Trouble with Trebles

This blog is to keep track of my knitting, other craft projects, and the weird bits of life that don't fit anywhere else.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Potholders Galore!

Every year around October/November I come up with plan for the gifts for the daycare workers/teachers that take care of my two girls. In my mind I rationalize that making something will be more personal and cost effective. Technically, that's true except I never take into account the time it takes to make the gifts. Because Iva is still only 2, she has 6 teachers in her room. RJ has a teacher and teacher's assistant, a dance teacher, and a music teacher. That's 10 gifts minimum, if I don't count support staff at the school. In the past I've knitted dishcloths, so I wanted to do something different. This year I thought perhaps crocheted potholders. I can crochet fairly fast, and it uses kitchen cotton which I have a lot of already. What I didn't count on was that most of my kitchen cotton is pink (I think I had in mind making heart-shaped dishcloths for Valentine's Day last year), which doesn't seem like it would match most kitchens. I'm also not sure when I thought I'd have time to do this. My teaching load was manageable, but I've been working on a grant and I was on our department's job search committee and the college's curriculum committee. Both committees took huge amounts of time. Then there were the inevitable illnesses that come from having two young children at school/daycare and working at a university. Forging forward despite the lack of time, my wonderful friend Marie passed along some kitchen cotton in colors other than pink (thanks Marie!). I then brainstormed some more and figured the best accompaniment to potholders would be baked goods, and I have a special family recipe for a raisin spice bread that is quite yummy. I also wanted to bake the bread in decorative cardboard mini loaf pans. As luck would have it, I discovered the really fun site Pick Your Plum and within a couple days they were selling mini loaf pans for cheap! I quickly ordered a couple packs and awaited their arrival. I was already doubting my ability to finish so many potholders when the loaf pans arrived. They were super tiny. Like, smaller than a cupcake tiny. I had neglected to carefully check the actual measurements (totally my fault), and should have ordered the larger size. I would need to make at least 3 "loaves" per teacher for it to be anything more than a joke. At this point, I knew the whole plan was doomed and began to slow my production of potholders. In the end, I finished a respectable four and learned my lesson about making gifts for teachers (maybe). At any rate, I can work on some more throughout the year and have enough for next year. Still not sure what to do with my itsy bitsy loaf pans, but I'm sure I'll think of something. ;)

Friday, January 11, 2013

Welcome to 2013!

Well, back to my poor, ignored blog. Last year I felt like I was lurching from one crisis to the next, never really getting time to get caught up on really important things. You know, like my knitting blog. In particular, last summer we suffered from some health issues that took my husband and daughter out of work/school for over three weeks each. Thankfully they both fully recovered, but it felt like we never really recovered as far as keeping up with things at work and around the house. Here's to a reboot in 2013! So far it is shaping up to be a busy, but good year. For the blog, I will pick up where I left off in June and see where things go. Here is my completed Silk Moon Crescent Shawlette. I first saw the pattern on Susan B. Anderson's blog and decided I needed one for myself. I was able to use a fun multicolor yarn, which was a gift, but tone it down a bit with the light lilac. Things were cruising along nicely, and then I ran out of yarn. Ugh! I hadn't even gotten to the end of the small shawlette size! (What the heck is smaller than than a shawlette? A shawlette mini?) I was visiting my mom at the time and with the sage wisdom of a long-time crafter she said "why not just crochet an edge with another yarn?" Of course that was the right answer and I added a nice lace edge to complete my shawlette!
If you want all the details, my Ravelry project page is here. I've even worn it a couple times already, even though it hasn't been blocked yet. I think this is a winner! Having started the year by actually finishing something, I think I'm going to make that my theme for the year. I used to be known in my family as the finisher (in a family full of incomplete projects that include entire house remodels this is not trivial). My favorite thing was to buy partially completed craft kits from Good Will and then complete them. I just love the sense of completion when you actually reach the end of a project. Let's see if I can capture that again!