Tuesday, December 31, 2013


Meet Oenfpp, the One-Eyed, Non-horned, Flightless Purple People-eater.
My husband hates him. My son likes him. I think he's rather cute.
I might be a little attached to him, since he's the first amigurumi pattern I've improvised. I took Stacey Trock's Craftsy class on designing amigurumi monsters, and this was my first attempt.

And, because it's the new year and I like to share things, I've written out the pattern! So without further ado, here it is!

You will need:
Yarn – worsted weight, MC: approx. 100g/220yards/200m (I used Stitch Nation Washable Ewe in Currant. This yarn has been discontinued, but any worsted weight will do.)
small amount of white yarn for eye, small amount of black yarn for pupils and mouth
Hook – size G/4mm
Notions – stitch marker, scrap yarn for eyes and mouth

Skills needed: Magic circle, single crochet, single crochet 2 together
Abbreviations: sc : single crochet
sc2tog: single crochet 2 together (decrease)

This pattern is worked continuously in-the-round, without joining.


Round 1: Using MC and magic circle, 6sc and join to work in round. (6)
Round 2: 2sc in each stitch (12)
Round 3: [2sc in first stitch, sc in next stitch] around (18)
Round 4: [2sc in first stitch, sc in next 2 stitches] around (24)
Round 5: [2sc in first stitch, sc in next 3 stitches] around (30)
Round 6: [2sc in first stitch, sc in next 4 stitches] around (36)
Round 7: [2sc in first stitch, sc in next 5 stitches] around (42)
Round 8: [2sc in first stitch, sc in next 6 stitches] around (48)
Round 9: [2sc in first stitch, sc in next 7 stitches] around (54)
Round 10-18: Sc in each stitch (54)
Round 19: [sc2tog, sc in next 7 stitches] around (48)
Round 20: [sc2tog, sc in next 6 stitches] around (42)
Round 21: [sc2tog, sc in next 5 stitches] around (36)
Round 22: [sc2tog, sc in next 4 stitches] around (30)
Round 23: sc in each stitch (30)
Round 24: [2sc in first stitch, sc in next 4 stitches] around (36)
Round 25: [2sc in first stitch, sc in next 5 stitches] around (42)
Round 26: [2sc in first stitch, sc in next 6 stitches] around (48)
Round 27: [2sc in first stitch, sc in next 7 stitches] around (54)
Round 28-36: sc in each stitch (54)
Round 37: [sc2tog, sc in next 7 stitches] around (48)
Round 38: [sc2tog, sc in next 6 stitches] around (42)
Round 39: [sc2tog, sc in next 5 stitches] around (36)
Round 40: [sc2tog, sc in next 4 stitches] around (30)
Round 41: sc in each stitch (30)
Round 42: [2sc in first stitch, sc in next 4 stitches] around (36)
Round 43: [2sc in first stitch, sc in next 5 stitches] around (42)
Round 44: [2sc in first stitch, sc in next 6 stitches] around (48)
Round 45: [2sc in first stitch, sc in next 7 stitches] around (54)
Round 46-55: sc in each stitch (54)
Round 56: [sc2tog, sc in next 7 stitches] around (48)
Round 57: [sc2tog, sc in next 6 stitches] around (42)
Round 58: [sc2tog, sc in next 5 stitches] around (36)
Round 59: [sc2tog, sc in next 4 stitches] around (30)
Round 60: [sc2tog, sc in next 3 stitches] around (24)

Stuff with polyfil.

Round 61: [sc2tog, sc in next 2 stitches] around (18)
Round 62: [sc2tog, sc in next stitch] around (12)
Round 63: sc2tog around (6)
Break yarn and thread through all 6 stitches, pull tight and fasten off.


Round 1: Using MC and magic circle, 6sc and join to work in the round. (6)
Round 2: 2sc in each stitch (12)
Round 3: [2sc in first stitch, sc in next stitch] around (18)
Round 4: [2sc in first stitch, sc in next 2 stitches] around (24)
Round 5-22: sc in each stitch (24)
Break yarn, leaving a long tail. Stuff arms with small amount of polyfil and sew to body.


Round 1: Using white yarn and magic circle, 6sc and join to work in the round. (6)
Round 2: 2sc in each stitch (12)
Round 3: [2sc in first stitch, sc in next stitch] around (18)
Break yarn, leaving a long tail. Using black yarn, embroider pupil (or use a safety eye if you prefer)
Sew eye to body.

Mouth: Using scrap yarn, embroider mouth as desired.

And enjoy! Oenfpp makes an awesome bookshelf guardian, couch buddy, or just add to your monster menagerie!

This pattern is also available as a Ravelry download.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

It's December What? (weekend wind-up)

It's a bit late to be posting a Weekend Wind-up, but here I am anyway.

Today was the last day to ship to/from a Fleet Post Office and be sure that your package will arrive in time for Christmas.

Momma, I am sorry, I did not get yours out in time.

But I did manage to get all the hand-knit goodies for my 6(!) nieces & nephews in the post today.
I don't want to ruin the surprise, but I don't think any of them read this blog, so here's a little peek anyway:

I hope that 1) these fit and 2) they are liked. I will even be happy with one of the two.
Oh, and those pretty hats in the middle? Both of those came from Pacific Knits, which means that this particular book can be marked as "Complete" in my little project.
(What project? The one I decided to take on a few months ago, described in this post. I'm rather terrible about updating, though - really need to work on that!)

Of course...I might have totally added a few more patterns since then. The count is up to 1091. More to come on that.

I hope you are having a lovely holiday season!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Beekeeper's Obsession

So, I started knitting these:
And they are every bit as addicting as knitters on Ravelry lead you to believe.

In case you aren't familiar with hexipuffs, I invite you to check them out.

I decided to use the handy-dandy calculator to figure out how many hexipuffs I would need to make a twin-sized quilt. I figured, if I continually knit these for the next 17 years (which shouldn't be too hard), I should have enough to make a quilt for Clinton to take with him to college.
A 40"x80" quilt (which would just cover the top of an extra-long twin bed, which is standard-issue dorm furniture) will take 547 puffs.
There are five already made. In order to finish by my son's 18th birthday, I will need to knit approximately 32 each year. That's more or less 3 each month.
I think I can handle that.

Oh, but wait...we plan on having another baby (or two). And of course I'll need to make puffy quilts for them, as well. That's another 1094 hexipuffs. If I want to have them all completed at the same time, (and just keep the ones for my not-yet-conceived babies tucked away safe and sound until they graduate from high school,) I'll need to knit approximately 96 per year, or 8 per month. That's two per week.
I might still be able to do this, since I always have knitting with me at work for my breaks.

Hey, did I mention that I've had this pattern sitting in my library for a while? I can mark this one as completed :)

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Holiday Crunch

I'm actually embarrassed about how poorly I keep this blog updated. I would blame work, or the holidays, or my son...but the truth is, I just haven't much felt like writing.

That's not to say that I haven't been knitting, crocheting or quilting. I've done all three. (Of course, I let the camera battery die, so there's little evidence of this right now.)(I will rectify this later.)
I've managed to piece two quilt tops, started making blocks for a third & fourth one, and just got fabric for a fifth one. Three will be Christmas-y. Yay!

I realized the practicality of having a Christmas tree up with three cats and a toddler was not very great, so I crocheted a small tree instead. For real. (Yeah, I need to charge the camera.)
I made Clinton's Halloween costume last month. We entered him in a local costume contest. Sadly, he did not win...but I did manage to snap this adorable picture of a very sleepy dragon:

Halloween quickly rolled into Veterans Day, and now it's almost Thanksgiving, then my son turns 1, and Christmas will be really soon after that.

I don't really want a big production for any of it. Except the birthday - which won't happen - so...maybe I should get back to knitting Christmas gifts?

Ah, yes, knitting. Well, since my last post, I have finished:
 DNA sweater for my nephew
 Little Hoodlum for my niece
 Greyson for Clinton
 Halloween costume for Clinton
 Sock Monkey for a co-worker's baby
 Random triangle scarf for no reason other than I like to knit on my breaks at work, and sock yarn projects don't need much space in my bag.
 Christmas tree

...I think that's it, but I may have forgotten something.
 Oh, I also made a diaper cake for my co-worker's baby shower. She's using cloth diapers (yay!), so I snagged the ones from her registry and created this:
Yes, the sock monkey is totally wearing a diaper, too.

Anyway, I've still got a few projects that I'm working on this weekend, and then next week is a lot of cooking (because we have two different Thanksgiving parties to attend), and then somehow I need to throw together a birthday party for Clinton. Because for my first child, I cannot not throw a first birthday party. Even if it's just grilling hamburgers and watching his smash a cupcake.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Weekend Wind-up

Well, I'm back from my two-week hiatus. And you know what? I managed to accomplish what I set out to do...and then some!

If you recall from this post, my challenge to myself was knitting two items that wrap around the neck.
They haven't been blocked yet, but that is due to weather in Sasebo, which has been switching between raining and very high winds. I can't use the floor inside for anything thanks to three cats and a crawling baby, so blocking has had to wait.
But here's the Common Bean:

And the Windsor Warmer:
And I also decided to make a sock monkey. It's crocheted, so not technically a sock monkey, but it's still handmade, which is better than the cheap piece of yuck that I saw on a friend's baby registry. (Yes, the sock monkey will be a shower gift. Along with a diaper cake, because I'm a show-off like that.)
His ears aren't sewn on yet, for some reason they've been giving me issues, but here he is:

Pretty neat, huh? But wait, there's more! Since the expectant friend is also planning to use cloth diapers, I had to knit her some diaper covers as well:
So there it is. Two weeks of yarnalicious activity!
The next two weeks are supposed to be dedicated to motifs. Hopefully I can do this!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Weekend wind-up

It's Labor Day Weekend, so I can post this on Monday instead of Sunday (which is good, because yesterday I really didn't have a chance to write this.)

I've been thinking, and knitting, and planning, and I think I have a method worked out.
For now, anyway.

Here's the schedule thus far:

September 1-14 – Neckwear
Common Bean
 I actually have this one mostly finished, I cast on yesterday and now I'm just 12 rows away from binding off.
I'm using Berocco Voyage (love this yarn!)

Windsor Warmer
 This one, I've done a gauge swatch, but my size 7 needle tips are attached to another project (along with the 40" cable), so I'm trying to decide how I want to go about it. I may just choose a different project.

September 15-28 – Granny Squares
Beyond the Square : 13 motifs (or, a motif each day with a day off)
The nice part about this, is that I already have seven motifs made from this book, so to"close" this book I only need to create 13 more. (Curious about the ones I've already made? Check them out here, here, here, and here.

September 29-October 12 – Hats
Hurricane Hat
 I have the perfect yarn for this, and it will become a Christmas gift for my Aunt Sue. The yarn is mainly purple, her favorite color.
Little Nutbrown Hare
 I will have to do some digging to find a sock yarn that is not "too girly" to knit this for Clinton. We have "Guess How Much I Love You," and it's also the theme of Clinton's baby book. So I have to knit it.
 I bought the book, "Contemporary Irish Knits" by Carol Feller, and then gained an undisclosed amount of weight while pregnant. I am too big for most of the sweater patterns in it (which is a bummer,) but I can certainly make the accessories.

October 13-26 – Children's Sweaters
Lizzie's Little Hoodlum
 This is in progress. I'm stuck on the sleeves. I don't like knitting sleeves. They are really, really boring.
Link's Greyson
 I've made this pattern for Clinton, now his cousin will get one.

October 27-November 9 – Neckwear
 I would like to make this shawl because it is very pretty. And I have a lot of sock yarn, despite not knitting socks.
One-Skein Scarf
 To balance out a full-sized shawl knit in fingering weight, I need something quick and easy. Plus, I've had this book for years and so far I've not crocheted much from it. 

So that's the plan. Of course, this is all subject top change without notice. Especially since I may have to stop and make a Halloween costume, plus knit a baby gift for my pregnant coworker...
But that all just makes for more blogging material, so it's all good.

Enjoy the holiday weekend!

Friday, August 30, 2013

Upon further reflection...

...I'm not completely drowning in patterns. Which is a good thing.

How did I determine this? Well, I created a spreadsheet. And realized that my Barbara Walker books (which are simply stitch dictionaries) account for 148 patterns.

I realize that I should still count these in my endeavor, though, so here's what I'm going to do: From each chapter, I will knit a swatch. They may be useful someday, anyway.

I also happen to have two books of granny squares, accounting for another 198 patterns.
For these, I'm going to make 20 motifs. (This will be a little easier, since I've already made a few.)

Something else that I realized: There needs to be some sort of order to making my way through these, both so I don't get bored/frustrated/psychotic with doing just one thing, and also to make it more interesting to follow. Initially, I thought theme months were the way to go, but the idea of making countless gauge swatches for weeks at a time does not appeal to me. And weekly themes/challenges would only give me enough time in the case of hats and cowls.
Themed fortnights, on the other hand, sound great! I can keep at something for two weeks at a time, and it's enough time to finish a child's sweater, or make some serious progress on a me-sized item.

I'm working on cataloging my yarn stash right now, so hopefully I can sort things out and set up a schedule soon.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Hello Again

Yeah, it's been awhile since I even looked at my blog dashboard. I've been really, really busy.
That's motherhood for you.

Anyways, while my son naps on this dreary, rainy, thunder-y Sunday, I took the opportunity to peruse Ravelry. I do this often. I have a bit of a knitting and corchet addiction, if you hadn't noticed. (I have a sewing problem, too, but when you're chasing a crawling baby around, it's a lot easier to pick up & put down knitting.) I also have a bit of a yarn-buying habit, which I am assured is perfectly fine as long as I intend to use said yarn to make something fabulous. Which I totally do. I just don't always know what that something fabulous is when I buy the yarn.
Hence I peruse Ravelry for inspiration and ideas.

This leads a pattern-hoarding problem. Which made itself known when I downloaded yet another shawl pattern, and looked at my library to see the count: 999 distinct patterns.


In my defense, I probably do not have enough yarn to knit all 999 patterns, and I have several books of patterns, which all contain several items that I have no intention of ever making. (Although each book has at least two or three patterns that I totally do want to make.)

I immediately clicked over to another webpage, so that Tim wouldn't see the count. He gripes about the yarn taking over shelving (which is only slightly true; my sewing supplies take up much more of the tatami room closet.) If he sees the pattern count, he'll probably flip, because that's what husbands do.
(For those of you who don't know our family, I'm not spending my husband's money on any of this. I work my tail off to provide for my family, and this comes out of my "mad money.")

But really, I surprised myself when I saw the number. And I thought, "Is this a sign? Can I actually do something with this?" The answer is simple.

Of course I can.

But I need some parameters.

First, any pattern for which I have a finished object, is dropped from the list. (That seems like a no-brainer, right?) I will (eventually) put together the list of what has already been accomplished.
Second, is a way to account for books: For a book to be counted, I need to produce at least two projects from it. (In this case, I will count two projects from the same pattern the same as two projects from two distinct patterns.)
Third, if I don't have suitable yarn on-hand, I will not purchase it. (At least, not until my current stash is reduced significantly.)(Of course, this is me, so "significantly reduced" may well mean "I ran out of Malabrigo.")
Fourth, Christmas and Birthday knitting take priority. They have to. I have six nieces and nephews who live in the Midwest, and Target and Walmart don't really carry hats & scarves meant for cold. And my sister-in-law appreciates handmade items.

So what is left? Ah, yes. Record keeping. I may need to go back to my week-end round-ups. And I'll need to photograph everything. And catalog my yarn. And...

...How about I check in sometime this week, ok?

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Music & Memory

I'm sure you've had memories triggered by a song before. Maybe it was the song playing for your first slow-dance that takes you back to your freshman homecoming. ("In Your Eyes" by Peter Gabriel, in case you wondered.) Or your first dance at your wedding. (We didn't have a reception, but I kept the playlist from our dinner.)

My dad is a fan of Little River Band. Consequently, I grew up on their music. Every time I hear them I'm suddenly 9 years old and riding in the car to Eastern Market on a Saturday morning. My dad says that every time he hears the song "Reminiscing" he's back on a particular stretch of I-75 in 1978.

This week, I heard a song on the radio that took me instantly back in time. Not 20+ years back, but the feeling was so intense that I'm pretty sure it will always do this.
What song was it? "1901" by Phoenix.
Really, I'm not a fan of them, but this one song rocketed me back 4 years, riding shotgun in a truck through the mountains in central California. It was just one of those times when the weather was great, the sun was out, we had some time and we were just having fun, chasing some friends down a dirt road, trailing my hand out the window to catch the wind.
Did I mention it took me another 3 years to even find out what the song was? It didn't matter. Every time it plays on the radio, that's where I am. It's possible that in 20 years, I'll hear it on the radio and tell my son where it takes me. And hopefully he'll have musical memories of his own.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

"Modern Quilt Patterns" E-book review

Not too long ago, I received an email soliciting a book review for a free modern quilts e-book.

I like when the words "free" and "book" come together in a sentence. Even more so when the book is about quilts...and I certainly trend towards modern styles. So I said "sure thing!"

The e-book is McCall's "Modern Quilt Patterns" and you can find it here. (Really. It is free. You do have to enter your email address...but you can opt out of receiving emails if you wish. That's what I did, and I have not seen a single email from them.)

There are 3 patterns in the book: "Baubles and Beads," "Rainbow Rhythm," and "Lemon Squeezy." As you might expect in one of the McCall's magazines, the patterns list fabric requirements, cutting instructions, piecing directions, and present a color assembly diagram. They also provide ideas on how to quilt, and include a tutorial (with photos!) for a quilt-as-you-go technique for "Lemon Squeezy."

The photographs are nicely done, showing each quilt in a "model" setting (across a couch, table, or chair) and also presenting a laid-flat, full-quilt picture-quite necessary, in my opinion. (How else would you know what it should look like?)

Overall, this is a nicely planned and presented e-book, and the patterns should be no problem to follow.

However, I doubt that I will make any of these patterns myself. Why? I guess they just aren't "modern" enough for me. To my eye, they look like more traditional designs using bright colors. The only quilt that I might concede as being a "modern" quilt is Lemon Squeezy, and that is more because it utilizes quilt-as-you-go construction than from a design standpoint. Maybe I'm being too nit-picky (it wouldn't be the first time), but I just didn't have that "WOW" factor that makes me want to dive into my stash and start quilting.

Sunday, February 17, 2013


I like the number 33.
I'm weird about numbers; I like primes, and I like odd numbers that are divisible by 3. The volume on my car stereo is set to 15, 17, or 21. (Odd, I know. But it's me.) So 33 is a good number...even more so, since 33 divided by 3 (a prime number) is 11-also prime.

And today is my 33rd birthday. So it's a good day.

This is probably the first year, since I turned 18, that I have looked at my life and realized that yes, this is exactly where I wanted to be at this age.
I am married to a wonderful man. 

We have a beautiful son together.

We are fortunate enough to spend some time out of our home country.

And we are happy.

...well, most of the time.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

What we've been up to...(photo heavy)

I've been busy.
Crazy busy.
So busy I don't really remember my last shower.

 All because of this little guy:
Yes, he is adorable. Kawaii is the word I hear most often. (That's Japanese for super-cute.)
But really. I've been mostly tied to the couch, nursing him, for weeks now. It's a wonder how I've gotten anything done. Actually, I haven't. At least not housework-wise...unless you count washing endless diapers. Seriously. It's like I won the stork's raffle for super-soaker baby...which I suppose goes along with his constant nursing. (On the other hand, it's nice to have an economic justification for breastfeeding and cloth diapering.)
Anyway, I did figure out how to knit while nursing (no small trick since I knit continental style), so while I've been feeding my son, and watching endless episodes of Quantum Leap and Star Trek: The Next Generation, I managed to finish up a few pieces this month.

First there's this lovely Who? hat, whose Owl cables are a bit difficult to see, but I assure you they are there:

 Then, there's the Declan hat, which I knit because I had a bunch of gorgeous purple Cascade Eco+ that screamed at me "I want to be a hat!"

I knit Clinton a pair of blue longies, so that he would have a diaper cover that also doubled as pants:

And then I started making another sweater from one of my favorite kids' sweater patterns, DNA:

So that's about it for January. I've only one more week of maternity leave, so I'm certain there will be more to write about soon.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

It is the first day of 2013, and it is a pretty good day.
My son let me sleep for 3 hours uninterrupted this morning. My parents landed safely home in Detroit. And I'm almost done knitting him a pair of longies. (Actually, the knitting part is done. I just have to finish weaving in ends & then lanolize so he can wear them.)

Since I would much rather look forward to the new year than look at what I didn't finish in the past one, here's my list of what I'm looking forward to in 2013:

Watching my son grow. Because, really, Clinton is the most amazing thing that has happened to me. Ever. Way more so than even joining the Navy.

Taking the advancement exam. Again. And probably again. It will be attempts 5 and 6 to get that promotion, and the advancement rates can't get much worse...so I may have a shot. (I'm masochistic like that.)

Sewing clothes for myself. That is, once I lose the baby weight. I have a skirt and a dress that I would like to make.

Being a tourist on my island. While my parents were visiting last week, we took a short excursion around Kujukushima National Park, and I realized how little we actually know about where we live. So hopefully we can start to fix that.

How about you? Anything exciting planned for the New Year?