Thursday, December 27, 2007

Lots O' Things!

Well, now that Christmas is over, I have some finished crochet projects and gifts to show! My husband and kids and I went to one of my older sister’s house on Christmas Eve. My kids had a lot of fun playing with their cousins, and getting gifts. There’s 12 kids in the family (soon to be 13), and all of the aunts and uncles used to buy gifts for each kid, but now that there’s so many, it’s gotten too expensive, so we drew names this year. My daughter got a scooter from my older brother and his wife, and my son got a Lightning McQueen (from the Cars movie) lamp and a Cars puzzle from one of my sisters. They were both thrilled with their gifts.

I made a few more small things for my brother and his wife, who’s pregnant and due in January. The first is a bib crocheted from Lion Brand Cotton-Ease in the Lake and Almond colors. I found the pattern on Ravelry – it’s a free pattern from the Bernat website. I found the pattern for the star online too, but now I can’t remember the website. The pattern for the bib called for half double crochet, but I did it in single crochet instead, so the bib would provide better protection from spills.

The second gift is a bunny hat and mittens. The pattern is from the January/February issue of Crochet Magazine. I used Red Heart Soft in white and Bernat Soy in Raspberry (left over from my friend’s ruffle scarf). This was my first time using the Red Heart Soft, and I really liked it. Just like its name, it’s very soft, and has a pretty sheen. The hat and mittens took less than a skein of the Red Heart Soft. The mittens in the picture have pink paw pads on the underneath, but I couldn’t get them to come out right, so I left them off. The bows were my own touch. The pattern was easy enough to follow, but I had a hard time sewing the ears on. I don’t think they look as nice as the ones in the magazine. My brother and sister-in-law were thrilled with the hat and mittens though, so I’m happy.

The last project is a cover (for lack of a better word) for my daughter’s nightstand. She likes to keep a glass of water on her nightstand, in case she gets thirsty in the middle of the night, but a few times she’s spilled the water, so I figured a cotton cover would be good for absorbing any spills. I had started crocheting her one a while ago with some rainbow-colored Lily Sugar N’Cream, but didn’t like how the colors looked, and I didn’t know how to do any tight stitches other than single crochet, and got bored with all the rows of single crochet quickly, so I scrapped it. I decided to start another one, also in Lily Sugar N’ Cream, but in the Robin’s Egg Blue and Rose Pink colors.

This time, I was browsing through one of my Crochet Today magazines, and saw instructions for a “griddle stitch”. It’s just alternating single and double crochets. You work a single crochet in the first stitch, then a double crochet in the next stitch, to the end of the row, chain 1, turn, and then work single crochets into each double crochet of the row below, and double crochets into each single crochet of the row below, and so on. Very easy. For the edging I followed a pattern for a lacy border from the book "Crochet in No Time", which is a fantastic book that I highly recommend. The border looked really complicated, and my crochet skills aren’t very advanced, so I’m thrilled that I was able to make it. I’m really happy with how the cover turned out, and I love the colors. The whole thing took a little less than two skeins of the blue, and about half a skein of the pink, which made it a nice cheap project. My Christmas was pretty good. My husband I just stayed home with our kids. And, I finally got to open my Christmas/birthday presents from my friend Latanya in Dallas. She had sent them about two weeks ago, and my husband hid it from me until Christmas Eve. I was overjoyed when I opened the package, and saw three (!) crochet books, and a crochet calendar, all from my wish list! How awesome is that??!! I got the Crochet Pattern-A-Day Calendar, Quick Crochet, Crochet Me, and Hooks-Only Crochet. How can I not love a friend who enables my crochet addiction, LOL! My youngest sister gave me the knitting book for a birthday present (my birthday was yesterday, the 26th). I guess she thought I can needle-knit (confusing it with the loom knitting I’ve done, maybe), but that’s OK, because I plan on trying to learn to knit one of these days, and the book will come in handy.

My kids were happy with their gifts from “Santa” too. Surprisingly my daughter still believes in Santa, even though she’s almost 10. I imagine by next Christmas she might have figured it out. My son was thrilled because he got a lot of Veggie Tales, pirates, and Disney Cars stuff. My daughter liked all her gifts, especially the Webkinz border collie she received. She and her girl cousins and most of her girl classmates are crazy about Webkinz. She was a little disappointed though because she didn’t get the Game Boy she wanted. She had been asking for a Game Boy for about a year, and my husband and I aren’t too big on video games – we figure she already spends enough time playing computer games, but she never asks for anything expensive, so we decided to get her a Game Boy for Christmas.

We went to three different stores, and couldn’t find a single Game Boy. At one store, an employee told us Nintendo is discontinuing the Game Boy (since they released the Nintendo DS), so that explains why they’re so scarce. I even tried searching online everywhere I could think of with no luck The few I found were on EBay, and way marked up, at $115+ instead of the $79 they would sell for in a store). For that much money, I might as well spend an extra $15 and get her a Nintendo DS for $129. We told her that Santa doesn’t bring expensive toys like video games, so we planned to buy for her ourselves, but couldn’t find one anywhere. Her birthday is coming up in a few weeks anyway, so we told her she can get a Nintendo DS for her birthday. She wants a pink one, of course!

Yesterday was my birthday! Yes, I’m a very old 34! I feel old anyway – my kids are wearing me out (and I have the gray hairs to show it – got to keep covering them up with the red hair dye)! My husband and kids and I went out to eat, and that night after the kids were in bed, my husband and I watched "Spider Man 3". Both of us love superhero stuff (we love the Justice League cartoons on Cartoon Network), and I had been waiting to see Spider Man 3 for the longest time. We didn't have a chance to see it when it was at the movies, and when it came to video, our local video store was always out. It finally came on Pay Per View, so I finally got to see it. This was my favorite of the Spider Man movies. Some of the action scenes were shot in downtown Cleveland, not too far from my job, so it was interesting trying to spot a glimpse of Cleveland in the movie.

My husband gave me a memory card for my (pink!) digital camera for my birthday gift. I know, not the most romantic gift. I would have loved to have gotten some flowers or jewelry, but oh well. One year though for my birthday he gave me a pink fur lined pink leather coat that I had been wanting for a long time, and that was a huge surprise! He took my youngest sister along to the mall with him to try on the coat, because she’s about the same weight as me (although taller), and he didn’t know what size coat I would wear. Other than that though, he usually buys me “practical” type gifts.

I bought some yarn for a birthday gift for myself though, LOL! I found some more of that wonderful TLC Cara Mia yarn on EBay to add to my stash. I got 5 skeins (two cream, one mauve, one peach, and one sage green) for $13.90 (including shipping). It’s a discontinued yarn, and from what I’ve found it, it originally sold for $7.99 a skein (because of its angora content), so $13.90 for 5 skeins was a bargain.

Overall, it was a nice Christmas and birthday, but I’m glad it’s over. I don’t look forward to the snow and cold every year around this time (although surprisingly we had no snow on Christmas), or the huge expense of Christmas gifts. I also miss my dad a lot this time of year – he passed away a few years ago. I’ve been off from work since 23rd – I work for the national offices of a religious denomination, so they shut down the offices from the 24th through January 1st. and glad not to have to get up early every morning to rush to get the kids to daycare and school and myself to work. My daughter went to an American Girl-themed New Years’ Eve party at this local Henn Mansion today. A lot of her friends from school were there as well, and the mom of one of her friends invited my daughter a bunch of other girls over, so my daughter is at her friend’s house right now. My son is taking a nap, so I actually had some quiet time to blog! I hope everyone had a nice Christmas, and I wish everyone a happy New Years’ too!


Christina said...

Happy (belated) Birthday!

So glad you had a great Christmas and New Year's!

My daughter had a Gameboy for a little over 2 years and lost it. She asked for a DS for her birthday (back in July) and LOVES it much more than her gameboy. If you're worried about too much video game time, there are some educational games that are really good, like Brain Age.

I absolutely adore the bunny hat! That is the cutest thing ever!!! You are so lucky to have received so many awesome books!! Enjoy them!

Julie said...

Pretty nightstand cover. I like the absorbency of the cotton so hopefully it will work well. Good bargain on the eBay yarn. It's getting harder and harder to find a deal on eBay lately.

Amy O'Neill Houck said...

The nightstand cover is a great idea--my daughter spills her water too, and I should really make her one!! I may just make more of a cotton "coaster" tho' since her nightstand is a bookshelf that I wouldn't want to cover completely. Great idea!

naida said...

Hi, happy belated birthday :)
Great projects, that bunny hat is so cute!
Have a Happy New Year