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Out with the old, in with the new. Many things planned for 2011, one of which is participating in Project 365.

Ever heard of it? If you make the rounds of the blogosphere, I bet you’ve stumbled across it before. Here’s a link explaining what and why.

So, I give you 365.1, in which we get a few church pews from Freecycle and turn one into a reading bench in the boys’ room.

My dear friend, Estrella, moved away from us last week.  It wasn’t by choice, she is a Coastie and her time in Juneau had come to an end.  So goes the life of a military family.  After a while, you get used to it.  And I think that many of us don’t form too tight of a bond because we know that in just a few short years, we will have to say goodbye.  There are exceptions to the tight bond rule.  Estrella is one of them.

She was quick to be my friend when we moved here.  She is as outgoing as I am shy.  She is one of the most giving and loving people that I have ever met.  When she loves someone, she does it with her whole heart.  And, she wanted me to teach her how to knit.  I knew that I loved her then.

So I did.  Started out by teaching her how to knit a basic dishcloth.  She had big aspirations.  She yearned to knit socks, or even a hat.  I held steady and encouraged her to do a dishcloth.

So she did.  She tried her hardest.  It ended up looking kind of like a dishcloth and a small fishing net combined.  Last I knew, she plans on framing it which I think is super sweet.  She still yearned to do socks.  She bought the yarn (although a worsted weight), the needles and I was telling her the pattern as she went.  A basic ribbed, heel flap pattern.  That was 6 months ago.  I kept telling her that maybe she should just do a hat instead to get used to working in the round, just give me the yarn and the needles and I would knit the socks for her.

You have to know, I don’t offer to knit socks for just anyone.  My husband is still handmade-socks-less.  My theory is that if someone wants handknit socks, they need to learn how to knit.  Because hand knit socks are precious.  I have only given them as gifts to a select couple of women.

Breaking it down.  Sock style.

Me, explaining to Estrella that she just needs to hand over the yarn and the needles and I will send the finished socks to her in Boston.

06-01-10 127

She finally relented.  And moved on to another dishcloth.  Knitting by a bonfire = sweet bliss.

For her going away present, I knew I had to do something that was related to Crown Royal, her favorite liquor.  So I found this sweet flask (*hint, hint* I <3 it and would love one in my knitting bag) and had it engraved…

Estrella's going away present

It reads:

For Estrella

Both Will Keep You Warm

Love  Missy

(Both meaning the liquor and the knitting)

Goodbye, dear heart.  I will miss you.

Our birth center is having a fundraising auction this weekend so I decided to donate a few things to help them out.

**None of this counts toward my May Craft Challenge since I technically completed them in April**

Giving back

A skein of my handspun 2 ply 100% Merino (19 micron) in the “Restorative Waters” colorway 110 yards.  There are quite a few knitters in the birth center’s circle, so I hope that this is well loved.
Giving back

A newborn baby kicking sack.  I used the Sheepy Sack pattern (free) and it was super easy and quick.  I plan on doing more of these, just a little bit differently (as I did here).  I used my own hand dyed 100% wool yarn in the unnamed colorway (trying to be gender neutral).  A kicking sack is worn instead of pants for naps.  It can be lanolized and used with cloth diapers just like longies.
Lose the i-cord

Next time I make it, I won’t do an i-cord.

1.  Because I hate making i-cord.

2.  Because I think that the waist (which is actually the bottom if you do it as the pattern is written) is awesome as is.
Whipped Cream & Nonpareils FTW

If I didn’t tempt you enough with the last post of Sprinkles cupcakes, here is a little bit of yum.  Because everything is better with fresh whipped cream and nonpareils.  Even chocolate cake that you make in the microwave that is so freaking sweet that you have to share it with at least 2 or 3 other people.  This is my “oh crud, I really want dessert, but didn’t make anything” recipe.  I usually add in a small handful of chocolate chips before nuking.

My dear friend Amy has thrown down the gauntlet.  She has seen my (almost) shameful amount of craft stash, and I have been privvy to hers.  We decided that an intervention is necessary.  (BTW, Amy…resurrect your blog!)

So, we came up with a plan.  A craft challenge of sorts.  We both have shelves of craft books, shelves of fabric and more yarn than some yarn shops.  It is time that some of that stuff gets used up instead of just looked at longingly and petted every now and then.

I mean, really.  I did a quick count of the sock yarns that I can see on my shelf and I have enough sock yarns to make 33 pairs of socks.  33.  I am not going to get into my other stashes…I may never get out.

Here is what we came up with-

The Great Stash-Down 2010 Craft Challenge

Rules:

  1. You have to make your goals known before the 1st of the month for the upcoming month’s challenge.
  2. You can only use stash materials.  Books, fabric, yarn, etc.  If you have to buy more thread or a zipper to complete a project, that is ok.  Free online patterns are acceptable.  No going out and buying a project’s worth of stuff for the challenge.  And no buying stuff until the challenge goal has been met.

Rewards:

  • We haven’t quite decided what the rewards will be yet.  It seems counter-productive to complete one project and then reward ourselves with buying something new to replace it.  I think that I am going to have a goal of meeting my craft challenge for 2 months in a row, and then I can buy myself something off of my Amazon.com wishlist.

Hold me accountable:

  • I will blog about my craft challenge adventure at least once a week.
  • I will have a few craft challenge projects per month.  It may be as few as 2, it may be as many as 4.  I have decided that at least one of my craft challenge projects every month must be either a gift or something to be donated to charity.
  • I may complete more projects out of “stash-only” materials.  These may give me some extra karma points at the end.

It is all about using up the stash because what good is it to just sit there?  Anyone want to join in?

A little peek at something that a few people know about already…

Spruce Tip Worsted

Fireweed Bulky

Partly Cloudy Bulky

Spruce Tip Bulky

Unnamed colorwary

Yarn dyed by me.  I will have a handful of different kinds available in the next 3 weeks.  I feel like I have been waiting for so long to take this step.  The time has finally come.  I willl be selling the yarn in my etsy shop (by the way, have you been there lately?   I have candy…just sayin’.) and (hopefully) in yarn shops in Alaska.

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In memory of my Mom, Lauri 1957-2007

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