If there’s an opportunity to knit, I’m so there.  I’m just waiting for speed knitting to become an Olympic sport.  The knitters could knit in a cozy yarn-bombed arena as fans throw balls of yarn and chocolates at them.  I’d watch that.

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Last year for my birthday, my sweet husband got me a new iPhone.  I took forever to decide on a phone case, so in the meantime I knit a little pouch to keep it safe.  The last time I got a new phone I kept it in a knit hat until I could get a case.  Trying to avoid that past ridicule, I busted out this little guy.

BECOMING-knit-phone-case-1I cast on stitches until I got the proper amount to make a snug case, and then I knit a little fair isle pattern based on this pin.  I knit a provisional cast on, started from the bottom, and then went back and did a kitchener stitch to close up the bottom opening.

See, knitting commentary at the Olympics would be fascinating.  Ha!

BECOMING-knit-ipad-mini-caseThen for Christmas, my parents completely surprised me with an iPad mini.  I know, best family ever.  So I quickly knit up a fair isle case for my iPad.  This isn’t a case I plan on keeping forever, but it was so much fun to make!

BECOMING-knit-ipad-mini-case-2I used the phone case to find out my gauge and then did some math to figure out how many stitches to cast on for my iPad case.  (See kids, stay in school.  You’ll need math for really cool things like knitting.)  If I were to do it again, I would make it a little bit snugger since knit stretches a lot.  I probably wouldn’t do an i-cord bind off as well.  It looks really cool, but it stretches out the opening quite a bit.  I also wouldn’t use such cheap yarn if I planned on keeping this case for awhile.  I used some yarn from Walmart (the horror!) and it fuzzed up within the first few hours of use.

For the fair isle parts I found a few random charts online, but I designed most of them myself with some graph paper.  The case is lined with some felt so the side buttons don’t get caught on stitches.

For both cases, I crocheted a button and a chain loop for the closure.

BECOMING-knit-ipad-mini-case-1I love little projects like this that you can finish in a day.

What have you all been working on recently?  And do you totally see the potential in knitting Olympics?  Surely there’s a petition we could sign somewhere.

~Whitney

On February 21, 2014 · 3 Comments · In Crochet & Knit
 

Excuse me while I go scan the sky for signs of flying pigs.  Because I’m expecting them any day now.  Last night American Idol got moral and it was pretty much the most amazing thing to happen to television since The Property Brothers.

Timothy and I are both both super into music and generally like singing shows.  Last season we started watching American Idol and stopped due to the craziness of Nicki Minaj.  The show was more about dancing and performance and appeal than good singing.  This year when we found out Harry Connick Jr. was a judge, we decided to give it one more shot.  So far he’s been my favorite part of the whole show!

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During the auditions, Harry Connick Jr. called out a lot of the young girls for singing really suggestive songs.  He said he couldn’t get past the inappropriate lyrics to hear their talent.  Score one for the Jr.

Last night, a girl decided to sing one of the songs that Harry Connick Jr. had previously blasted.  She mentioned that she thought it would be okay because she wasn’t focused on the storyline of the song, but the emotions of the song.

Immediately after the girl finished singing, Harry Connick Jr. took the mic and congratulated her for just turning 18.  He said that since she was 18, she could theoretically sing about whatever she wanted.  Then he had her recite the first two lines of the song.  Not sing them, but just state them.  She, very awkwardly and nervously, spoke the suggestive lyrics.

His reply? “You just turned 18; is that really what you want to be singing about?”

 

The whole mood of the place shifted and Timothy started waving his hand at Harry as if he had a white hanky and was telling him to “preach, preacher!”

Harry then went on to say that being a singer wasn’t just about the emotion.  Singing is the lyrics.  It is the storyline.  And the audience is paying attention.  What you sing is a representation of yourself.

While he was talking, the camera panned to the girl’s parents.  The mom looked like she wanted to slap Harry for embarrassing her little girl.  But the dad just looked uncomfortable.  I’m sure it is uncomfortable to watch your teenage daughter being called out for promoting promiscuity in front of millions of people.

 

What Harry said really stuck with me.  I mean, this is the music industry.  Harry knows that suggestive sells.  It’s less clothes over more talent.  It’s degrading lyrics and twerking and compromising.  But in the midst of that, a music artist still knows enough to ask “is that really what you want to be singing about?”

People are paying attention to the lyrics.  They’re paying attention to the storyline.  They’re listening to our words and trying to match them up to our actions.  

And we as Christians have a much higher responsibility than those on the American Idol stage.  Our songs, our words, our story lines, are not just representing ourselves.  They’re not just defining who we are.  We are representing Who God is.  When someone listens to our speech, is she drawn to God?  Or does she hear things that don’t match up with who we profess to be?  Are we really representing what we want to represent?  Emotions are not enough.  It is the storyline – our day to day actions and words – that matter.

Because the world is watching.  They are listening.  We don’t have time to profess to be full of God’s love, but then spread hate and venom on Facebook.  It is not enough to have the right emotions and pray for our neighbors, but outwardly speak rude words and hate on them when their kid accidentally mows over our flowers.  Or whatever annoying things neighbors can do.  I don’t know – we have awesome neighbors.  But moving on.

The world doesn’t care how loving and rosy and cozy you feel on the inside.  The world just hears your words and sees your actions and makes assumptions from there.

So, are we truly representing what we want to represent?  Is this really what we want to sing about?

~Whitney

On February 19, 2014 · 22 Comments · In Lovely Life
 

BECOMING-Valentines-3Calligraphy and love letters were just made for each other.  I’m so enjoying learning.  I’ve been experimenting with gouache (a thousand points to whoever guesses the proper pronunciation).  It’s a type of paint that you mix with water and use in the place of ink.

My Dad stopped by the other day and saw all my calligraphy stuff sprawled out all over the table.  For a second I was embarrassed because almost all I practice is my husband’s name and love quotes and sayings.  I can’t help it.  I’m a mush.

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BECOMING-Valentines-1And then for Valentines day to pop up?  Oh the mush knows no bounds.  I miss the days of passing out Valentines to classmates.  When you would give your favorite cards to your friends and save the “ugly” ones out of the pack for your mortal enemies.  And then the turmoil of deciding which Valentine to give to your crush.  You don’t want to be obvious, but you want just the perfect card to make him fall in love with you.

I hope my Valentine card to my crush this year isn’t too obvious.

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I mean with all the hearts and xoxo’s and I-love-you’s inside, do you think he’ll be able to tell I like him?  Ha!

Valentines Day is just the best.  I wouldn’t be mad if it were a monthly occurrence. I’m excited for the day that we have children in elementary school.  I’m totally going to be that mom who lives vicariously through her child and creates these ridiculously elaborate Valentines.  My kid will hate it.  It’s going to be awesome.

BECOMING-Valentines-2I’m looking forward to spending the evening with my sweet husband.  We’re getting sushi and then cuddling up for a movie night.  There was talk of watching a mushy chick flick, but I’m not holding my breath.  He’s been wanting to see the latest animated movie about turkeys or something.  Suuuper romantic.  Ha!

Whether you have plans for a fun date night or a lovely night in with chocolate and knitting, I hope it’s the best.  And I don’t say this enough, but thank you for stopping by my blog.  Your sweet words and comments mean so much.  Would it be weird to say I love you?  Maybe?  Probably.  I’ll just say that if we were in elementary school, I’d give you all the best Valentines out of the pack.

~Whitney

On February 14, 2014 · 4 Comments · In Mr. and Mrs.
 

yarn-and-loveLast year for my birthday, my husband whisked me away to New York City for the weekend.  And in case you’re wondering, yes, I’ve finally come to terms with the fact that I’ll never be able to out present him.  We explored all of NYC, did a lot of shopping, saw Cinderella at Broadway, and ate tons of delicious food.  But visiting Purl Soho was probably one of my favorites.  I mean, I got to rub my face on the most amazing yarn on the planet for three hours.  The employees may not have liked it too much, but I was in yarn heaven.

Apparently the mark of expensive, high-quality yarn is that you have to wind it up into balls yourself.  Ironic?  Yes.  But fun?  So much yes.  If I didn’t know my husband loved me before, I knew when he helped me wind my yarn.

BECOMING-yarn-and-loveIf this isn’t a man sacrificing for his love, then I don’t know what is.  I mean, we were in the city that never sleeps.  Blocks away from Times Square where you could buy a scarf from Forever 21 and a piece of pizza at two in the morning.  But this birthday girl wanted to go back to the hotel room early and play with my new yarn.  And this man in love helped me wind it up.

BECOMING-yarn-and-love-1Eventually he got smart with it and figured out how to watch television simultaneously.

Ladies, displays of love aren’t always diamonds and chocolates.  Sometimes love looks like a man with yards of yarn stretched between his arms.  Ha!

BECOMING-herringbone-cowl-1As soon as the yarn was ready, I cast on to make the oh-so-famous herringbone cowl.  I had been eyeing the pattern for a long time, and was so excited to get started.

Christmas came and I wasn’t able to work on it very often, but I got a few inches of the pattern done.  That’s when I realized that I somehow didn’t cast on enough stitches and my cowl wasn’t going to be as long as I was hoping.  Hoo to the ray.

If you go to the Purl Bee’s site, this pattern has a ton of comments.  It’s kind of known to be a tricky one to knit.  It took a couple of rows for me to understand what was going on, but I wouldn’t call the pattern difficult.  It just wasn’t a very fun knit.  It’s kind of fiddly, and I wasn’t really enjoying myself.

BECOMING-herringbone-cowlSo I rubbed my face on the pretty little herringbone stitches, and then said goodbye. Life is too short not to enjoy every moment of crafting.  Now I’m on a mission to find a fun scarf or cowl pattern that will show off this gorgeous yarn.  And maybe even one that I can finish in time to wear this winter.  This winter of a thousand flakes of snow and a thousand complaints on Facebook.  Ha!

I spent a whole evening drafting and practice knitting a pattern for a complicated cowl with texture and ribbed cables, but then I just scrapped the whole thing. Sometimes you simply want a soothing, simple knit. I love a classic seed stitch cowl.  I’m also eyeing the honey cowl – my mom knit this one and it is gorgeous. What have you guys been knitting lately?  Any favorite cowl patterns out there?  I’d love to hear!

~Whitney

On February 13, 2014 · 5 Comments · In Crochet & Knit
 

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My sweet, sweet Bibi recently had a birthday.  She is one of the classiest ladies I know, and I hope to be just like her. For her present, I tried to combine a few of her favorite things.  Can you spot the present?  It’s kind of camouflaged in a sea of florals.  Power to the florals!

BECOMING-crochet-hook-case-2My Bibi loves burgundy, roses, and crochet.  She also loves her family, quilting, thrifting, reading, coffee, embroidery, and desserts.  But I stuck with the first three for her present.

BECOMING-crochet-hook-case-3I used a great tutorial from Life on the Run to make her a crochet hook case, but modified it just a bit.  My case is just a bit bigger and has fabric ties instead of snaps for the closure. I also used batting instead of interfacing.

BECOMING-crochet-hook-caseThe inside has a pocket with stitched dividers for all the hooks, plus a little flap at the top to keep all the hooks from falling out.

The night before we celebrated her birthday, I decided that I needed to fill up her case with a set of new crochet hooks. The closest Walmart is 30 minutes away, so I called Timothy and asked him to pick up a set of hooks on his way home from work.

He said yes, but it resulted in a twenty minute FaceTime call while he roamed the craft aisles of Walmart swinging around his phone at things that looked like they could possibly be crochet hooks. And don’t get me started on the conversation we had about how crochet hook sizes are letters.  Apparently that makes no sense to the men of our species.  Poor guy.  The things he does for love.

BECOMING-crochet-hook-case-1We ended up finding a set of hooks without any outside assistance, and I slipped them in the case.  All ready for my Bibi to make beautiful things with them.

It was a fun, quick sew, and a great reason to play around with some floral fabric!  I think this pattern would be really cute as a colored pencil case, or even sized down as a crayon case.

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Have you all been up to anything crafty lately?  I’d love to hear.

~Whitney

On February 10, 2014 · 6 Comments · In Sewing