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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Egads! I've amassed a collection of UFOS!

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I'm sure there are many of you who did a double take at that post...

You may be asking what I mean by UFO.... Well, in my case, it means UnFinished Object, and wow do I have a lot of them.  I currently have the following unfinished projects sitting in my basket right now:

2 Bernat CAL blankets
1 New blanket of my own design
2 sweaters
3 amigurumi animals

So what am I to do about all of these strange UFO's taking up all this space in my house?  Well, obviously, I want to finish them up, so how do I go about tackling this massive pile? 

First, I start out by prioritizing these projects.  First on my list are those two sweaters.  They need to be done and ready for Easter (yes I wrote this post before Easter and it is just now getting published-afterthought oops) as well as the girls getting their pictures taken for spring.  After that will be the commissioned Amigurumi animals,  then my designed blanket, as that is a birthday present for my daughter.    Last on my concern is the Bernat Blankets.  I know that I would like to have it done on their timeline, but I probably won't be able to. (Especially because I'm really not liking the end of this blanket....)

Next, I set a timeline for myself.  I gave myself a week for each the sweaters and animals, since just finishing work is left.  Then, I have a 2 week timeline also for the blanket for my daughter.  (because of her birthday)  Last, those Bernat blankets, I'll give myself two weeks after the rest of them will be done. 

Third, I'm going to break down those timelines.  How much is reasonable for me to expect of myself?  An hour a day?  Thirty minutes? 

By prioritizing and breaking things down, into smaller and smaller chunks, achieving the massive amount of work seems much more possible.

Do you have UFO's?  How many?  What are you doing to get them done?

Freebie! Free Sample of Splenda!

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As I've previously mentioned, I love freebies.  I love finding them, I especially love getting them in the mail weeks after I filled out that form and have long since forgotten them.  Just that little bit of free brightens up my day.

Here's another freebie for you, this time brought to you by Splenda.  They've just released two new varieties and are giving out samples for them!

Get your Splenda Freebie here!


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Freebie! Free Lipton Sample!

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 I love finding freebies, even if it's just a single serving of something because it enables me to try something new.  Usually with these freebies, you also get a coupon for the full product.  It seems to me it's a winning situation, you get something free, and usually a coupon!

Today, I bring you a singlet freebie, a Lipton Tea to go in one of their new flavors!  I sent away for mine today and I'll make sure to follow up with how I like it!

What are you waiting for?  Go get your Lipton Tea to Go Freebie!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Sneak Peek at a New Pattern...

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So every year I make sweaters for my kids.  I do it in March and have them ready in time for Easter.  This year, I chose pretty soft white yarn and wanted to do a knit.  Thus, this pattern was born.  I'm still putting the finishing touches on the pattern, doing some final testing on issues I had, but they'll be coming sometime in the next month as I finish up another pile of patterns!


Hope you like them!  I have patterns for 2T and 6T, though they are easily modified for those in between by using some simple measurements.   

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Guide to Yarn: What are weights, different types and how to use them

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Many beginning yarn crafters make a common mistake (myself included, many years ago) and this mistake is not knowing enough about yarn.  Different yarn can behave rather differently when you are crafting with it, and it is very important to know what type of yarn you can use with different patterns, hooks, and techniques.  I have experimented with almost every type of yarn out there, and let me tell you, there is a world of difference.  For ease of reference, I will list them from the lightest weight to the heaviest and will discuss each one a little more.

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Category 0-1: Super Fine
   Yarn types: Fingering, Sock, Lace
          Hook Size: 1-3mm
                 Average Number of Stitches per 4 inches: 27-32
                      Used for: socks, lace, doilies, baby wear, delicate work

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Category 2: Fine
    Yarn types: Sport Weight, Baby Yarn
        Hook Size:  3-5
                Average Number of Stitches per 4 inches: 23-26
                       Used for: babywear, sweaters, and lighter throws.

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Category 3: Light
     Yarn types: DK, Light Worsted Yarn
            Hook Size: 5-7
               Average Number of Stitches per 4 inches: 21-24
                   Used for: baby and light-weight adult garments, light-weight scarves

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Category 4: Medium
     Yarn types: Worsted-Weight, Afghan, Aran Yarn
           Hook Size: 7-9
                 Average Number of Stitches per 4 inches:  16-20
                        Used for: Throws, adult garments, blankets, sweaters, outdoor wear
                       *Most Popular Weight for Knitting and Crocheting*

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Category 5: Bulky

     Yarn types: Chunky, Craft, Rug Yarn
          Hook Size: 9-11
               Average Number of Stitches per 4 inches: 12-15
                      Used for: hats, scarves, throws, rugs, jackets, and blankets

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Category 6: Super Bulky
      Yarn types: Bulky, Roving Yarn
            Hook Size: 11 and up
                 Average Number of Stitches per 4 inches: 6-11
                        Used for:  Heavy Blankets and Rugs, Sweaters, Scarves

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For some additional information regarding yarn weights, see the following links:


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Some Typical Mistakes Made by Crocheters When Choosing Yarn:

Pay attention to your pattern.  When a pattern calls for a light sport, don't use a super bulky or your item won't end up looking anything like the pattern.  If you MUST use a different yarn, it's worth doing a test gauge so that you know what changes you should make, like going up or down a hook to get it to the right size.

Don't start with Bulky or Super Bulky.  I know it's tempting, because these yarns are just so lush and inviting, but they're much harder to see where your stitches are, making the learning process even harder.  Instead, start with a DK or a regular Worsted Weight (I highly recommend the worsted weight).

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Well, I hope that helps everyone!  Do you have any beginning yarn stories or advice?  If so I'd love to hear them!!!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Super Thick Popped V Stitch Potholder {Crochet Pattern}

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Copyright 2010-2012 LiLu Studios: This Crafting Life, by Lori Steffens. {http://www.thiscraftinglife.com/} Make it, Wear it, Love it, but above all, Share it, don't Sell it!

Super Thick Popped V Stitch Potholder

Materials:

Size H hook   
Cotton yarn-  THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT.  Cotton is able to withstand very high heat and will not melt.  It will catch fire if exposed to flame, but it will not melt.  Acrylic yarn will melt when coming into contact with very hot items from the oven and is not to be trusted as an actual useable potholder material.  Acrylic yarn is fine when used for trivets, provided that your dish has cooled slightly prior to being used for it.  I personally used Lily: Peaches and Cream Yarn.  I really like the Peaches and Cream yarn and Sugar and Cream for kitchen items because it gives a thick and durable feel.

Pattern Notes:

Popped V Crochet Stitch Tutorial

If you have problems with this pattern, check out my Thick and Easy 1 Hour Potholder.

This pattern is mostly a free form spiraling round pattern.  Do not get hung up on where you are on a row, you can figure out if you are right by laying it as it will go together as shown in the pictures.  You may end your potholder before or after i do, depending on the yarn that you use and the tension of which you crochet.  The important thing is that it meets together as shown in the pictures.
You will not join rounds, instead moving on to sc in the top of the last round directly.

Pattern:
ch30
Row 1: 1 sc in back loop of chain, sc across to end, ending with 2sc in last loop, turn
Row 2: 1 sc in what is now the back loop of chain across to end, ending with 2sc in last loop.
*work in continuous rounds to the end of pattern, do not join at the end of rounds, just continue working in tops of stitches.
Round 2: Follow Popped V Stitch around the piece for  12-13 rounds.  Lay piece as will be constructed in order to verify that you have enough rows.  Finish off.
Sew up seam and hide tails.

Notes: Blocking will help this potholder flatten out a little, you may also iron it on a low low setting or tack it together in a couple of places if it gaps out. :)

Another note!  Once you understand this pattern, you can make these in any size!  Follow the same formula, but increase your starting chain!  By making it bigger, you can make yourself a bigger potholder!



Freebie! Free Purex Sample and Contest!

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Today, I bring you not one, but two Freebies!

Both are from Purex, who make laundry detergent.  They're offering up a free sample of Purex
You have to watch a very short advertisement, but then you can choose to get either a sample of their liquid detergent or of their new Ultrapacks.  It only comes in one scent, but hey, it's free!  After you submit, they'll ask you if you want to wait for your sample or if you want to take a $0.75 coupon instead.  The choice is yours...

Get your Free Sample of Purex Here

 Also, Purex is hosting a Sweepstakes, which you may as well check out when you're done getting your sample.  It's a contest to win $1000 to redo your laundry room!  I know if I win, I'm buying a new dryer!


Enter the Purex Sweepstakes Here

Monday, April 2, 2012

Free Sample! Tide Pods!

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Everyone has laundry to do, right?  Why not get a free sample for detergent and see how Tide's new product works for you!

For a limited time (as long as supplies last), Tide is offering free samples of their new pods product.  No measuring required, just drop one in and start your load!

My sample is on the way, where is yours?

Free Sample Tide Pods

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Did you know....?

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Do you like my blog?  Do you wonder where all my non-yarn family related crafty posts have gone?  They've settled into their new home over at:

Fantastic Finds for the Fam{ily}

Do yourself a favor and check it out!  I've got crafts for kids, freebies and other great advice to keep your family active and finding new things to do! 

Please follow me there too!

Freebie! Potty Training DVD

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Do you have a kid in diapers?  Are they about ready to start potty training?  If so, I have the freebie for you!!!

Huggies Pullups has a free DVD called Potty Training Success.  It's full of tips for parents, games for kids and is just another tool to help your child's potty training become a success.

I just ordered mine today for my youngest, order yours today!!

Huggies Pullups Free Potty Training Success DVD

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