Archive for February, 2010

Valentines, etc.

I finally got back to the farm after a couple weeks at school and found in the huge pile of mail waiting for me (hubby prefers to let me deal with it) this adorable handmade Valentine from my Aunt:

Isn’t it cute?! I couldn’t decide if my Aunt had made it or purchased it (I hadn’t known her to be particularly crafty) until I turned the whole thing over and discovered her initials. I’m so excited that she took the time to make this card!

This weekend, I also finished the second sock for my Uncle (husband of the Aunt mentioned above):

I really like how they turned out, though I have no idea if they will fit him. Fingers crossed. I’m planning to send a package with their socks (the Naive Socks discussed earlier are for this Aunt) tomorrow – and I most certainly will mention how much I loved the Valentine!


I’m just now getting around to making my New Year’s resolution (yes, singular) – although maybe I could claim I was waiting for the Chinese New Year (…a lie)? Let’s just say life has been hectic.

For my resolution last year, I decided I wouldn’t start any new knitting projects until the old ones were finished; I have a habit of letting UFOs languish for years. I’m happy to say that I did very well with last year’s resolution! In fact, I finished up all of my old UFOs and only created one (the “Fancy Dress” raveled here). Pretty darn good, I think!

So for this year, I’ve decided to apply last year’s resolution to all of my OTHER crafty projects. And, boy, do I have a lot of crafty UFOs! Here’s a list of projects with materials assembled/purchased, as well as true UFOs, that I resolve to accomplish in 2010:

  1. Christmas stockings for Hubby and myself – cross stitched and home sewn [I started Hubby’s stocking in Nov 2007. When I will finish it is now a running joke in the family. Sigh.]
  2. Wedding Photo Album – We got married in Aug 2007 and I still haven’t assembled it. Major embarrassment!
  3. P.J.s for Hubby – Started them 2 yrs ago, even cut out the fabric shapes per the pattern, but haven’t sewn them together yet. [This was the first thing hubby asked about when I told him my 2010 resolution, thus a priority.]
  4. T-shirt Quilt – Using all of hubby’s old t-shirts (of which he has many). [Per wonderful tutorial by CraftStylish contributor Erika Kern.]
  5. Cloth Napkins – At hubby’s request, though I don’t know why it never occurred to me. [Per these great tutorials from Maggie Makes and Skip to My Lou.]
  6. Topper for Christmas Tree – Has been barren each year thus far. Truly sad. Still deciding on a pattern…
  7. Process Ivan and Hamlet’s Mohair – Wash, dye, card, and spin. All of it! Including the new fiber we’ll be relieving them of in March / April. I am totally excited!

A pretty hefty, yet do-able list. Unfortunately, this means I’ll have to ease up on the number of knitting projects I complete this year. But honestly, my crafting energies have been put almost entirely into knitting and spinning, so some balance would be wonderful.

I look forward to crossing these items off the list and sharing the finished objects with you!


I’ve really enjoyed watching the winter Olympics this year – such amazing, skilled competitors. I’m truly in awe. I just wish I could send the snowfall from our recent blizzard(s!) to Vancouver. Isn’t it crazy that we’re getting so much and they so little?

This year, I decided to get in the spirit of the games and participate in the Yarn Harlot’s Knitting Olympics. After finishing the socks for my Aunt, I decided that a pair of socks for my Uncle would be a nice project. He’s a person that appreciates simplicity, so I’ve chosen to make him a basic pair of mens socks using worsted weight superwash wool from KnitPicks (the project is raveled here). It’s not a challenging pattern but I have a serious problems with second-sockitus, so the challenge would be to finish both within the 17-day time constraint.

Last Friday, I made swatches and decided on a US 5 for the ribbing around the cuff and US 6 for the body of the sock:

I got started on the first sock Saturday afternoon and by Monday night I had finished the first one! This pattern was even easier than I imagined and I love the result – a nice, simple sock:

So, dear readers, in the spirit of good sports(wo)manship, I am officially disqualifying myself from the Knitting Olympics. I chose a project that was not very challenging – and the first sock went so quickly that I have plenty of motivation to finish the second one. Ah well, I’ll choose wiser next time. Best of luck to this year’s competitors!!!

Socks & Snow

Two big news items:

First, I finally finished the socks for my Aunt (raveled here). I really love how they turned out! Below is a photo before blocking – it looks like the feet are way too big and the legs are way too small, but they fit perfectly (yay!). Hopefully blocking will smooth out the wonkiness:

UPDATE (2/16/2010): I made my own sock blockers out of cardboard. The socks already look much better, even as they dry:

Second, we got LOADS of snow in Northern VA. Our second blizzard this winter dumped 32 inches and another system came by yesterday and dumped another 15″ or so. It is literally the snowiest year in our recorded history…which leaves us all wondering what is going on?!

Hubby and I went out to visit the goats on Saturday morning while the blizzard was still kicking. I decided to put my skis on for the trip to their pen – unfortunately, they were the downhill variety (why, oh why, didn’t I get into telemarking?), but still better than trudging through thigh-deep snow. Ivan was amused; Hamlet, not so much:

Hubby plowed a bit of their pen so they could move around freely, but Hamlet still decided to try walking through the deep stuff, nearly getting stuck:

They’re barely taller than the snow:

Ivan was in the mood to pose for portrait photos (isn’t he cute?):

I hope you all are staying warm and happy this winter.


In recent years, my Mom has developed an inexplicable liking of taxidermy. My parents aren’t hunters and my mom is actually pescitarian, so her decision to outfit the basement with a stuffed moose head and baby black bear was baffling. And despite my pleading, she won’t get rid of them.

Cruelty issues aside, taxidermy just grosses me out. Ick. But through the magic of Etsy, I’ve discovered that I’m a HUGE fan of faux-dermy. Maybe it’s my inner smart-alec trying to take a jab at Mom, or maybe – deep down – I really do share her taste in decorating (ahhhhh!)? Either way, I have been lusting after several items. Most notably:

[Image credit: rubyslounge etsy shop]

Resin dear heads covered in wallpaper by Ruby’s Lounge. The paisley print on the left is my absolute favorite – it’s chic, kitschy, and whimsical, all at the same time. Love, love it. She also does amazing wolf and rhino heads.

[Image credit: girlsavage etsy shop]

Girl Savage does all manner of feltidermy – mounted trophies and plush animals of many different species –  but my absolute favorite are her mounted jackalope heads. Whimsical and incredibly well crafted. I can’t wait to get one!

[Image credit: cardboardsafari etsy shop]

Last, but not least, Cardboard Sarfari brings the joy of faux-dermy to your home for a very affordable price using sustainable materials (cardboard!). They have a wide variety of items in their Etsy shop – everything from inanimate objects like rockets and hearts, to the moose head pictured above – which I love!

Now to find some wall-space for these wonderful items…

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February 2010
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