Monday, March 26, 2012

Great Package

So, recently I came across information for a site that sells mill ends of yarn.  This is the end of the mill runs when yarn is being produced.  I have bought fabric for quilting this way, very satisfied with it, but never yarn.
I received my first order today.  A small one, just to see how the process works and what yarn I would get.

The plus side of buying this way, the price is greatly reduced.  I mean like less than a dollar a skein, including the shipping.

The down side to this, you get what you get.  No choice as far as color choice.

This will be a great way to purchase yarn for charity projects.  The lady did a great job of coordinating the colors though.  I received two nice variegated colors - pink camo and bonbon - and a solid pink to match them.  Also a pastel variegated - calliope I think (baby colors) - and a nice light yellow to match up.  I also ordered a bit of cotton thread as well.  I have never used this type of yarn before - or should say size of yarn - it is a #8.  Kind of nice, the package came with a vest pattern - like a kit.

I will definitely be purchasing from there again, later in the year, and larger order.  By the fall I will have a lot of my stash worked down and the mill ends will be great for crocheting some charity projects or maybe some items to put in my Etsy shop.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Saturday - What's on the hook

Thought I would catch up on everything going on around here.  First, thought I would post what is currently on the hook.

Green Fleck Shawl - also known as the Cinco de Mayo shawl because that is what they are calling the swap I am making this for.  In retrospect it should have been in bright bold colors, like the Mexican flag.  However, growing up my family went in to Mexico several times.  We would go watch the dog races.  I remember the adobe buildings the colors of brown, the olive green of the mesquite trees and pinion scrubs, the chocolate brown of the pine cones and the black of the mesquite beans.  So, those are the colors I chose to go with.  I realize now that the shawl is almost finished that I may have been more influenced in my thinking with the mountains and the Mexican and Native American cultures that were part of my growing up in New Mexico.
This is the beginning of the shawl.  The picture doesn't show it that well, but it is a moss or olive green with flecks of brown and black scattered in the yarn.  It actually works up much nicer than I thought.  It will have a second color added in for the finishing and will post a photo when I am finished.

On my hook...hooks, as far as other projects at the moment are some purple squares, still working on the ripple variation, the 25 year old table cloth project, and just started work on a spider man round afghan for grand son #2.

I have received some really nice swaps in return.
 These dish cloths were from a Feb. swap.
This is the 12 inch sender's choice square from Feb. as well.

Then there are the March ones.
 Skinny scarf.
12 inch sender's choice.

Both of these came from the same person.  I like the green woodsy color very much.

Then I got this regular scarf.
I have it folded on itself, the photo just doesn't do it justice.  The yarn is Yarn Bee brand Cameo Bulky.  It is a Hobby Lobby brand, we don't have Hobby Lobby here.  This yarn is so wonderfully soft and warm and so luxurious feeling and blue is just my favorite color of all.  It has warmed up here once again so can't really wear it out but I keep it where I can just pick it up and snuggle it, caress it, just feel it.  I bet it would make wonderful cancer caps.  I went to JoAnn's this morning and found what feels like a close substitute, but may have to just order online from Hobby Lobby or bribe my daughter in bringing me some when she visits this summer.  I am just in love with it.

My last post I showed some of the things I made for the swaps.  I have been trying to get some dish cloths and pot holders made up for the months swaps to come.  I found in my stored stash a cone of cotton yarn called peppercorn ombre.  It is not available any longer, at least not that I can find except by private sellers on Amazon, Etsy or such.  I don't know if it is actually a full cone, pretty sure it has been used for a few things already, but I decided to just start working it into some finished projects, wanted to see just how much I can get out of it.
So far, I have three dish cloths and one pot holder.  Still looks like plenty of cotton yarn left on the cone.

Now, for my organizing mission.  I pulled out all my yarns and made lists of what I have in my stash.  I saved it all on an Excel sheet.
This is the bulk of it.  All Red Heart Super Saver.  At least what is not currently set aside because it is on my hook. I also snipped pieces of the solid yarns and affixed them to a swatch chart so I can tell what colors I actually have and what the color looks like with out having to pull out the whole box.  This homemade swatch chart includes yarns currently in use that are not in this bin.

I found the plastic bag, which zips up, that my comforter set came in and since it is such a nice size and zips closed with handles on it, I have designated it as my scrap bag.  All the left over pieces of skeins that I use for a particular project all get thrown in to the scrap bag.
Some pieces are almost full skeins that were used for a project that did not turn out well, so saved it to frog for another project.  Some pieces will maybe be enough for the center of a square or a small row.  The plan is to use the bright yellow yarn for the centers of some scrap squares that I will then turn in to an afghan.  Maybe  one that is done in rows that are more like stripes as well.  I am also collecting patterns for using up scraps.
This is my cotton yarn stash.  These cottons are used for dish cloths and pot holders.

If you click here, you can see the stash of odds and ends.  I have my pounders of Red Heart and Bernat Baby stuck in the middle of this storage holder.  Even though it is a shoe storage, it is a fabulous yarn storage. When I clean out my closet better, I will probably end up getting another storage hanger for more yarn.

Today's buys.
This is the yarn I plan to use to make an afghan for my living room.  A pretty big one I suspect.  I will be using the book 200 Crochet Blocks for Blankets, Throws and Afghans that I recently purchased for this project.  While I am itching to start on it tonight, I am making myself wait until I have finished up the other two afghans I am currently working on.  I am quite determined to keep the unfinished or works in progress to a minimum.

That being said, I also bought these.

I am sure I didn't buy enough to do any thing with, but I will be able to start a project and see how it looks made up.  They are both so shiny and glittery looking that I am just positive they will both make lovely fashion doll dresses.

My hubby and oldest two sons left this morning to spend a few days at Mammoth skiing.  They are expecting snow Sunday and Monday so hope they have a good time.  The wind has suddenly kicked up this evening as something is blowing through here, think we have some rain headed in, but not sure it will reach us.

Well, guess that pretty much catches me up.  At least for now.  I will try to do better at keeping my blog up to date, but life has a way of getting in the way.  Thanks for stopping in and come back again.  Feel free to leave comments as well.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Wednesday - Hump Day

Just stopping in to show what I have been doing.  I have been busy hooking again, just in the evenings when I don't do anything but be lazy.

This week, I have been working on my swaps.  Have them all finished, accept for two any way.  One isn't due until April, the other one I just remembered.

Oh well, here goes.
This is another of the beaded scarf using Smooth Fox's pattern posted on Ravelry.  Funny story here.  My February 26 post showed the first one that I did.  It was in softer colors.  At any rate, I had made the first one for a swap on a Yahoo group.  I mailed it off, proud of myself for getting all my swaps mailed by the dead line.  Over the week end, I discovered that I mailed it to P.R. - my swap partner, but some how had a major brain fart and while I used her name I used some one else's address.  Naturally, I emailed all the parties to explain.  The email addy for the member that it was mistakenly mailed to came back as no good, she has not contacted me to let me know she received it, as yet has not returned it either.  So, I used some brighter color, Red Heart Super Saver Primary, with brighter colored beads and whipped out a new one.  This time instead of using a repeating pattern one of each color I used pairs so that the two side by side are the same color.  I love the way it turned out.  So now that my Feb. swaps are all completed, I went on to my March swaps.

For March, here is what I have been able to get completed this week.
Dish cloth.  This is a pattern that one of those "daily free patterns" so only available online that one day, I printed it off to save.  It is a simple waffle stitch variation.
This is the front of a pot holder.  You can find the link for this pattern by heading to my Ravelry page.  I added the spokes when I attached the front to the back.
This is the back.  The spoke or ribbing isn't on the back, wanted it to lay flat.  I changed the color order for the front and back as well.
This is a scarf that is about 5 inches wide.  I think it is actually supposed to be wider...I crochet tight so things some times (okay, most of the time) come out a bit smaller (significantly smaller) but with most of what I make the size doesn't really matter much.
This is the skinny scarf, 3 inches wide. Which came out 2 inches wide with an extra row of shells added.  Not that you can tell by the photo, but the yarn is a dark green color.  It was fun to make because it is just a repeat of a stitch pattern the long length of the scarf.  Don't have to think about it too much, which is a good thing for me.

I received my new books today.  Both crochet books.  One is titled 200 Crochet Blocks for blankets, throws and afghans. It has step by step directions for 200 crochet blocks, a little more if you count a few variations given as well.  Now I can just look at the book and pick out a block to make.  Good thing is, each is coded for the level of difficulty.  This week I play to go buy some nice beige and brown yarns and will practice making each block and put them together for an afghan for a Christmas gift.  The draw back is that each block is designed to be 6 inches, so will have to see what size mine actually turn out.  I prefer to work with 8 or 12 inch blocks, so this will be interesting.  The second book is titled The Crochet Bible. It looks to be a great reference book for all questions about crochet and has a lot of step by step instructions for the different stitches.  Also has some really nice looking patterns along with tips on crochet hooks, yarns, different techniques and such.  Will see if I am able to use them.

Well guess I best get going, little Mr. M will be waking up soon and I need a little snack and potty break before I have to get him.  Thanks for stopping in.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Friday - Finally!

It is Friday, finally.  That means a week end and a couple of days off coming up.  Today I have Mr. M and daughter J is home sick.  Oldest son C, Mr. M's dad is home sick as well, so must be something going around.  Hubby is also on his Friday off.  I will have to wait and see how this day rolls, I have so much to catch up on around the house this week end.  Most will have to be done on Sat. & Sun. when I don't have Mr. M to play with.

So, on to other things.  After a little over a month, I am finally finished with the UT afghan.
This was the first time I have ever made anything that involved so many color changes.  I kind of like the way it finished out, but then again I do not like the amount of fuzzy ends that pop up ever where from the color changes.  I plan to make another one, using a half double crochet or double crochet stitch instead of the single crochet and am going to use a little different color change method for the longhorn head as well.  Am also thinking that I may start and end each row to have some fringe on the sides.  I think grandson Mr. TK will like it though, he is 8 so I didn't make it as large as the pattern called for.  I hope he likes it any way.

On another crochet note, I was so surprised and flattered when Ravelry sent me a request to feature my photo of the cathedral window pot holder.  You can see it in the previous post and read more about it there.

Hubby fixed my oven.  Yahoo, Yippee, Hurrah.  I have been baking up a storm, casseroles and meat mainly, but I did make some muffins for breakfast yesterday.  I am so thankful to have my oven back.  Funny how something so little can really make your day.

Guess I better get going, I have a few things to take care of while Mr. M is taking a nap.  Never know just how long he will be down.  It is difficult to get an organized type of daily schedule going with him here, but am so wonderfully blessed to be taking care of him.

Thanks for stopping in and please come back again to visit.  Feel free to leave a comment, let's me know some one is reading this. LOL