Finished Nathalie.

I finished this up a while ago but getting a decent finished picture proved to be difficult. I asked my husband to take some pictures and they all looked terrible, then my seven years old asked to take the pictures and none of those worked either. I decided to take some of myself and they all looked strange and I gave up. I really need to invest in a full-length mirror. That would make taking pictures of finished makes so much easier.

The 146-1 Nathalie is a free pattern from Drops Designs. I thought it was a fairly easy, straightforward pattern. I haven’t knit a lot of adult garments and I didn’t think the instructions were confusing or hard. (There is a ton and ton of seaming.)I know a lot of people hate Drops patterns but I think you just need to take the time and read through it first and make notes in spots you find confusing.

I put off the seaming of the arms because I find it really tedious but it was all worth the extra work. I really love how it turned out. It is a little tight in my arms but nothing too extreme. I made the XXL size and it fits everywhere but the arms. I know I probably said all of this in my last post about my in-progress Nathalie but I really don’t think anyone should be scared to attempt a Drops Design pattern. They have so many pretty designs and they are all free! It took me one month and a day to finish this up. Working with worsted weight yarn makes a project just fly by. It was also nice to get 17 skeins of yarn out of the stash.

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Next time I take a picture I need to remember to clean the kid’s bathroom mirror first.

Sea Turtle Birthday Party

For Little’s birthday, he requested a sea turtle themed birthday party. It was so much fun. For games we had the kids do sand art. I remember going to the fair once in Ohio and paying five dollars or something like that and filling a plastic sea shell bottle up with sand. I don’t remember what age I was but I remember having so much fun filling that bottle with my cousins all around me doing the same.

Like everything I tried to do this on the cheap so I found a blog online that showed how to make your own colored sand. I found this blog here and decided that it didn’t sound too hard and to try and make my own. Like it says in the blog I used Tempura Powder Paints.  I found out they also sell Tempura Powder at Michaels when my paint was taking to long to arrive and I panicked and ran out to buy paint. So just in case, you don’t want to wait to start your project that is always an option. The first time we started we used regular play sand because that is all we could find. It really didn’t work. It was way too dark and the colors all looked muted and not what I was expecting. After a quick google search, I found some white play sand at Lowe’s. It’s this Quikrete play sand. Honestly, it’s way cheaper at Lowe’s than on Amazon but that is the exact kind we bought.

We didn’t really measure our color to sand. I just poured some in and colored it and I used way to much color because when our sand started to dry it got super clumpy. It wasn’t that big of a deal we just used a strainer to get the large chunks out and crumpled it up with our hands before the kids started to play. I love how it turned out though and would do it again. We have so much powder paint left to use for crafts for the kids.  I bought the sand art bottles from Oriental Trading I bought the Under the Sea ones to go with our theme. I also bought the Funny Sand Art Bottles, they were smaller than I was expecting but the kids really loved filling the weird shaped bottles more than the sea creature ones.

The day of the party it rained so we had to do the sand art in the garage but the kids still had fun doing it. 20180405_205358

In this picture, the sand is still wet. I think we got our sand too wet because it took a couple of days of sitting it out in the sun for it to dry. I was starting to get worried it wouldn’t dry in time for the party. A good tip if you are planning on doing this is give it a week to dry. That way you don’t start to feel panicked and rushed if the party is looming closer and you still have wet sand. I bought the containers they are stored in at the Dollar Tree.

Another thing I like to do is make a special treat to give the kids that are related to the theme of the party. I am totally “that” parent but I love throwing birthday parties. I like doing candy mold candies because it gives that wow factor without really doing much work. I bought the Sea Turtle Lollipop Mold and just used brown and green candy melts swirled together to give my turtles more dept and make them look a little fancier than just doing a single color.

I decided not to make suckers with my turtles and filled them just like normally would and just didn’t put a stick in it. I bought little pearl candies and crushed up graham cracker to make sand and I had a bunch of sea turtles laying eggs. The kids loved them and they are really quick to make. You just pop the candy melts into the microwave and I spooned the heated melts into the molds and then pop the molds into the freezer for a few minutes. The whole process goes pretty quick but it looks like a project that took hours to accomplish.

On the needles.

I was bogged down with sample knits recently. I had four right in a row and it seemed like every spare minute of knitting I had was all toward sample knits. Now that I have a couple of free minutes of knitting for myself I started a cardigan. I know it’s not the sweater I vowed to do in the resolutions post but I was cleaning out my closet and found a box full of worsted weight yarn. I forgot I even had this yarn but remember buying it from a Herrschners truck sale. It’s called Sundance Yarns Stonewash.  The yarn has a woven or chained I think it is called middle with acrylic yarn blended into the middle.

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I know I got a heck of a deal on it and it was sold per bag. I bought 2 bags or 20 skeins total of two different colors. One color was a very pretty teal and the other is a gray. The teal was definitely calling my name so I did a search of Ravelry using my yarn to find a pattern that would work for it. I ended up picking the Drops pattern 146-1 Nathalie   The original pattern called for a cotton linen blend and my yarn was a cotton acrylic blend so I knew mine wouldn’t have the drape that the original had but I was ok with that. I have been knitting on this cardigan since May 17th and I almost have it finished. I knit the XXL size for a 53.5-inch bust. Right now I am sewing in the sleeves and it will finally be done. The sewing up part is always the least fun so it takes me forever to get around to actually doing it. I am using my Knitters Pride DREAMZ needles. They are my absolute favorite knitting needles. I use circulars with every pattern I knit and I love how these needles have the size stamped on the size and that they are all different colors. I am asking for another set of these needles for my Christmas present this year.

I will post pictures when I do finally have it completely finished. Have some working pictures of it to share. The color of the yarn is so pretty. Little’s favorite thing to do was use the cardigan as a blanket and take a nap on my lap.

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New addition…

We recently went back to Michigan to help our family with my grandparent’s estate. It wasn’t as hard as the funeral but going into the house the first time was hard. Seeing everything disheveled and all of their belongings sorted into piles to keep and sell made my heart hurt. We spent most of the weekend helping with that, it was hard sweaty work, Michigan was experiencing a heat wave and it was blistering hot there. Having to work for hours in the heat was awful but with the heat comes warmer waters and so we decided to go swimming in the lake. My kids have never swum in a lake before so this was a whole new experience for them. The first day we went swimming the water was still a little too cold for comfort but the kids took to it like champs and they both loved it. A few days later when we went swimming again the water was noticeably warmer and so much nicer. I could have stayed in the water all day but that was the night before we were supposed to come back home. The trip was hard but fun, we made efforts to have it not be totally focused on the selling off of the kid’s great-grandparents stuff. We went out for ice cream almost every night and drove around and did fun things to help keep our minds off of all the sad parts.

Every time we go home we visit a local sporting goods store every Sunday. On Sundays at this particular store, they let people come and sell puppies in the parking lot. It’s always fun to snuggle a puppy for two. We always talk about buying a puppy but we already have two dogs so we usually come to our senses and leave puppy-less. That happens every time we go except for this last time…  We were just walking by this truck full of puppies and the guy happened to ask what kind they were. The man replied that they were a goldendoodle black lab mix. That, of course, got my husbands ears perked up because he has been wanting a duck dog for a long time now. We walked over and seen this big fluff of fur. He was adorable! He had long curly hair and this old man beard and I was in love with him as soon as I laid eyes on him. I asked the man selling them if I could hold that giant fluff of a dog and he scooped him out and handed him to me. I went to pet him and he sucked on my finger and it was just so cute I knew he was coming home with us. We asked the man not to sell him and ran into the store to purchase a collar and think of a name. Well, welcome Thor to the family. If you follow on Instagram you have seen lots of pictures of him lately he is too cute for words.

He handled the 12 hour trip home like a champ and has just melted seamlessly into the family. The boys love him to death and he loves them. He has a silly bark that sounds like he is underwater and he is super smart. He’s also a giant cuddle bug which I love!

M.I.A.

I’ve been gone and not posting for quite a while lately. Our family is going through the hardships of losing a loved one. I feel like this death rattled me more than the loss of my last grandparent because it was just so sudden. One minute she was fine and the next I am getting a phone call at 5am telling me she is gone. The whole thing has been a rough go for me and I am still trying to wrap my head around what makes this grandparent death so different from the others but it’s been a struggle. There is also the fact that she was my last paternal grandparent so the whole settling of her estate and having to take care of her house (which I spent heaps of my childhood at) and other things. The thought of her house, where everyone went to celebrate and have fun, might no longer be part of our family is a hard pill to swallow. Just thinking of my kids not being able to pick blackberries or apples there and not being able to go fishing, just breaks my heart. I cherish the memories of all my adventures there.  I will probably be absent for a while longer since I am going back home to help with the estate and to get things settled. It is at times like these that I hate the fact I live 12 hours for the rest of my family. I do have a lot of stuff to update and I will try to get that done. If anyone follows me on Instagram you will be able to see my latest project that I still have not posted about here. There will be more blog post, I promise. I swear I am still here and I will return.

Hopefully very soon!

Sewed a shirt for myself, finally!

I finally sewed up my Cashmerette Concord t-shirt. I used a cheap knit fabric that I bought for a couple of bucks from Wal-mart. I think I did a 22 bust graded out to a 28 waist but it been so long since I cut it out that I can’t remember and of course I didn’t write it down. I also remember making a biceps adjustment on it but it still wasn’t big enough because after I finished there was a definite pull on the fabric there. I am pretty happy with the rest of the fit so now I just need to make adjustments to my arm pattern pieces and try again. I was thinking of just cutting the arms off this practice one and sewing new ones on but haven’t decided yet. I can’t really wear it as is and I have extra fabric left over.

I need to buy a notebook to start keeping track of the sizes I cut out for different patterns. I keep saying I am going to do it but I always forget.

Here is a picture of me just finishing up. It’s a bathroom picture because it’s the only big mirror really in the house. I am also wearing my pajamas. The official outfit for sewing. The line down the front is also a washable marker. I use it to mark all my patterns.

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Spring break isn’t for the weak.

I usually like to post on Wednesdays which did not happen last week because Spring Break happened. It felt like the longest week ever because we went from nice spring weather to bitter cold so the kids couldn’t play outside at all for all the of the break. It was either raining or cold there was never a nice day, so awful. Two young boys trapped inside all day every day for a week is not ideal, let me tell ya.

I have also haven’t been working on anything for myself in the craft department because I was hired to do a sample knit. When I get hired for a sample knit I really try my hardest to get it done ASAP. Even though you usually get a month to knit up whatever you are supposed to I get twitchy if it’s not done after two weeks. So I spent all of the spring break knitting and knitting and knitting so more. It was a great little blanket that was easy to memorize so I got a lot of Netflix watching in also. I will post pictures of it as soon as I see it in the catalog or on the website. This weekend to make up for the crafting fast I am going to sew as much as I can. I am getting the strong itch to sew and I can’t wait to finish up those projects I cut out what seems like a million years ago.