Friday, October 4, 2013

news: knit and crochet now! back for 4th season

Host Brett Bara returns for a pattern-packed
fourth season of Knit and Crochet Now!
Great news, readers!  One of my favorite crafting shows, Knit and Crochet Now!, is about to return with an all-new fourth season.  Nothing gives me more joy than those rare weekends when Hubby has to go somewhere and I can curl up with my yarn, my cats, the dog, and a DVR full of KCN recordings - am I right?

Or is my life just way cooler than yours?

Depending on your local public broadcast station, a whopping 13 new episodes will begin airing this October (hey, that's now!).  You probably already know this, but each episode features knit and crochet projects, exciting new yarns, interesting stitch patterns, and now - a fun new segment called Knit and Crochet Now! Scarf of the Week. That couldn't be better timing, either; after all, October means there are only two months until Christmas and winter, so scarves are perfect for gifts and practicality.

Hosted by the lovely Brett Bara, episodes welcome designers and experts Robyn Chachula, Ellen Gormley, Kristin Nicholas and Maggie Pace, who help explain an array of projects and techniques. Their combined expertise in knit and crochet, and in color, felting and beadwork will inspire viewers to watch, learn and grow their skills.

"I’m so excited about everything we have to offer in the new season! We’ve got a ton of amazing projects, from afghans to dog sweaters—and I love my new ‘Scarf of the Week’ segment, where I show how to make a different scarf in every episode. There’s really something for everyone, both knitters and crocheters from beginner to advanced," Bara said.

Some of the new projects we'll see this season include garments, pet sweaters, stuffed toys and even a knit scarf made of mink yarn. Techniques shown are suitable for all levels and include spool and loom knitting, crocheting with beads, and embellishing with knit and crochet flowers. Viewers will watch as  projects are worked from alternative yarns such as recycled denim, mink and milk fibers.

So, are you as excited as I am?  I've already set my DVR again :)

Consult your local public broadcast station for dates and times, or use the handy station finder at

Thursday, October 3, 2013

introducing: my addi express kingsize knitting machine

Well, it's October, which means that my favorite season is in full swing.

How could you not love Autumn?  The leaves around here are just starting to change, so I'm still getting excited for all the fun colors.  Aside from 85-degree weather today, most days have been sunny with a bit of chill in the air.  PERFECT!

Why?  Because that makes for the best crafting weather.  I don't sweat to death while sitting in my pile of yarn, or I can take it (or even my paints) on our back porch, wrap a blanket around me, put on an audio book or some music, and enjoy life to my heart's content.

Also in typical fall fashion, my friend and I have booked a table at another craft show.  I mean, it's not really the best season on earth without a day spent crocheting or knitting and selling my wares - and even getting to indulge in some delicious soup made by the wonderful ladies at the church!

This year, I'll be making my usual items (headbands, hats, and... I guess that's pretty much it) and decided to invest in something fun to make the process go a little bit faster.

Enter my knew Addi Express Kingsize Knitting Machine:

I've been using it to make the body of slouchy hats, then picking up stitches around the bottom with my needles and knitting the brim before adding a pom-pom on top.  Suffice it to say, they're coming out super cute.

Last weekend was craft day with the ladies, so I took all the hat bodies with me and just worked on the brims.  I have to say that this is the best way to use up all that variegated stash yarn I've had sitting around, not knowing what to do with it.  Especially all those tiny little balls I buy at BJ's or ACMoore for no other reason than that they were $1.  They make the cutest slouch hats, people.

I'll be taking some photos this weekend, so stay tuned.  In the meantime, I look forward to joining the Addi community and sharing some creative ideas.  It's been mentioned to me that it's a great machine, but it's lacking in the number of people available to share fun ideas.  It'll be fun to contribute!

PS: It takes me 15 minutes to make one of these hats.  FIFTEEN FREAKING MINUTES!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

get ready for fall with my pattern sale!

I have a variety of goals with this blog post:
  1. To experiment with embedded posts from my Facebook timeline
  2. To experiment with Ravelry coupon codes (I wanted to do this via Etsy, but the functionality that I wanted required too much specificity that just isn't built in yet)
  3. To get you excited and prepared for my favorite season!
Here's the scoop:

Make sure to hurry, though, because this one-time promotion ends on Sunday, September 8th!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

crochet baby hats obsession

I've gone from not wanting to do anything to only wanting to do one thing: crochet baby hats.

I guess it all started when I listed a bunch of baby photo props for sale on my Facebook page.  They were custom ordered and made about a year ago, but never picked up in my shop.  They're a decent amount of items just sitting around in my craft room, and I don't see a reason why a photographer or new parent shouldn't be able to enjoy them because Lord knows I can't.

Which led to looking on Etsy for pricing of similar items so I could price them competitively.  I think we all know what a rabbit hole that can be; I wound up favoriting a ton of baby hats and deciding to take on a ton myself.

And I loved it.  They work up so quickly and look way too adorable.  I mean, who could pass these up for their Autumn newborns?

I'm partial to the mustache hat, myself.  I realize that's not the best photo in the world, but they're cute to look at anyway.

I wasn't going to keep making them, but since it seems like they're helping bring my urge to craft back to life, I'm going to keep at it.  And I love the pumpkin hats.  They're just so simple, but look amazing.

Hope you're all having a good summer.  It's flown by and soon we'll be camping for Labor Day Weekend.  I plan on taking a couple books and some yarn, so I'll keep you posted :)

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

the one where i ask for donations of mojo

I've got nothing.

And I really mean that.

I'm still working on some top-secret projects (and by some, I mean "two"), and for whatever reason, they're just dragging.  I don't know if it's this whacky weather we've been having or what, but I've been exhausted and completely unmotivated.

Which means I've been doing nothing.  Like... nothing.

But I have bought yarn, which is so unproductive, I can't even begin to describe it.  I started cleaning up the disaster my craft room has become and almost fainted - there is nowhere to put the amount of yarn I've purchased over the past couple months.

I think part of my problem is that I have so much good yarn that I'd rather hoard it than making something with it.  Is this a thing?  If it's a thing, are there meetings I should be going to?

Summer is always like this, though.  Every July, I say I should work on some stuff for my shop so I'm ready for Fall and the holidays - then I sit around reading all the time instead.  And I've finished some good books this summer (and some awful ones, too).  So I guess it hasn't been a complete waste.  But it's something.


Monday, July 1, 2013

ocmd beachy yarn haul 2013

Well well well... Here I am after a month of just pure shenanigans.  What's new with me, you ask? I believe the last time we spoke, I was headed to our annual vacation in OCMD with a small group of our friends.  We ate, we drank, we sat on the beach and roasted, we listened to audiobooks (well, I did, anyway), and we are now home.  Le sigh.

As promised, I managed to make my way to Salty Yarns, a craft shop right on the boardwalk.  I've made it my "thing" to go and visit on whatever day happens to be a little rainy.  This year, it was our second day in when the rain came, so I was obviously thrilled to get to my favorite part of the trip almost immediately.

Here's what I walked away with:

Yum!  In case you can't catch the yarn, it's Noro Taiyo Sock Yarn in a pretty variety of colors.  Here's a close-up:

I keep trying to finish a pair of socks, so I've started buying anything that might motivate me.  I can finish one and then I'm like, "Eh, a second one seems so boring."  Hence the purchase of a new sock knitting book.  I guess we'll see what happens; since getting it at the end of May, I have yet to look at it any longer than it takes to snag a photo.  I'll keep you updated :)

Anything else exciting happen so far?  Yes: I did, unfortunately, turn the tender age of 30.  30!!!!  Is that possible?  I still remember turning five.  I'm pretty sure I got one of those balls you could bounce around on - it kind of looked like Saturn.  But at 30, you don't get toys as much as "experiences."  And this year's experience included a Segway tour of Philadelphia.  Aside from one snafu when I got stuck in a gutter and had to pull myself out, I somehow managed not to die... which is why I'm here to tell the tale.

Oh, and one more thing: I got a new job!  If you haven't heard from me in awhile (and most of you haven't), it's because I've been running around like a crazy person - actually enjoying life for a change.  I love what I'm doing and I'm happy with my decision.

Happy Summer to me! 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

prepping beachy yarn excursions

blog [blawg, blog]

  1. a Web site containing the writer's or group of writers' own experiences, observations, opinions, etc., and often having images and links to other Web sites.
  2. that which I continually neglect day after day, week after week
(And also, do people really spell "Web site" that way anymore?)

I've got nothing.  Okay, not entirely true.  It's not like I haven't been working on things.  Most of them are custom orders for products you've already seen about a bajillion times.  Other things are smaller projects that I haven't had a chance to photograph because either I'm really really busy or really really lazy - I haven't decided.  And finally, some projects are super top secret because they're gifts.

10,000 meter challenge = fail.  I surrender.


I'm going to beach next week for our annual roasting session - I mean - vacation.  I plan on taking a project or two with me for those occasional downtimes when we're locked in our hotel room enjoying some newly acquired Dogfish Head.  It might not be the best idea to indulge in craft beer while working an intricate lace pattern, but you only live once.

And let's not forget that yarn shop I found on the boardwalk last year.  If I managed to spend $100 on yarn when I could barely stand from sun poisoning, well then, my bank account is in for treat.

I'm sure I'll have photos to post once I'm back that include - God willing - a yarn haul.  What should my theme be this year?  Last year, I went for some mohair lace yarn that matched ocean-y beach colors.  I'm thinking this year's theme should be... "insane hoarder"?

I mean, look at this mess:

That's my craft room.  Do I really need more?


So with that said, I shall see you all on upon my return :)  Hope you have a great Memorial Day Weekend and are surviving this whacky heat wave.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

officially the worst blogger ever

I think the title says it all.

Why?  Because I barely blogged last month.  I think I had one entry throughout all of April.  Dry your eyes, though, because I'm updating now :)

With what, I'm not sure.  I joined a 10,000 meter challenge on Facebook where we have to knit or crochet 10,000 meters by the end of June.  You know how much I've done?  68 yards.  Pathetic.  Luckily, I have a few custom orders coming in that will help with that number, but my motivation is lacking.

I blame it on the weather.  And also the fact I just invested in a Nikon D5200 that's been keeping me entertained.  Exhibit A:

Yes, that's my puppy and yes, he's wearing a bow tie.  We've been having fun being outside taking fun pictures together, just experimenting with my camera's features.  I only had to take 42 photos to get this frontal shot of him.

I also can't tell if I'm suffering from allergies or a wee bit of a cold.  I've felt disgusting all week and haven't wanted to indulge in crafts, so there's been a lot of reading and watching the first three seasons of "Arrested Development" in preparation for Season Four on Netflix.  Exciting, I know.

But I did get a huge box of yarn yesterday, so I plan on taking some artsy photos and updating with a haul in the coming days.

I hope you've all had a great month since my last post and are enjoying the beautiful weather that May has brought with it.  Summer is right around the corner and I, for one, am looking forward to what that will mean for my life.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

finished: crochet easter bunny for mom

Remember when I posted awhile back asking you to guess what I was making?

Well here it is: a little guy that I was making as an Easter present for my mom:

Project Description: I posed this pattern on my Facebook page a few weeks ago and mother oh-so-subtly hinted that she'd love it if I could make one for Easter.  So I did!  I chose the colors that most appear in my parents' house and then added sparkle - of course - with the green accent color.

This was the first time I had ever used safety eyes.  Here's the thing: I always wondered why safety eyes were fine on toys given to children.  I thought they'd just be easy to tear out and chew on and I guess it's still possible.  But my fingers almost fell off trying to get the stupid things in.  I love how they look, though, and wouldn't have done it any other way.

PS: I got that amazingly pink feather wreath for 40% off at Michaels.  Totally worth the investment.

Yarn Used: I used four yarns to complete this pattern:
Pattern Used:  Easy Crochet Bunny - A Green Dragonfly Tutorial

Life Updates:
  • My world is a little crazy.  My mom was admitted to the hospital unexpectedly last week, so I've been trying to help out as much as possible.
  • I'm leaving for San Francisco on Friday, so I'm trying to take care of stuff around the house and need to do a crap ton of shopping in preparation.
  • Easter was really nice, even though my mom couldn't be there physically.  I got lots of candy - how could you go wrong?
That's it for today?  I'm hoping to update at least once more before traveling to Frisco - I'm excited!  It should be a great time and productive because it's work-related.  I'm planning out my travel knitting projects as we speak for optimum efficiency :)

Hopefully nobody tricked you yesterday!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

my craftsy class wish list

If you follow my Facebook page regularly, you'll know that I'm obsessed with Craftsy classes.  I've purchased a few and, due to time constraints over the past couple months, haven't been able to fully indulge.

But last summer, I was able to work my way through most of a spinning class.  I didn't have much luck and I blame it on the fibers I was using.  Still, I had fun and plan to master the art of spinning my own yarn.

There are still tons of classes I'd like to take, including the smaller workshops.  Below is my wish list.  If you've taken any of these classes, let me know what you thought of them.  I need to prioritize, so I'd really appreciate the feedback :)


My Craftsy Wish List:
  1. Amigurumi: Design Your Monster -Learn pattern design by doodling a monster and bringing it to life. Combine body shapes and parts to create wild crocheted creatures.
  2. The Seamless Artemesia Sweater - Worked from the top down, the Seamless Artemisia Sweater features set-in sleeves, knit-in pockets and lace details. 
  3. Handknit Garment Design - Shirley Paden, author of Knitwear Design Workshop, brings her concepts to Craftsy! Learn her comprehensive yet simple process for beautiful fabric and knitwear.
Make sure to check out all of the other great Craftsy Classes by clicking here.  If you're not into the fiber arts (which - I can't imagine you'd be on this blog if you weren't!) or if you have other hobbies, there are classes like pizza making, sewing (beginners and advanced), baking, paper crafting, and more.

Have you checked out Craftsy yet?  What have been your favorite classes?  What projects have you made?  Let me know in comments - I'd love to hear what you have to say.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

custom order: custom mommy/child pilot hats

I'm going to try something a little bit different for my project posts in the hopes that I'll be able to update more (and communicate clearly instead of babbling like I usually do :P).  So let me know what you think!

Project Description: These hats are a custom mother/child order for my etsy shop.  My customer, Tamera, requested pilot hats in both baby and adult sizes; over course, I was more than happy to oblige!

I hadn't made a pilot hat before, and the pattern I found needed severe tweaking for both worsted weight yarn and an adult head circumference.  I spent the better part of an evening figuring out the math and making swatches until it just worked!  I'm pleased with myself - it was actually quite easy and I'll be able to adjust the hat for a variety of sizes now.  Made-to-order pilot hats, anyone?

Yarn Used: I used three yarns to accomplish this fun zig-zag look:
Pattern Used:  Baby Pilot Hat Modified by Gerda Porter

Life Updates:
  • Fritzy ate a foil candy wrapper the other day, so Hubby and I kept a less-than-entertaining vigil for the next 24 hours to make sure he was okay.
  • I've started getting into baking doggy cookies, which I love because I've always enjoyed baking, but never kept up because I didn't want to eat everything myself - so now I can just make my dog fat!  (Not really).
  • I can't believe Easter is this coming weekend considering we still keep getting snowed on
  • I'm traveling to San Francisco in just over a week for a marketing conference/a little girl time at some delicious wineries.  I'm trying to figure out which project to take on the plane with me and might leave it up to a vote by my loyal readers :)
That's it!  Let me know if this format works for you guys.  I feel like it's more organized, so my thoughts are put together a little bit better than normal.  Also, you can skim to the areas you actually want to read.

Hope you're all having a great week and have a lot of spring projects to work on!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

ridiculous yarn haul from tophatter

By now, we all know I have a problem.  An addiction, if you will.  To yarn.

I suppose it could be worse, but it's to a point where someone who loves me may want to stage an intervention.

Exhibit A: My latest yarn haul from Tophatter:

I purchased a grab bag, which pretty much means the seller took a bag and stuffed as much yarn as possible in there before shipping it out.  The yarns would be random (although she did contact me to see if I had a preference - I didn't, but that was sweet) and I would have no idea what I'd be getting.

Obviously, I made out pretty well since I only paid $10.

I can't believe that... and I can't believe I'm even promoting it because I love the fact nobody's there to bid on the yarn auctions.  Try bidding on jewelry - it's not easy!  But I love going there for craft supplies because I've found some adorable, unique things to add to whatever it is I need to make.

Check it out if you'd like and let me know how it goes!  I used to have some issues with the site's load times, but it seems to have fixed itself.  They also changed the interface around slightly since the last time I purchased anything, and I found it pretty easy to use.

Also, congrats on the two winners in my weekend giveaway of Inspired Crochet!  I've sent over your contact information and will be in touch as soon as I hear back :)

Tophatter Craft Supplies Auction

Saturday, March 9, 2013

giveaway + "inspired crochet" magazine deal

A blog post on a Saturday? That must mean there's something special going on - if you guessed "giveaway", then you'd be right!

You might not know it from the snowy weather lately, but spring is pretty much here. A time for cleaning, planting, romance, and our favorite - crocheting in spring-inspired colors.

Not inspired? Then make sure to check out "Inspired Crochet", a magazine with crochet patterns from your favorite online designers - all in one place! If that's not enough, it also includes special articles, tips, and anything else your heart desires.

Click on the images below for some sneak peeks:

Is your interest piqued yet? If not, then check out what's coming up in April:

Subscription Deal

That said, here's where the fun comes in. I've been working with "Inspired Crochet" to offer you an 8-month subscription for the price of 6. If you're like me, nothing brings you more joy than getting crafty little goodies in my mail, so this is perfect. Click here to subscribe if you're ready to take the plunge.

Enter the Contest

That said, I'm sure some of you would like to "try it on for size", so to speak, before investing. That's why they're letting me offer two winners a FREE issues of their choice. Sound good? Then just follow the instructions below to enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck, everyone, and I sincerely hope you take advantage of this great offer. And thanks to "Inspired Crochet" for letting me help spread the news and promote their fun publication :D

Thursday, March 7, 2013

super secret crochet project in progress

I started this super top secret project last night. Can you guess what it is?

Let me know what you think in the comments below. I'm still waiting for one final supply in the mail, but will reveal what it is after adding the finishing touches ;)

Notice the hint of sparkle. Will I ever complete a project without shimmer? NOPE!

Who doesn't love a good guessing game?

Monday, February 25, 2013

the one in which i whine about cabin fever

I don't know what to write about, but feel compelled to update.  So here's a photo of a hat I made for the craft show I went to back in November:

It's my own pattern based off a design I created for a custom order back in the day.  I had always wanted to try the pattern out with hot pink and black, and I think it came out pretty swell.  You can add this pattern to my list of "patterns I've been promising to type up and post for your enjoyment" that grows longer by the week :)

My crafting mojo is still in the toilet. Fun imagery, I know.  I've been drawing and painting a lot more lately, which isn't helping the cause, plus I've been working diligently on the Laera Shawl knit-a-long over at Craftsy.  It's been my TV-watching project while I catch up on ever season of "Merlin" on HuluPlus (Bradley James is apparently my new guilty pleasure).  I hope they get Season 5 soon because I'll be done with the whole series within the next couple weeks.

Otherwise, I have no motivation.  I thought I'd jump all over craft time once I graduated from my MBA program, but I guess I needed an extra long vacation.  My energy is zapped - really, truly zapped.  At least my fascination with craft beer has returned - this has led to some fun nights out.  Then this weekend, we'll be visiting some friends near Baltimore, which should be fun and help battle my cabin fever.  I think that's my problem - I can't wait for the weather to get warmer so I can sit on our porch and get some sun!

Monday, February 18, 2013

stolen pattern alert - lots of WAHHHH

Over the past 24 hours, I've received several messages from some fellow crafters notifying me that Los Angeles Needlework Patterns has not only stolen two of my free patterns, but they are also selling them.  This goes for a bunch of other indie designers in the fiber and sewing industries.

I don't know who I feel sorrier for - +Dixie Champoux for making money off other people's work, or the customers she's ripping off by selling free patterns.

But if I've learned nothing else, it's that the crafting business community is one of the best to be in.  The way we've all rushed to each other's aid, notifying other designers that their work has been stolen, and sicking our legions on the site's Twitter account has been amazing.  I mean, I don't normally advocate fighting on the internet, but this one has me peeved.  I'm not even concerned about someone else getting credit for my designs - it's annoying, but whatever.  The part that irks me is... how many people are paying for patterns that they can otherwise get for free?

Okay, enough ranting for a Monday morning.  There are already enough things to rant about on Mondays without questioning shady people's motives.  I just wanted to put this out there in case you've ever purchased anything from that website and to warn you to never purchase anything from them.  Ever.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

in progress: stamped cross stitch project

Hello, crafty friends!

It's been a few weeks since I've updated the blog and I've received a bunch of messages - some kind and some not-so-kind - reminding me that I've been absent.  I apologize.

The good news is my life is returning to some semblance of order.  I've graduated from my MBA program, the new puppy is settled into our new home, my car is finally repaired, and I have my crafting mojo back.  After school and the holidays ended, I wanted to do nothing.  So I read a couple books and got addicted to the game "Heroes of Order & Chaos" on my iPad.  As fun as that was, being unproductive gets old.

I've started working on crocheted bookmarks for a swap, which I'm almost done with.  It's a hairpin lace project, so it's been fun and different.  Plus, I'm using sparkly yarn - you can't go wrong!

I also started a cross-stitching project.  Here's where I am with that:

Photo of stamped cross stitch kit purchased at ACMoore
As you can see, not very far.  I don't think the cross-stitching world is my forte.  I just don't have the patience, I want immediate results, and I really dislike having the pull the strands of thread apart every time I change colors - which is often.

I don't hate it, though.  I do have fun when I sit down and work on it; however, I need more than just an hour here and there to make any progress, and that's all the time I've had recently.

I have more projects to share with you in the coming days.  I will try to respond to all your messages and comments quickly - thanks for your patience as I get to each of you :)

Thursday, January 24, 2013

new in the shop! MADE TO ORDER - Custom Knit Headband Headwrap with Flower in any color

20.00 USD, by jennyhats via Etsy

new in the shop! MADE TO ORDER - Crochet Slouchy Beanie

20.00 USD, by jennyhats via Etsy

new in the shop! MADE TO ORDER - Slouchy Rainbow Ziggy Beanie Hat

20.00 USD, by jennyhats via Etsy

new in the shop! MADE TO ORDER - Striped Zig Zag Crochet Slouchy Beanie

20.00 USD, by jennyhats via Etsy

new in the shop! MADE TO ORDER - Basic Crochet Beanie with Stripes Unisex

20.00 USD, by jennyhats via Etsy

new in the shop! MADE TO ORDER - Crochet Beanie Hat with Flower

20.00 USD, by jennyhats via Etsy

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

valentine's day heart banner

Hi, all!  It's a rainy, icy morning here in my neck of the woods.  Always a fun thing when you're driving a rental car since your car is still in the shop 2.5 weeks later.  But I'm not bitter.

I've been taking somewhat of a break from knitting and crocheting.  I know, sad days.  I've been enjoying having a few weeks with a little more painting, video game playing, cross stitching, and a lot more reading.  It's been nice.  Obviously, I will be getting back to my shop soon - I could never give it up forever.  I just needed a break to experiment with other things I enjoy for a bit.

That said, I've been finishing up a couple custom orders and then started a crochet Valentine's Day banner:

As I shoved our Christmas decorations away two weeks ago and started dragging out winter stuff, I realized we don't have too many Valentine's Day things.  The house looks so empty and void of color in the winter, so I decided to correct that.

I'm working off of this simple heart pattern that whips up pretty fast and uses a bunch of stash yarns in different colors.  I'm almost done creating yellow hearts and plan on making some mint green ones next.  When they're done, I'm just going to crochet a long chain and hang the hearts from it with little clothes pins.  I think it'll be super cute and make our living room more cozy.  After that, I'll have to figure out something for the rest of this dreary season.

In other news, I keep saying I'll be responding to comments soon, and I actually mean it this time.  I'm not sure what happened, but I got a lot of email over the past couple weeks and need to catch up on everyone's comments and questions.  Sit tight and know that I'm working on helping you all out :D  And thanks for sticking with me despite not posting much lately.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

new year crafting goals

Happy New Year!  And so begins another year of me posting to the blogosphere - which for my regular readers, you know I haven't really been posting too much in the past month or so.

But the good news is that I'm feeling better and plan to get back into this writing thing.  Plus, I no longer have school to worry about.  We all know what that means: more time for crafting!

With all the crafting I plan to do, I thought I'd compile a list of what I'll learn this year.  These are by no means resolutions; I've stopped believing in those.  Instead, I think it's more productive to set goals for yourself or try something new.  And that's what I'll be doing this year, starting with:
  1. Learning to sew.  I've wanted to use my sewing machine year after year and just haven't been able to.  But now that I have a plan to rearrange my craft room and actually set up the machine, I may actually find the time and ambition.  It's time to make use of a Craftsy class and a book that Hubby bought me for Christmas last year.  And some YouTube tutorials, of course.
  2. Using my pattern books.  My library keeps expanding.  It's obscene.  Yet I rarely dip into the patterns I already have, choosing to find new ones on Ravelry.  Meanwhile, years of impulse buying and pattern magazines have built up on two shelves of my bookcase.  So this year, I plan to make at least one pattern a month from one of my books.  If nothing else, it'll re-familiarize myself with why I bought the books in the first place.  And, I'll have new stuff to post PLUS be able to write a book review.  How's that for killing two birds with one stone?
  3. Conquering entrelac. I have a Craftsy class to review and I'm so excited to start.  I love the look of entrelac and have wanted to create any project using this technique for such a long time.  Now that I have 20 more hours in my weeks, I'm going dive in head first.
  4. Finishing the unfinished.  I have a lot of UFOs.  There, I said it.  After cleaning my craft room last month, I realized just how lazy I've become; I placed them each in a bag and sat them beside my crafting chair.  Let's just say there's not much room to move anymore.  I'm going to sit down, go through the projects, frog whatever I don't want, and finish what's left.  They need to go away.
And if none of these things keep me busy, then perhaps this year's big Christmas present will:

Yup, that's a dog, my Hubby's present to me.  We named him Fritzy, he's a schnoodle, and he's awesome.  He's adopted from a local shelter and is one of the friendliest puppies you'll ever meet.  I'm so glad for this new addition to our family and can't wait to introduce him to his mommy's craft obsession :)

What are your goals in the new year?  What do you plan on learning?
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