Dandilion Girl Designs

Timber Bay Hat you can find the pattern here: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/timber-bay

If you are a knitter then you really should look over the wonderful designs from Dandilion Girl Designs. Melissa is the creative mind behind Dandilion and man that women can make some stunning things. Her first pattern to hit Ravelry was some cute leg warmers in 2009. Since then she gotten a total of 188 designs on her Ravelry pattern page that can be seen by clicking the graphic bellow of her design name.
{This graphic was linked from her pattern page on Ravelry and is not my own}
I can not remember who brought me to her designs but I do remember which one it was. I was looking for a cute cardi to add to my one day make queue and came across the Chateau . I admit when I went to grab the link for this post I noticed it was not actually in my queue anymore but quickly fixed that. Chateau is the bulky cardi with wide sleeves and this amazing cable down the back. While writing this it just hit me where I heard about it. It was from Stacie from Must Stash Yarns. It was on the podcast with her and Super Steph ... man I loved their podcast. Stacie made it in a red color, I can not remember the yarn brand she used. It wasn't hers though. This may have even been before she began dying yarn. I am going to look up and link her project here

I actually own a few of Melissa's designs and just recently bought and cast on the Timber Bay hat. The Timber Bay hat is a very easy and fast knit. I only worked on it about 30 mins or so a day and finished it in less than a few days. I have no doubt it would easily be done in a day or so. The hat has been made 766 times including mine and some chose to make theirs short by omitting the last repeat of a section but I choose to do the complete hat just as the pattern is written. I love the way it turned out. I could see me making this again for a gift because of the finished product and not a lot of work that has to go into it. 
{Not my photo, this was linked from the project.}

She does have 6 free patterns on Ravelry and those can be found here. The hat on the left is one of her free patterns. You can straight to the pattern by clicking the photo. It is an adorable cabled hat. I highly recommend trying out one of her paid for patterns but a free pattern is a great way to "try" a designer out. I am almost positive once you try one of her patterns you will see she writes them so they are easy to follow and explains things well.

For my hat (Timber Bay) I followed the pattern exactly as it was written, I did not omit the last repeat of Fisherma's rib like many suggested. I even used the recommended needle sizes. I used Malabrigo Rios and had 9 grams left from the project. I know many were worried reading over the project notes that they would run out of yarn which is what lead them to omit the last repeat. As I completed the hat I made notes of the amount of yarn I had left. Before starting the last Fisherman's rib I had 24 grams of yarn left and before starting the crown decreases I had 17 grams left. 

Time to plan


I am such a planner which can be a great asset and can be a hindrance at the same time. Often we get caught up in the plans and never take action. I however, get so drawn into a task I forget to do other things like eating lunch, resting even drinking enough water throughout the day. I am going to write how I do my big clean out in case someone wants to join in. I look at it from a step by step view point. I promise it will not seem to overwhelming or even unattainable. Maybe the way I do things will help you in some way if you wish to join in. I am not a professional organizer but I do love to organize and everything have its own place.

1. Hands full out, hands full in. In high school and college I was a server to make some money. I made some good money and it was because I was always moving. When I left the kitchen I had either food in my hand for a table or refills for drinks and when I went back towards the kitchen I had empty plates from either my tables or those around me. I still view my daily life the same way, every step is with intention. This can easily be done in the home. When you walk by a room and see something that needs to go another room take it. On the way back see something that needs straighten then do it. It takes a few minutes but then during the week when you are cleaning is less to clean and takes less time. 

2. It did not get to be chaos overnight and will not resolve itself overnight. Even with me cleaning out all the things every 6 months it never stays clean. That is 6 months of stuff that has been brought in. I do clean out a little in between those months. We usually have a 33 gallon bag for donation every few months but the reality is stuff accumulates. Thank about every Happy Meal your kid gets, or every impulse buy you make... it just adds up. 

When I wrote my last post I talked about how you have to have a plan. Writing things out seems like a waste of time. However I can guarantee you its not, seeing progress is very self motivating. I want you to go to each room with a notebook sit in the middle of it and then write down what you see. Yes I promise I do this and the funny thing is I was watching this show the other day and the professional organizer said to do the same thing! I started with the room of necessity, my youngest. He has gotten so tall that his pants were to short. Which is fine because I have saved all the clothes the older one has grown out of and sorted them by size in totes. This just meant I needed to remove the small stuff and get out and hang the new to him sizes. Guess what that takes care of part of his closet. However for this exercise his plan looks like this and to save space I went ahead and did the oldest Aiden's as well :

I did this for every room. Even the bathrooms, the laundry room, the living rooms, den and kitchen! The kitchen was a tad bit different as it is one of the biggest rooms in the house and with the most cabinets so I broke its sections up. For the kitchen I made the island one section, the cabinets on the wall with the fridge one section, the cabinets with the oven/sink one section and the stand alone cabinet/party its own. This will make it more attainable and keep me from rushing through and doing a good clean out. 

The reason why I do this is because I clean out when I get a chance. I know I do not have a day where I can set aside a whole day to focus on cleaning out. I wish I did but I do not. So you do not want to set yourself up for failure. One of my favorite quotes that I have at the top of this post. "Plans are worthless but planning is everything." You can make plans to do something all day long but until you start planning out the steps to get you there and starting doing them you will never reach your destination or goal.

My Weekly TO DO's: 
~Mondays: groceries, kitchen counters, laundry 
~Tuesdays: bathrooms, dust 
~Wednesdays: clean mother in law, big vacuum, laundry
~Thursday:  laundry, errands if there are any
~Friday:  laundry, all glass
~Saturday: Big Vacuum
~Sunday: meal planning/ weekly planning, grocery list making

Daily: spot clean hamster tank, spot vacuum, wipe counters, pick up stuff at night and dishes. I am sure I missing something but I can not think lol. 

A Step Towards My 2019 Goal

Simplicity is not depriving yourself but creating a space for living.

Simplicity seems like a easy thing to do right? Until you begin to trying to achieve it. I thank many of us want to live a life of simplicity but maybe are lost how to get there. Maybe you are looking around wondering where to even begin. Maybe you have a plan but time is your hindrance. I think it is easy to get to those points but we are going to get through this. I admit it is hard letting go of things. However they are just that things. These things take time to keep dusted, they take time to clean and they take up space for living. I am not talking about completely letting everything go and moving to a small space. OH NO I love my stuff don't get me wrong but I do not want my stuff to own me. So maybe you are sitting here reading this and feel the same way and want to join me on this journey... then please do. I am going to write out my process... my thoughts and how I do this. 

Typically I do a clean out every 6 months that corresponds to a local consignment sale. If you have kids and want to make some extra cash then maybe seek out local consignment sales in your area. They all have different requirements on what has to be done. There is a ton of place to sale your things online and even brick and mortar locations in your area. So keep that in mind as you begin sorting. I like to create two piles one to sale and one to donate. 

Now to get started. 
**Do not try to just going through one room without a plan especially if this is something you have not done in a while. There is nothing worse than getting started and loosing hope. 

First you have to have a general idea of what your goals are. For me its to purge as much as possible, get ready for a consignment sale, possible gather stuff to rent a booth in a local pickers brick and mortar store and to clean out the old craft room. The old craft room is bad. It has become a dumping ground for everything. 

Now that you have a purpose you need to sit down and mentally think what order will best suit you. For me I still had Christmas stuff up. During the beginning of the season I had 14 totes of Christmas decorations, that is a lot! That took me about 2-3 days to decorate including the trees. That is not counting the stuff I do at my mother in laws. I felt like this past Christmas I was spending too much time preparing for it that I did not live in it and I wanted that to change! As I took down my Christmas I decided that 6 totes was enough. Those 6 totes do not include ornaments. Each of the big trees have their own totes of ornaments ans well as each child has their own tote of decor/ornament combo. That means we would keep 6 totes of decor for the house, 2 totes of ornaments for the living room/den tree and 2 totes for each kid for a total of 10 totes from the 18 we had. That is still a lot I know but again this doesn't have to be dramatic. A lot of my decor is still in their original boxes in the totes which takes up space. We also have a lot of vintage pieces that require extra padding. However that meant tough choices had to be made and things had to go. 

There are a few questions you need to ask yourself:
1. Do I LOVE it?  - you have to be honest with yourself. Love is a strong word, I am talking about love like "Do I see this being in my home and being put up in 5 years? Passed down? 

2. Does it have an emotional pull at my heart? I know as a parent its hard to let go of every cute thing your kid makes but the reality is that it is the memory that we need and not the object. If you are having a hard time letting go of artwork or creations then take a photo of them. Save them to a file on your computer to look back on. The reality is you will not pull that actual piece out in 5 years, it will get lost and damaged so preserve the memory not the object. 

3. Do you use it? I was not using all my decorations. There was things that I hadn't put out in years so why was I hanging onto them. Why allow them to take up space, to be moved that is just extra work I was creating for myself and taking time away from living... 

4. Is it broken/missing parts? Seems simple right, yea this is a hard one especially for my children. 

So asking myself those questions it either went into a keep, sale or donate box. It was hard I am not going to lie but I know next year when I get out those 6 totes of decor and can get it everything decorated in a day it will be worth it! That will allow for more memories of crafts and fun time spent with what matters my family. 

Next week I began tackling the rest of the house... 

Kicking off 2019 with a BANG!

We are a few days into the new year and already we have had chaos at our house. I have had this cold virus thing since the 28th and it has been one of those wiping you out, walking snot headed, no voice, glass shards in the throat and fever type of colds. It has not been a highlight to the new year that is for sure. However I am on the mend, it ran its course and I had to devour about 8-10 oranges a day and drank ample amounts of hot tea to get me here.

We stayed in doors New Years Eve because we had a lot of rain here in Alabama. The next day we cooked our traditional New Years Day meal which was a Rib-eye Roast, black eyed peas, greens and corn bread. We went with a simple Rosemary Roast this year and used the rosemary that has been growing on my front porch. Its so nice to be able to walk out the front door to fresh herbs. The recipe was a freebie on the Internet and you can find it right here:

So now lets get down to the chaos. This morning I got to clean my fridge and kitchen floor. It was not because I wanted too or because it was dirty because I just had cleaned it when I bought groceries last.  Oh No, today it all got cleaned because as we were getting ready to go out the door to my in laws to clean I told the boys to go make a sandwich to take to Mamaws and Papaws. I am in my room writing some things in my planner and then I hear it. There was screams, glass shattering and things banging. I ran to the kitchen to see my boys standing in front of the fridge with the door open and who knows what on the floor around them. Glass jars were busted and salsa was every where, steak sauce busted, pepper sauce pour on the floor as little peppers lay here and there, blue berries rolling and the Yorkie eating them like a hungry hippo and my two boys standing in the midst of it all. I blinked and took a deep breath. By the grace of God I remained calm.
Its funny really, I really have been focusing on this whole live a simple 2019, to live one with meaning, one with cherished moments and one without regret. I had gotten up that morning and said my prayer to begin my day and knowing it was going to be a harder one because of having to clean the in-laws had asked for patience. God granted me that prayer. It wasn't in the form of a blissful easy going day I was hoping for, it was one in a "you can get through this, just breathe and use this as a teaching moment".

My kids stood there and the wee one spoke first. "I am sorry momma". I looked at the oldest, "Umm what happened?" The oldest was quick to turn on the wee red head. Apparently he was "doing what he was supposed to do" or so he says and the wee one got impatient and decided to SWING and climb on the fridge door while he waited. The red headed one though would not really say what happened. All we could get was "I don't know".

               **** OK lets take a moment to pause right here and sit on this for a moment****
The wee one who will be 8 in February made the choice to grab the fridge door and try to swing on it and climb it. He in that split second thought to himself "hey that seems like a great idea even though I know better and I have never tried something so audacious in my younger years".

So back to the chaos that was unfolding before me:
The red head knew he was in trouble. He finally came clean regarding his actions. The oldest asked to go shower as he was covered in last night dinner and salsa and the red head just stood there like a deer stuck in the headlights of a car. My children are actually pretty good, we have never had anything like this happen before and I knew they knew they made some horrible choices that morning. When he had swung on the door the fridge began to tilt forward or fridge is in a cubby in the wall. I do not think it would have came all the way over. I think it just tipped enough that some things started sliding. I will say they are both lucky they did not get cut with glass from the jars. So for punishment the redhead lost all of his video games for the week. Now being the reasonable parents that we are we did offer another option. He could write 100 times "I will not swing or climb on the fridge". 

Its Friday now and lets just saw he has only written 10 sentences. The amount of times he has asked for his games has been countless. However he has still not gotten back his games. After I got the mess cleaned, the fridge back in order we sat down and looked up a few verses. We talked about how God wants us to obey our parents and why parents must discipline their children. About how God has a plan for us to live the lives he wants us to we have to have self control when it comes to things that can get us in trouble. We finished up with confessing when we do wrong so we can get forgiveness.

I do not see this ever happening again. I am pretty sure the next few days of missed video games is going to be really hard for him as Christmas just brought us a new Pokemon game to play as a family. I hate that the whole thing happened but I am grateful that no one was hurt and that I remained calm and was able to use this as a moment to learn a valuable lesson about why we have rules, why parents have to discipline and what love and forgiveness is.

Bible Verses we covered:
Proverbs 25:28
1 John 1:6 - 1 John 2:8
James 3:2
Ephesians 6:1-4
Nehemiah 9-17

Project Planning for my 2019 Craft Life

It is that time of year of goal making and project planning. Every year I like to set a few crafting goals for myself and try to achieve them. Not that I push myself to do them but I am a person who thrives on things such as that. Are you that way? Do you set yearly goals? Did you meet your yearly goals for 2018?

To be honest I can not even remember all the goals I had planned but the top two were to do something Brioche and to make a doll a month. I did make a brioche hat and it was donated to a charity "Purple Crying" and I made a few of the dolls but did not really finished the whole collection. The brioche hat is actually a funny story. I used the Craftsy free preview weekend and a pattern I bought online to make it. The problem is I can not remember how to do it! lol I tried to make me one and had several false starts but got frustrated and put it up. So I am somewhat adding that to my 2019 goals.

Last year I set a Ravelry goal of 40 projects and completed that. I did not meet my goal of 10,000 yards though. I completed a 7,714 yards but that does not count what it currently knitted or crocheted on my wips.

My goals this year I am going to list here and then comeback this time next year and see how much I have completed. If you want to join in you can list yours as a comment and then we can hold each other accountable.

My Goals 2019
1. make another brioche hat and learn it..
2. Finish my Romi Shawl wip
3. Finish the baby blanket from lion brand yarn
4. finish the best friends socks
5. start the campfire socks and finish them
6. make 30 things that I have queued: currently I have 186 things in my queue.
7. complete a total of 50 projects

Now my projects I plan on making...

I know I want to Crochet The Color Wheel Blanket from a local to me designer. I already have purchased the new Chic Sheep Yarn by Marly Bird for it. 

I want to finish crocheting some more of calender Dolls from the Simply Crochet. I have only completed Jan, Feb and March so there are plenty to choose from there. I have been using mostly I LOVE This Yarn from Hobby Lobby in the Stonewashed series for these.

Hats that I want to knit:
I am just going to post the photos of hats I want to make and like always you can click on them go to where you get the pattern.

That is all I know I want to complete. I know I will be picking more from my queue although I have not decided on which ones yet..

So what is on your list? Whatever it is I wish you the best year making it!

2019 The year of Simplicity

Related image
photo borrowed from the internet not mine
The new year is approaching at a rapid speed and it's time to get ready for it.

Every year I like to have a focal word for the new year. This year I think Simplicity is the perfect one. With all the things I have going on around me and for all the things I hope to come in 2019 it’s a word that I want to grow closer to. do think there will be changes in how I do my Facebook pages/blogs. I am going to continue to fade from “www.facebook.com/Lifeonthefarminalabama” and merge it with my Yarning4asmile Facebook page and the same with their corresponding blogs.

I know I have many who come to my Facebook/blog for craft related things but I am not only craft focused. I am a wife, a mom, we homeschool, I cook, I love organizing, I love making things, I love outdoors, nature and I love video games. I want things to be a bit simpler and more efficient. Thus leaving me time to interact with them even during busy times which is something I have failed at lately.  

If you are wanting only fiber arts related content then please head to my Facebook group www.facebook.com/group/yarning4asmileville. You can also click the link in the Knitting and Crochet link in the Pages tab at the top of the blog or by clicking the photo link to the right of the page at the top. 

So what does that mean specifically for this blog? It's going to be changing... I will leave the old homeschool blog up since it is linked from everywhere. However, I will be bringing those posts to this blog and inserting in the timeline basically merging the blogs but also leaving the homeschool one standing in time. I am also linking the topics in the labels tab to make searching for whatever you are looking for extremely easy, the labels are located on the right side of the blog. 

I want my social media sites to be a source of information and inspiration for all... regardless of what season of life you are in. I hope you continue on the journey with me. You can find me all over social media by the links to the right. Just click on the photo of the social media platform. 

Thanks for reading and Happy New Year. 

Do you have projects in time out?

Tomorrow is Friday and man do I love me some  Fridays. I love that the weekend slows down and lends its way to crafting and a time to rejuvenate my soul. I usually are am not one to start a new project on the weekend. I like to work on wips (work in progress) during the weekend. Today I want to talk about on of the biggest things a knitter or crocheter can encounter... At what point do you frog it or finish it? Do you let it go to Area 51 that in the back of a dark closet and leave it for years? Are you someone that lets it go to time got for about a year and the reuses the yarn? Comment bellow or in the Facebook Group (to join click here) and tell us about a project you have in "Time out" and why its got in trouble.

I have a project in Time out... Its been there for a while. I want to finish it because I think it will be pretty but honestly I am just not motivated. It the Labor Day Shawl by Deby Lake. My local knit group made it before I was even in the group. The majority of them used the Stonehedge Fiber Mill Crazy yarn. Crazy Yarn is so much fun to work with. Its made by all the leftovers from their mill and spun into crazy color combinations... hence its name. The problem with mine is I wanted a solid base color but my LYS only had lace in stock which is fine so I held two strand together to do the base. Lace work with two strands is not my idea of a good time. I am sure I could do it because I am a firm believer in not letting something defeat you. I believe we learn from our mistakes and as hard as it may be mistakes can be our best teacher. So its been in time out. Also lets be honest Instagram can be a real pain for us monogamous crafters. Inspiration is in every photo and the bight and shinny new yarns and patterns can be a bit of a distraction. The yarn is one of those you just need to get some to play with yarns. It is so soft and the has more of a barber poleing effect. So what is barber poleing? It is the term used to describe two different solid color yarns that are spun together to create a yarn with a "Barber Pole" effect. Often the term gets confused with the term marled. Marled yarn is very similar to barber poleing but instead of the two solid colors it is spun with a solid and a variegated yarn. So that is why my Labor Day show has been in hibernation. It started was started August 2016 and this month I will decided to love it or leave it.

I want to give a thank you to the amazing Benjamin Krudwig for helping me get clarification on the two. If you have never heard of Benjamin please check him out on the following links. He is a designer, a teacher, blogger, weaver, spinner and crocheter and wears a few more hats as well . He has been on Yarnthing with Marly Bird which is where I learned about him. You can listen to that show by clicking here. I will be making one of his hats this fall and will talk about him more then. I also plan on hosting a giveaway of the hat patern I will be making!! You can can find him in the links bellow.

Here are some examples of some yarn that is barber and marled. The Crazy Yarn on the left is more Barber Pole style to me. You can clearly see two distinct solids spun together to create the effect of a Barber Pole. The yarn on the right is some of my own handspun it is marled yarn. It is more of a mixture of colors or "Variegated" strands that when spun together give it a more muted tone and looks more "blended".