Friday, August 12, 2016

4 Reasons Why I Like When My Husband Goes on Business Trips

Out of the last 4 months, my husband has been in China for work for about a month. He took a two week trip in early May (after he convinced his boss that he could not leave the country on my birthday, so he left the day after), and he is currently finishing up another two week trip right now (he'll be home in two days). I hate when he's gone. I mean, sure, I miss him, but with Skype we probably end up talking almost as much as we do when he's home, so it's not really that. Mostly, I hate being a single parent. Military families and single parents - you have my undying respect.
I seriously wonder if my son will survive each of these trips. He does, of course, as I would never harm my son, but I did get smart and shipped him off to Grandma's for one night each week this time, so I could take a break from the little tyrant who is acting out because he misses his dad.

This morning, while enjoying my kid-free time, I was doing some chores around the house and started thinking about the things I like while my husband is gone.

1. Because I only ever use the smaller silverware, I never have to sort it when I do the dishes. If there's a fork, it's a little fork. If there's a spoon, it's a teaspoon. No comparing sizes. Also, because I usually only drink water, I have one or two glasses that I constantly use, so there are very little glasses to put away.

2. When I go to do the laundry, there's never a forgotten load already in the machine. Of course, my son's laundry is still in the dryer from yesterday, but it won't be an unpleasant surprise that it's there.

3. Making the bed consists of pulling the covers back where they belong and putting the pillows back in their correct places. I hate his pillows (they're big and heavy and wake me up whenever they touch me at night), so I take great enjoyment of throwing them off the bed at night.

4. Containers always make it into the garbage. For some reason, my husband has a mental block about throwing containers (bottles, milk cartons, etc.) into the garbage. He sits them on the counter next to the garbage instead and it drives me crazy!

But really, that's about it. Sure, it's nice to have a break from those little pet peeves, but in the grand scheme of things, I would rather sort silverware, do extra laundry, remake the bed every morning, and throw containers away myself in order to have my husband home.

We're in the home stretch, and next time I might be serious in my threat to make my husband quit if they try to send him to China again.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Hello Spring Break!

Today is the start of my Spring Break. The weather here in the Pacific Northwest has welcomed this day with sun, rain, wind, and hail. "In like a lion" is no joke this year, especially after yesterday's wind storm!

I spent the mid-morning clearing out my work binder and prepping for next quarter. I spent the afternoon crushing academic dreams, aka, giving a final exam and calculating grades. I spent the last half hour deciding on some Spring Break goals.

Normally during Spring Break, I do a big deep clean of the house. There are a few real cleaning things I want to accomplish - deep cleaning bathrooms and cleaning the carpets are high on the list - but this year I have a different kind of big clean I want to do.

My brain feels overstuffed and overwhelmed with creative ideas. I plan on taking these next two weeks to help clear out the clutter up in my noggin.

I started last week by cleaning out my Pinterest board. I only had one board - Stuff to Make - which I keep secret. I went through and deleted the pins I knew I was never going to get around to or my interest in had faded. Then I made a new secret board - Stuff I've Done - and cleared out all the pins I've already used. Let me tell you, this has really helped me let go of a lot of creative clutter in my brain.

This week, I want to focus on finishing projects that I've already bought the supplies for but never got around to doing. These include creating a new, shorter strap for my new leather bag, sewing a bow scarf out of Dollar Store knit scarves, finishing a crochet hat I started over the weekend, and working up some crochet items with the bulky yarn that has been taking up way too much space in my yarn storage area. I also want to work through my pins that simply involve printing something out (paper gem templates, cute coloring pages, etc.) and moving those to my new board.

Next week, I'll work on those ideas that I still need to buy supplies for, and maybe some bigger projects I need to do while Elijah is in school.

I'm looking forward to cleaning out my brain much more than cleaning out my bathrooms...

What's cluttering up your brain?

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

A Dream (I Didn't Know I Had) Come True

As of this past weekend, some of my crochet items are currently available for sale at Once Upon a Time, a children's boutique on Queen Anne in Seattle!

The whole thing came about rather randomly, but now that it's happened, I'm realizing that a dream I never knew I had has come true. My stuff is in an actual store! How cool is that?

So, if you're local, stop by and check out some Seahawks colored hats like my Camden "Seattle Camo" hat...

Or these awesome scarves - Raleigh Racccon, Felix Fox, and Woodrow Wolf...

This opportunity has gotten me thinking a bit more about my brand. I don't know how far I want to go with this, but I have started an Instagram account (hurray for Windows Phone finally jumping on the bandwagon), and am working on starting up a Facebook page, you know, just in case. Neither one is anything to get too excited about, but it's a start.

Right now, I'm just happy to enjoy the fulfillment of this dream I never knew I had, and the money that came with it :)

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Hamilton Hat Pattern

Here's a new pattern, just in time for some holiday gift-giving! The Hamilton hat is made using sc, hdc, dc, fpdc, and bpdc.  The hdc crown is warm, the sc/dc combination gives the body an interesting pattern and texture, and alternating post stitches make up the brim. Follow the directions below carefully for a XS (14”), S (17”), M (19”), L (22”), or XL (24”) sized beanie.

2 skeins worsted weight [4] yarn (Vanna's Choice, Red Heart Super Saver, I Love This Yarn) in different colors. This amount of yarn will actually make two hats, if you switch the colors.
J Hook
I Hook

Do not cut the yarn after each round, just run it up the seam for the next round. Change colors with the sl st that joins each round. Instead of pulling up the color you are working with, pull up the color from the previous round.


Crown Round 1: With J hook and color A, 9 hdc in magic circle, join with a sl st

Crown Round 2: ch 1 (does not count as a stitch) 2 hdc in each hdc around, join with sl st into first hdc (18)

Crown Round 3: ch 1, *2 hdc in first stitch, 1 hdc in next stitch, repeat from * around, join with sl st into first hdc (27)

Crown Round 4: ch 1, *2 hdc in first stitch, 1 hdc in next 2 stitches, repeat from * around, join with sl st into first hdc (36)

Crown Round 5: ch 1, *2 hdc in first stitch, 1 hdc in next 3 stitches, repeat from * around, join with sl st into first hdc (45) (4” diameter, for XS, add one extra stitch (46), continue to Body Rounds)

Crown Round 6: ch 1, *2 hdc in first stitch, 1 hdc in next 4 stitches, repeat from * around, join with sl st into first hdc (54) (4.75” diameter, for S, continue to Body Rounds)

Crown Round 7: ch 1, *2 hdc in first stitch, 1 hdc in next 5 stitches, repeat from * around, join with sl st into first hdc (63) (5.5” diameter, for M, add an extra stitch (64) and continue to Body Rounds)

Crown Round 8: ch 1, *2 hdc in first stitch, 1 hdc in next 6 stitches, repeat from * around, join with sl st into first hdc (72) (6.25” diameter, for L, continue to Body Rounds)

Crown Round 9: ch 1, *2 hdc in first stitch, 1 hdc in next 7 stitches, repeat from * around, skip the last increase stitch, join with sl st into first hdc (80) (7” diameter, for XL, continue to Body Rounds)

Body Round 1: ch 1, sc into first stitch, dc into next stitch, repeat from * around, join with sl st into first sc

Body Round 2: change to color B, ch 2 (does not count as a stitch), dc into the first sc, sc into the next dc, join with a sl st into first dc

Rounds 3-X: Repeat body rounds 1 and 2, sc into every dc, dc into every sc, alternate colors every round (For XS: X=6, for S: X=6 or 8, for M: X=8 or 10, for L: X=10 or 12, and for XL: X=12) Increase X for a longer hat, end with a Color B round. Note: For an average kid size I would make the L with 10 rows, and for an average woman size, I would make the L with 12 rows

Brim Round 1: change to color A, ch 1, sc into each stitch around, join with a sl st into the first sc

Brim Round 2: change to I hook, ch 2 (does not count as a stitch here and throughout the brim), dc into each stitch around, join with a sl st into the first dc

Brim Round 3: ch 2, fpdc around the first stitch, bpdc around the next stitch, repeat from * around, join with a sl st into the first fpdc

Brim Rounds 4-5: Repeat round 3, fasten off and weave in ends.  (For XS, end with round 4)

Monday, August 3, 2015

Off the Hook: Dream Catcher Necklace Holder

I've been working on making a bunch of these Dream Catcher Squares to make a blanket for our friends' baby. I tried making one of the squares with some scrap yarn that I had, but I ran out before I was done. Darn. I loved the way it looked and the color, so I frogged it back to round 10, attached it to a metal ring, and added an easy chain loop for hanging. It seemed like it was missing something, so I hung a couple of necklaces from the bottom. Perfect!

My 1/16th Native American (Lenni Lenape, if you're interested) is pleased!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Free Cross Stitch Patterns

Some good friends of ours recently found out that they are (85% sure they're) having a girl, and we are so excited for them! (Okay, actually, I was really hoping for a boy so we could pawn off all Elijah's clothes and old toys, but I'm very happy to welcome another little girl into my life as well.) I decided to get a head start on some gifts for her (or maybe him). I don't know what their theme for the nursery is (I don't even know if they know what the theme is), but after some Pinterest stalking of mutual friends, it seems there is a tribal/native American themed baby shower in the works. Working within that theme, I decided to put my cross stitch skills to good use and design a few simple patterns. My plan is to put them into small frames as nursery art.

Here they are!

Tribal Arrows
Dream Catcher


Want to make some? You can download my patterns here:
Note: There seems to have been some issue with the sharable links. I have tried linking them again. Please leave a comment for me if they aren't working. Thanks!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Tapestry Crochet Sea Turtle Pattern

Having recently discovered tapestry crochet, I've become a bit obsessed and been inspired to create some new patterns. First up is this little sea turtle:

This would make a cute pillow or blanket, but I used the pattern to make a zipper pouch. For someone who LOVES sea turtles as much as I do, this is awesome! This pouch measures 6.5"x8.5", the perfect size for a 7" or 8" tablet or a journal.

To make this pouch, follow these directions:
(If you need some help with tapestry crochet, check out this awesome tutorial from A Crochet Journey.)

  • 2 colors of Cascade Ultra Pima yarn. I used about 1/2 a skein each of Major Teal and Bright Olive
  • 3.25 mm hook (I used a Boye steel 0/3.25mm hook, but a D hook is the same size), but you can use a smaller hook for a smaller pouch with a denser fabric, or a larger hook for a larger pouch with a floppier fabric
  • zipper (or closure of your choice)
  • pattern chart (and organizer)
With color A, ch 50

Round 1: sc in 2nd ch from hook (place marker), sc across until the first chain (48 stitches), in the first chain work 3 sc, then sc across the back edge of the chain, in the last chain (the same one as the sc with the stitch marker) work 2 sc (100 stitches total) - do not join

Round 2-50: Hold color B and work your stitches over it until it is time to change colors, working in the back loop only (BLO), sc around following the pattern chart, changing colors when indicated. You will work each round of the pattern twice (once for the front of the pouch, and once for the back). Move your stitch marker up at the end of each round (or don't and suffer the inevitable consequences). At the end of round 50, fasten off and sew in your zipper or the closure of your choice.

Note: While an color change worked in the wrong stitch here or there won't make much of a difference in the overall pattern, you will want to be extra careful when placing your second color B stitches in round 3. If your count is off, your second turtle will end up off-center (ahem, not that I know this from personal experience or anything...) but even then, it's not the end of the world.

Tip: If you're using a zipper, I have found that it works best to use my sewing machine to sew a guide line on the zipper to help me hand-sew it into the pouch.

Hand-sewing without guideline:

Hand-sewing with the a guideline:

So much better, right?

Happy crocheting, fellow sea turtle fans!