Tuesday, May 15, 2018

WIPS: Yarn and Books

This post contains affiliate links. 

What's a WIP?  It's short for "Work in Progress".  It is frequently used in the knitting and crochet world to refer to an unfinished project.

I'm knitting a crescent shawl.  It's a delightfully mindless knit.  I mean this in a good way.  Sometimes I just want to create and yet have no little grey cells to dedicate to the project.  (Yep, that's a Poirot reference.)  I'll share the super simple pattern once I'm finished.

Of course, there are more than a few other works in progress languishing in my craft room.  My Dragon Blanket is getting so close to the end, but I put it away for a while to focus on some "quick and done" projects.  As for finished projects, I did crochet a backpack and knit a hat.

I got a little ambitious at the library this week.  We shall see how many of the 17 books that are checked out for me will be finished before they're due.  (The kids are set for the week too, I have 73 items checked out right now . . .)  The Baby is at that stage where he wants to eat my books and becomes singularly focused on that task, making reading slightly more difficult than normal.

I am currently reading The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen.

I'm going to link up over at Marissa Writes, so here are the required questions and answers!

Why did you decide to pick up this book? 

Because it was recommended by Sarah of Read Aloud Revival.  I'm a sucker for good YA lit and I've enjoyed about 95% of the books that she has recommended in the past . . . I figured chances were good that I'd enjoy this book.

Who is your favorite character so far, and why?

Sage is the obvious choice.  He's scrappy, honest in his own way, and while completely imperfect you can't quite help but cheer for him.

Will you finish this one?


Finish the sentence: This book reminds me of . . . 

Well, at this point it reminds me of The Thief; however, I'm enjoying this book quite a bit more than that book.  (I struggled a little to really get immersed in The Thief.)

What type of read is this one?

If I didn't have responsibilities I think this is the type of book I would read cover to cover in a day.  Alas, I do have responsibilities (and I'm quite thankful for them!), so it's taking a little longer.  It is an enjoyable read.  At my library it's shelved with the juvenile fiction, but it doesn't feel childish.

Speaking of responsibilities, that's all for now, folks!  How about you, what are you reading or creating right now?

You can find where I link up here

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Sale on The Read Aloud Family (Time Sensitive)

This post contains affiliate links.

The Read-Aloud Family is on sale this weekend! The Kindle version is $2.99, regular price is $16.99. 

I've been a big fan of the author, Sarah Mackenzie, since the first time I stumbled upon her blog, Read Aloud Revival.  Reading is a way of life in our house.  We've personally loved her book lists, her podcasts, and her author interviews so while I haven't read this book . . . yet . . . I can only imagine that it will be filled with good things. 

Friday, May 11, 2018

The Watermelon Hat: A Free Knitting Pattern

I received the yarn for this project in exchange for my honest opinion. This post contains affiliate links. This means that if you purchase something after clicking on one of these links I might receive a small commission. This is no way affects the price that you pay.

This gorgeous yarn is from Love Knitting.  This fun Watermelon Hat was knitted using MillaMia Naturally Soft Aran in Shocking Pink and Emerald Green.  This yarn is so soft and squishy!  It's such a fun cozy yarn.  Each ball has 87 delicious yards of yarn.  It can be machine washed, but don't put it in the dryer, it needs to dry flat!  There is lovely stitch definition and it was a pleasure to knit.  I'd absolutely love to work with it again!

(I must say though, that while I loved knitting the yarn, trying to get a good picture of the pink, was, well, shockingly difficult!)

The Free Knitting Pattern

Begin knitting this hat with size 5.5 circular knitting needles.  I knit the entire hat on circular needles using the magic loop technique.

With GREEN yarn. 
Cast on 80.  Join, being super careful not to twist.  I used the crochet hook cast on method, I really like the look and I'm super comfortable with a crochet hook!

Work a rib knit for about one inch, I had six rows.  I used a K1P1 rib knit, but you could use a K2P2 rib knit, whichever you prefer.

With white yarn.

Knit around.

Switch to size 6 circular knitting needles.

With Pink Yarn

Before knitting with the pink yarn you must add your "seeds".  When choosing your beads be sure that they will easily string onto the yarn.  I used some black beads, very much like these beads, from my craft hoard.  Use my yarn threading tip to make it easier and then thread on about 100 beads.  You will need to continually push the beads down towards the ball of yarn while you're knitting.  If you find this tiresome you could sew the beads on individually after you've finished knitting.  I randomly allowed the beads to be worked in.

Knit around.  Continue until hat reaches about four and a half inches high.  For reference, I knit 21 rows in pink before my first decrease row.

Round 1: *Knit 20 Stitches. Place stitch marker* four times around to end of round.
Round 2: *K1, K2tog, Knit to two stitches before next marker, SSK* four times around.
Repeat round 2 until there are 16 stitches remaining.
Round 3: K2tog around.
Break yarn and weave it through the remaining 8 stitches.  Finish off!


A note about the sizing of this hat.  My lovely daughter modeled this hat for me.  As you can see it fits her comfortably with just a slight amount of slouch.  The hat also fits me quite well.  Her head circumference is about 21 inches and mine is 22 inches.  

Saturday, May 5, 2018

A Handmade Hat: Jack and Jill Hat with Hearts

This post contains affiliate links.

I really like hats.  When I came across the Jack and Jill Hat by Izzy & Ivy Designs I knew I'd love it.  This pattern comes with a huge variety of sizes -- baby to adult.  The size range is a huge deal to me, because I just know that I am going to make a hat or two for myself!

For this hat, I started with a fat quarter of the cheerful hearts fabric and simply picked coordinating fabrics from my stash.  I think it turned out quite nicely!  It's so bright and cheery!

Sadly, it looks like the pattern might be retired, as I can't find it in the Izzy & Ivy Designs Etsy Shop.  It can be purchased from Whimsical Fabrics, which is where I bought my copy.  The shop owner at Whimsical Fabrics gives amazing customer service.  (I also found a listing in Etsy by another third party.  This one is a little cheaper, but I have no personal experience with the seller.)

Overall, I found the directions to be clear for this Jack and Jill hat.  I did read through them twice in their entirety before beginning.  For some reason I was nervous to start this project.  However, once I decided to just do it I had no problems.  This hat took me about an hour and a half from start to finish, and that  includes the time it took to trace the pattern pieces.  (I should note that I left out the elastic in the back on this particular hat -- it just wasn't necessary this time.)

I see many more of these hats in my future! 

Below are some of the bucket hats that I've sewn.