying, well hell….WHERE IS THE KNITTING?!  Well admittedly it has been few and far between lately.  I have had so many knitting fiascos and generally uninteresting projects that they have all but fallen by the wayside in 2008.  This little ditty is was actually started in February this year!  I had such high hopes for this lovely lovely sweater.  Now I am just glad it is done.

Yarn: Rowan Calmer
Inspiration: Kate Gilbert Camellia
Needles:
Size 5 needles for body and lace, size 6 needles for neckline, size 8 needles for armholes
Yardage: 5 balls
Modifications: Left off the flutter sleeves and used garter stitch for the armholes
Enjoyment Factor:
4
Knit Time: 7 months!! yeesh

The Good:

  • It is done…and not in the garbage.
  • The pattern is very nice.  I was so excited to get this pattern when I saw it previewed on Kate Gilbert’s site that I happened to be up at 1 a.m. on Ravelry and accidentally stumbled on and bought the pattern a week or two before it was officially released.  I was so very excited by this little Ravelry glitch that I cast on that night.  It was the happiest point in this project.
  • I love the lace details at the top and bottom of the top
  • The V neck is just right to bring a little va va va voom to the top
  • Calmer is nice to wear

The Bad:

  • Holy CRAP!! I hate this top.  Not the outcome, just the effort.
  • I had some trouble with the lace pattern.  It was an error in the chart but was fixed before it was officially released to everyone.  Nothing big, just left me stumped for a bit.
  • MIIIIIIIILLLLLLLLEEEESSSSSSS of stockinette.  I knew this and was okay with it becuase it was my in the car,  Costa Rica trip knitting.  However, I forgot that I would have to continue the stockinette monologue when I got home.  Not so fun.
  • My yarn choice was horrible!! I thought I would like knitting with Calmer but I actually think it feels like a wet dishcloth the majority of the time, especially during blocking.  It is also a  cotton was elastic in it which I thinkwas great for the body of the top but was horrible for the sleeves.
  • I have decided that i don’t like curling lace patterns a the bottom of garments.  Just a new pet peeve of mine.

The Ugly:

  • The reason I bought this pattern was for the sleeves.  The reason I hate this pattern is for the sleeves.  Notice that there are none.  That is because the Calmer has no real drape which is a prerequisite for the flutter or cap sleeve on the pattern to look good.  After knitting and attaching the cap sleeve, I realized that I looked like a linebacker!  They stood out like they had starch in them.  On top of that I attached them weirdly and they were kinda lopsided.  That is when the top went on hiatus
  • Sleeves part two, the garter stitch finish – So I thought I would just leave the sleeves unfinished but the yarn was just not having it.  The sleeves curled in and looked like a razorback from the back of the garment.  As much as I hated investing anymore work in this top, I knew I had to add an edging.  6 attempts later, I finally got a finish that was neither too tight nor too baggy.  They still aren’t perfect but one more failed attempt and this top would have been history.

Finished Object – Anemoi Mittens

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Thanks for all the love during my Michael Jackson flashback. For those of you waging bets, the left thumb won out 🙂 After that post I quickly went on to finish up the two thumbs which were not that hard at all. And while admiring my handy work I quickly realized that I obviously have a thing for this fuchsia/purply color, as evidenced here, here, and here. So I decided to TRY and branch out into more everyday wear colors – gray, tan, brown – since I already have an outfit or two to match these gloves 🙂

Yarn: Rowan RYC Cashsoft 4 Ply
Inspiration: Eunny Jang Anemoi Mittens
Size:
Large (8.5″) Hand Circumference
Needles:
Size 0 and Size 2.75mm
Yardage: 140 yards of Purple (3/4 ball) and 140 yards of Apricot (1/2 ball)
Modifications: None
Enjoyment Factor: 8

Knit Time: November 2007 – January 2008

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The Good

  • The pattern was EX-CELLENT!! I don’t think you can find a more detailed pattern that really gets you from A to B, holding your hand the entire way.
  • The yarn is dreamy! I liked it in the ball, I liked it while I knit it up, but I LOVE it now that it is washed and smells like Soak Flora. Mmmmm…. I guess the Cashmere in the yarn really paid off.

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  • I love the design. It is so simply and elegant. Reminds me a lot of Japanese style paintings. The corrugated cuff is also a very nice touch.

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The Bad

  • The mittens are a little bigger than I would have liked. They are longer .5″ to .75″ too long in the hand. Guess I have stubby, fat hands because they fit just fine in the circumference. Uhhh…or I guess it could be gauge issues. Of course I wouldn’t know because I did not do a swatch….Opps!
  • Not knowing how to properly tell which color is going to be brighter or more dominant resulted in me knitting half a mitten and then finding that I had the color choices backwards. I am very glad I went back though or I would have been very disappointed. I think the pattern is much more apparent now.

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  • The thumbs were a pain in the a$%. I always hold my breath when doing this because it feels as though picking up thumb stitches to make a perfect thumb connection is the luck of the draw. Unfortunately, lady luck was not with me because it seems the stranded knitting around the thumb hole was just too loose and really stretched the stitches when I tried to pick them up. I ended it remedying the problem by sewing up the holes during the weaving in process, but I wish it had been perfect from the get go. However, I do have to give Eunny props for such a cute thumb tip pattern.
  • I live in California so these gloves will not see the light of day for some time. It was 19 degrees in Oakland last week, so maybe I will get some use out of them during Stitches in February. We shall see.

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The Ugly

  • I messed up on the palm about half way so the pattern is a little wonky (click on the picture above to see it better). However, I did get it together and started anticipating the pattern instead of just plodding through . Note to self… be proactive not reactive in both life and knitting.


All Out Thumb War!

So I am almost ALMOST done with the Anemoi Mittens. Now I have the challenge of the thumbs. I was giving my self a pep talk and trying to decide which one to start on first – the right or the left…

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When out of the blue, Micheal Jackson’s “Beat It” came on the radio. Armed with stitch markers the Thumb War was on.

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Just beat KNIT IT

knit it, KNIT IT, knit it
No thumb wants to be defeated
Showin’ how funky and strong is their fight
It doesn’t matter who’s left or right

Just knit it… (insert random breathing here) knit it.. knit it.. knit it

(insert guitar solo)!!

Roller Coaster Riding

Good GRIEF!!! I can’t tell you how up and down these past couple days have been. I won’t go into detail but suffice it to say it included some tears, some moments of depression, some misplaced anger and a bottle of $5.00 hooch. Just a bunch of problems that came together to produce the Perfect Storm of emotion. You can use you own imagination to fill in the blank. However, throught it all, I just keep repeating to myself my new found quote:

If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.
— Regina Brett, syndicated columnist

It is so true!! When I step back and look at my problems, including the ones I have been having this week, I would definitely pull mine back out. The only problem is that sometimes it can take a while to remember to step back. So anyhoo, back to the crafting, because that IS what you are here for…

Drumroll please !!! Yes my friends…today we have KNITTING!!!

Here are my Anemoi Mittens that I temporarily abandoned during Christmas crafting season. These too went through their fair share of roller coaster knitting. On the left you can see the first mitten I started. It had the purple as the main color and the green as the accent color. After knitting to the point you see above, I decided I did not like how muddled the design looked with my color choices. So I decided to reverse them and use the green as the main color. Ahhhh….so much better. You can really see the design a lot more.

I am still trying to figure out the actual lesson I learned so that the next two color knitting project is not just trial and error. Could it be that the dark color should always be the design? Brain is having a hard time processing info right now so if you know the answer don’t hesitate to shout it out in the comments. Mine is not doing to good after a glass or two of the hooch 🙂

Since this picture was taken, I have almost finished the left mitten and ripped out the one on the right. Oy Vay was that a MESS!!

So alright, enough with this post!! I have a Smart Ones Chocolate cake, popcorn, the last Resident Evil movie, and my glass of hooch calling me. Nothing like a little wallowing to end one day only to start the next with a fresh attitude.

Wish me luck!

2007 Finished Objects – The Knit Edition

Grand Total:5 sweaters, 2 bags, 3 scarves, 1 shawl, 1 knit toy, 1 pair of socks, and 1 hat.
Wow, I have been one busy knitting bee this year. This has also probably been one of my most successful years for knitting as well. I tackled some complex techniques, designs, and learned a variety of new knitting talents. Some of which are: Tubular Cast on, two color knitting, cabling without a needle, lace work, picking up stitches, making a heel gusset, kitchener stitch, and knitting in the round.
Finished Object 2007 – Knits
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The Best Knits of 2007
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The Montego Bay Scarf was voted best knit due to its versatility and wonderous color. It has great drape and really works with a variety of fashions. It was a simple knit but one of those wardrobe powerhouses that just makes everything pop.
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Noro Butterfly topped the list because it was such a wonderful knit to make. It have a great color and is very warm and cuddly. It definitely makes a statement and it holding up nicely.
So there you have it, the knits of 2007.
Next up… The sewn objects of 2007

17 more crafting days…

Grumperina’s Shifting Sands

Here is a peek at one of the numerous Christmas gifts I have been working on. This will be a Shifting Sands scarf for my stepdad. I started out making A Scarf Askew that, although fast, was not presenting a great enough challenge for me at the moment. Plus I was not happy about using my Cascade 220 allotted for another project just so that I could stash bust. So I ripped out the first scarf, trotted down to JoAnn’s, picked up a wonderful green color Wool Ease and commenced to knitting a very thrilling and enjoyable knit. This has help reinforce that it is not the knitting but the challenge that I like the most.

Speaking of the ginourmous about of crafting I have been doing, I hope to have a barrage of FO posts starting on Sunday. The weather, my time, nor the availability of a suitable photographer (since my cats cannot take pictures worth a darn) has lent itself to me getting post worthy pictures up until now but I will try and remedy that this weekend.

Until then I will continue to sew…I mean knit…I mean bake. Sheesh, I may go crazy before these 17 days are up. But I guess it is a good kinda crazy in the end.

Have a good weekend!