How do you morning??


I love an easy project to work on while I eat my breakfast and wake up. I always have one mindless knitting project and one mindless crochet one going all the time. I find its easier for me to knit in the movies but a mindless crochet gets me thinking more in the morning. I am currently working on another Rainbow Ripple Baby Blanket. Its a free pattern on Ravelry and can be found here. 

The yarn I am using is the Lion Brand Mandala Baby in the Pixie Hollow color. I wanted to try this out and see which I like more Mandala regular or the Baby. Well its the regular version hands down. The difference between the two is the way they are plied. The Baby version is 3 ply tight twist spun yarn. The Regular is more of a single ply which makes if softer. The Baby feels more acrylic despite them both being acrylic. To me the Baby comes in more brighter colors and the Regular is more muted tones. I think they are both great yarns and for the price consider it a wonderful deal. You can check out my project page for this project here. 

Now lets talk about my smoothie! Its so good and very simple to make. 
Ingredients needed:
1 cup of fresh and washed blueberries (from my garden)
1/2 cup of fresh washed strawberries (They have been on sale at Sams for a few weeks now)
1/2 soy milk (I used the unflavored) 
2 small containers of Activia light blueberry can be seen here.

Its so easy, so good for you, and so fast to make. To make it even faster go ahead and wash and cut some strawberries up and keep them in an air tight container in the fridge. I also keep my blueberries wash and in a container. I just grab how many I need throw them in and then add the yogurt and milk. 

I hope you had a wonderful 4th and I wish you the best Friday and weekend. You can see a bit of our fireworks show here as well as the other photos on my Instagram. 

Sav-A-Life Hat Drive

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photo from Support Sav-A-Life Hope Facebook page
Ever get that feeling that you want to use your knitting or crochet abilities to spread love to the world? I know I do, I get it when I see a call for a charity drive, a post, when I look over and see a baby colored yarn or even when I hear others joining in a campaign on podcast/blog. Today it happened when I was tagged in a Facebook post. It was out of no where and I was sitting at the library with my kids when I got the notification. I read the post and I could feel my soul wanting to reach out... so I did. 


Related image
Today I was tagged in a post on Facebook from the local center Support Save-A-Life Hope about a "hat drive". They put a call out for knitters and crocheters to help make handmade hats to give out in gift bags. The Hope center located in Anniston Alabama gives these gift bags to out to every baby that gets born in the local Hospital! That is pretty amazing... and that is 2,000 babies I have been told by them. So they need your, mine and anyone you know who crochets or knits help. So here I am putting a call out to you. Maybe you have a urge to do some charity crafting and not sure what you can do, maybe your the only knitter or crocheter you know and looking to join others in a campaign to make a difference, maybe I have personally helped you through a pattern or you have won a giveaway from my blog or Ravelry group and looking for a way to say thank you. Or maybe you have a local group and looking for a project... Well here it is. Together we can change lives and spark hope. We can do something we love and spread love at the same time. We can show these new babies and their families that hope is everywhere as well as kindness. So grab your hook or needles and keep reading!

To get you started I am going to link some great FREE patterns. Never done a pattern before? That is OK too because I am offering my help... Yep that's right you can contact me through this blog or my Facebook page that can be found here and I will do what I can to get you through the pattern. If I can not help you I will point you in the direction where you can get help. So lets look at the specifics.

Whats needed: 

Support Sav-A-Life Hope is asking for the following:
Yarn only-No embellishments (choking hazard)
Infant sized
Super soft acrylic/cotton yarn only
NO wool/dish cotton
Smoke free
Animal dander/fur free
Pre-washed
Pastel colors
Please deliver in clean plastic bags/no card board

Hats can be delivered to:
HOPE Women’s Services
1506 Leighton Ave. Ste. A
Anniston, AL 36207
256-237-9999

Now the patterns. I am sure many of you have worsted weight yarn at home. On the Label that is a #4 yarn. Personally for donations I love using the I Love This Yarn from Hobby Lobby. One skein of this is about 355 yards and depending on the pattern used and your knitting/crochet gauge a newborn baby hat runs about 70-150 yards. That means you can get 2-4 hats for under $5! Another favorite I have for baby hats is DK weight yarn which has a #3 on the label. My go to for these is also another Hobby Lobby (that is really the only craft store that is around me) yarn called Baby Bee. This yarn is thinner than worsted which is great for the local weather of Alabama. 

**KNIT**
DK Weight

Worsted Weight


 **CROCHET**
DK Weight
https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/girly-preemie-newborn-hat(free download from Ravelry a free site that I LOVE)

Worsted Weight

So this is just a small amount of patterns to get you started there are so many out there. Just pay attention to the yarn weight it calls for and what you use. Remember gauge is important and if you need help finding out what that is or how to check it just let me know… I hope you join me in supporting my local Support Sav-A-Life Hope. If you just could send one hat I would appreciate it and I know they will too. I encourage you to share this blog post or this Facebook post and let's rally together to get them some hats. 

If you are reading this and am not a knitter or crocheter but still want to bless this organization then I encourage you to click here and check out their how to help page.

Happy Knitting/crocheting and spreading love.
~Kim aka Yarning4asmile 

Wicked Westly

I got to test the adorable new doll from the amazing B. Crochet-Tive Designs and I am giving away a copy via #Ravelry because I love her so much!! Want to win a copy? Head over to my Ravelry group by clicking here, make sure you join and comment to win. Can't want to win? I don't blame you for the price of this doll why would you check out the links bellow to buy the pattern right now. 

You can purchase this doll from the following:
Ravelry: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/wicked-westly
Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/listing/603679986/wicked-westly-crochet-pdf-pattern-only?ref=shop_home_active_

You can see the yarns I used etc here on my project page. 

She is made with acrylic worsted weight yarns and a F hook. She stands about 13 inches tall and well written. I love her little pumpkin purse becase every girl needs a purse right? I hope you check out her and other patterns Brittany has created. Thanks for reading and Happy Crafting.

Leisure Arts Infant Boots and Hats

Its that time of year when it seems like every time you turn around there is a baby shower. There are things every mom to be needs like diapers but they also need adorable hand made things for the baby on the way. Leisure Arts has a book out called Infant Boots and Hats and this book does not disappoint! The book has a total of 6 sets of hats and boot crochet patterns and all for $3.99 for the digital and $5.99 for the paper back book. That is only .50 cents per pattern for the paper back copy! These are patterns that you can do for girls and boys so I really feel that you are getting a real bang for your buck. 
The patterns are adorable!! My favorite is the Lacy Boot and Hat set that is in the photo above. I would say a slightly seasoned crocheter to advanced crocheter would enjoy this set of patterns. The patterns are all listed as an "easy level". I will say while I think the patterns are simple they are not thoroughly explained in some aspects. An example of this is on the boots. The boot patterns do not explain which direction to crochet after joining so going the wrong way will cause your toe area to be in the wrong place and cause frustration. However it just takes a few minutes of looking at your project and you realize which way to go. 

All the patterns use a worsted weight #4 yarn, I am almost positive EVERYONE has a skein of that laying around their house and this book gives you a great reason to use it. I also want to add I really like how they go over the yarn used on the last page. This is so important.... If you are not able to use the yarn used it is very important to know what type of yarn used so you can find an alternate that will give you the same drape. If you are unsure of a great alternative I highly suggest www.yarnsub.comI love the font size of the patterns. The book is set up up with each pattern having a shopping list section that tells you how many colors you will need, the size hook and any additional supplies you will need. 
crochet baby sets
You can see all the patterns in the set here.
I do find the yardage estimates on the patterns to be pretty close. On the Lacy Cuff Boots and Hat pattern the estimated yardage was 170 yards. I made the hat and the boot and got gauge and used 150 yards. I do however wish it gave the estimate of yarn needed in each color so you could work from leftovers in stash.

The back of the book has a general instructions area that has things like abbreviations, symbols/terms, pattern level guide, a brief explanation of gauge, goes over markers, yarn weight guide, crochet hook guide, yarn information on the yarn used in the patterns and how to do the techniques used in the patterns with some visual aids. 
Since the book is written for INFANT boots and hats the patterns only come in two sizes. The sizes are distinguished by color and (). According to Leisure Arts the patterns are sized :"Small (2 inches wide by 3 inches long) and Medium (2 inches by 3.5 inches) and the hat patterns are in one size to fit a 16 inches head circumference."
crochet baby sets
So far I have made two hats from the book and one set of shoes. The patterns I have made are the Lacy Boot and Hat and the Casual Hat. I think they both are adorable. While the Lacy set is more feminine I do think the casual set can be geared to any gender with a simple change of colors. Really the Lacy set is the only set that is more feminine the others could really go either way with the colors you choose. In conclusion I really think for the money this is a great book to own. If you do not have the need to make baby gifts for your own little ones they make wonderful gifts. If you are interested in this book you can buy it here. This is my affiliate link which means if you purchase from this link I make a small profit from your purchase. There is nothing that gets charged extra to you it just lets Leisure Arts know I told you about their product. 

Thank you for reading and Happy Yarning... 

B. Crochet-tive Designs

Happy Mother's Day! 
I want to share with you a wonderful mother and designer Brittany from B. Crochet-tive Designs

I was so blessed to have gotten to do a pattern test for the amazing Brittany the master mind of B.Crochet-tive Designs. She has got some adorable patterns and they are priced so well!

I got to make her Nico Narwhal. The pattern is very well written and very easy to understand. Brittany and I met through a Facebook Crochet group and were instant friends. She has such a sweet soul and a very creative mind. She has made some cute things and I hope she continues to let her creative juices flow so we can make her designs.

She just released a momma pig and piglets play set and even has a mud play mat to crochet to extend the imagination of whoever is playing with it.  I also have her Ulyana an Ad Orbs and two of the doll patterns and will be making those soon.

I really love her patterns and she is always having promotions on her Facebook page. If you have not already liked her page I encourage you to do so. You can find her Facebook page here https://www.facebook.com/BCrochettive/. Her patterns can be found on Etsy and her Ravelry store that you can find links to bellow. She is also in Instagram and you know I love me some Instagram. To follow here click here: https://www.instagram.com/b.crochettive/


These are her designs and by clicking the photo bellow it will take you to her Ravelry Store. If you want to find her Etsy store then Click Here. 
I really hope you check out her shop and she has quickly become one of my favorite designers and friend. Happy Crafting!


Catching up and getting ready for changes.

   
Its basically summer here in Alabama, the temps are getting close to the high 80's already and school will be out in a week for my kids. We are ready for summer and ready for the changes we will be participating in as a family. We are pulling our kids from public school and homeschooling them. I am beyond excited about this decision. I will miss some amazing teachers but we need to do this for our family. We will be starting homeschool in July and I already have so many things planned. This is something the hubs and I talked about before and we just feel it is time. I am picking my homeschool blog back up and you can find that here.

I had a slower month craft wise in April but since my last projects post in January I was a busy little bee. I have completed a total of 21 projects since Jan 1st and have a few close to coming off the needles/hooks. In all the photos in this post if you click on them you will find my project page and from there you can see the pattern link and the yarn I used as well as any modifications I made.

I completed the January and February dolls from the Simply Crochet issue 64. This doll are designed from Toft Designs. They have a "Doll" book out that can be found here and I highly suggest their books. I own the monster book one and made a monster from it for Aiden. The monster book is super cool, it has flip sections to you can really customize a monster. I really love the Toft designs and plan on making the dolls for the whole year. I am just a little behind so will be doing so catch up.


I also did some various Amigurumi. If  you hadn't noticed I love making amigurmi also know as stuffies. They are fast, fun and  great use of scraps. I made some random things again click the photos to get to my project page for pattern links and yarn used. The rabbit is a super sweet project. The pattern also includes a ball. The rabbit and the ball (I did not make the ball) are both rattles! I used some bells I tied together and sewed a little pocket for them. I then stuffed them in the rabbit with fiber fill. The snail was something I completed yesterday. It is a free pattern and also a easy one once you get it going. It is so tiny and he really makes my heart smile.

As far as other things I have completed from the Simply Crochet Magazines I have made a shelf sitting chicken and some adorable apple coasters. I love the coasters and there are several free patterns that can be found on Ravelry that are very similar.








I completed two wips the Voyager and my Lets go Camping Mitts. They were both fun knits and I love my shawl. I made some mods towards the end of the pattern and I am glad I did.

There have been other projects that have come from my hooks and needles and like always I have a project page for them on my Ravelry account that can be seen here. 

Whats in the making:
Currently I am activity working on my Cozy memories blanket, Rainbow Ripple Blanket, The March Doll from Toft, and a mystery shawl from Romi Hill.

Image may contain: foodWhats been cooking:
https://www.thecountrycook.net/crock-pot-chicken-and-gravy/ the was a pretty good fast recipe. It is similar to the Ranch house Chicken that is a household favorite and can be found here.  We are eating a lot of veggies and have already started preparing our summer garden. We will naturally have tomatoes and I have some herbs going. One of our favorite ways to prepare Brussels sprouts is with a McCorrmick seasoning and cooked in the oven. They are delicious!!!


As always these photos are my own and there are some affiliate links in this post and on this blog. With the affiliate links if you click them and purchase from them I made a few pennies that I use to fund this blog. There is nothing extra that gets charged to you in anyway.

The multi case from Amazon


Of you know me you know I am all about storage. I came across this adorable bird pencil (on the right) case on February 17, 2017 when I got my Prismacolor 132 count set.

Now a year later I was scrolling through instagram and saw it being used as a DPN case! Genius! So naturally I ordered another one. This time I went with the adorable bear print on the left and from a different company. It was also $8 cheaper than my bird one so I was curious to see if there was a difference.

The difference:
The bird case that I can not longer find that exact print is a little better made. the fabric is thicker, it did not have strings that needed to be clipped, it has a little better "stronger" zipper and it opens from the center out.

The Bears is adorable and for the price a great deal. It is a little less in quality and I did have to snip about 6 strings but overall I am very happy with it. The insides open like a book and do not fit in its areas as well as the bird one. I have to pull the zipper are around them.

In conclusion they both make wonderful cases. I love them both and the bird one has hold up for a year without any signs of use.

The Bear one:



 The Bird:







Meals on the fly and projects flying off the needles.

I have been one busy little momma this week. Monday school was out for Martin Luther King Day and then Alabama was hit with a crazy cold, slight now and more ice. School was closed Tuesday and today Wednesday and we just got the call that school will be cancelled Thursday as well.. We have been busy staying warm playing games and I have been crafting. I have been crafting like a crazy person this month. I have finished a shawl, made a crocheted cat, a crocheted bowtruckle, made two crochet bowl cozies, been working on my Voyager shawl and my Camping Fingerless mitts.

The Voyager
Pattern by Rachel Roden
Yarn: I am using MadelineTosh Twist Light in Modern Fair Isle and some Miss Babs Yummy 2ply in various colors.

Camping Mitts
Let's Go Camping Mitts from Must Stash Designs 
Yarn: I am using Must Stash Yarns in the Campfire colorway.

Finished Objects:
Citron
Amineko the Crochet Cat
Baby Bowtruckle 
I also have made two Bowl Cozies. The first one that can be seen here was made per the pattern that can be found here. However I did not like the fit around my soup bowls so naturally I modified them. :) I made two circles and increased to 66 stitches and then slp stitch them together. I then sc 10 and made 2sc in one stitch around, sc around one row and then sc 11 and 2 sc in one stitch around. Then I just sc around up till I ran out of yarn and they fit perfectly. The photo on top is the one from the pattern and the one below is the one I made with the modifications.

The reason I am making Bowl Cozies is because we have ditched almost all the plastic bowls etc from our kitchen. We are going to glass and glasslike bowls and containers for health reasons. The cozies go around your bowl when you put them in the microwave and when you get your heated food out you do not get burned hands. I am using 100% cotton, do not use acrylic for this project because it will melt! They are also great for soup and stew days to keep your food warm longer and your hands an table from getting to hot. I know there are many products made that are BPA free but there are still chemicals that leak into your food when heated and we are just choosing to avoid them. We have gone to almost only water to drink with only one small glass of milos tea a day. I am still drinking my hot herbal teas but they are almost all caffeine and the hubby has cut back his coffee intake. Some other changes we have made are almost no extra sugars and just an even healthier lifestyle in general with mile walks 3 times a week as a family, a cut in the amount of meats we eat. I am even leaning more towards a vegan diet... I said leaning not complete. I am still eating eggs in the morning and occasionally some meat but I have cut my meat consumption by 1/3.  I have been pretty much dairy free for over a year as dairy and my body are not friends. I cook 5-6 nights a week and we eat leftovers on the other. I wanted to share because I know often I am looking for new things to try and I thought you may being doing the same. This week our meal plan includes the following meals.

Chicken Tacos/Chicken Salad
https://nomnompaleo.com/post/143765161843/pressure-cooker-salsa-chicken-tacos
We have this instant pot, it is an 8 quart (I cook for 5 adults and 2 kids).

Mini Meatloafs, homemade mashed potatoes, steamed broccoli
I use a recipe that was something my Granny BB always made. I don't really have exact measurements as I usually do not measure things when I cook and why I am not a very good baker. :)

Granny BB meatloaf
1 bell pepper, 1 onion, 4 stalks of celery, a cupish carrots (chop all the veggies very small so your kids will not see them. 3 lbs of lean hamburger meat (Again this feeds 5 adults and 2 kids), some bread crumbs, a can on tomato sauce regular size can, mustard, brown sugar, white vinegar, one egg and some ketchup.

After you finely chop all the veggies put them in a large bowl, add hamburger meat, some bread crumbs, the egg, and just a little less than 1/4 c of tomato sauce. Mix well (I use my hands) and then make hamburger sized little loaves and place them in a 16x9 baking dish that you spray with pam spray. Now for the sauce: You will use the rest of the tomato sauce, about 2 tbsp of mustard, 2 tbsp of brown sugar, about 2 tbsp of vinegar and then 1/3 c ketchup.  You are going to mix all of that and then spoon onto your little loaves and save some to baste during the cooking process. Cook in the oven on 400 for about 40 mins. During the cooking I open the oven and put sauce on my loaves several times till it's gone.

Cabbage Stew 
www.budgetbytes.com/2017/01/can-eat-cabbage-stew
This will be our first time making this recipe but we have this crock pot that is a 7 quart and that I LOVE! It can handle enough food for all of us. I bought mine last year because my previous one stopped working. :/

Grilled Chicken Salad with Steamed Veggies
We are just grilling some chicken on the grill. For the marinade we will be using some white vinegar and some salt and pepper. The veggies are some mixed frozen veggies I will be steaming in the pot. 

Homemade Veggie Soup
We use this recipe but with some modifications, https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/hearty-vegetable-soup.
The mods are I use Better than Beef , I leave out the marjoram and use chickpeas. I also only buy and use the V8 low sodium juice. The soup is very hearty, fulfilling and easy to make. I just throw all my stuff in the crock pot and cook it on low for 8 hours.

So that is about it for us here. We did have a huge snow back in December. It was amazing and a stunning site. I am in the process of making a video of some of the photos and I will be linking that at some point on the blog this week. If you would like to leave a comment and please do just click the read link that says no comments at the end of this post. I hope you are all staying warm, crafting all the things and until next time Happy Crafting!

~Kim

The two big products I talk about in this post can be found here. There are some affiliate links on this page and you can find more about my affiliates under the Legal Stuff tab.