Lazy Weekend Ahead

Mmmmmm it’s Friday. A long weekend-eve Friday. The day is so much nicer for that reason alone, isn’t it? Try and get under my skin. Ok wait, don’t try too hard.

Know what else makes this Friday wonderful? A giant weight has been lifted off my shoulders and is now ready to grace the shoulders of my Mommy! Yes ladies and gentlemen, I have finished The Shawl. Oh, sweet relief!! I actually finished it just this morning so I need to go home and weave in the various loose ends and then block it to its perfect beauty but the hard part is over and done with.This means, yes I do in fact have a FO Friday and it’s an awesome one.

It took me just under a month to finish this tiny thing but it’s oh so cute! Seriously, I just wasn’t thrilled about this project until I started binding off (the second time because I screwed up the first). I saw the girly little ruffle slowly emerging and I got seriously geeked. It’s just so cute and dainty and perfect for our insanely hot and humid weather.

Ok I know there’s dangly bits and it’s not blocked but you can see the cuteness right? I’m thinking of buying a beautiful pin for it too. I was thinking a wooden one would be gorgeous.

My older kids spent the night at my mom’s house last night as they have a four day weekend (lucky duckies). This morning was just me and Baby. What a difference. It keeps blowing my mind whenever I find myself with just one kid how freaking easy it is. Hell, this morning was so easy I even had time for a photo shoot.

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Words of Gratitude

It’s Friday, and before I get to the usual Friday blog stuff I do, I want to say something very important—Thank You. When I first started this blog, it was because I felt single moms were very under-represented absolutely everywhere. Maybe it’s because we’re really busy or don’t usually have much money to burn or maybe we’re pretty intimidating as we manage entire households without the help of a man. Either way, we’re not a demographic that gets much attention yet when we do, it’s rarely of the positive variety.

Another reason I started writing was sheer loneliness. Not really knowing anyone personally that had been through what I experienced made me feel a strong urge to reach out and say, “Hello? Anyone out there?” Lo and behold, there are indeed signs of life—vibrant, intelligent, strong, creative, compassionate life forms at that.

Most of the time, when I sit to write, I don’t really have a goal, objective, or even a topic. Sometimes, I just write because I absolutely have to but I’m not even sure where I’m going to start, much less end up. I never expect a response either but, admittedly, often desire one.

So, that’s where you all and the thanks come in. Over the past few months, so many of you have felt inclined to respond to my words. E-mails and comments have come my way in so many shapes, sizes, and styles. You have shown me so much support and encouragement—more than I imagined and in ways I couldn’t have fathomed.

I am so very grateful. I know my blog’s a bit scattered breaking that supposed blogging golden rule to streamline and stick to one overall topic. I talk a lot about money but I wouldn’t dream of pegging myself a Personal Finance blog. Crochet? Ditto. Books? Ditto? Mommyness? Ditto. I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again, I have commitment issues and that invariably extends to the topics my blog touches upon. I do find it quite remarkable then, to have such a diverse group of readers who remain interested and involved.

Needless to say, what you bring to this blog is very much appreciated. I really love meeting each of you who venture from the reader shadowlands. Even those of you who stay silent observers mean so much to me simply because you come and read my equivalent of therapy sessions—and you return for more!

Giving me a moment of your time, a word of kindness, or even a little link love gives me a lot of strength and confidence. Every time you share a similarity, I’m pleased to know I’m really not alone. Those of you with advice open my eyes to another view. Any small praise builds me up a little bit more. And every vote of confidence you place in me is a reassuring pat on the back.

Life is not a smooth, straight path. It’s not the type of thing you really want to go at alone. And even though it’s quite small, I’m so grateful to all of you who make up this little community. So thank you, thank you, thank you. For those of you who come here to find someone who can possibly encourage you and help you through your personal challenge, know that I really hope I can give you even just a tiny bit of the support I’ve received here.

Even though I’ve done a lot of gushing, I’ve not forgotten what day it is—Friday. Nor have I forgotten that Fridays are for showing off. So today, I present to you my first little Panda bear made from Milky Robot’s pattern. He was great fun to make and I’m happily working on two more projects from her patterns that I will hopefully unveil next week. I think you will find her patterns very simple and clear and with lots of room to play with and make your creation your own. I’m working on finessing my sewing abilities but that’s a comment on my ability instead of the pattern’s. No matter how good her instructions are, it’s still up to me to piece the little guy properly. Enjoy the little guy and did anyone find my special hidden message?

FO Friday: Flower Headband

Happy Friday everyone! I’ve got a small FO Friday for you today and then I’ll be working on some posts I think I’m going to go ahead and schedule to go up this weekend so that I don’t bomb you with stuff on one day. MutantEldest is very happy today, and I’m very proud, because yesterday he passed his karate test and got his yellow belt. He was super nervous about this for a week now. Ex says he’ll have some money for me today and again on the 15th. Once again, it’s not a full month’s amount and he’s still behind big time. And of course, even though he emailed me a specific amount, there’s nothing to say that’s what I’ll actually be receiving so, I won’t be making any plans for that money until it’s in my hands. Anyone have some plans for the weekend? Kids and I will be spending time with friends and family relaxing and playing.

Here’s my little finished object for today—a really simple little headband for a friend’s birthday last week. I was pretty intrigued by this pattern as it calls for two strands held together and I’m finding I really love that. I went with gray and pink for a classically sweet color combo.

FO Friday: The Complete Cowl

I have another FO Friday!! What I’m going to do is post this FO Friday, get my thoughts and photos together, and post something else either later today or I’ll schedule it for the weekend. But, here is my very first attempt at a cowl. First of all, hats off to the designer because the pattern is easy peasy and worked perfectly. I worked this with two strands of worsted instead of one bulky. It is much taller than I thought it’d be but it works excellent pulled over the head as a hood (hence it being the convertible cowl). It is stiffer than others I’ve seen in the pattern’s project page but that’s most likely thanks to the yarn. My guess is using one strand of something bulky and soft would generate a much flowier fabric than two strands of acrylic. But I wanted it to be washer friendly since it’s going to a teen and we know how that goes. I hope she’ll like it. I also hope she doesn’t read my blog. Or at least, not this month.

FO Friday: B is for Butterfly and Bag

It’s FO (Finished Object) Friday! And I have two projects to show for it. I actually finished a third but it’s nothing special and I’m not totally pleased so I’m not posting it until I get it back from the little one, rip it, and redo it. THEN I will post it. It’s been really cold in South Florida lately and rumor has it, it’s going to be even colder next week! So I whipped up this sweet little hat for my daughter with some yarn I dyed many many moons ago (4 years ago apparently) with Kool-Aid.

Dyed Yarn

That bowl of tangled coloring yarn? Turned into this!

Butterfly Crocheted Hat

Awww my poor sick little monkey (verdict from the doctor: strep throat + outer ear infection). Managed to smile for me anyways though and that’s why I love her so. The hat is great. The pattern is wonderful. I worked this little thing up in about an hour. Easy, peasy!

So the other project I’ll be putting up for your enjoyment is the market bag you saw me start on last Wednesday!

Go Green Market Bag

I love this bag. I actually had finished it last Friday except that I’d seen this other lady’s take on the bag and I loved the idea of edging it. So I wanted to edge mine too! This bag makes me very happy. It is a great size- not too big, not too small and the CD on the bottom is brilliant. It gives the bag just a hint of structure and weight. If I was the kind of person that liked repeating patterns, this would definitely be the type of pattern worth repeating. I’m actually thinking of repeating it anyways because really, it’s excellent! Voila!

Crocheted Market Bag

Well, back to the hook I go! I’m still working on Christmas presents and having a fun time doing them. Two are going right now. I hope to finish one soon, maybe tonight even. The other I probably won’t work on much this weekend because I’ll probably see the Intended Recipient a bit. So instead I’ll likely begin something new, something blue.

FO Friday: 1 Skein Black Simply Soft + 1 Skein Teal Simply Soft

I tend to like Caron’s Simply Soft yarn. For one, it’s soft (duh) but also it has a nice sheen to it too which is really nice to have for some projects. I’d bought the black for a project I had in mind which I then scrapped. The teal I bought on a whim. But it worked out well. From the two skeins, I’ve whipped up three projects and easily have yarn for a fourth– maybe even a fifth. So, for this FO Friday I’ll be showing off what these two skeins have yielded so far.

First project was my first crocheted hat and I wanted something slouchy. I had a recipient in mind for this when I started so I knew I wanted it in the teal color. It’ll look nice with her skin and hair color is all I’m saying.

Slouchy Beret Hat

It was an easy project but no gauge was given and my first attempt was laughably large. I ripped it back to the increase rows, removed a few, and redid it. This is a much better fit but less slouchy than I’d have liked it. I was tired of the pattern already though so this is where it stays. I think it’ll suit the Intended Recipient just fine.

Crocheting hats is easy. Really easy. So I made another one. This one was also very easy and gaugeless. First attempt was also larger than needed so I ripped back and redid it. I’ve decided to avoid hat patterns that don’t include gauge as much as possible. The original pattern calls for a flower pin but I’m not sure it needs it.

Cute Vintage Hat

This is the kind of hat that makes me wish Christmas was over already because I want to make myself a slew of things. This hat is definitely one I’d like to have in lots of different colors with lots of flower pins to mix and match. Something else I’d love to make myself is a pair of fingerless gloves.

I actually tried knitting a pair a very long time ago but that was a disaster. So I was a bit nervous about crocheting a pair. No need to fret though. This was super easy. They came out a tad thicker than I’d have liked for myself but I think they’re really cute regardless. When I do make myself a pair, I’ll probably try it out with some sock yarn. More stitches, yes, but it’ll mean a thinner glove. Oh, one thing I did do with this was not switch up to a larger hook. Since I got to try this on as I went, I realized it was already fitting somewhat loosely so I decided to keep the hook the same and that really did wonders for fit.

Fingerless Gloves

See how cute they are? I’m actually looking for another fingerless glove pattern to use up the rest of my teal and black yarn. I might give a hat and glove set as a gift instead of just one item. Time will tell. By the way, I had an assistant in today’s glove photo shoot. He’s super gorgeous.

Super Cute