Thursday, December 29, 2011

An Amish Christmas - Cynthia Keller

Summary from Good Reads: Meg Hobart has everything: a happy marriage to a handsome, successful husband, a beautiful home in Charlotte, North Carolina, and three wonderful children. But it all comes crashing down around her the day she learns that her husband, James, has been living a lie—and has brought the family to financial ruin. Penniless and homeless, the Hobarts pack up what little they still possess and leave behind their golden life for good. But it’s not the material things Meg finds herself mourning. Instead, she misses the certainty that she should remain married to James, who has betrayed her trust so thoughtlessly. Worse, she is suddenly very aware of just how spoiled her children have become. Meg wonders what her family has really sacrificed in their pursuit of the American dream.
A frightening twist of fate forces the Hobarts to take refuge with a kind Amish family in Pennsylvania, where they find themselves in a home with no computers, no cell phones, nothing the children consider fashionable or fun. Her uncooperative brood confined to the Amish world of hard work and tradition, their futures entirely uncertain, Meg fears she can never make her family whole again.
Celebrating life’s simplest but most essential values, packed with laughter and tears, this is a story of forgiveness and the power of love. You will never forget the special moment in time that is An Amish Christmas.

The Hobarts life was overturned in what seemed like a moments notice to Meg.  Her husband lost his job and all of their life savings and assets in a phony investment scam.  They must pack everything they own into a Ford Mustang and are heading to Meg's parents house in upstate New York where they will live and work until they get their lives back in order.  Along the way, they decide to stop in Lancaster, PA overnight to learn about the Amish and find a place to sleep.  They get into a car accident with a horse and buggy on a snowy and icy evening.  Thankfully no one was hurt but the car needs a lot of work to get it in working order.  The Amish family involved in the accident takes the whole family in with open arms until their car is ready.

Along the way, they learn about themselves and realize that being disconnected from the world has changed their lives in more than one way.  Although the two older children were difficult when they first got there, everyone was impacted by the love and friendship of this Amish family.

This was a wonderful Christmas story about love, friendship, forgiveness, family and community.  It definitely reinforces the fact that everything happens for a reason. 

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Paw Dishcloth

I finally knitted my first picture dishcloth.  Here it is:

It was not as hard as I imagined!  These picture dishcloths do require you to pay attention and they do not have a pattern to it that can easily be memorized.  It was fun to make though.  I will make more of these again!

Pattern: Paw by Amy-lynne Mitchell
Yarn: Bernat Handicrafter Cotton #W260936 - Boogie Blue
Needles: US 5 on 24" Cables

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Cool Christmas Presents

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!  I sure did!  Here are two gifts that I received from hubby that I had to share with my fellow knitters:

Shirt #1

Shirt #2

I also received some gifts cards for iTunes, Amazon, Applebees, Longhorn Steakhouse and Macy's along with some sweaters, scrapbooking supplies, candles, bath soaps, baking stoneware and bluetooth speaker for my iPad.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Too Big Winter Hat

OMG, do you believe this?  This hat is now too big.

Well at least now I can have hubby put it on and figure out how many less stitches to do for the third try.  But I need to make a few things first because I am sick of making hats that don't fit!  LOL!

Update: I found a home for this hat!  Dia, can you guess who????  He was very grateful!

Pattern: Regular Guy Beanie by Chuck Wright
Yarn: Loops & Threads Impeccable #01040 - Black, #01044 - True Grey and #01532 - Claret
Needles: US 6 on 47" Cables

Monday, December 19, 2011

Cherry Pink Hexagon Dishcloth

I have been wanting to try making this dishcloth for a little while.  Now that I am done making Christmas presents, I can.  Here it is:

I didn't have enough yarn to add a scalloped border on the second one.

This was a fun and easy pattern to memorize.  It worked up quickly too!

Pattern: Crochet Hexagon Dishcloth by Mary Ellen Wells
Yarn: Peaches N' Creme #218 - Cherry Pink
Hook: US 7/G

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Crocheted Ponytail Holders

Here's a cute little stash buster project:

Here is the close up of one of them:

In all honesty, these took maybe 10 minutes each to make by using the scraps of leftover cotton yarn from my dishcloths.  I can't wait for my hair to be long enough to use them myself.  For now, I am giving them away to my co-worker's that have daughters.  I need to make more purple ones by request though!  LOL!

Pattern: Ponytail Holders from All Free Crochet
Yarn: Leftover Sugar N' Cream Yarn
Hook: US 8/H

Friday, December 16, 2011

Mistletoe Granny Dishcloths

Here are some festive holiday colored dishcloths:

Here is a close up:

There are 8 dishcloths here.  Four are for my hubby's co-workers and the other four were a special request from two co-workers to purchase.  I do want to try and make some more just to see how many I can get out of one 12 oz skein of cotton yarn.  I am thinking that I may be able to get 2 or 3 more out of it, we'll have to wait and see.

Yarn: Bernat Handicrafter Cotton #W277586 - Mistletoe Ombre
Hook: US 7/G

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Scrap Granny Dishcloths

This is the final set of dishcloths for my MIL:

I love that the striped yarn worked out this way.  I did not plan it but I am glad that it worked out like this!

Yarn: Lion Brand Cotton Solid #108 - Morning Glory Blue, #112 - Poppy Red and Lily's Sugar N' Cream Stripes #23705 - Americana Stripes
Hook: US 7/G

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Morning Glory Granny Dishcloths

Okay, I'm getting to the end of my yarn to make dishcloths for my MIL for Christmas.  Here's another set of blue ones:

Here is a close up:

As you can tell, I really love this pattern.  I think it is my go-to crochet dishcloth pattern.  I can complete one in under an hour.

Pattern: Granny Dishcloth #2412
Yarn: Lion Brand Cotton Solid #108 - Morning Glory Blue
Hook: US 7/G

Monday, December 12, 2011

My Winter First Hat

Here is a hat that I made for my hubby:

He announced in Webs a couple of weekends ago that he wanted me to make him a hat with three colors, gray, black and red to match his snowmobile.  I told him that I need to find a pattern first and I wanted to wait for a sale on yarn instead of buying it at Web's for $4.99 a skein.  These were on sale 2 for $5 at Michael's!

This was my first time making stripes!  After reading about making jogless stripes, these came out perfect!  I am so happy with it!  I now have enough yarn to make several more of these by mixing up the colors since I only used about 100 yards for one.

Unfortunately, this hat was too small to fit hubby.  I have figured out how to adjust the pattern and I will be trying again to make it for him.  This hat was bought by a co-worker to give to her nephew for Christmas so it will be put to good use.

Pattern: Regular Guy Beanie by Chuck Wright
Yarn: Loops & Threads Impeccable #01532 - Claret, #01040 - Black and #01044 - True Grey
Needles: US 6 on 32" Cables

Saturday, December 10, 2011

A Plain and Fancy Christmas - Cynthia Keller

Summary from Good Reads: Raised in a Pennsylvania Amish community, young mother Rachel Yoder has led a simple life within her close-knit family. Widowed three years ago, she has moved back in with her parents, attempting to raise her daughter, Katie, without further emotional upheaval. Meanwhile, four hours and a whole world away in New York City, Ellie Lawrence is laser-focused on a high-powered public relations career, with too little time for her family, her friends, or even her boyfriend.
Then one fateful day, these two very different women receive shocking news of a mistake made three decades earlier and long kept hidden: Shortly after their births, the two were accidentally switched in the hospital. Shaken to the core by this momentous news, Rachel and Ellie are plunged into an exploration of who they are and where they really belong. While Ellie is eager to learn more about her Amish family and their life in the countryside, Rachel cannot help but feel jealous as she watches the only mother she has ever known bonding so easily with her natural daughter. But Rachel also knows that her own biological family is out there, and with Katie at her side she heads for Manhattan, where she establishes a connection with the raucous, spirited Lawrences.
As Ellie and Rachel make their way through unfamiliar landscapes, they face life-altering challenges and grapple with a crucial question: Will their old conventions and desires give way to new customs and yearnings? With the Christmas holidays fast approaching, it takes the love of two families for Rachel and Ellie to discover their own paths to fulfillment and happiness.

Rachel and Ellie were switched at birth in the hospital by accident 28 years ago.  The nurse who discovered the secret was protecting her alcoholic husband from losing his medical license if it got out sent a letter to the two girls explaining the situation.  Rachel tucked the letter away to be forgotton but Ellie wanted to meet her other family.  They both got a taste of their life that should have been and both came to some realizations about their lives and its affect on everyone involved.

This is the first book that I read from Cynthia Keller.  I really enjoyed it!  It was a nice and different Amish story that was a pleasant change from most other Amish stories.  I am looking forward to reading An Amish Christmas by Cynthia Keller next!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Hershey's Cloths

Here are some little paw shaped washcloths for Hershey:

I used some leftover scraps for these.

Pattern: Washcloths for Dog Tear Eyes by Sara Sach
Yarn: Lily's Sugar N' Cream #19014 Chocolate Ombre
Hook: US 8/H

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Meet Hershey!

I have been meaning to introduce you to Hershey, our new puppy who is a 14 week old chocolate labradoodle.

This picture was taken on the first day we brought him home.  He has been a wonderful dog!  He is so stinken smart too, that's the poodle in him!  He has already learned sit, stay, come, to play fetch and is working on how to stand up on his hind legs.

Here is a picture of him hanging out with me on Monday:

I am so glad that he is a part of our family!  He has helped both of us heal from the loss of Simba.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Red Ribbed Dishcloths

Here are a set of knitted dishcloths for my MIL:

Here is a close up:

I can't believe how long it takes to knit dishcloths instead of crocheting them.  I'm making her last two sets by crocheting them!  LOL!
Yarn: Lion Brand Lion Cotton Solid #112 - Poppy Red
Needles: US 7 on 24" Cables

Monday, December 5, 2011

Soft Pink Clapochet

Here is my first clapochet:

Here is the full length of it:

I made this for my mother for Christmas.  I started this on 11/14 and I ripped it apart on 11/15 and started all over.  After looking at pictures of other finished ones, I realized that I was counting my last 2 TR incorrectly.  No wonder it looked funky!  I also changed my hook from a J to a E!  I love the way it came out!  It is much tighter and neater!  I need to make one of these for me now!  LOL!

Pattern: Clapochet by Crochet Kitten
Yarn: Caron Simply Soft #9719 - Soft Pink
Hook: US 3.50 mm/E