Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Lessons in Crochet

I'm sorry if you stumbled upon this post looking for some actual lessons on crochet. I'm not the person to look to, as I have only just recently completed my first non-hat crochet project. And it turned out. Sort of.

I found a book at Michael's with crochet projects for baby. Baby boy is, of course, the motivation for crochet/any projects I've thought of as of late. My goal was a sweater. A pattern in the book claimed to be easy...but how can it be easy if you've never read a crochet pattern before? So for me, I'd list the pattern is "intermediate."

Either way, I completed the sweater mostly as described in the pattern. I had some issues with the yoke, so I improvised. It looks like a sweater. The sleeves are proportionate to the body, and it looks like it will fit a child.

Except I never checked the gauge of my crochet skills and the hook listed in the pattern. Eager me just started crocheting. I followed the directions to make a sweater for a six month old. It'll probably fit a one year old. Which is fine, I just won't get to use the sweater as soon as I had hoped.

Yesterday, I started a cardigan for the boy as well. I dove right in without checking the gauge and wondered why, again, was this sweater (meant for a 6 month old) turning out to be so huge?! Luckily, I was only four rows in before I realized that maybe the crochet pattern writers were on to something with gauge-checking. So I crocheted my 12 stitches with the hook listed in the pattern. Twelve stitches should have been four inches. In my case? Six.

Well, there ya go. Tried the same with a smaller hook: twelve stitches, four inches. I was set to go. And now, four rows in to this sweater? It looks like it'll fit the average 6 month old.

Someday, I'll learn to just follow directions. Until then, I'll continue to learn from my little mistakes!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Crafting Again

Well, it seems as though I've stumbled upon some time to do some crafting. Not a whole lot, but enough to keep me busy and to keep me entertained.

I picked up a book of patterns from Michael's and, while I love the book thus far, I think I will buy single patterns online from now on. Or just look for the free ones. I've only committed to using two of the 20 patterns in the book, so it really wasn't that worth it.

Long story short, I'm crocheting a sweater. This is quite new to me... I've only ever crocheted hats before. Hats of every color and ... well, I'd like to say pattern, but I was never that ambitious. But now, I'm working on a sweater.

Making the sweater is something I decided to do when we found out our little munchkin was of the male variety. I've never thought boy clothes were as cute as girl clothes, so I decided to make a few of my own. Blue crocheted sweaters included.

As I have not yet made enough progress for the sweater to resemble a sweater, there is still time for advice. Please, please leave a comment with some advice on sweater making and/or crocheting.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

New Month Resolution

I don't make New Year's Resolutions. Never have, an I probably never will. January doesn't seem like a new year to me anyway. The new year for a teacher really comes mid-August, back to school time.

Back to the lack of resolutions. Although I don't make a New Year's resolution, I have noticed that I am constantly coming up with ways to improve my life. Usually on a monthly basis.

This month, I am working on follow-through. It is something I have struggled with my whole life. My mom and maternal grandmother have the same issue... My goal this month, though, is to follow through on more things.

For example, I have been talking about a "chore" schedule for the last six months (or more). Nothing had happened. Today, though, it all changed. I made the chore schedule. And it's pretty simple, too.

Each day has a five or ten minute cleaning task to complete. I didn't get super fancy with my new schedule. Have you seen those ones on Pinterest!? They're amazing!! Mine is simple...just chicken scratch on a piece of paper.

But, it will help. Just having the schedule written down will help me to complete the tasks and FOLLOW THROUGH with the house tidying efforts!

New Month Resolutions... I kinda like 'em!

Finn's helping to put shoes away...

Friday, January 4, 2013

2013! Already!?

I cannot believe that 2013 is already here! I've decided to do a recap of the year so that I may see it in 10 years and remember...

In January, I realized that I had to get my butt in gear to student teach in the fall. I was moving through my licensure and master's program at quite the leisurely pace. While the program claims to take just 18 months (not true), I was finishing up year four. Most of my classmates were finishing year three...quite a bit more time than 18 months!

In February, my husband and I celebrated our first Valentine's Day as a married pair.  Truth be told, we don't really celebrate Valentine's Day. Instead, we started some plans for our first "real" vegetable garden. And we had great plans...that produced about a million delicious tomatoes. We also made a major change to our home by tearing down an entire wall. And what a change it has been! Our upstairs is so much more inviting and wonderful.

In March, I turned 28. We also locked ourselves out of our house one morning, calling for a new front door. The new front door is delightful, even if it makes our entryway a little darker than it was before. My husband did a fabulous job replacing the door (and it wouldn't be the last time).

In April, we found ourselves parents to Fletch and Floyd, two bearded dragons. While I frantically wanted to rid our house of them, my husband took a liking and we kept them both for quite some time. Floyd stuck around for a few months, until he got aggressive and chomped on the foot of Fletcher. He was donated to a local reptilian society. They work to find homes for surrendered pets. Fletch was around for even longer; his "stump" healing beautifully. Eventually, we realized that a reptile during pregnancy was not the best idea. Although I was not yet pregnant, I knew I wanted to be soon. Fletch was given to a former student of mine, and I still get updates about him.

In May, we became parents to Finn. Our beloved little Brittany is such a wonderful guy. He loves to hunt in our backyard...birds, squirrels, mice. You name it, he will find it! We have started to bring baby stuff into the house so that Finn can get used to having a human brother.

In June we hung out around the house and found ourselves in a wonderful summer routine. With both my husband and I workin as teachers, June is a favorite month around our house!

In July, we traveled. And my beautiful niece turned two. What a joy that little girl has been. So lively, so creative, so amazing. When she was born, I found myself shocked at how much I could love that little thing. I cannot even imagine what it will feel like to love my own.

In August, I ran my first 5K. It's one of those things that was horrible while running, but such a wonderful feeling after the finish line. I cannot wait to train for and run another one. My husband and I are going to choose one in September or October of next year to run. I am quite excited.

In September, we heard the best news we could have heard. Afte taking three pregnancy tests, I finally believed what the little lines were telling me. My husband and had created a life that would be joining us in May. Now that is an amazing feeling.

In October, we saw our little peanut for the first time. There wasn't much to see...just a sac. But in reality, a life. We also went to the annual Halloween party with my husband's relatives. It was my first year without making our costumes. We didn't even dress up! I had great plans, but the exhaustion of early pregnancy got the best of me.

In November, we announced to family and friends that we were expecting a baby in May. My sister announced the same thing a week later. That's right. Two babies. Due about a week apart.

December was a whirlwind. A month that always seems to fly by so quickly. In our second Christmas season as a married couple, we found a routine that we think may work for us as far as Christmas gatherings go (there are quite a few when both families live within 20 minutes!). We also announced that our little babe is indeed a boy. And much like November, my sister announced the same thing a mere week later. Two baby boys.

In all, the year was fabulous. There was plenty newness and plenty change. Of course, this is only the beginning!