Sunday, January 31, 2016

Look Back 2015: A Year Of Baby Blankets And Then Some

Boy am I so glad 2015 is over and done with. I can somewhat breathe and take a break from crocheting endless baby blankets. Looking at my projects page on Ravelry, I'm glad that 2015 did not only produce four baby blankets but it also produced a pair of sock yarn mittens (my first Knook project), a hat, a pair of baby booties, a monkey and a knitted baby hat. 

On top of that, 2015 saw me change employers four times (getting laid off, getting rehired by the new owners, then leaving for another job, then getting pirated by another employer)! Gah! I'm so not looking forward to the craziness of the tax filing season. Crocheting baby blankets throughout all these "real life" transitions definitely kept me sane.

Well, it looks like I've managed to stick to one of my goals: using hooks for majority of my projects in 2015 (crochet or knook) but I failed miserably on learning how to do Tunisian crochet. I think my failing is not the lack of interest or the lack of Tunisian hooks because even though I don't have Tunisian hooks on hand, I can pretty much use the Knook hooks that I have for Tunisian crochet. My biggest failing is that I LOVE my Clover Soft Touch crochet hooks so much, I can't give it up! Not even to learn how to do Tunisian crochet. Technically, I also failed on my goal to Knook a lot of my projects this year but at least I got to Knook one project (the mittens) to which I still have yet to finalize the pattern so I can share that with all of you.

I am not setting any yarn craft-related goals for 2016 because I'm heading home to Manila, Philippines to visit my family for Christmas and I want to surprise the women of the family with something truly unique. I can't say what it is because they could be reading this post.

On the book side of things, I am quite busy with customized baby photo books that I started for my husband's brother and his family (Sean, Jessica and JJ) and it was supposed to be a surprise but then I figured I should ask them to proof it just in case the photos I selected off of Facebook is not exactly what they wanted. Thank God I did! I got better photos back from the couple to swap out a few of the ones that I had picked out that didn't seem perfect for the book. So I'm super excited to work on that. The next baby photo book will be for my dear sister and her family (Anne, Jonathan and Marcus Adam - coming in March 2016). And I told her that she will need to send me lots of photos of the baby with various family members and most importantly, a photo of her, Jonathan and Marcus after the birth.

Now that I am somewhat settled down in my new job (still in Higher Education Financial Aid industry), I feel I have more time during lunch breaks and after work (because my brain is not as fried anymore) to write more book reviews and craft more! 2016 is definitely going to be a year of gifts when it comes to my yarn crafts. Lucky are those who will receive a special hand-made item from me! LOL!

Books I've Read Since Last Blog Post

Sweet Forgiveness by Lori Nelson Spielman - 04/17/2015 (click here to read my review)

Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West (The Wicked Years, #1) by Gregory Maguire - 06/04/2015

The Enchanted April by Elizabeth Von Arnim - 06/14/2015

Enchanted August by Brenda Bowen - 07/02/2015

Last One Home by Debbie Macomber - 07/31/2015

Ever After (Nantucket Brides, #3) by Jude Deveraux - 08/26/2015

Come Home Again by Nana Malone - 09/02/2015

The Trouble With Magic (Bewitching Mystery, #1) by Madelyn Alt - 09/22/2015

A Charmed Death (Bewitching Mystery, #2) by Madelyn Alt - 09/26/2015

Hex Marks The Spot (Bewitching Mystery, #3) by Madelyn Alt - 09/29/2015

No Rest For The Wiccan (Bewitching Mystery, #4) by Madelyn Alt - 10/01/2015

Where There's A Witch (Bewitching Mystery, #5) by Madelyn Alt - 10/09/2015

A Witch In Time (Bewitching Mystery, #6) by Madelyn Alt - 10/13/2015

Home For A Spell (Bewitching Mystery, #7) by Madelyn Alt - 10/19/2015

Silver Linings by Debbie Macomb - 11/01/2015

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak - 11/20/2015

The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins - 12/17/2015

Dashing Through The Snow by Debbie Macomber - 12/26/2015

Fairest Of All (Whatever After, #1) by Sarah Mlynowski - 12/26/2015

If The Shoe Fits (Whatever After, #2) by Sarah Mlynowski - 12/27/2015

Sink or Swim (Whatever After, #3) by Sarah Mlynowski - 12/27/2015

Dream On (Whatever After, #4) by Sarah Mlynowski - 12/30/2015

A Wild Pursuit (Duchess Quartet, #3) by Eloisa James - 01/01/2016

Your Wicked Ways (Duchess Quartet, #4) by Eloisa James - 01/02/2016

Spellcaster (Spellcaster, #1) by Claudia Gray - 01/07/2016

Steadfast (Spellcaster, #2) by Claudia Gray - 01/08/2016

Bad Hair Day (Whatever After, #5) by Sarah Mlynowski - 01/09/2016

Cold As Ice (Whatever After, #6) by Sarah Mlynowski - 01/13/2016

Sorceress (Spellcaster, #3) by Claudia Gray - 01/27/2016

The First Midnight Spell (Spellcaster, #0.5) by Claudia Gray - 01/28/2016

Currently Reading

Beauty Queen (Whatever After, #7) by Sarah Mlynowski 

Currently Writing

JJ's Baby Photo Book

Finished Objects

Norah's Baby Blanket - I used Yarn Bee Soft Secret in the Fog, Cocoa and Teal colorways; 100% Acrylic, Worsted Weight and size 4.5mm crochet hook

JJ's Baby Blanket - I used Loops & Threads Soft and Shiny in the Blue Moon colorway; 100% Acrylic, Worsted Weight and size 4.5mm crochet hook

JJ's Baby Booties - I used Loops & Threads Soft and Shiny in the Blue Moon colorway; 100% Acrylic, Worsted Weight and size 4.5mm crochet hook. The pattern is a combination of Crochet Baby Booties - Green Zebra by Croby Patterns as well as Sweet High Tops by the Crochet Crowd

JJ's Monkey - I used Loops & Threads Soft and Shiny in the Blue Moon colorway; 100% Acrylic, Worsted Weight and size 4.5mm crochet hook. The pattern is Monkey by Michelle Taylor with a slight modification on the tail as I'd rather have the monkey's tail long and curly instead of shooting straight up from the back

JJ's Hat - I used Loops & Threads Soft and Shiny in the Blue Moon colorway; 100% Acrylic, Worsted Weight and US size 6 (4.0mm) and US size 8 (5.0mm) circular knitting needles. The pattern is Barley by Tin Can Knits

Marcus' Baby Blanket - I used Bernat Softee Baby in the Flannel, Mint and Pale Blue colorways; 100% Acrylic, Sport DK Weight and US size G (4.0mm) crochet hook. 

Currently Knitting/Crocheting

On The Town Shawl by Red Heart Yarns for Auntie Marian. I'm using Aran Weight, Red Heart Boutique Midnight in the Vista color way on size G (4.0mm) crochet hook. The yarn is 65% Acrylic, 23% Wool, 6% Metallic Polyester and 6% Nylon. I modified the pattern construction to where I made one edging first and then on the 2nd row of sc, I decreased the sts down to 67 (since I was using the uncorrected pattern) then continued onto Row 1 of the wrap without fastening off.


Just in case, I would like to share the blogs and/or podcasts I'm really enjoying which are also listed on the side bar...and these are in the order I discovered them...hope you'll enjoy them too!