October 27, 2013

Little Miss Impulse

Hey everybody! Hope you're having a great weekend! I'm not really sure what happened this week, but somehow, since last week, I made:

Toys for Nala:

A Catnest for Nala:

 She was already liking it before it was done!

She's so happy with it, first she plays with it,

Then she sleeps in it!

And last but not least, I started making beanies for Christmas presents..

All of which were not on my YoP list! Which makes me an.. impulse crocheter? I'm not sure whether that's the right term, but it's safe to say that I've not been sticking to my plan.. And I'm also a bit worried.. How much kitty-stuff does one need to crochet before being labeled 'crazy catlady'?

Well anyhow, I've decided to "cancel" giving Hot Packs as Christmas presents since fiance very wisely asked: "are we truly going to spend a lot of money shipping a lot of rice to the other side of the world?" As annoyed as I was with him (being a wiseass) at that moment, he did have a point, since we have to pay more as the weight of the package increases. So I have to start thinking about other alternatives as Christmas presents, hence the beanies! Anybody else any fun suggestions for Christmas presents?

Wish you all a great week!

October 22, 2013

I am Maru.

If you haven't met Maru, it's time you did!

With lovely music by Hundred Little Reasons

October 21, 2013

Schnuggle packets and Cozy wraps experiments

The moment I made my first Rice Pillow, I immediately thought of making more of them as gifts for the holidays. I began experimenting with various sizes as well as researching for the best yarns and fillings. Here's what I found:

Any natural fiber should work to make the packet. Synthetic yarn may melt when heated. We don't want that! I use cotton for both the schnuggle packets and the cozy wraps, but I've read that if you do your "best" heating the packet, cotton can char as well. Wool has the advantage that it's flame resistant.
Examples: wool, flax, bamboo, cotton etc.

Inside > Lining:
You can be quite creative with the lining actually! But again, stick with natural fibers. I used a nylon/stocking made of cotton (kind of confusing that last bit, but I hope it makes sense!)
Examples: cotton fabric, flannel fabric (cotton or wool), cotton bandana's, old socks, hemp.

Inside> Filling:
With the Rice Pillow I used uncooked, long grain rice, but as many others I did notice the 'uncooked rice-smell' when heated. I read that some people use jasmine rice and like the smell. Some add dry mint, lavender, or other herbs to the mixture to make it smell nice, but again, if you 'do your best' heating, dried herbs could catch fire in the microwave (at least that's what I read).

With the Schnuggle packets I used flaxseed. It's been said that flaxseeds hold heat/cold longer (also takes a bit longer to heat). They're finer than rice, so it gives a smoother texture. True.. But it's also been said to hold no odor.. Well, I smell it. It's kind of a nutty, funky smell. I read that with flaxseed, people add essential oils to 'lovely up' the smell. (also possible with rice!) I might try that for my next project! You can also opt to mix rice and flaxseed.
Other options for filling: cherry pits, (deer) corn, buckwheat, barley and beans.

How to fill:
(Optional: Pour your filling into a bowl and add a few drops of essential oil. Mix.) Using a funnel (if you don’t have one, make one from paper), gradually fill your bag with your filling.
Don't pack it in tightly; leave some room for the filling to move around so that it will more easily conform to the area to be treated.

To chill, put your pack in the freezer for approx. 45minutes.
Shake the rice/grain sock to evenly distribute the chilled rice.

To heat, microwave at 30 seconds interval until you’ve reached the desired temperature.
Shake the rice/grain sock to evenly distribute the heated rice.

Note: Some blogs I read recommend putting a glass of water in the microwave with the heat pack to stop the rice burning. Also never leave the heat pack in the microwave unattended, and be careful removing it from the microwave as it could be quite hot.

For the Schnuggle Packets my favourite size turned out to be 10x20cm(filled).
Could be used for: Handwarmer, Neck Pad, Keyboard Wrist Rest, Boo Boo Bags (Hot Cold Packs for Kids) and Eye pack.

For the Cozy Wrap I'll stick with13x45cm.
Could be used for: Neck Wrap (neck and shoulders), Lower back pack, Sore Tummy Bag and Hot flash bag.

That's it! Hope there's some useful information in there for you!

October 20, 2013

Completely in love

Hi everybody! I am so completely in love! I'm in love with my furry baby (kitten)! She's been with us a few days and her name is Nala. I'll be honest I'm very obsessed with her cuteness at the moment, but I promised myself I wouldn't go bananas with pictures of her today.. So here is one picture of her. And if you're also a furry-baby-lover then here are some more pictures of her..

Now for the YoP update! The star stitch blanket is now finished and ready to be donated! (I plan to make few more blankets before donating) I'm happy to have 'mastered' the star stitch! What stitch will be next?

And after I finished the rice pillow (which Nala totally stole to keep as her pillow and toy, and ofcourse I let her get away with it), I made some schnuggle packets (same pattern) to gift to my friends.

I know, I just squeezed another picture of Nala in, I just couldn't help it!

I experimented with different sizes and liners and fillings, on which I will elaborate in a more detailed post tomorrow!

And last but not least, I have bought some yarn - which was of course, absolutely necessary - to make the Microwaveble Bag Christmas presents for my family. I plan to make those bigger than the schnuggle packets.

My updated YoP list here! Hope you all have a great week!

October 19, 2013

Getting My Green On > Growing Lemon Seeds

Unfortunately, I wasn't born with green fingers/a green thumb. I'm grateful if plants in my house last over a year. I really try to care for them, but somehow I just can't keep them alive for much longer! As for my balcony, I usually buy the one-year bloomers because I know other plants won't last..
But I've decided I want to change that.. I only have a balcony at the moment, but hopefully one day I'll have my own garden. And by then, hopefully I'll be GREAT at gardening! And as they say: "practice makes perfect".

So when I found this photo tutorial on Pinterest, I decided to give it a try.

  • Soak lemons seeds overnight.
  • Gently remove outer layer of seeds.
  • Put back into water as you prepare soil.
  • Plant lemon seeds in a circle pattern.
  • Place small pebbles on top of seeds.
  • Water occasionally and watch it grow.

  • I had done this in spring (except for the pebbles as I didn't have any). I was so excited when I saw that something was happening! The little seedlings were sprouting and growing (even my fiance was impressed!) and now I want to proudly show you all this picture:

    Tadaaaa! I'm so happy it's still alive! I almost stopped mid-project since the 'gently removing the outer layer of seeds' wasn't at all as easy as I expected - the seeds were slippery from soaking and kept slipping out of my fingers. But I persisted!It's been an outdoor plant this summer, but I'm planning repot it and put it inside for the winter! Hah! I think I'm getting my green on!

    October 16, 2013

    A total cutie!

    My fiance and me added a new family member!
    She's a total cutie (I think!) We named her Nala.

    It's hard not to let her get away with everything!


    Or let her sleep when she needs her sleep but looks so cuddly!
    (but I do, don't worry!)
    I'm a first-time "furry-baby-mommy" so I google a lot on how to "parent", and of course take loads of pictures of my "baby"!

     Hope you enjoyed the pictures of my bebe! Cuddles from Nala and me!

    October 12, 2013

    My first 3rd Year of Projects post!

    Happy Sunday everyone! I´ve summoned up the courage to start and join mid-year in Year Of Projects! And this is my first post this year! Hurray! ...in my enthusiasm I started multiple projects of my list! So of course I have a lot of WIPS to show!

    The projects I started:

    Rice Hot Pack: So far very easy and fun to make, and quick to work up! I think I'll make a bunch of these as Christmas presents for my family in Canada (where the temperature can drop to -20°C during the day in winter, and even -40°C at night, yikes!) since they can be heated up in the microwave! free pattern here!

    Katy Cowl: This one I started in September already, but I've made some more progress and I'm almost finished! I still have to sew together and weave in ends!

    Practising the star stitch! Used this pattern and this video to get it right, but I'm making a blanket instead of pot holders, because a) since it's a bigger project, I can practise the stitch more, b) I can use up some left-over yarn, and c) I can donate a snuggle to the animal shelter nearby!


    Crochet Fingerless Mittens: I think I'm about half-way through on the first one! I'm not sure whether this will be a present to myself or a present for a friend.. Anyhow, with the weather getting colder, I'd better hurry up finishing these!

     There you have it! That's what I've been working on this week. Hope you all have a lovely week!

    October 10, 2013

    Another Year of Projects!

    I'm going to have another try at the Year Of Projects!

    The goal is to pick a number of patterns that you'd like to crochet during this period and try to do it!  It's supposed to be fun and help you get support from others withing the blog-along-group at Ravelry!

    This Year Of Projects started 1st July 2013 and runs to 30th June 2014!  Exciting!

    As Always... I'm a bit late joining, only 9months of YoP to go! But the main focus for me is having fun and being connected with people who love to crochet and knit!

    You can find my list here! Can't wait to write my first YoP post!

    October 9, 2013

    A Star is born!

    My lovely friend had a daughter! YAY! I was invited to see her and her daugher and I wanted to give her something special and handmade. I never had made something for a baby before, so I was kind of nervous!

    I ended up using these patterns:
    Baby boots (ravelry)
    Baby hat

    And this is what I ended up with!

    And since I also wanted to make something for the mommy, I ended up making up a beanie for her, then improvised a smaller version for her daughter so they would have matching hats!
    Mommy was so happy with the gifts, she literally screamed with joy for a few minutes when she unwrapped the matching hats.. Isn’t that the best reaction you can get to a gift? :)