Monday, December 31, 2012

Penelope for Sandy Hook

I read about a group on Ravelry called 600 Monsters Strong.  This group is collecting knitted or crocheted monsters, from a list of approved patterns, to send to the children in Newtown, CT.  I had to participate.  Here is my Penelope:

I've been wanting to make her and what I better reason to make it!  I know she will make some girl a wonderful friend!  If you are interested in participating, read more about it HERE!

Pattern: Penelope the Empathetic Monster by Rebecca Danger
Yarn: Red Heart Super Saver Solids in Cafe and Rose
Needles: US 5 (3.75 mm) on 40" Cables

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Simply Cheerful Trivets

Here are some trivets I made for Christmas and my Etsy store:

#1 - Over the Rainbow

#2 - Plum

These were really fun and quick to make!  Please visit my Etsy store if you are interested in purchasing them (the link is above).

PatternSimply Cheerful Trivets by Jennifer Dickerson
Yarn: Lily's Sugar N' Creme #19739 - Over the Rainbow & #50300 - Plum
Hook: H

Friday, December 28, 2012

The Taupe Super-Fast, Ultra-Cozy Scarf

Here is a scarf that I made for Jeff's wife, Michelle, for Christmas:

Jeff and Jay went Christmas shopping and Jeff was going to buy his wife a scarf until suggested that I  make one for her.  I made it 70" long so it could be folded in half.  I like it!

PatternSuper-Fast, Ultra-Cozy Scarf by Jen Reilly
YarnLion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick Solids, Twists, Heathers #122 - Taupe
Needles: US 13 (9.0 mm)

Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Bridge - Karen Kingsbury

Summary from GoodReads: Number one New York Times bestselling author Karen Kingsbury delivers an instant classic with this heartwarming Christmas story about a hundred-year flood, lost love, and the beauty of enduring friendships. Molly Allen lives alone in Portland, but she left her heart back in Tennessee with a man she walked away from five years ago. They had a rare sort of love she hasn’t found since.

Ryan Kelly lives in Nashville after a broken engagement and several years on the road touring with a country music duo. He can still hear Molly’s voice encouraging him to follow his dreams; Molly, whose memory stays with him. At least he can visit The Bridge—the oldest bookstore in historic downtown Franklin—and remember the hours he and Molly once spent there.

For thirty years, Charlie and Donna Barton have run The Bridge, providing the people of middle Tennessee with coffee, conversation, and shelves of good books—even through dismal book sales and the rise of digital books. Then in May, the hundred-year flood swept through Franklin and destroyed nearly every book in the store.

Now the bank is pulling the lease on The Bridge. Despondent and without answers, Charlie considers the unthinkable. Then tragedy strikes, and suddenly, everything changes. In the face of desperate brokenness and lost opportunities, could the miracle of a second chance actually unfold?

The Bridge is a love story set against the struggle of the American bookstore, a love story you will never forget.

The Bridge is a story about the downfall of a bookstore in a small Tennessee town.  As the business begins to fail and money becomes very tight, the town and all its patrons come together to save the bookstore and Charlie.  It is a true story of second chances for the store, Charlie and Molly and Ryan.

I enjoyed this book but to me, it was not one of Karen Kingsbury's best books.  I feel that it was significantly shorter than her other books so I did not feel as strong a connection with the characters as I normally do.  It is a quick read and I would still recommend it!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Beginning: An eShort Prequel to The Bridge - Karen Kingsbury

Summary from GoodReads: From #1 New York Times bestselling author Karen Kingsbury comes this e-short prequel to her upcoming novel, The Bridge, shedding light on the love story behind the bookstore and how it came to be a place of hope and encouragement.

This was a cute short story (about 40-ish pages) about how The Bridge bookstore began in Franklin, TN.  It was the story of how Donna and Charlie Barton came to open the bookstore and how it helps people beginning with Edna.  It was nice to read how the bookstore began before jumping into The Bridge.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Steve's Christmas Hugo

Here is a Hugo that was requested as a Christmas present for Steve from his wife:

I made little Stephen and his mother, Darlene monsters.  I guess every night before bed little Stephen says that Daddy doesn't have a monster but him and Mommy do.  So Darlene asked me to make one for Steve as a surprise for Christmas.  We decided on Hugo because he was the monster that fit him the most.  I amde him blue for the color of snow (he is obsessed with snowmobiling just like my hubby!).  I also gave him a little tattoo:

Funny, huh??!!  I know he will appreciate it! :)

Pattern: Hugo the Couch Potato Monster by Rebecca Danger from The Big Book of Knitted Monsters
Yarn: Cascade Yarns Cascade 220 #7818 - Royal
Needles: US 5 on 36" Cables

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Burgundy Potato Chip Scarf

Here is a scarf that I made for myself:

I love this pattern!  It is so easy and it is only knit stitches!  It was made with worsted weight yarn.  I used two skeins of yarn, equal to 426 yards, to make it nice and long.  I will definitely be making another one of these soon!

Pattern: Potato Chip Scarf by Barbara Aguiar
Yarn: Vonnel Love Knit Deluxe Worsted #138 - Burgundy
Needles: US 8

Monday, December 10, 2012

Dad's Quilt for Christmas

Here is my Dad's completed quilt for Christmas:

This is the quilt that I started while on my quilting retreat back in September.  I love how it came out!  It is 61" x 78" so it should be big enjoy to tuck around him.  I quilted around the outside of each 15" block and on the inside block when I could.  Then I tied the center of each block to secure the ones that I could not quilt around without making it noticeable in the block (mostly the stars).

Back in April, I made my mom this quilt for her birthday.  While we were visiting, she was snuggled under it.  About an hour into the visit, Dad said "Boy, you must be comfy!"  Mom said, "Yes, I am!"  Then I said, "Mom, he wasn't talking to you, he was talking to me because he wants one for his birthday."  Dad said, "How'd you guess?"  But since Dad's birthday is in July, there is no reason for a quilt then so I made it for Christmas.  He is a big Boston Bruins fan so that is why the quilt is black, white and yellow.  Little did I know when he told me that he wanted it in Bruins' colors that I could not find Bruins fabric to use in it.  I was told that is the one sports team that does not license it's logo for fabric.  I hope he likes it!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Holiday Mini Swap

I joined Danger Crafts for a holiday mini swap.  Here are the details:
  • Your monster/critter is a mini and/or ornament sized                         
  • Extras are kept small & to a minimum                                              
  • Priority mail ensures the package will be received in a timely manner
  • Deadline is December 10, 2012                                                      
Here is the monster, Dot, I sent to Sandy (sandyvern on Ravelry):

Here is the rest of the items I included in her package:

I'm glad she loved her package!

Yarn: Knit Picks Palette Yarn #24245 - Lipstick and #23999 - Ivy and #23728 - White
Needles: US 0 (2.0 mm) on 47" Cables

Friday, December 7, 2012

An Amish Gift - Cynthia Keller

Summary from GoodReads: After her husband, Shep, loses his latest job, Jennie Davis is grateful to be in a car en route to beautiful Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Shep has inherited a house from a distant cousin, along with the cousin’s long-established bicycle shop. The move gives Jennie, Shep, and their two children a welcome chance for a fresh start.

While Shep dives into his new venture at the bike shop, Jennie carefully restores their broken-down house. She loves being a stay-at-home mom but yearns to find some fulfillment outside of her family—particularly as they struggle financially. On morning walks, she forges a friendship with her Amish neighbor, Mattie Fisher, who opens up about her modest way of life. Mattie’s unswerving good character in the face of adversity encourages Jennie to seek practical solutions to her own difficulties. A passing remark by Jennie’s son transforms desperation about their finances into inspiration, leading her to embark upon a candy-making enterprise.

Soon, Jennie’s newfound purpose collides with Shep’s growing stress at work and long-simmering tensions between husband and wife rise to the surface. As the holiday season approaches, their family is challenged as never before—until an unexpected visitor arrives to give Jennie the greatest gift of all.

The Davis family moves to Lancaster County, PA to live in a house left to them from a family member as well as an established business.  The house and business were both in rough shape.  Jennie Davis is hoping this move is just what her family needed to get back together.  Her son, Tim and daughter, Willa, were both miserable teenagers; neither wanted to be there or to help out.  Jennie was struggling to make the house a home and hold her family together.  Then she started talking to an Amish neighbor, Mattie Fisher, when she would take the dog on walks.  A friendhsip bloomed between their families that became invaluable.  Will the Davises find happiness and become a family again?  What will they learn from their Amish neighbors to help that?

Although this book focused more on the Davis family than the Fisher family, it was still considered an Amish book.  I did enjoy growing with the Davis family and watching them change as time passed by.  But this was not the typical Amish books that I read.  This book made the Amish seem like anyone who knows an Amish person can change their life around for the better.  I thought the story was good overall; although I would have liked to get to know more of the Fisher family.  It was a heart warming Christmas story about family, love and forgiveness.

April's Marian Cowl

Here is a cowl that I made for my sister-in-law for Christmas:

I made this on Saturday while we were at our friend's, Dale and Heather's, house.  The men were fixing things in the house and the women and kids were decorating the house for Christmas.  Heather told me to bring my knitting and that it is considered festive if I am knitting a Christmas present.  I like how it came out!

Pattern: Marian by Jane Richmond
Yarn: Jo-Ann Sensation Sumptuous #211 - White
Needles: US 13 on 36" Cables

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Gavin's Christmas Socks

I was asked from my co-worker Tara to make her kids some thick socks for Christmas.  Here are the ones for her son, Gavin:

I sure hope these fit him!  he has rather large feet for a two year old.  I just hope they are too big so he can wear them instead of being too small.

PatternBeginner Worsted-Weight Socks for Magic Loop, Toe-Up or Top-Down by Liat Gat from KNITFreedom
Yarn: Lion Brand Vanna's Choice Solid #146 - Purple
Needles: US 8 on 47" Cables

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Scrappy Pot Holders

I used leftover fabric from this quilt to make 12 pot holders.

Here is a close up of one of them:

Here are all of them:


I found these all quilted together in my closet from the renovations and decided to finish them.  My hubby is giving a pair to each of this three employees for Christmas.  Since I was on a roll, I thought I would finish all of them in case a needed a quick gift this year.
I got the pattern from Bubba Chic.  Here is the link for Pot Holders Tutorial.  They are available for sale at my Etsy store!

Monday, December 3, 2012

A Hope Springs Christmas - Patricia Davids

Summary from GoodReads: Amish widow Sarah Wyse does not see wedding bells in her future. Still, she can't think of a better way to spend the Christmas season than helping her handsome, shy neighbor Levi Beachy find a wife. But once the single ladies of Hope Springs start visiting his buggy shop, Levi sends the town's eligible men Sarah's way. Neither expects to find love—but with help from the close-knit community, they just might mend each other's broken heart.

Sarah Wyse has been a widow for 5 years.  She has always had a difficult time with the holidays.  Everyone she has loved has passed away around the holidays.  This year is worse because the quilt shop she worked at closed for the season so she has nothing to help her stay busy.  So she talks to her friend, Grace, who is having problems with the man who is courting her and talks her into visiting her grandmother.  This will give them both some time to think over their relationship before getting married.  Sarah offers to help Grace's brother Levi at his store in Grace's absence.
Levi Beachy has been raising his brothers and sisters since his parent's died when he was young.  He is a shy man who has never thought of marrying since he has to care for his siblings.  Sarah is determined to play match maker and find Levi a wife before Grace returns so that she can get married.  Will Sarah find a wife for Levi?  Will Sarah every be able to love again?
I really enjoyed another Love Inspired book from Harlequin by Patricia Davids!  I love how Ms. Davids builds such strong characters quickly in these books which are rather short, about 225 pages.  In reading the letter to readers at the end, this is her 7th book in the series of Brides of Amish Country.  I need to see which ones I have missed and get caught up!

Doggie Placemats

I made some doggie placemats. I bought one really cheap while I was up in Vermont this summer and copied the dimensions.  Here they are:

Blue Border:

Red Border:

I found this fabric at Apple Tree Fabrics in Auburn, MA.  I bought a yard of the dogs and the bones figuring I could make a couple.  I made 6 of them!

Here is my pattern:

Center fabric - Dogs - (1) 6-1/2"  x 12-1/2
1st border - Red or Blue - (2) 1-1/2" x 6-1/2" and (2) 1-1/2" x 14-1/2"
2nd border - Bones and Paws - (2) 3" x 8-1/2" and (2) 3" x 19-1/2"
Backing - Muslin - (1) 13-1/2" x 19-1/2"

These are available for sale in my Etsy store!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

A Little Amish Matchmaker - Linda Byler

Summary from GoodReads: Simon can’t stop thinking about the pretty Amish teacher at the local one-room school. But he’s ignored the sparks between them because he’s so shy.

So Simon’s little brother, Isaac, takes matters into his own hands. He’s determined to give his brother the best Christmas present ever—a date with his favorite teacher.

Amish novelist Linda Byler brings her tender humor and skillful observation of family relationships to this holiday story. “I love Isaac’s self-confidence and scheming as he prods his reluctant older brother,” she says knowingly about her characters.

Byler takes her reader straight into the Amish world as Isaac is both charmed and annoyed by his too talkative, but quite bright, Mam. He can barely tolerate his little nieces and nephews, who substantially outnumber the grown-ups when the whole family gets together. And he loves his humble, circumspect Dat, although his father isn’t always pleased by how well Isaac sweeps the forebay in the barn.

As anticipation for the Christmas program at the schoolhouse builds, Isaac cares for troubled Ruthie who stutters miserably when she practices her poem. And he wonders how much he’ll have to help his brother Sim act on his growing affection for Teacher Catherine!

This was a wonderful Amish Christmas story about Isaac, a student in 7th grade, as he tries to fix up his older brother Simon with his school teacher.  It focuses on the preparation for the Christmas pagent and how a classroom and community can work together to make it happen.  I really enjoyed reading this book my Linda Byler.  Ms. Byler is Amish so her books tend to have more details about every day life than any other Amish author I have read.  Her thoughts and comments are those that could only come from a true Amish woman.  Thanks to NetGalley for allowing me to review this book for them!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Teagan's Christmas Socks

I was asked from my co-worker Tara to make her kids some thick socks for Christmas.  Here are the ones for her daughter, Teagan:

I made her some when I was learning to make toe up and top down socks but she outgrown them for this winter.  And of course, I made them in her favorite color, purple!

Pattern: Beginner Worsted-Weight Socks for Magic Loop, Toe-Up or Top-Down by Liat Gat from KNITFreedom
Yarn: Lion Brand Vanna's Choice Solid #146 - Purple
Needles: US 8 on 47" Cables