Monday, August 24, 2009

Back to School!

As you can tell by the title, it's back to school this week. Classes start tomorrow and I am hoping that I have not bit off more than I can chew by enrolling in two undergraduate courses and two graduate courses. Hopefully, I'll be able to continue knitting and cross stitching with this busy schedule. I have a four hour break inbetween my morning and afternoon classes so I plan to take something to work on during that time besides studying.

Anyways, here are some updated pics of Feline Love. Junebug, aka "The Craft Kitty", always helps with my projects. She especially likes scrapbooking, well, she mostly likes to lay on my photos and layouts as I'm laying everything out. Hopefully, I'll be able to keep up the momentum on Feline Love as I am really liking how it's turning out. Schedule permitting, I'll try to post updates at least weekly.

Have I mentioned how much I am loving my Q-Snap? It fits perfectly in my hand and is holding the fabric tension much better than the cheap plastic hoop I was using from the Hummingbird kit. It is also making this hobby much more enjoyable as I'm not fighting the tool I'm using. Isn't it funny how we can be so picky about our tools? I feel the same way about knitting needles and scrapbooking tools, so I guess this obsession crosses hobby boundaries which is probably good for the industry.

Thanks for looking!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Feline Love Update

During many of the car rides we took on our vacation I was able to read all of Sherrilyn Kenyon's latest book, Bad Moon Rising, and work on my Feline Love cross stitch project. Bad Moon Rising was a book that I had looked forward to for a long time since I fell in love with the main characters early in the series. I am thrilled with their story and look forward to the next book in the series! Now, I am reading Christina Dodd's latest, Storm of Visions.

I was not sure if cross stitch needles were allowed on planes so I packed my needle and scissors into my checked luggage and placed my other supplies into my carry-on so they would not get messed up. I purchased a 6 x 6 Q-Snap the day before we left and would have been really upset if it had gotten messed up! We did a lot of driving during our trip which provided the perfect opportunity to cross stitch. I found that the Q-Snap was much better than the hoop that I was trying to use and was easier for me to hold in my hand. I think I'm hooked! The following are pictures of what I managed to accomplish this week. I've almost completed the far right side of the chart. Also, on the return flight a lady was sitting in front of me making Christmas ornaments and I was so disappointed that I'd packed my needle in my luggage! At least I was able to finish reading my book, but I will take my cross stitch with me next time.

Vegas Vacation

Yesterday, we returned from our week long trip to Las Vegas. It was a fabulous, but very busy, vacation. The plane ride on Saturday from Charlotte to Vegas took a little over four hours and I managed to read some of my book and knit an entire dishcloth during the flight. That afternoon we bought snacks and drinks at Wal-Mart then managed to squeeze a nap (we had to wake up at 3:30AM to catch our first flight) in before the Tournament of Kings at the Excalibur where we stayed. The next day, we woke up bright and early to drive to the Grand Canyon. On the way, we stopped at the Hoover Dam and the Grand Canyon Caverns. The Hoover Dam was amazing and the Caverns would have been interesting if the tour guide had actually used some geological facts in his tour. Instead, it consisted of a lot of corny jokes. We arrived at the Grand Canyon and checked into our hotel in time to catch a bus to Hopi Point to watch the sunset. It was absolutely breathtaking!

Monday, we traveled around the Grand Canyon, stopping at various view points. We also went to Sunset Crater and Walnut Canyon. Tuesday, we took it easy for the most part and had dinner at Emeril's. It was one of the best dinners we had all week. Wednesday, we were on the road again, visiting the Shelby Museum, Valley of Fire, and Red Rock Canyon. It was a long day, but worth every moment. We tried to go to Fremont Street after dinner at Rainforest Cafe but, for some reason, the buses were not running on schedule and we gave up. In fact, my husband and I never made it to Fremont Street but after getting stuck in the crowds at Treasure Island we decided it was not worth it for us.
Thursday was our last day in Vegas and was the most fun my husband and I had all week. We traveled with his family and this was our first day to explore completely on our own and just be together. We had breakfast at Mon Ami Gabi at Paris Las Vegas (I highly recommend this restaurant for breakfast - C'est tres bien!). I had waffles with fresh strawberries and whipped cream while my husband had eggs, toast, sausage, and bacon. He was really unnerved by the menu as the restaurant did use some French terms, but I think he liked it. After breakfast, we walked around the Bellagio and Ceasar's Palace. Thursday was also the day that we FINALLY got to go to the pool! I had been looking forward to going swimming all week and was so happy when we finally did. Afterwards, we grabbed a light lunch (it was around 3:30) and went to the Fashion Show Mall, which was huge, and then Madame Tussands. I did not realize that Madame Tussands was so interactive and they included props for you to use in photos with the waxed figures. It was very fun and completely worth the cost. We had planned to see the car collection at the Imperial Palace but got there at 7:00, not knowing that the exhibit closed at 6:00. Hubby was bummed but we had a great dinner at the Outback Steakhouse located near M&M World (yes, we went there too and bought way too many M&M's). It was probably the best dinner we had all week.
Overall, it was a tiring week. My husband and I have decided that if we ever go back we will skip Las Vegas and spend more time at the Grand Canyon since we were both very disappointed that we did not have more time to spend there. Now, I need a vacation to recover from our vacation!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

First Fingerless Gloves

This project started as Cookie A's BFF Sock pattern from As I finished the leg (according to the pattern) and was ready to start working on the heel I decided to try these as gloves instead of socks. I added more length by knitting additional cable pattern repeats (I ended up with 12 altogether from the cuff). Then I knit 3 cable patterns going back and forth on the right side and wrong side of the knitting to create the thumb hole. I suggest that you knit the first two stitches on needle one onto needle four (using 5 double pointed needles) so that as you transition back into knitting in the round the stitches do not stretch across the gap. Then continue to work 3 more rounds of the cable pattern, finishing with 5 rows of K2P2 Rib and binding off in the pattern. I used KnitPicks 2.5mm nickel plated double pointed needles and Heart and Sole sock yarn by Red Heart in Tequila Sunrise. This colorway worked beautifully!

I only have one glove completed at the moment and am waiting to do the next one on circular needles using Magic Loop as I found working with the cable needle and double pointed needles too fiddly. These will be a present for Christmas, but I have not decided who will be the recipient yet.

More Feline Love...

I am feeling better today but am very tired; not sure if it's the antibiotics or the infection itself.

The top right corner of Feline Love is completed. Now, I'm working down the right side of the pattern.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Feline Love

When I purchased the beginner's kit at Michael's I also picked up this kit by Dimensions called "Feline Love." So far, it has required a lot of half stitches which has made this project go somewhat faster than anticipated. I have completed the top right corner but have not taken a picture yet as I am too lazy at the moment. The right side of the window is completed and I just finished the rocks in the upper right corner of the chart. I'm hoping to be able to work on this some more this week but just found out today that I have a bladder infection. Hopefully, the antibiotics will kick in and I will feel better before we leave for Vegas on Saturday.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Hummingbird Update and Finish

I finished my first cross stitch project and really like how it turned out. Here is a pic of the finished cross stitch portion before adding the back stitch detail:

Here it is after adding the detail stitching. It's amazing what a difference the detailing makes on the finished project. Hopefully I'll be able to find a frame for this one this weekend as it will be a Christmas present and I do not want it to get dirty between now and then.

My current WIP is "Feline Love" by Dimensions. I was very happy to find this kit at Michael's because the cats look just like my two cats. I've almost completed one square of the chart and it is hard to see since the stitches are white and silver, but I may try to take a picture of it. I am also currently working on knit Christmas gifts too and just finished one fingerless glove and need to start on the second one. I plan to take some cotton yarn with me on our trip to Las Vegas (3 hour plane ride) to work on more dishcloths for Christmas.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

First Cross Stitch

I was determined to make it through my online class before starting anymore projects. Once I finished my final exam, I went to Michael's and picked up two cross stitch kits. I'm currently working on a beginner "Learn a Craft" kit by Dimensions. I'm hoping that it turns out well because I plan to frame it to give to my grandmother for Christmas (she LOVES hummingbirds!).

2009 Book List Continued

It's been a while since I've updated this list but there's not much to add as I've been busy, busy, busy with school!

Bloodline by Maggie Shayne
Some Like it Wicked by Teresa Medeiros
Some Like it Wild by Teresa Medeiros

Next up: So into You by Sandra Hill
Storm of Visions by Christina Dodd
Bad Moon Rising by Sherrilyn Kenyon

I'm planning to take Christina Dodd and Sherrilyn Kenyon's books with me to Las Vegas in two weeks (if I can wait that long!!!) so I'll be sure to have a book that I cannot put down on the plane ride.